The Saturday Dining Conspiracy is a loose collection of people (mostly myself and Lawrence Person) who like to go out on Saturday night and try new (to us) and different (mostly) places to eat.
We’ve been doing this since about Fall 1994, I think, but didn’t start keeping these official logs until February 1996. There’s a bit of gap between August 2011 and April 2012, when I started converting the static HTML pages into a blog format.
The Saturday Dining Conspiracy is for:
- Good food.
- Good service.
- Quality pepper grinders.
- Decent bathrooms.
- Good value for the money spent. We’re not pigs, and we don’t necessarily give places high marks just because they serve a large quantity of food. On the other hand, we don’t like going someplace, spending $50 each on a meal, and coming home still hungry.
The Saturday Dining Conspiracy is against:
- Places that take discount cards or coupons, but try to impose special conditions. I understand that a lot of restaurants are marginal operations, and they may get in over their heads by agreeing to take these cards or coupons. But if that’s the case, they can:
- Post a notice up front (preferably at the front door) stating conditions in advance.
- Stop taking discount cards or coupons (and make that very clear at the front door, as well)
I don’t mind as much if the place is honest up front about conditions: but when they start imposing conditions as you order, or (the gravest sin) after the check comes, that’s when we walk away.
- Long waits for a table.
- Reservations (most of the time).
- Snotty, pretentious places, especially ones that require a jacket, or make media announcements about how they’re reducing the spice level of their food because “Austin palates can’t handle it.”
- Places that charge more than $1 a glass for soft drinks and don’t offer free refills.
- Places that stiff you with any automatic gratuity above 15% for parties of five or more.