Food

Here Is Your Open Thread

Caity Weaver recently went to a TGI Friday’s when it opened and sat there until it closed, eating all-you-can-eat mozzarella sticks for $10. Her story is very funny, though, from personal experience, the best reason to go to TGI Friday’s is for their 2-for-1 drink specials. The last time I was there I got two scotches for $5! What a deal.

Photo: Mike Mozart

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The Most Expensive Meals We’ve Ever Paid For

My first job out of college was fact-checking restaurant listings. Every day, I called 25 restaurants in New York City to see if any of their information had changed, asking if their curtains were still red, their bathrooms still adorned with lavender sprigs, if their salad was still served with strawberries, if their servers still donned bow ties. With time, I had a mental Rolodex of places I wanted to eat, and Peter Luger Steak House, a restaurant so fancy it has its own Wikipedia page, was at the top.

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Do 1 Thing Baby Just Do 1 Thing

Thursday is a great day to do that 1 thing you don’t want to do but also don’t want to continue thinking about doing.

My one thing is to cook! Which we haven’t done in so long that I’m kind of embarrassed about it. The cooking itself will be about as low impact as I can make it. Fresh Direct delivered the ingredients for a gussied up version of tuna noodle casserole, and while taking care of my active and witchy toddler I managed to do the chop-chop prep work. All I need to do now is grate some cheese, probably while watching old episodes of 30 Rock, cook some pasta, mix, and bake. I can do that, right? Right.

My 1 Thing will be good for me in the long-term because Omega-3s are apparently proven stress-reducers, along with leafy greens, eggs, and dark chocolate. I need that fortification, because after going through the entire process of applying for health insurance on the Marketplace, this is the notification we received:

Sigh.

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How Thirty-Somethings Do Money (And Life)

For my birthday last year, I was in Vilnius, Lithuania, studying both Fiction and Non-Fiction, and recovering from the shock of quitting my job to take a year off to write full-time. Turning 31 kind of got lost in the shuffle.

Turning 30 was a bigger deal, I guess, but my brother got married across the country right around then and also I was third-trimester pregnant and distracted by the octopus inside of me thrashing around looking for the door. There was some kind of party, maybe? I definitely remember writing “XXX” on the invitation, because that’s too good an opportunity to pass up. Don’t remember much else.

What I’m saying is, I haven’t had time to think about birthdays in a while, to really reflect about what being in my 30s means. I’m here without a plan! What should I have done by now? What should I do next? Help! 

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How Much Is Your Iced Coffee?

Have you noticed an increase in iced coffee prices in your area? Perhaps, at your local independent coffee shop? Gothamist writes that the increases—which has been anywhere from a few cents to a full dollar—are due to a variety reasons including a bad crop year

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So You’ve Decided To Join The CSA

It’s that time of year again. I’m seeing flyers in coffee shops and boyfriends lugging bags of soil back from the hardware store and imagining people in urban areas everywhere shouting to each other at parties, “So, you guys doing the whole CSA thing this year?”

Oh god.

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ReservationHop Makes Money by Squatting Over Something That’s Free

ReservationHop, the new restaurant reservation app, takes a working, functional, free system – calling restaurants and making reservations — and monetizes it.

Specifically, it monetizes the system by calling San Francisco area restaurants in advance, making a number of reservations under fake names, and selling those reservations back to the general public. (To quote CNN: “The going rate for a reservation on the site appears to be $12.”)

The ire is already out. Plenty of people think ReservationHop is unethical and unfair to both patrons and restaurants. It’s the equivalent of ticket scalping, only it’s a bit worse because restaurant reservations, unlike concert tickets, are supposed to be free.

How bad is the ire? TechCrunch ran an article with a giant middle finger. Here are a few tweets that sum things up:

This is irresponsible and sleazy and exactly what people hate about startups sucking the life out of San Francisco https://t.co/pqz572FWA9

— mat honan (@mat) July 3, 2014

The newest way to be an utter jerk in San Francisco: https://t.co/pCceTvj2i9 "Let's disrupt all basic social niceties and monetize them!"

— Morgan Johnson (@Poormojo) July 3, 2014

@bmmayer get punched.

— Tim Brandonthorp (@jefsauce) July 3, 2014

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And Here Is Your Open Thread

The 4th of July means fireworks and possibly lots of grilling and hot dogs. And if you’re buying them from the store, the package you choose makes a difference!

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When Waitressing Pays More Than Publishing

In the restaurant industry, “I’m so broke,” was a constant server/bartender lament. Frequently, I good-naturedly nodded my head in agreement. “I know,” I said, pretending to be worried about making rent or having enough money to fly home for the holidays. “Me too.”

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“Vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie: $4.50″

Forget you, Fresh Direct; peace out, Peapod. A bright-eyed and bushy-tailed new competitor, Good Eggs, wants your money in exchange for delivering groceries to your door. The company seems built to appeal to Brooklyn, which is one of only four places it currently operates: there’s free delivery to the borough, for starters, and its mission “is to grow and sustain local food systems worldwide.” However commendable the goal, and even, it seems, the methods, there’s something unavoidably “Stuff White People Like” about the endeavor. The vegan, gluten-free chocolate brownie ($4.50!) is described this-a-way:

Super dense and intensely chocolately, you won’t miss the gluten in this brownie. Perfect with a cup of ice cold almond milk! Our sweets contain exclusively organic, nutrient-dense, virgin, and certified raw ingredients. We use low-temperature cooking methods to retain healthy enzymes and nutrients. No processed flours, sugars, gluten, animal or dairy products, or genetically modified additives go into any of our sweets.

So, uh, almost $5 for a brownie that has nothing in it but dark chocolate? A Hershey bar will run you a lot less than that.

Is a locavore-oriented and more ethical grocery delivery system the answer to your no-time-to-food-shop prayers? Or are you already satisfied with your CSA, FreshDirect habit, or other hacks to stock your pantry, like using Postmates or TaskRabbit to get someone to bring you the condiments you’re addicted to from Trader Joe’s?

Cartoon by Charrowan artist in Brooklyn.

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