April 3rd, 2010
It was bound to happen, no? I have spent a long time defending the Flying Star, comparing them to a kid with pajamas that are too small – they simply had an amazing run of growth and tried to keep as many people happy as possible.
This occurred during a time that ingredient costs were skyrocketing AND they were renewing their commitment to local producers, organic meats, and free-range anything-they-could-afford.
So, folks rebelled. ”Eight bucks for coffee and a slice of PIE?!!!” ”$10 for a vegetarian noodle bowl??? You gotta be f’ing with me.” No longer the divey hipster hangout, Flying Star won new enemies where it used to have fans. And I stuck up for them, knowing how hard it is to run a sustainable (read: profitable) restaurant. And they are/were still packed – so obviously it hasn’t killed their entire patron base.
I also compared them to the Grove Cafe & Market, posing the pragmatic situation thusly: If the Flying Star were to start BRAND NEW right now with its menu and prices as they currently exist, they would be just like the Grove. And that leads me to my point – I had my moment at the Grove the other day, when I ordered a cappucino and a cookie. A rather smallish cookie. I paid SIX BUCKS, and had an immediate negative reaction, asking the cashier just how much that cookie was, anyway ($1.99). It was the cappucino at $3.50, which came delivered as a latte, that sent the total up to the sky.
So…. now what? The Grove’s coffee is still far better than Flying Star’s, but Cafe Giuseppe rules all plus they know that a single cappucino should be about 5 ounces total, not 12. Oh, and they have gelato that is better than anything outside of Silver City in the whole state.