Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why not serve “hot food” HOT?

Lately I have observed a disturbing trend in restaurants. “Hot food” is not being served HOT. Why not?

Few things are more irritating in my eat-a-day world than sitting down on a cold evening to a LUKEWARM bowl of soup. Whatever happened to the days when hot soup and foods were brought steaming to the table? In the past week I have suffered through three meals where food was served less than hot, including two appetizers, one soup and one main course. Truth is, these lamentable situations could have been easily averted.

Let’s start with the basics. May I offer the following suggestions? Hot soup should be served at no less than 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot apps should be maybe 140 plus. Foods NEED to be served at the proper temperature so their very best taste and flavors can be experienced.

I know y’all have eaten lukewarm food – but to have so many bad dining episodes in such a short time, and at three different locations? This, my friends, is a trend. Let’s end it… TODAY. We should all expect and demand that our food be served at proper temps!

Why isn’t this happening?

It’s all about COMMUNICATION! The kitchen has to tell the servers that food is ready NOW! Servers have to be prepared: they have to get food out quickly to the customer – while it’s HOT . And restaurants need to remove their friggin HEAT LAMPS.

God, I hate those lamps! Heat lamps are a major cause of warm restaurant food. They are a “crutch” that perpetuates poor service. Does the following scenario sound familiar? The kitchen gives out a shout after placing food under “the lamp”… and forgets about it. Meanwhile, the servers aren’t too concerned about speed because the food (your food) is “under the lamp” and will at least stay warm…

Please, my friends, expect, nay, demand, that “hot food” be served HOT! If it’s not hot send it back and let the kitchen know why. Maybe, if enough of us do this, our food will again be brought steaming to our tableside!

As a side bar, let’s also consider keeping cold things COLD? Please, PLEASE stop putting cold salad on a freshly cleaned HOT plate. “Cold food” should be served on a cold plate. It’s all about maintaining proper temps.

Steam on, baby!

P.S. Thank you to my Editor/Photographer-in-chief....Ms. from NIU....he makes things look GREAT....thanks Ms.! From a grateful Fatman!


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GadgetGeek said...

There are some cuisines that are just NOT served hot. Mexican food (in Mexico) for example (the exception of course are dishes that are layered with cheese but these dishes are mostly Americanized versions of Mexican fare), Hawaiian in the islands for another, Austrian food is generally served warm but not hot. Cuisines that include a lot of finger foods, Thai, Philippine, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean either serve the food hot requiring you to let it cool before you eat it, or served slightly above room temperature. Some Chinese, and other Asian cultures serve soup hot but many dishes come to the table intentionally warm rather than piping hot. Of course you can always ask them to heat up your Gazpacho, Tarator, Ginataan, fruktsuppe, Krentjebrij, Vichyssoise, or other cold soups including dessert soup, but I'll have mine the real way. You are right of course if you are talking about a cold-hearted lasagna, or a cold ragu, so I'll go along with you in principal, but not exclusively. Good Post Kevin.

Anonymous said...

I worked in a restaurant,and I know that food can be forgotten. As a server, I tried to prioritize what needed to be done. Cold drinks go out after hot food. The heat lamps are supposed to be backup just in case you have to get the drinks first. They are not a convenience option

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