Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Value revisited

Oh, I hope this finds you well. I have had a very long trip back here to you. I have been to Charleston, as you know, then on to Jacksonville, and Neptune and Atlantic Beaches in Florida.
I visited several food spots along the way and last night I was considering the $20.00 in my pocket.

I value that $20.00. I think I might not be the only one. But, it means different things to different restaurants and while no one understands the square footage and profit equations any better, I sometimes suspect I am being, (dare I say it?) taken advantage of. Is that possible? I certainly hope not. But I took a swing through some establishments who are very well rated, in prime tourist areas and (turn away if you must) reasonable. And I saw a few others which were unabashedly absurd. In Neptune Beach, they will charge you $19.00 for a small plate of lasagna bolognese. And around the corner from that place $25.00 will get you a portion of salmon with "porcini dust" (head's up here, I never eat anything with dust on it.) How about a portion of meatloaf for $16.00? Are you scared? I am. Maybe it is the gas prices and delivery surcharges. Surely, it involves overhead. But these days, it might pay to consider how much more valuable money is now, and the customers who have it.

Why, at SNOB they served up a huge and killer portion of fresh Shrimp and Grits for $16.50 and their bust-out beautiful real estate is on East Bay. It could not be better located if God built the universe around it. Then we have it's antithesis, a secondarily located place with a $19.00 plate of bolognese. It's a disjointed world, restaurant value, is it not? And I wish the words "restaurant" and "value" were not getting to become an oxymoron when typed together. I really do believe that eating thoughtfully prepared food from well trained hands can be a valuable prospect to some (like me), but it has it's limits. In the end, I can, and as you well know, will, cook at home. And I have a legion of readers hoping I will do just that once we are through travelling thither and yon and packing and unpacking. Lookout, because I have got a bolognese that will feed you and the family next door for under $19.00. I think you hear me coming...

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