Blech! Spew! Things I Hate About Food!


You have to pay for it. Animals don’t have to pay. Does a lion sit down and order a gazelle? It’s just there. … You can never fully fold burritos. They should come with a roll of Scotch tape, especially at Chipotle. … Everything comes with fries nowadays. You can never lose weight because even if you go to the finest restaurant, they’ll say, “Do you want waffle fries or home fries with that?” … When you ask, “Can I substitute salad for the fries?” they say “Sure!” Then when you get your bill, you find they added a $2.50 substitution fee. … Speaking of fries, every one of my favorite things to eat is a waistline-swelling carb like potatoes, bread, or pasta. Why does good-tasting always equal bad for you? … If tilapia only tasted better, I’d be thin and trendy.

I bought three jars of mango chutney at a clearance sale and found that the stuff does not taste good on a bagel. Now what? … No one outside New York City has the faintest idea how to make pizza. It’s like they lost the recipe at the border. … I hate waiting for a table! How good can the food be? There must be somewhere where you can sit right away and just eat something. … I can get a table at Le Cirque, but I can’t get one at Red Lobster. What’s wrong with this picture? … WTF is imitation crabmeat made out of? No, don’t tell me. … Dismayingly ratty-looking dives somehow get an A rating. If the kitchen is so laudably clean, how about tossing a little Mop & Glo on the restaurant floor? … Friends always say stuff like: “I make the most amazing fennel soup, duck Florentine, and coconut-ginger rice, all with clarified butter. You must come over sometime and try it.” You finally go there, sit down to the feast, then quickly start looking for a potted plant.

Diet soda causes cancer, but regular soda causes cancer and obesity. Some choice. … The sushi at Food Emporium tastes the same to me as the stuff at Nobu. Raw fish on white rice is raw fish on white rice. Am I crazy? … Comfort food makes me nervous. … Going to a restaurant with someone with dietary needs becomes an exercise in ritualized torture, whereby a minimum-wage server is put through an agonizing interrogation over whether there’s any chicken stock in the broccoli soup and what the odds are that the Greek salad has pine nuts. You want to die, and you secretly pray they only spit in your friend’s food.

Dead lamb on my plate fills me with poignant thoughts of Gypsy. For beef, it’s Into the Woods. Eating after theater has become un-doable. … I am so sick of salads. … Everything does not taste like chicken. Ever try an ostrich burger? … The 99-cent stores mysteriously stopped carrying their best item—frozen waffles—a few years ago. Sadistic. … After hearing 10 minutes of the daily specials recited in graphic, loving detail, I always tend to say, “I’ll just have the grilled cheese.” (With waffle fries, of course.) … Why is Thai so popular in Hell’s Kitchen? Because they’re obsessed with noodles? … I went to an Ethiopian restaurant where you’re made to clutch at the food chunks via pieces of bread you lift to your mouth. It was marginally better than having to use bare hands, but come on. Can’t we bend the rules a little, people? … I can bike to Costco, but how do I ride 10 five-pounds bags of quinoa home? … And what is quinoa anyway? … Growing up with meat loaf and Chef Boyardee, kids are always told: “Finish your plate. Children are starving in China,” and they think, “Lucky them.” … My mother’s cooking was always so extraordinary that it spoiled me for Italian for life. I can’t even eat at Babbo without feeling alternating pangs of guilt and disappointment.

Which trend-Nazi invented brunch? Give me breakfast or lunch, not some pretentious hybrid for hipsters with too much discretionary income. (Ugh. I’m starting to sound like an old Seinfeld routine.) … The best ice cream in New York is at McDonald’s. Alas, you have to hold your nose and head to the counter really quickly. … Similarly, Dunkin’ Donuts makes delightful smoothies, but it’s career suicide to be spotted there. Maybe they deliver? … 16 Handles has a cute selection of toppings—like pink animal cookies and sprinkly things—but you don’t know how much it’s going to cost until they weigh your creation. When did yogurt become a heart-pounding experience slash salad bar?

Too many choices make me nutty. (“White or brown rice? Crispy or extra crispy? Original, classic, or just dark meat?” Just bring me something to eat!) … “Shrimp” made of tofu generally tastes like “shrimp” made of tofu. … Mayonnaise makes me gag. So do butter and cream sauce. I’ll find other ways to stay fat, thank you. … People who fetishize food really creep me out. (“Remember that giant cannoli we shared, honey?” “Yes, darling—and my palate still gets moist when I think about the incredible sausage casserole we had for Valentine’s Day.”) Sublimate much? … I hate parties where you have to try to make pass-alongs into a dinner. You dexterously position yourself near the kitchen and pounce on any tray that comes out, not losing concentration even for a second. After consuming about 20 prosciutto and melons, you turn green with nausea, and everyone else in the room hates you for hogging. Still, I’ll do it. … When Spider-Man and his girlfriend started eating branzino, I somehow lost the urge. … Sometimes, you wonder why your cat is getting Fancy Feast while you’re eating $1.19 tuna out of the can. … By the way, this column comes with fries. No substitutions!

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