Top Restaurant Prices https://www.toprestaurantprices.com The authority of restaurant prices online Tue, 16 Oct 2018 19:29:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Eat Your Breakfast Donut, Improve Your Memory https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/eat-your-breakfast-donut-improve-your-memory/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/eat-your-breakfast-donut-improve-your-memory/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2018 19:29:19 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9013 Eating a delicious customized donut from donut places such as Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Duck Donuts may not be the healthiest breakfast but it may just be what your brain needs to jumpstart its function for the day! This is particularly true when you have trouble remembering things or concentrating on things in the […]

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Eating a delicious customized donut from donut places such as Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Duck Donuts may not be the healthiest breakfast but it may just be what your brain needs to jumpstart its function for the day! This is particularly true when you have trouble remembering things or concentrating on things in the morning. The reason: Donuts have sugar that your brain needs.

But don’t overdo the donuts either as too much sugar can be bad for your health, too. The mantra of moderation applies to these sugary yet so delicious treats, as is the case for all food.

Decreased Sugar Levels

When you sleep, your body continues to use sugar to maintain its normal functions. In fact, your brain considers sugar – or glucose – as indispensable without which its cells will eventually die. This is the reason why even when you don’t exactly have a sweet tooth, your body will crave for something sweet, such as from naturally sweet fruits or from glazed donuts with the works.

When you wake up in the morning, your blood sugar level will be at precipitously low levels. Your brain will then do whatever is necessary to get your body’s blood sugar level up and so you get the sweet cravings in the morning. You may satisfy it by eating your usual breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast with a glass of orange juice or a cup of black coffee but these will not be enough for your brain’s needs.

While stuck in morning traffic, for example, you have trouble concentrating and you still feel hungry. Your brain is actually craving for its sugar fix and you can choose to ignore it or you can give in to it. You may want to seriously consider the latter because your body will benefit from it.

Sugar as Brain Food

No, we’re not just making it up just to promote donuts as healthy food, far from it. Researchers have discovered the chemical reactions that happen when glucose enters the brain – and it’s something that everybody who says donuts aren’t great breakfast items should know, too.

Sugar is used by the brain as an energy source so that it can perform its normal functions. These functions include the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter crucial in good memory, concentration, and mood. Here’s how it works.

The brain makes acetylcholine from choline, a chemical that can be obtained from the diet in general and from acetyl groups created from metabolizing sugar. Choline can be sourced from food containing lecithin that, in turn, can be found in a wide range of baked goods including cupcakes, donuts and chocolate cakes. When you eat a chocolate-covered donut, for example, as part of your breakfast, you are essentially feeding both your brain and body.

Again, acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter because of its functions including but not limited to:

  • Learning new things and remembering them
  • Regulating your mood
  • Increasing your concentration ability
  • Controlling the quality of your movements

As your day progresses, your brain particularly your acetylcholine neurons continue to consume choline. Your brain, after all, keeps on learning and thinking thus its consumption of glucose as an energy source.

But as the afternoon arrives, you’re becoming more sluggish in both mind and body. You may want to reach for donut again but we suggest that you reach for coffee instead.

While your brain was learning and thinking, your acetylcholine neurons are starting to turn off, so to speak, because of the actions of another chemical, adenosine. Basically, adenosine inhibits the function of acetylcholine so much so that its influence on brain function increases the longer you’re awake.

Coffee – or more particularly, the caffeine in it – prevents adenosine from taking over and releases more acetylcholine in the brain. The result: You will become more awake, more attentive, and more alert for the tasks ahead until the caffeine wears off and it’s time for dinner.

So, don’t fight your urge to indulge in a breakfast donut every morning. Your brain actually needs the sugar in it and you can start your day on a better footing.  You will even find yourself enjoying a better mood so you are more than ready to face the morning traffic followed by your work at the office.

But don’t indulge in one too many donuts in the morning either. You are well-advised to stick to one serving of donut to meet your brain’s requirements without subjecting your body to more sugar than it needs. You may have seen the effects of a sugar crash in kids and it isn’t something that you need in the middle of the day.

Add other healthy items to your breakfast, too. You should always eat a balanced meal with protein, carbohydrates and fat as well as vitamins and minerals with every meal. You may, for example, eat an omelet with diced vegetables, a breakfast donut, and an orange juice for breakfast and know that you’re doing your body and brain a great service.

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What Makes a Cheesecake a Cheesecake? https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/what-makes-a-cheesecake-a-cheesecake/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/what-makes-a-cheesecake-a-cheesecake/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2018 10:26:58 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9009 The Cheesecake Factory is perhaps the most prolific producer of cheesecakes in the world! Just take one look at its menu of cheesecakes and your first thought will likely be: “Oh my God! There are so many, more than I can shake a stick at.” This is good, too, because one can never have too […]

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The Cheesecake Factory is perhaps the most prolific producer of cheesecakes in the world! Just take one look at its menu of cheesecakes and your first thought will likely be: “Oh my God! There are so many, more than I can shake a stick at.” This is good, too, because one can never have too much cheesecake in a lifetime.

But what makes a cheesecake a cheesecake? Where did it come from? Is it even a form of cake? Here, we will try to answer these questions but always remember that a cheesecake, like life itself, is what you make of it.

The Greeks Invented It, Possibly

In the modern sense, a cheesecake isn’t a cake per se, if you’re interested in the answer. While a cheesecake has a crust – a crushed graham mixed with butter crust, to be exact – its primary ingredient isn’t flour but cream cheese.

