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"I usually like chicken nuggets, but not these chicken nuggets."
May 2, 2014 9:01 AM   Subscribe

"FOUR-YEAR-OLD REVIEWS PLUM RESTAURANT (WITH HER FACE)"
posted by davidstandaford (145 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
That little girl is ridiculously photogenic, and expressive.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:03 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Is this the most pretentious restaurant in the universe?
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:06 AM on May 2 [4 favorites]


I think she did about the same as I would.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 9:07 AM on May 2 [5 favorites]


Is this the most pretentious restaurant in the universe?

Not even close. Last time I was at Eleven Madison Park, the waiter attached a meat grinder to the table and ground a carrot into a "carpaccio" while telling us about the farm the carrot was grown on. Dessert involved a card trick.

(It was awesome, BTW, just saying: in the scale of pretentiousness, this is small [pickled, sous vide] potatoes).
posted by retrograde at 9:11 AM on May 2 [46 favorites]


I'm happy to report that my four-year-old (now six) would have eaten a lot of that stuff. She loves the pieces of squid with the tentacles. This kid was super cute though, so points for that. Otherwise, seems a bit pointless. Plenty of adults not used to haute cuisine might have had a similar reaction (though possibly with fewer tears).
posted by dellsolace at 9:14 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]


"I didn't do a good job tasting that" is the new "Blecccccch."
posted by yellowbinder at 9:17 AM on May 2 [13 favorites]


“Oh no, that’s paint! I can’t eat paint.”

Kid's got a good head on her shoulders. She'll turn out fine.
posted by Drastic at 9:22 AM on May 2 [16 favorites]


Is this the most pretentious restaurant in the universe?

What? No. It's delicious and not pretentious at all.
posted by asterix at 9:29 AM on May 2 [10 favorites]


They proved they weren't puling any punches when they brought out the squid plate.
posted by Think_Long at 9:31 AM on May 2


This food looks amazing and I'm so angry that kid got to eat it and not me.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:34 AM on May 2 [7 favorites]


Is this the most pretentious restaurant in the universe?

Yeah, not even close. I have little patience for fussiness for the sake of fussiness, but if you're the type of person who enjoys (if only occasionally) eating as an aesthetic adventure rather than simply for sustenance (and, of course, if you're privileged with the money to do that), uncommon ingredients and combinations of ingredients can be quite enjoyable. I guess one person's culinary revelation can be another person's pointless fussiness, though.

I don't know exactly why I draw a line between this restaurant's food and, say, sous-vide whatever with cilantro-infused truffle foam. Maybe because the latter feels less like a sincere attempt to discover new culinary experiences, and more like mindless trend-chasing in the name of making rich people feel fancy? Maybe I should just feel lucky that I can even sit here beanplating the distinction?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:34 AM on May 2 [4 favorites]


Also, I would love to live a life where I could afford to take a small child to a meal like this and watch her not actually eat most of it.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:35 AM on May 2 [10 favorites]


I hope they gave her a nice PB&J sammich and a glass of not-too-cold milk when she got home.
posted by islander at 9:36 AM on May 2 [15 favorites]


Now, I'm imagining some tiger parent that wants to train the world's best food critic, and making their child sit for hours tasting all kinds of food:

"But, dad I didn't want dessert!"

"No! Your going to taste the panna cotta and tell me the ingredients and all the flavors that dance ON. YOUR. PALATE."
posted by FJT at 9:36 AM on May 2 [19 favorites]


Also, I would love to live a life where I could afford to take a small child to a meal like this and watch her not actually eat most of it.

Yeah, that's what always gets me about these things. Seems like an awful waste to spend this kind of money for someone who won't even appreciate the food, just because you think it's cute. But then some would argue that it's an awful waste in any case. [shrug]
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:39 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]


Why would you do this to a restaurant?
posted by Malory Archer at 9:40 AM on May 2 [3 favorites]


Hey kid.


Kid.


Pssst.




If you're not gonna eat that I TOTALLY WILL.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:41 AM on May 2 [12 favorites]


Seems like an awful waste to spend this kind of money for someone who won't even appreciate the food, just because you think it's cute.

I prefer to imagine that the food was eaten off-screen by one of the other people at dinner, the way it used to go with my nieces.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:43 AM on May 2 [12 favorites]


You are probably right, of course.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:46 AM on May 2


Taking a kid to a restaurant like this and making her feel obligated to eat food you know she's not going to like until she breaks down crying every time a new dish comes to the table...

And then taking pictures of her crying and writing funny little captions on your blog...

Christ, what assholes.
posted by Huck500 at 9:48 AM on May 2 [24 favorites]


My wife and I went to a restaurant once because it happened to be in the parking lot of the hotel we were staying at, which happened to be a Days Inn. You'd expect the restaurant in such a location to be able to fix you up with a couple of cheeseburgers, maybe some nachos or even a plate of potato skins, right? No, it was a fancy restaurant, which I immediately realized when we walked in. The unctuous maître d insisted we sit down anyway, and brought us menus. Everything sounded exactly like these descriptions, and we both realized that we could not eat anything there. I felt just like that kid felt by the end of the pictures.

Fortunately, there was a Chili's down the road.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:52 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Also, I would love to live a life where I could afford to take a small child to a meal like this and watch her not actually eat most of it.

