Happy new year! 2020 predictions may not have turned out as planned. Many of us did not expected a pandemic to hit us when we rung in the new year. Let’s remain optimistic that 2021 will bring better days.
The new year may bring on new thoughts, ideas, and predictions ahead for most of us. As for the food industry, we haven’t really thought about what that would look like except that takeout and delivery orders may be more in demand than dine-in…even post lockdowns.
You’ll see a lot more chicken wings springing up on menus—that’s because they’re cheap to make, easy to deliver, and don’t require a lot of floor space to prepare, meaning they can be easily accommodated in ghost kitchens and pop-up restaurant concepts. These aspects will give wings the edge in the 2021 delivery market.
While we don’t serve wings, you can certainly give its Arabic substitute a try, the shish taouk skewers. 2 skewers of threaded boneless chicken, Lebanese style and dipped in exotic spices, herbs, lemon, yogurt, loads of garlic. Served over rice or fries with vegetables, hummus and garlic sauce.
More generally, this is in relation to grilled foods that aren’t meat or meat substitutes. It’s based on the success of The Takeout’s original recipes for Watermelon Burgers, as well as smoky grilled fruit cocktails.
At Yafa Café, you can try the Mhammara for $7. It’s not grilled fruits, but grilled veggies are just as good. Taste the spicy walnuts mixed with tomato & grilled red pepper, served with a fresh bread.
The lofty Instagram ideal of perfection has come for our home kitchens, and now, even the dishes and clutter that we were once allowed to hide discreetly behind cabinet doors are now out in the open, putting pressure on home cooks to keep their shelves precisely organized and maximally aesthetically pleasing, whether for posting on social media or gussying up WFH backdrops for Zoom meetings. Expect the majority of next year’s gut renovations to do away with cabinets entirely and leave behind only floating shelves in their wake.
Most of our kitchen shelving is exposed to the staff but not our patrons. The café counter on the other hand, partly offers that look and is often used as a backdrop for photo shoots.
Air Fried Everything
Every person who cooks has been gifted an air fryer this year, or are about to receive this holiday. Allison Robicelli with The Takeout Editors wrote: I was a serious air fryer skeptic before I received one last year, but after a few weeks of experimenting and recipe developing, I realized that if anything air fryers have been undersold as a worthwhile kitchen appliance. With the right recipes in hand, air fryers are poised to become an essential part of our everyday cooking routines, even for those folks who might be too intimidated to take it out of the box yet.
Air fryers haven’t yet been adopted at Yafa Cafe, but given this prediction, we may just invest in one. For now, if you want a delightful fried meal, that’s finger lickin’ good, look no further than the Maqali. These crunchy fried veggies with salad pickles, chili and tahineh sauce are a perfect mid-day or late-night snack.
If the current air fryer discourse is any indication, we’re going to see a lot of people splurging on kitchen appliances to make at-home dining easier and more fun. Lillian Stone from The Takeout Editors says: I feel like everyone I know is saving up for high-end espresso machines, pricey oven thermometers, and gadgets to make restaurant-quality goodies like bread and pasta. I also think this signals the end of keep-it-simple kitchen hacks. We’re not looking to save time; we’re focused on quality.
Our coffee-based drinks are brewed to perfection on our espresso machines. Our breads are hand made with love in our wood stove.
Plant-based Meat Substitutes
Expect to see more plant-based meat substitutes on next year’s fast food and fast casual menus. While we’ll still likely to see a steady uptick in variety of those products at the supermarket, prices on those items are still higher than their meaty counterparts. However, when you go out to eat, plant-based substitutes are typically not a big upcharge (if at all). Combine that with the fact that customers are fatigued from cooking at home during the pandemic, and restaurants should expect a surge of dine-in and takeout customers who are eager to try new plant-based alternatives without having to reach deeply into their wallets.
We have many plant-based substitutes. Our most famous is the Falafel Delight. Falafel balls garnished with tahini sauce, served with pickles and hummus,. Definitely a must-try.