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New 'Menu Items That Need to Be Retired", 2012 edition...

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I think we should start a new '2012' edition of 'Menu items that need to be retired"!

Mods? Can you lock the oldone and let us start another since the old one is sooooo long?

Well worth looking at for a hoot n a 1/2 that goes back to 2007, if you haven't read it.

It is SO entertaining - and I can hardly believe in reading through it today how long some of these awful trends have stuck around so long...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/461231

But surely, we can get on with a more current list, such as the bacon-bashing above from It's still mooing, and stuffed crust pizza by dianne0712.

Pretty much, if it is on Applebee's menu, or chili's, or Outback, it probably is not on a CH'ers radar; chicken ceasar salad, 'spring greens' commercial salad dressings, pizza with ranch and chicken on it, etc.

What IS on our 'so over it" lists these days?

I still wonder why cupcakes JUST WONT DIE?

Sliders? Really? Still?

Bad crabcakes have not left the arena either... sigh.

What items do you keep seeing on menu's that should just. stop. already?

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  1. Anything labelled as "comfort food…"

    7 Replies
    1. re: skippy66

      Um. Ok. Why?

      1. re: jmckee

        I think we should retire the label and not the actual foods.

      2. re: skippy66

        You mean there are menus that have the audacity of labelling stuff "comfort food"? Comfort food is personal, not a menu category. I have several things I consider comfort food - but how the <bleep> would that translate into a menu item since no two people have the same comfort food?

        1. re: cacruden

          this has become a very common marketing catchphrase in the last 5-7 years. places that serve stuff like mac and cheese and meatloaf sort of started the ball rolling, but a whole bunch more stuff gets put under that moniker now. totes not new. don't know you feel personally affronted.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            It should be called things people used to make homemade but don't know how. I rarely see people who make these at home order them out.

            1. re: melpy

              Meatloaf and mac-n-cheese have on diner and cafe menus for eons.

              1. re: melpy

                yeah now that i think about it, i wont really order something in a restaurant that i can make well at home. thats not 100 percent, but most of the time.

        2. I'd rather have cupcakes stick around if it means we can get rid of the bastard 'cake pop' fad permanently.

          56 Replies
          1. re: beachmouse

            Ditto - death to cake pops!

            1. re: jeanmarieok

              yes, death to the cake pop, and all the stupid custom pans people buy to make them. Why does any silly fad like this take a custom pan?
              Just imagine, in a few years you will walk into a thrift store and see this pan sitting there.... what on earth is THAT for?

              Stupid trend...

              1. re: gingershelley

                Cake pops are an abomination. And the worse ones are the ones that AREN'T made with a custom fan. You take cake (from a mix, natch), crumble it up, mix it with frosting (from a can, again, natch) and form it into little balls and dipping it into pseudo "chocolate" and decorating it. Food like that (or should I say "food") should not be allowed to continue.

                1. re: Savour

                  +1

              2. re: jeanmarieok

                I agree with cake pops. Cupcakes, on the other hand, are a legitimate cake and will always be around. :)

                1. re: ttoommyy

                  Oh count me in as a cake pop hater. At least with a cupcake there is a chance in hell of it being edible.

              3. re: beachmouse

                am i the only chow hound who never heard of these things before? not that they look all that wonderful or anything.

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  KaimukiMan, you never heard of Cupcake shops? You must live in a lovely little town somewhere.... as for the silly cakepop, just google, and shudder:)

                  1. re: gingershelley

                    I've never seen a cupcake shop and have no idea what a cake pop is either.

                    1. re: chileheadmike

                      Starbucks has cake pops. That should tell you all you need to know. 8<D

                      1. re: Bob W

                        :) That's why I've never seen them.

                        1. re: Bob W

                          Starbucks in *Taiwan* has cakepops, and I don't think I've ever seen a regular cupcake in general circulation, specialty store or not.

                        2. re: chileheadmike

                          youve never seen a cupcake shop? do u live on a remote island somewhere? or maybe just not in the u.s.? cuz in america those suckers are everywhere....not that i object. but cake pops should die a horrible death.

                        3. re: gingershelley

                          I just got back from 7 years in Italy and had no idea what a cake pop was. When I read what they were I almost threw up.

                          1. re: serafinadellarosa

                            Cake pops are like a food parody or a bad joke or something. They certainly aren't food.

                        4. re: KaimukiMan

                          I too wondered about these cake pops, but then I remembered that my neighbor gave us a couple takoyai size cakes at Christmas, ones that she'd made with her 6yr old son. Are these a fad? Not just something kids make with sold-on-tv molds? Given that kind of association, cake pop haters sound more like grinches than cutting edge food faddists. :)

                          1. re: paulj

                            And then there are these cake pops :-D

                             
                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              Love the post DD!

                              I am not sure that some of those are 'allready retired'! They look like I would want to laugh at them, but not eat.... as most cake pops make me feel. At least these are a hoot!

                              1. re: gingershelley

                                Was at the local mall recently, and I noticed that the cupcake/cake pop booth has closed. Maybe we're at the end of this trend?

                                1. re: pine time

                                  Last year, I spotted a cupcakery in Philadelphia that had gone cash-only. Usually a good sign a business is on the ropes. In DC, I only know of one cupcakery that's folded in the past year, while three more have opened. They're like the hydra; cut off one head and more sprout up from the wound.

                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                    Cake pops should go away now. Cupcakes, when well-made from good ingredients, are just fine when in included in a selection of goods at a bakery. They are not enough to base an entire business upon. Anyone remember the scotch tape store on SNL?

                                    1. re: sandylc

                                      Well where I live there are a couple of cupcake bakeries that are quite fine businesses. What do you base your "not enough to base an entire business upon" statement? Sugar Cupcakery, down the hill from where I live, is in particular a very nice place with outstanding pastries.

                                      1. re: jmckee

                                        That's great! I really do hope they can sustain it long-term.

                              2. re: DiningDiva

                                Are those DOWNTON ABBEY CAKE POPS?!?!?!? lmao

                                1. re: candypandora

                                  Yes, I think they were

                          2. re: beachmouse

                            Oh damn right about the farking cake pops. How stupid.

                            1. re: beachmouse

                              i just met someone yesterday that owns a bakery that does a lot of cake pops... i smiled, nodded, and did everything in my power from rolling my eyes and bluntly saying, "why..."

                              1. re: Emme

                                because he makes money on them???

                                1. re: paulj

                                  i hope SHE does. otherwise the sacrifice of dignity would be totally wasted. :)

                              2. re: beachmouse

                                I'll take one for the cake pop team and say that I actually like cake pops. They're just discrete bites of cake. I've never seen them priced reasonably in a bakery, but I make them myself so I don't think that' a valid point of objection.

                                1. re: zooxanthellae

                                  They had no appeal for me and I was pleasantly surprised when I sampled one a co-worker had made. Moist cake with a dark chocolate coating - she said she had deviated from the called for milk chocolate, which I think was key - what's not to like? I won't be buying nor likely making them (my kids are young and we're still stuck on cupcakes for bake sale / birthday party treats), but I'm not as offended as I expected to be :)

                                  1. re: zooxanthellae

                                    I'll defend cake pops as actually useful in cocktail-party settings. Anything you can eat neatly while holding a drink in one hand is welcome. In that context, cupcakes are comparatively messy things.

                                    Probably doesn't hurt that the only ones I've ever seen (or frankly even heard of) are homemade by Mrs. MC, and she's a gifted amateur pastry chef. If they're a done-to-death thing in the Boston area, I missed it.

                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                      I just can't wrap my head around any cocktail that I would like to drink with a cake pop accompaniment.

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        I assumed MC Slim meant when it came time for coffee and dessert.

                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                          A cocktail party that ends with adults drinking coffee and eating a piece of cake off a lollipop stick?

                                          If I owned a bakery/pastry shop where I can overcharge ppl into buying a mouthful of cake covered in chocolate, I'll serve them until the end of the millennium.

                                          As a semi-normal adult, no way! I've seen these at starbucks and wonder what kind of person buys them. These should only be consumed by adults at an overpriced kid's party or picnic with kids.

                                          Ehem, for the people who say cake pops are good for portion control... buy a cupcake and toss half.

                                          1. re: nikkib99

                                            "A cocktail party that ends with adults drinking coffee and eating a piece of cake off a lollipop stick?"

                                            Yes. What's your point? You've never had coffee after a cocktail party? Its OK to eat a shrimp off of a toothpick though?

                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                              I've had coffee at a cocktail party, but I think the idea of of eating a cake pop at a cocktail party is just so wrong.

                                              What's next... wearing fried calamari like rings and eating them like kids eat corn chips off their fingers? I know, I know, it's a stretch. :)

                                      2. re: MC Slim JB

                                        i don't see them in boston either. have made them from scratch though and people love them. you'd be surprised how many internet "cake" recipes start with boxed yellow cake. blech.

                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                          I agree with you regarding the boxed cake ingredient. That bugs me to no end. It's crazy that someone would go through the work on baking a cake and start with a gross box mix. I used to think box mixes were the way to go but after making from scratch, I can totally taste the off taste of a box mix.

                                          Call me a snob, but when a recipe calls for a box mix, out the door it goes.

                                          I think the only tough part about making a cake pop is find a round form to bake the batter. Once it's baked, let cool, prepare chocolate coating, stick a lollipop stick in cake ball, dip in coating, and sprinkle as desired.

                                          1. re: nikkib99

                                            You are a snob! :) As has been discussed in other threads, there are valid reasons for using cake mixes. But using mixes is hardly a recent trend. Whether it restaurants or bakeries do that is their business, and one that they don't have to publicize. Same goes for your neighbor and bake sale.

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              Paulj, I don't think this makes nikkib99 a snob, but a purist; she/he doesn't want to use cake mixes, ok.

                                              I don't think N99 was railing against others doing it, just saying it is not their way; no need to call names here, really. I think the term 'gross' is a bit excessive on NK99' part, but your's is surely more so in calling her a name.

