The US is a Great Melting Pot!

The United States is a great melting pot and few things are more synonymous with a particular culture than its cuisine.  Dining at an ethnic restaurant or experimenting with regional flavors in the comforts of your own kitchen are a great ways to experience foreign cultures.  I ENJOY trying to new flavors and understanding how particular cultures came to create dishes native to their country.

Some of the trendiest cuisines in the United States are still unknown to many Americans, who continue to do most of their culinary adventuring within the “big three” ethnic cuisines of Italian, Chinese and Mexican, according to a study released by the National Restaurant Association. Consumer interest in new cuisines is growing. Below are excerpts from a report published in the National Restaurant Association review!

CuisinesIn its “Global Palates: Ethnic Cuisines and Flavors in America” report, the trade association’s first ethnic cuisine study in 16 years, the NRA asked more than 1,000 adults about their familiarity with cuisines that originated outside the United States, as well as regional cuisines within the U.S.  The NRA found that four out of five surveyed consumers eat at least one “ethnic” cuisine each month, and that two thirds eat a wider variety of cuisines than they did five years ago, with one third having tried at least one new cuisine in the past year.

“Typical restaurant diners are more knowledgeable, sophisticated and experienced than they were two decades ago,” the report said. “Today’s consumer — especially in the younger age groups — generally is more willing to try new foods and expand their taste buds.”

However, the “big three” ethnic cuisines still dominate, with roughly nine out of 10 respondents having tried all three at least once in their lives. Italian is the most frequently eaten ethnic cuisine: 61 percent of those surveyed said they eat it at least once a month.

The NRA found that four out of five surveyed consumers eat at least one “ethnic” cuisine each month, and that two thirds eat a wider variety of cuisines than they did five years ago, with one third having tried at least one new cuisine in the past year.

“Typical restaurant diners are more knowledgeable, sophisticated and experienced than they were two decades ago,” the report said. “Today’s consumer — especially in the younger age groups — generally is more willing to try new foods and expand their taste buds.”

However, the “big three” ethnic cuisines still dominate, with roughly nine out of 10 respondents having tried all three at least once in their lives.

Apart from those three cuisines, the next in line in terms of popularity are regional American, Mediterranean, Japanese, Spanish, Belgian, German, French, Greek and Caribbean, each of which more than half of those surveyed said they tried at least once.

Most experimentation with ethnic foods is done at dinner. More than three quarters of respondents, 77 percent, said they eat ethnic food most often during the evening meal, while 18 percent pointed to lunch as their main time for ethnic eating.

Younger consumers also eat ethnic at breakfast. Although 66 percent of people ages 18 to 24 and 72 percent of those ages 25 to 34 who were surveyed said they mostly ate ethnic food at dinner, 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively, said breakfast was their top time for ethnic food. That’s compared with 0 percent among people ages 35 to 64, and 1 percent of people ages 65 or older.

Younger consumers are also more likely to eat ethnic cuisines related to their own heritage. Fifty-seven percent of 18-to-24 year olds who responded said the ethnic foods they like to eat are tied to their family’s ancestry or heritage, compared with 43 percent of people overall.

Offering ethnic food as a special item can be an effective selling point, the study found. When asked if they would consider trying ethnic food as a special at their favorite restaurant, even if it were different from the type of food normally offered there, 80 percent of respondents said they would. However, 84 percent of respondents said they prefer to eat ethnic cuisine at restaurants that focus on that cuisine.

For the past 6 weeks my husband, myself and good friends have experienced different ethnic food and cultures; Syrian, Greek, Columbian, Jewish, and Asian.  For two years I had tried to enroll the Tri-C Neighborhood Scholar ‘Ethnic Cuisine – Food & Cultures.’ This year I succeeded.  The program is so popular that the ‘the old-timers’ have been enrolling for years and years in the program making it difficult for newbies to enroll. All the restaurant owners and Chefs we have met through the program have expressed their gratitude to the good olde United States for the opportunity to succeed.  So in addition to tasting some extraordinary cuisines it was refreshing to meet people who believe the United States is a land of great opportunity.

*Excerpts from Brett Thorn’s article reported in the National Restaurant Association

 

 

 

 

United States is a Melting Pot of Cuisines!