It's a series where they take different kids to restaurants. Everyone knows the reviews aren't serious. It's just an idea some people (i.e me) find hilarious. I can't figure out what these kids have against pork belly though.
posted by Danila at 9:52 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]


She took her kid to a restaurant ?

Oh My.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:58 AM on May 2


MetaFilter: Week-Long Fermented Oatmeal
posted by mkb at 10:07 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]


They've also done three others (unfortunately in an annoying slideshow format which Deslide doesn't like, but still hilarious):
State Bird Provisions
AQ
Mission Chinese Food
posted by capricorn at 10:10 AM on May 2 [7 favorites]


Fortunately, there was a Chili's down the road.

That is not a thing I think I've heard anyone say before.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 10:10 AM on May 2 [46 favorites]



Is this the most pretentious restaurant in the universe?


No. You could go there in your hoodie and they wouldn't even blink. Pretentious restaurants in Oakland don't really work. We do like creative food though, and will sometimes pay extra for it (full disclosure- the last time I was at Plum was for my birthday. Plum Bar next door, however, used to be a pretty regular stop for us).
posted by oneirodynia at 10:12 AM on May 2 [6 favorites]


Seems like an awful waste to spend this kind of money for someone who won't even appreciate the food, just because you think it's cute.

Also, I would love to live a life where I could afford to take a small child to a meal like this and watch her not actually eat most of it.


Yeeeah...that was sort of my takeaway as well. I have to scrimp and save to eat at nice restaurants when I go on vacation, but reading about a fussy kid go to Plum and pretty much hate everything on a costly menu sort of depresses me.
posted by Kitteh at 10:13 AM on May 2 [4 favorites]


The last gastro place I went to gave me a freeze-dried foie gras "lollipop" coated in prune jelly. I want to see this young punk take on that gag-inducer.
posted by Think_Long at 10:13 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]


I'm 34 and I wouldn't even try those things, so she's got one up on me.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:22 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


The kid liked a lot about Mission Chinese! Tasty, tasty food.

Anyway, I guess it can be depressing to see kids get things you don't get. Having been a nanny for a while has numbed me to it, though. This is the tip of the iceberg in that regard; they probably get expenses from the website.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:35 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]


Seems like child abuse to me.

My sister and I ate abalone when we were about that age, but we were weirdos. No matter where we went to dinner, my parents always said, "you have to at least taste it, if you can't find anything to eat, we'll take you to McDonalds after."

The only time we actually went to McDonalds, was after a family dinner with their friends who were Minnesota natives. I don't think I need to elaborate on the horror of that 'meal'. I will mention it wasn't just Sissy and I munching a burger, Mom and Dad too.

If a kid is that upset, it's time to stop, I don't care how pretty and yummy the food is to grown ups. Also, don't bring kids to fancy restaurants, unless the kids know how to behave and are given the option of age appropriate food (buttered noodles will do in a pinch.) Crying children when I'm paying $150 plus the cost of the wine flight isn't fun.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:49 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]


I'm 34 and I wouldn't even try those things

Why not? The ingredients? The presentation? The description?

(I'm really kind of baffled by the responses in this thread. I mean, the prawn, squid, and chicken dishes are really straightforward! They're not super-exotic dishes where you can't even figure out what they are from the description or anything like that.)
posted by asterix at 10:50 AM on May 2 [28 favorites]


Some people take their nuggets very seriously (nsfw mcdonald's crazyness).
posted by HuronBob at 10:54 AM on May 2



I'm 34 and I wouldn't even try those things

Why not? The ingredients? The presentation? The description?

(I'm really kind of baffled by the responses in this thread.



Yea that food looks delicious
posted by sweetkid at 10:56 AM on May 2 [3 favorites]


I'm surprised how many people don't think that food looks delicious. And as for the concern that they were troubling other diners, I bet they set it up before the restaurant opened for dinner. Even if the kid didn't get upset, having a photographer running around would be pretty distracting at a nice place like that.

I wonder if they got a deal on the food in exchange for the publicity.
posted by TedW at 10:56 AM on May 2


Kitteh: "I have to scrimp and save to eat at nice restaurants"

This has given me an idea: a restaurant that serves "scrimpi".
posted by chavenet at 11:06 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]



Seems like child abuse to me.


Whaaat
posted by sweetkid at 11:07 AM on May 2 [17 favorites]


the prawn, squid, and chicken dishes are really straightforward!

No. They all sound horrible and I wouldn't touch them with a ten-foot fork.

Obviously, there are differing opinions, but mine is the correct one.
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:08 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]


Also, while I might not agree with the kid's assessment of the rest of the food, I'll give her this: those rolls are fucking outstanding.
posted by asterix at 11:08 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


No. They all sound horrible and I wouldn't touch them with a ten-foot fork.

What sounds horrible about them?
posted by asterix at 11:08 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


I would have cried if they'd put that plate of tentacles in front of me, too.
posted by sarcasticah at 11:08 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


I detest fish sauce. Ditto for squid of any kind, as well as fiddlehead ferns. Putting strawberries into chicken sounds abhorrent. Like I said to the maître d at the fussy restaurant, "I'm sorry, but I just can't eat anything here".
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:11 AM on May 2


Oh, not strawberries, pickled and raw grapes. Same difference.
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:12 AM on May 2


Seems like child abuse to me.

