Top Restaurant Prices The authority of restaurant prices online 2019-01-21T10:29:33Z https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Restaurant Staff <![CDATA[How Chefs Make Your Food Beautiful on The Plate]]> http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9068 2018-12-07T15:32:15Z 2019-01-21T10:29:33Z The French Laundry, a fine dining restaurant, presents its dishes and desserts so beautifully that customers are justified in just admiring its beauty instead of eating such fine works of edible art. For chefs, after all, food presentation is just as important as the flavors and feel of the food in the mouth. But how […]

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The French Laundry, a fine dining restaurant, presents its dishes and desserts so beautifully that customers are justified in just admiring its beauty instead of eating such fine works of edible art. For chefs, after all, food presentation is just as important as the flavors and feel of the food in the mouth.

But how do chefs make their food so beautifully presented? How can you, a person with little to no training in the culinary arts, make such works of art on a plate? Here are tips that can make your food look more appetizing, as well as reinforce your appreciation for the culinary arts.

Choose the Right Plate

This is key to food presentation because the plate can make or break your arrangement. Think of food plating in this way – you are the artist, the food is your medium, and the plate is your blank canvas. You should then carefully choose the plate according to its size, color and size in the same way that artists choose these canvas.

Start by choosing the right size – it should neither be too big that it seems to swallow the food nor too small that the food seems to spill over it. The food should stand out, so to speak, when placed on the plate.

White plates are typically used in fine dining restaurants because these provide a neutral background, a must to highlight the colors of the food, and create high contrast for the food to stand out. The color also speaks of pristine cleanliness, a quality that diners want in the people who prepare their food and the place where said food is prepared.

But many chefs also use plates in vibrant colors and/or with prints. Be careful when choosing these types of plates, however, as the food can easily become lost in, say, a black plate.  Studies have also shown that dark-colored plates, such as blue and brown, tend to reduce the appetite so lighter-colored plates are usually recommended.

Place the Food in the Right Way

Well, of course, there’s no wrong or right way to plate your dish or dessert because beauty, like art, is in the eye of the artist and the beholder. But chefs follow general guidelines when placing the food on the plate, a few of which are discussed below.

  • Balance contrast and variety, especially the textures. For example, crunchy onion straws can be contrasted by a smooth vegetable puree or a steak can be topped with crumbled blue cheese.
  • Use a clock as a guide when plating. From the diner’s perspective, the protein should be between 3 and 9, the carbohydrates between 9 and 12, and the vegetables between 12 and 3. The placement will then be symmetrical while also making it easier for the diner to get at each part of his meal.
  • Use moist or runny ingredients as the base for aesthetic and practical reasons. Moist and runny ingredients will likely move during delivery from the kitchen to the table when these aren’t anchored in place by solid ingredients. For example, mashed vegetables can serve as the bed for sliced meat and vegetables so the former doesn’t spread all over the place.
  • Arrange food so that there are flavor bites. These are forkfuls of food combining all the ingredients on the plate into a single bite. The diner will then be able to savor the flavors of the food with each bite and, thus, enjoy how each ingredient complements or highlights the others. Plus, flavor bites on a plate are visually appealing and increases the sense of anticipation of what’s to come when the diner starts eating.
  • Avoid overcrowding the plate. Find a focal point, usually the protein (i.e., meat), and build your other ingredients around it. The accompanying ingredients are usually in smaller quantities than the focal point because these play a complementary role only.
  • Place odd amounts of the ingredients, especially the small ones. Examples include bite-sized appetizers, scallops and shrimps. An odd number of ingredients on a plate creates more visual appeal, such as placing 7 scallops instead of 6. An added benefit is that diners think they’re being served more food and, thus, become more satisfied
  • Use accent ingredients for their color and flavor. Garnishes like mint, for example, serve both functions.
  • Create height to increase the food’s visual appeal and to make the illusion of more food. But avoid compactly stacking the food because then it just looks lazy
  • Highlight the height of certain ingredients by offsetting them with long, flat ingredients. For example, steak on a bed of polenta can be accented by lean asparagus spears set against it at a 45-degree angle.

Plating is an art so you have to apply your personal sense of artistry while also taking into account the standards of beauty. Practice is also key so plating food at home as frequently as possible is recommended. Observe the plating in fine dining restaurants, too.

And don’t forget to serve food in the temperature that these should be served. You have to balance between making the food look beautiful and serving it promptly.

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Restaurant Staff <![CDATA[Food is for The Eyes, Too! (Or Why Food Presentation is Important)]]> http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9065 2018-12-07T15:28:14Z 2019-01-14T15:26:24Z Food presentation is as important as the freshness and flavor of the food! Just ask the diners and chefs at fine dining restaurants like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and you will find that everybody’s in agreement on this matter for good reasons. As creatures with a higher sense of consciousness, we eat with our eyes as […]

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Food presentation is as important as the freshness and flavor of the food! Just ask the diners and chefs at fine dining restaurants like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and you will find that everybody’s in agreement on this matter for good reasons. As creatures with a higher sense of consciousness, we eat with our eyes as much as we eat with our mouths.

Setting Expectations on a Plate

When a dish or dessert is placed before you, your first step will likely be to look at it for a few seconds, perhaps even turn the plate a little so you can admire it from a better angle. You will admire the bold and bright colors of the vegetables, the perfect char on the grilled meat, and the rich quality of the sauce, if you ordered the steak dinner. You may also admire the creamy smoothness of a panna cotta with a topping of luscious sliced strawberries.

