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The Top 5 Things Restaurants Should Never Serve Again

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Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 6:00 AM

There are plenty of opinions out there about trends that are played out. People are sick of small plates. Down with communal tables. Recently, there was even an internet screed against bar food (what's up with that?). All of this is basically a backlash against trends in dining in general -- a way for us overfed writers to find something to complain about that's actually probably not all that bad. Oh, poor baby has to eat off a small plate at the communal table.

This list isn't about things we're sick of. It's about things that should never have happened in the first place. It's about food that we never, ever want to see on a menu or in a restaurant or at a wedding buffet or ANYWHERE, ever again. Not in cookbooks. Not in magazines. Not in chain restaurants. Nowhere. Here are the 5 things that no one should ever make or serve again.

click to enlarge Bourbon-glazed salmon - HOWARD KANG VIA FLICKR

5. Bourbon-glazed anything

Bourbon's proper place is in a glass, although using it in pies, chocolates and other desserts is fine. However, I've never come across bourbon in savory food, other than as an ingredient in barbecue sauce, that wasn't awful. As a glaze in particular? Gross. If you see "bourbon-glazed" anything, it usually means that whatever poor ingredient slathered in the "glaze" has some overly sweet corn-syrup-based nastiness all over it, be it pork ribs or salmon or some undeserving vegetables. Bourbon glaze is always sticky and cloying and horrible. Soy sauce is a seasoning. Bourbon is a drink. Keep your soy sauce out of my cocktails and your bourbon off my fish.

click to enlarge Raspberry vinaigrette - ELVISSA VIA FLICKR

4. Raspberry vinaigrette

Let me guess. You've got some arugula, right? And some goat cheese? Maybe some pecans? Hmmm ... now ... what would every chef with zero imagination and even less taste put on this perfectly decent salad to ruin it completely? Raspberry vinaigrette!

Listen, I almost always hate any kind of berries in my salad, but raspberry vinaigrette goes way beyond that. It's like taking a nice, healthy plate of food and covering it with melted Jolly Ranchers with balsamic thrown in. All sweet dressings are disgusting, and raspberry vinaigrette is the pretentious king of sweet vinaigrettes.

click to enlarge Wasabi mashed potatoes - CHRISTINE COWEN VIA FLICKR

3. Wasabi (or anything) in the mashed potatoes

Thank sweet baby Jesus, wasabi mashed potatoes are a thing that went out of style a long time ago ... but I'm not just talking about the dish, I'm talking about the whole concept of stuff in mashed potatoes. I don't want wasabi in my mashed potatoes. I don't want chipotle in my mashed potatoes. Horseradish? Nope. Sundried tomatoes? God, no. Butter, cream, maybe garlic. That's it. Mashed potatoes are delicious -- keep that other crap out of them. Which brings us to...

click to enlarge Lobster mac-n-cheese - LEE COURSEY VIA FLICKR

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