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Enhance Your Restaurant Experience

We all know that dining at a restaurant can run the gamut from amazing to lackluster. And there are many factors that can influence your restaurant visit, from the food to the ambiance to the service. Whether you are dining with a friend or flying solo, here are some helpful restaurant dining tips to enhance your experience.

Sit At The Bar
It is much easier to score a seat without a reservation. In comparison to sitting at the table, dining at the bar allows you the freedom relax, linger, and order as you wish. And generally, you get better service at the bar as someone is seemingly always in front of you and can monitor your progress.

The bar is also great for social and antisocial folks alike. For dates, you get to sit closer to your companion rather than across the table. If you’re dining alone, you can chat up the person next to you or enjoy your alone time while avoiding the usual stigma felt in the dining room.

In addition, depending on the restaurant, you may miss out on all the action by choosing a table rather than a seat at the bar. For example, if you sit at the sushi bar or raw bar, you get to watch the chefs in action, slicing the fish or shucking oysters, which can add to your overall experience.

Dine Off-Peak
The lull between lunch and dinner offers a peaceful and quiet environment to enjoy your meal. Wait times are usually non-existent and service is less rushed. Also, there is less pressure to order an entrée, giving you the freedom to graze and enjoy a more leisurely meal. And the icing on the cake? There are usually great deals between 2pm-6pm, which is music to your wallet’s ears.

Save Your Splurges
We are all on some sort of budget, whether it be with our money or our calories. With that said, you should splurge on the good stuff and the good stuff only.

Charcuterie boards are a popular choice these days, so long as they are made up of house-cured meats and/or high-quality imports you can’t easily come by elsewhere. If there are made with underwhelming cold cuts and cheese, save your money.

Another example is baked goods, like the bread basket starter. Unless the bread is hand-crafted, fresh from the oven, and serve with first-rate butter or olive oil, save your appetite. Filling up on mediocre bread before your chef-prepared meal ultimately defeats the whole purpose.

And when it comes to dessert, you should ask what’s prepared on-premises because, more often than not, only a few of the desserts are homemade (if that) and the rest are purchased from a distributor. Don’t waste calories on an ordinary dessert – choose a glass of dessert wine or liqueur instead.

Peruse The Menu With A Critical Eye
There’s a reason menus vary drastically from restaurant to restaurant. Menu engineers study the visual and verbal psychology behind why people order certain items and use that info to design menus in a way to maximize profits.

Research shows that diners often check the upper right hand corner of a menu first, so of course, that is where the most expensive dishes usually appear. Also, red and blue hues stimulate the appetite so those colors are often used to highlight pricey menu items. And lastly, diners tend to pay less attention when prices are “buried” in text rather than formatted into columns, when they are presented without dollar signs, and when they are not rounded to the nearest dollar.

Remember these things the next time you scan the menu at a restaurant.

Find The Hidden Gems On The Wine List
There are some unspoken rules to the wine list. First of all, most restaurant beverage programs follow a graduated markup, meaning the highest markups are on the cheapest wines, while lower markups are saved for higher-end wines. With that said, you get a better bang for your buck by spending extra on wine.

And while most people choose the second cheapest bottle on the list to seem less tight-fisted, don’t – it is usually the worst value. And the bar managers often price the lesser-known wines they are passionate about more reasonably than well-known household brands. So the moral of the story is to take a chance on a new wine discovery in the mid-to-upper price range.

When In Doubt, Order Champagne
But of course, if you cannot decide, go with champagne. It is a great pair for many foods, along with high acidity, low alcohol, and palate-cleansing bubbles. It can be expensive, but it is a safe choice that is worth it.

Share your own restaurant dining tips with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

At the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli, we serve a variety of signature sandwiches and salads made to order. Visit us in store, online or have our food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS. We also provide catering for business lunches, special events and parties. Call 909-596-5225 to learn more!

Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating encourages you to pay attention to what you are eating, heightening our awareness of pleasure and nourishment from our food. While the overall idea of mindful eating seems simple, to really master it takes gentle and consistent practice. Over time it can become a conscious habit, but realistically, we may fall in and out of it as staying present with eating can be a challenge in different situations.

