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Toliver

Chef Grant Achatz takes a stand

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9 hours ago, SLB said:

Which brings up an interesting question:  does one pay for the bleu cheese if you ask that it be withheld?  

 

 

I would personally expect to be charged the regular price of the dish, if I requested something to be left out. If I've requested an actual change to the dish that would make more work for the kitchen, I would be open to paying a premium for that. It would depend how much of a surcharge, of course, and how they went about it. To me, if I've caused somebody extra work, it's only right that the price should reflect that.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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9 hours ago, SLB said:

Which brings up an interesting question:  does one pay for the bleu cheese if you ask that it be withheld?  

 

Of course not. You pay for the advertised dish. If ýou order a cheeseburger but dont eat the cheese, do you expect a discount?

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Researching this more, Kenzi at Serious Eats has tried to replicate this burger, which in my mind puts it into a superior class.

 

If you don't like blue cheese, why try it in the first place?

 

It is a notable dish. Why mess with it because of your own quirks? Asking for it without a key ingredient not related to a food allergy is just entitlement mentality. "I am special, please stroke my ego, and perhaps I'll instagram it while I'm at it, although I may criticise it because it wasn't balanced." No wonder restaurateurs are going broke!

 

Please go to a burger shop where they will serve you something you desire without question, and also without quality.

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
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39 minutes ago, nickrey said:

Researching this more, Kenzi at Serious Eats has tried to replicate this burger, which in my mind puts it into a superior class.

 

If you don't like blue cheese, why try it in the first place?

 

It is a notable dish. Why mess with it because of your own quirks? Asking for it without a key ingredient not related to a food allergy is just entitlement mentality. "I am special, please stroke my ego, and perhaps I'll instagram it while I'm at it, although I may criticise it because it wasn't balanced." No wonder restaurateurs are going broke!

 

Please go to a burger shop where they will serve you something you desire without question, and also without quality.

 

Your assumption is that every diner who might order the burger went there specifically for the burger, which is pretty tenuous. In a given party (especially around closing time) there will usually be one or two people who have strong feelings in the matter, and the rest simply follow. If I got dragged to a place where I was unfamiliar with the food and the chef, or if I was the non-epicure in a group of foodies, the burger is simply the safe option.

 

If this particular chef has an avid following for her specific burger, and it's an outstanding specimen of the type, then more power to her. At the end of the day it's still just a burger.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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42 minutes ago, nickrey said:

It is a notable dish.

 

And in all fairness - the Spotted Pig burger is just that: a bun, a giant patty and the blue cheese. No other fixings ...

So asking without blue chhese is essentially eliminating one out of three ingredients. I do understand April.

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as usual , no shortage of Opinion @ eG.

 

which is usually good.

 

so Ill add this :

 

does one suppose that how the request was made maters ?

 

its late , the staff is tired , the patrons might be tired :

 

Req One :    Ill have the blue cheese burger , rare , without the blue cheese .

 

Req two :   Do you have a plain burger ?  ( possible but not required explanation ) 

 

 

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1 hour ago, nickrey said:

Researching this more, Kenzi at Serious Eats has tried to replicate this burger, which in my mind puts it into a superior class.

 

If you don't like blue cheese, why try it in the first place?

 

It is a notable dish. Why mess with it because of your own quirks? Asking for it without a key ingredient not related to a food allergy is just entitlement mentality. "I am special, please stroke my ego, and perhaps I'll instagram it while I'm at it, although I may criticise it because it wasn't balanced." No wonder restaurateurs are going broke!

 

Please go to a burger shop where they will serve you something you desire without question, and also without quality.

 

Although you mean it as an unwarranted insult, I’ll take the “entitlement “ issue as recognizing that customers are entitled to reasonable requests. “No cheese “is easy to comply with, costs no more, why not?  A chef ought to be more offended if a patron asks for a well done steak which would actually ruin the thing. 

And it’s not a notable dish. It’s only famous because of the chefs attitude of entitlement. 

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12 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

 

No discounts.  It's not pay-by-ingredient, it's pay-by-dish.

 

 

This made me think of all the times a wedding client who wanted the (now trendy) "naked" or "barely there" wedding cake design (it's  thin layer of buttercream on the outside that allows the cake to show through) ask if the price was lowered "because you're not using the same amount of buttercream as you would on a fully-coated cake".... 🙄

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To be clear -- I definitely would expect to pay the stated price for the bleu-cheese burger.  As I said, I actually wouldn't order the bleu-cheese burger without the bleu cheese, because that was the whole notion (in the same vein, I don't order the radishes-n-butter at Prune without the butter, you know?  It's a *thing* she's doing there.  A simple thing.  But a *thing*.). 

 

But that point has been made here, repeatedly.  

 

I have actually seen people try to not pay for what they didn't want.  I once saw someone try to not pay for something she didn't eat.  I do not think this is acceptable behavior, myself, but there are a lot of interesting forms of self-regard out there . . . .

