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SOS Giveaway: A Pack of Cards

November 4, 2012

Children’s fundraisers usually drive me crazy. No, I don’t want a magazine subscription. I don’t want any crappy candy bars or industrially produced cookies full of junk. And the last thing I want is one of those unwieldy “Entertainment Books” full of coupons that I’ll never use.

Well, there’s a new coupon scheme that is hitting the ground in the Capital Region and it’s far less onerous than its predecessors. And the good people from City Dining Cards have been kind enough to supply two decks of their cards. One for me and one for one of you.

Now I know what you are thinking. How can we even trust you to send out the cards when Sabre still hasn’t received her bacon soap? Well, I’m wracked with guilt about that every day. But her bacon soap is safe. I just need to find a box so I can get it in the mail. Dammit, I’ve been busy. Anyway, these cards are small and can just slip into an envelope.

Did I mention they could also save you over $500 at local restaurants?

Whereas the Entertainment Book has many different offers, like buy one get one, free soda with purchase, fifteen percent off when you spend $20, et cetera, the City Dining Cards all have the same deal. You spend $30 in food, you turn in one of your cards, and you get $10 of food removed from your bill.

And they are actually cards. They come in a deck. There are fifty $10 off $30 offers, two freebies (a loaf at Bountiful Bread and a baked good at Honest Weight Food Co-op), and four cards telling you more about the program. That means no big books to lug around and no coupon cutting. Each of these cards fits neatly in a wallet, although it would probably be better if they were credit card sized (they are a little bigger than that).

Plus there is none of that “present coupon to server before ordering” weirdness that comes with some deals. Just give it to the server when you are paying the bill. Although to be fair, there is some fine print:

Each card is redeemable only once. $30 minimum purchase required. One card per party. May only be applied to the food portion of the bill. Cannot be used towards alcohol, tax, tip or combined with other discounts including gift certificates, prix fixe menus, brunch menus, and City Dining Cards: Cocktail Edition. Dine-in only. No cash value. Expires 12/31/13.

Oh, and all 50 of the restaurants included in the deck are locally owned places. No mega chains. No Pizza Hut or Olive Garden or Red Lobster. In fact, if you are a single diner, it can be like your very own restaurant week without all the crappy sub-par food.

And as opposed to restaurant week, some of Albany’s more prestigious restaurants have chosen to participate, like 677 Prime and McGuire’s.

Now granted, you aren’t going to interested in all 50 restaurants. And frankly, at some of the restaurants you might struggle to reach the $30 food limit, like Bombers or All Good Bakers (both of whom can be found in the deck). Not to mention the fact that Savannah’s has closed since this pack has been printed.

But $10 off $30 makes Garden Bistro 24 a good deal again, provided that it hasn’t also cut back on its standards to increase profits.

Ordinarily a pack of City Dining Cards would set you back $20. They are available online or at Honest Weight Food Co-op, Mary Jane Books and Bountiful Bread. But this week you can win a pack of them from the FLB.

All you have to do is leave a comment and you are entered to win. Tell me anything. Ask me anything. Draw me some ASCII art. Whatever. If you wanted to share a notable coupon experience good or bad, I think that would be entertaining. But it’s entirely unnecessary. I’m going to choose the winner by random drawing before I go to bed on Thursday night, so we can have winner announced on Friday.

The only rules are no whining. No entering more than once. Entries must use a valid email address (that will not be sold, lent, leased, shared, etc.) so that I can get in contact with you. The winner will also need to share their mailing address with me privately, so I can actually get you the prize.

And that’s it. Good luck.

  1. November 4, 2012 10:04 am

    Mmmmm, tempting, and it could expand my food experience- but am I worthy?

  2. November 4, 2012 10:17 am

    I’ve been searching for that rare bird….a bar that makes their own grenadine and sour mix. Am I chasing a phantom?

  3. Ewan permalink
    November 4, 2012 10:32 am

    OK, so why have you not responded to my invitation to the Patroon room? :-)))

    You can atone by sending these, I guess..

  4. Laura permalink
    November 4, 2012 10:34 am

    I love that the cards are for local restaurants. The chain aspect of the other books keeps me from buying them. A plan for getting to $30 at All Good Bakers: Bring a couple friends to lunch and then take some cinnamon buns home to the family. Hahaha… just kidding…cinnamon buns would never make it the whole way home.

