8 Food and Drink Trends That Are Totally Played Out

By STAFF | Zagat.com

Based on the astonishing number of comments on our 10 Most Annoying Restaurant Trends post, there seems to be no shortage of restaurant-world fads that tick off the dining public. But there are also trends that may once have seemed fresh and innovative that have simply worn out their welcome. Here’s a list of eight food and drink trends that are totally played out.

1. Food Trucks

Ok, we know some of you really love food trucks. And while they’re still great for scoring cheap delicious grub, some alarming new developments in the food-truck scene of late have got us wondering if the food truck trend has “jumped the shark.” Let’s examine the evidence: 1. The Gap recently launched a Mexican taco truck called “Pico de Gap” as a promotional, um, vehicle. 2. Chain restaurants like Jack in the Box and Applebee’s now have their own food trucks. 3. Restaurant blogs have started dubbing actual restaurants “brick-and-mortar” eateries. Ok…you know something’s definitely askew when talking about a regular restaurant now requires a ‘nonmobile’ descriptor.

2. Pork-Themed Eateries

Yes, pork is delicious…we’re sure most of you will agree. But theming your whole restaurant as a shrine to swine? So 2006. Seriously, if we walk into one more restaurant with the pork butchery diagram plastered up on the wall we’re gonna freak out.

3. “Hipsteraunts”

The foodie cousin to the speakeasy-style bar, these restaurants, generally filled with ironic decor such as taxidermy and/or photos of old bearded men, are feeling a bit dated at this point. And many of you have expressed a general dislike for dining at a restaurant that feels like you’re crashing a get-together straight out of Last Night’s Party.

4. Prohibition-Themed Bars

Note to bar owners: Prohibition is over. While this concept may have been new and exciting five or six years ago, the suspender-clad bartenders, toile wallpaper and $15 gin fizzes are getting a little tired at this point. The over-the-top, old-timey vibe is really just a gimmick to drive up drink prices and supposedly keep the “d-bag” contingent to a minimum. But in our experience, the harder you try to keep a certain type of crowd away, the more likely they are to infiltrate…

5. Wine on Tap

This trend was cool for a while, but after enough bars and restaurants started doing it, it lost its novelty and instead started reminding us of our “boxed wine party” days in college. So not sexy.

6. “Farm-to-Table” as a Restaurant Concept

Newsflash: “farm-to-table” is how just about every culture has been eating around the world for centuries. Sure, in the ’80s and ’90s, the American dining scene needed a reminder to go back to basics, but at this point, this is how every restaurant should be operating, period. So can we skip the giant kudos to chefs for putting away the can opener?

7. Old-Timey Cocktails That Taste Like Medicine

The whole classic cocktail trend definitely brought back many delicious drinks from eras past, but it also meant cocktail lists started filling up with medicinal-tasting concoctions made from old-school liqueurs. Let’s agree to stop pretending we like drinks that taste like Triaminic.

8. “Fusiony” Tacos

LA’s Kogi Truck may have given the fusion taco its seminal moment, but once cheapie chains started ripping off the idea, things began to look shaky. When you notice TV chefs like Guy Fieri and Sandra Lee putzing around with the idea, it’s pretty clear this trend’s “moment” is about to pass.

MFN’s Editor Comments – Check out the comments that Zagat recieved on the above mentioned list!  I think you will agree, that not many people agree with the writer….