I just devoured a chunk of a ginormous $2 sourdough baguette I bought from the Union Square Greenmarket this afternoon. The bakers at the Greenmarket and I had been parted for far too long. I endured nightmares of a neverending breadless existence, night after night..."Instead, you shall eat Saltines, forever"...
Okay, I didn't have nightmares. And it's only been a few weeks since I stuffed my face with bread from the Greenmarket. But. Um. You know me. When I see people toting around boring salad bowls, sandwiches, or wraps, I think, "Dude, why didn't you just get a delicious crusty baguette or loaf of bread? So much more satisfying! And cheaper! And less nutritious!" If it was good enough for European peasants during the middle ages, it's good enough for me. (My knowledge of history is pretty bad so let's not discuss the origins of peasants and bread and how much bread they did or did not eat. For the purposes of this entry, they ate lots of crusty loafy bread.)
So, that was random. But keeping on the topic of bread, Sarah and I ate at Calcutta Monday night, which I shall review later for being so very tasty. However, for now you may witness evidence of our carboholicness. As you may or may not know, most Indian restaurants have a bread menu. Yes, a menu just dedicated to fluffy round discs, which is about as exciting to me as a menu dedicated to cupcakes or chocolate.
"Man, this bread is soooo gooood." Sarah spent a great deal of the night talking about the wonderfulness of the bread and pointing out other customers' breads. And then I wondered...
"Hey, why don't we come here one day and just order bread? We'd have an entire meal of different breads."
That wasn't exactly verbatim, but you get the idea. And you know it's going to happen. "Yes, we'd like to take one of each bread. ...No, you heard us correctly."
Here's an interesting article I read the other day from my school's newspaper: Restaurant Week for status, not savings. I'm mentioning it here because some parts kind of bothered me.
Celebrity-obsession, rampant consumerism and social segregation on every Manhattan corner should prompt the lower rungs of the income ladder to reject these classist ideals and embrace our own choices that hit a bit lighter on the price scale. Instead of balking at the social system, however, we blindly jump at a chance to emulate another's lifestyle in any way our more-paltry finances will allow, be it buying knock-off Louis Vuitton purses on Chinatown street corners or giddily participating in Restaurant Week.
I...I like food! Fooood! I like eating it! And anyone who is not in the upper financial stratum of society is probably just a teeny bit interested to see what a $25 prix fixe meal will result in. But it's not really about the price, as she goes on to say:
It isn't so much that the prices are offensive. It's the premise that price and quality are inherently linked. Apparently the $2 falafel sandwich I get on Bleecker and Thompson is not great food, a conclusion with which I do not concur. [...] I blame all the rest of the commoners out there that caress the hand that oppresses them � jumping at this opportunity and reinforcing the false idea that expensive food is the epitome of a great dining experience.
I wouldn't say expensive food is the epitome of a great dining experience, but it might (well, should) be one great dining experience. There are cheap restaurants that are awesome, and there are expensive restaurants that suck the crap. Expensive doesn't necessarily mean better, nor does cheap imply something is bad, but am I being too presumptuous to think that most people know this already?
I guess I felt like the writer was a bit patronizing; did anyone else get that feeling? I doubt I would've tried DB Bistro Moderne or Union Square Cafe if not for Restaurant Week because...well, I'm kind of cheap. However, I also like to eat lots of things and in a sense, I would count "expensive food" as one type of cuisine I'd want to try (I guess it's more like French-style or "new American" something or other; no, I don't know much about food). Why did I try Ethiopian food? Because I've never had it before and it was a new experience. Why did I try certain Restaurant Week restaurants? Because I've never been to them before and they were new experiences. It wasn't a blind, "I'm gonna go to whatever pricey restaurant I stumble upon!" decision for the sake of eating anything during Restaurant Week.
I think I had more to say, but I'm slow and don't remember the rest. Hohum. ...Well. Okay, I remembered one part. It's safe to assume that some restaurants cost a lot because they use many high-quality ingredients, have expensive facilities, and have a buttload of employees to support, besides paying the rent for an uber-desired location. I'm not saying that all expensive places follow this model, nor that the ones who do will give you the best dining experience of your life, but in many instances it's natural for price and quality to be linked.
...But quality doesn't necessarily mean you'll like it. Hell, I love those 5/$1 dumplings at Dumpling House! CRAZY DELICIOUS. Are they high quality? Um. God knows where the meat came from. Do I care? Mildly. Of course, some things like meat are artificially cheap due to subsidies and whatnot, buuuut...um...I guess that's another discussion. DELICIOUS MYSTERY MEAT!!!
Okay, I'm done. I was supposed to do homework for the past hour but instead I ate and wrote this malformed response. God dammit! I do no work! OH, wait wait, I did do something, albeit, something pointless and unrelated to school:
A Poofy pancake shirt is in the making. Hoorah! Comment on flickr if you're interested in it.