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Restaurant week dispute

We can turn your statement around and say: would it be enjoyable for the OP to have his friends' enjoyment "diminished" (as another poster said in this thread)? And then for his friends to lie about that or tell the truth about that?

The OP is not wrong and his SO and friends are not wrong. For this situation, I'm weighing the SO's side a little more because it seems that the meal was set up primarily to enjoy RW. That if it weren't for RW, this group of people might not be getting together at all that evening.

I proposed earlier that the OP pick another RW restaurant and increase his chances of having a good RW meal while maintaining the "spirit" of the meal for the group. The suggestion that the OP consider not going to this meal at all seems like another good solution to me.

Jul 19, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

Not an error. The link is to a specific post within this thread.

Jul 19, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

I explain further downthread. May be easier to understand if we substitute this particular situation with a non-food activity. Or not. If you don't see my point of view, that's cool. Maybe I just spend more time with people where money is tight.

Jul 18, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

Check Facebook and twitter. Di Fara was closed for vacation and re-opened a couple of days ago.

Jul 18, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Restaurant week dispute

The discount seems to be the source of enjoyment for the SO and the others. And based on the OP's post, why this dinner was set up in the first place.

I also don't like RW so I sympathize with the OP. But I see the other side as well. The OP could be viewed as unreasonable, thinking better food is more important than the group's enjoyment.

Jul 18, 2014
churros in Not About Food
1

Restaurant week dispute

I think DGresh's post explains this concept pretty well.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9825...

Jul 18, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

Yes, that makes sense. My posts here have been mainly in reaction to Bkeats' suggestion that the customers are to blame for RW not working. Those damn bargain hunters, they ruin things for everyone. No, the RW model is problematic.

Jul 17, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

Fine, send them over. What do I care? How does how they feel impact my dining experiences? It also doesn't seem like this is business the restaurants would have otherwise gotten if it were not for RW.

Regarding the RW model, if the restaurants are not happy with the clientele they're attracting and the short-term and long-term financial returns, then they have to make some adjustments. Reconsider whether it makes sense to participate in RW anymore. Change the menus that they offer. If one of their goals is to encourage customers to return, then change the value proposition. I recall some restaurants (maybe the Danny Meyer ones?) in the past giving RW customers coupons to use on subsequent visits. Did that work? I have no idea. Maybe not since I don't hear much about that anymore. Or maybe it did and those restaurants have been able to improve their business as a result and have no more need for RW.

If RW is not helping the restaurants meet their targets, the onus is not on the RW customers to change. The restaurants have to figure out something else. Think of promotions that will encourage the clients they want and discourage the ones they don't.

Jul 17, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

What's wrong with bargain hunters? So what if they feel good about spending money on things they neither really want or need. There are also plenty of people who pay full price on things they neither want or need. If it makes them happy, who cares.

I don't see the problem with people ordering the bare minimum during RW. It's a deal the restaurants choose to offer. Customers should feel free to do whatever they want. Some of these people might not order drinks or any extras for non-RW meals too. Is that a problem?

Saving a few bucks on restaurants for most of us here is not important. We prefer to maximize our dining experiences and a RW meal is not experiencing the restaurant at its best. But for others, money is often top of mind. RW allows some people to experience restaurants they may not otherwise go to. So what if they don't know better about the lack of value and that they're getting a lesser experience. If RW makes them happy, who cares.

This thread is about whether the OP should prioritize his own desires for a better meal over the desires of the group to truly enjoy RW. No right or wrong answer really. Depends on the people and relationships involved. Personally, since the service is likely to be harried and this is already going to be a less-than ideal dining experience, I'd go with the flow.

Jul 17, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

My questions were specific to this situation and things for the OP to consider. Ordering off a discounted menu vs. a regular menu. At a meal when the main objective seems to be partaking in the discounted menu and feeling good about the "bargain".

I don't think people looking for bargains would feel good about smaller portions. They probably also wouldn't feel good about seeing what they missed by going for the "deal".

