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Love It or Hate It: Prix Fixe Recession Specials

While they're nothing new to the world of restaurant dining, lately fixed-price menus have become more prevalent. Last month, as the nation's economy reached record lows, online reservation system OpenTable promoted its Appetite Stimulus Plan, a three-course, prix fixe promotional offering at restaurants in 13 US cities. I've noticed a number of San Francisco dining spots with set menu bargains, and New York establishments are also suggesting several courses for a steal. While some diners have been taking every opportunity to try set menus at special prices, I've been sticking to the traditional menu. I gravitate toward innovative preparations, and the prix fixe options I've seen have often been tired standards, such as mixed greens appetizers, uninspired chicken entrées, and sorbet desserts. It makes me wonder who's getting the better end of the bargain: diners, or dining establishments?


Join The Conversation
eatingcookies eatingcookies 8 years
I think that it depends on the place, and the mood, and what's jingling in your pocketbook. I'm a young working mother (and I work from home), and sometimes (heaven forbid) Applebee's is a treat, just to escape the house for awhile... These days I've been taking much greater pleasure and pride in what I'm able to bring to the table.
ikxrex ikxrex 8 years
I don't mind a prix fixe menu. If, I don't like the offering then I will just pick something off the menu. I do appreciate that the restaurant is making the effort to bring customers in by offering a more economical option. Then again, I don't usually eat out because I think It's economical. I go out because I want to be wowed with exquisitely prepared food paired with amazing wine. ; )
jenious jenious 8 years
They've really come a long way at nice restaurants. I really like the expanded options, as it used to be no choices or a couple. Often times you'll even receive wines as you progress. Now it seems every course has options from the soup, appetizers, to dessert. Good for a less formal meal or when trying out a new establishment!
psterling psterling 8 years
It depends on the menu but I like the idea of prix fixe
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
My experience has been that you're right - the options are old standards, often not very well prepared and without the innovation and intention given to the daily specials or other menu items. I'd rather order something slightly less expensive and skip the appetizer or dessert.
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
Even at my favorite of favs upscale restaurants, I have been disappointed in the prix fixe delivery. :( Its just not as good, not enough, and not always exactly what I want... I suppose if was really destitute, then it would be a good way to still get out into the world and enjoy some night life, but in the mean time I am just eating out less and ordering from the regular menu when I do eat out.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i'm not really sure how i feel about this one. on one hand i like that there are lower cost options for a full meal, but then on the other hand i think about what i really usually order anyway, and the special is typically more than i would spend/eat anyway.
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