December 11th, 2011
I have a long history of defending Flying Star. I respect what Jean and Mark Bernstein do with local ingredients. I appreciate their ridiculously long hours, day after day (6 a.m. – 11 p.m. in most locations, most days). I am thankful for magazines I can browse while drinking refills of coffee.
I don’t like the usually burnt coffee. I whine a bit about increasing prices. Sometimes I find myself the recipient of sporadically inept hands in the kitchen.
Flying Star, like Ari LeVaux said in his recent Alibi article, is the “friend you hang out with all the time, even though you sometimes complain about him”. And like an old friend, a heck of a lot of people would miss Flying Star if it were missing from the local dining landscape.
NINE, count ‘em, nine locations. Gorgeous interior design. Local roasting that has upsized several times. Over nearly 25 years, the operation has both grown and refined itself, finding solid ground in serving what most people want, most of the time, at prices that are perfectly fine (mostly).
Remember that organic costs more. Imported butter for great pastries costs more. Local chicken costs more. And in the middle of a recession, everybody hurts. Raw ingredient costs are up at least 25% for restaurants in the last 4 years, yet menu costs are up under 10%. That means that even though it sucks to pay more, the restaurants are sucking it up, too, and that includes Flying Star.
This is roundabout way of me congratulating Ari for his article. He appreciates what Flying Star does, even with a few grumbles thrown in.