It has been said – many times by many people – that you can discern a cook’s abilities by tasting his (or her) roasted chicken. As a a general rule of thumb, this probably works. It’s basic, but tests a cook’s prep, seasoning and attention to detail. A person who can’t properly roast a chicken is probably going to bollocks up gumbo, eggs benedict or chicken vindaloo. But what about restaurants?
If I go to a steak restaurant and the server responds to my question about wines with “Oh, we serve California wines,” I am in for a lousy experience. This actually happened. Same with an Italian restaurant whose idea of antipasti is a bunch of iceburg lettuce with salad dressing (listening, The Rome?). I’m sure there are others, and Blog Well Done got me thinking about this today with an argument for a phad thai litmus test for Thai places. Reasonable, if you ask me.
What are your instant crappy-restaurant signals?