Bird Name: Crimson Seedcracker Latin Name: Pyrenestes sanguineus Status: Least Concern Scientific Classification: Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves Order: Passeriformes Family: Estrildidae Genus: Pyrenestes Species: P. sanguineus General Information: The …
Creating a fun, comfortable and efficient refreshment area is essential for any workspace. Here are a few great ideas for those who are planning on renovating or creating an office cafeteria. …
Did you know that approximately 14 percent of your customers will not return to your business because of food quality and 68 percent because of service quality? So, doesn’t it make …
Havana’s La Bodeguita del Medio, the birthplace of the Mojito cocktail, is known as a wonderful gathering place that truly unites colonial past with our present time through its rum cocktails, …
Havana’s La Bodeguita del Medio, the birthplace of the Mojito cocktail, is known as a wonderful gathering place that truly unites colonial past with our present time through its rum cocktails, cigars and local cuisine. Today you’ll find franchise restaurants in every corner of the world such as Mexico, France, Gran Canaria, Czech Republic, etc. As part of the restaurant chain, La Bodeguita Del Medio has arrived in Budapest in December 2012. This is the first really authentic Cuban bar and restaurant in town, located in the fully renovated Fészek Klub.
The original La Bodeguita del Medio was founded by Angel Martinez in Havana in 1942 and soon became extremely popular, especially with artists and bohemians. Beside the most famous regular guest, Ernest Hemingway the restaurant welcomed Pablo Neruda, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren and other Hollywood stars – as witnessed by loads of photographs on the restaurant walls. In keeping with the tradition of the original La Bodeguita del Medio, traditional relics in the Budapest restaurant – autographs, photos and signatures from people all over the world, brought straight from Havana – include a chair turned upside down, which is devoted to the memory of a famous Cuban writer. Before heading off to World War II he asked his chair to be turned upside down as long as he returns from the battlefield. Unfortunately he never did, and since then in all La Bodeguita Del Medio restaurants they honor his memory by hanging a chair on the wall, upside down.
Budapest’s La Bodeguita del Medio with its authentic interior, cuisine, music, cigars and cocktails provides the city with a real colorful and vibrant taste of life of Havana, without a doubt. It is the best place in town to sample Cuban ambiance along with delicious cocktails such as their famous Mojitos! Beside Mojitos you’ll find typical Cuban culinary specialties like congri, roast banana, yuca mojo sauce and malanga chips, pollo al Aljibé as well as ropa vieja. The overall bright atmosphere offers a unique and friendly, laidback and fun place to spend your evenings enjoying mouthwatering and delicious food, sipping thirst-quenching cocktails with your friends or listening to live traditional Cuban music by the band La Movida. Beny Perez Garcia founded this Cuban band in 2009, the current line-up with Ignacio Carballo and Michel Carballo has been existing since 2012. With their performances their aim is bringing happiness and satisfaction to the audience so that they can guarantee quality artistic interpretation and the true flavor of Cuban music. You can enjoy the Latin fiesta through their music, while dancing into the late hours of the night, as fiesta never ends in the Budapest La Bodeguita Del Medio!
Are you a foodie? Do you have a favorite bistro, or fine dining restaurant? Why not find out if the venue can host your wedding? Restaurants and lounges are becoming an …
Are you a foodie? Do you have a favorite bistro, or fine dining restaurant? Why not find out if the venue can host your wedding? Restaurants and lounges are becoming an increasingly popular choice for couples looking for small wedding venues.
Although all restaurants are different, many have intimate surroundings that are ideal for small guest lists. And they can save you money. How?
Having a restaurant reception means not having to rent tables, chairs, tableware and glassware. Some venues will also provide linens.
And as far as convenience goes – there’s no need to hire a caterer. The chef is already in the house!
Restaurants: Small Wedding Venues with Your Sense of Style
Whether you want to have a reception that’s high on elegance and sophistication, or one that’s all-out casual, there’s sure to be a restaurant that can meet your needs.
Kristen and Stephen wanted a sophisticated wedding with a cosmopolitan vibe so they chose a 40’s themed reception at City Hall Restaurant in New York City with 64 guests.
“My husband and I are “foodies” and felt that having a smaller, more intimate wedding in a restaurant would almost guarantee us good food, which was a high priority,” says Kristen.
Although some couples choose meals for their wedding guests beforehand, Kristen and Stephen’s guests chose from a menu that the couple had created especially for the event.
“Everything was cooked to order … Having a small wedding in a restaurant gave us the ability to offer our guests the individual steak, halibut or lamb chops cooked to their individual liking. Trying to do this with a larger party or with a catering hall would not have worked out so well,” says Kristen.
Kristen says other couples considering a reception at a restaurant should make sure the restaurant can handle the size of their party. Also, she says, make sure that your party is the restaurant’s number one priority and that there aren’t other parties going on the same day.
