“According to the Congressional Budget Office, nearly four million people would be removed from the food stamp program under the House bill. A Census Bureau report released on Tuesday found that the food stamp program had kept about four million people above the poverty level and had prevented millions more from sinking further into poverty.”
The House bill passed, cutting $40 billion from the food stamp program. President Obama has threatened to veto the measure. (Source: NYT
Dry-aged squab, before and after. This is the type of debauchery that happens near the end of The Restaurant at Meadowood’s $500 counter meal. Most of the 22-course meal is vegetable-heavy, but chef Christopher Kostow indulges diners with about four protein rich courses before dessert. This is one of them.
The birds are hung for 2-3 weeks, then roasted over coals and applewood. On the plate we have tart blackberries, tiny radishes confited in squab fat, and a puree of squab liver. The flavor is quite clean, quite neutral for a squab. The texture is achingly tender from dry-aging. The skin is crispy as Pekin duck. A scattering of rose geraniums anoint the whole affair with tiny bursts of floral pungency. Gorgeous stuff.
Some Meadowood food photo action from our sister tumblr, “Ryan Sutton is 3.0.” This is from a meal that will cost you, after wine pairings, tax and tip, about $1,000 for one. Enjoy your weekend, fellow PRICE HIKERS.
“Give people what they want. When they want it. In the form they want it in. At a reasonable price. And they’ll more likely pay for it rather than steal it.”
Says Kevin Spacey in a brilliant speech
championing Netflix, “House of Cards,” and the ridiculous amount of money wasted on making pilots.
“You are not technically stealing if you don’t tip the customary 15 to 20 percent, but that’s probably the best that can be said of you. When you leave a bad tip, you are docking a person’s wages…This may either be because you’re confused about what’s expected or because you’re an asshole.”
Elizabeth Gunnison pens a clever case against tipping for Esquire
, in the wake of Sushi Yasuda’s move not to accept gratuities, a story our sister site The Price Hike broke earlier in June
. What’s compelling about Gunnison’s piece is that she equates undertipping to STEALING. Hard to disagree.
Universal Studios in California lets you cut the line for a price, the New York Times reports in a story that’s more disturbing any NSA surveillance. Here are your ticket prices:
- Cattle Class: $89. You’re screwed. Two-day admission.
- Business Class: $149. Unlimited line skipping. One-day admission.
- First Class: $299. Unlimited skipping, valet parking, luxury lounge, breakfast, lunch, hand sanitizer and an [expletive-omitted] poncho.
I spent many a summer weekend looking for parking spaces with friends and family at Six Flags in New Jersey. We waited hours on roller coaster lines, and that was okay, because everyone else did too. We made conversation while we queued up. We played games. We met other families. There was no priority access. It was a classless system in our class-based society. Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin would’ve loved it. Standing in line for a ride is America’s way of saying: Wait your turn and you will be rewarded.
Now Universal Studios wants to ruin that with legalized bribery, sanctioned line cutting (which they’ve actually been allowing for some time, apparently). And as I’m writing this I’m learning Six Flags has the same VIP experience too, at the same $299 price point. At least with priority boarding on airplanes everyone gets to China at the same time. Line cutting at amusement parks is like the rich guy bumping the poor guy off the flight to Beijing and shouting, “Wait for the next one!” This is an outrage and should be outlawed.
American eaters, unlike their European counterparts, are accustomed to voluntarily adding 18-20% to any dinner bill to compensate the wait staff for their services. But one New York City restaurant has put an end to that. The critically-acclaimed Sushi Yasuda, a 14-year old Japanese restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, eliminated tipping last month and raised its menu prices to reflect that development, owner Scott Rosenberg tells The Price Hike.
Here’s what guests now see on menus and receipts:
- “Following the custom in Japan, Sushi Yasuda’s service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted. Thank you.”
Rosenberg suggests Yasuda might be the only U.S. restaurant with such a policy. He might be right. (Update: Turns out there’s at least one more.)*. A variety of ambitious American eateries like Alinea, Next, Atera and Brooklyn Fare already add automatic service charges as part of their pre-paid dining systems. But Yasuda’s move is closer to the European-style system adopted by Thomas Keller’s Per Se in 2005, where all prices are reflective of service, a policy Keller implemented to help correct the income disparity between cooks and wait staff, per this New York Times piece.
“Why can’t I charge 20%, instead of telling the servers, we had a slow week so you’re not making much? Why can’t I take that money and pay those servers $65K a year?”
Chef David Kinch, in this Bad Deal Interview
, makes an eloquent case for how abolishing tipping and levying a service charge could improve the lives of those who work hard to serve us good food.
To be fair, they’re not quite donuts. They’re cronuts. And New Yorkers are queuing up at 6:30am to get them. So now we have cronut scalpers to help mitigate the 90 minute waits. Yes, this is the world we live in.