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Bkeats's Profile

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I hate it when I don't know how to pronounce a food's name in a restaurant

I don't think its that people don't care about pronouncing things correctly. Its just not an impediment to ordering.

Also, you are taking the view that upon hearing the correct pronunciation for the first time, a user could repeat it. I would challenge that view. There are plenty of "foreign" dish names that I know how to say "correctly." When I've have tried to teach someone the correct way to say a dish, it can be amazing what comes back. If the person isn't familiar with the other language, s/he may not be able to repeat the sound no matter how many times s/he hears the "correct" version. I'm reminded of my first semester class in Italian when the instructor was going over "gli." Oh my the sounds that filled the room. Still makes me chuckle.

Jul 30, 2014
Bkeats in General Topics

I hate it when I don't know how to pronounce a food's name in a restaurant

My honest view is that this app fits the solution in search of a problem paradigm. Sure I've seen menu items I can't figure out how to pronounce. Hell I've been in countries where I can't make out anything as the language is not even latin alphabet based. I've never had a problem with the point method and butchering the pronunciation. I've never seen the server cringe and cover her ears. If you are having a problem with this, I'd say don't worry about it. If you're going to try and make a business of this, well good luck.

Jul 30, 2014
Bkeats in General Topics

Generous portions, cheap prices, good food--is it possible in NYC anymore?

At that price range, I wouldn't expect much other than buffet/fast food/cheap ethnic stuff. Sitting down and getting made to ordered food while taking a table for an hour+ for $10? Not likely. I'd say almost impossible. Its a business. They have to make money. With the neighborhoods you have described, I think it would be a challenge for any restaurant to stay in business doing what you want. Your choice is to either pay more or cook in.

Jul 30, 2014
Bkeats in Outer Boroughs
1

Trattoria Il Mulino- Worst Dining Experience in a very long time.

I'm curious as to why you went during RW and ordered from the RW menu. I've seen your posts around the world and have felt like I've been stalking your restaurant choices before. I would have thought someone of your background would have given RW and its issues a wide berth. Your experience was pretty bad, but its not inconsistent with what I have seen happen during RW and why I avoid it.

Jul 30, 2014
Bkeats in Manhattan

Quick overview of my weekend NYC trip

Nice summary. I'm beginning to think that Chang maybe starting to coast a bit. I used to love Ssam Bar. Went a few weeks ago and it was just ok now. Never got the hype for Baohaus either.

I like the "steal" analogy. Maybe better to say you were robbed?

Jul 25, 2014
Bkeats in Manhattan

Quick overview of my weekend NYC trip

Old French guys all look and sound alike to me too. LOL

Jul 25, 2014
Bkeats in Manhattan
1

Need to vent quickly.. new HUGE pet peeve Restaurant week only menus

What city are you in where the regular menu is not available during RW? In NYC, the regular menu is avilable. The RW menu is usually some discount non-regular menu list of 3 things that have been developed to minimize the cost.

Jul 23, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food
1

The Clam Castle?

I hate how chow hound works on iPad or maybe not work is better. Just wrote a review and then it didn't save and upload. Try again.

So we got to clam castle this weekend. We were told they have been open for a week.

The place has been spruced up. New coat of paint and new counter. The menu is now a blackboard with fancy graphics instead of the old whiteboard with handwritten notes.

There are things on the menu that I don't recall like pulled pork. Prices seem higher. If you want the fried onions it's $2 extra now. We ordered fried scallops and clam strips.

Went and sat at an inside table as it's coolish now that the old air conditioner that blew around hot air seems to have been replaced. They called out our order and then brought it to the table as before.

The portion was large. Nice number of scallops and a big pile of clams on top of the fried onions. Tasted ok but there was something missing. The fry job wasn't as good or as crisp as we recalled. It was a bit greasy. Tasted ok, but I'm hoping they get better. Just may take a bit of time to get everything working right. I really hope they do improve and we will try again. If it doesn't improve then I'm not sure we will be coming out as much as there are places that are closer that we would probably go to which are better than CC right now as it stands. Really pulling for these guys to match the old place.

Jul 21, 2014
Bkeats in Southern New England

Giada says Italians like to use breadcrumbs instead of parmesan. Recipe examples?

Jul 18, 2014
Bkeats in General Topics

Da Marcella

But if it was so disappointing, why did you keep eating? Was it disappointing from your expectations? The disappointment that when you were expecting better you go something pedestrian? It wasn't bad and it wasn't great so I would have thought that was just sort of average, acceptable.

Jul 18, 2014
Bkeats in Manhattan

Da Marcella

So my take away is that you had a ordinary, acceptable meal. Nothing remarkable one way or the other. Like so many other places.

Jul 18, 2014
Bkeats in Manhattan

Oyster Craze

Predictions like that have been around as long as there have been humans. Malthus probably brought the idea more into popular conscienceness.

