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Comment Archives: stories: Food & Drink

Re: “Heist rolls out new menu

Hopefully these items actually have some flavor as their offerings to date were lacking in that at department in a major way. They might be better off making great food, not trying so hard to be "ridiculous."

Posted by Aeiou on 01/25/2014 at 7:07 PM

Re: “Why do the black shows on the Food Network suck ass?

I just love watching Big Daddy's House. When I watch the show it is all about his cooking, and how he brings it alive for the TV audience. Talking about Pat and Gina Neely, I love watching this show well. I love watching many of the Food Network Chefs in action. I don't try to miss the ones that I like watching, and those were the Neely's and Big Daddy's House to mention a few.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Patricia on 01/25/2014 at 6:39 PM

Re: “New beers' resolutions

Just so you know, "no IPA" is the reason my friends and I don't go to OMB's taproom, or order OMB beers if the bar\restaurant has another local brew on tap.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Jim Cofer on 01/25/2014 at 3:50 PM

Re: “The search for the best hot wings in Charlotte

the best tasting and hottest wings are at Buffalo Wings and Rings, only 8 of us have won and over 300 who have tried have ever beaten the True Death Challenge.

Posted by Andrew on 01/25/2014 at 3:25 PM

Re: “Heist rolls out new menu

The bubble thing is a little precious.

Posted by kowskey on 01/21/2014 at 1:50 PM

Re: “Charlotte Restaurant Week: Reserve a seat or stay home?

As a self-proclaimed foodie that just moved to the Charlotte area, restaurant week is an ideal time for my husband and I to try out 4 restaurants in 7 days. So far we've been to Blue Restaurant and Heist Brewery and plan to return to both. For those who have not dined out during a restaurant week before, it doesn't matter the city, the stereotypes are true: restaurants are filled with clientele who frequent restaurant chains (re: Applebees) more often than local fine dining. As a former server, that can equal bad tips, which is really unacceptable (climbing down from soap box now). The noise level is about 5 octaves higher than usual and service can slip as well, leading many regulars to 'STAY AWAY AT ALL COST!' during this time. For me, I go into a restaurant week keeping this knowledge in the back of my mind and enjoy a meal at a lower cost than usual as a payoff. So restauranteurs should keep patrons like myself in the back of their mind- if I leave happy, you just may well have gained a new "regular."

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by amyliz8686 on 01/19/2014 at 9:54 AM

Re: “Charlotte Restaurant Week: Reserve a seat or stay home?

We are foodies and eat out every week at nice places yet we participate in restaurant week because many restaurants offer specialized apps or dishes not even on the menu. Yes there are those non seasoned diners but the revenue is good for charlotte and many servers I have talked to over the years say the like the fact that an otherwise slow Friday (since Jan is typically slow) is busier and they make more money. We eat out a lot and we tip very well. Plus most people who do restaurant week spend a lot in alcohol. There is money to be made.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lesley Weston Stevens on 01/15/2014 at 9:52 PM

Re: “Charlotte Restaurant Week: Reserve a seat or stay home?

The menus don't suck for most restaurants. Some places have great deals...

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by VanIblis on 01/15/2014 at 3:09 PM

Re: “Charlotte Restaurant Week: Reserve a seat or stay home?

Restaurant week in CLT is a huge disappointment. Too crowded. Crappy service. Menus suck. I'm a foodie and dread it. I boycott and choose to go only to restaurants that do NOT participate during this 11 day foodie torture.

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by dkdk28277 on 01/15/2014 at 12:13 PM

Re: “Charlotte Restaurant Week: Reserve a seat or stay home?

If you’ve ever dined out in a party of six or more, chances are you’ve noticed the automatic-gratuity charge lurking at the bottom of your check.





The compulsory tip, typically 18 to 20 percent levied on large parties at restaurants and nightclubs, has proliferated in Las Vegas as group dining and bottle service have become mainstays of Strip nightlife over the past decade.

The “auto grat,” as it’s referred to in the industry, ensures that servers head home with a wad of cash in their pockets at the end of the night and serves as a buffer against stingy tippers.

Starting this year, however, the service industry is adjusting to life without the auto grat: An IRS ruling effective Jan. 1 has reclassified automatic tips as service charges, reasoning that the charge is not a true gratuity if the customer is not given a choice about whether to leave it.

The change might seem like a case of semantics, but it’s one that could affect businesses, servers and patrons from Las Vegas to Long Island in small but tangible ways.

Here’s how the change will be felt locally:

Businesses

Restaurants, bars and nightclubs will now have the option to list the auto gratuity as an automatic-service charge or replace it with a suggested-gratuity amount (usually 15, 18 or 20 percent) that leaves the tip up to the customer.

Larger restaurant operators including Darden Restaurants Inc., which owns the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, have already adopted the latter, and local restaurants and nightclubs might be inclined to do the same.

Because service charges are recorded as wages rather than tips, switching to them could mean adding to paperwork while losing out on tax credits for Social Security and Medicare taxes paid by the employer on employees’ tips.

“It puts the burden even more on them to report service charges, to collect them. It changes how they report on their payroll, it changes what average wages will be when applying for discounts. It puts a lot of work on the restaurants for that,” says Jean Hertzman, associate professor and assistant dean of operations for the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV.

Though the added burden might be minimal for larger operations with sizable payrolls and accounting staffs, Hertzman says smaller clubs and restaurants might find it easier to simply leave gratuity up to the customer.

“There’s a lot of employee regulation hitting at the same time, which makes it difficult for the smaller operators,” Hertzman says, pointing to regulatory adjustments from the Affordable Care Act, with which restaurants are already grappling. “Depending on the size of the operation, they may not want to have the extra paperwork.”

