photo by inhisgrace
Before heading home (arriving just in time for LOST), we had brunch with Molly and Jenn (and then drinks with Carl and Kayla) at Radio Maria, another downtown establishment with no clear replacement. Radio was one of a couple of special occasion places for us – birthday dinners, happy hours, brunch with out of town visitors – but too expensive for regular dining.
It struck me this morning that Radio was particularly illustrative of the difference between the restaurant scenes of Champaign and A2. Our brunch this morning ran us about $35 – two entrees in the $8-12 range, a (bottomless) Mexican coffee, a fancy beer for Shane, and a 20% tip. When we lived in Champaign, this would have been an indulgence – something we could afford to do once in a while. When we moved to DC, we came to expect to spend at least this much when we went out as a byproduct of living in a big city.
When we moved to A2, we were surprised that the expenses related to going out haven’t gone down significantly. When we’re in town, we rarely go out for anything more than fast food, grocery store take out, or a quick lunch because when we do, two drinks and a meal run us $30 or more. I’m of the opinion that good food is worth good money – but I also feel pinched by the prices in A2 when I know that comparably good, if not better, food costs a lot less in comparable cities.
But back to breakfast! I had a hard time picking out of all the fantastic options, but went with the very filling Vegetarian Masa Boat – a cornmeal “boat” with soft chevre, scrambled eggs and veg, black beans, chipotle salsa, and warmed tortillas. Shane had a pulled pork torta in a really interesting and sweet barbecue sauce. There were at least half a dozen other things I would’ve liked to eat – and that’s without touching the tapas menu or the fantastic beer list.
Oh, Radio. We’ll be back, I promise. Shane might even eat another tiny burger.