That is actually a horrible and very serious allegation.
posted by ernielundquist at 11:13 AM on May 2 [7 favorites]


Well good. MORE FERNS FOR ME, THEN.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 11:14 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


I detest fish sauce. Ditto for squid of any kind, as well as fiddlehead ferns.

Yeah, there are foods I feel the same way about. I will say, though, that both beets and quinoa fit into that category, and the beet-and-quinoa dish I had at Plum was super-tasty.

Putting strawberries into chicken sounds abhorrent.

Is it the mixing of savory and sweet? Do you dislike other kinds of fruit with meat?
posted by asterix at 11:15 AM on May 2


Ahahahaha. I just went searching for recipes for roast chicken with grapes, and I love the first sentence of this one: "Chicken and grapes – it sounds like something that you would feed your five year old for dinner."
posted by asterix at 11:17 AM on May 2 [4 favorites]


Some kids are into "fancy" food and strange dishes. And some kids are into the whole fancy restaurant experience. I was one of those kids. On the other hand, I hated peanut butter sandwiches when I was little (still do, mostly) and I've never understood the appeal of drinking milk. We're all different.
posted by thivaia at 11:17 AM on May 2 [3 favorites]


The only time we actually went to McDonalds, was after a family dinner with their friends who were Minnesota natives. I don't think I need to elaborate on the horror of that 'meal'.

I don't mean to be rude, but as a mid-westerner I'd like to ask: what the fuck is that supposed to mean?
posted by nerdler at 11:18 AM on May 2 [15 favorites]


Why not? The ingredients? The presentation? The description?

Presentation and ingredients. Those are just not things I am interested in trying, and I am a fairly good eater.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:33 AM on May 2


but as a mid-westerner I'd like to ask: what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

I'm a lifelong North-easterner but I assumed it had something to do with Lutefisk, which is the horror food of Minnesota that usually gets alluded to. That or some inedibly bland hot dish.
posted by aught at 11:35 AM on May 2


I really love Plum. I had dinner there recently, and was able to call ahead and get an adjusted tasting menu that took my food allergies into account. They asked really excellent questions to ensure that I wouldn't have any issues.

I understand that some people feel like eating as an experience is pretentious and ridiculous. I spent 7 years not being able to eat most anything because of food allergies, so to be able to call and have everything taken care of is a rare treat.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 11:36 AM on May 2 [15 favorites]


Putting strawberries into chicken sounds abhorrent. Like I said to the maître d at the fussy restaurant, "I'm sorry, but I just can't eat anything here".

I think you put the fussy adjective on the wrong actor in this sentence.

Seriously? Fruit and meat seems abhorrent to you? Do you find anything more complicated than hotdogs, mac and cheese, or hamburgers to be far too fancy for your palate?
posted by aspo at 11:37 AM on May 2 [13 favorites]


Is this where I brag that I practically have to joust my 1 year old for pork belly?
posted by Night_owl at 11:37 AM on May 2 [6 favorites]


Giving a kid food they don't like isn't child abuse. It's not even close. Good lord almighty. If anything that makes a four-year-old cry is abuse then I don't even.

Posting the kid crying on the internet is somewhat dickish. But still nowhere close to child abuse.
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:38 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]


So this is why I can't get a reservation at State Bird Provisions.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:40 AM on May 2 [5 favorites]


That AQ review is making me hungry.
posted by Night_owl at 11:43 AM on May 2


what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

This

This.

This.

This unholy accompaniment.

And whateverthefuck this is.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:46 AM on May 2 [11 favorites]


Pretty much, yeah. So what? Eat your fancy-ass food and I'll eat mine.

I make an excellent chili and a very hot chicken curry, though. I still do not want pickled grapes on my chicken.
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:50 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Seriously? Fruit and meat seems abhorrent to you? Do you find anything more complicated than hotdogs, mac and cheese, or hamburgers to be far too fancy for your palate?

Welcome to America, where all ethnic or atypical food causes diarrhea and food poisoning in the minds of the people.
posted by ChuckRamone at 11:50 AM on May 2 [10 favorites]


Giving a kid food they don't like isn't child abuse. It's not even close. Good lord almighty. If anything that makes a four-year-old cry is abuse then I don't even.

Posting the kid crying on the internet is somewhat dickish. But still nowhere close to child abuse
.

It would be one thing if the kid in question was excited about trying those foods and not upset. That child appeared to be pretty upset.

I know that kids should have their palates challenged, but it is beyond dickish to put a plate of tenticles and beets in front of a four-year old and to say, "fork it up kiddo" if the kid isn't used to seeing that kind of food. The photos are just the cherry on the shit sundae.

