Value Meals

I just saw another article advising people about what they should order at restaurants to get the best value for their money. I've been told by people who work at restaurants never to order pasta, because pasta has the biggest mark-up. This kind of advice always makes me scratch my head (shut UP, I do NOT have lice). Granted, I'm not the cheapest person I know, but even the cheap people I go out to eat with don't tend to scan a menu and pick out what to order based solely on how they can best stick it to the restaurant in the value department.

When I go out to eat, the VALUE for me is in someone else cooking my food, serving it to me, and cleaning up afterwards. And I LIKE pasta. If I feel like having pasta, am I really going to not have it just because the restaurant might make too much money on my order? It would be different if I ate out at restaurants a lot, but I don't. So when I do, I'm generally going to order what I feel like eating, not what I think is expensive enough for the restaurant to buy and prepare that I'm not getting hosed. Besides, if I really feel like I got ripped off I can always steal the candleholder or something.

Yes, clearly I'm really stretching trying to get a whole post out of this. Oh, while we're on the subject, I also hate those articles that tell you how to eat healthy at fast food restaurants. Um, yeah, we all know - eat the side salad or suck on a napkin. I'm not trying to eat healthy today, THAT'S WHY I'M AT BURGER KING.

cartoon from here


Suniverse said…
I often wonder, too, why you would try to eat healthy at McDonalds. If eating healthy is your goal, may I suggest Arbys?

Wrath Of Mom said…
When I eat out, I pick the tastiest meal that I'm least likely to be able to reproduce on my own, ie I'll order gnocchi but not lasagna. And if I realize I can't finish my meal, I will eat ALL THE MEAT -- because I am cheap. And carnivorous.
Mary Lynn said…
The only time I actively think about getting the most out of my meal dollars is at a buffet, especially if it's a pretty expensive one. If I'm shelling out a fair bit of money for a buffet brunch, I'm definitely going to have some crab legs with it.
I WILL NEVER ORDER PASTA AGAIN! Actually I probably will because I'm with you, the value of going to the restaurant is that I don't have to do anything except control my kids. Bring on the spaghetti and meatballs!
Julie said…
i used to date a guy who's mom was an alcoholic and every time we went out for dinner she would steal the salt and pepper shakers.

yeah, not sure what you are going to do with that tidbit, but there you have it.
Nicole said…
I almost always order pasta when eating out. It's nearly always the only vegetarian item on the menu. I'm fairly sure there is a significant mark up on vegetarian meals in restaurants, but hey, what am I going to do? I don't get out that much. There is also a significant markup on wine and cosmopolitans, but if I'm going out I'm getting drunk on expensive wine and cosmopolitans. Again, I don't get out much. Further to Julie's comment above, my husband tells me that his mom used to steal all the little jams and peanut butters from restaurants, as well as all the ashtrays. Good times, the 70s were.
Betsy B. Honest said…
I never order pasta in restaurants because it is so easy to make at home. I order food that I have no idea how to prepare, and ideally, how to pronounce.
harriet glynn said…
Agree. I go out so I don't have to cook or clean. That's the value. Sometimes I go to really nice restaurant and then I do try to order something I either can't make or something I make often but rather badly (not hard to find!)

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