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Grilled cheese and other foods not worth ordering at a restaurant

Grilled cheese: It's what's for dinner...at home.
Grilled cheese: It's what's for dinner...at home.

Since everybody and anybody has his/her/its own "day" these days, April 12 is the one chosen to honor the humble grilled cheese sandwich.

Most cheese sandwiches aren't something particularly worth celebrating, but grill one up and suddenly simplistic turns spectacular: The bread's buttered crust cracks open to reveal a soft, spongy side saturated with melted cheese. The filling doesn't even have to be sharp cheddar--hell, it even could be American. The process of heating cheese to a semi-liquid state even makes Velveeta palatable.

But while grilled cheese is certainly delicious, it's not something to order at a restaurant. Unless you are an out-of-options vegetarian or a religiously observant kosher-keeper, or a penny pincher in a situation where you feel socially obligated to order a meal, grilled cheese is a food to make at home.

Why? Grilled cheese requires hardly any ingredients, none of which is extremely perishable, expensive, or hard to procure, and are often kept on hand. It requires no special equipment to make, and, so long as you keep an eye on the pan and don't let the sandwich burn, making a grilled cheese requires hardly any skill. (There are exceptions to this last statement, of course. I also thought making tuna melts required no skill until I watched a friend butter the inside of the bread.)

Okay, so sometimes you're out and you just feel like ordering a grilled cheese, or oatmeal, or scrambled eggs and toast, or other highly marked-up no-brainer meals...fine, go ahead, we've all done it. It's just that good restaurants offer many things most home kitchens don't--including an insanely stocked refrigerator/pantry and employees with serious culinary skills who know how to cook things that you don't--and not taking advantage of those aspects feels like a missed opportunity.

What other foods do you feel aren't worth ordering at a restaurant?


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