Recent Articles

In new York City there is a Famous Curry House Called Brick Lane that Serves very Hot Curries

Basically, this recipe is for the infamous “Chicken Phall” well-known at the Brick Lane restaurant in New York; designed to set your mouth on fire!

Gather these ingredients:


Diced chicken

Scotch bonnets


A mixture of normal chilies and peppers




Careful chopping up the Scotch Bonnets because just the vapor will make your cry and irritate your skin.

Casserole all of the above and bake for an hour-and-halfish on 170 stirring every twenty minutes. Muck around with the weights and measures – this is still nice as  a mild curry so you’d skip the habaneras for that.

Also, never over do it with the ketchup because this makes it too sweet, you’ll get it right in the end.  Put mild curry powder in for flavor – don’t need the strong stuff as the chilly peppers will deal with that.

Serve with rice and a huge dollop of natural yogurt if you need to cool the curry down. The hottest form of curry, the Phall – meaning fire – originated in the Indian restaurants in the UK using the large quantities of standard chili peppers, habanero chilies and even the scotch bonnet!

The Brick Lane Curry House in New York has a “P’Hall of Fame” providing customers with a free beer and certificate when they have completed the meal. Described on Brick Lane Curry House’s menu as “an excruciatingly hot curry, more pain and sweat than flavor. For our customers who do this on a dare, we will require you to state a verbal disclaimer not holding us liable for any physical or emotional damage after eating this curry.”

Scorchingly hot, you will shed tears, suffer pain and sweat it all out; the only way to eat the infamous “Phall” is to scoff the thing as quickly as possible and then run for it!

Brick Lane is really a street in the East End of London and is the heart of the city’s expatriate Bangladeshi community. Sometimes called Banglatown it is famous for its many curry houses and the name was derived from the brick and tiles manufactured there dating back to the fifteenth-century.

Synonymous now with “curry” the Brick Lane area was important in the second wave of development of the fusion between Anglo-Indian cuisine. Alcohol is often not sold in some of these places will not sell alcohol because many are run by Muslims though the area is now becoming more vibrant and fashionable with students and offers considerable exhibition space for artists.

Restaurant Reviews Amaro Merida Mexico

Amaro is a lovely restaurant in the old part of Merida in the Yucatan in Mexico. You eat in the courtyard of an 18th century colonial style house; it is located just one block from the more expensive main plaza and just off of the lively Calle 60 (with lots of bars and live music at weekends). As well as a range of international dishes it also has a huge selection of local Yucatan dishes that you won’t find elsewhere in Mexico or Central America. There is also a lot of vegetarian choice, which is great as I had eaten cheese quesadillas two days in a row. Ingredients include Chaya which is like spinach and unique to the region. Sadly that was off the menu on the night we dined there, and I never saw it on a menu again.

There were several other dishes that were not available on the menu, and whilst this is frustrating there are plenty of other options available. However, wherever restaurants have fresh ingredients you can run the risk of something not being available, particularly in this part of the world and I think I would rather have this than something ready prepared and just heated up. Amaro does claim to always use fresh ingredients.

They have a range of licouardos which are fruit drinks with milk or purified water. Often they are large and quite filling. They also offered Mexican wine, which I was keen to try but they did not have any chilled so we had to plump for the more expensive Chilean wines. Subsequently I tried the same Mexican wine as they offered and can confirm it is worth paying that bit extra for the Chilean varieties! The wine we had was delicious and probably cost the equivalent of 10 which is quite expensive compared to the food. The local wine was about 5-6 a bottle. They also offer a good range of cocktails and local and imported beers.

They did a large range of starters, which I did not have. Judging by the size of them they were almost meals in themselves but very reasonably priced at the equivalent of just a few British pounds and include nachos and salad.

Dishes to look out for include those that come with mole sauce. Fear not, veggies, this is not a sauce made of small, blind subterranean dwelling mammals but a spicy chocolate sauce made from Mexican chocolate. Regrettably I didn’t try this and also never saw it on menus outside of Merida. Other specialties include Aubergine Meshe which is basically a stuffed aubergine with cheese and a local white sauce served with rice. Some of our party ordered this and found it delicious. They also did vegetarian fajitas but I plumped for an Aubergine curry. This is nothing like an Indian curry at home but more of a mild, creamy tomato based sauce with cheese and rice. I thought it was absolutely gorgeous and an absolute bargain at $62 (approx 3.00). This was a typical price for a veggie meal, with meat and fish dishes coming in at a pound or two more.

