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The Most Annoying D.C. Food Trends of 2018, According to the Experts

Local food writers share their grievances

A foie gras cake pop from Bresca.

Following an Eater tradition, we asked a group of restaurant critics, journalists, bloggers, and friends of the site to weigh in on the year in food. Their answers to the annual “Year in Eater” survey will be revealed in several posts this week.

Next up, the experts share their biggest dining grievance of the year.

Laura Hayes, Washington City Paper food editor: I’m over chefs trying to prove that they are both edgy and ritzy at the same time by making foie gras their plaything. Do we need foie gras cake pops, foie gras tacos, foie gras and waffles, foie gras parfaits? If you feel compelled to serve the luxurious liver, make it the star. You owe the goose (or duck) that much.

Tim Carman, Washington Post food writer: Many disagreed with me, but I hated losing Taylor Gourmet this year. The sandwich chain’s sudden demise underscored the irrational exuberance of the fast-casual movement and its bottomless appetite for expansion. Now we’re seeing the same thing happening with food halls. Anytime a dying mall or a commercial landlord has a large space to rent, they all immediately seem to think the same thing: “Food Hall!” Food halls have plenty going for them — variety, generally affordable prices, casual atmosphere — but they also tend to be crowded and, with some exceptions, of middling quality. Plus, how many food hall poke shops does one region need?

Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian food editor: I continue to be irked by restaurants that give a table of four one drink menu to share. Can we please all have our own menus? Yes, this was also my biggest grievance last year, but nothing has changed.

Lori Gardner, Been There, Eaten That blogger: I keep hoping for more interesting dining options in Bethesda. So many restaurants, but so few that are truly enticing. Thankfully, things are looking up in Silver Spring and Rockville.

Nevin Martell, food writer and co-author of Red Truck Bakery Cookbook: Small plates with bigger prices than they deserved. And cheap white cloth napkins that left a snowscape of fuzz on anything they touched.

Tom Sietsema, Washington Post food critic: It’s a toss-up between “Any dietary restrictions?” as part of every server’s welcome and the price to park at the Wharf.

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