A Wine and Food Wedding
When Carla and Todd were looking for small wedding venues, size was a priority. Since they were having only nine guests, they did not want a venue that made them feel dwarfed.
The Napa Valley Grille, a restaurant in Yountville, a tiny town just outside of Napa Valley, California, was the perfect setting.
“Our love of food and wine lead us to this place. They had a lovely private room that we could have all to ourselves. Plus, they had a top notch menu at prices we could afford,” says Carla, whose wedding cost $5,000.
According to Carla, a restaurant was the perfect place to celebrate their marriage because of the couple’s love of food.
“As individuals, both Todd and I love to cook and enjoy food. Our first real date was Todd making me a fabulous dinner … I would say that our love blossomed in the kitchen. That was how we learned to work together and really facilitated our falling in love, whether we were cooking for friends or just each other,” she says.
And the intimacy of having only nine people, made it even more special.
“We were supposed to be done at the restaurant at 10 pm and did not end up leaving until 11:30. That’s how much fun everyone had.”
Tips for Having a Creative Restaurant Reception
Choose a Theme. Restaurants are ideal for themed weddings. Love Japanese food? Have a Japanese-themed wedding, complete with paper lanterns and origami decorations. Maybe you love Mexican food; why not have a Mexican inspired theme with bright festive colors and a Latin band? Love the swanky, cigar and martini era of the forties? Choose a venue with a jazzy, speakeasy feel.
Get Creative with Meal Choices. Another way you get creative is in your meal choices. Don’t want a seated meal? Why not have a brunch or evening buffet? Another popular trend is food stations. You could include a pasta station, salad bar and carving station. You could also have a martini bar or espresso bar.
Create a Menu. Having a seated meal? Give your guests a choice by creating a menu with several entrée options. Having kids at your wedding? Don’t forget kid-friendly options.
Are looking for the perfect restaurant to have your wedding reception? Find wedding venues at IntimateWeddings.com.
Restaurant City is a very popular game on Facebook, where you can create and run your very own “virtual” restaurant. It’s a simulation of running a “real world” restaurant and gaining …
Restaurant City is a very popular game on Facebook, where you can create and run your very own “virtual” restaurant. It’s a simulation of running a “real world” restaurant and gaining the same experience managing the restaurant. You can do different things to your restaurant, such as hiring new staff, decorating your restaurant, managing your restaurant, and so on.
There are a few things that you should consider while planning a layout for your restaurant, and that includes:
1- Make sure that your waiters won’t have to walk too much to the tables: The less your waiters walk, the more time they spend serving, and the less time they spend getting to the tables.
2- Don’t add too many tables: If you have too many tables and not enough cooks to serve them, you won’t get the food out fast enough.
3- Center your stoves: Centering your stoves will help your dishes to be delivered to the customers much faster. This way, a dish ordered from any table, can go to any stove.
4- Use the corners: Give your waiters the most reach, since they can serve in all 8 directions, it’s advised to use the corners as much as possible.
5- Avoid the walls: Setting the tables or chairs against the walls or grass won’t allow the visitors to reach the ones placed in the middle, since they usually refuse to scoot in!
6- Box waiters in: Forming complete squares or rectangles using your tables will trap your waiters in. This way, they won’t wander around needlessly to serve food.
7- Count your waiters’ steps: To judge a layout’s efficiency, you should count the maximum steps that a waiter would have to take to reach one of the tables. Always try to eliminate the number of steps a waiter would have to take.
8- Avoid diagonal walks: When waiters walk diagonally, their speed is usually slower by about 1.5 times compared to walking left, right, up, or down. Whenever possible, try to avoid making your waiters move diagonally.
9- Use your space efficiently: Try to use all of the space that’s available to you when planning your layout, since it makes your restaurant much more appealing. Always avoid cluttering too many objects at one area.
10- Test more layouts: The more time you spend playing restaurant city, the more levels you’ll get, and the more workers you’ll be able to hire. It’s advised to change your restaurant’s layout from time to time and see which one is more efficient, in terms of delivering food fast to customers, lesser waiters footsteps, and so on.
Finding the best layout that works for your restaurant should be your long-term goal, since the game is always changing, and more features become available by time.
The island of Crete is located on the southern side of the Aegean Sea. It is the biggest island in Greece. The island is popular for its enchanting beauty and friendly …
The island of Crete is located on the southern side of the Aegean Sea. It is the biggest island in Greece. The island is popular for its enchanting beauty and friendly people. You can experience truly a Mediterranean experience on the island. You can visit this beautiful island either for relaxation or explore and discover many new and well known hidden treasures. It is one of the most popular Green destinations due to beautiful beaches, amazing historical sites, and mesmerizing landscapes.
Cretan culture is the soul of the island. You can enjoy the Cretan culture through cultural events that take place throughout the island especially in the summers. You can also enjoy the Cretan culture through the inside designing of the villas. One such villa suitable to stay in a large group is Villa Crozet.
