Some people have heartburn due to the expensive Charlotte menu

I’m a simple country boy from Goldsboro, North Carolina. I ate a barbecue from a Styrofoam container above the 1996 Mazda Protection in a Wal-Mart parking lot. I don’t know anything about COGS, church restaurant conversions, or equipment costs.

But something about the shrimp cocktail, which costs $ 6 per shrimp, doesn’t fit my spirit perfectly.

That is the case Sapperland, Plaza Midwood’s most popular new restaurant. In early March, the restaurant menu was released, causing price debate. This included $ 13 Wagyu flanks and beans, $ 12 mashed potatoes, $ 16 for four cookies, and the aforementioned shrimp cocktail for $ 6 per shrimp.

It is important to note that in context, this menu is located in the increasingly expensive Plaza Midwood district. When I moved to Charlotte 13 years ago and smoked American spirits on a common market patio, I never expected a Wagyu hot dog to be served around the block.

Apparently, others felt shocked as well. Twitter post In terms of pricing, we received about 30,000 impressions and about 5,000 engagements.

To be fair, the owners Jamie Brown and Jeff Tonidandel pay enough for their hourly staff.Brown and Toni Dandel Said Food writer Kathleen Purvis says hourly employees start at $ 12.37. This is called “living wage”, MIT, It is not.

Others have pointed out that the price of Supperland is not much different from other restaurants.

The undercurrent of many counterarguments was the suggestion that Supperland was unfairly chosen. Yes, the average old man in Charlotte was cyberbullying these innocent job creators for no reason. We all woke up, prayed in the morning, and told ourselves, “Today we will smash Supperland.”

Listen, no one is personally angry with Brown and Toni Dandel. No one has stopped Supperland and other restaurants from making money. The price discussion is not about them. Sapperland was just a short protagonist in a much larger series.

No, this discussion is a little more esoteric.

It’s about Southern cuisine that your grandmother used to cook in a cozy home, and is now probably bought by an online real estate agency. They paint it blue, put it in an open kitchen, and resell it for $ 500,000. You can never afford it, a property version of Frank and Beans for $ 13.

It ’s about rising real estate costs. Drive out the daily queen You can get a $ 2 ice cream cone for dessert. Supperland’s $ 4 and $ 16 cookie came shortly after.

It’s about the whole concept of “southern elevated”, which incorporates a tradition rooted in Native Americans and enslaved Africans and triples the price by selling to white yuppies.It’s about doing this just a few yards away dish, Plaza Midwood’s food pillar is still struggling to recover Covid. Dish sells mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese for under $ 3. The same item will cost you $ 12 and $ 14 just around the corner of Supperland.

People who grew up in eastern Charlotte are said to no longer be able to live or eat there. It’s about a perpetual motion of media hype that makes restaurant owners think more about impressing foodies than serving the neighborhood they live in.

How would you fix this? I have two ideas.

1) Supperland eats food at the end of the night Timeout use, Or another East Charlotte community organization. Invest aggressively in the neighborhoods you participate in.

2) Supperland needs to lower the price. It’s for themselves. Plaza Midwood has been shown to be dry soil for overpriced restaurants. Sushi master??

But perhaps the slanderer just doesn’t know what we’re talking about. Maybe we just have a lot of simple country people who don’t understand it. Maybe this city will change and it doesn’t matter if we like it or not.

And that’s fine. It doesn’t sit right in our psyche.

Dion Beary writes about food and Charlotte.