Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DaRiv18

Good Standard for Price, Quality, and Value

Recommended Posts

In a conversation with a friend, we realized that we disagreed on what what we consider cheap eats or expensive fare, in terms of what we feel the baseline case should be. He thinks it is the Silver Diner, I think it is Clyde’s.

I’m sure others would name Applebee’s, or even the Cracker Barrel, or 2 Amy’s, Matchbox, or even the Capitol Grille. 

Any place you think sets the standard for what is a reasonable eat, of a reasonable quality and cost?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it would depend on the cuisine, or even a specific dish.

For Chinese food, I think Hong Kong Palace sets the standard for quality and price. 

As for Peking Duck, I wouldn't use HKP's version as the standard.  China Wok does a decent Peking Duck, and I think it was about $38 for a whole duck but the rest of their food is a little too gloppy for me.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent point.  I guess it should be a place for a table of 4 adults where people just want to catch up and not necessarily be caught up in the food.  IE, shouldn't be distractingly great or awful.   I realize this is a very open ended question, but it threw us for a loop.  But at some point, you can't throw around "it's kinda expensive for what it is" without having a base reference point. 

Also, I recently went to some chain restaurant (Bubba Gump) the other week and was shocked at the (high) prices for beer and food, and the quality met my lower expectations.  I have been pretty good at avoiding chains, and would have paid an extra $5 for another meal that didn't scream "commodity", but I am just wondering what kind of benchmarks are out there in terms of what the general American public feels like is a decent deal.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, DaRiv18 said:

In a conversation with a friend, we realized that we disagreed on what what we consider cheap eats or expensive fare, in terms of what we feel the baseline case should be. He thinks it is the Silver Diner, I think it is Clyde’s.

I’m sure others would name Applebee’s, or even the Cracker Barrel, or 2 Amy’s, Matchbox, or even the Capitol Grille. 

Any place you think sets the standard for what is a reasonable eat, of a reasonable quality and cost?

The above is interesting.  When I was first starting to earn more income, dining at a Clydes (dinner/not the bar) was a high aspiration goal.  That was 30 plus years ago.  Over the decades I've seen others who are in the midst of increasing their income say the exact same thing about Clydes.  For those that are climbing the income ladder and started low, dining at Clyde's at some point is aspirational.  I think different people might exactly choose any of the restaurants you mention as the "baseline".  My quick response is that both Silver Diner and Clyde's are "baselines"...but baselines for different folks.   I'm always intrigued to read reviews about restaurants I enjoy.  For those with tons of reviews there will always be comments that differ:   Great value/great price....vs  Overpriced.  Always. 

I agree with both of you:  Silver Diner and Clyde's are both baselines.  Clyde's is a more expensive baseline imho.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my back of the envelope value calculator for eating out. 

If I go out, I assume I will spend $50 for food, 2 drinks, tax and tip for me.

If it meets 5/10 quality (let's just use Del Ray Pizza as a reference 5, because I eat there a lot), then it's just meeting threshold for value. If it costs less, it's a good value. If it's more, then it's not a good value.

For each point above 5, I'll spend exponentially more, i.e. - 6/10 - $60, 7 - 80, 8 - $120, 9 - $160, 10 - $240. If the meal costs more than that number it's not a good value. If it costs less than that, it is providing excess value.

If the quality is less than 4/10, then it doesn't matter the price - I left my house, went somewhere, and had a shitty meal, so I paid $50 for 2 beers - so it's always poor value.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is really interesting, I like it.  I'm not really sure if I agree with your exponential spacing, that going from a 9 to a 10 is worth spending as much as going from a 0 to a 7.  But I recognize your calculus might be realistic.  

You'd hate Bubba Gump's.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, DaRiv18 said:

That is really interesting, I like it.  I'm not really sure if I agree with your exponential spacing, that going from a 9 to a 10 is worth spending as much as going from a 0 to a 7.  But I recognize your calculus might be realistic.  

You'd hate Bubba Gump's.  

I initially wrote it out as linear.. but then I thought about it, and I'd spend $160 at Rose's and not feel like I got ripped off... Or $240 at Metier. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly a lot of cities have become over saturated with businesses that make you choose between quality/quantity and price. I'm a firm believer if you look at the ethics behind a business VS the aesthetics (mostly how business owners respond to customers over social media platforms) that usually helps me pick out a winner spot where I know I'll receive quality and quantity all for a great value.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The $30 bar menu at Corduroy is what I would suggest as a tremendous value.

arlingtonkabob, your Cheesesteak-on-Naan isn't a bad value, either.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Finatic said:

Trying to understand what distractingly great food means!

I'm thinking something like Minibar, where the food and presentation demand all of your attention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The litmus test for distractingly great food is whether it would make JoeH moan.

"A signature dish of a Great restaurant is one which literally causes your mouth to open, to uncontrollably exclaim "Wow" when it is served. To deeply inhale its enthralling effluvia, to moan after savoring its first taste, to breathe heavily and evenly after swallowing the first orgasmic bite. "Vanilla roasted Maine lobster with Jonny cakes and a Chardonnay butter sauce" is such a dish. Live lobster is roasted and shelled then the lobster meat is sautéed with chardonnay butter, lobster stock is added and then reduced down with caramelized sugar. All of this is plated on top of several Rhode Island Jonny Cake discs with the sauce drizzled around and over. Simply, a Great dish worth of The Inn nearby or The Fat Duck, the three Michelin star and one of England's two best restaurants near the home of Sue Maragos, Frank's wife and partner who together open Foti's. Sue moved here five years ago from her home near the Cotswolds, apprenticed at The Inn and now with her husband has moved onto a national stage much sooner than either of them may have anticipated."

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Finatic said:

Trying to understand what distractingly great food means!

 

6 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I'm thinking something like Minibar, where the food and presentation demand all of your attention.

 

3 hours ago, DaRiv18 said:

The litmus test for distractingly great food is whether it would make JoeH moan.

"A signature dish of a Great restaurant is one which literally causes your mouth to open, to uncontrollably exclaim "Wow" when it is served. To deeply inhale its enthralling effluvia, to moan after savoring its first taste, to breathe heavily and evenly after swallowing the first orgasmic bite. "Vanilla roasted Maine lobster with Jonny cakes and a Chardonnay butter sauce" is such a dish. Live lobster is roasted and shelled then the lobster meat is sautéed with chardonnay butter, lobster stock is added and then reduced down with caramelized sugar. All of this is plated on top of several Rhode Island Jonny Cake discs with the sauce drizzled around and over. Simply, a Great dish worth of The Inn nearby or The Fat Duck, the three Michelin star and one of England's two best restaurants near the home of Sue Maragos, Frank's wife and partner who together open Foti's. Sue moved here five years ago from her home near the Cotswolds, apprenticed at The Inn and now with her husband has moved onto a national stage much sooner than either of them may have anticipated."

 

Those are great descriptions above.  Enthralling.  I've only had a few (3) of those experiences in the last year or so.  Not exactly the same as described above, but at some point in the meal or with a particular dish, the WOW realization set in and a type of moan followed.   One set in during the course of the meal, the other two occurred immediately.

 

....and upon reading the description of the lobster dish Joe H described....I'm jonesing for lobster with an exquisite well thought out well executed butter sauce. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×