Five Must-Try Dishes at Your Local Spanish Restaurant

Every society has its own cuisine, and food is one of the best ways to experience a culture. Food isn’t just nourishment, it’s part of a person’s identity and heritage.

For many people, foreign food is one of the best perks of traveling. Each year, tons of Americans backpack and vacation through Europe, sipping on coffee in Berlin or spending a night at a Spanish restaurant in Valencia. For people who can’t travel, whether they have obligations at home or cannot afford it, eating out can temporarily take them to whole new world. Having a night out at a nearby Spanish restaurant, for example, can introduce you to a whole new country without having to leave your hometown. Here are some staples you need to keep on your radar.

Paella

Paella is a staple dish in Spanish dining. It originated in Valencia on the east coast of Spain. Paella is widely considered as Spain’s national dish. With several different variations, it is generally made up of rice, seafood or meat, vegetables, and spices. Similar to the original jambalaya, it is great for groups to share.

Croquetas

Different croquettes exist all over the world as small, fried pouches, but Spanish croquetas are traditionally made with bechamel sauce and meat or fish with potatoes. Plenty of places today are more creative with their croquetas, using things like ham, cheese, and mushrooms for unique fillings. They work great as either an appetizer or a meal.

Empanadas

Empanadas are a staple of both Latin America and European Spain. Made from a thin wheat pastry, they are stuffed with fillings that vary from fish, meat, potatoes, and cheese, to dessert fillings. Empanadas can be either fried or baked, and they are one of the most versatile dishes out there.

Crema Catalana

This one’s like a Spanish creme brulee. It’s made with milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and different spices with a thin, burnt layer on top. It’s rich without being too heavy, usually comes in a small, manageable portion, and is perfect for when you just have that little bit of room left after dinner.

San Jacobos

San Jacobos is essentially a dish of meat wrapped around cheese, and it is both simple and delicious. It’s usually fried and is similar to the French cordon bleu. Some people use ham, some people use chicken, different people use different cheeses, but San Jacobos are always a good choice.

While you may not have the time to visit Spain in the near future, a night out at a local, Spanish restaurant can be just as life-changing, especially if you know what to order. Chefs today are great at getting creative with traditional dishes, so you might come across dessert empanadas or some kind of paella fusion. Don’t be scared to step outside of your comfort zone and trust the chefs at a Spanish restaurant.

To learn more about their options for a Spanish restaurant, Neward, NJ residents should visit www.chateauofspain.com.

Key Rules Every Restaurant Owner Must Know

You don’t have to watch Kitchen Nightmares to know that opening a restaurant can be risky. Depending on the source, between 50 and 90 percent of them fail in the first five years. What is seldom discussed, however, is why these businesses go belly-up. Probably the number one reason is the inexperience of the new owners. How do we know?

Most successful owners had their fair share of failure in the early days. Even the great Gordon Ramsay (host of Kitchen Nightmares) had to close several of his high-end eateries. Now, his establishments are hugely successful. Why? In addition to his culinary experience, Mr. Ramsay had to learn how manage costs, which is probably the single greatest advantage he has over new owners.

Starting Out

When examining the postmortem of any restaurant, the cause of death always reads: “We ran out of money.” The only way to avoid that undignified end is to keep costs under control. Payroll is often the single largest expenditure for eateries, so it is important to know what you must pay and when.

Minimum Wage

As a group, food workers are some of the lowest paid employees around. They are also a very large group, which means governments pay attention to them. As a result, both state and federal laws require that all dining establishments pay their workers a minimum wage. Failure to do so will not only result in hefty fines and penalties, it can also damage an eatery’s reputation beyond repair.

Tips

Whether they serve customers at tables or counters, tips always belong to the employee. Bosses are not allowed to collect them for their own profits or to redistribute them. In some establishments, servers may pool their tips so that everyone gets a living wage. This practice is completely voluntary and is not to be monitored or controlled by the owner.

Overtime

One of the most common mistakes that new owners make is paying too much out in overtime. According to federal law, all hourly workers must be paid time and a half for every minute they work over 40 hours in a week. These costs can really add up for new eateries that are understaffed and overbooked. The good news is that they are entirely preventable. Reducing, even eliminating overtime pay can be accomplished with proper planning. To do so, you must make a work schedule each week and have selected employees who can fill in for scheduled staff members should someone call in sick.

Minors

Many restaurant owners mistakenly assume that they can get away with paying younger workers less. In many cases, these first-time employees don’t know about the minimum wage, and their bosses fail to inform them of their rights. Because they believe it is exploitative, state and federal governments do not look kindly on this common practice. To avoid fines and public embarrassment, it important to pay all of your employees fairly, despite their age.

Alien Workers

Because English proficiency is rarely a prerequisite, the food sector has always attracted a disproportionate number of undocumented workers. With that said, all restaurant owners face heavy fines if they are caught hiring ineligible workers. We should also mention that all employees, regardless of the language they speak, must be paid the minimum wage.

As simple as they may be, following these rules can help you control costs, which will give your restaurant a much better chance of success.

To learn more about their options for a restaurant, Newark, NJ residents should visit http://www.chateauofspain.com.