Why is it that people are willing to spend $20 on a bowl of pasta with sauce that they might actually be able to replicate pretty faithfully at home, yet they balk at the notion of a white-table cloth Thai restaurant, or a tacos that cost more than $3 each? Even in a city as “cosmopolitan” as New York, restaurant openings like Tamarind Tribeca (Indian) and Lotus of Siam (Thai) always seem to elicit this knee-jerk reaction from some diners who have decided that certain countries produce food that belongs in the “cheap eats” category—and it’s not allowed out. (Side note: How often do magazine lists of “cheap eats” double as rundowns of outer-borough ethnic foods?)
Yelp, Chowhound, and other restaurant sites are littered with comments like, “$5 for dumplings?? I’ll go to Flushing, thanks!” or “When I was backpacking in India this dish cost like five cents, only an idiot would pay that much!” Yet you never see complaints about the prices at Western restaurants framed in these terms, because it’s ingrained in people’s heads that these foods are somehow “worth” more. If we’re talking foie gras or chateaubriand, fair enough. But be real: You know damn well that rigatoni sorrentino is no more expensive to produce than a plate of duck laab, so to decry a pricey version as a ripoff is disingenuous. This question of perceived value is becoming increasingly troublesome as more non-native (read: white) chefs take on “ethnic” cuisines, and suddenly it’s okay to charge $14 for shu mai because hey, the chef is ELEVATING the cuisine.
I had to delete the original post after a bunch of notes from people who reblogged with faulty logic (“I went to a [insert non-white ethnicity here] restaurant and they totally ripped me off because I wasn’t [that ethnicity], so there”) or comments like the ones in the quote itself.
I still think about this, especially given the real-estate crunch in NYC thanks to gentrification, that entails not only the way buildings’ space is allocated, but also who gets to put out their food truck in a given area.
Some foodie writer wrote this list of things he’d learned as a critic, and one of them was about how great the little out-of-the-way mini-mall spots were for discovering delicious, homemade-style ethnic cuisine. I wish I’d written to him and asked, “It’s all well and good that you’re able to travel to the boondocks for the perfect Thai meal in the US, but why is it that you’re not talking about a middle ground, where those small business owners get enough press that they can move to a venue that both serves their original clientele and feed foodies like you from metro areas?”
And when you choose a life partner, you’re choosing a lot of things, including your parenting partner and someone who will deeply influence your children, your eating companion for about 20,000 meals, your travel companion for about 100 vacations, your primary leisure time and retirement friend, your career therapist, and someone whose day you’ll hear about 18,000 times.
ppl who think that saying “I love you” to someone a lot makes it lose it’s meaning are so boring literally what could make you think that? if someone tells you they love you like 3 times in an hour it means that 3 separate times they were sitting there and thinking about you and how wonderful you are like. smh. say I love you to everyone that you love as often as possible bc sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are people who love you