July 16, 2011

Tip of the day—Big Portions

When trying a restaurant for the first time, you won’t have a good idea how large the portions will be.  There are a few tricks that I’ve used to help avoid overspending:

  • If the restaurant is relatively large, try to sneak a look at other people’s tables to get an idea of what the plates will look like as they come out of the kitchen.  If you are the only ones at the restaurant, this isn’t going to be easy.  You can also take a look online to see if any reviews are posted that give a hint to the size of the meal.  I will add that reviews aren’t always accurate—remember that they are someone’s opinion or experience.  We recently tried out the Sushi Spot off Emory Rd.  The reviews as a whole online were terrible.  Hubby had heard some good things about it, though, and we decided to give it a shot.  While it was a little pricier than some other sushi restaurants we had been to before, the rolls and service were great! 
  • If you see a lot of people leaving the restaurant with to-go containers, then it is a pretty good sign that the portions are going to be large.  We didn’t pay attention to this sign when we visited Cheddar’s for the first time on our way to Nashville (there is one off of the Cookeville exit).  We ordered way too much food.  All three of us could have split one of the meals with the addition of an extra salad or appetizer. We had so much left over.  Unfortunately we knew that our hotel didn’t have a refrigerator so we couldn’t even store the food for a snack later.  Y’all know how I hate to waste!
  • Order a little and order more if you need it.  At a restaurant like a sushi bar or deli where the food arrives at your table fairly quickly, you can always order more if you need to.  
  • If I have a coupon, sometimes I’ll order more to save it for later.  Sometimes using a half off group buy deal or coupon will mean that I can buy more for less money.  If that is the case, I try to order something that I can bring home and have for another meal.  French fries, Alfredo sauce, Cesar salads are not the best choices.  Salads with the dressing on the side, foods with lighter sauces, and veggies all tend to be great cold or reheat in the toaster oven or microwave perfectly. 

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