Top Restaurant Prices https://www.toprestaurantprices.com The authority of restaurant prices online Mon, 20 Aug 2018 15:55:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 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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How Much Should You Tip? https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/how-much-should-you-tip/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/how-much-should-you-tip/#respond Sun, 01 Jul 2018 10:15:19 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=8716 So you plan to dine at fancy restaurant such as the French Laundry and know what you want to order. But how much should you tip? This is a common problem for those who don’t frequent restaurants, but don’t worry as we reveal how much you should really give. The General Rules on Tipping The […]

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So you plan to dine at fancy restaurant such as the French Laundry and know what you want to order. But how much should you tip? This is a common problem for those who don’t frequent restaurants, but don’t worry as we reveal how much you should really give.

The General Rules on Tipping

The following is a general guide on how much you can tip.

  • Restaurant wait staff – 15 to 20% for regular service, 30% or higher for excellent service and 10% for poor service.
  • Take out – usually it’s 10%
  • Barista – a dollar per drink
  • Bartender – 15 to 20% if you’re at a cocktail bar. At high volume bars it’s $1 per drink.
  • Delivery driver – 15%, but make it 20% if the weather is bad

The tipping guidelines above are for the United States, but the 15 to 20% rule is applicable to other countries as well as you’ll see below.

Argentina

After you’ve savored your meal, request for the check and leave a tip of 10 to 15%. Your tip should be in cash. This applies to Bluenose Aires and all around the country. The rate is also consistent regardless of the restaurant.

Australia

The wages in Australia are higher compared to other countries so tipping isn’t expected. Of course nothing should stop you from giving a tip especially if the service is good. If you decide to do this, 10% will do just fine.

The Netherlands

A law has been enacted in the Netherlands that includes the service charge for each meal. This is good because it eliminates the need to give tips. Even so customers still leave a 5 to 10% tip when the service is good. For coffee and small snacks however just a few coins will suffice.

Indonesia

Tipping isn’t required in Indonesian restaurants but it is most appreciated. A 10% service charge is included in many restaurants, but not all do. If there’s no service charge you can give a 10% tip. Even with the charge though most customers still give the tip for god service.

Russia

Like other countries, tips are not required but welcome especially in Moscow. The standard rate is 10 to 15% or more if the service is exemplary. For a quick bite at a cafe it’s fine to just round the bill. Always give your tip in cash since credit cards here aren’t designed for those.

Italy

Waiters don’t expect to be given tips in Rome, but those who do are called magna or “generous”. If you want to earn a reputation as a magna, just leave a 10% tip, no more. Some restaurants already include the tip by way of coperto or cover charge. If there is one then a tip is unnecessary.

France

Restaurants in and around Paris have a service charge so you’re not obliged to give a tip. But as any local or tourist will tell you, giving a tip can’t hurt. You can round up the bill or let them keep the change, either way it’s going to be appreciated by waiters who earn minimum wage.

Japan

Tipping isn’t expected and leaving money on the table might lead to confusion. If you really want to give a tip, put the money in an envelope or wrap in a piece of paper and say “kore wa kimochi desu”, meaning, “here is your tip”. The Japanese word for tip is “chippu” but no one uses it.

Mexico

Tipping in Mexico is similar to that in the US at 10 to 15%. Tips are expected in Playa DEL Carmen and other cities, though you can tip less if it’s just a cheap taco stand or bar.

Dubai

The UAE implements a 10% service charge on bars, restaurants and hotels so tipping isn’t necessary. But just like in other countries it won’t hurt to leave a 10 to 15% tip behind.

Spain

A service charge is included in most restaurants so you don’t need to leave tips. In high class restaurants however it is customary to leave a 10% tip for excellent service. In more causal diners you can just round the bill or let them keep the change.

Czech Republic

After your meal, look up the bill if there is a service charge. If there is you can do away with the tip. If there’s no service charge just add 10 to 15%  depending on the quality of service.  Tips have become common in tourist spots so it’s a good idea to leave some.

Conclusion

As you can see, tipping percentages in many countries are the same. Most restaurants also don’t expect it, but it is appreciated. Remember that waiters are often paid minimum wage so that little extra definitely helps. So the bottom line is it never hurts to be generous.

