Today’s Hot Restaurant Trends

In the restaurant business, there are always new culinary trends developing that are embraced by the dining public at large. Some trends are short-lived while others become so popular, they become mainstays on restaurant menus around the world.

One of the hottest trends happening today is the bacon craze. Bacon is showing up as an unlikely ingredient in all sorts of restaurant dishes. Bacon-wrapped scallops and tater tots, bacon mashed potatoes, corn with bacon, bacon-wrapped hot dogs and an assortment of bacon-infused desserts are just some of the ways this tasty meat is now being served.

The unusual pairing of bacon with chocolate is proving to be a favorite taste-combination for many restaurant customers. Chocolate pudding with bacon, chocolate and bacon covered pretzels, chocolate-bacon cake and ice cream sundaes with bacon can now be found on restaurant menus.

Sliders, those miniature sandwiches are hotter than ever in restaurants everywhere. In addition to the now-standard hamburger and cheeseburger sliders, chicken, turkey, pulled pork and even crab cake sliders are making appearances on all sorts of restaurant menus. Usually served with french fries, potato salad or cole slaw, these diminutive sandwiches are frequently arranged creatively on skewers and in stacks.

Chicken and waffles have been served together for many years but the flavorful combination has become a very popular restaurant dish. Often described as soul food, chicken and waffles usually features breakfast-style waffles topped with fried chicken. The waffles and chicken are generally served with syrup and butter or margarine.

One restaurant trend that shows no signs of going stale is the use of online coupons that offer discounts on meals and beverages. Sometimes these coupons are offered on social media sites and sometimes they are offered on individual restaurant’s websites.

Another hot trend in restaurants these days is the “farm to table’ dinner concept. These special dinners, that are usually held periodically, feature menus containing the freshest meats, seafood, produce and fruits from local farms. Wines from local vineyards are also frequently spotlighted at these dinners.

Farm to Table dinners often feature guest speakers including chefs, restaurant owners and the farmers …

Healthy Eating Trends this Year

Healthy eating and weight loss always top the New Year’s resolutions charts, so it’s not surprising that some healthy eating trends are already beginning for 2014. If you’re looking to get healthy this year consider adding these into your diet:

1. Quinoa
Quinoa hit the health scene big last year and has carried that momentum into this year. The reason health nuts love quinoa is because, despite it’s rice-like texture and taste, it’s actually grain-free! In fact, Quinoa is mostly protein!

Quinoa is the new versatile health food that people are finding surprising ways of incorporating into their favorite meals. Quinoa an be used for everything from a substitute for rice in dishes like stir fry to a flour/dough substitute in things like pizza balls. Quinoa even bridges the gap from savory to sweet when it’s used in things like quinoa pudding and chocolate chip quinoa cookies.

2. Kale
Kale is the new “must-have” green vegetable. Kale chips are more popular than ever before, and people are even adding kale into their green smoothies. It can be kind of an acquired taste but if you can get into it kale can pay off big in terms of weight loss and whole body health! Kale salads are also very popular right now and make an excellent option for a healthy pot luck.

3. Brown Rice
Okay, so brown rice isn’t a new trend, but it’s picking up a lot of steam since last year. More and more restaurants are substituting out white rice for brown rice or offering a brown rice option for health conscious diners. (You may have noticed this in your local stir-fry or burrito joints.) In addition to being healthier, brown rice can also add a bit of flavor complexity to routine meals.

4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been a staple of Indian and Asian cooking for a long time, but it’s just now starting to get really big in North America. It was originally popularized by the spread of the “Paleo” diet, and is now becoming more mainstream. The best part about coconut oil is that …