To find good food and not get fleeced, he recommends, leave the city centers and seek marginal areas. Mr. Trillin has been saying this for at least 40 years. I suspect Thucydides preferred the little joint on a side street to the place with the fountains where the waiters peeled customers’ grapes.
Like, wow. I think the bit about grape-peeling has wandered in from the decadence of the later Roman Empire, creating a generic ‘ancient’ context – James Davidson’s arguments about opson would probably have been a distraction. But why Thucydides, not hitherto noted for his gastronomic preferences or restaurant reviews? My guess is that he’s once again being trotted out as the sort of authority figure whose views even (or especially) right-leaning economists might be expected to respect – and the earliest such authority figure, so the idea is perfectly sound but entirely unoriginal.
“Thucydides Gets Lunch,” by Abahachi, The Bristol Classics Blog, April 10, 2012