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Signs You’re Eating Pre-Made Food At A Restaurant


Even at fine dining restaurants, serving pre-made
food is a common practice most patrons are not aware of. So how can you know for sure your food was
made before you ever sat down at your table? Here’s how to tell if the food you’re eating
is fresh. You may be excited to see your waitress approaching
with your food as not long after you order it, but the biggest indicator that you’re
dining at a restaurant serving pre-made food is how quickly your food arrives at the table. “Mmmm, don’t you just love it when you come
back from the bathroom to find your food waiting for you?” A freshly prepared meal that’s made to order
takes time. What doesn’t take much time is reheating pre-made
food, like is often done at fast-food restaurants. If you’re at a non fast-food restaurant and
the food comes out lickety-split like drive-thru service, that’s a telltale sign that the restaurant
is serving pre-made food. After all, it should take a lot longer to
make a fresh grilled chicken breast or risotto than it does to assemble a fast food burger. “Whoa!” “Ed. I see you.” One look at a menu offering items a mile long
may send your brain into a tizzy trying to figure out how the chef does it. Well, here’s a little secret: they probably
don’t. An extensive menu means the chef has to have
all those ingredients on-hand, which makes it difficult to guarantee freshness along
with timeliness. Can you imagine sifting through the ingredients
for 100 different entrees, and then trying to cook them all at once? To solve this problem, chefs often use pre-made
food. That can range from already packaged products
to preparing the meals in advance, but either way, they’re getting a head start, and the
quality of your meal may suffer from it. “They are fresh when they come in. We do cut them and then we freeze them and
then we pull them to order.” “So they’re not fresh, they’re frozen.” “C-Correct.” If you pick up a menu that has pages and pages
of items on offer, maybe check out the new place next door instead. Often enough, the establishment you’re dining
at is the first indicator that your meal is pre-made. Choosing a chain restaurant for your dining
destination may seem like a safe choice, you know what’s on the menu, and you know what
it’s going to taste like, no matter what city you’re in. Chain restaurants are consistent in their
meals for a reason, they’re pre-made. If you’ve ever wondered why, say, your alfredo
dish at Olive Garden looks and tastes the same no matter what Olive Garden you’re at,
it’s because there’s probably not a chef in the back painstakingly preparing each dish
from scratch. Chain restaurants usually have a rigorous
process of food preparation that happens before it even reaches the restaurant. The food is often mass produced, frozen, and
then heated and assembled according to strict guidelines. So yes, your alfredo will be the same every
single time you order it, and so will most of your other meals at chain restaurants. For them, consistency is key. That may be a good thing if you like that
dish, but it’s time to give up on misconceptions that it’s a freshly-made meal. Say you’re at a restaurant and you order a
steak cooked rare. You wait in anticipation, salivating over
the thought of slicing into a juicy, pink steak. Your order arrives, and it looks just like
you imagined it would, except for the taste. You’ve had a rare steak before, but this seems
more like rubber than meat. That’s probably because your steak hit the
microwave before it hit your plate. And it’s not only the texture that changes
when it’s been microwaved. Studies have shown that meat cooked in a microwave
will have less flavor than meat cooked on a grill, as the rapid cooking means it has
much less time for the flavor to develop. Anyone who has prepared a home cooked meal
can tell the difference between something prepared fresh, and something that’s been
nuked to death in the microwave. When you order food at a restaurant and the
textures and tastes are a bit off, you know in an instant that your meal wasn’t fresh. How much time it spent reheating in the microwave
on the other hand, is a question you can ask your server. “Who cooked that Dustin?” “That’s Chef Mike.” “Who?” “Chef Mike. It’s a microwave.” A menu containing nothing but fried seafood? Now we smell something fishy. Restaurants that only offer seafood in fried
form is a clear indicator that the restaurant doesn’t serve fresh fish. Breading and frying seafood is an easy way
for cooks to mask the fact that the fish was previously frozen. It’s possible that they didn’t even bread
the fish themselves. Food distributors offer a variety of pre-made
fried fish, so all the restaurant has to do is heat and serve. Next time you order up a plate of fried Baja
fish tacos or fish and chips, don’t be surprised if your fish was reheated in a deep fryer. Especially if there’s not a piece of breadless,
non-fried fish in sight. Leaving cheese or bacon off a burger shouldn’t
be a problem at a sit-down restaurant. But how about ditching the mushrooms in your
veggie lasagna ? Or the chicken in your minestrone soup? High-end restaurants can surely handle a request
like that, right? “So is everything ok? Is something wrong? Are you mad?” If your servers says they can’t make a substitution,
it’s probably because that dish has already been made. Think about when you make these meals at home. You don’t make single portions, and neither
do the restaurants. Making certain menu items from scratch would
take a great deal of time, not to mention slow down service. So if you notice that certain menu items can’t
be substituted, odds are they’ve prepared it in advance, and reheated once you ordered
it. Anyone who has prepared a frozen dinner can
easily attest to the flavors of freezer burn; they can also detect it when a restaurant
serves it. Freezer burn changes the composition of your
food, resulting in off flavors, textures, and colors. This is especially noticeable when eating
meat. Before you even have a chance to bite into
the steak your waiter just placed in front of you, check to see if there are some grayish
spots. If so, that’s freezer burn, and it may have
been cooked before it hit the freezer. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about restaurants
are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

Randall Smitham

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39 COMMENTS

  1. Shin Lin Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    here's a painful omitted fact: no one wants to wait 30 minutes to 1 hour in a diner when they're already hungry.

