Few things are as luxurious as waking up in a hotel room and having a slow breakfast in bed with a plush robe and slippers — except when the lids come off to reveal a plate of congealed eggs, soggy potatoes, and lukewarm coffee.
Preparing food is both an art and a science. And much like how chefs must change their recipes for airplanes, there are certain dishes that should be altered to make the transition from kitchen to room service.
The problem lies in the hospitality lid. Although necessary to ensure the cleanliness of a meal, hot foods continue to steam underneath the lids and cook themselves even further after leaving the kitchen.
“Vented lids cause crispy fried items like fries, onion rings, or even fried shrimp to get soggy from the steam,” Skipp Worden, executive chef at the Westin Jekyll Island in Georgia, told Southern Living
The lids can also cause cooked vegetables to lose their flavor and texture, pizza to soften its crispy crust, and soup to change textures.
But for those dead set on a particular menu item, there are a few hacks to ensure your meal is edible once it arrives. Avoid soggy fries by requesting they’re cooked extra crispy — or even burnt, Worden says. However when ordering meat, do the exact opposite. Request steak one degree rarer than