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It’s officially the start of the summer travel season, so I thought it would be appropriate to share the list of my favorite travel food, including the food I recently took with me on my trip to Asia.
Please note – this list assumes I won’t have a kitchen while traveling and won’t be cooking. If I were going to stay somewhere with a kitchen, this list would include more cooking essentials and I definitely wouldn’t be using so many ziplocs!
Travel Food To Pack Before You Go
- Green Vibrance – Single Serving Packs – Insurance for being away from my juicer
- Vitamineral Greens – Travel Size – One of the best superfoods powders on the market. I alternate between Green Vibrance and this powder.
- Chia Seeds Packs – Perfect to top oatmeal, yogurt, or drink in coconut water for sustained energy.
- Almond Butter Packs – I like to eat this directly with one banana, apple, stuffed into a date, or on top of Suzie’s Thin Crisps
- Suzie’s Thin Crisps – This is my travel cracker of choice – doesn’t crumble and has a nice crunch. They are made of easily digestible spelt flour and flax seed.
- Navitas Naturals Power Snack – Amazing superfoods snack that I highly recommend with no refined or added sugars. All the flavors are delicious, especially the Cacao Goji. I took these on my scuba diving trip every day because they wouldn’t melt and were perfect for instant energy.
- Q’ia Superfood Cereal – Superfood made easy. Delicious bites of buckwheat groats, chia seeds and hemp seeds mixed with almonds and cranberries. SO YUMMY.
- Quick Oats – I made pre-made ziploc packs of organic oatmeal (a mixture of rolled oats and quick oats) and ate them almost every morning in Borneo. It’s the perfect breakfast when your options are limited.
- Cinnamon – For the oatmeal.
- Dates – I love snacking on dates, but these are also one of the ingredients I have to use in my oatmeal. I add one chopped date to oatmeal before I add hot water. The date slowly dissolves into the oats, naturally sweetening it, once the water is added. I prefer this method of sweetener over other liquid or crystal versions, because dates have antioxidants and fiber.
- Prunes – I know I’m not 70 years old, but I love prunes. They are chewy, sweet, fill you up and keep you regular on vacation (I know a lot of people who mention this problem all the time!)
- Figs – My candy of choice. I could eat one stuffed with a walnut every single day!
- Raw Walnuts – For figs, other homemade packs of trail mix, and to top off oatmeal.
- Himalayan Raisins – Toppings for oatmeal (my husband loves these) and for trail mix.
- Raw Almonds – For snacking or for trail mix.
- Goji Berries – For trail mix or just to eat by the handful. I seriously have a goji problem!
- Golden Berries – Just to eat….these are nature’s little sour patch kid, aren’t loaded with sugar and have 5 grams of fiber per ounce.
- Numi Teas – Assorted Variety – My favorite teas at the moment and I always take my own organic tea wherever I go. (You know this, if you’ve ever dined with me before!)
- Yogi Teas – Assorted Variety – I love the decaf green and ginger versions.
- Cranberry Tea – Reducing water retention is always easy by drinking this tea – especially after consuming over salted food while traveling.
- Seintenbacher Alligator Gummies – My junk gummy candy of choice. It’s Non-GMO, Vegan and I LOVE Alligators.
- MacroBar – My husband’s favorite bar at the moment, try the Granola with Coconut.
- Mary’s Gone Sticks & Twigs – Pure addiction. I’d rather eats these than any other salty chip on the market.
- Brad’s Raw Chips – One of the best “good for you” chips on the market. Raw and all whole foods – no gluten, sugar or added chemicals.
- Sprouted Wheat Pretzels – The only organic pretzel on the market made with the ingredients sprouted wheat and good for you olive oil.
- Go Raw – Coconut Cookies – Crunchy cookies that don’t crumble and contain no added or refined sugars.
- Kur Delights – Little individually wrapped delicious bites of goodness! (get 10% with code: FOODBABE)
- Go Raw – Carrot Cookies – My favorite flavor of Go Raw.
