You want to fill your stomach, not turn it.

The range of restaurants is as varied as the dishes on the menu at a 24-hour diner. There are classy joints, fast food joints, casual joints, family joints. You name it -- there's a joint for it. Whether you're out for Italian, Mexican or deli or are eating in a place that requires a jacket, a reservation or cash only, there's a common thread: you don't want to find yourself in a restaurant that doesn't live up to your standards -- yours or the health department's.

So, what makes a restaurant bad? There are a couple of things to look out for:

  • a rat that works at the hostess stand
  • the catch of the day is from a mouse trap
  • when the health inspector walks in, everyone yells, "Norm!"
  • you have to make reservations...for the bathroom
  • a waiter goes next door to eat on his break
  • a server who says "Really?" when you tell him everything is fine when he checks in on your table during the meal

Sure, those aren't real (we hope), but it highlights the fact that, yes, your restaurant may not be the highest caliber. All sorts of things can go wrong. Your food may take too long to get to you, the drinks may be watered down, the bathroom may not have any toiler paper -- the list of things that can make a restaurant poor is endless.

But if there's one thing that can most ruin your restaurant experience, what would it be? Is there one deal-breaker, a quality that you cannot forgive? Tell us.

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