Friday, August 27, 2010

On the Fly

Lunch was slow today except for right at noon. We had probably 12 orders due at noon, and they were all different things; grilled chicken, pizza, quesadilla, burger, some fried stuff. We basically needed two people to get everything out and fresh by noon.

Chef tells us we need to make lunch for 15 on the fly. This means, "Do it now." The kicker? She told us this at 11:45 as we were getting ready to take on the lunch rush. We had to make 15 club sandwiches. I started the bacon for them so I could get my fryer free for chicken fingers, fish, and fries. That's right, we do bacon in the deep fryer. I sliced tomatoes for the sandwiches while it fried up.

Chris finished off the sandwiches and I took care of the lunch rush. The microwave was a godsend today (don't tell the clients!).

By the way, a quesadilla is not on our menu. We've done it as a special before, but not today. There's a client named Charles who Chef just adores for some reason. She will make him almost anything he asks for. I understand that he's mentally challenged, but he's in his 30s. Tell him to order from the menu like everyone else does! It's all good if it's something we have that we can just throw in the fryer, or a quesadilla that we can just microwave for 30 seconds, but sometimes it's something way too involved. Yesterday was a perfect example: He wanted egg rolls. Sure, we can deep fry those, but we didn't have any pre-made in the freezer, so he got egg rolls from scratch. Must be nice.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Little Touches (another Lotus post)

Lotus of Siam was amazing tonight. Devin and I tried three new things: the BBQ beef, the catfish soup, and the wonton appetizer. Of course they were all awesome.

The wontons look like any old fried wontons, but the flavor is the difference. They were delicious and came with a sauce that just enhanced that.

I usually get Tom Yum Kai soup, but I'm not a huge fan of the chicken in it. I realized that there was an option on the menu that was basically the same soup with catfish instead for only a dollar more, so I went with that. At an 8 out of 10 spicy, it was hot (for me; if you aren't used to spicy go for a 3) and delicious. My favorite soup with my favorite fish!

The BBQ menu is one we've never ordered from. I think it's because I think BBQ sauce, but for the Thai restaurant, BBQ just means grilled. The beef was great, and the sauce it came with was delicious.

Here's where the little touches come in. We took some of the BBQ beef, pad Thai, rice, and soup to go. They boxed it all up for us. I just went to have one more bite of beef, thinking, "too bad we finished all the sauce," and on top of the beef, in the to go carton, was a little to go thing of sauce.

So cheers to Lotus of Siam, not only for having amazing food, but for being incredibly thoughtful to their guests. Also cheers to Suwat, our bowling buddy, who is an awesome waiter and completely kicked our asses in bowling on Friday night.

Two Good Things

They have a Pour Your Own Pint table with Guinness and Bass at McMullans, and they have Smithwicks on draft. I went there last night before Country Fest at the Orleans, which was really fun, by the way.

Second good thing: I am going to Lotus of Siam for dinner tonight. I am excited.

And now back to my regularly scheduled beer and NASCAR Sunday.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Plans Fall Through

So that Friday where Chris and I were supposed to sit in a room and plan menus, yeah that didn't happen.

First, Abbie and Ethan were swamped with breakfast orders so we got called out to help at around 8:15.

Just before 9, Chef mysteriously disappeared into her office with some people. Apparently, there was a shakeup, and a new executive chef, and the other location would be closed until further notice. We were all confused enough by that.

Strike three! Chef told us we had a surprise lunch we had to cater, and it had to be done by 11. Two hours to make sandwiches, wraps, and two salads for a party of 10-20. I made the green salad and the wraps; Ethan and Abbie made the sandwiches, and Chris made the pasta salad. It's a good thing that all four of us were at the same location that day.

I got my evaluation today; all good. I need to do one for Chef and turn it in by Friday. Come Friday, I'm halfway done with my externship!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Busy Thursday, Exciting Friday

Today we had to prep a couple hundred sandwiches and wraps for a graduation being held at the Oakey location, and we had to do it in two hours. I took a leadership role and also worked really hard on the line to get it done. We did it all during the biggest breakfast rush we've had since I've been working there!

Tomorrow, Chris and I are working with Chef to create menus for upcoming parties, and Abbie and Ethan will be on the line by themselves. Chef wants to push them to work harder and quicker, and they will definitely have to. Tomorrow is payday Friday for the employees at Opportunity Village, which is the craziest lunch service I've seen so far.

We need to plan menus for at least two large events. One is for 300 people, and I believe it's a $10 per person budget! I always look to my favorite restaurants for inspiration, and I'll bring a couple of cookbooks in to look through as well. Tomorrow should be a fun day, and should bring new and exciting challenges that I've yet to take on.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Recreating a Favorite Restaurant Dish

Today I attempted to recreate the stuffed dates from Firefly. This is a tapas dish that's meant to be shared, but I always eat a whole plate of it by myself.

It's dates, stuffed with almonds, wrapped in bacon, and served with a red wine reduction and blue cheese. I figured I could do it easily, so last weekend I bought dates, almonds, and blue cheese. Of course I already have bacon and wine!

All I had to do was pit the dates, shove the almond inside, wrap about a third of a piece of bacon around it, and set it with a toothpick. I set my red wine up to reduce, seared the dates, and then put them in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Devin and I agreed that the flavors were perfect but the bacon was wrong. I was using my favorite thick-cut bacon, and I need to use a thinner cut so it gets crispier. I'm really proud of myself, though; it was delicious.

You can see a picture of it here.