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E.A.T. - Never Again

l
lawgrl Feb 19, 2008 01:44 PM

Am I way off base or is this the most unreasonable restaurant/cafe ever? I realize we're on the Upper East Side and I'm not shy about spending money for a delicious meal (was at Jean George the night before), but $25 for a Turkey sandwich? It was the most dry, untasty turkey sandwich I've ever had as well. I guess I wasn't the only one since two other couples were seen complaining about their meal, but I wish I had noticed the price before I ordered. Even then, I wouldn't be upset if the meal was great, but it was by far, my most ridiculous dining experience. My date and I just had to laugh....

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  1. r
    rothsteg RE: lawgrl Feb 19, 2008 02:03 PM

    It's certainly way up there on the unreasonable chart!

    1. j
      jeanki RE: lawgrl Feb 19, 2008 05:28 PM

      I agree, this place is grossly overpriced for basically ordinary diner/American food.

      1. n
        nativeNYer RE: lawgrl Feb 20, 2008 11:25 AM

        IMO, $25 for a turkey sandwich is absolutely ridiculous even if it happened to be the best turkey sandwich you have ever had. I love to splurge every once in a while but I
        would expect a finer dining experience than what this place could possibly offer. i just checked the menu on menupages to see if they actually posted that price and, sure enough, I see a $24 turkey club. So please tell us what was on the plate along with the turkey b/c I just have to hear this. i would bet that if you strolled on over to one of NYC's luxury hotels for lunch, even they would
        have the common sense to cut at least $5 from that price. I actually tried to support that statement with some evidence but I can't seem to find a hotel restaurant menu with prices without spending lots of time searching. I wonder how they justify that price. It is ridiculous even for folks who can afford it especially in a place like E.A.T. i know it's madison ave, but c'mon. uggh! you got me all worked up over this. You may find these reviews interesting:

        http://menupages.com/restaurantdetail...

        1 Reply
        1. re: nativeNYer
          princeofpork RE: nativeNYer Feb 20, 2008 11:29 AM

          I got to thinking about places with absurd prices for garbage food and the Brooklyn Diner jumped to mind. They offer a burger deluxe for $17 and a Chinese chicken salad for $18. Both are inedible, even if you are a tourist from Iowa.

        2. s
          S R RE: lawgrl Feb 20, 2008 04:29 PM

          About 30 years ago, I walked into a new "deli" at the southeast corner of 72nd and Madison in the opulent chateau that currently houses Ralph Lauren. On offer were skinny string beans for $10 a pound while fat string beans, for maybe 29 cents a pound in those days, were on offer at the Gristede's up the block. I didn't buy those "haricots verts" but I've never forgotten their price nor the name of the establishment: E.A.T. Eli (and Theresa) Zabar had introduced foodie requisites at New York prices.
          For probably 20 years, I never felt the need to return, but then I was served some of the seafood salad from the place, which was delicious enough to cause me to revisit the question of how much I could possibly spend on a sandwich or a salad or four ounces of Parmesan Crisps. The answer is still plenty, but on occasion I am willing to do it, because the seafood salad (maybe $50 a pint), the chicken salad (less expensive, but not cheap), brioche loaf, Tuscan bread salad, and vanilla-perfumed bread pudding -- my personal picks -- are impeccable and, to my knowledge, unequalled elsewhere in this city. The cloth napkins are nice touch, too, when having a $25 turkey sandwich.
          So I offer so far the only defense of the place in this string, as well as a few provisos: the place is ugly, the seating is uncomfortable, the service is often crappy, and the surroundings are unhealthy to those prone to sticker-shock. Viand does a cheaper turkey club ($13.95, I think) two block south, and countless other places are nicer to look at (try take-out). Still, credit where due: criticism of E.A.T. was loud and clear when it opened, yet some three decades on it survives.

          1. l
            lisettte RE: lawgrl Feb 20, 2008 11:26 PM

            How is Taste Elis' other restaurant? I was going to go there for brunch?

            1. u
              UES Mayor RE: lawgrl Feb 21, 2008 03:04 AM

              His Vinegar factory prices are so laughable as well-a total ripoff!!! Why do people support this kind of person is beyond me-gives nothing back to the community!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: UES Mayor
                MMRuth RE: UES Mayor Feb 21, 2008 03:19 AM

                I'm not sure about his giving nothing back to the community - seems pretty involved in Carnegie Hill issues from what I can tell - but, while his prices are outrageous and I don't shop there regularly, if I'm looking for something special - esp. produce - that I can't find elsewhere, Eli's usually has it. I also like the wine store next door - they always steer me right with inexpensive wine recs.

                It's been ages since I've gone to EAT - a friend of mine used to joke that you could choose to eat there or pay your rent for the month, but I remember them having wonderful hot chocolate, and good soups.

              2. b
                brownie RE: lawgrl Feb 21, 2008 06:28 AM

                sit-down dining there is ridiculous for sure. however, the sandwiches in the front, the to-go sandwiches, are more reasonably priced. At least they were the last time I went. Maybe $6-10 for a nice sandwich. However, yeah, you basically have to take out a 2nd mortgage to eat in the dining room!

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