Posts tagged ‘station 1’


Urgh…. Friday and Saturday were excruciatingly long services. And not because we were slammed. It’s because we WEREN’T and we couldn’t just close up.

I had some not-so-secret hopes that with the NATO thing going on, people would be too uninterested to come out of their homes, and therefore we’d do 87 covers. Mwahaha…. But no such luck. Friday we were still pretty steady during dinner hour, though it died a little later that evening. We did 160 covers. That’s like, a Wednesday night. Except we wouldn’t close for another hour. Sad face.

I remember coming downstairs to get my backups and glanced at the clock, seeing it was a little after midnight. “Huh!? Why aren’t we pulling our proteins?” I unthinkingly blurted, and as I said it I remembered what day it was. WAHH.

Saturday was no different, except that I was watching Theo on Station 1 all night. Service was slow enough that he managed to work the station on his own all night. It was a good thing for him, though he did experience slight difficulties. He came out lucky though. One of his shoulders had cooked too long, but wasn’t scorched. I did notice that when he becomes slightly flustered he becomes curt, which might rub some people (especially food runners) the wrong way.
I’m trying to instill more confidence in his movements. Instead of losing precious seconds hesitantly sprinkling salt and pepper on some pork shoulder, or sprinkling herbs like it’s pixie dust, I’d rather he be decisive and just put that shit in. Boom, done, next. It’s all in muscle memory which he has to develop, but he won’t develop it if he’s constantly grabbing small pinches of everything, and going over it five times.
Other than that, he’s doing fine. He’s got details to work out, but he’s on his way to becoming a functioning date slinger.

I have to admit though, standing on the sidelines and doing nothing is mentally exhausting, when all you can say is variations of “More acid, more salt, mind your dates.”

Other highlights of the night:
– Armanzo came clean about his relationship with hostess Rebecca. I’d known/suspected, but was waiting for Big Bro to say something…
– I’ve seen the new schedule and I work on 2 the first three days this week. Uh oh! Especially since Armanzo will be expo. Um… this might not be good….


Miss Congeniality

Just a little mention:
Ryan Poli of Tavernita came in near closing two nights ago. For some reason I get the heebie-jeebies when he’s around. He looks creepy. Who knows, maybe some people think he’s attractive. I’m… not one of them.

He went up to the Chef’s Table to greet Elliot and Armanzo. While they were talking, I went up to the sink to rinse my bain, and he greeted me. “Hey, Beautiful,” he said. I bowed and then I turned and walked back to my station.

At the time I didn’t really think much of it, except for miscellaneous thoughts like, “Big Time Chef, I shouldn’t dawdle in his presence… let the boys talk with eachother.” But then Armanzo and Elliot started cracking up later. It hit me that what I did was kinda rude. Kinda gauche. I asked as much. They said, “Yes. But in a good way. That was awesome.”

I guess I’m not the only one who isn’t sharing the Poli love.

Shooting That B-Ball

The NCAA tournament started tonight, which made for a pretty mellow night overall. Unfortunately, our newest hired foodrunner, Anthony, was not feeling it, and I was left a little neglected all night. He wasn’t very good about stocking up on cazuelas or shoulder/squid staubs. Sometimes he’d stand there, spacing out. Come on….

That said, the weather has been extremely awesome as of late, with today’s temperature a high of 80 degrees. Freakin’ awesome! I was sweating and enjoying it. Well, except for the part where it felt like my pants were glued to my legs with sweat. Ew. Still, hope the weather continues on this awesome trend. Something just short of a heatwave, that is.

I’ve been scheduled on 1 a lot lately. I want to feel weird about it, but honestly, I love being on station 1. It’s my happy little cocoon, even if I have to work it with KO on 2 and he’s being an annoying SOB every now and then.

He does have his uses though:

He fixed the stoves a little and we had four working burners that day. Awesome! Who knows how many we’ll have tomorrow, but for now, a boost to the morale. Huzzah!

