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Infographic: How to Tip Waiter, Barternder, Barista and Deliveryman and Not Be Mean

It's not uncommon for tips to eat the entire 2.13 min wage. At a couple of places where I worked they would write a number on the back of your $0.00 paycheck, which was the additional tax liability for that pay period (as in, after the $2.13 had all been withheld, you still owed X). If you didn't make quarterly payments, you owed the IRS quite a bit of money at the end of the year.

Additionally, I worked at two different places where I worked entirely for tips, read no $2.13 min. Apparently, (and I don't know how many states allow this), so long as they can show you're earning at least the fed or state minimum through tips, they didn't have to pay us anything.

Apr 10, 2014
nc213 in Not About Food

Dinner around National Theatre [London]

Thanks, Zuriga.
Terrace has no openings before the show, and I doubt my students will hold out until 10:15 for dinner. (They need to be fed almost constantly, not unlike toddlers.) I appreciate the vote of confidence on the other two. RSJ makes mention of private rooms on their website, so that's promising.

Apr 06, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

Dinner around National Theatre [London]

I'm looking for a place to take my group of university students on our last night in London. I should have the budget to go a little nicer than most of our meals, but it would still need to be fairly reasonable--probably no more than 30GBP per head including a drink (though if we have no incidents throughout the trip we might have a bit more money to spend, so I wouldn't mind hearing about pricier options). The last time I did this trip we ended in Manchester and had our final meal here: http://oliverestaurants.uk.com/

We're staying by the Southwark tube station, and we're headed to a show at the National Theatre that night at 8, so something in the area would be idea. We're a group of 14, so that could be limited, and I have a couple of vegetarians and a couple of pescatarians in the group, which also limits us. I imagine that Italian or some sort of Asian would be ideal since there would be many vegetarian options instead of just one, but I'm certainly open to other things.

Things that look promising nearby: Ping pong, Ristorante Olivelli, Waterloo bar and kitchen, RSJ. There's also Terrace--the small plates place at the National Theatre.

Any feedback on these or better suggestions would be great.

Also, I imagine they'll want to go out for a drink after the show since it's their last night. Any idea on pubs (ideally) or bars that are open past traditional pub hours in the area?

Thanks for all of your help in advance. I've been lurking on the board in preparations for this trip and another I'm making in July, and you've all been so helpful already.

Apr 05, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

question for european visitors... what surprised you the most about american restaurant culture

Can you think of many common US sandwiches that don't have meat? Sure, there's pb & j, but it's rare to order that out. And egg salad and grilled cheese. After that, most US sandwiches have meat. If you look at most sandwich shops or sandwich chains, you'll see a dozen meat options and 1 or 0 veggie sandwich options.

Mar 08, 2014
nc213 in Not About Food

question for european visitors... what surprised you the most about american restaurant culture

I travel to the UK fairly often (though not as often as I'd like), and I'd agree with you preferring the style of service on most points. And while I hate it when they drop the check while we're still eating (which happens *constantly* in Ohio), I don't understand why it's so difficult to get a check in the UK.

I appreciate that the server is waiting for me to ask, but maybe the server could be somewhere in the vicinity when we're finishing or have finished, or glance at the table on occasion to see if we'd, in fact, like to pay. I'm often trying to pack a lot into my day or make the theatre, and I'm desperately trying to find or make eye contact with the server. sigh.

Mar 08, 2014
nc213 in Not About Food

Columbus - Short North area Restaurant

Without a price range or more specifics, it's a little difficult to know what you want, but I'll take a stab. I think Rigsby's is the best restaurant in the Short North and one of the best in the city. The food is lovely and so is the service. Plenty of seafood and vegetarian options.

For a little more low key, people like the Rossi and The Pearl. I haven't been to the former, the latter is nice, though it seems derivative of a lot of places on the East Coast.

Basi is lovely Italian, but a bit off the main drag.

Mar 04, 2014
nc213 in Great Lakes

Columbus, OH downtown happy hour?

I would head North on High and wander around the Short North. Lots of places at various price points.

This link offers Bodega (in the SN) as the best of last year: http://www.columbusunderground.com/best-happy-hour-of-2013-bodega-bo2013

It also mentions Lindey's, which is supposed to be a really nice happy hour, but would be a bit of a drive (10 mins or so) south.

or you could check out the new-ish 16-bit bar, which is a good deal of fun if you like that sort of thing: http://16-bitbar.com/events/

Feb 10, 2014
nc213 in Great Lakes

Recommendations for Columbus in early March

I think Rigsby's is one of the best restaurants in the city, possibly *the* best. I find the food consistently good, as is the service. On Monday nights they have $1 oysters at the bar.

I always want to like Explorer's Club more than I do.

Katzingers is great if you don't have regular access to a solid NY deli. If you do, then it's just fine.

I'd also mention Harvest for artisanal pizza (close by cab), Tip Top, for casual and tasty and very Columbus (and a quick walk from your hotel), and if you're looking for a diners, etc type place, I'd check out Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace--a very short cab ride from your hotel.