Even before you take your first bite, you have eaten the food with your eyes! You are setting expectations that the steak dinner will be delicious with its juicy, flavorful and tender meat combined with the creaminess of the mashed potatoes and crispiness of the baby carrots. Your panna cotta will be heavenly with its rich, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth quality.

And it’s exactly what chefs do when they place your food on a plate – set expectations. The visual display increases your sense of anticipation for the scrumptious feast ahead and sets in motion your physical responses. Your mouth water and your stomach sends the signal of being hungry, while your body increases the flow of pancreatic and gastric juices in readiness for digestion.

Chefs then take great pains in preparing food that will be as visually appealing as it is delicious in the mouth. Every element from the ingredients to the plate will be carefully considered so that customers are getting edible art on a plate – or glass and bowl, for that matter.

Science Has Proof

This isn’t just a matter of art, however, as scientific studies have shown that people will pay more for their food and enjoy their food more when it’s presented beautifully. Even the taste will be affected – dishes presented well in beautiful plates are often perceived as tasting better than those served in plain plates, even when identical ingredients have been used.

Ferran Adrià even showed that the color of the crockery used affected the perception of flavor! In an experiment, the same type of dessert was served on a white plate and a black plate. The dessert served on a white plate was considered to be 10% sweeter, 15% more intense, and 10% more likable than the identical dessert served on a black plate. The flavors are, of course, the same but the brain was tricked into believing that the dessert on a white plate was better in nearly every way.

But it isn’t just the black-and-white extremes that matter in food presentation and perception. Brown and blue plates aren’t commonly used in restaurants because these colors can suppress the appetite, as well as have a negative effect on the perception of taste and flavor. Many restaurants prefer vibrant colors, such as red, instead for this reason.

And then there’s also the fact that dirty plates – or even just the perception that the plates are dirty – will have an adverse effect on the eyes and, subsequently, on the appetite. The best restaurants take pains to ensure that their plates, glasses and other dining utensils are as clean, even pristine, as can be.

Senses Are Involved

For chefs, food presentation is an art form itself and, thus, it involves all the senses, not just the sense of sight and taste. The food should ideally tell a story, encourage an emotion, and even bring on a good memory from the first time it’s presented on a plate until it’s swallowed. This may be a tall order but the best chefs, such as Gordon Ramsay, are known for such an admirable talent.

Every ingredient on a dish or dessert was likely chosen for its form, texture and color, as well as in the way that it will blend or highlight the other ingredients. The culinary arts isn’t just about the study of cooking and it shows in the plating of the food.

Of course, the process and preparation involved in cooking the food are just as important since these aspects will determine the flavors, textures and colors of the food. The plating is the cherry on the sundae, if you will, as well as the way in which the chef expressed his or her personality.

So the next time you’re in a restaurant, take the time to admire the plating on the food – the chefs spent time and energy on making your food as beautiful on your eyes as it is delicious in your mouth and healthy for your body.

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Restaurant Staff <![CDATA[The Journey of Hamburger from Mongolia to The U.S.]]> http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9062 2018-12-07T15:25:59Z 2019-01-07T10:23:23Z In American cuisine, there’s arguably nothing more American than hamburgers – that and apple pie, of course. Every American – and then some worldwide – has eaten a hamburger so no wonder that it’s considered a staple on fast-food, casual dining, and even fine dining restaurants. Name an American brand restaurant and it will likely […]

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In American cuisine, there’s arguably nothing more American than hamburgers – that and apple pie, of course. Every American – and then some worldwide – has eaten a hamburger so no wonder that it’s considered a staple on fast-food, casual dining, and even fine dining restaurants. Name an American brand restaurant and it will likely have it on the menu, from McDonald’s to Applebee’s.

Nowadays, there are plenty of choices in hamburgers, too, from the classic beef hamburger to the meatless, gluten-free and organic hamburgers. The ancient Mongolians, if they can see the modern burger, will be surprised that their utilitarian idea has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide.

Created by the Mongolians

Historians credit the Mongolian soldiers under Genghis Khan, the leader of the Mongolian Empire in the 13th century, as the first people to invent the first version of patties. Under his tutelage, the Mongols established one of history’s largest empires stretching from the eastern coast of China to the border of Eastern Europe. Such was the strength of the Mongols that it is said his cavalry rode for days on end without stopping, not even to take their meals.

And this is where the patty was said to have been born. The Mongolian soldiers would make scraps of meat formed into small, round patties and place them under their saddles; the preferred meat was either mutton or lamb, which were tough to eat when raw. The meat became tenderized from the pressure created by the soldiers riding on the saddle and, thus, it was ready to eat after a few days.

The concept spread to the nations that the Mongols conquered and beyond. For example, the Russians added onions and eggs to the raw meat patty while the Germans, particularly in Hamburg, cooked seasoned meat patties. The latter was known as Hamburg steak, a creation that German immigrants brought to the United States starting in the 18th century.

Refined by the Americans

The modern-day hamburger was created in the United States but as iconic foods go, it has controversy surrounding who, when and where it was created. In fact, several people and places claim to be the inventor and birthplace of the American burger – a meat patty between two slices of bread or bun.

For example, there’s Akron, Ohio that stakes its claim as the hamburger’s birthplace. Here, the owners of Menches Bros. Restaurant claim that their ancestors, Frank and Charles Menches, served the first hamburgers in the early 1880s. The duo apparently ran out of sausages to sell during a county fair and came up with the idea.

