Eat & Drink

5 Foods NOT to Order When Getting Take-Out

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news
Photo from pxfuel

With the majority of our country’s restaurants operating at a diminished capacity or as curbside pick up only, more and more customers are discovering takeout food. If you aren’t allowed to cram yourself into a booth so a server can hand deliver to you plates of never-ending pasta or buffalo wings, then ordering your food to-go is surely just as good, right? Well, no, actually. Be warned: there are some menu items you should 100%, under no circumstances order to-go unless you are prepared to be disappointed. I recently conducted a very formal scientific poll to find out which menu items servers consider to be the worst things to order as take-out (Please note that by “formal scientific poll,” I mean that I asked a question on my Instagram page).

NACHOS: Who doesn’t love a big platter of crispy corn tortilla chips smothered in guacamole, cheese, beans, sour cream, jalapeños, and maybe some grilled chicken? Nachos really are one of God’s gifts, but they’re meant to be eaten seconds after being assembled and not after sitting in a plastic container in the passenger seat of  an Uber Eats car for fifteen minutes as they travel from one neighborhood to another. When that happens, they meld together into one lukewarm pile of flaccid dissatisfaction and instead of picking up one corn chip at a time, you’ll be forced to eat them with a fork and that’s simply not natural.

FRIED CALAMARI: This is another food meant to be consumed as quickly as possible after it has been pulled from the deep fryer. Once it goes into a container, what was once light, crispy and delicious will be a weighty, soggy mess made even worse when the plastic ramekin of marinara accidentally opens during transit. Ordering this will lead to dismay and resentment (This is pretty much the case with anything fried).

FRENCH ONION SOUP: Yes, that bubbly gruyere cheese is a wonder to behold. Launching your spoon through the golden deliciousness and discovering a perfectly moist crouton swimming in a sea of onions and broth is a little ladle of heaven. However, if you order it to-go, that cheese will turn into a rubber-like substance that seals itself around the edge of the bowl and prohibits you from any option other than using your fingers to pry it apart. Then you’ll be left to discover lukewarm soup and a sad piece of dissolved bread that can no longer rightfully call itself a crouton. Beware.

MEDIUM RARE STEAK: If you like a little bit of pink in your ribeye, don’t expect that if it’s being delivered. As that perfectly cooked piece of USDA prime travels to you, it won’t know the difference between a ride to your house and “resting”, and will continue to steam inside its storage vessel, getting less pink with every minute that passes. If you order it well-done, it will arrive exactly as it was when it left the kitchen: dry, grey-ish brown, and one step away from a hockey puck.

ANY BREAKFAST FOOD: Just don’t do it. The bacon will be limp, the waffles will be cold, the eggs will be colder, the toast will be sodden, the Hollandaise sauce will be congealed and your expectations will fall flatter than a room temperature pancake. On top of that, you will live with the certainty that the server who put your order together was totally judging you. Eat a bowl of cereal and call it a day.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Crème brûlée, steamed mussels, fajitas, a side of broccoli, and a Bloomin’ Onion.

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

Fake Ken Burns Documentary ‘The Virus’ Is SF’s Funniest Quarantine Video Yet

Next post

Why the Virus Spread in Alameda County Should Alarm Us All

Bitchy Waiter

Bitchy Waiter

Darron Cardosa is a writer, actor, singer, and waiter. He lives and and works in New York City and enjoys "The Brady Bunch," "The Facts of Life" and cocktails almost as much as he hates your baby.


  1. Bitchy Waiter
    May 27, 2020 at 9:35 am

    I feel so honored to get to write for this bad ass website.

  2. Elsewhere
    May 27, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Here in SF one of the local restaurants sells a nacho kit, with all the ingredients packed separately so you can assemble it at home, throw it into a hot oven and enjoy immediately. It’s also the same restaurant that sells a margarita kit, eight ounces of tequila, the margarita mix itself, two limes and the salt, all for $20 and makes four drinks… or two really kickass drinks, it’s up to you.

  3. Lulu
    May 27, 2020 at 11:16 am

    This is all SO true! ?

  4. Tracy Dufour
    May 27, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Saganaki!!! Flaming cheese needs to be served tableside and you would be shocked how many people order it from delivery services

  5. Tracy Dufour
    May 27, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Saganaki!!! Flaming cheese needs to be served tableside and you would be shocked how many people order it from delivery services! Shocking

  6. Hal
    May 28, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    You forgot sushi. It’s basically rotting the minute it leaves the chef’s hands. It’s been sitting there waiting for pickup (like they get the timing down to the second‽ yeah right) and then it sits in your car or other transportation for another 10-20 minutes. This is why office sushi at Friday happy hours is disgusting (it’s been prepare way in advance hours ahead of time). Sushi is meant to be eaten right away. Chirashi survives better for some reason. But nigiri? no.

  7. Roy Jordan
    May 28, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    A Better Idea:
    Learn how to prep/cook ALL of those menu items home fresh!

  8. Jennifer
    August 13, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    French fries will never be the same once they are in a closed star foam to go box! Even if you pop the vents- the once hot crispy fries will be soggy and gross! If you can’t eat them driving away from the restaurant- I say skip them!

  9. Jerome Graham
    January 14, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    I order breakfast food to go from my local Cafe all the time – My Bacon is crispy and my eggs over easy, so maybe that’s why I’m OK. 🙂

    Otherwise great article, still relevant in January 2021!