Every year and every era is subject to fads that seem to pop up out of nowhere and--eventually--fizzle into memory. In the 80s, for instance, there was a short-lived Ethiopian food craze.
This is true in every aspect of life (some of us remember 1977 as the year of tube socks)--and not every trend is a bad one. It was a great idea when restaurants started putting Jimmy's sausage on everything. We hope they keep it up.
But here are a few fads--from the past year and the closing decade--we'd like to see fade.
Trends of 2009 we'd like to see die:
1. Lamb lollipops
Sure, they're cute--for meat on a stick. But you see them (or variations) on so many menus these days. And some of us don't want "cute" when we're gnawing on bone and gristle.
2. No reservations
Just about every restaurant that opened in 2009 did so with a stated 'no reservations' policy. Of course, we understand the advantages. However, hour-plus waits for a table in some popular spots wastes time and tests patience.
3. Use of the word "sliders"
Nothing wrong with small sandwiches. But the etymology of the word should be cause for consternation, seeing as it conjures graphic images of bowels in distress.
Trends of the 2000s we'd like to see die:
1. $10-plus cocktails
There are occasions when these make sense--say, if you're mixing a Louis Trey sidecar rimmed with gold flakes. But martinis and margaritas, no way.
2. Fancy mac & cheese
Yes, it appears to be on the way out. But you can still find far too many gussied versions, boosting the price of what is essentially basic fare. That being said, we'll admit that some of these are pretty good.
3. Bad French fries
Few restaurants over the past decade cared about the two-stage process that leads to beautiful fries--golden, crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Few patrons cared, either.
Other options came close to making the short list, including the use of reality television gimmicks to define celebrity chef status. One trend that did mostly die and we're kind of happy about it: hard door clubs. It's fine to have a couple. There was a point early in the decade, however, where it seemed as if they'd soon be everywhere.
By the way, we're going to be doing a lot of this over the remaining work days of 2009.
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