Web Site: The Food Virgin’s Columns

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excerpt:
“FoodVirgin.com is the home of The Food Virgin columns.  Here, you’ll find answers to all of your questions about eating out– especially eating at restaurants that serve foreign food.

Ever wondered what to order in a Thai restaurant?  Should sushi be eaten in one bite or two?  What are the little tongs for in a Brazilian Churrascaria?  The Food Virgin provides answers to all of these questions, for people who are trying a new cuisine for the first time, as well as experienced diners who want to eat like the experts.”

link: The Food Virgin’s Columns

Article: “You won’t need utensils to dig into Ethiopian food” (Jun.2006)

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excerpt:
“In some restaurants, it’s OK to share a plate of food and eat with your fingers.

It’s the tradition you’ll experience when you go out for Ethiopian food, where meals are served on a communal platter and food is scooped up with bits of injera, a delicious, spongy flatbread.

Ethiopian food includes tastes and aromas we don’t typically encounter. But if you’re willing to venture out of your comfort zone and try something new, you’ll find some of the best-tasting and most healthful foods you’ll ever eat.”

source: “You won’t need utensils to dig into Ethiopian food” by Suzanne Havala Hobbs (Charlotte Observer,Jun.22,2006)

Related:
“First Time Eating…Ethiopian Food” (Food Virgin)

“Washington Is a Center for Ethiopian Cooking and Culture. Here’s How to Find the Area’s Best Ethiopian Restaurants” (The Washingtonian, 2002)

Ethiopian Cuisine (Senior Spin)

Article: “Dining on the road an eye-opener about service” (Jun.2006)

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excerpt:
“I’ve spent most of this column writing about restaurant staff and how they can make a positive experience for every customer. But we diners can make a difference, too. At the Harraseeket Lobster Company in South Freeport, this was certainly the case. In search of a Maine lobster roll on a rainy, dreary evening, I happened upon this famous lobster-in-the-rough joint.

The place was packed. One large group had pushed several smaller tables together. They were finished eating, but were enjoying their night out. The patriarch of the family, noticing the number of people waiting, pronounced, “Time to go. These folks need to sit down and enjoy their lobster.” How many of us have ever done that in a crowded San Diego coastal restaurant?

My experiences on this trip make me want to go back. They also make me hope that this is the way our visitors to San Diego feel about us. Let’s hope our restaurants treat our summer visitors better this year, and while we are at it, let’s try to be better customers, too.”

source: “Dining on the road an eye-opener about service” by Pam Wischkaemper (North County Times, Jun.28,2006)

Article: “Tip for that? Paying extra for carryout service inspires variety of responses” (Jun.2006)

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excerpt:
“It’s the age-old question: Should I tip for takeout?

After all, nobody sets your table, fills your water glass or listens to you whine about the spots on your butter knife. The kitchen does most of the work.

On the other hand, somebody goes to the trouble of packaging the food, utensils and napkins, and double-checking the order — hopefully — before ringing it up.

Understandably, opinions on the subject vary…”

source: “Tip for that? Paying extra for carryout service inspires variety of responses” by Gary Seman Jr. (ThisWeek, Jun.22,2006)

Article: “The Barman Speaks – Our resident bartender skewers the Top 10 myths about drinkmasters” (Jun.2006)

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excerpt:
“Most bar patrons have severe misconceptions about the actual lives of bartenders—who we are, what we do and why we do it. Also, remember that the interaction between bartender and customer is a delicate one; it’s both an economic and a social relationship that has stood the test of time. Most other relationships in life are fleeting but, if managed properly, the partnership between drinkers and their bartenders is sacred.

Consider this a pocket-size operating manual for our mutual good times. And, if these points are taken to heart, we can continue to raise our collective glasses and toast to our long, drunken future together.

So forget all those third-person fluff pieces you’ve read everywhere else. Here it is: the plain truth about bartending, from someone who knows.”

source: “The Barman Speaks” by Ryan Osterbeck (MetroActive, Jun.21,2006)

Article: “Quick guide to settle the dining check” (Jun.2006)

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excerpt:
"From cozy first dates to power lunches to family brunches, ending the meal on a high note often hinges on an exercise in courtesy, etiquette and meeting expectations. The best way to cruise through the payment process is to iron out the details before you sit down, according to experts."

source: "Quick guide to settle the dining check" by Helena Oliviero (Cox News Service, Jun.13,2006)

Blog: “Advice: Choosing a restaurant for your first date”

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excerpt:
"First dates are something requiring careful thought and planning no matter how modest. However, that's not to say they should not go well. In fact, with a few tips, they might go perfectly. Sit back, get a mug of chicory and stay comfortable as Laura and Rob, experts of love, take you through some practical advice for dating with the Definitive Guide to First Date Restaurants.

Eleven simple steps to selecting a perfect date restaurant…"

source: "Advice: Choosing a restaurant for your first date" by Rob and Laura (Food Review North Shore, Jun.8,2006)

similar articles:
How to Choose a Restaurant for a Date (eHow.com)
First Date Ideas Restaurant & Etiquette Suggestions (Cairnsdining.com)
First date restaurants (AskMen.com)