Mindful eating often slows down the process of eating, so begin by taking a few mindful breaths to relax and become centered and present. Here are more mindful eating tips to get you started on the mindfulness path.

  • Mindful Check-In
    As mentioned, before a meal, bring awareness to your breathing. Take a breath, pause, and then notice any present thoughts or feelings, particularly in relation to the food you are about to eat. This can be brief moment or last up to a couple of minutes.

    Take a few deep, relaxing breaths and pay attention to the movement of your breaths in and out. Slowly expand your awareness to include your whole body and notice without judgment what thoughts, feelings, and body sensations are present. Consider how these may influence your choices on how much, when, and what to eat, along with desires or cravings for food.

  • Hunger & Fullness Levels
    As you are mindfully checking-in, tune in to your level of physical hunger. Most of us enjoy food most when we have some to moderate hunger – when we are too hungry, we tend to eat fast and overeat.

    Ask yourself “How hungry am I?” Listen to your body and determine whether it is physical hunger or something else. If it is the latter, ask yourself “What am I really hungry for?”

    To understand your level of physical fullness, you should also ask yourself “How full am I?” Again, listen to the messages your body is sending you. Do what would most honor your body at the present moment.

  • Reflect Upon Your Food
    How did your food get to you? What went into making it and who/what were involved (people, sun, earth, water, farmers)? Think about the quality and sources of your food, and let the sense of appreciation or gratitude for your food wash over you.
  • Senses
    Enjoy your food with all your senses:

    • Feast your eyes on your food – visually appreciate the color, texture, and shape.
    • Breathe in the aromas, and notice the nuances with both nostrils.
    • Savor your food without chewing first – notice the flavor, texture, and sensations.
    • As you chew your food, stay as present as possible with each bite and immerse yourself in the experience.
    • Mindfully swallow when ready.
      Notice any associations that arise, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Bask in pleasant associations or positive memories if you’ve like, while staying present with the full experience.
  • Taste Mindfully
    Savor the taste of your food fully, and pay attention to when the taste diminishes and your enjoyment lessens. This awareness is tool and will help you make better decisions about how much and how little to eat, as well as when to stop and when to eat more.
  • Check In With Hunger & Fullness
    Check in with hunger and fullness levels occasionally throughout the snack or meal. As you did before your meal, continue to do so throughout the meal.
  • Practice
    When you begin mindful eating, you start a slow pace as you get accustomed to the different aspects. As you hone your attention skills, your mindful eating habits will become more natural, enabling you to eat mindfully at different paces, in different settings, and with different people.

Do you practice mindful eating? What benefits have you noticed? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Practice your mindful eating skills with us at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli. We’re open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00-4:30pm. Dine in or have your food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Proper Etiquette For Business Meals

When it comes to a business lunch or dinner, you want to make a great impression. And the truth of the matter is that these business meals have little to do with food and everything to do with the way you conduct yourself. Ace your next meeting by heeding these smart business meal tips.

  • Restaurant

It is very important that you pick a good restaurant as the quality of the restaurant reflects your professionalism. It doesn’t need to be an expensive restaurant, but it should be clean with good food, friendly staff, and should be located in an area that is easily accessible for your client. You should also be familiar with the restaurant – this is not the time to try out a new restaurant you’ve had your eye on.

  • Location

The location of your table in the restaurant can dictate the success of your meal. When making your reservation, request a table or section that has a good view and is away from the kitchen or restroom. To ensure your preferred table is reserved, confirm your request on the day of the meeting.

  • Menu

As a host, it is your responsibility to make your guest comfortable with his/her food choice. You should be familiar enough with the menu that you can confidently offer your guest some menu suggestions. You should also encourage your guest to order whatever they like. And remember to always order comparable to your guest, regardless of your hunger level.

