At this month's Olympic games, McDonald's — the official restaurant sponsor of London 2012 — is welcoming the world's biggest set of Golden Arches at its 1,500-seat pop-up restaurant in Olympic Park, and the chain has just revealed its world-class menu for the venue.Read ahead to see the McDonald's Olympics menu.
- Aquarium Restaurant — Denver, CO
- Benihana — Encino, CA
- The Brooklyn Diner Times Square — New York, NY
- Buca di Beppo — 25 winning locations nationwide
- Burger Jones — Burnsville, MN
- Burger Jones — Minneapolis, MN
- Café Pesto — Kawaihae, HI
- Crown & Crumpet — San Francisco, CA
- Deerfield — Newark, DE
- Dee’s — Forest Hills, NY
- F. McLintocks Saloon & Dining House — Pismo Beach, CA
- Genji Japanese Steakhouse — Dublin, OH
- Graziano’s — Niles, IL
In the past year, there's been significant growth nationwide in the number of fast-casual eateries, from burger joints to healthier comfort-food fixtures. The latest craze we've noticed hitting this scene? Asian-themed chain restaurants.Chipotle could've tackled a number of ethnic eats, so the Mexican chain certainly caught our attention when it unveiled its plan for ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, "inspired by the traditional shophouses through Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam." Then we raised our eyebrows when a former chef at San Francisco's renowned Slanted Door restaurant opened the first of what will be several Bay Area locations of Asian Box, a healthier riff on Asian street food.
Meanwhile, Canada-based Wok Box has been preparing to bring its stir-fry boxes and curry dishes to the western part of the United States this year. And just this week, a former Hooters chef announced his new venture, a minichain of Atlanta-based Latin fusion restaurants bearing the name Taqueria Tsunami.
Regardless of where diners are in the country, it's clear they're on the lookout for the explosive flavor combinations that come from Southeast Asian cuisines. Are you excited at the prospect of more Southeast Asian cuisine in your neck of the woods?
Photo courtesy Sonya Yu for Asian Box
YumSugar: Where do your menu items (like chilli cheese uthappam and tomato basil biryani, both on the menu at Arka) come from?
Sachin Chopra: Working in various upscale restaurants over the years, both Indian and American, I developed a passion for combining the best elements of each. Arka's menu is a reflection of that passion; it is my interpretation of classic Indian food, presented with Californian sensibilities.
YS: I've noticed a trend toward the fusion of Indian and Latin ingredients. Does that influence you at all in your menu development? Do you think the Latin-Indian fusion concept has mainstream potential?
SC: We have an abundance of fresh produce here [in California], and it so happens that some of the same ingredients that make Latin cuisines delicious also work well with Indian food. Sure, there could be a market for Latin-Indian fusion, provided the chef respects each cuisine and is masterful in combining them.
YS: What are some other trends you're seeing in Indian cuisine today?
To find out his answer, keep reading.
Among those who made the cut from the list of last month's semifinalists: David Chang, Tom Douglas, and Ina Garten.
Winners will be announced on May 7 in an award ceremony at New York's Lincoln Center, to be hosted by none other than Food Network's Alton Brown. The event, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, only promises to be more lavish than years past.
To see the list of finalists, keep reading.
Think twice about eating at that chain restaurant. Our pal Wise Bread gives reasons why you shouldn't eat there.
I’ll reveal my bias upfront — I can’t stand chain restaurants. From their oversized, cheese-topped portions to the excessive use of adjectives in their menus, grabbing a bite at a big-box just doesn’t hit the spot for me. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the amount of food that people are consuming outside of their own kitchens has been growing pretty steadily since the 1970s, which may account for why chain restaurants seem to keep on multiplying. But despite chains' obvious popularity, I also believe that there are some sound reasons to skip them in favor of smaller local eateries.
