A New York Times columnist went viral for complaining about his $78 bill at a Newark airport restaurant.
The restaurant clapped back by saying the cost of David Brooks' meal was "80%" due to his bar tab.
It has since introduced a special of burger, fries, and a double shot of whiskey, poking fun at Brooks.
A New York Times columnist complained about spending $78 for a meal at Newark Airport only for the restaurant to clap back at him pointing out that most of his bill was alcohol.
On Thursday, David Brooks shared a photo of a meal on X, formerly known as Twitter, describing it as a prime example of why "Americans think the economy is terrible."
The image consisted of a burger, fries, and salad, as well as what appeared to be a whiskey on the rocks.
—David Brooks (@nytdavidbrooks) September 21, 2023
Brooks' post, which has 36 million views, quickly went viral after users discovered the burger and fries only cost $17, indicating that the rest was likely due to the alcohol.
Suspicions about why Brooks' meal was so pricey were confirmed when 1911 Smoke House Barbeque, a restaurant located at Newark Airport, called out the columnist on its Facebook page by saying his bar tab accounted for almost "80%" of the bill.
"Looks like someone was knocking back some serious drinks," the post, shared on Thursday, read. "Bar tab was almost 80% and he's complaining about the cost of his meal. Keep drinking buddy – we get paid off everything," it concluded.
—Steve Is Damaged (@SteveIsDamaged) September 21, 2023
1911 Smoke House Barbeque did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, made outside normal working hours.
The revelation caused a stir on social media, with users quick to share memes about Brooks' order.
One of the top-liked responses was from a user who shared a photo of a beef bologna and a bottle of Bacardi rum, writing, "I can't believe I had to spend $30 at the grocery store just to make bologna sandwiches. Thanks, Obama!"
But it seems 1911 Smoke House Barbeque is truly having the last laugh by capitalizing on all the attention Brooks' post has drawn to it. On Friday, it announced the launch of the "D Brooks Special," named in his honor.
The special comes with a burger, fries, and – as a nod to Brooks original order – a double shot of whiskey. A poster of the special also joked of the price being reduced from $78 to $17.78.
"Just added to the menu," the restaurant wrote. "We're the topic of America right now!
It later shared a review of a customer, who said they haven't visited the restaurant yet but hopes to "take on the David Brooks challenge," which they said was four whiskeys on the rocks, burger, fries, and claiming it on expenses.
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