October 04, 1989 12:00 PM

Or, 80 Reasons Eating Was the Great Adventure of the ’80s

1 Babbling Waiters: “Hi, my name is Laurence. I’ll be annoying you all through your meal tonight.”

2 Mesquite: Another bush from Texas.

3 Superstar Chefs: Heat ‘n’ greet.

4 Cheez Whiz: Found to be microwavable and anticarcinogenic.

5 Free-range Chickens: Not penning them up soothes our carnivorous consciences.

6 Farm-raised Venison: Penning them up soothes our carnivorous consciences.

7 The Greening of America: Twenty-four-hour Korean fruit and vegetable markets.

8 Free the Veals! Activists demand exercise for the couch potatoes of the animal kingdom.

9 Carpaccio: Italian sushi.

10 Cold Pasta Salad: Fattening yuppie health food.

11 Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Extra fattening yuppie health food.

12 No Preservatives Added: Better health through accelerated spoilage.

13 Good (HDL) Cholesterol: You never know who your friends are.

14 Sun-dried Tomatoes

15 Decadent Delights: The raviolo (one ravioli), $36 at Manhattan’s San Domenico. Yummy, but what would Chef Boy-Ar-Dee have thought?

16 Blackened Everything: Looks bad, tastes worse, very popular.

17 Open-kitchen Restaurants: Theater for the obsessed.

18 Oprah and Optifast: Fun food couple of the ’80s.

19 Lilliputian Food: Baby chickens, baby goats, baby vegetables. Shouldn’t we pick on things our own size?

20 Deep-dish Oat Bran Pizza: Riding the cholesterol roller coaster. Will the bran save you before the cheese gets you?

21 Restaurant NO Smoking Sections

22 Burning questions: Red wine with fish? Sauternes with squab? How many angel hair pastas can dance on the end of a fork?

23 Croissantwiches: Très silly.

24 Heimlich Maneuver Posters: For those occasions when you choke before the check comes.

25 Unnecessarily Complex Carbohydrates: Roasted domestic goat-cheese croutons.

26 Imported Russian Bread: American wheat, Chernobyl water, Communist bakers. Six bucks a loaf at Bloomingdale’s.

27 The Official Foodie Handbook

28 Exotic Salad Oils: Walnut, hazelnut, sesame, almond.

29 Buffalo Grass Vodka

30 Ugly Seafood: Every dogfish has its day.

31 Obscure Vegetables: If fiddlehead ferns tasted good, we would have been eating them for centuries.

32 Devastating Desserts: “I’m okay, you’re too fat.”

33 Micro Breweries: Malternatives

34 Paul Prudhomme: The Cajun Johnny Appleseed, spreading a goo called roux.

35 Meat Loaf Returns: Hard, dry and heavy, just like Mom used to make.

36 The Bellini

37 Microwave Popcorn: Admit it, nothing else tastes any good zapped in one of those machines.

38 Israeli Foie Gras: It ain’t chopped liver.

39 Comfort Foods: What your analyst can’t do for you, mashed potatoes can.

40 Dry Beer: Newest beverage fad. Nobody drinks it, nobody knows what it is.

41 Fugu: Japanese poison-gut fish offers New Yorkers yet another way to die.

42 Microwavable, Reconstructed Square Eggs with 21-Day Unrefrigerated Shelf Life: Run, Chicken Little, run!

43 Monounsaturated Fats vs. Polyunsaturated Fats vs. Saturated Fats: We have met the enemy and can’t remember which one it is.

44 Blue Corn Tortilla Chips with Blue Margaritas: Real food for real men.

45 Perrier: From the bowels of the earth, pricey seltzer.

46 “New” Coke: Preferred over tap water by nine out of 10 Pepsi drinkers.

47 One-world Cuisine: Pastrami burritos, kielbasa with refried beans, poached oysters with curry, dim sum with french fries.

48 Offal: It’s here, it’s hip, it’s the ugly insides of animals.

49 Ménu de dégustation: A lot of little dishes for a lot of big money.

50 White Truffles: $1,200 a pound for fungus?

51 The Dove Bar

52 Cilantro

53 Barbecue: Heart-stoppingly good.

54 $100,000 Home Kitchen Renovations: Then you go out to eat every night.

55 White Trash Cooking: “Pore Folk Soup—Crumble soda crackers in warm milk. Salt, pepper and eat with a spoon.”

56 Spago: Wolfgang Puck popularizes designer pizza and grilling. “And I used to think a six-course dinner had to have 11 sauces.”

57 Freshly Ground Pepper: Even on strawberries.

58 Home Delivery: The food’s not so good, but who else makes house calls?

59 Edible Flowers: A new reason to get nervous when your date keeps staring at your corsage.

60 Swiss Miss Sugar-free Hot Cocoa Mix with Sugar-free Minimarshmallows: If marshmallows don’t have sugar, what on earth do they have?

61 Grazing: The high-tech way to nosh.

62 Hormone-enhanced Livestock: “…Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i, ee-i, o/ And on his farm he had a lab…”

63 High-cholesterol Tropical Oils: Beware the killer coconut and the poison palm.

64 Seaweed

65 Wine Coolers: Reverse synergism. Combine two good products, get something awful.

66 Calcium Supplements

67 Bye-Bye, Bossy: Cows, once thought to be our friends, are found to contain harmful amounts of red meat and whole milk.

68 Power Breakfasts

69 White Zinfandel

70 The California Raisins

71 Premium Pet Food: “Clean your bowl, Fido, puppies are starving in Africa.”

72 Reconfirming Reservations: Call two months in advance, call back day of dinner to assure them you weren’t kidding.

73 (Paul) Newman’s Own Salad Dressing

74 Diet Frozen Dinners: You can never be too thin or too lazy.

75 The Chic Beet: Beyond borscht.

76 Sodium, Triglycerides, Cholesterol: The Bermuda Triangle of the dinner table.

77 Surimi: Preformed fish bits provide frightening look at future foodstuffs.

78 Chocolate Chip Cookies: The only dish yuppies ever learned to cook.

79 Sea Urchin Roe

80 Shark Steak: Finally, we’re eating more of them than they are of us.

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