                                              Let's all be reasonable here, and allow for discourse, and different opinions, ok? I think that is the point of such threads. :)

                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                So what needs to be retired? Cake pops in general, or just cake pops made from a mix? Or all cake mixes?

                                                http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/17et8...
                                                Wouldn't this Han in Carbonite mold work great with cake and ganache?
                                                http://io9.com/5888650/rejected-star-...

                                                1. re: paulj

                                                  Good suggestions! : -)

                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                    I don't know, but I would have soooo purchased those Bantha slippers...

                                                  2. re: gingershelley

                                                    I don't know about Nikki, but I admit to being both a snob AND a purist. 8-P

                                                    There have been a few threads here about cake mixes. Here's one that explains my position on chemical cakes. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/801453

                                                2. re: nikkib99

                                                  You dont need a mold to make a cake pop. Cake balls have been around for ages. Just crumble cake, mix with a little rum, powdered sugar and roll in you hands. Let sit for an hour or so then proceed with the process.

                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                    LOL - ttoommyy, you must have missed my post about adulterated bread/cakey products. I was going to write a way to make cake pop just bake a dense cake, let it sit for a day, crumble and form into balls then dip in chocolate. Then I realized it could be dry and need a little moisture - a la rum or milk.

                                                    That's when my stomach started turning. Soggy cake....blech!

                                                    A quick search and I found the round cake forms that can be baked. I guess you can use an ebelskiver and make a cake-donut.

                                                    Yup, I'm weird about soggy cakes and bread. Many have had a good laugh, but nothing I can do.

                                                    I can't even eat gazpacho even though I know the bread is finely crumbled and you'll never encounter chunks of bread. Oh God, I'm grossing myself out and it's not even 10am.

                                                    1. re: nikkib99

                                                      My balls are not soggy! They are moist, but not at all soggy! lol

                                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                                        LOL - nothing ruins a girl's night like soggy balls.

                                                        Firm balls are...I digress.

                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                          :O zomg, i first read this as "saggy". woops!

                                                        2. re: nikkib99

                                                          I thought cake pops were made of old cake crumbs and frosting. Still yucky and not intended to take anything about from the soggy balls sub-thread.

                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                            chicgail, the one I had at a potluck last year were exactly that. Much as I love cake and much as I love frosting, having them all mushed up into a ball was just icky.

                                                      2. re: nikkib99

                                                        "I think the only tough part about making a cake pop is find a round form to bake the batter. Once it's baked, let cool, prepare chocolate coating, stick a lollipop stick in cake ball, dip in coating, and sprinkle as desired."

                                                        Actually, you don't need a mold in which to bake them. I have an employee who makes cake pops for her kids (very young). She simply bakes off a regular cake, crumbles it, then kind of welds the pieces together with frosting, shapes them into a ball, inserts the stick and dips them in ganache. Works pretty well.

                                                    2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                      Incidentally, Mrs. MC makes her cake pops from scratch. I wasn't aware there was such a thing as a mold for them. And yes, we serve something dessert-like at all our parties, even at our cocktail shindigs. Our guests seem to appreciate it, but as I said, she's a pretty gifted pastry chef for an amateur.

                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                        there's a mold for everything, i am quite sure, but i don't have one either. and yes, i also always have sweets out at the end of any party, even if i never eat them. (i am a "finish with cheese" kinda gal.)

                                                  2. re: beachmouse

                                                    Honestly, "Cupcake Wars" killed the cup cake for me. Too overdone. It became a trend that has so over saturated the market and I'm over it. Don't get me wrong, they're pretty tasty, but it's been ran into the ground.

                                                  3. Jazzed up french fries. Unless they are delicious thick wedge fries, don't start pouring cheese, bacon and chili on them. They just become a mushy disaster.

                                                    I was recently at a place where I had heard the fries were amazing. Fresh cut fries, red onion, bacon, cheddar and ranch dressing. I ordered them...frozen mushy fries, a tiny slice of red onion had been minced, possibly one strip of bacon chopped, cheese melted in the center only and no ranch. It was pure mush. Apparently this is to rave about for most.

                                                    11 Replies
                                                    1. re: jhopp217

                                                      Once in Maui we went to a restaurant that was nearly empty (scare) and got mahi mahi with garlic fries- OMFG they were so good- it was probably a fluke, but one of the best things I ate there, and one of the most affordable. I could eat mahi mahi at least twice a day for weeks if it's as fresh as it always was in Maui.

                                                      1. re: jhopp217

                                                        this is my gripe with designer poutine popping up all over. never mind that most do not even use cheese curds. the actual thing is greasy food for late night drunks. period, lol.

                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                          I can't tell you how many times I've yelled, in my head "That's not poutine!!!". :)

                                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                            yes! cheese fries (or poutine, or disco fries, or whatever you call them depending on your region) are late-night diner food, period. they should only appear on menus at diners/greasy spoons, and should only be consumed between the hours of midnight and 5 am after you've imbibed or inhaled more than your share of your preferred recreational substance.

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              Amen to that! They are on the aptz. menu at an upscale new hip resto here, and I just cringe every time I think of it, or read about it in a review. pppplease....

                                                            2. re: hotoynoodle

                                                              Yes! Poutine should only be served at restaurants with at least one Canadian person (preferably one actually from Montreal) in the kitchen or in management. One restaurant in my hood put it on its menu, "We took a trip to Montreal and loved this, so...." and only 1 of the six types of poutine had cheese curds. Shame.

                                                            3. re: jhopp217

                                                              Fries for a cheese fry item should have some crispness. Or not be soggy. Hard to describe buy by no means need thick wedges.

                                                              1. re: melpy

                                                                Poutine fries need to be freshly and properly deep fried, at a minimum, and not from a bag of frozen McCains crispy fries. It should be cheese curds, not grated cheddar, and the gravy must be hot through, not congealing at the edges.

                                                                1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                  So right.....

                                                                  1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                    Are you responding to me?

                                                                  2. re: melpy

                                                                    Melpy, you have it down on the fry base for poutine; crispy, proper and fresh, or there is no reason to ladle on good curds and gravy.

                                                                    Baseline handled, good toppings handled; NOT a fad, but a classic:)

                                                                2. Braised short ribs
                                                                  Grilled salmon
                                                                  Truffle fries
                                                                  And yet another burger joint

                                                                  21 Replies
                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                    +4 on the truffle fries (for me and my whole family). But grilled salmon? That's kind of basic, like a family dinner.

                                                                    1. re: Isolda

                                                                      Exactly, you can make it for your family. Why, then, does it needed to be on almost every restaurant menu. Grilled salmon + sauce du jour? Can't a restaurant think of sometime more interesting than that? Aren't there other fish instead of salmon? I just think it's kind of boring on a restaurant menu, especially, as you so aptly point out, a lot of people can do a pretty good job of making it for themselves at home :-)

                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                        +1

                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                          Agreed -- two things we never order out are grilled salmon and roast chicken. Perfectly fine dishes, but SO BORING.

                                                                          1. re: Bob W

                                                                            This is just for me, but I often order the grilled salmon when I'm on a business trip and eating at a restaurant. Why? Because my daughter is allergic to it, so we don't have it at home. Please don't outlaw it!

                                                                            1. re: 512window

                                                                              I often order lamb or veal because Mrs. W won't make either at home, so I totally get that.

                                                                            2. re: Bob W

                                                                              I actually feel like restaurants are taking chicken more seriously. I've had a couple spectacular takes in the past year.

                                                                              1. re: kevin47

                                                                                We went to our favorite upscale restaurant and there was a fried chicken special that basically everyone in the place had ordered. I took a gamble an decided once and for all I must nit like fried chicken because my SO said it was the eat he had ever eaten. No mote chicken at restaurants for me!

                                                                            3. re: DiningDiva

                                                                              farmed salmon is super cheap for restaurants to buy and handles being frozen quite well, so very little potential for waste with big profit margin.

                                                                              agree: it's terrible fish.

                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                But that doesn't make it good.... +1.

                                                                                Tho, where I live, in Seattle, we get wonderful salmon for much of the year, albiet VERY expensive. I don't think great salmon ever goes out of fashion. More of a 'classic' than a fad.

                                                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                  Will second that salmon is a classic. I can't get enough of it - grilled, sashimi, tartare, carpaccio'ed, gravlax - yummy stuff. What I can't stand are restaurants that serve it all dried up and overcooked with a sauce slathered on to hide how terribly they've cooked it.

                                                                                  1. re: Halcyonwing

                                                                                    or, Halcywg; it's just BAD SALMON! Classic; great ocean going fatty king; trend, bad, and should leave the scene; farm raised anemic 'salmon' served to you as a great piece of salmon...

                                                                              2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                Okay, now I gotcha!

                                                                                1. re: Isolda

                                                                                  :/)

                                                                            4. re: DiningDiva

                                                                              I would agree on the burger joint, except I went to one last week that served ... burgers. No "Kobe" beef, no truffle aioli, no portobello mushrooms, no onion "jam." Just burgers. With cheese if you want. And they were awesome.

                                                                              1. re: Savour

                                                                                This may or may not be repulsive to some CHers, but that's why I like Five Guys. For a chain restaurant, they do burgers pretty well, even if they are expensive. It's just a hamburger, for crying out loud.

                                                                                Fries are some of my faves too. Om nom...

                                                                                1. re: speakhandsforme

                                                                                  Check the Chains thread. The biggest criticism of 5G is consistency.

                                                                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                    I think they are very consistent....consistently awful. It's my humble opinion that most people haven't had a truly good burger if they think 5G is even remotely good. I am truly baffled by this chins popularity. And their fries? Awful

                                                                                    1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                      Agree. I went to 5G and was horribly disappointed. But Edzo's in Evanston Il, now that's a burger.

                                                                              2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                Braised short ribs are kind of a KC staple.. Not a trend for me.

                                                                                1. re: LN2008

                                                                                  Braised short ribs are a delight. I could never get tired of them.

                                                                              3. I am a little ambivalent about this one, because I actually like some wedge salads, but I am so tired of seeing wedge salads on every freaking menu from Outback to the country club.

