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Top Ten Annoying Food Trends

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Hey, Foodies! Stop Doing These Things

By Omar Afra and Rob McCarthy
Images by Arthur Bates

So, you own a restaurant and are hell-bent on impressing everybody. Maybe you’ve got some wild idea to drench your macaroni and cheese in truffle oil or perhaps you want to freak everyone out with your creative ideas for cross-cultural fusion cuisine. But what if your food is just so typical that the only way you can jazz it up is by throwing a fried egg on top — or worse, junk food? For some strange reason, young chefs today feel as if they can be “creative” enough to supplant eons of trial and error with silly innovations in cuisine.

Well, if any of those played-out ideas have found their way onto your menu, chances are, you’re probably pretty impressed with yourself. Worse still, there are people out there actually celebrating this tragic excuse for unimaginative cuisine all over Yelp and beyond, so we’ve decided to warn our readers about this bastardization of good food.

Over-Glorified Junk Food
No, I don’t want to see “Flamin’ Hot Cheetos” in my sushi, unless my sushi comes from a damn vending machine. I don’t want to see Cheetos in any of my dishes, period. If we wanted Cheetos or Doritos or whatever else in our food, we’d go back to snack time or just wait until the munchies set in when stranded in Buttfuck, Texas with only a gas station around for miles. Otherwise, keep that noise out of your cuisine. — R.M.

Truffle Oil
Sure, come shave some black truffles on my pasta when I’m chowing down at Mark’s. However, if you aren’t the chef at Mark’s, please don’t try to make up for that fact by drowning your culinary creations in truffle oil. It’s not original, and it’s not inspired. — R.M.

Fried Egg Topper
One oddity that has infiltrated many local menus lately is the addition of a fried egg — on everything. Whether you are ordering a sandwich, a hot dog, or a bowl of chili, chances are there is an option to top it off with a fried egg. Are you that hungry or desperate for protein? Is your cholesterol that well maintained that you can just enhance your lunch experience with a fried egg? Unless it’s an ostrich egg or something wild, we’re over it. — R.M.

Bacon Everything
Everybody loves bacon, right? But when is too much, too much? Bacon finds its way into salads and sandwiches, but when is it wrong? How about a bacon shake or bacon ice cream? Bacon shouldn’t be a substitute for real protein, and as a garnish, it’s anything but decadent. — R.M.

Cross-Cultural Fusion Poserdom
Indian burritos. Mexican spaghetti. Cajun sushi. What in the world? Customs and traditions have kept food interesting and alive for years. When you start mixing cultures in a way that isn’t creative, you bastardize what’s good about both to benefit a small group of people. Don’t ruin what’s great about one culture to capitalize on what’s popular with another. — R.M.

Kimchi
The most annoying food trend the Aryan race has imposed upon us is kimchi on everything. I mean everything — kimchi hot dogs, kimchi burgers, kimchi ice cream. Kimchi is nothing more than pickled cabbage, but it has helped several uncreative minds escape the task of simply making good, quality food. — O.A.

Locally Sourced
Don’t get me wrong, some locally-sourced ingredients are great: tomatoes, spinach, cows. Others, not so much. For instance, I want my olive oil from the Mediterranean, not the Gulf Coast. I want my coffee from Ethiopia, not the Heights. I want my vodka from Russia, not Austin. Ya feel me?  — O.A.

Water, No Ice (This is AMERICA)
Are you afraid of freedom? Every time you order “water, no ice,” a terrorist is born. — O.A.

Have It THEIR Way
I am the asshole who has to revise everything. I tend to merge different menu selections, always ask for this or that on the side, and am not afraid to bring in my own ingredients. I feel completely entitled to have the food that goes into my mouth prepared exactly as I want it. Restaurants that don’t let me modify my order really need to be shut down by the federal government and have their staffs locked up at some secret internment camp where strange and horrific medical experiments are performed. So when I ask you why I can’t modify my selection, “I am just following orders” will not be a sufficient response. — O.A.

Science “Food”
Your cute use of emulsifiers, Bunsen burners, and lasers does not translate into a pleasurable dining experience. Though overly-pretentious food makes for great photos in glossy magazines, I would much rather eat an artichoke then have a baby spoonful of “artichoke gel” served on a plate of eggshells. — O.A.

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12 comments

  1. bobbycaswellcole

    dont forget about Dr. Pepper braised whatever and wacky ‘salted’ things and cucumber water and calling shitty quality flavored mayonnaise ‘aioli’ and using the words ‘dirt’, ‘soil’ or ‘ash’ to describe some kind of weird deconstruction of ingredients that enhance 2oz $28 portions of whatever that are painstakingly plated with tweezers to be instagram ready so all ur frans can be so ‘jelly’ of ur totes awesome meal

    also what the fuck is with $14 triple-filtered angel breath condensate/pickled infant foreskin/sulfured monk sweat infused gin cocktails that take 20 minutes to make with a side of shitty attitude that nobody ordered?

