All Posts In Restaurants

From Tampa to Key West: A Taste of Southern Florida — On the Road with the Great Food Truck Race

by in Restaurants, Shows, September 30th, 2014

The Great Food Truck RaceThis past weekend, the finale of The Great Food Truck Race brought the remaining two teams to Florida. Tyler had the teams on a five-city tour of the state from Tampa to Key West, covering over 4,000 miles. Along the way he had them face challenges that even included cooking alligator in the Everglades. Luckily, they didn’t have to catch their meat first. In the end, one team brought something different to the game and came out on top, earning their own food truck and $50,000 (find out who won).

Whether you’re looking for seafood specialties in the Keys or Cuban classics in Tampa, you’ll find unique flavors that will have you going back for more in the Sunshine State. Check out all that southern Florida has to offer with these top 10 restaurant selections.

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Steakhouse Rib Eyes with Creamed Spinach — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, Restaurants, September 26th, 2014

It’s a rite of passage to go to one of America’s great steakhouses. Dark knotty, wide wood; warm, well-polished brass; and banquettes upholstered in worn, creased leather set the stage. When partnered with excellent food and excellent service, it’s an all-American experience. Our attraction to the scent of meat cooking on fire is basic; the wafting smoke seems to awaken some sort of primordial urge buried deep in the recesses of our carnivorous brains. There’s not much heartier and more satisfying in terms of comfort food than a meaty, perfectly charred steak topped with mushrooms and served with a baked potato and creamed spinach. This is how the West was won — or at least west Wall Street.

Life occasionally calls for a thick, juicy steak. Those special times might be celebrating something such as a big promotion, a graduation or an anniversary. The celebrations often come with a big price tag, too. Down-home comfort steakhouse-style is a real cause for celebration, because you can do it in the comfort of your own home. No rude waiters, no dings in the car due to the careless teenager in valet and no eye-popping bill that costs as much as a house payment.

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Get Classic Southern Eats in Alabama — On the Road with The Great Food Truck Race

by in Restaurants, Shows, September 23rd, 2014

Alabama Dining on The Great Food Truck RaceThis week on The Great Food Truck Race, the route took the teams to Alabama. On their first day Tyler had the teams getting their hands dirty — picking frozen shrimp in a challenge to see who could get close to 100 pounds. One team left with their spoils but soon found the challenge of peeling and cleaning the Gulf Coast delicacy holding them back. Later in the day Tyler challenged the two teams who had cooked the best brunch dish on Day Two to a seafood cook-off. In a surprise turn of events, the team that won was actually sent home.

Some were more successful than others at selling seafood dishes, but when in the South, where the fruits of the sea are the freshest, there’s no excuse not to partake of the bounty. And the state of Alabama has a lot to offer when it comes to seafood delicacies, including shrimp po’ boys and shrimp ‘n’ grits. For the meat lovers, there’s barbecue ribs, burgers and good ol’ Southern cooking.

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Sweet and Savory Selections in St. Louis — On the Road with the Great Food Truck Race

by in Restaurants, Shows, September 16th, 2014

St. Louis on The Great Food Truck RaceThis past week on The Great Food Truck Race, the rookies rolled into St. Louis, where they’d soon learn a lesson or two about food truck ownership. In a Speed Bump challenge Tyler had them earn their seed money by selling the city’s specialty, toasted ravioli. After that, the trucks got back to selling their normal menus, but before they knew it, Tyler visited the trucks to test their food. Finding their quality lacking, he instituted a Truck Stop cooking challenge, whose winner would double their till. At the end of the two days a frontrunner was sent home, learning that it doesn’t pay to mess with quality.

Whether you’re looking for the local specialty or just want a sweet fix, St. Louis has a little bit of everything, including comfort food, international specialties, made-from-scratch doughnuts and more.

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Comfort Food Finds in Oklahoma — On the Road with the Great Food Truck Race

by in Restaurants, Shows, September 9th, 2014

Onion Burger on The Great Food Truck RaceOklahoma City was this past week’s stop for the food truck teams on The Great Food Truck Race. On Day One, many teams thought a few menu tweaks might be a good idea to appeal to the locals, whereas other teams planned to simply keep cooking their signature dishes. But in the end it didn’t matter, because Tyler Florence’s Truck Stop challenge had all the teams cooking the same dish: the local specialty of fried onion burgers. Putting the teams on an even playing field really showed who would rise to the top. And in the end, two did just that, while one remained in the middle and two fell to the bottom.

Whether you’re looking for the famous fried onion burger or for other comforting classics, Oklahoma has a wealth of eating options. Check out all that Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas in the state have to offer.

