psb's Profile

Title Last Reply

Complain or Shut Up?

Would you rather be a decent person or a satisfied diner? I think you did exactly right putting your relationship with your host over a subpar meal ... since you say "host" rather than "friend", I assume there was some distance and/or formality to the relationship [so "not making a scene" may apply less in the case of a close friend who just happens to be treating].

I suppose if you'd some how rec'd something with a living/dead bug in it, foreign matter ... or some other medical level issue ["hey, i thought this was nut-free?"] then maybe there is a forcing function but I think your "table manner" and manner of escalation are totally appropriate (there are other chowhound-anecdotes in which I think the poster is leaving out something which likely hurts their case, but in your case everything seems reasonable thought out, so there isnt any reason to 'second guess' ... so you're right about the 'uh, you werent there' replies].

I can understand a business being frustrated not getting feedback at the table at other times -- "it helps us and it help you!" -- but it is bizarre to me to suggest on an occasion like this "promoting the general good" should some how beat decency in the here and now.

Some people here just take eating too seriously.

about 24 hours ago
psb in Not About Food

Grange Hall in Oakland's Temescal (old Barlata space)

>Has anyone tried the food?
>
i dropped in solo on my way back from a talk at UCB, so i dint have a chance to try many things.

i thought the $11 (+1 for egg) burger was quite good. tasty beef, 6oz, good meat-bun ratio, other ingredients were good. the pickles and picked onions etc on the side were pretty good as were the other veg toppings and the choice of cheddar. you get choice of side salad or fries ... eternally weak willed faced with this question, i got fries.

it was pretty messy to eat tho ... perhaps that's part of the cost of having the high meat to bread ratio, or maybe it's the type of bun? there was a little bit of delay before i started eating but the bottom bun was pretty much soaked in grease and fell apart ... between the beef and cheese, this was possibly the greasiest "fancy" burger i've since the ORIGINAL MISSION BURGER at DUC LOI, but it was tasty-greasy, not disgusting gut bomb greasy.

i think the burger is under priced. or perhaps i am used to SF prices?

only complaint was the egg on the burger was overcooked [the burger itself was cooked as desired]. although what could have made that burger even sloppier ... yes, running yolk.

i definitely didnt wish this were an 8oz burger.

there were some minor rough edges to service, but nothing notable. i though i picked up some conversations at neighboring tables of things which needed to be worked out, but again, either they were minor issues or the escalation process was working since nobody seemed to be getting bent out of shape ... at some point i was a little concerned that maybe if the wheels werent greased, was my burger going to take an hour? but it indeed came out very quickly.

the lemon tart was good but not great. my main complaint was the fruit sauce had too many bits of skin in it and it was a bit offputting texture wise ... like drinking milk and getting those bits of the layer which can form on top ... i dont know what that is called in english. it was also quite cheap, $6 i believe ... and the slice was definitely larger than it needed to be. am not sure if these are inhouse or outsourced. i liked the crust but it was a bit unusual so some expert bakers may disagree.

i wanted to try the house-made cola so got the JACK+COKE ... the cola was of interesting but a bit diluted to really appreciate. Maybe I should have checked if they just had a non-alcohol option: COKE ... IL SANS JACQUES. Other cocktails looked interesting, but it was not a time for boozing for me.

i had quite a number of conversations with the table to the left and right [pretty dense packing but convivial atmosphere]. i think everyone felt the dishes were mostly hits with a few misses ... although the main complaint from the table on my left ... apparently their lamb was way, way over cooked [they didnt finish] and there was some issue with the berries that went with it. it looked a little over complicated to me but i defer to them on this being an issue of execution rather than conception.

i was set to order some of the small plates, but decided to come back with friends ... again from my neighbors, some of the options like the 8 wings for $5 appear to be quite a good deal.

the drinks have some pretty odd names and it is a complicated drink menu.
i kinda raised an eyebrow at the cocktail called TREATY OF BARWALDE ... i certainly could not come up with any connection between this chartreuse-chocolate drink and a treaty between FRA and SWE. i was sort of amused as the TREATY OF WESTPHALIA had come up at the talk I was at an hour before ... to encounter one 17th Century Treaty may be regarded as a misfortune; to encounter two looks like carelessness.

