Wednesday, November 11, 2009

100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part Deux)

If you enjoyed part one of "100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do", by Bruce Buschel in the New York Times, don't miss part two. While all valid and valuable pointers, this part didn't resonate with me in the Belgian sense quite as well as the first part did. Although I did enjoy #89: Never patronize a guest who has a complaint or suggestion; listen, take it seriously, address it.
Oh, if only...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Petit Chef

I thought you might enjoy taking a peek at I've only discovered it quite recently myself, but it seems to be an interesting new source for finding recipes. You can search, post, or comment on other recipes, and there are plenty of links to other cooking websites.

They also have 'daily menu' feature - each day you get a little email with an appetizer, main course, and dessert (and links to the recipes on Petitchef, bien sur). I don't know whether someone actually compiles this menu with complimentary dishes - my sense so far is "no", but nonetheless, a few recipes have popped up in my inbox that I might just have to whip up.

Most importantly, "Petitchef" makes me think of "Little chef", the nickname of the rat in Ratatouille, which is clearly one of the finest food films in recent memory.
What food websites are your favorites?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sushi on a shoestring

As I mentioned in an earlier post on Wasabi Sushi Restaurant, I was working up a little piece on reasonably priced sushi in Brussels for Flanders Today. The piece ran recently, and I figured you might like to take a look. Enjoy the piece, or just enjoy the sushi:

Boulvard Anspach 74
Brussels 1000
Tel. : 02.502.85.87
Open 7 days a week

Chaussée de Waterloo 1021
Uccle 1180
Tel. 02.374.04.88
Closed Wednesdays. Also includes a shop.

Sushi Shop (already written up on this blog, click here)
Avenue Louise 144
Ixelles 1050
Tel. 02.613.20.00. Call for take-out/delivery only; they do not take reservations.
Closed Sunday noon. Dine-in, delivery, take-out. Also seemingly opening soon on the Sablon.

Sushi World
Rue des Cultes 5
Brussels 1000
Rue de Joncker 25
Saint Gilles 1060
Closed Saturday and Sunday lunch. Dine-in, delivery, take-out.

Monday, November 2, 2009

One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do

I've lived here for nearly five years, yet there are still some aspects of Belgium that I will never get used to. Like the service in Belgian restaurants. (At this previous post, you can read about a particular favorite experience...)

For those of you who lament this as I do, you will enjoy (and perhaps become a little nostalgic from) a blog posting at the New York Times entitled "One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1)".

It is written by restauranteur Bruce Buschel, and begins, "Herewith is a modest list of dos and don’ts for servers at the seafood restaurant I am building."

This list only includes rules #1-50 (51-100 will follow next week). I had particular appreciation for tips like:

4. If a table is not ready within a reasonable length of time, offer a free drink and/or amuse-bouche. The guests may be tired and hungry and thirsty, and they did everything right.

6. Do not lead the witness with, “Bottled water or just tap?” Both are fine. Remain neutral.

15. Never say “I don’t know” to any question without following with, “I’ll find out.”

In Belgium's defense, they do consider #17 as a golden rule: "Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait." So maybe there's a thing or two that the Americans could learn from Belgium, too.

Read the full posting here. Thank you, Bruce!