Breaking Bread (Traditions)

Over the past few years, you may have noticed something missing from restaurant dinner tables.

No, someone didn’t steal the silverware. It’s the breadbasket. During the economic downtown, an increasing number of eateries have excised free bread in order to cut costs, while others have begun charging for it.

Restaurateurs may want to rethink this move though, because a good bread program can help set an establishment apart from its competitors and help form its identity.

There are plenty of practical reasons why proprietors originally began offering a crusty kickoff to meals, which are still worthwhile incentives to keep it today.

A small high glycemic index snack like a roll can get the salivary glands working, which makes customers hungrier and likely to order more food than they originally intended.

It can also soothe an irritable patron before they take their dissatisfaction out on the waitstaff.

The hit of salt in the butter can make diners thirsty, so they might order high mark-up drinks from the bar.

And if that’s not enough to convince you, starting off a meal with a free item can help create a halo effect around the entire dining experience, which leads to a more positive overall impression of the restaurant.

Finish reading this post on the Restaurant Management website now.

Photo of Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits courtesy of Red Lobster.

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Munchie Madness – Six 4/20-Inspired Dishes and Drinks

For pro-pot advocates, the biggest day of the year is April 20th, otherwise known as 4/20. Since puff-puff-passing is illegal in most states, smokers converge on the District annually for the Overgrow the Government rally for the legalization of marijuana. No matter what side of the debate you’re on, we can all agree that mind-blowing munchies are an issue that we can all support. So here are six of our favorite herb-inspired dishes and drinks, so you can celebrate (legally, of course) on this High Holiday.

Rabbit

It’s no shock that a salad shop is overflowing with greens, but it is surprising that one of their leafy creations is inspired by the 1936 anti-pot propaganda film Reefer Madness. The Leafer Madness Cobb ($10) tops Romaine lettuce with grilled chicken, corn, tomato wedges, egg, chive, avocado purée and blue cheese, then drizzles it all with red wine vinaigrette. If you prefer something lighter, you can always go for the Kind Herb ($7), which takes mixed greens and herbs and tosses them with crispy wild rice and vinaigrette. (No, one of the herbs is not marijuana.)

The Inn at Little Washington

You might think you’ve smoked too much when the mooing, cow-shaped cheese cart rolls through the dining room of this five star restaurant, but we assure you that Faira the fiberglass heifer is absolutely real. One of the selections she bears is Up In Smoke (price varies), which borrows its name from the Cheech & Chong film. Made by River’s Edge Chèvre in Oregon, this gourmet goat cheese is wrapped in bourbon-soaked, smoked maple leaves, which gives it a smoky scent and a hazy flavor that Pedro and Anthony would have loved.

Finish reading this post on CityEats’ Plate blog now.

Photo by LancerenoK on Flickr.

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