- Eden Farms – All Mixed Up Trail Mixes and Nuts – Small packets that easily go in carry on bags.
- Alter Eco Chocolate – The best chocolate on the market. I love the mint and the quinoa varieties.
- Panda Licorice – Chewy just like a twizzler, but sweetened with molasses.
- 2 Mom’s in the Raw Nut Bars – My favorite “treat” bars on the market.
- Seasalt – For topping an impromtu avocado and tomato salad.
- Cayenne Pepper – For Habit # 1
Less Perishable Goods:
- Lemons – For Habit #1, and to squeeze on avocado, tomato salad.
- Avocados – I took 3 with me on our hike to Mt. Fuji. I love eating one with a sprinkle of sea salt and a slice of tomato.
- Tomatoes – For the avocados.
- Oranges – Juicy fruits are great hydrators for long plane trips.
- Apples – Because they pack well.
- Bananas – To combine with almond butter.
- Harmless Harvest Raw Coconut Water – I keep mine cold by filling up a zip lock with ice after security.
- Ezekiel Sprouted Bread & Tortillas – If I take these, I will pack a cooler to keep them fresh until I arrive at my destination.
- Manna Bread – Delicious hearty bread. The banana walnut is my favorite.
- Pre-cut veggies – carrots, celery, peppers, zucchini, squash, peapods, etc. – Because I love veggies and I sometimes get bored on the plane and need to munch.
Erik Oberholtzer, Matt Lyman and David Dressler met while working in the kitchen at a luxury beach resort in Southern California. Together, they envisioned a restaurant where they could follow their cooking passions and serve organic, farm-fresh, “slow food” dishes at affordable prices. But the food wasn’t the only thing that was slow. Once the trio decided to join forces and launch an eatery, they took their time to carefully plan every aspect of the business before taking the plunge.
“It took probably two years from idea to opening,” says Oberholtzer, chef and co-owner of Tender Greens, which opened in 2006 and now operates seven locations across California. Much of those two years involved fundraising and constantly revising the business plan.
“We would make revisions to our plan after every meeting with a potential investor, because sophisticated investors would ask questions we hadn’t thought of, causing us to go back and refine the numbers,” Oberholtzer says. “That process was really beneficial, because we went into the opening with a lot of focus. We went into it knowing the culture we wanted to create, the brand we wanted to build and the type of employers we wanted to be.”
All that planning paid off: First-year profits were projected at $850,000, but the company ended up with $3 million. Last year,Tender Greens reported a 53 percent year-over-year sales increase from $10.9 million in 2010 to $16.7 million in 2011. The owners have plans to open three more locations in 2012, and starting in 2013, the plan is to open four to five new stores per year.
Tender Greens offers a casual, walk-up dining environment, where guests can watch meats grilling and meals being prepared behind a glass partition as they walk through the line. The core menu consists of “big salads,” “hot stuff” (a hot plate or sandwich) and soups. A few crowd favorites include the Southern fried chicken salad, the octopus salad, the Happy Vegan salad and the mashed potatoes.
Executive chefs at each restaurant also create their own specials that vary by location, change twice daily and are made from scratch, like Cajun chicken and sausage gumbo; aged-cheddar bread pudding; English pea risotto; steamed clams with chorizo brown-butter spaghetti; shredded duck and kale salad; and house-made porchetta (pork roast).
What really sets Tender Greens apart from other fast-casual eateries is the care taken in preparing the cuisine. The chefs cure the bacon in-house, make their own salami, craft handmade pastas, cure their own caviar, mix their own natural sodas and work to support small farmers.
While not every new business will require two years of upfront planning like Tender Greens, every aspiring entrepreneur should pay significant attention to laying the proper groundwork before launch. In studying businesses that have succeeded and those that have failed, the difference is planning, says George F. Brown Jr., CEO and co-founder of Blue Canyon Partners, a management consulting firm in Evanston, Ill. “The successful business leaders don’t go to work every day expecting a new adventure. They have a plan and know what to do. Over and over, in small businesses and large ones, I’ve seen the benefits of careful planning and the disasters that can result from a failure to plan,” he says.
