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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.