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Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

If the restaurants want to make more profit they should consider cutting the PORTION SIZES on some items (while not overcharging for the smaller amount).

Rarely do I finish the enormous portions that many of these places serve. I'm walking out with styrofoam boxes from most places these days, even at lunch. (Chef Ramsey regularly castigates restaurant owners for such wasteful practices) I've heard the psychology of it -that big portions make you feel better about large prices, but it's false. It just makes me order less and steal off of my wife's plate. And while I suppose you could say that bigger portions make for leftovers, half the time I'm not headed home after lunch or dinner so it goes to waste.

I don't need a mediocre 9 oz steak. A nicely cooked 6 oz one is fine.
I don't need a 1/2 pound hamburger on an enormous bun with a side bucket of fries.
I don't need a club sandwich so huge you can't get your mouth open wide enough.
I don't need and can't eat a plate of pasta 12 inches across.

Same thing has happened to the booze that they serve. Heresy around here, I know 😉
I can remember when a cocktail was served in a 4 ounce glass, not a 12 ounce plastic cup.

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Topic starter Posted : May 6, 2009 11:16 am
KLJ555
(@KLJ555)
Advanced Member

I'm with you, Neil. I've taken to ordering a side salad and an appetizer for my main meal at places that have big portions. I've found that if given a lot of food, I'll eat it (sigh), but an appetizer helps with that problem. I also have the same problem when ordering a mixed drink. I ask for them to go easy on the alcohol. I've been teased a few times, but the bartenders have been happy to oblige and usually ask me if it's the right strength. Much better since I can get pretty loopy on one cocktail!

FYI--Tutu Bene, they will halve most of their pasta dishes, which I find to be a much more manageable amount.

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Posted : May 6, 2009 1:18 pm
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

i think the Galleon use to have 1/2 entrees didnt they? wish that would come back. Can get a fresh piece of mahi, put on grill, make sides and have a restaurant style meal at home cheaply. who needs to eat out all the time and besides aren't to many places out there right now i am craving a meal from.

Cheeseburgers keep going up on their prices and cutting back quality and portions. not like the good ole days.

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Posted : May 6, 2009 2:07 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

in defence of menu pricing,when wapa went up to 53 cents a kwh the food distributors raised their prices dramatically which forced the restaurants to raise their prices as well,now that the rates have fallen to somewhat acceptable levels again you'd think that the food distributors would lower their prices but nooooooooo,thereby screwing everybody

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Posted : May 6, 2009 2:53 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

trw
its the same with all distributors, they all keep their prices high.
usually when we eat out we either split an entree or get apps and a salal. we just cant eat the portions most places give you. is that why america is know as the obese nation, hugh portions

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Posted : May 6, 2009 4:54 pm
snapper
(@snapper)
Advanced Member

Ono's has 1/2 portions on there menu........and great food

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Posted : May 6, 2009 5:44 pm
sugarlander
(@sugarlander)
Advanced Member

TRW is right. Wholesale prices have been very sticky and we haven't seen them come down. Merchants Market is the largest food wholesaler on the island and their attitude is "fine, take your business elsewhere if you want". Quality Foods is even higher. The only other option is to ship from off island. Then you run into problems with ordering large quantities, spoilage, storage, customs clearance, etc.

Our restaurant (don't ask me to name it) never raised prices when WAPA was going up. We experienced huge price increase for electric, propane, water, food costs, and labor (minimum wage was raised last July). It was the perfect storm. We ate the cost without tinkering with portions or prices (but we did think about it). We didn't want the top line to suffer. So our energy costs are way down and food costs are slightly down. So we are not going to reduce prices when we didn't hike them in the first place.

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Posted : May 6, 2009 7:14 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Thanks to all the people in the biz who posted here. I think Chef Noah said something very interesting about tourism driving prices. If you go to Venice they charge tourists different prices then locals. Drove me nuts as a tourist though as it was very direct, I was literally told "you must order from the menu touristico" or whatever it was called which had the same stuff at higher prices. I'm not suggesting that. However, as Limetime suggested throwing some sort of bone to a local such as 10% off with your VI license or something would probably be a very popular idea!

I wonder what it would take to get Sysco down here to provide a little competition for these other wholesalers that seem to be a little too sticky with their pricing?

Sean

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Posted : May 6, 2009 7:29 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

quality foods is sysco

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Posted : May 6, 2009 7:51 pm
snapper
(@snapper)
Advanced Member

sysco is down here........their called quality foods..........the solution is simple we need more mouths to feed, restaurants can not get by on $400 nights and the food and service will decline as people sit at home and don't go out. the answer is to let the owners and staff know what is laking and what is working it is the only way a restaurant can get better........I notice allot of complaints as well as a few complements.....but how many have told the proprietor whats right and whats wrong? ... the truth is restaurants here run on less than a dime per dollar profit line ............its a tough business but most restaurateurs do it for love not money and any positive or negative comments are usually taken serious .............go out and eat...........and tell the server what you think it does mater

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Posted : May 6, 2009 8:04 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Ah, thanks for the info, I did not realize that q. foods is sysco. If I understand what youa re saying Snapper, a dime per dollar profit line would be a return of 10%. That doesn't seem so bad to me! But it sounds like we have a volume problem so that the number of dollars is not sufficiently large enough to make that amount add up to much. Decreasing prices may lower that ROI from 10% to say 8% but if it doubles volume then you still come out ahead.

One other thing we need to consider is that meals here include tax (Gross Receipts) in the prices which is separated out in the states (sales tax). In DC the tax on eating out is 10%!

I think it would be great to have a few more "TGI Friday's" level places where I can get a good meal for $15 for dinner, $10 for lunch with tip...unfortunately as snapper suggested these places rely on volume which we will never have here.

