Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

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S. Stevenson
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Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#1 Post by S. Stevenson »

Last night was a quiet evening and we were eating at the local steak house and the waiter comes over and says that they have Tomahawk steak as a special that night.

Hummm. Had that several times in the past, great presentation and tasty. Somewhat expensive, but not wallet breaking so we order it.

As advertised, delicious and impressive to look at. I expect the price to be somewhat north of the most expensive steak on the menu (which was $69). Figured give or take $90.

Turns out it was in the Great White North of that.

$150.

Good news is that the waiter waved the $20 corkage fee (we brought our own wine).

Our fault for not asking the price ahead of time, but if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Lesson learned.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#2 Post by alan weinberg »

yeah, I learned the lesson about specials long ago and always ask the price. Special doesn’t mean cheap.

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#3 Post by Rodrigo B »

alan weinberg wrote: May 8th, 2021, 3:55 pm yeah, I learned the lesson about specials long ago and always ask the price. Special doesn’t mean cheap.
This. I do have a pet peeve of servers noting the specials but seemingly excluding the prices on them. I have no qualms about inquiring though, you're not offending anyone by asking.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#4 Post by Mike Evans »

If a server recites the specials without giving prices, I make it a point to make the server give prices on all of them, particularly if I’m with a group. I can afford “it” precisely because I don’t spend money blindly. I won’t be shamed into ignorance and hope my example makes it more comfortable for others to speak up.

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#5 Post by Ken Strauss »

S. Stevenson wrote: May 8th, 2021, 3:51 pm Last night was a quiet evening and we were eating at the local steak house and the waiter comes over and says that they have Tomahawk steak as a special that night.

Hummm. Had that several times in the past, great presentation and tasty. Somewhat expensive, but not wallet breaking so we order it.

As advertised, delicious and impressive to look at. I expect the price to be somewhat north of the most expensive steak on the menu (which was $69). Figured give or take $90.

Turns out it was in the Great White North of that.

$150.

Good news is that the waiter waved the $20 corkage fee (we brought our own wine).

Our fault for not asking the price ahead of time, but if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Lesson learned.
How big was the steak?
Also how was it presented and how did it taste?
This happened at one of our favorite restaurants. That said the porterhouse served was huge and terrific! $175 price tag seemed high. I agree that we could and maybe should have asked.
This restaurant never charges us corkage and we bring 2 bottles.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#6 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

Ken Strauss wrote: May 8th, 2021, 7:18 pm
S. Stevenson wrote: May 8th, 2021, 3:51 pm Last night was a quiet evening and we were eating at the local steak house and the waiter comes over and says that they have Tomahawk steak as a special that night.

Hummm. Had that several times in the past, great presentation and tasty. Somewhat expensive, but not wallet breaking so we order it.

As advertised, delicious and impressive to look at. I expect the price to be somewhat north of the most expensive steak on the menu (which was $69). Figured give or take $90.

Turns out it was in the Great White North of that.

$150.

Good news is that the waiter waved the $20 corkage fee (we brought our own wine).

Our fault for not asking the price ahead of time, but if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Lesson learned.
How big was the steak?
Also how was it presented and how did it taste?
This happened at one of our favorite restaurants. That said the porterhouse served was huge and terrific! $175 price tag seemed high. I agree that we could and maybe should have asked.
This restaurant never charges us corkage and we bring 2 bottles.
You’re a CPA and don’t know enough to ask the price?

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#7 Post by Victor Hong »

Be grateful, after 2020. Eat, drink, and pay.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#8 Post by Keith Levenberg »

Those tomahawks are also weirdly, crazily more expensive at the butcher shop. I don't know why. Nobody's doing anything with that bone except for the dog.

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#9 Post by Ken Strauss »

Tom G l a s g o w wrote: May 8th, 2021, 7:30 pm
Ken Strauss wrote: May 8th, 2021, 7:18 pm
S. Stevenson wrote: May 8th, 2021, 3:51 pm Last night was a quiet evening and we were eating at the local steak house and the waiter comes over and says that they have Tomahawk steak as a special that night.

