Yes, it’s that time of year!! Given that you don’t live in Colorado like me, and it wasn’t 23 degrees and snowing outside yesterday, Spring has begun! No more icy roads, winter coats, and boots. Instead, we break out the tank tops, shorts and bathing suits and sip on some ice cold drinks by the pool to keep ourselves from melting. What’s that you say, you’re out of ice so you have to serve lukewarm drinks?! Ummm, huge no no… I just can’t let you do that…
You no longer have to go to the grocery store and buy bags upon bags of ice. I mean, how do you think those bags of ice even got there in the first place? Do you really think the ice making companies use magic elves and individual ice trays for all of that ice? If so, well then you need to do some manual ice bagging of your own… If not, then you recognize these companies have taken a more efficient route to get you that ice. The ice itself comes from machines producing hundreds of pounds of ice per hour depending on the size of the machine.
Now that you know these ice companies don’t employee magic elves to do all the work, you no longer have to go to the grocery store to buy hundreds of pounds of ice. Whether you have a broken ice machine and are already familiar with the workings of one, or have yet to venture into the ice machine arena, I highly recommend further exploring Scotsman Ice Machines. This line is very efficient and contains a variety of sizes for you to choose from.
Scotsman is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of ice machines and ice machine accessories. They are the leading supplier of smarter efficiency machines that decrease utility and water costs, while increasing the amount of ice produced. Scotsman makes all kinds of ice machines including nugget, flake and cube ice. Plus, right now Scotsman prices are too low to advertise so you have to check these products out on the actual Restaurant Source site, rather then just take my word for it. A majority of the items are stock items too which means they will ship within 24 hours of your order!
Scotsman Ice Machines
Happy Passover! I figured what better time of year to post my Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe then Passover? It’s also an excellent gluten-free recipe for all of you avoiding gluten. For those of you who don’t celebrate Passover, not to worry, Easter recipes coming this week too!
This Flourless Chocolate Cake is very rich so I highly recommend serving it with a strawberry or raspberry coulis (cook 1 bag frozen strawberries until they are softened then add ½ cup brown sugar and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Strain seeds if desired.
Flourless Chocolate Cake:
- 4 1-oz. squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease an 8″ cake pan and dust with cocoa to prevent sticking; set aside.
In microwave or double broiler, melt chocolate and butter in bowl. Add sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, eggs, and vanilla and mix well. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 300 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve coulis on the side.
Ahhhh sooooo excited!!! It’s time for March Madness and the brackets have been announced!
Restaurant Source is hosting its own version of March Madness with specific manufacturer match-ups. We are very proud of the teams who made it this year, and while we may have our favorite teams, sometimes you have to cheer for the underdogs. Selection Sunday has occurred and “teams” have been selected. Which manufacturers will you be purchasing this March?
I think I’m particularly excited about the Scotsman vs Manitowoc Ice Machine match-up as well as the Amana vs Panasonic Microwave match. Both are bound to be great games, but don’t forget to check out some other favorites bound to impress us including the Waring vs. Robot Coupe Immersion Blenders and the Star vs. Centaur Panini Grill games. It’s guaranteed to be a good month in commercial restaurant equipment!
Let us know what manufacturers you will be cheering for this year! Maybe they have done you well in past seasons or you have a lot of expectations for them in future seasons? Who do you think will take the championship overall?
Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble. We’ve all heard this saying before. The term Cauldron generally refers to something a witch would use to make her potions of some sort, whereas the term Kettle, is often used for creating soups or stews for those of us who are not magical beings.
Available in antique copper or black, the Cayenne Colonial Kettles from Vollrath provide antique charm. They are great for display as well as both themed and non-themed events. The design may look antique, but the level of power and efficiency is most certainly modern. Kettle merchandisers are designed to rethermalize aka take a container of cooked food from a chilled state (below 40 F) through the HAACP “danger zone” to 165 F in less than two hours.
Cayenne Colonial Kettles from Vollrath
Yes, it’s true, July 4th is in the past this year, but who says we can only celebrate the freedom of our country on one day a year? What better way to continue the celebration then with a good old fashioned apple pie? After all, no American themed meal is complete without it! Even if you aren’t celebrating July 4th or you’re reading this much later in the year, it’s never too late to enjoy a good pie! One of the best things about pie is that although flavors are seasonal, pie itself is not. For example, apple pie on July 4th, Pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, and of course every type of pie on National Pie Day (3/14).
Here’s a little tidbit of knowledge for you – If you make a pie in a flat pan, it’s not a pie (I’m sure you didn’t know that until now so you’re welcome). In order to prepare a true pie, you need a pie pan. I know, a novel idea if you will! If you’re looking for a standard 10” pie pan, take a look at the 10” Pie Pan from Carlisle. These pie pans are 1-5/16” deep making them ideal for the average pie. The natural finish aluminum also helps spread heat more evenly therefore eliminating hot spots that could cause undercooking in some areas and burnt parts in others.