People really like El Arepazo, which is also quite close to your hotel, but I haven't made it there yet.

Jan 28, 2014
nc213 in Great Lakes

Trinidadian food - advice please!

Here's a recipe with a number of pics from a site devoted to Trini cooking: http://www.simplytrinicooking.com/2008/09/buss-up-shut-paratha-roti.html#axzz2qtYawCBm

And here's a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsJGRt...

Spellings vary, but the name comes from "busted up shirt," as in one in tatters.

Trinis have a rich and varied cooking tradition. While there are certainly similarities in cooking across many islands of the Caribbean, and as one poster below notes, there is a fair bit of influence from the South Asian population (about 40%) on the island, but most island nations of the Caribbean have dishes unique to their national cultures.

Jan 19, 2014
nc213 in Home Cooking

Manchester help

Thanks, All. I've been in contact with Albert Square Chophouse. They've assured me that they're accessible, and we have a reservation. I'm tucking away your other recs for my night "off" from the kids.

Jan 17, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

Manchester help

Thanks for all of this.
I'll start looking at menus and options. My heart just leapt at Malaysian.

Jan 16, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

Manchester help

Hi Mancunian hounds,
I'm traveling with a group of my university students, and I'm looking for a place for our first dinner together. The last time I did a trip like this, we found a relatively inexpensive gastropub near our hotel in London, which was perfect. If possible, I'd like to show the students good British cooking--clean flavors and local ingredients. If not possible, I'll settle for good.

I need a place that can seat 14 people, that is relatively disability accessible (one group member uses a walker; he can do a few stairs, but not a whole flight), and that has decent fish and veg options (1 veg and 3 pescatarians in the group).

We're on a fairly tight budget. I'd like to come in at under 20GBP per person without alcohol.

I realize this is a tall order. Anything you can think of that will come close would be great. If we need to, I don't mind moving off the idea of British food. We're staying in Chinatown, so I could always take them for a thai or Indian feast. But since it's their first night and they'll be jetlagged, I was hoping for something more familiar to some of them.

I've looked at the chophouse family; their prix fix meals should work. I also noticed Cafe Istanbul (clearly not British, but seemed to be in budged and well-liked) as a possibility.

As a bonus, the other faculty and I will be dining on our own the second night, so I'm open to any suggestions you have. If you were going to have one reasonable dinner in Manchester, where would it be?

Thanks in advance. I'm exciting to be introducing more of my students to your fine city. We were treated exceedingly well last time.

Jan 15, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

Columbus OH -- Dinner suggestions

Can you be more specific? There's a pretty big gulf between Thurmans (which is what I think you mean) and Barcelona.

Harvest is excellent and shouldn't have much of a wait at 5pm (but does not take reservations). Akai Hana has excellent sushi and takes reservations, but it a little far from the Arena district. Basi is solid, though it is close to the Short North and you might have to walk a couple of blocks from your parking spot.

We like Tip Top quite a bit. They don't take reservations, but I can't imagine having to wait for a table at 5pm.

Jan 14, 2014
nc213 in Great Lakes

are hounds smarter than your average bear? want opinions

Actually, capitalization is a part of mechanics, not grammar.

(Meant with a wink and tongue-in-cheek.)

Jan 14, 2014
nc213 in Not About Food

Tips and expensive restaurants

No, it's not the end of the world. I mean, it wouldn't be the end of the world if your boss decided you would make less money today, right? he'll pay someone else the right amount in the future, but you will make less today, because he decided arbitrarily that you should make less and he only visits the country you work in sometimes.

Jan 07, 2014
nc213 in Not About Food

NY Times: Food Stamp Fraud, Rare but Troubling

Reading many of the comments above, I see a number of people who grow angry that SNAP recipients use "taxpayer dollars" to buy expensive items. This is because those "taxpayer dollars" are visible, i.e., another shopper sees someone using and EBT card.

Thankfully, I've never needed food stamps. I have, however, taken advantage of many student loans, some of which feature government subsidies that keep them no-interest (for a time) or low interest. These are taxpayer dollars.

Last year, after renting for nearly 15 years, I became a homeowner. Now, I receive a tax break because of my mortgage interest.

So I receive taxpayer dollars because I'm a homeowner (which is somewhat ridiculous--I get a break now that I have enough money to buy; I needed a break when I was a broke-ass renter) and because I borrowed money for higher education. Yet no one is complaining when I buy expensive cheese, prepared food, or other pricey items.

Most of us receive some form of government assistance--but we don't frame it that way because we haven't needed the programs reserved for the poorest among us. And because our assistance is hidden, we aren't judged for our purchases.

Dec 24, 2013
nc213 in Food Media & News

Chez du Bon Columbus Oh

Just quick updates: there's a new review of Chez du Bon in Columbus Underground. Their reviews tend to be overly positive and cursory, but it should give you a better idea of the menu. If you do make it there, be sure to report back.

