Today I’m piggybacking on my earlier post about casual attire at concerts and how I don’t think that alone is enough to attract larger and/or younger audiences. I’ll freely admit that I don’t have a magical solution to that issue. If only I did – I could hire myself out as a consultant to all sorts of struggling arts organizations and save thousands of jobs in the process!
This post, however, is dedicated to a phenomenon I’ve been observing for a while, not only in how people dress, but especially in the food we eat. As it becomes more and more acceptable to wear “casual” clothing to performances, restaurants, and other events, doing so has actually become a new sort of dress code. At some trendy restaurants, management may as well post a sign on the door that reads “No denim? No entrance.” Fine for those who want to do that, but it’s gotten a little silly in my opinion, the way shoulder pads got out of hand in the 80′s.
Menus have gotten pretty predictable, too. Every new “hot spot” seems to feature at least one dish flavored with bacon, maple syrup, fruit, or all of the above. I’m a pescetarian who also cannot abide anything remotely sweet in entrees or vegetable salads, so there are many places at which I am unable to order a meal without asking the chef to re-imagine all of my dishes. Since many chefs view such requests as rude, we simply dine elsewhere. A couple of years ago, Jim and I were perusing a menu and he began chanting “bacon, bacon, fruit, bacon, bacon, maple, fruit, fruit, maple, bacon!” I rolled with laughter because it was true – there was exactly one dish on the (lengthy) menu that didn’t contain any of those ingredients. Fortunately, we were just after a drink and no one tried to “update” my glass of red wine.
I don’t judge anyone for eating bacon, and I’m doing my best re: the jeans thing as long as I’m allowed to wear my vintage-mashup outfits in peace. I’ll never understand why anyone would want to drown a perfectly good piece of salmon in maple syrup, but if that’s your thing, rock on. I just ask that restaurateurs offer a few dishes with us savory-lovin’ folks in mind. Thanks – now, let’s eat!