Hummm. Had that several times in the past, great presentation and tasty. Somewhat expensive, but not wallet breaking so we order it.

As advertised, delicious and impressive to look at. I expect the price to be somewhat north of the most expensive steak on the menu (which was $69). Figured give or take $90.

Turns out it was in the Great White North of that.

$150.

Good news is that the waiter waved the $20 corkage fee (we brought our own wine).

Our fault for not asking the price ahead of time, but if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Lesson learned.
How big was the steak?
Also how was it presented and how did it taste?
This happened at one of our favorite restaurants. That said the porterhouse served was huge and terrific! $175 price tag seemed high. I agree that we could and maybe should have asked.
This restaurant never charges us corkage and we bring 2 bottles.
You’re a CPA and don’t know enough to ask the price?
Haha!
We really don’t need to.
The price doesn’t matter. We have frequented the restaurant probably 100 times.
We just understand what Stan was asking.
You apparently don’t.
"Explaining is not supporting."

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#10 Post by Jim Anderson »

Tom G l a s g o w wrote: May 8th, 2021, 7:30 pm
Ken Strauss wrote: May 8th, 2021, 7:18 pm
S. Stevenson wrote: May 8th, 2021, 3:51 pm Last night was a quiet evening and we were eating at the local steak house and the waiter comes over and says that they have Tomahawk steak as a special that night.

Hummm. Had that several times in the past, great presentation and tasty. Somewhat expensive, but not wallet breaking so we order it.

As advertised, delicious and impressive to look at. I expect the price to be somewhat north of the most expensive steak on the menu (which was $69). Figured give or take $90.

Turns out it was in the Great White North of that.

$150.

Good news is that the waiter waved the $20 corkage fee (we brought our own wine).

Our fault for not asking the price ahead of time, but if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Lesson learned.
How big was the steak?
Also how was it presented and how did it taste?
This happened at one of our favorite restaurants. That said the porterhouse served was huge and terrific! $175 price tag seemed high. I agree that we could and maybe should have asked.
This restaurant never charges us corkage and we bring 2 bottles.
You’re a CPA and don’t know enough to ask the price?
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#11 Post by Jason T »

Keith Levenberg wrote: May 8th, 2021, 7:43 pm Those tomahawks are also weirdly, crazily more expensive at the butcher shop. I don't know why. Nobody's doing anything with that bone except for the dog.
Because people will pay for it?

Agreed there’s no point though. It adds zero to the flavour of texture of the finished product.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#12 Post by Arv R »

Mike Evans wrote: May 8th, 2021, 6:08 pm If a server recites the specials without giving prices, I make it a point to make the server give prices on all of them, particularly if I’m with a group. I can afford “it” precisely because I don’t spend money blindly. I won’t be shamed into ignorance and hope my example makes it more comfortable for others to speak up.
I do the same. I like hearing prices for stuff.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#13 Post by Dennis Borczon »

wow for that price you should at least get American wagu! Nice they waived the corkage though...

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#14 Post by Chris V. »

If the most expensive steak on the menu feeds one person for $69 and this steak feeds two for $150, it's not really that far off is it?
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#15 Post by Lonnie F. »

Victor Hong wrote: May 8th, 2021, 7:31 pm Be grateful, after 2020. Eat, drink, and pay.
The restaurants that survived have to rebuild their finances.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#16 Post by Victor Hong »

Lonnie F. wrote: May 9th, 2021, 5:52 am
Victor Hong wrote: May 8th, 2021, 7:31 pm Be grateful, after 2020. Eat, drink, and pay.
The restaurants that survived have to rebuild their finances.
Along with poor Chinatown noodle-slingers.

Unlike many rich wine collectors.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#17 Post by Mattstolz »

Chris V. wrote: May 9th, 2021, 5:18 am If the most expensive steak on the menu feeds one person for $69 and this steak feeds two for $150, it's not really that far off is it?
this was kind of my thought. unless the most expensive steak is just the boned out version of the exact same ribeye. but I typically would imagine a tomahawk being a two person order.

mostly im just surprised that a place that regularly serves $70 steaks is only a $20 corkage fee.