  • Etiquette

It doesn’t hurt to review basic table etiquette skills:

• Drinks on right, bread on left.
• Your napkin is not a hankie.
• Keep your tie down when eating your meal.
• Spoon your soup away from your body.
• “Continental Style” (using two hands) is the most effective style of dining.
• Cut only one piece of food at a time.
• Don’t ask for ketchup or steak sauce.
• Don’t be first to finish – pace yourself according to how fast or slow your guest is eating.
• Pass items at the table counter clockwise.
• Salt and pepper are sent around the table together.
• Break off one small piece of bread at a time and don’t butter the entire roll.

  • Devices

Unless you are expecting an important call that pertains to your meeting, your cell phone should be silenced and out of sight. If you need to refer to your tablet as part of the meeting, be sure your notifications are turned off to avoid distracting your guest with a tweet or a text.

  • Post Meal

To keep up your professional demeanor, refrain from asking for leftovers, taking home steak bones for your dog, and grabbing a toothpick.

Share your own business meal tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Get your office lunches or business meetings catered by us! From sandwich platters to boxed lunches, we’ve got you covered. Call 909-596-5225 to discuss your options.

Dinner Party Etiquette

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, you will likely be attending more and more dinner parties, whether it’s a work event or hosted by family or friends. Whether you’re in someone’s home or out at a restaurant or banquet hall, keep these dinner party etiquette tips in mind.

Before The Dinner
It is always best to respond whether or not an RSVP was requested. If not explicitly offered, refrain from asking if you can bring extra guests. The exception is if your family is invited to someone’s home for dinner – then you should ask if children are included. If so, be sure your children are on their best behavior.

Bring a host or hostess gift if you will be dining at the home of a friend or family member. Keep in mind that most dinners have carefully planned menu items so do not expect your gift to be used during the meal.

Getting Started
Seating depends on the host or hostess. Some formal parties may have place cards for where the host or hostess wants you to sit. If not, ask if there are seating preferences and wait until the host sits before you do. Sometimes, a blessing will be said before dinner. If you do not follow the beliefs of the prayer, respectful silence is acceptable. If the host offers a toast, lift your glass – a “clink” with someone else’s glass is not necessary.

After sitting down, take a cue from your host or hostess for when to begin. When the host unfolds his or her napkin, you should do the same. However, if you are dining out, you should place your napkin on your lap immediately.

Your napkin should remain in your lap until you are finished eating. If you must get up at any time during the meal and plan to return, place the napkin on either side of your plate. Once finished completely, place your napkin on the table to the left of your plate.

When To Eat
At a restaurant, you should wait until all members of your group have been served before you begin eating. For private dinners, take cues from the host or hostess. For buffets, you may start when there are others seated at your table.

Silverware can be tricky. Typically, it is best to start with the utensil that is farthest away from your plate and work your way toward the center of your place setting. However, if the host or hostess is doing something different, you may follow his or her lead. Your best bet is to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

If the food are your dinner party is served at the table, the dishes should be passed n a counter-clockwise flow and remember to never reach across the table for anything. Ask that condiments be passed from the person closest to the item (salt and pepper should always be passed together). And always use the serving utensils, not your own, when lifting food from the serving dish.

Some common table manners and essential dining etiquette are as follows:

  • Turn off your cell phone before sitting down – it’s rude to talk on your phone or text while in the company of others.
  • Never talk when you have food in your mouth -even if someone asks you a question, wait until you swallow before answering.
  • Taste your food before you add salt, pepper, or other seasoning. Doing otherwise may be insulting to the host or hostess. If you are dining with a prospective employer, the person may perceive you as someone who acts without knowing the facts.
  • Don’t cut all your food before you begin eating – cut one or two bites at a time.
  • Never blow on your food – if it’s hot, wait a few minutes for it to cool off. And scoop soup away from you.
  • Some foods are meant to be eaten with your fingers – follow the lead of your host or hostess.
  • Stemmed glasses are meant to be held by the stem.
  • Break your bread into bite-sized pieces and butter only one bite at a time.
  • Unless you are allergic, try at least one or two bites of everything on your plate.
  • Compliment the hostess if you like the food, otherwise it’s best to keep mum.
  • Use your utensils for eating, not gesturing.
  • Keep your elbows off the table and rest the hand you are not using in your lap.
  • Eat slowly and pace yourself to finish at the same approximate time as the host or hostess.
  • Avoid burping or making other rude sounds at the table.
  • If you spill something at a restaurant, signal one of the servers to help. If you spill something at a private dinner party in someone’s home, pick it up and blot the spill. If necessary, offer to have it professionally cleaned.
  • When you finish eating, leave your utensils on your plate or in your bowl.
  • Never use a toothpick or dental floss at the table.
  • You may reapply your lipstick, but refrain from doing the rest of your makeup at the table.

