I'm always told that small, local restaurants need my 'support,' as if they are non-profit charities rather than regular businesses. The Blue Onion will go bankrupt without my patronage, they claim. Franco's will be stacking its chairs on tables for the last time unless I book one of those tables. It's like a soup kitchen in reverse: do-gooder diners making donations to mendicant cooks.
Alas, as with the bums on the street, such down-on-their luck restaurants are their own worst enemies. Just take a look at their menus: inedible amalgams of pan-seared farro, kale chips, nouveau gelatin and widdershins-strangled ostrich. Meanwhile, the waitstaff are either off-puttingly obsequious, downright aloof or completely non-existent. And I don't relish paying nine dollars for an unknown beer from darkest Oregon or twelve for a dribble of wine from an industrial strength vineyard.
Temples of food? More like Bible-bashing hucksters on a street corner with a burnt-out grill and whatever they found in some locally-sourced dumpsters. Is it any wonder such establishments find themselves on the chopping block?