Last night was very, very slow. Slow for a Wednesday. Slow for any day. I don't imagine the weather helped us much, especially since the weatherman put that S-word out there. Not that any frozen precipitation was predicted for our area...it's just the thought of it that seems to keep people off the roads, which is probably a good thing, considering driving habits. Anyway, the night was dreary enough to make for a rather quiet evening, albeit one that ended early! (Silver lining.)
The duck sausage on a spinach salad looked pretty appetizing. This sausage is the first trial of Duck Sausage for Kevin, and he was mostly pleased, although he would have liked the texture to be a little coarser. He put dried cranberries in it, which added a nice fruity pop to the meat.
The sausage was followed by more poultry, in the form of creamed chicken on a biscuit. I was privileged to taste a bit of the sauce surrounding the chicken, and of course it was Delicious. Not too many people can make as flavorful a cream sauce as Kevin, without using any flour.
Dessert was the inappropriate choice of bread pudding (no picture). Why inappropriate? Well, generally you probably wouldn't select a dessert made of bread after a dinner featuring the same? I am not sure what we were thinking, except that we wanted to make bread pudding and there you have it. Not just a few people took their dessert to go...
We welcome back the oyster fritter this week! Kevin began pumping them out on Tuesday night (11 of them!) and they will be on the specials list until we manage to finally change the dinner menu. It is such a popular dinner item, Kevin has to really gear up mentally to fulfill all the orders. He refuses to offer them until he is sure the oyster supply will be up to his standards - which generally isn't until the colder weather actually arrives for good - and then he's got something to really be proud of. They are more than delicious. I even got a wee one last night, made from the dregs of the batch. Not too shabby, I'd take that any day!
We lost one of our original customers last week - Janet Hewes from Cliff City. Mr. and Mrs. Hewes have been guests of ours right from our very beginning in 1986. They have always been among our most regular clientele, dining at the Ironstone many a New Year's Eve and lunch or dinner any day of the week, clear up to dinner just about every Saturday night here at Brooks Tavern. Mrs. Hewes had been slowly failing in the past month or so and it broke our hearts to see her so, but she certainly lived life to the last minute. We wish her family well and look forward to seeing Bob eventually return to his Saturday night routine.
Our day-time salad cook also suffered a loss this week, and consequently has retired from the restaurant scene. Angie - garde manger and dessert cook - lost her Dad to a long illness on Monday. Angie came to work here after Brix closed, in 2009. She produced many of the desserts served here at Brooks, including the now classic Lemon IceBox Pie. We had already put a plan in place when her Dad took a turn for the worse last week, and while we didn't realize that she might be leaving under those circumstances, it is certainly understandable. For now we'll continue with our contingency plan - having Antwan and Rayvon come in to cover Cherelle's day time porter duties and plugging Cherelle into the salad station. I certainly have experience enough to make desserts - which I have continued to do anyway, to limited release - so Kevin, Cherelle and myself, we can make this work for the time being. Meanwhile, our condolences to Angie and her family.