After The Meal
As mentioned, after you finish eating, partially fold your napkin and place it to the left of your plate. Wait until the host or hostess signals that the meal is over before you stand. If nothing is planned after dinner, stick around for approximately an hour before thanking your host for dinner and leaving. For informal events, you may offer to help clean up.

Always send the host or hostess a thank you note or card in the mail, but don’t wait more than a day or two after the event. You brief but heartfelt note should address the host or hostess, thank him or her for the lovely dinner, and include another short, positive comment to show your appreciation.

Share your own dinner party etiquette tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Let us cater your next holiday party or event! You can view our menu online at or call us at 909-596-5225 to explore your options.

Catering Tips For Office Lunches

Good office lunch catering can be the saving grace of an otherwise mundane or stressful work day. It can boost workers’ spirits and fuel them for the rest of the day. However, a lot can go wrong if these catered lunches are planned and executed poorly. Heed these tips and advice when planning your next office lunch catering.

  • Headcount

Getting a final headcount is crucial – nothing is more problematic or embarrassing as running out of food. Be sure to double check your headcount to ensure there will be enough food for everyone participating.

  • Narrow It Down

Instead of taking individual orders from everyone, pick a restaurant and take a look at the menu. Narrow it down to a few options from which workers may choose and give a deadline for order submissions.

  • Location, Location, Location

If your employees will be eating in the conference room during a meeting, there are some things to consider.

You will need to set up a food table opposite from the presentation. If people would like to go back for seconds, they can without crossing in front of the screen. Also avoid messy or noisy foods for minimal interruptions and issues.

  • Time

If there’s a time crunch, setup can make or break the catering all together. When this is the case, individually packed paper bag lunches can help. These prevent long lines, help control portions, and give employees the freedom of a “to go” option if they need to get back into the meeting.

  • The Extras

Workers will appreciate the little things like extra napkins, hand sanitizers, wet wipes, and mints. These thoughtful touches can help everything run smoothly and neatly.

  • Go Seasonal

If there’s a holiday around the corner, you may want to consider adding a few hints to the food and décor.

  • Offer Some Agency

Give people a little power over what they eat and save the organizer from taking individual orders. For example, instead of taking individual sandwich orders, provide the components for a salad and sandwich bar and let everyone build their own lunch.

  • Food Sensitivities

First and foremost, be mindful of serious food allergies amongst the staff. And you must also keep in mind any food sensitivities and personal preferences. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options are essential these days.

  • Fun, Healthy Options

Although they may be overlooked, an effort to provide wholesome food should be made. Make it fun with things like Edible arrangements, Sun Chips, or Luna Bars.

  • Sweet Tooth

As long as you have healthy options, it’s fine to add an additional treat.  For those who don’t mind indulging a bit, a cupcake or pastry can go a long way.

Did you know we cater? From sandwich catering packs to boxed lunches to meat & cheese trays, we’ve got you covered! Call 909-596-5225 to learn more and let us cater your next party or special event.  And don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Healthy Tips For Dining Out

There are several reasons for dining out at a restaurant. Whether it’s a new hot spot you’ve had your eye on, for a social gathering, or simply a much-needed break from the kitchen, you deserve a nice night out. And while it is great to treat yourself, it does not mean you have to abandon your diet completely.