Servers

For servers, the difference means taking tips home as part of a paycheck at the end of the week or pay period rather than at the end of the night. Even though a service charge is taxed as a wage rather than a tip, the change won’t add to the server’s tax burden — assuming that they’ve been honestly reporting their tips to Uncle Sam.

However, workers could feel a pinch if their employer opts to forgo the service charge in favor of a suggested gratuity, leaving more of their pay vulnerable to the whim of the customer. Hertzman says servers at nightclubs could be particularly affected.

“People in bars and nightclubs tend to not tip as well as other people, on average. They’re not usually the same people who just won big on the casino floor and celebrate in a restaurant with a nice tip. I can see where cocktail servers would have some negative impact on their salary.”

In a town that caters heavily to tourists, particularly those from European and East Asian countries where tipping isn’t a custom, the auto-gratuity charge also has served as a way to secure tips from customers who might otherwise skimp.

Ruben J. Garcia, a UNLV law professor and labor and employment law expert, agrees that the effect of the ruling still remains to be seen and will ultimately vary according to industry and employee responses.

For now, it’s yet another consideration in continuing negotiations between the Culinary Union and their employers.

“The suggested gratuity takes a lot of the certainty out of people’s income. I think it’s clear that some people won’t follow the suggested gratuity, or it will vary,” Garcia says. “What the union is probably most interested in is certainty in their income. For those who work in chain restaurants that don’t have unions, they have less influence and so less certainty.”

Customers

For the customer, the ruling simply means tipping for large parties and pricey services is reaffirmed as a choice rather than a mandate. Hertzman says the new wording can help patrons avoid overtipping if they don’t realize an automatic gratuity was already added to their bill.

Moreover, tipping returns to being an incentive to employees to provide top-quality service. But without the promise of a large take-home at the end of the night, they may have less incentive to work larger parties.

“Either way, guests are going to have to spend a little extra time looking at their bill at the end of the night,” Hertzman says.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by walker1946 on 01/14/2014 at 6:42 PM

Re: “What's the value of a sign?

It always baffles me, the people who get to make decisions are the ones so out of touch. I was so upset when Starbucks moved to Elizabeth Ave and painted over the pie mural. I'm so happy Nan and Bryon's left the Vinnie's sign on South Blvd. Parents just don't understand. Price's should not evolve. Whomever told them to get a new sign needs..... well, they will never get it.

Posted by Tonya Russ Price on 01/09/2014 at 1:03 PM

Re: “Not afraid of flavor at Spice South Indian Cuisine

Spice Cafe in University was absolutely horrible. The food was not good. In the place of basmati rice was plain, steamed rice. The vegetarian options were slim pickings. Poor excuse for a salad bar there as well. Tried to order from the menu since I could find nothing to eat on the bar and was told I couldn't. Manager was rude and loud. I love Indian food and was terribly let down at this establishment.

Posted by Julie on 01/06/2014 at 12:37 PM

Re: “Recipe: Spice Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

check some more recipes at http://www.cupcakemaps.com

Posted by CupcakeMaps CupcakeLocator on 01/04/2014 at 6:11 PM

Re: “Recipe: Spice Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

omg...that looks SOO good!!!!

Posted by CupcakeMaps CupcakeLocator on 01/04/2014 at 6:11 PM

Re: “3 questions with chef Paul Verica of Heritage Food and Drink

Way to go cuz!

Posted by John Verica on 12/30/2013 at 3:49 PM

Re: “3 questions with chef Paul Verica of Heritage Food and Drink

Good Luck, Paul.I have spread the word with friends and family.
Your Cousin
Be Verica-Bonner

Posted by Be Verica-Bonner on 12/30/2013 at 8:24 AM

Re: “Anntony's Caribbean Cafe looking to win customers back

Excellent food.

Posted by James Day on 12/25/2013 at 12:31 PM

Re: “Why do the black shows on the Food Network suck ass?

I just saw my first episode of Big Daddy's House...I don't know exactly what you are looking for. Most cooks make foods in a certain cooking style. Jacques Pepin does french, Nigella does British, Giada (ugh) does it because of big money, meaning because she can. Big Daddy's House does American. Other than being unaccustomed to watching black men cook... I enjoyed what he cooked. He is or should I say was gutsy, innovative and the food is gorgeous in color, pop and sheer eat ability. I think your unhappiness with black people cooking IS because they are black. Not all blacks are gonna put on a dashiki and research "the richness" of black culture. Some folks just wanna cook something delicious and eat it. And I'm whitish (half Mexican) so you may decide to discount my opinion. Aren't we all just people from time to time without having to emphasize and point out our differences? Yes, I know you are proud of your heritage but surely you don't dwell on it 24/7?

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Phyllis Moore on 12/20/2013 at 10:20 AM

Re: “Recipe: Pumpkin Pie with Brown Butter Gingersnap Crust

What kind of God creature are you to use Gods name invein ? When sharing your great gift? I am a God fearing christian and i believe that to enjoy your hard work , you should clean not only your kitchen. But your Mouth. That is called REPENT.. and enjoy the good language God gave us not the foul that the devil taught you. May God have mercy on you.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by gowie on 12/12/2013 at 11:27 PM

Re: “What's the value of a sign?

Charlotte has never tried to preserve much of it's history. Uptown is a perfect example. There's no resemblance to uptown in the 1960's. All the old storefronts are long gone along with some beautiful architecture like the Masonic Temple on S. Tryon and the Oasis Shrine Temple right next door. The columns from the Masonic Temple stand alone on some road in Rock Hill now. Go figure. I was surprised to hear the old Carolina theater is up for renovation and I look forward to that happening, if it ever does.

Posted by Sabre70 on 12/08/2013 at 8:16 PM

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