David Chang's Coke Feud

May 24, 2011

Famed NYC chef David Chang is no stranger to food blogger controversies and defends his beliefs to the end. Well, another controversy is brewing because of one product: Coke. A couple of Serious Eats staffers headed to Chang's new fast-casual (but still mid-range priced) restaurant, Duck Lunch, for a quick bite. One blogger, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, went on to describe the establishment as a "fancy Fuddruckers" with normal plates and silverware that "ain't casual."

That, however, isn't his problem with the restaurant. Halfway through the meal, Lopez-Alt decided to order a Coke from the register. He did so and got the bill. $5.44 (with tax)!! Admittedly, the soda was a Mexican Coca-Cola product made with real sugar. Nevertheless, Lopez-Alt said "That's ballsy, even for Chang."

Well, Chang wasn't about to take that lying down. He took to Twitter, defending his actions: "kenji please stick to catering. mexican coke = hard to obtain in nyc + costs $." Shortly after that, he added "maybe if @momofuku & @momomilkbar get sponsored by the terrible National Pork Board as @seriouseats once did we can subsidize our costs?" 

Who do you think is right here? Is $5 a reasonable price for a (Mexican) Coke in NYC? 

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Sheri Wetherell's picture

If it's hard to get in NYC, then yes, I'd fork over the coin. Mexican Coke is far better and worth the treat! Paying $5+ bucks is sure a lot cheaper than hopping on a jet bound for the border :)

Lynn Morella's picture

Sounds pricey to me. In Buffalo,NY you can get a Mexican Coke or Pepsi for 99 cents.

Camille Willemain's picture

Doesn't Hooters charge the same price for fountain soda? Don't hear people complaining about that... I'd choose to spend more in a classy place any day.

Colin Saunders's picture

Real sugar is worth it.

Patrick's picture

Overpriced? Maybe. Worth fretting about? Not really. Mexican coke is so much better, and you pay as much if you want a fountain drink at the movies, high fructose and all.

Collette's picture

$5 for a coke? How pretentious. There's no sugar water on this earth worth that much. I guess if you get fleeced that much for a soda, you've got to convince yourself it's something great.

Tikkanen's picture

A fool and his/her money is soon parted.