New Year’s Resolutions for Delectable Dining

olive garden
Black Tie Mousse: Decadent Chocolate Paradise

2017 is officially over. It is time for new adventures to begin. The beginning of a new year is always a great time to reflect on the past year and make goals for the future. Why not make some New Year’s resolutions about your dining choices? Here are a few of mine:
• Ask for Recommendations
After reviewing a few restaurants, I quickly learned that each restaurant has some dishes that are their absolute best. They may make a crazy yummy burger or super tasty tacos. But then, they may have some menu items that aren’t really their specialty. Every restaurant has their rock star dishes and then a few that aren’t so great. It never hurts to ask the server or owner what they would recommend. Choosing the most popular item is probably a good bet.

• Give it Another Try
I’ve been to places before and decided that they aren’t exactly my favorite. I went to one place and got a burrito. I was expecting Café Rio style, but it was just meat, beans and cheese. I was not impressed and decided that it would not be a repeater for me. My husband asked the server what his favorite dish was. He got a recommendation and tried it out. I took one bite and got really bad order envy. They even had this amazing chipotle ranch dipping sauce.

I was sure that I didn’t like this place but I tried a new dish and I became an instant fan. So, if you’ve gone somewhere and haven’t been impressed try them out again. Maybe you didn’t order the best thing for you or maybe the restaurant was just having a bad day. That happens. So, try it again.

• Try to support local businesses.
Over the past few years, I have reviewed a lot of restaurants. Something that I have learned is that it is extremely difficult to run a successful restaurant. It isn’t just making delicious food. These people have to do marketing, social media, payroll, human resources and more. A few of the restaurants that I have reviewed have gone out of business, one even burned to the ground (Brumby’s). The food industry is tough. So, try out some new places. Support people who are chasing their dreams.

• Try New Things

It is comfortable and easy to keep going to the same place and ordering your signature item. Indian Food, I always go for Chicken Tikka Masala; Mexican food, I get the chicken enchiladas; Chinese food, I’ve gotta have General Tso Chicken; and Thai Food, it is going to be Pad Thai. But, in my experience doing reviews I’ve been able to sample multiple entrees at every restaurant I’ve gone to (lucky me, right?).

I’ve always ordered what sounded best to me, but most of the time I find a new favorite in an unexpected dish. There are some really yummy dishes out there and if you stay in the safe zone, you aren’t going to find them. So, try something new. If you go in a group, have everyone order something different and try a little bit of everything. You’ve got new favorites that need to be discovered.

Here are some of my favorite dishes from my reviews this past year:

Olive Garden: 5 Cheese Tortelloni al Forno with Grilled Chicken. Delicious cheesy, marinara sauce and that grilled chicken. I could drink the sauce

Mr. Grill: Steak Dinner with 8 oz. steak. Tender, delicious New York steak served with baked potato. Great flavor.

Rowley’s Red Barn: Apple Cider Slush mixed with vanilla soft serve ice cream. Scrumptious and fresh, crisp apple flavor.

Strap Tank: Steak Salad. It sounds so wrong to combine steak with a salad. But, this steak is super tender and perfectly seasoned. And the salad is crisp and delicious. It has amazing flavor and I could eat it every day.

Hobble Creek Coffee Shop: I love this place. The eggs benedict became my new favorite breakfast dish. That sauce was amazing and the eggs were perfectly cooked.

Pepe’s Grill: Street Tacos. Carne Asada is my favorite. Their nachos were also something new and insanely delicious.

Siro’s Place: Lomito Argentino. Yummy grilled steak, ham, cheese, fried eggs, Chimichurri
sauce all served on French Bread. Deliciousness.

Leslie’s Family Tree: The scones! People, these scones are bigger than a breadbox and perfect with honey butter. Also, you can’t beat the comfort food and those fresh mashed potatoes. The chicken-fried steak, which I have always avoided, was delicious.

That’s about all for now. I’m excited to see where 2018 takes us. Just remember to be brave and try new things. And if you find something that you love, let me know: amybairdwrites@gmail.com.