Tag Archives: restaurant

5 Easy Ways to Eat Healthier When Dining Out

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons: Project Manhattan

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons: Project Manhattan

So last night, I had the pleasure of participating in one of the weekly #FoodieChats created by @SteveGoGreen that goes down Monday evenings on Twitter (a thing that every food blogger, cook, chef, or brand ambassador must do at least once.) Last night’s chat was a condensed version of the usual format: it lasted for one hour and consisted of only six questions, as opposed to its usual 90-minute, ten-question setup.

Of the six questions asked, one on the subject of dining out inspired me to examine my habits in that area, and so seemed like a good topic for sharing here. The question was “When dining out what are your tips to eating healthier?” and in the course of responding to it, I realized I’d been doing several health-conscious things without realizing it or having made the determination to do so. I’ve collected those things here.

The following list, an expanded version of my Twitter response, is by no means exhaustive. These are far from being the only ways to eat healthier at restaurants. They’re just a few steps I’ve unwittingly started taking in the right direction without knowing that I had until called to reflect on the matter.

1. Skip bread course: Yes, I realize bread is not evil. I’ve generally found it to be delicious, or at least passable at most restaurants that choose offer it as a meal opener. And yes, depending largely on the type of bread one chooses, it can fit well into a healthy diet. But speaking in the most general of terms, the high carbs and relatively low nutrient levels(I’m looking at you, white bread) make this a course one looking for a healthier dining out experience can safely skip.

2. Skip appetizers: This one depending on the kind of restaurant you’re visiting. If the apps menu is rife with fried, cheese-filled, creamy sauce-drenched things, then, deliciousness notwithstanding, leave them be.

3. Select a veggie-heavy entrée if possible, or veggie sides: Figure I don’t need to explain this one. Vegetables are good for you and a great source of vitamins and minerals.

4. Choose water over soft drinks/cocktails: Overindulgence in sugar-laden sodas or mixed drinks full of alcohol and sugar will never be a way forward in terms of beneficial eating habits.

5. Skip or share dessert: Either skip dessert altogether, or share one if you’re dining with someone unlikely to mind doing so. The high levels of fat and sugar that make things taste great also pack on the pounds, so tread carefully.

You’ll never hear that I believe these should all be followed all of the time, without fail. It’s okay to be selective with which options you choose to adopt. Part of enjoying food and dining out is being able to cut loose once in a while and have something one wouldn’t ordinarily have. Moderation is key. But trying even two of the above the next time you go out for a meal will pay big dividends with regard to improving your health and lifestyle.

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Friday Fourplay: Food + Comics = Love, Sushi for Giants, Food MRIs, and Deliberately Scary Eats

Flavorful World’s Friday Fourplay offers up a bite-sized tidbit of info on each of the four food- and drink-related things we found most interesting each week.

Photo credit: Robot 6

Food And Comics

So, in addition to being a food lover, I’m also a comic book geek. I know more about the personal, out-of-costume daily habits of the members of the Justice League than a man my age ought to, and I apologize for absolutely nothing about that. So imagine my delight in discovering Food And Comics, on Robot 6 at the Comic Book Resources website. Updated each Tuesday, here’s where bookish bon vivants will find the latest news on tomes filled with dynamic, beautifully-drawn artwork featuring food as a vital element of their stories. Food and cooking in comics may not be news, but it’s nice to watch tastes evolve as general appreciation for all the ways cooking and eating can fit into our lives unfurls through an ever-expanding number of mediums. The good people at Robot 6 obviously think so too.

Via Robot 6 @ ComicBookResources.com

Photo credit: Tabelog

Sushi for Giants

Umewaka Japanese Restaurant in Aichi, Japan’s Anjo prefecture is serving up monster-size sushi that outdoes even the generous “Nagoya-sized” portions typical of area Japanese eateries. One example is its “Huge sushi roll,” wherein twenty types of raw seafood get rolled into a two-meter-long expanse of rice and nori. Weighing nearly six kilograms, this order requires two-day advance reservation and lightens the wallet by about $190 USD. The jumbo-sized “Astonishing anago” is another example, costing about $33 USD and utilizes entire anago (conger eel) fillets rather than the slices typical of the dish. I’ll forgo the easy joke about fish tales here, but wow. Just…wow.