                                                                                Also, really fancy burgers. The beauty of a burger is that it isn't fancy. If I am going to pay 20+ dollars for beef, it will not be on a bun, it will be seared and served with a fork and knife.

                                                                                The "-tini" drink craze. I am really liking that most places are going a little retro with the cocktails again. Some the the frazzletini's, sparkletini's, and flirtini's just got out of hand.

                                                                                I'm sure I will think of a few more..

                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                1. re: bamagirl30

                                                                                  "The "-tini" drink craze."

                                                                                  Oh please let this die a quick and harsh death. To even breath the suffix "tini" with any other word than "mar" should be a crime.

                                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                    I hope you mean that a martini is confined to gin (or vodka) and dry vermouth in some combination. If you want a chocolate-raspberry cocktail, please don't call it a martini.

                                                                                    1. re: sr44

                                                                                      "I hope you mean that a martini is confined to gin (or vodka) and dry vermouth in some combination."

                                                                                      That is EXACTLY what i mean sr44. Anything else is NOT a martini.

                                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                        the shape of the glass does not make it so.

                                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                          Correct.

                                                                                        2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                          A subject discussed on the booze board, I would submit that the use of vodka also makes it something other than a martini.

                                                                                          1. re: HDinCentralME

                                                                                            I was trying to be open-minded.

                                                                                            1. re: HDinCentralME

                                                                                              I am with you, HD, about martinis. They are made with gin. Period. If you substitute an onion for the olive, it becomes a Gibson. So why do people think they can substitute vodka for the gin, and still have it be a martini? And then these things that have absolutely none of the original ingredients of a martini... who decided these can be called martinis? Every time I see a "martini menu" I want to scream. They just need to go away.

                                                                                              1. re: HDinCentralME

                                                                                                Ever Since James Bond came along, this has been acceptable. Most people when they order a martini are specific and those who aren't usually are old crotchety people or underage kids. Almost everyone I know orders the booze they want and then then how they want it. Martini has become universal. As for the others things we end with a tini....does it really bother anyone that much?

                                                                                                1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                  Yes.

                                                                                                  1. re: sr44

                                                                                                    They do the same thing with Margaritas. LISTEN TO ME PEOPLE!!! A Strawberry Margarita is a DAIQUIRI !!! Or as my wife says, "Just because your cat has her kittens in the oven don't make them biscuits!"

                                                                                                    1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                      ????A margarita is lime, triple sec, tequila, a daiquiri is rum and lime.....????

                                                                                                  2. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                    My annoyance is when I order a Gibson and they have no idea what I want... When I explain, they say "Ohhhh a martini but with onions instead?" followed by "Vodka or gin?" But yes, it does bother me when there is a page long "martini" list. Just because it is in a martini glass DOES NOT make it a martini! Ugh, get those gross frou-frou-tinis away from me... If I put soup in a coffee cup, does that make it coffee??

                                                                                                  3. re: HDinCentralME

                                                                                                    I looked up martini in my 60s Mr. Boston drinks book. If memory serves, they allowed gin, vodka, and rum martinis. But, gee, no mention of "appletinis" !

                                                                                                2. re: sr44

                                                                                                  Yes! And if you're drinking straight gin out of a martini glass, it's gin, not a martini.

                                                                                                  1. re: sr44

                                                                                                    I so agree. I hate seeing some stupid fou fou drink passed off as a martini!!!!

                                                                                                    1. re: sr44

                                                                                                      EXACTLY. Let me state for the record that I love sweet froufy cocktails and don't drink real martinis, but even I can't stand the misuse of the world martini. A friend once said to me, "Anything in a martini glass is a martini, right?" Her husband moonlights as a bartender!!!! No, the name comes from the ingredient (Martini & Rosse vermouth) and not the glass it comes in. ARRGGGHH!

                                                                                                    2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                      +1 there, buddy- even if I have one of thoe things at home I won't tell anybody about it . ;-)

                                                                                                    3. re: bamagirl30

                                                                                                      I kinda like the ol' wedge. It takes me back, way back, to the days when it was served with thousand island or blue cheese dressing in a gravy boat.

                                                                                                      What I don't like is what some places charge for $0.25 worth of iceberg lettuce. 8<D

                                                                                                    4. Tapas.

                                                                                                      22 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                        +1, especially when they are NOT in a Spanish resto!

                                                                                                        And please, no one does them the fun way, where they are all on toothpicks on a buffet like in many Barcelona places, where you collect your toothpics for payment.

                                                                                                        Enough borrowing the concept already. Just call it an 'apetizer-sized menu concept.

                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                          I think many places just now call everything before the main course "small plates," and honestly, I will often put together a meal of 2-3 small plates instead of getting an entree. But for a non-Spanish/Mediterranean place to use the term tapas is ridiculous.

                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                            Never really saw the appeal in tapas (apart from the ones in Barcelona, yes) myself.

                                                                                                            1. re: Halcyonwing

                                                                                                              The appeal is variety. I can order or share several small plates and taste more thing or I can order an entree. If more restaurants designed their courses and portion sizes appropriately then I would be so drawn to tapas. I personally enjoy a four course meal ( that includes dessert but three is sufficient because I don't have a sweet tooth.) and don't want one plate of the same taste for a couple hours.

                                                                                                            2. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                              why can't they just say "small plates?!" this exasperates me to no end. reminds me of another thread where a poster was whining about not wanting to follow recipes, and wonder why she had to adhere to convention... all replies were basically - you don't have to do anything - or - sometimes it's good to learn fundamentals. my thought, however, is you can do whatever you like... take my brownies, swap out caramels for the chocolate, hazelnut flour for the cocoa powder, honey for the sugar, cream cheese for part of the butter, freeze, form into balls, coat in a cinnamon espresso batter and deep fry em... just don't don't call them brownies.

                                                                                                              or maybe they should replace tapas with... "the portions are really small, so you're gonna have to order a lot more, especially if you're dining with any or multiple greedy bastards" concept.

                                                                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                Why can't they just say "small plates"? For the same reason they have to say farfalle instead of bowtie pasta.

                                                                                                                1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                                                                  'pasta' itself is an overused foreign word. We should go back to using noodles and macaroni.

                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                    than mesclun, pizza and pommes frites must drive you round the bend, lol.

                                                                                                                  2. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                                                                    I see small plates listed on menus down here all the time. Seems like it's used as a replacement for appetizer.

                                                                                                                    1. re: beachmouse

                                                                                                                      There are any number of cuisines that have the concept of small shared plates as an appetizer, a meal, or with drinks, too, so I'm not sure why 'tapas' got picked as the generic name. You've got antipasto in Italy, xiao cai in China, dim sum in Hong Kong, tapas in Spain, I know there are others I can't remember right now.

                                                                                                                      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                                        In Venice bar food is called cicchetti

                                                                                                                        http://www.amazon.com/Tapas-Meze-Smal...
                                                                                                                        "tapas from Spain, hors d'oeuvres and entrees from France, Italy's antipasti and primi piatti, mezethes from Greece, and the meze of the Levant and North Africa"

                                                                                                                        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                                          Pupu Platter in Japan.

                                                                                                                          1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                            Japan? Really? I always associated puupuu with Hawaii? Was I wrong all along???

                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                              american polynesian joints, like trader vic's, sort of invented the pu pu platter as we know it. that has nothing to do with japan.

                                                                                                                              japanese "small plates', or bar food,are referred to as izakaya.

                                                                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                Just wiki'd it. Hawaiian.

                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                  the word is hawaiian, but the platter is an american concoction.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                    I thought Hawaii was American. It's a state, right? The POTUS was born there.

                                                                                                                            2. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                              PuPu platters were all the rage in most Chinese restaurants in NJ in the 60's & 70's. Unfortunately, most were so badly named that the best compliment most people could muster was to congratulate whoever came up with the name.

                                                                                                                              1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                Rumaki. Yum. Little ribs with salty-sticky sauce. Crunchy eggrolls. Shrimp toast.

                                                                                                                                1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                  a typo, caught too late to change.
                                                                                                                                  What I meant to say was that 'most were so badly _made_ that the best complimnt ost people could muster was to congratulate whoever came up with the name'.

                                                                                                                              2. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                                                And small bite desserts are cake pops. Ooops! Petits fours.

                                                                                                                      2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                        I love real tapas, as in Spanish small plates. What I hate is crappy bar food downsized and called tapas. That's a trend I'm really tired of.

                                                                                                                      3. Pickled everything.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                          Aahhh... Portlandia, here you are you devil. http://www.ifc.com/shows/portlandia/b...

                                                                                                                          Firegoat, do you know of the fun that has been had allready with the picke thing ;

                                                                                                                          And I don't think this is so old, actually just kind of late 2010, and catching on...

                                                                                                                        2. I'm getting tired of grilled salad (i.e. with grilled lettuce). It was interesting when it first became trendy.... but I'm done with it.

                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                            There was a recent Kitchen Nightmares (US) version where Gordon was served grilled lettuce. He was horrified.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                              Gordon is always horrified and disgusted

                                                                                                                              1. re: Abraksith

                                                                                                                                That's what makes him such a fun guy!!

                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                  I was bored and started an episode of Kitchen Nightmares from the beginning of season 3 on Hulu... I'm now halfway through season 4. Did I mention I started two days ago?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                    Ha ha. Have you undergone any negative personality changes from this?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                      Well, when my roommate was cooking, I found myself spontaneously throwing out his food and telling him it was garbage. I think I called him a donkey a couple times, and said "Wow wow wow" at the results... :)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                        Ouch.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                          joking, obviously, haha

                                                                                                                                          1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                            O.K.

                                                                                                                                            Ouch, haha.

                                                                                                                                            (I did pick up on that : - })

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                              just had to make sure :P I may be an ass sometimes, but not thaaaaaat much of one! haha

                                                                                                                          2. Short ribs
                                                                                                                            ras el hanout
                                                                                                                            anything with the word "veloute" or "foam"

                                                                                                                            1. Fried Calamari. Why? I love fried food, but for the love of god, won't someone try cooking the squid another way! It's even worse when the menu simply states "Calamari" - as if it's understood or mandatory that it is fried.

