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21 Remarkably Expensive New York Restaurant Side Dishes


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Source: Grub Street New York

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American Cut's infamous $10 carrot.

The restaurant side dish is the ne plus ultra of check pumpers: Steakhouses long ago perfected the practice of charging too much for things like potatoes and spinach in an effort to get customers to spend, spend, spend. Things haven't changed. And some brave restaurateurs are inching prices ever upward, betting that customers used to seeing $10 sides "” a standard price around town "” won't be put off by contorni that costs a few bucks more. But is $15 really a fair price to charge for potatoes? Here are 21 of the most outrageously ...

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Some of the dishes listed have a little prep involved that make the prices charged slightly easier to rationalize, but I'd be tempted to punch somebody that charged me $10 for the carrot pictured here.

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Some of the dishes listed have a little prep involved that make the prices charged slightly easier to rationalize, but I'd be tempted to punch somebody that charged me $10 for the carrot pictured here.

I was just talking about this over dinner an hour ago. The irony is that if it was a side order of "carrots," which is basically one carrot, sliced up, with a little honey and thyme, it wouldn't raise an eyebrow; it's the visceral notion of this one, single carrot that dredges up people's mockery and ire.

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I'm really interested about eating out in NY (as compared to DC area). I understand that people do a lot more takeout, & just dining out in general, because they live in small spaces, it's more difficult to shop w/ out a vehicle, & there are more choices, but am I just making naive assumptions?

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I'm really interested about eating out in NY (as compared to DC area). I understand that people do a lot more takeout, & just dining out in general, because they live in small spaces, it's more difficult to shop w/ out a vehicle, & there are more choices, but am I just making naive assumptions?

Ha.   That brings back a powerful memory.  I dated a woman in Manhattan.  She was small  (but so am I).  Her apartment was small.  I used to drive up there and parking spaces were small and terribly hard to find.  The bedroom was small.  Simply maneuvering around the apartment was tough.  It was small.   The kitchen was small.  We did eat out a lot.

I seem to recall all the restaurants we went to were small and the spaces between diners were tight.    The lingering recollections of that long ago relationship was claustrophobia.......which is a pretty weird memory to associate with a relationship.    LOL

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Well, lately, every time I think about going out to get something to eat (usually at lunchtime), I realize I have plenty of food at home & that it would be wasteful. My meals at home aren't really creative or inspired, but they're nourishing, sometimes I wish I had an excuse to just eat out all the time. I know, not a real problem....

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Like I said, it depends on who you are.

I have no difficulties whatsoever cooking 3-4 course meals in my kitchen.  It's roughly 6' x 7' and only slightly larger than my bathroom.  You just learn to roll with things.  I eat out maybe once a month, and do takeout once a week.

And the lack of a vehicle is no barrier to shopping.

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Carrots are the "in" vegetable these days.

American Cut is a steakhouse and so therefore, an expense-account oriented place.  In that context, a $10 carrot isn't surprising.  It's probably drenched in butter and some of the price might cover the Maldon sea salt it's seasoned with.

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I'm really interested about eating out in NY (as compared to DC area). I understand that people do a lot more takeout, & just dining out in general, because they live in small spaces, it's more difficult to shop w/ out a vehicle, & there are more choices, but am I just making naive assumptions?

I had heard the same thing about New Yorkers eating more meals out or eating more takeout.   Zagat just published these results from their Dining Trends survey, and they found that Houston eats out the most but when you consider takeout, they found New Yorkers ate out the most:

,

Takeout vs. Restaurant Dining vs. Home Cooking

Unsurprisingly, NYC diners eat out the most when you factor in takeout and restaurant meals - 58% of their lunches and dinners are in fact prepared outside the home, compared to the national average of 47%. Houston is close behind at 54%, and Chicago at 51%. As for cooking at home, Portlandians do it the most, preparing 8.1 lunches and dinners per week at home, compared to the national average of 6.9. New Yorkers cook at home the least: only 5.5 meals per week are made in-house.

From slide 5 (link).  I didn't see information on how they conducted this survey and how many people participated.

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They probably lumped delivery in with take-out (which, to me, means going to the restaurant on the way home, ordering and taking it with you in bags) but, if not, that's a big category.  We re-did our kitchen a year ago and have used the oven maybe 10 times so far (including this year's T'giving dinner).  Maybe triple that for stove top cooking.  The rest of the dinners: restaurants, delivery, take out and occasional left-overs.

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