The 78 Most Annoying Words to Read in a Restaurant Review

There's a hot and hilarious discussion happening over on our Food Media and News board, nominating the most annoying words used in restaurant reviews. L.Nightshade helpfully compiled an alphabetic list of the offenders. To wit:

  • 100 mile
    addictive
    affordable prices
    ambrosia
    annealed
    artisanal
    authentic
    awesome
    bad boy
    cloyingly sweet
    cooked to perfection
    crazy delicious
    cuts with a fork
    decadent
    deconstructed
    died and gone to heaven
    engorged
    eponymous
    falls off the bone
    fellows
    foodie
    gastropub
    gem
    goodness
    gooeyness
    gutsy
    haute barnyard
    healthy
    hidden gem
    historic
    house-made
    I have seen God
    I really want to like this place
    in my opinion
    inedible
    local
    locavore
    meltingly tender
    most unique
  • mouthfeel
    munch
    my kingdom for ...
    napped
    oh so ...
    omg
    organic
    orgasmic
    party in your mouth
    piping hot
    piquant
    pocked
    redolent
    revelatory
    sammie
    sinful
    sing
    slurp
    song
    surreal
    sustainable
    symphony of flavors
    taste sensation
    terrific
    think
    to die for
    toothsome
    trio
    tucking into
    tummy
    ubiquitous
    unctuous
    underwhelming
    you won't go away hungry
    yummers
    yummilicious
    yumminess
    yummo
    yummy

Pause. Giggle giggle giggle. And now some thought. There are certainly clear offenders: No adult is allowed to write tummy in a review ever, and when I see the word addictive used to describe food in anything I'm editing, I edit it right out. Sammie is quite horrible, and napped always sounds pretentious to me. Is annealed even a word? Yeah, I see it is ... Robert Sietsema at the Village Voice apparently uses it as a synonym for stuck on. That one only seems marginally appropriate if the food in question is, in fact, stuck together with meat glue, or, possibly, as in Sietsema's case, where he was describing the interior of a blackened pig's head.

But alanbarnes makes a good argument that some of the culprits are actually specific and useful: "'organic' is strictly defined, and it's pretty hard to fudge on '100-mile' ... you can't claim that those usages are anything other than precise."

Any others we missed? Anyone want to stand up and defend symphony of flavors? Party in your mouth? No?