Right now, for sure a candidate for the Berkeley/Oak "level 3 rotation" [level 1 ~ slice of pizza, level 2 ~ cheap ethnic, level 3 = ~$30ish]. Although I am interested to see if the prices are adjusted upwards, per my DSGE prediction.

Apr 09, 2015
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Polk St. [San Francisco]

I think LEOPOLD is very good.

Mar 29, 2015
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Tipping at Starbucks when buying bananas

>Why yes yes I do.
>
wow, really?

>Calm down pal.It will all be ok.
>
what is it that you think i am agitated about?
at least on this thread?

Mar 28, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Little Star Solano downhill alert [Albany]

i had a very good "classic" at valencia two visits ago.
it was ok on the last visit.

i dont store data beyond that. although i'd remember a \pm 2 \sigma experience.

the last three times i went to solano, i though it was inferior to valencia. but i perhaps missed the solano branch's "heyday".

Mar 28, 2015
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Cuberdon/Waterzooi?

Wow, it's even a recent thread. Tnx for the pointer.

Mar 28, 2015
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Cuberdon/Waterzooi?

Hello,

Does anyone know if CUBERDON is available in the SFBA, ideally: SF, Berkeley, Oakland, Palo Alto/MV/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara area?

While I am asking, how about a place serving WATERZOOI? Any leads?

Thanks.

Mar 27, 2015
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Tipping at Starbucks when buying bananas

You read their receipts to see if they left a CC tip?

My Associate told me a certain cafe in the MISSION DISTRICT in SF (not on the main drag, a little bit away) stopped using SQUARE because the BARISTA complained because their tips went down ... I think because it was making tip offers which were too high: i'm guessing someone getting say a LATTE + PASTRY, had a bill of ~$8, and the SQUARE MACHINE offered $1.20, $1.50, $1.80 or NO TIP ... and it took a bunch more energy to hit DIFFERENT AMOUNT and then enter $1.

Although I could see SQUARE making for higher tips at other places due to non-handling of actual money, anchoring, it being more "active" than a passive tip jar etc.

I'll admit I pay with cash more in places with SQUARE where I think 15% - 20% isnt reasonable to look for.

I think PHILZ COFFEE has made a mistake putting the tip jar next to the cashier rather than the BARISTA with whom you are forced to interact (Philz does not have a location to add your own sugar and milk ... they have to do it for you). But of course PHILZ is about PHIL, not the Little People.

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

I hold a grudge for Two Years After The Repast.

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

"Is the tip okay?"

Once again, that is remarkable ...

What is 6 x 10?
I am not sure.
Remember the hint I gave you?
No.
Ok, take a guess then.
47?
Close. Make sure you dont walk into a wall.

I can vaguely imagine that level of innumeracy, but I am having trouble imagining that not being accompanied by dramatic failures in life ... like it's much harder to remember a phone number than to multiply 6 x 10 ... I can see someone getting confused with say 589.17 x 10.

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Is tipping now a insult to waitpeople w/new living wage pay hike?

Yes, I agree with you the resto is running a risk, but I dont think it ends with "it's the restaurant's problem" ... I think there are shoulds and should nots ... same for asking for a "table for two" during prime time and then only getting dessert.

But obviously there are grey areas and not bright lines and I think it is reasonable for the norm to be "that isnt right" ... while recognizing norms only affect people who a little push or just information about expections... norms arent going to solve the problem with cockroaches and sociopaths.

BTW, re: "is there implicit pressure/expectation at high end places" re: wine/average tab, see this concurrently executing thread:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1008589

Notice the langauge ... "frown on", "plonk = cheap", "accomodate special bootles not mediocre wines" [and in context, he's talking about $25-$50 bottles], "corkage ... just don't ... they want to have a dialogue with you".

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Is tipping now a insult to waitpeople w/new living wage pay hike?

What about before entering the pool?

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Is tipping now a insult to waitpeople w/new living wage pay hike?

I am not from America, and English is not my first language, so maybe I am missing something.

How often do you not tip at bars and restaurants (where you have sat down at a table)?

Is showering mandatory?

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Is tipping now a insult to waitpeople w/new living wage pay hike?

What about going to Happy Hour and eating "subsidized food" and ordering no drinks?

(let's say it is a real resto with a bar ... obviously going to a bar which only puts out some low grade food at 0 cost with the expectation you'll have some drinks is an easy case).

