John Curtas is …

Skewering Sandy Chilewich

As durable (and comfortable) as chain mail

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Chilewich placemats are the bane of ELV’s existence.

They are uncomfortable, dirty, ugly and disgusting.

The only reason they exist is because they’re indestructible and, we assume, cheap.

And because no matter how dirty they get, they don’t look it.

They are also everywhere in restaurants these days, because someone, around a decade ago, decided they were cool and hip.

And because restaurants discovered they could buy these woven pieces of synthetic crap and never have to use a linen service again.

The only thing anything Chilewich is good for is a door mat.

Do you like having a rough, patterned, plastic doormat, loaded with the skin, sweat, germs and food of a previous diner imprinted on your forearms? Then you’ll love Chilewich.

Do you enjoy sharing your meal with metallic link? Then go nuts.

Sandy Chilewich should be forced to wear her overdone, unpleasant, synthetic shite until it patterns her epidermis with vinyl designs of “rope-like yarn” for the rest of her days.

And a lot of restaurants, including many of ELV’s favorites, ought to be ashamed of themselves.

The next time you are in a restaurant (even some very nice ones), and see these abominations on the table, watch to see if they change the mats after the diners leave.

We rest our case.

3 Responses to Skewering Sandy Chilewich

  • I see an opportunity here. ELV should discard his signature white jacket, and replace it with one custom made from the above material…simply stunning!

  • John,

    chilewhich placemats were born out of the industries shift to a more casual feel in the diningroom. Getting rid of white table cloths & exposing a finished wood surface of the table made our dining rooms feel more approchable & less stuffy. Placing silverware onto the bare wood surface has a sloppy feel, so a placemat keeps the setting tight & clean. I’m not sure what other houses did, but after every use the mat was submerged in a tub of sanitizing solution & the servers were responsible for pulling them out at the end of service & wiping them dry. I get it that the synthetic nature of them is not the best for tactile enjoyment….The reason these mats work so well & are preferable to linen is it keeps the ability to crumb the table without sliding the mat everywhere. I’m sure there are places that are less than thorough with their mats, but I think generalizing them all as disease infested cesspools is a little bit of yellow journalism…..

    Love, Peach

  • ELV responds: We have eaten thousands of meals in hundreds of restaurants using these germ carriers, and never, even once, have seen the mats replaced (unless there’s a major spill). Peach’s point proves ours: Chilewich mats neither look nor feel as good as cloth (or paper for that matter), and are used solely because they’re cheaper than a proper, cloth place mat. We’ve heard the whole “more approachable and less stuffy” rationale before and don’t buy it for a second.

    Sorry Peach.

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