                                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                And, worse yet, when it's served with some marinara sauce straight from the bottle. I love fried squid, like all good Rhode Islanders should, but when I see it's served with marinara sauce I usually pass -- when it's served with marinara it's also likely to be all rings (no tentacles), straight from the freezer.

                                                                                                                                If places could take the two minutes to buy some (still cheap) fresh squid, and whip up a remoulade, you'd have a much better dish.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                  Fresh, fried calamari has been served with a homemade marinara sauce in good Italian-American restaurants for as long as I can remember (and I'm 51 years old) here in the NY metro area.

                                                                                                                                  What's a remoulade? ;)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                    Sure, same in RI. I'm 51 too. But when you get dragged to a chain, you think you're getting (1) fresh squid or (2) homemade sauce? I know you know the answer to that!

                                                                                                                                    As for remoulade, I believe it might be the best condiment on the face of the earth. When were in NO last year, I consented to ordering fried squid at our first meal in town (at Harbor Seafood in Kenner, a real gem) because I knew it would be served with a homemade remoulade.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                      I'd actually prefer frozen if we aren't in a squid fishing area, as it can be better than 'fresh' that's travelled half way around the world. (I've gotten used to *really* fresh squid).

                                                                                                                                      But when it comes to remoulade or marinara, out of a jar just won't cut it.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                    You are so right. I never use the marinara sauce anywhere. I went to a place in Ithaca that served it with a remoulade and it was great.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                      Maxie's?

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                      After having the best fried calamari I had ever had served with a mae ploy sauce about 10 years ago, that's the only way I like it- but I've never liked it with marinara, so maybe I'm not the best judge. And it pretty much ruined me for fried calamari any place else, so I almost never eat it, other than when I make one of several yearly pilgrimages to the Surf Club in P-town or make it at home.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                        mm, RI style calamari with hot peppers. I miss that.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                        A few months ago, I ate at a restaurant which had a different take on fried calimari by serving just the tentacles. Maybe it's been done that way in a lot of other places, but it was the first time I'd seen it.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                                                                                          I see it a lot in Japanese izakayas, fried squid legs with kewpie mayo and hot mustard. I think they might actually be cuttlefish legs, but very very tasty nonetheless

                                                                                                                                          1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                                                                                            The tentacles are my favorite part! I first had fried calamari the summer after my freshman year in HS (I'm from a small town in SE CT.... and my parents are NOT seafood fans), and the plate was half tentacles, half rings. I think I ate ALL the tentacles on the plate. I have since been disappointed with almost all calamari I've had because of the lack of tentacles.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                            At least the Times gets it . . . . Here's another approach to squid, restauranteurs, please take notice: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/din...

                                                                                                                                          3. I'm kind of surprised that no one said sushi. I'm about done for a while.

                                                                                                                                            31 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                              Sushi served at a non-sushi restaurant, sure. But to close all sushi restaurants? I don't think that will or should happen.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                                Sushi that's not sushi - I agree. But good sushi and sashimi - don't ever take it away

                                                                                                                                                1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                                  And it's funny, I was going to write something and then saw your name. I'll refrain

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                    Don't refrain on my account. I've got thick skin. I'll agree that real sushi from real sushi restaurants is always going to be good. But sushi at every Chinese place in town, at every supermarket and every bar mitzvah, "fusion" sushi joints, Enough!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                                      I agree....every new place seems to be a "fusion" joint with sushi on the menu. One of the things I can't handle is that I live in an area with literally seven 10 Italian places and 12 pizzerias and for the most part they are all awful. It's depressing. In fact the best Italian food I've had in the last year was at a Spanish deli. I joke all the time with my friends, but I always ask, "why don't Italians know Italian food?" Just kidding of course, but around here it seems to be true.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                        That sounds just like my area, but with Mexican food. We have a huge Mexican population but EVERY "Mexican" restaurant here is Tex Mex- everything covered in sour cream, iceberg lettuce, cheddar cheese, and served in fried tortillas. I'm not dissing Tex-Mex as a style, but when done with poor quality ingredients and called "authentic Mexican" it's nothing short of a travesty. What's funny is that locals will rave about them and say things like "oh, you know it's good because real Mexicans work here!" Um, got news for you, in this country there are Mexicans working in about 95% of all restaurants...doesn't make the food any more authentic. The only place I'll frequent is deep in the Hispanic section of town that makes their own tortillas and does a killer version of Birria on the weekends, but you never see me at "La Casa de Fiestas Grandes!" (or whatever).

                                                                                                                                                        Bottom line, IMO, is money. They have a product that people will pay for...who cares if it's authentic or not.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: d8200

                                                                                                                                                          Funny...I always say "if you want good Italian food, make sure the cooks are Mexican." Pretty much backed up by every chef and restaurant owner I know too.

                                                                                                                                                          I never care who works at a place when it comes to authentic. I laugh when people say "american chinese" or "authentic mexican." It's whether or not the clientele is that nationality. I have a Chinese restaurant near me that is flooded with Chinese patrons. The food is great...americans...hate the place. I know a Mexican place where I see Mexicans eating and they tell me...minus the lettuce as a filler, it's just like home...Americans tell me it's not authentic. I never walk into a place with a preconceived notion...I think too many people expect something and therefore they get it. I've seen more good reviews of places that I know are awful....lots of reasons why people like places and it's rarely the food.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                            My boyfriend says the same thing. All the pizza joints have Mexican cooks around here.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                              I'd be suprised to find any restaurant that doesn't have Latino cooks. They're pretty much a mainstay in the food service industry.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                              If you want good Italian food, make sure the cooks aren't Greek. Because they'll put nutmeg in everything. Yuck.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                                                there was a pizza place near us growing up that was owned by Greeks, the pizza often tasted of cologne. i kid you not. no offense to other Greeks out there, but it has turned me off to Greeks cooking Italian food. Greek food however is amazing.

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: d8200

                                                                                                                                                              If you are talking about the Seattle area, the problem is that you are looking at 'restaurants', not taquerias or taco trucks.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                I live in Eastern WA, actually. And believe me, I know every taco truck and hole-in-the-wall taqueria around here. For a long time I was the only white guy to venture into "that" part of town, but I think word is slowly getting out about these places.

                                                                                                                                                            4. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                              Americans don't know real "Italian" food. For God's sake there are 20 provinces in Italy and each one has it's own cuisine! Which raises the question what IS real Italian food?
                                                                                                                                                              By the time it's translated to the American plate lots has been lost in translation.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: serafinadellarosa

                                                                                                                                                                Well, and pardon if someone else has already said it, but Italian-American cuisine is in its own category; it has a life of its own.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: serafinadellarosa

                                                                                                                                                                  Then please explain why every Italian grandmother makes food from their home country and its worse than the generic Italian-American restaurant slop? I would truly love to go to Italy one day and see what the hype is about...I know people who have gone and said you wouldn't even call it Italian food...which is funny

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                                    Jhopp217 that certainly hasn't been my experience. I lived in Italy from 2005 until just this past July. What we call Italian in the USA is Italian-American. which as another poster said is a category of its own these days as being popularized by Lidia and Mario. The Italian cucina baffles people because it is a paradox of apparent simplicity of ingredients and techniques yet mysterious subtleties.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: serafinadellarosa

                                                                                                                                                                      That was kind of my point. A friend of mine spent time in Italy recently basically living on a farm. Said the dishes were so ridiculously simple that it was hard to call it Italian food. Said they didn't have pasta once in the time they were there.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                                        It IS Italian food because it is food eaten by Italians in Italy. To compare it to what we Italian-Americans eat here in the US is like apples and oranges.

                                                                                                                                                                        It's odd that there was not one pasta dish in the whole week. I've been north to south in Italy and there is always pasta. Yes, risotto more often than not in the north, but there is still always pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                          maybe they ate a low-carb diet?

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                                          I stayed on a farm in Italy back in October. While the food was a bit simpler than Italian food in the US, there were certainly similarities. I ate pasta with tomato sauce, escarole, risotto, chicken saltimbocca, and even a parmigiana type dish made with zucchini (far less cheesy though).

                                                                                                                                                            5. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                                              The OP asked for "new" menu items.

                                                                                                                                                              Not sure sushi -- either traditional or fusion -- qualifies as "new".

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                Actually, OP is asking for a new thread about menu items that need to be retired as a replacement for a previous thread on the same subject.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                  Is lamb new?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                                                    They pop out new every year!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                                                      "Is lamb new?"

                                                                                                                                                                      No. It's in the Old testament. Someone was always barbecuing one on an altar somewhere to please God. Guess he/she is a lamb fan. :)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                        lmao! i LOVE lamb and don't see it on menus all that often.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                          lamb is extremely scarce as a menu item here. Outside of a couple of middle east/medeterranean restaurants I don't know where I would go if I wanted to be sure they served lamb.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                            There are some excellent Chinese lamb dishes

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                          My point exactly. It was in response to someone's post upthread from a few days ago suggesting lamb needed to be retired.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                                                            There's an excellent Chinese lamb restaurant near my office. Lamb hot-pot, stir fried lamb, grilled lamb skewers with cumin, lamb meat ball soup. Mmmm....

                                                                                                                                                                  2. the ubiquitous bruschetta. done.

                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                      +1 on bruschetta..... SO over it... tho, I will confess to being hopelessly in love with pan con tomate, but that's just when in Spain, so I think forgiven then:)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                        Ahhh laliz,

                                                                                                                                                                        I can live with it being taken off restaurant menus but I must keep it in the rotation at home during the summer! I love making tomato basil bruschetta when my tomatoes and basil are outta control.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mattkn

                                                                                                                                                                          Exactly. Bruschetta is another dish I see no point in ordering when we can make it at home with tomatoes fresh from the vine. No resto version is going to touch that.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                          Bruschetta has survived a stunningly long time, hasn't it?