 

This conversation has made me rethink the one place where I have historically felt complete license making demands:  cocktails.  Many if not most craft cocktail creations are too sweet for me, notwithstanding the bartender's insistence that they are "balanced".  (Note:  the default sweet note goes WAY UP the further South you are drinking). 

 

When I go out, tho, I usually want something other than a classic drink that I could make quite competently at home; I want to try what the bar has created.  But the truth is, I want to try it not-too-sweet, and usually have a whole conversation with the bartender about sweetness and options.  Which is actually awfully presumptuous!  And probably kind of annoying, particularly where I'm not already a known customer.  I may need to rethink that.  

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5 minutes ago, JeanneCake said:

 

This made me think of all the times a wedding client who wanted the (now trendy) "naked" or "barely there" wedding cake design (it's  thin layer of buttercream on the outside that allows the cake to show through) ask if the price was lowered "because you're not using the same amount of buttercream as you would on a fully-coated cake".... 🙄

Out of curiosity , if you discounted it by the amount of lost frosting, how much less would it be? Not much less I’d bet. 

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2 minutes ago, SLB said:

To be clear -- I definitely would expect to pay the stated price for the bleu-cheese burger.  As I said, I actually wouldn't order the bleu-cheese burger without the bleu cheese, because that was the whole notion (in the same vein, I don't order the radishes-n-butter at Prune without the butter, you know?  It's a *thing* she's doing there.  A simple thing.  But a *thing*.). 

 

But that point has been made here, repeatedly.  

 

I have actually seen people try to not pay for what they didn't want.  I once saw someone try to not pay for something she didn't eat.  I do not think this is acceptable behavior, myself, but there are a lot of interesting forms of self-regard out there . . . .

 

This conversation has made me rethink the one place where I have historically felt complete license making demands:  cocktails.  Many if not most craft cocktail creations are too sweet for me, notwithstanding the bartender's insistence that they are "balanced".  (Note:  the default sweet note goes WAY UP the further South you are drinking). 

 

When I go out, tho, I usually want something other than a classic drink that I could make quite competently at home; I want to try what the bar has created.  But the truth is, I want to try it not-too-sweet, and usually have a whole conversation with the bartender about sweetness and options.  Which is actually awfully presumptuous!  And probably kind of annoying, particularly where I'm not already a known customer.  I may need to rethink that.  

I don’t think you are off base. You’d discuss what sort of wine you like with the sommelier, no?

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Well.  I see your point, but I assume that the craft cocktail was designed/invented to do something creative on the palate.  And I'm up there asking a thousand questions about how much simple -- no, really, how much -- and trying to get at, fifty-leven different ways, whether it tastes sweet or just kinda pings sweet.

 

It's one thing to say, please leave off the sugar rim.  But I get all up into the components, and I could see how this could be, possibly, beyond the pale.

 

Because one thing is clear:  the general public likes their drinks sweet.  The bar is not wrong or anything.    

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50 minutes ago, SLB said:

To be clear -- I definitely would expect to pay the stated price for the bleu-cheese burger.  As I said, I actually wouldn't order the bleu-cheese burger without the bleu cheese, because that was the whole notion (in the same vein, I don't order the radishes-n-butter at Prune without the butter, you know?  It's a *thing* she's doing there.  A simple thing.  But a *thing*.). 

 

But that point has been made here, repeatedly.  

 

I have actually seen people try to not pay for what they didn't want.  I once saw someone try to not pay for something she didn't eat.  I do not think this is acceptable behavior, myself, but there are a lot of interesting forms of self-regard out there . . . .

 

This conversation has made me rethink the one place where I have historically felt complete license making demands:  cocktails.  Many if not most craft cocktail creations are too sweet for me, notwithstanding the bartender's insistence that they are "balanced".  (Note:  the default sweet note goes WAY UP the further South you are drinking). 

 

When I go out, tho, I usually want something other than a classic drink that I could make quite competently at home; I want to try what the bar has created.  But the truth is, I want to try it not-too-sweet, and usually have a whole conversation with the bartender about sweetness and options.  Which is actually awfully presumptuous!  And probably kind of annoying, particularly where I'm not already a known customer.  I may need to rethink that.  

That's an interesting avenue for speculation. Whatever the outcome of your thought process, I applaud the self-awareness required to even pursue it.

It's outside my sphere (zero interest in/experience of cocktails) but in my experience, genuine enthusiasts recognize and respond to one another. There's always a time and place...with the best will in the world, you probably won't have the opportunity to get into a deep discussion of house-made bitters with someone at midnight on Saturday. If you find a bartender/mixologist who appears to be receptive, make a repeat visit or two and cultivate him/her. It could be worthwhile for you both.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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6 hours ago, JeanneCake said:

 

This made me think of all the times a wedding client who wanted the (now trendy) "naked" or "barely there" wedding cake design (it's  thin layer of buttercream on the outside that allows the cake to show through) ask if the price was lowered "because you're not using the same amount of buttercream as you would on a fully-coated cake".... 🙄

 

I would answer something like this: "when someone goes to a strip club then he needs to pay more if he wants the naked cake".

