New Survey Shows The Food People Say Is Always Better At A Restaurant

You know that simple sandwich that always seems to taste better when made by the experts at the deli? That's not your imagination — turns out, there's a scientific reason why food tastes better when it's prepared for you, per The New York Times. Apparently, thinking about the food over the time it takes to prepare it can curb your appetite.

Of course, there are other — often fattier — reasons that restaurant food tastes better. Anthony Bourdain admitted that a single restaurant meal likely was made using a full stick of butter because it not only adds to the taste but also gives the food its smooth texture and enviable luster (via MoneyVersed). Even fast food chains know that added fat, sugar, and sodium amps food's flavor. According to, these additives can increase cravings, which means diners will come back for more.

Of course, not all restaurant food is created equal, and some diners prefer to leave certain items to the experts according to a new Tasting Table survey.

These meals are best left to the pros

Though there are many dishes better when prepared by someone else, bacon is apparently not one of them. A recent Tasting Table survey revealed that most readers think this cut of pork is best cooked at home, with a little less than 8% preferring it to be restaurant-made. Similarly, diners aren't particularly excited about ordering a baked potato when eating out; Only 15% of voters preferred a pro-made spud.

The top three choices, however, were pretty close. In third place, 24.7% of those surveyed prefer to eat their greens when dining out. From salad dressing ratios to proper seasoning to the many, many ingredients it takes to make your sweetgreen favorite, restaurant-prepared salads seem to be a cut above their homemade counterparts.

Pancakes ranked near the top as well with 25.2% of votes. Turns out, this breakfast staple is trickier to cook than you might think. There is a laundry list of potential pancake mistakes: from using ice-cold ingredients to overworking the batter to getting, let's say creative, with ingredients. With so much that could potentially go wrong, pancakes are best left to the pros.

The top choice to order out

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the number one food that people prefer to eat at a restaurant according to a survey conducted by Tasting Table is steak, with 27% of respondents preferring it to homemade.

We understand why: It can be hard to replicate a perfect steak at home, starting with the beef itself. A good steakhouse will often dry age its beef for a more flavorful and tender cut; Supermarket steak, in contrast, is generally wet aged. The high temps that roar out of a restaurant's infrared broilers — impossible to replicate at home — sear the steak to perfection. Adding butter, of course, is another reason restaurant steaks are usually worth the price tag.

With so many amazing steakhouses across the U.S., you don't have to look hard to find high-quality, well-cooked steaks within your price range. Add to that the rising costs of food, it makes sense to order judiciously.