OMG, Crepes!

I love to cook and my specialty has always been deserts. Candy, pastries, cookies, all fall within my scope. I’ve even made a gingerbread Tardis and coconut rum truffles. Crepes, however, never really made it onto my radar and when they did, they seemed overly fiddly and not worth the fuss. My husband, upon my mentioning them, raved about past breakfasts of crepes like they were a long lost crush he never got over. I had to make them to prove my place as his favorite chef.photo 2

My research led to the realization that I did not have the right equipment. I needed that intimidating pan, the one with no sides. Batter was going to go everywhere. I would be a crepe failure ruining my perfect desert record. But, like an unchecked box on a long list of minor achievements, crepes taunted me. Okay, I’m being a little melodramatic, but you get the idea.

It took exactly one email to Geoff at Restaurant Source with the idea of chronicling my adventures in crepes and I received a beautiful pan in the mail.

Here is what I learned…

They. Are. So. Easy.photo 1

I began with a simple recipe from allrecipes.com . I had trouble getting it as smooth as it needed to be, so I ended up placing my lumpy batter in a blender to end my frustrated whisking. Who whisks eggs into flour and expects it to be smooth? Seriously, who?

Oh, and before cooking the crepes I made a sweet filling with softened cream cheese and powdered sugar – no, I didn’t measure – and quickly macerated some fresh strawberries. I’d suggest making any filling or topping ahead of time.photo 1 copy

Heat the pan and ready your *smooth* batter. I learned from the first ugly crepe that I had to lift the pan off the burner and begin rolling the batter immediately. This made a huge difference in how round my crepes ended up being and anyone who knows me, knows that the deserts I make have to be as pretty as they taste. I hate ugly cookies; ugly crepes are no exception.

The crepes seemed to cook twice as fast as the recipe stated. They released with no trouble and no oil, had the most beautiful pattern, and if I didn’t over-cook they didn’t crack. I flipped them with a wooden spatula not wanting to scratch my new pan.photo 2 copy 3

Seriously, that’s it. I made two crepes at a time fearing the “damp towel”, and took the first plate to my husband who was sleeping. He didn’t mind being woken up for breakfast and declared them a complete success.photo 3 copy 2

I’d built up what crepes took in my mind, and yes, I admit, I may not have needed the exact pan. But it was so nice to have it. No battling the sides to flip, no extra weigh to deal with while rolling the batter is very much worth purchasing the right pan. In the end, it’s a little sad to realize I’ve overlooked crepes for so many years. I however will not continue that mistake. On to bigger and better things… like savory crepes!

Rethinking Muffin Tins

MV8737_ProffittIt’s a little bent, splotched in carbonized bits of cake batter dripped across from one paper to the next, and totally forgotten because there’s no need to make cupcakes this month.  Secretly though, we know that muffin tin needs to be thrown away but we so rarely use it, why buy another one?

Well, dig that old tin out, or better yet give it the ol’ heave-ho and get yourself a new one because muffin tins aren’t for just muffins anymore.  They’re being used to create savory meals that as a plus are perfect portions for the health minded and are just adorable for presentation sake.

This isn’t a new trend, just one that’s become more and more embraced and interesting over the last year or two.  One need only google “muffin tin” and recipes pops right into place.

Some of my favorites –

Betty Crocker’s Muffin-Tin Meals

Food Beast’s 17 Miniature Meals You Can Make in a Muffin Pan  – Check out the Holy Mother of Prosciutto-Wrapped Mac and Cheese.

And of course, some health minded recipes from Eating Well .

So go forth, get some new tins and reinvent what “muffins” are all about.

Mini-Me Desserts

These Nutella Cheesecake Trifles are on the agenda for today.  Over the last few years, dessert has been making a transition from towering layers of cake and fudge to delicate morsels that can be easily stacked on top of a fantastic meal.  In 2011 these mini-desserts were dubbed the “hot new trend” and they don’t seem to be losing steam.

The great part of this trend is that it’s busting the traditional end of meal dessert and allowing restaurants to offer indulgent treats meant to be impulsively enjoyed anytime.  Consider the cupcake phenomenon and how it has become a trend hot enough to create not only countless bakeries offering luscious little cakes, but reality TV offering timed competition and drama!

Seasons 52 offers miniature desserts in shot glasses.

Seasons 52 offers miniature desserts in shot glasses.

Food is beautiful and dessert is passion.  Creamy textures dancing with crunchy bits of blissful heaven, it doesn’t get any better than a tiny no-guilt piece of “I deserve this”.