Via Kotaku

Photo credit: Inside Insides

Food MRIs

Andy Ellison is an MRI Technologist who takes magnetic resonance images of food and posts them to his blog, Inside Insides. Equally eye-pleasing as still pictures or as quietly compelling animated gifs (of which there are several) his subjects have included the cucumber, the tomato, the pomegranate, and even an ear of corn captured from multiple viewpoints. Elegant in black-and-white, they put food’s power to affect and captivate more than our palates on full display in a manner worthy of our appreciation. So please: go and appreciate them. Often.

Via Devour

Photo credit: Food Republic

Terrifying Eats

With this being the last Friday Fourplay between us and Halloween, it seems fitting to end with a thought toward fear inducement, so here’s hoping this list of the world’s six scariest restaurants that Food Republic published earlier this week fills the bill. With options like Dinner In the Sky (affording adventuresome eaters willing to sign a $10 million dollar insurance waiver the privilege of dining at a banquet table suspended 160 feet in the air by crane) and Spain’s Disaster Café (to which diners are encouraged to wear easily washable clothing to guard their couture against being ruined by food and drinks toppled in the wake of the establishment’s nightly 7.8 earthquake simulations) ours seems an exciting age in which to live as both a foodie and a thrill-seeker.

Via Food Republic

*Mention of a product, good, or service in a Friday Fourplay posting should not be interpreted as an endorsement either from Anthony Beal or Flavorful World food and drink blog. Vendors are not notified ahead of time that their products/services will be featured, thus Flavorful World will at the time of posting have had no related interactions with said vendors or any sample of their products/services by which to judge them. As such, we have no idea what these vendors are like to work with, or about the quality of their merchandise and are unqualified to vouch for them as reputable. Our Friday Fourplay lists are posted in the simple spirit of our having come across something that looks and sounds engaging, and thinking that perhaps our readers will think so too; no more, no less. With that in mind, patronize these establishments and vendors at your own risk.

In Brooklyn: Eatery + Alter-Ego = Alter-Eatery-go?

Photo credit: TheWindsorTerraceBlog.com

Brooklyn, New York is a borough with no few claims to fame (enough that to place the word “Brooklyn” before words/phrases like Museum, Botanic Gardens, Brewery, and Navy Yard, is in each case to name an instantly recognizable and much-beloved institution originating in history far too expansive to receive due exploration in a single blog posting such as this.)  Now this most populous of NYC’s boroughs can boast an additional laurel: In Brooklyn as you sit reading this, there’s a cozy little café with a secret identity.

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Photo: Snapper Pontchartrain

Photo credit: Anthony Beal

Joe’s Crab Shack in Gaithersburg’s Washingtonian Center recently offered up this fish dinner smothered in Mushroom Pontchartrain Sauce and topped with grilled shrimp. By no means a bad meal, this one didn’t knock my socks off.  The “dirty” rice that accompanied it was underseasoned and therefore undeserving of truly being called “dirty.”  The broccoli served alongside it tasted previously frozen, and while I’m not knocking the supermarket freezer case, I expect a bit more when dining out.  The best part of the meal was the shrimp.  Large, juicy, and rubbed with old Bay seasoning, their inclusion was an eye-opener in an otherwise unremarkable meal.  As seafood meals go, I’ve had much better.

Review: Relic Restaurant Lounge in Bethesda, Maryland

My first impression of Relic was that it is the sort of plush, lowlit cavern I’d expect to find tucked into some quiet narrow in lower Manhattan, down near the Bowery where the city’s glitter is long faded, and where after dark, one knowing where to go can still get just as drunk on live music as on whiskey and wine. Its ceilings are low. A good measure of its interior lighting is left to candles placed at every table. Its loveseats like tandem cushioned thrones that seem to beckon, “Why aren’t you sitting here?” and well-stocked bar spanning nearly the entire length of the place, its bottles and glassware candied by colored neon lighting, conspire to arrest one’s cares for all things beyond well-deserved leisure.

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