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Full Course Meals – Everything You Need to Know https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/full-course-meals-everything-you-need-to-know/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/full-course-meals-everything-you-need-to-know/#respond Mon, 25 Jun 2018 10:11:13 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=8712 We love Denny’s and fast food, but on certain occasions you need to dress up and go to Peter Luger and have a full course meal. For those of us who are always on the go, the concept of a full course meal is downright alien. If you’re one of those, then this is your […]

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We love Denny’s and fast food, but on certain occasions you need to dress up and go to Peter Luger and have a full course meal. For those of us who are always on the go, the concept of a full course meal is downright alien. If you’re one of those, then this is your introduction.

Basics

Full course meals are served in the afternoons or evenings. Sequences may vary but the following is quite common in Western restaurants.

  • The meal commences with the entree or appetizer. It is served in small portions usually without meat. Finger foods are common appetizers.
  • The next course varies, but it’s always light, i.e fish or vegetable based.
  • The main course follows and is the biggest.
  • A vegetable or salad course follows. The two words are used interchangeably here. In some restaurants the vegetables are just salad garnishes, and the salad may be served prior to the main course.
  • A cheese course may follow. It is usually paired with wine. In some countries the cheese is served as an appetizer. In many European countries and the US, the course is served between dessert and the main course.
  • Dessert is served last. It may be accompanied by wine or fruit.

Full course meals are only served in formal restaurants. The number of courses vary, with five being the usual and the minimum. However there are larger full course meals that consist of up to 16, 17 or even 21 courses.

The more numerous courses are spread out over 5 hours and made of smaller portions.  A regular 5 course meal is usually completed in 2 hours. The bigger the multi-course meal, the more beverages are provided, with multiple drinks often used. The most popular are liquor, beer and wine.

Serving

If the style is service à la russe, the courses are delivered to the table one after the other. Your plate is empty and you fill it up from the selections offered on the platters. You choose whatever you want from the choices and eat as much as you want.

If the presentation is service à la française, all the courses are set on the table and you pick and choose the dishes. A variation of this is the buffet where the guest goes to the buffet table, makes a selection and returns to the dinner table.

Composition of a Full Course Meal

The following is a basic guide for the various full course meal compositions.

  • 1 course – consists of just the main course
  • 2 courses – the appetizer / entree and the main course. The appetizer is usually salad for dinner and soup for lunch. In some cases the 2 course meal consists of the main course and dessert.
  • 3 courses – often consists of an appetizer, the main course and desserts
  • 4 courses – usually made up of a soup appetizer, main dish, dessert and drink. Another variant consists of a hot appetizer, salad, the main course and dessert.
  • 5 courses – a 5 course meal consists of soup, fish, the main course, dessert and cheese. It could also consist of a cold appetizer, soup, a hot appetizer, the main course and dessert.
  • 6 courses – a six course meal consists of an appetizer or hors d’oeuvres, soup, fish, salad, the main course and dessert. Alternatively the meal could be made up Amuse Buche’, soup, an appetizer, salad, the main course and dessert.

Tips and Suggestions

  • Take your time as there is a lot of food here obviously. This also applies to the drinks as you don’t want to end up drunk before the main course.
  • Partake as much as you can. Try all the options even if you’re not familiar with them.
  • Don’t take more than you can eat. Remember you’ve got to pace yourself.
  • Engage in conversation. This isn’t a race as even a 5 course meal takes about 2 hours to finish. Stop between bites and savor the taste while chatting with the other son the table.
  • For that 17 course meal, it’s all right to get up from your seat and stretch out. as mentioned earlier, these can take up to 5 hours so no need to rush.
  • You don’t need to eat everything if you don’t want to. Just pick and choose.
  • Don’t call out the staff. They know when to serve the next course so just be patient and enjoy your meal.
  • Enjoy the moment. Not everyone can have a full course meal so make the most of it.

Conclusion

And that is how a full course menu works. It really isn’t complicated and it is actually a pleasure. Don’t feel pressure that you’re not doing it right and just enjoy yourself.