Next time you’re out and about, consider a mini-dessert in the middle of the day.  It’ll taste as good as that after-school ice cream cone enjoyed on the way home.

The Restaurant Version of the Dictionary: Restaurant Lingo, Slang & Phrases

Below is our own version of the dictionary with a full list of restaurant lingo words and phrases to keep you informed in the kitchen.  Please feel free to add any in the below comment section that you think we might have missed!

  • 86’ed – An item that has been discontinued for the night because the kitchen ran out of a certain ingredient
  • Al Dente Firm, to the bite (often refers to pasta).
  • All Day – The total amount.  If table 12 orders two orders of salmon and table 19 orders four orders of salmon, that’s “six salmon, all day.”
  • Back of the house (BOH) – The back end of the restaurant, the kitchen and storage areas, where the chefs, cooks, prep people and dishwashers primarily work.
  • Bev Nap – The little square paper napkin on which a beverage rests.
  • Blood Rare – As rare as possible.
  • Blue Plate Special – A term used mainly in diners and cafes, referring to a special low-priced meal that usually changes daily. It typically consists of a “meat and three” (three vegetables), presented on a single plate, often a divided plate rather than on separate dishes.
  • Brigade System – The kitchen organization system instituted by Auguste Escoffier. Each position has a station and a set of well defined responsibilities.
  • Bubble Dancer – A disrespectful name for one of the most valuable and unrecognized of kitchen staff – the dishwasher.
  • Buried – See “In the weeds”. Way behind. Overwhelmed.
  • Cambro – A large plastic pan used for storage of perishables and non-perishables. The term Cambro derives from the company that makes these containers. Also referred to as a Lexan (from a competing company).
  • Campers – Customers that hang out at a table all night long and even turning off all the lights doesn’t get rid of them at closing time.
  • Can’t cook his/her way out of a paper bag – Someone who can’t cook well, usually applied to describe someone who is a terrible cook/chef but thinks that he or she is the greatest.
  • Chef de Partie – Station chefs. In the brigade system, these are the line cook positions, such as saucier, grillardin, etc.
  • Commis – An apprentice. A cook who works under the Chef de Partie to learn the station and responsibilities.
  • Comp – To give something away free. Usually done by owners or managers to get brownie points from important customers. Also used to smooth over problems. i.e. “Table 16’s chicken was raw!” “Comp the whole table desserts and coffee!”
  • Cover – A customer, i.e. “It was a slow night, we only did 20 covers tonight.”
  • Credits – An amount that is due back to a restaurant from the vendor for a mispicked, damaged or out of date product.  See mispicked.
  • Cremate it or Kill it – To almost burn something or be very overcooked. i.e. ” Table 5 wants his burger cremated” extra extra well done.
  • Cross Contamination - Occurs when bacteria, chemicals, etc. from one product are allowed come into contact with another product. An example would be storing vegetables under a meat product in your cooler and the juices dripping onto the product below.
  • Cryovaced – Generally used with meat products, but many dried goods are packed this way to retain freshness. Cryovacing is a process used to remove any excess oxygen from a bag.  The bag is then heat-sealed to make it airtight.  When receiving meat products that have been cryovaced, keep a look out for products that are discolored or brown when they shouldn’t be because this means the airtight seal has been broken and you should send the product back.
  • Deuce – A table with only two seating spaces. For example, “Seat this deuce at Table 13″ See Top.
  • Double – Two shifts in a row.  “I’m exhausted, I just pulled a double.”
  • Double/Triple Sat – When more than one table is seated in a particular station at the same time.
  • Dupe – The ticket/information that gets submitted to the kitchen so the cooks can cook orders of food.
  • Drop the Cheque – Taking a guest’s bill to their table for payment.
  • Drop – Start cooking the accompanied item. “The mussels are almost done, better drop the calamari.”
  • Drop Food/Order – The moment at which the kitchen begins to prepare a guest’s food or the moment a server delivers an order to the customers. “I just dropped the drinks on table 4.”
  • Dying/Dead – Food that is nearly or completely unservable, either due to temperature, appearance, wrong ingredients, etc. For example, ‘My shrimps dying in the window because I don’t have veg (accompanying vegetables) to go with it!” Also called beyond in the weeds.
  • Early Bird – Generally elderly people or tourists who want everything included for very little money. The $12.95 all you can eat buffet.
  • Early Bird Special – A cheap meal that is generally available for a limited amount of time when the restaurant opens for service.
  • Expeditor, Expo – Person in charge of organizing food from the kitchen and sending it to the dining room; a mediator of the line.
  • FIFO – First In, First Out inventory method to keep products from expiring.
  • Fire, Fire it – Order given by the head of the line to the other cooks to begin preparation of certain orders, such as “Fire those shepherds pies!”
  • Five second rule – The amount of time between when a piece of food hits the floor and when it’s picked up and placed in a sauté pan or on a plate, generally accompanied by a guilty look to see if anyone else saw it.
  • Food cost – What a menu item costs to prepare. The cost of a chicken entrée with meat, sauce, vegetables and starch is your food cost. Most restaurants run between a 30-40% food cost.  This does not include the cost of overhead that needs to get added in before you start making a profit.
  • Front of the house (FOH) – The front end of the restaurant, the dining room and bar where the customers are served and the wait staff, bartenders, bussers and dining room managers primarily work.
  • Garde-Manger – Pantry chef/station. The position responsible for cold food preparation, including salads and cold appetizers.
  • Gnocchi – Dumplings made from potatoes.
  • Gratin – Browned surface of foods cooked in a hot oven or salamander.
  • HAACP – (Hazard analysis control point system) It helps ensure food handling errors do not occur and that safe food is served to your customers.
  • Hockey Puck – A well done hamburger.
  • Hold Time - The time you are allowed to hold an item before it begins to break down.
