Sunday, March 04, 2007

$41 steak


I used to go to the Palm steak restaurant in Washington, D.C. for dinner every Sunday evening when I lived there back in 2003. $31 was definitely a hefty price for a steak, but it was worth it. Now, having a good steak is simply out of the question. I glanced at the dinner menu posted outside the entrance of the Ruth's Chris Steak House here in downtown Bellevue, WA and was blown away by the price for a simple NY strip steak: $41. Sure, it was $39 or so when I got here back in June, but crossing that magical $40 barrier is simply too much for me to stomach. Maybe a couple of times a year I could justify that, but not on any kind of regular basis.

This is more than inflation. It is kind of a class distinction, separating those who can regularly afford a good steak from those who cannot. The fact that I'm now in the "cannot" class is a little difficult to swallow. Moo indeed.

The most I budget for a regular dinner is $50 for Saturday nights, which barely covers a $25 entree, salad, cocktail, tax, and tip. No wine. No desert. No room for any $41 steak. Moo!!!

-- Jack Krupansky


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