Villa Crozet is a beautiful residence for visitors in the summers. It offers stunning views and charming facilities. There is an infinity pool in front of the sea. The villa is located in between Cala Pada e Cala Martina’s beaches. Therefore, it is the best spot from where you can enjoy the blue sky that meets the sea over the endless horizon.
There are four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a guesthouse toilet, and a private swimming pool in the villa. It is suitable for eight people. You can enjoy the best comfort. The villa was built in 2016 by using high-quality materials making this a top-class property. The interiors of the villa are set to the highest standards of luxury and offer modern comforts that only a luxury villa like this can offer. Thus, the villa is a perfect combination of modernity and traditional style.
Villa Crozet is divided into two floors. The main floor from where you enter the property consists of a bright living room with a dining area that is well furnished with a sofa and satellite TV, coffee table, and chairs. There is a well-equipped kitchen that has all the modern appliances to make your vacations comfortable. You can enjoy fantastic homemade meals and a delicious breakfast inside or outside terrace overlooking a beautiful scene.
There is one double bedroom with two single beds and a bathroom en suite with shower. Another double bedroom also has two single beds with bathroom en suite with shower. There is one double master bedroom with double bed and bathroom en suite with double sink, toilet, and shower. There is an exit door to the main outdoor terrace. The villa also has a guest bathroom with a toilet.
From the terrace, you can enjoy spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea. The large upper terrace also has fantastic sea views. Outside there is a rectangular pool. There is a table with eight chairs where you can sit with your family and can enjoy the outside view.
The nearby town offers all the facilities such as bars, restaurants, and shops. You can have a lot of fun with your family as there are a few beaches close to the villa. It is a magical place to spend vacations with your family or friends. The villa is surrounded by the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Beaches, typical Cretan cuisines, festivals, and nightlife will make you enjoy your vacations. You can spend a memorable time here.
Security bollards are mainly used to keep traffic of vehicles and people away from certain areas that need to be protected. For example, if you have a restaurant and one of …
Security bollards are mainly used to keep traffic of vehicles and people away from certain areas that need to be protected. For example, if you have a restaurant and one of your crew members just mopped the floor, you can place bollards there to keep customers away from that area because your floor might be slippery and it might cause someone to get injured. In department stores, bollards can be used to direct people to the cashier and to keep people in queue. For outside purposes, bollards, such as parking posts, can be used to control or divert traffic of vehicles so as to protect the building from being hit or rammed that may cause great damages.
Decorative and Safety Bollards
Decorative bollards can be placed around your building or outside your business area to provide security and to improve the visual appeal of the surroundings. The architectural design of your building or establishment can be enhanced if you use street furniture such as decorative bollards with designs, styles, sizes, materials and colours fit perfectly as per the design of your building and landscape.
Well-placed security bollards can provide safety and security to people working in your building and to anyone visiting your establishment. Your property, furniture and equipment can also be protected from any damages caused by instances that may or may not be accidental in nature. If you want your security bollard to really bring attention, you may opt for the bright yellow ones that people can associate with danger or caution. This is especially important in areas such as construction sites and other places that may be hazardous.
For other purposes, bollards can be used depending on your needs. For example, if you have a shop and it is located in a building where there are other shops and your designated parking area is limited, you can place the bollards to keep cars out of your parking space if they do not belong to any of your customers or clients.
The great thing about bollards is that they come in a wide array of styles, sizes and materials so you can find the right ones based on your specific requirements. With the right bollards, you will not have to worry about people getting hurt or injured or any of your assets being damaged. You also will not have to worry about controlling the traffic of people going in and out of your building as well as the traffic of people and vehicles outside your building.
Bollards are a Must in Your Facility and Area
In order to keep your employees, visitors, assets and facility safe and secure, make sure to have the necessary bollards that can provide you with that type of protection you need. Retractable bollards are best for use inside the facility because you can move them around and place them wherever they are useful or needed.
Services marketing has incurred an explosive amount of scholarly research in the last 20 years, however since 1986 there has been no debate concerning the notion that services are distinct from …
Services marketing has incurred an explosive amount of scholarly research in the last 20 years, however since 1986 there has been no debate concerning the notion that services are distinct from products, and thus deserve a special approach, a set of concepts and a body of knowledge (Brown, Fisk, & Bitner, 1994). This essay will explain the distinguishing features of services marketing, giving examples where possible. It will begin by defining services marketing and giving some background knowledge on its divergence from product marketing. It will then examine the four characteristics of services, and then finish with an explanation of the extra P’s found in the services marketing mix.
In the last century there has been a large shift in marketing thought; evolving from a goods-dominated view, in which tangible output and discrete transactions were the focus, to a service-dominant view, in which intangibility, exchange processes, and relationships are central (Vargo & Lusch, 2004). Vargo and Lusch define services as the application of specialized competences (knowledge and skills) through deeds, processes, and performances for the benefit of another entity or the entity itself. Four idiosyncratic features of services will now be given, highlighting why services marketing is different from basic product marketing.