Despite hidden calories and large portions, there are ways to create a delicious and healthy restaurant dining experience.

Healthier Choices

  • Just say no to appetizers, which are usually loaded with unnecessary calories. If you want to start with an appetizer, a green salad with dressing on the side is a better option.
  • To prevent overeating, you should aim to fill half of your plate with fruit and/or vegetables (and no, potatoes do not count), and the other half with lean protein and whole grains.
  • Skip the sodium-laden soups. Instead, go for a salad, which offers less sodium and more potassium-rich veggies.
  • Restaurant portions are notorious for being oversized, so, if you can, order a lunch portion, box up half of your meal for later, or split an entrée with a friend.
  • As tempting as they may be, bypass the complimentary bread or chips. These fillers will just stuff you with unnecessary and empty calories and carbs.


  • Choose Darker Greens – Darker greens have more nutrients per serving than the popular romaine or iceberg lettuce.
  • Pick A Good Protein – Good protein choices include egg whites, egg slices, grilled tofu, tuna, beans, chicken, and seafood.
  • Cut The Cheese – You really don’t need the cheese, do you? Skip the excess calories, saturated fat, and sodium that cheese provides.
  • Smart Toppings – Instead of adding crunch from oily, refined flour (crispy wontons, croutons) and salty sodium bombs (olives, bacon), add crisp veggies and fruit to add more texture and flavor. Load up on nutrient-dense toppings such as broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, black beans, edamame, roasted peppers blueberries, mango, or strawberries.
  • Dress Better – It’s always wise to get the dressing on the side so that you can control how much or how little dressing you use. You may even be able to create your our dressing using oil and vinegar.


  • Whole Wheat > White Bread – Always a better choice as it provides more nutrients. And please note that “multigrain” may mean more white flour than whole wheat.
  • Avoid Wraps – Unless they are whole grain, skip the wraps (they can have up to as many calories as white bread). Or try a lettuce wrap. You can drop refined grains for whole food. And if you’re feeling adventurous, turn your sandwich into a salad.
  • Craving a sandwich? Opt for a half sandwich, half salad combo. That way, you can get your sandwich fix while taking in more vegetables, too.
  • Smart Sides – When it comes to side dishes, opt for fresh fruit or steamed veggies over chips or bread.


  • Choose Nonfat Milk – If you don’t particularly like nonfat, take baby steps and do half nonfat, half 2% milk.
  • Pros & Cons Of Non-Dairy Milk – Soy milk provides around 8g of protein per cup, but depending on the brand, they may have added sugar. Almond milk may have less sugar, but also less protein. Skip the coconut milk as it is low in protein and high in saturated fat.
  • Skip The Whipped Cream – Save yourself from excess calories and saturated fat.
  • Skip The Syrup – Sugar-free syrups may be made with unsafe sweeteners, but if you must, ask for a single pump of regular syrup.
  • Order Brewed Coffee and make your own modifications (one packet of sugar adds about 20 calories.

How do you stay healthy when you dine out? Share your tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

At the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli, we serve a variety of signature sandwiches and salads made to order. Visit us in store, online or have our food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS. We also provide catering for business lunches, special events and parties. Call 909-596-5225 to learn more!

Avoid These Restaurant Dining Faux Pas

Dining out at a restaurant should be a fun and pleasant experience, but we all know that is not always the case. For the consideration of your party, other diners, and the restaurant staff themselves, please avoid doing these things in a restaurant.

X      Don’t keep your phone ringer on.

We may all be guilty of using our phone during a meal, however, we should refrain from this, especially when dining with company. Ringers should be silenced and phones should be put away. And this rule is not only limited to dining guests – the wait staff and back-of-the-house employees should refrain from check their phones and taking calls.

X      Don’t sit down at a big table well before the rest of the group arrives.

If you have a big party, and you know your friends are running late, don’t sit at the table early. Their inconsideration to you should not spill over onto you. Instead, let the restaurant utilize the tables while you wait for your guests at the bar or in the waiting area. The wait staff will appreciate you allowing them to serve more tables, rather than lingering at your table alone.