Before launching your business, here are six steps to ensure a successful start.
1. Go beyond the business plan.
Planning carefully before launching a new business is not limited to preparing a business plan, says Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and director of the Entrepreneurship Lab at Pace University in New York City. “While preparing a business plan is generally a valuable exercise, there are other ways to plan carefully,” he says. Bachenheimer recommends three planning methods.
- The Apprentice Model: Gaining direct industry experience, as the founders of Tender Greens did.
- The Hired-Gun Approach: Partnering with experts who have in-depth knowledge and experience.
- The Ultra-Lean School of Hard Knocks Tactic: Figuring out a way to rapidly test and refine your model at a very reasonable cost.
While writing a business plan is certainly helpful, the real value is not in having the finished product in hand, but rather in the process of researching and thinking about your business in a systematic way, according to Victor Kwegyir, founder and CEO of Vike Invest, a U.K.-based business consultancy. “The act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly, study and research if you are not sure of the facts and look at your ideas critically,” he says.
If you don’t commit to in-depth preparation, launching a new business can be a very expensive lesson in the value of planning. Bachenheimer asks: “Would you enter a high-stakes poker tournament without knowing the game, assuming that you’ll figure it out as you go?”
2. Test your idea.
Sixty percent of new businesses fail within the first three years, according to Victor Green, a serial entrepreneur and author of How to Succeed in Business by Really Trying. “Too often people rush into business without carefully checking out their idea to see if it will work,” he says. “Research is essential.”
While the internet makes it possible to conduct research without leaving your desk, Green says Googling isn’t enough. “Talk to real people who are in the business you want to go into. Talk to people who might be your customers and get their views and opinions,” he says. “Test your ideas if possible.”
For the founders of Tender Greens, spending two years in the planning process allowed for a unique opportunity to try their ideas out on the public that would eventually become their clientele. “During that time we were testing recipes and refining our business,”
Oberholtzer says. “Because we were already working in the restaurant industry, we were able to actually test some of our recipes on customers at the resort, for two or three times the price we planned to charge at our own restaurant.”
3. Know the market.
Ask questions, conduct research or gain experience to help you learn your market inside and out, including the key suppliers, distributors, competitors and customers, Bachenheimer says. “You also have to really understand the critical metrics of your market, whether it’s as simple as sales per square foot and inventory turnover, or an esoteric measure in a highly specialized niche market,” he says.
Tender Greens’ Oberholtzer and his partners spent many years working in the California restaurant industry before launching their business. That experience allowed them to not only perfect their craft, but also to develop longtime relationships with food purveyors, farmers and other suppliers that they relied on to help Tender Greens succeed. In fact, Scarborough Farms, the restaurant’s lettuces and greens supplier, is a partner and investor in the company, thanks to its long relationship with the founders.
4. Understand your future customer.
In most business plans, a description of potential customers and how they make purchasing decisions receives much less attention than operational details such as financing, sourcing and technology. But in the end, it will be the customers who determine your success or failure, Blue Canyon Partners’ Brown says.
“You need to know who they are going to be, what drives their purchase decisions, what you can do that will differentiate your offering from that of competitors and how you can convince them of the value of your offer,” he says. “And the answers to those questions shouldn’t be off-the-cuff guesses. They need to be well-grounded in reality and market testing.”
Before launching Tender Greens, Oberholtzer and his partners spent years creating and serving the kinds of dishes they wanted to one day serve at more affordable prices. That experience, says Oberholtzer, is what helped them develop an understanding of the types of farmers-market-inspired dishes that would please local customers.