    /rant

  2. I have no idea why this article exists. This is really just a bunch of rambling nonsense. Go out and enjoy life and stop being a hater.

  3. While I agree completely about the serious overuse of truffle oil, most of the comments above sound like that other kind of snob: “the adult with the child’s pallet.”

    This kind of snob prefers the mac & “cheese” from the blue box, instead of painstakingly prepared from scratch by someone who really knows the steps.

    This kind of snob thinks the pinnacle of global fromage is the Kraft Single, and actually believes fish comes out of the water in a perfect rectangle, breaded by Our Lord.

    This kind of snob lives entirely on hotdogs and hamburgers (without onion, please) because they’re convinced sine childhood that they should never venture out.

    This kind of snob drinks hateful things like Coors and Bud Light because they actually love the complete of flavor.

    Omar, keep publishing excellence - because you do. but please stay away from the art of cuisine. You’re sadly out of your depth.

  4. This is terrible writing. You contradict your criticisms of overly pretentious restaurnants by being overly pretentious yourself. Really, really bad

  5. I almost completely stand for everything this article does not stand for.
    I come from a people who do not shy away from frito burritos, maple-bacon cupcakes, or crawdad rolls. We believe that food is one of the greatest, most diverse forms of art on the planet, and if someone is willing to create something new, even if it is a little unorthodox, we are willing to call it contemporary and give it a shot. And sometimes (meaning usually) when we stumble, drunkenly, out of Boondocks at one in the morning, all we want is a Kimchi Dog and Kimchi Fries with a fried egg added to both. My only lament is that Koagie Hots doesn’t have the option to add bacon.

  6. I was cheering this along until I got to the “Have It THEIR Way” bit. I had expected this to be tongue in cheek, but all the previous points were valid (as is the one after it), so I’m not getting any real laughs here.

    However, I have to say, Omar, that if you want your food prepared exactly how you want with the ingredients exactly how you want, then you should stay at home and cook your food your damn self.

    There’s nothing more infuriating than substitutions on a well-thought out and well-executed menu. The dishes are created in a way that everything on the plate compliments everything else. It’s a total experience that you are cheating yourself out of by altering. If you don’t want a menu item because of the way it’s prepared, then don’t order that item. It’s simple. If you look over the menu and find there’s nothing there you want to eat, then I would suggest getting up and walking the fuck out. I guarantee you won’t be hurting any chef’s feelings.

  7. I agree with Jade - this article is poorly written. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t entirely disagree with its content. That being said, the pretentiousness of this article is unbecoming of FPH.

    Come on editors, get it together and realize when something isn’t worth releasing!

  8. nah this is dumb and pretentious, I’m gonna make and eat what tastes good. I’m not interested in impressing snobby joyless people anyways.

  9. Or, having worked in food service, I won’t complain about a dining room so cold I saw a penguine and a polar bear fighting over a sweater if you don’t give me grief about my water with no ice. BTW, dated illegible captcha codes-cutting edge trend from 1997.

  10. Omar,

    Regarding the \"Have it THEIR way\" section, it is obvious you have never worked in the restaurant industry. People who go into a restaurant with that kind of mindset are ignorant and rude. It is very difficult for the kitchen to prepare a dish with all kinds of weird requests. They are having to think about 5000 things at the same time and when they get a ticket that says this instead of this and this on the side and extra this but cooked a different way and on and on and on, you are throwing a monkey wrench into their whole flow.

    A good restaurant has spent a lot of time planning out their menu and are preparing dishes for you that they want you to try. However, they are not your personal chef. While most places will accommodate your demands, it is still incredibly rude and immature to not try what they have to offer. Are you two years old? Order something from the menu, eat it, pay, and leave a 20% tip. If you didn\’t like it then don\’t order it again or don\’t go back.

    I know this article is just a rant and isn\’t meant to be taken too seriously, but let\’s just keep in mind the people in this world that are starving to death next time we\’re bitching about there being too much kimchi and truffle oil in Houston restaurants/food trucks.

  11. Kudos to the folks who use their real names.

    I guess I am living in an inverse universe; I assumed haphazard \’innovations\’ were pretentious and that cuisine which has been painstakingly perfected over eons is NOT. And Kevin, buddy, I have no interest in Mac and Cheese, Coors, and the like. Rather, I enjoy the best of foods from every region, \’genre\’, and approach. That said, their seems to be a trend in throwing out time-honored technique in exchange for cutesy novelty and poorly thought out fusion. Give me what Grandmas the world over cook. Not what fresh faced students conjure up after a few blunts.

  12. On what planet is it okay to post a picture of a stereotypical Asian eating a man-ka-bob… That’s racist dude. really fucking racist.

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