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Local Food Writers Air Their Restaurant Grievances of 2017

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“I have honestly had a pizza show up folded in half”

Closures of Seattle icons, like Bakeman’s (pictured) were among the biggest dining grievances of 2017.

As is tradition, Eater closes out the year by surveying local food writers on various restaurant-related topics. Readers, please feel free to chime in with your own thoughts in the comments section below.

What was your biggest Seattle dining grievance of 2017?

Leslie Kelly, Seattle-based food writer:

Too. Much. Change. As the closing of Bakeman's and more Old Seattle icons loom, is it wrong to hope for some vestiges of the way we were to remain? Again, if you love a place, make sure to show up and support it. Or, as they say in the Slow Food community: Eat it to save it.

Nicole Sprinkle, food writer and critic, Seattle Weekly:

The haphazard pacing in which dishes are sent to the table. If I ordered five dishes for two people, please ask me how I’d like them delivered instead of giving me everything at once. It may be “feasting and sharing,” but that doesn’t mean we need to get them all in 15 minutes.

Allecia Vermillion, deputy editor, Seattle Met:

All the quality of life issues we’re grappling with right now (high rents, limited space, crazy traffic) make it so hard to operate a restaurant. Which means we get a lot of safe concepts with broad appeal, a lot of fast-casual, and a lot of chefs decamping for other towns in the area. I like poke and ramen and burger chains, for sure, but homogeny is no fun.

On a less macro note: Restaurants that apply a 20% service charge, but still include that space on the bill to leave a tip. I feel like a jerk when I leave this blank, even though I just gave a solid gratuity. It’s a small thing, but a restaurant that takes the time to remove that tipline is a restaurant that pays attention to hospitality.

Jackie Varriano, editor, Zagat Seattle:

The rise of food delivery services. I have honestly had a pizza show up folded in half. But even further than that (and maybe I’m just being curmudgeonly about this) I don’t love the disconnect we are being coached to accept all in the name of convenience. A restaurant rarely shines with take-out food, especially when the restaurant wasn’t designed to do delivery in the first place.

Also, I’m one of those weirdos that loves grocery shopping and I am at my neighborhood PCC (Aurora represent!) almost daily. I want to have the experience of dining out where I can experience the ambiance and the food in the way it was designed, and I love wandering the aisles of the grocery store or fish market or farmers market deciding what I want to make or what new kind of peanut butter or ice cream I can convince myself I need. Maybe I’m spoiled — and I realize it’s unrealistic for many to have the luxury of time in the day to shop or eat out — but my inbox fills with notices from Uber and Caviar and Amazon telling me to order and I’m just tired of it.

Rosin Saez, associate food and drink editor, Seattle Met:

Not eating more doughnuts. Not eating more ramen.

Providence Cicero, food critic, The Seattle Times:

The same as it's been for years: the ear-spitting noise level in almost every new restaurant.

Tan Vinh, food and drink writer for The Seattle Times:

Poke. Especially cheap poke. Just stop it. Stop it now.


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