According to historians, the ancient Greeks may have invented the cheesecake although it’s so different from the modern version. Athenaeus, an ancient Greek writer, wrote the first recorded cheesecake recipe: Take cheese, pound it until it has a smooth texture and pasty consistency, and place it into a brazen sieve to make it even creamier. Add spring wheat flour and honey, stir until well-blended, and heat until cooked. Cool it down and serve.

Apparently, it’s a cheesecake meant to fortify the minds and bodies of the athletes during the first Olympic Games in 776 B.C. But if it were served today, it will not be considered cheesecake because it will have the consistency of a British boiled pudding.

And then in 1390, King Richard II commissioned a cookbook, one of the first of its kind in the English language, known as Forme of Cury. In it, a recipe known as sambocade approximates the modern version of cheesecake. Basically, it calls for mixing sugar, egg whites, and wrung-out cheese curds (i.e., similar to ricotta), as well as dried elderflowers and rosewater to make the cheesecake filling. It is then poured into a pie crust and baked.

The New Yorkers Made It Famous

Despite these early examples of the cheesecake, it is the New Yorkers who made its modern version famous. Indeed, it’s widely considered as the dessert king of New York and many will say that no other cheesecake can compare to the New York cheesecake. We tend to agree with the assertion because, in many ways, there’s nothing like the original but it’s still a matter of personal opinion.

Why New York, you may ask? In 1872, William Lawrence invented cream cheese. William, a New York dairy farmer, purchased a factory that was previously used in the manufacture of Neufchâtel. He decided to make Neufchâtel, a soft cheese with a slightly sharp flavor just a bit milder and creamier than normal so he added heavy cream and ate it fresh (i.e., no aging).

He marketed it as Neufchâtel and Cream Cheese due to the combined ingredients. Eventually, it became inconvenient to continue saying and spelling “Neufchâtel” so it was dropped and the product was simply called cream cheese.

And thus was born an oddball cheese! Cream cheese isn’t matured at all so it isn’t like other soft cheeses (e.g., brie). But due to its high milk fat content, it isn’t like ricotta either. From such unique qualities also came the rich texture and creamy flavors of the modern cheesecake.

For the classic New York cheesecake, cream cheese is the most important ingredient and, in fact, it’s the ingredient that’s the highest in quantity. It’s also the foundation on which the quality of a cheesecake will rest on – the higher its quality, the better the cheesecake will be. The other ingredients are the baked graham cracker crust – other chefs also like using pulverized cookies like Oreos – and eggs, as well as desired toppings like whipped cream and sliced fresh fruits.

But cream cheese isn’t necessarily a crucial ingredient in all types of cheesecakes – it’s the most important only in the New York version. Across the globe, cheesecake recipes abound so much so that what may be considered cheesecake in Japan may not be necessarily so in Germany and the United States. The main differences in the wide range of cheesecakes lie in the type of cheese, crust and thickener used as well as the cooking method (i.e., baked or no-bake).

In Italy, for example, the cheese used is either ricotta or mascarpone with eggs as the thickener; while it’s also baked, it often doesn’t have a crust. In Germany, quark cheese (i.e., made with soured milk and with a flavor profile similar to Greek yogurt) is used over a pastry crust; the cheesecake isn’t baked. In the United Kingdom, the filling is a mix of heavy cream and cream cheese, which may or may not be thickened with gelatin, and the cheesecake isn’t baked; the crust itself is usually crushed digestive biscuits or any other favorite cookie.

No matter which type of cheesecake you prefer, you will agree that we have much to thank for because it’s definitely one of the best desserts we have so far!

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What’s Blue Cheese Anyway? https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/whats-blue-cheese-anyway/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/whats-blue-cheese-anyway/#respond Wed, 03 Oct 2018 10:20:19 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9005 A quick look at the menus of modern restaurants will reveal that there will likely be a blue cheese offering – blue cheese dressing, blue cheese dip, and blue cheese with crackers at Buffalo Wild Wings are just a few examples. But many people are hesitant about eating blue cheese mainly because of the thought […]

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A quick look at the menus of modern restaurants will reveal that there will likely be a blue cheese offering – blue cheese dressing, blue cheese dip, and blue cheese with crackers at Buffalo Wild Wings are just a few examples. But many people are hesitant about eating blue cheese mainly because of the thought that it has harmful molds in it and it may not be as great-tasting as, say, mozzarella.

But these are misconceptions that should be removed from our minds! Blue cheese doesn’t contain harmful molds and it tastes so great – sharp and salty, in particular – that it’s nearly addictive.

Of course, we understand if the thought of ingesting molds is repugnant to most people. Molds, after all, in the food can mean that it isn’t fresh anymore and, thus, it isn’t fit for consumption, such as in the case of breads. But while there are dangerous molds that produce toxins harmful to our health, many molds aren’t problematic to the human body – and that’s the case with the molds used in the manufacture of blue cheese.

It’s Still Cheese, Darling

Blue cheese is still cheese in terms of its ingredients, process and taste. Like all types of cheese, its main ingredient is milk from cows, sheep and goats so it’s a processed dairy product. It’s also subjected to the processes of acidification, coagulation, curds and whey, salting, shaping, and ripening like most types of cheese.

The main thing that makes it unique is the introduction of the penicillium mold that contributes to its green, grey, blue and/or black veins or spots throughout its body. These veins and spots are actually beautiful when you come to think of it because these give blue cheese aesthetics most of its solid-colored counterparts don’t have.

What types of molds are added to cheese to make it into blue cheese? There are two types – Penicillium roqueforti and Penicillium glaucum – which are not only safe to eat but can also be beneficial to the body. Both have natural antibacterial properties, for one thing, which can aid in digestion and immunity.

