Ever been to a restaurant that advertises ‘authentic food from the sea’?
Have you ever walked into a store whose purpose is to sell cheap Chinese imports?
What about a bar advertising ‘100% authentic Mexican food?
If so, have you noticed there’s always a large percentage of people standing outside these venues yelling at each other and arguing over who would be going in next?
Well, if there were some sort of loud verbal altercation going on out front then it would really suck to go inside. In fact, I don’t think anyone has ever gone inside those places after hearing that much noise over mere menu prices.
If you haven’t yet figured it out, these places are tourist traps. They’re the fast-food joints of the restaurant community and they lure in unsuspecting customers with promising prices and signs that read ‘authentic’ and ‘amazing’.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, which of you can honestly say you would like to eat some Chinese food at a restaurant called ‘Cheap Imports’? How about dinner at a place named after an ethnic stereotype? Of course, if they served superb Italian or French cuisine there wouldn’t be any problem; the name isn’t really all that important as long as the food is good. However, since your menu consists almost entirely of cheap knock-offs of dishes from other countries it’s safe to say your food won’t be all that great.
Fortunately, there are some exceptions to the rule. Definitely don’t want to point fingers or anything, but if you’re ever in the middle of Tokyo looking for some tasty Japanese food then you should probably go ahead and walk into a restaurant called ‘Sushi Mania’. The same goes for Chinese joints; there’s one place in San Francisco I always get lunch at because it bears the name of my people: ‘The Wok’ (I’m half-Chinese btw). My only concern is whether or not the employees actually speak Mandarin…
But no matter what ethnic group you come from, it’s always good to do your research before entering any new restaurant. You wouldn’t go into a $2 store without knowing what to expect, so why should you blindly go into any restaurant with a sticky floor?
And just remember, if there are people standing outside yelling at each other over who gets the next table then there’s probably a good reason for it. Just turn around and walk away – it’s not worth getting involved in their problems. I’m sure they’ll work it out eventually…
Of course, this is all based on the assumption that you’re looking for food in Japan or China. If you already know exactly where you want to eat then chances are you won’t be tricked into any tourist traps anytime soon. However, if your stomach is rumbling while exploring an unfamiliar city then I hope this article was able to help point you in the right direction.
But hey, if you’ve never tried authentic Chinese food before then maybe Cheap Imports will be a good experience for you. After all, it’s not like they can give you food poisoning or anything! I’ll see you there in an hour!
It’s always a sucker bet to go any place that feels like a tourist trap. Because if it were amazing then wouldn’t everyone already know about it? Or at least be able to talk like they do?
The point is when you find yourself somewhere filled with hordes of people arguing over who has to spend money on food; you’ve found yourself someplace worth avoiding; because the only thing worse than paying too much for bad food is having no choice in the matter.
That’s why these kinds of restaurants and shops lose all their customers once word gets out about how bad they really are.
It might be worth asking: What if we’re talking cheap tourist trap here maybe? Because after the first couple times you hear that one, you’ll want to bring a notepad and take some notes; because those words can also describe those predatory lenders who make it their life’s work to convince people to sign up for loans they know they won’t be able to pay back. And as soon as someone starts yelling at them, the whole lot of them will scurry away like roaches when the lights go on; thus creating yet another loud mouth without any food in it
So before we head back out into the world to go hunting for another place to eat; let’s all take a moment and give some thought to the things we should be looking for so we don’t end up like that last group of loudmouths standing outside that one tourist trap restaurant.
And if you’re really hungry, then it might be best not to think too much about what you’re doing; because hunger makes people do crazy things. Like eat at restaurants they know aren’t worth their time or money, but still, walk-in anyway simply for lack of anything better to do.
These low-end establishments are tourist traps. Not because they’re trying to trick you into thinking their food is from the sea when it’s actually from a pond in a nearby park. Not because they’re selling cheap Chinese imports and not even because they have 100% authentic Mexican food but, rather, due to the fact that the food is so scrupulously overpriced that it would never be worth going inside!
The issue with these places has nothing to do with authenticity or quality. They just want your money. In my experience, if chicken dishes are selling for $15 then don’t expect any more than 3 ounces of meat on each plate. A shrimp dish will probably cost around $25 and if you were hoping for four large shrimp in that one then I’m sorry buddy – I don’t know what else to tell you.
If you want to find a quality meal without having to deal with tourists then head for the local food truck. They have the best eats in town and because they are constantly moving around, it’s hard to miss them.
Oh, one more thing. If you decide to check out any one of these places then I would highly recommend keeping your cellphone off and staying indoors for the rest of the night because that’s where you’ll most likely be spending most of your time anyway… inside an ambulance on your way to a hospital due to severe food poisoning.