Friday, May 20, 2011

This and That

  • Kevin's latest sausages - the bratwursts pictured above - are some of the best he's ever made, IMHO.  Juicy and well seasoned, they offer the mouth a big jolt of umami.  Great on our hamburger roll!  Great with the chicken!  Kevin is the Sausage Master of the Universe Kent County.
  • We are looking forward to soft shell crabs, arriving soon from Chester River Seafood.  Shelia says "any day now".
  • The 12% jump in the price we pay for Pineland Farms Strip Loins was the major bad news story for us this week.  Everyone who eats knows that food prices have been going up and up, but this kind of increase for one of our most popular menu items is going to be very difficult to deal with.  The steaks are delicious; people tell us they are as good as any they've had at any steak house.  That being said, I don't think too many diners our area would want to pay over $30 for it, no matter how good it is.  We haven't yet decided what we'll do, if we don't feel we can raise the price.  Changing purveyours might bring disappointment.  Cutting portion size would definitely bring disappointment.  Changing cuts might be the solution.  We just don't know.  We'll worry about it next week...
  • It's been a slightly difficult week for our Chef. Tuesday began with two line cooks calling out sick: Brittany at lunch and Kev at dinner.  Tuesdays, being our Monday, are bad enough already without being short two cooks... Kev has actually been out all week; his doctor is going to let him return to work tomorrow night.  As usual, when this happens, other staffers have to pick up the slack, and they have been absolutely great about it.  Megan - dinner garde-manger extraordinaire - moved into Kev's spot at the end of the line and Brian - garde manger trainee from day service - did the salad station in her stead on Tuesday, then Wednesday, and again last night.  (Brian is multi-talented: he works on the floor as a busser and as a host; in the kitchen he has a shift on the dish side and two shifts on the salads, working closely with Angie.  For an 18 year old new hire, he is already making himself quite indispensable!)   I called Angie at 6 last night to see if she could pull a double on Friday, which she graciously agreed to do.  And, since I pulled Brian from his bus shift on the floor last night, I had to replace him - Katie stepped up to the plate on that one, and worked Brian's shift quite well.  Thanks to our terrific team, Kevin's week was a lot less stressful than it might otherwise have been.
  • Nonetheless, I still wouldn't let him drink any extra coffee!
  • And of course the week when Kevin is short handed is the week we get a veal and a beef delivery from St. Brigid's Farm!
  • Washington College graduation is this weekend - looking to be just about perfect, weather-wise - which should translate into a boost in business for area restaurants.  BT doesn't have any extra reservations on the book though, which is unusual.  It's not necessarily a bad thing, since the ones that typically do book WC graduation weekend aren't that dependable anyway. I don't know why we have such a problem with those graduation parties, but it is the same thing every year.  Last year I called to confirm one party on the day of the reservation, for 7 people at something like 7 o'clock, and the person who answered said "Oh, no, we're not coming".  And when I queried, "Well, were you going to call and tell us that?", they replied "No".  !!!!??!
  • We've had a fairly busy spring here at 870 High Street, although not so much the past week or two.  Weekends yes, weekdays no.  I blame it on yard work.  The most dramatic slide is Wednesday night, for our "famous" prixy-fixy.  That has really dropped off; there are many regular faces that we just haven't seen for weeks.  Where have they gone, we wonder.  Will they come back?
  • However, Thursday night's "Burger Night" has, for the most part, been a big hit.  I've had to put an extra person on the floor, it has become so popular.  Of course, as Kevin says, it looks like we might have traded a busy night where people could get dinner for $20 to a busy night where people can get dinner for $11...hmmm.
  • Strawberries - at least the ones from Redmans - have been delicious so far this year.
  • When is a Pear Martini a Pear Cosmopolitan?  When you order one at Brooks Tavern.
  • Don't forget to root for Kevin's raft in the T-Party Classic raft race next Sunday.  His pontoon, named the "Jug-Or-Knot" is destined to be a hoot winner, one way or another.  The crew will consist of Megan, serving as coxswain (ha!), and rowers Val, Jen, Brian, Tabitha and Rodrigo.  Captain Kevin will probably just wave at the jeering cheering crowds as the boat sinks rounds the course.  No matter what, the raft race is my very favorite part of T-Party weekend.  Watching all of the amazing creations that set sail  (or not, as is sometimes the case) is pretty dang hilarious.  You gotta go.
  • Enjoy the aproaching glorious weekend!  And stop with the yard work already!!!

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