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Dining

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.

Gift
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.

Napkin
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
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.

Food
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.

Eating
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.

Later
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 BrickMarketDeli.com 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.

Salads

  • 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.

Sandwiches

  • 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.

Coffee

  • 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.

Healthy Salads: Increase Your Veggie Intake

When it comes to increasing your veggie intake, healthy salads are a smart choice. While there are many ways to sabotage your healthy salad, there are also many ways to make it nutritious. For example, topping your greens with more raw veggies can provide you with a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Aside from getting the daily recommended intake, you want to consume diverse vegetables to get different nutrients. In addition, focus on more dark green and red and orange vegetables as they are more nutrient-dense and contain nutrients that we don’t usually get enough of (ex. folate, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and K).

Salad Greens
For a long time, iceberg, or head lettuce, was the main staple as a salad base. These days, common salad bases include Romaine and leaf lettuce (ex. green leaf, red leaf, butter, bibb), as well as spinach and kale. Not as popular, but gaining momentum are collard greens, escarole, mustard greens and turnip greens.

Lettuce greens contain nearly no calories nor sodium, and boast about a gram of fiber, a gram or two of carbohydrates, and barely a gram of protein per cup. Dark leafy greens such as spinach, romaine and leaf lettuce, contain more of certain nutrients (ex. vitamin A and C, potassium). Bottom-line: whichever salad base you choose, as long as you eat it, you are getting nutrients.

What can make or break your salad is the toppings and dressing. Adding more raw vegetables, such as cucumbers, peppers, or carrots, is a great option. It is the toppings like bacon, cheese, and fried chicken, as well as heavy, excessive amounts of dressing that you want to avoid.

Whether you’re eating at home or at a restaurant, here are some tips on keeping your salads healthy and nutritious.

At Home:

  • Try something new! Choose salad greens such as spinach, arugula, endive, escarole, or watercress as a base. Top your salad with colorful veggies such as radicchio, radishes, beets, peppers, and carrots.
  • Prep healthful salad toppers (cucumbers, peppers, red or green cabbage, carrots) ahead of time. That way, you can easily throw a healthy salad together.
  • Make use of leftovers, or simply enjoy a healthful dinner by creating an entrée salad.
  • Try adding nuts, seeds, olives, raisins, dried cranberries, wheat germ, or flax to your salads to create texture, crunch, and nutrition.
  • Make your own salad dressing by blending a healthy oil and your favorite vinegar, herbs, spices, and garlic in a food processor.

Salad Bar:

  • Start your salad base with a mound of greens – the darker the better. Then pile on the veggies.
  • If you must, allow yourself small portions of higher-calorie items such as cheese, pasta, or potato salad.
  • Ladle only a tablespoon or two of your favorite dressing, then spread it with drizzles of vinegar or squeezes of lemon wedges.

Fast Food Restaurants:

  • Use only a portion of the large packet of dressing.
  • When available, opt for half orders.
  • Avoid salads with high-fat items (ex. fried chicken, Chinese noodles, candied nuts, and cheese).

Sit-Down Restaurants:

  • Start with an appetizer salad to fill up.
  • Split a side or entrée salad (restaurant portions are often generous).
  • Request the kitchen go light on ingredients that are higher in fat and calories, such as avocado, cheese, and bacon.
  • Order salad dressing on the side – this will help you control the portion. Drizzle it gingerly or lightly dip each bite.

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

Enjoy a healthy salad or yummy sandwich with us today! We’re located at 105 East Arrow Highway in Pomona and we are open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Catering Service Styles

When you think of catering, a buffet table set up with numerous chafing dishes may come to mind. But there is much more to catering than that. There are various catering services to choose from depending on the mood of your event, whether formal or relaxed. Review these catering service styles to determine which will work best for your next event.

Butler Passing
One of the classier styles, butler passing involves the wait staff walking around the event carrying a tray of hors d’ oeuvres or beverages for guests. It can add a touch of elegance to your event, and is often a great way to get guests ready for the main event. For example, you can use butler passing as guests wait for the wedding party to arrive for the reception dinner.

Stations
These allow your guests to get up and move around, which promotes mingling. Guests can explore the different stations and get excited for what’s next. A great theme for this type of catering service would be “around the world” where each station is set up with foods influenced by various regions.

Action Stations
These stations offer foods made to order. Think a carving station or build-your-own omelet station. Your guests get to watch the chef prepare a fresh, custom-made dish just for them. To avoid wait times, many items are partially prepped.

Self-Serve Buffets
Food dishes are commonly set up on a linear table and guests proceed down a line to pick what they want. This is a more casual approach, offering guests a wide variety of foods. The downside is the potential for running out of food before everyone has a chance to go through the line.