CuisinesThe United States is a great melting pot and there are few things as synonymous with a particular culture than its cuisine. Dining at an ethnic restaurant or experimenting with regional flavors in the comforts of your own kitchen are a great ways to experience foreign cultures.  I ENJOY trying to new flavors and understanding how particular cultures came to create dishes native to their country.  Below are excerpts from a report published in the National Restaurant Association review written by Brett Thorn!

Some of the trendiest cuisines in the United States are still unknown to many Americans, who continue to do most of their culinary adventuring within the “big three” ethnic cuisines of Italian, Chinese and Mexican, according to a study released by the National Restaurant Association. Consumer interest in new cuisines is growing.

In its “Global Palates: Ethnic Cuisines and Flavors in America” report, the trade association’s first ethnic cuisine study in 16 years, the NRA asked more than 1,000 adults about their familiarity with cuisines that originated outside the United States, as well as regional cuisines within the U.S.

The NRA found that four out of five surveyed consumers eat at least one “ethnic” cuisine each month, and that two thirds eat a wider variety of cuisines than they did five years ago, with one third having tried at least one new cuisine in the past year.

“Typical restaurant diners are more knowledgeable, sophisticated and experienced than they were two decades ago,” the report said. “Today’s consumer — especially in the younger age groups — generally is more willing to try new foods and expand their taste buds.”

However, the “big three” ethnic cuisines still dominate, with roughly nine out of 10 respondents having tried all three at least once in their lives. Italian is the most frequently eaten ethnic cuisine: 61 percent of those surveyed said they eat it at least once a month.

The NRA found that four out of five surveyed consumers eat at least one “ethnic” cuisine each month, and that two thirds eat a wider variety of cuisines than they did five years ago, with one third having tried at least one new cuisine in the past year.

“Typical restaurant diners are more knowledgeable, sophisticated and experienced than they were two decades ago,” the report said. “Today’s consumer — especially in the younger age groups — generally is more willing to try new foods and expand their taste buds.”

However, the “big three” ethnic cuisines still dominate, with roughly nine out of 10 respondents having tried all three at least once in their lives.

Apart from those three cuisines, the next in line in terms of popularity are regional American, Mediterranean, Japanese, Spanish, Belgian, German, French, Greek and Caribbean, each of which more than half of those surveyed said they tried at least once.

Most experimentation with ethnic foods is done at dinner. More than three quarters of respondents, 77 percent, said they eat ethnic food most often during the evening meal, while 18 percent pointed to lunch as their main time for ethnic eating.

Younger consumers also eat ethnic at breakfast. Although 66 percent of people ages 18 to 24 and 72 percent of those ages 25 to 34 who were surveyed said they mostly ate ethnic food at dinner, 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively, said breakfast was their top time for ethnic food. That’s compared with 0 percent among people ages 35 to 64, and 1 percent of people ages 65 or older.

Younger consumers are also more likely to eat ethnic cuisines related to their own heritage. Fifty-seven percent of 18-to-24 year olds who responded said the ethnic foods they like to eat are tied to their family’s ancestry or heritage, compared with 43 percent of people overall.

Offering ethnic food as a special item can be an effective selling point, the study found. When asked if they would consider trying ethnic food as a special at their favorite restaurant, even if it were different from the type of food normally offered there, 80 percent of respondents said they would. However, 84 percent of respondents said they prefer to eat ethnic cuisine at restaurants that focus on that cuisine.

For the past 6 weeks my husband, myself and good friends have experienced different ethnic food and cultures; Syrian-The Fountain Grille in Westlake, Greek-Greek Village Grille in Brooklyn Hts., Columbian-Moncho’s in Cleveland, Jewish-Menorah Park in Cleveland, and Asian-Pearl of the Orient in Rocky River.  For two years I had tried to enroll in the Tri-C Neighborhood Scholar ‘Ethnic Cuisine – Food & Cultures’ Program.   The program is so popular that the ‘the old-timers’ have been enrolling for years and years in the program making it difficult for newbies to enroll; I am persistent.  This year I succeeded. All the restaurant owners and Chefs we have met through the Tri-C Program have expressed their gratitude to the good olde’ United States for the opportunity to succeed.  So in addition to tasting some extraordinary cuisines it was refreshing to meet people who believe the United States is a land of great opportunity. And a place to share the wonderful flavors of their culture.