Understanding your future customers can be the difference between changing a failed aircraft engine on the ground vs. doing so midflight, Brown says. “The former is much simpler and much more likely to be successful. Once you start up the business, it’s likely that you will be consumed with operating details, often with little time to think and even less to make adjustments. Implementing the right plan from the start is far more likely to yield success than figuring out a plan on the fly.”
5. Establish cash resources.
“Cash is king, so you must take steps to adequately capitalize the business and secure ready sources of capital for growth,” says Steve Henley, senior managing director and national tax practice leader at Cbiz MHM, an accounting and management service provider. “A good cash-forecasting tool is critical so that you can plan for the sources and uses of cash on a rolling basis.”
While some startups rely on owners’ capital, others look to investors. Tender Greens’ owners raised funds from friends, family members and colleagues.
To determine how much cash you’ll need, develop a cash-flow statement that estimates your expenses and income. Be sure to include appropriate expense levels by researching actual business costs rather than estimating based on your personal experience as a retail consumer. “For instance, you can host your personal website with unlimited bandwidth for $9.95 a month, but operating a commercial website may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars a month,” Pace University’s Bachenheimer says.
Limit your need for cash by avoiding long-term commitments, like long-term leases, until necessary, adds Cbiz’s Henley. “There will be a considerable amount of uncertainty during the first few years, so be conservative in making commitments for resources that might not be yet needed.”
6. Choose the right business structure.
From the beginning, it’s crucial to select the appropriate corporate structure for your business, which will have legal and tax implications. The structure you choose can also ensure the success of future decisions, such as raising capital or exiting the business.
Most startups should probably operate as either an LLC or an S Corporation, Henley says, because starting with one of those structures and converting to a C Corporation later is much easier than starting as a C Corp and trying to convert to an LLC or S Corp. To determine which structure is best for your business, Henley outlines four considerations.
- Liability limitations: For C Corps, S Corps and LLCs, the owners’ personal liability is generally limited to the amounts invested and loaned. There is unlimited liability for general partners.
- Startup losses: If your company is an S Corp or an LLC, also known as “pass-through” structures (because tax liabilities and benefits “pass through” to the owners’ personal tax return), you can usually write off startup costs as losses on your personal tax return. In a C Corp, startup costs producing tax losses can only be utilized at the business level and offer no future benefit if the new company has future tax profits.
- Double taxation: “Generally, double taxation of earnings is avoided for pass-through entities, but not for C Corporations,” Henley says.
- Capital-raising plans: If you plan to take your business public or fundraise through private equity, these plans may require that the company not be a pass-through structure.
Everyone loves a scandal, so restaurant exposés are pretty common. Unfortunately, such revelations are often about gross stuff like bad food, horrible conditions, and a lack of cleanliness. Read about the top 10 most sizzling restaurant exposés if you think you can stomach it.
1. Gordon Ramsey’s Foi Gras Cruelty
Many people would love to see the downfall of the popular British celebrity chef who barks his way through a variety of reality shows. The restaurant world was shocked when footage was published in 2013 showing great cruelty at a duck farm that supplied one of his restaurants with foi gras, according to the DailyMail.com.
The birds were shown to be force-fed by a metal tube three times a day, raising cries of protest from industry and animal groups alike. The site reported that Ramsey decried the cruelty of killing sharks to make shark fin soup in the movie Shark Bait, making him out to be a hypocrite.
Ramsey said that he sold the restaurant in 2009 and the site was licensed to use his name; he claimed his position was as a consultant only. Anti-cruelty groups like PETA maintain that ducks are kept in deplorable conditions at such farms. They call for chefs like Ramsey to swear off foi gras, and seeing that it’s made from a duck’s liver, it seems like an easy compromise.
2. Count the Calories
As of 2010, restaurant chains with more than a handful of locations are required to post the calorie values of their regular menu items. Many people were shocked to find the number of restaurant’s salads that offered more calories than a Big Mac.
