Each new year brings hope that the latest restaurant trends will not be the culinary equivalent of a Zhu-Zhu pet. But thanks to marketing speak and some poor ingredient-combination choices, we're often left with a furry bite that would make grown children cry.
What follows is a list of the five restaurant and food trends that will hopefully expire at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve because they shouldn't have been introduced in the first place.
5. KFC's Double Down. At first, it seemed like a joke. And then it was as serious as a heart attack. But the fact that you can order a fried chicken sandwich where the chicken is the bread and the meat is bacon and cheese is simply foul (pun mostly intended). Let it go, Indiana. Let it go.
4. Predictions that the burger is dead. We're never going to stop eating burgers. Each year it seems like more burger chains couldn't appear and then suddenly Smashburger, BRGR, Five Guys and Foster's Grille all open and find hungry eaters. America doesn't run on Dunkin', we run on beef.
3. The focus on calories. Can we agree that eating out is typically unhealthy and prodigious use of butter, salt and fat is why we eat out? Calories on menu boards are just a reminder of our general lack of willpower. And having a proper diet is more complex than counting calories. Although if calorie posting leads to the elimination of the Double Down, consider my position reversed.
2. Six-cheese anything. I get it. We have discovered a mythical mine that produces a new, brilliant form of cheese that allows us to break the convention of a four or five-cheese pizza. But frankly, I'm just no longer satisfied with merely six cheeses. Take a cue from my razor. More cheese is more innovation. Bring on the seventh cheese. It's nearly 2011, people.
1. Retire the word "artisan." Artisan used to mean something delicious; a well-crafted cocktail or bread made from scratch. Now it means a lumpy egg sandwich or mass-produced tortilla chips. Artisan is the new "natural." It no longer signifies anything.