“Grumpy” is Hardly the Apt Description for a Congenial & Hard-Working Mother-Daughter Team

kathy & DaniA gentleman named Grumpy (so named by his neighbors) opened a bakery and café in 1996. Now, nearly 20 years later, Grumpy’s Café only sounds gruff. In reality, this growing Tremont institution known for Cleveland “feel good food” and a friendly and accommodating style, has evolved by two women who learned to develop and manage a successful eatery from the ground up.

The learning curve began when single mom, Kathy McKay Owad, started waitressing for Grumpy’s founder, Scott Lindell. A part-time job soon blossomed into a full-time passion as the “old pro” stretched Kathy’s skills in the kitchen. Techniques learned then continue to enhance the know-how of budding cooks on the line at Grumpy’s today: what spices go with fish; how to pair certain foods together; how to reuse left-overs to trim waste; the recipe for meatloaf; a Mexican Lasagna with layers of tortillas, chicken, chorizo sausage, salsa, sour cream, and cheddar cheese (delicious by the way); and more.

When the founder tired of the business, the pupil was ready to take the reins, and in 2002, Kathy bought the business unaware that her “education” had barely begun.

Less than two years into her new venture, a faulty appliance sparked a fire that wiped out the entire operation. A little frightened but undaunted, and with the loving support of the Tremont community who pitched in to throw a fundraiser, Kathy started over with a recipe that was a lot more involved than making Grumpy’s noteworthy Cajun home fries (also delicious).

Relying on the help of a great network of friends, mastering a business plan, maxing out her credit cards, and the guidance of a website, Restaurant-owner.com, an 18 month adventure to transform an empty beauty parlor commenced. And in 2007, Grumpy’s Café was reborn in its current location.

Kathy observes, “We grow at any age.” It’s an adage she put into practice with her three children, for they all have worked and learned at Grumpy’s at some point growing up. Her daughter, Danielle (Dani), took a special interest in the family enterprise.

After graduating from college with a teaching degree, Dani started serving again when the new location opened on W. 14th Street and took on a larger more active role. Since then, she has worked her way up to become General Manager and schooled herself on the finer points of restaurant operations.

Kathy gratefully acknowledges with Dani’s commitment the succession plan to a second generation of ownership is firmly in place. And while the first generation patiently hopes Dani’s siblings (Kristi and Ryan) fit into the Grumpy’s picture later, Kathy has but one word for her chief collaborator: awesome!

Just like the original Grumpy stretching Kathy’s know-how to the point of passion in the kitchen, and later for the business as a whole, the growing pains of the mother-daughter management team is stretching the collaborative relationship between mother and daughter. It’s been a trial by fire with many ups and downs. “Taking things personally just happen because you are related,” notes Kathy, “but we have learned to try our best to separate business and family.”

Dani and her mother have date nights once a month to force themselves to make time for one another off the clock. It works! Their healthy collaboration fuels a warm and friendly atmosphere, the perfect setting for Cleveland “feel good food” that bring customers back again and again.

As Kathy and Dani correctly observe, “When you eat good food, you feel better.” Amen. (Try the Pulled Pork or homemade Black Bean Burger.)

Grumpy
Grumpy’s Café  located at 2621 W. 14th Street, Tremont 216.241.5025  •  www.Grumpys-Cafe.com
If you are interested in sponsoring a Family Business feature story, please contact Barbara Daniel at 216.228-1379 or barbdaniel@sbcglobal.net

Summer is around the corner and so is outdoor dining!

Food Talks Blog | Sponsored by The Women's Journal

 Outdoor Dining in Medina County

Patio Collage

“Dining out” takes on an entirely new meaning when spring and summer sunshine arrives.

Can you name these patios? All are in Medina County!

 

Rather than being cooped up inside for meals, diners flock to cafes and restaurants that boast al fresco seating to enjoy a bit of scenery and fresh air with their meals.

When the sun comes out and the breezes are warm, blooming gardens and trellis-covered restaurant patios can be ideal dining spots to grab a meal. Good food combined with a hearty dose of fresh air can make everything from a cappuccino to a hamburger taste better.

Considering the best outdoor-dining spots can fill up quickly, and enjoying a meal outside takes a bit of finesse, follow these tips to make the most of any outdoor-dining experience.

* Make a reservation. Outdoor seating is not always easy to get. To ensure you will have a spot at your favorite restaurant, call ahead and reserve a table. Otherwise, you may have to wait quite a while for a table to become available or be forced to sit inside.