                                                                                                                                                                          I remember someone bringing it to a gathering in 1993 or 94 when the L.A. Times Food section ran a recipe for this then-new foodie item ahead of the curve. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't bruschetta become popular around the time that heirloom tomatoes were beginning to come into fashion as well?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                            Exit bruschetta, enter flatbread...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                                              Oh I feel the reverse! I could live w/o flatbread! Same for cracker crust pizza...ick! I'm all for a nice thin crispy crust, but cracker crust is no bueno for me.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. Much as I love a good Caesar salad, or a fresh spring greens/feta/strawberry/walnut salad, or even the traditional Greek salad, I would love love love to see some new and interesting salads on the menus.
                                                                                                                                                                          Here's a dish that is limitless in the possibilities, and rarely does a restaurant step beyond the latest trend. At home, I throw in anything that looks interesting, and discover new flavor combinations all the time.
                                                                                                                                                                          When I go out for lunch, sometimes all I want is a salad. But I don't want the same salad I can get anywhere else. Please, chefs, give us memorable food. It doesn't need to be expensive, or rare, or precious. Just make it delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. chocolate lava cake
                                                                                                                                                                            chocolate lava cake
                                                                                                                                                                            chocolate lava cake

                                                                                                                                                                            kobe beef hot dogs

                                                                                                                                                                            chocolate lava cake

                                                                                                                                                                            chocolate lava cake

                                                                                                                                                                            28 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                              thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                +1. Anyone can make a chocolate lava cake, and almost everyone does, using a mix. Blech.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                                                  Double shudder: yesterday I saw a recipe for white chocolate lava cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                    There is chocolate lava cake in the freezer dessert section of the local Kroger; 'nuf said... bleh

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                                                    Mixes again. I wonder if the reason people use a mix is they think baking a cake from scratch is too difficult. Either that or they don't stock ingredients like baking powder, extracts, cocoa, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Lava cake does look good, but I doubt I'll pay for it anytime soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                      One advantage of a mix is that the manufacturer can fine tune the flour consistency, the leavening, and other conditioners and emulsifiers, so the baked cake is close to a 'cake method' cake, but with a 'muffin method' ease of mixing. In other words, to get fine crumb from scratch you need to cream the butter and sugar, etc, while with a mix you just add liquid to dry.

                                                                                                                                                                                      In another thread a poster in Spain complained that her chocolate chip cookies, made from scratch spread out too much, while ones made with a mix (and using the same butter and eggs) turned out fine. Various posters suggested changing the flour brand, to one with more gluten (or was it the other way around, with less?).

                                                                                                                                                                                      In sum a cook who has patience, experience, and the right ingredients can make a great cake (or cookies, biscuits, pie crust) from scratch. But many don't have all those of those requirements, and find that they get better, more consistent results, with a mix. The same thing applies to many of fads that this thread complains about. A skilled cook can make sweet potato fries, and tater tots from scratch, but if a chain wants consistent results, regardless of shift or location, they have to centralize the most of the preparation. Even a small independent restaurant can get more consistent results with mixes - bought or made a head of time.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The same could be said for writing this post. I do not need to be a skilled programmer to write this. Chow engineering has done most of the work for me. I'm just doing the final assembly of some words.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                        As much as I'm no longer a fan of cake mixes, I understand cake mixes have a huge advantage. Besides consistency, it's convenience and price. If someone were to bake from scratch, they'll have to spend about $20 buying items they don't normally stock at home.
                                                                                                                                                                                        And let's face it, most people are sugar fiends and just don't care as long as it's cake and it's sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Just like cake mixes, I can't go for microwave popcorn anymore - they taste like chemicals.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Some may call me a food snob, but I don't think that's the case. My preferences are different than some people's and that's just it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                          NB99, I think it's okay to be a food snob as long as you recognize it :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                          As for the boxed mixes, some of it is simply because half the population lacks the appropriate cooking skills and knowledge to bake a cake from scratch and the other half lacks the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Most packaged mixes, prepared foods, etc are convenience items...heavy emphasis on the convenience part. And we pay for that convenience dearly, monetarily, culturally, socially and with our health.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                            "If someone were to bake from scratch, they'll have to spend about $20 buying items they don't normally stock at home. "

                                                                                                                                                                                            ~~~~~~

                                                                                                                                                                                            eggs, butter and flour? even a complicated cake can be made from scratch for under $5.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                              I knew that $20 question would come up. Of course, the actual cost of a cake is well under $20, but a lot of people don't have staple ingredients at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, most have butter but not unsalted butter. A lot of time, it's some low-fat substitute. $5/lb
                                                                                                                                                                                              Vanilla extract - $6-8
                                                                                                                                                                                              Baking powder
                                                                                                                                                                                              Flour - we don't always have this.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Not everyone has unexpired staple baking ingredients. Some people will buy these when they move to a new home and it just sits in the back of the pantry gathering dust.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                                lol. i rarely have unsalted butter and nobody has died from my cakes. nor have i caused a flavor catastrophe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                flour???? i guess people don't have this... if they never ever bake or bread anything. ever.. ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Or they may have AP flour, but not cake flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll go out on a limb and assert that if a baker is happy using AP flour in their cakes, they might as well use mixes. One exception - if mixes are too sweet for their taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I use AP flour in most cakes. Nothing wrong with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I use AP flour in almost all cakes I make, too. The only time I've used cake flour is when making coconut layer cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      If I need to make other cakes that call for cake flour, I just do a blend of cornstarch and AP flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I use AP flour and salted butter in most of my cakes. I'll spring for cake flour for a special occasion, but for a weekend layer cake? No way. And my cakes are moist and fluffy and flavorful. And they don't have that weird chemical flavor or mouthfeel of a mix cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                        paulj, nothing wrong with AP flour in cakes. Oh, and there's a LOT more to object to in mixes besides the sweetness!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Or, paulj, if they object to chemical crap in their food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                                    How about the $100 stand mixer? Yes, a wacky cake can be made without a power mixer or strong right arm, but what about something approximating an angle food or genoise?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                      As long as it does not involve a gross box mix, mixing by foot is acceptable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "How about the $100 stand mixer?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Where can you buy a good stand mixer for $100? Please tell me!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was going to ask that, too. But maybe only snobs pay over $100 for a good stand mixer. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It does usually pay to be a "snob" - I paid more than 3 times that for my mixer. BTW, I use it almost daily and it is now more than 20 years old!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think the term "discriminating" or "value-oriented" might be better1

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sandylc, I am with you. Something like a good KA stand mixer has nothing to do with food snob (unless you bought it just to have it sit there), but is an essential tool in a good cooks arsenal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              At the "cost per use" and the length of time of service of a good piece of kitchen equipment like that, it is really pennies or less per use to have such an item. Not a splurge or an extravagance. Just a workhorse tool in your arsenal to make really GREAT FOOD, at home, for those you love:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The 'snob' comment was a joke from earlier. I also have a KA stand mixer and love it! That was really what started my baking obsession. I initially had a food processor that I thought would be good to mix dough, but I did not really like the sound of the dough slapping around in food processor. I know it's funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I saw a couple of youtube videos and decided the perfect stand mixer for me was the Pro 6. A little too big when I make smaller doughs, but perfect for all other things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've not had mine as long as you (just a couple years), but would have a hard time parting with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've had my KA for almost 18 years and I wouldn't bake without it. It still works just as well as it did the day I bought it...or so I like to think; it may be a little noisier these days but then so am I.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was just guessing. I have neither the budget or space for such a beast. The closest I come is a Braun Multimixer, of which I use the immersion blender more than the beaters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Any one tried a $15 cake mix?
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Is there a difference between cake pops and cake balls? This Wiki article implies there is
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cake_balls
                                                                                                                                                                                                              The ball being the crumbs and frosting mushed together, the pop being baked in that shape. Or is someone just picking nits?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll pick up the Williams-Sonoma cakes and quick breads when they go on clearance for $5 or less. They're way better than the grocery store mixes, but IMO, still not worth $15 when I've still got to add eggs and such.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Personally, I just buy my cakes. I fail at cake making, except for angel food cake. I can make a great pie, I can make soufflés, but not cakes. I'm a pretty good cook aside from cakes. I have no idea why I can't, but I've accepted this and moved on. I've screwed up cake so many times I think even making one from a mix would cause some trepidation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. lamb, sorry just done with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pitagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                      How can you be done with lamb? It is such a glorious meat, and it hardly qualifies as a new menu fad that needs to be retired. Boring, overpriced and thinly cur rack of lamb, perhaps, but not when done correctly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ocshooter

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I actually wish places had lamb burgers. My mother used to make them as an alternative to regular burgers almost once a month when I was a kid. Used to love them. Lamb is by far my favorite food and I rarely see it on menus other than in steakhouses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm with you on the lamburgers. Some Chinese restaurants do lamb quite well. The place I go to makes a fabulous Basil lamb with chunks of roasted garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ocshooter

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree. Lamb is also the best red meat in my opinion. Not sure why it's considered a trend, but I've always had lamb in restaurants/hotels since I was a child.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: pitagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                          How about instead of New Zealand spring lamb that has almost no flavor, they let the lamb actually age and become mutton? Almost impossible to find mutton except in butcher shops that can order it special. An aged mutton chop grilled to perfection is truly a revelation that more people need to experience. Even the mutton chops in most steakhouses is nothing but a baby lambchop. Totally different beast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is that really because mutton just isn't sold or has it been rebranded into vintage lamb or something? I am going to start paying better attention.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Technically, if it's younger than 1 year, it's lamb. It needs to be at least 2 years old to be called mutton. It's more costly to keep your sheep alive for two years than it is to slaughter it at 1. I'm thinking this is why the only lamb you see in the store is spring lamb. Some specialty butchers can order it, but it's really expensive. Not Kobe beef expensive, but still. But to me, it's like comparing veal to a well-aged steak. The flavor is totally different. And aging muttion intensifies that flavor further. It's gotten so bad, the Prince of Wales is trying to get people to eat more mutton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.muttonrenaissance.org.uk/

