You know that restaurant you’ve been keeping an eye on for quite some time now but is way beyond your budget? Well, now is the time for you to indulge. Many upscale restaurants are offering three-course lunch meals for a total of $24.07 and dinner for $35.00. Some tips to keep in mind when dining out during Restaurant Week in NYC.
1. Chances are that you are not the only one that has been keeping an eye on that specific restaurant. Make your reservations as early on in the week as possible to be guaranteed a table. In the event that the restaurant is completely booked, don’t give up. There are people who end up canceling their reservations the day of so do call the morning of- you might get lucky.
2. Many of the upscale restaurants have great food and service but tend to downgrade somewhat when it comes to Restaurant Week. Make sure you ask around and find out what the restaurant is like so as not to end Restaurant Week on the wrong foot.
In addition, make sure that you will not be overspending and that you can’t actually get the same meal that they are offering on Restaurant Week the rest of the year for less than the Restaurant Week special.
Living in a fast-paced society, where everybody is always on the run, it would only make sense to have all your needs on the run as well. Whether it’s for a quick scrambled eggs and bacon breakfast, a short lunch break with a slice (or two) of pizza and fries, or a pleasant night out at an upscale restaurant with family and friends, most people have no time, or don’t want to have time to wait for more than two minutes before digging in.
Since food preparation is your source of income and timely service to your customers is of the essence, a commercial microwave oven is a necessity. It is simply the most practical piece of equipment to own when you’re running against the clock. No matter what kind of food establishment you own, food always has to be either defrosted or re-warmed and dashed out to the anxious costumer. I would venture to say that in 92% of the cases when a microwave oven is used, the customers have no idea that the food was cooked, frozen and now defrosted and warmed up once more in a microwave.
- Microwave ovens tend to heat the food in more than half the amount of time that stoves and ovens do.
Buying restaurant equipment? Price aside, there are a few key factors to take into account when looking into opening any kind of food establishment; whether it is a take-out, a small café or a high class restaurant. Satisfying your customers depends quite a bit on the equipment being used. Here are 6 tips to consider.
- First things first, prior to even buying restaurant equipment, ensure that the location that you have in mind can carry the amount of electricity needed for all your appliances.
- Prior to investing all that money into buying your equipment, contact the building inspector, health department and fire departments to check out the regulations and codes in your area that are relevant to your business.
- Before buying any equipment for a commercial kitchen, make sure that it is approved by the NSF International. If the equipment is NSF certified, it will have a blue sticker stuck on the item in a visible spot. Otherwise, if your equipment is not approved by the NSF, you will be slapped with a huge fine from the health department.
- Whenever anybody starts a new project, it is only natural to be nervous yet excited. Don’t let that excitement lead you to overbuying. Keep in mind that there is just so much space in the kitchen and you don’t want to overload it with unnecessary equipment.
Nation’s Restaurant News conducted a 1,000 people survey on whether or not consumers are willing to spend on a night out and if so, how much. The result: Menu prices will still be an issue in 2011 since restaurants are paying more for their goods while consumers are not willing to pay more for their meals.
The majority of the people surveyed said they plan on decreasing their restaurant spending by 5% paying $12.90 on average per meal as opposed to 2010’s $13.60 average. 11% of the people surveyed plan on paying no more than $5.00 per meal, which brings the percentage up to 6% more than last year, while 60% plan on using vouchers to help pay for their meals.
Adam Werner, a managing director at AlixPartners and the head of the firm’s North American restaurant and food service practice says that “From all indications, ‘the year of the meal deal’ looks like it may be turning into ‘the era of the meal deal…The good news is, diners are coming back into restaurants, but they remain cautious and very price-sensitive.”
However, restaurant owners are facing a huge dilemma. Do they cut their profits by paying more for their goods and keeping the menu prices status quo, or do they hike up their prices? Neither option is too good.
Find yourself scrambling for suppers this time of year? Taking 10 minutes a week out of your busy schedule and charting your dinner menu will save you time, not to mention money and stress the rest of the week.
Use a spreadsheet to make three columns: main, grain and vegetable. At this time of year, you should probably add a fourth column for soup. Feel free to add as many columns as you feel necessary.
Jot down all the possible options that you can think of under the proper header. In place of writing potatoes, be specific and list baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, hash browns etc. The greater the variation the better!
Once you’re done listing all the dishes you can think of, organize the list in order of preference. Place the foods that you and your family prefer and that will take the least time to prepare at the top of the list.
Now that we have the list in order, it’s time to plug it in to your chart. Create the chart by placing the days of the week in a column down the left side and placing the soup, main, grain and vegetables in the row across the top.
Things to keep in mind when charting your menu:
Initially, colanders were invented for the purpose of straining pasta. However, over the years, people have come up with brilliant and innovative ideas on how to use the colander in the comfort of your kitchen.
1. Avoid Grease Splatter
I don’t know who came up with this one but this is a genius idea. I don’t think any cook can argue this one. Frying is an easier (not to mention yummier) alternative to baking, but the splattering that goes on can be one heck of a mess to clean up afterwards. Prevent the oil mess by inverting a metal colander and placing it over the frying pan like a lid. The heat escapes through the holes while the oil gets trapped inside. Be sure to adjust the size of the colander to the size of the frying pan.
