Sunday, December 25, 2016

Strip Club Buffets: Safest Place To Eat Out In America?



Despite being viewed with an unsavory nature from conservatives, are America’s strip club buffets the safest place to eat out from a health inspectors’ perspective? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Since 2010, strip club buffets across America have received favorable – as in 100-percent rating - health inspection ratings from state-level restaurant health inspectors. Even back when David Letterman was still hosting the Late Show often joked about it that he’d rather eat at a strip joint buffet to avoid a norovirus infection. But why are strip club buffets remained America’s safest place to eat from a health perspective for a little over 6 years? 

Given that such places are viewed with an unsavory nature from America’s conservatives and prudes, this had spurred on strip club owners to put it upon them to keep their buffets as sanitary as humanly possible. Thus, these places have become the cleanest places to eat out in America and strip joint buffets are even spared from the norovirus epidemic of 2014 which appear to specifically target cruise ship buffets. And according to a recent interview of various health inspection boards across America, other places that can compete with strip club buffets in terms of sanitary ratings are Italian restaurants.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

What Are The Most “Popular” Restaurant Pet Peeves?


Even if you only dine out on occasion have you ever wondered some the “most popular” restaurant pet peeves that could even be disconcerting to the most intrepid restaurant connoisseur? 

By: Ringo Bones 

I admit I only seldom get peeved during the time I frequently dine out back in my more affluent days during the Clinton-era dot-com boom before it went bust, but fortunately, it seems that what bursts my bubble has most in common to the six “most popular” restaurant pet peeves that are still prevalent this day and age. Unfortunately, I think a few of them could even make the most intrepid working restaurant critic go ballistic faster that a 1950s era Saber jet go supersonic. 

Pests on food is the probably the most unnerving of the restaurant pet peeves. Unless of course you are checking out an insect serving restaurant whose entomological cuisine are approved by the local agricultural or health department, this is indeed a really risky business – especially for health reasons - for those who dine out. 

Nasty bathrooms that is way dirtier in comparison to a “closed for maintenance” public latrine in a Nairobi slum. If the bathroom is this dirty, imagine how dirty the kitchen could be – so goes the old adage that proves true time and time again. 

Restaurant with crappy table layout – I mean with the emphasis on “crappy” especially if you are assigned a dining table within a smelling distance of the bathroom, never mind the trash bin. From a “Western perspective”, crappy table arrangements are endemic in the Chinese restaurant world adhering to the arcane and rigmaroley geomancy of Feng Sui. Sadly, only liberal Jewish restaurant critics proudly voice out such kerfuffle – Feng Sui-Schmeng Sui indeed. 

Disorganized reservation queues where the 27th person behind you suddenly gets front in line just because he or she is cozy with the owner. In my own experience, restaurant establishment like these usually takes 18 months to go bankrupt before their regular patrons can take no more of the owner’s 22 year old Kim-Jong-Un-like son demands royal service or else – I say 18 months is too long to wait for a “ people’s revolution”. 

Noisy and disruptive customers can be disconcerting to the most intrepid outdoor diner. Ever notice those kids throwing tantrums whose belligerence rivals that of leading Islamist terror groups like Boko Haram or ISIS? Thus the rise of child-free restaurants in France five years ago that is still growing and growing. 

Late and forgotten orders and forgotten orders you are billed but never got. This probably takes the cake as the top restaurant pet peeves, forget tipping, if this is how a particular restaurant stays in service, maybe the proprietor doing money laundering services for the local mob is the more economically viable option. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Norovirus: The Greatest Threat To Restaurants?



Given that this “stomach flu virus” makes 20 million people fall ill to it just in America alone, is the norovirus the greatest threat to the global restaurant industry? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Even the exemplar hygiene standards of America’s Italian restaurants – given they are statistically the least likely to give their customers food borne illnesses in a recent study – whenever that rare but inevitable food born illness incidence finally occurs, chances are it is caused by the norovirus, commonly known as the “stomach flu virus” that causes gastroenteritis in people. Primarily spread whenever restaurant workers still report to work even if they are sick with the virus and therefore have a full-blown infection of the virus because they badly need the money that they can’t avoid to skip reporting to work and recuperate at home just because of a bearable yet very contagious viral infection. Given the prevailing austere economic environment of America and the rest of the world, will norovirus infections in major metropolitan areas across the world likely to reach epidemic proportions sooner rather than later? 

Given the notoriety of most restaurant proprietor’s inability to compensate their workers during sick leave – even mandatorily required ones by prevailing public health codes – norovirus “stomach flu” or gastroenteritis incidences across America’s major metropolitan areas and the rest of the world could reach epidemic proportions. Making norovirus the current least discussed public health threat by policymakers. Lack of proper sick leave compensation is the very reason why the norovirus is currently very prevalent in the United State’s restaurant industry since the September 2008 global financial crisis. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Synthetic Burgers: The Fast Food Industry’s Wave Of The Future?

It may be as costly as a typical high end street legal sports car to produce at the moment but will synthetic burgers become the fast food industry’s “wave of the future”?

By: Ringo Bones

During the past year a Dutch scientist, Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University, had successfully created a test tube meat – i.e. laboratory grown meat – that could potentially be produced with a far smaller carbon footprint than the way we currently produce today by farming livestock. Thanks to a 300,000 US dollar grant from the US government, we are now much closer to a practical lab grown meat that can be produced with far less water and plant based feed that today’s conventionally raised animal-based meat. Unfortunately at the moment, a steak-sized sample of Professor Post’s lab grown meat still costs as much as 300,000 US dollars to produce.