These are also safe to eat when added to cheese appropriately. These blue molds cannot produce toxins in the cheese-making process for as long the right combination of salinity, acidity, density, temperature, oxygen flow, and moisture is maintained.

An interesting trivia: Penicillium roqueforti is named after Roquefort, a French town where the famous Roquefort blue cheese has been created for centuries. Its original recipe called for leaving loaves of rye bread in caves that, in turn, became the hosts for the mold spores present. After a month or so, these were dried and ground before being mixed with the cheese curd.

These blue molds have an interesting effect on cheese. These dramatically accelerate two processes in cheese-making – proteolysis (the breakdown of proteins) and lipolysis (the breakdown of fats).

Basically, proteolysis results in blue cheese having an extra-creamy texture, particularly near the veins and spots, a great thing when you’re pairing it with crackers and fruits. Lipolysis contributes to blue cheese’s unique flavor profile of spicy, tangy and sharp, a stronger profile in comparison with the likes of cheddar, for example.

The contrast between the creamy texture and sharp flavor is further complemented by the sweet yet salty with a nutty hint flavors in blue cheese. No wonder we like blue cheese in nearly every form it comes in – as a spread, a dip, and a dressing.  Keep in mind, however, that blue cheese usually contain twice the salt content of other types of cheese.

Blue Cheese Types to Try

Are you a blue cheese virgin but you still want to try it anyway? Then you may want to be initiated into the wonderful world of blue cheese with one or all of these types.

Bleu d’Auvergne

Made in the Auvergne region in France, it’s made from cow’s milk with the addition of Penicillium glaucum, a milder mold than Penicillium roqueforti. The result is a blue cheese with a lighter-colored veins and flavors of toasted hazelnuts and chocolate. Think of it as Nutella mixed with creamy cheese and you have the general idea.  Mix it with grilled fruits or a simple vegetable salad and enjoy.

Gorgonzola Dolce

Manufactured in the Lombardia region of Italy, gorgonzola dolce is also made from cow’s milk. Unlike many types of blue cheese, it actually has less blue mold in it. During its aging process, it’s pierced with long metal pokers that allow oxygen into the cheese and, thus, activates the growth of the blue mold. But because it’s so thick and creamy, piercing makes it cave in resulting in stifled oxygen flow and mold growth. The result: A lightly-veined, sweet, mild and milky cheese that can be eaten as is, stirred into risotto, or enjoyed with a glass of moscato wine.

The next time you’re in a restaurant with blue cheese in it, don’t be afraid to try it. You may just find that it has become your favorite because it makes you happy just from enjoying its creamy, cheesy and delicious flavors.

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Hands or Cutlery: The Burger Eating Challenge https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/hands-or-cutlery-the-burger-eating-challenge/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/hands-or-cutlery-the-burger-eating-challenge/#respond Fri, 28 Sep 2018 19:19:40 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9002 Just as eating pizza with a knife and fork are controversial among Americans, so it is with eating burger with cutlery. The with-your-hands versus with-knife-and-fork factions have their valid arguments, and we can’t say that we haven’t tried the latter, especially when we’re trying to impress a somewhat snotty date. But there’s something ultimately satisfying […]

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Just as eating pizza with a knife and fork are controversial among Americans, so it is with eating burger with cutlery. The with-your-hands versus with-knife-and-fork factions have their valid arguments, and we can’t say that we haven’t tried the latter, especially when we’re trying to impress a somewhat snotty date. But there’s something ultimately satisfying about eating the largest burger at Bareburger with our hands – messily, if you must know – never mind the greasy fingers.

But the lighthearted debate isn’t just about personal preferences either. It’s also about dining etiquette, an important aspect when you’re eating at a restaurant where people will care whether you eat like an animal or a civilized person. Here’s our take on the matter but keep in mind that we aren’t as serious as you may think.

Go at it with Cutlery

There’s a good reason man invented cutlery – it’s a practical way to cut your food into bite-sized pieces. You want to give your teeth less of a workout and your mouth more of the flavors of the food. You also don’t want to fill your mouth with food so you can actually carry on a conversation while enjoying every bite.

This is particularly true when you’re tackling a humungous burger about six inches high and three inches wide. With the stiff competition in the burger-centric restaurant segment with everybody from McDonald’s to Gordon Ramsay having their take on the American classic, bigger seems to be better.  In this case, using a knife and fork to cut down a giant burger to size, literally, makes perfect sense.

You can cut the burger into bite-sized pieces while also making sure that there’s a bit of everything in each bite – the soft bun that absorbed the juice from the meat, the lettuce, tomato and pickle, and the juicy meat grilled to perfection. You start by cutting the burger in half, an easier way to ensure that you can further cut it into smaller pieces.

But don’t cut the burger into bite-sized pieces in one go! You don’t have to deprive yourself since you can cut and eat as you go. As soon as you cut the burger in half, cut a large bite-sized piece, place it on your mouth, and savor the flavors. While your mouth is busy with the food, cut another piece so it’s ready to eat as soon as you swallow the first bite – and so and so forth until your giant burger is no more.

The best thing about eating a giant burger with cutlery: Look, Ma, no grease, no sauce and no mess on my hands! You may appear like a snob in front of the eat-with-your-hands customers but you will not be dealing with the mess either.

Basically, if you’re given a knife and fork in an upscale restaurant and you ordered the largest burger on the menu, then you should use the cutlery. You’re not trying to impress others, you’re just trying to be mindful of other people’s sensibilities – and that, my friends, is good manners at the table.