3. The Reality of Restaurant Employees
According to the 2013 ‘Behind the Kitchen Door’ expose by Saru Jayaraman, the Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley, the statistics concerning restaurant employees are staggering: of the 12 to 13 million working in the industry, most make salaries far below the poverty threshold. Adding insult to injury is the lack of benefits, sick days, or even regular raises, among other disparities, according to jobs.AOL.com.
4. Bad Storage Choices at Golden Corral
Many diners love the numerous buffets offered by the Golden Corral chain, but some may have changed their feelings after seeing the video posted by a Florida Golden Corral employee, as reported by Gawker.com. According to the employee, the video shows the restaurant hiding both raw and cooked food outside by a dumpster to keep it from being seen during a health inspection.
Golden Corral maintained that it was an isolated incident, none of the food was given to customers, and the manager was fired. Speculation has gone both for and against the restaurant and the video-posting employee.
5. Rounding Up for Chipotle
Going out to eat is a treat for most, and many save up their pennies to enjoy dining out once in awhile. So it really seemed deceitful when it came to light that Chipotle was rounding up to the nearest nickel and charging more on diner’s receipts. According to a 2012 article in TheStir.com, Chipotle restaurants were rounding up the cost of a customer’s meal to ‘save time;’ a meal that was listed for $8.95 would be billed at $9.00. Chipotle maintained that they were no longer going to utilize the practice, but would round down instead.
6. Menu Engineers
Many restaurants looking to boost their bottom lines are utilizing menu engineers; they show restaurant’s tips and tricks to lead customers to pay more, such as leaving the ‘$’ symbol off the prices or making the prices hard to find on the menu.
7. Subway’s Yoga Mats
In February 2014, mainstream media picked up the story that Subway uses a chemical in its bread that is also found in yoga mats. Called azodicarbonamide or ADA, the chemical is used in both bread-making and the manufacture of various plastics as a strengthener and puffing agent. Subway quickly vowed to stop using ADA, according to LAWeekly.com.
The chemical has been approved by the FDA since 1962 in small quantities, but various organizations—such as the World Health Organization—believe that it may be more harmful than previously thought. The kicker is that Subway is not the only one to use the chemical; according to the article, ADA is found in more than 500 breads, meats, and other foods.
8. Chef Labels NYC Restaurant Grades as Bogus
The health department of New York City has been giving letter grades to restaurants—and the restaurants are in turn supposed to display their grades to the public—since 2010. However, a recent ‘C’ grade for one of the city’s finest restaurants—Per Se—has prompted Executive Chef Josh Grinker to sound off about the system.
According to Grinker’s expose posted on the new site PIX11.com, the alphabetical system doesn’t focus on important issues that impact human health, but unimportant aspects such as if the choking sign is posted correctly.
9. Marketing Heavily to Kids
It seems pretty obvious now, but many were up in arms over a report that fast food restaurants market to kids. Some chains stopped including toys in kids’ meals, while others refused.
10. The Use of Secret Hand Signals
The Washington Post revealed restaurant’s special hand signals to denote important guests, an anniversary or birthday, or a preference for something special. Now you know how they knew it was your birthday!
The restaurant industry is well known for its love of a good prank. Since we all love a good prank (as long as it is not on us), restaurant pranks are fun for all. Check here for the top 10 funniest restaurant pranks.
Restaurant pranks take many different forms. There’s the in-house prank, where employees are pranking other employees. Then there are pranks that are committed upon the customer, as well as pranks that customers pull on restaurant employees.
1. Getting the New Guy
Pulling pranks on new employees is not limited solely to the restaurant industry, but the opportunities for good pranks are so much more available. According to the websiteJohannaKnowsGoodFood.com, restaurant settings are great for the ‘fool’s errand’ prank. The prank is basically the same no matter the industry: Ask the new employee to go find some made-up item.
Generally, the new guy or girl is so bent on doing a good job that he or she will look for the most ridiculous sounding things. Silly items include ingredients and utensils like the lobster gun, the rice peeler, the bacon stretcher, the left-handed spoon, and the bucket or can of steam. The prank can even extend into meaningless tasks, such as chopping flour. To kick the gag up a notch, the newbie might be sent to a store or other restaurant to request the made-up item.
