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Sietsema's Catalog of Culinary Crimes

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2013_culinary_crimes_sietsema.jpgWhile they may seem to be the exclusive province of bad restaurants, crimes against gastronomy can appear anywhere, even in otherwise good establishments. All it takes is a moment of wavering or lapsed taste and – POW! – a severe infraction is committed, awful enough that it lands the restaurant in this hapless collection.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Spring Pea Guacamole at ABC Cocina

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Proving that even the most august of chefs can falter, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ground-floor establishment in ABC Carpet has a supposedly Mexican menu, some of which reads like the inventions on a Top Chef episode. Putting fresh peas, raw sunflower seeds, and extraneous green matter on the top of your guacamole is an affront to one of the world's most perfect dishes. Jean-Georges: For Escoffier's sake, and for the sake of all your food-obsessed countrymen, fix the damn thing!

Pizza Dosa at Chennai Flavours

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Like guacamole, the masala dosa is one of the most perfect foods ever made, a crepe of adventitiously fermented raw-rice and raw-lentil batter stuffed with spicy spuds. But take that same wrapper, fill it with bottled spaghetti sauce and refrigerator-case, already-grated "mozzarella" cheese, and you have culinary disaster.

Purple Drank [sic] at Sweet Chick

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People often complain that the crappier, flashier, and sweeter mixed drinks taste like soda pop, but what if the mixed drink qualifies as actual soda pop? That's the case with the so-called Purple Drank at chicken-and-waffle specialist Sweet Chick. This fizzy cocktail is made with intensely purple Concord grape juice. The flavor (and color, too) is repulsive – and the juniper-tasting gin doesn't help either.

Muesli Croissant at Breads Bakery

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While the creators of this misbegotten pastry might have thought they had another Cronut on their hands, this baked good filled with the Swiss breakfast food called muesli and paved with seeds that get stuck in your teeth tastes like something you'd hang from a tree to feed birds.

Deli Ramen at Dassara

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Ramen with Jewish deli leanings doesn't sound like a great idea: in this case utilizing Montreal-style smoked meat that might as well be pastrami and frustratingly small matzo balls in a broth that's salty and greasy – and not in a good way. This dish has since been 86'ed from the menu, but it may rear its ugly head again at any time!

Lamb Philly Cheesesteak at Sunrise Mart

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Rivers Cuomo may have sung, "Cheese tastes so good/On a burnt piece of lamb," (in Weezer's "Dope Nose"), but really, it doesn't, and this little contraption calls into question whether lamb and cheese should ever be in close proximity. Those raw chopped green peppers are not doing this Japanese-grocery-store sandwich any good, either.

Brisket Mac and Cheese at Fatty Cue at the Barclay Center

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The barbecued brisket is almost all sauce, and the mac and cheese nothing special, and when you put them together it makes something much, much worse than the sum of its parts.

Curry Wurst at Currywurst Bros. (RIP)

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Deploying the blandest and slenderest bratwursts and franks, depositing them in a ketchup boat and sprinkling raw curry powder over the top may be post-WWII nostalgia for some Germans, but for the rest of us the combo leaves a gritty and cloyingly sweet taste in the mouth. The empty premises – with the Currywurst signage still up – is a monument to bad culinary ideas everywhere.

Roll And Go

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The gluey brown sauce comes from a bottle, the meat component is unidentifiable, and the crust has seen better days. The only thing worse than Roll and Go's teriyaki slice would be an entire teriyaki pie.

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Spring Pea Guacamole at ABC Cocina

Proving that even the most august of chefs can falter, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ground-floor establishment in ABC Carpet has a supposedly Mexican menu, some of which reads like the inventions on a Top Chef episode. Putting fresh peas, raw sunflower seeds, and extraneous green matter on the top of your guacamole is an affront to one of the world's most perfect dishes. Jean-Georges: For Escoffier's sake, and for the sake of all your food-obsessed countrymen, fix the damn thing!

Pizza Dosa at Chennai Flavours

Like guacamole, the masala dosa is one of the most perfect foods ever made, a crepe of adventitiously fermented raw-rice and raw-lentil batter stuffed with spicy spuds. But take that same wrapper, fill it with bottled spaghetti sauce and refrigerator-case, already-grated "mozzarella" cheese, and you have culinary disaster.

Purple Drank [sic] at Sweet Chick

People often complain that the crappier, flashier, and sweeter mixed drinks taste like soda pop, but what if the mixed drink qualifies as actual soda pop? That's the case with the so-called Purple Drank at chicken-and-waffle specialist Sweet Chick. This fizzy cocktail is made with intensely purple Concord grape juice. The flavor (and color, too) is repulsive – and the juniper-tasting gin doesn't help either.

Muesli Croissant at Breads Bakery

While the creators of this misbegotten pastry might have thought they had another Cronut on their hands, this baked good filled with the Swiss breakfast food called muesli and paved with seeds that get stuck in your teeth tastes like something you'd hang from a tree to feed birds.

Deli Ramen at Dassara

Ramen with Jewish deli leanings doesn't sound like a great idea: in this case utilizing Montreal-style smoked meat that might as well be pastrami and frustratingly small matzo balls in a broth that's salty and greasy – and not in a good way. This dish has since been 86'ed from the menu, but it may rear its ugly head again at any time!

Lamb Philly Cheesesteak at Sunrise Mart

Rivers Cuomo may have sung, "Cheese tastes so good/On a burnt piece of lamb," (in Weezer's "Dope Nose"), but really, it doesn't, and this little contraption calls into question whether lamb and cheese should ever be in close proximity. Those raw chopped green peppers are not doing this Japanese-grocery-store sandwich any good, either.

Brisket Mac and Cheese at Fatty Cue at the Barclay Center

The barbecued brisket is almost all sauce, and the mac and cheese nothing special, and when you put them together it makes something much, much worse than the sum of its parts.

Curry Wurst at Currywurst Bros. (RIP)

Deploying the blandest and slenderest bratwursts and franks, depositing them in a ketchup boat and sprinkling raw curry powder over the top may be post-WWII nostalgia for some Germans, but for the rest of us the combo leaves a gritty and cloyingly sweet taste in the mouth. The empty premises – with the Currywurst signage still up – is a monument to bad culinary ideas everywhere.

Roll And Go

The gluey brown sauce comes from a bottle, the meat component is unidentifiable, and the crust has seen better days. The only thing worse than Roll and Go's teriyaki slice would be an entire teriyaki pie.

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