2. Keep Produce Fresh
Too often, small produce ends up going bad before you get a chance to use them up. Using a colander to store grapes, berries, mushrooms etc. in the refrigerator will keep them from getting moldy and extend their lifetime. The holes in the colander allow the air to circulate around the fruits or vegetables, giving them the room to breathe, which in turn give them a longer life span.
Running late. Again. On days like these, there is nothing more comforting than knowing that all you’ve got to do in order to have supper up and running when you get home is open the freezer, pull out some leftovers and stick them into the oven. The worst feeling is when everybody is ready to bet their most valuable possessions that this supper is, once again, coming from "you know where." No need to fret, we’ve got 4 tips for you that will make your frozen foods last longer and taste just as if it just came out of the oven.
- In order to guaranteed that your leftover turkey or roast tastes just as good and fresh the second time around, pour enough gravy over the leftover meat, making sure to cover it completely, before freezing it in an airtight storage container. The gravy will act as an extra protection, allowing you to store the leftovers for a longer period of time. In addition, when you re-warm it, the gravy will keep the turkey or roast moist.
- If you buy meat and/or chicken and plan on storing it in the freezer for a little while, there is absolutely no reason for you to repackage it. Planning on keeping it stored in the freezer for a longer period of time? In that case, you are best off adding an additional layer of wrapping protection to prevent it from freezer burn. If you are looking for the easy way out, simply wrap the original packaging in a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Most people spend the bulk of their time in and around the kitchen. The kitchen feeds both body and soul through aromatic flavors and family time memories. More often than not, the kitchen is overburdened from the weight and stress of adapting itself to all the roles it must play within the family. With all the bustle and activity that goes on in the kitchen, it is of utmost importance to have it functioning properly. The following 4 ideas can easily help control clutter, at minimal cost, while maximizing your space and time.
- Give your counter tops a modern look by placing glass bowls in a variety of shapes and sizes on your counter tops. Fruits, vegetables, and colorful straws, look great in glass bowls and serve as modern art while always conveniently being in arms reach.
- Cut the morning rush by creating a tea and coffee station,with coffee brewers, such as the Keurig B60, tea kettles, sugar, tea essence, mugs and more, taking care to have it stocked at all times. Having it at your fingertips will trim some time off the frantic morning routine and start everyone’s day the right way.
Ovens tend to get abused. They are scoured and scraped and spilt on until they’re smoky. All that aside, it doesn’t even take a year or two for your once brand-new oven to join the ranks of the rest of your old appliances. All it takes is a chemical-filled spray and within minutes your once brand-new oven is no more.
- According to GE, they get way too many calls from "smoking" customers who complain that the enamel in the oven has melted away. Time and again, the culprit is the harsh chemicals, steel wool and/or the bleach that is used to clean the self-cleaning oven.
- Flooding a stovetop to get rid of the ugly dirt is a big no-no. According to one expert in the field, water on ranges does, in fact cut the life of an oven short. The sitting water can get into the elements, which in turn causes it to rust or short out. He advises that if your stovetop is in need of a good cleaning, spray some oven cleaner and let it sit for a short while. Use a non-abrasive sponge to clean the grime away.
- Feel free to place the range grates, not the burners or caps, inside the oven while you are self-cleaning it. Many times, the gas will fail to light properly after a self-cleaning. Most of the time, all you have to do is poke a needle into the hole inside the burner to unclog it.
- Some of the leading oven brands have the heat escape through the back of the oven. Therefore, when using ovens for a longer period of time or when self-cleaning it, be sure to leave a 1-1/2” to 2” space between the oven and kitchen wall. If there is no breathing space left for the heat to escape, the heat can damage the digital clock.
There are those people who open the fridge door, stare at the food inside and just stand there thinking about whether or not to pull anything out. Then there are those who have been drilled for years to keep the refrigerator door closed, or else all the cold air will escape! Refrigerators are actually very tough when it comes to regulating their temperatures- that is, if the thermostats are in good working condition! However, there are various everyday habits that we have that can damage our refrigerators and freezers. Here are 5 of the most common ways we damage our refrigerators and freezers:
- If the shelves in your refrigerator or freezer have slats, refrain from putting a cover on top of the shelves. Doing so will inhibt the circulation of cold air. Solid glass shelves are not a problem, as the unit is built to accomodate these type of shelves. However, slotted shelves should be left uncovered or, in case of emergency, make sure to cut some holes in the covering.
- Ever used a sharp object to get rid of the crumbs stuck in the rubber gasket? Rubber gaskets and sharp objects are not on the best of terms and will do more damage than good. Next time, try using a soft-toothbrush, a rag and a vacuum cleaner. These do a better job at removing crumbs and do not damage the gasket. Aditionally, when something sticky spills onto the gasket and dries, the gasket will get stuck to the fridge. Pulling the fridge door open can cause the gasket to rip. Make sure to wipe down anything that spills using a soft cloth to avoid gasket mishaps.
- The million dollar question: Does placing hot pots directly into the refrigerator inflict damage? Well, the answer is both yes and no. Putting hot food straight into the refrigerator won’t harm the refrigerator but putting it into the freezer will create moisture that will build up on the freezer coils, forming ice. The real problem is that placing hot food into the fridge will increase the overall temperature in the refrigerator, which can cause perishable food already inside to spoil. That is why it is a good idea to allow the food to cool a bit before placing it in the refrigerator/freezer.