In search of good middle European food, and coming up dry
In search of good middle European food, and coming up dry
Gastropub Rothbard Ale + Larder is on the lower level of Westport’s old Town Hall.
Gastropub Rothbard Ale + Larder is on the lower level of Westport’s old Town Hall.
Photo: File Photo / Hearst Connecticut Media Buy photo Photo: File Photo / Hearst Connecticut Media Image 1 of / 15 15 Gastropub Rothbard Ale + Larder is on the lower level of Westport’s old Town Hall.
Gastropub Rothbard Ale + Larder is on the lower level of Westport’s old Town Hall.
Photo: File Photo / Hearst Connecticut Media Buy photo In search of good middle European food, and coming up dry 1 / 15 Back to Gallery A short while ago I was a guest at a food symposium in New York City. The other speakers were names you would know from the Food Network or authors of important cookbooks.
Fielding questions from the audience, it seemed that most people wanted to know where we experts loved to eat. The chefs and writers answers were exotic: “Iceland” “Chile” “Tanzania” followed by mouth-watering descriptions of exceptional meals. When it came my turn I said “Dayton, Ohio” and there was total silence. “I mean the small towns south of Dayton” I amended, expecting a whoosh of applause. Again, crickets.
I did not back down and I did not try and sneak in a hip new place in London or Norway. I stood my shaky ground.
View this post on Instagram It’s Friday and you’ve earned it. A hot buttery pretzel and an ice cold beer is in order. #rothbardct #happyfriday #pretzel #beer #bier #reisdorfkölsch #throughthepretzelintothebeerglass #foschnitzel
A post shared by Rothbard Ale + Larder (@rothbardct) on Feb 8, 2019 at 11:02am PST
The reason for my choice is that I adore middle European food, by which I mean German food, Hungarian food, Polish food and Czech food. Unfortunately, the few restaurants that serve this type of food in Connecticut have all but disappeared over the years.
In Ohio (south of Dayton that is) it would be hard to drive a mile without seeing a dozen restaurants that serve goulash, spaetzle, wiener schnitzel and apple strudel. For the most part they are very inexpensive “paper napkin” places, some are workingman’s cafeterias, but no matter how humble, the food is divine.
More from Jane Stern Indian restaurant in downtown Stamford goes beyond the naan Enchanted Szechuan lives up to its name on Norwalk’s restaurant row Jane Stern: After Gordon Ramsay, bullied owners do their best Jane Stern: Ikea Restaurant is worth the trip Jim Barbarie’s original restaurant is nice and normal ‘Sunday Supper’ thrives at Roseland Apizza in Derby A food-delivery app saves the day for an ailing food critic A few times a year I crave this great food again and it was time to try something new, as my old reliables had gone out of business. I decided on Rothbard Ale and Larder, a “European Gastro Pub” in Westport.
Rothbard Ale + Larder is in a skinny strip of alleyway next to Restoration Hardware. Down a few stairs in the former town hall is a bar and a mid-sized dining room. Only one of our party was a serious beer lover, and because the beer and ale menu is longer then the food menu, we waited patiently while he scrutinized the selections. If you come here for beer, make sure you bring your reading glasses.
One of the first things I noticed was how high the prices were at Rothbard; I was definitely not in Dayton anymore. But I did not run screaming for the door, because I had chosen to dine in upscale Westport and I was slavering for German food.
Never having eaten at Rothbard, I had no sense of the portion size or what comes with what. I ordered a classic: wiener schnitzel (a thin pounded veal cutlet, breaded and fried) and except for a handful of salad greens, it came with no side dishes. Alone on the plate, the wiener schnitzel seemed rather lonely and sad.
The schnitzel itself was immense. It looked like a wooden plank hanging over the edges of the plate. I wanted a balanced meal, and the side dishes listed on the menu looked intriguing, so I ordered rosti potatoes and cucumber salad. With only a glass of warm tap water, the bill was already $42. There was no bread offered, so I added a $6 pretzel to my order.
I have eaten rosti potatoes and schnitzel at the finest restaurants in Germany and Switzerland (not just in Dayton!) and they are moist and luscious. Press the schnitzel or the potatoes with the tines of your fork and juice runs out. The problem with both at Rothbard was that they were bone dry. The breading on the schnitzel seemed cemented on. The rosti potatoes were three triangles cut as thin as shredded wheat. The cucumber salad was the traditional slices of cuke in a white vinegar, dill and sugar bath. I have never eaten this dish before where the cucumbers were unpeeled.