2. Utilizing the Freezer
Another really funny in-house prank revolves around the freezer. Essentially, an important possession of an employee—like their car keys—is stolen and placed in a bowl of water and placed in the freezer. By the end of the shift, the item is frozen in the middle of a rock-solid slab of ice. A variation offered by a chef in response to The Phoenix News blog’s request for tales of April Fools jokes in restaurants is putting another chef’s knives in water and then freezing them. Now that’s cold.
3. When Carrie Visits the Coffee Shop
In a rare prank pulled by a restaurant on its customers, the Manhattan coffee café ‘Snice paired up with producers of the remake of Carrie, the horror movie, in the fall of 2013. As reported by The Huffington Post, the shop was rigged with all sorts of special effects to make it look like a customer (an actress) with telekinetic powers was flipping out big time. The restaurant was in on it, as were a half-dozen actors. On the video, the surprise and horror of the customers not in on the joke was very real and palpable.
In what was less a mean prank and more of a random act of kindness, infamous Internet pranksters Andrew Hales and Stuart Edge joined forces to give various waiters $200 tips and then filmed the results. Posted on KnowYourMeme.com, the video is heartfelt and touching.
5. The Weird Food at that French Restaurant
In a prank conducted by the European mobile phone service brand Orange, diners at a real French restaurant are offered a gastronomical appetizer—real live snails. Actors planted about the restaurant appear to relish eating the live critters while the patrons at the prankee table try to figure out what to do. In the end, the waiter returns with a covered dish that reveals the prank and the connection to the advertising. Watch the video on FunnyPlaces.com.
6. The Bad Ingredient
This prank is fairly simple. Basically, a common ingredient in any dish is replaced with something unsavory, such as salt, hot pepper, sardines, or any number of inedible or gross items, like dirt or bugs. Another chef responding to The Phoenix News blog’s request for pranks recalled how one head chef mixed salty and hot sauces into his cup to catch whoever was drinking from it. However, he forgot about it halfway through service and took a drink of the mess himself!
7. The Spoof Restaurant
As part of April Fool’s Day last year, L.A. Weekly announced a new restaurant, Golgugi Burger, that supposedly sold burgers catering to the newly-discovered ‘6th taste,’ labeled ‘gogugi’—a fizzy sensation on the tongue featuring a hearty twinge. According to the site Eater.com, the spoof was a bit of satire aimed at Umami Burger.
8. Taco Bell’s Bell
In another April Fool’s joke—this one in 1996 according to Snopes.com―Taco Bell announced that it was buying the Liberty Bell and renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. The chain revealed the prank later in the day, though only after the National Historic Park in Philadelphia, which houses the bell, received a bevy of complaints from outraged citizens.
9. Left-Handed Whoppers
Also from Snopes.com, in 1998, Burger King took out full-page ads on April Fool’s to announce the Left-Handed Whopper. Made specifically for left-handed customers, the ads maintained the ingredients in the burgers were shifted 180 degrees. Many stores reported requests for left-handed and right-handed burgers.
10. Starbucks Laughs at Itself
Let’s agree: Starbucks’ foreign-sounding labels for its cup sizes are a little silly. Starbucks itself took a jab at the names of its cup sizes for April Fool’s in 2010, according to FoodServiceWarehouse.com. As part of the prank, Starbucks introduced the 2-ounce cup, called the Micra, and the 128-ounce cup—the same amount as a gallon—called the Plenta.
If you love to dine out, you’ll be interested in knowing the top 10 most hyped restaurants that will be opening in 2014. Eating out has become a big thing and there are foodies all over the country who are looking forward to new dining establishments. With a new year, new restaurants are on the horizon.