The meat dishes include typical dishes like enchiladas and fajitas, as well as grilled chicken with mole sauce, beef dishes and local fish dishes. Most dishes are served with rice and frijoles which are refried beans and will appear everywhere throughout Mexico and Central America. You can easily get bored with them! They also have a range of pizzas and some varied salads.

There are English versions of the menu, though not all the staff are fluent, they are happy to help with questions. Don’t expect service to be as prompt as in the UK, this is also typical of the region as a whole.

We ate there on a Sunday night; I believe they have live music on some other nights of the week.

I would heartily recommend this restaurant on many counts not just do you have a varied and exclusive menu offering local dishes freshly prepared but it is in a beautiful and romantic setting. They also cater easily for groups, and I would suggest booking if you are in the area over a weekend.

Restaurante Amaro
Calle 59 por 60 y 62 Centro Histrico.
Mrida Yucatn Mxico
Tel: (999) 928-24-5

A Great Daytime Cafe in Southsea

Vying as it does with three other small restaurants on Southsea’s Marmion Road, Lou Lou’s is one that I had previously wanted to visit because of its apparent French feel. I hadn’t done so, however, as I always seem to be in the area at lunchtime and Lou Lou’s is inevitably crowded, with very little space between one table and the next. An opportunity arose one Friday afternoon when I bumped into my son as I was leaving work. Both of us were at a loose end and decided to have a bite to eat before shopping at Waitrose. As it was around 3.30pm, I thought Lou Lou’s might be relatively quiet so we sauntered along to see if I was right.

A menu in the window was difficult to approach as both the outside tables were occupied. As we turned away, a waiter rushed out and handed us a menu to tempt us. The menu seemed varied with reasonable prices and there seemed to be a few free tables inside, so we ventured in. Two of the tables turned out to be reserved, but we settled for a table for two by the side wall.

All the tables in the main area are circular marble ones, some bigger than others. The chairs are old-fashioned, basic wooden ones with curved backs. I said that Lou Lou’s has an apparent French feel to it, but this is in fact because it used to be a butcher’s and the original dcor has been kept. Ceramic tiles cover one wall, and the wooden floor has seen better days. A curved metal rail hanging from the ceiling would once have been used for displaying carcasses. Now it has rather charming ornaments and flowers dangling down. The place has character and is quite unlike other cafe-restaurants in the area.

A waitress immediately brought us another menu. A page of all day breakfasts (including a continental one) was followed by a list of Welsh rarebit, croque monsieur or madame, then one or two pasta dishes, a few salads and a rather surprising venison burger. The usual simple lunches such as soup of the day, various sandwiches and jacket potatoes are also on the menu. Tartiflette is a typical French addition that I can’t remember seeing before in a Southsea restaurant. Steak is one of the pricier lunches, but even so is just GBP8.95. Having not long since recovered from a nasty bug, I hadn’t had eggs or bacon for weeks, so I decided on scrambled egg with back bacon in a toasted and buttered muffin, accompanied by sliced button mushrooms for GBP3.45. My son went for what would have been my second choice: scrambled egg with smoked salmon, wholemeal or white toast and sliced button mushrooms at GBP4.95.

We wanted to order freshly squeezed orange juice, but the waitress explained that the machine had been switched off. We didn’t quite understand why, but we both ordered apple juice instead. This was brought over very quickly. I don’t like having fruit juice with a glass full of ice cubes, and thankfully no ice was served here, but I suppose some people might want and expect it.

It must have been about ten minutes before our food was served. My immediate impression was that the servings were very generous, especially where the mushrooms were concerned. I had two rashers of nicely cooked, lean bacon, lots of scrambled egg, and a whole muffin as opposed to the half I had had at Churchill’s a few weeks earlier. My son’s meal came garnished with a slice of lemon and a small sprig of parsley. His butter was served separately in a small tub for him to spread on the triangular slices of toast. I thought the square-shaped plates and black serviettes were tasteful, although the serviettes were a little on the small side. Pepper and salt are provided on the table, but the waitress also asked us if we required any other sauces. We declined. The food was beautifully hot, and I would only say that the scrambled egg was slightly overdone. This usually seems to be the case in restaurants, however.

