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I don't like anything anymore, so my wife tells me

I don't like anything anymore, so my wife tells me
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  • I don't like anything anymore, so my wife tells me

    Post #1 - December 25th, 2017, 1:07 pm
    Post #1 - December 25th, 2017, 1:07 pm Post #1 - December 25th, 2017, 1:07 pm
    I guess I've been grousing about a lot of places lately. My wife tells me I don't like anything anymore; that I've been criticizing just about every place I eat for one reason or another. I reminded her that I'm pretty fat for a guy who (supposedly) doesn't like anything.

    But I have to agree with her at least in part. Even some places that have lived consistently in my 'extremely reliable' category for many years have disappointed me lately. It's sad when a lock is no longer a lock. Is it me, them, both of us?

    When I eat something I've loved in the past and it no longer tastes the same to me -- or as good -- it's instantly disappointing on a gut level (pun fully intended). Great dishes are supposed to be immutable; only disappearing when the place that serves them ceases to exist (another lament for another time). They are the cornerstones of our culinary universes and they define us. But to walk into a familiar place only to be met with disappointment is a crushing blow; a reminder that the universe we desperately and fruitlessly try to hold together continually crumbles.

    My mind immediately flashes forward to my list of Aces. Can a visit to one of them for a plate, bowl, sack or skewer of the 'old reliable' reverse the trend? There's a part of me that's scared to even try because if they disappoint, the problem gets even worse. And yet, as much I try to eschew avoidance, I certainly don't want my actions to hasten the crumbling. Could it possibly be best to just avoid further visits for the sole purpose of preserving favorable memories? No, I think not. We've got to keep going even if the disappointments outnumber the successes. At some point, glory is out there waiting to be eaten, right? New favorites replace the old ones and, hopefully, help soften the pain of culinary loss.

    Ok, here's a thought: maybe this is just a streak of bad luck. Or maybe holiday time is just the wrong time for visiting one's A-list of places. Aside from our own swirling memories, nostalgic standards and unending obligations, people take time off. Perhaps the disappointments I've experienced lately are nothing more than a function of regular crews not being in their kitchens. Could it be that simple? Will all be right with my restaurant world come mid-January when holiday vacations have ended? I hope so but I worry that the matter at hand may be more serious in its nature.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #2 - December 25th, 2017, 1:22 pm
    Post #2 - December 25th, 2017, 1:22 pm Post #2 - December 25th, 2017, 1:22 pm
    Perhaps you can try GNRs.

    And try something others like instead.

    Or just go to new places and focus on the folks. I realize that most of my best bites this year are from my own hand or the hand of friends.
    And yes, there is almost something to be said for not eating favorites when the JV/B-Team are in charge. And that could be a great time to try something else on the menu. —LLAP

    xx
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #3 - December 25th, 2017, 2:30 pm
    Post #3 - December 25th, 2017, 2:30 pm Post #3 - December 25th, 2017, 2:30 pm
    Very interesting, Ronnie, as you tend to be pretty measured and fair in your critiques. Do you have a theory about why places may be dropping off in quality? A larger trend (inconsistent labor maybe) that could be affecting the end product?
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #4 - December 25th, 2017, 4:47 pm
    Post #4 - December 25th, 2017, 4:47 pm Post #4 - December 25th, 2017, 4:47 pm
    I know what you mean. I feel like I'm in a rut and haven't found very many new places/experiences to keep me stimulated, and the old favorites seem to just be more of the same (also, a lot of the new ones, too). In the words of Iggy Pop, "I'm bored. I'm the chairman of the bored."
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #5 - December 25th, 2017, 7:47 pm
    Post #5 - December 25th, 2017, 7:47 pm Post #5 - December 25th, 2017, 7:47 pm
    sucks to get old. :wink:
    D.G. Sullivan's, "we're a little bit Irish, and a whole lot of fun"!
  • Post #6 - December 25th, 2017, 9:16 pm
    Post #6 - December 25th, 2017, 9:16 pm Post #6 - December 25th, 2017, 9:16 pm
    Could be a few factors..
    Hectic holiday time,
    Employee turnover,
    Wholesale cost of product has increased;in order to stay competitive cheaper ingredients are being purchased.
    Or,more and more foods are being Genetically modified.
  • Post #7 - December 26th, 2017, 7:24 am
    Post #7 - December 26th, 2017, 7:24 am Post #7 - December 26th, 2017, 7:24 am
    Does the phrase '...not as good as I remember...' sound familiar, Ron?