Arguably the most distinguishing feature about services is their intangibility. Services are defined in (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2006) as “deeds, processes, and performances”. None of these are physical objects in which a customer can take ownership of, even though during a service physical evidence will be apparent in the form of things like medicine the doctors prescribes to you, the photo taken of you riding the rollercoaster, or the food on your plate in a restaurant. This invisibility creates a number of issues for marketers. Firstly there is no stock, making it hard to manage supply and demand. Secondly services cannot be shown or displayed to customers, making it hard for marketers to advertise the quality of the service. And finally, because services don’t physically exist, there is difficulty in patenting them, making it easy for other firms to copy your service.
Another notable aspect about products is that on average they stay the same. If you buy a Ford Focus here in Australia, and then go and buy the same model in America, chances are they will both be exactly the same. Services are different in that they are heterogeneous, meaning they differ with each use. For example a wildlife tour will never be the same twice, not only because of the random and unpredictable nature of the animals, but the guide may be in a different mood, the weather will have changed, and there will be different customers each time. These factors make it harder to consistently give quality service, which is important to marketers because customers will have a particular set of expectations in mind, based primarily on what was promoted in the service and previous experiences in the particular industry.
Another distinguishable feature about services is the fact that it’s both produced and consumed at the same time, as opposed to products where customers do not see how the product is manufactured. A good metaphor for this is being at the theatre. Consumers can be compared to an audience, where they watch actors (employees) perform on stage (physical location like a business store) amongst props (physical objects like chairs, tables, pot plants etc). The actors are ‘live’ and performing (producing) at the same time as the audience are watching (consuming). This brings us to the concept of interactive marketing. In a service, operational staff carries out much of the marketing function (Klassen, Russel, & Chrisman, 1998), and marketers are left to the advertising and promotion.
The final distinction that differentiates services from products is their perishability. While some products perish very quickly (like water balloons), services simply cannot be stored, saved, resold or returned at all. Marketers main concern would be the procedure for when things do not go as planned. Customers cannot simply return the service and ask for another one; it is up to the service provider to offer the customer some kind of compensation. If passengers are forced to wait a long time for their flight, employees could provide free coffee and refreshments while they wait, in an attempt to make up for their failing service.
With product marketing the marketing mix includes the four P’s; product, price, place and promotion. Services use the same elements plus three more to help account for their unique nature.
Firstly there is people, which comprise of everyone that influences the buyer’s perceptions, including the buyer themselves. Customers have an active role in the production, and thus can influence the outcome of their own service or the service of others. For example a large family with screaming children interrupting a young couples romantic dinner at a restaurant.
Every person is important to the marketer, no matter how small their role may be. Consider an IT professional who installs computers in people’s homes. During that installation the buyer may form an opinion of the service provider as a whole based purely on that IT professionals performance. Sometimes a person is the sole service provider, for example a dentist or lawyer, making their performance and appearance critical to gaining a high perceived quality of service.
The sixth ‘P’ is physical evidence, which is the environment in which the service is delivered and where the firm and customer interact (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2006). It also includes any physical objects that assist in the delivery of the service. (Lehtinen & Lehtinen, 1991) define it as the environment and its instruments. With some services customers may find it hard to judge the quality of the service, especially with credence service’s like financial advisors or legal advice. It is crucial that marketing managers address consumer fears regarding risk that results before, during, and after consumption of credence services (Keh & Sun, 2008). Since the customer does not have the knowledge or experience to judge the actual service, they instead turn their attention to other things, including the physical evidence of service quality. This would usually come in the form of a professional looking workspace, however would change with each service provider. For example in a doctors surgery cleanliness would be expected.
Finally there is the service process, including the procedures, mechanisms and flow of activities by which the service is delivered (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremler, 2006). When purchasing a service, customers often have a set of expectations of the process of the service, and when these are not met, the perceived quality of service drops. For example in white water rafting a customer might be dissatisfied if, when they arrived, they were told they had to carry the raft to the top of the river first. The process is important because people participate in it, unlike products, where the process is behind doors.
Services represent at least 70% of the nation’s total GDP for at least 5 countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, making it a hot topic for not only marketers, but anyone competing in the business world. Services are distinguished from products by four characteristics; intangibility, they are heterogeneous, there is simultaneous production and consumption, and their perishability. Services marketing differs from product marketing from the fact that three extra P’s are added to the original marketing mix; people, physical evidence and process.