It would have been one thing to say to the kid, "You know, you were brave to try that, now here's something we know you like to eat," but when the food comes out and the kid is now in tears because of it...someone needed to pull the plug.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:51 AM on May 2 [3 favorites]


it is beyond dickish to put a plate of tenticles and beets in front of a four-year old and to say, "fork it up kiddo" if the kid isn't used to seeing that kind of food

... so how does the kid get used to seeing that kind of food?
posted by asterix at 11:54 AM on May 2 [12 favorites]


It's a four year-old, my niece cried when I told her I didn't like yogurt covered raisins for christ's sake. You are devaluing the impact of the term "child abuse"
posted by Think_Long at 11:55 AM on May 2 [24 favorites]


I looked for Forbidden Rice in the photograph but couldn't see any.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 11:55 AM on May 2 [3 favorites]


hotdish/goulash/etc can be really freaking tasty if done right. i've even managed to win my yankee husband over to the tatortot casserole. i also think the food at this plum place looks absolutely incredible and i would eat the hell out of it.
posted by nadawi at 11:57 AM on May 2 [6 favorites]


Four year olds have very limited frames of reference for anything. They probably only really even remember the last year or something like that. This makes it extremely likely that any new experience is going to be the Very Best or Very Worst of something that they've encountered.

As such, their reactions are often very, very dramatic, including usually multiple fits of crying every day. Parents and other caregivers are immersed in those behaviors every day, and finding it a little bit amusing is perfectly normal and healthy. I can't think of a better way to cope with the constant drama. Every good parent I've ever known has been at least a little amused at their kids' dramatics.

All three of those kids are intelligent, expressive, neatly groomed, well nourished, and seem perfectly well adjusted as four year olds go. They're fine.

Trust my judgment on this. I once made a jicima and beet salad that made an ELEVEN YEAR OLD break down sobbing. I know monsters because I am one.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:01 PM on May 2 [31 favorites]


cherry on the shit sundae.

Another picky eater, huh? Unbelievable, Metafilter. Well, I'm so sorry your prole palate can't handle something as delicious and elegant as fruit and cream and feces.
posted by Mapes at 12:01 PM on May 2 [10 favorites]


mmm(?), Week-Long Fermented Oatmeal
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:01 PM on May 2


mmm(?), Week-Long Fermented Oatmeal

I hadn't heard of that either. After some googling, I guess it's a thing? Sounds pretty good, I think I'm going to try it, unverified health claims asaid.
posted by Think_Long at 12:05 PM on May 2


mmm(?), Week-Long Fermented Oatmeal

I swear to god, I think half the problem in this thread is just the descriptions on the menu. I mean, what do you think sourdough is?
posted by asterix at 12:06 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


Chicken Veronique is chicken with grapes. It's also pretty tasty.

I am a very competent cook so I try to order dishes that would be difficult or too labor intense to make at home, so I usually end up trying to strangest, fussiest thing on the menu out of misplaced pride.
posted by The Whelk at 12:12 PM on May 2 [14 favorites]


Food is a profoundly personal, social, and intimate experience. It is tied to our values, our cultures, our families, our environment, whether you realize it or not. I like the regional differences in food, in presentation. Variety is good. Trying new things is good.

And kids that age hate most new things the first time they try it.

The Whelk: I am a very competent cook so I try to order dishes that would be difficult or too labor intense to make at home, so I usually end up trying to strangest, fussiest thing on the menu out of misplaced pride.

I do the same. It's fun that way! "How did they do prepare this? What IS that I'm tasting?"
posted by schnee at 12:15 PM on May 2 [6 favorites]


I am a very competent cook so I try to order dishes that would be difficult or too labor intense to make at home

I tend to order exactly the things that I make at home so that I can boastfully proclaim that my version is better.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:18 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


Why would you do this to a kid?

Why would you drag a four year old to a multiple course meal at a fancy restaurant so you can take dozens upon dozens of photographs of them crying?

I was bored by the time I read through that review. I can only imagine how cranky, bored, and hungry a four year old would be after sitting through a six course meal in that restaurant.

But I think we pretty solidly severed Elai’s trust back at the squid dish (and the “paint” didn’t help), and so from this dish on she would just start crying any time a dish came to the table.

I'm not saying this is child abuse, but come on, this is a pretty mean thing to do to a kid. I guess they thought it was going to make a funny blog post.
posted by inertia at 12:24 PM on May 2 [8 favorites]


> I looked for Forbidden Rice in the photograph but couldn't see any

That's because it's forbidden.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:25 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]


Another picky eater, huh? Unbelievable, Metafilter. Well, I'm so sorry your prole palate can't handle something as delicious and elegant as fruit and cream and feces.

Metafilter: as delicious and elegant as fruit and cream and feces.
posted by like_a_friend at 12:29 PM on May 2


Not that I object to publications taking out preschoolers and forcing nouveau cuisine down their throats, but I kind of read these assuming that at least one parent or guardian came along with the author and photographer. So when the kids cry and the dishes keep coming, I imagined an invisible mother, rolling her eyes and saying "she's FINE, we just skipped naptime."
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:31 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


I mean, what do you think sourdough is?

Fermented dough that is baked in to a bread?

The fermented oatmeal looked like pile of... fermented oatmeal cooked in water.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:32 PM on May 2


Oh sure this thread is all about eating some weird thing, but I ask next door and you same people shoot me down. It's too old, that's not proper food handing, microwaving it for a long time isn't good enough. I'm on to you.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:34 PM on May 2 [6 favorites]


Also I recently witnessed a four-year-old child have a full on sobbing meltdown because her mother gave her TWO apple slices, not ONE apple slice.