Rothbard Ale + Larder 90 Post Road East, Westport
(Lower level of former town hall)
I found navigating the menu complicated: how to approach my lonesome veal cutlet with the side dishes big enough for the table to share. It all seemed out of proportion. Add to that the confusing passport-weary cuisine from around the world. There were German and Swiss classics but they were mixed in with Italian specialties, French Canadian dishes, Belgian, French, British and plain old American fare.
Maybe I am a purist, but I don’t want my schnitzel accompanied by burrata. Duck poutine (French Canadian) is a massive mound of meat in gravy topped with French Fries, and a big glob of Italian burrata instead of the traditional cheese curds.
My friends and I ate our way through the wursts and the broccoli rabe, cold cuts and the cheeses. One person ordered a side of kaese spaetzle: noodles with gruyere cheese, bacon and bread crumbs. It was delicious and might have been the richest food ever, and I mean both calorically and monetarily.
The server asked us if we would like dessert. There was no printed dessert menu, so she named four dishes: an apple tart, butterscotch pudding, bread pudding and Black Forest cake. We didn’t think to ask her the price of the desserts, which was a mistake as the pudding was $8 and the cake slice $9. Sadly, the pudding tasted like supermarket stuff and the Black Forest cake was dry. I resisted the urge to find a liquor store, buy a bottle of kirsch and pour it over the desiccated cake to bring it back to life.
As we waited for the bill, one of my friends asked the waitress to top off his coffee cup. “No refills,” she said sternly.
After spending a small fortune on the food, this seemed rather bizarre.
“It’s the manager’s rules, and she isn’t here,” the waitress said as she disappeared behind a curtained off area. A few minutes later she tip toed out with a coffee pot and added four ounces of java to one person’s cup and then slunk away.
We left feeling guilty, like we had pulled off a heist, but then we remembered the prices, and we walked away laughing.
Jane Stern, a Ridgefield resident, co-authored the popular “Roadfood” guidebook series.
Top 2019 Honeymoon Destinations That Won’t Blow The Budget
Wedded Wonderland > Planning > Honeymoon > Top 2019 Honeymoon Destinations That Won’t Blow The Budget Top 2019 Honeymoon Destinations That Won’t Blow The Budget February 27, 2019
Weddings can be expensive, but a honeymoon is a must after all that hectic planning!
For all the newlyweds who spent most of their money on their big day, but are still looking for a good time travelling with their partner, here is an opportunity for you to visit some of the best honeymoon destinations worldwide, on a budget! Thailand
Picturesque beaches, lavish resorts, amazing food and close to home, no wonder Thailand is an Australian favourite destination! When it comes to romantic getaways in Thailand, there are hundreds of cheap paradise islands to choose from, all in close proximity to Phuket! So why not choose Thailand as your budget honeymoon-getaway? Image via Thailand Philippines
Escape to the Phillipines as your first ‘officially married’ trip! Whether it be the stunning views, warm atmosphere or the friendly locals on the Island, this honeymoon destination is sure to amaze you. Its capital, Manila is famous for its waterfront promenade and centuries-old Chinatown, a beautiful destination for a beautiful bride and groom on a budget. Image via Phillipenes Sri Lanka
Located in the Indian Ocean, the island of Sri Lanka is a must-see destination… and most importantly, affordable. Temples, palaces, beaches, wild elephants and a tasteful cuisine, you’ll soon discover why Sri Lanka is a perfect honeymoon destination for newlyweds. Image via Sri Lanka Bali
Being one of Australia’s favourite destinations, Bali has so much to offer to us Aussies! The landscape covered in such lush jungles and waterfalls, Bali is the perfect location for your honeymoon, very gentle with your wallet too, with much more to offer than neighbouring expensive islands. Location via Bali Fiji
Natural beauty aside, Fiji is the perfect romantic escape for you newlyweds. Made up of 333 Islands located in the crystal waters of the South Pacific, Fiji’s unique culture welcomes all honeymooners, being one of the most romantic getaways for Aussie couples! So ‘Bula’ your way down to Fiji! Image via Fiji Vietnam
Vietnam, one of the most inexpensive tourist destinations in the world, is just the place to go. Cheap flights, affordable accomodation, a low dollar (or dong) and impeccable service, Vietnam is the perfect scenic destination… and you cannot forget the exquisite Vietnamese cuisine! Image via Vietnam Vanuatu
