Which dining trends are on fleek and which have run their course(s)? 

Today's special or 86'ed

Today's special

Rainbow food: Most likely, this trend is a product of the Insta-generation, where photogenic food doesn't guarantee deliciousness. So far, we've spied Technicolor bagels, grilled cheese sandwiches, soft-serve and waffles. More to come, to be sure.

Over-the-top-milkshakes: Viral shots of these gut-busters came first from Down Under, featuring the Canberra Cafe's candy/cake/cookie-laden shakes, then were brought to America by tiny New York sensation Black Tap. They're the over-garnished bloody marys of the dessert domain.

Grain bowls: Whatever's piled on top (extra avocado for us, please), there's sure to be quinoa, bulgur, farro or some other whole grain stuffed into the bottom. A dish fit for those of us who love to mix it all up, not for those who prefer compartmentalized school-lunch trays.

Donuts: A long time coming, the gourmet donut trend has been lying in wait around here until this whole cupcake thing peters out. Now that tiny cakes are a basic given on America's collective dessert menu, the donut can now rise (see what we did there?) to its puffed-dough potential.

Bao: Once relegated to street-food status, now the bao is having its moment in the sweet and salty sun. Traditionally filled with pork belly, hoisin sauce, scallions and cucumber, you can now find the steamed buns stuffed with Korean fried chicken, Thai-spiced shrimp, braised brisket – even ice cream.

Poke: Hawaii's national dish is making a splash now that we're all over sushi and related raw-fish dishes (see also: tartare, carpaccio and chirashi). Usually (but not always), poke's marinated fish sits atop rice, with seaweed, veggies and a spicy mayo. Pass the spoon.


Pork belly: We're blaming paleo dieters for this one. Now that fat isn't off-limits for adherents, chefs took that and ran with it until you saw the half-fat, half-lean protein everywhere from pizza to tacos to salads (seriously). Let's find a new pork product to tout now, shall we? Not bacon.

Ramen: As much as it pains us to say it, and believe us, we love a big bowl of noodles as much as the next guy, ramen's trendiness is done. It will forever live in our gastronomic memories as a go-to for rainy days, but now it's served regularly at Disney, and we just can't abide.

Fried egg on everything: A lovely runny yolk does well to sauce bibimbap, and we love a pair of sunny-sides on our brunch plate, but eggs over brisket, baked into pizza or atop a towering burger ... we've had our fill. A fried egg on top does not an instant brunch dish make.

Charcuterie platters: We get it. You make your own. You slave over the meat grinder and the spice grinder and stuff the pork casings and wait until it's just right for slicing before arranging it in a finicky, artificially "random" arrangement on a serving plank with mostarda and cornichons and jam. Basta.

Chicken & waffles: Sweet sticky maple syrup over fluffy, crispy waffles and savory, juicy fried chicken: What's not to like? But now that the Southern food craze has cooled off a bit, perhaps there's a new flavor/texture fad around the corner that will captivate like this combo did.


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