small plate

ULTIMATE RANT | (T)here We Go Again

By Allison Perry

First of all, why does someone keep taking down the rants I want to write about?

Again, I’m going to have to go off of memory for this one, but this week’s rant is just so ridiculous I can’t possibly let it slide…

A woman, whose name I cannot recall (lucky for her), advised fellow Telluranters and ravers “NEVER” to go to There, because, not only was she disappointed that their SMALL BITES FOR $4 were, in fact, SMALL BITES FOR $4, but was also disgruntled that the place is not kid or family friendly, and that she was allegedly told to go “f*ck yourself” when she called to complain to the owner.

First of all, again, I just can’t wrap my head around this. The menu clearly states SMALL BITES are $4. It does not even say small PORTIONS. There is literally, LITERALLY no possible way on Earth that this can be misinterpreted. Essentially, this woman is urging people that she was purposely misled when, in fact, what she was served was in actuality exactly what the menu purported to offer, for the exact price quoted.

I’m also guessing that this woman was actually told during the menu spiel that the small bites were very small portions, and that one or two was not enough to be a meal, even for a kid. Know why? Because when I ate there for the first time I was told that the small bites would not suffice on their own as a meal.

At this point, I find myself wondering what the statistical probabilities are that someone can be both illiterate and deaf at the same time.

I also find it hilarious that this woman was appalled at the prices.

Can There get expensive? Sure. But last time I checked it wasn’t as if the prices were top secret. I’m usually broke as a joke, thus I stay away from dinners at La Marmotte and Allreds, and when I venture into a new place I take a look at the menu first to get an idea of what the final bill might look like. Then I add about 30 to 300 bucks.

I fail to see how, based on the menu at There, it would be unexpected to rack up a large bill trying to fill up on small bites, and I fail to see how anyone can freak out about a restaurant tab ever when the prices of every item they ordered with their own mouths is clearly listed on the menu.

Onto the outraged citizen’s next complaint, and boy oh boy is this one of my favorites: There is not family/kid friendly.

ARE. YOU. SERIOUS?

REALLY?!?!

As Jessica Duggan stated, “Why would anyone take their kids to a hipster martini bar?”

There is absolutely nothing about There that suggests it is a place tailored for children.

In the same vein as Jonathan Yaseen’s comment (which of course I can’t quote directly because someone took the rant down), if you want a romper room, a kid’s menu and smiley-face pancakes (wait, what?) go find a Denny’s or a Fuddruckers.

There is where I, and many of my friends, go when we want to feel like grownups. When I’m sick of someone else’s goddamn rug-rats running around my table, clomping up and down stairs, chattering and twittering like little FREAKING MONKEYS IN THE JUNGLE, I escape to somewhere like There, the bar at The Chop House or Rev Bar.

I have no problem with kids being at There (or anywhere, for that matter), but as a parent, couldn’t you look around at where you happen to be and take note of the prevailing cultural and aesthetic features of the place? Shouldn’t you do this before asking anyone to modify their behavior according to the fact that you made the choice to bring your child with you. There is appropriate for kids who can sit still, and who are precocious and adventurous eaters.

If your child loves crispy, spicy duck steamed buns, get ready to pay for more than one helping. A hungry kid can probably take down what, 15 of those?

If your kid is one of the rare gems who, unlike the me of my youth, likes eating anything other than a burger, fries and a coke at a restaurant, nurture that! Encourage that! Cram them full of salmon belly, oysters, and lamb shank and wash it all down with cucumber basil lemonade! Hell, buy the kid a martini and give him a cigar.

For everyone else, you can always take them to the Corner House for a burger and tots if you want to be economical, or if you’re pretty sure they will gag all over the table if you so much as utter the words “sunflower sprouts.”

There’s a reason that when you walk past There you almost always see tables full of adults. Contrast this to, say, what you see when you give Brown Dog’s interior a cursory glance.

Think, McFly. Think.

Finally I want to address the last, and possibly most egregious part of this rant, the part where one of the owners is accused to telling the ranter to go eff herself.

First of all, this is hearsay. And I will answer it with hearsay.

I have both heard the owner did not say that, and personally don’t believe any of the owners would have said that to any customer. At least without some serious pushing.

There is always busy, patrons are always shoulder to shoulder, and staff seem always to be doing at least six things at once, from taking orders, to mixing drinks, to seating people to bussing tables. The controlled chaos is part of the allure. Something always feels like it’s happening, and striking up a conversation with a stranger is always a possibility.

Do the They of There fuss over you and kiss your ass the moment you walk through the door? Nope. They don’t have time to. If you want someone to fawn over you go to a place that actually has designated hostesses, waiters, food-runners, bartenders and enough dead space to fill an ocean.

That said, I have never been treated with anything but courtesy and respect from the guys who work there. When I brought my parents to There, the owner went out of his way to make sure we were enjoying everything, explained the menu, made recommendations and comped a handmade, delicious dessert after the meal. Despite how busy they were our water was always full, and cocktails and food came promptly. My parents deemed it the best meal they’d every eaten in Telluride.

The owners at There know me well enough to know I am the farthest thing from a VIP that could possibly exist, yet whenever I go there I am well taken care of.

And free desserts notwithstanding, the guys that own There are nothing if not professional, and professionals don’t tell you to go f*ck yourself. Unless you really deserve it.

When all is said and done, I sincerely hope that this rant does not discourage anyone from visiting There.

But then again, what do I know? I’m just another New York schtickhead.