For a honeymoon couples’ getaway, Vanuatu is everything you can dream of! Mouthwatering restaurants, picturesque views, crystal clear beaches and luxurious accomodation, Vanuatu is perfect for any saver to escape too. It is crucial for all newlyweds to experience this pure tropical paradise! Image via Vanuatu New Caledonia
New Caledonia really is a dream honeymoon destination! This unforgettable romantic experience will create lifelong memories for you and your loved one in this crystal paradise! Other than the picturesque scene, experience a memorable culture splash with you and your hubby, one truly to remember! Image via New Caledonia New Zealand
Why not go next door after your special day and visit the one and only New Zealand! With a beautiful natural scenery and stunning landscape, there’s no reason why Aussies don’t love to visit Kiwi’s land. Not to mention, prices are crazy affordable for all you lovebirds going easy on your wallets after the big day! Image via New Zealand Cook Islands
Begin your wedded bliss on the right note, and partake in a journey to the Pacific’s very own Cook Islands. A paradise on earth, the Cook Islands have a lot to offer! Possibilities endless with large amounts of luxurious resorts to suit your budget, the Cook Islands stunning scene is a perfect destination for your honeymoon. Image via Cook Islands Cairns
The gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef…, or in other words, Cairns, is a great affordable destination for all newly-weds to experience after their big day. Located in tropical far North Queensland, Cairns’s picturesque sighting of mountainous rainforests, gorges and beaches is the perfect honeymoon destination for two lovers to escape too. Image via Cairns Hunter Valley
For all newlyweds that tied the knot in winter and are looking for the perfect winter-budget destination, than the Hunter Valley is the perfect spot for you. Located North-West of Sydney, the Hunter Valley is the perfect romantic getaway; get lost together tasting wine in the scenic vineyards and eat all the cheese you want… Hunter Valley is the winter, honeymoon destination to go! Image via Hunter Valley Fraser Island
Love is in the air at Fraser Island! Located in Queensland, Australia, Fraser Island encompasses some of the most stunning scenery and landscapes amongst crystal ocean views. Hold hands with your lover across the pristine white sand and unwind in affordable spas and resorts. Fraser Island is truly the perfect destination spot for you. Image via Fraser Island Byron Bay
When it comes to a romantic getaway, Byron Bay, located in North New South Wales, has some of the most gorgeous scenery around! Affordable and ideal, Byron Bay’s pristine beaches and relaxed vibe is suitable for you and your loved one after you’ve tied the knot. Image via Byron Bay Indonesia
On this exotic and remote island, a honeymoon in Indonesia is everything you want it to be! With an eternal sandy coastline reaching over 13, 000 tropical islands, Indonesia is the perfect budget destination. Get your tan on, be charmed by local wildlife and visit ancient temples in this paradise they call an island! Image via Indonesia
Cover Photo By: Hamilton Island
Written By Chante El-Zoghbi
I second Fire & Ice – it’s good and appeals to almost everyone since you can choose your own ingredients and cuisine style.
As far as others, it’s a question of how far outside Disneyland you are willing to go. In the immediate vicinity, it is mostly Gardenwalk and strip mall food. If you are willing to go further, there is some great Indian, Thai, pho, etc. – not sure whether that is what you are looking for, though.
Integration Of Indian And African Flavors Accelerates
Bigger India Integration Of Indian And African Flavors Accelerates
ntegration is happening now with flavors from Africa and India. Although not as prominent as flavors from Mexico and Asia, they are starting to appear more often in U.S. restaurant menus. February 27, 2019
In the 2006 comedy movie “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” Mr. Bobby (played by Will Ferrell) and fellow race car driver Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly) argue that pizza and chimichangas are examples of cuisine originating in the United States. They were wrong about pizza, which originated in Italy, but some people claim chimichangas, while served in Mexican restaurants, originated in Tucson, Ariz. The scene lends credence to how well Americans integrate foods and flavors from all parts of the globe.
