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2011 December: On Schedule

2011 December: On Schedule

When it comes to scheduling, it must seem as if the skills of a magician are called for, especially when it comes to waitstaff. In this case, there are numerous things to consider: how many tables to assign to servers; the number of people needed on the floor at a given time; how to keepMore »

2011 December: My Turn

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2011 December: My Turn

To begin to try and define what makes good pizza might take years of in-depth research, highly elevated arguments and countless caloric consumption. And after all is said and done, you would still be where you started. Pizza varies from region to region, city to city, and even street to street. The best part aboutMore »

2011 November: Dough Doctor

2011 November: Dough Doctor

Q: In looking at different methods of dough management, some call for allowing the dough balls to rest at room temperature for an hour or more, while others say to take the dough directly to the cooler without any room temperature rest period. Does it really make a difference? A: Yes, it does make aMore »

2011 November: Online & On Track

Call up the Web site owned by Vito’s Pizza and Beer in York, Pennsylvania, (www.vitospizzaandbeer.com) and immerse yourself in the ambiance of a family-owned, honest- to-goodness, Italian-American restaurant. You can almost hear “mangia!” just by staring at the photos –– from the historically-restored 60-year-old wall murals, to the familiarity of cozily-lined bar stools ––– signifyingMore »

2011 November: JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER

2011 November: JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER

You’re sitting down for dinner when you realize you haven’t washed your hands in hours. You go to the restroom, wash your hands and reach for a paper towel. But there are none –– and no hand-dryer either. Now you’ve got that icky wet-hand feeling, and a few doubts about the place you’ve chosen forMore »

2011 November: Ask Big Dave

2011 November: Ask Big Dave

Dave, I need to trim costs considerably in just about every facet of my business. Where do I start? I can’t afford to cut quality of my product, I know, but I can’t afford not to make cuts everywhere else. Peter White San Diego, California Peter, I feel your pain. And I’m glad you knowMore »

2011 November: ITALIAN CLASSIC

2011 November: ITALIAN CLASSIC

Meatballs, which have been around for hundreds of years and were once considered peasant goods, have gone mainstream. In fact, one Chicago restaurateur has opened a restaurant called “The Ball Room.” Yes, meatballs of various style (and shape) served every which way are the mainstays of the menu. Let me put it this way: whoMore »

2011 November: Man on the Street

2011 November: Man on the Street

Four years ago, I took a trip to Israel that changed my life. I didn’t have a profound religious experience as people sometimes do while visiting a place so rich in history, but I did begin to notice something that had never caught my eye before. This was the first time in my life IMore »

2011 November: SEAWORTHY

2011 November: SEAWORTHY

I always wonder why more pizzeria operators don’t do more with shrimp. Yes, I know adding any type of seafood to the operation poses a few issues –– buying, storage and cooking — that might be more than some operators want to deal with. But using shrimp on pizza, in a pasta dish or asMore »

Ravioli: Get stuffed

2011 November: GET STUFFED

Cheese-filled ravioli is an Italian staple that we’ve seen on menus for decades. Over the last several years we’ve seen these delightful stuffed pasta pillows get a delectable makeover. As we culinary folks have come to look at stretched pizza dough as an empty canvas where almost anything goes, we have realized the same isMore »