As soon as we had finished eating, the waitress came to clear our plates. For those wanting a two-course meal, desserts are mostly priced at GBP3.25 or GBP3.50 and include pancakes, waffles, ice cream sundae and sticky toffee pudding. A tempting selection of home made cakes is displayed at the counter, and Lou Lou’s menu also offers afternoon cream teas. We had only come for a light meal, so we asked for the bill. As it turned out, payment is made at the counter.

The ladies had just been cleaned when I entered so I can’t comment on what it might be like towards the end of a busy lunchtime. Two steps have to be negotiated to get to the toilets, which would obviously prove difficult for the disabled. These steps also lead to a rear area which has a number of small tables but is without windows.

I would be glad to return to Lou Lou’s one day, as their food is good, served in generous portions and reasonably priced. I have no criticisms of the service we received. It is a place that has character but might not appeal to those who prefer ultra-modern, stylish restaurants. If I do go back, however, I shall probably make a point of going either early in the morning for breakfast or once again in mid or late afternoon. Lou Lou’s is definitely a popular place, but the lunchtime crowds would put me off. Closing time is 6pm, so this is a daytime rather than an evening restaurant.

Lou Lou’s

37 Marmion Road




United Kingdom

Tel. 023 9282 5113

Frito Lay Launches Cracker Jackd Product Line that contain Caffeine

Frito-Lay is planning to introduce a new line of its popular Cracker Jacks snack. The new line, called “Cracker Jack’D”, has five new flavors, but two of them have created some controversy.

The reason for the controversy is due to the ingredient of caffeine included in two of the new flavors. The Jack’D line is not yet on the market, but the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is appealing to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and also to PepsiCo, the parent company of Frito-Lay.

The organization feels including caffeine in snack foods is a dangerous idea, especially connected to a brand that has historically been marketed to children.

CSPI writes in a statement, posted on its website:

“Boxes of Cracker Jack are famous for having a toy surprise inside. But what parent suspects that Cracker Jack might come with a surprising dose of a mildly addictive stimulant drug?”

Frito-Lay disputes that children will be eating this new product. The company says the Jack’D line of Cracker Jacks will be marketed to adults and will carry a label about the caffeine.

CSPI is not happy with this, however, and fears the long-term repercussions of this decision, especially in light of the fact that adding caffeine to snacks wades into a gray area where FDA guidelines are concerned.

“The way things are going, I fear that we’ll see caffeine, or coffee. being added to ever-more improbable drinks and snacks, putting children, unsuspecting pregnant women, and others at risk,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson, said in its written statement. “How soon before we have caffeinated burgers, burritos, or breakfast cereals?”

CSPI also sent a letter to the FDA asking the agency to take action. The letter not only mentioned Cracker Jack’D, but also noted concerns over Kraft Foods’ MiO “water enhancers” and Jelly Belly’s “Extreme Sport Beans”, which also contain caffeine.

CSPI also wrote to PepsiCo and Kraft Foods in separate letters.

“Those products may be just the beginning of a craze in which many companies, large and small, disregard the FDA’s regulation and begin adding caffeine to all kinds of foods and beverages,” Jacobson wrote in a letter to the FDA . “That could lead to serious health problems for children who consume those products as well as lead to cynicism among the public and industry about the FDA’s effectiveness in enforcing and protecting the public’s health.”

Last week the FDA launched an investigation into 13 deaths and 33 hospitalizations that are believed to be linked to energy drinks. While it is unclear what led to those illnesses and deaths, the fear is the high doses of caffeine may be a link. If caffeine is added to snack foods, and this turns out to be the case, this could potentially lead to health problems.

Frito-Lay defends the new Cracker Jacks products and insists the line of snacks will be marketed towards adults.

“Cracker Jack’D is a product line specifically developed for adult consumers and will not be marketed to children,” spokesperson Chris Kuechenmeister told The Boston Globe in an email (via New York Daily News). “The package design and appearance are wholly different from Cracker Jack to ensure there is no confusion among consumers.”

Cracker Jack’D varieties that in a 2 oz serving of its new snack, the level of caffeine will equate to about the amount found in a serving of soda or a cup of coffee. Although, perhaps important to note, consumers may eat more than 2 ounces.

