Restaurant food fads that should be retired

Jaunty chives.

Every time I go for a nice meal, the food has a couple of chives leaning up against it like they’re shooting the breeze, leaning on a bar somewhere. Those chives can fuck off.

Two food fads I’ve seen gaining popularity:

Panini. It just a fancy name for a grilled sandwich but everyone seems to be latching onto the name. Ohhh, how about a cheese panini! You mean a grilled cheese sandwich? I’m waiting to see the McPanini any day now.

Ciabatta bread. Now everywhere that serves something on bread or rolls has to have their version of “ciabatta” bread. Too bad the employees at Subway can’t pronounce it correctly. “You want it on that there Ki-beta bread?”

Green tea and pomegranites. Granted, I like tea and I like pomegranites but not everthing I consume needs to have super anti-oxidants.

Gigantic plates artfully decorated with squiggles of sauces, and a tiny mountain of food stacked in the middle. Am I supposed to put those sauces on the food on the plate or are they just there to look pretty? If they’re supposed to flavor my food, how do I get them onto the food? Do I drag my food through the pretty squiggles, or try to put the squiggles on my fork and then on the food? And what flavor is the light green squiggle? Is it similar to the dark green squiggle? Couldn’t you just sauce my food like a normal chef?

Bad ribs. Leave the ribs off your menu. If you ain’t equipped to make ribs, don’t bother. Everybody has to offer ribs. Enough! You suck at it.

Band name!
I agree with many of the suggestions here:

Adding avocado to something and then calling it a “California _____.” I feel like I should change my name to SanDeE* and get a colonic or something after my Californian, avocado-laced meal.

Asiago cheese. Tasty stuff. I think it was Subway maybe who first advertised their bread baked with asiago on it. Now everyone does it. Bagels at the bagel place have asiago. Breads everywhere are covered with little browned shreds of the stuff. Asiago is the new parmesan, I suppose.

My own addition is:

Putting every darned sandwich into “wrap” form. Don’t get me wrong, I like wraps. But sometimes I want some bread, or a roll, or something. Wraps are great for salad-based sandwiches (caesar salad wraps, for example), but ham and cheese or turkey and cheese in a wrap are just awful. There is never quite enough filling, and the ends are just dry folds of pressed flour with maybe a hint of mayo or something on them.

“Boneless buffalo wings”, being an inaccurate name for breaded chicken nuggets with sauce. Revolting.

Cilantro, of course.

Any kind of beans except refritos in Mexican food.

Rice in burritos.

There’s more, but I’m afraid my intolerance is showing.

And, in spite of a recent thread arguing the opposite, undercooking vegetables. Let’s bring back fully cooked vegetables and leave the almost raw vegetables to the health stores.

Hell yes! If it’s supposed to be crispy, don’t freakin’ cook it! “Mushy” is the only way to eat broccoli.

Not only almost raw, but cold too! Send it back!

It’s made the full leap from “legitimately special” to “annoyingly trendy” to “completely mainstream,” but I remember a time in the late 80s and early 90s when your restaurant was nothing if it didn’t offer dijon mustard or sauces or dishes based on it.

I, too, entered this thread to post “chipotle”.

In addition, stupid and long chocolate dessert names. Why do you serve “warm apple crumble” next to “gigantasize fudge-ripple quintuple chocolate chocoholic’s orgasm by ice cream with ganache!”

Well, it isn’t a restaurant thing, but for some reason “normal” tea has been banished in favor of green tea in the convenience store coolers that I frequent. So I stop to get some gas on a warm day and I head inside on for something to drink, but I don’t want a soda. A nice option in the past was always some bottled iced tea from Nestea or Lipton. But for whatever reason, the “tea” row in the cooler has six varieties of green teas and no normal tea whatsoever. Given that green tea tastes like dirt, I’m left with bottled water or soda as my options. Why?

The trend has slowed considerably, but “low-carb” menus need to go.

The menu calls it Spinach & Artichoke Dip.

The POS system calls it SPIN DIP because it has limited space to work with and the employees call it spin dip because they say it thousands of times weekly. I know a lot of restaurant workers who work at various places with a spinach dip and they all call it spin dip just because it’s easier. But the menu never says that.

When I read my post now, I think it sounds unnecessarily confrontational – and I did mean to add that I agree with you about stupid food names as well, just that I don’t consider the employee abbreviation of spin dip to qualify.

Hear, hear! I lived in Cajun country before the fad, and no one blackened anything. And throwing spices on something does not make it Cajun.

I can do without throwing awful fruits into iced tea as the default. Let me have it either plain or sweetened.

Oh, another one that’s kind of had its day and come and gone: “mesquite grilled” things. They were all the rage in the late 80s/early 90s as well, and mesquite is horrible, harsh wood for smoking and grilling. And what got even worse is when it spilled over into “mesquite” flavored barbeque sauces and marinades, which had nasty liquid smoke in them. Ick.

I’ll still eat mesquite grilled dishes at any of the Goode Company Restaurants. Jim Goode knows what he’s doing. But mesquite can be overdone; the same for chipotle & cilantro. Plenty of Houston restaurants feature these ingredients. But sometimes they don’t “fit.”

And I’ll think twice about trying regional favorites out of their home region–no matter how fashionable they’ve become. For example: Should I ever make it to Dublin, Tante Zoe’s Cajun/Creole restaurant would not be my first choice…

Umm, nope. And I’m sure Ireland’s famous salmon is better un-blackened.

Even if it is good, who ever thought I would like to have my steak riding atop a pile of mashed potatoes is dead f
ing wrong.