     Don’t block the server’s path.

Blocking a busy pathway is not only a nuisance to diners and staff, but it can pose a potential hazard and safety issue. It is likely that servers are walking back and forth with plates of hot food and drinks and any roadblock can slow them down and possibly trip them up.

X      Don’t let the kids run wild.

With that said, please don’t let your kids run wild. If the kids are running around, they can get hurt or be in the way of others. We understand that kids need to eat to, but please be mindful of other diners and the workers.

X      Don’t stray too far from the menu.

Slight modifications and special requests are to be expected, and are usually easily accommodated. However, don’t go too crazy as the chef has put much thought and consideration into the menu. If you have serious allergies to common foods or ingredients, be sure to call head to ensure that they can safely cater to your food allergies.

X      As the host, don’t finish first.

If you are hosting the dinner and have gathered your group of friends at a restaurant, make sure to pace yourself so that you end up being the last one to finish each course. This behavior has somewhat disappeared over the time, but it is a way to signal the wait staff that they can collect everyone’s plate once the last person finishes.

X      Don’t reach across the table.

It’s great to share food, but there’s a right and wrong way to do it. Instead of reaching across and sticking your fork in the other person’s food, politely ask them to put a bit on a bread plate and pass the plate along.

X      Don’t ask to split the bill several ways after you’ve gotten the check

If you know you would like to split the bill between your guests, check with your server beforehand to see what the best approach would be. If they know ahead of time, they can keep orders separate and organized. Or remind your guests to bring enough cash to chip in ahead of time.

X      Don’t tip according to a comped price.

When it comes to tipping, whether you get something comped because you know the right people, or you purchase a great discounted deal, you should always tip on the full price.

X      Don’t show up right before the kitchen closes.

Although a restaurant is technically still open, you should still be considerate. It is considered poor taste to stroll in minutes before a restaurant is closing. If it seems like they are already in closing mode, you may want to take that as a cue to move on.

What other restaurant faux pas can you think of? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli for breakfast or lunch – weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. Enjoy yummy sandwiches, salads, baked goods, and more! Stop in, order online, or get your food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Restaurant Do’s & Don’ts

When it comes to restaurants, as with most things, there is a sort of unspoken dining etiquette by which most people abide. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of these.  Here are a few do’s and don’ts to make for a better restaurant dining experience.

  • DON’T be a no-show. If you made a reservation, you should either show up on time or give the restaurant a call to cancel or let them know if you’ll be more than a few minutes late.
  • DON’T walk into a restaurant 5 minutes before closing time. Yes, they are still open, but be courteous and avoid lingering.
  • DON’T anonymously bash a restaurant online. Doing this anonymously does not really benefit anyone. If there is an issue, it’s best to bring it up while you are still there.
  • DO speak up. As stated, if there’s an issue or if something is not right, let your server know or ask for a manager. Restaurants want to maintain a happy atmosphere and will often do what’s right to keep the customer happy. By bringing it up, you give them the chance to make it right.
  • DO tip on the full bill. Regardless of coupons or discounts, tips should be based on the full amount of food and drinks and served.
  • DO be upfront about food allergies and other dietary restrictions. Despite identifying items as gluten-free or vegetarian-friendly, if you have a question about a dish, ask. Restaurants don’t want customers to fall ill and should be able to accommodate your needs. But remember to be reasonable with your expectations.

Do you have any other restaurant dining do’s or don’ts? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Dine with us for a delicious breakfast or lunch. We are open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. Stop by, call ahead, or order online. And we are now offering delivery via DoorDash and UberEATS!

Choosing Healthy Options For Breakfast

Starting your day with a healthy breakfast can help sustain your energy throughout the day. If you are headed to a local restaurant or diner, choosing a healthy breakfast may seem like a bit of a challenge. Beyond the tempting pancakes and waffles, you can find a healthy breakfast on the restaurant menu. Here are some smart breakfast options.

