*The Washington Post* covers *An Economist Gets Lunch*

by on April 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm in Books, Food and Drink | Permalink

Cowen fears the effects of gentrification, which tends to drive up real estate rates and drive out ethnic restaurants. It can also lead to blander food. But if defense funding is cut, and the impact is felt locally, that would be a good thing for ethnic restaurants, if not for the populace in general, Cowen said.

And finally, some more helpful tips for ethnic restaurant exploration: ”It’s all about the ordering,” Cowen said. The best places have smaller menus, so they aren’t trying to please everyone, and likely do several things very well. Don’t ask the waiter what’s good, “that will only confuse them.” Instead, ask, “What dish do you have here which is special?” or “What are your regional specialties.”

That is from Tom Jackman, here is more.  Also from the Post today, Tim Carman adds further discussion.

1 MD April 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Definately don’t let the waiter choose the food for you, no matter what some goddamned food blog review says, because your wallet will be thoroughly emptied in the process.

/dark stare in direction of House of Nanking

2 Mark Thorson April 26, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Oh? Tyler’s left-handed?

3 Alan April 27, 2012 at 2:29 am

I’ll admit right from the start that I haven’t read the book and, not being a foodie, I probably won’t. I’m less interested in the conclusions than in how Tyler reached the conclusions.

To what extent has he empirically tested his rules? Note that following the rules and liking the results is not an empirical test: confirmation bias, subjectivity, psychophysics of perception come into play. For example, how did Tyler test his assertion that the quality of food will be lower in restaurants frequented by young, beautiful women?

Is it a Rudyard Kipling “just-so” story, an “economic theory says it must be so” story or something else? Has a written a book to keep economists and libertarians out of restaurants frequented by young, beautiful women?

4 Mitch Berkson April 27, 2012 at 8:54 am

Whoa. I thought I was supposed to be asking the waiter “What is best?”

5 MD April 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm

You’ll know that you’re in an authentic Mongolian restaurant if the server says, “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of the women.”

6 Andrew' April 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm
7 careless April 27, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Hahaha how have I never seen that?

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