Monday, August 23, 2004

Food is Life - Life One Bite at a Time: Episode 2


I have an un-written rule while on the road.
I always try to find unique local eateries,
but if it is a chain, it must not be a chain
that has a KC location.

There are some corollaries, such I don't, by-and-large
go out for Steak anywhere east of the Mississippi (Chicago
excepted) or West of the Rockies. (Basically the area where
Cattlemen raise beef is the best at it's proper presentation.)
Besides, there are ample opportunities for Great Italian, as many
cities have a Little Italy. And there is also the excellent local
Sea-Food of the Upper-East-Coast cities that are my usual destination.

A direct corollary of the Steak-region rule is the you shouldn't have
pay $25+ for a decent cut of beef. Especially since there are plenty of
places where that is the Ala-Carte price...

Tonight, I have violated both the Steak-region and the over-priced
fancy-schmantzy rules.

I am no idiot(tm), (in spite of what some of the things you read hear may imply)
and would never pay this much of my OWN money for a Steak. But, as I am on
an expense account...

In this vein, I have violated the pricey-Steak rule and thus tried the two
Major chains most associated with this trend,
(originally a Chicago joint)
and \Ruth's Chris.

Now, a quick check on your part would verify that there are indeed locations for
both these culinary icon's in greater KC, though with the many other choices
available with more sane prices, I cannot fathom how they manage to stay afloat...
Besides, I did mention that I am no idiot(tm)... ;-)

And so, on my first night here in Boston, I have my entire daily meal-allotment
available and have treated myself to a personal favorite, Abe and Louie's.

All of these emporiums are not just about the cut of meat, or even the
preparation, though these are crucial. They are as much about panacea,
ambiance and service.

I have personally found Ruth's Chris service to be spotty, admittedly a
heretical statement to some.

The ala-Carte is even worse than you think, if you have never frequented one
the joints of this ilk. The side-dishes are in the $7-10 range. True, they
are sized to serve two to three, but that does me little good when dining solo.

And alas, the bone-in Fillet, a unique and excellent cut, has now shot up to
the $33+ range. That, and my over-indulgence in both a salad and a side placed
over my legal limit for a single day, without tip.

And to top it off, the usual excellent service as not up to par.

I fear this may be my last of many enjoyable A&L evenings... :-(

On a more positive note, having the laptop and brining out the TH-55
to check some data, all the while listening to talk-radio on FM, of all
things, brought the attention of the table to my left. Two gentleman,
perhaps 10 years my senior, dining together. I got the feeling it was
old friends and old money. Perhaps they were prep-school mates. One was
a Franko-phone and possessed more vin-knowledge than the Sommelier.
The other Italiano. Had a lively discussion on technology in general and
world-wide cell-phones in particular.

I bid them good-night and, on the way out, noticed a table celebrating a
birthday. I did the impromptu singing-telegram bit and received a lovely

All-in-all a pleasant evening.


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