Thursday, July 06, 2006

Cheap Eats

A recent edition of the slick Downtown Albany BID newsletter devotes an entire page to their Restaurant Week promotion. That's where diners can get a three course meal at a fine eatery for just $16.09. Figures for the April event sound great; the BID (Bar Improvement District) reports that 13,000 people took advantage of the deal, which by any measure, is fairly impressive. They're doing it again in August.

I gave up on Restaurant Week last year after my cut-rate dining experience came with cut-rate service. This was at Nicole's Bistro, a place where I've eaten some excellent -and expensive- meals. This time it was neither. The service was rushed and abrupt, and our routine questions about the $16.09 offerings were met with an icy stare. The servers, used to taking orders for $25 entrees, not entire meals for $16.09, had a really tough time masking their contempt for me and the diners at nearby tables. At tip time, I expressed my gratitude for being treated like riff-raff.

Next time, I think I'll take my $16.09 and go to Applebees.

Editor's Note 7/10: Thanks to the reader who pointed out this related column by the TU's Steve Barnes.