Wall of Shame

When I was young, my father began to give me guidelines for places to eat out, and how to avoid making really poor culinary decisons in restaurants.  Some are funny, many are off-the-wall, but the advice he gave me was sound, and prior to my “Wall of Shame,” I give you these rules–most of which came from my Dad (either directly or indirectly), and still serve as outstanding advice for anyone–whether you’re in your home town, looking to try someplace new, or in a town far from your home and just hoping to find something good.  I feel obliged to share the list with you today, and add on to it as my father recalls more of the list.

Dad’s Rules of Life for Eating Out

Rule #1 – Never ask a skinny person where to eat.
Rule #2 – Don’t eat at regionally inappropriate restaurants.  (i.e. – Don’t eat at a Taco Bell in San Antonio.  Or–don’t go to Boston and order beef.)
Rule #3 – Never eat seafood at a place that has an inflatable crab on the roof.
Rule #4 -Don’t order cuisine-inappropriate dishes.  (i.e. – don’t go to a Mexican restaurant and order a cheeseburger.)
Rule #5 – Don’t ever go to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day
Rule #6 – Don’t ever eat hot peppers (like habaneros), and then go to the restroom.
Rule #7 – Life is too short to drink cheap beer.
Rule #8 – Dont ever eat Kimchee prior to boarding an airplane.
  Rule #8.5 – Better yet, don’t ever eat kimchee period.
Rule #9 – Don’t ever eat at a restaurant called “Mom’s”, or anywhere that advertises “just like home”, or “home-cooked”.
Rule #10 – Only eat sushi if the sushi chef is Japanese.
Rule #11 – Never eat sushi or raw seafood in a country where you cannot drink the water.
Rule #12 – Only eat in Mexican restaurants that display a crucifix and a likeness of “our Lady of Guadalupe”.
Rule #13 – Only eat in BBQ restaurants where the silverware does not match.
Rule #14 – Never eat sushi in a restaurant that advertises Korean, Chinese, or Thai cuisine in addition to sushi.
Rule #15 – Generally speaking, the larger a pepper grinder used in a restaurant, the worse the food.
Rule #16 – The price of a meal is directly proportional to how high the restaurant’s location is with relation to the ground.
Rule #17 – The quality of a meal is inverseley proportional to how high the restaurant’s location is with relation to the ground.
Rule #18 – Don’t eat at restaurants that rotate.
Rule #19 – Don’t ever eat at a restaurant that also sells bait.
Rule #20 – “Sea Urchin Roe” are really the gonads of this spiny sea creature.  Even though the roe costs up to $200 per pound, this must be avoided!
Rule #21 – Don’t ever eat at a restaurant named after a sports team.
Rule #22 – Never trust anyone who does not eat bread or pasta, and will not have a glass of wine with dinner.
Occasionally, my father still calls and e-mails me to add to this list.  So stay posted.  (Last update 9/4/2016.)

If you came here looking for a list of really, really bad restaurants, you should probably read “Joe’s Shit List” on Yelp.  While the list includes more than restaurants, it should give you what you’re looking for.


  1. There was a time in your life during which you broke Rule #4 repeatedly…I specifically remember you once ordering a cheeseburger at the Alamo Cafe!!! Blasphemy!

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