Restaurant Reviews Double Coffee Riga Latvia

Double Coffee

We know Starbucks as a pleasant coffee shop outlet that largely sell coffee and panini products. But at Double Coffee, there is a vast array of food and drinks. This is the noteable difference to anyone who has visited a Double Coffee shop. On my visit to Riga, we visited four coffee shops. They were easy to find as there was around one Double coffee outlet for every few roads around the Old Town of Riga. Also when visiting this coffee shop, the ordering process is slightly different compared to when visiting a Costa Coffee, Cafe Nero or even Starbucks outlet. The difference is that we were greeted by a Latvian platinum blond haired waitress wearing a brown barista uniform. The waitress allowed us to find a table and we were then given three or four menu’s.

Double Coffee Menu

The good thing about the menus at Double Coffee is that there are photos against each product that they serve. It is also good that whilst they serve Latvian people who understand Russian, that the details of the food and drinks found on the menus are also in English as well. This makes a visit very tourist friendly and makes the ordering process very straightforward. The prices for a 120 ml Americano is 1.00 latvian lats. A double Americano drink costs 1.40 latvian lats. The types of food that they serve include crepes, sushi, pasta, burger fillets, chicken, beef and pork dishes as well as sandwiches, breakfasts, tea, coffee, juices, milkshakes, frappe drinks, fruit juice smoothies, and cocktail drinks including alcoholic and non alcoholic. We generally found the menu at Double Coffee to be varied and comprehensive in terms of what products they serve. The menus are paper based and they contain descriptions in English and Russian along with pictures as well. This made the Coffee shop to have an interesting and varied menu. Certainly it is by far more comprehensive than any other Coffee shop that I have ever visited in England.


Inside the coffee shop restaurant, the walls are decorated in a red colour which combined with the floors which were white and grey coloured tiles. The chairs were wooden and these had a basic level of comfort to them. The tables we sat on were metallic silver finished. The lighting inside the restaurant was good, but not great, as there were woven lampshades. The level of lighting was good, although the lampshades did look slightly strange. This coffee shop in my view, is superior to Starbucks and also scored higher ratings compared to the Emilia Gustavs coffee shop in the Galleria shopping centre and also Coffee Nation coffee shop which is better known as Coffee Heaven in parts of Eastern Europe. We found the finish of the decorations to be better than Double Coffee’s competitors and also the ambience was also pleasant. The ambience was also good as we could hear popular and disco style music being played. The music that we heard was not played loud or over the top, as we could enjoy our conversation and enjoy listening to the music. The music might not be to everyones tastes but it still is good.

Double Coffee, Riga, the place had interesting decor and comfortable seating areas, spacious and pleasant. Also in the coffee shop was a bar area where there was a male barista who was seen to give the orders to a chef who would prepare the food and drinks. The bar area had plenty of coffee based syrups, and a range of alcohol which was use in the making of alcoholic coffee and cocktail products. The ceilings were burgundy tiled and there were picture prints of Coffee beans around the coffee shop on the walls. The tables also had a small and unique coffee bean feature by having coffee beans placed in the middle of the table. Also there were comfortable booth style chairs with brown woven fabric. The booth style chairs were more comfortable than the standard type of wooden chairs.


In short, the service was excellent. The waitress was well presented and immaculate wearing company uniform. She took us to an available seating space and gave us the menus. At no time did we feel rushed or made to place an order. We were given sufficient time to order drinks and food. We received our drinks within a few minutes of ordering. Also the food was well presented on clean plates, and the cutlery was also clean. At different stages of our order, we received a well timed clearance of our plates. We did not however receive a check back.

Our Order

Whilst we spent four days in Riga, we did not order everything from the menu, although we did order a sample from just about every product they serve. Regarding drinks I had a coffee milk based drink topped in whipped cream. It was a Frappe drink and we were given straws to drink from the nice glass. There was a rich and smooth flavour of coffee and milk. The strength of the coffee was about medium in terms of strength. My brother ordered a multi juice drink, which is similar to a Tropicana fruit juice drink.

I also ordered a Strawberry, banana and kiwi vitamin smoothie drink that cost 2.70 latvian lats. This was quite a big serving size and contained a nice texture and multi colours. This drink was not overly fruity, but it was slightly sweet and really refreshing. There was no after taste other than it contained a lot of real fruit juice, each fruit colour co ordinated appropriately. My brother tried the Blackberry, Mango and Kiwi smoothie and he really enjoyed this drink. These smoothie drinks contained a slight syrupy taste, but the main focus was on the well presented and nicely layered fruit drinks. Each drink that I was served had a good level of consistency and a well proportioned serving section of each different fruit. These smoothie type drinks only cost 2.30 latvian lats.