Professor Sean Smukler of the University of Columbia says traditionally grown meat fed with farmed soybean will become more expensive in the immediate future due to rising demand from the world’s newly emerging economies like India and The People’s Republic of China. At present, more than a billion of the world’s inhabitants still lack a secure and steady supply of affordable dietary protein adequate enough for their daily requirements.

But food security expert Professor Tim Lang has doubts whether test tube burgers and other laboratory grown meats using current stem-cell technology can provide nourishment for our over a billion starving poor, never mind become an economically viable alternative of conventionally produced mean from animal livestock by the year 2050. Other methods of laboratory grown meat had recently sprang up all over the world’s leading biological research laboratories but a strip of muscle grown from cow stem cells currently still costs a little over 300,000 US dollars to produce – hopefully the economies of scale in the future and a prospect of a more environmentally sustainable way to produce edible protein had been the primary driving force for the race of producing the first ever economically viable test tube burger and the first to become the “fast food industry’s wave of the future”. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Italian Restaurants: The Safest Place To Dine Out?


Given that “ethnic foods” has been unfairly branded as “unsafe to eat” (at least in America), are Italian restaurants really the safest place to dine out to?

By: Ringo Bones 

Ever since the first commercial restaurants opened for business in America, ethnic foods had been unfairly branded as something wanting when it comes to passing municipal health-code compliance. But are some restaurants – health wise at least – really safer than others, or are they just too “ethnic” for the American palate and / or digestive tract? 

A study conducted back in 1995 in the United States on the “riskiest” places to dine out / eat out – and it was not just limited to commercial restaurants by the way. The researchers arrived at these figures by estimating that each state resident goes to each type of restaurant / public eating place once a year – which may not be the case. At any rate, the table below shows a typical American’s yearly risk of falling ill to food poisoning via e-coli or related pathogens at the following restaurants: 

Italian Restaurant  -------------------------------------------------- 1 in 1,400,000
Fast Food Restaurant ---------------------------------------------- 1 in 440,000
Business Meeting --------------------------------------------------- 1 in 400,000
Family Gathering ---------------------------------------------------- 1 in 388,000
Delicatessen ---------------------------------------------------------- 1 in 240,000
Mexican Restaurant ------------------------------------------------ 1 in 136,000 

Ever since the 1980s, most cases of food poisoning caught while dining out that got attention of primetime news broadcasts are mostly on big commercial burger joint franchises like Jack-In-The-Box, Burger King and in some cases McDonald’s. A famous Mexican-themed fast-food joint – like Taco Bell – sometimes gets press coverage whenever customers get sick with e-coli poisoning via contaminated vegetables – as in tomatoes and cabbages – got accidentally mixed in into the tacos. So are we better off dining out into the nearest Olive Garden branch instead? 


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Should Children Be Banned In Fine Dining Restaurants?

Given that some fine dining restaurants in the United States already ban children below 6 years of age, should the kids restaurant ban law be made mandatory?

By: Ringo Bones

It was quite a shock for some parents who regularly take their children whenever they dine out on special occasions. But when the news story about some fine dining restaurants in the US banning kids under 6 years of age in their restaurant aired on NBC's The Today Show back in August 5, 2011. Even though there are some cities in the US who already have a mandatory ban on kids under 6 years of age from being allowed in fine dining restaurants, should it be made mandatory nationwide?

Even though most of us have experienced first-hand how unruly kids can ruin ones fine dining experience, especially if one pays good money for it and not to mention restaurant critics and fine dining connoisseurs at work - is a blanket ban really justified?

Some parents with relatively well-behaved kids are already up in arms - figuratively speaking - about some establishments having a mandatory ban on children younger than 6 from entering. They say the ban should be done on a case-by-case basis since not all children under 6 are "incorrigible". And children who are well-behaved deserve a break too.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Halal Restaurants: Relatively Untapped Business Model?

Famed for having an “exotic” feel and yet probably only a comfortable walking distance away from most restaurant critics and fine dining connoisseurs, are Halal restaurants still a relatively untapped business model?


By: Ringo Bones


Ever since the Bush administration’s malfeasantly run War on Terror managed to bedevil the Islamic World and made Islamophobia fashionable to those who are into neo-Nazism big time, the Halal restaurant business has been denied their proverbial day in the sun in the Christian West since they became popular during the rise of Hair Metal in the late 1980s and Seattle Grunge in the 1990s. Given that the Bush administration’s malfeasance never managed to catch Bin Laden for eight long years, is the commercial success for Halal restaurants nigh?

Even though one has to do a significant amount of legwork in order to authenticate the local Halal restaurants that have suddenly sprung up for their authenticity – i.e. a certification from your local Council of Muftis – me and many others find that Halal restaurants have a certain ineffable charm. They also are not too crowded and most of the time, their serving staff are not especially overworked – earning them several brownie points in the service department.

Business wise, even the French burger / fastfood chain quick now seems to be riding on the Halal wave when they started serving Halal certified burgers with beef and other Halal meats prepared under approved Islamic law. The press have even dubbed it as the surest sign that Halal foods are now mainstream in Paris. Economically, this represent a 7 billion US dollar a year EU wide Halal market, but in France, most meat claiming to be Halal are not as they don’t have any certification of their local Council of Muftis. At least Halal restaurants are now on everyone’s radar again despite of the eight-year long Bush era Islamophobia.