Many people in Tulsa, Oklahoma will beg to differ. For them, the original hamburger was created in their city in 1891.

Setting aside these competing claims, we have to admit that the fast-food hamburger we know today can be partly attributed to Walter Anderson and Edgar Waldo Ingram, the co-founders of White Castle Hamburger. Founded in 1921, the White Castle chain is considered as the oldest burger chain still in operation in the United States today – and millions of people love their sliders, too.

Let’s not forget, too, that McDonald’s has played and continues to play a significant role in the development of the modern-day hamburger. Considered as the world’s largest fast-food chain, the Golden Arches sells millions of hamburgers a year, a boon or a bane depending on which side of the food debate you’re on.

But look beyond the Golden Arches and you will find plenty of other restaurants offering their own versions of the classic hamburger.  Many of these restaurants responded to the call for healthier food in light of the increasing public concern over obesity, food safety, and healthy lifestyles. Many of them even offer their customers with the option to build their own burgers from scratch and, thus, give them the opportunity to choose healthier combinations of ingredients.

Beyond these fast-casual and fast-food chains, furthermore, are the sit-down eateries with family-friendly services with menus created largely around hamburgers. For example, Red Robin offers a wide variety of upscale burgers like the Southern Charm Burger, a delicious burger made of Angus beef patty topped with honey BBQ sauce, caramelized onions, candied bacon, and cheddar cheese. This isn’t your McDonald’s hamburger so it’s also more expensive although it’s worth the price.

Burgers are here to stay despite the ever-changing tastes of consumers! The basic ingredients are so simple – a meat or vegetarian patty, a few vegetables, a sauce, and two bun slices – yet in its simplicity lies the opportunity for creativity.

Chefs consider burgers as the perfect blank canvas that allows them to highlight their skills and to provide enjoyment beyond the fast-food burger. Nearly every part of the burger can be tweaked, from substituting the beef patty with a gluten-free vegetarian patty to adding exotic toppings like pickles, frizzled onions, and candied bacon. Even the meat can be any other type aside from beef, such as venison, goat, lamb, chicken and turkey.

The burger’s journey isn’t over yet so we suggest keeping an eye out for new creations that may just blow away your mind!

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Restaurant Staff <![CDATA[2019: The Year of Old and New in Restaurants]]> http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9058 2018-12-07T15:23:02Z 2019-01-01T00:01:43Z The restaurant industry has its ebbs and flows, fads and trends, and ups and downs that the public will be privy to, at least most of the time. There are trends in previous years that have withstood the test of time, such as food safety and food deals, while there are trends that are passing […]

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The restaurant industry has its ebbs and flows, fads and trends, and ups and downs that the public will be privy to, at least most of the time. There are trends in previous years that have withstood the test of time, such as food safety and food deals, while there are trends that are passing fads – waiters in roller skates isn’t as popular today as it was in the 1950s, for example.

For 2019, industry observers are predicting a combination of the old and the new in restaurant operations, from their marketing to their menus. Here are a few of these trends, many of which may be familiar to you because these have been around for a while.

Deals and Discounts Are Still In

Unless you’re dining in a fine dining restaurant like French Laundry, deals and discounts are things that you can look forward to in your favorite restaurants. Most of us common men and women love bargains and it applies to our food and drinks in restaurants. So you can be sure that this trend is here to stay for years and years!

When looking for deals, you should also look into coupons issued by restaurants. These coupons can include discounts off the regular price of dishes, freebies like dessert, and discounted prices for children, to name a few. Even fine dining restaurants offer a bargain, sort of, through their prix fixe menus; be aware, however, that the prices on prix fixe menus will likely still be much higher than those in casual dining restaurants.

Social Media Presence Is Becoming a Must

Nearly every foodie, gourmand, and culinary expert checks social media for reviews, reservations and news about the restaurant industry. Indeed, if your favorite restaurant doesn’t have a strong social media presence, you will likely wonder why this is so. When you think about it, more and more people are using the Internet to gather and spread information about where to eat, why eat here, and how to eat certain food, among others.

The fact, too, that you’re on this site means that you used the Internet to find more information about your favorite restaurants, whether it’s IHOP or French Laundry, two significantly different establishments.

Tea Is Becoming a Party

Americans love their coffee more than they like their tea while the Britons love their tea more. Worldwide, three cups of tea are consumed for every cup of coffee, a piece of information that will have any non-tea drinker wondering what’s in the beverage. Perhaps, this is also part of the reason for the increasing popularity of tea in the United States – curiosity can be a powerful force in humans.

More likely, tea is becoming more popular because of its wide range of benefits, from its lower amount of caffeine to its relaxing quality, as well as its variety of applications in food and drinks.

What does this mean for the average consumer? We may have a tea bar in the neighborhood soon, an establishment that offers tea-based beverages like nitro tea on tap, tea cocktails and craft tea blends.  Kombucha (fermented tea) is also becoming more of a trend than a fad in restaurants that offer fermented food, such as in Korean restaurants.

Meat Becomes More Varied

Steaks are here to stay and we have the likes of Peter Luger as proof of their enduring popularity in the American food culture. But restaurants are also looking for innovative protein sources that, hopefully, will be accepted by Americans in the mainstream; ethnic communities, however, who have been eating these alternative protein sources will rejoice at the news.

