Avocados are among the most beloved items in the produce aisle and on menus across the country. Fans can't get enough of guacamole and avocado toast, but this glorious fruit (remember, it's actually a fruit) is a key player in salads, sushi, and so much more.
In fact, its appeal is so wide and so strong that an all-avocado restaurant opened in Amsterdam earlier this year. But like anything else that's incredibly popular, the avocado has attracted its fair share of haters.
To that end, a new London restaurant, Firedog, has taken the bold and controversial step of banning avocados from its menu.
"Our mission is to reinvigorate the morning dining scene in London, which has done avocado to death, and we’re frankly bored of seeing it on every breakfast and brunch menu," executive chef George Notley told ;The Independent.
Harsh words, for sure. But does he have a point? Are avocados simply overdone?
Kathleen Day, owner of popular Columbus, OH restaurant Katalina’s, was aghast when she heard a restaurant was banning her favorite ingredient just because it was popular. “I use them in almost everything,” Day said to The Feast.
Day added that guests can request that avocados be omitted from a dish, but much of her menu is very avocado-centric. “We have four different kinds of tacos with avocados; they are in my huevos rancheros, I serve them on toast, and they star in our amazing spicy Mazatlan Pork & Egg sandwich, which is also topped with provolone, aioli, and—avocado, of course!"
There's a simple reason avocados are so prevalent on Katalina’s menu. “People demand them," Day explained. "Everyone loves avocados so much. Just look at avocado toast as a great example. You would never have thought of the simplicity of avocados on toast five years ago, but now it’s everywhere.”
And just why are they so popular? “When you get a good avocado, it’s just magic," she said. "It’s the perfect combination of creamy and custardy with just enough tang for a palate-pleasing burst of flavor; it’s the perfect marriage of fruit and vegetable, and it complements nearly every savory dish. And then of course, they are so good for you!”
Gabriella Mann of Baba Cool Café in Brooklyn, NY, was baffled by the ban. "I totally understand where the restaurateur is coming from, but avocado toast is like the new New York slice of pizza conveniently found on every corner with interesting variations here and there," she claimed. "Why ban a staple that's tasty, filling, and good for your body and brain?" Baba Cool serves an avocado toast with lemon juice, cumin, sea salt, and chili flakes on toasted bianca bread that's one of its fan favorites.
If something is super popular and healthy, isn't that a good thing? Chef Bernie Matz, Culinary Director at Menin Hospitality, certainly thinks so. "I oversee a portfolio of restaurants in South Florida where every one of our menus feature avocado, including our bestselling avocado toast at Bakehouse Brasserie in Miami Beach. Avocado is essential to our menus," he declared. "It is in-demand with our health conscious customers and is a super food that has proven health benefits. Why would I take a menu item off that is our top seller and is good for you?"
And there you have it.
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