Restaurant surcharges & service charges: threat or menace?

Very good babka. May be worth a mail order.
The place is owned by Daniel & Alicia. Daniel was a long time poster on all the food boards; sort of our own Rancho Gordo (whose beans are also sold at the store). They’re also friends, so I’m biased.

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Oh! Well, that just closed, like, 10 minutes ago. Of course I know Odessa. But it wasn’t Polish (the name’s a clue), which is why I didn’t mention it.

Where’d he go, anyway?

Yeah, sorta. It’s funny, cause I never went next door to the 24 hour restaurant that was a spin off & closed relatively recently. I forgot it was even there. From Eater in 2020:
“… Odessa Restaurant opened on Avenue A back in 1994 as a 24-hour spin-off to the longstanding Odessa Bar and Cafe next door. The bar, which closed in August 2013 [due to rent increases] dates back to 1965…”
I believe that the owner of the Odessa Cafe (the place I went in the '80s & was talking about) fled Poland (as so many did, including my grandparents), but went to Odessa before coming here, moving to the E.Village with other E.European immigrants & opening one of many restaurants in the area that were all (since we were so attuned to geographic specificity back then) referred to as “Polish”.

As an aside, my grandparents told my parents (who told me) that they were “Russian”. The fact that my father’s parents belonged to the Brooklyn Jewish Bialystoker Society organization & are buried in that section of the cemetery didn’t faze my parents in the least. For those not looking at a map, Bialystok is in Poland, although folks from outside the city might have actually been across the current border & in Belarus. Russia did annex the area during some periods, but it was a stretch for anyone living there to think of themselves as Russian.

Daniel doesn’t post much on any of the food boards but is on Facebook.

I think a lot of people from that part of the world (I know a few) refer to themselves as “Russian” when they’re from another part of the former USSR, maybe Ukraine, maybe Lithuania. Just because a lot of Americans - until this past February, at least - couldn’t name any other countries over there.

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Oh, maybe I’ll do a little light stalking.

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Got charged 20% fee from tock. Another 20% fee assessed at restaurant. Dropped another $20 in cash before realizing we were getting hit with the service fee twice.

$180 in service fees/tips on $400 base god I hate eating out.


on the flip side of this, during a recent visit to hamlet’s kitchen (expensive as it is), they were resolute about returning my $2 in change. chinese restaurants also still seem to in the land of 15% as base level…

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If I prepaid a service fee on Tock and then got charged for it again at the restaurant, I’d complain to the manager.


Name and shame!

This is the first time I heard of 2 separate service fees being charged on Tock.

Did they mention this upfront before you made the reservation?

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You can only order at a kiosk