There’s heme (i.e., “blood” in the Greek language) that chefs say is a great protein alternative and more environmentally sustainable meat source. It’s used in potato and wheat protein burgers to bring a meaty quality to the classic American food; the heme itself is cooked rare to enhance its “bloodiness”.

And if you’re more adventurous, some restaurants are offering meat dishes made of insects like crickets.  While it may sound gross, keep in mind that many cultures especially in Asia have enjoyed insects as food for centuries. Insects as food also makes sense because of their low fat and high protein content; insects contain 3-4 times as much protein as beef.

But if you’re not into these alternative protein sources, don’t worry as you can still be in on the 2019 trends. You will find some restaurants offering new cuts of meat, such as the bavette from the flap meat (i.e., the sirloin’s bottom part), the Vegas Strip from the shoulder part, and the merlot cut from the heel area.

As a consumer, you should try to be aware of the trends in the restaurant industry because it will work to your benefit. You can enjoy new dishes and desserts, for example, which will expand your culinary repertoire. You will also be able to save money yet enjoy delicious food if you know the best places to go in your city.

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Restaurant Staff <![CDATA[Go Organic, Do Good for Yourself and Others]]> http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9055 2018-12-07T15:18:21Z 2018-12-26T15:16:41Z Organic food isn’t just a trend created by organic food producers, vegetarians, and health nuts! Indeed, it’s here to stay and consumers will do well to consider switching to organic food and incorporating it into their daily diet. It’s so easy, too, considering that many restaurants offer organic ingredients in their food, such as the […]

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Organic food isn’t just a trend created by organic food producers, vegetarians, and health nuts! Indeed, it’s here to stay and consumers will do well to consider switching to organic food and incorporating it into their daily diet. It’s so easy, too, considering that many restaurants offer organic ingredients in their food, such as the fruit and vegetable salads at Chopt.

And when you decide to go organic, you will be doing good things for yourself and for others including your community.  Keep this thought in mind whenever going organic seems more difficult than anticipated, especially when you have a fondness for junk food.

Enjoy Good Things for Yourself

The common complaint about organic food is that it’s more expensive than non-organic food, which turns off many people from buying organic food produce. But think about it: In exchange for the slightly higher price, you will be getting food with higher nutritional value and lower amounts of possibly harmful substances.

Unlike organic food, non-organic food produce are treated with artificial fertilizers, pesticides and growth hormones that can find their way to your body. There are also additives, preservatives and antibiotics in non-organic food and we bet your bottom dollar that these aren’t the things you want to consume.

There’s also the matter of organic food being available when these are in season and, thus, at the peak of their freshness and flavor. Since only organic methods of cultivation are used, the fruits and vegetables can only be harvested when these are in season, not out of it.

The bottom line: Organic food is, indeed, more appetizing than non-organic food because it contains little to none of the ick things and more of the good ones.

The wide variety of organic food available in markets and restaurants is yet another reason to buy them more. Before organic food burst into the scene, it was difficult to buy even a simple organic salad from restaurants. With the likes of Chopt on the scene, you can choose from a huge selection of certified organic fruits, vegetables and herbs. You can also buy organic products like baking goods, chocolate, cheese, and honey, even wines and spirits, as well as poultry, lamb, beef, and pork.

Due to the wider availability as well as higher quality and quantity of organic produce, restaurant chefs are also becoming more creative with their culinary creations. You, along with your fellow diners, will then enjoy better dishes and desserts whenever you’re eating out.

But there’s a downside, a minor one, where organic food in restaurants is concerned. Since organic produce can only be harvested according to season, it will obviously not be available year-round locally. The menu in your favorite Chopt location will then likely vary from one month to the next to accommodate the seasons.

Then again, it’s a good thing, too! The more varied the menu, the more food enjoyment you can get and the better your diet can be. You will find that there’s a certain sense of satisfaction from looking at a colorful plate filled with nutritious and delicious food.

Do Good Things for Others

Going organic isn’t just about you and your health. It’s also about doing good things for your local farmers, your community, and your environment.

Organic farming methods has several benefits for the earth, the only planet we can live in so far. These benefits include but aren’t limited to:

  • Building healthy, strong soils essential for aiding in solving erosion issues and in maintaining the nutrients in soil
  • Helping in the protection and conservation of water supply including groundwater
  • Decreasing requirements for fossil fuel that, in turn, aids in fighting the adverse effects of climate change
  • Encouraging better biodiversity
  • Reducing air, soil and water pollution in farms

These benefits are the result of the use of less non-organic pesticides, fertilizers and hormones in the production process, as well as in the eco-friendly use of water and soil resources.

Going for organic food can also mean you’re making more contributions to your local economy. You are supporting your local farmers and producers that, in turn, means stronger local economies. You will be surprised at the economic advancement that organic farmers and producers enjoy when more consumers appreciate the fruits of their labors.

You’re also contributing to a cleaner and greener community by buying more organic produce and products. While the change may not be apparent immediately, you will appreciate that small changes will eventually add up, and that’s exactly what you want for your community.

Of course, these benefits for yourself and for others will not be apparent in the near future. But little by little, you will see changes in your body and mind, as well as your mindset, and in your community. Your small contributions today can become big ones tomorrow so just keep at it.

