Stop The Ridiculously Expensive Menu Item Trend
By Sarah Han
Yesterday Michael Bauer asked, "At what point does a restaurant become too expensive?" He pointed out that Michael Mina, one of SF's best restaurants, charges $42-$52 for a la carte main courses and $20-$29 for its appetizers. Bauer qualifies that Michael Mina is an exceptional restaurant that charges for the quality of its ingredients, technique, and processes; but even the Chronicle's discerning food critic questioned whether these elevated prices were worth it.
But it's not just fancy food that's expensive these days in SF. A few weeks ago SFist posted about Ame's $125 martini. Later that same day, Eater SF brought up Three Twins' world's most expensive sundae, which costs $3,333.33 because it's made with rare dessert wines, is served with a dessert spoon dating back to the 1850s, and comes with live cellist who'll perform as you eat. The only worthy thing about this banana split, as noted by Huffington Post, is that Three Twins will donate a third of the cost to a local land trust.
If these were the only three stupidly pricey menu items in the city, I'd shrug my shoulders and move on, but there are more: There's also Umami Burger's $65 burger. And Eater notes a whole roundup of expensive libations, including Smuggler's Cove boasts a $725 Mai Tai made with the oldest rum available in the US (50 years old – For that price, I'd expect 500 years old), the Hustler Club's $400 Centurion, and Starlight Room's $200 drink.
It's a rarity to go out for dinner these days and not feel like a hole's been burnt in your wallet, especially if you go somewhere that touts freshness and quality. It's even becoming rare to keep restaurants with not-so-quality food at affordable prices in this city. I understand there's a challenge for businesses to keep prices low when costs to stay afloat here are so high, but I'd love to see more food and drinks priced reasonably or even one special menu item that is ridiculously cheap, so that more San Franciscans can enjoy one of the best parts of living in this damn city.
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