Something we hope you dig about this food section is that, at times, we aren't afraid to stir the pot. Our writers are encouraged to speak their minds on subjects as controversial as cilantro (which, in a bold stance, our social media editor thinks is garbage) or deep-dish pizza (which everyone knows is garbage). From meat redolent of nuclear nacho cheese to cranky baristas, here are eight stories flavored aggressively with controversy. We hope these piss you off a little. We hope some even make you hungry.
Meatball Salad: An American Tragedy
"Meatballs and salad should be like oil and water, warm and cold, night and day. They should be two parts of the universe whose basic physical properties are inconsistent. They should be, and are, distantly separate entities that cannot be combined unless by unnatural effort. And yet, there I stood waiting for a meatball salad." Chris Malloy
Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza Is Vastly Overrated
"But deep-dish lovers, what’s the big deal? It’s redundant. It’s pizza on steroids. It’s pizza that seems like it works out not to be healthy but to rub its cheesy muscles in thin crust’s face. It is the savory equivalent of the seven-layer cake (fighting words?)." Amy Young
Cilantro Is Disgusting and Needs to Go Away Forever
"My issue with cilantro is that overpowers the rest of the dish. I will honestly forget I am eating real food anytime I can taste its soapiness. Listen, I don’t want to taste a bubble bath in my dinner. And if I did, I'd rather not pay for it at a restaurant, thanks." Dillon Rosenblatt
5 Things Restaurants Need to Stop Doing Right Now
"Don't reservation shame me. Stop pretending that if I come in without a reservation that I have broken a holy sacrament or offended the hostess in some way, and then make me wait for 20 minutes while they go and check that yes, the dining room is 75 percent empty, but it will take the next 18 minutes for the hostess to hang around in the kitchen, pretending to figure out how to fit me and my hungry, cranky grandma in." Laurie Notaro
5 Things Vegan Diners Are Sick Of
"Chill with the jackfruit already. Over the past few months, I’ve been subjected to jackfruit fries, jackfruit tortas, jackfruit ramen, jackfruit bao, and one truly bizarre jackfruit calzone. It’s like every trendy-casual restaurant in town formed a cabal with Big Jackfruit and made a covert agreement that their sole vegan menu option would feature an obscure southeast Asian fruit that briefly had a moment in 2016." Antonia Noori Farzan
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5 Things Restaurants Need to Start Doing Right Now
"That’s right, I’m talking beard nets, hell yes! If the guy who cuts my American cheese in the Safeway deli has to wear a face net, so do servers. The last thing I want to see in my boneless chicken wings is a 3-inch-long pubic face hair, which is even worse than one from the greasy scalp." Laurie Notaro
Grumpy Baristas Are Sending Me Straight to Dutch Bros.
"I go out for coffee a lot. I have always loved hanging out in coffee shops, watching people, shooting the shit, and pretending to get work done. When the coffee is extra good, it’s such a bonus. One of my besties and I frequent Phoenix coffee shops together for serious gab sessions two to three times a week. Over the last few months, we’ve noticed a trend in some of the baristas at a few of our favorite indie shops — that being that they’ve become real fucking grouchy." Amy Young
8 Things Your Server Wants You to Quit Doing Right Now
"I’ve been serving you drinks and food, and attending to you all night. For about 10 years. They’ve been the best years, mingling with patrons and reveling in how pleased they are with the menu and service – most of the time. Professionalism is expected on my part, and I deliver. Now how about we discuss guest etiquette? Here are eight things I'd rather you never do again." Jasmine Senaveratna