WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER EAT AT YOUR GUESTHOUSE
I understand: you’ve just arrived from the airport. You look like hell. You really do; you’re sweaty, tired, hungry and you’re wearing sports pants. You just want to check in, put down your bag, shower and eat. You don’t yet want to go out exploring your new city, scouring for the best hidden place to get your first meal. Again, I understand. I’ve seen you looking anguished in countless hostels, hotels and guesthouses across the world, and I have been in your sandals before.
Be patient. I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten at a guesthouse, hostel or hotel eatery that could survive on its own as an independent restaurant. The food is always dumbed down for tourists and built to fill a hole and make a buck, not to cherish. Food is one of the joys of travel, so fight the urge to take the easy route and eat at your accommodation.
Locals would never think of eating Sichuan Kung Pao chicken made with ketchup, or hot dog fried rice, and neither should you. Additionally, guesthouse food is generally more expensive (often twice or thrice
the price) as what you can find right outside on the street. Meals often resemble a TV dinner on a plate: big pile of rice, little pile of squishy unfrozen vegetables and, hanging out by the rice, some tough meat with gravy (from a powder). It is generally hygienic and safe, but so are crackers. Have a few of those to hold you over instead.
Perhaps I’m wrong. Has anyone ever actually had a good experience with some hostel or guesthouse food? Feel free to take me to task here and suggest a few places around the world with decent accommodation fare.