"The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race."

Obviously he was right. ;)

While there will be those hunkered down in their bunkers
with freeze dried and canned goods waiting for the revolution, I will proclaim "let them eat oysters." LOL

Jul 17, 2014
Bkeats in General Topics
2

Restaurant week dispute

Not, those barstools. You have to order the RW special barstools. They're a little skinnier and more lightly padded to go with the skinnier and lightly padded patrons. ;)

Jul 17, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

Well then I will send your way the people I've known who have decided to go to some well known place during RW, ordered off the RW menu and then later complained to me about how they don't get why some people like the place so much as the food and experience was just so so. But hey they got a good price though whether they got a good value can be another matter.

There is no problem with anyone ordering the bare minimum during RW. My point is if that's what everyone does, RW will slowly die off as that's not the basis for the model. How do I know that? Well let's say I have some industry contacts that I have talked about this with and they've explained what has happened with RW over the years. It used to be great when it started. Now, its a pale imitation of what it was meant to be.

Jul 17, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food
2

Restaurant week dispute

Bravo!

Jul 17, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food

Giada says Italians like to use breadcrumbs instead of parmesan. Recipe examples?

My recollection is that toasted seasoned breadcrumbs are often used to top seafood pasta dishes.

Jul 16, 2014
Bkeats in General Topics
1

Restaurant week dispute

How about the occasional burp?

Jul 16, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

I understand the OP's SO could be peeved but I don't believe that is justified in any way.

The whole reason RW exists is, as others have already said, to draw in people at a slow time and see if the diners can be enticed to add something to the RW menu. Have a cocktail, wine and coffee. If everyone who came in during RW ordered solely off the RW menu and drank tap water and then never came back during non-RW times, RW would quickly die off.

Going to a restaurant during RW and ordering solely off the RW menu for the sake of the bargain brings to mind people who buy things only because something was on sale. I will get told how much money was "saved" by buying it on sale and I will ask "but did you want or need it?" I get the look that tells me that need or want is besides the point, only getting the bargain mattered. Never mind the fact you could have saved even more by not spending anything for something that wasn't wanted. So rather than cluttering up my closet with things I have no need for or eating food that doesn't appeal to me, I will go when I want and order what I like. I suggest the OP do likewise.

Jul 16, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food
3

Oh no another tipping thread! When is no tip justified?

My discussion of the wine was as part of the bad service. I told the waiter to stop filling the glasses to the rim. It felt as though he was pushing us to drink more so that we would buy more.

Jul 16, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food

Oh no another tipping thread! When is no tip justified?

I am probably opening Pandora's box here but I wanted to get some views on whether it is ever justifiable to leave no tip and under what circumstances you would not tip.

Here's what happened to the wife and me a while back. We went to dinner at a place we had been to a few times before and the dinners had been perfectly pleasant in the past. The restaurant is owned by a chef who has at least 3 places I know of and a Michelin star to his credit. In our prior experience at his places, the FOH staff was always professional. We are generally good tippers. I've waited tables in my youth so I have no issue with tipping and generally tip at least 15% even for sub-par service.

So we are seated and given the menus and wine list. I order a bottle of wine. Waiter brings the bottle and after opening it pours the wine until each of the glasses is nearly full. Almost to the rim. That's ok if you're getting a generous pour of wine by the glass but I have bought the bottle so I ask the guy to ease up. By the way, this is one of the places where they don't leave the bottle on your table but where the server is supposed to make sure your glass doesn't go empty.

So we give our order. Wife is eating light so she skips the app but orders a main. Waiter recites the order and then leaves. So we drink some wine and it seems every time we get a little below the 3/4 level, the waiter refills the glasses. I think to myself what is he trying to do? Have us finish the bottle before we get the app so we will order another bottle?

App comes and my wife shares some of it. I'm guessing by this point the bottle of wine is 3/4 empty. My app is cleared and the waiter brings my main. Nothing for my wife. We wait a few minutes and nothing else comes.

I flag down the waiter and ask about my wife's main.

He says she didn't order anything.

I say are you nuts? Of course she did. You repeated our order back to us when we ordered. You didn't think it odd that we would come in for dinner and only one person would order anything to eat?

He gets defensive and rushes back to the kitchen to tell them to get my wife's entree started. I sit there with my dinner getting cold. My wife tells me to go ahead and eat. So we begin to share my dish.

Next thing I see our waiter come out of a door in his street clothes and begins to walk out of the restaurant. I call out to him and ask what in the world is happening. He said he's leaving and another waiter will cover our table. Then he walks out the door. It becomes clear that the crappy service we had been getting was a result of his rush to leave.

So now what? My dish has been finished and cleared and another waiter finally brings my wife's dish. We have finished the bottle of wine and I ask if we can get the wine list so that we can order some wine by the glass while my wife has her main.

