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Food Trends in the Big City

Experts describe hip and healthy food trends in some major U.S. cities.
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Mini Desserts Make Headlines in Atlanta continued...

This restaurant chain (originating in Florida), now with two locations in Atlanta, has helped kick-start the trend of lower-calorie dining. "All their entrees and sandwiches seem to be under 500 calories," notes Puckett. How do they keep the calories so low? To start with, they use natural cooking techniques such as grilling over open fires, which gives their food fantastic flavor with fewer calories.

Drinking in Atlanta has even taken a turn toward health. According to Puckett, many restaurants and bars are featuring fresh, healthful ingredients in their cocktails, such as antioxidant-rich tomatoes and herbal teas.

Hungry in Seattle?

Seattle is setting its own food trends on the left coast. "The biggest Seattle trend is the overabundance of 'small plate' restaurants, allowing people to have a delicious meal without having to overeat," writes Nancy Leson, restaurant critic for the Seattle Times, in an email. By serving smaller portions, these restaurants are encouraging their patrons to eat sensible amounts of food.

And if farm-fresh organic eggs count as "health food," then add them to the list of healthy food trends making waves in Seattle, notes Leson. "Simple farm-fresh organic eggs have become the star of the show at restaurants everywhere: poached and served over grilled asparagus; soft-boiled and placed over a frisee salad; or baked in salt and turned into saffron-colored strands of fresh pasta."

A Little Bit of Everything in Chicago

There's a food ban going on in Chicago, too, and it's got some fancy restaurants crying "fowl." The city of Chicago has banned foie gras (goose or duck liver), reports Carol Haddix, food editor at the Chicago Tribune. The high-fat, high-cholesterol gourmet item has been officially taken off city restaurant menus. And it sounds like goose liver may be just the beginning of food bans in Chicago. "Now the city council is aiming to ban trans fats, but that doesn't seem to be going anywhere right now," notes Haddix in an email.

Chicago may be halfway across the country from Seattle, but the small-plate craze is very popular there, too. According to Haddix, lots of restaurants all over town are going the "tidbit" route and serving smaller portions to happy patrons.

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Reviewed on August 02, 2007

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