Category Archives: General remarks

Is food the new music? (sentences to ponder)

Food has replaced music at the heart of the cultural conversation for so many, and I wonder if it’s because food and dining still offer true scarcity whereas music is so freely available everywhere that it’s become a poor signaling … Continue reading

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If you could know only one thing about a city’s food scene…

No, it is not knowledge of the city’s best dish, nor is it access to all the Yelp reviews, or even an understanding of how the spices in that cuisine work together. I have a simple nomination. If you could … Continue reading

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Rachel Laudan is wise about food

The still-underrated Todd Kliman interviews her: I’ve been given special powers, and I appoint you czar (funny, isn’t it, how we have so many appointed czars in this unaristocratic country) of food in the US. What is your first order … Continue reading

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Is Scarborough, Ontario the dining capital of the world?

Wednesday night I was taken on a restaurant tour of Scarborough — four different places — plus rolls from a Sri Lankan locale, consumed in the office of the Dean of UT Scarborough and with the assistance of Peter Loewen. … Continue reading

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Why I don’t like desserts

I’ve been challenged on this point many times in the last few days. People, let me stress there are two different propositions: 1. “I don’t like desserts.” 2. “I don’t like desserts (with economist’s hat on).” I meant mainly the … Continue reading

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Are desserts in decline?

I hope so. Todd Kliman writes: The problem is that restaurateurs are unwilling to charge more than $30 an entrée. That number has held steady for years, the Maginot Line of the industry. Forced to look elsewhere, they’ve sought to … Continue reading

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Solo dining markets in everything

A new pop-up restaurant in Amsterdam, which bills itself as the world’s first for solo eaters, aims to remove the social stigma of forking dinner without a companion. In fact, there isn’t a two-top in the joint. …”The taste of … Continue reading

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Should a restaurant require prepayment for meals?

This I found in a Quora forum on prepaid meals in China: We’ve actually experimented with prepaid vs postpaid meals in our restaurant. The verdict? Upfront payment increased table turnover by over 80%. The difference is that customers who haven’t … Continue reading

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How has the restaurant experience changed in the last ten years?

This is from a New York Craigslist post, from a restaurant owner who apparently viewed tapes of customers from 2004 and 2014, here is part of his account of the more recent behavior: 2014 Customers walk in. Customers get seated … Continue reading

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Should restaurant reservations be for sale?

Here is the entire NYT forum, here is my contribution, “Democratizing the Dining Experience,” excerpt: Consider how it works when you can’t just buy a place at the table, as is still the case in most restaurants today. Tables at … Continue reading

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