Here For The Party

Maybe it’s because of the extended weekend but Sunday night was just as stupidly busy as last night. We did 198 covers. When the night was over, I had JUST squeaked by with 4 orders of dates left. *shudder*

Not much to comment on, except that if not for Koren jumping into the window to expedite, Sunday night would’ve turned into a shit show. It also helped that when we needed stuff (which we often did), she was there to get it, or make it. (Pistachio puree? Ahahahaha… making it on a Sunday? Give me a break…)
Working a Sunday is lame, but hey, it could’ve been lamer. Maybe. Armanzo was ready to break shit for a good part of early service, while I was telling myself that I’d break bottles in the alley after work. Eh, it didn’t work out like that: Armanzo bought some cigarettes and smoked them, while I bought a King cone and ate that.

Good news: Liz tells us we’ve earned another pizza party for being accident free in the workplace. Woot! I’m sure we’ve been accident-free like three times over, but hey, I’m not going to raise my nose to a pizza party. Hell, I didn’t even realize we’d been keeping track anymore. Just goes to show that the Avec crew is just KILLIN’ it.

I open Tuesday. Why do I get the feeling it might turn out to be a bit of a doozy…? Hmmm…

Oh, Snap!: Lifesavers

Saturday service was stupidly long. I sold 30 shoulders tonight. I’m pretty sure I went to the bathroom once during service.

Here are things that kept me from killing myself tonight, when I wasn’t talking like a gangster to keep myself sane (Meeehhh, see?):

I got these fruit bars from my friend, Ms. Nao. When line cooks work, there’s no time to eat. These saved the day. I shared some with my coworkers, Elliot and Armanzo. We ate 5. Blueberry flavor tastes awesome… just like a fig newton.

When I work on 1, my face gets grimy as hell. Thanks to Katie, I can wash my face with proper face wash, instead of hand soap, which I was using in a pinch. Aw yeah, my face feels cool and clean, back into the fray!

Sometimes drinking water just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes I drink ginger ale. Until the time of the night I can have a beer.

Treating Us Good

I have to make this short because I’m sick and I have to sleep, like NOW, but I just wanted to write a quick post about work.

I’ve been nursing a weird, mutated monster head cold since Thursday and today I wanted to call in and see if KO could cover my shift, y’know, since I covered his when he was sick. But apparently he had family in town and it was a no-go. I pretty much sucked it up and went to work, despite my feeling like crap.
This is one of the rare instances when I feel like I hate my job, when I’m nothing more than a skilled laborer, with seemingly no benefits of any kind. How sucky is that? Maybe a lesser (or smarter?) person would’ve just called in, but like I said, I just had some head cold. If I had the flu, I definitely would’ve called in. But in this instance, I had some weird sense of responsibility to my coworkers since I couldn’t find myself a replacement.

Needless to say, I came into work feeling quite down. And I couldn’t even ask Ruth (who was opening) to work a double because she was getting sick too. Goddamn it!!!!!!! Everything was pissing me off because I just wanted to go home. (I stayed professional and just kept it in. I ain’t no whiny-ass brat.)

I should be grateful for some things, though:
– I was on station 1. If I’d had to work station 3 sick (which I’ve done before), I’d probably would’ve had a little inner breakdown.
– No one ordered chicken until 10pm or so. Because dealing with chicken during dinner rush is an effing bitch.
– Elliot and Armanzo would ask me how I was doing, which to some degree means they care about me.

Okay, okay, they probably do care about me, or else they wouldn’t have sent me home around 12:30am when things definitely died down and stage Theo (yep, he was back… as well as stage Richard, but I didn’t deal with him much) said he could handle the rest. Thank you guys! You are great. Even though I had to work for 8 hours with a leaky nose and sneezing like a fiend, but hey, I’ll take what I can get. They told me to take a cab (which I did) and now, a hot bath and two head cold tablets later, I’m heading off to bed.

