Inspector Visits Sardi’s. Free Cheese Ends.
By JAMES BARRON
Published: November 17, 2011It was a tradition at bars like the ones in Sardi’s in the theater district: a communal cheese pot with a knife sticking out, and some crackers. First-nighters or late-nighters grabbed the knife and a cracker, spread the cheese — cheddar — and ate. Some called it dinner [all-too-true!--ed.].
Now, after a health department inspection that complained about “food not protected from potential source of contamination,” the communal pot is gone.
Other bar-food staples like peanuts and pretzels in little bowls? Sardi’s has taken them off the bar, too.
Anyone who wants cheese and crackers has to order them, and will be served his or her own pot of cheese and a couple of crackers wrapped in plastic. And now there is a price: Unlike the communal cheese pot, which was free, Sardi’s is charging $3 for a small pot of cheese and a couple of crackers and $5 for a large pot.
“It has to do with the health department,” said V. Max Klimavicius, the president of Sardi’s. “It’s gotten to the point that the way they’re applying the health code is so rigid, we can no longer have what we always had. The way it is now with the health department, as they say, a good inspector has to find violations. They come with flashlights and look in every corner.”
“It’s just mind-boggling,” he said. “Nobody’s happy.”
Of course nobody's happy, save for zealous and overpaid unionized government workers who relish the opportunity showing we-the-people who really is in charge. Those cheese pots were the perfect accompaniment to a gin martini (straight up with olives)...or two...or three; they really laid a nice base. The hope expressed above this egregious act might lessen New York elites' support of overwhelming and overweening government is, of course, in vain. What's more likely to occur is should they find themselves in Sardi's for a drink (one doesn't go there for the food, of course) and learn that the friendly earthenware pots stuffed with Wispride® have been banished by the germ police, they will shake their heads slightly, make a sad utterance how it must be for the best, followed by--more loudly so everyone will hear--a snarky comment how awful American cheese is, then flag down the waiter and order du fromage Selles-sur-cher (tres cher!) that is much more in keeping with people of their education and intellectual pretensions.
Really, this is so prole.