Four year old children will cry at anything in the world.
posted by like_a_friend at 12:34 PM on May 2 [35 favorites]


I know she's 4, and this is probably relatively challenging food even for an average adult, but my personal and irrational attitude equivocating picky eating with mental and moral defect apparently extends to the wholly undeserving.
posted by cmoj at 12:44 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]


Also, doesn't chicken salad pretty typically typically have grapes in it?
posted by thivaia at 12:48 PM on May 2 [3 favorites]


I know that kids should have their palates challenged, but it is beyond dickish to put a plate of tenticles and beets in front of a four-year old and to say, "fork it up kiddo" if the kid isn't used to seeing that kind of food.

I went through an entire year when I was three or four when all I would eat was canned chicken noodle soup. My mom kept putting different food in front of me and encouraging me to try it. This seems like a totally normal parent-thing to do with a kid who is doing a normal kid-thing. Like, not in the least abusive. I don't even.

By the time I was six I was buying chocolate milk and inari sushi rolls for my Saturday lunch at the corner store.
posted by rtha at 12:50 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


I would eat this if someone else bought me dinner. I would not pay for it myself. Too risky. I would cry harder than this kid if I dropped $100 or whatever on a meal and I couldn't eat it.
posted by desjardins at 12:52 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


I thought this was really cute and funny rather than cruel. But then I may be evil and also somewhat immunised against small children's grief, given that my 4 year old niece cried the other day because she didn't like her trousers.

It amuses me that her "I'm eating squid" face is the same as mine. Also her "I'm eating bread" face.
posted by billiebee at 12:54 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]


I thought these kids were troupers (looked through some of the other ones) just for sitting there and trying the different foods, even if they didn't like some of it. Also they were all pretty cute and their descriptions were cute.
posted by sweetkid at 12:59 PM on May 2


I used to be an incredibly picky eater as a child and I honestly didn't start growing out of it until probably my late teens/early 20s. So it's probably safe to say my reactions would have been very similar. Not a peanut butter banana sandwich? GTFO.
posted by Kitteh at 1:01 PM on May 2


As the parent of a toddler: this is hilarious and adorable. Mine just cried at me when I put the Nutella cracker and peanut butter cracker together instead of letting her put them together. I can only hope mine end up as adventurous.
No one is forcing these kids to eat. They try it and then make faces, and mug for the camera some. And you know what? They're fine. They're experiencing new things and someone is taking pictures and putting said pictures on the internet.
You know when else that happens? ALL THE DAMN TIME.
posted by mfu at 1:02 PM on May 2 [20 favorites]


My father made me eat cottage cheese when I was a child just because it had been served to me. I hated it and I hated him for making me eat it. Food is kind of like sex in my opinion....you have the right to say no. So that was the last time I ate cottage cheese and that was the last time someone made me eat something I did not like. So good for this kid for figuring out how to express NO.
posted by OhSusannah at 1:04 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


I indirectly blame my stepmother for my intense dislike of pork chops (a moot point now as I'm a vegan). She wouldn't let me leave the table until I ate the fat not just the meat. So now that is one food memory that makes me gag forever.
posted by Kitteh at 1:05 PM on May 2


My point isn't that giving a kid this kind of food is in and of itself a dick move, it's that having them sit for what I presume to be 2+ hours (considering it was a six course meal) at a restaurant while being photographed is the dick move.

Sure, some kids are picky, and four year olds have meltdowns over anything, but putting your kid into a situation where they are sure to be unhappy and have a meltdown because you think it will be entertaining for other people is just not cool.
posted by inertia at 1:09 PM on May 2 [6 favorites]


this is probably relatively challenging food even for an average adult

It's not! Really! It's totally delicious and if you can get past the descriptions and the unorthodox plating, it's not ultimately that much different from plenty of things unadventurous eaters eat every single day.
posted by asterix at 1:11 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


I, too, had the negative reaction of envy. All of those delicious dishes, so exquisitely displayed, food like I've not been able to afford for years, wasted on a four-year-old just to see her screw up her face in disgust. It's a slap in the face to those of us who can't afford to eat like this.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 1:16 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


Taking a kid to a restaurant like this and making her feel obligated to eat food you know she's not going to like until she breaks down crying every time a new dish comes to the table...

Sounds like some of my DATES! ha ha, we've got a great show for you tonight, SHIA LABOEUF is here, and TAYLOR SWIFT! We'll be right back!
posted by Greg Nog at 1:18 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


Picky eating is a moral failing.
posted by painquale at 1:18 PM on May 2 [3 favorites]


I was fairly confident while reading this that the dishes she's tasting are actually whatever mom and/or dad ordered and she gets the ceremonial first bite. I didn't get the impression that the food was all whisked into the garbage the minute she started crying.

Maybe I'm a bad person, but I found this charming and hilarious. I thought she was a good sport and articulate and adorable.

But then, I also thought the videos of parents telling kids they ate all the kid's halloween candy were hilarious. My parents delighted in messing with us. God help my future generations...
posted by chatongriffes at 1:22 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


My point isn't that giving a kid this kind of food is in and of itself a dick move, it's that having them sit for what I presume to be 2+ hours (considering it was a six course meal) at a restaurant while being photographed is the dick move.

