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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, December 2

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« Culinary Gender Inequality IS a Media Concern Mastering the Art of Beef Bourguignon »

Random Mon Nov 11 2013

Cool Food Concepts I Wish Existed

rsz_1378696_36671538.jpgIn my spare time, I think of food ideas that would probably get demolished on Shark Tank but would solve so many first-world problems:

There's Roti for Middle Eastern, Chipotle and Qdoba for "Mexican," Flat Top for Asian, and HomeMade Pizza Company for pizza. So why not sushi--with adorable Asian sides like edamame and tempura chips?! A chain called How Do You Roll? already exists in TX, AZ, and FL, but I see this concept expanding all over the US.
The pros: White people love dem sushi. No worrying about cold food. Healthy alternative.
The cons: Expensive and highly-perishable ingredients. Plus, can you really roll sushi like a Japanese sensei?

I never purchase Bugles or Famous Amos from vending machines with the intention of being healthy. But instead of smashing my face into a pile of peanut butter Cliff bars, what if vending machines began to offer truly-healthy options? Like salads? Well now I can!
Pros: Healthy alternative to fattening snacks. Support for local farmers/growers.
Cons: Rotten produce. Operational efficiency? The general unsexiness of automated dining.

rsz_932214_39372618.jpgBYOF (BRING YOUR OWN FOOD)
It's common practice in Latin American and Asian countries for people to bring their own food for chefs to cook in outdoors stalls or restaurants. The diner actively participates in the creation of their meal, while chefs get to unleash their creative side. Unfortunately, it's not a concept popular in the US, although I know World of Beer encourages diners to bring their own food.
The pros: Cuts down cuts for restaurants. No more revising dishes for picky eaters or wannabe celiacs.
The cons: Legal clusterf**ck.

For those who prefer to minimize real-life human interaction as much as possible, digital menus are the solution to restaurant dining. No more incorrect orders! No more terribly awkward server-diner interactions! With a simple swipe or gentle tap, diners can order and pay for food/drinks off the menu, play Hangman while waiting, request songs/TV channels, maybe even watch chefs prepare their dishes from the kitchen.
The pros: Lower staff cost, streamlined operations
The cons: The maiming of hospitality and fine dining

As donuts, pies, and gelatos invade the dessert space, it's time to revamp the cupcake concept. Unfortunately, cupcakes already come in 6,000 flavors and typically only appeal to women, meaning half the US population remains untapped. So it's high time someone reinvent this bite-size treat for men. Rainbow sprinkles? Not unless it's fortified with protein powder, bro. Buttercream lavender frosting? Hell no, sub the fried bacon.
The pros: The best menu in the entire world: Snickerdude, Chocolate Broconut, Flexin' Fudge, Dark Chocolate Dunks, Cookies-n-kegs, Touchdown Tiramisu, P and BJ, Red Velvet Roids
The cons: Are there any?

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Caroline Stevens / November 11, 2013 5:44 PM

A make your own sushi place exits in Dayton, OH (and other OH cities) of all places. It was incredibly good, and I agree a concept that every city should adopt!

Kayleigh / November 15, 2013 1:26 PM

There is a make-your-own sushi place (I believe it's a chain) in East Lansing, MI. It's called Tamaki and opened just a couple of months ago. They also do custom stir-frys, noodle bowls, rice bowls, wraps, etc. It's pretty Americanized but still quite good.

Kayleigh / November 15, 2013 1:28 PM

There is also a place in Japan (can't remember the name) that does digital/interactive menus (tablets at each table, basically). The food also arrives on your table from a conveyor belt so waiters don't have to bring it out. Cool concept but a little troubling to have on a more massive scale... that's a lot of jobs lost if this becomes really popular.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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