In England I would expect to pay over £4 which makes this drink good value. Overall in terms of value most of the drinks were competitively priced compared to Coffee Nation. On our second day in Riga, I also tried a reasonably good Baileys cocktail which also was also a frappe milk based drink. I was not overly impressed by the alcoholic coffees in comparison to the Capuccino and Americano drinks that I also tried out. The capuccino cost 1.90 latvian lats, for a medium sized cup which is seemingly slightly more expensive than drinking a Costa Coffee drink. The capuccino to the coffee house and restaurants credit, did taste smooth, slightly rich and pleasant. The capuccino served at Double Coffee was not padded with foam, which I found was the case at Coffee Heaven, and also the smoothness in the drink was consistent throughout. I also tried a Stawberry milkshake, but this was interesting as the consistency and texture of the milkshake was on the thin side and was not too fattening.

Regarding the food that we ordered this was interesting but slightly dissapointing. The club sandwiches were as described but the serving size was on the medium-small side of things. The sushi costing 2.50 lats, was fairly good quality. We had eight pieces of well presented sushi and we received some soya sauce and a slice of ginger. The sushi was nicely filled with rice and avocado and tasted quite good. We had this as well as the club sandwiches and this proved to be quite filling, more as a snack based option as opposed to being a substantial meal. The sushi had a good level of flavour. The English breakfast was dissapointing only because the serving size portion was fairly small. I received two eggs, two small pieces of toast, some beans that were cold, a few pieces of fatty style bacon and a small piece of tomatoe. The breakfast cost 2.50 lats. On one visit for example, we ordered two fruit juice smoothies, had 2 breakfasts and 2 coffee products and paid just 13.80 latvian lats, which works out to around £17. From a value perspective this is fairly priced at best, but considering we drank and ate well in a tourist area this was not bad at all. In terms of satisfying our hunger needs, we found that the food we ordered was satisfying and adequate, but it was not overly filling. On another visit, we ordered some pasta tagliatelle this was acceptable but it was firmer than Al Dente as it was slightly undercooked. The price of the pasta which also had some salmon and spinach was just 4.50 latvian lats (£5,65 ish). Again like most of the food we ordered it was well presented and acceptable.

How to Heat Milk for Hot Beverages

Warm milk on cold cereal is just the thing to start your day on a chilly morning. Hot milk, with just a hint of vanilla, is absolutely amazing on a cold winter night. The only problem with heating up your milk in a saucepan is that it forms a skin on the top and sticks and burns on the bottom. Even if you’re the kind of person who likes to eat the skin off the top of the milk, it doesn’t do much for your hot beverages. To heat milk so you don’t get either of those problems, you’ve got a couple of options.

Heating milk with an espresso machine

If you want perfect steamed milk, you could break down and buy one of those expensive espresso machines with a built-in steam wand. The thing you’ve got to remember when you’re using these things is that you’ve got to keep the bubbles small. You’re ideally aiming for microfoam.

That means you’re only using the wand to add air to the milk until it’s just a bit warmer than blood temperature. After that, you’ve only got to heat it just a little more, until the container’s hot to touch but not scalding.

The trick to this is listening closely to the sound the milk makes as it gets warmer. You’re listening for the soft pfft like the sound of a tea kettle that’s just coming into a roil. That’s something you can only learn with time.

Of course, you’ve got to keep the parts of your espresso machine perfectly clean to get the best results. That goes especially for the steam wand. Purge it a clean it off immediately.

Warming milk the old-fashioned way

If you don’t want to splurge on an espresso machine, the best way to heat up milk is to use a double boiler. Only the water in the main saucepan is heated directly by the stove element. The milk’s heated indirectly by the hot water in the main saucepan. That way, the bottom of the milk doesn’t get scorched.

Even when you’re using a double boiler, you’ve got to keep stirring to prevent a skin from forming. It’s natural for milk to form that skin, so you’ve got to keep agitating the milk to prevent it.

Your milk’s going to be perfectly hot when you start seeing little bubbles around the edges. That’s steam escaping from the milk. You’ll probably see some steam in the air as well, but go by the little bubbles for the best hot milk.

The microwave

Even if you’re going to heat up milk in the microwave, you’ll still have to pause it every fifteen seconds or so to stir the milk. In most microwaves, you can probably get it hot enough for the little bubbles to form in about two or three minutes, not counting stirring interruptions. Set it on medium-high for the best beverage results.

