There are foods and drinks that, due to cooks' (or restaurant owners') laziness or cheapness, have almost disappeared from mainstream restaurants at the expense of deliciousness. I find this very sad. Below are a few examples. Can you name some others?
1. Margaritas--It is almost impossible to find a Margarita on the menu in a restaurant bar that does not contain sweet and sour mix. This is not part of the original recipe and is included to reduce the cost of the drink because sweet and sour mix is cheaper than Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or even Triple Sec, as well as bottled/fresh lime juice. The laziness comes in the form of no need to squeeze fresh lime juice--just pour that sweet and sour from the bottle. When "top shelf" Margaritas started appearing about 15 years ago, I thought that would solve the problem. No way! Press your server or your bar tender and he/she will admit that even in the top shelf drinks, sweet and sour mix STILL makes an appearance.
2. Caesar salad--Today's Caesar salad is a mild ranch dressing-like bottled "Caesar" dressing over iceberg or romaine lettuce with some preshredded mild white cheese and prepackaged croutons on top. Garlic, worcestershire sauce, parmesan, egg, and even salt and pepper fail to make an appearance. In other words, anything with flavor has been eliminated. Don't get me started on the lack of anchovies which, I realize, is technically non-traditional if added whole, but still ought to be included, at least in the dressing (where anchovies are traditional). Again, including the ingredients I have listed above increases the price greatly, as well as the time necessary to make the dish, and who would want to sacrifice time and money for--uh--flavor?
What really bugs me about these modifications to traditional recipes is not that they exist but that they have crowded out a restaurant patron's ability to get the real thing.
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