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palo

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Everything posted by palo

  1. I'm actually writing a poem, not a book or thesis. I usually tip 20%, but coming from a small town, with little to no restaurant culture, I wondered if the percentage was higher in a larger city with many more choices. Of course tipping is a personal choice based on a number of factors. What I'm asking is, what is the starting point for good, decent service, not why you would go higher or lower other than regional expectations. p
  2. Thanks for the replies so far. By regional variations I was trying to differentiate between big cities such as NY and Chicago vs smaller less urbanized areas. In an effort to keep this thread focused, I wasn't interested in the rationale behind the numbers but the numbers only. There are many varied reasons why the tip amount may be different from the tip norm, but that has been covered in numerous (too numerous?) threads. p
  3. Not interested in turning this into another pro/con tipping thread, but what is the average, expected tipping level for adequate, decent service? Obviously service above or below a certain level would indicate a deviance from the norm. Are there regional variations? Figures I have seen range from 15% to 20%. p
  4. My comments were driven by other Chinese buffets at which I'd eaten. I enjoy Chinese buffets and will continue to do so. The comment about Chinese buffets being "subpar" needs to be qualified by comparing apples to apples. I believe it is a style of cuisine on its own. p
  5. palo

    wi-fi in cafes

    Okay, the OP has probably made his by now, 10+ years ago, but a couple of thoughts for anyone else contemplating such a decision. First and foremost, get a second connection that is totally separate from the one you use for your business and strongly suggest your business connection be not available via wi-first unless there is a compelling need for it. The cost for a low bandwidth connection should not be prohibitive. As far as liability goes, I think it is a non-issue. Imagine car rentals, firearm manufacturers or even ISPs. They certainly are not liable for what their customers do. Finally as to whether this is a good idea or a bad idea. Are you just a coffee and donut/snack place? Do you need to turn tables? Would your seating capacity be able to accommodate "campers"? Free wi-fi is certainly a drawing card, but will it add to your bottom line? p
  6. I recently went to a Chinese buffet restaurant and was disappointed. We arrived at 7:00pm and the restaurant's closing time was 10:00pm. Most of the choices seemed to have been sitting on the steam tables much too long. No dishes seemed to be replaced with fresher versions. The fried calamari had the consistency of over cooked pasta. We left around 9:30pm and we were the last patrons of the night. Would I return? Yes, as there were lots of reasons for the food to be sub par. As buffets work, there needs to be copious amounts of food to be prepared and presented to diners who may or not partake of it. Presumably from their experience they gauge their cooking/quantity requirements based on previous observations. The timing of my visit probably played a part in my negative experience. If when I returned at a time more likely to yield fresher food and still wasn't satisfied then, I doubt I would return. p
  7. Not to rehash an old topic from 2003-2004 http://forums.egullet.org/topic/30689-bathroom-attendants/ Do they still exist or have they gone the way of elevator operators? How do you react to the idea? I am excluding those who function as "security". p
  8. http://bewitchingkitchen.com/2014/07/24/crispy-cornmeal-sweet-potato-fries-2/ I wonder if you could use olive or or regular veg oil instead of the coconut oil - not a coconut fan? This recipe might be an interesting prep for regular potatoes as well. p
  9. ^^That's what I do as well, two freezers and a chamber vac-->attacking food costs aggressively! p
  10. ^^Totally agree Alex, just wondering what others thought. Some will turn their noses up, but IMO the're cutting it off to spite their face. p
  11. Not that I mind Fish and chips but I hoped for more choices p
  12. Maybe I'm overly self-conscious about what other shoppers are thinking when they see reduced items in my cart. p
  13. Disgusting topic, so forewarned and possibly suggesting an exit if squeamish. Lots of rumours/fears abound regarding food being adulterated before being served to diners if staff feel offended. This does happen, not often, but often enough to raise the issue. Yes, this is a disgusting and illegal act. The question is, would this bother you if you weren't aware of it? I am assuming you have no health concerns that would be impacted by this event and the perpetrator had no health issues that would affect you. If the above qualifiers are applied, is then is this any different/worse than the staff commenting to a colleague that the diner is an idiot? You were not harmed physically nor psychologically. p
  14. Do you ever buy reduced foods at the grocers because the "Best Before" date is the current date or tomorrow's? I've seen price reductions of 30 - 50% off the original price. Items that come to mind are meats, vegetables and bakery goods. I've seen posts here from a few well respected members of this board who practise this buying strategy. What's your take/opinion on this habit? p
  15. Many restaurant menus feature "specials". Some are dishes made from unique and not usually available ingredients or a limited spin on a creative dish that isn't normally available. Others offer the diner a special price on an item because the chef was able to get a good price on an item and is passing the savings on to the diner. Finally the "special" might reflect that an ingredient is "going off" or while "good" today, might not be tomorrow and in the interests of economy must be used rather than be wasted. Just a couple of clarifications, I'm not suggesting "bad" food be served. There should be minimal or no difference in taste between the"fresh" dish and the "not-so fresh" dish. My question is, should menus indicate what defines these "specials" and how should they do this? I think any menu that included "Clearance Items" as a menu section would scare off many diners, although personally I would give them some honest consideration as I tend to consider value as well as cost in my menu choices. Finally I believe that all the reasons I described in the first paragraph are legitimate, moral and ethical choices for restaurants to make. Your thoughts/opinions. P
  16. Not sure if you're saying the same thing radtek, but I've noticed on most current packages of wrap (all types), the metal cutting edge has been replaced by a cardboard one. Unsure if this is due to safety/legal concerns or simply cost-cutting. p
  17. I fairly sure it's not biodegradeable, it may even belong to that family of compounds that have a half life. It may become a family heirloom. Regarding the cutter length...too late to return it?
  18. I will check Tor's out, thanks Sylvialovgren. My only experience with Fish and Chips in town has been Duckworth's just across the Narrows. Good food but the decor leaves one reminded of eating outside at a picnic table. p
  19. palo