10” Pie Pan from Carlisle
So you want to advertise your daily specials, but you don’t want to print up a new menu everyday to waste paper. You also don’t want to hang a blackboard in the back of your restaurant with your specials, yet no one can see it.
Now that it’s nice outside, people are spending more time outside walking around to find new restaurants. Advertise your specials or anything else you desire on a Double-Sided Write-On Sandwich Board and Markers from American Metalcraft. This sandwich board is ideal for promotional usage in high traffic areas. It’s double sided so you don’t have to worry about positioning. You can also advertise different specials on each side if you choose. These sandwich boards can withstand all weather conditions short of a hurricane with 85 mile per hour winds. Unlike a normal chalkboard, this sandwich board does not leave chalk residue when it is cleaned. Just take a wet towel and wipe clean – it’s seriously as good as new! The marker set contains four extra large sized markers in blue, red, yellow and green.
Double-Sided Write-On Sandwich Board and Markers from American Metalcraft
Is dad or your recent grad interested in going into or already in the culinary field? Can’t think of a good gift to get your recent graduate or you dad for father’s day? What better way to award recent grads or dads then with a brand new knife set?
Victorinox makes some great Knife Sets. You can choose from those that come in a wooden block, carrying case, brief case, or even just go for the carving knife set. After all, a single chef’s knife does not constitute a knife set. The Victorinox knives are durable, and easily sharpened (most kits include a sharpening steel) to an extremely efficient blade. You can also choose from a variety of knife handles such as rosewood, fibrox/nylon, or plastic over molded handle. Your prep time does not get much easier!
Victorinox Knife Sets
Everyone claims that there products are “environmentally friendly”, but what exactly does that mean? Does it mean it’s fire resistant and should the building you’re in catch fire, your plates will remain intact? Does it mean you can plant it in the ground and it will immediately sprout a full on herb garden? I’m going to go with probably neither of these… I think something that is classified as “environmentally friendly” is recyclable or biodegradable, helps save on energy costs, and does not cause additional harmful chemicals to be released into the air when it is made. I’m sure there is more to the definition of the term, but for our purposes we will go with the above.
People don’t release how much plasticware they use that is not environmentally friendly and therefore eventually will just end up in a landfill for years to come. Tablemate manufactures some fantastic environmentally friendly, biodegradable/compostable paper goods and cutlery. They offer a range of plates, some of which don’t even look like they would be biodegradable! It’s as if these plates had a secret identity… Not only do they offer paper goods though, but have also added biodegradable “plastic” tablecloths, banquet rolls, and cups to their repertoire so make sure to check them all out!
Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Products from Tablemate
So you need to buy a new commercial refrigerator or freezer, but you’re worries that you can’t afford it. First of all, your refrigerators and freezers are some of the most important pieces of equipment in a restaurant so it’s not an investment you want to skimp on. When a refrigerator/freezer breaks, you loose a lot of inventory which directly transports to potential profits and revenue from food you otherwise would have sold if you had not experienced a refrigerator/freezer breakage. You can’t serve food that has been sitting in the danger zone (40 degrees F – 140 degrees F) due to a broken refrigerator or freezer.
One of my all time favorite refrigerators/freezers are the Two Door Reach-In Refrigerators and Freezers from Traulsen. They may be a bit more expensive then some other models, but they are guaranteed to last exponentially longer then most other models. Since the Traulsen’s are slightly more expensive, Restaurant Source has instigated a limited time promotion for you to purchase an Energy Star approved Traulsen Refrigerator or Freezer (G20010 or G22010) and receive a FREE, YES FREE iPad2 with your purchase!! It’s a hard offer to resist, especially if you are in the market for a new reach-in refrigerator/freezer. With summer just around the corner, it is extra important that you ensure that your refrigerators and freezers are in perfect working condition. Why not receive a free iPad2 just for being a responsible restaurant owner who plans ahead? After all planning ahead and the ability to anticipate and eliminate future problems is a staple personality trait for any restaurant or general business owner to have!
Two Door Reach-In Refrigerators and Freezers from Traulsen
Spring and Summer may directly mean hotter weather, but indirectly it means ice cream time! Who doesn’t love a nice cool ice cream cone say mid-afternoon on a hot day? I’m salivating just thinking about it!
