When you spend a good portion of your time on the road, it’s always comforting to find good food! As appealing as room service or the hospital cafeteria may sound; investing a few minutes of your time to plan your after work dining destinations can add some much needed “spice” to your locum tenens jobs. There are great places to wine and dine just about anywhere you go. However, finding them can often be tricky. Here are some tips and suggestions for making your locum tenens positions more appetizing!
- Seek out the “hidden gems.” Everywhere you go there will be the well-known “touristy” restaurants. Fortunately, there will also be the lesser known establishments where even the most discriminating palates frequent in order to enjoy a fine meal – minus the riff raff! If you find yourself dining amongst the areas finest local chefs, you’re likely sitting in a hidden gem.
- Local newspapers and magazines can be a great source for fine dining insight. Many of these publications can be found online (at no cost) if you don’t have access to a print copy. If online, there is likely to be access to archives of previous editions as well. Most dining and entertainment sections contain a regularly scheduled restaurant critique from a local critic which can be a great source for dining suggestions.
- Call a concierge. I’m not talking about the front desk support at the Holiday Inn Express. Call the more exclusive hotels in the area and ask to be connected with the concierge. A hotel concierge will likely know what’s new, what’s hot, what’s good and perhaps direct you to a “hidden gem” or two.
- Use the Internet. Just about every restaurant that wants to survive in today’s competitive market has a presence on the internet. The same can be said for newspapers and magazines. That being said, a simple internet search will typically provide you with a plethora of local dining suggestions. There are also hundreds of websites dedicated to food finding. Websites such as www.zagat.com, www.yelp.com and www.opentable.com even have apps (applications, not appetizers) that can be downloaded on your smart phone. Nowadays, networks like The Food Network and The Travel Channel feature shows such as “No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain” and “Man vs. Food” where colorful culinary personalities travel the country in search of great food. Most of these shows have searchable archives online where you can find the restaurants and the re-caps from their travels.
- Put your locum tenens recruiter to work. Your Barton Associates recruiter spends all day, every day, speaking with locum tenens physicians and NPs located throughout the country. Chances are, they know other locums who either reside or have worked locum jobs near your locum tenens destination. They are likely a phone call away from great suggestions and recommendations!
- Ask your coworkers. When you begin a new assignment, it’s very helpful to establish rapport with the people you’re going to work alongside. Discussing the local dining scene is a great icebreaker that could produce delicious results.
- Mix it up. If you ask the question, “what’s the best sushi restaurant” rather than “where’s a good place to dine around here?” you’ll likely get a different answer. Seeking out a local “best in class” for your favorite culinary styles can be a tasty treasure hunt. Japanese, French, Creative American, Thai, Chinese, Fusion, Tapas, Greek, Italian, Indian, Seafood, Steak Houses…the list goes on and on. The answer to the question “who has the best _______ food in the area” is a trophy.
- Keep a food journal. You can buy them at a local bookstore, order them online or make them yourself. A food journal is your diary and interpretation of the dining experiences and meals you have under your belt (No pun intended). You have creative control of how you keep your journal and what content you provide. You become the food critic! You can include pictures, menus, ratings (you can create your own rating system based on your personal taste and expectations), and anything else you desire. You’re the author of the book. You can keep it to yourself, share it with friends, blog about it—the choice is yours. As time goes by and the pages increase, you’ll always be a flip away from a mouthwatering reminder of the past.
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