I just finished eating at Arby’s restaurant. Enticed by the fabulous looking food on their commercials, I went with the Ultimate Angus Philly. With a coupon I happened to have in my wallet, my total meal came out to be 5 or 6 dollars. As soon as my teeth sunk into my sandwich, I smiled. This fabulous food was cheap and could easily best meals found at higher class establishments.
For the last few weeks I have been eating high. Being in San Diego, I have had a good chance to sample all kinds of fancy foods, from upper class diners to street vegan samplings. My stomping ground has been Hodad’s Burgers, Jimmies Famous, and Nova Pizza (to name a few). I had Afghan food at a diner downtown and even food from Greek cafes. Although I enjoy this lifestyle and enjoy the high eating, I cannot see myself eating this expensive food forever. It is not that I would not pay this much for food (I definitely could), it is that the extra taste differential between places like Arby’s and Pizza Hut is not all that great to warrant the extra money. It is like first class seating on an airplane: sure you have a little bigger of a seat and a fancy curtain to keep poor people away, but you really do not gain that much by sitting first class.
To illustrate, a burger at Hodad’s might be 9 dollars with fries and no drink. Add in a tip and the meal is looking to be about 12 dollars. For that price, someone could easily purchase two Angus burgers from McDonnalds with fries and drinks. Likewise, an Albacore Melt with Fries and no drink may come to 14 dollars without tip at Jimmy’s Famous, but a nice Philly Sandwich, drink and fries at Arby’s only costs me 6 dollars. Which would I rather have? Probably an Albacore Melt, but not multiple days in a row. I would probably switch between the two because they are somewhat equal in taste (though not in price).
Those “foodies” who claim they can taste substantial difference between lower class food and upper class food have only to look to TV to see experimental evidence to the contrary. Chef Ramsey uses one test in which he presents various plates to his chefs to see which ones can identify the gourmet food from the street vendor food. Predictably, this never works very well and the ones who guess correctly seem to do so through blind chance. This is the state of food: fast food is only marginally less tasteful than higher priced food!
This is just further evidence that the rich might have more pictures of dead presidents but are not living that much better than the American “poor”. The vast amounts of extra money the rich pour into TV’s, cell phones, and food are for insignificant quality differences. Capitalism is the great equalizer.