Friday, April 11, 2014

The $250 hamburger: yet another demonstration of why we need an excess wealth tax for the greedy one percent

While homeless folks sleep on the streets only a few blocks away, the One Percent, who will bribe a Congressman with "campaign contributions" to stop a nickel's worth of extra taxes on their own fortunes but love to see Congress tax the poor and cut food stamps, can indulge in a $250 "B&B Indulgence" hamburger at the Court Hotel in New York City.
Squint at the picture if you must but note, you're reading it right. At the Court Hotel on Lexington Avenue and 39th Street in Manhattan, you now can blow $250 on a hamburger, if you have that kind of money to blow on a hamburger.

Sure, I have no doubt it's better than a fast food joint burger. It's made with kobe beef, not gray slime. Plus it's made with the liver of a force-fed goose sautéed in Sauternes, plus fresh truffles and Beluga caviar. And it's served on a "homemade" "artisinal" bun. Natch. For $250 you get all the gastronomic buzzwords they can stuff into your mouth.

Is it worth it? Probably, in terms of the cost of its ingredients. But remember, only a few blocks up Lexington Avenue, at the side of Grand Central Station, homeless people with home made signs and worn paper coffee cups beg for quarters to they can get a few scraps to eat.

Meanwhile, Congressman Paul Ryan, the Republican lackey of the One Percent, resists raising taxes as much as a nickel on the rich, while proposing a budget that would cut food stamps for the poor.

What's that you say? The one percent are job creators so they're entitled to eat obscenely expensive trifles while others starve? Yeah, maybe they've created a job for one minimum wage worker from Ecuador to pat the Kobe beef into $250 patties and slice the truffles. But that isn't going to change our economy one iota.

However, I cannot resist pointing out that even on her last day on earth, Queen Marie Antoinette (of "let them eat cake" fame) was a job creator, too.

The job she created for one of her subjects, however unintentionally, was Guillotine Operator.

Cross-posted at The New York Crank


Victor said...

"Sire, the poor people are revolting!"
'Yes, they are.'

"But all they want, is some food and shelter!"
'Let the poor eat White Castle burgers. But only one.'

Aunt Snow said...

Do you think anyone actually orders it? It sounds revolting.

I've tasted caviar, truffles and fois gras myself, and I can't imagine them mixed together, let along served on a hamburger. Gross.

Victor said...

Aunt Snow,
I agree, completely!

It's CONSPICUOUS consumption, at its finest!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What say's "I have money to burn!", better than a $250 hamburger, or a $100 cocktail?

Tom Hilton said...

The vulgarity of it is what really distinguishes it (yeah, it really does sound revolting--just a bunch of expensive shit thrown together in a way that probably negates the aesthetic value of any of them); the price in itself isn't out of line for a lot of high-end restaurants. But paying $250 for a genuinely fabulous meal perfectly prepared by expert chefs from the highest-quality ingredients is one thing; what makes this really offensive is that th only reason to buy it is to show that you can.

Matthew White said...

Actually, anyone who watches Bar Rescue knows that the real reason you put obscenely overpriced crap on the menu is to make your moderately overpriced crap look less overpriced by comparison and therefore more likely to be ordered were the moderately overpriced crap the most overpriced crap on the menu.

Also, too, buzz. The Court Hotel just got free word of mouth through a fairly popular, left wing blog. Readers of this blog might be way too hip to actually order this expensive insult to good progressive values, but they'll order something else from the menu that will make the restaurant plenty of money.

The New York Crank said...

Interesting point, Matthew. While I don't reject it, whaddaya gonna do? Refrain from criticizing any company or any person who does business, because that might increase the brand's awareness? That kind of sunning would promote obnoxious corporate behavior by eliminating all possibility of criticism.

Yes, a few curiosity-seekers may check out the hotel (Anyway, it's part of a Canadian chain and not really member of the galaxy of big name deluxe establishments like the Carlyle and the Waldorf.)

But my real argument is not with the $250 burger anyway. It's with the people who'd choose to buy it as one comment here said, just to prove that the buyer can, meanwhile opposing food stamps for the poor, or even petty tax increases on the very wealthy, needed to fund the food stamps.

Crankily yours,
The New York Crank

Roger said...

7 bucks for sorbet?

Bob Blah Blog said...

Did you know that Kobe beef had only this year had its export restrictions lifted in small quantities to the US? This is very likely a domestic brand of Wagyu beef and is falsely advertised at any rate (adding also the ingredient of Beluga is what drives the price so high)btw Beluga comes from sturgeon found in some of the most polluted waters in Russia...just saying it's gross at any price.

LilKittie said...

That is some kind of abomination. They are trying to make the new rich people to spend even more money, something like the $45 000 a night penthouse in Four Seasons (Source: NYC has never been cheap, restaurants or hotels, but these are just taking it to a whole new level.