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Dining in an Italian Restaurant https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/dining-in-an-italian-restaurant/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/dining-in-an-italian-restaurant/#respond Wed, 20 Jun 2018 10:06:19 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=8708 Savoring Italian meals is one of the great pleasures in life, and you don’t even need to go to Italy to experience it. You can drop by the Olive Garden for instance and have your fill of real Italian. If you really want to get the most out of this dining experience, it helps to […]

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Savoring Italian meals is one of the great pleasures in life, and you don’t even need to go to Italy to experience it. You can drop by the Olive Garden for instance and have your fill of real Italian. If you really want to get the most out of this dining experience, it helps to know how to dine in a typical Italian restaurant.

The Menu

There are 5 parts in a typical Italian menu, and a full meal is comprised of an appetizer, a two courses and a side dish. People often order two courses minimum but it is not necessary.  Usually these meals take a couple of hours to complete or longer depending on the number of courses.

Appetizers – Antipasti

The antipasti is served prior to the main meal. Most Italian appetizers consist of cold cuts with chef’s specialties culled from various regions of Italy. Some restaurants have an antipasto misto where you can savor different types of dishes.

An antipasto misto often has more food options than you may realize so it’s a great way to get acquainted with Italian meals. Their affordable price also makes an antipasto buffet a good choice.

Primo – The First Course

Pasta is the first course, though in some cases it is risotto (rice dishes) or soup. Risotto is especially popular in northern Italy and restaurants offer a huge variety. Standard risotto dishes are usually for at least two people though it can vary.

There are also a good number of pastas to choose from. American style pasta has more sauce than Italian pasta, so keep that in mind if you’re going to a traditional Italian restaurant. The reason for this is in Italy more premium is put on the kind of pasta used than the sauce.

Secondo – Secondo / Main Course

The main course consists of fish, poultry or meat. Vegetables and potatoes aren’t usually part of the meal. Majority of Italian restaurants offer a couple of vegetarian options. Even if there’s no mention in the menu you can just ask the waiter for a vegetarian dish.

Contorni – Side Dishes

Typically customers order a side dish to go along with the main course. Popular choices include insalata (salad), verdura (vegetable) or potato. You may also just order the salad rather than the meat portion of the meal.

Dolce – Dessert

A wide range of desserts are available. You may choose from a bowl full of fruits, cheese, sweets, pastries and other treats. An after dinner drink – digestivo or caffe – is served after dessert.

Drinks

Wine is the most popular drink in Italian restaurants though other options are available. Sometimes the waiter may take your drink order before the food too. In case of wine you may order by full, half or quarter liter.

Coffee is often served after meals and you’ll rarely find tea served. You can order soda or tea but there are no free refills.

Tips for Dining in an Italian Restaurant

Italian restaurants, whether in Italy or another country, have different tones. This determines how formal or casual it is and what the menu is like. For meat dishes and pasta all restaurants have you covered.

If you’re after some cheese and some wine you’ll get your fill just from the appetizers. If you’re on the go and just want a pizza or sandwich, head over to a paninoteca or bar.

Speaking of pizza it should come as no surprise there are myriad choices on the menu. A pizza d’asporto is the Italian version of the take out. It’s a great choice if you’ve got to go places and want a bite to go along.

If you want a pizza by the slice just ask for a Pizza a trancio. If you want a genuine Italian pizza then you don’t want to settle for anything than a pizzeria.

Italian Hot Chocolate and Coffee

A traditional Italian bar / caffe serves up coffee sure, but you’d likely get an espresso as that is the Italian coffee. Regular American coffee is called acqua sporca or dirty water because it is mostly water.

There are many kinds of Italian espresso but most of them are heavily concentrated. It is more powerful than the average coffee and the flavor is more intense. American style coffee is available in some Italian restaurants in the US, but in Italy they’re only found in tourist cities.

If espresso is too strong then you can order cappuccino instead. Bear in mind that cappuccino is only acceptable after breakfast in Italy and usually not available for other meals.

Conclusion

Italian food is one of a kind and the dining experience is one to remember. It may seem overwhelming if you’ve never been to one but really it’s fun and something you’ll look forward to.