They appear to be borrowing other people's kids, presumably children whose parents believe that their kids would enjoy getting to review restaurants with their face. And I'm not a huge fan of sticking kids on the internet, but then I don't see how this is worse than getting your kids into acting or advertising or whatever.
posted by jeather at 1:25 PM on May 2


It's a slap in the face to those of us who can't afford to eat like this.

This is kind of a mote/beam issue, though, isn't it?
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:27 PM on May 2


Bold Italic is a lifestyle/events/happenings/culture blog about San Francisco. This seems to be a regular feature on their site. I doubt this all happened during regular dining hours or that they ate what their parents ordered - it seems to be a specific tasting menu for the kids, like they're mini food critics.

It's like Kids React, but with food.
posted by sweetkid at 1:28 PM on May 2


Coq au Vin is chicken with fermented grapes. Sounds disgusting, I know, but it can be pretty tasty.
posted by Cookiebastard at 1:30 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


Is this the most pretentious restaurant in the universe?

You're confusing Berkeley with Oakland.

If you can't get enough of kids dismissing 'adult cuisine' check out this Buzzfeed Video
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:40 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


I see a lot of posts that seem to imply that any crying by a four-year-old is silly, trivial and deserving of mockery. As though a four-year-old is incapable of feeling legitimate distress.

Continuing to do something that has made a four-year-old cry for the purpose of acquiring material for a (in this case not-very-interesting) blog project is super-shitty, regardless of the dismissive attitudes other adults seem to have about children's feelings. After a point they're intentionally causing a child distress for the sole purpose of amusing other adults.

Additionally troubling is that they're publishing images of a child who is unlikely to be able to understand the ramifications of the persistence of such material on the Internet or its potential impact on her life, and who therefore cannot give what could reasonably be considered informed consent.

It's Narcissism by Proxy.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 1:46 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


Additionally troubling is that they're publishing images of a child who is unlikely to be able to understand the ramifications of the persistence of such material on the Internet or its potential impact on her life, and who therefore cannot give what could reasonably be considered informed consent.

I actually agree that this is wrong but I can't get anyone to agree with me! Ah, well.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:48 PM on May 2


I actually agree that this is wrong but I can't get anyone to agree with me! Ah, well.

No, I totally agree on this point. I just think it's beyond ridiculous to imply that anything which results in a 4-year-old being visibly upset constitutes "abuse."

Or to imply that having a 4-year-old eat, or even SEE, a plate of unfamiliar food constitutes abuse, because said 4-year-old dislikes the food.
posted by like_a_friend at 1:55 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


Yes, but do you agree that's the case for all pictures? That's what I mean.

I don't think this is abuse. You can't really predict a kid will cry or whatever. My son wouldn't try any of these so maybe she's usually somewhat adventurous...
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:04 PM on May 2


Re: crying

My wife was just telling me this story yesterday...
http://www.amalah.com/amalah/2014/04/one-month-from-three.html
posted by xorry at 2:10 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


I loved the Mission Chinese one (wasn't there a post here about that?) and I love this idea, generally, but the sad crying child kinda ruined this one for me.

The paint part was hilarious, though. Of course it looked like that to her.
posted by gerstle at 2:10 PM on May 2


Additionally troubling is that they're publishing images of a child who is unlikely to be able to understand the ramifications of the persistence of such material on the Internet or its potential impact on her life, and who therefore cannot give what could reasonably be considered informed consent.

I agree. Internet, please stop posting pictures of your children.

Thanks.
posted by el io at 2:11 PM on May 2


I see a lot of posts that seem to imply that any crying by a four-year-old is silly, trivial and deserving of mockery. As though a four-year-old is incapable of feeling legitimate distress.

I would argue that instead, you see a lot of posts suggesting that tears are not a particularly accurate indicator of legitimate distress in a four-year-old, because they will literally cry over the color of their shoelaces.

Yes, but do you agree that's the case for all pictures? That's what I mean.

Well, I'm assuming you don't actually mean "all pictures of anyone in any location at any age" when you say "all pictures."

No, I don't generally think it's super-awesome to publish pictures of kids on the Internet when said kids are too young to really grok what's happening. I think this is a fairly innocuous example, since the potential ramifications seem to me pretty benign, but overall, yeah. Save the kid pics for your locked-down Facebook or Flickr or whatever.
posted by like_a_friend at 2:12 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


I want to eat at a restaurant where each dish you order is also fed to a four year old that you get to watch on camera. The restaurant would be called "Legitimate Distress" and it is booked solid for months in advance.
posted by mullacc at 2:24 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


Even better, you get dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and soft-serve, the four year old gets really squid-heavy ceviche and seaweed foam.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:27 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


Seems like child abuse to me.

That's hilarious. Have you ever met a four-year-old?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:27 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


Save the kid pics for your locked-down Facebook or Flickr or whatever.

I'm not sure I want to live in a world where there are no pictures of kids because they're not of age to sign a release form.
posted by billiebee at 2:35 PM on May 2


Eh, I thought this was pretty cute. I highly doubt that any of the meals involved lasted very long (just because there were six dishes doesn't mean they were served as separate and full courses), and the little kid crying seemed pretty momentary, as it do. If anything, it reminded me of Reasons My Son Is Crying.

