The Main Dish: Houston-Based Restaurants Respond to Hurricane Harvey, How to Adopt Japanese Flavors, and Other Highlights

In the age of information overload, refinement is key. That was the thought behind The Main Dish — a quick compilation of the most bookmark-worthy links from the Foodable Network. Aside from our usual daily content, every Sunday, The Main Dish will serve a fresh batch of handpicked pieces of the most appetizing lists & literature that you may have missed.

Japanese food

Getting Past the Labor Crunch Affecting the Restaurant Industry

Forget why it happened — or continues to happen — but there is a very real shortage of kitchen labor. You can have a shimmering five-star Yelp rating, a filled dining room, and the best craft beer list around, but without staff to make food and make drinks, you are nowhere. Throwing your hands up in meaningless desperation because ‘there aren’t people out there!’ is less than productive. Instead, get real about plugging employment holes.

12-Year Local Brand Urbane Cafe Thinks There's Room for Growth in Fast Casual

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly, host Paul Barron talks to Tom Holt of Urbane Cafe about why he decided to take on a full made-from-scratch menu in Ventura, California 12 years ago. In 2003, Holt was a professional motocross racer and couldn’t find a healthy fast casual in Ventura. He took that as inspiration to create his own. And thus, Urbane Cafe was born. Everything at Urbane is made from scratch from the bread and the sauces to the dressings. 

How to Adopt the Flavors of Japan

Guests are increasingly adventurous with the help of social media, which is educating and luring guests to establishments that are offering delightful new flavors. These flavors comfort, intrigue, and perhaps confuse a little–all at the same time. Adopting the flavors of Japan, even when used in non-traditional ways, is a way to offer guests an authentic flavor that satisfies and doesn’t have to add much to existing food costs. 

 

Hurricane Harvey.jpeg

Everytable: The Oasis Found in U.S. Food Deserts

Foodable met up with some of the great minds in hospitality at this year’s HUB conference in Southern California. On this episode of On Foodable Weekly we hear how CEO Sam Polk started Everytable and how the company stays profitable. Everytable creates healthy grab-and-go meals and sells them for cheaper than the price of local fast food. The goal is that everyone, even those in food deserts, can afford to feed their families nourishing meals.

How Houston Restaurants are Giving Back to the Local Community Post-Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane season is upon us and as another beast of a storm comes tumbling our way, Texas is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. People’s houses, businesses, and even lives has been destroyed in a matter of days. But out of the bad comes the good. In these times of hardship, we really see America’s charitable spirit. Millions have been donated and there have been so many volunteers after the storm that they are being turned away.

The First Step To A Better Restaurant

Do you want a better restaurant? Of course you do. You wouldn't be reading a blog post like this if you didn't. You can have a better restaurant today. Actually, right now. It starts with one simple decision. Just three powerful words: raise your standards. While it sounds simple on the surface, it’s actually a little more complicated than that. Saying you want a better restaurant and actually getting a better restaurant can be the challenge. 

How a Denver Marketplace Is Localizing the Food Economy

How a Denver Marketplace Is Localizing the Food Economy

“There’s little things we can do to all take a step in the direction of changing and localizing our food economy. I think only when we start there is there ever going to be change,” says Kathryn Ardoin, food distribution coordinator at the GrowHaus, an indoor open farm, education center, and marketplace located in a Denver-based food desert called Elyria-Swanson Globeville. If you recall from our first episode of “Sustain,” the GrowHaus is located in the same space as aquaponics farm Flourish Farms, helmed by Colorado Aquaponics. In addition, the GrowHaus has its own on-site hydroponic farm.

“We can sell all the food, we can grow all the food, but if people don’t know why or what to buy or how to prepare it, how to store it, how to grow it themselves, then ultimately we’re just another for-profit store with no mission,” says Ardoin.

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The GrowHaus: A Community Approach to Healthy Food in a Denver Food Desert

The GrowHaus is an indoor urban farm, education center, and marketplace in Elyria-Swansea, Denver. In this sneak peek, we give viewers a look into the GrowHaus mission.

“What we’re trying to do is give the voice back to the common people,” says Kathryn Ardoin, GrowHaus’ food distribution coordinator. “We don’t come up with the programs; the community tells us, and we just help make it happen.”

At its core is the belief that healthy food is not a privilege, but a right.

“We can sell all the food, we can grow all the food, but if people don’t know why or what to buy or how to prepare it, how to store it, how to grow it themselves, then ultimately we’re just another for-profit store with no mission,” Ardoin says. “Ultimately, we’re here for this community specifically. As they grow and as they change, we will with them.”

Stay tuned for the full “Sustain” episode, coming soon!

Whole Foods Expands Its Mobile Endeavors, Bringing Healthful Options to Underserved Neighborhoods in PDX

Credit: Sustainable Business Oregon

Credit: Sustainable Business Oregon

Whole Foods has been doing some pretty cool things. From the beginning, this not-so-supermarket haven of health foods and products has transformed the way we think about grocery shopping. Whole Foods has also aided in consumer knowledge for healthy, organic options and the importance of food transparency demand. In some markets, the brand has started building in-house bars. In PDX, it’s helping deliver more options to underserved neighborhoods. Read More

D.C. Will Soon House the Largest Producing Urban Farm in the World

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

Washington, D.C. will soon house the world’s largest urban farm. BrightFarms, a startup known for creating rooftop farms above supermarkets to provide better quality local produce in urban areas, is behind the project.

The D.C. addition will come in the form of a 100,000-square-foot greenhouse in a lot in Anacostia that currently includes nothing but trash and old, rusty buses. This environment is perfect for the urban farm considering the Anacostia neighborhood is a food desert. BrightFarms predicts the new greenhouse will kick out nearly 1 million pounds of produce annually, and will supply large, local grocery stores and nearby food banks. Read More