The 10 Worst Contemporary Restaurant Trends

Categories: Our 10 Best

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Oh dear! Is that my main course? What happened to the potatoes and vegetables? And who putted dandruffs on my meat?

[Editor's Note: While the entire staff of Fork in the Road is upstate at a cupcake detox retreat, we've hired superstar freelancer Francois Soupcon to do Our 10 Best for the week. In addition to being an adventurer and one of France's top food writers, he earnestly hopes to be a Food Network celebrity. We think he wlll be some day.]

When I was a young sprout, eating dinner in a restaurant was an enjoyable happenstance. But since then the chowing terrain has shifted like an earthquake, and more often than not venturing out to manger in the Biggest and Best Apple is an exercise in tedium and aggravation. Why could it be, you ask? Read and find out. Behold Our Top 10 Restaurant Trends that need to end right now. And I mean it.


10. Naked Entrees -- We long ago became bitches to the fact that steakhouse main coursers came unadorned, big hunks of sanguine flesh with no potatoes, no creamy spinach, nor anything else unless you order them as a separate. And -- Sacre bleu! -- my meal now costs twice as much. But over the last few years, the sides have removed themselves at every other kind of restaurant, forcing moi to shell out extra Euros to make my slender piece of fish, poultry, or meat a truly main course. And the unconnected sides when ordered are small for the price, too!


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9. Food in Jars -- Somehow the act of squishing fruits or vagetables inside glass containers has become the ultimate hipstro pass-time. Once just limited to a pickle bender or two (Bonjour, Rick's Picks!), now there is not a bearded garcon in Brooklyn who doesn't make and sell his own jams, jellies, or salsas. Even chef Sam Mason has taken up, selling "art-is-anal" mayonnaise at the Brooklyn Flee. (Note by the side: What makes mayonnaise artsy?.) Yes, pickled and preserved foods are tasty, but let's not make ourselves trendy to them. Peasants have been jamming for years. Nay, centuries.


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8. Kickstarter Campaigns -- It's not that Kickstarter is not bon. It is simply that if I have to look at one more privileged white cod telling me why we should cough up cash to help him build a clam shack on the Gowanus, bring subscription pints of ice cream to the unwashed asses, or grow an organic herb on an outhouse roof, I will lose my merde. Oui, Kickstarter has democrated restaurant investing, but it's also started to feel awful, like a group jerking off.


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18 comments
Abc
Abc

this is the most irritating writing style i have ever read. 

obbop
obbop

Long ago before the food trucks became cult-like California abounded with "roach coaches."

Go back long enough into the past and the mobile vittles selling conveyances were small trucks, usually pick-ups, with minimal hot and cold vittle-holding devices offering made-elsewhere sandwiches, packaged fare as seen in grocery stores (Twinkies, fruit pie in a paper package, etc.) coffee from a tap and canned carbonated drinks and the fancier ones with pre-cooked burgers, etc.

Often, those trucks were mostly seen at various construction sites and a few where crowds gathered for events but not that often.

Over time the numbers of the trucks grew..... as more folks were shoved down the socio-economic pile into the working-poor category.

(observe on-the-Web graphs and charts showing the growing wealth inequality within the USA from 1972 onwards)

Then, slowly, the larger trucks appeared with on-board grills, deep fryers, etc. with actual menus.

In the late 1980s at the auto/truck dismantling used-part yard "our" beloved large roach coach arrived around 10:30 am every week-day..

Owned and operated by Vietnamese refugees they sold the finest double cheeseburger on a french roll for three bucks.

It was awesomely tasty and, as with ALL their offerings (other than pre-packaged fare such as their Twinkies, etc. carried at lease a hint or more of "Oriental food" taste.

We watched then grill the patty etc. and inquired as to preparation method but no outward attempt to convey that unique taste observed or admitted to.

All of us at the yard eating from the truck noted the special quite yummy taste and wondered if, perhaps, the oriental food that was part of the menu and the herbs used on it had entered the grille's "pores."

The truck was clean in all respects, including the grille, but oh-so tasty were those burgers.

The crinkle-cut fries (the best fry-type in my humble opinion) also held that "oriental taste" but due to shared cooking oil it was understandable how the special yummy taste was transmitted to American-type fare.

Moving to the cultural backwater hillbilly haven of the Ozark Plateau meant adieu to my beloved roach coach and an immersion in dietary blandness where road-kill 'possum stew cooked up by Ma to feed the brood is haute' cuisine.

Sniff.

But the wonderful memories of that wondrous burger from the roach coach is firmly affixed in my memory.

get over it
get over it

Wow. Still grinding that old Terroir axe, huh? Hasn't it been two or so years since your public embarrassment there? Two years in which Terroir has successfully expanded while you have continued to swirl in the flushdown of obsolescence?

exhausted
exhausted

Simply another example of a social outcast unable to hurdle over his own insecurities or see past his own issues of inadequacy to have a broader view than the self-indulgent delusions seeping from the waxy devil mask he claims is used to make him the "last anonymous restaurant critic on the face of the earth."  But we can all read the truth - your anonymity protected by this mask is nothing more than a deflection from the witness of your own shortcomings (likely much in the same way your years of Dungeons n' Dragons served to play as the same vehicle).

Jaws358
Jaws358

I agree w/ most of the points, and some of the invented words were funny, but in general, I found the writing irritating. 

Savvy

Soso
Soso

I bet you're all just upset because your subscription pints of ice cream haven't shown up yet.

Give the guy a break. This was magnifique !

LCarlissian
LCarlissian

I think I'd agree with most of these points if the writing wasn't so médiocre. 

Elizabeth Valleau Palmer
Elizabeth Valleau Palmer

We at Empire Mayonnaise appreciate your mention. All press is good press, particularly when being slammed by an illiterate crank. For those interested, "Artsy" to us means exotic mayo flavors like yuzu kosho, ostrich egg and coffee. We feel like that might fit the bill. :) http://www.empiremayo.com

coolguy
coolguy

I "get" it. Seriously though, it's not very good.

48volts
48volts

Yeah what everyone else said - I can't handle the coyness of this writer continually busting out these multi-lingual one-liners.

Bob
Bob

 oh just shut up

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

Thanks for that wonderful history of food trucks, obbop. I still see roach coaches  occasionally, sometimes in front of factories in the still-industrialized parts of East Williamsburg. Ours tend to be run by Middle Easterners rather than Vietnamese.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

Thanks for contributing, Terroir, always the same obsessions. 

exhausted
exhausted

Once again you seem to be assuming out of turn...I'm not affiliated with Terroir.  I am just an office drone who enjoys food and wine and also happens to think you are a terrible food/restaurant critic.  

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