Monday, November 30, 2009

Dining Clubs and Chosing Ethnic Restaurants

Quote of the Concept
Well, I look at it like this: When you go to a restaurant, the less you know about what happens in the kitchen, the more you enjoy your meal. Jeffrey Wright

Eating Out as a Dinner Club We take turns finding an entrepreneurial restaurant that offers both a new cuisine and location experience.  We look for ethnic, locally owned restaurants in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area. Surprisingly  internet searches haven't been helpful in locating restaurants. The most effective hunt and peek strategies have been the oldest.  What we see is what we get and word of mouth.  Our recommendations are:
  1. look in small out of the way suburban strip malls
  2. look in out of the way city streets
  3. look on 'eat streets' in changing neighborhoods
  4. get recommendations from friends and coworkers
  5. read your local neighborhood papers ( Sun Sailor and Minneapolis Star Tribune Taste  reviews work for us)
  6. take advantage of food market news such as Lakewinds Natural Foods newsletter.
One couple takes the responsibility for choosing the restaurant and makes reservations. It's evolved  that someone volunteers after we talk over potential choices at the end of a dinner.  We leave trusting that where ever we go will be a "mini vacation" and an adventure.  Once a potential restaurant is found, the Internet has been great to take a virtual tour at the restaurant's web site and peruse reviews, menu, and price; we stick to moderate price range restaurants.   When reservations are finalized, links are emailed so we can preview the evening and if we are in the mood read about the country and cuisine.

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