Tag Archives: restaurants

When Did Restaurants Stop Giving Us ‘Free’ Bread Before We Ordered?

by Anura Guruge

Click to access original from June 2017.

Click to access original from May 2014.

I have been meaning to write about this for years …

Have YOU noticed? This, however, could just be a north, east coast phenomenon. It was interesting that I found articles about it in New York and Boston newspapers — and quite recently at that.

We eat out a fair amount — twice this last week. Each time I noticed that you no longer get any ‘munchies’, let alone bread, ahead of your appetizers. Just the drinks your order.

It was very different, of course, just 5-years ago. There were restaurants that were RENOWNED for their complimentary bread. Remember the bread and oil phase.

What happened?

Of course restaurants are saving a MINT on this — and people will be ordering more since they can’t fill up on bread.

Yes, I can appreciate that things got ‘tricky’ with all this gluten-free, nut-free requirements. But, you would have thought that they could have been resourceful. Yes, of course, the cost savings would have been hard to resist.

I do know one thing. This started to happen post 2013 — around the same time I went on my low-carb diet. That is probably the reason I don’t notice it as much.

I just can’t remember whether this ‘no bread’ dictum is also true on the West coast. I was last there 2-years ago and can’t remember the bread situation. PLEASE let me know. I would love to update this post. Maybe even create a ‘bread’/’no-bread’ map of the U.S.

OK, I am going to get ambitious. I am going to ask around … the World.

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by Anura Guruge

“West Lake Asian Cuisine”, Wolfeboro, N.H. — The Latest Reincarnation.

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

We went for lunch at the “West Lake” on Sunday, September 18, 2016, to celebrate the publication of my latest book, “Brain Meditation” — given that our preferred ‘Chinese‘, the “Sea Bird” is closed on Sundays during the ‘Winter’.

The “West Lake” is yet again under new management — this time since around June 2016. Supposedly owned and operated by Chinese from China.

The food, and we had some Sichuan dishes and lots of appetizers, WAS GOOD. Presentation, as yet, not what it used to be.

The inside has been redone. Quite nice but dark — and a dirty, crumpled handwritten sign, taped to the wall, that said “Restrooms –>>” was unbecoming (and at my suggestion they took it down).

I have been going to the “West Lake” for 25 years. That was when it was under the legendary leadership of ‘Peter’.

It has had its ups and downs. We were there last year too — yet again when the “Sea Bird” was closed.

I don’t think they will ever win me fully over since I am very fond of Guy and Lan at “Sea Bird” and all their other relatives. Plus, I now have this fancy “Sea Bird” cap that Guy gave me the last time we were there.

But, that said, the food was GOOD. Prices … hmmmm! Very cute. No ‘point-of-sale’ system. The bill is all in Chinese with no item prices. So a long list of Chinese followed by the TOTAL & tax. It is OK. Cute. Like going to Boston Chinatown for ‘Dim Sum‘.

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by Anura Guruge

‘Naked Restaurants’ Don’t Sound That Appetizing — Though Weight Restriction Is A Good Idea.

by Anura Guruge

Click here to access the U.K. “Daily Mail” original
from June 10, 2016.

Click image to ENLARGE and enjoy here.


This just seems taking a cliché notion to the extreme. And then you find out that they make you wear paper underwear! Ah! Seems like an oxymoron. Don’t get it.

I could just about understand and condone topless restaurants — gender independent. But naked with paper underwear seems distinctingly unappetizing.

But love the notion of keeping the obese out. I wish they would do that at U.S. all-you-can-eat buffets! I had heard stories that some planned to charge overweight folks more. But something has to be done. Definitely puts me off my food — which is NOT a bad thing. Smile.

paperunderwearRelated Posts:
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by Anura Guruge

I Get My “Top Contributor” Badge At “Tripadvisor” With My 50th Review.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Click to ENLARGE and read here. My 1st and ONLY ‘1 star’ review — ‘Acadia Sunrise Motel’ in Trenton, Maine.

Kind of amuses me that “tripadvisor” managed to cajole and pander me to write 51 reviews! They have one heck of a system and scheme, mainly relying on ones ego, to write these reviews. It is the ultimate in ‘frequent flyer’ type loyalty programs (as introduced by American Airlines in the 1970s) BUT the catch here is that the ONLY rewards you get is ‘recognition’! They give you nothing back — as far as I know — for writing these reviews. I definitely haven’t go anything other than these virtual badges. But, I will confess, that it can be satisfying to share your opinion.

I only went on ‘tripadvisor’, in September 2013, because I wanted to tell the world about the dreadful experience we had at the ‘Acadia Sunrise Motel‘ in Trenton, Maine — our first visit to Acadia. I was venting and ranting. We were mad. But then ‘tripadvisor’ sucks you in, very cleverly. They ask you about the “Visitor’s Center”, restaurants in Bar Harbor and the next thing you know you have written 3 reviews. And that is how it went.

I am by know means a regular or committed contributor. I haven’t by a long chalk reviewed all the restaurants we have been to since that first review. After a trip I typically feel compelled to review the hotels. Then they get me to comment on local attractions and restaurants. Soon I have all these badges and they keep on cajoling me. Once I passed 40 review I did want to do 50 and get ‘Top Contributor’ status. Not sure what is next. It is a harmless lark.

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by Anura Guruge

“Taste of India”, Dover, N.H. — Lives Up To Its Many Accolades Including Recent WMUR Poll.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

Artifacts at “Taste of India”.

Related posts:
Ten Indian restaurants in NH.
>> ‘Shalimar’, Portsmouth, NH.

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That we don’t, alas, manage to get there as often as I would like, or as often as we should, does not mean that we don’t think that the “Taste of India” is a very good place to eat — decent Indian food. It is invariably a case that Dover is not a place that we typically stop for dinner or lunch.

I had put them TOP of my list of 10 Indian restaurants in New Hampshire in 2012, and there is no reason, whatsoever, as to why I would even think of changing that ranking. Overall, when you factor taste, SERVICE, price, cordiality and pleasantness of surroundings the “Taste of India” invariably has to come up trumps. A WMUR poll of Indian restaurants in NH confirmed that.

We went to the “Taste of India”, this last Sunday, Father’s Day, after we had gone to see the comedy “Jurassic World“.

It was good. Very agreeable. We ordered a fair amount of appetizers because we all like them.

They made me some very spicey Lamb Shahi Korma and we had a Saag Paneer variant with chicken biryani and Aloo Paratha. It was all good. The kids liked it. They ate a bunch. But we still had 3 containers to bring home. It was good. Got to chat with very personable Joga Singh, an ex-math teacher, now the co-owner (with his brother) and Manager. It was very nice. They have a buffet Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons. We definitely plan to go. So should YOU.