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Old 09-14-2012, 07:06 AM   #41
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My most expensive eat out meal hands down was a $200 omelette at Mont St Michel Abbey in France. I kept trying to remind myself that food in France is expensive, but...

Omelette a Le Mont Saint Michel (Pontorson) Francia Bassa Normandia - YouTube
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:25 AM   #42
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My most expensive eat out meal hands down was a $200 omelette at Mont St Michel Abbey in France. I kept trying to remind myself that food in France is expensive, but...

Omelette a Le Mont Saint Michel (Pontorson) Francia Bassa Normandia - YouTube

Ahhh, but the bragging rights...........
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:35 AM   #43
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Ahhh, but the bragging rights...........
Yeah, they are worth something

But if you knew how stupid I was, you would not be impressed with the bill. I saw where it said omelette was $38 (or something like that) and a lobster omelette was $49. What I didn't realize was that was the price of the lobster per ounce! Oops.

(I may not have these prices exact...I was in a bit of a shock at the time) The water they brought out with the meal was like $10 too.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:04 AM   #44
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Yeah, they are worth something

But if you knew how stupid I was, you would not be impressed with the bill. I saw where it said omelette was $38 (or something like that) and a lobster omelette was $49. What I didn't realize was that was the price of the lobster per ounce! Oops.

(I may not have these prices exact...I was in a bit of a shock at the time) The water they brought out with the meal was like $10 too.
I went to a ball game and beer was $7.75 in the stands. Does that count?
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:12 AM   #45
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Except for pizza and the variety available at a chinese buffet type place, we have pretty much figured out how to eat awesome food at home that is almost always healthier than restaurants. Luckily I like to cook and like to replicate restaurant recipes.
We also cook at home mostly. We go out maybe 1-2 times a month. First, it's not really relaxing because we have to watch that our kids behave and secondly, my taste buds have changed over the last 2-3 years. Restaurants use too much salt and butter for my taste. I recall going to Panera Bread last year or two years ago and enjoying their meals, but the last time we went there 2 months ago I asked to replace French Onion soup with tomato basil soup, but even that was a bit too salty. Paninis also were only OK. I certainly won't return there in the foreseeable future. But we still like Five Guys. I like their burgers (and a few fries to taste salt).
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:05 PM   #46
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We also cook at home mostly. We go out maybe 1-2 times a month. First, it's not really relaxing because we have to watch that our kids behave and secondly, my taste buds have changed over the last 2-3 years. Restaurants use too much salt and butter for my taste. I recall going to Panera Bread last year or two years ago and enjoying their meals, but the last time we went there 2 months ago I asked to replace French Onion soup with tomato basil soup, but even that was a bit too salty. Paninis also were only OK. I certainly won't return there in the foreseeable future. But we still like Five Guys. I like their burgers (and a few fries to taste salt).

I like the food ok when we go out. But places like Panera, where you might pay $6-9 for something you can quickly make at home for a couple bucks is hard to swallow, especially when you consider that cost differential x4, plus time to mobilize the troops to/from the restaurant.

Agreed on 5 guys! Two burgers and a huge bag of fries for about $12 total (for the two of us adults). Not particularly healthy but delicious!
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:15 PM   #47
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Agreed on 5 guys! Two burgers and a huge bag of fries for about $12 total (for the two of us adults). Not particularly healthy but delicious!
Definitely a guilty pleasure. It's not something your cardiologist would want you to eat regularly, but once in a while it's OK to give into temptation.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:26 PM   #48
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We both love good food and wine. I'd rather spend my money on that than on more "stuff".
I agree.

We rarely eat dinner out. Fortunately, I am a pretty good cook and California blesses us with excellent wines and fresh ingredients.

For lunch, I like to eat out several times a week. DW is still working and making lunch just for myself is no fun. I mostly go to Panera for their salads and sandwiches. I also have a good Japanese restaurant nearby when I am in the mood for sushi or Udon noodle soup and tempura. A nice little french bistro for salads and croque monsieur or quiche. And a tea lounge for when I want to have a meditative lunch.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:28 PM   #49
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The wife and I enjoy eating dinner out. Mostly Mexican, Thai and Indian cuisine. I bought a XL Big Green Egg and now we eat ribs, pulled pork, chicken and steak that are better than most restaurants. One of the best purchases I have ever made. Love it. I can cook for extended family and host at my house.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:39 PM   #50
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I love to dress up and go out to dinner at a really nice place. Trouble is, that comes at a far bigger premium than it used to.

Dinner at a non-box-chain, non-ethnic-hole-in-the-wall place that has cloth on the tables: $65 apiece,minimum, unless you order vegetarian, don't have an appetizer or dessert or coffee, in other words: chintz. And if you gotta chintz, what's the point of getting dressed up, etc.?

