It’s been over six years since I’ve moved to New York, yet sometimes, I still have these rare moments when I get shocked after seeing a bill at a restaurant, particularly given how much (or how little) I have ordered. Tonight, I went with a good friend of mine to a Mexican-fusion restaurant in the East Village, mostly ordered off the Happy Hour menu, which is supposed to be cheaper, yet somehow, my share of the bill after tax and tip still ends up being almost $60. How is that even possible considering I only had one happy hour drink and five out of the six items we ordered was off the Happy Hour/half priced menu?
This reminded me of a tapas restaurant I used to frequent in another part of the East Village that has a wildly popular special on Tuesdays, when all of its tapas dishes are half-priced. That may seem like a great deal to you, and did seem like a good deal to me the two or three times I went… except all of the times I went, I remember that the price per head probably still came out to $30-60 depending on how many cocktails we ordered. Even the “cheap” nights in New York City seem to be stupidly expensive.