First Class Cruise with Princess…
Getting on and off the ship was without fuss… Excellent service throughout the cruise, staff very friendly and professional. Food excellent from the Buffett, through to the main restaurants (3), and to include the specialty restaurants ($ extra). Pool area relaxing with ample loungers for everyone… Large big screen entertainment during the day with music concerts to films. Night time films on big screen too. Lots of profession entertainment from the “shows” every night, to day time (if required). Pool waiters brought us drinks whilst sunbathing. Buffett choice was plentiful with world wide choices to include Asian, Indian, South American, North American and European cuisines. There was always something for everybody. Fresh salads and deserts were offered too. Sugar free deserts too… Highly recommend Princess as one of the best cruises we have taken. We will definitely book another Princess cruise, but maybe with different ports of call. Thank you Princess Cruises.
FIVE THINGS MEXICANS ARE SUPER TOUCHY ABOUT
FIVE THINGS MEXICANS ARE SUPER TOUCHY ABOUT
By Dr. Alvaro Ramírez, Professor at Saint Mary’s College of California
Like many foreigners of old, Donald Trump has found a gold mine in Mexico that has been particularly beneficial to him in rallying his base. For more than two years, he has been hurling insults over his imaginary, beautiful, border wall to the delight of his followers while making many people in Mexico fume like the country’s famous volcano, Popocatépetl. He has compared us to rapists, killers, drug dealers, and job stealers, but he has not really hit the mother lode of insults that will really make Mexicans explode.
You see, these names, though offensive, are a bit tame compared to other things that Trump, or anyone else, can say to Mexicans that will truly make them go ballistic.
The following does not apply to all Mexicans since that would lead into the terrain of stereotypes, but these are five things that many people in Mexico are super touchy about.
First, don’t ever tell a Mexican that the Virgen de Guadalupe is a hoax. Doing this is like taking the comfort blanket away from Linus, that insecure character from the comic strip, Peanuts . You are stripping them of their identity, of that which gives them some stable meaning. La Virgen Morena (The Brown Virgin) is the glue that keeps their social reality intact because they know that nationalism doesn’t work too well anymore. Without her sacred image, Mexico disintegrates into nothingness. So if you claim the Virgin is a hoax be ready to see Mexicans fight you like a mother bear defending her cubs.
Second, you will also highly provoke Mexicans if you ever mention that racism is alive and doing well in their country. No way, they’ll tell you. We’re not racists only the Americanos and Europeans practice those bad habits. Here in Mexico, we have class but not race. You can take them to the region of La Costa Chica in the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca where they’ll see plenty of Afro-Mexicans suffering discrimination, you can demonstrate to them how much racism Indigenous people endure, or you can point out how racism is at work in television in everything from commercials to telenovelas, still Mexicans will fight you all the way and deny that there are any racist among them.
Third, in fact, when discussing race matters with a Mexican, don’t ever make the mistake of calling him an “indio” (Indian). Even if they have strong physical features associated with the natives, they’ll take it as a derogatory remark especially if you say it in anger. In any case, call a Mexican an Indian and you’ll have a very deeply wounded person who will deny or downplay his Indian-ness unless, of course, he or she wants to sell you some native arts and crafts, then they’ll play it up for you, they’ll perform this ethnic role in exchange for dollars.
Fourth, Mexicans will also be offended and hurt if you call them “naco,” a demeaning and repulsive word associated with Indians that has race and class connotations. This denigrating word refers to low-class ghetto people imitating the tastes of the upper class who aspire to enjoy the delights offered by the multinational companies but all they can afford are the pirated knockoffs. Therefore, “nacos” are people who live in an imitation world, trapped in a tacky, garish reality in the worst possible way. Calling a Mexican “naco” is similar to calling an American, white trash. It will lead to problems and it’s best to avoid it.
Fifth, don’t ever tell anyone in Mexico that you can get real Mexican food in the United States. They’ll come at you with everything in the kitchen and beat you senseless with your burrito de carne asada. Mexicans will angrily tell you that Americans destroy everything dealing with food and turn it into a bland menu a la Taco Bell. They’ll also argue that the real deal can only be had in Mexico; everything else is fake Mexican cuisine, ut the truth is that many Mexicanos are hooked on American food, especially the fast kind.
