Look, I know rich people and trendy millennials are really into this “small portions on really large plates” crap, but honestly, it’s so friggin’ pretentious I just have to call it out here. Worse, this being Fishers, which went from being a cool small town in Indiana to — up until two or three years ago — being the new, slightly-more-affordable haven for Carmel wannabe’s in the 20 years I’ve lived here. While I am always thrilled to see a new non-chain restaurant (or at least one I am not aware is a chain restaurant) arrive in Fishers, I am inevitably disappointed when I eventually find out it’s what I now like to refer to as a “snack joint” … and, believe me, restaurant owners get really pissy when I say that to their face.
Case in point, one restaurant opened up the street and I was very eager to try it out. I’d heard it was pricey so the girl I was dating at the time and I went for lunch. It was a nice place, menu seemed interesting. Since it was hot out, I settled on a “Caprese Salad.” The description seemed accurate enough. Tomato slices paired with homemade mozzarella slices capers, olives, basil, and drizzled with house vinaigrette. Oh, perfect. I had the choice between the lunch and dinner-sized portions for $10 or $15 respectively. For some reason, I pictured the $15 salad as being way too much food for lunch. I mean, $15? Even at a pricey restaurant that has to be two whole tomatoes and enough cheese to stop up a moose. I’ll go with the lunch portion, which you would think, would be about half that. Right?
No. For $10, I got two thin slices of tomato, two silver-dollar sized pieces of mozzarella, two black olives, two red olives, one green olive, six capers, and about a dozen drops of vinaigrette arranged in a smiley face around the place that seemed to be saying, “Sucker!” the whole time I ate. I didn’t say a word, in fact I probably complimented the waiter on the vinaigrette. Meanwhile my date is trying very hard not to laugh out loud as she gorged herself on a 2″x2″ ham and cheese sandwich — sorry, prosciutto di Parma and mozzarella panini — and six potato chips. Throw in a couple of organic iced teas and a tip and suddenly I’m out $35 and wondering what’s for lunch.
Really this has to stop. Duck fat braised potato fritters are just French fries! I always assumed your steaks were hand carved by someone. I mean, I didn’t assume you had a repurposed T-1000 Terminator in the back or something. I don’t care what part of the pig the bacon bits on my side salad came from! Oh, and please don’t get me started on how I’m a middle-aged white guy in the suburbs who is not in the least bit impressed because your menu includes the name of the farm said bacon bits were raised on. That could be the shittiest farm in South Dakota and you’re trying to make an idiot out of me. I don’t know.
This is America. We’ve built an entire culture around eating ourselves into obesity and heart disease with ridiculously large portions of extremely unhealthy food. Nobody expects the restaurant industry to care about your cholesterol levels. All they need to care about is that we feel we got a taste profile we love, could not easily replicate ourselves for the money, and, above all, didn’t go away hungry. That’s the secret to a good ol’ American restaurant. The very fact that the terms “small plate” and “sharing plate” are synonymous tells me this is a socialist subplot meant to subvert cost curve economics and destroy capitalism, and I for one won’t have this!