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Twin Cities Dining Professionals Rate Their Biggest Grievances of 2019

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What really grinds our gears: a lack of delis, the loss of restaurants, and mental health support

A gray metal chair that’s prevalent in restaurants that is stupidly uncomfortable for all posteriors
This chair sucks
Hobby Lobby [Official]

In keeping with Eater tradition, we’re closing out 2019 by looking back at the year that was along with a collection of local media experts. Already we’ve talked about restaurant standbys, newcomers, neighborhoods, biggest surprises, and attempted to sum up the year in one word. Now, we’re unleashing our biggest dining grievances of the year.

Jess Fleming of the Pioneer Press, “Stop selling me your menu like you’re a used car salesman. I know how to read, and I’ll ask if I want a recommendation.”

Sharyn Jackson of the Star Tribune, “TVs in restaurants. We all have them in our pockets if we really need them; why are they still all over the walls?”

Mike Marcotte of Twin Cities Live, “It was a sad day when Corner Table closed. I made sure to make a reservation during their last month.”

Sarah Bumble and Em Cassel of City Pages, “There’s a serious lack of Jewish delis; darling Cecil’s can’t bear this burden forever.”

Nancy Ngo of the Pioneer Press, “Inexperienced service.”

James Norton, food editor of Growler Magazine, “Honestly, the fact that we lost Russian Tea House, which was a weird, wonderful little gem of a place in St. Paul. You just can’t replace that kind of grit and soul.”

Joy Summers, editor Eater Twin Cities, “First of all, this chair sucks. More importantly, even as the stigma of mental health shifts, and restaurants are finally moving away from romanticizing the roguish ‘bad boy’ chefs and demoralizing/abusing staff in the name of cultivating a rough and tough culture, we have a long way to go. This year, we’ve lost extended restaurant family to suicide. The excessive drinking, accepted drug use, enabling addiction, roadblocks to affordable support... Those kicking all the ass in this industry still need so much more support than is readily available. We have a long way to go in taking care of each other. We can and need to continue to work to do better at cultivating resources for dealing with addiction, depression, anxiety, and the common plagues of the industry. ”

If you or anyone you know is considering suicide or self-harm or is anxious, depressed, upset, or needs to talk, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. For international resources, here is a good place to begin.

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