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Best restaurant-the ingredients that make it work

In my case a little one, doesn't advertise, only open from 7 am to 1:30PM...only has about 35 seats.

Serves real fine Slavic food...hearty, top quality. Fair, but low prices...cash only.

The secret ....fresh ingredients daily, top quality ingredients, simple, but beautiful recipes...old country (Eastern European...and I'm not of Eastern European background)...well prepared, limited number of items on menu.

So many expensive restaurants I've gone to...very expensive, cater more to snobbishness of their customers who know cost, but not value.

I'm amazed at how many individuals accept food that is decidedly second rate.

But to repeat....what I think makes an excellent restaurant:

  • Fresh ingredients daily
  • Top quality ingredients
  • Simple, but really good recipes
  • Well prepared by staff who 'really' care...I say really...as many just go through the motions about how they care about the food they make
  • Limited number of items on the menu...do a few things well...rather than try to do many....in a mediocre fashion

What do you think is key to the best restaurant you patronize.
 
The key to a good restaurant, as well as a good anything else, is attention to detail. I see attention to detail at only two kinds of restaurants anymore: greasy spoons and very nice restaurants. The common theme between them, in most instances, is that they've stood the test of time. I'm almost never reluctant to try a restaurant that's been around a while.
 
I think everything mentioned above is good. They fit pretty well with my favorite chain restaurants (I dunno about fresh daily, but Chick-fil-a hits most of the points), as well as my other favorite places.
 
Lots of good points have already mentioned. One of the keys to good food not just good restaurant food is to season as you go. If you wait until you are done cooking a dish to add salt the flavors don't have a chance to develop. I think the importance of fresh herbs can not be overstated. Fresh herbs make a dramatic difference in the flavor of food.
 
Service & cleanliness--front of house--are also important.

I've been having fun watching Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC lately. If you want to see what's right, it really comes out when you see what can go wrong.
 
Consistency - this is the be all and end all of any restaurant. After being in this business for the past 35 years no matter what level of cuisine and price of clientele you are after you need to be able to produce the same results every time someone orders there favorite items. You want to know exactly what you are getting for your money every time you sit down. I have had great meals for $5 and bad meals for $200.
 
In a very good restaurant, the manager or owner is on the floor all the time. It takes constant staff feedback from management to keep the quality where it should be.
 
Consistency - this is the be all and end all of any restaurant. After being in this business for the past 35 years no matter what level of cuisine and price of clientele you are after you need to be able to produce the same results every time someone orders there favorite items. You want to know exactly what you are getting for your money every time you sit down. I have had great meals for $5 and bad meals for $200.

I forgot to mention consistency.

You are exactly right....I can think of one restaurant in particular that has horrible inconsistency in my town. So much so that we have crossed it off our list.

We ordered a type of pizza and on two occasions out of four...it was wonderful, however on the other two occasions it was horrible and the pizza ingredients bore little resemblance to what the menu indicated, or what the two occasions, when we enjoyed it.

I spoke to a couple of friends who had also patronized this restaurant and had a similar experience.

Our assumption.....how good a pizza you would get, was dependent on what chef was at work that night.

We also think, as you have outlined in your post, that someone is not following the restaurant's recipe , when making this particular dish.

As a result, they have lost four customers.

I used to work for a company that produced food and the Boss always said that...it's hard to get a customer, but easy to lose one.

I also agree with your point about you can have a lousy $ 200 meal and a great $ 5 meal.

Les
 
Consistency - this is the be all and end all of any restaurant. After being in this business for the past 35 years no matter what level of cuisine and price of clientele you are after you need to be able to produce the same results every time someone orders there favorite items. You want to know exactly what you are getting for your money every time you sit down. I have had great meals for $5 and bad meals for $200.

I have to agree. I have a couple favorite restaurants, each for their own reason. Some for quick food, some for atmosphere, some for their staff. But if they can't consistently deliver, its really of no use. I'm not going to waste my time (and money) on a chance.

Next, would be caring. Everything else stems from this one simple thing.