Tips and tricks

Never heat more milk than you need right now. Don’t mix in cold milk with heated milk and think you’re going to end up with a good result. Heat what you need and drink it all up. That’s the best way to enjoy hot milk.

Why there are no Healthy Restaurants in Lower Class Neighborhoods

Obesity recently became an epidemic, an epidemic that deeply affects the low wage working class because the cost of eating nutritiously is too high. In 1996 the government enacted the Food Quality Protection Act, an act that put many restrictions on the use of pesticides, such as prohibiting any pesticides that were deemed dangerous to toddlers, infants, and pregnant women. Because farmers had to find more expensive ways to protect their crops, the price difference was reflected in the high cost of fresh produce, a proven staple of a healthy diet. As a result, the cost of produce increased and the low wage working class has resorted to cheaper food (USDA).

Recently fast foods have followed a trend, a trend that plays a major role in contributing to the obesity epidemic. Fast food chains have adopted “value menus”, menus that basically provide more filling food for a lower price. However, while the appeal of more food at a cheaper price entices customers, consumers are unaware that the low-priced foods are actually the least healthy options on the menu. Because consumers would rather pay less for unhealthy food than pay more for healthier food, for example a salad that costs three times as much as a burger, consumers order the less healthier options.

Companies have also contributed to the obesity problem. In an environment where a person spends a majority of their adult life, especially those working the minimum wage job, the workplace is the second home. It is where they spend hours toiling away to support their family as well as take care of themselves. Very few companies provide a healthy environment. Companies have always been only a place to work; they felt that they were not responsible for the health of their employees. Foods offered at work were of low nutritious value, and those that were adequate in nutrition were expensively priced. An employee’s only options were vending machine snacks filled with chips and cookies, and canteens that served greasy, artery-clogging foods.

The question is: is the blame placed on the consumer or the people who affect their choices? Blame has constantly been placed on the consumer, instigating the notion that it is their fault they are obese and unhealthy. However, is it really their fault if they have little income and can only afford the unhealthy options? Do they really have a choice in deciding how healthy they and their families eat if their choices are limited by the conditions set by a higher power?

The government’s Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 and the unhealthy environment offered by employers have put a strain on the nutrition and health of the employees because the cost of eating healthy is high while the availability of healthy foods in companies are low. Fortunately, a concern for the nutrition of the low wage class has grown thanks to the awareness brought about by the current debate over the Food Stamp Program and the increase in wellness programs, for example the Employee Wellness Program adopted by corporations across the country, shifting the responsibility from the victims to their government and their employers.

While the government has done nothing to curb the price of healthy food, the government has begun to take action to help in the process of buying food. President George Bush’s administration proposed cuts to the Food Stamp Program, a program that helps low income families pay for their food. Beginning at the end of the great depression, the FSP gives those living at poverty level food stamps so they can go to participating stores to purchase food. By making cuts to the program, Bush will take stamps away from 185,000 people (The Smirking Chimp). In doing so, Bush will worsen the nutrition problem because poor families and workers will not be able to sustain a sufficient diet, let alone a nutritious

However, thanks to the recent trial of the Food Stamp Program by Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski who tried to survive a week on just food stamps, there is a growing awareness of the situation and a push for a movement to restore the proposed cuts (Governor). He realized that even though people see food stamps as a freebie for those to lazy to work, living on food stamps is actually a challenge. The trial helped Kulongoski see that money should not be taken away from the program, but instead, more money should fund it so surviving on food stamps is not a struggle.

Inspired by Kulongoski, Councilman Eric Gioia attempted the same feat in hopes of not only raising awareness, but to bring about more change to the program, including more funding. Living on $1.30 a day, Gioia had to pick the cheapest food that forms the staple of the average diet: bread, peanut butter, and beans. However, he acknowledges that, “often the cheapest food isn’t the healthiest” (ABC 7) and by illustrating the difficulties in buying nutritious food for cheap, Gioia demonstrates that more changes need to be made to the program to allow low income families the opportunity to buy healthier food.

While it is true that in the past cheating has become a major setback of the FSP, government officials are always restructuring the program. A major challenge that the FSP faced in the past was trafficking; the process where recipients would pay with a food stamp and collect the change which they would in turn use to buy something else (USA Today). The store where the item was purchased would keep the amount of money and add it into the money statements for reimbursement. For example, a customer would pay for a 50 cent item with a $1 food stamp. The store would give them 50 cents in change and add the $1 to the revenue statement that the government would see. Since stores are reimbursed for the amount of food stamps they accept, which in this case is $1, the store will have just made 50 cents in profit.

