Restaurant Week: Is It Really a Good Deal?

After staring at the intimidating list of restaurants over and over again, my family and I decided on a new restaurant to try for lunch. It was the first day of restaurant week and the new Jose Garces restaurant, Garces Trading Company, was booked! The atmosphere was chaotic yet fascinating, as people were crammed next to one another with servers running from table to table. The French-inspired restaurant, opened last February, was set up like a market, with a house-cured charcuterie, wine shop, and retail items such as coffee, olive oil and vinegars. The restaurant serves as a quick spot to grab lunch or a place to sit down and unwind with a nice glass of wine. 



For restaurant week, lunch is $20 per person and for dinner it is $35 per person. Typically, lunch is three courses. My family decided that because portions would be smaller, we would all try different items on the menu and share. The goal was to leave full and satisfied. Among the different dishes we had mozzarella cheese, pasta fagioli, house antipasti, scallops, pan panelle, citron and winter verrine. At the end of each course, each of us found ourselves with a different plate sitting in front of us. 


With five restaurants in Philadelphia, Jose Garces did not fail to live up to our expectations. Normally, a meal for the four of us would cost $75; in this case it was over $100 after we made some purchases at the market. At the end of lunch my dad, a first-timer on the Restaurant Week train, asked if it was worth the $20 deal. I thought to myself and came to the conclusion that although I would normally order one dish for under $20, I loved the fact that I could try a few different appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The entire experience was definitely worth it. All types of foodies can enjoy restaurants that they may not try if it weren’t for Restaurant Week, (including college students who do not have a lot of money). The secret behind the Restaurant Week hype is that it seems cheap for three [mini] courses, or four for dinner, and people have a chance to say, “I ate at a great restaurant for a great price!”

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