Article: “The $1 ’straight up’ charge has drinkers all stirred up” (Jul.2006)


“But $1 extra because you don’t want ice in your martini? Frank Sinatra is rolling over in his grave.

This unexpected charge recently was noted by William Dowd, associate editor of the Times-Union in Albany, N.Y. Though rare, it has been spotted at bars and restaurants across the country.

Dowd got dinged on a recent evening at the Water’s Edge Lighthouse in Glenville, N.Y., after ordering martinis at the start and end of the evening. “When I got the itemized bill, it said ‘Two Grey Goose martinis: $18’ and then later on ‘Two Grey Goose martinis: $20.’ ”

The waitress happily explained that she had simply forgotten to add the ‘up charge’ to the first set of drinks. He had ordered the drinks “up” and not on the rocks.”

source: “The $1 ‘straight up’ charge has drinkers all stirred up” by Elizabeth Weise (USA Today, 7/28/06)


Article: “Look through restaurant haze for health menu” (Jul.2006)


“Don’t think that the plan to make Chicago restaurants smoke-free by 2008 will automatically turn restaurants into temples of health.

We know about cigarette smoke’s link to cancer. Yet the most recent statistics from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States–more than all cancers combined–and diet often is to blame.

You might even think you’re eating right when you’re eating out, but very likely not. Ald. Edward Burke recognized that, though his proposal to ban artery-clogging trans fats in Chicago restaurants was greeted with a chorus of groans.

So what can you do?”

source: “Look through restaurant haze for health menu” by Susan Kutchin Pallant (Chicago Tribune, Jul.23,2006)

Article: “Restaurant of the future?” (Jul.2006)


“The buzz was all about the technology. Legal Sea Foods, purveyor of traditional New England fare, was launching the restaurant of the future – or at least of today. Dubbed Legal Test Kitchen, LTK for short, a blustering press release promised “a glimpse into some of the restaurant industry’s most innovative technology.”

Here, diners would surf the Web or watch TV at their tables using portable plasma touchscreens while listening to their iPods via individual speakers. The hassle of ordering and paying would be mitigated by waiters toting hand-held PDAs and portable machines that let you swipe your own credit card.”

source: “Restaurant of the future?” by Teresa Mendez (Christian Science Monitor, Jul.21,2006)

Article: “Trying Out Top Restaurants but Without the Usual Fuss” (Jul.2006)


“You don’t buy a car without taking it for a spin, a pair of pants without testing the fit. But when it comes to a meal in a fancy restaurant, which can cost a lot more than slacks, you have to commit to many bites, minutes and dollars without any advance taste of how well it will suit you.

Except, that is, when you don’t.

…In the lounge a visitor can get a snapshot of what a chef can do and what a restaurant can be without having to pledge fidelity to the tune of two and a half hours and $200.”

source: “Trying Out Top Restaurants but Without the Usual Fuss” by Frank Bruni (New York Times, Jul.12,2006)

Web Site: Mobo – order food on the go (


“Do you enjoy standing in line, wasting away your precious lunch hour waiting to order food? 20 minutes for a burger is too long for a time-crunched New Yorker! What if you could text message ahead and have your favorite meal paid for and waiting for you at the counter when you arrive – all free of charge? Now available only in New York City, Mobo,, is here!

Mobo launched its innovative mobile ordering service on May 2 and boasts over 1,000 customers. Restaurants including Ben & Jerry’s, Cosi, Dunkin’ Donuts, Mangia, New York Burger Company, Quiznos, Subway, Tossed and Yummy Sushi are being added daily in NYC hubs including Madison Square Park, Rockefeller Center, Wall Street/Lower Manhattan, Bryant Park and Grand Central.”

source: “Get Your Lunch In A New York Minute With Mobo” (, Jun.26,2006) [PDF, Press Release]


Article: “Diners delight in counter culture” (Jul.2006)


“Who pays big bucks to eat lunch on a swivel stool, knee to knee with a fellow diner?

In the Bay Area, lots of people. But we’re not talking Woolworth’s patty melts and milkshakes. We’re talking foie gras and duck bouillon, Moroccan spiced squab with chermoula orange cumin carrots, Meyer lemon creme brulee cheesecake and Pixie mandarin nectar.

Eating at restaurant kitchen counters has been a long-standing tradition here, even at gourmet places with expensive menus. But the idea is catching on…”

source: “Diners delight in counter culture” by Stacy Finz (San Francisco Chronicle, Jul.5,2006)

Advice: “What Are Some Good Foods To Choose When Dining Out?”


"What are some good foods to choose when dining out? Our forum members share some great tips and details of the good and not so good world of restaurant food. Find some favorites and alternatives right here!

When going out to eat there are a lot of temptations to resist. Whether your at an a diner, restaurant, buffet, or a fast food place you must wisely choose your meals.

Do you choose your restaurants before going out so that you know they will have a healthy dish for you or do you pick from whatever options you have at that particular restaurant?"

source: "What Are Some Good Foods To Choose When Dining Out?" (