Here is a comment that is sure to be deleted from Michael Bauer blog and maybe was worth two cents to post it here. I post my comment from yesterday too since this one relates to it. That one was not deleted but may be irked Bauer enough to write this one today.
I have worked with menus which had no price for specials. That is because the special would change daily but the menu was NOT reprinted daily. People know how to ask and customers can say whatever they want. As long as they do not order the least expensive item (glass of wine, food, etc.) which labels them as CHEAP or the most expensive which labels them as SHOWOFFS, guests can say things but saying numbers for money is very bad business and does not fit the culture of dining. 80% of the San Francisco restaurants are ripping people off in one or more ways. That is life in the big city. If you want to list all the times and how the average reader was ripped off (or attempted at), you would need entire issues of Chronicle dedicated to this cause. YOU MAY WANT TO GIVE BENEFIT OF A DOUBT TO PEOPLE WHO WORK WHERE YOU EAT. They may not always be as aggressive and greedy as you expect. If doing it Michael Bauer style, all it takes is one WRONG MOVE (mistake or on purpose) and you will be nabbed. Penalties are severe if one gets caught and that is a Bauer specialty. Why not save it for people who make a business of such practices??? Oh. I am sorry. I forgot those restaurants are often owned by old money or criminals. Bauer is not so brave to catch them or even visit them but will wrestle the sommelier who opened the bottle early to the ground and post it in his blog the next day. I heard rumors people at Sens Restaurant brag how scared Bauer is of them, he even knocked Kokkari down to kiss up to them. It pays to have big corporations and hoodlums running restaurants. Bauer would say thank you to $46 bottle at Sens and not be so indignant. Yes. There are restaurants that will systematically rip you off but it is only fair to give people benefit of a doubt unless you know they do it systematically and then again Bauer would not go near a SMART operation so I am not sure if justice can be done in such cases. Why not just ignore SOME of the mistakes that may happen while service???????? Why not????? (Go ahead and delete me. I post a copy on my blog.)
Bauer knows very little about what goes on behind the scene in a food operation. I used to work at a large restaurant and business went bad and one of the family decided to work there and save it. He used to say he has been in restaurant business for 40 years. He had been reading financial statements for 40 years and given the state of the family relations was not even allowed inside the restaurant. He thought he knew how to run a restaurant. Bauer has been in food and restaurant business for 40 years. Yes, his father was in food business but does he know 10% or 20% or what % of what is really going on behind the scene. He thinks and acts like knows 150% but how much really before he goes around passing judgment on everyone. When I decided to learn more about food (after years of doing wine, management, bartending and service), I had to read through 500+ food books in the library. I admit many are recipe books and read very fast and I use speed reading but still that is what it took to prepare before trying to master it hands on and I still have a long way to go. The other choice was a culinary degree. It takes a lot of time in the field to master and understand a skill. Who says the average journalist is qualified? And who says someone with a fancy job title is qualified? Who says Bauer is qualified to judge everyone and everything? Doesn’t this business of criticism have criteria and standards????
Following is my comment yesterday which is part A of above comment and is here for archival purposes.
He probably did it on purpose to get a rise out of Bauer….And who would believe B was not recognized…..It is extremely hard to talk to guests about the price on anything in front of others unless in the most casual setting or know the guest very well…..Numbers should not ever be mentioned and $6 is same as $1 in restaurant expenditure by most public. He gave B a wine that cost $1 more. People do not order stuff by picking exact dollar amounts of items…. They go by averages or price ranges. Someone who orders $40 is buying $35 to $45 bottle of wine…..I am glad this happend and we learned something about wine and Bauer both.