Dec 04, 2013
nc213 in Great Lakes

Chez du Bon Columbus Oh

It's very new, so I don't know how much luck you'll have here. There was a write-up in Columbus Underground: http://www.columbusunderground.com/

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Nov 17, 2013
nc213 in Great Lakes

Nicola Restaurant, Columbus

This sounds promising.
Thanks for taking the time to report back.

Nov 09, 2013
nc213 in Great Lakes

How to compliment a chef on a fabulous meal?

Um, do you think that might have changed in the six years since I made that comment??

So six years later it looks like 22 states still have a tipped min wage under $3 and 34 states still have a tipped min wage under $5 and only 6 states pay at or over the $7.25 federal minimum. All of the states I mentioned as paying below $3 six years ago still do.

Nov 02, 2013
nc213 in Not About Food

italian food in columbus?

I've been here a few years and have found the same thing. Rigsby's and Basi stand out as the best I've tried so far, and I can't think of any suggestions that you haven't named. I hope you get some good answers.

Oct 31, 2013
nc213 in Great Lakes

Skillet or Cap City in Columbus: Any experience?

People love Skillet. I like skillet a good deal. The food is fresh and tasty, the pancakes, when they have them, divine. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a meal there.

I haven't made it to Cap City, so I can't comment.

Sep 29, 2013
nc213 in Great Lakes

Columbus area Thai, Indian and Japanese

We've been here a while and are still working on these, but here are some places we like.

Akai Hana for Japanese. We only ever get sushi here, but everything else looks delicious. Best sushi in Columbus.

We also like Sushi Bistro Masa in Dublin. Again, we tend to get sushi, but the Japanese and Korean heavy clientele orders from throughout the menu. (We see lovely bowls of noodles and other goodies.)

For Indian, we like Aab in Grandview and Amul India in Dublin. Neither is as wonderful as what we were used to in DC, but both are tasty. Aab tends to go overboard on the ghee, which can be good or bad. We have friends who swear by Taj Majal near OSU, but we haven't made it there yet. There are also two dosa places that we have not yet managed to try.

I understand that the best Thai is found around refugee road.

We've tried Basil and Nida's in the Short North. Neither is bad, but neither is particularly exciting. We liked Thai Orchid in Powell, but since moving further from there we haven't been back. I wouldn't rave about any of these.

alteatscolumbus.com is a great resource for your more off-the-radar spots, which is where I believe the good Thai is hiding.

Keep us posted on what you find!

Sep 08, 2013
nc213 in Great Lakes

When did Chili's Stop Giving Tortilla Chips and Salsa to Customers?

I worked at a couple of Chilis in the 90s. Chips and Salsa weren't free at the tables; they definitely were a charged item. I would doubt if they had started giving them free since then.

There were definitely a good number of Mexican and/or Tex-Mex items: nachos, fajitas, quesadillas back then, but there were also a fair number of standard chain items--burgers, blooming onions, chicken caesars, etc.

Aug 25, 2013
nc213 in Chains

Unique eats in Columbus?

I'm not sure about unique. But when I have friends in from out of town I tend to bring them to Harvest for brick oven pizza with local ingredients and Dirty Franks for tasty hot dogs and local color.

Aug 02, 2013
nc213 in Great Lakes

most fabulous dinner in colubus ohio $$$ no object

Can you give us more information as to what you're looking for? Type of food? Atmosphere?

My go-to recommendations for a nice dinner to impress a client would be Rigsby's, Lindey's, and G. Michaels. Or maybe Deep Wood.

Apr 28, 2013
nc213 in Great Lakes

Columbus, Ohio help

I'd second the last poster on eliminating M and Gallerie. I would think that The Pearl is nothing special if you're from NY. (It's new for C-bus, but it's nothing that Balthazar didn't do fifteen years ago.)

That leaves G Michael, Rigsby's, Sage, Alana's and Basi.
I haven't been to Alana's, so I may be missing something there, but I've heard that the quality isn't what it used to be.

I would go with G. Michael, Rigsby's and Sage, though I'd have Basi as a close fourth.

Apr 24, 2013
nc213 in Great Lakes

Columbus, Ohio help

Our favorite special occasion places have been Rigsby's and Lindey's, though I don't know that either focuses particularly on local ingredients. At both we've had lovely evenings with thoughtfully-prepared food and great service. Both do well on the fish and vegetables front. If the weather is nice, the patio at Lindey's is lovely.

Apr 13, 2013
nc213 in Great Lakes

Columbus, Ohio help

You've had some good advice so far.

To that list I'd add Harvest: http://harvestpizzeria.com/

Apr 09, 2013
nc213 in Great Lakes

36 hours near Ohio Wesleyan

I would recommend hanging in Delaware for the evening(s). The students really do spend nearly all of their time in town, so he'll want an idea of what living in Delaware is like. Of course, it's much different as a student. You might even want to eat a meal or two in a dining hall, to get a sense of where students eat most of their meals.

Oct 05, 2012
nc213 in Great Lakes