Jul 16, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

No, that was my point. Some experiences are bad, some are good. A lot of people here make it sound like it can't be anything but bad.

Another reason why I linked to that thread (which I didn't say out loud) is maybe the OP could read that and change to another restaurant that was recommended in the past.

As I said upthread, I avoid RW myself. I've been to it in the past at some of the better places (the Danny Meyer ones) but I could tell a difference in service compared to my non-RW meals. Staff was overwhelmed. Still a good meal and there were cost savings, but not worth it for me to go back. I'd pay more for a better meal. Not everyone feels the same way.

Jul 16, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

It's funny reading how some are resorting to calling the SO names.

The main question should be whether the SO's concerns are valid. Might the restaurant week experience be ruined for others?

Most here don't see the value of RW. But for those people who do see value, who are we to judge? If this dinner was set up specifically to take advantage of RW and the others are excited about that, why not just go along? Otherwise, there is a risk of offending others. Implying that you think you have better tastes and the others are just being cheap. And what happens when you order differently and you get better food or bigger portions or whatever. How do you think the others will feel? How will you feel?

By the way, despite how many are making it seem, restaurant week is not the worst thing in the world. Some people have had good experiences.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/965986

Jul 16, 2014
churros in Not About Food
1

Restaurant week dispute

Another thing the OP could do is choose another participating RW place. One where the RW menu choices and dessert are more appealing.

Jul 15, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

I avoid restaurant week for the same reasons others stated (smaller portions, limited menu choices, below-average service). Also, I often skip dessert anyway so the costs of a RW menu compared to just ordering an appetizer and entree are roughly the same.

That said, I would actually side with your SO on this occasion. If part of the meal's purpose is for the others to feel good about getting "value", then I'd stick to the RW menu and not rock the boat. You're probably going to get RW type of service regardless.

We compromise on food all the time. It's like going to a not-good restaurant that someone else picks for the group. Or going to a restaurant where everyone else is raving about the food and I think it sucks. I try to keep my mouth shut so as to not dampen the mood at the table.

Jul 15, 2014
churros in Not About Food
1

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

Yes, sorry. I didn't realize your earlier post was tongue-in-cheek. When taken seriously, it seemed over the top to me.

I always wish for more good food. Pizza and everything else. But I don't think the NYC pizza scene is lacking. There are a lot of mediocre places to avoid but also plenty of good places assuming one knows where to find them and is willing to put the extra effort to get to them. Again, the 25-50 number seems random to me. Maybe that's how many places are repeatedly mentioned in the media but there are a lot of neighborhoods they ignore. Including some traditionally Italian-American areas in the outer boroughs.

I asked about your pizza experiences because I wonder if we simply have different standards. I like Difara and the artisanal gourmet pizzas that abound, but I also enjoy the regular NY slice. For example, the pizzerias that I've been to in this thread, (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/978016), I consider to be at least good and some to be very good or excellent. Have you been to any of these and did you like them? If you didn't enjoy any of them, I would suggest that you don't like the typical NY slice or you have much higher standards than I do.

Another thing I wonder is the demographics of the neighborhoods where you've had deplorable pizza. If it was in Manhattan or certain ethnic neighborhoods in the outer boroughs, I wouldn't be surprised. High rents in Manhattan make it hard for many places to put out a quality product at an affordable price. Meanwhile some immigrant neighborhoods just don't have strong demand for good pizza.

The demand for Difara's pizza is unusual. A lot probably due to media hype. Many other "best" places don't have long lines. I don't know if I've ever waited more than 10 minutes for a slice anywhere else. So I don't really see the pent-up demand for excellent pizzerias that you do. Excessive demand for Difara and mostly normal levels everywhere else.

I agree Shake Shack makes a good burger. I still don't think it's relevant to the pizza discussion. Many pizza customers want something quick and cheap. Shake Shack customers are looking for something else.

