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Detroit’s Restaurant Experts Share Their Biggest Dining Grievances of 2016

The trends food writers would like to toss out in the new year

Organic Garden At San Francisco City Hall Promotes Slow Food Movement
Can we move on from kale yet?
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As is tradition at Eater, we closed out the year by surveying local food writers and our own staff on various restaurant-related topics, and we've been publishing their responses throughout the past week. Readers, feel free to share your thoughts below. Next question: What 2016 food/dining trend are you totally sick of?

Aaron Foley, Editor, BLAC Magazine:

If I can be honest, I still feel like a lot of menus at the new places are looking the same. And I feel like a lot of interiors are looking the same — the supply of succulents, denim aprons and reclaimed wood must be running low in the city at this point. A lot of places are starting to become interchangeable in look, feel and taste.

Serena Maria Daniels, Dining Editor, Metro Times:

Bad chain restaurant food.

Dorothy Hernandez, Managing Editor, Hour Detroit (co-owner of Sarap Detroit):

Small plates. I love sharing food as much as the next person but I have a big appetite and sometimes don’t want to pay $50 for two bites of food or share those two bites of food. Also things that are already gluten-free being marketed as gluten-free. Oh that rice is gluten-free, you say? Bye.

Melody Baetens, Features Reporter and Bar/Restaurant Columnist, Detroit News:

Popular restaurants that don’t accept reservations.

John Reyes, Ann Arbor Contributor, Eater Detroit:

Brussels sprouts. I know the trend died down elsewhere, but we’re a little slow here in the Midwest.

Lexi Trimpe, Food Writer, Freelance/Hour Detroit:

Two words: Small plates. I’m a woman with an appetite — give me something of substance!

Kat Rembacki, Editor, Core Detroit:

Are we done with kale yet? I just can’t get on board with kale.

Mark Kurlyandchik, Restaurant Critic, Detroit Free Press:

I'm certainly not alone in this, but I think "farm-to-table" has become a trite descriptor. It's almost 2017. If you want to be a serious restaurant and you aren't focusing on sourcing the freshest and best ingredients, you don't have the right to call yourself a serious restaurant. Impeccable sourcing should be a given — not something you need to call out.

(Note: By "serious," I mean those places that are trying to push the needle and elevate the dining scene in Detroit. Of course, not every foodservice establishment is going to be able to afford ethically and sustainably raised meat and produce. Figuring out the economics of how to do THAT is the next step in transforming our food system.)

I'm also sick of restaurants serving appetizers or dishes meant for sharing in servings of three. How often do people dine out in parties of three?

Seoung Lee, Social Media Influencer, Chow Down Detroit:

Pretentiousness

Nick Britsky, Cocktail Expert, Freelance:

I love charcuterie with all my heart and would eat it every day. But don’t bring me a plate of salami and sausages you bought pre-made from your wholesaler. Show me your chefs version of whatever is in his/her skill set. There are so many brilliant minds out there making exceptional products, hire one of them. Don’t give me your Gordon Food Service ham slice.

Brenna Houck, Editor, Eater Detroit:

Some of the new restaurant designs fall into so many of the same trends, from the Edison bulbs to the reclaimed wood and the metal stools that readers are constantly complaining about. Maybe it’s cost reasons. I’m not exactly sure what’s driving this trend but it would be cool to see Detroit restaurants branching out from this pattern and making a statement not just with their food but with the look of the space.

All Year in Eater Coverage [ED]

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