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See How An Ordinary Guy Got Into A Hot Restaurant And Easily Become A VIP

See How An Ordinary Guy Got Into A Hot Restaurant And Easily Become A VIP

So you want to be a hot shot at the latest hot spot?

While in school, I worked in some of the hottest restaurants and hotels in L.A.  One of my first jobs was an assistant position at a top-talent agency in Hollywood where we booked reservations for big agents and celebrities.  Now, I dine at some of the finest restaurants in town with clients and friends, so I know a thing or two about the scene.

Restaurants aren’t just a place to eat–they represent a lifestyle and are one of the best places to see and be seen. They are where business deals are done, connections are made and great moments are created. Choose your spots wisely.  From trendy popups to hotel dining rooms to the legendary establishments, all restaurants are not created equal.

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A word to the wise: pick places that match up with your lifestyle and start putting in effort.  Here’s how to stand out from the crowd and get in anywhere you want.

1.  Build familiarity fast.

Be strategic in your approach.  Here is how to create familiarity with the decision makers (or the people who influence the decision makers):

Nurture the relationship:

Pick one or two people and build the relationship like you would with a friend.  Treat them well because they will soon be one of your best allies.  Remember, you aren’t working with a job title.  You are working with a person with goals, hopes and dreams.  Treat them that way.  Make eye contact when you thank and tip them.  Call people by name and ask about their lives when appropriate.

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Baby steps:

People can smell desperation, and it will work against you when you try too hard to get the best table if they don’t know who you are.  Build familiarity first by sitting at the bar and connecting with the bartender and the staff. The key is to connect while you get to know the place.

Repeat business:

Keep going back.  They will notice.  A repeat customer is a VIP most of the time in the restaurant business.  Pick a few restaurants and go there often.

2.  Getting others to book for you.

The fastest way to get in on the action is to go through someone who is already in.  Use your resources.  There are people around you that have access.  Here is how to access them:

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People already on the list:

Ask a work associate, socialite friend or popular neighbor to book your reservation for you.  Even better, go with them.  The best way to get in is to be attached to the people who are already in.

Luxury hotel concierge:

Getting to know the luxury hotels around you and the staff there is necessary.  I live in NYC and don’t work out of an office, so I often use high-end hotels to hold meetings with people and have drinks.  In the process, I get to know the important waiters and concierge who know everyone.  Take care of them and they will take care of you.

The special event planner:

If you are thinking of planning a large party, call up the manager or event planner of the restaurant and tell them you thinking of organizing a very special party in the future and would love to experience the restaurant to see if it is right for the occasion.  If it is not right for you, tell them you are going in another direction because of the theme but you loved the place so much you want to bring your other friends there.  Win-win.

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3.  Give them a reason.

You need to find that hook that pulls someone on your side.  Most of the time, it’s something that can benefit them. You must give them a reason to treat you like a VIP because it doesn’t just happen on its own.  Here is how to make it happen:

Be associated with someone influential: 

Similar to what I mentioned above, be strategic in your first few encounters with the staff at a restaurant.  It can be another VIP or a member of the actual staff.  The key is to be associated with someone who is in-demand or someone on the inside.

Money talks:  

This one is kind of obvious but you need to know how (and who) to take care of.  Always take care of the person who takes care of you, even if they don’t make the decisions. If they are on the inside, they have some influence.  Go through them to get in next time.  Whomever you make your connection with is your ticket.  Don’t get too cocky—I can’t tell you how many times a bus boy has delivered what another couldn’t.

Make a special trip:

Most people don’t make the effort to personally introduce themselves.  If you want to be treated like a VIP, you must get noticed in some way.  It has proved to be highly effective when people go into restaurants and meet with the manager or gatekeeper to explain the situation ahead of time.  They will respect you for it because you respect them enough to take time out of your day to meet with them.

Final thought: these tips don’t just apply to restaurants. The more strategically you think and the more you nurture your relationships, the easier it will be for you to become a VIP in every area of life.