Jul 13, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Long Island Ice Cream Spots?

Tried Baci Gelato. Really good. I think comparable to the better places in the city (L'Arte del Gelato, Grom). I really liked the pistachio, hazelnut, and mango flavors. Coconut was too sweet. Portion size is huge. My one complaint though is my cup of gelato was filled in such a way where one flavor was on the top and the other was on the bottom. Would prefer the two flavors side-by-side which is the way I've gotten it in NYC and Italy.

As for other places, while it's now a chain, Shake Shack in Westbury has good frozen custard. I especially enjoy their shakes. (Their other food though is not as good as in their NYC locations. Not sure why.)

Jul 13, 2014
churros in New York State (exc. NYC)

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

Sorry to sound argumentative, but I disagree with most of your post. Here goes:

Suggesting that pizza might be a "vital endeavor" seems a bit much to me. And I love pizza.

Your 25-50 and 3% numbers seem so arbitrary. Only places that get media attention can be deemed "excellent"? I don't think so. Plenty of good places fly under the radar. And not just pizza joints.

Pizza is basically NY street food. Many people are not venturing far for it. It is often meant to be had on the run, for a quick meal or snack, to feed family/groups on a budget, etc. Mediocrity is acceptable when time and money are short. In fact, mediocrity can't be helped if customers can't afford to pay for better quality pizza. Especially in high-rent Manhattan. Also, the ongoing influx of new immigrants and people from other parts of the US into NYC means many just don't know better.

Pizza is subjective, and I don't know your tastes. Where are you having all this deplorable pizza? Is it possible that you just don't like the typical NY slice? Have you tried some of the better places in town?

I'll stick by my view that pizza-making skills are not rare. I grew up having a ton of great pizza in an Italian-American neighborhood just outside NYC. In fact, there is still an abundance of good places in my hometown. Demographics matter. I'm guessing other Italian-American areas within NYC also see higher concentrations of good pizza.

I don't think your Shake Shack example really works. Of course people will prefer the better quality food with all other things being equal. Shake Shack food isn't more expensive than the other options in Citi Field. Time is also not as much of a factor given the customers have already committed the afternoon/evening to the ballpark. How significant are these numbers anyway? A few hundred people out of an average attendance of 20,000-30,000?

Finally, the Bell Curve. Can be applied to many things. One can probably make the argument that the top X% of any food requires superior skills, dedication, pride, love, etc. Pizza ain't that special.

I maintain that the state of pizza is driven more by customer demand/demographics than anything else.

Jul 13, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

"Who do you follow?" threads [split from Manhattan]

Not sure you'll be able to tell how people really feel. Those who feel slighted might not complain. They may simply post less. Which would be unfortunate.

Though I'm now less troubled after looking at the original thread and seeing that not many people are posting names. Perhaps others also feel that this type of thread is problematic and it's not worth potentially offending some people.

Jul 10, 2014
churros in Site Talk
1

"Who do you follow?" threads [split from Manhattan]

I agree with what you're saying and that most Chowhounds are likely forming their own opinions on who to trust over time.

My point is this thread kind of goes against that. This is a brand new poster asking who the experts are. Saying tell me who to trust. Pretty much going the Yelp way or the Zagat way. Sure, most Chowhounds already do that to some extent. We weigh more heavily the opinions from regular posters and those whose tastes better align with ours. But to call out people explicitly?

How about all the regulars not being named? How about those who have been around a while but don't post as much for various reasons (less time, less money to eat out as much)? How about those newer members who just started posting? How about those lurkers who are thinking about contributing?

This thread comes across as, someone else said, kind of cliquey. That's too bad. I think all opinions are welcome. More datapoints are better. That means a little more noise, but also more useful information to be shared.

Jul 10, 2014
churros in Site Talk
3

"Who do you follow?" threads [split from Manhattan]

Agreed. Leaving this thread up suggests that the contributions of non-regular posters aren't really that valuable. What a turn-off. Why should I bother posting on Chowhound at all?