Go at it with Your Hands

But for Pete’s sake, if you’re eating a small burger, such as sliders from White Castle, that your hands can hold without the fillings spilling on the plate, then go at it with your hands. That’s what the paper wrapping is for.

What if it’s a truly large burger? Set aside the knife and fork, too! That is, if you can handle eating the entire burger while holding it in your hands the entire time, opening your mouth as wide as a hippo can, and getting as many of the burger’s ingredients in each bite. You may not be Patrick Starr but you can always try.

You may have to deal with a few issues about eating a humungous burger with your hands. The meat and vegetables can slide away from where you’re going to take a bite so you get more of the bun and less of the filling, for example. You can’t open your mouth like a hippo so you can’t actually get a clean bite, for another thing.

These are minor inconveniences, nonetheless, so you eat giant burgers with your hands anyway. There’s a certain sense of satisfaction, too, about diving into a burger like you’re the hungriest person in the world and you can’t wait to enjoy its scrumptious flavors.

You may even be happy about licking the juices, dressing, and grease from your fingers – and making satisfied grunts about it, too. Think of it as showing your appreciation to the chef for a job – and a burger – well done.

Whatever your choice in the matter, you will find that it’s acceptable in America because it’s a free country where tolerance is the norm, especially when it comes to burgers, hotdogs and the like. For as long as you enjoy the food, then go ahead and eat it.

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What to Order in a Caribbean Theme Restaurant https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/what-to-order-in-a-caribbean-theme-restaurant/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/what-to-order-in-a-caribbean-theme-restaurant/#respond Fri, 10 Aug 2018 10:53:00 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=8740 So you’ve finally decided to treat yourself and your friends to the Grand Lux Cafe or someplace where they serve Caribbean food. You’ve always wanted to try Caribbean cuisine but the thing is, you don’t know where to start. Well, you’re in the right place. Common Meats, Vegetables and Fruits The ones you’re most probably […]

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So you’ve finally decided to treat yourself and your friends to the Grand Lux Cafe or someplace where they serve Caribbean food. You’ve always wanted to try Caribbean cuisine but the thing is, you don’t know where to start. Well, you’re in the right place.

Common Meats, Vegetables and Fruits

The ones you’re most probably going to find on the menu are tamarind, passion fruit, papaya, mango, breadfruit, yam, callaloo, ackee and okra. The most common meats are chicken, beef, pork and goat.

Common Spices and Seasonings

Caribbean meals use different types of seasonings such as cloves, vanilla, almond, turmeric, bay leaves, thyme, ginger, pimento, jalapenos, habaneros and Scotch bonnet. Many types of hot chili peppers are also used.

Meat Based Caribbean Meals

Most Caribbean meals with meat usually go like this.

  • Callaloo – it is a callabo plant soup which is like spinach in a way. The soup includes crab, pork, chillies and okra.
  • Mofongo – this is a well known Puerto Rico dish consisting of garlic, fried pork grinds and mashed plantains.
  • Oxtail stew – this is an oxtail slow cooked with gravy.
  • Meat curry – can be made with goat, lamb beef or chicken and is similar to Indian curries.
  • Jerk pork / chicken – this a popular seasoning for meats. There are more than 20 types of seasonings mostly fragrant and spicy.

Fish Based Caribbean Meals

  • Saltfish and ackee – this is the national dish of Jamaica and consists of dried fish. Ackee fruit is often served with the dish, a reddish fruit with yellowish edible fish.
  • Coconut rundown – this is a sauce used for vegetable and meat dishes. It has a coconut, creamy flavor and used to temper the flavor of lime and ginger.
  • Stamp and go – codfish fritters with a spicy taste
  • Blaff – fish, usually snapper, is boiled and then marinated with spices, chili and limes. The dish is seasoned with herbs and rice is served with the meal.
  • Escovitch fish – this dish is cooked with spices, onions and vinegar. The dish came to the Caribbean courtesy of Spanish Jews.

Vegetable Based Caribbean Meals

The most popular Caribbean vegetarian dish is pepperpot, a soup with vegetable soup and callaloo. In other regions the dish consists of vegetable stew and cassava juice. While there are variants, most use thick vegetable soup. You may also find ital, Rastafarian vegetarian dishes which don’t use salt.

Side Dishes

Caribbean side dishes are plentiful, but the following should get you started.

  • Dasheen – a boiled root that resembles root.
  • Bammy – the bammy is cassava bread that’s been deep fried and served with fish.
  • Roti – this a flat bread done Indian style.
  • Cho cho – texture wise the cho cho is very much like a squash, but smaller and shaped like a pear.
  • Peas and rice – this dish consists of cooked kidney beans and rice, lentils, black beans and black eyed peas. Green garden peas are not used.
  • Boiled yam – this is a root that tastes like potato.
  • Cassava – after being turned to flour, the root is cooked as a boiled or crisp bread. It is a common side dish.
  • Plaintain – this side dish is either roasted or fried.

Caribbean Sweets

  • Cassava pone – cassava pudding
  • Bulla – it is a sugar cookie, brown and round
  • Bun – this is bread with a spicy texture and taste

Snacks

  • Channa – thick peas with a spicy, crunchy texture
  • Patties – a general term used for various baked goods. Fillings range from meat, vegetables to pastry.

Drinks

  • Rum
  • Ginger beer
  • Pineapple punch
  • Guinness punch
  • Irish Moss – the beverage consists of a substances extracted off seaweed. It’s got a subtle taste.

Other Types of Caribbean Food

Caribbean cuisine is rich and varied. Here are some more treats you’ll want to try.