Vietnamese pho is an easy dish to pick up and enjoy. To the casual diner, consuming pho only requires your ability to place your order, and hold chopsticks and spoon in …
Vietnamese pho is an easy dish to pick up and enjoy. To the casual diner, consuming pho only requires your ability to place your order, and hold chopsticks and spoon in your hands. For those ready for something more, pho etiquette is your next goal. There are specific customs to follow, while other protocols are left to individual interpretation and choice. Here’s a collection of pho etiquette to help you come closer to pho and Viet culture. If in doubt, just remember one thing: showing respect for the elders goes a long way.
I’m assuming you’re already proficient with a pair of chopsticks, so here we go.
Before everyone sits down, look at your table and the arrangement of the chairs. Decide where the head of the table is (or the most important sitting position) and yield to the eldest or most respected person in the group. But it gets more complicated. If there’s a very respected male (regardless of age,) then he may be the one to get “the chair.” If you’re not sure, just do the safe thing: Hang back and let things fall into place. Someone will ask you to sit somewhere, and that’s what you want. Easy.
“Ordering Pho” Etiquette
Etiquette for ordering pho is fairly straightforward. For first-time pho diners finding yourselves alone in a pho restaurant, a little help from the order taker is obviously required. Needless to say, if you’re in a group then assistance from an experienced friend is obvious. For the experienced pho diners, you probably already know what you’re doing. In any case, however, it’s proper to let the more senior member of the group order first. This is consistent with the “respect for the elders” consideration discussed earlier. Everyone else can select their orders in turn, and the youngsters’ foods can be ordered by one of the adults.
“Wiping Down Your Chopsticks and Spoon” Etiquette
It’s a habit for most Viet pho diners to wipe their chopsticks and spoon before eating their pho in restaurants. Some will start doing this as soon as they sit down at the table, even before ordering. This is an old habit of pho being a street food for the working class in Vietnam, and old habits die hard. But don’t worry, your typical neighborhood restaurants are used to Viet clientele doing this. They do not mind, as it does not necessarily reflect on the restaurant’s sanitary condition. In fact it can be a sign of the client “making himself/herself at home,” and it is good for the restaurant, especially if it’s a repeat customer.
Progressive restaurants are very conscious of the image that wiping chopsticks gives to their shops. They’d rather not have wiping going on as they’re trying to attract more non-Viet clientele. Some restaurants have begun to insert pairs of chopsticks in paper sleeves, an admirable attempt to show their care for the clients’ well being. No matter, people still wipe, even though they know those plastic chopsticks have been through the commercial washer just like at any other Grade A establishment. Alternatively, a few restaurants also make available individually wrapped disposable wood chopsticks, which seems to successfully prevent wiping.
Now if you’re in a high-class, five-star restaurant, then wiping down your chopsticks may reflect badly on you. Be aware of your surrounding, the environment and the other diners. If the restaurant expects you to be a snob, then be a snob and do not make it look like you don’t belong.
To wipe or not to wipe? You now know where and when.
“Personalize Your Pho” Etiquette
Once your pho is at the table, everything you do from here on out is your own business. There normally are 2 things you may want to do before digging in: adding the garnishes (sprouts, culantro, basil, lime and sliced peppers,) and adding the sauces (hoisin sauce for pho and hot chili sauce, mainly the Sriracha brand in the U.S.) that are already at the table. Whatever your preferences, don’t let anyone tell you “you must have this or you must add that.” These are entirely optional per your own taste. Pho does not require you to have anything added, but adding some of these can enhance your pho.
“Slurping Your Pho” Etiquette
You’ve done everything correctly up to this point. Your original intent to simply grab a quick bowl of pho seems ages ago. But finally, this is the moment! Chopsticks in one hand (left or right,) spoon in the other, you go for it, with gusto. Of course it’s really not “anything goes,” because civility still counts in any culture. In Asia eating noodle requires slurping, and pho is no exception. So go ahead. Slurp. Just don’t overdo it.
“Finishing Your Pho” Etiquette
The proper way to finish a meal in Vietnam is to put your chopsticks across your bowl, like making a bridge. This may conflict with Japanese convention to never bridge chopsticks over a bowl, but Viet traditions follow many Chinese traditions, and this is one of them. While second and subsequent Viet generations outside of Vietnam begin to lose this tradition, it still is the accepted way to end a meal.
Oh one more thing. While it’s okay to order pho to go or take out, taking leftovers with you is a no-no. You only have one chance at a bowl of pho. Plus it’s disgusting, however you look at it.
Except for more expensive restaurants where service charges or tipping may be added or expected, servers at most “typical” pho shops in Vietnam do not expect tips as part of their service. Tipping, to the common Vietnamese (the working class,) is not what a Westerner may think. Tips are normally looked at as “spare change” or handouts that a worker would rather not accept. Except for beggars, workers, including those providing a service, do not want to be seen as accepting handouts. Tourism to Vietnam will change this over time, but for many places not impacted greatly by foreign visitors, tipping will probably continue to be nonexistent and not expected.
