Cheap Eats?

The recession has had its perks - especially for people who love to eat. In New York City, it seems like there's a proliferation of joints opening every week: the next beer garden, pizza makers, cupcake spinsters and burger masters. And that's only the beginning.

Even celebrated and well-known chefs have turned to offering customers with more affordable options. Some have extended prix fixe specials while others have opened entire new restaurants with a more urbane appeal.

In school, we've debated what this all means for chefs. Does it mean we compromise on creativity? Or worse yet, quality? Not necessarily, chefs have told me and my classmates. On one night we talked about the all-American burger. One chef despises them. He called it an easy out to cooking, and a way to pander to American tastes. On the other hand, another chef said, "good food is good food."

So when I ate at Daniel Boulud's newly opened DBGB on a recent night, I settled the debate for myself.

First, DBGB was Daniel's first foray outside of high-end dining. Still, the restaurant is quite nice compared to many places. So I jumped to the Yankee burger right away. The bun was made from an artisan sesame bread, the beef natural and juicy, the cheese local and the mayo replaced with aioli. It didn't taste like a fancy burger but a good one. That said, can a $16 dollar be considered cheap? Maybe in New York. But I'm not so convinced this is what most people would consider cheap.

I was more than satisfied with my meal, but it still left the question in mind, "Does cheap mean good?"

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Program areas include Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and more
            • Students are taught cooking styles from around the globe, including Classical European, Asian, and Latin cuisine
            • Curriculum designed to prepare students for a career as a chef, with course topics that include Culinary Techniques, Management by Menu, and Nutrition
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef
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            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
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            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
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            • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
            • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
            • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
            • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
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