Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fine Foods

Nope, I'm not dead. I am very much alive and excited to get back to my blog for two reasons: because I like it and because getting back to the good ol' blog means I'm not being crushed under the weight of full time class and near full time work any longer. Sixteen projects, five tests, a couple of homework assignments, and a presentation later (okay, so I only actually did fourteen of the projects, close enough) I am ready to get back to enjoying my fair city and telling you all about it. And fear not, for I was still able to learn even though school was monopolizing all of my time, which means I have plenty to tell you about.

It's the middle of the afternoon, and I'm getting hungry, so I can think of no better topic to explore with you right now than fine foods. No, really. I can't think of anything else. I wish they had a vending machine in here so I could get some Mike & Ikes or something. But I suppose food is as good as any other topic to discuss.

But since I am talking about "fine" foods in particular, I think it would be a good idea to talk about precisely what I mean by fine, because there are a lot of different meanings to the word, and I want to make sure we're using the same one. When I say "fine," (parental guidance suggested on that link, by the way) I am not using it the way young men use it to describe a young woman. I am also not using it the way people in relationships sometimes use it, meaning, "Not acceptable in any way."

No, when I say "fine," I'm referring to the other definition: a sum of money that must be paid when you have in some way messed up. Now before you jump all over me for using a noun as an adjective, I want you to pause for a moment. You're reading a blog, not a Proust novel. As long as Iz not speeking like dee lolcatz, eye think iz okay. Let's move on.

I imagine most of my readers have been forced to pay fines, or at least been threatened with them. Maybe for parking in the wrong place or for driving too fast. Fines like this are set explicitly by the government and are charged when you get formally cited for an infraction. The fines in the New York food system are much more subtle. The only citation you get is the preposterous check when you go to leave. And the codes that will result in these kinds of fines are also more subtle. It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between restaurants that have high prices because they are incredibly tasty or have huge portions and those where you have to pay for the mistake of going there.

There are all sorts of hidden fees in New York restaurants as well. One place I went for dinner informed me that I had to buy an appetizer (and by "appetizer," they meant 3 shrimp for $10... and not jumbo shrimp or anything like that). This seemed silly to me, but then the waitress explained that it was because they did not charge a corking fee. And even that might make sense, except it was a BYOB place. So I paid $10 for an amount of food similar to a single Tic Tac because I brought in my own beverage, which I had to do because they didn't sell beverages there. Yes, I paid a food fine that night.

The purpose of this blog isn't to complain or rant. Okay, it may be a little bit to rant. But more importantly, I want you all to be aware, so that if you come out here you can be careful so as not to incur extra expenses just for dining. After all, the purpose of this blog is to look out for you and share the vital information I have learned out here.

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