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Last Updated on May 25, 2019

20 Spaghetti Squash Recipes For Anyone Who Is Looking For Delicious, Healthy Comfort Food

20 Spaghetti Squash Recipes For Anyone Who Is Looking For Delicious, Healthy Comfort Food

Spaghetti squash is similar to cucumber. It has a shell which is difficult to pierce and this hard flesh surrounds a hollow cavity filled with seeds. When you cook this vegetable, the squash flesh falls away from the inner cavity and only the reminiscent of spaghetti remains. You can get surprised and delighted to see how this vegetable transforms with cooking.

It can act as a great substitute to pasta. It tastes as delicious as the traditional pasta and is equally satisfying but healthier. It is gluten free and contains many nutrients like vitamin A, potassium and folic acid.

This incredible vegetable can be boiled, baked or steamed. And, a lot of recipes can be prepared with spaghetti squash as the chief ingredient. I’m sure the following recipes will make your mouth water.

Breakfast

1. Spiced Coconut Squash Breakfast Porridge

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    This unconventional porridge, prepared for breakfast, is a perfect dish to start your day. The ingredients include spaghetti squash, organic coconut milk, ginger, coconut flour, maple syrup, cinnamon, sea salt and vanilla extract. It has a comforting and creamy texture and is best served with fresh fruit topping. (Click here for recipe)

    2. Egg and Avocado Spaghetti Squash Boats

    2

      If you’re looking for a light, healthy, gluten free, vegetarian breakfast then avocado spaghetti squash boats is the best option. Besides chopping the squash, breaking the egg and slicing the avocado, this recipe doesn’t require much effort in its preparation. It tastes amazing with egg yolk and salsa and has a rich decadent texture. (Click here for recipe)

      3. Spaghetti Squash Frittata for One

      3

        This frittata, if prepared perfectly, can be an excellent choice for a healthy meal. It is a combination of lots of spaghetti squash, a few white eggs, some red pepper for color and texture, few onions and garlic for flavor, and some fresh herbs for brightness. This dish is usually served large in size and tastes great with tomato sauce and bean balls. (Click here for recipe)

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        4. Ingredient Spaghetti Squash Brunch

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          It’s a fast and easy breakfast that contains a poached egg and feta on a pre-roasted pile of spaghetti squash bed. The yolk from the egg floods through the scraps of squash underneath. It almost tastes like an Italian pasta and the light crumble of feta adds more calcium and protein. (Click here for recipe)

          5. Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns

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            A very healthy take on hash browns in which spaghetti squash is used in place of potatoes and coconut oil in place of butter. This reduces stress, inflammation and starch, making it healthier than traditional hash browns. It helps lose water weight as well which is helpful for weight loss. The final product is fluffy on the inside but crispy on the outside. It is best served alongside some dippy eggs. (Click here for recipe and image source)

            Lunch

            6. Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein

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              Spaghetti squash can not only replace Italian pasta but it can also replace the Chinese noodles. They are a delicious, satisfying dish, prepared by stirring and frying spaghetti squash with a rainbow of other vegetables along with a sweet smelling mixture of fish sauce, rice vinegar and soy. They are gluten free and grease free which makes them healthier. (Click here for recipe)

              7. Parmesan Zucchini and Spaghetti Squash with Pine Nuts

              7

                This dish is a marvelous combination of garlic, spaghetti squash, parmesan, toasted pine and zucchini nuts. It’s super healthy, gluten free, full of vegetables and delicious. Tossed with olive oil, this dish meets all the dietary needs and is perfect for light lunch. You can also add some chicken to increase protein.  (Click here for recipe)

                 8. Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms Parmesan

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                8

                  Though spaghetti squash provides low calories, you can add meaty mushroom and a good amount of parmesan cheese to increase the amount of calories. It’s a healthy, full of flavor, vegetarian dish, and has cheap and easy ingredients which you can find in market. The final product is yummy and satisfying and can make your lunch, perfect.  (Click here for recipe)

                   9. Spaghetti Squash with Vegan Fire-Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce

                  9

                    A pile of roasted squash is flavored with a sauce made from five ingredients. The vegan fire-roasted tomato cream sauce is made from the mixture of tomatoes, cashews, basil, salt and water. This spicy sauce makes it more delicious and some small amount of basil adds fresh green color and flavor. (Click here for recipe)