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#18 Post by John Glas »

It helps but agree with everyone who stated they should be stating prices for specials espcially when it is over a $100.

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#19 Post by Anton D »

People who don’t ask the cost end up paying the price.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#20 Post by Brian Tuite »

Anton D wrote: May 9th, 2021, 8:59 am People who don’t ask the cost end up paying the price.
So do those that do ask.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#21 Post by Barry L i p t o n »

Happened to me when ordering spider crab at a sushi place. Almost the same price.

I knew better.

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#22 Post by S. Stevenson »

Mattstolz wrote: May 9th, 2021, 8:02 am
Chris V. wrote: May 9th, 2021, 5:18 am If the most expensive steak on the menu feeds one person for $69 and this steak feeds two for $150, it's not really that far off is it?
this was kind of my thought. unless the most expensive steak is just the boned out version of the exact same ribeye. but I typically would imagine a tomahawk being a two person order.

mostly im just surprised that a place that regularly serves $70 steaks is only a $20 corkage fee.
The server said it was "perfect for sharing" which I assumed was a larger version. Nope. Just the boned out version of the exact same ribeye as you mentioned. We had a tomahawk a few months earlier at another restaurant in town that was larger and only $58. So the other night we got complacent.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#23 Post by David Fischer »

I like it when the specials are, or are also, printed on a card (or what have you) and accompanies the menu. I cannot recall ever not seeing the price when the specials are printed out. (Alternative version that I also like, although it does not work for every restaurant, is having them written on a chalkboard or something similar).

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#24 Post by Andrew K. »

Meh. Caveat emptor. If you are going to be bothered by the price you should ask. Not asking and then complaining on a message board is rather petty.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#25 Post by brigcampbell »

My BIL sent this to me last week.

$155 Tomahawk

Caviar plate is only $130
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#26 Post by Arv R »

Andrew K. wrote: May 9th, 2021, 10:26 am Meh. Caveat emptor. If you are going to be bothered by the price you should ask. Not asking and then complaining on a message board is rather petty.
If everyone did that, none of could enjoy vicarious outrage!
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#27 Post by Philip G »

I just bought some 35oz grass-fed Piedmont tomahawks for about $80 each to have for a special occasion so I can easily see cuts like these costing $150 at a restaurant.

Similar thing happened to us with truffle risotto in Paso Robles which wound up being about 4x the priciest thing on the menu. Luckily we split it. When the bill came we were shocked and felt very stupid about not asking and also a little peeved that the waiter didn't tell us. It was such a great night and great meal for us that we didn't want to create a fuss and ruin the evening so we just paid. In the end it was one of the best meals we've ever had, we probably wouldn't have ordered it had we known the price and we've gotten to tell the story many times. So worth it in the end and we've learned to lesson.

My feelings on it now are I don't feel the waiters need to list the price on specials when telling you about them, especially in a high end restaurant where that can create more of a "diner" feel rather than an "exclusive" experience. There will be people who will order it regardless of the price and the others should know enough not to order something without asking about the price first if they're worried about being surprised.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#28 Post by Craig G »

brigcampbell wrote: May 9th, 2021, 10:26 am My BIL sent this to me last week.

$155 Tomahawk

Caviar plate is only $130
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#29 Post by Dave McIsaac »

brigcampbell wrote: May 9th, 2021, 10:26 am My BIL sent this to me last week.

$155 Tomahawk

Caviar plate is only $130
They misspelled Beringer....

On the plus side, charging high entree prices may minimize their need to gouge only wine-drinkers
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#30 Post by Victor Hong »

Dave McIsaac wrote: May 9th, 2021, 1:04 pm
brigcampbell wrote: May 9th, 2021, 10:26 am My BIL sent this to me last week.

$155 Tomahawk

Caviar plate is only $130
They misspelled Beringer....

On the plus side, charging high entree prices may minimize their need to gouge only wine-drinkers
My shop gouges only people whose sole language is English.
The real prices are written on the wall.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#31 Post by brigcampbell »

Victor Hong wrote: May 9th, 2021, 1:44 pm
Dave McIsaac wrote: May 9th, 2021, 1:04 pm
brigcampbell wrote: May 9th, 2021, 10:26 am My BIL sent this to me last week.

