Brian Sheehan previews our list of America’s most expensive burgers, cheesesteaks, andother “cheap” dishes.
How much money would you spend on a hot dog? Three dollars? Five? Ten, if it’s at Yankee Stadium and your only option? How about $2,300? We tracked down the world’s most expensive versions of foods that are usually really cheap, so prepare for some serious sticker shock.
Why would someone in his or her right mind pay hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of dollars for something that can be found for just a few bucks elsewhere? A couple reasons. One, what’s the point of being fabulously wealthy if you can’t show it off to anyone who will pay attention? Two, these dishes are far from ordinary. Seriously, the term “gilding the lily” doesn’t do these dishes justice. It’s more like “gilding the white truffle, caviar, and foie gras.”
Nearly all of these dishes can qualify as what you might call novelty items — ones intended to drum up publicity and to, well, show up on lists exactly like this one. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not worthy of our attention. Some of these can be ordered with no notice, but the majority involve components so luxurious that they need to be ordered days in advance.
These dishes give the term “conspicuous consumption” new meaning. Some of these are actually astoundingly delicious and others just pile on luxury items for the hell of it, but these foods are the ultimate status symbol, both for the restaurants that serve them and for the well-heeled souls who decide to spend their money on them. It’s not up to us to judge whether spending $2,300 is worth it, but the fact that a hot dog that expensive actually exists, and that people actually buy it, says… something about our culture.