The most important thing about ice cream though is that it must be kept cold enough to maintain that creamy thick flavor so you’re not left with a bowl of flavored cream, yet warm enough so you’re actually able to scoop it out and eat it. After all, if the ice cream is too hard, you don’t want to take 3 hours just to scoop for one customer. You also don’t want to serve someone an ice cream cone for them to use as a bowl for their soupy cream. Luckily, there are Ice Cream Dipping Cabinets from True that allow you to maintain the ideal ice cream serving temperature (-10°F – 8°F). Choose from horizontal dipping cabinets (ideal for back of the house because your customers do not see the ice cream while they are deciding which flavor to order) or regular ice cream dipping cabinets which offer a Merchandiser appeal so customers can see all the flavors that they can choose from. Merchandiser Ice Cream Dipping cabinets are ideal for ice cream shops and other operations where the ice cream is on display at the front of the house.
Ice Cream Dipping Cabinets from True
May is quickly approaching, which means Mother’s Day is just around the corner! You know mom wants to celebrate her special day with some adult beverages. Maybe some mimosas with brunch or wine with dinner? Your job as a restaurant/caterer is to make sure that you are prepared with enough stemware/glassware to appease mom’s order. Glassware breaks weekly at most establishments so it is important to prepare ahead of time.
Since you know you will have to buy more eventually anyways, why not buy a larger amount of glassware at once and save on future shipping costs? For a limited time, you can purchase five or more cases of any variety of Libbey Glassware and receive 5% off your total Libbey glass purchase! Choose from a large variety of stemware, decanters, bar glasses, shot glass, etc. Mix and match to your hearts content.
Oh, and in answer to the question above regarding the yelling of “Opa” – of course you can!!
Happy Earth Day weekend! What better way to celebrate Earth Day then a good down and dirty cleaning? After all, no one wants to eat at a dirty restaurant so it’s imperative that your floors are clean. Now that the weather is warmer, people are spending more time outdoors and therefore tracking more mud and dirt with them when they go inside. I love the environment just as much as the next person, but that doesn’t mean that I want the carpet in my dining room to have dirt crusted into it! There are health department codes after all!
Vacuuming can be loud and you don’t want to be forced to have to vacuum while you have guests dining. It’s just not the most appetizing thing to watch while you’re eating. Carpet sweepers are a great way to avoid the loud vacuum noise for spot checking when someone spills something. The Huskee Carpet Sweepers from Continental Manufacturing are very quiet and perfect for use while customers are eating because they are not distracting and they don’t have to be plugged in while in use.
Huskee Carpet Sweepers from Continental Manufacturing
Today’s post is everybody’s favorite wedding topic! Get your head out of the gutter, I’m talking about chairs!!
Most catered events such as Easter, Mother’s Day or weddings in general involve some sort of sit down meal. Most people feel that if you are going to have a sit down meal, it would be appropriate to supply chairs as well. I know we all love squatting to strengthen our quads, but generally, a fancy brunch or evening event is not the time to get in a workout.
Some people choose to rent chairs and tables, but in all honesty, when you rent you don’t really know what you are getting. Besides that, odds are you are involved in an establishment that will use said chairs again in the near future so why go through the additional hassle?
If you are looking for some multi-purpose chairs, check out the Maywood Stacking Chairs. They are classy and sophisticated, but still can be packed nicely in storage space. They Max Chairs are also great for using with chair covers on those special days, while the Chiavari Chairs are elegant all on their own and are offered in both basic and metallic colors.
After all, what event isn’t complete without a solid game of musical chairs?! (That’s a joke…)
Maywood Stacking Chairs
How can you not be a fan of the microwave oven? It’s a huge convenience when you are catering events and you just need to heat up something quickly. Often times you cater events where you don’t have access to any type of cooking equipment or kitchen, and therefore must prepare everything ahead of time. However most catered meals generally involve some sort of hot food. You don’t want to serve that hot food cold so you will need some type of portable heating source. Since you can’t really bring a six burner induction range with you (not exactly travel friendly), one way to work around this dilemma is to bring a compact commercial microwave oven as a source of last minute heating.
The Compact Commercial Microwave Oven from Panasonic has a key touchpad with 10 different programmable memory buttons. These ten memory pads have the capacity to hold up to 20 different “quick pick” programmable options! This microwave oven offers 6 different power levels so you can do everything from defrost to cook. This stainless steel microwave comes with a door handle rather then a button to easily open the see through oven door. Fun fact: the door hinges alone are tested 400,000 times – that’s not a number you joke about!
Compact Commercial Microwave Oven from Panasonic
We are approaching Spring, which means Easter, Mother’s Day, Wedding Season and other days where buffets just seem like a great idea! True, you can throw a few plates on a counter, put some plastic forks in them, and call it a buffet, but do you really want to be remembered for the crappy buffet and minimal effort you put into your event? That is a rhetorical question in case you are wondering…
When it comes to spicing up your buffet, you have a lot of different options. Now you don’t want any parched or dehydrated guests so let’s start with the drinks. Nothing ruins a buffet more then a trip in an ambulance… As far as beverages go, you should first be aware of your audience and what time of day it is so you know whether you should serve alcohol, soda, juice, water, etc. Juice Dispensers are a great option because they eliminate some of your wait staff needs.