    Reply
  2. Oie White Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    Not really people can't tell the difference fresh or frozen
    Plus with right skill any good chef can make premade taste like homemade.

    Reply
  3. TheComicalCanadian Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    amazing content

    Reply
  4. Carey Johnson Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Not true, great chains have standards, recipes and guidelines to be consistent. Great chains will do a "line check" where every recipe is tasted. 25yrs as a chef, Ive seen it

    Reply
  5. GrayWoIf Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Applebees once admitted that the vegetables where microwaved

    Reply
  6. Passion for food Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Sign #1.
    You're at a restaurant.

    Reply
  7. Robert Bell Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    I used to like going to Mcalisters Deli when I would go to St Louis. After they served me ice cold meatloaf I never went back.

    Reply
  8. Don Christopherson Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    common sense

    Reply
  9. Unapologetically Dommett Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    My favourite restaurant closed down at my local mall due to microwaved food. Devastated

    Reply
  10. Robino WB Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    Well obviously you cant take out the chicken in a soup. The soup is obviously premade. You cant wip up a soup in such a small time

    Reply
  11. True Story Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    Unless your eating at a high-end fine dining restaurant and willing to wait an hour for your meal then yes this may be true. Items such as mashed potatoes, ravioli or tamales take time to prepare. Food order should take about 20 minutes to come out

    Reply
  12. Curtistine Miller Posted on March 12, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    Signs you're eating Pre made food;:Applebees ,Chillis, TGI Fridays,,China Buffets,are just a few I can think of….

    Reply
  13. TheGodOfPez Posted on March 12, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    This video completely highlights the cliche and overused "ignorance is bliss" motto.

    Reply
  14. Zero Posted on March 12, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    I'm from the UK where microwave steak is unheard of, what utter nonsense this is

    Reply
  15. Michelle Sellinger Posted on March 12, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    Anyone know the movie clip with uma thurman is ?

    Reply
  16. Frank Bishop Posted on March 13, 2020 at 12:11 am

    I care not how upscale a restaurant might be, there are some things no chef can whip up in 30 minutes. A soup or stew that has simmered overnight giving it a stunningly rich flavor is one example. If one yells that it is premade, that person is a fool.

    Reply
  17. Lelo Tours Posted on March 13, 2020 at 12:41 am

    Who the hell cares as long as it tastes good

    Reply
  18. Carl Bowles Posted on March 13, 2020 at 1:04 am

    Thanks for clearing that up 👍👏.

    Reply
  19. Cody Christie Posted on March 13, 2020 at 1:47 am

    Yeah we prepare the ravioli. Before freezing it. Are you surprised?

    Reply
  20. AVA Always Posted on March 13, 2020 at 1:59 am

    Chef Mike is here !

    Reply
  21. Mashed Posted on March 13, 2020 at 2:01 am

    Do you care if your food is pre-made if it tastes good?

    Reply
  22. MrEndzo Posted on March 13, 2020 at 2:12 am

    pretty much 100% of the food is pre-made

    Reply
  23. AfricanKoolAid Posted on March 13, 2020 at 2:15 am

    Jesus Christ. A movie clip every 5 seconds

    Reply
  24. Jesus Reyes Posted on March 13, 2020 at 3:19 am

    To be fare, I don't expect some things to be freshly made. I just don't want them to be made hours ahead of time. Soups For example. The idea that even a high end place made a 8 ounces cup of soup just for me is laughable. I do want some fresh food to be made though.

    Reply
  25. Mr. King Kitty Posted on March 13, 2020 at 3:31 am

    Mashed potatoes at Capital Grill. They taste like powder with some fancy cheese mixed in. I'd take some basic made from scratch any day. Much more flavor and detail.

    Reply
  26. Jason S Posted on March 13, 2020 at 4:41 am

    I've worked in chain restaurants for several years and not once have I ever seen a steak microwaved.

    Reply
  27. Ronnie Watkins Posted on March 13, 2020 at 4:49 am

    I knew something was fishy

    Reply
  28. mozzyforest Posted on March 13, 2020 at 5:13 am

    Well the greatest chef will always be chef "Mike" I guess.

    Reply
  29. Z3R0 Posted on March 13, 2020 at 5:24 am

    I had the most blatantly frozen carrots and broccoli with my fish, I never ate there again

    Reply
  30. chiyerano Posted on March 13, 2020 at 5:29 am

    The things mentioned in this video seemed to be common sense or obvious. I thought that they were going to mention other things or more things that weren't as obvious. Thanks for the video.

    Reply
  31. chantezj18 Posted on March 13, 2020 at 5:57 am

    I don't believe it… You guys repost the stuff in this video two years after the original video? Should I go and dig out my old essay of a comment I posted originally? Because this video ticks me off as much as it did before

    Reply
  32. Jay Hwang Posted on March 13, 2020 at 10:36 am

    666K subs

    nice

    Reply
  33. Derrick Wright Posted on March 13, 2020 at 10:39 am

    Prepared in advanced allows flavors to meld resulting in better tasting food.

    Reply
  34. Mark Crooks Posted on March 13, 2020 at 10:41 am

    Guys I love your videos but sometimes you get extremely ridiculous. Anybody who thinks a chef is in the kitchen whipping them a fresh, made to order bowl of soup (regardless of what kind of restaurant it is) needs to stay home. Nobody wants this person running around unsupervised. Does anyone really think their salad is hand chopped to order?

    Reply
  35. Coffee Now Posted on March 13, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Not surprised, people want fresh but don't want to wait, so don't complain.😣😣

    Reply
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