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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7 hours ago, gfweb said:

 

Although you mean it as an unwarranted insult, I’ll take the “entitlement “ issue as recognizing that customers are entitled to reasonable requests. “No cheese “is easy to comply with, costs no more, why not?  A chef ought to be more offended if a patron asks for a well done steak which would actually ruin the thing. 

And it’s not a notable dish. It’s only famous because of the chefs attitude of entitlement. 

My comment was definitely not aimed at you. As far as I know, you've never been to the establishment and have been conducting a thought experiment in your comments.

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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8 hours ago, chromedome said:

 

Your assumption is that every diner who might order the burger went there specifically for the burger, which is pretty tenuous. In a given party (especially around closing time) there will usually be one or two people who have strong feelings in the matter, and the rest simply follow. If I got dragged to a place where I was unfamiliar with the food and the chef, or if I was the non-epicure in a group of foodies, the burger is simply the safe option.

 

If this particular chef has an avid following for her specific burger, and it's an outstanding specimen of the type, then more power to her. At the end of the day it's still just a burger.

Kenzi in his article talks of sitting at the bar waiting for 11pm when the burger order becomes open. Falling over it by accident is perhaps much more unlikely than you think. In this case, I'd suggest it would be a case of deliberately going there and waiting for the blue cheese burger orders to open and then pre-meditatively asking for it without one of the key ingredients. This is a special item (not for some commentators here apparently) for which people sit and wait. Isn't asking for no blue cheese making the whole thing more about you?

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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3 hours ago, nickrey said:

Isn't asking for no blue cheese making the whole thing more about you?

 

In all fairness, isn't going out to dinner anywhere (at least, that you choose the destination) all about you? 

 

*I*  choose to eat out in X restaurant because, often, it has something *I* know I enjoy, or is known for something I want to try. If I want a burger and don't want blue cheese, I'll ask, "Can I just have a plain burger?" If that's not an option, I'll choose something else, or scrape the blue cheese off when it gets there.

 

On the other hand, if *I* am going to a given highly rated restaurant, *I* am going to order what *I* want, or in the alternative, choose a tasting menu because I want to experience that. But it's *my* choice. Because at the end of the evening, I am picking up the tab.


Don't ask. Eat it.

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11 hours ago, kayb said:

 

In all fairness, isn't going out to dinner anywhere (at least, that you choose the destination) all about you? 

 

*I*  choose to eat out in X restaurant because, often, it has something *I* know I enjoy, or is known for something I want to try. If I want a burger and don't want blue cheese, I'll ask, "Can I just have a plain burger?" If that's not an option, I'll choose something else, or scrape the blue cheese off when it gets there.

 

On the other hand, if *I* am going to a given highly rated restaurant, *I* am going to order what *I* want, or in the alternative, choose a tasting menu because I want to experience that. But it's *my* choice. Because at the end of the evening, I am picking up the tab.

You're going to eat in a restaurant that is most likely all about the chef and their interaction with diners so, with all respect, no I don't agree with you at all. You choose to go there based on what they present, you go with the flow. If they're popular, it doesn't matter a toss what your peccadillos are, you are a guest in their space. Behave like a guest.

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
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6 hours ago, nickrey said:

You're going to eat in a restaurant that is most likely all about the chef and their interaction with diners so, with all respect, no I don't agree with you at all. You choose to go there based on what they present, you go with the flow. If they're popular, it doesn't matter a toss what your peccadillos are, you are a guest in their space. Behave like a guest.

Most of my guests, at least the ones I invite, don't have to pay.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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As a person who eats dinner out every weeknight, I applaud this chef's position.  We dine at small independent eateries which often only employ 1 or 2 waiters on weeknights.  We have eaten at many of these places for over ten years and the limited staff on low-volume weeknights has worked out fine.  Except for the past 2 or so years when we now routinely hear requests by many patrons for changes (often multiple) to the menu items (yes, we eavesdrop).  

 

When a waitperson asks for our order, we manage to spit it out in probably under 30 seconds.  But nowadays other diners literally hog the waitstaff as they ask for changes and/or substitutions by actually demanding that the waitstaff go ask the chef before finalizing their order.   A table of 6 (or more) can literally tie up a waiter for 15 to 20 minutes, just getting their "changed" orders taken.    

 

These diners are not just holding up the kitchen and the waitstaff, but also their fellow diners.  I often wish they were rich enough to hire personal chefs at their home rather than try to force a restaurant to replicate exactly what they want in a menu item. 

 

 

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On 11/2/2019 at 6:07 PM, SLB said:

 

Which brings up an interesting question:  does one pay for the bleu cheese if you ask that it be withheld?  

 

To my mind, yes. If no plain burger is offered on the menu and the blue cheese is part of the normal prep, the kitchen has to make an adjustment just for you; they have to think about YOU, not just your food.  If they adjust down the bill that would be very generous, but if they don't then I would still leave feeling satisfied and accommodated. 

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