By the way, what's the "slavic" restaurant?
 

ouch

Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
Consistency - this is the be all and end all of any restaurant. After being in this business for the past 35 years no matter what level of cuisine and price of clientele you are after you need to be able to produce the same results every time someone orders there favorite items. You want to know exactly what you are getting for your money every time you sit down. I have had great meals for $5 and bad meals for $200.

+1

According to the legendary Andre Soltner, who perhaps did more to legitimize high end cuisine in America than anyone else, a chef isn't an artist, he's a craftsman. An artist creates a work of art, then takes some time off. When he feels like it, he rolls out of bed and tries to do something else. A craftsman must work at his craft constantly and be able to reproduce his work again and again, perfectly each time.
 
I have to agree. I have a couple favorite restaurants, each for their own reason. Some for quick food, some for atmosphere, some for their staff. But if they can't consistently deliver, its really of no use. I'm not going to waste my time (and money) on a chance.

Next, would be caring. Everything else stems from this one simple thing.

By the way, what's the "slavic" restaurant?

Slavic restaurant....a restaurant where the food is primarily Polish, Ukrainian, Russian.

I do believe my favourite food is Ukrainian and Polish....prepared sausage, Kielbasa, Holubchy, etc....
 
For me the staff is important and the places I've enjoyed most actually smelled of food when I entered. Ever notice how many restaurants don't smell of food cooking ???
 

simon1

Self Ignored by Vista
One of my favorite restaurants is Parrilla Mission in San Miguel, Cozumel, Mexico. Small place owned by a family that also owns a couple of other restaurants there. It possesses the attributes mentioned above...fresh produce picked up each morning at the mercado, fish bought from local fishermen, but not sure where they purchase the beef and pork. They serve local cuisine and the kitchen is open so that you can see your food being prepared. It's a cocina economica so the prices are great. And the staff is very attentive and polite. They have no problem if you want to order something that's not on the menu. And it's a place where locals frequent.

Every time I take someone that's never been to Cozumel before restaurant hopping to show them what's available, they always want to return to that one. And when they return to the island later for another vacation they tell me that they always go to Parrilla Mission several times.
 
Slavic restaurant....a restaurant where the food is primarily Polish, Ukrainian, Russian.

I do believe my favourite food is Ukrainian and Polish....prepared sausage, Kielbasa, Holubchy, etc....

Oops, sorry, should have been more clear. What type of Slavic? I prefer Czech and Russian, but am happy with most. There seems to be a dearth of Slavic restaurants in the bay area (don't even get me started on Davis...). In short, I'm always looking for a new place to try.

And if anyone knows where I can get buchti or sweet dumplings, there is a handsome reward :w00t:
 
Also what is needed is a commitment on the part of all staff to uncompromising quality. This goes for everyone from the manager down to the lowliest dish washer. Every person needs to fully understand their duties, and how they effect the ultimate outcome of the guests' dining experience. This attitude starts with the manager. When I go out to dinner, the first thing I look for is whether or not I see a manager on the floor while I'm waiting. If I've been there ten minutes and haven't seen a manager making rounds through the dining room, checking on tables and cleanliness, etc., then I leave. Unfortunately, in today's economy many restaurants have compromised a great deal on quality in an effort to cut costs. Restaurants that we used to dine at often, have now become places we avoid.
 
what I think makes an excellent restaurant:

  • Fresh ingredients daily
  • Top quality ingredients
  • Simple, but really good recipes
  • Well prepared by staff who 'really' care...I say really...as many just go through the motions about how they care about the food they make
  • Limited number of items on the menu...do a few things well...rather than try to do many....in a mediocre fashion

What do you think is key to the best restaurant you patronize.

I agree with these points except for the third. There are, certainly, many good recipes that are simple, but I do not believe the simplicity of recipes is essential for an excellent restaurant. IMO, the key to an excellent restaurant is that there is not a single ingredient beyond what is needed. I worked in a five Mobil star kitchen. Some recipes required three ingredients or less. Some required more than ten and required preparation days ahead. This put me in mind of Mozart's rejoinder to Salieri who had criticized him because a work, "had too many notes." Mozart replied, "There are exactly enough. There is not one that is unnecessary."
 
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