  • Seafood – fresh shellfish, whitefish and grouper are excellent done Caribbean style
  • Torta Cubanos – AKA Cuban sandwiches, it’s got a crisp crust with mozarella cheese, vinegary mustard, dill pickles, ham and roast pork.
  • Guyanese Pepperpot – a thick stew with cornmeal dumplings, eggplant, potatoes, quash, okra and beef. It’s got a spicy taste and can be prepared in various ways.
  • Conch – fried conch fritters are cooked in various ways like stew, soups and salads.

These are just examples. If you head over to any Caribbean restaurant you’re going to find a lot more. The same is true with the drinks as a diverse range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks are available.

Conclusion

If you’ve had your fill of Western meals and want to try something exotic, Caribbean is the way to go. The choices above should give you an idea, but there are lots more, so what are you waiting for?

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14 Tips for Healthy Restaurant Eating https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/14-tips-for-healthy-restaurant-eating/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/14-tips-for-healthy-restaurant-eating/#respond Fri, 03 Aug 2018 10:49:02 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=8737 Restaurants like the Old Country Buffet are full of delicious treats, but like many others there are now healthy and low calorie options. Are you one of those who want to enjoy fine dining but watching your weight? Follow these simple tips. Start with Salad Next time you’re at Bonefish Grill, start your meal by […]

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Restaurants like the Old Country Buffet are full of delicious treats, but like many others there are now healthy and low calorie options. Are you one of those who want to enjoy fine dining but watching your weight? Follow these simple tips.

Start with Salad

Next time you’re at Bonefish Grill, start your meal by ordering a salad. They’re tasty, nutritious and curbs your appetite. Eat a healthy amount of vegetable salad before the main course so you’ll consume less calories. If you do go for vegetable salad, forget the cream and opt for vinegar or oil dressing. Skip the croutons and cheese as well.

Read the Names Carefully

Don’t order food on the menu that have words like cream, butter, stuffed and so on. Food items with words like sauteed, cheese filled, parmesan etc are sure signs they’re high in calories.

Take it Easy on Dessert

Those chocolates and pies are so tempting, but they’re best avoided if you’re weight conscious. If you can’t resist then order a small portion or share it with the others on the table. Better yet, just skip it and grab a yogurt on your way home.

Pop a Mint After Eating

You’ve finished the course but tempted to go another round. You can get over this by popping a mint. The cool taste of mint not only eliminates the smell of the food you just ate, but it also makes you not want to eat anymore as the flavor is all over your mouth.

Plan an Activity after Eating

Whether it’s a walk, shopping etc this will force you to eat less when at a restaurant. You don’t want to feel sluggish when it’s time for a walk so you’ll end up eating less. It might be difficult at the beginning but it can become a habit.

Eat before Dining Out

A simple solution to avoid overeating at a restaurant is to eat a meal or a snack about 2 hours before. By doing this you’ll be able to resist the urge to order more at the restaurant. Of course you should eat healthy snacks or meals.

Drink Water Throughout

Alternate drinking of water with your bites. This slows down your eating and helps curb your appetite. Drinking water during meals also lets you take stock of what you’re doing and if you’re already full. Often we’re already full and just don’t realize it.

Dress for the Meal

This may sound odd, but scientists have determined that formal dressing makes people more conscious of the food they eat. Of course in a formal dinner you dine with more restraint and that’s the effect we’re looking for here.

Put the Fork Down After Each Bite

The food is so good we just swallow bite after bite. Before you know it we’ve gotten through several plates. One way to avoid this is to simply put the fork after each bite.  Pick the fork up after 30 seconds or so. This gives you time to talk to your companion and determine if you’re still hungry.

Turn Down the Bread Basket

The bread basket is a no-no as well as the salsa and tortilla combo. They’re packed with too much calories and besides, you can always order a plateful of vegetables instead.  As for the dips, just tell the waiter you won’t be having them.

Don’t Eat the Skin

We’re referring to chicken, turkey, and duck skin. They’ve got more calories than the meat so remove them before eating. Don’t worry about lack of taste as there are seasonings available that you can sprinkle on the meats.

Start with the Low Calorie Foods

It’s a good idea to learn the calorie content of the foods on the menu so you can start with those that have the lowest calories. This allows your body to get filled up so by the time you get to the high calorie foods, you’re no longer that hungry.

Ask for Spices

Spicy herbs, sauces and seasonings add to the flavor, but they are also low in calories.  Among the best options are lemon, chili powder, garlic salt and paprika.

Order Fruits

Fruits are delicious and make for the perfect side or dessert. They don’t pack a lot of calories so that’s an added bonus. Mixed fruits are readily available and you can also ask for whole fruits as well.

Any fruit will do fine as dessert, but blueberries, strawberries, raspberries offer the best combination of taste and antioxidants. They also don’t have a lot of sugar.

Conclusion

One more thing we can add. Before heading out to the restaurant, give yourself a pep talk to eat healthy. Remind yourself this and let it serve as a challenge. Eating healthy doesn’t mean starving yourself, as it’s just about making the right choice.

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What to Order at a Seafood Restaurant https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/what-to-order-at-a-seafood-restaurant/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/what-to-order-at-a-seafood-restaurant/#respond Sat, 28 Jul 2018 10:45:15 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=8734 From Joe’s Crab Shack to the Red Lobster, there is no shortage of excellent seafood restaurants, and the menus are large and varied. But that is part of the challenge, deciding what to pick. Well no need to fret as we’re here to guide you. The Appetizers Most offer a bread basket as well as […]

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From Joe’s Crab Shack to the Red Lobster, there is no shortage of excellent seafood restaurants, and the menus are large and varied. But that is part of the challenge, deciding what to pick. Well no need to fret as we’re here to guide you.

