I love talking food and restaurants. I think we all do. Analyzing what works, what doesn't, the costs, the locations and -- of course -- the food is fun and captivating. Â
So, I enjoyed this question from Rick Ortlip, of Milwaukee, who asked Esquire's Josh Ozersky, "How much should a decent restaurant meal cost?" He followed it up with this, "Iâ€™m not talking about a three-star dinner. Just a basic dinner for two with a glass of wine, in an average American city (like Milwaukee). I donâ€™t think it should be more than $50 a person, for three courses including dessert (split for two), and a glass of wine or beer each. Just a get-out-of-the-house meal for my girlfriend and me. Iâ€™m not cheap -- I just want to know what you think is fair."
Who is Josh Ozersky? For what it's worth, Kyle Cherek calls him "one of the best food writers of our time, in my opinion." Ozersky's answer to Rick's question, even on the national site, used Milwaukee examples citing Maxie's, Odd Duck and AP Bar and Kitchen.Â
Click here for the full post. In a nutshell, Esquire answered by basically saying that Milwaukee is pretty inexpensive.Â
Ozersky writes, "Eating out costs money, even if you order cheaply, even if you live in the suburbs. Thatâ€™s the way it is now. And donâ€™t forget: That money doesnâ€™t cover parking, gas, condoms, breath mints and all the other associated costs. You have it good. Odd Duck should be half again as expensive as it is; its prices are artificially depressed by its being in Milwaukee, one of the countryâ€™s cheaper places to do business."
He goes on to say that he doesn't want to be "entirely discouraging" so he offers five great tips "for getting the best meal for the least coinage."
Have at it. I'd love to know your thoughts.Â
Is Milwaukee expensive place to dine out? I say no. Can it be? Of course. All in all, we're a pretty affordable city and often it takes people like Ozersky to remind us. In his words, "But the cost of running a restaurant has zoomed up along with everything else, particularly in the past three years, as catastrophic droughts in the Midwest and the rising price of corn have pushed meat prices skyward. Add to this the typical commercial rent, even in a smallish city like Milwaukee, and you are looking at a minimum of $60 just walking in the door of a middle-of-the-road suburban restaurant."
So, until next time, remember to tip and dine out well.Â
My husband and I eat out weekly, at only locally owned places (no chains). Yes, we Milwaukeeans can be cheap! People in Milwaukee tend to compare the "family diner" type meals (with their bread basket & dessert & wine/beer included) with the smaller portion sizes they get at pricier restaurants and then grumble that you "don't get as much" - meaning quantity of food.
But folks have to realize that if you want the eight course meal for $10, you will be eating a lot of pre-packaged, frozen-and-reheated, artificial & highly processed food. However, if you want a quality cut of meat, fresh veggies, and homemade desserts, with flavor that comes from healthy fats, herbs & spices (albeit, with a smaller portion size)then you've got to pay a little more. It's not just about the AMOUNT of food you get for your money - it's also about the QUALITY. So come on Milwaukee - factor that in and support our local restaurants!
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published Nov. 25, 2015
Just in time for your favorite holiday gift giving, a new tin features 21 coaster gift cards to 20 performing arts groups and venues in Milwaukee. Each coaster is redeemable for a "buy one ticket, get one free" offer.
Published Nov. 23, 2015
The Milwaukee Bucks continue to expand their retail footprint with the opening of a new, satellite Bucks Pro Shop location inside Moda 3, 320 E. Buffalo St., in the Third Ward.
Published Nov. 19, 2015
The latest Bucks video spot was released today and will begin airing locally in Milwaukee in the coming days. Titled "Our City," the ad helps to illustrate the power of basketball to connect the community,
Published Nov. 13, 2015
The hotel scene in Downtown Milwaukee, like nearly everything, is changing quickly. Here's a short list of what's up next in greater Downtown. Which ones are you most looking forward to? Chime in and check in.
Published Nov. 13, 2015
Last night, one of the smoke detectors in our attic was beeping. I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out how to get the battery compartment open. I turned, of course, to Google. And, almost instantly, the job was done.
Published Nov. 10, 2015
Lisa Kennedy Montgomery has been in Milwaukee since Friday preparing for tonight's Republican Presidential Debate. She's posting videos of her time in Brew City, and we are sharing them here.
Published Nov. 4, 2015
On Saturday you are invited to celebrate the Downtown region's future highlighted by a performance from hip hop icon DMC and an appearance from Bucks legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Published Nov. 3, 2015
Last week, Stein Gardens and Gifts debuted a new logo and name. After 69 years as Stein Gardens and Gifts, the company is now Stein's Garden and Home.
Published Oct. 30, 2015
Managing 16.5 million gallons of water a year with green infrastructure, UW-Milwaukee is making great strides reducing water pollution in a heavily urbanized area.
Published Oct. 29, 2015
Not lacing up your running shoes this weekend? Here are 10 great spots to watch the PNC Milwaukee Running Festival.