Stand Review: Stand burger is merely ok and I hate food moralists
Growing up in a Chinese home, I rarely ate hamburgers. To us, burgers were greasy American food, the kind of stuff you eat if you want to get fat. If you want to stay healthy, you eat the Chinese stuff, not the American shit. That might sound a little weird to you, but that’s how it kind of was – our food versus their food. Now that I’m older and control my own diet, hamburgers have worked themselves into my life. A couple of days ago I went with Ming and got a cheeseburger from Stand. It was good but nothing to write home about. The only reason I went to Stand was because the line at the sandwich shop across the street was too long for my liking.
The burger was cooked slightly past medium-rare. The meat was loosely packed and flavorful. They were actually able to get a little crust on the patty as I could taste the crunch on a few bites. At $11 dollars though, this is like two burgers and a fries at Shake Shack and I’m not sure you want to eat something like this in the current economy.
One bit that also bugged me was that during the order, they tried to up-sell and they pushed the sweet potato fries. When the order was ready, the woman came up and said they ran out of sweet potato fries, so they gave us a bag of regular fries. And that the burgers were ready, and if that was okay. Ming asked about onion rings and they said that would take an extra five to ten minutes. See, I’m not a big fan of up-selling a product you don’t have. I’m also not a big fan of specifically not telling us we could get a refund. I know they’re a business, and they want to keep the $5 dollars for the fries which BTW, in this economy? $5 for fries? Gimme a fucking break. But if you fucked up on trying to sell me something that you don’t have, then want to substitute something that I wouldn’t have ordered in the first place, I want you to tell me right off the bat that if I don’t want it, you’ll just take it off our bill and refund the $5. I think that’s the right way to do business. Instead, she pushed the fries, and stressed that onion rings would take an additional ten minutes. The fries? Disappointing. I don’t want your stupid fries.
WARNING. Non-food related word vomit coming out in the next few LONG paragraphs. You can probably skip it. I just want to write it because I’m hyper from listening to that file o fish song over and over again…. Another thing that’s on my mind lately is the morality of eating. A few weeks ago the talk was about how food is the new sex. To give you an idea how neurotic and skitzo I am, the reason this came up was because a few random Nashville people added me on their twitter account.
I spent some really important years of my life in Nashville, TN. I think the way you experience life as a high schooler goes pretty far into determining what kind of person you want to be when you grow up. In Nashville, if you’re not religious, you really stand out. Moral superiority is implicitly defined by those who attend Wednesday night church youth group and those who don’t. Maybe the fact that 98% of my school was white also made that seem to stand out more. ohai, I’m the Asian guy who’s not Southern Baptist, Methodist or what other -ist that they got down there. It’s really annoying when people impose their morals on you. It makes you want to go to school in New York City. I thought that I escaped all that moral mumbo jumbo when I decided to live with the damn Yankees. But no, watching Alice Waters on 60 Minutes, I can’t but wonder why so many liberals have taken up the moral cause of food. I like to call them foodie moralists.
In that 60 minute clip, Waters talks about how she prefers $4 per pound grapes while other people prefer to buy Nike shoes. My friend Pat wears Nike shoes and never buys $4 per pound grapes. Yesterday I saw Jeremy and Maryann eat some delicious looking filet o fish sandwiches from McDonald’s. And I just stuffed myself full of candy made by American candy giants Reese’s and Hershey’s. They don’t know who Alice Waters is and I like that. I like that my friends don’t know the woman who wants to guilt me into thinking wearing Nike basketball shoes is a worse life decision than eating expensive grapes. Foodie moralists are trying to make me feel like my food morals are inferior. They would have me believe that my food choices help contribute to the nation’s obesity problem.
If you keep up with foodie news, you would have heard about how Michelle Obama wants to start a garden in the White House. There’s some coverage of it here. Alice Waters seems to have reached the White House. But here I have to address my second concern with the slow food movement. When people are up on their high horses, they seldom analyze why the rest of us make the decisions that we do. Why do I make these choices despite your incessant barking?
You ever been a dish-washing college graduate making $7 dollars an hour? Because I’ve been there. And you saying someone like that should just go buy $4 per pound grapes? Yea, I’ve moved on from that job and to a 9-to-5, but it doesn’t mean food moralists should assume everyone has a desk job. While the slow movement likes to shit on the likes of Nike, they seem to be ok with taking on their slogan. Yea, fresh and local food? Just do it. How does that even begin to make sense?
You can call me a slow food hater, but I really do believe in sustainability. It’s just that I believe in people who are in the nitty gritty. There’s this woman named Majora Carter who’s done some amazing things for the South Bronx. She gave a talk at TED a while ago. It’s an 18 minute long video so you might not want to watch it. But she’s doing something about it, in the areas where moralists seemingly don’t understand exist. Oh yea, build a garden in Berkeley? How about building on in the Bronx, Alice? If food moralists can start to acknowledge the difficulties of real life, and the reasons we make certain decisions, then their message will carry real meaning. I just don’t see the point for food moralists to help spread the message of healthy eating to yuppies, as if they’re the ones most in danger of obesity. It’s callous and a little offensive.
Stand24 E 12th St.New York, NY 10003212-488-5900