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New York Pizza vs. Chicago Pizza https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/new-york-pizza-vs-chicago-pizza/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/new-york-pizza-vs-chicago-pizza/#respond Wed, 13 Jun 2018 20:01:51 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=8704 Whether you’re at John’s Incredible Pizza or the California Pizza Kitchen, it’s a topic that always comes up and debated. Which is better, New York pizza or Chicago pizza? It’s been called the food fight of the century but really, which one is better? Needless to say both pizzas have their followers, and experts agree […]

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Whether you’re at John’s Incredible Pizza or the California Pizza Kitchen, it’s a topic that always comes up and debated. Which is better, New York pizza or Chicago pizza? It’s been called the food fight of the century but really, which one is better?

Needless to say both pizzas have their followers, and experts agree this debate will go on forever. Long time pizza lovers have been comparing the thin crust New York pizza and the deep dish Chicago pizza, with each camp saying one is better than the other.

Most of the time the debate turns into arguments that can confuse you. The truth is it’s hard to pick out a winner since Chicago and New York pizzas have a wide range of variants.

The Differences between New York and Chicago Style Pizza

That being said there are a lot of differences between the two. Let’s take a look at them.

Crust

  • Chicago pizza has a thick crust. It is served in a plate with a fork as this is a full meal.
  • New York pizza is the more traditional type, thin crust and handheld. It was originally consumed in a sandwich.
  • Because Chicago pizza is thick it’s eaten at a deliberate pace just like a regular meal.
  • New York pizza is for those who are on the go.

Oil

  • Deep dish Chicago pizza is comparatively dry.
  • New York pizzas drip with oil, even much more so than the typical thin crust pizza.

Cheese

  • New York pizzas come in different styles, but all of them have a thin layer of mozzarella cheese.
  • Because of its thick crust, Chicago pizza can have several layers of cheese.

Servings

  • Deep dish Chicago pizza are sliced and served in pieces similar to a casserole.
  • New York pizza is cut in triangular slices like a regular pizza.

Toppings

  • Chicago pizza has a depth of several inches so it can have multiple toppings.
  • New York toppings are similar to regular pizza, i.e. they are placed on top.

Eating Style

  • Chicago pizza is eaten like a regular meal with utensils.
  • New York pizza is compact enough to be eaten while you’re on the go.

Most people are familiar with the thin crust NY style pizza, and for many that’s the only type they know. But for those who haven’t tried deep dish pizza it’s really quite a treat. But taste aside there are a few other differences that we can point out.

  • New York pizza is cooked in an oven just like regular pizza. Chicago pizza on the other hand, is cooked in a cast iron pan.
  • NY pizza can be prepared in ten minutes or so. That’s no surprise given ovens can go up to 700 degrees.
  • Chicago pizza on the other hand, takes 10 minutes to prepare the crust and another 30 minutes to cook the pizza. It is this cooking time that gives it a unique texture and taste.

So Which is Better?

To the uninitiated the only difference between the two is that New York pizza has thin slices while Chicago is thick. But as we have noted above, the difference between the two is far greater than that.

Not only are the basic styles different, but with an endless number of variants comparison becomes impossible. What’s more some Chicago pizzas have thin crusts and there are thick slice New York pizzas too.

But is a Comparison Valid?

A lot of pizza experts aren’t even sure if the two can be compared at all. Yes they’re both pizzas but it’s not just about thick vs thin pizza. The differences between the two includes the ingredients, and it seems like you’re comparing chocolate pie and chocolate cookies. They’re both chocolate but completely different. Some argue that is the case with New York and Chicago pizzas too.

Those who’ve tried both pizzas often say the two just don’t taste the same. It’s not that one is good and the other bad, only that they’re different.

Individual Preferences

It should probably come as no surprise that most New Yorkers prefer New York pizza and that folks from Chicago like Chicago pizza. This isn’t because they’re biased but it’s because it’s what they’re used to.

If you’re used to a thin crust pizza, then eating a thick pizza using a fork will be unusual. On the other hand if you’re used to thick pizza then feasting on New York pizza may not be to your taste.

Due to the thickness of the crust it should come as no surprise that most find it has more flavor. Those used to thin crust pizza will probably say otherwise.  Thin crust pizza are more popular, but really when it comes to taste it is down to your own preference.

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