Early Viet refugees carried this exact mindset to the western world. You can still see the same attitude among many Viet even today – this despite living in the U.S. for more than 30 years. With Vietnamese food going mainstream in the U.S., tipping is becoming more commonplace and acceptable by the Viet service providers.
So what do you do? For U.S. restaurants, definitely leave tips. But if you’re in Vietnam, leave tips if you’re in a big city. If you find yourself in a place out in the boondocks, then tipping is not expected. But if you still must do it, then give it to the server directly and separately, with sincerity and friendliness. Or if the owner and server are one and the same (or family members) then just add more to your payment and ask them to not return the change. Not “keep the change,” but “no need to return the change.”
Americans and other non-Viet diners may have noticed that most Viet restaurants do not present checks at their tables. This is not bad service. It’s just because the restaurateurs do not want to look like they’re trying to shove you out the door by asking you to hurry up and pay. This is the common Viet restaurant way and it exists here in the U.S. too.
So what do you do knowing all this? Just do what the “regulars” do. Sometime knowledgeable servers will recognize a non-Viet customer and will present a check after your meal (while not necessarily doing the same for Viet customers.) But if this is not the case, then you (and everybody else) just go to the register and pay there. No more confusion.
Summary: Pho Etiquette
There you have it. Pho Etiquette. I know, many of us just want a bowl of pho, but I believe knowing these, and maybe practicing at least some of them, will get you much closer to your pho than you would have otherwise. Pho etiquette gives you pho nirvana, so to speak. Enjoy.
I’m a Grandma of three – soon to be four. Like many baby boomers, I’m amazed at how raising children has changed so drastically over the years. Oh, how I wish …
I’m a Grandma of three – soon to be four. Like many baby boomers, I’m amazed at how raising children has changed so drastically over the years.
Oh, how I wish we had some of the modern conveniences like iPads that keep children so pleasantly quiet at restaurants and rides in cars with endless games and access to Netflix? After lugging Gameboys with all the games and heavy batteries during our trip to Europe in the early 80s so the kids would be entertained on trains, I’m jealous.
Still, the question begs to be answered. Is it easier or harder these days to raise kids?
Meals Were Not As Complicated
Feeding our kids sure seemed simpler. Back in the day, we baby boomers didn’t cater to picky eaters with a kitchen that resembled a 24/7 restaurant devoted to each child’s preference. We didn’t spend endless hours trying to convince our kids to eat foods they may not like. In fact, if our kids didn’t like what we served up, too bad. They ate every bite thinking of those starving kids in Africa and said thank-you after finishing. If not, they could just go to their rooms and be hungry! No child ever starved to my knowledge.
We didn’t spend each waking moment worrying if our food was gluten-free or organic. We blissfully poured Lucky Charms into our kids’ bowls before “sugar” was a nasty word. We nuked TV dinners in our avocado green and harvest gold kitchens and packed their little metal lunchboxes full of Twinkies. If we worried at all about our kids getting enough nutrition, we popped a Flintstones vitamin into their mouths full of glucose syrup and color additives. Somehow our kids survived.
Some parents today agree that in many ways baby boomers had it easier raising kids. Writer Erica June wrote in her article published by HuffPost, “How Parents in the ’70s And ’80s Had It Made:”
“Nowadays, moms know too much. We have to grind our own flax seeds, make our own organic vegetable purees and grow our own lettuce in order to avoid diseases, mutant strains of listeria and arteries so coated with hydrogenated oils that you could bobsled in them. Reading labels and learning all the different words that mean ‘genetically altered corn and soy’ is a full time job in itself.”
The stressed out mom and author of the book Toddlers Are A**holes: It’s Not Your Fault, Bunmi Laditan, took to Facebook to vent her frustrations. “Being a modern parent is terrible,” she wrote. “I’d give my left kneecap to have parented in the 70s or 80s when all you had to do to be considered a good mom is to remember to wind down the windows when you smoke in the car. I’m not cut out for this. Do you know what I’ve been doing this morning? VITAMIN SHOPPING. For 45 minutes I’ve been comparing children’s vitamins, reading online reviews, and, inflammatory blog posts backed by no science that I both fear and respect.”
She also wrote about the fearsome and judgmental attitude these days about parenting. “I’ve seen the way some parents look at me when I give my son a juice box at the park. It’s juice, not Red Bull or margarita mix so calm down.”
Her Facebook post went viral so apparently a lot of parents today can relate. She makes a good point. I mean, God forbid you spank a child in public or even yell at your children at the grocery store these days. Big Brother might report you.
Modern Conveniences and Technology – Good or Bad?
Yes, modern conveniences are nice. But has it gone too far? I watch young Moms hoisting their industrial-sized car seats and hauling strollers the size of golf carts around. Their homes are so full of ginormous high chairs, exersaucers, gliders, pack and plays, bouncy seats, and God knows what else, they can hardly move around. Their houses are full of ‘stuff’ while their wallets are empty.