The Appetizers

Most offer a bread basket as well as stuffed mushrooms, shrimp cocktails, calamari and even non seafood treats like chicken wings so you can take your pick. You may also order a vegetable salad with vinegar or salad dressing.

Vegetable salads are delicious and especially suited if you’re on a diet. They’re low in calories, rich in vitamins, fiber and other nutrients. They also curb your hunger so you don’t over eat during the main course. The vegetables also complement the seafood you’ll be eating later.

The Raw Bar

Check out the raw bar as there are a lot of good options there such as clams, oysters and shrimp cocktails. They’re either served as is or spruced up in different ways. These are not only delicious but also nutritious as they have vitamins, low calories and protein rich. The health conscious will love the omega 3 fatty acids.

Don’t forget to try the cocktail sauce as it goes great with a lot of seafood. An alternative way to add flavor is go for a dash of Tabasco sauce or squeeze a bit of lemon. Tabasco sauce is particularly good for those with indigestion.

Chowder

Of course we can’t talk about seafood without mentioning chowder. Whether it is creamy fish, lobster or clam chowder it’s always going to be a treat for the taste buds. If you prefer a low calorie alternative you may order broth soups.

Entrees

Entrees can be prepared in just about any way you like. Whether it’s fillets or whole fish, seafood restaurants can do a lot with them. For something different have your fish roasted, baked or grilled. These are not only delicious but also rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids.  Mackerel and salmon are rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

Of course there are fried fish and chips, and they’re available in different flavors. Seafood restaurants don’t limit their option to just seafood as other fried treats can be ordered.

Side Dishes

Most seafood restaurants offer a handful of side dishes. Popular options include spinach salad, baked potatoes, sauteed spinach, roasted vegetables, pasta and quinoa.

Side dishes can be served up in various ways. Potatoes can be baked, served Spanish style or fried. For something tasty you can opt for creamed spinach and pair it up with some fries. If plain baked potato isn’t for you, add some sour cream, cheese or butter on it. A low fat way to flavor potatoes is to add lemon juice, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.

Vegetable side dishes can be served in various ways, and you can have them grilled dry. For more flavor you can ask for veggies that are cooked in butter or oil. In many seafood menus you can also specify how you want the lobster, crabs and shrimps are cooked. If not you can find the options in the menu.

Tips and Suggestions

  • For extra richness and flavor, dip that shrimp, mussel or lobster in butter. If you want to savor the natural taste of seafood however it is best to skip the dip.
  • Want to cut down on the calories a bit? Avoid the dip and use a squeeze of lemon instead.
  • Ask the waiter if there are menu items that haven’t been prepared in oil or butter if you’re calorie conscious.
  • If you want optimum flavor go for fish and chips, a fried shrimp basket or fried, breaded, batter dipped seafood.
  • Heavy bisques, cheese and chowder go well with almost all types of seafood.
  • For a delicious entree you’ll want to try out baked potato with sour cream and butter.
  • Seafood restaurants offer a wide array of sauces and dips. Wine based sauce is popular with many as well as tomato sauce, salsa, mustard dill sauce and herb and spices. Some restaurants even have fruit based dips.

Want to indulge? Try these:

  • Fried fish and clams
  • Creamy chowder
  • Anything broiled, stuffed and baked
  • Cheese sauce and cream sauce serving
  • Fish and chips

Looking for healthy seafood options? Try the following.

  • Freshly cooked
  • Poached
  • Kabobs
  • BBQ
  • Cilantro
  • In mustard dill sauce
  • Cajun style seafood, blackened and broiled
  • Blackened bluefish
  • Swordfish kabobs
  • Steamed veggies
  • Mesquite grilled tuna
  • Steamed halibut
  • Poached lemon
  • Mussels
  • Monkfish
  • Mahi mahi

Final Words

There are few meals more savory during the summer than seafood with friends. Hopefully the guide above was able to help you make the right choice.

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The 10 Rules of Restaurant Etiquette https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/the-10-rules-of-restaurant-etiquette/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/the-10-rules-of-restaurant-etiquette/#respond Sat, 21 Jul 2018 11:00:23 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=8730 Whether you plan to dine at a fancy place like Alinea or someplace more casual, you must never forget these simple etiquette rules. They’re not hard to follow and will make your dining experience more satisfying. Wear the Right Clothing If it’s an upscale luxury restaurant in New York then you’d better be dressed for […]

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Whether you plan to dine at a fancy place like Alinea or someplace more casual, you must never forget these simple etiquette rules. They’re not hard to follow and will make your dining experience more satisfying.

Wear the Right Clothing

If it’s an upscale luxury restaurant in New York then you’d better be dressed for the part, formal suit or dress. Do not overdress for the place, but you don’t want to look too causal if the attire is formal.

Deciding what to wear isn’t as hard as it sounds. You can tell if the restaurant is formal or is a causal diner, and that fact alone tells you a lot about what to wear. If it’s a business meeting with the boss or clients, formal wear is a must. If you’re going to a sports bar to watch the ballgame with friends, then be casual.

Know When to Sit

The unwritten rule in most restaurants is wait to be seated. In some cases you’ll be offered to sit, but it is better to wait until everyone in your group has arrived. This is not a strict rule but only shows courtesy to your friends.

Personal Items and Phone Rules

Whether it’s your phone, car keys or bag, do not put it on the table. If you’re dining with close friends and family, it’s probably all right to reply to a text at the table. If it’s a call, excuse yourself.

Don’t text or call during a formal or business dinner. Don’t even take out your phone. If you have to reply to a message or return a call, excuse yourself first. Do not however, call or text while in a business dinner. That will convey the feeling they’re not as important as the person you’re messaging.