  • In the Weeds – Can have meanings for both the front and back of the house. The kitchen being in the weeds can mean having only one 2 ft by 3 ft grill and having 40 people order medium well steaks in the space of five minutes. In the front of the house, it could mean one server just had two parties of 12 seated at the same time and they all want separate checks.
  • Jeopardy/Wheel of Fortune Crowd – Early bird diners. Need to be home early or looking for cheap meals that include everything.
  • Kill it – To make something very overcooked; see Cremate it.
  • Marry - Consolidate food in same containers, i.e. pouring ketchup from half-filled bottles into other bottles to make full bottles
  • Mise en Place - Everything in its place prior to prep time. A means of kitchen organization
  • Mispick – An item that is ordered from a vendor that has a label on it that does not match the product it contains.
  • No Call/No Show – Employee who does not show up and does not call or a Reservation that does not show up and does not call.
  • Nuke it – to Microwave.
  • On a Rail or On the Fly – Something needed quickly, like yesterday.  “I need table 2’s salads on a rail!”  Or, “Give me a well done tender…on the fly.”
  • Overhead – The added in factors when you are costing out menu products to make sure you are making a profit. Overhead may include electricity costs, paper and chemical products, employee salaries and any additional costs that may be relevant in serving an item.
  • Paddy Well – A term used very frequently in Irish Pubs and Restaurants, which means to cook it until there is no possibility of life remaining. The next level above Cremate it.
  • Party – A group of people at a table.
  • Pittsburgh Rare – Burnt outside, rare inside.
  • Pump it out – Getting food out quickly.
  • Push- “Sell” it.  Put it in the window or “We only have two orders of sole left, push it.”
  • Redneck – The non-tipping public, not related to a rural type person, meaning a cheapskate. See stiffs.
  • Reduction - The result of reducing by boiling down sauces to increase consistency, richness, and flavor.
  • Rollup – Silverware rolled into a napkin, usually linen but can be paper.
  • Roux - Thickening agent made of equal parts of whole butter and sifted flour, cooked.
  • Sacked – Fired, usually employees are considered sacked after a major screw up, like serving a banquet of 200 people the $100.00 bottles of Dom Perignon champagne instead of the $12.95 bottles that they were supposed to get.
  • Saucier – Sauté Chef/station. The chef de partie responsible for all the sautéed items and their sauces.
  • Server – The preferred term for waiter or waitress, for example, “Could you find my server, please, I need a refill on my Pepsi.”
  • Shelf life – The amount of time in storage that a product can maintain quality and freshness.
  • Sidework – Work performed by front of the house staff (e.g., refilling salt and pepper shakers, polishing silverware).
  • Shoe – A slacker cook/chef. Someone who doesn’t cook well.
  • Shorting – An unscrupulous method used by some vendors to charge a restaurant for more product than they actually receive.
  • Sizzle Platter – Heavy grade metal oval plate that is used to reheat or cook something in a high temperature oven.
  • Skate – Leaving without doing sidework.
  • Slammed – Busy.  See “In The Weeds”.  Perhaps not as out of control as “in the weeds”.
  • Sommelier – Wine Steward or wine waiter.
  • Sous Chef – Generally the second in command in a kitchen; there can be an Executive Sous Chef, generally found in a larger kitchen with a lot of staff. The Sous Chef runs the kitchen when it’s the Chef’s day off or he/she is not available.
  • Starch – Starch can be potatoes, rice, grain or pasta, the other accompaniment besides the “Veg” to a plated meal.
  • Station – The set number of tables waited on by a particular server.
  • Stiffed – A customer has left the restaurant without tipping the server.
  • Stiffs – Non-tipping customers, see redneck.
  • Still Moving or Still Mooing – Ultra rare, “they want the tender (tenderloin) still Mooing.”
  • Stretch It – To make four orders of hollandaise sauce last through an entire shift by “stretching it” with whatever is available and edible.
  • Table Turn – Number of times a table has had the full revolution of service from being seated to getting the check and then reset for the next group of customers.
  • Tare – The weight of a container that the product from a vendor is delivered in. This weight should legally be deducted from the actual weight of the product. See shorting.
  • Tender – A tenderloin.
  • The Man, the Boogie Man – Health Inspector. “Wash your hands, The Man is here!” “Better mop the walk-in, the Boogie Man’s coming in 10 minutes.”
  • Top – The number in a dining party. For example, an eight top is a dining party of eight. A three top is a party of three.
  • Toss – An unscrupulous method used by some vendors to make a box look like its full of product.
  • Totes – Plastic containers that are usually used to deliver fish. They are frequently rectangular but sometimes square or round. Totes are horded by kitchen staff because once washed and sanitized, they make excellent airtight storage containers for just about anything.
  • Tourne – Vegetables that are cut to resemble a small, slightly tapered cork, but instead of being smooth they are cut to have seven equally large facets. Generally root vegetables, potatoes, carrots, but sometimes zucchini or other soft vegetables are used. Traditionally, they are boiled, steamed or roasted.
  • Turn & Burn – Turn a table quickly (usually because there is a long waiting list for tables). see Table Turn
  • Tron – Old 80’s slang for a waiter or waitress.
  • Upsell – To suggest a higher priced item. “I’d like a glass of merlot, please.”  suggesting Iron Horse at $6.00 a glass as opposed to the house wine at $4.00 a glass.
  • Veg – The vegetable accompaniment to a plated meal.
  • VIP – A very important customer, perhaps well known and deserving of extra special treatment. Food critics fall into this category. Generally accompanied by many Comps.
  • Waitron – Coined in late ’80’s to avoid using “sexist” terms “Waiter/Waitress”. Was replaced in the ’90’s by Server.
  • Walk-in – A refrigerated room for cold storage of perishable items.
  • Walked – A customer has left without paying the bill or a employee get fed up and just left in the middle of their shift.
  • Window – A shelf, usually heated and connected to the kitchen, upon which the food is placed after preparation and awaiting delivery to the table.
  • Well drinks – “Well” drinks are made from the inexpensive house liquors on hand. i.e. If you ask for a unspecified gin and tonic you will get whatever gin they serve as opposed to a Tanqueray and tonic.
  • Yield - The total amount that is usable in a product after unusable parts are removed.

