What a wonderful day. I think we’ve finally turned the corner. Of course, only time will tell if this is true but it sure feels that way. The day started with an email I received confirming a certain someone will be joining our team. WooHoo!!! Why am I so excited? You’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out because I want to make sure this works before formally announcing anything. But when I do, you’ll totally get it.
We ran a bbq cheesesteak special at lunch and a delicious salmon special at dinner. Better yet, we finally got away from the plain dinner veg we’ve been serving (sautéed peppers and zucchini) and started serving the “seasonal veg” that we list on the menu. Fresh Ontario asparagus. Green beans in butter and lemon. The plates just looked great and our guests were loving it. As were the staff. It just feels better to work with people who care about what they’re doing and we finally have those people in the kitchen.
This turnaround happened in less than a week. In fact, last Friday we lost three kitchen staff before 10am. Jason didn’t show up to work which caused Angry John to quit and Dennis decided he’d had enough as well. We didn’t panic. There was no gnashing of teeth. We just got down to work. I strapped on an apron, put on a hat and got my tuchus in the kitchen.
I’m happy in the kitchen. Friday may have started badly but guests wouldn’t have known it. Saturday, our busiest day was a breeze. Sunday the floor staff commented they haven’t heard laughter from the kitchen in months and it was reflected in the food. It was joyous. Special thanks go out to Frank, New Jason and Dan who all stepped up and kicked ass. Did I mix that metaphor?
The smoked meat is finally consistently wonderful. We’ve had a problem with saltiness over the last few weeks as we’ve been adjusting our curing technique to solve the under-curing problem but thats a thing of the past. I could hardly be happier. Well, I could have a life outside of the deli. That would be nice and its not too far off. Actually, my bike should be ready tomorrow and I can’t wait to kick it into gear and ride off into the sunset. It is a wonderful stress reliever – work issues melt away as I crank the accelerator and roar off. Its all painted and I simply can’t wait to ride.
Underneath this fat, Jewish, deli-man exterior beats the heart of a badass biker dude. I even have a full black leather suit I bought for my trip down to pre-Katrina New Orleans. In fact, I was telling Greg about that trip last night when we made a road-trip to Camp 31 in Paris Ontario for some bbq. It was wonderful to get out of the city and breathe country air.
Which brings me to tonight. Mike Hopkins, who plays every other Thursday at Caplansky’s as the Spanish Waiter along with John the clarinet dude sounded so good people were dancing on the patio. As I stood and watched, young Molly MacGregor opened her arms and invited me to dance. (relax: her parents were right there) I accepted and we stepped into what I thought was a foxtrot. You may not know that I took dance lessons for over a year and was never quite able to figure out which dance went with which music. Never figured out the steps much either much to the frustration of Lola my instructor. And so it remains. ”Um, that’s a Tango,” Molly said. At least I’m consistent, eh? “Let me lead,” she said and wise guy that I am I let her. So there I was, being led around my patio by a beautiful young lady way more than half my age on a cool summer evening listening to delightful music on a tummy full of Andrew’s salmon with braised cabbage.
Life is good.