Place Your Napkin on Your Lap

Do that immediately after sitting down. But if it is a business meal or someone takes you out to a meal, put the napkin on after your host has done so. If you have to go to the bathroom place your napkin. Put the napkin on the table when you’re done eating. These rules are often applied to formal restaurants, but you should observe them even in casual diners.

Don’t Eat Until All are Served

This is the rule of thumb for most restaurants, and it’s something you should follow regardless how many companions you have. The exception to this is if you’re not happy with the food – i.e. it wasn’t cooked right – and it has to be sent back. In that case it is acceptable to let your companions resume eating.

And if there is something about the food you don’t like, don’t lose your cool. Just signal the waiter to come over and calmly explain the situation. Don’t yell at the waiter and do not make a scene.

Don’t Shout at the Waiter

That movie and TV cliche where someone yells “Hey waiter!” is best avoided in real life. Instead it’s better to make eye contact so they’ll know you need their services. If that doesn’t get their attention, raise your hand as he comes your way.

Remember, the waiter is there to serve your food and drinks, so be nice to them. They also serve other people so be considerate.

Show Courtesy to the Staff

This one doesn’t need any explanation, but let’s make it clear anyway. The waiter is there to serve food, not be at your beck and call. And if there’s a problem with the food don’t take it out on the waiter since they didn’t cook the food.

Same Course Number for Everyone

Agree with your companions that you’ll order the same number of courses so everyone finishes at around the same time.  This might not seem like a big deal but it can be awkward if everyone is done and they can’t leave because you ordered an extra course.

Hold the Wineglass Properly

This means holding the wine by the stem as the waiter pours the drink. If you don’t want to drink, place your hand over the wine glass. The waiter will understand. If it doesn’t register, just politely tell him you don’t want any.

When to Leave After Eating

You can leave right away of course, but some like to chat for a while. But it shouldn’t be more than 15 minutes after everyone’s done eating. Keep in mind that other people are looking forward to eat. Restaurants depend on their customers so don’t deny them.

Final Words

If dining with others, decide beforehand who pays or how the bill will be split. Inform the waiter in advance if you’ll pay in full. Lastly, leave a good tip. Around 15% to 20% for good service or 25% if service was excellent.

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Popular Types of Pasta https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/popular-types-of-pasta/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/popular-types-of-pasta/#respond Sun, 15 Jul 2018 11:26:43 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=8726 If you’ve been to Hooters lately and tried their pasta salad, you know just how good they can be. But there is more to pasta than just spaghetti and elbow macaroni. In this article we’ll take a look at the most popular types. Cannelloni It is thick and large, shaped like a big tube with […]

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If you’ve been to Hooters lately and tried their pasta salad, you know just how good they can be. But there is more to pasta than just spaghetti and elbow macaroni. In this article we’ll take a look at the most popular types.

Cannelloni

It is thick and large, shaped like a big tube with openings at the ends. There are two types, the manicotti which has ridges on the side, and the smooth cannelloni. Owing to its size, the cannelloni is often stuffed with sauce or cheese and cooked.

Angel Hair

As the name suggests, Angel Hair is thin, delicate and long. They’re very much like noodles and is perfect for light textured dishes. Thin, creamy butters are ideal though heavy sauces are best avoided.

Ditalini

These are very small pasta tubes and is often used in pasta e fagioli soup. Ditalini is also perfect for creamy sauces and cheese.

Penne

Penne pasta is shaped like a ridged tube. The edges are diagonally cut and they’re of medium size. This all around pasta is suitable for meat based, tomato and cream based sauces. The key is to maintain consistency so sauce can move in the pasta’s hollow tubes easily.

Conchiglie

Conchiglie comes in various sizes but they all have the same shell-like shape. The shape lends itself nicely for use with sauces as they seep inside. Tomato sauce is often used with this pasta as well as cream and cheese.  Conchiglie is also ideal for making soup.

Orecchiette

The name translates to little ears and that’s understandable given its shape. These are cooked primarily with sauces that have a thick consistency. It works well with different ingredients but especially sausage and broccoli.

Pappardelle

This pasta looks like flat, thick ribbons. They are also among the sturdiest pasta so it is perfect for thick, hard sauces. It is also good for chunky, thick meats or with stir fried foods,, underscoring how versatile it is.

Fettuccine

Fettuccine is flat and is a cross between a pappadarlle and linguine. It is one of the sturdiest pastas and therefore suited for use with vegetables, meats and thick sauces. Fettuccine alfredo is one of the more popular dishes for this pasta.

Farfalle

These are often called bow tie pasta because of their resemblance. Looks aide the farfalle is one of the most versatile pastas as you can use this with olive oil, butter, cream sauces and tomato sauces. Farfalle is great as is but is also perfect with meat and vegetables.

Linguine

Linguine strips are long, thin and flat. They look very much like spaghetti that’s been flattened. The most common use for linguine is with seafood and sauces based on clam. But it is also one of the most versatile and good enough for cream and tomato sauces as well as other types of sauces.

Manicotti

Manicotti looks a lot like cannelloni as it is large and has ridges. As you might expect given the size, this pasta is often filled with ricotta, tomato sauce and other fillings.

Lasagna

With its ridge edges, flat and wide appearance, lasagna is one of the best known pastas and is best known for lasagna. A traditional lasagna is comprised of multiple layers of cheese, sauce, fillings and of course lasagna. But this pasta is also suited for use as lasagna soup.