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Restaurant Staff <![CDATA[What Makes for a Fine Dining Experience?]]> http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9051 2018-12-07T15:15:41Z 2018-12-20T11:13:03Z Fine dining restaurants have different characteristics. The French Laundry, for example, offers contemporary French cuisine with an American touch, as well as two tasting menus consisting of nine dishes each and special holiday dishes.  No matter your choice in a fine dining restaurant, nonetheless, you will find similar aspects that it shares with its competitors. […]

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Fine dining restaurants have different characteristics. The French Laundry, for example, offers contemporary French cuisine with an American touch, as well as two tasting menus consisting of nine dishes each and special holiday dishes.  No matter your choice in a fine dining restaurant, nonetheless, you will find similar aspects that it shares with its competitors.

Here are the aspects of operations that makes fine dining restaurants what they are – expensive, yes, but worth the price.

Reservations System in Place

While not all fine dining restaurants require reservations before the staff allow entry into the main dining room, most of them have a reservation system in place for good reason. With the number of people that will be coming for a particular day and time known to the staff, especially the kitchen staff, it’s easier for them to deliver exceptional service.

Even the best chefs and their assistants can be overwhelmed by the sheer number of diners, which can result in more mistakes made and less quality delivered. Besides, in fine dining, the dinner rush can actually be the entire length of the service so the less overwhelmed the kitchen staff are, the better your food will be.

But there are also restaurants without a reservation system, such as with cutting-edge yet easy-to-execute menu. Still, you may want to ask about the reservation option, especially if you’re coming with a large group.

Tablecloths Are Typical

White tablecloths are the most common choice in fine dining restaurants because of their clean appearance, as well as the fact that white can easily set off the beauty of the cutlery, the dishes and the décor. The quality of the tablecloths may even surpass your tablecloth at home because everything that affects your dining experience will be considered.

But there’s been a sea change in the way fine dining restaurants view white tablecloths in recent years, too, with many of them skipping the added table covering. The reasons: These require significant time, energy and money for their upkeep, as well as cover the beauty of the tables underneath. Many restaurants want to highlight the aesthetics of their tables and to use these tables as part of their branding.

Prix Fixe Menus Are Popular

Known as a set menu in the English language, a prix fixe menu can actually be changed on a daily or weekly basis; the term stuck, however. The menu can consist of a few or several courses depending on the chef’s preferences, the availability of ingredients, and the price, among other factors.

For example, the French Laundry has nine courses in its tasting menu, which usually changes from day to day and which doesn’t contain an ingredient used on two different dishes. Other restaurants can have set menus with as little as four courses while others offer a 10-course set prix fixe.

In keeping with the times, many restaurants offer two types of set menus – a meat-lover option and a vegetarian option. Most, if not all, of the dishes are also made of seasonal ingredients to ensure the best quality; the on-season fruits and vegetables are at the peak of their freshness and, thus, have better tastes than off-season ones.

And we have to say that the food at fine dining restaurants are more delicious than those found in your fast-food joints! The delicious food, which will be presented so beautifully you may not want to eat it, is the main reason why you’re splurging on it.

Expensive Wine, Spirits and Cocktails

If you’re not up for paying for a bottle of wine with a restaurant price tag double, perhaps even triple, the price of the same bottle in a supermarket, then a fine dining experience may not be up your alley. Many fine dining restaurants can make up to 300% profit on their alcohol sales, thus, the exorbitant prices.

But if you want the services of a sommelier as well as the excellent food-wine pairing that the wine professional can offer, then go ahead and splurge on a fine dining experience at least once a week! Besides, it may be your only chance to enjoy a glass of the best burgundy without tipping your credit card into breaking point.

Exceptional Service

The servers are the best in the business, too, so diners can expect exceptional service – courteous, fast, and efficient. Here, you will find that the servers are well-trained in the art and science of fine dining, from the china, cutlery and stoneware to the subtleties of the dishes and desserts. You can also ask them to explain the entire menu – and they won’t look at notes, to boot – so that you will know what to expect once the food is delivered to your table.

Indeed, the guest experience is the most important thing for the management and staff of fine dining restaurants. This entails attention to the smallest details, attentive service, and attractive food that’s as delicious in the mouth as it’s appealing to the eyes.

Now, aren’t these reasons enough to treat yourself to a fine dining experience as many times as possible?

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Restaurant Staff <![CDATA[The Ups and Downs of a Juice Cleansing Diet]]> http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9048 2018-12-07T15:12:49Z 2018-12-14T10:04:47Z A three-day juice cleansing program from Juice Press is a detox diet that provides a wide range of health benefits, thus, its increasing popularity. But it has its ups and downs, too, partly due to the fact that only fruit and vegetable juices are consumed during the duration of the detox diet. Here, we will […]

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A three-day juice cleansing program from Juice Press is a detox diet that provides a wide range of health benefits, thus, its increasing popularity. But it has its ups and downs, too, partly due to the fact that only fruit and vegetable juices are consumed during the duration of the detox diet.

Here, we will take a look at these ups and downs that are common among people on the juice cleansing program. You can use the information to determine whether the juice cleansing program will work for you, as well as help you choose the best one (e.g., 3-day or 5-day juice cleanse).

Appetite, Metabolism and Weight Loss

Juicing will not shrink your stomach even though it seems that way. But it will temporarily ease, if not eliminate, your need to eat for comfort or to stress eat several days after the juice cleanse program has been completed. You will feel more satisfied even with less food on your stomach than before.

Up: Your appetite will be reduced, a benefit when you’re in need of a psychological boost to stop your destructive eating behavior.

Did you know that water – plenty of it, in fact – is locked up in your muscles alongside glycogen? But when you’re on a juice cleanse, a low-calorie diet, your body will use up its glycogen stores and lose the water weight in the process. You will feel less bloated and heavy as a result.