Because I have to work tomorrow. And I don’t want to be sicker than I already am.

My Guiding Hand

Tonight was a pretty mellow night for a Saturday. It never got too busy and it wasn’t too slow. It was just as well, because I played big sister tonight with stage Theo on station 1.

Theo’s a stage who’s come in a couple of times. I don’t know exactly if he’s looking for employment from us, but he definitely doesn’t mind coming in and helping out and learning stuff from us. It’s also nice having a stage who comes back because then I don’t feel like all the line advice I give when I do babysit a stage goes to waste because they never come back again.
Lately whenever Theo would come in, he’d have the incredible bad luck to share his stage with someone else, so when the time would come for someone who hang out upstairs on the line, he’d always have to opt out because he’d been with us before while the other stage hadn’t. And I would feel a little bad for him because, like I said, I’d rather share my line-knowledge with someone who’ll come back, rather than give all this seemingly pointless information to someone who won’t be returning.

I guess the stars were all aligned because Theo was our only stage today and I was on station 1. So around 9:30, when the pacing was mellow, I asked Elliot (2) for the okay to let Theo have some line time.
It was a little rough in the beginning. He was left-handed (which I’d forgotten), so some of the advice I gave didn’t really apply to him. He was flustered and a little nervous once more orders came in, so he lagged a little on certain dishes, forgot to replenish his date sauces (resulting in some lagged dates), got caught up in a little oven chaos (his shoulder Staubs were all over the place), and got his station a little messy (squid grease, bread crumbs, chopped herbs all over the place).
Of course, I was on the side to remind him not to forget his dates, watch out for his chickens and to check on his shoulders, and pick up his speed. Up to a point, though. When he kept looking to me to see if he should sell these dates or if that shoulder was ready, I gently but firmly told him I wasn’t going to hold his hand. I told him to trust in himself and his senses. I’d already told him what he was looking for, he just had to be aware of the signs.

I think that believing in him and letting him stew on the line was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Even when he was a little behind and then Elliot told him to work 4 more orders of squid, and I got his squid into a bowl, then let him do the rest and stepped back, it was a good decision. Because even though he was flustered, I think he was thrilled, especially after he sold his squid and I congratulated him on his squid push. It definitely helped his spirit. There were a couple of times I considered switching him out but I held off and I’m glad I did.

Elliot came down later as I was straightening the walk-in and pretty much affirmed what I felt: Theo did a good job, it was a little rough in the beginning, but it was good to have faith in him. Alright! Even though I considered it, I assessed the situation and decided it was best to leave him where he was. Besides, the restaurant wasn’t even that full and no one was coming in. Elliot said that maybe if someone had complained about dates being late or something, then he would’ve switched him out, but luckily, no one did.

Anyway, Theo was super thrilled to have been on the line on his own for so long (I let him stay until closing and he even broke down the station and cleaned the slicer on Station 2), and I’m happy for him. His being on the line reminded me of the time I was struggling on Station 1 and Koren almost pulled me off but Katie Furst had faith in me and let me muddle through. It was almost like coming full circle and then paying it forward.

And maybe like a little reward from the Kitchen Gods, I heard something tonight that made me very happy. While I was in the cab with Elliot after work, I asked him if he’d be working Monday (affirmative). That was good, because it would be me, him, and Katie. I told him that Katie liked working with him and it was good for her confidence because he was a Zen Master. He said he liked working with her too. Not only that, he said he liked working with me too!!! “Because there’s no drama,” he said.
Arrrgggghhh I wish times like these I didn’t have such a terrible memory and that I could recall exactly what else was said (we talked about how Armanzo sometimes doesn’t call tickets which sometimes troubles Katie, and I confessed to Elliot my apprehensiveness about KO), but all that really matters is that one of the people I admire the most told me he likes to work with me.

Ahhh! Such happiness!