Fotos del Dr. Alvaro
Nairobi Restaurant Week is back for 2019 with 70 participating restaurants
James Wamathai Shares
Annual culinary event, Nairobi Restaurant Week, is back for the 2019 edition with over 70 restaurants participating. The event, which is in its sixth year, will take place between 28th February to 10th March. As with previous years, it will most likely be extended in some restaurants due to public demand.
Diners will be able to enjoy 2-course lunch menus from Kshs. 950 and 3-course dinner menus starting from Kshs. 2,000. The meals will be inclusive of a complimentary drink. The menus will range from Indian, Italian, East Asian and Kenyan cuisine. Additionally, diners who pay for their food using their Visa Card will get 20% off their bill.
Nairobi Restaurant Week is an annual culinary event where participating restaurants offer certain meals at pre-fixed prices. It allows diners to try out new restaurants they have never been before at a budget. It is organized by EatOut. Participating restaurants offer 2 course lunch menus and 3 course dinner menus. Restaurant Week is an event for food lovers that was started New York over twenty years ago.
EatOut is Kenya’s largest online restaurant guide. They also publish the Yummy magazine, which showcases various culinary offerings in Kenya.
Some of the participating restaurants include: 360 Degrees
Do you like to eat Indian food? Yes No Not Applicable Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional cuisine native to India. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate and occupations, these cuisines vary significantly from each other and use locally available chocolates, herbs, vegetables and fruits. The dishes are then served according to taste in either mild, medium or hot. Some Indian dishes are common in more than one region of India, with many vegetarian and vegan dishes. If you never ate Indian food, would you give it a try? Yes
Southern Flavours — and How I discovered them.
by Anubhuti Southern Flavours — and How I discovered them. Being born and raised in the heart of North India in the era of no internet and limited television meant many things, but most of all it meant that your exposure to the world was limited. That world did not necessarily mean the foreign lands; often it was your own backyard. Case in point, the south of India.
As a child of the 80s, all I knew about the southern India was that there was a land somewhere beyond the horizon, which was called Madras, and people who lived in and came from there were called Madrasis (yes, I am guilty of that crime!). But more importantly, I knew that they ate some amazing food, which was hard to recreate in the home kitchens of small towns in Uttar Pradesh—long and crispy dosas with a flavourful potato mix (which was always too little for the large dosa), fluffy idlis that were served with steaming sambars (which people drank bowlfuls of), and the chutney that looked and tasted like chalk in water (but we ate it nonetheless!). It was important because this was the only food that was eaten outside – a rarity in those times. Not surprisingly the dosa and idli were our favourite foods. There was one more thing I knew of though: curd rice. My only south Indian connection back then was a Tamilian friend and we often had our dose of dosa s in his house. It is another matter that I did not like the homemade pancakes that his mother served in the name of dosas one bit: wasn’t dosa supposed to be crisp and golden and drenched in ghee? While I tried making peace with the thick discs, gulping them down with bland sambar (no sign of spicy restaurant sambar either), he stuck to curd rice. “It is very good for your tummy!” he’d often tell me while stuffing spoonfuls in his mouth. The sight made me thank god for the dosa – even if it was a home made one. Then we made a trip down South. It was here, in the restaurants we ate every meal, that I came across words like ‘meals’ and ‘tiffin’. The former until then was a word I had only read in the textbooks and the latter meant the steel box we carried to school. I also came across a funny realisation: they would not serve us dosas for lunch or dinner. ‘That’s tiffin’ they said, ‘come back in the evening if you want dosai”. And so, even as I dreamt of buttery dosas I had to make do with puris served with the same potato mixture. The elders meanwhile enjoyed their ‘meals’ that came in large platters with dozens of bowls of different coloured liquids – and the same puris . One would think that after this experience across states – Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Andhra – one would go back wiser. But not me. Going back to the cocoon meant going back to the old ways. And so for years I ate dosa imagining it to be the epitome of South Indian cuisine. Oh! and I also believed that South Indian food was always vegetarian (Tambram filter, you see.) It was only after I met the husband that I learnt a little more about all things South. He laughed at my concept of dosa and idli and narrated stories of beef curry and trotter