I know what's on the plate is king, but we're all looking for a fair deal too, right?
Background. Effendi's a "fast served" (fast food that's not "fast food") Turkish that recently opened near 54th and 2nd Avenue. There's a thread on it below. When you arrive, you proceed to their counter where one of their many ebullient staff members explains what's behind the glass today. If it's not too busy, you might even get a taste. You point at what you want and pay and then it's brought to you. My question concerns that second to last step.
The prices might be posted somewhere, but they're not central to this process and I doubt you'd notice them if you just walked in there. Which leads to my question: over several visits, the same dish (meatballs) was priced differently. This came up innocently when 1) I did takeaway; 2) I brought a friend; and then 3) a friend did takeaway; and 4) a friend went independently. Two different meatball prices led us to wonder what was going on and to examine more closely. Over multiple experiences with meatballs, the prices and quantities varied noticeably (variability in meatball size isn't enough to justify the difference between four and six meatballs on the plate).
One of my friends thinks I got a "promotional" price (each hot dish, including meatballs, to go was $7.50) on my first visit. If so, I wasn't told. Another time, the dishes were $9.50. My third time, a similar dish was being rung up at $11.50 and I asked what was going on. At that point, the man ringing the food said whatever we had pointed to wasn't normally served the way we were getting it (no idea what that was about), so he'd give us a break on it this time: $9.50. There was no clear reason why this dish should have been a "premium" or even unusual thing.
Perhaps you're supposed to negotiate your price when you're there. I've begun to wonder. Any thoughts?