$155 Tomahawk

Caviar plate is only $130
They misspelled Beringer....

On the plus side, charging high entree prices may minimize their need to gouge only wine-drinkers
My shop gouges only people whose sole language is English.
The real prices are written on the wall.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#32 Post by roybehr »

IMHO, most restaurants should be charging more, so they can pay their staff better. Personally, I would prefer they do that on the food side rather than the beverage side, so that non drinkers or BYOB drinkers share the costs. It's possible that the market is now going to force that change if restaurants are experiencing labor shortages and have to offer higher pay to find staff.

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#33 Post by S. Stevenson »

Andrew K. wrote: May 9th, 2021, 10:26 am Meh. Caveat emptor. If you are going to be bothered by the price you should ask. Not asking and then complaining on a message board is rather petty.
Let me complain a little more. It only came with 1 side.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#34 Post by Jim Anderson »

S. Stevenson wrote: May 9th, 2021, 5:16 pm
Andrew K. wrote: May 9th, 2021, 10:26 am Meh. Caveat emptor. If you are going to be bothered by the price you should ask. Not asking and then complaining on a message board is rather petty.
Let me complain a little more. It only came with 1 side.
A micro-greens salad?
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#35 Post by John Ammons »

I was at Quince (3 star Michelin in SF) a couple years ago for a birthday dinner with 2 friends. We'd brought 2 bottles, but they have a great cocktail program so we spoke with the bartender prior to ordering a round of drinks before dinner. My friends were into bourbon but had never had any Pappy, so in this conversation I asked him if the restaurant gets any. He said that they had the 15. We file that away, and then a few hours later after an amazing meal one of my buddies is adamant that we get a round to end the evening. Ironically, this guy was the one in the group pushing it to afford such an extravagant evening. And he was the only one who had perused the spirits menu, after the fact he conceding that (a) the Pappy wasn't on the menu, and (b) the most expensive shot on the menu was $150.

When the bartender sent over complimentary "mini" old fashions made with Weller 10 prior to the Pappy round, that should have been a clue that we were in deep. The cost for a shot of Pappy 15? $240. [wow.gif] That round of drinks was almost as expensive as the incredible tasting menu! So yeah, it's a good move to know what you're paying in advance of your order.

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#36 Post by NestorJohnSalazar »

I have to say.... It has to be a pretty special steak joint for me to order the house steak.

After getting into dry aging my own steak at home, its hard(not impossible) to pay for steak when I'm out when I factor in the Price delta of dry aging my own.

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#37 Post by Anton D »

S. Stevenson wrote: May 9th, 2021, 5:16 pm
Andrew K. wrote: May 9th, 2021, 10:26 am Meh. Caveat emptor. If you are going to be bothered by the price you should ask. Not asking and then complaining on a message board is rather petty.
Let me complain a little more. It only came with 1 side.
Wow, a two dimensional steak!
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#38 Post by c fu »

First date with my wife as a lowly college student I was offered the Surf and Turf by the waiter at a nice seafood joint. I didn’t asked the price since I was trying to impress.

It was $105. That plus her dish plus our appetizer was a whole week salary at my part time campus job fixing computers. Ha.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#39 Post by Russell Faulkner »

Verbal only specials seems very much a US thing. Blackboards are the most common here, or just a slip of paper in the menu.

The exception being the plat du jour - but thats fixed price.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#40 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

c fu wrote: May 12th, 2021, 11:17 pm First date with my wife as a lowly college student I was offered the Surf and Turf by the waiter at a nice seafood joint. I didn’t asked the price since I was trying to impress.

It was $105. That plus her dish plus our appetizer was a whole week salary at my part time campus job fixing computers. Ha.
It worked

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#41 Post by Ramon C »

Russell Faulkner wrote: May 13th, 2021, 2:32 am Verbal only specials seems very much a US thing.
True, and the good ones that recite appropriately include the prices as well.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#42 Post by Russell Faulkner »

Though the 'champagne by the glass' is often verbal.

