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Local restaurants brace for a busy Mother's Day

Published May 10. 2013 05:03PM

You do not necessarily need to buy your mother things to express your gratitude for all she has done and sacrificed for you. Nonetheless, that gratitude goes great with "Surf and Turf," and the 80 million Americans who will be enjoying restaurant meals this Mother's Day agree.

According to the National Women's History Project, Mother's day began as days of workshop to improve sanitation issues led by Anna Jervis, a young Appalachian Homemaker. Jarvis fought to establish a memorial mother's day.

"There are many days for men, but none for mothers," said Jarvis according to the project.

When she died, her daughter Anna Jarvis Jr. started a campaign continuing her mother's cause. In 1914, the Mother's Day resolution was signed by President Woodrow Wilson. Ever since then, it has been a day set aside to celebrate to the women who gave us life, and the most popular way to celebrate this day is by indulging in restaurant meals. According to Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association, more people go out to eat on Mother's Day than any other holiday.

To be in the restaurant business on Mother's Day is a hectic but profitable thing. Representatives from local favorites Broadway Grille and Pub, Sapore Restaurant, and Trainer's Inn described what it is like inside their restaurants on Mom's special day.

"We do four times the amount of usual business, if not more." said Laura Denithorne, the manager at Trainer's Inn in Lehighton. Denithorne described the environment for the servers and cooks as high stress with a lot of running around. The restaurant reaches full capacity multiple times throughout the day. Not only is the full staff on-duty to serve the mothers and their families, even some former employees and family members of employees work at the restaurant during the holiday. The restaurant prepares enough food on Sunday to feed an army, and apparently it takes an army of workers to make that food happen, too.

"Indulgent" would be a fitting word to describe the menu at the inn on Mother's Day. Denithorne said they try to spoil the women as much as the women spoil their children. Their special Mother's Day menu features a Prime Rib and Seafood Buffet. While prime rib and seafood are not mainstays in everyday diets, roughly 90 percent of their patrons find the holiday a good excuse to treat themselves to delicious food they would not normally have ordered.

Serving large amounts of food at a fast pace is considerably harder when you have a high quality standard to adhere to. Norda, the manager of Sapore Restaurant in Lehighton said there is little their restaurant can do to prepare in advance for the holiday given that all of their food items are purchased fresh and never frozen. The food is made to order at the restaurant, and if the cook has 20 orders of the restaurant's stuffed lobster special coming in at the same time, he or she will be responsible for sending out 20 orders of the stuffed lobster special at roughly the same time. Yet, Sapore's takes it all in stride. "It's busier, but every day is busy," said Norda.

Busy days with more customers means more reservations, and the reservation book at the Broadway Grille and Pub is already beginning to fill up. "We'll get mostly local customers on this day, as well as quite a few tourists who may be staying at the Inn at Jim Thorpe or in town that day" said Nancy Ziegler, manager of the restaurant. There menu features dishes such as "Pancetaa Pappardelle Pasta" and "Rack of Lamb Lollipops." Their printed menu is decorated with a mossy green border with delicate, light pink roses on top. Yet, for the mothers who wish to overlook the frill and motherly stereotypes of the day, they might be more interested in the dark reds of the "Bloody Mary" drink specials occurring throughout the day.

In the end, it does not truly matter if you take your mother out for shrimp scampi or stay in and put yourself in charge of the boxed macaroni and cheese dinner for a change. Just remember to be gracious, love your mother and to buy something for dessert.

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