* If you are hoping to try a new restaurant that boasts outdoor dining ask about the layout of the space. Many restaurants, even those without ample outdoor space, cater to the outdoor-seating crowd, even if their outdoor dining area is limited to a handful of cafe tables placed near the curb. Unless you want to spend your meal with pedestrians walking by or inhaling car exhaust fumes, call or visit the restaurant online ahead of time to ensure that the outdoor seating is more amenable to an enjoyable meal.

* Choose restaurants with overhead coverage. It is one thing to want to eat outdoors, and entirely another to be subjected to the wrath of Mother Nature. An outdoor seating area should be comfortable, offering the best blend of fresh air and ample protection from the elements. Umbrellas or a covered patio can provide shelter should it start to drizzle or you need relief from the summer sun.

*  Expect some uninvited guests. Dining outside means bees, flies, birds, and other animals. Those who are deathly afraid of all buzzing insects may want to eat indoors instead.  Enjoy summer dining as it only lasts just a few short months.

Local dining with patios!

Medina

Corkscrew Saloon

Sully’s

Jo-Jo’s

On Tap Grille

111 Bistro

Girves Brown Derby

Yours Truly

Fireside Restaurant at Rustic Hills Country Club

Thyme

Tres Potrillos

Seville

El Patron

Rose Hill

Brunswick

Panini’s Bar & Grill

Red Onion

The Oaks in Chippewa Lake

The Galaxy in Wadsworth

Granite Grill in York Twp.


Main Street Medina – Dine & bring Wine Events

Food Talks Blog | Sponsored by The Women's Journal

Dine&Wine1We had a great time at the first Dine & (bring) Wine of 2015!  Nate the Chef from P.J. Marley’s treated guests to fresh side salads, awesome beet sliders, Buckeye Buck burgers, cheesy mac & cheese and rich decadent Grandma Leto’s Chocolate Cake.  Nate early on told us P.J. Marley’s was a from scratch restaurant. Impressive those beets are roasted every day to create the one of a kind beet sliders.  The multi-course dinner was prepared in front of 15 guests.  Many of the diners were first timers to Dine & Bring Wine.  The small intimate group of food enthusiasts made for lively discussions on a variety of topics mostly focused on food and guessing whose pictures are on the wall inside of the Cool Beans Cafe kitchen.

P. J Marley’s:  Hamburgers will always be our specialty according to Joh Stahl co-owner of P.J. Marley’s. The Stahl’s work with T.L. Keller Meats in Litchfield to source top-quality beef from Medina and Lorain county farms.  It shows in the up-scale hamburgers on the menu and the especially the Buckeye Buck burger with homemade bourbon sauce, bacon, white cheddar and fresh onion on a grilled bun featured at the Dine event.  45 bottled beers and a shelf of Ohio-made whiskeys, bourbons and vodkas showcase the bar. For kids, Frost Top Root Beer is on tap.  Breakfast is being served daily.

Main Street Medina Dine & (bring) Wine Events

Cool Beans Café owner Laura Parnell and host for the events asks local chefs to prepare a four-course meal right in front of the diners!  All proceeds benefit Main Street Medina.

Bring a bottle of your favorite wine to enjoy.
Menu and chefs to be determined, check out Main Street Medina’s Facebook page or website at www.mainstreetmedina.com for more information. Tickets on sale 1 month before the event date.

Limited to 16 per seating $27 per person 
Event hosted by Cool Beans to benefit Main Street Medina.

Future Dates

May 14
August 20
October 15
2 seating’s available.                6-7:30 or 8-9:30pm

 

 

 

Here, Near & Dear to Medina Square

Here, Near & Dear to Medina Square

Here, Near & Dear to Medina Square

Here, Near & Dear to Medina Square

Local Flavors

Anytime of year is a great time to dine locally with an added bonus of strolling along Medina’s Historic Square with its unique shops and Festivals.  Dining out is a different experience when you select independent restaurants over national chains. Chefs at independently owned restaurants have a greater say over ingredients and menu choices than those at franchise establishments, and you may be introduced to foods you had never before dreamed of trying. Restaurants that team up with local food suppliers offer even a bigger bang for your buck and fresher ingredients. If you’re new to the area check out the Medina Visitors & Convention Center, Main Street Medina and the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce. . .

A Cupcake a Day (Closed Mondays) 115 W. Liberty St.