Never get the wine list. No one is paying attention to our table.

Wife finishes her meal. We wait for her place to be cleared.... forever....

Her place is finally cleared and we're asked if we want dessert. By this point my wife is fed up with what has happened and all she wants to do is leave. We say no and ask for the check.

And again we wait. Nothing for at least 15 minutes. We've been here now for 2+ hours. My wife is furious at this point. She gets up and goes to the manager and asks for our check. When we get the charge receipt back, she takes it and draws a big X through the tip line making it clear we did not forget the tip.

The sad part is that we used to like the restaurant but the experience so infuriated my wife (who is normally a very good tipper) that we don't go there anymore as she refuses to step in to the place again.

Does an experience like that justify no tip? When have you left nothing and made it clear that you didn't simply forget?

Europeans and other non-Americans are welcomed to add their thoughts! ;)

Jul 16, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food

Peter Luger in Brooklyn

One thing also to keep in mind is that portions are large. If you order some apps and a couple of sides, I've found the steak for 2 easily feeds 3. May not be stuffed to the proverbial gills but there's plenty to eat.

Jul 16, 2014
Bkeats in Outer Boroughs

Restaurant week dispute

Not trying to have an argument but a discussion. You have an interesting position given your choice of tag that you use on CH. As a worldwide diner, I would have expected someone to be more open. Between travel for work and pleasure, I've had the chance to eat in most countries of western Europe some in eastern Europe, some in Latin America and a few in Asia. It wouldn't ever occur to me that I would want to limit the ability of a fellow diner to order what he preferred to eat especially if he is paying for it. But hey, different strokes.

Jul 16, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food
1

Restaurant week dispute

Funny thread to link to as I think there are distinctly mixed feelings on that thread. There are some good places that do RW but the good ones that do participate usually have a prix fixe menu priced very close to the RW price so there's really no reason to go during RW and a reason to actually avoid it then. Many of the opinions voiced express the same issue of limited menu choices. Sure if you can't otherwise afford a place without the RW menu, go ahead and try it but temper your expectations. If you aren't constrained by finances, don't order off the RW menu. Better yet, don't go during RW.

Jul 16, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

You're supposed to keep that a secret! Now I've been outed.

Jul 15, 2014
Bkeats in General Topics

Restaurant week dispute

So you're now changing the scenario? What you have described, I have done. No big deal for anyone else at the table. Not a problem for the restaurants I've done that at. Sure there are places where everyone has to have the tasting menu. I most recently did that Eleven Madison. But if there is another option, why shouldn't I be able to make my choice? Do you order dinner for everyone in the group when you make reservations?

Jul 15, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food
1

Restaurant week dispute

They're all eating. When you go out to dinner with a group, do you insist everyone orders and eats the same thing? That's the equivalent of your analogy. What's wrong with sitting at the table and ordering food that's not on the discount menu? It all comes at the same time and you eat together. We went to disney as kids. Some wanted to go on Space Mountain. Others didn't. No one was forced to go on a ride s/he didn't want to go on.

ETA: The typical RW menu in NYC will have 3 choices for starters and 3 for mains and some desserts. I've often looked at them and said "none of the above." Why would you be forced to eat something you don't want if there is a perfectly acceptable choice that you're willing to pay for? Should the diabetic OP eat dessert because he went to Disney with friends too?

Jul 15, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

In NYC, the regular menu is always available during RW. It's the diner's choice as to which menu to order off of. The RW menu is typically some choice of chicken/salmon/veggie dish that is not usually part of the regular menu. Its a dumbed down version of the regular experience.

Jul 15, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food
2

How much do I tip? How much should I tip? How much do YOU tip? etc.... [moved from Ontario board]

LOL

Jul 15, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food

How much do I tip? How much should I tip? How much do YOU tip? etc.... [moved from Ontario board]

Oh no, not another one

Jul 15, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food
3

Restaurant week dispute

People like your SO is one of the primary reasons I avoid restaurants participating in RW. It pulls in people who would otherwise not go. The better restaurants that used to participate realized that and that these people were unlikely to upsize their orders or add wine or come back when RW was over.

Order what you want or go back when its not RW without her.

I've had too many meals ruined by going during RW. I don't order off the RW menu, but the crowds just overwhelm the staff. I remember going to a client dinner at Perry Street one night and didn't realize it was RW. Service was very slow and the staff was apologetic to our table as we were a large group ordering off the main menu with lots of wine.

Its not been as much of a problem lately as most of the better places have stopped participating or only do so for lunch which is fine as I usually don't have sit down lunches out.

If everyone continues to treat RW the way your SO does, the quality of RW will continue to decline.

ETA: RW = Groupon by another name

Jul 15, 2014
Bkeats in Not About Food
1