Archive for the ‘List’ Category

All out of…

All Out Of

I always forget what I need to get at the grocery store. I keep Post-Its on hand or I’ll scribble notes down on paper, but I always seem to forget something.

That’ll change soon, though. Here’s a couple of items that’ll help you keep track of your groceries, one high-tech and the other old school.

First, the old school. Head over to Perpetual Kid and pick up one of these “All Out Of” note pads.

The miracle of checking off depleted items as you go! Magnets on the back allow for easy refrigerator mounting!

6 x 9 inches, 60 pages, 80-pound uncoated text stock with chipboard backing and adhesive binding.

It’ll only cost ya $6.49 per pad. Good deal if you ask me.

And if you’re living in the digital age and you have an iPhone, check out One Trip.

What’s the one thing you’re sure to have on you when you go to the store – other than your wallet, that is? Your phone. Here’s a simple way to use your iPhone for a little more than passing time by talking to friends while strolling down the aisle. Just browse on over to OneTrip.org and check off items as you add them to your cart. Add new ones from a list of common items with just a tap, or type in that one herb we forgot to put on the list – OneTrip will remember it for next time you shop for the same thing.

Oh, and this one will cost ya nothing. It’s totally free. Head over to the site to give it a try.

10 Things Your Restaurant Won’t Tell You

Kitchen

Who doesn’t like going to a restaurant? Usually the food is good and it’s always nice having someone serve you. It’s also less clean up and usually cheaper than if you had to make a complete meal at home. But what are restaurants keeping secret? What aren’t they telling us?

Slashfood has a link to an article that MSN Money published back in May. It’s a short list of 10 things your restaurant won’t tell you such as…

…being careful when eating out on a Monday…

If you think that Monday, when restaurants tend not to be crowded, is a great time to eat out, think again. “You’re being served all of the weekend’s leftovers,” says Francis, the exposé co-author. Kitchens prepare food on a first-in, first-out basis, meaning whatever is oldest gets served first. It’s a way to ensure that everything on the menu is as fresh as possible.

The system works great most days, but it can run into a little glitch over the weekend. Distributors typically take Sunday off and make their last deliveries Saturday morning, which means that by Monday any food not used over the weekend is at least three to four days old. And it will be served before the same ingredients arriving in Monday’s delivery.

What to do if you wish to dine out on a Monday? Ignore your instincts and go to a place that’s perpetually crowded. “If you are open 24/7 and busy all the time,” says New York chef Lucia Calvete, “all your ingredients are fresh all the time.”

…and, there’s no such thing as too much butter.

Think that salmon fillet you ordered for dinner is good for you? Think again. Restaurants load even their healthiest fare with butter and other calorie-heavy add-ons. Restaurant meals average 1,000 to 1,500 calories, says Milton Stokes, a registered dietitian and spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. That’s roughly two-thirds of the daily average calories recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And according to a recent study, women who eat out five times a week consume an average of 290 additional calories per day.

Though most Americans assume that fast food is the worst offender, similar fare at casual sit-down restaurants can be even more caloric. The classic burger at Ruby Tuesday, for example, has a whopping 1,013 calories and 71 grams of fat. The McDonald’s Big Mac, with its 540 calories and 29 grams of fat, seems downright diet-worthy by comparison.

“We butter our hamburger buns,” says Julie Reid, the vice president of culinary for Ruby Tuesday, “so we tell people if they’re looking to cut calories, they shouldn’t eat the bun.” If that sounds less than appetizing, try splitting an entrée with someone, or order an appetizer instead of a main dish.

Wanna see the rest? Click here.

Photo from Flickr.

Money Making Restaurants

Tao

It was announced last week that Tao Las Vegas was the highest grossing restaurant in the US. How much did it gross?

According to the NY Times

In 2006, its first full year open, Tao did $55.2 million in business, or $16 million more than its closest competitor, Tavern on the Green in New York.