  • Eggs

Get a healthy dose of protein when you opt for eggs. You can choose boiled eggs, or try poached eggs, and season them with salt, pepper, or a dash of hot sauce. If you are concerned about cholesterol, try an egg white omelet and ask them to go light on the butter or use cooking spray.

  • Fruit

Most restaurants offer fresh fruit. You can order it as a side or have a fruit salad as a main dish. You may even be able to have it served with yogurt, just ask.

  • Bread

Skip the white bread and opt for whole wheat bread. Ask for butter and jam on the side and be mindful of your portions.

  • Beverages

It’s always smart to hydrate with water. If you can, swap your coffee for herbal tea (try earl grey tea with lemon). If you need your coffee, drink it black or try skim milk, and avoid sugars and artificial sweeteners.

  • Dairy Products

While these are excellent sources of calcium, they can also be loaded with fat. When choosing dairy products, try skim milk and instead of butter, swap in low-fat or nonfat yogurt.

Remember to choose breakfast foods that will energize you rather than weigh you down. A lean protein is key, along with color, in the form of fruits or vegetables.

How do you start your day? Share your favorite breakfast foods and recipes with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

In case you missed it, we now serve breakfast! Join us for breakfast Monday-Saturday (available until 10:30am) – check out our breakfast menu here.

Restaurant Dining Advice

When you don’t feel like cooking or simply want to get out of the house for a bit, dining at a restaurant is a great option. Let’s be honest, we all deserve to treat ourselves to a nice meal every now and then. Unfortunately, restaurants don’t always provide the healthiest options. To refrain from overindulging when dining out, keep these healthy restaurant tips in mind.

Pay Attention To Salads
Sure, salads seem like a healthy meal choice, but depending on the ingredients, you may end up with more than you expected. First of all, most restaurant portions are larger than normal. If possible, get a half order. Secondly, take a look at those toppings. Things like fried chicken, candied nuts, cheese, tortilla strips, and croutons can quickly add excess sugar, fat, and calories. Look for salads topped with lean protein and additional raw veggies. Lastly, order the dressing on the side and use it sparingly. You may lightly dip each bite in dressing or even use fresh salsa in lieu of dressing.

Skip The Dips
When you want to order an appetizer for the table, dips are usually an easy go-to. Unfortunately, these dips are often high in fat and calories, and commonly paired with bread, chips, or crackers, which offer high carbs and little nutrition. Instead, seek out raw or steamed seafood, or raw veggies with salsa as an appetizer. You can even order a side salad to help fill you up before your meal – just remember to watch those toppings and dressing.

Swap Your Sides
Trade your French fries, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes for a side of steamed vegetables or a baked potato. With the latter, you want to use just a bit of butter, and possibly top it with steamed veggies or fresh salsa.

Downsize Your Portions
As mentioned, portions are often oversized at restaurants. This can be especially problematic for those who feel driven to clean their plates. Instead, ask for a box as your meal arrives and pack half of your food to-go, which can help to prevent overeating. Or you can choose an appetizer as your entrée.

Water Is Better
You may not want to waste calories on a beverage when water is so refreshing and hydrating. Try a lemon or lime wedge to add some flavor. In terms of alcoholic beverages, you may want to opt for clear liquor and soda water with a lemon or lime to avoid excess calories and sugar.

Choose The Right Condiments
Much like toppings and dressings can sabotage a salad, the wrong condiments can sabotage your meal. Mayonnaise, ranch, Caesar dressing, honey mustard, and ketchup can be high in calories and sugars. Mustard, vinegar and lemon are better options for adding flavor to your foods. When all else fails, a bit of salt and pepper are fine alternatives as well.

Check The Menu Ahead Of Time
Doing a little research beforehand can help you decide what you’re going to order and how you will customize it. Preparing ahead of time can help you avoid giving into last-minute cravings because you can’t decide on a healthy option. It can even help you avoid restaurants with limited healthy options.

How do you keep your restaurant meals healthy? Share your own tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

For delicious sandwiches and salads made fresh to order, visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! Order online, call ahead, or come on in and dine with us.