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                people can't eat mutton if it isn't in the shops. i live in boston and don't recall ever seeing it, even in halal butchers' who go through acres of lamb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That was monkey's point, right? But it does make me wonder about sheep used for wool production. Do they age out at some point and make good mutton candidates?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i'm wondering if sheep used for wool production maximization are different than those bred for food? do the former just wind up in the glue factory or in dog food?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, wool breeds are different and put more of their energy into forming a thick fleece than a heavy body. Meat breeds of sheep tend to have a coarse and brittle fleece.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In the UK, the flocks of breeding ewes still need shearing, but the fleece is so worthless it's often burned or buried as it's unsaleable. More recently there have been attempts to find a use for it - it makes a nitrogen rich compost and good insulation for houses. The organic veg-box company I use has begun using wool insulation in their coolboxes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Some of the older UK breeds of sheep are dual purpose but are not often eaten any more - except possibly by smallholders who can spend time experimenting - though they're still farmed in small quantities for Heritage breed wool for hobby knitters and spinners. They still tend to be small animals compared to modern meat breeds and - since I've never had the chance to taste any of them - I cannot tell you if the taste is better like it is with some heritage breeds of pig. I would be interested to know the answer there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know enough about US or European breeds of sheep to comment, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And the shops won't carry mutton if people don't ask for it. Sort of a vicious circle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I couldn't agree more about the disappearance of mutton from the American culinary landscape.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Seinfeld put the final nail in the mutton coffin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I do think mutton BBQ is still big in the Owensboro, KY, area. But that doesn't help if you're not in the Owensboro, KY, area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    True. I went on a quest to find a mutton leg to barbecue some time ago. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/696069

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will preface this with "I Love Mutton." I disagree though. I think most lamb lovers would prefer lamb over mutton. Mutton is definitely an acquired taste. The only lamb, not sure if it was NZ that had no flavor was overcooked. When simply seasoned with salt, pepper and rosemary and cooked rare/medium I've rarely had a bad chop. Home or out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Kimchi in non-Korean restaurants - it's firkin everywhere
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Panini's - They went away and starting in fall of 2011 everyone was doing them again. Even the greasy spoon diner finally bought a Panini press.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Street tacos - done well at a taqueria fine - but when everyone else is doing them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cheese plates that have ordinary cheese and stale crackers - really people
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Herb Ice creams (Basil, lemon thyme, rosemary, etc)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Homemade ketchup that is served with everything

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Soapbox - not food related

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lax or nonexistent dress codes for restaurant workers. High end restaurant - manager wearing torn jeans with grass stains, a wrinkled shirt and dirty sneakers, in another restaurant servers could wear whatever they wanted and some looked like they dressed for their second job working the street corner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                BTW to the OP bad crab cakes have been around for decades and will, unfortunately always be around (sigh)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                +1 for:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Braised Short Ribs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Truffle fries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Really fancy burgers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pickled everything

                                                                                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Cheese plates that have ordinary cheese and stale crackers - really people "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~~~~~~

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the cheeses coming out icebox cold. if you can't/won't temper it for service don't even bother.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My firm's holiday office party had a cheese and wine room that was the stuff of dreams. The first cheese I saw was Humboldt Fog, and it only got better from there. All room temp. It was cheese-gasmic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bobw, tho that's not a fad - that's proper cheese, properly served!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LOL I know! I just wanted to let everyone know about that fabulous cheese room. We also had Brillat-Savarin, among others... oh boy, was that fun. I think I was the only person there who had actually heard of most of those cheeses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I never order cheese plates in restos. They almost always look so dull.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Regarding cold cheese being served. Unfortunately that is health code. Some places risk getting caught and as such serve it properly. But many don't want to risk being featured on some local news shows "dirty dining" eposide because they lost 10 points off their score- not to mention having to throw away all the cheese. While I commend places that are willing to risk it I can't blame restaurants that don't. Generally if I want a cheese course I'll order it about 20 minutes before I want it and let it come up to temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RichardBreadcrumb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i have worked in fine dining all my adult life and so am well aware of health codes. in boston we have no shortage of places that do proper cheese service and we have some of the best cheese shops in the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        it's just outside the city where cheese and charcuterie show up icebox cold. awful. don't waste the labor or the money. 20 minutes isn't enough for this stuff to become remotely edible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        excellant point- that too, along with 34 degree white wine (shudder)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        RC,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah even the fast food restaurants are starting to do street tacos. I saw a commercial for Taco Bueno and maybe even Taco Bell, but don't quote me. Such a frickin shame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Panini in Italy was a revelation to me - I wouldn't have recognized it as in the same food category as the squashed sandwiches that get served in other countries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LOL - I agree - "Panini is one of the most abused words in the food world. It has come to mean a generic sandwich that’s been squashed together and burned to a crisp."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not to mention the word is abused.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Panini is the plural in Italian. Panino is the singular.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You know what I hate more than people saying "paninis"? People who say "panini's". How exactly are the sandwiches in question possessive?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. This is disappointing. When I saw the post title I thought it was going to be about specific dishes at specific restaurants that people think need to be ditched. Instead, it's about generalities. Yes, "pickles" are overdone, and yes, braised short ribs are overdone, and most places that serve these things do them terribly, but that says nothing about the things themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: brancron

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Actually, the restaurants doing braised short ribs in my area do them well. The problem is that EVERYONE is doing them and there is not longer anything special or noteworthy about them. They're now a very pedestrian entree around town. When something becomes that boring, it's time for them to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dining Diva, that is why we are saying to toss them on this thread, unless they are exceptional:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think if you go back up thread you'll see my first post in which I listed braised short ribs as a menu item that needs to go away. In fact, I may have been the first one to suggest it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Please reread Brancron's post in which he said "braised short ribs are over done...and most places do them badly". Most places in my geographical area do them, but they don't do them badly, they do them well. They are extremely tired and trite and need to be retired from the menu...which is what I said yesterday...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: brancron

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              with peeps posting from all over the world, i think such specificity would be a difficult feat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i've yet to have bad braised short ribs. perhaps my experience as a boston diner is different than that of somebody from topeka or manila? just sayin'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It doesn't even have to be people posting from around the world; just around the USA and Canada is enough. What has now become passe in Manhattan NY may just be reaching Manhattan KS. And what is boring and over done in trendy big city restaurants might never appear on the menus of suburban stripmall 'ethnic' shops.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's true. Here in Oklahoma City truffle fries have just begun to make an appearance with some regularity. And they still aren't overdone by any stretch of the imagination. Sweet potato fries have been around for awhile though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So true! I live in a small college town in the south. The "food writer" in our local paper published a piece about 2 weeks ago. The title was - "Cupcakes are making a comeback." I'm not making this up.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www2.wataugademocrat.com/Commu...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: phoophie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      yikes. I'm sorry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's okay, I guess that's why my co-workers think I'm some kind of sophisticated Yankee culinary genius and have to taste whatever I bring from home for lunch! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: phoophie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just read that article you posted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "No paper liners? Use flat-bottomed ice cream cones."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ???? How on earth is that remotely equivalent? Disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: speakhandsforme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I didn't understand the comment in the article about paper liners... because paper liners are in every supermarket and probably easier to find than flat-bottomed ice cream cones! Even in Watauga, NC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Weird, huh? The author runs a catering business down here - or used to, anyway. Last week's recipe was "heart-healthy mac and cheese." Using boxed macaroni and cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: speakhandsforme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm 51 years old and I can remember ice cream cone cupcakes since I was a kid. This is nothing new. Why all the outrage?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Sweet potato fries, in the past 5 months they appeared in all the restaurants accross montreal, and most seem to come from the same frozen food supplier! All of this for an extra charge on top of the regular side dish options

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: westaust

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good Call, tho I do love me sweet potato fries... hmmm. I think this is one more of those if done badly, get it in the can. If done well, homemade, someone is enlightened by the taste and makes them well. Well, then, they should get to serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    However:), not with garlic, and not as a poutine!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: westaust

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      +1 on the sweet potato fries. For some reason, I just can't stand them and they are on EVERY menu in town. I mean every menu from the chains to the higher end establishments. I would much rather have sweet potato casserole with pecan topping for a side...mmmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: westaust

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hate sweet potato fries and what is worse is sweet potato tator tots. the sweet potato consistency and texture doesn't lend well to tots. The out side gets crispy but the inside is just mush.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've always hated sweet potatoes, yet people can't seem to get enough of this stuff. Back in the 1990s, sweet potato chips were served at the trendier sandwich shops. Now with the fries, it's so much worse. Maybe if they knew how to fry regular potatoes in the first place, it wouldn't be so bad. Now, you just get a pile of sickly sweet grease. Hate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Macaroni and cheese. Yawn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ugh. lobster mac and cheese. travesty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This somewhat blew up when Top Chef came on the air. I remember someone made a truffle mac and cheese and the next thing you know it's on every menu around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Forgot that one since I have been complaining about it for years

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                disagree. I'll eat any type of mac and cheese at any time. my fave is with bacon and brussel sprouts. I usually make it myself, but the lobster mac and cheese at Capital Grille is TO DIE FOR.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: secondbecky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  M Symon did a mac-n-cheese ad for a Wisconsin cheese coop. The recipe calls for a quart of cream reduced, and a half pound of bacon (for 1 lb of mac),
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://eatwisconsincheese.com/recipes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Does it include directions to the nearest defibrillator?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Not so much a specific ITEM but a Menu Philosophy: Farm to Table

