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Texas pecan pie for room-service dessert? Yee-haw!
It seems the room-service debate will never go away. Some people call us suckers for succumbing to ordering it, others find it a life-saver in those wee hours when we’re feeling a bit peckish and don’t feel like going out on a food hunt.
But today we’re not debating whether it’s a good idea or not, we’re going to celebrate what we consider one of the most interesting in-room dining room menus we've encountered in a while, and since it’s near quitting time, it’s time for food porn, anyway.
This submission comes courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. Instead of yawn-worthy, limp Caesar salads and uninspired burgers, this hotel is bringing the goods with a Lone Star State-twist. We’re talking chilaquiles with smoked short rib hash, mini-elk sausage corn dogs with Dr.Pepper barbecue sauce, “Sous Vide” beef tacos, and Texas pecan pie.
And there's more, so much finger-licking more, after the jump.
We know you love you some room service, whether it's a quick snack, breakfast, or one of those nights you don't feel like dealing with anyone. But man, should the hotels just do us all a favor and call us suckers up front when we place the order, or should they wait until checkout?
Yes, the day of the deal is indeed past us, a fact proven by a recent TripAdvisor room service survey that compared the costs of common items and services that travelers purchase when staying in a hotel. The survey looked at the prices of items such as a club sandwich, an airplane bottle of liquor, a can of coke, a bottle of water, peanuts, and dry cleaning.
Among U.S. cities in the survey, Denver and Dallas came in as the best value while Vegas and Honolulu were the most expensive. You could expect things such as the latter, but there were some surprises, like the fact that New York City has the cheapest peanuts and an airplane bottle of vodka is approaching $19 in Vegas (Okay, maybe we’re more annoyed than surprised by that).
Hotel News / Hotel Room Service / Hotel Amenities / AKA Hotels / Beverly Hills Hotels / Celebrity Chefs / Wolfgang Puck / → All Tags
The brand has joined with culinary wunderkind Wolfgang Puck to create Spago in-Suite. This is the first "room-service" type venture for the chef. Now, Each AKA full-service suite will include a menu featuring items from Puck's flagship Beverly Hills restaurant Spago. In addition to the well-loved favorites (pizza!) there will be a rotating list of daily specialty entrees (perhaps the liberty duck breast with pear-mustard raisin compote) to commemorate Puck's 30 year anniversary and Spago's new menu.
Who needs the bar when you've got a Martini Man at Four Seasons Chicago?
Where many hotels are trending toward minimalist room service, there are others that may forever remain true to room service indulgence. It’s not to say that one is better than the other since we definitely like having options and alternative methods of room service rescue.
For example, here in Chicago and on the minimalist side of room service, we love Acme Hotel Company’s morning thermos of hot coffee and PUBLIC Chicago’s inexpensive but gourmet meals delivered in a brown bag. Both are left outside your door at the time you specify with a quick rap on the door, successfully leaving you be first thing in the morning.
But there are times when you want to be tended to and treated like royalty, times when you just can’t get enough of over-the-top room service. We’ve seen the gamut and thought we’d seen it all, but Four Seasons Chicago and Ritz-Carlton Chicago recently caught our eye with throwbacks to old-school cool room service.
Does this look like the kind of breakfast you’d expect from a five star hotel? Or is it as appetizing as the oatmeal you’d whip up at home and then leave to congeal a bit as you realized you were out of milk, and berries, and anything else to make it actually taste good?
This is the oatmeal that was brought to us at the Intercontinental Park Lane this week. The menu promised:
Scottish porridge oats with full cream or skimmed milk, served with honey and sultanas
Yummy! If anything could get us out of our Eggs Benedict breakfast rut, we though, that would be it.
And then this arrived, and it was not lovely or creamy or glistening with honey and sultanas. It was, instead, the saddest bowl of oatmeal in the history of mankind.
Getting tired of the same ol', same ol' room service options? Cheeseburgers, club sandwiches, caesar salads... yawn? Then, you need to check into Enchantment Resort in Sedona and flip through the menu until you get to the section titled, Tastefully 'In the Raw.'
