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Minimum Wage Impact on Restaurant (especially FF) Prices

To Tom34 and his comment that begins, 'Reaching top level management rarely happens by accident', an item from The Guardian, so not about the US but the UK-- but let's face it, economic trends towards neoliberalism apparent in the UK are pretty much a pale reflection of the US:

"If the national minimum wage had kept pace with FTSE 100 CEO salaries since 1999, it would now be £18.89 per hour instead of £6.50. However, for some reason broadcasters rarely ask CEOs about the gulf between their pay and that of the poorest staff in their organisations. The unstated implication is that the lowest-paid staff are lucky to have any job at all, and only have what they have thanks to the benevolence of the 1%, with their superior leadership skills.

If the top 1% actually created more jobs as they became wealthier, then ordinary people would be surrounded by employment opportunities in both the US and the UK. Instead, it is in Germany, where the wealthiest 1% receives in pay and bonuses half as much as their counterparts in the US, that unemployment is at a 20-year low. In countries that keep their top 1% in check, the highest earners work more effectively for the good of all, or at the very least create a little less misery."


What's for Dinner #327-The Scotland Votes Edition! [through September 25, 2014]

Dundee also voted yes. (Just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean it isn't a big city- one of the top four in Scotland.)

PYT scandal... owner refuses to apologize for sharing tip

Whoa. If you guys are talking about the case I think you're talking about, you've the wrong end of the stick on that one. Seriously.
(And I'll stop here before the mods have cause to step in.)

Sep 16, 2014
Lizard in Not About Food

Are bagels "a thing" now?

I've been reading this with great interest, or moderate interest, if only to look into the popularity and spread of the bagel/beigel. I have rarely come across bagels on brasserie menus in Paris or Brussels, so this is a new one on me. I've only ever seen beigels for sale in Jewish shops/areas, but then, I may also be blind to the appearance of bagel sandwiches in restaurants. (And I don't go out to eat loads when I'm in either city so maybe that's also it.)

Sep 01, 2014
Lizard in France

In search of tips for Edinburgh & Highlands

I'm having a think on what would be near you for shopping. I'm more familiar with the shops of Brunstfield and the like, where on finds speciality shops, although I recall Leith Walk having its share of Asian and Polish markets.

There's also the Sicilian Pastry Shop (around Albert Street) that many swear by. Otherwise, I keep thinking about the big Tescos-- one at the end of Easter Road and the other near George V park (but I cycle, so don't know how it would be for walking or taking the bus).

For a lovely walk, on the other side of Arthur's Seat in Duddingston, there's Sheeps Heid Inn (oldest pub in Edinburgh). I've only been for drinks, but the food looked nice. It's worth a visit, at any rate. I'll continue thinking and see if I can't remember spots.

There's also The Café Royal on West Register Street (close to Waverly Station) that is a lovely place, although once again, I'm afraid I haven't eaten but only enjoyed a drink.

Aug 29, 2014
Lizard in U.K./Ireland

That Time Anthony Bourdain Scared Kids with the Gay, and I Laughed

Then what you wrote the first time was perfectly clear and my response stands.

Aug 27, 2014
Lizard in Features

That Time Anthony Bourdain Scared Kids with the Gay, and I Laughed

I'm a bit puzzled by your response, to be honest, as it seems you are simultaneously sympathetic to and resentful of the cause (the cause being the fight against homophobia). It seems that this story has you already on the defensive, as the greatest danger is to you, a straight man, rather than to those who live with homophobia so pervasive and so subtle that it can be perpetuated far too easily.

Indeed, what I get from this story is the author's own surprise that he did not see the homophobia inherent in Bourdain's teasing (one you seem to see and condemn straight away). In that, he takes himself to task and reminds us that everyone can participate in the maintenance of racism, homophobia, sexism, etc. and that no one is necessarily immune simply for their identity or because they've been activists. The piece offers a reflection that is useful as guide: it's worth checking back in every now and again.