To combat trafficking, changes have been proposed to the program, including the use of electronic databases that track a store’s inventory, revenues, etc. Also to combat confusion about a households eligibility for food stamps, changes have been made to simplify the eligibility rules since history has shown that the rules were too complicated, deterring the participation of food stamps.

Companies have recently taken part in the effort to reduce obesity. Companies have adopted nutrition programs, for example the Employee Wellness Program that “provides nutritional education, dietary counseling, and a new fitness facility” (New York Times). By adopting a company program, management makes it easier to extend healthy practices to their employees, giving those who are less fortunate an opportunity to be healthy.

Other companies notice the link between smart choices and price; the lower the price, the more likely that option is picked. An employer in Maine tried an experiment where they offered healthy foods at a lower price, and to pay for that extra charge they added a tax on unhealthy food such as French fries. As expected, the consumption of healthy foods went up and the sale of fatty foods went down (Healthy Eating). The same experiment was done on vending machines, giving very similar results, thus proving that because price and choices are intertwined; to promote healthier eating there needs to be an appropriate price to influence healthier choices.

Many argue that it should not be the responsibility of the company to take care of their employees at the expense of the company. However, recent studies have shown a direct correlation between the productivity of company and the health of employees. The healthier and happier an employee is, the less money the company has to spend on health insurance. Also, a healthier employee means less missed workdays and possibly more efficiency. Even though the concern for employee health is out of self-interest, it is still making an impact on the health of the workers and therefore, beneficial to everyone. Companies have adopted nutrition programs, for example the Employee Wellness Program that “provides nutritional education, dietary counseling, and a new fitness facility” (New York Times). By adopting a company program, management makes it easier to extend healthy practices to their employees, giving those who are less fortunate an opportunity to be healthy.

Society has made it known that obesity is frowned upon, but they do not take into account that it takes more than just one person to save someone’s health. While a person is in charge of making the choices necessary for their well-being, it requires the help of those who are in charge of the prices and their environment which is why it is everyone’s responsibility to make health a right, not a choice.

What exactly is a Good Service

First of all, one needs to understand the general meaning of a service. It is anything that you do for someone. For example, when you go to the salon and your hair is done by someone else, then that is a service.

There are many types of services. There are some that you have to pay for like mentioned earlier, having your hair made at the salon while there are others that are totally free. All in all, for anyone to allow you to do anything for them, then you must learn the concept of what exactly a good service is.

Following are some of the qualities of a good service:

It satisfies the need or needs of the one being served.

Someone might be in need of something for them to ask for a certain service from you. For example, you might be sick and in need of medical care. When you go to the doctor asking for treatment or asking for them to tell you what problem your body might be experiencing, then this need for medical care should be satisfied if all the doctors give you good service. You need to thus understand what the person you want to serve is expecting from you and give them exactly that, or else you will not have given them a good service.

It should leave the person being served happy.

There are plenty of things that people might ask for from you. However, not all these things are good for them and some of the things might even harm them. Therefore, for a service to be called a good service, it must not leave the person being served in pain and misery. It should make whoever you are serving very happy.

It should be paid for fairly.

Not all services are free. For the services that are usually paid for, then they can only be called good services if the payment or the cost of the service is fair. For example, if you are paying double what a certain service is usually paid for or double of what it is really worth, then that is not a good service. For a service to be called a good service, then the cost of the service should be fair.

It should be legal.

There are so many services that someone can ask for but there might be a few of them that are considered to be illegal. You should not perform any illegal service no matter what. An illegal service can never be a good service and it might get you into a lot of trouble.

There are so many services but the above information will allow you to differentiate between a good service and bad one. Another good way to know a good service is to look at the kind and quality of services that are usually provided by your service provider. It might not be an accurate method but it might increase the chances of you getting a good service.

Where to Eat when you can’t Decide what Food You’re in the Mood for

There are a few options available to you when you can’t decide what food you’re in the mood for. There are also a few other factors to consider, like budget, if there are any time constraints, anybody have any food allergies, dine out or dine in?

