The communal table, a not-so-terrible trend
While the discussion under 10 Terrible Dining Trends was very interesting, and I think it will cause readers to be a little more careful about joking about dogs and Asian restaurants, it did get us a bit far from the original post and the dining trends. (Other than the foam, of course, which holds endless fascination for everyone because, well, I have to admit that when done badly it does look like dog slobber.)
But I wanted to talk more about Trend No. 7: the Communal Table, which we've discussed before. ...
Did it surprise you that anyone felt strongly enough about communal tables in restaurants to include it in a top 10 of worst dining trends? It did me.
The only communal tables I can think of around here off the top of my head are at the Lebanese Taverna in Harbor East, Tabrizi's in Harborview and the Iron Bridge Wine Company in Columbia. I haven't a clue whether people enjoy eating at them or not; I've never heard anyone express an opinion.
But isn't it sort of like eating at a bar (only without having the bartender to talk to, of course)? You can interact with your neighbors or not, I would imagine. Or do you just not sit at them unless you want social discourse? Or to pick up cute guys or gals?
The reason they are so awful, according to the story, is this:
Said Michael Schwartz, the chef/owner of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Miami: the communal table "assumes people who don't know each other want to sit together."
(Tribune photo by Antonio Perez)