  5. November 4, 2012 10:54 am

    I think the best use of an Entertainment Book is for traveling. We got the Hawaii book before our honeymoon. Using the book we stayed in a decent hotel on the North Shore of Oahu for half price. The book paid for itself on the first night. The restaurant part had menus so you could get a feel for a place before heading over and a few of the coupons came in handy.

  6. November 4, 2012 12:31 pm

    Hah, my husband always notes we only ever go out if there’s a coupon, but I like that it gets us to try out different places we might have not otherwise. We recently tried out Franklin’s Tower downtown and weren’t disappointed, but I would have found it too expensive without the coupon. It does seem like a lot of restaurants in Albany are overpriced. It’s like there’s the price for those who can afford to go out, and the coupons for those who wouldn’t go otherwise. Even with the coupon it appears they must still making a healthy profit. It’s like fine dining on a pub budget :)

  7. Josh K permalink
    November 4, 2012 12:52 pm

    Disco Fries, Tequila Wings, and a few burritos…I could probably find a way to spend 30 bucks at Bombers. If not, ten bucks off a Rib-Eye at Prime wouldn’t be too shabby.

  8. November 4, 2012 1:35 pm

    I always wind up falling victim to those coupon books then misplace it within weeks after buying it. The cards would be easier to slip into my handbag and actually use instead of wasting my money. It sounds like a great idea.

  9. kerosena permalink
    November 4, 2012 2:23 pm

    I noticed that AGB is selling these decks of cards too.

  10. November 4, 2012 2:26 pm

    This is WAY better than :)

  11. Kate H permalink
    November 4, 2012 3:07 pm

    Love that the Merry Monk is in the book, gives me more of a reason to spend my money downtown. Plus 5% goes to the food pantry.

  12. maltnsmoke permalink
    November 4, 2012 3:07 pm

    Glad I dropped in and found this chance to win, while making corn chowder and pot roast (that’s why I like fall the most).

  13. Chelle permalink
    November 4, 2012 4:35 pm

    A memorable first date: driving around Albany trying to find a restaurant that would work with one of his two-for-one coupons from the Entertainment Book. We ended up at a diner, because I persuaded him that it’d be as cheap as the half-priced meals. Good times.

  14. Stevo permalink
    November 4, 2012 5:30 pm

    These cards would be great. Thanks for the chance to win them Daniel.

  15. November 4, 2012 8:24 pm

    Much better than an Entertainment book! Yay for discounts!

  16. November 5, 2012 1:28 am

    Sure, I could use an incentive to try more places. :)

  17. Chrystal permalink
    November 5, 2012 10:06 am

    Do you know any bar around here that makes their own tonic using tonic syrup like Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Small Batch Tonic? I’d love to try it but don’t want to spend almost $50 to order it myself.

  18. llcwine permalink
    November 5, 2012 10:22 am

    was thinking of buying one…and still will, but if I win one too…what a great holiday gift for a friend!!!!!

  19. Sandra permalink
    November 5, 2012 10:37 am

    I agree that the Entertainment Book is a big, unwieldy waste. I buy it every year, on the off chance that it will come in handy, but this year I decided to stand my ground and not purchase it. City Dining Cards sounds like a good substitute.!

  20. Thomas Stoll permalink
    November 5, 2012 11:18 am

    hurray to no chain restaurants.

  21. Megan permalink
    November 5, 2012 11:48 am

    I would very much like your recipe for Cuban black bean soup. I made some recently and it turned out quite poorly, just not thick enough.

  22. Meghan H. permalink
    November 5, 2012 1:44 pm

    Hey guys! If you send the cards for Central Steak and Savannah’s to City Dining Cards at 731 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14203 and include your address, they will send you back some cards for other restaurants in the deck! Email if you have questions!

  23. November 5, 2012 4:32 pm

    Well, since you asked..


  24. DEN permalink
    November 6, 2012 6:06 pm

    Very kind of you to give this away.

  25. November 7, 2012 3:28 pm

    Thanks for the opportunity, Daniel… either way, think I’ll stop by Honest Weight and pick up a deck or two. More people around town need to be aware these cards exist, and I appreciate your bringing them to my (and others’) attention.

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