After you get the formalities out of the way, then you can move on to what to have. If you choose to dine in and order some take out, depending on what restaurants are available in your area, this may limit you to only a few kinds of food. This may not be a bad thing if you have a hard time making decisions, this way it helps make a decision for you. If you do choose to order take out, look through the yellow pages for some menus and names of places (if you do not have any menus handy). If you choose to dine out, and if there are no limitations on where you can go, and if you still cannot decide what you want, then I would suggest a place that offers a variety of cuisine. A buffet is kind of nice, but, often you do not get any kind of ethnic foods.

I prefer a place that I can get a range of foods from ethnic to American. There are places that do offer this sort of cuisine. That is probably your best bet to find variety. If you want to decide upon a restaurant before leaving the house, I would peruse the yellow pages again, check out the menus, and if you want to go further, look up the restaurant online and see if you can find any reviews of the place. If you decide upon a place you might even want to add your review after you have dined there to help others in the future. If you are dining with several other people, this also might help with the decision making, because some people might not be in the mood for certain foods, or they may even suggest a place to go to. Either way, it can’t hurt to get input from others.

If you are dining alone, and if you are really stuck in your decision, I would recommend calling a friend for ideas. Another tip to picking a place might be to do it when you are hungry, sometimes your stomach dictates to you better than your head can. I guess that is why they say not to go food shopping when you are hungry. Once you pick a place, then the next step is picking what dish you want from the menu. This should be a little easier since the bigger battle is over. If you still cannot decide on what to eat, see if the restaurant offers a variety dish, like Chinese restaurants have a Pu Pu Platter. Hopefully this will help in your pursuit of having an enjoyable dining experience.

Eclectic Organic Food on Dock Square

Bandaloop has been serving up the local flavors of Maine since 2004. The produce and meat is sourced locally whenever possible and is organic. If you have dietary restrictions such as no-gluten or dairy, you diet can be accommodated here. They will also create a dish for you combining any of their proteins with any of their sauces. You are the boss and if you don’t see the combination that you like, ask and chances are it can be created for you.

The building is just off Dock Square and other than an unfortunate lack of parking is a perfect location. The good news is that there are many hotels and bed and breakfasts that are within an easy walk so parking may not be an issue. Inside, the ceilings are tall, the décor is simple with wooden tables with banquettes planking two walls. There are additional bar height tables and chairs. We had one of these along the wall of windows so we had plenty of natural light.

The menu is eclectic and the name Bandaloop gives away nothing when it comes to what you can expect unless of course you realize it is the name of a fictional tribe in a novel by Tom Robbins. The tribe knew the secret of eternal life and certainly good food and wine contribute to overall wellbeing. This is the philosophy that governs chef owner W. Scott and his wife Bridgett Lee and their restaurant.

The menu includes appetizers, small plates, salads and entrees. Vegans and vegetarians will find plenty to enjoy and at the same time there are options to satisfy the carnivore. Additionally, there are daily specials. The day we ate there they were black prawns, a duck breast and yellow fin tuna in addition to the proteins on the main menu.

We decided to begin with an appetizer of chicken satay. It is served with two sauces, the more usual spicy Asian peanut sauce and the unusual pistachio, cilantro pesto sauce. Both were quite amazing, what is not to like about either? As a matter of fact, they are so good that I was scraping my plate to get the last bits of sauce long after I had run out of chicken.

My husband ordered the All Natural Grilled Prime Filet Mignonette. It was served with Yukon gold mashed potatoes, vegetable medley and port wine-roasted garlic-shallot reduction. The filet was ordered rare and came cooked perfectly.

I ordered the grilled sea scallops, dusted with Asian blackening spices which were served with a kiwi ginger puree, saffron basmati rice and vegetable medley. The scallops were delicious and the vegetable medley which included fiddleheads was outstanding. The kiwi ginger puree was a bit sweet and overwhelmingly ginger but combined with the Asian spice on the scallops was successful.

The dessert menu has some really tempting items. I decided to try the gluten free fruit crisp which when we visited was strawberry mint. My husband had the deep dish brownie. The crisp is unusual in that the crisp part has corn flakes. It takes a little getting used to the difference in texture but the fruit was warm and delicious. It was served with a small dish of Gifford vanilla ice cream. The brownie was served with a warm Kahlua chocolate sauce and ice cream. We were very pleased with our choices.

Service was amazing once we were seated. We arrived about 15 minutes before our reservations and even though it was not very busy yet we had to wait until our reservation time which we found quite strange. However once we were at our table our water glasses were kept filled and we never felt neglected in the least. The staff is well trained to provide exceptional service. I would highly recommend this restaurant and certainly look forward to returning again myself.