May Days, Cinco De Mayo, Mother’s Day and the Beginning of Ice Machine Season!

Dennis Hawaii

 

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

C0330MA-1B

Celebrate Passover with Some Flourless Chocolate Cake!

AngelHappy 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.

flourless chocolate cake

Restaurant Source March Madness Selection Bracket!

chef

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?

 

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Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

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

It’s Never Too Late To Celebrate America’s Independence!

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

How to Advertise Outdoors In Inclement Weather

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

American Metal SBSM135 - 30" x 54" Securit Sandwich Board, Mahogany

Stumped Over What to Get Dad or Your Recent Grad?

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

7 Piece Cutlery Roll Set w/ Rosewood Handles

Not All Environmentally Friendly Products are Magic

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

EcoSense Plastic Plates & Cutlery

Best Way to Get a FREE iPad2™!

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

2 Door Reach-In Refrigerator

The Main Reason for Hot Weather is to Use it as an Excuse to Eat Ice Cream!

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

Ice Cream Dipping Cabinets

Can You Still Yell ‘Opa’ if You Break a Glass?

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!!

Libbey Glassware

Glassware and Decanters

Clean Your Establishment’s Carpet Without Any Added Noise Distractions

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

Huskee Floor Carpet Sweeper

What Better Time Then Mother’s Day for Some Musical Chairs?

 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

Maywood MMAXWH - Max Chair, stacking, resin, permarez finish, whiteMaywood MMAXCHWHT - Max Chiavari Stacking Chair, resin, white

A Quick Way to Heat Up Food On The Go

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

Panasonic NE-1054F - Compact Commercial Microwave Oven- 1,000 Watts

 

What Kind of Feel Do You Want Your Buffet To Have?

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