As a Shitshow Week special, Eater asked some of New York's best food writers to anonymously share their gripes and frustrations about the restaurant scene these days. What follows is a list of complaints, with no names or affiliations attached. Part 1 of the Airing of Grievances ran yesterday, and because we had so many responses, Part 3 will run tomorrow. Here's what people are complaining about right now:
27) Frat boy culture among a certain group of festival-going chefs. It's cliquish and off-putting and, frankly, boring.
28) Don't call your restaurant an "American Public House." That doesn't mean anything.
29) The Altamarea Group. I would like for Michael White to stop thinking about his big 20 year plan and start focusing on his two minute plan. Like, what's it going to take for him to stop opening these restaurants where I can go exactly two minutes before I start to feel like I'm just there to drop off a pile of cash.
30) Eater Commenters. Hey there, you six miserable trolls. 2007 called.
31) Restaurants that rush you through dinner and then realize they don't need the table back for another 30 minutes so they try to milk you for a extra round of drinks. Now we're friends?
[A recent Cronut line. Photo: @andybcampbell]
32) Food writers who don't love Cronuts. Goddamnit, I don't care if you get behind the Cronut or the idea of the Cronut. If you can't do either, you're taking yourselves too seriously. Learn to stop worrying and love the Cronut.
33) I super hate when an app or something comes as three pieces, and you're a party of four, and the kitchen won't add another fucking deviled egg. Charge me for it! That's totally fine! Don't make me do the math of cutting your stupid deviled eggs into four two-thirds portions because you won't add another piece to the plate.
34) If one more server puts down a plate, then proceeds to ask me a mere few seconds later, "How are you enjoying that?" "How am I enjoying that?! I haven't even had the chance to take a bite, so I'll have to get back to you."
35) Cocktails should never have more than four or five components. If you are making something with three liquors, two mixers and a fruit garnish, you may as well just give me a Long Island Ice Tea.
36) Why is it so hard to get any variety in draft beer choices? There has been an explosion of great microbrews in this region and country, and yet every bar and restaurant seems to offer the same eight breweries.
37) I don't care what farm my steak came from.
38) Don't make your small plates with odd numbers, because restaurants are loathe to give out tables for parties of three and five, and four people don't want to figure out how to share three meatballs.
38) Your bar should be available for single people who want to eat without needing to deal with the hostess.
39) Why is food so sweet these days? You don't need to put a caramel sauce or a sorghum drizzle or a honey glaze on everything.
40) I hate the garbage restaurants that Top Chef contestants open. Some are good (see Talde, Qui, Izard). But Top Chef is just an incredible pox on the industry, giving total hacks access to capital to inflect their terrible food on idiot fans.
41) Why, oh why, must every new restaurant that opens lately be an acoustical nightmare? Are chefs intentionally trying to rub out all dinner table conversation, so we focus on nothing else but our plates? I'm seriously considering inventing restaurant earplugs or bringing my own soundproofing to the table.
42) Please don't take my drink away when there are still a few sips left. It only makes me look like a lush when I plead with the server to kindly leave it on the table. For god's sake, save me my dignity and just leave it on the table until it's empty.
[Photo: Daniel Krieger]
43) DJ Dieselboy and Action Bronson. Food writers are obsessed with them because they are musicians that like food, but you know what? Every person on this planet likes food. Karlie Kloss, too.
45) I don't know if it's my imagination, but small plates seem to be getting smaller and smaller. Perhaps they should rename them snack plates.
46) It would be too easy to denounce Cronuts and ramen burgers on their own, even if ramen burgers are evil incarnate and the Cronut is the Elephant Man of the food world: an exceptional work of mad genius that's been exploited into freakish spectacle. On a larger scale, I think we may have reached peak hype. When the Cronut line is longer than the unemployment line, it's time to reassess our values.
[Marilyn Hagerty with John Delucie]
47) I hate, hate, hate that Marilyn Hagerty is being held up (by Bourdain, no less!) as an example of some sort of fly-over country authenticity. It's condescending. I hate that the conversation around this is either fall in line or you're a grandma-hater.