    I say that all the time, and the wife rolls her eyes. Inconsistency in the kitchen or service makes me batsh*t crazy, and you're right, it seems to be happening more and more.

    However, there are a couple of new, specific, non-life-changing, comfort food-ish items for me I've been able to hang my hat on as of late, but for how long?

    Skirt steak/eggs at 'The Original' Omega, Mundelein: Awesome, foot-long, pan-griddled, juicy strip o'beef.

    BBQ pork fried rice at Siam Siam, Buffalo Grove: Perfectly-seasoned, not Cantonese-greasy, very light. Big shards of pork.


    Original Omega Restaurant
    10 E. Maple (Rte. 176 at Rte. 45)
    Mundelein, IL 60060
    (847) 566-5555

    Siam Siam Thai Cuisine
    1113 Weiland Rd.
    Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
    (224) 352-2951
    Last edited by jnm123 on December 26th, 2017, 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #8 - December 26th, 2017, 8:52 am
    Post #8 - December 26th, 2017, 8:52 am Post #8 - December 26th, 2017, 8:52 am
    Hi Ron -
    Just curious - are you talking about higher end places? Joints? Both? Examples?
    Wonder if anyone has similar experiences if they are frequenting a few of the same places you are referring to.

    Although in a different category of a KNOWN "why," Katy's Dumpling in Oak Park comes to mind immediately as frustrating beyond belief for reasons you've mentioned.
    It's pretty much a joke of its former self, and it was a stalwart for me from the moment it opened. Really, it was Chinese food therapy "just down the street." Now, it's just...seriously, makes me sad on a number of levels, not only for selfish reasons, but for the new management. Clearly, their cooking is inferior, and storebought noodles....AT KATY'S??? That's just a joke. (Reminder - I'm referencing the OAK PARK location ONLY. Westmont is still on point.)

    I suspect kitchen and /or back office turnover to be a factor in a majority of your issues. Sucks when one of the faves jumps the shark, so to speak. But, it happens. And yes, maybe yer just old. I think I'm allowed to say that, because I am reminded more and more frequently, that I'm getting old, too. I honestly thought about popping an ibuprofen after wondering why my pecs were sore. I came to the realization that it was probably from carrying a few loads xmas gifts up one flight of stairs from the basement hiding place the other day. So yeah, I'm old.

    Laugh now, while you can, youngsters.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #9 - December 26th, 2017, 12:36 pm
    Post #9 - December 26th, 2017, 12:36 pm Post #9 - December 26th, 2017, 12:36 pm
    bnowell724 wrote:Do you have a theory about why places may be dropping off in quality? A larger trend (inconsistent labor maybe) that could be affecting the end product?

    My leading theory -- and what makes this so distressing -- is that it's me and that this whole matter could be a personal Culinary/Existential crisis. Does my dissatisfaction stem from some larger state of mind that I'm in right now? Or, perhaps I'm just so focused on food and the joy it brings that the significance of any missteps, even small ones, are amplified for me; a victim of my own overloaded appetites and expectations. There's no doubt that just about all places have some level of inconsistency. But that dynamic is essentially a constant, so why does it seem so much more noticeable and intolerable now? I wish I could figure it out. Am I just a great bite or 2 away from this whole thing going away? Or is there some internal issue with me that's just going to affect how I perceive everything I eat these days?

