Read on for Slashfood readers' horror stories -- from nibbled-upon entrees to doctored veal cutlets.
10. Reusing Leftovers
70s waitress said: "When I worked in a diner in PA in the 70's, people loved their bread stuffing. Little did they know that it was made from all of the leftover rolls that were on diner's plates and in the breadbaskets that went back to the kitchen to the dishwasher. Often the dishwasher would pick the half eaten rolls off the plates with her dirty hands, sometimes drop them on the floor, and then throw them into a big can under the work table. To this day, I will never order anything from a restaurant that has bread stuffing!"
David said: "I used to work at a family diner in California. Every time I brought back a plate with sausage still on it the cook would take the sausage and use it to make gravy. To this day I still will not eat sausage gravy, and am "iffy" about eating bacon gravy as well, although I never saw her do so."
George said: "We had an expensive restaurant in my home town. I dined there often and when my daughter started college she got a part time job in the restaurant. I could not believe they used leftover veggies to make their soup and leftover hamburger to make their chili. I travel doing my job and still eat out a lot however I eat a lot less soup and chili than I used to."
Amy said: "Julia Child made soup broth with the parts that were not eaten. Heads, skin, guts, etc. Cooked it all up, strained for clear broth. I would LIKE to think positively that it was something innocent like this. Your waste was at least fresh!"
9. The Chef's Special Is the Easiest, Cheapest Dish to Prepare
Mick said: "The "high dollar Chef's special" stuff was frozen. Chicken Kiev? frozen. Lobster tails? frozen. Stuffed fish, crab, shrimp, chicken, beef wellington anything...frozen and micro-d then "garnished". Once it was explained that the hoity-toity always order the "Chef's special" regardless of what it is and, of course the Chef couldn't be spared to make every one's dinner in a night, therefore the special was always picked to be a) easiest produced and b) at the cheapest cost."
8. The Waitstaff Nibbles on Your Entree Before It's Served to You
dinergrl said: "YES... WE EAT OFF UR PLATES B4 THEY COME OUT!!! We dont get breaks & get hungry too!! So if u order something & it looks tastey we may grab off it! Ex. fries, clam strips, cut up pieces of chicken... nothing big though... even our managers do it!!"
7. The Bartender Puts All the Booze in the Straw of Your Watered-Down Drink
mike said... "An old bartender trick I was able to witness when I worked in an established restaurant chain was when people would order mixed drinks and send them back via waiter because they were'nt strong enough the bartender would pour the alcohol directly in the straw so your next sip is a mouth full of alcohol duping you into thinking that the drink was incredibly strong."
6. Fish Bits Substituted for Shrimp
Midnight said: "A Chinese restaurant in Miami would buy the skeletons of fileted fish, boil them and then brush off the crumbs of meat and use them as shrimp in egg rolls. Pass the soy sauce!"
5. Marrying Half-Drunken Bottles of Wine
Aurhora said: "At this fancy establishment I used to work at, we often catered to weddings. We were told to collect the wine bottles half an hour before the party ended. At the end of the night, the half empty wine bottles were poured into each other to make full ones to use for the next party."
4. Passing Pork Off as Veal
Chas said: "My meat purveyor once told me many places bought pork loin, sliced it thin, pounded it out, breaded and fried it and sold it as veal cutlets. He claimed it worked every time."
3. Stale Hot Dogs Reborn as Corn Dogs
Sheri said: "...Hot Dogs that didn't sell, sitting there all day in the steamer became corn dogs the next day."
2. Combining Quality Ingredients With Subpar Ones
bfwardaddybf said: "It's very common for places to blend in instant potatoes with mashed potatoes..."
nygenxer said: "Butter is expensive. It's usually mixed with margarine."
Mick said: "But the thing that always got me were the eggs. Anything with scrambled eggs--buffet, quiche, etc.-- was mostly milk if you were lucky, water and powder if you were not. Even in the "rep" places, they seemed to go out of their way to NOT use real eggs."
1. Your Regular Coffee Is Actually Decaf
Elle said: "We bring decaf coffee and "regular" coffee to events all the time, when really the regular coffee IS decaf coffee. No one can tell the difference and no one who is sensitive to caffeine will have a heart attack if any mixups happen."
Got your own horror stories? Spill it in the comments below.