soup. He told me stories of Biryani and chicken 65, and sang songs in praise of mutton roast, avail, tamarind rice and appams. He took me to far corners of the city to show me what a parotta was and how pongal tasted. I am not sure if he did all that for the love of the food or to woo his to be wife, but he did end up instilling in my mind a deep curiosity for the flavours of the deccan (and adding several kilos to my body) in the process. And so at 23, I became a South Indian food literate. The real turning point however came when we moved to Bangalore. I was in the city after twenty years and the restaurants had changed. There were no strict uncles who looked down upon you when you asked for dosa in the middle of the day; they offered you Gobi Manchurian and Fried Rice instead. While the city had learnt to tolerate a North Indian’s desire for tiffin all day long, the north Indian was getting used to its ways – akki roti and bonda-soup for evenings, dosa and kara baath for mornings, and biryani, parotta, rice, or meals for the meals. If Bangalore gave me a taste of the cosmopolitan flavours, Chennai taught me what good street food meant: trotter soup, curries with parottas, murku sandwich, Andhra and Tamil meals. Dosas that came thick and soft, roasts that smelt of ghee and gunpowder. Beef, chicken, mutton, fish—I was in food heaven. I learnt to extend my culinary skills too. From the basic sambar to the seemingly simple, yet complicated, stew, from pongal to khara baath, from paniyaram to payasam, I learnt to cook beyond the idli. My chutneys weren’t chalky, my sambar was fragrant, and my dosas could beat any darshini hands down. And then it was time to move back.
It has been years since I have returned to the land where many people still equate idli and dosa to the be all and end all of the southern cuisine, thankfully I am not one of them. Share this:
hubiestubert : RexTalionis: hubiestubert: Yeah, I mean, it’s not like ANYONE “normal” grew up eating cuisines from across the world. Not like anyone “normal” had Korean or Mexican or Indian or Thai neighbors, right? Not like folks have literally grown up with Chinese, Japanese, and Italian and Mexican cuisine as just a part of their food landscape with immigrants bringing their culture and foods with them, so that these are just choices you make, as opposed to cultural “statements.” I mean, who really WANTS a taco truck roaming around? Chinese take out that delivers? Who DOES that? Pizza? WTF Italians?
Our Dear Author REALLY is looking to try out for a position in some OTHER publication. And he needs a solid c*ck punch, just for sh*tting on his fellow Americans, and suggesting that his bland tastes are what everyone aspires to…
I think the central premise is that certain foods have been relegated to cheap, fast food status and that Americans are not willing to pay for better (or what it’s worth).
I don’t see why that argument is controversial. Hell, it’s not even a new idea – Chinese-American restaurateurs have been complaining about this for a LONG LONG time.
Except that, I live in West Bumf*ck Massachusetts, and I can get amaze-ball nan and bao at more than a few locations, near by. And I can get authentic Mexican, equal to or even better than I got in Texas as well. Japanese and Chinese done extraordinarily well. And I DO want them done right. And the market has delivered. Both cheap and easy, as well as fine dining quality. Heck, I worked for a Mexican place in Northampton years ago that did authentic Oaxaca cuisine, and it was brilliant. And the place was packed, constantly.
Again: you can have pizza and you can have fine Italian in the same food landscape. You can have Korean tacos and a nice sit down Korean joint as well. You can have a taco and burrito joint, and still have authentic Mexican restaurants. They DO exist, and they do fairly well, because when you do something well and right, people flock to it.
MOST restaurants are cheap and none too great. That’s just how the market shakes out. 85% of everything is pretty much crap. Pizza, sandwich shops, diners, but there are also shining lights that do things right. And not everyone is going to recognize them, because they’re used to eating crap. How many amazing bakeries go under, and yet, the Dunkin Donuts is rolling strong down the street? You have to be smart and you have to be adaptive to make it in the restaurant business. And it’s rare to find a place to place that does things really well, and profitable at the same time. It’s not unicorn rare, but it’s something to treasure when you find it, no matter the cuisine.
Naan and baozi are food that’s often sold on the street. That’s part of the problem – the foods sold in the US are cheap, fast food stuff. Many restaurants who wants to do so can’t command prices higher prices than essentially for fast food or cheap food.
People are willing to pay for a $80 tasting menu in a French restaurant. People will balk if asked for $80 a person at a Chinese place serving high end stuff. “$80 bucks! But it’s just Chinese food!” they would say.