    Pauly wrote:Could be a few factors..
    Hectic holiday time,
    Employee turnover,
    Wholesale cost of product has increased;in order to stay competitive cheaper ingredients are being purchased.
    Or, more and more foods are being Genetically modified.

    I think all of these could be playing a part. I'm not convinced that the GMO issue (distressing in its own right) is one that would so suddenly manifest on the plate, though.

    jnm123 wrote:Does the phrase '...not as good as I remember...' sound familiar, Ron?

    I say that all the time, and the wife rolls her eyes. Inconsistency in the kitchen or service makes me batsh*t crazy, and you're right, it seems to be happening more and more.

    Yes and yes. I'm glad you've at least found a few dishes that have stemmed the tide for you.

    seebee wrote:Just curious - are you talking about higher end places? Joints? Both? Examples?
    Wonder if anyone has similar experiences if they are frequenting a few of the same places you are referring to.

    It's across the board -- though I don't do much high-end dining these days -- and honestly, just too numerous to mention them. Again, I get that inconsistency is a constant. Some issues are obvious like 'why is there so much cilantro on that burrito?' or 'this chicken is overcooked.' Others like 'this doesn't taste anything like it usually does,' have proven more difficult to figure out.

    I get that I'm old (getting older sucks but it definitely beats the alternative) but on an empirical level, wouldn't that just give my perceptions more credence? When Eliot asked "Do I dare to eat a peach?" I always assumed his concern was about being an embarrassed old man if the juice ran down his chin. But maybe he was really expressing concern about the peach letting him down and forever ruining his feelings about peaches.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #10 - December 26th, 2017, 1:14 pm
    Post #10 - December 26th, 2017, 1:14 pm Post #10 - December 26th, 2017, 1:14 pm
    One example I can think of is M burger on Touhy.Went there almost 3 years ago;enjoyed the burger's I tried, I think one was an M burger and the other was just their basic double cheese.Ate there earlier this summer and something has changed.Something was different.I'm thinking it was the supplier of ground beef that M burger had changed.It was still good but not what I remembered from my visit in 2015.
  • Post #11 - December 26th, 2017, 1:16 pm
    Post #11 - December 26th, 2017, 1:16 pm Post #11 - December 26th, 2017, 1:16 pm
    Ronnie, are you talking specifically about diminished satisfaction with the taste and smell of foods? To some degree that's natural with age, as mentioned above, but there may be other temporary and treatable causes. Something worth mentioning to your doctor, perhaps?
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #12 - December 26th, 2017, 1:20 pm
    Post #12 - December 26th, 2017, 1:20 pm Post #12 - December 26th, 2017, 1:20 pm
    Katie wrote:Ronnie, are you talking specifically about diminished satisfaction with the taste and smell of foods? To some degree that's natural with age, as mentioned above, but there may be other temporary and treatable causes. Something worth mentioning to your doctor, perhaps?

    LOL, no.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #13 - December 26th, 2017, 1:37 pm
    Post #13 - December 26th, 2017, 1:37 pm Post #13 - December 26th, 2017, 1:37 pm
    Why do you laugh? I was just trying to be helpful. You mentioned taste in your original post.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #14 - December 26th, 2017, 1:44 pm
    Post #14 - December 26th, 2017, 1:44 pm Post #14 - December 26th, 2017, 1:44 pm
    Katie wrote:Why do you laugh? I was just trying to be helpful. You mentioned taste in your original post.

    I just thought that given the scope of the discussion, you weren't being serious. In any case, great food, though harder to come by for me these days, still tastes great. I've also noticed no drop-off in my own cooking (and this is my busiest time of year in that department) or most other home-cooking I've eaten lately. For whatever reason, this seems to center on restaurant experiences.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #15 - December 26th, 2017, 1:49 pm
    Post #15 - December 26th, 2017, 1:49 pm Post #15 - December 26th, 2017, 1:49 pm
    I had a colleague whose mother lost much of her senses of taste and smell and the cause turned out to be something that required surgery. That was brought to my mind when I read your post. As I said, I was trying to be helpful. Guess I just misunderstood you.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #16 - December 26th, 2017, 1:54 pm
    Post #16 - December 26th, 2017, 1:54 pm Post #16 - December 26th, 2017, 1:54 pm
    Pauly wrote:One example I can think of is M burger on Touhy.Went there almost 3 years ago;enjoyed the burger's I tried, I think one was an M burger and the other was just their basic double cheese.Ate there earlier this summer and something has changed.Something was different.I'm thinking it was the supplier of ground beef that M burger had changed.It was still good but not what I remembered from my visit in 2015.

