The $12 Glass of Wine & The $17 Salad

Have you noticed that the prices are creeping up at your favourite dining establishments? In Vancouver it seems like everyone raised their prices during the 2010 Olympics, and then no one bothered to lower them, thinking we wouldn’t notice.  Well I’ve noticed, and I’m starting to question the value of going out to eat at the usual chain places that seem to be in with my young professional crowd.

It’s getting hard to find a ‘hip’ restaurant downtown that charges less than $12 for a glass of wine and $17 for a salad (with protein).  I get it, booze is expensive in BC, but when did it become acceptable to charge $12 for a 6 oz. glass when the bottle is only $18 at your local BC Liquor Store.  And I understand charging $5-6 to add chicken to a salad, but when the price sans protein is already $13 I feel like I’m getting completely ripped off.

To highlight my point, I’m a huge fan of the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.  I usually pick it up in the states for around $12 a bottle.  In the liquor store here it’s $22.  And here’s what some local restaurants are charging:

That’s quite the spread!  But good for the restaurateurs for commanding these prices, because people are clearly paying!

I recently had lunch at Cactus Club and by the time I added on tax and tip my bill was $38 for a single glass of wine and a salad.  Yeah the food was good, and it was more about the company than the meal itself, and yes we were sitting on the patio on a hot sunny day, but I just can’t get over the fact that I spent that much on lunch.  So either everyone is getting rich a lot faster than I am, or people just don’t care and are willing to pay these prices in order to see and be seen at seemingly hip places.  

I do like that more and more places are starting to have ‘one price’ wines, because I’m the kind of person who will look at the wine list and agonize over a $3 price difference (which becomes $6 when I order my second glass).  So with this new invention I can just pick a price category I’m comfortable with and go nuts within those confines.  But still, am I the only person who thinks it’s ridiculous to pay $12 for a glass of wine and $17 for a salad?

I’d much rather have a great little lunch at the Acme Cafe in Gastown where wine is $7 a glass, or after work drinks at the Vancouver Art Gallery where you can get a bottle of very decent white for $25 and enjoy their lovely patio, which often has live jazz!  Oh yeah, and salads at these places will only run you about $10 with all the fixings!


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