Portions Go Petite-ish in These Leaner Times

We've been reading for months now about how a recession is actually positive for the waistline, what with the less spontaneous eating out and fewer fun foods snacked upon with abandon. And while the less-than-appetizing (but very important) onus has been on individuals to police their own fridge and pantry, we haven't caught wind of any major chains reducing portion size across the board. (Save the small plate revolution, which we're still cheering on.)

But now the Fairmont Hotel chain, reports the Hotel Hotsheet at USA Today, is experimenting at some of their notable properties with, more or less, more of less. The hotels are taking a keen eye to the amount of vittleage that's appearing on diners' plates, in short, and prices are heading south on some offerings to match the smaller sizes.

This has to be a relief to the many foodie fans who've been guiltily sharing plates at restaurants for some time now, or simply skipping the entree for an appetizer. Splitting can a good path to take for numerous health reasons, but not always. It depends on what is being split; a triple-creme molton cheese volcano with sprinkled cheese and sour cream drizzled on top doesn't work here. Incredibly tasty, yes. But disqualified.

That said, we also admire and respect the restaurant industry, a challenging, lively and, at times, spirit-testing calling, to be sure. But it is also a line of work that brings pleasure to so many so regularly. So, our toques off to restaurateurs everywhere, especially in these cutting-back, open-a-can-of-soup-at-home days. And, when it comes to the smaller portion argument, we're pretty sure there are few restaurant owners not keen to see every customer who walks in the front door order an entree, or at least something substantial.

Slimmer portions, or more to-go bags, or experimenting with menus and prices... May it all lead to a stronger restaurant industry and a healthier us. May it do it soon. And may we always fight the urge to order the molten cheese volcano, extra sour cream please, when dining alone.

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