If you find yourself in a restaurant that serves molten chocolate cake, the cocktail names end in the suffix '-tini,' and guests are dressed more to dance than to dine, chances are you're in for a mediocre meal.
Or so say the editors of Food & Wine magazine which published a list of "5 Signs You've Picked a Bad Restaurant" online this week.
Apparently, 'Appletinis' are serious offenders and a surefire sign that "things are looking bleak," while a friendly server who advises you to "save room for dessert" is another red-flag phrase.
Restaurants that have molten chocolate cake on their dessert list are likewise described as boring and lack imagination, and eateries with pitchmen outside their doors trying to coax you to come inside should also be avoided.
Foodie forum ChowHound also offers some tips on how to spot a bad restaurant. Some of the telltale signs include clogged pepper shakers, excessive adjectives in dish descriptions, and 'tent menus.'