Last night, Dr. A and I joined assorted NOLA bloggers and friends ofDangerblond for her birthday dinner at a wee Mid-City restaurant called Katie’s. The core of the party were the Rising Tide committee of “people who get shit done” and our sweeties. The food was excellent and the staff remarkably patient given the fact that our table was a 97 top (only a slight exaggeration) and we all have VERY LOUD VOICES. Just ask Virgo Tex: prolonged exposure to NOLA bloggers is a leading cause of deafness in the 504 area code, uh, area. In short, it was cacophony at its most cacophonous. Former Mayor (and current Urban League honcho) Marc Morial was there for dinner as well. His table was much quieter than ours. We were louder than vuvuzela blowing futbol fans. Honk, honk, honk.
On to the point of this post: food. New Orleans is a city of conversation and the main topic of conversation is food. There’s an increasingly lively food blogging community here to guide us on our path to gluttony. When you talk to someone about a wedding in NOLA, the first question you *always* ask is, how was the food? Not was the bride gorgeous? Or did the best man get drunk and make a pass at the bride’s mother? Food. But I do digress. It is, after all, what I do.
Anyway, back to food blogging in New Orleans.My current favorite is Blackened Out. It’s written by longtime friends, Peter and Rene. They hit all the usual foodie notes but they season everything liberally with snark and wit. These guys are fucking funny and excellent writers, y’all. I follow BO-uh oh, better spell it out-Blackened Out on the tweeter tube and whichever one of the boys tweets during LSU and Saints games is hilarious. I resisted the temptation to steal of some of his lines in my Les Miles post. I’m no Milton Berle: I neither wear frocks for laughs nor steal jokes.
Rene: If any menu item on your menu is over $8, you have no business being a cash only restaurant. Now listen, many restaurants and food purveyors will tell you they are cash only to keep their prices down. The theory is if they don’t have to pay the credit card companies 3-5% a month for the right to take credit cards, they can pass the savings on to you. But when was the last time you walked into a cash only restaurant and said, “Hey this po-boy shop’s prices are 3-5% lower than the one that is cash only.” If you are a snowball stand, bakery, or coffee shop, I’m fine with you being cash only. Otherwise, the 21st century is paging you, please take cards.
Peter: You are beginning to sound like the Dean. Case in point, this quote from his restaurant review of Ciro’s Cote Sud on July 7, 2010: “The cash-or-check payment policy is an absurd inconvenience to enforce upon customers, and causes one to order less food and wine than one otherwise might. (How much cash is in your pocket right now?)” Saving that 3-5% may not be manifested in lower prices on the menu, but it is certainly recognized as a value to the customer in some other manner. How do you know? Because if Restaurant A consistently charged 3-5% more for the same exact food as Restaurant B next door, all other things being equal, which would you go to and which would be closed down in a matter of months? Let consumer preference determine if cash only is a make or break point of contention for diners. Last time I checked, Mandina’s and Casamento’s were not hurting for customers.
I’m with Rene on this one. In the modern economy you need to take plastic. I own a small business and I hate paying the fees BUT it’s the price of doing business in a way that’s convenient for your customers.