Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator (ludickid) wrote,
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator

Another post not about Valentine's Day

I have always had a problem with the warring notions of "homestyle" and "restaurant quality".

Oh, I understand the concept well enough; "homestyle" means "hearty and delicious, like something you might make at home if you knew how to cook and weren't a lazy sack of crap, and not like that overpriced garbage that some Mexican probably spit in you get at a restaurant", while "restaurant quality" means "fancy and delicious, like something you might buy at a restaurant if you had any class and could afford to buy something other than an annual pair of shoelaces, and not like the turkey-dog-on-a-slice-of-Wonder-bread you call your 'special dinner'". What I don't quite get is when and how they're applied.

To me, it only makes sense for "homestyle" to be used in a restaurant and "restaurant quality" to be used on something you buy at a grocery store. Although this does bring up the question of why you don't just go home/go to a restaurant, it does make a certain level of marketing sense: putting "homestyle" on a menu item at a restaurant implies that they make things like you would make them at home if you weren't incompetent and slothful, and putting "restaurant quality" on a grocery item implies that it's good enough to come from someplace in the Guide Michelin instead of being something you got in the frozen food aisle at the Wal-Mart while you were grocery shopping at 3AM while tweaking on bathtub crank. Even if it's all the same processed Sysco crap, these labels make a certain amount of sense from an advertising angle.

But for many years, I've been confused by seeing the label "homestyle" applied to things you buy at the grocery store. Of course they're homestyle! You're going to take them and prepare them at home! What sad sack is going to get any emotional validation out of being told that the defrosted lasagna they just shoved down the gullets of their loveless family is very similar to something they might possibly be capable of crafting themselves? Even more bizarre is something I only began seeing in the last few weeks: the use of the descriptor "restaurant-quality" to describe something available for purchase in a restaurant. Of course it's restaurant-quality! I'm ordering it at a fucking restaurant! Even if this was some sort of high praise -- which it isn't, being instead a variation on the statement "this food is sufficient to be offered for sale at a food-selling establishment" -- it's unnerving to use it to describe just a few select menu items, as if the rest of their bill of fare isn't restaurant-quality and is instead intended for use in zoos and cattle ranches.

I'd like to suggest the elimination of these pointless adjectives (as well as affiliated nonsense such as "just like homemade" and the truly meaning-free "gourmet-style"), and their replacement with "sub-Bennigan's" and "supra-Bennigan's", a much more descriptive and informative set of terms that provides you with the useful information that the food you are about to purchase and/or order is better or worse than what you might find at a Bennigan's, if God cursed you and you were forced to eat at one.

Happy Valentine's Day.

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