How to become a regular at your favorite bar or restaurant. Visiting regularly isn’t the trick.

Two guys walk into a bar – stop me if you’ve heard this one – and sit on stools. The seats are held for them and there’s even a plaque that designates it as their spot. Nice, eh?

Those are the kind of perks you can get if you’re a regular at a bar or restaurant. In our final episode of Season 2, Amanda Graham joins us again to tell you how to be a regular and what’s expected of you when you’re across the bar or table. Hey, ain’t nuthin’ free.

If you become a regular, there are lots of perks that go along with it, just don’t abuse the privilege and maybe you’ll get your name on a seat designated just for you.

Shake, rattle and swallow — snake is on the menu

Looking for a meal that has some bite? How about rattlesnake? Maybe some fresh cobra heart?

Like every other creature and plant on the planet, snakes are fair game for food. Some minerals are also part of our menu – you add salt to your steak or carrots don’t you?

While some cultures eat snake, it’s not a good supply of protein. Snakes, despite their size, have lots of small bones that help them move across the ground. The larger the snake, the greater the bone size. In the end, there isn’t much meat to be had.

Snake does make for some tasty soup and some preparations are designed for honored guests. Listen in, and we’ll tell you all about it.

Yeah, this guy likes to bite the heads off snakes — go figure.

Flour power – A wholesale bakery that likely put bread on your restaurant table

Baking is part art, part science and not everyone can do it consistently. It takes the right ingredients, the knowledge and the right machinery to make 100 hamburger buns or six dozen dinner rolls – or both. That’s why most restaurants turn to wholesale bakers to fill their baskets.

David Mosow started Charpier’s Bakery in 1986 and has been turning out hundreds of breads each day. The biggest seller is hamburger buns. He has decades of experience and in this episode, the explains how the business works and how running out of bread can be a disaster for a restaurant.

I’d like my steak medium rare with a side of ear plugs — when restaurants are just too loud

When you have to play Charades with your waiter just to place an order, know the restaurant is too loud. 

Restaurant critics say noise is the number one complaint they hear from readers. So why don’t restaurateurs reduce the noise? They believe it helps turn tables so they can serve more customers and boost their bottom lines.

This week we dive into the topic of restaurant noise how we got here, how it affects you and how to know how loud a restaurant is before you walk in the door.

You can hear us sound off at HungryInNashville.com

Without salt, that margarita would be lame

If you want your food to taste better, add salt.

Salt is one of the most common things on earth, but there are a lot of misconceptions about it. We’ll straighten all that out for you today and we’ll start with the fact that ALL salt is sea salt. That fancy restaurant isn’t presenting you with a gourmet delicacy. What they call sea salt is processed so it has larger flakes. If you’re putting it on top of caramel, that’s a good thing. If you’re adding it to cake batter, it’s not.

Some say salt is bad for us, but it contains essential nutrients that keep us healthy. Too much salt is bad, but that’s easy to fix and we’ll tell you how to do it.

Salt may be the most important tool in a chef’s kitchen and using it correctly will make flavors pop.

It takes a stiff drink to lead the free world and our presidents were up for the challenge

Your tax dollars are going to buy booze for the government. The Washington Times said it was about $1.3 million in 2013. Now before you get your hackles up, you should also know that the government takes in about $10 billion a year from alcohol taxes. All in all, it’s a pretty good ROI.

Some of that spending finds its way into the White House. You can’t host a state dinner without some wine. But what about inside the Oval Office? How much money is spent on the presidential palate?

Damned if I know. I couldn’t find any break-out on that, but I did come across some interesting stuff on presidents and alcohol. More specifically, the favorite drink of all U.S. presidents, and you’ll hear from the Master Distiller at Mount Vernon who will tell you how George Washington made his whiskey.

Listen at HungryInNashville.com

The hidden world of restaurant tipping

Today we’re talking about tipping. Not cow tipping, although that could be fun, but tipping servers when you’re in a restaurant.

There are a LOT of things that happen to your tip as you pay the check. You may think it goes straight into the server’s pocket. Nope. It undergoes a lot of addition and subtraction before your server gets their share. And, if your server is the weak link in the chain, they might end up with more money than you intended.

There’s a lot to know about tipping and Amanda Graham is the person to tell us about it. If you remember her from our 2018 show on holiday parties, then you know she is a veteran of the business and colorfully welcomes you into her world.

In this episode, she tells us about campers, cleavage, why the kitchen is never wrong and who are the people who rarely get tipped, but love it when they do. I also get to play the part of a stripper, so brace yourself.

Amanda pulls back the curtain on the hidden world of tipping. You need to be 100 percent in on this one.

Even a band on the run needs to eat

Most bands have had days when they travel from gig to gig in an old VW camper van or something similar. There are long days in close quarters, grabbing meals when and where they can.

But when a band hits the big time, it’s a much different story. Strings of buses and tractor trailers move from show to show and all those folks have to eat. With hundreds of people to feed, you can’t just pull into a Denny’s and expect everyone to get a seat and be back on the road in an hour. A full kitchen and chefs travel with the bands, making sure there are three meals a day, including snacks.

Richard Jones, now executive chef at Green Door Gourmet, has spent many years catering for bands, many of them the top names in the business. In this episode Richard talks about what it’s like on the road and how he uses food and the dining area to create a place of comfort to those who work long, strenuous hours. Listen in. This one goes to 11.

Green Door Gourmet

Dega Catering

Dega on LinkedIn

I’m not hosing you – building a brewery is hard work

Sure, anyone can make beer. It doesn’t take many ingredients and those you need can be found easily.

Now building a brewery and operating it – that’s completely different. You’ve got to think of water, drains, hoses, grain storage and processing, cleanliness, bottling, storage … it’s an endless list.

Kent Taylor is a co-founder of Blackstone Brewery and although its restaurant is closed, the firm’s production brewery produces LOTS of beer. Listen as Taylor, a brewery operations geek, tells you what it takes to build and operate a brewery.

Blackstone Brewing Co.

This is not your grandmother’s fruit cake

It’s the holidays and I thought we should talk about fruit cakes, so I went on the hunt for local bakers that create them. I couldn’t find any. But along the way, I stumbled into another interesting story.

Back in the day, there was A&P. It was the first grocery chain in America and for about 40 years, it was the largest. A lot of factors played into it, but the company came to an end in 2015. Everything was put up for auction.

Brothers Alex and Chris Ronacher kept hearing how much people liked the Jane Parker fruit cakes and they found out no one had picked up the former A&P brand. They snapped it up and brought it to market, learning lots of things along the way.

Today they will share their story and, for listening in, you can get a 10 percent discount on your order by going to JaneParker.com and using the promo code hungry19.

Don’t say I never did anything for you.

JaneParker.com