Designed food should equal cheap eats

March 3, 2009

Further to my meditation on the inherent nouvelle qualities of peasant food,
I’m wondering why this stuff is always perceived as highbrow and expensive. It doesn’t all have to be foams this and sous-vide that. Croquettes and dumplings are simply engineered but they are certainly designed, and they’re cheap. Like some avant-food categories, they don’t give away their contents at a look (though dumplings, savory pies, and empanadas do have a semiotic system based on their crimps).
In Barcelona is a place called Foodball, owned by the Spanish shoe concern Camper. Like the name clues you, it offers spherically formed savory and sweet food for a pretty decent price. It’s still a novelty destination, but gimmicks can spread for the right reasons.
In New York all I’ve found in the cheap + designy vein so far (but I’ve only just begun) is Kati Roll Company, which offers Indian flatbreads rolled with chicken beef, egg, potato and combos thereof. The takeaway menus are genius, referencing Indian school instructional posters.
Why aren’t there more of these kinds of joints? Can anyone recommend more?


One comment

  1. What about arepas at Caracas in the East Village? Or the new japanese tapas bar in Williamsburg – Bozu?

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