Even judged against other huge-volume restaurants, where revenues in the tens of millions are not unusual, Tao is setting a new standard. In figures for 2000, when Tavern on the Green was in the No. 2 spot behind Windows on the World, the gap between them was a razor thin $485,000.

Michael Desiderio, the chief operating officer of Tavern on the Green, marvels at the vital statistics for Tao Las Vegas: it served 600,000 meals, its average dinner check was $70, and 50 percent of its revenues came from alcohol.

“It’s really a nightclub with the food to complement the club,” Mr. Desiderio said.

Here’s the rest of the best.

  1. Tao Las Vegas Restaurant & Nightclub, Las Vegas
  2. Tavern on the Green, New York City
  3. Joe’s Stone Crab, Miami Beach
  4. Tao Asian Bistro, New York City
  5. Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, D.C.
  6. Gibsons Bar Steakhouse, Chicago
  7. Bob Chinn’s Crab House, Wheeling, Ill.
  8. Mix In Las Vegas, Las Vegas
  9. Fulton’s Crab House, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
  10. “21” Club, New York City

For many years, New York’s Tavern on the Green was the top earner, which sometimes alternated with the city’s Windows on the World (and The Russian Tea Room was often on the list as well). While New York restaurants gross more, Las Vegas will likely become the top earning city by next year. Also, while American, seafood, and steak still reign supreme, pan-Asian themed restaurants comprise number one and four in the top ten.

Does this imply America’s palate is ever more sophisticated? Not so much. Very high-end restaurants are either at the bottom of the list, like New York’s Daniel (#65), or do not even appear (French Laundry and Per Se do not make the cut). So, it appears if you want to make a killing opening a restaurant (which is an unusual happenstance), you need to focus on liquor and expensive seafood and steaks. Those chefs who are artists will remain respected, but not necessarily rich. (from Epicurious)

And apparently if you name you’re restaurant Tao, you’re destined to be in the Top 10.

Photo from Flickr.

Fenway’s for Foodies

Dog

As a sports fan, it’s always kind of fascinating to see how teams are changing with the times. And according to Slashfood and this article, Fenway Park in Boston is trying to class up it’s concession stands a bit.

It used to be that Ron Abell’s idea of a large crowd was dinner for 200. Now it’s more like 35,000.

The former chef de cuisine of Icarus in the South End is now executive chef at Fenway Park. That means he’s left one small kitchen to oversee six, and serves food to fans in the stands, in the luxury suites, in the park’s private EMC Club and State Street Pavilion, even some of the players in the clubhouse.

New menu items include a turkey wrap with mesclun greens and a steak sandwich with baby arugula and aioli. While he is adamant that staple foods will always be available, he is excited about something like lobster roll, a simple mixture of mayonnaise, celery, Tabasco sauce, lobster meat, and other seasonings on a buttered, toasted roll (it sells for $16).

But Fenway isn’t the only stadium classing is up. You can also get crabcakes at Camden Yards, an Ahi Tuna Sandwich at AT&T Park, a Cuban Panini at Miller Park, Garlic Fries at Pac Bell Park and Dodger Stadium…but according to ESPN’s Page 2 Stadium Review, Safeco Field takes the cake.

You’ve got all the classic stand-bys; but you’ve also got clam chowder, salmon sandwiches, sushi, chocolate-covered strawberries, garlic fries, wok-fried noodles, southern barbeque and much, much more. If Mo Vaughn knew about this, he would have insisted on a trade to the Mariners.

And in Yankee news…

Yankee Stadium finally wakes up to its massive Latino customer base and starts serving foods like empanadas and papas rellenas. (Grub Street)

For more on the Yankees latin food you’ll have to register with the New York Times.

Photo above from Flickr.

Drinking Songs/Hangover Cures

Pills

I probably should’ve posted this before Cinco de Mayo, but here’s a great 45 song music mix that’ll put you in the drinking mood. Head over to Silly Pipe Dreams to download a zip file with all 45 songs, or pick and choose your favorites.

