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Thread: America's Next Great Restaurant

  1. #91
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: America's Next Great Restaurant

    I made an excellent mac and cheese by mistake one day by cooking it too long. I like a dry mac and cheese as opposed to soupy and I read that Ronald Regan did too. Googling brought me to his favorite recipe immediately. Tons of sights have it. I went to put a spoon into it before taking it to the table, one day, and discovered it could not be penetrated easily. So I turned it over and served as one would a cake. It could be hand held or cut with a fork. I loved it an have baked it ever since in a 9" by 13" pan so all the milk would be absorbed and evaporated quickly. It is perfect cut in squares, especially for an outside pot luck. The calorie count on this recipe is lower than others to begin with, as well.

  2. #92
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    Re: America's Next Great Restaurant

    Harmony, I agree, a lot of restaurants offer healthy choices. In fact, I would say most restaurants offer plenty of healthy choices.

    I suppose the problem is that people aren't choosing the healthy choices off the menu. I know I often don't. I don't fry foods at home and I don't keep potatoes in the house, so when we go out, I'll sometimes order fish and chips, or onion rings with a sandwich.

    And, IMO, selling a restaurant concept as healthy food isn't a good one. People want good food that happens to be healthy. I bet the Indian food dishes are as healthy as Stephanie's offerings. I can't imagine trying a restaurant because someone says, "You've got to try Harvest Sol; they've got really healthy food." Even her menu is too vague. The other remaining concepts are much easier to convey - fantastic meatballs, fantastic Indian food, fantastic soul food. Harvest Sol needs a signature dish that would get people talking.

    Shoepie - I had forgotten Sudhir is doing Southern Indian food.

  3. #93
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    Re: America's Next Great Restaurant

    Quote Originally Posted by Kip View Post
    Harmony, I agree, a lot of restaurants offer healthy choices. In fact, I would say most restaurants offer plenty of healthy choices.

    I suppose the problem is that people aren't choosing the healthy choices off the menu. I know I often don't. I don't fry foods at home and I don't keep potatoes in the house, so when we go out, I'll sometimes order fish and chips, or onion rings with a sandwich.

    And, IMO, selling a restaurant concept as healthy food isn't a good one. People want good food that happens to be healthy. I bet the Indian food dishes are as healthy as Stephanie's offerings. I can't imagine trying a restaurant because someone says, "You've got to try Harvest Sol; they've got really healthy food." Even her menu is too vague. The other remaining concepts are much easier to convey - fantastic meatballs, fantastic Indian food, fantastic soul food. Harvest Sol needs a signature dish that would get people talking.

    Shoepie - I had forgotten Sudhir is doing Southern Indian food.
    I agree. The idea is to serve it without telegraphing its value. Let the menu speak for itself.

  4. #94
    Just Left of Reality tbamom's Avatar
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    Re: America's Next Great Restaurant

    We have food court Indian here and it is terrible. I love Indian food but I think that part of what I love is the freshness of the flavours. If it gets too big and the food becomes prepackaged and just reheated then it won't give a true picture of how delicious it can be.
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  5. #95
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    Re: America's Next Great Restaurant

    Quote Originally Posted by tbamom View Post
    We have food court Indian here and it is terrible. I love Indian food but I think that part of what I love is the freshness of the flavours. If it gets too big and the food becomes prepackaged and just reheated then it won't give a true picture of how delicious it can be.
    Some of the dishes are definately made ahead because they take a long time to cook so reheating is what you get in and outside of a food court. You just cannot get tandori chicken or a curry made to order; it would take too long. Same for a Samosa. The filling has to be cooked, dough made, assmebled and then fried. It is a given the dough is made ahead and probably frozen in the proper shape and the stuffing is made fresh that day. It is inherent in this style of cooking. If a dish is good it can stand a reheat.

    Southern Indian food does not have these items but they do have dosas and the crepe is made to order but again the filling has to be prepared ahead because it usually contains potatoes.

    Any restaurant that offers tomato sauce, lasagna, chili, soups, stews, mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, mashed potatoes, beans among many other dishes, has to reheat. You cannot avoid this especially in a fast food restaurant.

