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Detroit Restaurant Experts Air Their Biggest Dining Grievances of 2019

Restaurants that don’t take cash were just one complaint in the food world this year

A stock photo of a woman’s red fingernailed hand holding up a megaphone as she prepares to stage a protest or demonstration to air her grievances.
It’s tradition.
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

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 publishing their responses throughout the week. Next up: Local food writers share their opinions about the trends and experiences that they would like to leave behind in 2019 AKA the annual airing of restaurant grievances. Readers, feel free to share your thoughts below.

Melody Baetens, Restaurant Critic, The Detroit News:

Casual restaurants that don’t take cash.

Brenna Houck, Editor, Eater Detroit:

I’m going to sound like a Great British Baking Show judge here, but places that rely on style so much they forget substance. If the restaurant is gorgeous, but the menu isn’t well thought out and the staff aren’t trained, people may take their money elsewhere. There’s a lot more restaurant options then there used to be.

On a lighter note, I’d like to express my deep concern at the number of whole heads of cauliflower I witnessed on menus this year. I like cauliflower (cooked into things, stewed, seasoned — all great), but you’re dreaming if you believe a hunk of cauliflower is going to trick people into thinking you considered the experience of your vegetarian and vegan guests.

Mark Kurlyandchik, Restaurant Critic, Detroit Free Press:

I’m getting pretty fed up with overly loud restaurants. I don’t mind music and energy, but if I have to spend dinner losing my voice, I may rethink my next reservation. Thankfully this seems to be happening less and less, as restaurateurs are seemingly once again paying extra attention to acoustics.

Dorothy Hernandez, Managing Editor, Model D:

Longtime restaurants i.e. Russell Street Deli being forced to close. Thanks, New Detroit! Also inconsistency in service and food. Sometimes you’ll go to a restaurant and it’s amazing and then come back and it’s the worst. And restaurants that don’t post menus.

John Reyes, Ann Arbor Contributor, Eater Detroit:

I’m open to eating more plant-based food, but PLEASE come up with something that isn’t trying to mimic something meat-based already.

All Year in Eater Coverage [ED]