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Washington's Professional Eaters Share Their Dining Grievances

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What got under their skin?

Mural at Ben's Chili Bowl
Mural at Ben's Chili Bowl
Jennifer W/Yelp

As per tradition, Eater asked a group of journalists, bloggers and friends of the site to weigh in on the year in food. Here, experts share their dining grievances this year.

Nevin Martell, freelance food writer: Ben's Chili Bowl still won't take down their mural of serial rapist Bill Cosby. It's a true blight on this city.

Laura Hayes, freelance food writer/Thrillist DC: Braggadocios menu claims like handcrafted and housemade. When diners walk through the doors of a restaurant, isn't there a contract that chefs are cooking, not defrosting? By adding those terms they make us wary of what's really happening.

Svetlana Legetic, Brightest Young Things founder: I am a little over the overbuzzed transplant restaurant situation. Focus on overbuzzed.

Holley Simmons, Express: The news that Zenebech Injera will be closing to make way for more development. Some of the finest Ethiopian food in the city.

Bill DeBaun, DC Beer:
Concepts. For fuck's sake no more "concepts." Just deliver high quality, unpretentious fare without having to explain to me the intention of how I should interact with your restaurant's menu, please.

Rebecca Cooper, Washington Business Journal: Lines/excessive waits.

Alicia Mazzara, DCist: I'm pretty ambivalent about what I'll call "medium-sized plates", in which the menu is a hodge podge of things that are too small to be an entree and too large to be a mezze-size serving. I find myself constantly asking the waitstaff if I'm ordering too much or too little food. Small plates are already such a grievance for so many people, so I can't even imagine how this is going to go if it takes off.

Carole Sugarman, outgoing Bethesda Magazine critic: Style over substance

Eun Yang, NBC 4: Lack of good sushi spots.

Tom Sietsema, Washington Post critic: Waiters who continue to say, "Everything is meant to be shared and the food will come out as it's ready."

Warren Rojas, Roll Call: Ain't nobody got time for rock-hard frozen butter.

Tommy McFly, 94.7 Fresh FM: Crack Pie. I don't get it.

Jessica Sidman, Washington City Paper: I hate when servers tell you, unsolicited, how much food you should order. This happens a lot at small plates restaurants in particular, and they often recommend way more than any normal person would reasonably eat. Earlier this year, I went to Provision No. 14 with three other people and ordered a burger and the suckling pig leg platter to share. Our server quipped, "Oh, that's not very much food" and suggested we order several more small plates. We stuck to our order and only finished half of it because it was too much food.

Rina Rapuano, freelance food writer/Zagat: Sky-high prices and uncomfortable seating.

Stefanie Gans, Northern Virginia Magazine critic: I'm ready for the faux-Southern trend to be over and I'd love to see more vegetable-centric and thoughtful vegetarian options. Also, why does Mike Isabella block journalists from his Twitter feed?

Cori Sue Morris and Stephanie Covello, Bitches Who Brunch: We still don't have enough sushi spots, places for a great slice of pizza, or fast casual spots.


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