The bottle alone is iconic: The white silhouette of the rooster, the Kelly-green cap, and the vibrant red-orange glow of the mouth-watering sauce within. (more…)
Posts Tagged 'Food Experiences'
Happy Foodie Friday! Last week, I shared part 1 of my presentation from this year’s IDDBA: Experiences that Engage. Today, we’ll dive into part 2 and talk about the Four Es of an Engaging Experience—and how I’ve seen this in action in my hometown of Nashville Tennessee! But before we do that, I’d like to share a story from the Pacific Northwest.
When you think of fresh and healthy, chef-driven, exceptional dining experiences, you probably don’t think about shopping for things like furniture, cars, and gardening tools. Yet several companies have changed the retail scene with unique, high-end food choices for their shoppers.
Today’s Foodie Friday takes a closer look at these pioneers of bringing a gourmet element to your next retail adventure.
There are plenty of factors that go into making a dining experience truly special. A creative, diverse, and satisfying menu of food and drink; artistry in the presentation of the plates and the atmosphere of the restaurant; the skill and innovation expressed by the chefs and sommeliers, and so on. Yet what turns a memorable restaurant experience into an extraordinary one is unparalleled customer service. On a recent trip to Las Vegas, we enjoyed all this—and some of the best steak in the world—at Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Italian steakhouse CARNEVINO. (more…)
We recently had the pleasure of sampling some extraordinary cuisine in the Latin-culture epicenter of Miami, Florida. A meal in South Beach is enough to prove that NBA Basketball (The Miami Heat) hasn’t been the only thing generating heat in this beach-front paradise aptly nicknamed “The Magic City.”
Magic might as well be the secret ingredient in lick-your-plate-delicious chimichurri sauce. And these south-of-the-border dishes are gaining popularity across the globe. A glance at current, worldwide culinary trends shows that Latin foods are on the rise even outside of their usual markets. From Cuban and Mexican dishes to Chilean and Argentinian fare, South- and Central-American flavors are spicing up the global palate through the talents of inventive chefs.
During our “real Nawlins’ feast”, we chowed down on a wonderfully diverse selection of local recipes that surprised and delighted our eyes, noses and stomachs. We started off our meal with some light, sweet, buttery corn muffins. Then, in no particular order, our meal began to arrive! We feasted on a “best of” menu, including Jacques – Imo’s famous deep fried po’ boy (on authentic New Orleans French Bread, of course), Lamb Chops, Crispy Rabbit Tenderloin, Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake, Fried Chicken, Blackened Tuna with Oyster Champagne Brie Sauce, Roasted Acorn Squash with mixed Seafood in a Curry Coconut Cream Sauce, Grilled Duck Breast with Orange Soy Glaze, Shiitake Mushrooms and Pecans, Stuffed Pork Chop (Ground Beef and Shrimp), Stuffed Shrimp with Magnolia Sauce, Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Remoulade, Fried Oysters in a Spicy Garlic Sauce, Chicken Livers on Toast, with Mashed Potatoes, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Red Beans, Butter Beans and Rice, Corn Maquechoux, Beets, Mixed Greens (can’t forget the salad), Cole Slaw, and Smothered Cabbage. We staggered to the finish line of this feast with lagniappe (just a little something extra) in mind. So we had thick, dark coffees all around, followed by an assortment of chocolate cake, coconut bread pudding and crème brulee.
What an incredible day of discovery in the grand old city! We all somehow crammed ourselves back into our vehicles and headed back to our hotel. Great memories—and plans for another trip to NOLA in the near future!
Laissez les bons temps rouler! The food, atmosphere and people of New Orleans defy description—you’ve got to experience it for yourself. Taking my own advice…my wife and I recently did just that. During our stay, we visited some famous, not-so-famous, and some infamous places in and around the Crescent City, as we took in hearty helpings of the sights, sounds and succulent tastes offered up by the hospitable town.
One afternoon, we decided to strike out on a “progressive dinner” of sorts. Our culinary experience started out at Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar in the French Quarter. Felix’s promotes the fact that they have been family owned and operated for more than 70 years. A longtime favorite of locals and visitors alike, it has gained National notoriety thanks to rave reviews of guests to the area. They are right across the street from Acme—which typically has long lines of tourists, and though Felix’s doesn’t have the lines or the tourist following the chargrilled oysters we enjoyed for an appetizer there beat Acme’s “hands-down” in our opinion. A close second to Felix’s were the chargrilled oysters from Drago’s, another family owned area restaurant (and possible distant relative).
Our next stop was Mandina’s on Canal Street for a bowl of their famous Turtle Soup and New Orleans French Bread. In business since 1932, this food gem was nearly full at 4:30 in the afternoon. After a bowl topped with a dash of Black Pepper and Sherry—we headed out to our next destination—one I’ll tell you more about in my next blogpost.
The following is a “re-post” of a “classic” from my archives. The concept of the reusable popcorn bucket is one of the most disturbing and disgusting marketing schemes to come along in quite some time…
“Kick” the Bucket…
Today’s Notable Quote: “Can you believe what they’re doing with that refillable popcorn bucket?” – Overheard in the concession line at the local Carmike Theater (tweet @CarmikeCinemas) this past weekend.
Buy a “refillable” plastic popcorn bucket for only $17.50 – and get $3.50 refills on each return visit to the theater during the coming year!
Initial response? WOW! In the land of unrealistically high-priced candy, food and beverage–i.e. the local movie theater…this sounds like a great deal…a response followed by looking at the people in line–in our case, an acne-faced concession-seeking patron who scratched his face and other areas of his anatomy with the plastic popcorn bucket, before putting it on his head. Yet another person waiting in line placed their empty bucket on the floor to tie their childs shoes.
At this point, our initial excitement was replaced with the sobering realization that hordes of strangers will be bringing buckets from their various homes, garages and automobiles to be dipped into the common trough alongside our popcorn bag or bucket. Hmmm.
As a student of human nature and safe food handling practices, I have learned a few facts that cause me to look at the bucket offering with something less than full-out enthusiasm. In the interest of the public health and welfare, I will share a few of my observations and a possible solution to the bucket dilemma.
A Few “Foodborne Illness” Statistics to consider:
1. Each year in the U.S. , approximately 48,000,000 – or about 1 in 6 citizens contracts some form of foodborne illness – often mistaken for intestinal flu or other illness.
2. Nearly 128,000 Americans are hospitalized due to something they ate which was improperly prepared, or mishandled during serving.
3. An estimated 3,000 deaths result from mishandled or contaminated food consumed by individuals in the U.S. each year.
SERIOUS QUESTIONS FOR POPCORN BUCKET PURCHASERS/USERS:
Do your fellow “theater goers” clean and sanitize their popcorn buckets before heading to the theater–and keep them clean (off the floor, out of the restrooms, etc.) while they are carrying them to the concession line??
Do the clerks behind the counter “DIP” the bucket into the popcorn bin…or do they take the steps necessary to provide clean, safe, contaminant-free popcorn to each patron(keeping buckets out of the holding bin, washing their hands, wearing disposable gloves, etc.)?
I could go on and on, but won’t, in the interest of your ability to enjoy lunch or dinner.
For now, I suggest “kicking the bucket” – and probably adhering to the TPAP (Theater Popcorn Abstinence Plan). Were I in charge of concessions, a simple solution would be to implement the sanitation protocol described above, along with providing disposable liners for use by the refillable bucket bearers. Of course, along with these steps, I would clean the restrooms on a regular schedule, teach the staff basic principles of customer engagement, etc., etc.