Food trends can be fickle. You never know what sort of comestible is going to make it big. Imagine it is 1992 and you get the chance to step into a DeLorean that doubles as a time machine and travel to 2012 for dinner. Here’s how that meal might play out.
Server: Welcome to the future of food. May I take your …whoa. First thing’s first: nobody really wears oversized blazers with shoulder pads anymore. Most people’s jackets are really tightly tailored.
Man: Yeah, but not men’s jackets.
Server: Especially men’s jackets. But that’s not why you two are here. Please, sit down. Here’s our cocktail list.
Woman: Sweetie, look at this! They infuse their bourbon with bacon!
Server: We distill it ourselves.
Man: I think I just want an Old-Fashioned. Do you have that?
Server: Actually, we make the authentic version of the Old-Fashioned. Our mixologist–
Woman: What’s a mixologist?
Server: She makes our cocktails.
Man: Like a bartender?
Server: Our mixologist tracked down the original 1895 recipe, which excludes the maraschino cherry, so don’t be surprised when it’s not there. Then she sourced all the ingredients, like Quassia Wood from Jamaica and cloves from Madagascar, to make her own bitters.
Woman: He’ll have one! I’m going to have this bacon-infused vanilla-laced maple espresso hot toddy.
Server: Excellent choice. I’ll bring them right over, along with a basket of bread made with starter yeast that our master baker brought back from Italy. It’s his nonna’s starter yeast. I’ll leave the menus with you in the meantime.
Woman: Sweetie, look at these little clipboards! Aren’t they adorable?
Man: Everything has bacon in it.
Woman: I think the future sounds tasty!
Man: I think the future sounds old-fashioned: look at this: house-made pickles, house-made chutneys. Macaroni and cheese?
Woman: But it’s got truffles in it! Don’t be such a Jerry Seinfeld. Now shh, here comes the server with our drinks.
Woman (to the server): Tell me about the tacos.
Server: We don’t say TAK-oh in the future. It’s more like TAWK-oh. I highly recommend the Berkshire pork belly TAWK-oh.
Man: What do you mean “Berkshire”?
Server: It’s a heritage breed of pork, not that industrialized pig you eat in the ’90s. If it wasn’t for the future, some of these heritage breeds could have been lost. In the future, people care about where their food comes from.
Woman: Do you still buy food at grocery stores in the future?
Server: Of course we do! Even from the Walmart.
Woman: Is that like the K-Mart?
Server: Sort of. We also serve food from trucks and in pop-ups.
Man and Woman: (Silence)
Man: Tell me about this kale salad.
Server: Kale is good for you. And it’s very versatile.
Man: Does it taste good?
Server: (Pause) Blueberries are also very good for you. They have something called “antioxidents” in them.
Man: But blueberries are good for you in 1992, too. Blueberries have always been good for you.
Woman: Sweetie, don’t be so contrarian about the future. (To the server.) We love blueberries. Is the kale, blueberry and maple-infused bacon salad good for you?
Server: Yes. It’s probably our top-selling salad. That, and the beet and goat cheese salad.
Woman: Oh, we have that in the ’90s, too! Everybody serves a beet and goat cheese salad! Thank goodness it’s survived into the future. Wait though, what’s this char-cut-terry thing here.
Server (laughing): It’s charcuterie. You probably eat cold cuts in the ’90s. Charcuterie is a selection of house-cured meats. Fancy salami, mortadella, prosciutto…
Man: Are you pulling my chain? My old man’s been making salami in his basement for 50 years. And so have all his friends, and his dad before him.
Server (laughing again): This is probably a little different. We don’t use “nitrates” or “nitrites”. Everything is natural. And we sourced pistachios in the mortadella from Tunisia and–
Man: Okay, let’s have the kale salad and the charcuterie to start. I’m going to try these TAK-ohs for my main.
Woman: Do you have any vegetarian pastas, like pasta primavera?
Server (laughing again): While we do make all of our pasta in-house using an ancient type of flour used by the Etruscans, we do NOT serve “pasta primavera.” I’m sorry. I can’t stop laughing. Seriously, this has never happened before.
Woman: What’s so funny about pasta primavera?
Server: I don’t even know where to begin. Try the duck ravioli.
Woman: I think I’m going to go with the Ahi tuna SE-vich.
Server: It’s Ceviche. Se-VEECH-eh. Good choice. It’s sushi-grade, obviously. And I’ll tell you what: I’ll bring you the dessert menu to peruse. I think you may have many questions.
Woman: Well, this doesn’t sound futuristic at all. Cupcakes? Doughnuts? And ew! Maple bacon-infused creme brulee? No thank you!
Man: Does that say marshmallows? I didn’t bring my oversized red-framed eyeglasses to the future.
Woman: I don’t think I would want marshmallows unless they were toasted over a fire or in hot chocolate.
Server: I’m sorry to interrupt but you do realize these are homemade marshmallows, not to mention gluten-free.
Woman: Excuse me?
Server: It’s a long story.
Man: Well, if you don’t mind, we’re in a bit of a rush to get back to 1992: Kevin Costner’s latest movie plays at 9:00 p.m. in Dolby Digital.