I remember getting really upset on the odd occasion when people responded to my childhood upset with amusement, but looking back, laughing is probably the only thing you can do when confronted with the tempestuous emotional world of the average four-year-old child.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 2:35 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


Does anyone getting all puffed up about how this is CHILD ABUSE actually have children? It seems like a whole lot of projection and personal issues coming through. Seriously I recently had to deal with a 5 year old screaming and freaking out because he could smell our coffee. We didn't even offer him any, someone leaned in and sniffed it and said they liked the smell of coffee and his head whipped around, took it all in, and then he flung his body to the floor and started wailing about how awful and horrible the smell was and on and on.

He's not a bad kid, really it's just normal kid behaviour. He probably needed a nap. If someone wants to say we were engaging in child abuse for refusing to whisk away the source of his anguish, I'm interested in hearing your justifications. (He was told if he didn't like the smell, he could go into the next room, and once he realized screaming in the next room didn't get him any attention he gave it up.)

Honestly, when does a kid start to learn how to deal with new foods (and new experiences in general) if showing them new foods is abuse? I know adults who refuse to try anything new, even outside of foods, and it's not a behaviour one should be aiming to cultivate. I've had to do a lot of learning how to self-soothe and deal in stressful situations, it's a really useful skill to teach to a kid. Also, with music I've found kids HATE it the first time they hear it, tolerate it a few more times, and then demand you play it. (And they never appreciate you pointing that pattern out to them.) It's a lot like that with food too.

I like the saying, we can't tell the difference between what is actually good, and what is familiar. Small children often define that.

Also, calling serving a kid squid or octopus child abuse... you are aware those are normal foods right? That cultures around the world feed to their kids with no problems? Would you feel the same if a kid in China was crying and screaming because someone offered him cheese strings?
posted by Dynex at 3:05 PM on May 2 [13 favorites]


I don't think it's child abuse (I'm not a parent) but I bet we all have horror stories of being forced to eat something as a child that we still can't eat as adults. For me, it's cream cheese. I'm not saying that's even what's going on here, but it's in the same playground.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:08 PM on May 2


I'm pretty sure I ate squid and octopus at that age (and I still do.) In many cultures these are pretty run-of-the-mill foods. There's a lot of projection and ridiculous use of the term "child abuse" going on in this thread.
posted by ob at 3:20 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


But it's not the same as a parent doing the "You're not getting up from the table until you finish your [food that makes you barf]" routine. The kids are obviously given a choice whether to try it or not, as in the last instance when she refused to eat the chicken. She wasn't forced to just to satisfy the writers.
posted by billiebee at 3:21 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Even if they forced her to eat the squid it wouldn't be child abuse. It would just be parenting.

Trying to scam her into eating two kinds of beets in a salad with mint dressing? Prawns with mint leaves and heirloom purple Rice? Sky Rat with rotten oatmeal and chocolate sauce? I think those might be child abuse.
posted by Megafly at 3:32 PM on May 2


The restaurant would be called "Legitimate Distress" and it is booked solid for months in advance.

It's the New Cruelty.
posted by Daily Alice at 3:49 PM on May 2 [3 favorites]


Putting strawberries into chicken sounds abhorrent.

Avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and all varieties of peppers are actually fruits.

There. Now fruit and meat can freely co-mingle.
posted by FJT at 3:52 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


"but I bet we all have horror stories of being forced to eat something as a child that we still can't eat as adults."

Oh, I do, but it really pales in comparison with the memory of getting punched in the face for not finishing a homework assignment.
posted by Dynex at 3:54 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


No, I don't generally think it's super-awesome to publish pictures of kids on the Internet when said kids are too young to really grok what's happening.

You realize kids exist in the world, and are often in locations in which they are visible, correct?
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 4:07 PM on May 2


I'm sorry, I still can't get over the fact that some adults find this kind of food "challenging". Barring some serious taste aversions how in the world is squid and fowl challenging? Potentially not to one's liking, sure, but challenging?
posted by lydhre at 4:12 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


I still can't get over the fact that some adults find this kind of food "challenging".

It's psychological. I realise I won't die and at worst I will just have an unpleasant taste in my mouth. But the non-rational part goes THAT THING HAS FUCKING TENTACLES AND THAT OTHER THING IS A FLYING RAT AARGH!! I mean goat's cheese freaks me out, for pity's sake, because it's from A GOAT AARGH!!

Listen, when I was growing up pizza and curries were exciting foreign foods.
posted by billiebee at 4:20 PM on May 2


Most Americans still think curries are exciting foreign foods.
posted by aspo at 4:49 PM on May 2


(Though I have to admit, I suppose I can understand not liking goat cheese, but freaking out it being a goat seems... odd. I mean I guess if it came from, I don't know, giant wasps or something I could understand, but goats? Do you freak out when considering goat curry?)
posted by aspo at 4:51 PM on May 2


You realize kids exist in the world, and are often in locations in which they are visible, correct?

NO WAY! How did I miss this? What kind of world are we living in these days...

There are differences between seeing a kid running around in your immediate presence, seeing a kid's picture in your friend's or relative's email or facebook, seeing a kid who is a professional model or actor being paid to appear in something, and seeing a non-pro kid with their full name and location on a blog that has no controls in place whatsoever.

