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Small Plates


Ericandblueboy
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Is this really worth ranting about? He sounds like the dude who went on Tom's chat to complain about small plates.

I enjoy small plates on occasion in places that do them well, like some Spanish(-themed) restaurants, and in the right company. But like charcuterie and other traditional European food forms, the concept has been abused in order to stimulate market share among the otherwise clueless great American eating public. Remember the fashion for fondue and smorgasbords in the Seventies? That's how "small plates" will be seen 20-30 years from now. To that extent I absolutely and wholeheartedly agree with this rant.

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Is this really worth ranting about? He sounds like the dude who went on Tom's chat to complain about small plates.

I found this to be one of the stupidest food columns I've read in a long time. If people don't want to eat small plates, fine. But I'm not sure makes even one legitimate argument in the entire article -- it's basically a rant filled with one red herring after another. Personally, I love small plates. Often in restaurants that are more traditional, I'll order 2-3 appetizers instead of an entree. But to claim, for example, that the author "can't get a decent meal" in all of DC is silly and unnecessary hyperbole.

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...to claim, for example, that the author "can't get a decent meal" in all of DC is silly and unnecessary hyperbole.

You're right, there are many decent meals to be had in DC. But since you use the word: Hyperbole is a rhetorical device and a form of exaggeration. The author was not being literal.

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Yes I understand the author was using hyperbole, but it was unnecessary hyperbole. His entire thesis is silly...if he wants to avoid small plates restaurants, his options are many.

Honestly, I find your comparison of small plates to fondue to be equally silly. The small plates trend has already spread much further and lasted longer than fondue or smorgasbord ever did, and I'm pretty confident it will last for quite a long time.

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Yes I understand the author was using hyperbole, but it was unnecessary hyperbole. His entire thesis is silly...if he wants to avoid small plates restaurants, his options are many.

Honestly, I find your comparison of small plates to fondue to be equally silly. The small plates trend has already spread much further and lasted longer than fondue or smorgasbord ever did, and I'm pretty confident it will last for quite a long time.

Yes, his options are many. Hyperbole, etc. We've covered that.

Perhaps I could understand your argument better if you used other words than "silly." The original "rant" is no longer in this thread, but if I remember correctly, the author made cogent arguments about the type of flavors chefs felt they could introduce, the pricing they could level, and the amount and variety of dishes a diner would be induced to order based on the small plates scheme. These are reasonable observations that make up a reasonable thesis, which, if you disagree with it, deserves a reasonable counterargument. You have not provided that.

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Chinese people have been eating family style for thousands of years and they've stayed in pretty good shape until westernization. This entree is healthier than small plates is total b.s. Typical American entrees are over-sized, full of starch and protein, and short on leafy greens. Americans were obese before small plates. What's wrong with eating two small plates if one has a small appetite? Why do people feel the need to order 1 app, 1 entree, and 1 dessert? That stuck up mindset is what makes people obese.

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Chinese people have been eating family style for thousands of years and they've stayed in pretty good shape until westernization. This entree is healthier than small plates is total b.s. Typical American entrees are over-sized, full of starch and protein, and short on leafy greens. Americans were obese before small plates. What's wrong with eating two small plates if one has a small appetite? Why do people feel the need to order 1 app, 1 entree, and 1 dessert? That stuck up mindset is what makes people obese.

I agree, but this is not the point of holdtheline's anti-rant rant, so far as I can make it out.

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<snipped> if I remember correctly, the author made cogent arguments about the type of flavors chefs felt they could introduce, the pricing they could level, and the amount and variety of dishes a diner would be induced to order based on the small plates scheme. These are reasonable observations that make up a reasonable thesis, which, if you disagree with it, deserves a reasonable counterargument. You have not provided that.

...Not to mention the fact that the piece did not appear in the food section but in Wonkbook (Business section) and was authored by the economics editor of Wonkbook. It was based on an economic case (i.e., what makes rational economic sense for chefs is problematic for diners). He didn't just talk about the size of the plates but also about other issues, such as how the plates come out in an unpredictable sequence when multiple dishes are ordered at one time. Again, this is good for the kitchen but not necessarily so for the diner. He talked about the small plates concept upending the conventional implicit contract between chef and diner as to the diner's expectations.

I went back and looked at it again because I was sure I had read it originally in Wonkbook (one part of the Post I always read ;) ). I was pretty sure of that, since my initial reaction was to to wonder what Tyler Cowen would have to say about the argument.

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