It may sound trivial, but you should also consider the atmosphere and hospitable feel that your buffet will give off. For example, do you want a relaxed environment with bamboo platters, a fancy environment with chafing dishes or griddle serving pans, or a rustic feel where food is served straight from cast iron pans?
American Metalcraft has some great buffet items for you to choose from to help you determine the look and feel of the atmosphere you want. I’ve highlighted a couple of my favorite American Metalcraft Buffet Items so make sure to check them out!
American Metalcraft Buffet Items
It’s a Leap Year! Are you going to celebrate? Maybe your establishment is hosting a special buffet for the big day? Or maybe you didn’t even realize it was a Leap Year and you just like to host buffets in general.
Regardless of your reason for having a buffet, it’s a good idea to have Sneeze Guards cover your buffet food. Sneeze Guards are a pretty self explanatory concept. They keep germs out of the food (ie: people sneezing all over something – ew gross…), yet still allow people to access the dishes and serve themselves. If you are an establishment that often changes your buffet or do a lot of catering, a portable buffet sneeze guard is a great option. The Portable Buffet Sneeze Guards from Buffet Enhancements are a great option because they can fold and make storage a cinch. They also come in a variety of sizes, yet still remain in most price ranges.
Portable Buffet Sneeze Guards from Buffet Enhancements
What better way to celebrate the Mardi Gras season the tortilla chips? For some reason, they always go hand in hand (well in addition to beer). If you’re going to eat tortilla chips though, you are not going to want them to be cold. Since most restaurants prepare their chips ahead of time, it’s important to make sure that they are still served warm and fresh tasting. No one wants a stale chip after all.
A great way to keep your chips warm without overcooking or burning them is with a chip warmer. The 22 Gallon Chip Warmer from Vulcan is made of stainless steel, comes with a removable heating module for easy cleaning, and can maintain the ideal 140 degrees F – 190 degrees F.
Don’t forget the salsa and guacamole!
|Delicious Guacamole Recipe:
- 2 Ripe Avocados
- 1/2 Onion, minced (about ½ cup)
- 2 Serrano Chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
- 2 Tbs Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 Tbs Fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp Coarse salt
- 1/2 Ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
- Black pepper for seasoning
22 Gallon Chip Warmer from Vulcan
Happy almost Valentines Day! In honor of Valentines Day, we thought we’d change up the ice machine topic just a bit. We tend to talk about cuber ice machines a lot, but today I thought we’d change it up a bit and discuss flaker ice machines! I know change can be hard to deal with, but don’t worry, we will make your transition for the day as seamless as possible .
Anyways…Unlike cube ice, flake ice is great for using to aid food storage in coolers, plastic bags for seafood, etc. For example, when people order fresh seafood such as shrimp, mussels, crab, lobster (anything in the shellfish family really) from a seafood counter, it is generally served on ice. The best type of ice to serve these items with is flaked ice because it allows for the largest amount of surface area to be covered in ice in order to chill the food rather then freeze it. Flaked ice is also great for chilling other restaurant supplies and even medical supplies.
The 213 lb. Flaker Ice Machine and Bin from Ice-O-Matic can prepare up to 400 lbs of ice, and store up to 213 lbs to use later. This stainless steel machine is great for smaller establishments, and comes with a variety of space saving solutions.
213 lb. Flaker Ice Machine and Bin from Ice-O-Matic
It’s almost Super Bowl Sunday! Which team will you be rooting for? Do you have enough drinks and food to go around? You may have enough drinks, but do you have enough ice to keep all of those drinks cold?
Restaurant Source is having our own version of the Super Bowl: Manitowoc vs Scotsman Ice Machines! Choose from a variety of ice machines and bins from your preferred vendor. Don’t know which vendor you prefer? Check out the information below to determine which machine suits your needs the best, rather then just basing it on which vendor name you like better…
Scotsman and Manitowoc are the two largest commercial ice machine manufacturers. They both produce dependable, efficient, and durable models, so how do you choose between them?
Manitowocis best known for its ease of repair. No machine is perfect, and is therefore bound to break down at some point. The evaporator plate is the most important component of any ice maker. If this breaks, you want to make sure that it is easy to get to for repairs. Manitowocice machines have an easily accessible evaporator. Manitowoc plates are coated with nickel whereas Scotsman evaporator plates are coated with tin. Many restaurant owners tend to prefer the nickel coated evaporators.
On the other hand, Manitowoc machines are much easier to clean (yes, you HAVE to clean any ice machine you purchase). These machines have a cleaning process that takes less then 30 minutes to finish.
Regardless of which factor is most important to you, you will be making a good investment with both Scotsman or Manitowoc machines. This two vendors/teams should make for a good Super Ice Bowl matchup!
Manitowoc vs Scotsman Ice Machines