Well, as of this writing, the end of the world - supposedly predicted by the Mayan calendar - has not occurred. Restaurants around the country cashed in on the Christmastime apocalyptic holiday. And, on the chance that some might survive, merchants of fear have done a brisk business.
Although it might have been nice to spend Xmas in heaven, we were left with the same-old-same-old. If only we could have a selective food apocalypse that would clean up our dining scene. Some things I'd like to see happen:
All white truffle oil poured into sewage systems (excepting the fried mushrooms at Fritti). This fake ingredient is reviled everywhere, but chefs keep on using it.
Stop treating people like dumbasses by offering appetizers and tapas that cost as much as entrées.
The extinction of broccoli, every kitchen's plate filler year after year.
An end to the gentrification of nose-to-tail dining. I've eaten pickled lamb tongues, pigs' feet and ears, and various internal organs most of my life. So, I don't get why eating this stuff is now "cool" and frequently expensive.
Permanent banning of molten chocolate freakin' cake. (Come on! The stuff is already retro.)
Halting the food-truck traffic jam. Enough's enough. That goes for the kimchi and head cheese tacos too.
Replacing Paula Deen with Jan Crouch. Replacing half of food shows with blank, static-filled screens, for that matter.
Stop putting a fried egg on everything. It's especially ridiculous on top of hamburger patties. What is the point?
No more menus that include lengthy sourcing of every ingredient. Do we really need to know that the carrots were grown at the Happy Bunny Ranch? Just put a line on the menu that says you use local ingredients whenever you can.
Cut back on the salt. Yes, I know that its unhealthy rep is being challenged these days. But who wants it to be the dominant taste in everything on one plate?
Bring back sanitation. Stop poisoning people. I'm personally sick of it, and so are thousands of other people. (Mainly addressed to growers and processors.)
Limiting fancy-shmancy cocktail recipes to use by cough syrup companies.
I know that many people are allergic to gluten. At its worst, it's called celiac disease. Milder cases are called gluten sensitivity. I'm sorry. But please stop making a scene at the table if you can't find gluten-free dishes or the server has no idea what you're talking about. Why not call ahead and ask?
Is there any experience as Orwellian as sitting in a restaurant where, no matter where your gaze drifts, you face a television screen? I get it in bars to drink and watch a game. But in the dining room? With loud conversation and music playing, what is the point?
I could go on. I'm sure anybody could.
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