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Detroit's Restaurant Experts Share Their Biggest Dining Grievances of 2015

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Dorothy Hernandez, Seoung Lee, Serena Maria Daniels, and more reveal the restaurant trends and practices they broke up with this year.

Eater.com/Greg Morabito

As is tradition at Eater, we close out the year by surveying local food writers and our own staff on various restaurant-related topics, and we'll be publishing their responses throughout the week. Readers, feel free to share your thoughts below. Next question: What's your biggest dining grievance of 2015?

Serena Maria Daniels, Dining Editor, Metro Times:

Overall, I would say the level of service needs to keep up with demand. With so many new restaurants popping up in Detroit, customers are going to start to expect an elevated level of service. Gone are the days when a waiter can give mediocre service and expect for guests to respond positively. Servers are going to have to step up their game if they care to compete in this growing scene.

Aaron Foley, Author/Editor, BLAC Detroit Magazine:

How do I say this without sounding like a jerk ... is it just me, or do most of the new restaurants have the same menu? The food is good, don't get me wrong. But I feel like I've seen variations of kimchi, mac and cheese, chicken and waffles, kale salad and octopus in every new place. Someone do a Venn diagram and tell me if I'm wrong.

Seoung Lee, Blogger, Chow Down Detroit:

Charging extra for condiments. If a restaurant charges me an extra $.50 or a $1 for spicy garlic aioli for my fries, I probably won't go back. Not because I can't afford it but because I hate restaurants that nickel and dime their customers for little things.

Victoria Trudeau, Eater Contributor:

Inconsistency. It's been so frustrating to have one great meal at a new restaurant, followed by a mediocre one at that same restaurant on my next trip, and this happened to me more times in 2015 than I'd like to admit.

Melody Baetens, Co-Owner of Small's Bar and Features Reporter, Detroit News:

When servers say incessantly "you guys" or ask "how are those first couple bites tasting?" Also, people wearing flip-flops and sandals at fine dining restaurants.

Brenna Houck, Editor, Eater Detroit:

I've eaten lots of delicious things this year, but many of the new menus seem to mirror those of other new restaurants in the city. I appreciate high-quality ingredients, but also want to be able to visit more than once. It's difficult when meals get too expensive and similar. I'm hoping 2016 will be a year for more variety in quality food at prices that people can afford on an average week night. It's a challenge, but I'm already starting to see it happen slowly.

Dorothy Hernandez, Co-Owner of Sarap Filipino Pop-Up and Managing Editor, Hour Detroit:

Restaurants with a no reservations policy.

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