Restaurant statistics show tough times boost the desire and sales of comfort food. There’s a psychological component triggering the hankering for meat, mashed potatoes, pot pies, pot roast and other hearty meals when social frivolity diminishes.
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Last week I was listening to a culinary conversation a trio of burly fire fighters were having. As they were critiquing local restaurants, claiming the food at their firehouse was better than the food at any restaurant in their community. They commented they missed meatloaf, roast beef, and pot pies.
Only days later I was in Bishop, Ca. and made the decision to at Whiskey Creek a restaurant that has been operating for over thirty years in town, It has been my experience that restaurants with a lengthy track record tend to not stray far from their menu. However, when the menu was presented two standard comfort food entrees caught the eye: Chicken Pot Pie end a Meatloaf Sandwich. Both had a signature twist that made them a little special. The Meatloaf Sandwich was dressed with cucumbers and Thousand Island dressing. The Chicken Pot Pie was created in a shallow white pottery pie plate and actually resembled a pie complete with a braided twist around the top of the crust. Both touches were a pleasant surprise in this tiny mountain town jut down the road from
Thinking outside the box is a talent that separates the creative from the mundane. This trait distinguishes kitchens of notoriety from just places to eat. However, before you can think outside of a box, you need to have learned about the box.
One way to accomplish this is to transform a standard favorite into a signature dish by adding a creative twist like the crust on the pot pie.
With summer menus being broadcast across the country through the Internet take a few of your standard summer entrees and dress them up before you take the out.