I’m guessing it’s what the market will bear and you’ll find that some of this varies from place to place.
Most Middles Eastern places I’ve been to in the Northeast tend to be cheaper lunch-style places and they typically do a big business in combo platters, which, as long as you like the three items on the platter, come with pretty much everything that goes with the dish (yes, extra hummmus, tahini or such is charged extra).
In NYC I was used to Indian coming with rice and two "sauces," typically onion chutney and coriander sauce. In the Boston area you typically only get one chutney, if any. Breads in both places come in several varieties and are charged as a separate dish. Indian lunch buffets, however are pretty common and comprehensive.
One that gets me is rice with Chinese. Growing up in RI chinese came with white rice (and Italian bread but that’s RI). Rice was included even at the cheapest storefronts in NYC. In the Boston area, however, rice is an additional order, usually only a buck or two for more than you can eat but it’s not included. I don’t understand how you can eat Chinese without rice. But the local norm seems to be that it’s a separate order.
[:0]Sounds like they are charging ala carte prices for their stuff.I prefer japanese and chinese dishes
myself,since we lived on Okinawa at Kadena AFB and my parents would eat it alot. My dad had been to India during WW2 before he was sent to North Africa,but never said much about the food and there really weren’t any such places around here in the 1960s and 70s.
Boy Uncle Vic you got that right about the pay.
I try to do my own cooking as much as possible as it saves money.Tonight I have to work at TJMAXX(part time job),so I may stop on the way home and buy something off the dollar menu at Jack in the Box.
Saves me sometimes from cooking at 10:30 or 11:00 at night.I can then eat and go to sleep to go to
the full time job at 7:30am the next daY.
Bought 2 slabs baby backs at local rib joint for take out last week:$22.95 per slab! They were picked out of a tub at random ,raggedy ass lookin ribs.I’ve loved this place over the years but now ‘ve got have a talk wit’em. There sauce is still great. Any body in Quad Cty area of Ill and Iowa knows what I’m talkin about.
Well, UncleVic is probably correct. And in a way, I have taken a chill-pill, I just have residual pissiness about what’s happening price-wise all over. My chill-pill involves me doing A LOT more of my own cooking. Since we’re in the I’tnl area here, look at some of my posts under Mexican re: "Mexican Groceries". It’s my method of fighting back as much as I can. You can bet the folks on food stamps (which I am not unfamiliar with) are not shopping at Bristol Farms and Gelson’s! They, like me, are going where the prices are 30 to 50 percent less than Ralph’s or Vons even. On the East Side of LA. But growing my own herbs in Downtown LA is a toughie.
Scott, take a chill pill. Prices have gone out of control all over the country. Seems like one thing leads to another in this economy.. Only thing thats holding steady, or getting weaker is our pay. Just sit back and enjoy the ride as our economy will go into a recession. Everyone that tried to gouge will be gouged now in the long run..
Im not that fond of indian food. I remember living in a motel and smelling the cooking every time you went to the office. It was awful. Smelled like boiled goat.
I did go to an Indian buffet. Even with all the choices I couldnt find enough food I could swallow.
All the Indian joints here in Ohio seem to offer buffets. Usually under 8 bux for lunch.
Over on the Pizza page (on Roadfood), I and others have certainly bitched about pizza joints charging insane markups for toppings like onions, bell pepper, black olive, etc. Some have complained about getting charged up to $2.50 for a tiny amount of jalapenos, that kind of thing. It’s absurd.
For me, there are two "international" areas that get my goat: Indian and Middle Eastern. Which I both like (more than Asian), but hate for their pricing structures. In both Indian, and say, Lebanese, I like a variety of items, but it seems like every piece of bread, every sauce, EVERYTHING ends up priced, or OVERPRICED, separately. It’s nuts, and it keeps me away. If I go for French, or Italian, or German, whatever, I don’t see the bread show up on the bill. If I go for Lebanese, I have to pay for garlic sauce, I have to pay for pita, I hate it. Same thing with Indian, maybe worse. Separate bill for every piece of bread, for RICE, you name it, it’s on the bill.
At the dumpy Middle Eastern place at the Farmer’s Market here in LA, a plate, with a couple pieces of falafel, one piece of pita, and a tiny bit of hummus, the price has jumped from an already insane $9.50 to $12, and now you have to ASK for the sauce they used to give you for the falafel. The little yellow peppers that were gratis are now an extra charge. God forbid you forget to get your parking validated.
I don’t know, it’s seems to be like this everywhere, not just LA. It’s some kind of dumb business plan that sure as hell discourages single diners, you know? MAYBE it’s sort of possible to control costs when you are out with 3 others, and you can split dishes up, but no way does it work for one, unless the restaurant makes the effort. There used to be a little Lebanese shack, only open for lunch, here in DT LA that did that. A nice variety of falafel, hummus, rice, pita, that red walnut sauce, lettuce, the tahini sauce, the whole enchilada, for maybe $4. That works. Screw this "family style" nonsense. I don’t have any family. Well, of course the shack is long gone, and I’ve never seen an Indian version of that. I want an affordable plate with some kind of curry, saffron rice, some veggie thing, and two different breads, at lunch, for about $5.
-Scott Lindgren [email protected]
Yeah, just take a look at how little basil those NY pizza makers put on their pies?
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