When I have time to write, I find that I am often writing about food. I love to eat and I especially love when the food is so tasty in the absolute sense that I am already mentally writing my blog before I even leave the restaurant. Last week I met with friends every night of the week, which meant a lot of eating out. Some of the places are old standbys for me now–like Tryst or Busboys and Poets. Some places I don’t make it to very often, but they still serve a solid meal, like Pizza Paradiso.
Others simply blow me away and I was lucky enough to have one of those meals this weekend. I had been greedily holding a Scoutmob coupon hostage for nearly a week–50% off to Cashion’s Eat Place, a neighborhood restaurant that is always packed. I had walked past Cashion’s a hundred times in the two years I’ve lived in Adams Morgan and never made a reservation. It is a casual-upscale location with a glowing pink and neon sign and an outdoor patio.
As we hastily elbowed our way past the mob waiting for the restaurant to open for brunch at 11:30AM (what restaurant can afford to open so late for brunch–friggin’ Cashion’s, that’s who) and I lustily stared down the plates as they walked past us to other tables. I broke my vegetarian fast and opted for the traditional bacon and eggs because I knew this place was going to be special. David downs a mimosa (lovely–perhaps fresh squeezed?), I had a cup of coffee (super weak, the low point of the meal) and we delicately applied real butter to our freshly baked rolls (I believe Jesus made these loaves–they were divine). David’s bison burger came out perfectly pink and the comeback sauce (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and cornichons) did its job–we will be coming back.
Satiated, soothed, perhaps even lulled–we tasted a light banana bread before waving a white flag at our waiter.
While we waited for the check to arrive, David asked me not to use the Scoutmob coupon. Not understanding, I demanded to know why we wouldn’t want 50% off to a place with incredible food and he answered, “Because, it was worth the full price.”
This is true–I would gladly pay for the full price of the meal, but that would be next time, when we came back.
No, David said, they worked hard to prepare this food and we enjoyed it–they deserve every penny.
Being a marketer, I argued that it was Cashion’s who made the deal with Scoutmob–they knew what they were getting into, it is a promotional cost they would have paid in some other way, through direct advertising or newspaper ads, etc. Further, Cashion’s deserved to know what finally brought me in their door–the 50% off deal from Scoutmob–as well as some great reviews from friends. And Scoutmob, who had done the research and facetime with the restaurants to bring me the deal deserved to know their work had been successful.
But David was adamant–he reminded me of the tired look of the waitstaff when we handed them a Groupon deal, sure that we were going to stiff them on their tip. The “deal” model is not one that takes the middleman into account.
I knew I had lost the battle and so we left the restaurant, having paid the full price and leaving a generous tip.
I think David has a point, but I’m curious friends–what do you think? If we enjoyed the meal as much as we did, should we have ignored the coupon or did we miss out on an important step in the business life cycle by failing to disclose what brought us to the table?
Either way, you now have a restaurant you can and should add to your “musts” list.