Designing The Perfect MenuDesigning The Perfect Menu

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Designing The Perfect Menu

Those brand new area rugs and that spiffy dining room paint job might look great, but all customers will remember about your restaurant is the food. Unfortunately, if you design a lackluster menu, your guests might not be tempted to try some of your best dishes. In my twenty years in the restaurant business, I have made some mistakes and had more than a few successes. I want to share the things with you that really work, so that you can enjoy your early days as a restaurant owner. Operating a restaurant is hard, but by heeding the right advice, you can enjoy the journey.


Zeal For Zest? A Look Into What Makes Your Favorite Restaurant's Cuisine So Spicy

Have you ever wondered why some people cannot seem to get enough spice, while others will draw sweat and tears at a mere sprinkling of such flavoring? Scientists believe that whether or not you are attracted to spicy foods can actually be traced to your genetic makeup.

People in hot or humid climates, like southeast Asia, central and South America, and Africa, incorporate a lot of hot spices in their recipes, and also seem more capable of eating spicy dishes. On the other hand, cultures in colder climates tend to have blander foods. This is likely because, in hot and humid climates, food spoils faster. Zesty spices serve as an anti-microbial that can actually starve off the growth of germs and bacteria, so people in these regions naturally gravitate to meats that have a little bit of "kick" to them.

If you are in the mood for some spicy food, you can find dishes to meet your palate's desires in almost every regional cuisine.

Where to Go For Your Spicy Cravings

Not all cuisines incorporate the same spices to accomplish this spicy flavoring. A restaurant will typically create its spicy dishes from the same spicy agents found in the regions where that style of cuisine originated. Here are some examples of the spice differences from region to region.

Thai. Unless you grew up in Thailand or another southeast Asian country, you are not likely able to handle "Thai spicy." You can request your Thai food mild, medium, or hot, or if you are really daring, ask for Thai spicy; it brings spicy to an entirely new level. Thai chefs generate heat in their dishes from a combination of Thai chilies, dried chilies, and green chilies. Order at your own risk!

Mexican and Tex-Mex. If you go to a Mexican restaurant or "Tex-Mex" establishment, you will likely find a healthy dose of chili powder in the spicy dishes. Chili powder is usually a dried mix of peppers, cumin, and oregano, but Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants will also use Ancho chilies and Chipotle. Generally, you will find more cumin in Tex-Mex restaurants than in Mexican restaurants, especially in the meat dishes. 

African. One of the lesser-known cuisines on the spicy circuit, African cuisine can really pack a punch. These dishes originate in Ethiopia, Morocco, Egypt, and beyond; however, when creating a spicy dish, chefs frequently infuse cayenne pepper, paprika, curry powder, cumin, and sometimes cardamom to get the job done.

Try a restaurant like Stardust Restaurant in your area to explore new tastes.