We baby boomers were happy with rickety but light car seats that doubled as carriers – before we knew of the dangers – and simple wooden highchairs did the trick. I bought my kids’ play clothes and toys at garage sales.
If we were really lucky we had one of those doorway jumpers. As June noted in her article: “The contraption girded up the baby’s crotch… induced bowlegged-ness and sterility, but it was unobtrusive. As long as no one forgot the baby was dangling there and decided to slam the door, that thing was world class.”
And yes, iPads, Smart phones, and computers are helpful – but just try and get kids off of them for two minutes. Then, there’s all the worries and concerns about the dangers of the Internet, social media, and child predators.
Catering to Children
Back in the day, we didn’t waste endless hours arguing with our children. “The look” did the trick most the time. If that didn’t work, we waved a wooden spoon in front of their faces. Today, parents seems to hang on every word their children utter while striving to accommodate their every wish.
Play dates? What was that? If our kids needed to find a playmate we sent them out into the neighborhood to see who was home. Of course, we reminded them that when the street lights came on to be sure and come home for dinner. Today, anxious Moms and Dads have these complicated, color-coated calendars on their iPhones that would confuse a rocket scientist chuck full of sport practices, music lessons, play dates, and private tutors.
Germs? Who cared? Our babies happily crawled and thrived in dusty shag carpets which were impossible to vacuum so the five-inch long strands were simply raked. Our kids would come home full of germs from playing in the mud digging for worms, but we didn’t blink an eye. If food dropped on the floor – hey, haven’t you heard about the five-second – or maybe even the five-day rule? We knew our kids would live to see another day and besides all those germs would build up their immune system.
Nowadays, germ-phobic parents bathe their kids in hand sanitizer. Everyone must take their shoes off when they enter the house. Shopping cart covers are suddenly a necessity. One cough in an enclosed room and mothers are ready to hook up their kid to an IV filled with the latest vitamins and supplements.
Did Baby Boomers Have it Easier Child-Rearing?
We certainly didn’t have to worry about school shootings back in the day. So maybe parents these days have a right to be more stressed. But, as I watch today’s anxious, striving-to-be-perfect parents, I want to tell them to loosen up a little.
I’m not alone. A self-confessed neurotic mother, Jancee Dunn, wrote in a Parents article that her mother tried to convince her to relax and enjoy the short period of parenthood that passes by way too fast. At first Jancee was a bit sarcastic. “Certainly, I had survived my mother’s more laissez-faire style of 1970s parenting,” she wrote. “Her idea of being protective was to throw her arm across me when we roared to a stop in the car, which would have been slightly more effective if I had been in the backseat or wearing a seat belt. But I have to give her credit: at least she glanced over to make sure the lighted cigarette she was holding didn’t set my hair on fire.”
But then she was forced to admit: “Still, my mother was right. There’s a fine line between vigilant and nuts, between besotted and berserk.”
Okay, okay. So we could have been a bit more vigilant in the day. By the way, not all us baby boomer parents smoked despite what the Millennials observe on Mad Men. I certainly didn’t! On the other hand, I do think young parents today can relax a bit.
But back to the question – easier or harder to raise children today? In the end, perhaps we can agree that raising children isn’t easy, no matter the decade.
We baby boomers certainly didn’t do everything right. Spam, really? Just because it was FDA approved didn’t mean it was actually meant to be consumed. And thank-goodness quality car seats and helmets make the world safer for our grandchildren.
But in a lot of ways, it was simpler to raise children back in the day. I sure worried a lot less and my two sons grew up just fine. So, I would say to you young parents, go easier on yourself. Quit trying to make your children’s lives perfect. They are going to be okay and so are you.
Bangkok is one of the world’s greatest cities for food, it’s everywhere! You can take your pick from street vendor food, small family run restaurants, mid range chain restaurants in the …
Bangkok is one of the world’s greatest cities for food, it’s everywhere! You can take your pick from street vendor food, small family run restaurants, mid range chain restaurants in the shopping centres, international food, fast food and Michelin star restaurants.
Whether you want Pad Thai, chicken and rice, pizza, Indian curry or a Zinger burger…Bangkok has it all!
A lot of people I know return from Bangkok saying that the food wasn’t as cheap as they were expecting. When I ask where they ate the usual answer is, “oh in the hotel bar”. You can pay over the odds for food in Bangkok if you want, if you’re prepared to search and perhaps eat in the more plain looking family restaurants then you’ll find the legendary tasty and very cheap Thai food.
Here, I will try to give a rundown of the sort of thing you can expect to find in Bangkok along with a few personal recommendations.
