Top 5 Foods Better Prepared by Someone Else

I think most would agree that food tends to taste better when prepared by someone else, the obvious reasons being no mess to clean up and no dishes to do. But there's also a sense of nostalgia and comfort that comes with a dish made by someone who loves you. And then there's the whole experience of dining at your favorite restaurant. Maybe no matter how well you follow a recipe it's not about the ingredients but about who is making it. These are the five foods that, to me, always tastes better when prepared by someone else.

5. Grilled Cheese Sandwich - You have to admit that no matter how simple a sandwich is, it tends to taste better if made by someone else. For me, the grilled cheese sandwich in particular is never quite as good made at home. I could spring for the expensive cheese and the artisan bread, but my cheese will never get quite as gooey and my bread will never be quite as perfectly toasted or crunchy. Visions of Max's Wine Dive's Grilled Cheese are dancing in my head now.

4. Steak - People who like to grill may not agree with me on this one, but to me this is about the whole dining experience. This is about splurging for the dry-aged double porterhouse at Strip House and just sitting back and spoiling myself. I also enjoy my local bar's steak night with a pitcher of beer and a game on.

3. Spaghetti- When I cook at home, spaghetti consists of mixing together some ground beef and tomato sauce on the fly after a long day at work. No, I am not an Italian grandmother. I really hate this dish when I make it, but when made by someone else I could eat a couple of bowls full of the stuff. My dad makes a version that includes random vegetables thrown in, and somehow it tastes better than anything I could ever make. And I'm guessing the spaghetti and meatballs at Stella Sola are slightly better than my Ragu version.

2. Breakfast - Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but I usually only have time for a bowl of cereal in the morning, if that. So when there is time for breakfast, I prefer to leave it to someone else. Poached eggs are my favorite, but I've wasted many an egg trying to make the perfect poached egg. And damn it, why does my bacon curl up like that?! Plus, there are so many cheap options for breakfast, why bother cooking?

1. Soup - This is a pretty obvious one -- chicken soup, in particular. It is food for the soul, after all. When I think of soup, I think of my grandmother's home and how comforting a bowl of her Mien Ga, Vietnamese chicken soup with cellophane noodles, was. My dad also makes the best Bun Bo Hue, spicy Vietnamese Pork and Beef Noodle Soup. I could follow their recipes to a tee, and my version never comes to close to theirs. And then, of course, a bowl of menudo soup from the taqueria is the probably one of the best remedies for a hangover there is.

What are some foods that you think taste better prepared someone else?

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Minh T Truong