Wednesday, September 19, 2007

When Favorite Foods Go Bad

Just sitting here thinking of those favorite dishes of mine that I almost never order, because they're so often done badly. Here's my top five.

1) Eggs Benedict. I can't remember the last time I had these done right. They always come out with the muffin gummy and chewy, the Canadian bacon (if they even bother to use it instead of ham) is tough like leather, and the eggs are too hard or too runny (they should be set, but not dry).

2) Tiramisu. Again, I've had it wrong more than I've had it right. Lady fingers chewy and dry, or reduced to mush, because there's too much liquid soaking through the whole thing, or the fluff part too fluffy (it should be firm and not so whippy - same problem with eclairs).

3) Veal piccata. Veal is almost always too tough, or it lacks flavor (obviously, the general problem with ordering a big piece of meat, just taken to an extreme). The sauce is usually too tangy and overpowers the meat, or it's non-descript. Breading is always dangerous on meat - gums it up and ruins both the texture and taste.

4) French onion soup. Almost always they try to offset or complement (I'm not sure which they're trying for) the taste of onions by making the soup sweet. The bread and cheese blob too often is impenetrable.

5) Huevos rancheros. Same exact problems as Benedict - eggs not done right and the tortilla rendered tough. The balance of meat and beans in the chili has to be handled right too.


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