Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Uptown food fight . 1 | Cookout

Now I have to admit upfront that, in general, I find restaurants to be adversarial situations. It's us against them and the wait staff subtly, or not, signal that. It must be sentence two of the job description. Sentence one, well we won't go there. What goes on in the kitchen is usually mercifully shielded from the civilian's view, or partially so, for our own protection from the war zone. Chef Ramsey shows us and the truth ain't pretty. I think the show is called Kitchen Nightmares, or something similar.

Uptown, at least in the Bean, things are even worse, as they often are in so many ways. First of all, what exactly is uptown? OK. Uptown is the opposite of downtown. Just as you suspected. Wall Street is dowtown, way downtown. Lincoln Center is mid-town, but still downtown. And Harlem is uptown. Uptown, in short, is generally more colorful, further from the seats of power and poorer. Roxbury (Rox) and Dorchester (Dot) are uptown. Locke-Ober is definitely downtown.

So far so good. But, the problem is this - uptown restaurants (comparing uptown apples to downtown apples) want to charge the same price, or more, as their dowtnown brethren for the same menu items and deliver half the quality and/or service. And that's a problem.

... To be continued.