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Is tipping now a insult to waitpeople w/new living wage pay hike?

It is not illegal. But it is (socially) mandatory. Buying a drink for the interesting conversationalist sitting next to you at the bar is not mandatory but tipping the bartender is. In the first case, maybe you do buy him/her a drink because the DJIA was +200 or dont because it was -200. In the case of the tip, you can not opt to not tip based on *arbitrary criteria* ["didnt feel like it"] but only for specific reasons ... like say extreme rudeness or incompetence. If you dont pay your bill and leave, you are possibly a criminal. If you (deliberately) dont leave a tip and leave, you are a cockroach.

If a restaurant has say "free" packets of ketchup or a store has free samples of cheese, you cant take all of them because they were "free" ... so the standard isnt "is this illegal".

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Is tipping now a insult to waitpeople w/new living wage pay hike?

>It would be interesting to analyze
>
Are you an analyst?

Also, I wonder if high/low repeat establishments matter.

And various demographic factors ... are the people working in the cafe in LOS ALTOS well off local kids? Or is it say a WEST/SOUTH OAKLAND immigrant VN family's cafe?

I recall some CH thread where the owner/ex- owner of some business forbade the employees to put out a tip jar because she deemed it not-classy and that was more important. On the other hand, clearly some owners can see it either as a transaction they are either not part of, or indirectly benefit from ... so there is a PRINCIPAL-AGENT aspect to this.

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Is tipping now a insult to waitpeople w/new living wage pay hike?

Arent you a little young to be on the Interwebs/Tubes.

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Is tipping now a insult to waitpeople w/new living wage pay hike?

The "norm" of 15-20% is for "normal cases" ... it doesnt apply as you approach zero (the case of the $2.99 breakfast special). Not obvious it should scale to infinity.

This is mostly about norms, but your IRS argument is a pretty good one. If the server/wine server is indeed on the hook for 15% due to IRS inflexibility, I agree the "incidence" should be shifted to the buyer in this case.

re: bullying ...
Again, a number of people I have encountered seem to suggest it is "cheap" *to even discuss this* (as opposed to rationally discussing it, e.g. the IRS issue). I think that's the moral equivalent of someone on the other side suggesting the "defenders" are greedy and hysterical when their ox is being 8hypothetically* gored.

Just like it's in their self-interest to "spread the word" that uncapped linear taxation is the norm ... and "20% is the new 15%" ... I feel I am doing some form of "selfless-service" leaning against UCTonWine ... again, it is totally selfless since it completely does not affect me ... I'm perfectly ok paying 15-20% up to the wine range I have paid for [let's say in the $150-$200 range factoring in inflation ... or cases where the total bill was 50% wine].

Liner taxation is merely an implementation of
public policy goal of progressive taxation ... such as the short-lived YACHT TAX.

My main interest in the Case of the Large Party With the $1000 bottle would be how say 8 people split the liquid rather than the bill. I think it would be hilarious if the waiter refilled one dood's glass and he ended up drinking 30% of it
(the fanciest wine I have had was a Yquem so it split quite a few ways without problem. The person who brought it was a direct report to NEUTRON JACK WELCH, so there was no issue of donating).

But to address your question more directly, any "negotiating" I would do in those circumstances would be within my party since I wouldnt be leading the effort. I'd probably say "I'm not comfortable with participating in this" but that would be completely unaffected by the "tip tax" rate. Really it's very situational ... in group dinners, I think it depends if you do T$OTAL/N even split or some form of itemizing ... I usually consume more FOOD than friends in these scenarios so I am always welling to chip in a little more ["let me throw in an extra $10 since I had a soup as well as an app"] and usually do some quick math to see if anyone consumed much less and someone should speak up for them if things are moving toward N-way even split. If the table drink more than I do ... I have just a glass of wine and they order say .5-7 bottle/person of reasonably priced bottled, I'd probably just chalk that up to "the cost/friction/overhead of group events" and "with good friends, it all works out in the end".

re: burger vs filet mignon ...
actually i would probably tip higher in the case of the burger because if that means i've run up a bill of $35 in a place where the average bill is $60, i would factor that in. the most meaningful case of this is the fact that i do round up tips a bit because i dine solo often and i recognize i'm more than half the work of a two top but likely running up half the bill. (i have actually put in a fair amount of though to what is fair). so i dont micro-manage, but do macro-manage.

