The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 8, 2001 · Page 53
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 53

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 8, 2001
Page 53
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Always check your bill. Mistakes happen — often not in your favor. y^HHiHHH cost $5 or more "trffinriB ^H above the price of the average entree. The bottom line: Restau- i rants should tell [you the price of i items off the reg- ' ular menu. If they think that is in poor taste, wiiting them on a chalkboard works just as well. • ForadMl, go for lunch, not dinner. The price on that grilled swordfish or bento box of tempui-a and sushi — the exact dish that reappears on the dinner menu — often is many dollars cheaper at noon. Location, though, matters, Schwartz points out. You are most likely to get a good lunch deal outside busy business districts. For example, one top New York restaurant, Gotham Bai* & Grill, has a $20 three-course lunch precisely because it's not in a business area. Check out fixed-price (prix fixe) meals if you are up for multiple courses, or pre-theater dinner specials if you don't mind eating on the early side. Note: The time you spend at the table is worth something, too. Ever wonder why the aii- in restaurants is slightly cliilly, the chairs are a bit uncomfortable, the music is fast- paced? They're trying to "turn tables" to squeeze in more customers. You don't get the rush as often at limch, except in some downtown expense-account restam-ants. Other hints fi-om our pros: Try ordering two appetizers, spaced out as if the second were an entree. Split desseiis. And always—always — check your bill. Restaurants that intentionally pad bills wouldn't stay in business long, but mistakes do happen, often not in your favor. C3 JEAN SHERMAN CHATZKY is an editor at large for Money magazine and author o/Talldng Money (WARNER BOOKS, S24.95). Additional reporting: MARCIA MEYERS USA WEEKEND • April 6-8,2001 7

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