    Yeah, this makes sense. I think that with (rapid) expansion often comes diminished quality . . . for a variety of fairly predictable reasons. That doesn't make it less disappointing, though.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #17 - December 26th, 2017, 2:10 pm
    Post #17 - December 26th, 2017, 2:10 pm Post #17 - December 26th, 2017, 2:10 pm
    One of the main motivations I've had for teaching myself to cook many things, especially over the past 2 decades, is the disappointment I've experienced with store-bought or restaurant versions, especially as they compare to how I remember them. Foods like like bbq, bread, charcuterie, pickles, etc. seem to get more and more flavorless. Unlike my current predicament, these have more or less come up one item at a time and my feelings about them seem to be shared by others. As my disappointment with each crossed a certain point, I took it upon myself to learn them from the ground up.

    With restaurants, it's a different universe. Once a place makes its mark in your heart, all you can do is hope that they continue uphold the standards that attracted you in the first place. If not, you can spend a lot of time trying to learn how to replace them.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #18 - December 26th, 2017, 3:59 pm
    Post #18 - December 26th, 2017, 3:59 pm Post #18 - December 26th, 2017, 3:59 pm
    So, you're discounting my bored because it's the same 'ole, same 'ole theory? It's certainly a factor for me.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #19 - December 26th, 2017, 4:11 pm
    Post #19 - December 26th, 2017, 4:11 pm Post #19 - December 26th, 2017, 4:11 pm
    [/quote]You mentioned Bread and also BBQ. I've noticed a disparaging trend at the grocery store when searching for BBQ sauce.The majority of them now use high fructose corn syrup;there are a select few who do not.I'm sure that most wholesale BBQ sauces have it as well;There might be some BBQ places that make their own from scratch.That can be time consuming and of course cost inefficient.Bread is the same way.I don't even want to know what Subway puts in what they pass off as bread.Jimmy John's on the other hand I'd love to know the ingredients they use in making their sub buns and try to replicate it.
  • Post #20 - December 26th, 2017, 4:58 pm
    Post #20 - December 26th, 2017, 4:58 pm Post #20 - December 26th, 2017, 4:58 pm
    stevez wrote:So, you're discounting my bored because it's the same 'ole, same 'ole theory? It's certainly a factor for me.

    No, not at all though, I'd be grateful to be able to comfort myself with some of the old standards right now, but even they seem to be eluding me as of late. I've been in that state before, as well. Frustratingly, bored with the good stuff would be an improvement right now.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #21 - December 26th, 2017, 10:27 pm
    Post #21 - December 26th, 2017, 10:27 pm Post #21 - December 26th, 2017, 10:27 pm
    I can't say it's affected my eating much, but this year having so much stress of kinds we don't talk about on this board has made it hard sometimes to enjoy things I'm spending lots of money on.

    Try doing some service for others, perhaps, if you're feeling your not deserving a treat.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #22 - December 27th, 2017, 3:40 pm
    Post #22 - December 27th, 2017, 3:40 pm Post #22 - December 27th, 2017, 3:40 pm
    This might cheer you up...
    Want to feast? Identify life’s missing ingredients

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/colu ... story.html
    "At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom." George Carlin
  • Post #23 - December 28th, 2017, 10:52 am
    Post #23 - December 28th, 2017, 10:52 am Post #23 - December 28th, 2017, 10:52 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote: Is it me, them, both of us?
    =R=

    Most likely it is them, but...
    may you ask your wife? I bet, you know it's them, because what else.
  • Post #24 - January 9th, 2018, 1:51 pm
    Post #24 - January 9th, 2018, 1:51 pm Post #24 - January 9th, 2018, 1:51 pm
    I have also noticed a certain apathy towards eating lately.