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I want a “farm to table” restaurant to REALLY be a farm to table restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You’re not Farm to Table if you’re serving tomatoes and mozzarella in February and you have sushi on the menu… (I’m looking at YOU Chris Scarduzio)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                28 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cgarner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I want my farm-to-table to be a table in the middle of a farm. I want to be read my meal's pedigree before it's stunned, slaughtered, and prepared before my eyes. I want its steaming entrails wrested from it's still twitching cavity, cleaned, rinsed, and stuffed full of forcemeat. I want to see it grilled over artisinal charcoal made in-house by the Keebler Elves. And I want it washed down with ale, wine, and mead brewed in back by a team of brewmasters who only use yeasts grown in the nextdoor neighbor's yard. Is that too much to ask?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm with you, monkey!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ha!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: cgarner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tomatoes in February? I picked some today off the vines lingering from last year, but I'm in California (also found 6 strawberries hiding under some weeds - we've had a weird winter!), so depending on where the farm is it is possible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      However, if you want me to believe you're doing farm-to-table meats I want to see some non-standard cuts and other items.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As for sushi - well, I've had catfish and hushpuppies at a place in Alabama where they caught the fish off the back porch, so I suppose locally-harvested sushi is possible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now what I want to see less of is Meyer lemon anything. They got big because Alice Waters used them - because they're the citrus that grows in the Bay Area and produces like there's no tomorrow, but I'll take a good Lisbon lemon any day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tardigrade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tomatoes are in season down here right now. (and Florida largely keeps the good stuff, just like they do the winter strawberries) It's the tomatoes in summer down here that are out of season, overpriced, and terrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think that locally we're starting to see way too much gumbo on the menus. Okay, I get that Cajun/Creole is one of the three big influences on the local food scene, but so many places do it so badly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: beachmouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          beachmouse and tartidgrade; you cali and FL residents make the rest of us CH'ers jealous! Wish I had tomatoes in February from my yard, and that we had a Meyer Lemon craze going on. Not possible up North.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Consider yourselves an exception, and those exeptions I would not complain about! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm with you gingershelley especially about the Meyer Lemons... I covet them, and order when I can from a small orchard out in California

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cgarner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              While I do like regular lemons, I have been lucky enough for the last year to have found bags of 7-8 meyer lemons on sale at a local Albertsons for $3.99 a bag. I have been using them almost exclusively as they are thinner skinned, juicy and just lovely to work with.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hope they don't discontinue them anytime soon. Have only seen them at my closest store, and not in others in the area. Lucky I guess!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ok, CA-complainer here: I have 2 stuffed-full grocery store bags of homegrown Meyer lemons, and I can't think what to do with 'em all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Color me green with envy. I'd make lots of jars of preserved lemons. I love them and they make nice gifts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ah, Pine time... would that I was you! Beg or borrow a juicer, for starters for 1/2 a bag. Zest before juicing. You can freeze both juice and zest in snack ziplocks and/or some juice in ice cube trays. All kinds of uses. Lemon curd comes up first; ginger-rum-lemonade cocktails second in my mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For another 1/2 a bag, or more; make preserved lemons. If you have not made or used, they will be a revelation! For tagines, chicken sautees, stir frys with asperagus and pork (really!). Use search for morrocan recipes and you can find my simple recipe. Takes about 20 minutes plus waiting time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Another 1/2 bag would go into a 3-4-5 fruit marmelade if I was you. Orange, Meyer lemon, Tangerine, Grapefruit all cooked into a magical winter potion for english muffins with cream cheese, a dabbing sauce for a roasted chicken breast, or a topping for warm crepes with a little Grand Marnier!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The rest, probably can get rid of fresh. Wish I was you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the ideas, gingershelley. Had planned to do a marathon zesting/juicing/freezing this afternoon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Received a recipe just yesterday for preserved lemons, so will give those a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      About lemon curd: can it be frozen? Not sure what the consistency would be, given the egg yolks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      About marmelade: last year, I combined bunches of the lemons with my hot peppers for a delicious jam. May go that route with a slew of these.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        have read on here that curds can be frozen successfully. mine never lasts long enough to worry about that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Glad to help:) That marmelade with hot peppers sounds delish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            make yourself some meyer lemon limoncello... take JUST the zest, plunk it in a jar with a bottle of vodka, let it sit for two weeks, agitate it every day.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            pour it off and cut it with simple syrup to your liking. bottle it and allow that to age for another week. it's pure heaven!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We did a major pruning on our old unimproved Meyer lemon tree last winter (which just scares it into producing more, I think), and after making lemoncello, Indian lemon pickles, preserved lemons and freezing juice for summer lemonade we ended up putting about two bushels of lemons out on the sidewalk with a bunch of plastic bags and a sign reading "free lemons". All except one lone lemon were gone by the next day. We do live in a neighborhood with several apartment buildings, so there are at least some people who don't have their own trees!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tardigrade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wish I lived in your neighborhood!! haha Nobody does that in my neighborhood, even though the house next door has a huuuuge garden! Booo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: cgarner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree. There is a brewpub near me that uses the "farm to table" label to jack up the prices on their food - $8 for a small cheese panini and some house made potato chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Really got a laugh the day they were doing coffee and stout drinks made with coffee from a local roaster and one of the employees shows up with a tray of Starbucks drinks for the staff. BTW, the Starbucks is further from the brewpub than the local coffee roaster...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cgarner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And while we're at it, a related concept, "nose to tail." At no time, in a restaurant that uses that term, have I seen noses or tails on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not even oxtail? Everyone seems to be doing that these days, it's the new shortribs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: d8200

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ok, perhaps I was too hasty. Yes to the oxtail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes to oxtail, I think it is stil 'an up and comer' on the, ahem, nose-to-tail list... forgive me all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can we find another term? Whole Hog? Porcine Completeness? Beefy Everything? Endless Lamb?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fergus Henderson's book 'The Whole Beat, Nose to tail eating' 2004 does not list the nose in the index. But it does have crispy pig's tails and pig's cheek and tongue. And earlier book is Unmentionable Cuisine that has recipes on nearly every part that people have, for one reason or other, turned their nose up at.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fergus is indeed an expert and a chef to look to for those 'little bits and parts' that most western home cooks with a few generations between their imigrant roots and today tend to overlook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just today, I was at the 'Hung Long' asian store near me and found pig intestines, tripe, pigs ears, snouts and tail. And fabulous piles of cut beef marrow bones for .79 cents a pound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I at least see a great beef stock for Pho in my future, and perhaps, some stewed tripe.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Working backward on the time machine to family roots is very rewarding, delicious, and inexpensive!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: d8200

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's so funny about oxtail. I'm African and oxtail is nothing new. It used to be so hard to find except if you go to African/Asian markets. Now a lot more grocery stores carry it and sometimes the prices are ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of the ultimate cheat meals - make a pot of delicious soup with as many oxtail as you can fit in the pot - add other meats, of course. Stockfish - oh yea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Spend all afternoon having an oxtail feast - beer is a good accompaniment. Don't cry when your skinny jeans don't fit the next day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oxtail has a long history in the states. It did fall out of popularity in recent decades, but has been slowly coming back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pig tail is on a cambridge, ma menu and plenty of places make head cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "And while we're at it, a related concept, "nose to tail." At no time, in a restaurant that uses that term, have I seen noses or tails on the menu."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Did they offer a headcheese, brawn or some such item? That would include a pig's snout, no doubt. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. Cooking with "lime air." It's the new "foam." Still sucks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I predict a lot of repeats from the 2007 thread: beef short ribs, cupcakes, tapas, aoli on everything, "sliders" that aren't burgers (chicken breast, kung pao shrimp, seared ahi tuna). Five years later and this stuff still won't die. See you in 2017!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Thought of some others:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kobe Beef Burgers that aren't Kobe Beef - it's beef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Anything from anyplace not named TGIF that comes with a Jack Daniel's Sauce - copy a chain?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wraps in a restaurant - why not just go to a deli
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Whatever those Dunkin Donuts flatbreads are supposed to be - inedible
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Starbucks coffee - yum burnt coffee, blech

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Sick of sweet potatoes fries, sp mashed, sp chips, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            bad tiramisu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A "nugget" anything
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lamb "pop" chops
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ....and just because bacon is good! IT SHOULD NOT BE IN donuts, cakes, or ice cream!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pork Belly, (my southern grandmother used to call it "streak-o-lean, streak-o-fat") and it was damned cheap!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lastly, flavored corn-on-the-cob, ! No rolling in the herbs, chiles, lime, whatever just
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            S&P, butter, please

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kpaumer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              it would never occur to me to eat corn on the cob in a restaurant. lol. just like whole artichokes. so messy and impolite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kpaumer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Corn on the cob flavoured with chillies and lime is hardly a trend, though: there are many places in the world where that's how it's typically eaten.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm curious: what qualifies as a bad tiramisu? I've only ever had homemade (by an Italian friend's mother, and it's great), so I genuinely want to know how people / restaurants screw it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: vorpal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TIramisu is shockingly easy to screw up. Too sweet, too soupy, too dry, no discernible espresso flavor, served half frozen, swimming in chocolate syrup, made with fake whipped cream instead of mascarpone/egg yolks, etc. The variations are endless!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is the ultimate in a screwed-up tiramisu. The author is a former colleague of mine who is a real chowhound, and a great writer too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://fourcourses.blogspot.com/2010/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: kpaumer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bacon everything is so overdone. Yet it won't die, because of the whole geeking over "bacon is god" mentality that everyone sees fit to perpetuate. Why??? It's just a strip of fatty pork. Give me some salmon or beef liver over bacon any day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Halcyonwing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    HAHA @ "bacon is god". We get it, it's fatty and salty and, in most cases, tastes good. But I agree with you... this 'let's bow down to King Bacon' mentality has to stop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My latest dessert - a cupcake topped with some ganache (that's another one) frosting sprinkled with bits of salty crispy bacon with the oh-so-intricate application of gold dust with a salted caramel on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But that won't work... no truffle oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Halcyonwing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.mcphee.com/shop/products/B...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Halcyonwing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i've been served terrible salmon far more often than terrible bacon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Amen to that. Ad a lot of that terrible salmon (generally artificially colored and tasteless farm raised) winds up on dinner plates on the east coast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh heck yes the bad , farm raised salmon, where even after they add color its still really pale and not even close to the color of wild salmon. makes u wonder what it looked like BEFORE they added the colored.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              it looked just like farm-raised tilapia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                so just kind of gray/white? cuz when u look at good, wild caught salmon, the color is just so amazing! and that sad, pastel peach color added stuff doesnt even have that much color naturally! weak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.edwardtufte.com/files/salm...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I scrolled through and didn't see anyone mention the Beet & Goat Cheese salad yet? I admit, it's a tasty combo but the mega-chain restaurants are gonna get a hold of, and ruin, that item any day now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: d8200