Always ask the price and the volume!
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#43 Post by Mike Evans »

c fu wrote: May 12th, 2021, 11:17 pm First date with my wife as a lowly college student I was offered the Surf and Turf by the waiter at a nice seafood joint. I didn’t asked the price since I was trying to impress.

It was $105. That plus her dish plus our appetizer was a whole week salary at my part time campus job fixing computers. Ha.
And I bet you never wanted to return to that restaurant. One huge flaw of the tipping system is that it creates a conflict of interest. The server’s interest is in maximizing his or her profit on that transaction, while the restaurant has an interest in encouraging future visits. Of course, there are too many restaurants where the interests are aligned and the restaurant management doesn’t mind poisoning the well either. . . .

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#44 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

Keith Levenberg wrote: May 8th, 2021, 7:43 pm Those tomahawks are also weirdly, crazily more expensive at the butcher shop. I don't know why. Nobody's doing anything with that bone except for the dog.
It’s aesthetic! Shows you are a Baller!

My Goldens love the bone.

Back to the OP, I always find it annoying when a server does not recite the prices with the specials.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#45 Post by Karl K »

I think the server should announce the price.

Roy’s point about restaurants not finding help and needing to pay more is a good one.

Where’s the money going to come from?
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#46 Post by S. Stevenson »

I have to reiterate, the steak was good and we will go back. When the bill came and I saw the $150 I actually laughed.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#47 Post by brigcampbell »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: May 13th, 2021, 6:41 am
Keith Levenberg wrote: May 8th, 2021, 7:43 pm Those tomahawks are also weirdly, crazily more expensive at the butcher shop. I don't know why. Nobody's doing anything with that bone except for the dog.
It’s aesthetic! Shows you are a Baller!

My Goldens love the bone.

Back to the OP, I always find it annoying when a server does not recite the prices with the specials.
When I was a kid I went to a very nice restaurant with my parents and the women's menu didn't have any prices.
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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#48 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

brigcampbell wrote: May 13th, 2021, 2:23 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote: May 13th, 2021, 6:41 am
Keith Levenberg wrote: May 8th, 2021, 7:43 pm Those tomahawks are also weirdly, crazily more expensive at the butcher shop. I don't know why. Nobody's doing anything with that bone except for the dog.
It’s aesthetic! Shows you are a Baller!

My Goldens love the bone.

Back to the OP, I always find it annoying when a server does not recite the prices with the specials.
When I was a kid I went to a very nice restaurant with my parents and the women's menu didn't have any prices.
When I was 7 or 8 my parents took us to the Sweetwater Casino, a restaurant. My younger brother orders the most expensive thing on the menu, crab imperial. Takes one bite and refuses to eat it, my father was furious.

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#49 Post by Barry L i p t o n »

Tom G l a s g o w wrote: May 13th, 2021, 5:01 am
c fu wrote: May 12th, 2021, 11:17 pm First date with my wife as a lowly college student I was offered the Surf and Turf by the waiter at a nice seafood joint. I didn’t asked the price since I was trying to impress.

It was $105. That plus her dish plus our appetizer was a whole week salary at my part time campus job fixing computers. Ha.
It worked
Actually, I bet she overcame her concerns on a lack of fiscal responsibility due to Charlie's other winning qualities. Was she impressed favorably Charlie?

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Re: Does free corkage make up for steak sticker shock?

#50 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

Barry L i p t o n wrote: May 13th, 2021, 3:00 pm
Tom G l a s g o w wrote: May 13th, 2021, 5:01 am
c fu wrote: May 12th, 2021, 11:17 pm First date with my wife as a lowly college student I was offered the Surf and Turf by the waiter at a nice seafood joint. I didn’t asked the price since I was trying to impress.

It was $105. That plus her dish plus our appetizer was a whole week salary at my part time campus job fixing computers. Ha.
It worked
Actually, I bet she overcame her concerns on a lack of fiscal responsibility due to Charlie's other winning qualities. Was she impressed favorably Charlie?
You mean impressed currently, they’re married you know.

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