The worldwide love of bread is well recognized by restaurants. Most restaurants will even resupply your bread, free of charge; on good faith that you’ll order something from the menu. It’s a great way for them to bring in customers, and it’s a great way for you to enjoy a free appetizer. Good restaurants know how to bake bread that entices their customers and encourages them to return.
Restaurants pride themselves on their free bread samples, and there is good reason for this. Every customer that steps through the door will be offered free bread, and nearly all of those people who are offered the bread will eat some. If an item on the menu is less than perfect, they will have a fraction of dissatisfied customers. But if their bread that everyone tries is no good, it gives a bad first impression of their restaurant to every last person who walks through the door.
Because of this, establishments that offer free bread will go well out of their way to make it amazing. Some restaurants are even well known, specifically for their bread; and it serves its purpose by weighing into peoples decision as to where they should eat that night. Red Lobster is of course well known for their cheddar biscuits.
The type of bread you are offered will depend on what restaurant you go to. Typically, they offer some sort of bread that matches the overall theme of their establishment.
There are lots of breads you can expect from country –”home cooking” restaurants. Rolls are an obvious example, and are often served with butter and jelly. Other examples include biscuits, and corn bread. Country restaurants like Cracker Barrel bring out a mix of these, so everyone at the table can try something different. Some serve fresh baked blueberry or pumpkin muffins.
Breadsticks are popular at Italian restaurants. These are not always free, but typically you can find some sort of deal for “bottomless” breadsticks. Olive Garden prides itself on its garlic bread sticks. Of course garlic bread is also popular for Italian restaurants, but you can also find it in a wide variety of other establishments.
Croissants originated from France, but you don’t have to go to a fancy French restaurant to find them. A lot of establishments will have these, and they’re often a popular breakfast item in coffee shops or even fast food restaurants.
If you go to a fancy restaurant, there’s no telling what kind of bread they’ll bring you. It could be anything, based on the establishment. But it will typically be a loaf prepared just for you, presented in whole and with a knife so you can slice it yourself. Steak houses often bring you a full loaf.
The free appetizer at most Mexican restaurants is chips and salsa, but some also bring out tortillas.
Nearly all restaurants bake bread complimentary, now. For some of them their bread is one of their best highlights; it is the restaurants first impression, after all. From cheddar biscuits to garlic bread, we all have our favorites. The restaurants that don’t serve bread could take a hint from those that do.
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