Fast casual restaurant concepts have certainly disrupted the restaurant business over the last decade, and now IHOP, the pancake house chain that’s part of the Dine Brands Global family, is proposing to shake up the breakfast-coffee shop segment by introducing its own grab-and-go approach.
In December, IHOP’s management announced that it was rolling out a new concept, Flipp’d by IHOP, that would offer IHOP’s most popular breakfast specialties in a fast casual format.
The menu at Flipp’d will feature IHOP’s made-to-order buttermilk hotcakes in a bowl format, garnishing the cakes with everything from berries and sauces to scrambled eggs, cheese, and more.
A build your own bar will give patrons the option to top either pancakes or oatmeal with a variety of sweet or savory choices. To-go egg plates and egg sandwiches layered onto brioche buns will also be available.
For lunch and dinner traffic Flipp’d locations will serve burgers and chicken sandwiches along with grab-and-go salads and baked goods options.
The beverage program at Flipp’d will emphasize freshly squeezed orange juice and specialty coffee drinks.
Customers at Flipp’d by IHOP will place their orders at kiosks or at a traditionally staffed counter. A smartphone app will permit advance ordering for pick-up or delivery. Each restaurant will have a much smaller footprint than a traditional IHOP, and no on premises seating will be available.
During the roll-out of Flipp’d, IHOP’s development focus will be on metropolitan locations with substantial foot traffic. The first restaurant is planned to open in Atlanta later this spring; additional Flipp’d sites in cities like New York and Washington, D.C. are under consideration.
Champney’s Restaurant at the Deerfield Inn in Deerfield will once again be observing “Oysters Wednesdays,” serving the tasty fresh bivalves from 4 p.m. until their supply runs out.
The restaurant is also holding its Robert Burns Night, a celebration honoring Scotland’s most famous man of letters.
Planned for Saturday, Jan. 25, the evening will begin at 6 p.m. and will include a traditional menu of Highland dishes. Bagpipes, song, poetry, and a “wee dram” or two of Scotch are also on the agenda.
Tickets are $65 and include tax and gratuity; advance reservations are a must.
Champney’s is open seven days a week from noon until 9 a.m. serving a gastropub menu that includes chicken potpie, maple citrus salmon, and beef short ribs. A selection of craft-style beers, wine, and specialty cocktails are also available.
The restaurant can be reached at (413) 774 – 5587.
The Center Square Grill in East Longmeadow is once again offering a Cookbook Wine Series – three dinners designed to provide guests with a taste bud tour of selected wine regions.
The first dinner, scheduled for Jan. 27, will feature a four-course menu from Argentina paired with selected Argentinean wines. Participants will receive the recipes developed for the dinner to enjoy at home on their own.
The Cookbook Wine Series dinner will begin at 6 p.m. and is priced at $75 per person (not including gratuity or tax).
On Feb. 24 the series will cover the foods and wines of Northern Italy, while a March 31 event will be dedicated to the Rhone Valley of France.
For more details or to make reservations, contact the Center Square Grill at (413) 525-0055.
On Friday, January 24 Chez Josef in Agawam will be the site of the 30th annual Chefs for Jimmy fundraiser. Themed as “One Night of Peace, Love, and Food” and sponsored by the Winer Levsky Group of UBS Financial Services, Inc., the evening is organized to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund’s mission of supporting cancer research.
The event features tastings of signature dishes from 30-plus local restaurants and caterers, a silent auction, live music and more. Participating eateries include BarKaya in Springfield, Delaney’s Grill from Holyoke, West Springfield’s Storrowton Tavern, Fazio’s Restaurant in East Longmeadow, and a number of others.
Chefs for Jimmy kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $100 ($90 each for four or more) and can be ordered on line at danafarber.jimmyfund.org.
The Jimmy Fund, which is based in Brookline, answers at (800) 52-JIMMY.
On Jan. 10, the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck will be visiting Tin Bridge Brewing Company in Westfield. Cousins will be on site from 4 until 9:30 p.m., serving lobster rolls, lobster bisque, and more.
Crazy Arepas, a Springfield-based food truck that offers Hispanic-style street food creations, is scheduled to be at Tin Bridge on Jan. 16 from 4 p.m. on.
Tin Bridge’s taproom is located at 487 East Main Street; their telephone number is (413) 642-6418.
The weather this fall has had an impact on French fries, one of America’s favorite away-from-home foods.
Unfavorable weather conditions during October and November in some of the potato-growing regions in the U.S. and Canada has led the Department of Agriculture to predict an overall 5% drop in 2019’s potato harvest. Couple with poor yields in Europe during 2018, the worldwide supply of potatoes promises to be tight in the months ahead.
French fry processors are also reporting that some of the potatoes they have contracted for are arriving damaged by the bad weather, a situation that is resulting in lower processing throughput.
Though market experts predict that French fry supplies will be “adequate” for the restaurant industry’s needs, they are not willing to rule out the possibility of spot shortages and price increases before the 2020 harvest comes in next fall.
Expect to see any disruptions in supply reflected in higher menu prices (or smaller portions) later this year.
Teresa’s Restaurant in Ware will be presenting Alex Shillo and Badlands, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band, on Saturday, January 25.
As is typical of these dinner-concert events at Teresa’s, the evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 p.m., with dinner starting at 6 p.m. The menu will be a selection of Teresa’s Italian-American specialties served in a six-course, family style format.
The all-inclusive price of the evening’s food and entertainment is $50 per person. Tickets can be purchased by calling (413) 967-7601.
Every Sunday in January and February Boston-based Off The Beaten Path Food Tours will be promoting a walking food tour of Northampton.
Their two-and-one-half hour long “NoHo” Food Tour makes six stops, during which participants sample brunch dishes, coffee shop specialties, and ice cream parlor favorites.
Each tour is led by a locally-based, knowledgeable guide. In addition to enjoying “tastes” of Noho life, the tour also provides background stories of each eatery visited.
Off The Beaten Path Food Tours conducts walking excursions of a number of Eastern Massachusetts localities. They promote a Saturday afternoon Coffee Shop Tour of Northampton as well.
Tour bookings can be made on line at offthebeatenpathfoodtours.com. The per person cost to participate in the Northampton experience is $48 per guest.
Hugh Robert is a faculty member in Holyoke Community College’s hospitality and culinary arts program and has nearly 45 years of restaurant and educational experience. Please send items of interest to Off the Menu at the Republican, P.O. Box 1329, Springfield, MA 01101; Robert can also be reached at OffTheMenuGuy@aol.com.