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Where to Eat Dinner in Chicago

by in Food Network Magazine, Restaurants, September 9th, 2014

Where to Eat Dinner in ChicagoIf you’re attending Food Network in Concert this September 20, your dinner plates (and wine glasses) will be in the hands of the city’s greatest chefs. Surrounded by succulent barbecue, dreamy pasta and sushi like you’ve never seen it before (to name just a few), it’s safe to say you won’t have to worry about food on the night of the festival. But what about the rest of your trip? Here, Food Network stars and headliner Phillip Phillips share their dinner recommendations to continue your culinary adventure in Chicago.

Geoffrey Zakarian: Paul Kahan’s restaurants Avec and Blackbird, and Stephanie Izard’s Girl and the Goat. 

Anne Burrell: The Purple Pig, BellyQ, and I always have to go for a piece of BIG MEAT, so I like to go to Gibsons! 

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Uniquely Austin Eats — On the Road with The Great Food Truck Race

by in Restaurants, Shows, September 2nd, 2014

Let There Be Bacon Burger on The Great Food Truck RaceThis week on The Great Food Truck Race the food truck rookies found themselves moving from the Southwest into the heart of Texas. Because Austin is known for “keeping it weird,” Tyler Florence decided to pull some interesting tricks on the teams. On Day One he had them partner up, which produced some odd pairing, e.g., Let There Be Bacon and Middle Feast. Later all the teams moved to a dating event, where they had to work their charms on selling food to singles, which had some mixed results. And in one final eccentric challenge, Tyler instituted a Truck Stop truck swap. You can imagine how weird that was for the teams.

In the end, many of the teams found it difficult selling in Austin, just because they were competing against some of the best restaurants and established food trucks in the country. And Austin has got a little bit of everything in that regard: tacos, barbecue, comforting classics, international specialties and more. Find out all that Austin has to offer.

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Where to Eat Lunch in Chicago

by in Food Network Magazine, Restaurants, September 1st, 2014

When people hear “Chicago,” they think deep-dish pizza. But when we asked chefs for their favorite places to go for lunch in the area, the infamous crust did not make the cut — Mexican food and banh mi sandwiches did. Find their recommendations below, keeping in mind that Jeff Mauro is a trustworthy local. Whether you’re heading to Food Network in Concert this September or are a Chicagoan yourself, this list will come in handy when you’re on the hunt for an afternoon bite in the Windy City.

Geoffrey Zakarian: Frontera Grill — Rick Bayless’ place.

Anne Burrell: The Tavern on Rush is always fun to sit outside and people-watch, and Kuma’s Corner (pictured above) has even better burgers.

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Go Southwestern and Beyond in Tucson — On the Road with The Great Food Truck Race

by in Restaurants, Shows, August 26th, 2014

huevos rancheros on The Great Food Truck RaceThe second stop in The Great Food Truck Race brought the rookies to Tucson. Many of the trucks thought that going from Southern California to the Southwest meant it would be an easy transition, but that wasn’t the case for everyone. Those who took the opportunity to adapt to local tastes found the best customer response, resulting in top sales. And Tyler’s Truck Stop challenge had the teams all selling a Sonoran hot dog, which proved to be one of the best ways of testing the teams’ marketing abilities. In the end, the team from SoCal came in first place, proving that they could make a comeback from last week.

Whether you’re looking for Southwestern favorites like burgers, Sonoran hot dogs or modern Mexican cuisine, we’ve narrowed down the restaurant offerings to the top 10 from the area, which include a few surprises like Jamaican stew and a Philly favorite.

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In Search of the Healthiest Dish on the Menu? Help Is On the Way.

by , August 25th, 2014

chalkboard menu

You’re feeling hungry and hankering for some comfort food, so you slip into your local diner and scan the menu, looking for healthy options. You know they’re in there, hidden among the burgers and fries, shakes and floats, waffles and three-egg omelets loaded with cheese. A spinach salad? A fresh fruit plate? A low-cal veggie soup, not too heavy on the sodium? The trick is to find them.

Health-aware food marketing experts want to help, basically by using the things restaurants do to manipulate diners into ordering high-profit menu items for the greater good — or at least to boost our collective good health. In a study recently published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Cornell University professor Brian Wansink (the man credited with the 100-calorie snack pack) and co-author Katie Love found that people eating in restaurants tend to order descriptively named menu items more frequently than those with bland names. Renaming “seafood fillet” something like “Succulent Italian Seafood Fillet,” for example, boosted sales 28 percent.

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