re: 30% and eat at a less expensive places ...
you are not factoring many of the options available to controlling the TOTAL COST ... do you take the SUBWAY or UBER/CAB to the resto, for example. it is most efficient for the consumer to figure out what his optimal bundle is.
so here is one for you: if you go to a high end place ... let's say >$150 expected food cost, is it "ok" to drink 0 alcohol (wine if say euro, sake if say high end sushi) ... assuming of course this isnt relig/medical. either you just dont like it, or you are "free riding" on the effective subsidy of those who are running up bills 2x yours. maybe just throw in a 2% "vigorish" to the house ... i'll tip 22% on my $150 tasting menu with no wine flight and no wine glass and no wine bottle, and the dood paying $250 (+wine flight) or $350 (couple of bottles) can pay uncapped linear 20%?

Again, this is all about expectations and norms, both on the side of the server when he takes the job and the customer when he walks into an establishment. Now when things change or non-standard cases and you cant rely on prior consent or foreseeability, things get interesting ... such as the wave of restaurants which recently switched to service-charge + no tipping. i believe in some of those places some servers left? i dont think you can have it both ways,, like "the customer should think about what's fair to the server and not ding him for things which are not his fault (kitchen errors) but the customer should not think to much about other issues of fairness and just pay based on the total experience" ... so if i should only judge on the "whole evening", if my food was super delayed because of a kitchen error, i can take it out of the tip?

[BTW, i have argued against customers who say "tips are not mandatory" ... that misunderstands the situation. resto tipping is mandatory, but the sanction is moral not legal. i think tipping in the starbucks scenario is not mandatory.]

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Tipping at Starbucks when buying bananas

Hmm, I dont recall if that was a Sein-meme. But maybe Starbucks Banana's are more expensive because they are REFUNDABLE, in case you change your mind about eating it.

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Is tipping now a insult to waitpeople w/new living wage pay hike?

>tip for service... its frowned upon and a insult to the waiters
>
You know TIPPING led to the RUSSIAN REVOLUTION.

http://tinyurl.com/q29rbnk

IT COULD HAPPEN HERE ... WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AT TIP-WAR WITH OCEANIA.

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food
1

Tipping at Starbucks when buying bananas

I tip when I have them peel it for me.

Is tipping now a insult to waitpeople w/new living wage pay hike?

I think there is not a lot of reason attached to tipping policy/norms. Yes, it makes for interesting academic discussion whether:
--tip should be pre/post-tax
--whether the range is 15-20% or 18-22%
--does it matters if you are in a tip credit state
--does localmunicipality has health care benefit
--what the ambient min wage is
--does the establishments tip pooling/tip out policy
--at what threshold on the low/high end does the %age guidelines not hold up [tipping 75cents if you
got say a $4 breakfast special with table service]

But at the end of the day, most of those dont make that much of a difference %-wise or in absolute dollar terms so I personally dont sweat it much. My inclination to either round the total bill or the total tip to a round dollar [or in some cases a multiple of 5 or 10] may swamp/offset the "high precision"/4-significant digit type approaches ... if I had a $54 post tax bill, I would leave $65 if I was happy and $64 if I was slightly annoyed, deciding on 64 vs 65 after about 2 seconds of thought ... if left a different amount, probably something uniquely good/bad/sui generis happened, so by necessity only then would i put more than 2 seconds of thought into "what seems right".
under no circumstances would i follow the "was that 18% or 19% level of service" line of reasoning ... surely the "roundness" of the amounts suggests to the server that that's what's "really going on" rather than hyperfine calculations of tip percentage.

