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Old 02-27-2011, 08:13 PM   #1
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Need ideas for lunch special sandwiches & entrees

My husband & I own a small cafe. We are located inside a gym type setting. We have a salad bar, homemade soups & 2 specials daily. We are only open 8-3 m-f. We try to put healthy options out there but honestly we sell more chocolate chip cookies & coconut cream pie. We do alot of wraps, flatbreads & low carb options. We don't have an outside sighn or seperate entrance. The cafe is mostly limited to members. Although our catering does real well.
My question is does anyone have any unique sanwich ideas or entree special ideas. Your imput would be most appreciated.

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Old 02-27-2011, 08:41 PM   #2
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Welcome to DC! With Spring coming (faster, please!), how about a pasta primavera with one of the Smart Balance noodles, like Ronzoni? Zucchini lasagna, using the squash thinly sliced lengthwise as the "noodles"? Falafel in pita, with tabbouleh and yogurt? Bento boxes?
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:50 PM   #3
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tHAKS THOSE ARE SOME GREAT IDEAS. I REALLY LIKE THE LASAGNA ONE.
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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Maybe a vegertarian wrap using grilled portabella mushrooms instead of meat. If the mushrooms are marinated in wine first they can be as good as a steak.
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:22 PM   #5
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The portabella mushroom wrap is a great idea. I've also tried portabellas marinated in Italian dressing grilled on bagel flats.

Keep the great ides coming!
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:23 PM   #6
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Zucchini, when young and tender, make great noodle substitutes in all sorts of applications. You can make zucchini fettuccine and top with any number of sinful things and still have folks feeling virtuous as well as well fed.
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:33 PM   #7
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Does the zuchini break up when you try to use it for fettichini?
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:38 PM   #8
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Does the zuchini break up when you try to use it for fettichini?
Al dente is your friend! After the mandoline and slice action, I blanch it, then shock. To reheat for serving, taste a bit and see how long to reheat/further cook it. It is really just a matter of seconds to get it cooked, without making a mess of it, but once it is blanched, the plating goes like silk.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:01 PM   #9
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Sounds great I'll try it this week. Thank you!
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:18 PM   #10
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Here's one that is a much requested favorite here: Crispy Tofu and Greens.

Take a cake of tofu and set it in boiling water, then remove from the heat. After at least 10 minutes, and pretty much at your convenience over the next hour, remove the tofu from the water; par boiling makes it much firmer. Cut the tofu into 8 pieces; I do 4 horizontal slices and then a diagonal to make triangles; they're pretty on a plate.

Marinate the parboiled tofu in a mixture of 1/3 C soy sauce, 1/4 C rice vinegar (watered white vinegar isn't as good, but will substitute), 1 T finely minced fresh ginger, and 1/8 t cayenne. Marinate at least 10 minutes, turning once. There is no reason I can think of not to marinate however long is convenient; you won't change the protein structure.

While marinating, make the sauce base out of 3 T soy sauce, 1/4 C dry sherry, 2 t rice vinegar and 2 t honey. Also during the marinating, prepare the greens by shredding 6-9 cups of napa, kale, fresh spinach, mustard, whatever strikes your fancy, the budget and the market; bigger shred for fast cooking, finer for slow obviously.


Take the tofu from the marinade and dredge in cornstarch, then fry till crispy in oil - more than a film, less than a 1/4 inch. At home for the family, I put the tofu in a warm oven while I make the greens; you will want to fiddle with the sequence for restaurant service, I am sure. You will also want 1 C of thinly sliced onion and about 2 t of sliced garlic for the greens part.

Fry the onion and garlic in a large skillet with about 3 T oil, until clear. Add the greens and fry until wilted and reduced, but not done. Add the sauce mixture and the remaining marinade and cook until tender. Depending on the greens and the oddities of how the weather has been, you may want to stir in a little cornstarch slurry to tighten them up. Top a plate of greens with 2 pieces of tofu for lunch or three for dinner.

This is amazingly unlike what most folks think of when they think tofu
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:52 PM   #11
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One of the hospitals I worked for had a sandwich shop at the doctor's building next door. My favorite sandwich there was a "Veggie". It was a bagel (I would order plain sometimes, whole wheat at other times), split and toasted, with low fat cream cheese, cucumber, tomato, red onion, sprouts and lettuce. I would sometimes go wild and order it with a couple of strips of bacon. It was the most delicious sandwich. I now make my own version using the thin bagels you can get at the store.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:29 PM   #12
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One of my favourite sandwiches from one of my favourite restaurants is as follows:

Make a spread of cream cheese, chopped pecans or walnuts, and chopped black olives. Spread it on fresh whole wheat bread. Optional: sliced ham. The restaurant where I get this charges extra for the ham. They serve it with sliced cucumber and a few other vegis on the side. Well, they serve that on the side of most of their sandwiches.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:28 AM   #13
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Oh, one of my favorites is very simple and makes a great breakfast treat. It's just a bagel spread with cream cheese and sprinkled with walnuts. I know it doesn't sound like much but it's great when I am looking for something a little different. And we all know how good walnuts are for us.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:32 AM   #14
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My favorite breakfast was always a fresh bagel with spicy brown mustard, a slice of swiss and a slice of tomato...warmed in the microwave. I would actually crave them. It helped working in a bakery where fresh, hot bagels were turned out daily!
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:20 AM   #15
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Grilled Reuben. I'd usually get one if it was on the menu.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:00 AM   #16
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Without knowing how well equipped your restaurant is, here are a few ideas that will work well for a small short order restaurant with limited space and equipment:

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich
Monte Cristo Sandwich
Cioppino (Seafood Stew)
Curries (Your Choice)

You can find great recipes for all of these with a Google search. Also, here are links to three of my favorite food websites run by restaurant owners and chefs. You'll get great ideas and recipes from all three:

Food Wishes Video Recipes
Real Restaurant Recipes - Each is a Famous and Secret Restaurant Recipe
John D Lee on HubPages

Also, here's my personal tip for making great sandwiches: You can't make great sandwiches without great bread. Buy your bread from a top-quality commercial bakery in large, uncut loaves and slice it to order in thick slices cut on the diagonal.

Good luck and best wishes!
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:40 AM   #17
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Miss NoraC, I think I need to be your neighbor so I can peek into your window to watch you cook!! You come up the the best ideas.

Now I think I need to stalk through all of your previous posts to see if I've missed anything!
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:32 PM   #18
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Zereh ...
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Grilled Reuben. I'd usually get one if it was on the menu.
I plan on the rueban for St. Patricks day. Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FincaPerlitas View Post
Without knowing how well equipped your restaurant is, here are a few ideas that will work well for a small short order restaurant with limited space and equipment:

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich
Monte Cristo Sandwich
Cioppino (Seafood Stew)
Curries (Your Choice)

You can find great recipes for all of these with a Google search. Also, here are links to three of my favorite food websites run by restaurant owners and chefs. You'll get great ideas and recipes from all three:

Food Wishes Video Recipes
Real Restaurant Recipes - Each is a Famous and Secret Restaurant Recipe
John D Lee on HubPages

Also, here's my personal tip for making great sandwiches: You can't make great sandwiches without great bread. Buy your bread from a top-quality commercial bakery in large, uncut loaves and slice it to order in thick slices cut on the diagonal.

Good luck and best wishes!
Thanks for the websites. Our bread we make from scratch, honey wheat.
Our caramel rolls we also make from scratch as well as ccokies, muffins, scones, bread puddins, pies & layer cakes.
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