You Can Take It with You: The Etiquette of the Doggie Bag #hackdining

Doggie Bag BlogJust because a meal has ended doesn’t mean you’ve taken your last bite. Doggie bags allow you to extend a dining experience beyond the confines of your restaurant reservation, while also helping cut down on food waste and saving you some time in the kitchen later on. The tradition began in Rome during the sixth century B.C. Banquet goers would wrap up extra food in a napkin to signal to their host just how much they enjoyed the meal. However, the modern practice – and the name doggie bag itself – came to fruition in the States during World War II, when diners were encouraged to their leftovers to feed their pets, though it soon became apparent that diners – not Rover – were the usual recipients of the unfinished meals. This new practice opened up a proverbial Pandora’s bag of etiquette issues, which are still present today. Here are six tips on how to deal with the doggie bag.

No Shame

Whether you’re dining in a budget-friendly eatery or a high-end restaurant, you can always ask for a doggie bag. Some diners don’t want to ask for their leftovers when dining in four-star restaurants because they don’t want to appear cheap. They shouldn’t feel poorly about making the request. Just because an establishment has nice silverware, white tablecloths, and a tasting menu that costs more than the average car payment doesn’t mean they don’t have takeaway containers in the back. Don’t worry; the staff is more than happy to put the remainder of your truffle topped cacio e pepe in a box for you, so you can eat it later that night when you’re in bed catching up on Game of Thrones.

Sharing is Caring

Everyone is entitled to take home the remains of their own meal, of course. (It’s also perfectly acceptable to “gift” your uneaten portion to someone else at the table.). However, it gets trickier when it comes to dividing up family style entrees between two or more guests. Before simply claiming the giant rectangle of lasagna sitting at the center of the table, ask your dining companions if anyone else would like to take some home. If someone else is interested as well, either divide up the leftovers yourself or ask the staff to do it for you.

Pack Wisely

Getting home and opening your doggie bag to find that a sauce has leaked out, the bread is soggy, or a component is missing can be disappointing – and may even cause you to throw the food out. To prevent such waste from happening, politely request that any dips or spreads be packed separately, sandwiches or rolls be wrapped in aluminum foil, and be sure to specifically point out what leftovers you’d like to take home. Some restaurants will simply bring you takeout containers, so you can wrap everything up to your liking.Continue Reading

Dining Poll: When Does Your Appetite for Thanksgiving Leftovers End?

Some folks don’t like to dine out on Thanksgiving because they fear they’ll miss out on the leftovers — and the joy of making a turkey-gravy-stuffing-cranberry sammie at 11PM that night. However, many restaurants are now offering leftovers to-go for diners who want the best of both worlds (delicious, fuss-free restaurant fare and a reason to raid the fridge for a few days). Regardless of how many leftovers I take home, I’m kind of done with turkey and all the trimmings after two days (Thursday included). Let us know what your Thanksgiving food threshold is in today’s dining poll.


Have Your Turkey and Eat It (the Next Day), Too at Tria Restaurant in Minnesota

You enjoy Chef Brian Bossert’s Thanksgiving specials at Tria — and at home!

Dining out on Thanksgiving has always seemed like a no-brainer to us – no shopping, no cooking, no cleaning, and no dishes. But, some folks don’t want to hit the easy button for one reason – no leftovers. Thankfully, restaurants have heard your cries for next-day turkey sammies, and some are now offering leftovers to go.

Tria Restaurant in North Oaks, Minnesota, will be serving traditional Thanksgiving favorites, plus, they are offering turkey leftovers to take home. Guests wanting to honor the day-after Thanksgiving tradition of turkey sandwiches can purchase Tria’s to-go package. It includes cranberries, dressing, turkey, and buns – enough for six sandwiches, all for only $15. “There’s nothing better than a turkey sandwich,” notes Chef Bossert. “I grew up with day-after, cold turkey rolled in lefse (a Swedish flatbread). Lefse is almost like a tortilla except it’s made out of potatoes. My sister in Oakland just made 80 pieces for herself and to share with friends!”

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