Down: The water weight loss is temporary, however. You will regain water weight when you return to your normal diet so it’s always a good idea to adopt other effective anti-bloating strategies.

Juicing isn’t recommended as a long-term weight loss and weight management program because of its limitations. For one thing, it is a restrictive diet since only fruit and vegetable juices are consumed. At some point, you will crave solid food and your body will need the nutrients from other non-juice food sources, such as meats and dairy.

For another thing, it is a low-calorie diet. In many cases, a person on a juice cleanse gets only 1,200 calories while a normal person requires higher amounts, as high as 2,500 calories per day. Plus, there’s also the fact that the juice cleanse diet doesn’t provide the required amounts of proteins, fats and carbs for most people.

Up: The low-calorie diet can work for many people, especially those who are overweight. It’s also a good idea for people who still want the nutrients from fruits and vegetables for a healthy body without the added calories.

Physical Energy and Cold Sensitivity

With reduced calorie intake, you will likely experience reduced levels of physical energy and mental alertness. You may be unable to perform your everyday activities with as much energy and concentration as you did before the juice cleanse.

But since it’s only for a few days and your body will be rid of its toxins, this is a minor inconvenience. You can schedule your three-day cleanse, for example, on a Friday so that your lower energy level will not have as much impact on your life. You can use the three-day program to rest your mind and body from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Up: But you will still have bursts of energy, thanks to the hydration and quick-absorbing carbohydrates in the juices. You can perform more strenuous activities during these bursts of energy, if you want.

Keep in mind that you will be more sensitive to cold temperatures when you’re on a juice cleanse program. You should then avoid doing it during the fall and winter seasons for obvious reasons. You will also likely reach for a hot tea than for a cold pressed juice when it’s 20 degrees outside.

Up: Juice cleanses are a great way to achieve a summer bikini-ready body. The refreshing taste of the cold pressed juice will not only quench your thirst but make you lose the water weight, too.

There are also other things that make juice cleanse what it is. A few of these include the following.

Up: You will also like it that your skin becomes more radiant after a juice cleanse diet. This is because the toxins in your body are being eliminated and your skin is proof of it. Just don’t be on a juice cleanse diet for more than the recommended period since a low-calorie diet can cause the skin to dry out and, thus, age quicker.

Up: You can eliminate wheat, gluten, fermented foods, and dairy from your diet. These can be the source of your health issues so eliminating them from your diet can mean better health.

Down: You may experience the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. This is true even when you aren’t a heavy coffee drinker. Then again, if you’re cutting down on caffeine consumption, then being on a juice cleanse diet is a blessing.

In conclusion, we highly recommend a juice cleanse diet for people who want to be healthier.  But don’t just drink juices from any store or make your own juicing plan – you have to be on a plan that has been approved by nutritionists and you can get it at Juice Press!

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Restaurant Staff <![CDATA[Turn Down the Heat On Those Chicken Wings and Here’s Why]]> http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9045 2018-12-07T15:04:36Z 2018-12-07T15:04:36Z There’s a reason Buffalo Wild Wings has a popular following in whatever city it is in – its crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside chicken wings served with a wide range of sauces are so delicious you can’t seem to stop eating them! There’s also the fact that the spicy sauces are equally with evocative names like mild, medium […]

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There’s a reason Buffalo Wild Wings has a popular following in whatever city it is in – its crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside chicken wings served with a wide range of sauces are so delicious you can’t seem to stop eating them! There’s also the fact that the spicy sauces are equally with evocative names like mild, medium and hot insane.

We daresay that it’s the spiciness of these sauces that bring back customers again and again. Everybody with a hankering for spicy food, or even if you’re just curious about it, will find a couple of sauces that will satisfy their taste buds. There’s the mild sauces with just a hint of red pepper for the spicy food virgins and then there’s the Abusive, Nuclear and Suicidal sauces for those who want to test their tongue.

But before you become too attached to spicy food, much less increase the level of heat on your food, here are a few things that you should take note of. You will find that there’s sense in turning down the heat when you know the possible side effects of your love affair with intensely spicy food.

Bad Breath

Onions and garlic add flavor to food as well as provide nutrients for your body. But when consumed in excessive amounts, especially when eaten raw, these can cause bad breath that no amount of brushing and chewing on mint can resolve.

Bad breath in itself obviously isn’t a life-threatening condition – unless it’s a sign of an underlying medical condition – but it can spell disaster in social situations. Just think about having bad breath on date night and you will certainly lay off on the spicy food, if only for a few days prior to the date.

Taste Bud Damage

While spices used in food, such as red peppers, garlic and onion, and ginger, add flavor to dishes, these can cause damage to the taste buds when consumed in large quantities and prolonged periods. No, it isn’t true that you will get used to the heat of chili peppers when you increase your consumption.

Instead, your taste buds experience can experience temporary or permanent damage from the burning sensation caused by chili peppers. Think of it as the wear and tear caused by long-term abuse of your taste buds and you get the idea. Think of it, if you will, as damaging your ears from constantly exposing them to loud music – in both cases, the body part can suffer from irreversible deterioration.

If you feel that the highest heat level isn’t burning your mouth as much as it did before, then your taste buds may already be damaged. You have to dial down the heat level and allow your taste buds to recover. You will find that your sense of taste becomes more refined and, thus, able to enjoy subtle differences in flavor.

