A poll taken by Restaurant & Institutions magazine, a widely read trade publication for the food service industry, reveals what's "hot" in dining out food trends:EVERYTHING!
We're reaching for the chili peppers, Tabasco and hot sauces. The consumer is showing a sense of culinary adventure.
The industry used to call this the "home meal replacement." It describes the popular ready-made dinner phenomonen - it's not replacing anything but solves the dinner dilemma we face each day.. Now its termed the "meal solutions" - much more realistic.
Consumers want hearty mom-type meals that offer pure flavors and are simple to prepare. American regional favorites, such as New England boiled dinner, will become vogue.
They're talking about those tall "Eiffel Tower" food presentations you get in overpriced restaurants. Like Wolfgang Puck's signature flatbread boomerangs stuck in the middle of your entre. They're falling down, folks. People don't want towering food anymore. Really.
WRAPS AND BOWLS
Tortilla wraps are convenient as fast-food sandwiches eaten anywhere. Locally, two Magellan stores (on 900 South and at Fort Union) offer 12 different flavor choices of homemade oversize flour tortillas, or a bowlful of ethnic toppings over rice or potatoes. The Aztec (Southwestern) and a peanut-sauced Thai wrap are favorites among Salt Lakers.
Teetotalers want smoothies, fresh juices and herbal teas - more exciting than bottled waters.
Restaurateurs say the classic cocktail is popular - but the martini is huge. They say that Gen Xers are getting older, and their tastes are becoming more sophisticated.
ABATEMENT OF NOISE
Today's hot restaurants with their ear-splitting acoustics will change to softer, more elegant areas allowing conversation.
TROPICAL ASIAN INGREDIENTS
Thai is mainstream - for sure. You can find lemongrass in supermarkets now (key ingredient to Thai cooking). There's no doubt that fusion cooking is here for the duration.