Comfort Food Goes Haute

What’s the price of P.R.?  Well, if you’re marketing T.V. dinners the going rate seems to be $30.

In attempts to grab headlines, restaurants have found that parading obscene prices for dishes considered pedestrian is as effective as torching the roof.

“We are looking for comfort food items that we can turn upscale.  These days comfort food is this hip, cool thing.”

Those are the words of chef Andrew Rubin, who is serving up partitioned dinners with sides of nostalgia from his kitchen at the Loews Regency Hotel.  His high priced Swanson and sons nouveau meals come in the variety of “free range” fried chicken, cheddar asiago mac n’ cheese, and pot roast braised in Burgundian Pinot Noir.

The glorified inflation on what would otherwise be considered comfort food, hasn’t begun or ended with chef Rubin’s T.V. dinners.  Recall the Wall Street Burger Shoppe.  Last month they unveiled the Richard Nouveau, a Kobe beef burger tagged at $175.00, composed of “a blizzard of real gold flakes, 25 grams of black truffles, a seared slab of foie gras and an aged Gruyere.”

However, they will not take the crown for “the world’s most expensive burger”, which fittingly goes to the king of burgers—Burger King.  The chain announced last Thursday that their west London store would serve a $200.00 hamburger in the name of charity.  The sandwich valued at the price of designer jeans, is constructed with Wagyu beef, white truffles, Pata Negra ham slices, Cristal onion straws, Modena balsamic vinegar, lambs lettuce, pink Himalayan rock salt, organic white wine and shallot infused mayonnaise in an Iranian saffron and white truffle dusted bun.  Hold the lambs lettuce, easy on the infused mayonnaise?  Surely, the King does insist that you “have it your way”.

And the best way to wash down that truffle laden, foie gras soaked meal, how about a $95.00 bottle of beerBeer Table, a recently opened bar in the Park Slope, Brooklyn, has been pouring a northwestern Itallian brew called, Baladine Xyauyu, that carries a corpulent price tag of $95.00 per 17-ounce bottle.

What’s all this talk of recession again?

Image courtesy of Burger King

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