Skin Irritations

If you have accidentally touched your eye area with fingers that were dipped into hot pepper, then you know that these red spices can burn your skin. Often, it doesn’t matter what kind of pepper it was or its amount – if it touches your skin, then you will feel your skin burning.

Tip: Apply lip balm to your lips to create a barrier between the delicate skin on your lips and the spicy food, if you can’t help eating the latter. Avoid touching any part of your face with your chili-riddled hands and wash your hands, too, as soon as you finish eating.

Stomach Issues

Spices like red pepper, chilies and garlic have irritant qualities that can affect your stomach, intestines and gut. These spices will not actually cause gastritis, acid reflux, and ulcers but these can make the conditions worse.

Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining usually triggered by bacterial infections in the stomach. But spicy food may also decrease the stomach’s protective barrier so it’s best to avoid them if you have been diagnosed with gastritis. Otherwise, a simple case of gastritis can worsen to become ulcers, a condition wherein the stomach’s own acids eat away at its protective lining.

Acid reflux can also be worsened with even moderate consumption of spicy foods. While acid reflux isn’t a life-threatening condition, it’s just as bothersome as bad breath, as well as increase the risk of teeth erosion.

The consumption of spicy food before bedtime can also affect your sleep. Your body has to slow down, so to speak, in terms of body temperature and metabolism before it can sleep. But since spicy food actually increases body temperature, your body doesn’t so your sleep becomes interrupted.

The bottom line: You can still enjoy spicy food but do so in moderation. Your body will send signals that you’re overdoing spicy food, such as numb tongue for several hours after eating it, so turn down the heat or reduce your consumption. Your body will also benefit from moderate consumption since spicy food contains high Vitamin C levels, speeds up your metabolism, and maybe even turn on your libido.

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Restaurant Staff <![CDATA[Health Foods May Be Worse Than Donuts]]> http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9037 2018-09-28T20:02:33Z 2018-11-25T10:56:21Z High consumption of sugary products has been closely linked with increased risks of chronic degenerative diseases including heart disease, stroke and Type II diabetes. The emphasis here is on high consumption since sugar, or glucose once it’s in the body, can be beneficial to health, too. Such is the case of eating a Duck Donuts […]

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High consumption of sugary products has been closely linked with increased risks of chronic degenerative diseases including heart disease, stroke and Type II diabetes. The emphasis here is on high consumption since sugar, or glucose once it’s in the body, can be beneficial to health, too. Such is the case of eating a Duck Donuts or Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast donut to jumpstart your brain’s normal functions in the morning, as explained in another article.

But in a bid to decrease their daily sugar intake, millions of Americans are being taken in by the misleading labels on so-called health foods. Manufacturers and marketers are partly to blame, too, because of their use of said labels to encourage customers to buy their products. These labels include low fat, low carbs, low sugar, gluten-free, and whole wheat.

The ugly truth: Many of these so-called health food products actually have higher sugar content than a Duck Donuts glazed donut! Here are several of these food items that you should be aware of.

Instant Oatmeal

We agree that instant oatmeal with milk and slices of fresh fruit as topping are great breakfast combo when you’re running late or you’re feeling lazy. Instant oatmeal is, after all, a time saver – just pour hot water on it, wait for three minutes, and then it’s done. You probably didn’t have enough time to make a fresh batch of steel-cut oats, a fiber-rich alternative that requires cooking.

But instant oatmeal lacks the nutrients in steel-cut oats, not to mention that a packet of instant oatmeal with maple and brown sugar flavoring has the sugar equivalent of three donuts!

Whole Grain Cereal

The “whole grain” labeling leads consumers into thinking that a cup of the breakfast cereal is a healthy alternative to a breakfast donut. It’s such a shame because the former has a sugar content equivalent to three of the former, as is the case for the oatmeal.

This is particularly true for whole grain cereals with words like “honey”, “crunch”, and “crisp” in them. Why? The clumps of rice or what are likely held together by fat and sugar while the sweetener isn’t unprocessed honey – it’s actually corn syrup with caramel food coloring.

Store-bought Smoothies

Bottled smoothies are seen as health food because these are supposedly made of fresh fruit and milk. But don’t let that fool you as many store-bought smoothies contain fruit juice concentrates as sweeteners – and these are just as bad for your health as high fructose syrup. Plus, fruit juice containers lack fiber, which has waist-whittling properties; fiber can suppress your hunger pangs.

If you’re craving for smoothies, you should whip a fresh batch at home and hold the sweeteners. You can skip the equivalent of 12 donuts when you do. Yes, a bottle of bottled smoothie has sugar the equivalent of a dozen donuts so you’re not doing your body a favor.

Fruit Juice

Again, just because a bottled product has “made from real fruits” in it doesn’t necessarily mean that it contains fresh fruits and nothing else. Many of the fruit juices in stores contain filtered water, fruit juice concentrate, and natural flavoring, as well as plenty of sugar. The “fresh fruit” component may well mean a slice of it in a bottle.

For each cup of a store-bought fruit juice, you’re consuming about nine sugar-raised donuts. It isn’t healthy eating so stick with a homemade fruit juice sans the sugar as sweetener.

Granola

Did you know that a 2-ounce granola bar has a sugar content equivalent to nine donuts, too? Here you were thinking that you were making healthy choices by skipping a donut and eating a granola bar instead.