There's Too Much Food
One of the top reasons that many people give for favoring chain restaurants is the portion sizes. I get it. When you go to a restaurant, you want to actually eat. I definitely don’t appreciate being presented with a pretentious morsel of an entrée any more than the next girl. If that bite of food is really tasty, it’s almost worse — as if I could be satisfied by taste alone, even when my stomach is empty! At the same time, many of the top chain restaurants boast dishes that top 1,000 calories each. I mean, let’s be honest here — most people could do without those “stacked” and “stuffed” caloric monstrosities. And while many restaurants now offer lower-calorie menus, it’s pretty hard to order those calorie-labeled little offerings when the guy at the next table is ordering a steak that could feed a family of four.
Let's face it: dining out is a totally subjective experience, and I've often wished there were hard and fast rules in place for issues like splitting the bill or whether coat checks should be mandatory. The question du jour? Whether it's OK to bring a birthday cake to a restaurant.
I've just turned 30, and I'm celebrating by having dinner with a dozen friends at a small, family-owned ethnic restaurant. It feels apropos to have a cake for the occasion, but since the event takes place at a restaurant, I worry that the whole cake-and-candles thing could not only be disruptive, but also put a strain on the restaurant.
Guidelines on birthday cake etiquette seem to vary. Some restaurants are happy to do it; some request a call ahead; many other high-end establishments charge an (often pricey) cake-cutting fee. Still, others think it's a practice that should be cut out entirely. "I'm always baffled by people bringing their own cake. Do you bring your own steak?" one commenter asked rhetorically on a discussion board about the topic.
I want to hear what you think: if a restaurant doesn't focus on dessert, is it OK to bring your own birthday cake, candles, and lighter to dinner? What do you think of a per-person plating fee? Please weigh in below.
One of the hardest thing to budget in the past year was eating habits, according to SavvySugar readers. Of course, there is always the simple solution of just eating at home more often, but you can still cut your food bill here and there when you're eating out. We've given you plenty of tips in the past on how to save when eating out so we're rehashing some of the best ones as well as throwing in some our new frugal ideas! Here they are:
Use coupons. Go to Restaurant.com and enter in a coupon code for restaurant.com that'll get you a $25 voucher for only $2. You can find the coupon code by searching the keyword "restaurant.com" on the coupon site RetailMeNot. Buy a local Entertainment book worth $15 that will give you lots of buy one get one free coupons for restaurants.
Don't eat out when you're dining solo. Try to save your meal excursions for when you're with friends and family. This means that if you're planning on grabbing a quick bite by yourself, it's better to prepare something at home to eat instead. A big part of the joy of eating out is ambiance and company, so save your money and skip grabbing quick meals when you're alone.
Ration meals with friends. Even if you're saving all your meals out for when you have company, don't be too liberal when you're scheduling them. Try to rotate among different people if you're planning on having one-on-one dinners and space it out. Remember you can always catch up with people over drinks or during a fun activity so don't feel bad about skipping dinner.
Opt for lunch: Oftentimes, the lunch menu is a lot cheaper than dinner. When meeting up with people, try to opt for lunch as your preferred meal. Be sure to also pick their lunch specials.
They all had plenty to say about the state of dining — especially the jocular Batali. Here are just a few of his one-liners.
- On turning tables: "We have loud music at Babbo while you're eating soigné food. From 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. we turn it up and make it faster to get people out of there."
- On tables in New York: "The beauty of New York is, even if five million people on Yelp hate me, there are still eight million left."
- On how far the industry's come: "Thirty years ago, restaurant staffs were people who just got out of jail or people who'd just gotten out of the military and were on their way to jail."
Like chefs Tom Colicchio and Dennis Leary before him, Graham Elliot Bowles has a sandwich side project. Last fall, the Michelin-starred owner of Graham Elliot opened Grahamwich in downtown Chicago, so when I visited my peeps at PopSugar Chicago last week, we had our lunch meeting over sammies — or should I say "grahamies"? Though not as avant garde as No. 7 Sub, Grahamwich gives nostalgic favorites a modern, quirky twist. Click through to see what we ate.