Bevans Branham | Restaurants & Clubs

Lorie and Bevans Branham in the Restaurant Industry

Tag: Restaurants

Exploring Fast Food Across Cultures

Fast Food LogosAs a chain restaurant expands to different cultures, it will have to adapt to the local tastes. In India, where most hindus avoid eating beef, McDonald’s made a Big Mac using chicken meat, renaming it the “Chicken Maharaja Mac.” It was successful. Meanwhile, in Mexico, where Mexicans are surrounded by traditional dishes, Taco Bell has never successfully opened a location. They couldn’t adapt to and stand out from the local foods. The lesson is: chain restaurants have to change some of their formula from time to time if they want a global reach.

Let’s look at Japan, a country that highly values novelty and aesthetics with their food. Here are a few ways chain restaurants have adapted to Japan’s local flavor:

1) Their McDonald’s cheeseburger is a Cheese Katsu Burger. It’s a hamburger bun with a deep-fried pork cutlet stuffed with cheese, a layer of cabbage and some curry sauce.

2) Their KFC chicken is still the same chicken, but its often dusted with yuzu schichimi.

3) Starbucks, which rarely changes its menu, offers a Frappuccino with squares of coffee jelly (a local favorite).

4) The pizza topping possibilities in Japan are incredible. Pizza Hut toppings include mochi, shrimp, mentaiko sauce, Mayo Q, nori, corn and mayonnaise. At one point, Pizza Hut even offered mini corn dogs stuffed into the crust.

5) McDonald’s menu items heavily features shrimp, and they even made a burger out of it. The Ebi Filet-O is made from a patty of battered and fried shrimp with Thousand Island dressing and lettuce.

6) McDonald’s also has a Mega Tomago burger, a big mac with the addition of bacon and an egg patty.

While chain restaurants don’t change in many international markets, they almost always do so in Japan. The Japanese people have a distinct taste for exotic foods.


California Coming Up Strong In Zagat’s List of Romantic Restaurants

Restaurant Recommendations for Valentine’s Day by Bevans Branham

Bevans Branham here, and just in case you haven’t realized it yet (or your significant other hasn’t hinted it to you quite yet) Valentine’s day is just around the corner.  I was reading through one of the Zagat Blog’s latest articles on the 10 must-visit romantic restaurants around the world.  Not only did they name some amazing restaurants that you and your better-half need to try ASAP, but I was extremely excited to see that California-based restaurants were represented very heavily in the article as well!

If you’re like us and based in California, it might be worth your time to check out some of these delicious restaurants and (possibly, if you’re lucky) get some reservations for this Thursday.  Some of my favorites on the list:

Stonehouse Restaurant, Santa Barbara, CA
900 San Ysidro Ln., Santa Barbara; 805-565-1724

The Stonehouse Restaurant is a 19th-century stone house, with a built-in wood burning fireplace- making this restaurant one of the most atmospheric places to have a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.  You and your special guy or gal can eat beneath the stars on Stonehouse’s ocean-view patio (if the weather permits) and can enjoy some California cuisine- complete with a palette of herbs and veggies harvested from the on-site garden.

Auberge du Soleil, Napa, CA
180 Rutherford Hill Rd., Rutherford; 707-963-1211

Restaurants in Napa have their own special hint of romanticism, but Auberge du Soleil, featuring California/French cuisine stands out from among the crowd. Their outdoor-patio offers breathtaking views of the surrounding wine hills that make this location superb for romantics and wine-lovers alike.

Joël Robuchon, Las Vegas, NV
3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; 702-891-7925

Well, ok, it’s not in California but it’s close enough for us.  If you’re willing to make the drive from LA to Las Vegas you will not be disappointed.  Joël Robuchon’s decadent plates of New French cuisine and the restaurants absolutely breathtaking atmosphere bring this restaurant to the apex of fine dining in and around the state of California.  Along with the exquisite food, the purple-velvet curtains and golden chandeliers will make you and your partner feel like royalty.

These are just some of our recommendations for this coming Valentine’s Day, if you have any other recommendations please don’t hesitate to leave them for our other readers in the comments section below- and we’d love to hear about them as well!  Have a wonderful day, and we hope that you and yours have a wonderful, loving Valentine’s Day.

-Bevans Branham

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