Now what I do believe is a significant topic and involving real amounts of $$$ is "should there be an expectation of 'uncapped linear tipping' on wine (or other ultra-high end ingredients ... truffle, caviar etc). I think it is crazy to expect a $200 tip on $1000 bottle of wine, but I would never order that because I think it is decadent and obscene ["so judgey" ... sorry folks"] so this too is an academic question for me. I will say, the two replies I hear the most "people in the biz" [i.e. biased parties for whom is it decidedly not "academic"] are:
--high end wine needs more infrastructure/investment [fancier glasses, more non-interest earning $$$ invested in the bottles sitting in the cellar]
--if you cant afford the 20% then dont order it

...

which are mostly nonsense arguments, as #1 is a RETURN TO CAPITAL and really should go to the resto owner/investors [i.e. be reflected in the price/markup of the wine] #2 is just hectoring/sloganeering ... it would be like my saying "if you wanted to make more money, you should have become an anesthesiologist.
[i acknowledge there is some more effort with high end wine, but i still dont think it merits *uncapped* linear tipping ... i dont think servers should be dinged for minor issues -- those should all round to 0 -- and similarly modest extra effort ["i had to grate his Parmesan *and* grind his pepper!"] should also round to 0].

i'm not sure if the people arguing #1 and #2 believe it, or are just posturing/bullying. but man they get as angry as the REALTOR(tm) PEOPLE became at the FREAKONOMICS team.

Mar 27, 2015
psb in Not About Food

Is tipping now a insult to waitpeople w/new living wage pay hike?

>no way servers and bartenders can make a living wage
>without tips. again, absolutely not.
>
how do the kitchen staff manage?

Rotten City Pizza in Emeryville?

I believe most of the MEAT SLICES at TONY PIZZA are ~$5 now, or
what I think of as the DIFARA PRICE LEVEL.

I though it was notable that 24ST PIZZA had a $1 delta between CHEESE and PEPPERONI ... maybe they deliberately wanted only two pricing tiers to avoid dealing with change? Otherwise, it makes me feel CHEESE is underpriced and PEP over.

(although after noticing that I looked around at that delta wasnt as uncommon as I thought).

Mar 25, 2015
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Saturday night (price conscious) Mission suggestions [San Francisco]

Oh ok ... I have to say I didnt love POC CHUC the last time I was there, but I do like it more than RTP, and it seemed comparable to mid-priced ethnic like Gajalee.

No Spanish Civil War / Fascism and Flamenco theme with Schmidt :-)

TI COUZ wasnt brilliant but it filled a good niche.

Are you Oliver-the-Butcher?

Mar 20, 2015
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Saturday night (price conscious) Mission suggestions [San Francisco]

poc chuc?

schmidt? [drinking here can put you over but i think $40 is doable]

parking may not be too bad away from valencia corridor

Mar 19, 2015
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Fish taco friday [San Francisco]

What about EL METATE? I didnt think they were great but if NICK TACO will do, maybe they will as well (I had the regular "happy hour" soft tacos at NICK and didnt think they were very good ... filling tho].

The FISH TACOS at DARK HORSE were pretty good, but I believe they may have just been for their LA STREET FOOD EVENT. You could check if now on their standard menu.

Mar 06, 2015
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Quick and Healthy Fast Food in the bay area?

>I don't understand why like Panera exist.
>I can make my own sandwich.
>
would you like to make me a sandwich?

Mar 05, 2015
psb in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Parochial Question: Condensed Milk Squeeze Bottle

Ah, TJ is a good option for me ... thanks for the suggestion ... and photographic evidence :-)

MWong: Oh yeah, the bodega/mercado option is a good one too ... I can try one of the places down the street from MOM Market. I knew in the back of my mind there was probably an ethnicity with stronger affinity than Philippines, but kept thinking Vietnamese ... but of course mexican is the way to go. (I wanted this to add to asian-style cold/canned coffee, which i keep in my office mini-fridge for mental slowdown emergencies).

Mar 05, 2015
psb in San Francisco Bay Area

Parochial Question: Condensed Milk Squeeze Bottle

Er, does anybody know of a grocery store in SF/Berkeley/Oakland/Queens that stocks SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK in a SQUEEZE BOTTLE (as opposed to a can).

Is an Asian Grocery my best bet?
Duc Loi? New May Wah? Kukuje? Ranch 99?

I used to buy these at the MOM MARKET in the Mission/Allemany/Excelsior area, but when I was just there, the two staff persons I asked looked befuddled ... I walked up and down the aisles several times looking for it, but I couldnt stand any more of the horrible horrible horrible "why did i love you; it hurt so much" soundtrack they always have playing.

The bottle I still have, down to it's last ~15%, is CALIFORNIA FARMS brand.

Thanks.
--psb

Mar 05, 2015
psb in San Francisco Bay Area