Sean

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Posted : May 6, 2009 8:13 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

I know my husband is scared to complain. Because everyone knows us and especially in the places we actually do like and its just a off night. We come to these places again and again. What happens when the cook doesn't like you or the waiter or owners are you're friends? I would like to see more suggestion type boxes. When things are anonymous I think you will see more honesty. Lets face it many people are first time restaurantuers or have never been trained in customer service and tend to take things more personally OR you get the thats just the way it is in stx.

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Posted : May 6, 2009 8:14 pm
snapper
(@snapper)
Advanced Member

as an owner i know with our business we run on a 3% profit line........and I personally ask every person how there experience , food service was and we appreciate the insight..........don't be afraid to get what your dollars worth...........speak up and eat out more

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Posted : May 6, 2009 8:29 pm
sugarlander
(@sugarlander)
Advanced Member

We always welcome suggestions. Maybe a suggestion box as Betty suggested is the way to go. However some suggestions are just downright unreasonable. For example, we've been asked on more than one occasion to cut the veggie and add extra fish -- for the same price. Then the customer gets indignant that we have to charge more for that. But most customers do understand.

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Posted : May 6, 2009 9:06 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

lol....i remember stuff like that from waiting tables. There are many unreasonable people out there as well as just flat out rude. Most of the time its fun to get to know people but there are people out there that have been raised by savages and think its ok to treat waiters like they are not in the same class as them.

I don't really care if a restaurant raises their prices a little every once in a while as long as the food is good. . Usually if you get to know your server, you'll get the service you want the next time you come it, especially if you tip well. If I don't get good service the second time I come in....the third time is going much much further done the road.

What I would like to see less of is frozen food and tin sauces. I don't know how reasonable that is though with groceries being brought in. I like another posters suggestion about seasonal menus. Cook whats in season, it'll be cheaper and fresher. More fresh food and less burgers and buffalo wings.

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Posted : May 6, 2009 10:12 pm
SunshineCruzan
(@SunshineCruzan)
Advanced Member

Does anybody know if Lobster Reef is open (Mother's Day tradition)? Tried calling the last 2 days but the phone just rang forever.

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Posted : May 8, 2009 4:35 am
margaritagirl
(@margaritagirl)
Trusted Member

As far as I know Lobster Reef is still open. Best time to reach Frank is when the wait staff comes in. I think around 4:00 or 5:00.

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Posted : May 8, 2009 1:46 pm
Bassman
(@bassman)
Advanced Member

My wife and I were down on STX a week ago for 9 days. We ate at Salude's 3 times. The first night we went whole hog, appetizer, entree, desert. It was our most expensive meal but it was a lot of food, too much in fact. The next time we just had appetizers and desert. Just right. My tip for everyone is do not miss chefnoah's steamed mussels!! They are wonderful. Without a doubt the best dish we had on island. We will miss chefnoah.
I know that some of you have down graded Duggan's but they still have the best lobster that I have found on STX. Expensive? Yes, but it was our last night so I didn't really care.
The only negative experience was the Chinese place in Golden Rock across from Pueblo. Very mediocre. Any Chinese back home is better.

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Posted : May 8, 2009 2:45 pm
chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
Trusted Member

Thanks for the kind words, Bassman! Glad you enjoyed it

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Posted : May 8, 2009 2:53 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

The only negative experience was the Chinese place in Golden Rock across from Pueblo. Very mediocre. Any Chinese back home is better.

Agreed, but I'm glad its here as its much better than what we had before. I went for lunch this week and for $9.95 I had a great Wonton Soup and fantastic Chicken with Garlic Sauce. The fried rice was a bit lame, more like Caribbean Brown Rice with a very smally number of veggies in it. But for $14 with drink/tip I had a very nice lunch on real plates so I won't complain.

Sean

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Posted : May 8, 2009 6:25 pm
SunshineCruzan
(@SunshineCruzan)
Advanced Member

Thanks margaritagirl! I still had no luck with phone calls, but plan to go anyway and hope for the best! :S

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Posted : May 9, 2009 3:22 am
snapper
(@snapper)
Advanced Member

hes open........talked to him today

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Posted : May 9, 2009 6:36 pm
SunshineCruzan
(@SunshineCruzan)
Advanced Member

Now I'm really confused! Mom got a call-back today and they said they're closed 'cause Frankie's off island 'till tomorrow...
I'm checking for any other places that have whole lobster for tomorrow. I know Duggan's does, but I don't want to take out a bank loan for them! Any suggestions? Running out of time....:-o

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Posted : May 9, 2009 7:55 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

Went to Salt River Marina's "Columbus Cove" restaurant for Mother's Day brunch with family and group of friends.
First time there. Had heard good things about their lunches.

Their breakfast food and most menu items were relatively inexpensive. Food was tasty if rather average. Service was a bit slow, rather unfriendly, and the gal ignored requests from the kids for refills. Nice dockside setting though.

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Topic starter Posted : May 11, 2009 11:54 am
nforbes
(@nforbes)
Trusted Member

Finally went out to Rowdy Joes. Between my mom and I we had 4 apps which were great - escargot on tomato waffles, caprese salad, butternut squash soup, and fried edamame, 2 glasses of wine each, and ice cream sandwich dessert for $65. Not bad, if you ask me. We left feeling full but not over-full. The "award winning" ice cream sandwich was terrible, though. the sandwich "cookie" was gummy. the espresso ice cream in it wasn't all that good, either. the waitress we had was not so nice, looked like everything was an issue, and generally didn't care. all in all - good experience, will go back for a 2nd run!

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Posted : May 11, 2009 3:04 pm
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