Being born gay or not, choosing or chosen, it doesn't matter. In fact, why should it only be acceptable if one is helpless to stop TEH GAY? Yes, I think much of this is beyond one's control, but even if it were within the grasp, it would still be ok by me.

But then, maybe I'm missing something in your post.

Aug 27, 2014
Lizard in Features

That Time Anthony Bourdain Scared Kids with the Gay, and I Laughed

Heard you the first time. But given you are an active poster on the thread about the couple kicked out of the restaurant because of service dogs, and given that thread has less to do with restaurants, and more to do with plastic surgery and the Americans with Disabilities Act, I would have thought you were lax about such things.
The set up here is similarly foodie: One-time chef and well known food writer and presented has a show about taco trucks, and then something happens.

A Four-Year-Old reviews... The French Laundry

"A ringside seat to see assholes create more assholes."

Aug 22, 2014
Lizard in Food Media & News

Who would you like to dine with?

Well, will women really want to come if Richard Dawkins is there? :)

Dawkins used to be interesting, but my how things have changed. I love this recent bit from the Daily Mash:


Aug 21, 2014
Lizard in Not About Food

Service Dogs Get Couple Kicked Out of Restaurant

I don't know. I mean, this post responds to an impression I also picked up from the thread. I know people here on chowhound can be sympathetic to social issues, and I know that most of the responses here are in light of two people who might well be giving off a dubious vibe. However, this more specific focus is giving way to generalisations about service animals (a domain that has expanded, and with it, as always, those who take advantage) and demands for a rigorous oversight of disabled people that places the onus on them but not the state for ensuring provisions of access. (Although I get the feeling that many on CH list libertarian, so I'm sort of not surprised by the latter issue.)

As for the people themselves, there is so little to glean from any short item (I will refrain from comments on Florida man and woman) so from a distance, this starts to look nasty. (Why does plastic surgery matter at all?)

All that said, I'm not writing this to take you to task about what has been written, but to say that the post you are treating as trollish is possibly coming from a better place than you think. (And I speak of this post only, not necessarily follow-ups, because I, too, have no idea what being a Christian should matter.)

If you had one night in Endingburgh, where would you eat?

Most places you're likely going to need to book. I'm afraid the range may limit you some, since your higher end does not meet the places like favourites such as Kitchin.

There are some places that may meet the Scottish request:

The Dogs on Hanover Street (I've been there once, and very good, but not memorable-- but then, I was knackered).

Wildest Drams on the High Street. I've yet to try it but a friend really enjoyed herself there.

First Coast on Dalry: Again a place I've been meaning to try because I've heard praises.

And if I manage to get myself there, I will post reviews. I just keep ending up at places that are solid, but mostly Asian.

Aug 18, 2014
Lizard in U.K./Ireland

Best wording to offer chef services as a gift to bride & groom

Just chiming in that if this gift is to be given, it should be given as an all-inclusive. Imagine if a photographer offered up their time and expertise, and even maybe some darkroom materials, but required the recipients of the gift to paper for paper, matting, and frame. (And if that were offered, one would have to assume that the value of having such a photograph well outweighed any additional costs...)

Not a slight, just a bit weird. Although (just thinking aloud here) if you do have a professional company, maybe a gift certificate as you would also provide for other customers who wish to gift your services? Maybe that has it outlined?

Also would add that newlywed doesn't necessarily mean inexperienced adult any more. Many of my friends were married after years of co-habiting and throwing dinner parties.

Aug 09, 2014
Lizard in Not About Food

You guys have thoughts on this take on the GMO issue?

"But the bit about red "delicious," apples... wow! Tyson obviously hates good food."

Where do you get that? His description of what one finds in advance of cultivation does not mean that he hates food. However, if you mean that his first example was a red delicious, which is an abomination, suggests that might be what he likes best, then I understand.

Meanwhile, this has, for the most part, been my feeling about most GMO, although some stuff becomes a little consternating, if not dangerous.

