As per tradition, Eater asked a group of restaurant journalists, bloggers, and friends of the site to weigh in on the year in food. Right now, let’s get whiny and find out what irritated those experts.
The question: What was your biggest dining grievance of 2018?
Regan Stephens, Philadelphia magazine managing editor and Food & Wine contributor: I’m sure this has been said before, but it’s so grating when you sit down at a restaurant and the server immediately asks if you’ve “dined with us before” and then explains how to … eat at a restaurant. The whole exchange is exhausting and needs to die.
Alex Tewfik, food editor at Philadelphia magazine: *Clears throat for 100 years* Wine prices.
Adam Erace, freelance writer and co-author of the upcoming Laurel cookbook: I haven’t eaten here, and I’m sure the food is very good, but as someone who was born and raised in South Philly — who remembers when that was not a cool thing, when people would look down at you for that — I instinctively bristle at Giuseppe & Son’s commodification of South Philly. Good for the Terminis, I hope they make boatloads of money there. I’ll stick to Mr. Joe’s. I also can’t ever get out of my head that Michael Schulson said to a reporter on the record that he cooks food “for the hot chicks.”
Joy Manning, editor of Edible Philly: Nearly every aspect of the food and restaurant world has been contaminated and degraded by Instagram. Menu items are sometimes created to look good on an Instagram feed. Never mind what they taste like. Once upon a time, new restaurants were described as “chef-driven.” The past year or two, many splashy new openings seem “interior designer-driven.” The photos look good, but often the food is not worth eating.
Kae Lani Kennedy, food and travel editor for USA Today 10Best: The fate of Sidecar has been a huge disappointment. After being bought and sold twice, it’s sad to say that Graduate Hospital has lost a great neighborhood gastropub. The quality of the restaurant has declined. I miss their infamous burgers off the menu and their reasonably priced happy hour nachos.