The new openings are happening in major cities throughout the U.S. Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles, and Denver are only some of the cities that will be welcoming new restaurants this year. They are highly anticipated because of their chefs as well as their food, and Zagat is featuring all of them.
1. Monsieur Benjamin
San Francisco will be welcoming a new restaurant called Monsieur Benjamin, slated to open this spring. The food will feature modern French items in a bistro-type atmosphere. The owner is Corey Lee, who is currently the chef and owner of Benu. The head chef of the new place will be Jason Berthold. The restaurant will be located in Hayes Valley and will have seating for almost 100 patrons.
2. Stoic & Genuine
There are a number of new restaurants opening in Denver this year and Stoic & Genuine is one of them. It is planning on opening in the newly revamped downtown Union Station. While restaurant competition is high in the city, the Denver Post reports that the national reputation of the chef will help set Stoic & Genuine apart from the rest.
Jennifer Jasinski has made a name for herself by making it to the Top Chef Masters finals and winning the James Beard Award for being the Best Chef Southwest. She will once again be partnering with Beth Gruitch, and this will be their fourth restaurant.
Seafood will be the star at the new restaurant. Fresh seafood, New England-style classics, and a special raw bar will be available in the open kitchen as well as on the patio.
3. Alden & Harlow
Chef Michael Scelfo just recently opened his Alden & Harlow in Boston. The restaurant space is modern, subterranean, and comfortable. The food is unpretentious and is inspired by the type of cooking that he does at home for his friends and family. His dishes are heavy on produce and vegetables that are thoughtfully and locally sourced.
A food celebrity who is loved by all is Giada de Laurentiis and she will be opening Giada’s in Las Vegas sometime in the summer. This is her very first restaurant and it will open in Gansevoort on the strip.
The Las Vegas Sun reports http://www.lasvegassun.com/vegasdeluxe/2013/aug/21/giada-de-laurentiis-open-italian-restaurant-giada-/ that the 12,000 square foot restaurant will feature Italian fare with California influences. There will be al fresco dining and views of the mountains and the Bellagio fountains. Giada plans on giving the place a feminine touch, which will include stylish living room-style furniture.
5. Lo Spiedo
If you live in Philadelphia, keep your eyes open for Lo Spiedo, planning to open in late spring. The chef is Marc Vetri, who is a star in the Philadelphia dining scene. His new restaurant will be located just inside the office park of the Navy Yard in a previous guard house.
The new place will be more of a casual, relaxed eatery. Looking to attract sports fans and nearby office workers, food examples are rotisserie, sandwiches, and pastas.
6. Tony Mantuano Project
Chef Tony Mantuano is opening a new restaurant in Chicago. Although the restaurant is yet to be named, it will serve rustic American fare in a social dining hall atmosphere. Large cuts of beef and whole roasted chicken will be offered along with classic cocktails, wine, and craft beer. It will be located in the Reid & Murdoch building, which offers river views.
7. China Chilcano
Scheduled to open in the spring, China Chilcano will be a new addition in Washington, D.C. Popville reports that Jose Andres will be leading this Chinese-Peruvian establishment in Penn Quarter. Expect dishes such as ceviches, dumplings, and fried rice.
8. Danny Meyer Project
In the King and Grove Hotel in New York City, Chef Danny Meyer is planning a summer opening of a new yet-to-be named restaurant. Although there are few details about the features of the eatery, it is expected to be one of the hottest tables in 2014.
Los Angeles has a new restaurant coming to town called POT. Roy Choi is the owner of the place, which will be located in Koreatown in The Line Hotel. Korean BBQ is a big feature, as is blood soup and hot pots.
10. The Progress
The Progress is set to open by late spring in San Francisco. The owners, Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza, are the team behind the popular State Bird Provisions, which is always packed. Their new place will be located only a few doors down from their first restaurant.
We’ve all seen that horrible customer in a restaurant: In fact, we may have even have been that bad-mannered customer a time or two. The fact of the matter is there are lots of ways for customers to misbehave while dining out. Make sure you’re avoiding these 10 worst things that customers do in restaurants.
