Sunday, April 27, 2008

Feeding in Boston

Questions and observations about dining in Boston:

1) How on earth can this number of Dunkin Donuts franchises be sustained? Sweet Jesus H. Rove! There's a franchise on every corner! More than one if it's a high-foot-traffic sort of corner!

2) Note to chefs and assorted food preparers of greater Boston: the flesh of the chicken, no matter how prepared, is not a vegetarian food item. The same goes for the flesh of fish. One more note: a soup that contains vegetables and noodles in a beef broth is not a vegetarian soup. I realize it does not contain chunks of floating meat, but the word beef in the broth indicates the presence of dead cow in the soup. I'm glad we had this talk because there are no stupid questions, only stupid ideas of what constitutes vegetarian.

3) Hey Starbucks! I see you have a large footprint in Boston also, albeit not as large as Dunkin Donuts. Your coffee sucks there too, and at $2.45 for a "lahge," it's an even bigger rip-off than it is around here. I ask that you get your servers to line up behind one standard: here in Portland, they get testy when I say "large" instead of "venti." There in Boston, they don't seem to know what the fuck I'm talking about when I say "venti," so I have to use the inelegant English equivalent, "large," and then Bostonize it, producing "lahge." And all this and no flavor for only $2.45! It would be a real fucking shame if you went out of business. The retail spaces you vacate would be filled with Dunkin Donuts in Boston, or perhaps Au Bon Pain franchises.

4) Speaking of which, Au Bon Pain: thank you for having actual vegetarian items on your menu. Please find someone who can speak something approaching English to work in at least one of your fucking franchises located here in the United States. Spanish would be acceptable in a great many locations, but I'd prefer English. And please coach the employees to use the same words for the food items throughout the retail exchange: if it says, for example, "caprese" on the big menu above the employee's head, the employee should use that same word, or something that sounds like it, when announcing that the "caprese" is ready to be handed to the customer. The employee should not, for example, stand there holding the sandwich repeatedly yodeling a single-syllable word from whatever his non-English, non-Spanish native language happens to be. Oh, and lower your prices. They're obscene.


mikesdak said...

this only peripherally relates to the vegetarian comment,Dale, but what do you think about this?

Dale said...

Mike, it's an interesting idea. It's certainly something I would follow with interest. For me, though, the suffering of animals is a tertiary concern. I'm vegetarian for reasons of nutrition (less fat, cholestoral, etc.) and ecology. This lab-made meat would presumably still have the nutritional downsides. I would be interested to find if it could be produced more efficiently -- with less inputs of water, etc. It would surely require less land and produce less waste (... I think).