Wednesday, October 19

Hey Kids! Find the Punchline! Win a $25 Savings Bond!

Jonah Goldberg, who could give being a fat, clueless Star Wars fanboy living off Mommy's money a bad name:
ELITISM & BEER [Jonah Goldberg]

There's a whiff of urban legend here, but I like it anyway. From a reader:
Jonah, There's a great French restaurant in Philadelphia that has had a five-star rating for several decades. It requires a second mortgage to pay the tab and features a wine list that would greatly impress a poseur like the Sideways character, Miles. A few years ago, according to the testimony of a buddy, a rather unassuming guy booked reservations for twelve and sat down in the tres chic dining room to enjoy a convivial evening with family and friends. After the somelier went around the table, noting everyone's selections, he came to our host, who unabashedly ordered a Yuengling, the old reliable of Pennsylvania beers. The wine snob visibly winced and sniffed ,"Sorry, monsieur, we do not carry such a thing." With that, the guy stood up and announced to one and all: "We're leaving." As fate would have it, the gentleman was a direct descendent of the original Pottsville brewing dynasty. And he was more than ready to take his friends, and his cash, and walk out the door.

Okay, first, no points for catching a "whiff" of urban legend, since you claim to like this. Just give us some short essay answers:

1) Who's being elitist here: the five star French restaurant which doesn't stock Yuengling, or the guy who thinks being a direct descendent of a brewing dynasty makes him some sort of hereditary princeling?

2) Even been in a five star restaurant, Jonah? Ever been served by a sommelier? (Which reminds me, doesn't the Corner provide you with a spell checker?) Did he walk around the table taking individual cocktail orders?

3) Ever known anyone who works in a restaurant, five star or otherwise? Do you imagine they go out of their way to insult customers just for asking for something that's not on the menu? How long do you imagine the place would keep a five-star rating if the staff routinely showed its irritation at the slightest provocation?

4) Do you imagine that in a five-star restaurant a party of twelve which is unknown to the staff is seated without every member of the staff involved being informed which person is the host?

5) Ever known anyone who owns a restaurant? Are they in the habit of refusing to stock popular local products because they're too pedestrian? How many times, in an average night, would you guess someone asks for a Yuengling in such an establishment? Or a Budweiser?

Extra credit: What's the area code for Philadelphia? How many five-star French restaurants do you suppose there are? If you asked your readers to do some more research for you, how long would it take to find out?

Okay, okay, you thought it was "funny", but that's because you're a dullard. Since it's blind bet day, I've got $20 says if you find the place they carry Yeungling.


Anonymous said...

And that's why you're the blog-talkin'-guy.
'Cause I'd have just settled for a link and the word "Dumbass" plus speculation that Jonah forwards email alerts to people without bothering to check Snopes first.

My God, and totally off-topic, did you tell your word-verification software to be on the lookout for invading hordes or something? It's apparently building pictures of words entirely out of circus clown confetti and apple peels. Either that or I should lay off the caffeine.

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

did you tell your word-verification software to be on the lookout for invading hordes or something?

Hey, it rejected one of my comments yesterday.

Anonymous said...

If there's one thing I like less than a wine snob, it's a beer snob.

And what was the point of that? Who was Goldberg trying to be? Lileks?

Hey, I gotta tell ya, this light violet background is easy on the eyes!

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

Thanks, Pepper. It was inspired by two days of scraping glare white caulk in direct sunlight. All the other color changes were inspired by my hunting and pecking through the code to find out where the background was.

handdrummer said...

Jonah Goldberg is too dumb to be a Star Wars fan. Considering the likely location of his head, it's more likely he's a fan of It Came From Uranus.

Anonymous said...

Wha? A 'five-star restaurant' according to what? Zagat's tops out at four stars.

Anonymous said...

A 'five-star restaurant' according to what?

I bet even Lucienne is tired of him sending her those two hundred and fifty dollar cooky recipes...

(The violet is nice, I agree. I may set it as my default background color. And the word thing seems to be back to normal, so I guess it was me. Or, anyway, at least this one doesn't have four "c"s in it.)

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

I meant to look this up...I think AAA and the old Moble guides used five stars. Michelin's three in Europe but may be four here. The five-star thing was another clue to the cluelessness of it all.

The violet, if I remember correctly, is #EEF.

DBK said...

Really top places will do anything to make a guest happy. If that restaurant was for real, they would not only NOT have sniffed at the Yuengling, but they would have agreed to serve it and then sent someone for a six-pack and served it. The customer would never have known. I am not wealthy (by a wide margin), but my wife and I are foodies and also have champagne taste on our beer budgets. We've been in a lot of the best restaurants and hotels. Service is what it is all about. You go into a top place, they'll make you feel like you were made of gold and they can't wait to have you back, too.