Restaurant customers do bad things for a number of reasons. Some are having a bad day while others are simply immature. Make sure you are on your best behavior by avoiding the following.
1. Becoming Ansel Adams When the Food Arrives
It’s true that technology has brought us many good things over the years, but those patrons who insist on photographing and posting pictures of their food are beyond annoying. However, many customers feel the utmost need to share their food photography with the world, despite how impolite it is to use a smart phone to capture a dish it all angles. It’s become so out of control that many high-end restaurants in New York City have banned the use of cell phones altogether, according to the New York Times.
2. Bringing a Pet
It’s bad enough trying to dine next to humans behaving badly, but it’s that much worse when they bring their furry friends. Obviously, we’re not talking about service animals here, but those people who insist on bringing their little dogs that can fit in a purse and such. If we wanted to eat while listening to barking, we would have had a picnic at the dog park.
3. Attempting to Break the Record for Send-Backs
This one is high on the gripe list of many waiters: the customer who can’t be pleased and must have everything sent back to the kitchen. Sure, it’s one thing if your medium rare steak has a coat of charcoal, but some people are too demanding about the perfection of a dish. You’ll know this is you if you’ve asked to speak to the chef in order to give him a piece of your mind. If your palate is really that demanding, then stay home and make it yourself.
4. Asking the Staff to Perform Mathematical Equations
Another bad behavior from customers that really irks waiters is asking them to figure out how much everyone owes on separate checks. It’s not that they can’t do it; it’s just that it’s a real pain in the butt and they have better things to do with their time, like make money.
5. Letting the Kids Run Wild
It’s definitely okay to bring the kids when dining out at most restaurants, but there’s no reason why they should be allowed to misbehave. It’s no wonder that bringing a passel of unruly kids to a restaurant is the first on a Buzzfeed.com list of things that waiters dread.
If customers can’t keep their kids in their seats and the noise level lower than that of a jumbo jet, then the adults should probably get a sitter and leave the kids at home. If parents want to sit while the kids run around, then take them to Chuck E. Cheese.
6. Performing Grooming
There used to be something called manners while dining, like those ‘don’t put your elbows on the table’ set of rules, but many have fallen by the wayside. While putting your elbows on the table isn’t a deal-breaker, performing any function that is generally done in the bathroom is. It’s bad form to pick your teeth, put on makeup, brush your hair, or even file your nails while sitting at the table in public view.
7. Refusing to Tip
The Internet is filled with stories of patrons refusing to tip for illogical reasons that span from believing the waiter was too fat to not agreeing with the perceived political, religious, or lifestyle views of said waiter or waitress. True, some such stories are bogus, but the tip is not the place to announce your own views. Instead, tip generously—with actual money—and get a good bumper sticker.
8. Being Rude
Many restaurant patrons have turned customer rudeness into an art form, treating the wait staff like minions. There’s the ‘I’m-reading-the-menu-so-I-can’t-acknowledge-your-presence’ move, the ‘my-phone-is-more-interesting-than-you’ trick, and the ‘come-here-servant’ snap or wave that are all unacceptable ways to treat your server.
Of the 100 items on EndlessSimmer.com’s list of things restaurant patrons should never do, about 90% are about customer rudeness. Unfortunately, it might take a little bit more control than you would expect, as a CNN Eatocracy.com article cites research that suggests we are hard-wired to be rude to restaurant staff.
9. Lingering Unnecessarily
Many restaurants need to turn over tables in a set amount of time to ensure profits and tips for wait staff. Lingering over empty dessert dishes or coffee cups may seem romantic, but it’s really a huge pain for the establishment. Move the ambiance to a bar or private location.
10. Commit Thievery
While it might make good fodder for television sitcoms, stealing from a restaurant is rock-bottom low. Whether you are dining-and-dashing or helping yourself to a new set of silverware, it still hurting someone’s bottom line.