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Jul 4, 2012 10:17 AM

Menu items that have "jumped the shark" in DC

It seems that there are a growing number of ubiquitous menu items in DC, and I am starting to look for restaurants that stay away from trends and gimmicks (I earlier proclaimed - and then shortly retracted because it was hard to do - "no more going to restaurants that have beet salad on the menu!"). Here are some items that I am sick of seeing (even though I generally like said items, I feel like restaurants just have them because they are trendy):

Pork belly (this jumped the shark before I even moved here a yr and a half ago - in CA atleast)

Beet salad


Can you add to the list?

Also, please mention places that offer non-trendy or gimmicky fare (but still good).

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  1. I see alot of tuna tartar and/or seared rare tuna steak on salad on menus around DC.

    1. Sliders of almost any form - the bun:meat ration is just never that good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: reiflame

        sliders, yes.

        cheese p -I still find tuna or really anything seasoned and served raw, appealing but it does seem like everyone has Tartare or Carpaccio in some form

      2. Beet salad is a good thing, but I'd like to see it without the ubiquitous goat cheese. As if beets can't be eaten without it.

        As I mentioned in the Green Pig Bistro thread, I had a tomato salad that was wonderful. What other places are offering a tomato salad, because quite frankly I have never seen much of it on DC area menus even in the middle of summer.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          Last week we had a great Caprese and a cous cous tomato salad at Dino. The latter had chopped tomatoes, some sort of pickled onion, cucumbers & radish. The beet salad had a cheese on it, but not goat. The grilled vegetable plate had grilled broccoli, zucchini, onions, sugar snap peas, garlicky string bean looking things. The squash blossoms were stuffed with ricotta and came on a puddle of tomato sauce. Was easy to be a vegetarian that night!

          1. re: Steve

            Willow has a great heirloom tomato salad that is only on the menu in the summer when tomatoes are in season.

          2. Hard for me to jump on board because I like all of these:

            - fish cooked on a Cedar Plank

            - grilled cheese sandwich

            - chicken pot pie

            7 Replies
            1. re: GraydonCarter

              chicken and waffles - every new spot is jumping on this bandwagon
              shrimp and grits-
              pork belly - which is a really inexpensive cut of meat
              Kobe burgers - Kobe way too expensive to be made it a burger

              1. re: agarnett100

                Any beef you get in the States isn't really Kobe anyway. The best it can be is "Kobe style".

                1. re: agarnett100

                  I am not sure the hate on pork belly. I mean it is just a cut of meat. If its well done, then it can be fabulous. Too often its just poorly cooked and the fat is too much the only feature of the meat. But when cooked properly, with a goodly amount of fat rendered, it can be amazing.

                  But I do agree that some chefs are just adding belly to add belly. I don't really want pork belly in my Bloody Mary or in my dessert. I had a vanilla bean braised pork belly that would have been so much better if it hadn't been vanilla bean braised, but just braised braised.

                  On the other hand, the pork belly dish at Golden Bangkok's Lao menu was amazing in recipe, but the pork itself was nothing special. Bar Pillar and Cafe St. Ex have had great pork belly dishes in the past but we haven't been back since the remodels. Dino has pork belly with brussel sprouts where the belly is firm and crispy and luscious.

                  Pork belly is one dish where commercial pork just won't do. You need pork that has been raised properly. We got some belly from Truck Patch at Mt Pleasant Farmer's Market and it was the best we have ever had. Groff's Content too. Eco Friendly Foods is another.

                  1. re: wineo1957

                    FYI-the pork belly I purchased for $3 bucks from the Latin market in Laurel works just as good

                    1. re: agarnett100

                      We will have to disagree, I used to swear by the belly from H-Mart till I tried Truck Patch.

                      1. re: agarnett100

                        I agree with agarnett100 completely. I grabbed 4 pounds of belly from a local farm at one of the Arlington farmers market last week at $7.99 a pound to give the locally raised stuff a whirl.

                        There was absolutely not discernible difference between it and any other pork belly except, for the black pig belly that I get from Super Hmart wich is much . . . . much better.

                    2. re: agarnett100

                      I think the chicken and waffles obsession is that almost every restraunt has chicken on the menu as a concession to picky eaters but fried chicken is more fun than roasted.

                  2. Not a type of food but a presentation--the ubiquitous "small plates." I am rarely in the mood to share my food.