Street vendor food
It is a bit clichéd, but it’s true that the best food in Bangkok is the street vendor food. Sure, the surroundings are less than salubrious, but I just love the atmosphere and the feel of eating food by the side of a busy road, sat on a plastic stool! You’ll find these set-ups all over the city, usually a group of people together each with their own speciality on their own cart. The most common dishes are chicken and rice (Khao man gai), red pork on rice (khao muu daeng), Pad Thai, many kinds of noodle soup and various curries. Just be adventurous and if you’re not confident with the language you can always point to what you want! Always have a glass of Thai-style icy milkshake on hand if something is unexpectedly spicy! I always find milk is much better than water at cooling your mouth down.
A good tip from a local if you’re not sure which vendor to choose, is go to the busier ones. That generally means the food is tastier and safe. I’ve never had any problems eating street food.
Other items for sale include various grilled meats on a stick and fruit portions. My personal favourite are the various vendors that line the wall of Lumpini Park in the evenings, in the car park area along Ratchadamri Road. The stalls in the Patpong/Silom area are also very popular.
Thai family restaurants
The Thai family restaurant is something that many foreigners never experience. A lot of people are put off by the bland appearance of these places, they are also quite hard to spot and many people just don’t know they’re there. At a glance it may look like someone’s house with the shutter doors left open. Look more closely and you may see the old aunt or grandmother of the family cooking noodles or chopping up chicken at the front of the shop! The décor is usually very basic, flimsy metal tables, plastic chairs and bare walls. The only decorations are spirit houses with the daily offering of Fanta and portraits of past and present royals will hang on the walls.
The food, however, is out of this world and always at a reasonable price. The menu choice is, of course, far more extensive than the street vendors. Always look out for the fish dishes, some are extra spicy! Yam Mun Sen (spicy sea food salad with noodles) is also a personal favourite.
A good choice in terms of location is Lek seafood, not far from Chong Nonsi skytrain station.
There are many good quality and fair priced chain restaurants around Bangkok, usually to be found in shopping centres and supermarkets. Listed here are the major ones:
Bar B Q Plaza – My personal favourite, I have to eat here every time I visit! Essentially you’re set up with a mini gas heated grill in the middle of your table, which also has a small moat of soupy water around the outside. You order plates of meat and veg and cook/boil it yourself. You will be given some dipping sauce, lime, garlic and chilli which you can mix to suit yourself.
Daidomon – Along similar lines to Bar B Q Plaza, except you actually get a small barbeque in your table instead!
Fuji – A hugely popular chain of Japanese restaurants, serving all the usual offerings of sushi, gyoza, tempura, curries and much more.
Oishi – Another big favourite with Thai’s. There are many variations on the theme, but it’s basically a Japanese style buffet restaurant, pay one price and eat all you like. The bigger ones serve sushi, teppanyaki (made to order) food and various Chinese foods that are rotated.
See Fah – Serves a good selection of Thai food.
Sizzler – Get there early because these places fill up fast! Popular with Thais and tourists, this is an American fill-ya-face steakhouse with an extensive western menu and unlimited salad bar. You could get seriously overweight if you ate here every day!
MK – Similar concept to Bar B Q Plaza, but here you boil all of your own food. They serve hot items off the menu too, the duck is a favourite.
Pizza Company – Despite the name, this is a Thai pizza chain, but they sell all the favourite pizza toppings, garlic bread etc. Similar standard to Pizza Hut and slightly overpriced for pizza, but it’s a good fill if you need a pizza fix!
I’m sure there are more that I’ve missed, but this covers the main choices!
There are any number of Italian, French, British, American, Indian etc etc eateries around Bangkok and I won’t even attempt to categorize them here! Wherever you stay, you’ll more than likely have a few in your vicinity. The main concentration of European food is around the Silom and lower Sukhumvit areas. Great Japanese food is available on Soi Thaniya (Little Tokyo) just off Silom (near Pat Pong). This is also a great people watching spot, spend an hour in any of these Japanese eateries and you’ll see a never ending procession of Japanese executives coming and going, some in groups, some alone. Some reading newspapers, some reading comics (!!). All with a mobile phone or IPhone glued to their ears!
Arab and Indian food is plentiful around Ploen Chit and Nana skytrain stations and surround Sois. I like Mrs Balbir’s Indian restaurant, on Sukhumvit Soi 11/1 (Nana skytrain station). For a cracking pizza, try Bangkok Pizza on Sukhumvit Soi 26/1.
You can get your fix of KFC, McDonalds and Burger King all over Bangkok….enough said!
If you fancy a splurge on upmarket eateries there is also plenty to choose from. For the location, try Vertigo on top of the Banyan Tree Hotel on Sathon Road (weather permitting of course!).
Baan Khanita (off Sukhumvit Soi 23) is an award winning Thai restaurant and La Normandie in the Oriental Hotel offers great food and great views of the Chao Phraya river.
There are many, many more but of course, I need to save up before I can afford to visit another!
Bad food experiences are rare in Bangkok, just be adventurous and don’t just settle for the hotel room service option, get out and about and explore what’s in your area. If you have any more tips to add to this list please feel free to let me know and I’ll happily add your contributions to my list.