    I was at the Oak Park Boys event recently and while I was excited about some openings and closings the overall attitude was that there was not much good in the area (with the exception of The Heritage). I think there are many fine restaurants.

    I joined a Meetup group (CDO) at ...

    Bigbop+Ramen
    2439 N Clark St, Chicago

    ... and while everything was very good, a gal across from me mentioned she no longer gets excited about the restaurants but comes along for the just the social aspects.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #25 - January 9th, 2018, 4:53 pm
    Post #25 - January 9th, 2018, 4:53 pm Post #25 - January 9th, 2018, 4:53 pm
    i think some of you are just eating out too often and you're jaded. i wish i had that problem. i think if you cook at home for a few months i bet restaurant food will be more appealing. (no insult intended to excellent home cooking-it just gets tedious cooking day after day...)
  • Post #26 - January 9th, 2018, 5:14 pm
    Post #26 - January 9th, 2018, 5:14 pm Post #26 - January 9th, 2018, 5:14 pm
    justjoan wrote:i think some of you are just eating out too often and you're jaded. i wish i had that problem. i think if you cook at home for a few months i bet restaurant food will be more appealing. (no insult intended to excellent home cooking-it just gets tedious cooking day after day...)


    One problem with home cooking is that it's impossible to surprise yourself.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #27 - January 9th, 2018, 5:17 pm
    Post #27 - January 9th, 2018, 5:17 pm Post #27 - January 9th, 2018, 5:17 pm
    George R wrote:
    justjoan wrote:i think some of you are just eating out too often and you're jaded. i wish i had that problem. i think if you cook at home for a few months i bet restaurant food will be more appealing. (no insult intended to excellent home cooking-it just gets tedious cooking day after day...)


    One problem with home cooking is that it's impossible to surprise yourself.

    are you sure about that? i surprise myself all the time: some dishes come out great and go into my repertoire, and others are not worth repeating.
  • Post #28 - January 9th, 2018, 5:53 pm
    Post #28 - January 9th, 2018, 5:53 pm Post #28 - January 9th, 2018, 5:53 pm
    justjoan wrote:i surprise myself all the time: some dishes come out great and go into my repertoire, and others are not worth repeating.
    Same here, joan
  • Post #29 - January 9th, 2018, 7:40 pm
    Post #29 - January 9th, 2018, 7:40 pm Post #29 - January 9th, 2018, 7:40 pm
    justjoan wrote:i think some of you are just eating out too often and you're jaded. i wish i had that problem. i think if you cook at home for a few months i bet restaurant food will be more appealing. (no insult intended to excellent home cooking-it just gets tedious cooking day after day...)


    Yes, I lose the motivation/energy to get creative, then get sick of eating the same thing all the time.
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #30 - January 9th, 2018, 8:24 pm
    Post #30 - January 9th, 2018, 8:24 pm Post #30 - January 9th, 2018, 8:24 pm
    bnowell724 wrote:
    justjoan wrote:i think some of you are just eating out too often and you're jaded. i wish i had that problem. i think if you cook at home for a few months i bet restaurant food will be more appealing. (no insult intended to excellent home cooking-it just gets tedious cooking day after day...)


    Yes, I lose the motivation/energy to get creative, then get sick of eating the same thing all the time.


    I lose energy but I eat away from home a lot. The last year scrambled fresh eggs in EVOO has given me life regardless of the time of day!
    If I don’t feel like making anything else I have toast (usually homemade bread fried in ghee) and topped with cultured butter, homemade preserves or homemade pickles & homemade vegan kimchi.
    Last edited by pairs4life on January 10th, 2018, 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening

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