We had never seen such an option before, but we heartily approve: 'In the Raw' is a selection of barbecue favorites--raw meats--that are delivered to your room, with all the accompaniments, ready to cook.
Your grill is outside on your casita's patio--where it awaits your steak, along with this killer view...
Usually when we arrive at hotels, thanks to a long day of travel and the odd hotel check-in hour of 3pm, we're starving, bad. So once we get the room tour, unpack the bags, admire the view, we dial up room service and order a menu staple--cheeseburger and fries.
But at the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach which is all about healthy living and getting your diet back on track, there's no such thing as a cheeseburger and fries. There is however THIS--a Southwestern veggie burger served on a whole wheat roll and topped with avocado, lettuce, tomato and pico de gallo. On the side to much on? Healthy coleslaw.
It may be hard to believe but it was quite tasty. So much so that we ordered it from the Canyon Ranch Grill downstairs the next day. But true to spa cuisine, the portions are small and you don't feel very full. So you may have to order something else. Fortunately, each item on the menu lists the caloric intake to prevent you from totally binging.
Even better, the prices reflect the portion size. That burger is only $11. Most hotel burgers are $14 or more.
This is the scene from our stay at the Fairmont Pittsburgh last fall. Yes, there's both french fries and mac and cheese on that table, but hey, we were watching football. No judgements!
But if we were making New Year's resolutions about eating healthier in 2011, Fairmont Hotels would totally be our cheerleader, because on January 1 the brand launched its new Lifestyle Cuisine Plus menus. Bye bye, french fries; hello, vegan Curry Chick Pea Couscous!
Feeling sick on the road sucks. But despite our best efforts with vitamins and flu shots, it happens to us a lot when we travel. We're going to blame the recent NY chill for our latest bout of sniffles--which we may have beaten into submission thanks to a bowl of good ol' chicken noodle soup while holed up at San Francisco's Clift Hotel this week.
We've had mixed results ordering soup from room service in the past--sometimes just getting what was clearly a packet of the cheap stuff from the market. But with its farm-to-table focus on organic California ingredients, the Velvet Room's New Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup was totally what the doctor (er, that would be us) ordered.
We knew as soon as we uncovered the bowl that the steaming clear broth would fix us right up. It had real chicken in it--can you imagine?!--along with onion, carrot and celery. After devouring it, we were feeling better already. (Making sure the room's AC was switched off also helped.)
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Room Service / Hotel Entertainment / Hotel Movies / Park Plaza Hotels / → All Tags
What do you like to watch when kicking back in your hotel room? For us, football and ESPN tops the list but according to stats, the guests of Park Plaza Hotels love to order The Shawshank Redemption on demand, and enjoy the prison drama with a slice of pizza and a can of Red Bull.
Or, as the Ottawa Citizen put it: "Forget about what you see in the movies. The average hotel guest does not order Champagne and eggs Benedict while watching the latest big-budget epic by James Cameron."
Healthy Hotels / Courtyard by Marriott Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Room Service / → All Tags
Eat. Drink. Connect. Calorie-Count.
You never hear much about Courtyard by Marriott hotels ever, but when they have news at least it's pretty cool. The most recent bit is that the chain of budget hotels is about to revamp their Bistro dining conceptan open, grab-and-pay concept similar to what Aloft Hotels doby upgrading the menus.
In particular, Courtyard by Marriott is adding calorie listings to their menu items, which includes everything from Starbucks coffee to low-fat/low-calorie muffins. Marriott claims that this will put Courtyard at the "forefront of the U.S. healthcare reform bill, which will require all chain restaurants in the U.S. to post calorie counts on their menus."
New York has already adopted a similar law, which means that we've grown used to seeing calorie listings for all food, including slices of coffeecake at Starbucks (500+!) and burritos at Chipotle (we don't even want to think about those numbers).
Oh lordy. If you've been shopping in Forever21 lately, then you've probably heard the annoying new song from the rapper Pitbull called "Hotel Room Service." The song is just about doing it in a hotel room. Seriously. And Pitbull will get his girl whatever he wants--sort of redefining the definition of hotel room service. (But does he tip his room service waiters?)
Anyways, the video was filmed in Miami at The EPIC Hotel, of all places.