Portion-Controlled Buffets
To combat the aforementioned potential issue, portion-controlled buffets have attendants on hand to serve guests as they go down the buffet line. Once everyone has been served, you can open the buffet up to guests who may want more.

Plated
Plated service means each guest is served a meal individually, and is commonly encountered at weddings and formal events. The tables are often pre-set with china plates, stainless flatware, glassware and linen napkins. This catering style is labor intensive as it usually requires a waiter for every three tables, plus additional staff to pre-set tables, plate food, and to clean up. Also, ensuring that all guests are served before the food gets cold can be challenging, especially for larger groups.

Family Style
This is more relaxed in contrast to plated dinners. Guests are seated at banquet tables and food is served on large platters placed in the middle of the table by waitstaff. Guests then help themselves to the items and portions they would like. Family style dining tends to foster interaction.

Before choosing a catering service style, you want to evaluate a few things.

  • What type of mood would you like to set for the event (formal, relaxed, interactive)?
  • How long will your event last?
  • Will you provide a full meal or hors d’ oeuvres only?
  • Define your budget. Remember that some services are more labor intensive than others (ex. plated meals, action stations), and thus, more costly.

The Brick Your Neighborhood Deli offers catering, ideal for casual business or staff meetings or office lunches. To learn more about our catering, visit us in store or call 909-596-5225. For the latest news and updates, connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.

Eating Healthy At Different Restaurants

When cooking at home, you are in control of what you make and the ingredients that go into it. Unfortunately, when dining out at restaurants, you can never be too sure. Despite stricter regulations on the transparency of restaurant menus and nutritional information, excess calories, fats and sodium are still sometimes hidden.

Here are some helpful tips to make healthier restaurant meal choices when you dine out.

First and foremost, know the ingredients. Before you even enter the restaurant, you may want to search for an ingredients list or basic nutrition information on their website. Looking into this beforehand can help you plan a healthier meal.

Fast Casual
Lighter options in these settings include salads, soups and sandwiches. When it comes to salads, be wary of creamy dressings (ex. ranch, Caesar, bleu cheese) and “light” dressings (sodium and sugar is often used to compensate for the reduced fat and flavor). The better choice would be oil-based dressings (ex. balsamic vinaigrette) or even a simple oil and vinegar combo. And remember to always request the dressing on the side. When it comes to soups, researching in advance can come in handy as these are often high in sodium.

Fast Food Burgers
When it comes to burgers, your best bet is to stick to the basics – bun, patty, lettuce, tomato. You also want to avoid fatty ingredients such as bacon. When it comes to condiments, instead of ketchup, barbecue sauce and honey mustard, which contain high fructose corn syrup, try yellow or Dijon mustard. And most places now allow you to skip the bun and get it wrapped in lettuce instead.

Fast Food Chicken Joint
Choosing grilled chicken instead of fried chicken can save you calories, fat, and sodium. However, what you may not know is that most of these restaurants use MSG (monosodium glutamate), which is a flavor-enhancer that may cause nausea and migraines in some people. Again, researching ahead of time would be helpful in this case.

Coffee Shop
Skip the sugary blended drinks and opt for a basic cup of brewed coffee, a shot of espresso, or an Americano. The latter are filled with antioxidants and low in calories.

Deli
Sandwiches are basically made up of bread, protein, veggies, and condiments. Better-for-you options include whole-grain bread, whole-grain or Dijon mustard, and minimally-processed protein such as chicken breast or thinly-sliced roast beef. When it comes to salads, load up on veggies and use a bit of olive oil and vinegar.

Fast Mexican
Corn tortillas are the better than flour tortillas in that the latter are higher in calories, fat, and sodium. Use cheese in moderation as the shredded options often contain preservatives and artificial ingredients. Be conscious of your sodium intake and portion sizes if you opt to flavor your food with guacamole or salsas (ex. pico de gallo, black bean & corn, tomatillo).

Casual Dining
These restaurants offer a wide variety of foods so healthy options are not the main issue. Instead, you need to be mindful of portion sizes. Keep your choices simple and pay attention to sodium.

Steakhouse
While there are nutritious options available here, unhealthy favorites are usually more tempting (ex. creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, prime rib). Choose the leanest cuts of beef (ex. sirloin, filet, New York strip) and keep it simple – avoid heavy sauces like béarnaise or peppercorn cream. For your sides, opt for steamed veggies. If they are not listed on the menu, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

How do you keep your meals healthy when you dine at restaurants? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Enjoy a healthy sandwich or salad at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! We’re open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. You can order online or get your favorites delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.