November 13, 2008

Are there gold flakes in here?

Massachusetts has all sorts of bizarre laws involving liquor. Like, it can’t be sold on Sundays until noon. It used to not be allowed in grocery stores at all. All bars have to serve food, and no happy hour drink specials are allowed. Some of these are called blue laws. Other we have Michael Dukakis to thank for. (PSA: I don’t mean to be flippant about the significance of what Dukakis did here by outlawing drink specials – drunk driving deaths have decreased by 50% since that law was passed in the late 80s.) I’m just wondering if there should be a limit on this ‘ no drink special’ thing.

Say, for example, you’re at lunch with your lovely sister who came to town for your birthday. You’re actually taking a lunch break, and you go to a Latin American-flava restaurant in your office complex. You order a sandwich that costs $6.95. She orders a salad that costs $8.50. And you both order priceless margaritas (Priceless as in price unlisted, nothing to do with Billy Crudup).

Sure, at this point, you might ask:

A. Ashley, are you expensing that? (No, I am not the CEO of AIG.)
B. Ashley, should you really be drinking during work hours? (Um, it's "Friday"?)
C. Just because you don’t normally take a lunch break doesn’t mean you’re entitled to this kind of special treatment. (Dear Devil’s Advocate: That’s not even a question. Rephrase or I won’t respond).


The margaritas are particularly pungent, and everything is going just fine. Then the bill comes, and you discover that said margaritas were $12. Each. A quick perusal of the dinner menu shows that to be pretty in line with their evening entrée offerings where everything’s $12 and up – as opposed to the lunch menu where everything is between $6 and $10.

So my questions to you are this: Should drinks come at a lower price (and perhaps alcohol content) during the day, to stay in line with lunch pricing? Should I be less offended because there was a lot of bang for the buck in this margarita? And, is Massachusetts or the restaurant at fault here?