    e-cookbooks

    Hi Mick, I don'knowing you're still looking at this project as it's coming up to a year later. My view of ebook cookbooks is that I would never buy one. Most ebook readers are designed to read page after page sequentially, flipping around or browsing is a pain. In a cookbook, I like to browse or call up specific ingredients such as beef or poultry etc. Indexes are nice as well, but probably very difficult to setup in an ebook format. Assuming that receiving some money for your efforts would nice, an alternative might be a website with a registration fee a la America's Test Kitchen which charges a member fee for most of their content. Obviously this would require an upfront cost as you admit to not having the DIY skills. Most importantly you would have to offer perceived value for your site. Not sure if this helps, but best of luck to you with your goal. p
  20. palo

    Fast Toaster

    ^^ chuckle chuckle...your accent seems to have slipped a bit I do see your point though. A Breville or Cuisinart JUST to make toast is a little ridiculous. Sort of like buying a Rolls Royce just because they have great radio. And to add, the OP was asking about toasters so in that respect my post strayed a mite off-topic, for which I consider myself properly chastened. p
  21. Looking to enjoy some good quality casual dining in Orillia. I know Casino Rama has various restaurants but would like to avoid it as parking and crowds sometimes can be horrendous. Any experiences or reccomendations or warnings. p
  22. I have a Frigidaire upright freezer only that has a digital temperature display. I've set the temperature to -10 F. I also vacuum seal pretty much everything into meal size portions so freezer burn isn't a concern. At the temperature I have set, I believe that temperature fluctuations are a non-issue as it's unlikely food temperatures will get above freezing as I have a 10 degree buffer. The unit also has a power loss alarm. That temperature is good for most food storage but ice cream not so much p
  23. Re using coolers as containers, I have two coolers one medium size and one small (24 beer and the other a 6 pack). To prepare them, I discarded their lids as they were only pop on pop off types, no hinges. I purchased a small sheet of 1 1/2 inch "Styrofoam SM" (ridgid styrofoam, closed cell, not the white stuff that crumbles). I cut lids to fit, then cut a hole to insert my circulator (Anova) When I want to use the coolers as coolers I just pop the original lids back on. Works a treat! p
  24. These are/were sold under a number of different brands. I have one and am happy with the results I've obtained with it. I don't use it that often as that big bowl is a bear to wash because of its size and weight. Regarding the comment about putting the lid somewhere, my model has a frame with provisision for setting the hot lid vertically along side the unit. Scary at first to use as your afraid the whole thing will tip over but it doesn't. I tried it a few times with a cold lid just to get used to the placement etc. Personally I wouldn't reccomend it as there are better products out there, albeit for more money like the Breville Smart Oven and Cuisinart Steam Oven p
  25. palo

    Fast Toaster

    Have had a number of different toasters, Avanti, B& D infared etc. I even had one that was supposed to act like a commercial conveyer toaster. You put the bread in the top and turned it on, when it was done it didn't pop up, but rather it slid out the bottom onto a tray, neat idea but the problem was the toasting area was very shallow so your toast was only 1/2 toasted literally. I've used the Breville and aside from seeing what is happening with your toast (using a flashlight of course) I was not impressed. Hands down winner as mentioned by Rotuts above is the Cuisinart Steam Oven - produces good toastyness on the outside and a warm/cooked interior plus you don't need a flashlight do judge doneness P.S. At about $250 it does a lot more than toast. p
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