As I have admitted before in these pages, I have found it difficult to open my wallet for weekday lunch ever since Bucket’s Deli closed and the Griffiths moved away.
The reluctance was not entirely about money, but an awareness of the couple of dollars’ difference between what Bucket’s would have run me for a sandwich and a drink and what the rest of the options in the village ask. This came up Tuesday as I waited at the North Main Street I.G.A. deli counter for some cold cuts. Beverly Bond, one of our regular letters-to-the-editor writers, said hello, and we talked for a few minutes about the high cost of eating out here.
As it turned out, I had had nearly the same conversation with Brian Halweil, who runs Edible East End, while we were in the Sag Harbor Police Department’s waiting room earlier in the day. Brian told me about a $16 bay scallop special he had heard about, the catch being that it was at a restaurant on the North Fork.
I related this information to Beverly, who nodded knowingly, then told me about a $14.50 hamburger her husband had the other day during a basic lunch here in the village that ran them more than $40.
Of course, by Hamptons measures, that hamburger was a relative bargain. The tavern burger at the 1770 house just a couple of doors down from the Star office is $22, for one. But then, we have nothing to complain about relative to a place like DB Bistro Moderne in New York City, for example, which serves up a seasonal truffled burger for $140.
Still, the $10 or more most lunches cost around here has got me to making my own lunch in our office’s upstairs kitchen. One day, it might be tuna on rye, another day, some leftovers from the kids’ dinner.
With the money I save, I told Beverly really only half in jest, I can justify going out every now and then with my wife for dinner — if we could only find a babysitter.