Some of my favorites include:

“Rudie Can’t Fail” – The Clash
“The View From The Afternoon” – Arctic Monkeys
“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” – George Thoroughgood
“The Power Of Positive Drinking” – Lou Reed
“Tubthumping” – Chumbwamba
“Wasted & Ready” – Ben Kweller
“Drunken Lullabies” – Flogging Molly
“Me Vs. Maradona Vs. Elvis” – Brand New
“Between The Bars” – Elliott Smith
“I Shall Be Free” – Bob Dylan
“Alcohol” – The Kinks

Then, once you’re nice and drunk and you pass out, you’ll most likely wake up hungover.

That’s when you can head over to Forbes.com where they suggest the 10 best hangover cures. They list some of the normal cures – aspirin, Gatorade, more liquor – but they also toss in some unique ones, including Tripe soup and a Korean stew.

Worth a shot when you wake up acting like Danny Devito.

National Grilled-Cheese Month

Grilled Cheese

April is National Grilled-Cheese Month (in case you were unaware…) and NY Magazine just came out with their list of the best places in NYC to pick up an oozy cheesy sandwich from Keller-crafted high to Kraft-oozing low.

If you’re in the city, go out and try them all (not in one day) and report back.

1. Bouchon Bakery
Thomas Keller, the best grilled-cheese man in town, eschews Kraft Singles for a pungent combo of Fontina and Gruyère that melts surprisingly well. But what really distinguishes this sandwich is the almost unnaturally uniform golden-brownness of the thick-sliced brioche bread. Like Mom, chef Keller serves it with a nice cup of tomato soup. $12.75; 10 Columbus Circle, at 59th St., third fl.; 212-823-9366.

2. Joe Jr.’s
This is a great example of the classic version, and the reason why grilled cheese, unlike ham salad, say, is worthy of National Month sandwich status. It’s made on a seasoned, grease-soaked griddle with a choice of Swiss, American, or Cheddar (get the American), white bread, and tomato and bacon if you like. It’s best enjoyed at the Formica counter while perusing the Yankees schedule posted on the wall. $3.85; 482 Sixth Ave., at 12th St.; 212-924-5220.

3. ’ino
No one smooshes bread and cheese in a panini press the way ‘ino does. They use three type of cheese — crotonese, cacio, and grana — and add a judicious drizzle of truffle oil. $9; 21 Bedford St., nr. Downing St.; 212-989-5769.

4. Tillman’s
The only upscale cocktail bar we know with a menu almost singularly devoted to grilled-cheese sandwiches. Our favorite is the classic American (pictured) gently tweaked with a dab of herb mayo and fresh basil and served with, yes, tomato soup. Pair with a Dark and Stormy. $12; 165 W. 26th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 212-627-8320.

5. ’wichcraft
The thinking man’s grilled cheese: Fontina with black-trumpet mushrooms and white-truffle fondue on Pullman bread. $9; 60 E. 8th St., nr. Broadway; 212-942-4272.

6. The Green Table
Haute Barnyarders are not immune to the pleasures of the grilled-cheese sandwich: This ecologically minded Chelsea Market restaurant gets its raw-milk Cheddar from a small Vermont farm, and if that’s not local enough for you, the excellent sourdough bread comes from Amy’s across the hall. $10; 75 Ninth Ave., at 15th St.; 212-741-6623.

7. Artisanal
Using an English farmhouse Cheddar (Keen’s or Montgomery) might detract somewhat from the national part of National Grilled-Cheese Month, but this is still a fine sandwich, and it’s redeemed by excellent Wisconsin bacon and thin slices of Granny Smith apple. $14.50; lunch and brunch; 2 Park Ave., entrance on 32nd St.; 212-725-8585.

8. Little Giant
Ample smears of whole-grain mustard and a strategic smattering of pickled curry tomatillos take this hefty Gruyère-Cheddar melt from simple to sublime. $11; brunch only; 85 Orchard St., at Broome St.; 212-226-5047. — Rob Patronite & Robin Raisfeld

If anyone has tried any of the 8, let us know what your favorite (or least favorite) is.

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