Wine: 400%+ mark-up. We know lower-end wines quite well, so we know when the restaurant wants $65 for a bottle we can buy for $15.

Tax and tip: 20% is now the minimum tip locally (anything less is supposedly an insult to the server) and tax is 6%. So a $200 meal is now $252.00, and it didn't taste any better for that.

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Old 09-14-2012, 12:42 PM   #51
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Tax and tip: 20% is now the minimum tip locally (anything less is supposedly an insult to the server)
I just don't understand this. Why was 15% once enough but isn't any more? It's not like the cost of the meal isn't keeping up with inflation (or more), so your 15% tips should be doing so as well...

I usually tip closer to 20% for good service anyway (15% = acceptable, 20% = very good, > 20% = outstanding), but I don't see why the recommended percentage should rise over time given that inflation is also inflating their tip amounts.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:48 PM   #52
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I just don't understand this. Why was 15% once enough but isn't any more? It's not like the cost of the meal isn't keeping up with inflation (or more), so your 15% tips should be doing so as well...

I usually tip closer to 20% for good service anyway (15% = acceptable, 20% = very good, > 20% = outstanding), but I don't see why the recommended percentage should rise over time given that inflation is also inflating their tip amounts.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:47 PM   #53
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Ziggy,

I wonder the same thing, but since tipping is a "custom" and not a law, there isn't any logic - it's just what "everyone knows to be true." A few years back, the customary 15% rose to 18%, and restaurants started including 18% gratuity on checks (of course, you could choose to tip less). Now it's 20%. Anyway, dialing back to 15% on a $200 check doesn't save that much.

(When we lived in the UK, a 10% tip was considered generous, yet I don't suppose the servers were any better paid compared to here).

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I just don't understand this. Why was 15% once enough but isn't any more? It's not like the cost of the meal isn't keeping up with inflation (or more), so your 15% tips should be doing so as well... I don't see why the recommended percentage should rise over time given that inflation is also inflating their tip amounts.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:58 PM   #54
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I just don't understand this. Why was 15% once enough but isn't any more? It's not like the cost of the meal isn't keeping up with inflation (or more), so your 15% tips should be doing so as well...

I usually tip closer to 20% for good service anyway (15% = acceptable, 20% = very good, > 20% = outstanding), but I don't see why the recommended percentage should rise over time given that inflation is also inflating their tip amounts.
I think one of the reasons that 15% used to be acceptable but isn't now, is that in days gone by, a server could report little or nothing at tax time.

Those days are gone. Now, in most places it is pretty hard for a server to dodge the tax man...so, 20% now covers some of the tax bite. The cost of serving you has gone up!

Consider 20% as doing your patriotic part to help others pay their taxes!
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:12 PM   #55
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Consider 20% as doing your patriotic part to help others pay their taxes!
NEGATIVE - the standard was, AND IS, 15%. More is possible if the service earns it. But so is less. I tip about 25% for top-notch service. Service sucks? They can keep some coins.

20% is a socialist/communist/marxist starting point!
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:18 PM   #56
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NEGATIVE - the standard was, AND IS, 15%. More is possible if the service earns it. But so is less. I tip about 25% for top-notch service. Service sucks? They can keep some coins.

20% is a socialist/communist/marxist starting point!
Whoa! Okay then.
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Old 09-14-2012, 04:11 PM   #57
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Except for pizza and the variety available at a chinese buffet type place, we have pretty much figured out how to eat awesome food at home that is almost always healthier than restaurants. Luckily I like to cook and like to replicate restaurant recipes.
That is the case for us too. It has gotten to the point where we don't eat out because we're almost always disappointed with restaurant fare. Even with a simple 3-burner RV stove and no oven I can make just about anything I want. Just this week we added sushi to the repertoire, which is very exciting.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:55 PM   #58
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I think one of the reasons that 15% used to be acceptable but isn't now, is that in days gone by, a server could report little or nothing at tax time.

Those days are gone. Now, in most places it is pretty hard for a server to dodge the tax man...so, 20% now covers some of the tax bite. The cost of serving you has gone up!

Consider 20% as doing your patriotic part to help others pay their taxes!
That logic reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw in the parking lot today. "work hard today to keep your job. All the people on welfare are depending on you" now back to the original thread....
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:00 PM   #59
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But if you knew how stupid I was, you would not be impressed with the bill. I saw where it said omelette was $38 (or something like that) and a lobster omelette was $49. What I didn't realize was that was the price of the lobster per ounce! Oops.
Mediocre hamburger, fries and a coke at the big league ball park cost me $25 a few years ago. Adjusting for the quality, service and ambiance of both the ball park and the fancy French restaurant, I would say the prices are comparable.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:09 PM   #60
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I'd pay money NOT to have to dress up and go out to dinner.
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