Thursday, January 3, 2013

Charleston's Restaurant Week Runs January 10-20, 2013-Come Dine With Me

Another year has come to an end. How swiftly time passes-made new friends, shared good times. Much to be thankful for, especially family, and life, considering how quickly it can change from one moment to the next, involuntarily surprising you with a whole new set of circumstances you did not expect or plan on. I had such an experience closing out the year that temporarily put me out of commission. But to succeed at weathering the storm, I had to adapt to the new set of circumstances and bolster my bridge to the future.

It is a new year and I am ready to get back into the swing of things. What better way than participating in Charleston's Restaurant Week, a celebration of the world-renowned cuisine of the Lowcountry. The 10 day feast starts Thursday, Jan. 10 and runs through Jan. 20. As in the past, participating restaurants will offer fixed priced menus consisting of three items for one price-3 items for $20, $30 or $40. For all you culinary techies out there, a new feature launched by The Greater Charleston Restaurant Association is available for your convenience. A new smartphone app that gives information about restaurant events, a tip calculator and parking assistance. Go to your app store and search for Charleston Restaurant Association or CRA to download.

In celebration of Charleston's Restaurant Week, I have compiled some interesting facts about the restaurant industry for you to chew on:

1) Does this apply to you? One-half of all adults have worked in the restaurant industry at some point in their lives, and one-third got their first job experience in a restaurant. As for me, I was not one of them. My first job was working as an assembler at a company that manufactured x-ray equipment. As for people who become restaurants owners, 80% reported their first job in the restaurant industry was an entry-level position. I guess you could say, it is in their blood.
2) Charleston Restaurant Week is such a huge success because 93% of consumers say they enjoy going to restaurants. In addition, 2 out of 5 consumers say they are not using restaurants as often as they would like.
3) On what day of the week do you favor to eat out? The most popular day to eat out in the U.S. is Saturday. Second is Friday, third is Sunday. Monday is the slowest day for restaurants. When was the last time you ate out on a Monday with your family? If you want to avoid long waits, Monday looks like the obvious choice. Now, if everybody changed their dining day preferences to Monday, Sunday and Friday could get bounced. I just don't see that happening to Saturday.
4) The restaurant industry is the second largest employer in the United States. More restaurant employees are women than men. More restaurant employees are single than married. Guys, forget the bars, become a restaurant employee.
5) The word "restaurant" comes from the French word "restaurant." I wondered if this was true, so I entered the English word "restaurant" into Google Translate to get the French equivalent and voila, "restaurant" appeared. According to the popular story, a Paris chef named Boulanger in 1765 began offering a choice of nourishing soups for passersby to sit down and enjoy. On a board hanging over the door, he painted the word "Restaurant," meaning "to restore."

Last year, I visited the Husk and it was my best dining experience of 2012. You can read about it in my article "The Husk Restaurant In Charleston-Great Southern Gourmet Experience And Beautiful Location." I am looking forward to the same in 2013. The list of fine restaurants to visit in Charleston is long and celebrated. Some of the restaurants I have on my radar for Restaurant Week are Sermets Downtown, Mellow Mushroom Downtown, Circa 1886, and Blu Restaurant and Bar. For the complete list of participating restaurants, click on The List for Charleston's Restaurant Week. I look forward to seeing you the week of January 10 to 20. When you see me, be sure to say, "Bon appetit."

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