Not all granola bars, however, are bad for your health. You can make homemade granola bars with more of the rolled oats and less of the caramelized sugars. This way, you can steer clear of store-bought granola bars that contain plenty of hidden caramelized sugar, perhaps with nuts and seeds to make them sound healthier to consumers.

Whole Grain Bread

Yet another misleading use of the term “whole grain” is in breads. The more disturbing thing is that many whole grain bread have higher sugar content than donuts – a single slice, for example, of a honey-flavored wheat whole grain bread can contain as much sugar as a single sugar raised donut.

Other supposedly health foods that you are well-advised to avoid, or at least limit your consumption include:

  • Dried fruit like craisins (1/4 cup equals seven donuts)
  • Salad dressing like sun-dried tomato vinaigrette (2 tablespoons equal three donuts)
  • Fruit yogurt (a container has similar sugar content as seven donuts)

In the end, every adult consumer should be vigilant about their daily sugar intake and educate others about the dangers of high sugar consumption. When you’re eating donuts from Duck Donuts, for example, you should always remember that it’s best to eat in moderation and to adopt healthy eating habits.

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Restaurant Staff <![CDATA[Why and How to Get A Kick Out of Spicier Food]]> http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9033 2018-09-28T19:56:09Z 2018-11-18T10:53:02Z In chicken wing-centric restaurant chains – Atomic Wings immediately comes to mind – the menu’s featured items are the chicken wings and their wide range of sauces in different flavors. Many of these sauces have spicy flavors, mostly due to the addition of chili peppers, since heat brings out the best in the juicy, succulent […]

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In chicken wing-centric restaurant chains – Atomic Wings immediately comes to mind – the menu’s featured items are the chicken wings and their wide range of sauces in different flavors. Many of these sauces have spicy flavors, mostly due to the addition of chili peppers, since heat brings out the best in the juicy, succulent and tender chicken with relatively crispy skin.

But you don’t exactly have the tolerance for spicy food except for the mildest ones! What can you do? Why do we get a kick out of eating spicy food in the first place? Let’s take a look at the answers, which will definitely be to your benefit the next time you find yourself in a friendly spicy chicken wing eating contest with your friends.

Why Spicy Food Gives Us a Kick

Do you nearly always want to eat spicy food or use spicy sauce on your food? Do you find yourself unable to stop eating spicy food even when your mouth is on fire and your sweat is flowing like rain? If you do, then you may be one of the people who get a kick out of spicy food!

Don’t worry because you aren’t in any danger of getting a spice addiction, technically speaking. But you can call yourself a chili chaser, perhaps even take pride that you can actually eat an entire bucket of the spiciest chicken wings on the Atomic Wings menu.

But why do people get a kick out of eating spicy food? The answer lies in our unique brain reactions to heat in comparison with other mammals.

Spicy peppers including chili pepper, the most commonly used in North American restaurants, belong to the nightshade family; interestingly, eggplants and tomatoes also belong to it. These plants don’t want to be eaten by animals particularly mammals and fungi and, as such, release a chemical known as capsaicinoids for protection against these attacks.

While capsaicinoids have neither flavor nor odor, these can be detected by the acute sense of smell most mammals possess and, thus, they avoid it. Humans aren’t endowed with such acute sense of smell and, thus, aren’t deterred from eating chili pepper, generally speaking.

When a human eats chili pepper, the capsaicinoids in it directly acts on the pain receptors in the mouth and throat. The pain receptors then send signals to the brain resulting in the appropriate pain response, as if the body is actually on fire (i.e., physical trauma). The brain sends a flood of endorphins and dopamine that, in turn, makes an otherwise painful experience a pleasurable one.

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that act as the body’s natural painkiller by blocking the transmission of pain signals. Dopamine is also a neurotransmitter that sends messages to the pleasure receptors, thus, the feelings of pleasure and calmness. The flood of pleasure that accompany their release makes the fire in your mouth worth the pain –and that, ladies and gents, is why you get a kick out of spicy chicken wings.

How to Build Your Spice Tolerance

What if you’re a sissy in spice tolerance? Don’t worry as we all have to start somewhere, not to mention that it’s a trick that can be learned even by old dogs.

Start mild and small

Don’t eat an entire chili pepper on your first go because then the pain will outlast the pleasure shot. Instead, start by increasing the amount of crushed red pepper flakes on your mac ‘n cheese or your soup. You may also spike your ketchup with a few drops of Tabasco sauce and use it as a dipping sauce for your fries, onion rings, and the like.

Over time, you can tolerate spicier food until you can give the spice-loving Indians and Mexicans a run for their money.

You should also start with the milder peppers, such as cubanelles and poblanos. When your taste buds have become accustomed to their mild heat, you can move on into the serranos and jalapenos; seeded, chopped chiles added to your entrée is also a great idea.

Enjoy the flavor

Chili pepper can enhance the flavor of many dishes and even desserts, such as chocolate cakes with a spicy kick. Just savor the new flavors that come with an otherwise familiar food and the heat from the chili pepper will be less noticeable.

Keep coolants on hand

Don’t be foolish to think that as your spice tolerance increases, you will have little to no need for coolants. You will need them because your pain receptors have their limits, not to mention that there’s a great relief to be enjoyed after eating or drinking your preferred coolant.

You can keep a cold glass of milk, a bowl of sour cream, or cilantro or lime on hand. These are great coolants that can also enhance the flavor of your food.

But if you can’t build heat tolerance beyond the poblanos and cubanelles, then don’t force it. Not everybody can handle the heat and there’s no shame in that.

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