It's been just over 24 hours since we posted our interview with Pok Pok's Andy Ricker, and in it, the chef made his case for not serving free rice: "You're keeping your food cost below 30 percent, so if you're charging $7 for a giant plate of food, something has to give: labor, rent, or food," he told us. "Most places aren't going to be buying natural meats, organic vegetables, top-grade seafood, or even top-grade rice. We don't make a big deal about it, but we use all-natural meat and high-quality ingredients, and we pay a fair living wage to employees. High-quality jasmine rice from Thailand costs more than $1 a pound, and you have to be careful in how you prepare it. We don't charge that much money for our food, so I don't feel bad about charging $2 or $3 for rice. And to top it off, in Asia, you pay for rice. Free rice is an American invention."
But it didn't take long for someone to take issue with that line of reasoning.More »