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dave94703's Profile

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Circa on Chestnut, SF—Epic Groupon fail

Amazing. You know, I just came here to alert people who care about dining out about a deceptive offer, and Lauriston has managed to construct an argument whereby a restaurant clearly doing everything in their power to turn a hefty profit on what's supposed to be a discount offer could, conceivably, under certain hypothetical conditions, be seen as offering a highly constrained selection off of their regular menu at regular prices. Some of you think that coupons are, by their nature, a raw deal; I've actually had a perfectly good experience three other times with them. Now I urge Lauriston to visit Circa and take personal measure of what he has decided is such a respectable establishment; I have no doubt he'll be able to convince himself the food is good too. Everyone else, consider yourselves duly warned.

Mar 11, 2013
dave94703 in San Francisco Bay Area

Circa on Chestnut, SF—Epic Groupon fail

To add injury to injury, they have a caveat on the groupon that, should you fail to utilize it within the 3-month window, the $60 is only applicable to the prix fixe menu. So you actually have to fork out the $118 plus tax. And for anyone who thinks that that menu is not too much of a ripoff, remember that the point of a prix fixe menu is to DISCOUNT regular prices (or to offer a special meal not available à la carte, not the case here). When you come in the door the maitre 'D says, "Groupon?" and hands you the "prix fixe" menu. Regular patrons never see it.

Mar 09, 2013
dave94703 in San Francisco Bay Area

Circa on Chestnut, SF—Epic Groupon fail

Yes, sorry big wheel, didn't mean to imply that they didn't advertise it as prix fixe; just that the prix fixe price, compared to the same items on the regular menu, was plainly and vastly inflated.

Mar 08, 2013
dave94703 in San Francisco Bay Area

Circa on Chestnut, SF—Epic Groupon fail

We did tip, but on $60. Failed to mention high point of meal, when we inquired after the mushrooms used in their "wild mushroom fettuccine"; waitperson didn't know, and came back with the information that they were "button mushrooms, Portobellos, and some others". Another nice moment: waitperson uncorked the wine and poured me a taste, then filled our glasses when I put mine down, while I was still swishing and had neither said nor nodded a thing.

Mar 08, 2013
dave94703 in San Francisco Bay Area

Circa on Chestnut, SF—Epic Groupon fail

Watch out for the Circa Groupon, which judging from their business last (Thursday) nite was the vast majority of their customers. They offer a "half price meal for two" ($60 for $118 worth), then hand you a special, limited-choice Groupon prix fixe menu with a three-course meal plus a bottle of wine whose price on their regular menu adds up to an average of under $30 apiece, maxing at $36. Unless you think their Rock & Vine 2011 Three Ranches cab (only red you can get with the groupon deal, not on wine list, didn't see what the chard they were offering was) is worth $60 (retail $11.99-$14.99), you need to know that you're getting maybe $60 retail worth of food, plus a medium-cheap bottle of wine, for your $60. (And paying tax, which it turned out wasn't included, on $118). At least, that probably explains how they got their name. The food ranged from mediocre down to a massively and miserably oversweet wet chocolate cake concoction (might have been flourless, but they didn't call it that) with an unidentifiably mocha-looking (but not tasting, actually mintlike) and even-sweeter scoop of ice cream; in sum, food as genuine as their Groupon offer.

Mar 08, 2013
dave94703 in San Francisco Bay Area

To-Die-For Rye in the East Bay?

Octoberfeast, just below Milvia on University in downtown Berkeley, has a number of great rye breads, including a corn (Jewish) rye. If that's too far, you can't do much better any than the jewish rye at any Trader Joe's. It's made by what I consider to be the best Jewish bakery in the western United States, Diamond Bakery in LA (on Fairfax, of course). It's airier than their regular corn rye, but otherwise, near as I can tell, identical.

Jan 09, 2012
dave94703 in Features

Diestel Turkey Prices

Non organic, non-freerange ~15-lb pre-brined diestels $2.79/lb today, richmond costco. Reminder: FOUR DAYS TO DEFROST.

Nov 13, 2010
dave94703 in San Francisco Bay Area