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Friends of Eater on Biggest Restaurant Grievances of 2014

As is tradition at Eater, we close out the year with a survey of other local food writers on various restaurant-related topics. Up next, their biggest restaurant grievances of 2014.

Shake Shack, Chestnut Hill
Shake Shack, Chestnut Hill
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

MC Slim JB, restaurant critic for The Improper Bostonian: "The proliferation of popular but mediocre chain restaurants in tourist neighborhoods like the Seaport, which is inflicting a line cook and server shortage on far worthier independent restaurants around town. I cringe at the advantages that deep-pocketed nationals have over home-grown talent. Every dink city in the US has those chains; the quality of Boston’s currently-fantastic scene depends on its indies. Support them, I beg you."

BosGuy, blogger: "I am not impressed by hamburger restaurant chains so I'd appreciate it if we would stop treating them as culinary establishments. Chefs who buy fresh ingredients, serve a wide range of foods that are consistently good should be recognized for their talents. I do not care if another Shake Shack opens — actually I would prefer to have that space made available to virtually anyone else who will serve something remotely nutritious and interesting; popularity does not equate to 'good food.' How is that for a restaurant rant?"

Rachel Cossar, blogger at Foodista on Pointe and special contributor to The Daily Meal: "The loss of concretes at jm Curley."

Luke O'Neil, freelance writer: "My biggest restaurant grievance continues to be the argument that paying workers a living wage will somehow lead to the desolation of the restaurant scene. This is a fiction. Pay your workers, particularly the back of the house staff doing manual labor and working three jobs. Just because you can get someone to wash dishes for $7-8 an hour doesn't mean it's right to pay them that."

Marc H., founder of Boston's Hidden Restaurants and Boston Restaurant Talk: "Too many chains moving in at the expense of independents. Sure, some of the chains are good, but it's a trend that has devastated the soul of entire Manhattan neighborhoods, and threatens parts of Boston as well."

Damien Smith, community manager for Yelp Boston: "More to the bar, top shelf pricing on low end labels that just happen to be spirits du jour. Old Overholt and Aperol does not a $16 cocktail make. Akin to an $8 'Gansett."

Scott Kearnan, editor of Zagat Boston: "Passing the mic to Ben Edelman on this one. Okay, okay. Um — sharing? Communal dining has its charms, but not every menu needs to be heavily stacked with shareable plates. Sometimes I just want to choose one or two dishes and eat them in peace. [Bats hand away, growls.] Also — there’s still plenty of great dining in the South End, but the neighborhood is due to spice things up a bit, I think. I’d love to see some new blood and innovative concepts move in."

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