However, my objection has been the corporatisation and the breeding in of non-sustainability to maximise profits. I won't even get into the lawsuit destruction these companies wage.

Aug 02, 2014
Lizard in Food Media & News

"Starbucks Demands Barista Remove Tattoo or Resign"

I'm not doing anything... This was the demo named above and which I'm critiquing, so no idea what exactly you're trying to tell me.

But thanks for defining fogeys for me.

Jul 24, 2014
Lizard in Food Media & News

"Starbucks Demands Barista Remove Tattoo or Resign"

Ok, I find this category (the 45-70 year old women) puzzling, at least with regard to age. At this point, people within that category are just as likely to have grown up punk, and as such, are aware of the fact this wasn't necessarily scary scary. And definitely within the 45-50 there are a lot who dye their hair unnatural colours.

Based on what I see in this thread, I think region and social context far more telling for a demographic than age... At least, it takes more to shock a certain group of fogeys. Conservatism seems to cut across these demographics.

Of course, this demo of fogeys would likely be out off by such categorisation... And because the company caters to conservatives, this group is not your prime market anyway.

Starbucks, in its ubiquity would seem a bit different.

It occurred to me there are things that I don't necessarily find attractive, but unless it is actually a sensory assault (powerful scents-ugh) or something that suggests a lack of hygiene (I was at a sandwich shop recently where the bloke behind the counter had a bunch of food crumbs in his beard), they have little effect on my patronage. (Although with the crumb beard guy, I decided that had more to do with his own eating habits and not necessarily restaurant practice)... But these make more sense than tattoo bans or hair colour anxiety.)

Jul 24, 2014
Lizard in Food Media & News

"Starbucks Demands Barista Remove Tattoo or Resign"

Creysd, The number of tattoos I saw in Tel Aviv was crazy (by which I mean outnumbering what I would have anticipated) but then, this is a city dedicated to declaring its secular status. (eg cafés offering וִיץ' גימבון)

Jul 21, 2014
Lizard in Food Media & News

"Starbucks Demands Barista Remove Tattoo or Resign"

What's the difference between a person with tattoos and a person without them? The person with tattoos doesn't care if you have any.

Also, I really find this alignment of forced tattooing and voluntary tattooing troubling to say the least. And as indicated in my post above, not even necessarily done by those with the closest relationship to forced tattoos.

Gawker tests TGIF's unlimited appetizers

Caity Weaver is great. If you enjoyed this, you should read the 'The Best Restaurant in New York' series that she writes with her friend, Rich. They eat at restaurants in tourist attractions and write reviews, including The Bronx Zoo and The American Girl Café.

Jul 20, 2014
Lizard in Food Media & News

Discrimination in Restaurants - does it influence where you dine?


Jul 20, 2014
Lizard in Not About Food

"Starbucks Demands Barista Remove Tattoo or Resign"

Understandable, but hardly a universal. I got tattooed, and my survivor relatives were hardly traumatised or 'triggered' into comparison. (Although my parents were traumatised in the usual 'how could you do that to yourself' way of parents.) Of course, there is the issue of being buried in a Jewish cemetery, but I have a feeling that's not even so great...
It may be a personal association, but again, hardly universal.

Jul 20, 2014
Lizard in Food Media & News

Restaurant Pet Peeves

I know what you mean! I find it absolutely charming that public radio and television in the UK broadcast explicitly Christian services. So cute what you find when you live in other countries!

Jul 13, 2014
Lizard in Not About Food

Adam Richman goes too far

Just wanted to say something, what with you perseverating over a moot point. No need to get upset.

Jul 05, 2014
Lizard in Food Media & News

Adam Richman goes too far

No one said he was responsible for an eating disorder.

It is curious that everyone keeps focussing on 'thinspiration'. Yes, it is a term used by pro-Ana groups and yes, Richman used it, most likely unintentionally.

But that is not why there has been blow back. It comes from his disproportionate and hostile response to those telling him about the word.

So why the continued focus on weight loss and 'thinspiration'? Is it because it a grants people more of a harrumphing posture than dealing with hateful behaviour?