To the OP: it's easy to figure out who the "experts" are. If you search for a certain type of food, you'll find that certain posters will frequent those threads. More important to me is finding out whose tastes align well with mine. Not necessarily who's the most frequent poster.

Jul 09, 2014
churros in Site Talk
1

best crab cakes in maryland - any suggestions?

Sorry, have to chime in. I use this board a lot while traveling and Faidley's was one of those rare Chowhound misses for me.

I went last year and was very disappointed in the crab cake. Tasted like it was premade and sitting around a long time. Texture was odd. I also remember it being very heavy on the Old Bay seasoning.

The atmosphere was also off-putting. I kind of knew what to expect going in, but was still a little surprised how run-down the market seemed and there were people begging me for money while I was eating. This was a weekday around noon so maybe there are better days/times to visit?

I had a better crab cake at Duda's in Fells Point the next evening. Cheaper too with some sort of happy hour special.

Jun 30, 2014
churros in Washington DC & Baltimore

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

Oh goodness, it's just pizza. How does one define "excellent" anyhow? How many of the 1600 pizzerias does any one person actually visit?

I do think there is a lot of mediocre pizza around. More likely a function of market demand than anything else. Not lack of pizza making skills. Many people want something quick, cheap, and filling. Most of the pizza out there satisfies that need. Fortunately there are also enough good places for those (including myself) who are a little snobbish about pizza.

Jun 24, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs
2

Jamaican food in Queens (and Long Island)

Thanks for the Corona rec. It also sounds like the Uniondale area is worth exploring when doing shopping out on the Island.

Jun 23, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Jamaican food in Queens (and Long Island)

I also use the Walkerswood jerk seasoning at home and really like it. Overnight marinade a must.

Hope you like St. Best. I suggest liberally applying the hot sauce over the chicken. It's a nice balance of sweet and spicy and not overwhelmingly hot like some Jamaican hot sauces can be. Definitely kicks the chicken up a notch.

I'm going to look to try the jerk pork next at St. Best. Only sold on Fri and Sat.

Jun 23, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn or Queens pizza joints

Technically on Long Island but close to the Queens border are a couple of my favorites:
-Umberto's in New Hyde Park has my favorite regular slice
-King Umberto's in Elmont has my favorite grandma slice

Jun 22, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs
1

Jamaican food in Queens (and Long Island)

Not much discussion here on Jamaican food in Queens so I thought I’d report on my recent eats. Was looking for good jerk chicken and tried out a few spots in Queens and just past the Long Island border in Elmont.

Found a lot of good food, but not necessarily the jerk flavors that I was looking for. Much of the chicken seemed to be missing something, whether it was the smokiness, the spiciness, or the bright flavors that I associate with jerk. At some places, the jerk chicken seemed more like regular roasted or grilled chicken. One was even more stew-like. All still tasty, but not exactly jerk-like to me. (Probably worth mentioning that my experience with Jamaican food is somewhat limited - mainly food trucks in Manhattan and a couple of places in Brooklyn).

The one place that did satisfy my jerk chicken craving was St. Best Jerk Spot. The chicken had a nice char, bright flavors, and good heat (from the excellent homemade hot sauce on the counter). I have been back and enjoyed it even more the second time. The chicken wasn’t dry as in my first visit and I knew to be very generous with the hot sauce since the chicken itself isn’t really spicy. I would highly recommend this spot for jerk chicken.

I still had pretty good food at every place and am interested to try other dishes. Particularly Genesis and Yardies given how flavorful their sides were. (The jerk chicken combo that I ordered everywhere included rice and peas, steamed vegetables, and sometimes stew or oxtail gravy.)