  6. #96
    FORT Fogey jadewarlock's Avatar
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    Re: America's Next Great Restaurant

    Quote Originally Posted by Kip View Post
    I bet the Indian food dishes are as healthy as Stephanie's offerings.
    They can be - I've had several vegetarian type foods before. All were good, especially one with chickpeas in it (not hummus though).

    That said, one has to be careful - some of these are usually fried, and that can add calories.

    Out of the final four, I would go to in this order 1. Indian food, 2. Meatball place, 3. Harvest Soul, and 4. Soul Food.

    Out of these, I can't as easily make Indian or meatballs as I can healthy and soul food. With few exceptions (i.e. place that makes barbecue baked potatoes), I like going to places where I usually cannot make the food that is served if I'm going to spend more than $5 for it.

  7. #97
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    Re: America's Next Great Restaurant

    Out of all the concepts, I still like Stephenie's the best. I don't think a restaurant needs an absolute signature dish to be successful, just a nice, varied menu. I was really happy to see her do well in the recent episode, her kids' meal looked the best to me due to the variety of it, and my young cousin stated he think Stepenie's meal looked the best and he also liked her toy the best too.

    Other than her, I like Sudhir's a lot too, I have never sampled Indian cuisine and thus it makes me curious. The other two, I'm not big on, though I must concede that even though Joey screwed up on the toy (but think that maybe he got extra votes due to the toy itself), his kids' meal did look real tasty. A chocolate covered strawberry for dessert? I don't think any child would say no to that.

    Then again, I say this as an outsider point of view. Don't even live in the U.S, so it's not like I'll ever get a chance to go eat at the winner's place. lol

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    Re: America's Next Great Restaurant

    Hm, here I thought Stephanie was going to win! What a shame, her restaurant is the one I would have eaten at.

    Out of the three, I think the show would make a name for itself if it went with Spice Coast. There are a handful of soul food joints out there, and Italian food is nothing new. I don't think Indian food is very popular nationwide. If the Sudhir won and the show managed to make his restaruant successful, it might make the opinion of Indian food change for the positive. For this reason, I want Sudhir to win. I doubt it's going to happen though. I think the other two guys have a better shot.
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  9. #99
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    Re: America's Next Great Restaurant

    I downloaded a new app to my phone and was scrolling through the restaurants within an easy drive (or in my area). Was really surprised at the number of Indian places! But then I went and looked at the menus and they were all "Northern" India. What exactly does that mean for those of you who know Indian cuisine.

    I'm not a fan of crazy over-currying anything which is why Spice Coast excites me because according to you all, it's less about the curry and more about the vegs.
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  10. #100
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    Re: America's Next Great Restaurant

    Quote Originally Posted by Harmony2000 View Post
    I downloaded a new app to my phone and was scrolling through the restaurants within an easy drive (or in my area). Was really surprised at the number of Indian places! But then I went and looked at the menus and they were all "Northern" India. What exactly does that mean for those of you who know Indian cuisine.

    I'm not a fan of crazy over-currying anything which is why Spice Coast excites me because according to you all, it's less about the curry and more about the vegs.
    Southern Indian food is delicious and very different. I have not had the opportunity to eat it enough for my liking, so it is hard for me to describe. They have savory pancakes (yum!), delicious soups, dosas and things that go over rice that they call curries, I think, but not to be confused with the Northen dishs that we get everywhere. It is usually vegetarian. Nothing is the same on the menus.

    I see the Soul Food guy winning. They like him personally, see his intense passion and enjoy his food. What more do they want? They have reservations about Sudhur. It was interesting to learn that his business is helping new businesses get started. That bothers Flay. There is also the issue of the food being unfamiliar to the majority.

    I want Spice Coast in my neighborhood!

    Stephanie has been lame from the first show and seemed even worse last night. How did she even get on this show? Confusing lamb with veal astonished me. Anyone setting out to create a restaurant needs to know basic things!
    Last edited by shoepie; 04-25-2011 at 10:41 AM.

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