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh no! That is one of my favourite meals ever - I want it to always be "in".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: d8200

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I still adore that salad and make it at home quite a lot, especially in the summer when our CSA share includes tiny golden beets that you barely need to cook, BUT I would never order it in a chain restaurant. Bottled vinaigrette and canned beets, blech!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            yea i always thought i HATED beets purely because of nasty, canned beets. then i had them roasted in the salad u guys are talking about, and they are pretty dang good. like not even the same vegetable. canned beets make me want to huck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              well, no worse than canned peas or green beans.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is not fair to think an item should not be made when the problem is it is being made badly. By that standard you could never eat hamburgers or steaks or fruit salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: magiesmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ??? not sure ur point. except that yes, canned peas and green beans are nasty. but not getting the "you could never eat hamburgers or steaks or fruit salad." ive never seen canned hamburgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Her point is that anything can be prepared poorly, and you shouldn't blame the ingredient for the results of poor preparation. You can take a great piece of steak and make shoe leather out of it, but that doesn't mean you should conclude that steak is bad food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yea, that was kind of the point of my reply. duh. i wasnt "blaming the ingredient"....i never concluded that beets were "bad food". i was a child when i had them canned and only had them fresh maybe, 10 years ago. I JUST SAID they are good when they arent in a can. i didnt really need what i wrote explained back to me. thanks though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: d8200

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Was waiting for the Beet salad to appear here... Hee haa, d8200 you are right!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Although I think the beet is a wonderful, underloved veggie - and I do like me a good beet salad, crappy canned beets + meh salad is not a wonderful thing, and it SURE is overdone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rule of thumb; if it is on Ruby Tuesdays, TGIFdy's, or Applebee's menu, it's time has come that it is OVER.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tho viva a home roasted beet. luvluvluv u!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So you are surfing the food trends! It's exciting (and status enhancing?) when you catch the trend as it is rising, but once it reaches the masses it is time to seek out the next big wave. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think Paulj, that I would ever find it status-enhancing to be 'on-trend', but since I do alot of research about food, resto's (menu's), etc. for writing and teaching, you kind of get up on what people are doing across the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am mostly tired of when the lower-common-denominator jumps on a bandwagon just because it is 'in', and then turns out a mediocre item just because some guest at an establisment heard about it on the Food Network, or some such thing. Bleh! to that....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                All will be lost when pork belly is on the menu at Applebee's....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That will be scary - fatty, rubbery pieces of mystery meat in some sickeningly-sweet sauce served with cornbread. But no worries, if it's ordered on valentine's day, you get a free lava cake to share with her sweetie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yum...Can I get a pile of wet iceberg lettuce with a glop of hydrogenated msg-laced goo with that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Baked potatoes with 684 toppings piled in. Yuck! Ban it! Ban it now!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Congress, are you listening??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I don't feel it should be retired, but what's the deal with every single restaurant in the Bay Area serving chocolate pot de creme for dessert?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. "Artisanal interpretations of junk/fast food" served as cutting-edge restaurant fare. I've had enough of various burgers, fries, buffalo wings and the like made of local organic ingredients. I don't care if they are. Some of them are solid entrees, but far from inventive, delicious - or healthy (for people who seem to think they are eating better).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Halcyonwing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree completely with the fries and most places have a hard enough time making good buffalo wings, let alone other flavors, but I will say that a friend's place used to have a burger on his menu that was stuffed with chorizo. It was amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Halcyonwing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kobe beef sliders have given way to Kobe beef sloppy joes. Still holding out on Kobe beef Hamburger Helper and Seared Ahi Tuna Helper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/a...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Halcyonwing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good one. I had an appetizer at an upscale joint that was essentially 3 large tater tots on a plate. They were good but when I considered the cost was equal to about 3 bags of Ore Ida, I had a hard time enjoying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        that's just wrong on so many levels...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (it's an afront to tater tots is what it is!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tater tots is exactly what I was going to post. I actually love the little guys, but the quality of the ones I get frozen from TJ's is as good as the ones I get in my local gastropub. The endless variety of both good and . . . interesting . . . dipping sauces is fun, but I'll keep my nostalgic taters in ketchup or ranch sauce, thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I might have said that until I had the Loaded tater tots at Hogshead Cafe in Richmond. So good. And even us as a hungry family of 4 (ok, 3 eaters and one observer, lol) have at best managed to finish half the order, they are plentiful, and they taste good the next day as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A decent next day tater tot, is indeed, something to write home about. Properly next-day good or hangover food good? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Dulce de leche! Never liked it--too sweet--now it's in desserts everywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good call! Way too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, no! I love that stuff. I would mainline it, if I could. But, it has to be the really good stuff. I have it at Argentinian steakhouses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: CookieLee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              CL, just go to any good well stocked Latin market, and you can buy jars of it for your own house. All it is is properly reduced sweetened condensed milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But, that said, I like it SO MUCH! Prefer usually carmel sauces - as they have that deeper, toasty, melted sugar thing going on. But Dulche has it's place, for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. foam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Creamed spinach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1+ Either a waste of cream or a waste of spinach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: therealdoctorlew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll respectfully disagree. When done right, it's delightful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree. It's one of my favorite ways to eat spinach.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But it _can_ be pretty dreadful if not made properly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This may be dreadful but -- with the Philly garlic cooking cream it's really quite trashily amazing. And makes a good sauce base for a pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tea smoked items everywhere

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Retired Chef, that sounds like a great NEW trend to me? Where do you live that you are finding tea-smoked anything on common menus? I want to visit and eat there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm in DC and I'm starting to notice a few upscale places offering tea smoked items (usually duck or fish). I'm inclined to believe this is yet another LA/NYC trend that's taking its time migrating out into the provinces, like appletinis and violent street crime.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, dear. I am getting old. The tea smoking is going around again already? I have seen too many trends go around twice. I guess if it turns into 3 times I will really worry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sandylc, I agree... kind of the 'it's so old it's new again?". Sigh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kind of like fashion trying to bring back neon bright colors this spring (big in mid-80's!). Do I really want to buy a pair of lime green skinny jeans?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lime green skinny jeans!!! Go for it! Who's stopping you???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My daughter loves her lime green skinny jeans. She loves lime green anything... but she is 11. Yikes her birthday is in 2 weeks. I must now go on a lime green rampage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The nearest metro area to me is Spokane, it's a culinary wasteland but three of the best restaurants in Spokane/CDA all have tea-smoked items on it. I also saw it in San Diego, Los Angeles and Hawaii, all at non-Asian restaurants in the past 90 days. One of my sons lives in Pittsburgh and says their local Mediterranean restaurant has added a tea-smoked entree after featuring many tea smoked appetizers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am not putting down the technique but just like my comment before this about street tacos, it seems all sorts of non-Asian restaurants are beginning to do it because it's a 'new / in' trend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow, RC, I am so close to you; in SEA, and haven't come across one tea-smoked anything on menus here, from upscale resto's to gastropub to neighborhood joint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Interesting....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Arugula. Surely it's time to move on to some other green.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cliocooks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nooooooooooo!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cliocooks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Why should a green be treated as a fad?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Agreed. I love arugula.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Arugula seems to be the new wedge salad or grilled chicken caesar. I keep expecting to see it on the McDonalds menu. It's gotten to the point that the trendier restaurants are calling the stuff "rocket" so they can charge an extra couple bucks. I don't mind the stuff myself, but my wife hates it. If a mixed green salad comes with arugula, she'll pick it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I never order mixed green salads because so many places use the premixed stuff (shall we asd mesclun sald to the "gotta go" list?) and there's something in there the past year or two that I can't tolerate. And I can't figure out what it is; everything I think I've got it I get an unfortunate surprise of a bite. Grrrrr!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When it says arugula, I know I'm good to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i've been over mesclun for a long time...but if these places that list "mescaline" greens on their menu actually served what they claimed, i wouldn't be opposed ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BTW, 9 times out of ten when i get a bad bite of mesclun mix, radicchio is to blame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Arugula a fad? It's been around for quite a while now and i think it is here to stay. To me it's a go-to green, as is romaine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure it's here to stay,but it would be nice to see some variety. It seems to be every restaurant's "go-to-green," and has been for some time now. Time to offer some other choices!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I agree get rid of the dang cupcake places. Can't find a decent pie or bakery with donuts within 50 miles of my house, but there are 6 cupcake places, oh, and a gluten free bakery. I can make cupcakes easily. I can make delicious cupcakes easily. Pie is a different matter, and different still is donuts, since I don't have a deep fryer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hate these cupcake places, I hate them I hate them I hate them. Three bucks for a cupcake? Not going to happen. I feel bad enough when I spent like 1.50 for them at Whole Foods (which unfortunately doesn't have decent pie - the crust is always mushy with the pies at our Whole Foods)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love Sliders though because so many burgers have just gotten way to freaking big. Burgerworks here in Richmond for example, the Kid's sliders are a perfect meal for me. Not that I don't love eating their full sized burgers if I am really hungry and saved room all day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Meanwhile, bacon should never be bashed, only encouraged, unless it is making an appearance in inopportune places like Kosher or Halal foods, vegetarian foods, etc What should be bashed is what the Canadians have so callously done to bacon. That crime against Baconhood should not be allowed to stand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            However let me add one thing to the list that must be banished - Shrimp with Lobster Sauce. Bad, even at Peter Chang's I discovered this last week at a group lunch as dishes were passed around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What have Canadians done to bacon?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Canadians don't call it "Canadian Bacon". We call it either back bacon or peameal bacon. The Canadian moniker is an American idea. Don't blame us :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you order bacon in Canada you will receive strips of streaky smoked pork, just like what is served in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Edit: I meant to respond to PenskeFan :)