Here are the addresses of the places I visited:
St. Best Jerk Spot: 112-31 Springfield Blvd, Queens Village
Genesis: 162-23 Hillside Ave, Jamaica
Yardies: 739b Elmont Rd, Elmont
Percy’s Jerk Hut: 237-21 Linden Blvd, Elmont
Yard Flavors: 466 Hempstead Tpke, Elmont

On a separate note, I sampled a few Jamaican beef patties in the area. My favorite by far was Jamaican Flavors. Its hot beef patty had a nice flaky crust and the beef filling was flavorful and spicy. There are a few locations. I went to the one at 228-01 Linden Blvd, Cambria Heights.

Anyone else have experience with Jamaican food in this area? Any recs?

Jun 22, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

I've been to my choice places many many times over the past decades. I'm always on the lookout for more good food so visited Gino's based on your recommendation. Was not overly impressed. Not a knock on you, but I prefer other places. You say Gino's is great. I say other places are great.

What am I missing? Why should I visit Gino's again? It's not as if I've never had NY style pizza before. Do you visit all places twice before you post on this board?

Sorry if you viewed my post as a diss. Just providing feedback based on my tastes. My post made it very clear it was based on one visit. People reading along can take that however they wish.

Jun 05, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

Ha, that's my post that you linked to. Happy to continue the conversation there but since you're calling me out here...

I posted on my visit to your recommendation. I thought it was fine, not great. Don't see why it warrants more than one visit to "get it". I like other pizza places more in that immediate area. Unless you're just saying consistency is an issue at your favorite place, what am I missing? Have you tried my favorites? Happy to hear more from you.

Jun 05, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

This negative review prompted me to finally pay Di Fara a visit today. I've been meaning to go for years, but it always seemed like such a hassle with the travel time and wait time. But with all this talk of inconsistencies, I thought I better go sooner rather than later.

Got there around 3:45 and ordered one regular slice and one square slice. Wait wasn't too bad with a few people waiting for pies and slices. My regular slice was ready in about 20 minutes and the square slice a few minutes after that.

The verdict? Pretty darn good pizza. Clearly good quality ingredients. For my tastes, I would have liked a little more salt on both slices. Also think the regular slice could have been cooked a little longer and the square slightly less, but I'm nit-picking here. I enjoyed both. Definitely prefer the regular slice as I favor thinner crusts while this also had heavier seasonings. Oh, and yes, the slices are very oily. I didn't mind but I can't see myself eating too many slices in one sitting.

Would I go back? Not sure. The pizza was worth this one trip but I really do hate waiting on long lines. Maybe if I could make it there again at an off-hour and wasn't too far away with a car.

Jun 04, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Recent visit to Hanoi, Vietnam - Report

Was in Hanoi recently too. Street food was great overall. Got some tips from these boards and locals, while I also just popped into random places that were busy at peak meal times.

I was nowhere near as diligent in taking notes, but here are some food/places that stood out:

-Pho. My favorite was at 49 Bat Dan. Also hit up Pho Suong (24B Ngo Trung Yen), Pho 10 (10 Ly Quoc Su), a few others. Even my hotel had good pho.

-Bun cha. Enjoyed at 1 Hang Mahn and at 34 Hang Than.

-fried eel with vermicelli. 87 Hang Dieu. Perhaps my favorite plate of food in Hanoi.

-Cha Ca Thang Long. 21 Duong Thanh. I was told this one is better than the more well-known touristy one for the turmeric fish. Good, not great for me.

-Bun Bo Nam Bo. 67 Hang Dieu. Vermicelli with beef.

-bahn cuon. 14 Hang Ga. I also had this dish somewhere else that was pretty good.

-mini bahn mi from a street cart outside the night market.

-a lot of Vietnamese coffee (with condensed milk) from random cafes across town. The Trung Nguyen chain is also pretty good (also went there in Saigon a couple of times). Tried egg coffee once - not my thing, sort of tastes like tiramisu but worth a try.

I also went to a bunch of other places not listed. Highly recommend doing a street food tour at the beginning of the trip to get one's bearings and especially if you don't know the language. I did one that was rather pricey but well worth it.

May 31, 2014
churros in China & Southeast Asia