Pork bell hash

Trying to think of a “Mediterranean” destination for dinner the other night, I kept clicking on Menupages menus and finding the worst words in the restaurant language: Small plates. Which of course translate as: Inflated prices. (The only thing worse is $22 entrees up-sold with don’t-go-away-hungry $8 sides.) I find nothing alluring about going out and having to order three dinky dishes and paying $45 or more for less satisfaction than you get with a single well-conceived main course. But through Twitter talk, I realize this may be why tapas have finally taken hold in this country, after stops and starts since way back when Bryan Miller was giving every tortilla-and-fino dispensary a shout-out. An e-pal noted that tapas originated as (and often still are) freebies in bars in Spain. Only once chefs here started gouging did the whole concept become a solid trend, with every cuisine marked up crazily. As my old friend Mr. Wong always said, the more New Yorkers get fucked, the more they like it. Even more with $16 tongue.