Side Dishes

A Tale of Two Cocktails from Old Havana, Cuba

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From 1932-1939 Ernest Hemmingway lived at the Hotel Ambos Mundos (Both Worlds) in Old Havana, where he preferred renting a certain 5th floor room for $1.50 per night, as it provided him an excellent view of the Harbor and the cool breeze. Read more...


Front of House
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You know the scenario. A busy night in your restaurant, tables turning as they should, everything going according to the book, but some guests just have to stay a little too long. They just sit and sit and sit seemingly forever! It’s the dreaded customers called Campers! Read more...

Great Service = Big Tips!

Front of House
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As a hospitality employee working for gratuities, the endless search for that elusive BIG TIPPER continues. Could you be the server or bartender who gets the BIG ONE tonight (get your mind out of the gutter)? Try these “tricks of the trade” to make more money than ever before. Read more...

Tip Making Tips for Tip Makers

Back of House
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This short piece is a simple pep talk to remind all you servers, bartenders, managers, hostesses, musicians and aspiring chefs to keep trudging along towards your life goals. They are much closer than you think. Don’t stop now…you’re almost there! Read more...

What’s the Culinary Difference?

Food for Thought
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As a food critic, I dine at a variety of restaurants. At each stop, I cannot help but notice just how different each establishment is from another, and I’m always amazed. Some are still stuck in the early 80′s, some restaurants think they are on the cutting edge. Read more...

Simply Salt

Side Dishes
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The delicate white crystals sitting in shakers on practically every dining table in the western world is another “taken for granted” product (like black pepper) that we know as salt. Hard to believe, but salt was actually being used long before history was recorded. Read more...

The Chef-fields and the Mc-Servers

Back of House
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The age-old feud continues in a revealing look at the relationship between front-of-the house, and back-of-the-house restaurant employees. I have been meaning to write this story for years now, as this situation is one that just doesn’t go away. Read more...

Suggestive Up Selling

Front of House
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You and your guests are sitting down for dinner, looking through nicely worded menu selections, only to have the server rave on and on about how great the most expensive dish on the menu is. Okay, we get it! Up selling is a necessary “evil” of this business. Read more...

Want a Free Tip?

Front of House
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When I was a younger server in the late 80′s and early 90′s, I worked at a very strict restaurant run by insane people with fanatical ideas of what great service was…or so I thought at the time.There were some rules that probably would not fly today.. Read more...

Black Pepper…and Salt too!

Side Dishes
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Admit it! Don’t you take black pepper for granted? I know I always did. It was simply there, and that was that. Right? Pepper is everywhere! It is found in peppershakers on every table in every restaurant…and salt too! Read more...