And the Comment is Free, like many of the CIF, is ugly when the author justifies/sympathises with Richman's response. Look, I can understand getting upset, but telling someone to kill themselves because no one will miss them anyway is something that comes from a very angry person-- someone in need of therapy. Perhaps one of you can remember that it was repeated posts like that which got him into hot water?

Adam Richman goes too far

Your example involves your mother taking this from students. I'm glad you chose this example because it is commensurate with the Richman case IF we turn it around. Your mother did not respond to lip by telling people to kill themselves and using foul language. And I'm sure that if a teacher (a person in power*, a person with a larger platform in this scenario) cursed at a student or told him to kill himself, there would be strong response.

Richman is free to write what he wants, and I imagine the women on the receiving end didn't fall into a heap. However, they did talk about it, because it was a stunningly incommensurate response and because it shows some extraordinarily bad judgement on the part of a man who receives an even larger platform though the television networks, and said network realised there was a problem, and a PR problem at that. (Also, what cresyd said.)

Adam Richman goes too far

Actually, the word is not meaningless because words gain meaning according to social use. (Goodness knows this is why so many people argue that incorrect usage is acceptable.)

More importantly, this was a term used on twitter with a hashtag, and that increases its social meaning, because it functions as a search term and can create directed feeds. Someone liking and pursuing Richman's hashtag, intended for himself, could readily stumble upon this other existing field. In that way, he affiliated himself with these groups (the pro-anas and the like).

Obviously he didn't intend to and that's why people wrote to him-- to point this out. Noone was incensed with him or giving him grief, just pointing this out.

And then he responded as he did, which was in a manner utterly unacceptable-- so much so that his programmes are now on ice.

His response was disproportionate to what he received and his apologies began as non-apologies and have started to work their way into the lukewarm.

Can we talk Paris restau prices??

I'm going to provide a possibly more generous approach than yakionigirl which does not involve challenging your language skills or intention. A concierge at a 4-star hotel wants to look accommodating and will likely move to English if it seems that is your primary language.

I suspect that if your French is solid enough, s/he will not move to English if it seems your primary language is something else other than English. The problem is that English has become the Lingua Franca (irony) so that Anglophones wishing to exercise language skills are often thwarted.

I also see no problem asking if it is possible to continue in French (although I would not recommend such in Belgium if a person moves to English and speaks French with a Flemish accent since then persistence in French is more problematic). But then, I've just returned from another country where I am learning the language and asked if I could try-- fortunately, it's a language so few people try to learn that my efforts were supported and sometimes just enough to get by). It's not neuroses to want to know and function in other languages. At least, not in my moderately humble opinion.

Jun 19, 2014
Lizard in France

Cheap Eats in Belgium - possible?

You might enjoy a sandwich at Au Suisse on Blvd Anspach, across from some BD (comic book shops). grey shrimp are the traditional sandwich, so your husband would be covered and you'd have a range. I can't vouch for how good it is now, but it's been there for years and it's cheap.

ETA: I've often eaten a sandwich there, just not recently. Also, because I'm a carnivore, I buy sandwiches at butcher and other shops a well.

Jun 08, 2014
Lizard in Europe

What is French food?

May 31, 2014
Lizard in France

What is it with Americans and speculoos?

Not clear if you're responding to me, Sunshine, but I am certainly aware that Cote D'Or is a Belgian company (as I might given the info in the OP). I was probably clumsy, however, in my noting the bit about the bar: In the past ten or so years, I have seen a rapid escalation in types of mixes/ mix-ins with this brand. It could be a result of trying to keep up with the inventive chocolatiers on the scene, but I do think that American foodie obsessions have been creating their own kind of demand (and that may not be a bad thing). But this was nothing I saw as I child or growing up.
Meanwhile, I can understand why people enjoy this spice biscuit, but the ways in which this item seemed to be coveted or sought out was surprising to me, and that is why I posted.

May 27, 2014
Lizard in General Topics