Macaroni

Macaroni pasta is small and shaped like an elbow or bent tube. The hole in macaroni can be filled with cream sauce, cheese, sauces and so on. As you cook the pasta the stuffings naturally make their way in the macaroni, giving the pasta that excellent taste.

Pastina

Pastina pasta is just a few millimeters long. It is light and makes for good soup. You can also use pastina with light toppings. Pastina is also versatile and can be cooked with butter or olive oil. You can also season it with various spices and herbs.

Rigatoni

These pasta tubes are similar to penne, except they have flat ends and are larger and flatter. It has a hollow interior that makes it the ideal choice for filling up with sauce, vegetables and other fillings.

Tips

  • Putting salt in water to cook pasta is okay
  • Use fresh cold water
  • Always let water boil quickly prior to adding pasta
  • Stir the pasta as soon as you put it in the boiling water
  • Cooking time for pasta varies so check the label
  • Drain your pasta, but don’t dry it
  • The sauce should always be cooked and prepared before the pasta
  • Add the cooked pasta to the sauce right away

Conclusion

The more you cook and experiment with different types of pasta, the more you’ll realize just how versatile it is. Because you can use various kinds of pasta in various recipes, it gives you a good deal of flexibility.

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How to Eat at a Japanese Restaurant https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/how-to-eat-at-a-japanese-restaurant/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/how-to-eat-at-a-japanese-restaurant/#respond Sun, 08 Jul 2018 10:21:55 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=8721 You’ve always had your meals at Waffle House and why not, since the food is great. But your boss calls and he’s invited you to some fancy Japanese restaurant. You’ve never been to one so what now? No worries as we’ve got you covered. Seats and Tables Traditional Japanese restaurants have cushions and low tables […]

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You’ve always had your meals at Waffle House and why not, since the food is great. But your boss calls and he’s invited you to some fancy Japanese restaurant. You’ve never been to one so what now? No worries as we’ve got you covered.

Seats and Tables

Traditional Japanese restaurants have cushions and low tables instead of – or accompanying – Western style chairs and tables. Remove your shoes before stepping on the tatami floor where the cushions and tables are. Don’t step on any cushion except your own.

General Eating Guidelines

You’ll be provided oshibori or wet towels to wipe your hands prior to eating. Do not eat until everyone’s order has arrived. In a traditional Japanese restaurant, you say “itadakimasu” (“I gratefully receive”) before eating.

If you’re served food in small bowls, hold the bowl with your hand, place it near your mouth and eat. Bigger bowls should not be raised to your lips. If you’re at an izakaya restaurant, shared dishes are common so it’s all right to move food with your serving chopsticks.

A few more important reminders:

  • Burping, loud munching and blowing your nose during meals are considered rude.
  • Emptying your plate of all food is regarded as good by the Japanese.
  • If you don’t like particular food items, just leave them or have them replaced.
  • Once you’re done eating, return the dish to their original position.
  • Put the lids on the dishes you ate from. Place your chopsticks in their holder.
  • Say “gochisōsama deshita” (“thank you for the feast”).

Drinking Guidelines

Don’t drink until all those at your table have raised their glasses and ready to have a drink. Before you drink, raise your glass for a kampai or salute.

It is customary to serve one another if alcoholic beverages are available. Look up the cups of your friends and refill them if necessary. If someone wants to serve you more drinks, sip from your glass a little and hold it out so the other person can pour in your glass.

In some types of Japanese restaurants like izakya it’s acceptable to get drunk as long as you don’t disturb the other customers. More high end restaurants especially those that have kaiseki ryori do not allow it though.

If you don’t like alcoholic drinks you just need to say so. The waiter will be happy to serve you non-alcoholic drinks such as carbonated drinks, juice or tea.

Tips on Eating Different Types of Food in a Japanese Restaurants

Sashimi

Pour a small amount of soy sauce on the accompanying dish. Put wasabi on the sashimi. Don’t use too much as it could affect the fish’s flavor. Dip the sashimi in the sauce and eat. In some kinds of sashimi taste better when it’s consumed with ground ginger so consider that too.

Noodles

Use your chopsticks to gather the noodles. Bring the noodles to your mouth and eat. In contrast to Western culture where slurping is considered rude, in Japan it is a sign that you’re enjoying the soup.

If you’re served noodle soup take care not to splash the noodles back in the bowl. If you’re given a ceramic spoon, use that. If no spoon is provided, just lift the bowl to your lips and drink the liquid.

Sushi

Pour soy sauce in the sushi dish. Do not pour more than you’ll consume. You may or may not put wasabi in the sauce. Some sushi already has wasabi and pouring more in the dish might embarrass the chef. If you don’t want wasabi in your sushi just say so.

Sushi is eaten a bite at a time. You may use chopsticks or your hands, but don’t try to separate sushi as it will just cause the food to disintegrate.

Nigiri Zushi

Dip the nigiri zushi in soy sauce upside down and eat. There is no need to dip if the nigiri zushi has been marinated. For gunkan zushi, add a small amount of soy sauce on the sushi rather than dip it.

Rice

Hold the chopsticks with one hand and the rice bowl with the other. Raise the bowl to your mouth and eat. Never sprinkle soy sauce on cooked, white rice.

For curry rice or whenever rice is mixed with soy sauce, use spoons. These are almost impossible to eat with chopsticks so spoons are all right.

Korokke, Tofu, Prawn Tempura, etc

For large food items like these, you use your chopsticks to separate them into bite sized chunks. This might take some getting used to especially if you’ve never used chopsticks before. But give it time and you’ll get this right.

Conclusion

Dining at a Japanese restaurant is not as intimidating as you might think. By following the steps here you’ll have a good time and savor the atmosphere.

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