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Local Food Writers Air Their Restaurant Complaints of 2018

“The noise, oh my god the noise”

Critics say restaurants are too loud.

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 2018?

Jill Lightner, food writer:

The noise, oh my god the noise — too many hard surfaces, too many open kitchens. I have lost track of the number of incorrect orders I’ve gotten because the servers can’t fucking hear me. Why would chefs want that to happen? I may resort to wearing gigantic fabric hats in hopes they act as sound muffling. Less marble, more sound control. *Any* sound control.

Chelsea Lin, dining/lifestyle editor, Seattle Magazine:

People are still having a really hard time with the skyrocketed cost of food and drinks here. It has to be this way — rent’s not cheap, and neither are quality ingredients. I guess my grievance is both that it has to be this way (because hey, we writers are not made of money) but also that diners don’t place enough value on the level of care, sourcing, and detail that go into some dishes/drinks. How’s that for wishy-washy?

Allecia Vermillion, deputy editor, Seattle Met:

Restaurants that felt like phoned-in broadest-appeal concepts rather than someone’s personal vision.

Jackie Varriano, freelance writer:

Not realizing how good I had it? Being blissfully unaware of what a “parent-friendly” restaurant is? The amount of restaurants that don’t have changing tables at all, let alone in the men’s room?

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

I find myself becoming more and more forgiving of most “restaurant sins” in Seattle’s tricky, at-times fragile dining ecosystem.

Providence Cicero, food critic, The Seattle Times:

The same as it’s been for years: Restaurants are too damn loud.

Naomi Tomky, food writer:

That great cooks can’t afford to open creative places right now, so we get a fair amount of watered-down crap driven by corporate dollars.