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Friends of Eater Share Their Biggest Restaurant Grievances of 2019

What really got under their skin 

BROOKLYN, NY - APRIL 09: A tray of baked Rainbow Bagels is seen Photo by Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

As we put a cap on 2019, Eater surveyed a group of friends, writers, and all around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them eight questions: from top standbys to top newcomers, from best meals to restaurants they’ve broken up with. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the 2019. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Responses do not necessarily reflect the views of Eater and Eater Miami.

Amber Love Bond (Eater Miami contributor): I feel like a broken record every year with this question, but I’m dying for Miami to win another James Beard award. It’s been a decade since the last one, and even though we’ve had some really great nominees, Miami isn’t getting the attention it deserves. This year I was part of a campaign that encouraged people to nominate who they think should be recognized -- so who knows, maybe this year will be different! Oh and, RIP Purdy Lounge. Some of my most fun nights and memories (or non-memories tbh) took place in the wee hours of the morning there, so I’m sad to see it go.

Jenny Starr Perez (Indulge Miami): Over the top dining “experiences” that last about an hour (or two) too long.

Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): Purdy closing.

Curt “Big Daddy” Hollingsworth (Thrillist Miami): Overhyped, D-list celebrity and “influence’”-filled restaurants with Zuma prices and Applebee’s food. Not to besmirch the good people at Applebee’s. but I can’t believe with so many good restaurants here people are still suckers enough to pay $145 for a steak because one of the VanderPumps was spotted there, and national media are suckers enough to direct people there. Then again, we wouldn’t be Miami if we didn’t blindly buy into hype, so listing this as a “grievance” is kinda like complaining when your Uber driver doesn’t speak English.

Becky Randel (Freelance restaurant writer): HUGE announcements about restaurant openings that don’t actually open for another six to nine months (or more).

David Rosendorf (Food For Thought): The pernicious confluence of the instagramification of food and the “influencer” economy. Too much time, energy and attention is being devoted to pictures of disgusting, oversized, overwrought, ridiculous dishes and the people who “promote” them - when all they’re really promoting is themselves.If I never see another toppling pile of ice cream smothered in sprinkles, another “cheese pull,” another cookie bigger than someone’s head, another gold-leaf covered this or activated charcoal that or butterfly pea blue the other, I’ll be a happier person.

Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): Food halls—I honestly don’t know what the hype is.

Virginia Gil (Time Out Miami): I was served a lot of chewy octopus this year and food that was warm at best. Here’s to a 2020 where we get our textures and temperatures right.

Alona Martinez (Eater Miami Contributor): Can I complain about the traffic? Because it is all over the place when getting to restaurants and seems to be getting worse.

Sara Liss ( Bad lighting and loud dining rooms (#old #dontcare #getmeaflashlight); Pricey valet parking (when will places realize that no one loves dropping $25 to park to patronize your business?); still the lack of female chefs running big kitchens in Miami.

Jennifer Agress (Freelance restaurant writer): Ad Lib—that place had so much potential and such a knockout team from the very beginning. I was so bummed when it didn’t work out.


Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): Food that is created only for Instagram and nothing else. It cheapens everything, and honestly, looks unappetizing more often than not. A unicorn cronut? Rainbow bagels? C’mon now, Miami, we can do better than that. If we really want to be respected as a food city we need to say goodbye to that stuff in 2020.