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Community Table from Epicurious

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Take your place at the table

This post appears in the Personal Touches in the Kitchen challenge.

Let Your Local Restaurants Inspire You #outofthekitchen

Ted's cafe

(Photo Credit Ted’s Cafe)

More Recipes | Gluten Free | Slow Cooker Meals | Kitchen Deals

My husband and I try to have date night at least once a week. Sometimes it’s a trip to our local movie theater and sometimes we try to have dinner together before. Something we have started doing lately is seeking out local restaurants. We love to support local businesses and we always end up finding somewhere new that becomes a regular for us. We love Tex-mex food, it’s one of our favorites. A bunch of our friends would go on and on about a local place called Ted’s Cafe Escondido, apparently it is so popular that there is always a long line. We decided to give it a shot and let’s just say that we were not disapointed.

I love that companies, no matter what size, can be impactful through personal touches and unique one-on-one approaches. That’s what Ted’s did for us. When you walk in and give your name they take you to a place where you can sit and wait. Ted’s knows what it’s like to sit in a crowded area with the aroma of amazing food wafting in the air and your stomach is on empty. This is where there hospitality starts. They have a small window where you can walk up and be served a fresh homemade tortilla to eat while you wait. I had never seen anything like this before. I watched as smiles lit up on some of the moms with children’s faces like Ted’s had just handed their kids candy canes at Christmas. If you don’t feel like fighting the crowd, not to worry they have someone that will walk around and pass them out to you as well.

Ted's Cafe Fajitas

When it was time to order our meal my husband ordered the beef fajita tacos. My husband kept going on and on about the flavor so much that I had to convince him to give me a bite. When our waiter came back over my husband just kept saying how amazing the meal was and that he really loved the flavor of the meat. The waiter told my husband that they marinated their meat in pineapple juice and teriyaki sauce. He didn’t divulge the other spices they use but that was something we had never thought of using. We decided that we were going to try this out on our kids at home since they didn’t get to come with us and they loved it. Of course it wasn’t as amazing as Ted’s but it turned out great and the kids were really happy so I scored some brownie points at home and managed to make something that everyone in our family loved which is unusual because my kids are picky eaters.

Not only did we get great service but we got some inspiration to take home with us to use in our own kitchen. I encourage you to take a chance and try out some of your local restaurants and experience the local flavors and hospitality.

Check out the “Out of the Kitchen” series by Bon Appetit.

Want to meet purveyors who are making a difference with their customers? Check out BonAppetit.com’s “Out of the Kitchen”, an ongoing exploration of the relationships that build and sustain the food industry. See how hyper-local food markets operate and how their focus on quality and service keep customers coming back for more.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by BonAppetit and I was compensated for time in creating it.

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Consumer Queen, Melissa Garcia

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Melissa's passion to help consumers save money & enjoy life to the fullest landed her a full time career and now her blog is her family's only income. She has been featured on The Today Show, Oprah Radio Network, Wall Street Journal, ABC.com & more.