Author archive: admin

“Are you Mary?”

"Are you Mary?"

I am often asked, “Are you Mary?” My short answer to that is, “No, but we thought enough of her to keep her name when we bought this place over 25 years ago.” Mary Licos, who opened Mary’s Restaurant in 1980, died this week. We knew she had recently moved to the upper northwest part…

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How to Plan a Trip to the Shawnee Wine Trail in Illinois

  By R. Lynne, Demand Media Thoughts of Illinois often evoke images of Abraham Lincoln, the Chicago skyline and cornfields — not wine country. Thinking “wine country” normally calls to mind the vineyards of California’s Napa and Sonoma valleys. As wine aficionados are discovering, however, Illinois wines rank among the best, winning national and international…

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12 Most Interesting Food Trends of 2015

  By Greg Morago Food trends hit us all the time. Sometimes they stick, sometimes they don’t. For every trend that has legs (the cronut, the kale craze, the juicing phenomenon, kimchi everything, the quinoa colossus), there are those that are magical flashes in the pan (whipped lardo, shishito peppers, flavored marshmallows and bone marrow…

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How Technology is Changing the Restaurant Industry

Technology touches every facet of our lives – as it always has – but with the emergence of mobile devices and cloud computing making more of an impact than ever, you’d be hard-pressed to go anywhere and not find a high-tech piece of hardware or software around. These advances have made an impact everywhere, and…

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Tips for Hiring and Working with a Caterer

Make a date with a caterer as early as you can. Although a small event (20 or fewer guests) can be organized caterers appreciate two to four weeks’ notice. Extra time allows a chance to make a site visit and go over plans in person. Consider booking your party during traditionally slower seasons: January (in…

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Quick Catering Guidelines for Every Event

The guests have been invited and the RSVP slips are in. Now that you have a final count and know the number of guests to expect, how much food do you need to order and cater to satisfy them all? The question is worthy of some consideration. No host wants to be in the embarrassing…

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A St. Patrick’s Day Q&A: the real saint, leprechaun lore and how to drown a shamrock

Soon, shamrocks will be sprouting and green beer will be flowing everywhere in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday, March 17. It’s a day that many will celebrate with pub crawls, parades, green socks and silly hats. Long before St. Patrick’s Day was a holiday for revelry, it was a feast day in the…

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How Much Should I Tip at Restaurants?

Different rules for different kinds of restaurants, and levels of service. At Restaurants Wait staff 15% – 20% of the total bill before taxes (Note: some restaurants now suggest tipping after taxes because servers themselves tip out on the after tax amount). Wine served with dinner The safe recommendation is to tip 15-20% of the…

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Restaurant Trends

Like fashion, restaurants have trends and fads that ebb and flow with time- recall the roller-skating waitresses at drive-in diners during the 1950s or the servers sporting excessive flair and suspenders during the early 2000s. Some restaurant trends never go out of style – like saving customers money, food safety. Other trends are newer, including…

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The New Sounds of Music in Restaurants

Enabled by technology and led by a younger generation of restaurateurs and patrons, music in restaurants has evolved from being barely noticeable to becoming an integral part of the experience – both a statement about a restaurant’s personality and part of the energy that many desire. The digitization of music has been a game changer for…

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