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Grievances: Sabering, Upsells, Instagramming, and More

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2014_shitshow_week1.222jpgTo close out Shitshow Week 2014, here are the final 10 grievances from they city's top food writers. What follows is a list of complaints about the dining world, with no names or affiliations attached. (And catch the first 40 here):

41) It may be the ultimate upsell — your drink is almost gone and the waiter leans over, and in a silky voice whispers, "Can I get you another?" As he does, he clasps your shoulder reassuringly, or perhaps briefly caresses your back with the tips of his fingers, as if he were your father or boyfriend. Really, your waiter or waitress has no business touching you, not even if you're a repeat customer. Intimate contact is crossing the line, and yet, in a third of the places I've been lately, the staff has touched or even delivered a mini-massage, sometimes several times in the course of a meal. It's a cynical touch, with the intention of squeezing more money out of you come tip time. And it engenders an involuntarily shiver. Waitstaff: Keep your hands to yourself!

42) It takes too damn long to get a drink in this city. And you will wait longer for a regular, old-school mixed drink in Brooklyn than you will in Manhattan. These cool kid bartenders need to learn how to hustle.

43) A world in which an $18 plate of solid but hardly breathtaking pasta is praised as "cheap."

44) Chefs, stop water-marking your images on Instagram. The self-regard is staggering.

45) My pet peeve: downstairs bathrooms. The dining room upstairs can be sunny and bright, but when you ask for the facilities, the staff points you to a dark staircase in a corner of the room. Who knows what waits for your downstairs? Weird off-smells, for sure, and sometimes a glimpse of parts of the restaurant you might not want to see, with sketchy buckets filled with who-knows-what and foul-looking spills. The lighting will be bad, the bathroom door distant and obscure. And I can't help thinking Freddie Kruger is waiting for me in one of the shadows, and my half-eaten meal in the distant upstairs may be my last.

46) Sabering wine bottles, Instagramming rare finds and over-tweeting happenings from industry-subsidized wine vacations are the most recent and egregious examples of the obnoxiousness of somms in NYC. You aren't producers, you're salespeople. It's not a magical elixir of mystery, and even when it's great, you're still just opening the bottle.

47) Let's brainstorm some Vice: Munchies story ideas! "The Most Fucked Up Sandwich We've Ever Had" "The Most Fucked Up a Sandwich Has Ever Gotten Us" "Andy Ricker Made A Fucked Up Sandwich Just to Fuck With Us" "Fuckwich!"

48) St. Germain., Chrissy Teigen, the success of the Dover guys, manufactured Twitter debates (CAKE V PIE; PEACH V NECTARINE), out-of-box potato chip flavors, "toothsome" pasta that is simply undercooked, sloppily-shucked oysters...

49) Dear food writer: Please think twice about Instagramming or Tweeting that hyperbolic sentence or emoji or series of explanation points for the meal that was just 100% comped. If the meal was OMFG good, cool. Save the sentiment for the second visit, when you return and are paying because it is OMFG good and you will want to return very soon. Right? And if it's a series of smiley faces from friends and family, you can go fuck yourself.

50) Ramen reporting. Consider the soba noodle.

BONUS GRIEVANCE: When servers only ask if you want still or sparkling water. Please don't make me feel like an asshole because I want tap.

BONUS GRIEVANCE TWO: When you go in groups of 3 (arbitrary number) and the appetizer has only two pieces and the restaurant doesn't offer to give you an extra third piece. Happy to pay a little bit more to avoid attempting to awkwardly cut everything into thirds.

· All Coverage of Shitshow Week [~ENY~]

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