                     10. Thai Peanut Spaghetti Squash

                    10

                      Most of the dishes listed here are either Mexican or Italian. This recipe however will give you a fresh Asian feeling. To prepare this, all you need are spaghetti squash and peanut sauce, then by adding some ginger, lime and vinegar you’ll get one of the most delicious recipes. The texture of this dish reminds you of heavenly beaches in Thailand. (Click here for the recipe)

                      Dinner

                      11. Spaghetti Squash Comfort Bowl

                      11

                        This is the perfect kind of bowl that you want to have on a cold evening, sitting on a couch and watching TV. You’ll enjoy its lightly steamed veggies, allspice beans, and the strands of squash as well. It feels creamy but doesn’t seem too heavy. It’s a great dish with intense indulgence, with our best spaghetti squash, the warm beans, and the comforting steamed veggies. (Click here for the recipe)

                        12. Spaghetti Squash Crust Pizza

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                          As you already know, spaghetti squash is a great substitute for pasta, but this dish here shows how these chewy shreds can make a great stand-in for pizza. You can add anything like meat or veggies to the base which is bound with egg whites and flour. The end product is a great gluten free dish. (Click here for the recipe)

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                          13. Spaghetti Squash Fried Rice

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                            Spaghetti squash works as a good substitute to the cauliflower as the base of a fried rice. This recipe includes almost all of the usual ingredients of a fried rice. With green onions, eggs, peanut oil, and some garlic, this dish gives a unique texture that you can never find in your local restaurants. (Click here for the recipe)

                             14. Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

                            14

                              If you’re looking for something delicious for the winter evenings, you’ll get fond of these cheesy spaghetti squash boats. To lighten it up, it is filled with tomato sauce, cheese, chicken sausage, parmesan and ricotta. You can easily complete its arrangement ahead of time and bake it before dinner. (Click here for the recipe)

                              15. Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

                              15

                                This Mexican inspired dish has spaghetti squash as a serving bowl and inside it goes enchilada sauce, chicken, cheese, black beans and other veggies wrapped inside a corn tortilla blanket. You can also use spinach in place of the corn and black beans. Topped with sauce galore, this dish can be served as a family fun meal.  (Click here for the recipe)

                                Dessert

                                16. Sweet Spaghetti Squash Kugel with Apples and Raisins

                                16

                                  If you can afford spaghetti squash, coconut sugar, some eggs and few other ingredients, then this dish must be your cheapest choice. This noodle is a delight in all seasons. The addition of some apples and raisins results in its fruity freshness. (Click here for the recipe)

                                  17. Spaghetti Squash Coconut Custard Pie

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                                    With the fine sweetness from vanilla extract and coconut, this dessert can be a great hit among guests. The spaghetti squash drowns in an egg batter to make it lighter than a cream pie. You can play and experiment with the ingredients and see surprising results.  (Click here for the recipe)

                                     18. Spaghetti Squash Cake With Cream Cheese Glaze

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                                      This desert will be a delicious treat to those who are a fan of carrot cake. Spaghetti squash is a vegetable with pleasant taste, lending fiber, potassium and vitamins. So, if you drape it in cream cheese frosting, you will end with this mouth- watering cake. This dessert has so many health benefits and is also great for a Thanksgiving dinner. (Click here for the recipe)

                                       19. Spaghetti Squash Kheer

                                      19

                                        Kheer is a rice pudding made by boiling rice with cow milk and sugar. But this type of kheer replaces boiling rice with noodles swapped out of spaghetti squash and cow milk with coconut milk. By pouring some ghee, you can add necessary richness in it. It is healthier than traditional kheer and can act as a great dessert for your evenings. (Click here for the recipe)

                                         20. Cinnamon Spice Spaghetti Squash Cake

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                                          By now, you must be surprised by the versatility of spaghetti squash. But your best surprise will probably come after you finish preparing this cake. This cake is a game changer. You’ll have the taste of lots of veggies like cinnamon, allspice maple syrup and ginger, all inside a single cake.  It’s a perfect treat for picky eaters. (Click here for the recipe)

                                          Featured photo credit: Spaghetti Squash with Fire Roasted Tomato, Olive and Baby Spinach Sauce via commons.wikimedia.org

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