Archive for June, 2012

Oh, Snap!: I Made Some Comida

No time for a full entry! Look at these pretty pictures!

Ever since I moved up the ladder and we got Master Blaster as our dishwasher, the responsibility of making food for the dishwasher has all but diminished. Sure, we still make him food. But it’s not like before, when we used to make it with whatever was in the walk-in and every dinner was a delicious surprise (or, depending on the line cook, a passable offense). Nowadays, the ole Blaster asks for something and we make it. I long for ye olden days.

So last Saturday night, it was with gleeful delight that undertook the making of staff meal. Whoa, that’s a term that’s not often heard at Avec. Ruth had handed me a quart of whitefish scrap to make comida for Master Blaster, but those plans fell through, and well… everyone else benefited. Heck, I wasn’t going to let a quart of super fresh fish go to waste. And immediately I thought, “Cioppino!” except we didn’t have any other seafood other than squid, and some salt cod (in the brandade). Whatever! Not like that stopped me and Ruth from making some tasty fish soup. Version 1 (pictured above) was made on Saturday and included fideo, potato, roasted endive, and a heavy finish of pastis.

Version 2, made on Monday, had fennel, roasted endive (love that mellow bitterness!), rice, fava beans and considerably less pastis, with the addition of sambuca. Maybe I’m partial to version 2 because I can wholly call it my own (version 1 was a Betty and Ruth collaboration), but I liked the subtle flavor of the liqueurs I used to finish, preferring to let the seafood be the star, as opposed to Saturday’s soup with its long pastis finish. I guess I’m all about subtlety.

It felt really good to make a good meal out of random odds and ends of ingredients. I’m thinking that as long as there is really good fish scrap, I’ll be making really good fish soups all summer. Hmm, next up, fish chowder?

Oh, Snap!: New Kid On The Block

No time for a full entry! Look at this pretty picture!

The old Meiji space two doors down from us is now Alimentari, which opened its doors last Friday (three days ago). To be honest, I’ve taken a look at the space and exterior, and it looks like Avec Lite. I’m not saying we hold the exclusive rights to natural wood exteriors, but when your neighbor builds a house that looks similar to yours, you can’t help but raise an eyebrow.

But hey, it’s probably coincidence, right? I’m sure on the inside it’s a different beast altogether. Hmm, according to Eater, the place also has a wood burning oven. No biggie, what restaurant DOESN’T want one? Those things are awesome. Besides, the place is Italian, so it’s like a given. Oh, they’re doing charcuterie and small plates too? Meh, that stuff must be all the rage, just look at the Purple Pig.

We got a copy of their menu and Ruth and I took a look at it. Oh hey! Alimentari will have burrata on their menu too! A roasted half chicken? Seared white colored fish? Cheese with honeycomb? No way, us too!

As Ruth says, imitation is the best form of flattery. May our new neighbor become our new waiting room!

Oh, Snap!: All Work No Posts

Last week was kind of amazing. Not only did Conan O’Brien come in to eat on Wednesday, but I worked a double the next day (opened and then worked service), and then worked on station 2 on Friday for Ruth (she of the recovering spider bite).

My first Friday on Station 2!!!!!!!! Epic!!!
I was ready to fight my way through a mountain of focaccia tickets, but surprisingly they turned out to be very manageable. It also helped that for a while it was mainly a station 1 party, aka high demand for dates, shoulder, burrata, and chicken.

I don’t think I’d happily volunteer to do another double in the future, but at least I can say that if the need is there, then I shall rise to the occasion. Dare I say that it really isn’t as bad as some people thought it would be? I’d been telling everyone, “If Elliot could do it, so can I!” because he had pulled a double before. I suppose I was just running on my own happy energy/adrenaline, because later that night I started to feel a little weary during a 5-focaccia pop, but I got my (maybe) second wind and all was well to the end. Katie was super impressed that I was pulling a double and left me this awesome “survival pack” that just totally lifted my morale. Woot Gatorade! ZOMG M&M’s ice cream sandwiches!! Scratchies!!! Thank you Katie for the awesome gesture!!! I devoured the watermelon after work. It’s really odd but some of the best watermelon I’ve had this year has come from 7-Eleven, no lie.

