Is Tipping the Future of Fast Food?
comment 1 Written by in Fast Food


I walked into a Jersey Mike’s recently to get a Pastrami Reuben (the best deli sandwich I’ve found in a non-deli, by the way) and when I went to pay, the worker at the register asked me something that I’ve never encountered at a fast food restaurant:

“Would you like to add a tip?”

I stared at her, confused, and that’s when she pointed to the pay machine. “Would you like to add a tip?” the machine asked. It even broke down how much my final tally would be for a 10%, 15%, or 20% tip. Read the rest of this entry »

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Psychology of a Wine Label: Why We Buy the Bottles We Do

Without a smooth-talking salesperson to serve as co-pilot, wandering the aisles of wine shops and supermarkets can feel like losing yourself in the Bermuda Triangle. Some wine lovers go in with a list, while others simply prefer to wing it and let wine fate determine the perfect bottle. Favorite grape varieties and familiar wine regions certainly help narrow down the search, but when everything else is equal, what really causes one bottle to win out over the other?

Art and copy has ruled the advertising world for over a century, selling us with sleek designs and compelling content. But what exactly lies behind the design of wine labels, and what, if any, are the psychological games at work? Read the rest of this entry »

Santa Fe’s Best Bakeries
Torte at Sage Bakehouse. All photos by Juliet White.

Torte at Sage Bakehouse. All photos by Juliet White.

Baking at high altitude has its challenges. Cakes emerge from the oven with the appearance and texture of a frisbee, bread rolls metamorphose into rocks, and there’s a ten-second window before cookies mutate from underdone to charred. In Santa Fe, it’s best to leave the baking to the experts. Read the rest of this entry »

No Chinatown? No Problem! Part II: Miami

Black Pepper Chicken

photo: Navin75

Continuing our series on finding Chinese food in cities without a historic Chinatown, we now move on to Miami.

Interestingly, most of the Chinese food in Miami is Cantonese, with authentic non-Cantonese food quite rare. This is contrary to the current trend in most other Chinese American communities where the influence of Cantonese food has greatly receded. All the more unusual, the only other locales in the United States where you see such a bias towards Cantonese food are in the historic core Chinatowns of cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and New York, all of which were founded by Cantonese immigrants over 100 years ago. Because Miami never had a historic core Chinatown, something must be vastly different about Miami’s Chinese populace, but what? Anecdotal evidence points to the Miami Chinese community being originally founded by Chinese from Cuba, many of whom fled after the Castro regime came to power. The Cuban Chinese community was exclusively Cantonese, and they were joined by Chinese from New York who came to Miami during the era that Cantonese restaurants were still dominant in the Big Apple. Read the rest of this entry »

Vegan Options: The New Normal at Restaurants
comment 3 Written by in Vegan Food

Sure, there are plenty of all-vegan restaurants across the nation — and I’m on a quest to write about all of them — but I’m even more excited to tell you about all the non-vegetarian places that have been scrambling to offer vegan options in order to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for vegan fare. According to an article in The Washington Post, several restaurants in the D.C. area, including Muse Café and The B Spot, are taking a break from meat and dairy products for occasional all-vegan menus. Vegan entrées are taking root at restaurants around the nation — even BBQ joints and greasy spoons are enticing vegans to break bread with the meat-eaters, who are also apt to chow down on veggie burgers and faux-chicken sandwiches on occasion.

I’m telling you, restaurant “segregation” is over. You can get vegan meals almost anywhere now. I recently stumbled across an Esquire blog explaining that, in this “golden age of vegetarian dining,” “manly” restaurants such as Alden & Harlow in Cambridge, Massachussetts, are serving beet steaks and other meat-free meals alongside chicken-fried rabbit and pork belly dishes. Read the rest of this entry »