16 Thoughts For Sweet ’16

  1. Sorry, but I don’t get excited about ramen.
  2. Since many recent openings in St. Louis have been either pizza or barbecue joints, please note you can combine the two with the Pulled Piggy Pizza from PW Pizza. It is delicious. (Pictured with slaw atop the pulled pork and sauce.) Pulled piggy pizza
  3. We are blessed to have a wide choice of grocers in my neck of suburbia: Schnucks, Dierbergs, Shop’n’Save, of course. Also, Lucky’s, Fresh Thyme, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Global Foods, Sam’s Club, Costco, Walmart, Target. Still haven’t made it to Aldi.
  4. Want to be happier in 2016? Eat more avocados.
  5. I like this memorable quote from Tom Colicchio (pictured below) in last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal: “Calories are cheap. Nutrition is expensive.”Colicchio
  6. Even if you’re a Starbucks hater, you have to admit that their national presence over the past two decades has helped “raise all boats.” Almost every place that sells coffee has improved their product.
  7. Chain restaurants are not inherently bad. I can name chains in St. Louis whose quality varies from pretty good to abysmal, from location to location. In most cases, the reason is good or bad management.
  8. Is it okay for a restaurant to brag about using local vendors whenever possible… via a release from an out-of-town PR firm?
  9. Sweet and savory do not always go together well, but when the combination works, the results can be pretty amazing.
  10. I’m not a fan of the “best nine” tic-tac-toe format on Instagram. Most of the nine tiny pics are too small. (Or maybe it’s time for me to get a new phone with a bigger screen.)
  11. The crew at a local Breadco did not know what to do last month when I ordered a mocha and asked them to stamp my 90s era Cappuccino Club card.
  12. I enjoy Urban Chestnut beers but the 500 milliliter bottle size (just over 16 ounces) can be confounding. Sometimes one is not enough but two are too many.
  13. How many waiters have their own business cards? Our server at Fleming’s last week included his card in the check holder. Nice touch.
  14. If you’re thinking about going paleo or trying Whole 30, you should know that cauliflower makes a great rice substitute and sweet potatoes are wonderful.
  15. Recommended book: A Year In Provence (1989) by Peter Mayle. Among the joys he and his wife experience are numerous eating and drinking occasions. Loved the book. When I read it last spring, I laughed out loud many times.
  16. My favorite meal of 2015 was at Singleton’s Seafood Shack in Jacksonville, Florida, on the banks of the St. John’s River. Fried fish, fried dill pickles, a cold Bud Light and memories of the years we lived in the Big J.

I wish you and your family a Sweet (and Savory) ’16! Roll Tide!

Going Mobile

A Facebook friend posted a pic last week of a local Breadco with promotional signage glued to every table. As many commenters pointed out, it did look a bit tacky.

That afternoon, I went to my neighborhood Breadco and learned the reason they did it. St. Louis Bread Company (AKA Panera) really wants you to know about their new mobile ordering app. They have signage all over the store and, in case you don’t get the message, on your table as well.

“Mobile is the biggest shift in QSR [quick serve restaurants] since the drive thru,” says Taco Bell’s Jeff Jenkins. He was quoted in an article last week from Nation’s Restaurant News. Click HERE to read the article which details the 2014 mobile ordering plans of many fast food chains.

Breadco App

Breadco is testing mobile ordering in St. Louis as well as a few other markets. The mobile app is, so far, only available for iPhone. You can also order from your computer at THIS site.

The app lets you order and pay for your soup, salad, sandwich, etc., then waltz into your Breadco, grab your order from the “Rapid Pick-Up Shelf” and split.

The biggest advantage, I think, is avoiding long lines. I’ve seen lines out the door of the Breadco in my neighborhood in the early morning and at lunchtime. Also, this method should help insure more accurate fulfillment of your order, especially if you have any non-standard requests.

My biggest concern would be ordering a bowl of soup or a panini early in the morning for pickup at 12:15 and have it be lukewarm because it was packaged for pickup at 11:45.

If you are a Breadco customer, download the app to your iPhone (Android coming soon, I’m sure) and give it a shot. There may be glitches as they work to make the process work smoothly. Be understanding.

Food Trend Predictions for 2013

As shared on our 1/5/12 Food Talk STL show:

  1. The line between brilliant creativity and goofy gimmickry will become blurrier.
  2. Bacon will show up in more unexpected places. (Bacon in your alfredo sauce? Bacon bits on your apple pie? Bacon wrapped carrots?)
  3. Portion sizes will decrease slightly, leaving more room for beverages & desserts.
  4. Chefs will feature more main dishes starring fresh veggies because they look good and because vegetables are cheaper than protein foods.
  5. More restaurants will add burgers to their lunch menus. (Pasta House has a burger on its lunch menu. Would Breadco add a burger?)
  6. Food truck operators will get tons more private catering gigs. Because they have different food items and the trucks add color and charm.
  7. Some of those favorite local food truck menu items will show up at Busch Stadium concession stands. (Maybe in the Redbird Club?)
  8. Younger St. Louis palates will embrace noticeably spicier dishes that their parents could never handle.
  9. Like bacon, fried eggs will show up in unexpected places. (On top of your tuna sandwich? On top of lasagna? On top of your grilled salmon?)
  10. Salted caramel desserts will replace or accompany some of the old standbys.

We’ve seen some of these things happen already, to be sure. But we may notice them more prominently in 2013. But, then again, I could be wrong.

burger

 Let’s do lunch!