330-389-1247 www.acupcakeaday.com

Cool Beans Café (Open 7 Days) 103 W. Liberty St. 330-723-7174

www.coolbeansmedina.com

Corkscrew Saloon (closed Monday’s) 811 W. Liberty St. 330-725-0020

www.thecorkscrewsaloon.com

Dan’s Dogs (Closed Sunday’s) 111 W. Liberty St. 330-723-3647

Dominic’s Italian Restaurant/Jo-Jo’s Sports Bar(Open 7 Days) 221 S. Jefferson St.

330-725-8424 www.dominicspizzamedina.com

East of Chicago Pizza 307 S. Court St. 330-723-0510

www.eastofchicago.com

Eli’s Kitchen (Open 7 days) 115 Public Square 330-722-0511

H2 Wine Bar/ Huth & Harris Wine Merchants (open 7 days) 221 S. Court St.

330-815-4959 www.h2winemerchants.com

House of Hunan (Open 7 days) 18 Public Square 330-722-1899

www.thehouseofhunan.com

Lager & Vine Gastro Pub & Wine Bar (Closed Sunday’s) 108 Public Square

330-722-1899 www.lagerandvine.com

Lager Heads Brewery 325 W. Smith Rd. 330-725-1997

Lemonberry Frozen Yogurt (Open 7 days) 201 S. Court St.

330-721-0793  www.lemonberryfrozenyogurt.com

Main Street Café (Open 7 days) 17 Public Square 330-722-2729

www.themainstreetcafe.com

Marie’s Café (Closed Sunday’s) 117 Public Square

330-725-3322  www.mariescafe.net

Miss Molly’s Tea Room (Open 7 days) 140 W. Washington St.

330-725-6830 www.missmollys.net

P.J.  Marley’s (Open 7 days) 119 Public Square

330-722-6328

Something’s Popping 47 Public Square 330-722-3088

Sully’s Irish Pub (Open 7 Days) 117 W. Liberty St. 330-764-3333

www.sullysmedina.com

The Bakery Shoppe (Closed Sunday’s) 23 Public Square 330-725-0912

Thyme2 (Closed Sunday’s) 113 W. Smith Rd 330-722-1919

www.thymetherestaurant.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discover Your Wine Preferences

By Mandi Burman, Owner of Humble Wine Bar

Learning about wine can be an intimidating process, especially when you’re just starting out. The best advice I can offer is to never be afraid to ask questions. Finding the wine that will best suit your tastes can and should be a collaborative process between you and your bartender or server. If you’re ever unsure of a selection, you can also ask your bartender if the wine you’re considering is available as a small sample to taste.

When you’re thinking about what types of questions to ask, being able to describe the following characteristics about wine to your server or bartender will be a tremendous help in finding the wine that is right for you. Experimenting with wines of different styles and qualities will help you to discover your tastes and preferences in these four key areas.\

SWEETNESS

Do you like dry, off-dry (somewhat sweet), or sweet? Example dry- New Zealand Sauvignon blanc ~

Example sweet- Muscat based dessert wine

ACIDITY

You will find acidity in the middle of your mouth, typically more with white wines than reds. Do you enjoy crisp wines with lots of acidity, or softer wines with less? Example high acidity- dry German Riesling ~

Example low acidity- California Viognier

TANNIN

Tannins are the element of wine that give you a dry mouth feeling, typically in the back of the mouth or palate but sometimes in the cheeks and gums. They are described as soft, firm, or bitterly dry. Do you prefer wines with soft (less noticeable), firm (clearly present), or bitterly dry (strong) tannins?

Example of high tannins- French Bordeaux ~ Example of low tannins- Oregon Pinot Noir

BODY

This is the weight of the wine you feel on your tongue. How heavy or light do you like a wine to feel in your mouth? Light-bodied is like skim milk, medium-bodied is like 2% milk, and full-bodied is like half and half.

Example of full-bodied – Cabernet Sauvignon or Oaked Chardonnay

Example light-bodied – Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir

What makes learning about and drinking wine such a fun hobby is that there’s always more to taste and discover, since each style and vintage is so unique. Testing out different wines to learn what your preferences are on each of these qualities will be a great start to discovering what is right for you.

We invite you to visit our wine bar and start asking questions—you may be surprised by how much you can learn after just one visit! Humble Wine Bar strives to create a laid-back and approachable atmosphere where customers can learn about and enjoy diverse, high-quality wines paired with excellent food. At Humble Wine Bar, there’s something for everyone.