Ten Dishes We'd Like to See 86'ed | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


Ten Dishes We'd Like to See 86'ed

There's something to be said for knowing when to quit. 

Although longevity and persistence have their place, in time that thing or person who refuses to give it up (Larry King), gracefully fade away (Bret Farve), or drown himself in his bathtub (Glenn Beck) start to become goddamned annoying. 

Like a house guest who just won't leave, some dishes have long overstayed their welcome and should be banished, at least for awhile, to give both diners and the poor cooks who have to make them dozens of times a day, every week, every year, a well-earned break. To quote the great Dan Hicks: "How can I miss you if you won't go away?" 

So in the interest of determining whether absence really does make the taste buds grow fonder (not to mention filling a few column inches), Charlie has compiled a list of ten old and in-the-way dishes that deserve to be put down like a rabid dog or, in restaurant lingo, 86'ed. In order of obnoxiousness, they are:

10. Caesar salad

If you've worked "cold side" at a restaurant,

assembling 40 or 50 of these a night (I have), that's reason enough to

give this culinary antique the boot. Despite the fact that almost

everybody makes them, they still almost always suck. 

9. Tiramisu

This classic Italian confection went from obscurity to

ubiquity faster than you can say "Parmigiano Reggiano." Unfortunately,

it also went from wickedly delectable to a faux-Venetian version of

Twinkies, minus only the gaudy plastic wrapper.

8. Fried calamari
With the taste and texture of thick rubber bands,

there's really no reason for this dish's existence except to consume

great gobs of flavored mayonnaise. So bread and fry a napkin and drag it

through a bowl of Hellman's.

7. Nachos
There's something about this staple of Mexican

restaurants that conjures images of drunken assholes slamming down

tequila shots and bragging about getting laid. The next morning, all

they'll have is a hangover and a date with Mr. Hand.

6. Wacky-maki rolls
If God wanted fish to swim in oceans of cream

cheese, mayonnaise, and "spicy sauce," she would have named the Atlantic

"Sysco" and the Pacific "Aramark." Why not roll up pieces of lint from

beneath the fridge? It can't be any worse.

5. Seared tuna anything
A monster created by chefs too lazy to

properly cook a piece of fish or too cheap to buy sushi-grade tuna

deserves to be put out of our misery. And so do chefs who sell this

stuff at double the price of uncut Peruvian flake.

4. Fettucine alfredo
Whoever Alfredo was, he should come back and

castrate the fucker who decreed that long strands of starch bound

together with cream and cheese reduced to the consistency of library

paste was the pinnacle of Italian cookery.

3. Sautéed chicken breast, any way
Anyone caught eating sautéed

chicken breast at a restaurant, no matter how much gunk the kitchen has

put on it, should be immediately thrown out on their ass. If you won't

eat something interesting, stay home.

2. Molten-centered chocolate cake
Took the chocolate cake out of

the oven too soon? Oops, that'll be $12. It's one thing to make a

mistake; it's another to overcharge for it. I can screw up my own

recipes for free, thank you very much.

1. Caprese salad
Face it, when was the last time you ate a tomato

that tasted like anything but a blood-colored sponge with seeds? When

was the first time? With 50 percent of this dish already horseshit,

what's the point of prolonging the agony?