Tag Archives: rants

When Good Restaurants Go Bad

December 3, 2013 | By Adam Roberts | 14 Comments

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The first sign was the asparagus. It’s December here in New York and on the breakfast menu at Untitled at the Whitney, a Danny Meyer restaurant which we frequent whenever we’re in the city, there’s an asparagus omelette. “Asparagus in December?” I asked and then Tweeted something about it, prompting a sarcastic response from the very funny Twitter personage BoobsRadley: “Outraged!” Ok, ok, maybe it’s not something to be outraged about, but it is a sign that something’s a little off, especially when a restaurant’s proprietor is at the helm of such season-oriented restaurants as Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe.

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Dear Ina

May 29, 2013 | By Adam Roberts | 24 Comments

Last night I had a nightmare that you invited a bunch of food bloggers to your house to hang out and swap cookies and that you didn’t invite me. Imagine the horror! But then I woke up and started reading Deb’s latest blog post and life screeched to a halt: you DID invite a bunch of food bloggers to your house to hang out and swap cookies! And you didn’t invite me!

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Food Crimes: Soft on Soft Sandwiches

April 22, 2013 | By Adam Roberts | 25 Comments

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Turkey and cheese is a sandwich staple for many people in this universe except I’m not one of those people. That’s because the idea of biting into soft turkey while also biting down on soft cheese totally skeeves me out. Soft on soft is absolutely the worst offense a sandwich maker can commit next to using mayonnaise but that’s a totally different conversation so let’s not get sidetracked. Let’s talk about the sandwich you see above.

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Salad on the Same Plate as Dinner

February 13, 2013 | By Adam Roberts | 57 Comments

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There are three kinds of people in this world: people who eat salad before dinner, people who eat salad after dinner (aka: the French) and the strangest group of all, people who eat salad on the same plate as dinner.

I grew up in a “salad before dinner” family. On those rare occasions when we’d eat at home, mom would toss together some iceberg lettuce, sliced red onion, and cucumbers with Seven Seasons red wine vinaigrette and serve it up in white bowls. There was a ritual to all this, a sense of structure that echoed the structure we’d find when we went out to dinner. The Olive Garden did it this way. So did T.G.I. Friday’s.

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Down With Communal Tables!

September 18, 2012 | By Adam Roberts | 2 Comments

[Image via I'm Only Here For The Food]

At long last, after weeks of waiting, we’re going to that great restaurant everyone’s been talking up. We’ve pinched pennies, we’ve cleared calendars, we’ve read the reviews online and the menu and strategized endlessly about how and what we’ll order. Only: this place doesn’t take reservations, so we’re showing up early and hoping for the best. Here comes the hostess now, she says she can seat us right away. We follow her past tiny tables, where pitying eyes peer at us over elongated menus, to an extended piece of wood surrounded by chairs and covered with half-finished plates and half-sipped glasses of wine that all reverberate with the noise of countless voices chattering at high speed. This, we soon learn, is the dreaded communal table and before we can express our willingness to wait for a two-top or a four-top or any top that’s not a communal-top, the hostess drops the menus and flees.

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Stop It With The Small Plates! (Except Where They Work)

April 25, 2012 | By Adam Roberts | 2 Comments

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Dear Restaurant Owners,

The jig is up! Do you think I’m a chump? Do you think I don’t see through you and your small plate menus?

You’re trying to get me to spend more money than I want to! Instead of offering up an individual-sized appetizer for $12 to $15 and an entree in the $20 to $30 range, you’re asking me and my tablemates to each order several $12 to $15 dishes—at several restaurants, recently, we were instructed to order “six to seven” of these small plates per person. It’s been years since I got a 1 on my A.P. Calculus exam, but I’m pretty sure that adds up to at least $80 a pop before drinks, dessert, tax and tip. Why don’t you just put a pistol to our heads and demand that we empty our wallets on the table before allowing us to see a menu?

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Sneakily Expensive Drinks

April 11, 2012 | By Adam Roberts | 0 Comments

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It happens to all of us at one point or another; we order a drink without looking at the price and then find ourselves startled when the bill arrives.

That happened to me TWICE last week. The first time I was at Franklin & Company, a cute restaurant near our apartment that serves sandwiches and salads and a smoked chicken dish that comes with smashed potatoes and cauliflower. That dish, which I ordered, has a wine suggestion underneath it–a Pinot Noir–and so I told the waiter I’d do the dish with the pairing. No price was listed. When the bill came, that glass of Pinot Noir was $17. (The dish itself was $18.)

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Pulp, There It Is

January 23, 2008 | By Adam Roberts | 41 Comments

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Does anyone else think it’s strange when you buy orange juice now you’re given a choice between lots of pulp, some pulp and no pulp?

Normally I’m an orange juice snob, coming from Florida as I do, and in Florida when you get fresh-squeezed orange juice you just know it has pulp. Oranges have pulp and therefore the juice has pulp.

But when you buy a factory packaged O.J. like Tropicana, as I do now and again when I’m sick or when I’m getting a bagel, I’m flummoxed with pulp choices. Do I want some pulp or lots of pulp? I certainly don’t want no pulp though I know there are people who hate pulp and I’m sure I’ll hear from them in the comments.

I just want the proper amount of pulp for the amount of orange juice I’m about to drink. How much pulp came out when you squeezed those oranges, Tropicana? Lots or some? Well put that amount in the container and I’ll drink it. You know since it’s 100% pure and natural I figure the amount of pulp should be pure and natural too.

What’s next, choose the tint of the orange juice color? The viscosity, the acidity? I’ll take what comes out of the orange and leave those choices to Mother Nature not Mother Industry, thank you.