Last nigh as a part of a little double date action, I took part in Boston’s 2008 ‘Restaurant Week’. I’ll get back to why I’m using quotes here shortly. Despite a really good time and way too much food, there were some issues. Two of the people in our little foursome tried out the prix fixe menu that is the whole point of restaurant week – three courses of showcase dishes for one low price. This allows those of us who are cheap to fancy up and go someplace nice, and gives the restaurants an influx of potential new customers. That’s great, and usually I’m a fan of it – I like food, especially trying new things. The problem comes when two of us didn’t like our dinners. I’m not naming names or pointing fingers when it comes to the restaurant – it could just be a matter of personal taste. And I suppose it’s good that we were an even split, with only one prix fixe main course dislike, and one from the regular full menu. So it wasn’t restaurant week that was the problem.

But it did get me going a bit, and got the ol’ brain juices flowing. Mike characterized his own decision to order from the main menu explains my shared feeling in part – if you’re going to spend that much money, better make sure it has full value. So he got a more expensive menu item with tons of pricey foods in it, and I got a prix fixe option which included the expensive appetizer my heart was set on. Still, was it really worth its value? Could we have gotten something equivalent for less someplace else? And is it morally questionable to eat someplace so snobbish, taking into account the economic, energy, and environmental costs of rarer foods?  IS there a more dastardly purpose behind the extension of “restaurant Week’ into two full weeks?

I didn’t really want to end with a question yet again, so I’ll leave you with this happy thought. Most times, I eat a little of my restaurant fare and take the rest home, always conserving. And though I did take my oyster crackers home, the rest of the three-course meal ended up in me or one of my dinner partners. I went home happy, if poorer, and nicely rotund. Yum.


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