I think since I proved myself capable that Friday, I took a look at the schedule for the 4th of July weekend and it looks like I’ll be on 2 that Thursday, Friday, and SATURDAY O_O!!! The training wheels have come off! Or, rather, as Koren said, the training wheels have been off for a while. If it’s so, I’ve been shakily riding the 2-Wheeler (hahageddit?) but you know what? I’m excited!

Little Musings

To the people who came in just as the kitchen was closing and at 12:58am ordered a hangar, whitefish, whole fish, and TRIED TO ORDER FOIE: you suck.

I know I’m not as spry as I used to be when I’m working and I haven’t gone to the bathroom in so long that my kidneys hurt. Urgh… it never used to be like this.

What’s more obnoxious than men who don’t take off their hats in restaurants? Women who wear hats in restaurants.

I loathe children in the diningroom. But I hate children with iPads even more. How dare you flaunt things I can’t afford?

Speaking of kids, I hate making special food for kids just because they’re kids. Hey parents, you took your children to eat at avec so don’t cop out and request that the line cooks make pizza with tomato sauce or pasta with only butter and cheese. Your kids don’t want to eat finocchiona salami or chicken & liver sausage? Take them to McDonalds next time.

It’s after midnight. What are you people still doing here eating? GO THE FUCK HOME.

Saturday service is a soul suck.

Red Headed Stranger

Holy. Crap.
Tonight Conan O’Brien came in and sat at the Chef’s table.
He ate at our restaurant. During busy service. He had no crazy airs. He loved everything. He wears glasses when he reads.

When he and his wife walked up to their seats, I immediately turned around and tried to remain calm and not act affected. But it’s a little hard not to, when you’ve been watching him for a good part of your life when he used to host his late night show. It’s a pop culture in-yo’-face moment and I was kinda-sorta squeeing on the inside.

He ordered (in order of courses): green salad; dates, hangar; flatbread, chicken. We sent him olives and a second course squid compliments of the house.
He was totally loving the salad I made. I could hear him talking about how good it was. AHHHH! Yay!!! They loved all the food and totally thanked us for the meal. I wish I could’ve shaken his hand or gotten a picture or something but I’m too staunchly professional for that. Still! Squee!!! He said the next time he was in Chicago, he’d totally come back. Excellent!

With this Comedy Week going on, I’d like it if Kevin Smith, Sarah Silverman, or Hannibal Burress came in to eat. Come on!!

Sigh. In other news, Ruth got a pretty bad spider bite and I have to work a double on Thursday. Clopener into a double. All I can say is: FUN TIMES! I’m probably just naively trying to convince myself all will be fine, but hey, maybe some other well-known person will come in for dinner and make my night…. Just sayin’….

Oh, Snap!: Art Wall

No time for a full entry! Look at this pretty picture!

From left to right: an Epic comic still in progress, the first Epic comic I ever drew, the Rejuvelac comic, two drawings illustrating my feelings during my initial stint on Station 2.

I doodle a lot. So much, in fact, that I created an art wall of staff caricatures by the locker room. Then I was told that Corporate wanted me to take it down. So I did. I still don’t really know who “Corporate” consists of, but if Nameless Higher-Ups tell you to do something via your awesome manager (Liz), then you should probably heed the warning.

Not that it’s stopped me from drawing and pinning art to the wall again. Can’t keep a doodler down, yo!

Oh, Snap!: Saturday Night’s All Right For Fighting

No time for a full entry! Look at these pretty pictures!

Saturday service is long and brutal but who cares when your awesome manager (Liz) comes in with bags of candy for the troops? ZOMG Starburst! Airheads! Sour Patch Kids! I don’t even really like peanut butter but those Peanut Butter Snickers were the bizniz. Awww yeah… sugar rush all night.

Sylvester came in to eat with his girl and besides ordering a whole fish (which was delicious, I might add, toot toot) he had a focaccia and since line cooks MUST have a sense of humor (it sez so here) Ruth made this:

It’s at an awkward angle, but donger focaccia with cheese jizz is awesome. I totally encouraged it, and I’m glad Ruth had the same thought when I suggested about the “garnish”.

Mwahahaha I love my job.