That last one, yes, does in fact give me a bit of pause. My exact words were "not super-awesome," a phrase that also applies to, like, the english muffins at Dunkin Donuts, and the Chicago Cubs.

I don't like having my pictures all over the internet. But I'm a grown-ass adult, and if a friend blogged my picture, 1) I'd probably have veto power over it in the first place, 2) I'd have the skills to ask them to remove it if I'd not approved, and 3) if for whatever reason they didn't, I have the capacity to deal with or mitigate whatever consequences befell me.

None of these apply to a small child, so it just seems like people should apply a little more caution than they often do, when plastering the internet with their kids' faces.
posted by like_a_friend at 4:55 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


"not super-awesome," a phrase that also applies to, like, the english muffins at Dunkin Donuts

They have english muffins at Dunkin Donuts? How did you come to possess this knowledge? And why in the name of all things holy WOULD you get an english muffin at a donut shop?
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:04 PM on May 2


There is much knowledge to be gleaned from a botched breakfast-sandwich order at a drive-through window.
posted by like_a_friend at 5:21 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


And why in the name of all things holy WOULD you get an english muffin at a donut shop?

I presume as part of a breakfast sandwich. You might get a breakfast sandwich at Dunkin' Donuts because, for example, there is one in Penn Station and you are hungry but also need to catch the 7:15 in order to get to work on time, and as a bonus you can get a coffee large enough to prevent you from missing your stop.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:02 PM on May 2


BAM, PRESUMED CORRECTLY kinda
posted by en forme de poire at 6:03 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


If I found out a kid was critiquing the food I was making, I'd totally have sent out a few fun dishes done up on the spot compliments of the house. One, yes, critics do get special treatment. Two, yes, if the kid is trying stuff, there's a lot of fun stuff you can do with a palate that isn't fully formed. You get to mix a lot if fun tastes together - and yeah, there is a major challenge in making high end cuisine kid friendly.

So yeah, anything that has been fermented for a week is probably off the menu - unless incorporated somewhere along the end of a funky mustard. Point being - the chef should know their audience - and that means serve them the meal they order, but also serve them the meal they'll enjoy.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:00 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


but I bet we all have horror stories of being forced to eat something as a child that we still can't eat as adults. For me, it's cream cheese.

But what's wrong with that?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:22 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Nothing is wrong with cream cheese, but I once threw up onto my dinner plate after being forced to eat something I didn't like -- broccoli, still hate it. I would have been a terrible kid for these stories, but I am pretty sure the kids knew what was up ("try all this weird ADULT food, one bite of everything, we'll take pictures of you") and though I don't think they had the ability to make an informed decision about their pictures going up online, I do think they had the ability to make a decision about whether they wanted to try the weird adult food or not. (With the help of their parents, sure.)
posted by jeather at 8:34 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


I mean, a kid not liking a food is a funny thing. Sometimes a kid wants to eat nothing but cheese sandwiches for four months. My kid starts vibrating with excitement when he sees a box of raisins but then sometimes will scream at you in horror if you put raisins in front of him because he wants a drink of water instead. He likes macaroni and cheese unless he's decided it's time to throw it on the floor in disgust. Sometimes a kid refuses to open her mouth when you show her something new and will make atrocious gagging sounds if it touches her tongue but then next week she'll have forgotten about that and will really like it. Kids.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:01 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]


I loved my mom's Fettucine Alfredo (from a packet thing) from about age 4 to 8. It ended up being something she made for me pretty regularly and I was obsessed with it, until one day when I was 8 - I just wouldn't even take a bite, wouldn't touch it. I never ate it or asked for it again. No idea why. I remember her being really exasperated.
posted by sweetkid at 9:04 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


It's great because you have all these books and parenting websites and stuff being like YOUR KID IS NOT EATING ENOUGH WHOLE GRAINS, HERE ARE PHOTOS OF AN INFANT KNEE-DEEP IN QUINOA and HOW MUCH ARUGULA DOES YOUR TODDLER HAVE EVERY DAY? YOU ARE A TERRIBLE PARENT and then meanwhile your kid is like 'For the next seventeen hours I will refuse everything except the red goldfish crackers.'
posted by shakespeherian at 9:14 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


The fuck are "raw grapes"? Like, grapes?
posted by schoolgirl report at 9:51 PM on May 2 [8 favorites]


Putting strawberries into chicken sounds abhorrent.

I know, right? Next thing you know, people are going to start eating turkey with cranberries.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:06 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


I thought this was very funny and posted it to my locked down FB page.

Not even close to being child abuse based on my own childhood memories of a sobbing sibling puking peas on the dining room table and then being knocked out of the chair for not eating his dinner. That's child abuse.

She wasn't being forced to eat anything. She tasted it and didn't like it and they took a picture of her reaction. i hope she finds it funny when she is older. She is very cute and an excellent Food Critic.
posted by cairnoflore at 10:44 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Zaphod Beeblebrox reviews (with both faces!) the roasted squab breast in The Pretentious Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
posted by blueberry at 11:15 PM on May 2


I thought this was really adorable.
posted by SarahElizaP at 9:48 PM on May 3


Yeah, there are foods I feel the same way about.


Me too.

Twizzlers.


I am pretty sure that they are made out of polyurethane and spiders and they disgust me.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:28 PM on May 3


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