Thursday, December 1, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Excerpt from Dino's new book:
Like I said…lousy winters in towns with an ocean view are just part of the annual rollercoaster rectal ride. But there’s gonna be entire years when you’re stretched thin as Stein’s corn beef. When your exposed derriere is hangin half over the dempsey dumper. When you’re just one long ticket time away from being another indie restaurant casualty.
My ole man waded through 20 or 30 funky years. Like a one-leg man on an economic hamster wheel he went in and outta business a dozen times and never flinched. But he never drank the Kool-aid, he was a different breed of cat.
He smiled and survived…Hookworm epidemics, polio epidemics, hurricanes of every category, breech births, breach of contracts, drawbridge failures, power failures, grease fires, botched ectomies, highway construction, outbreak of war, food walkin out the back door,boycotts cause we served black patrons, re-cessions, de-pressions, gas shortages, stagnation, hyper inflation, apron rash...he even endured mom crashing her dyna-flow Buick through the wall of the restaurant and his mother-in-law opening right across the street with the same menu using money his wife Angie had squirreled from him. But like I said, he was a different breed of cat.
So git ready Mister or Miss meter-dee cause the suck-egg economy is gonna getcha. Sure as your béarnaise is gonna break at 8pm, the shorts are gonna getcha sooner than later. Yea, the food biz offers a million ways to be stoned like a biblical whore.
So before you jump in with both slip-proof feet, ask yourself. Self, can I financially weather one entire shitty year? Can I bleed money all year, pay my staff, cover my rent, expenses and come back to fight another day?
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
HURRICANES: We've only been nailed twice Hazel 1954 (closed for almost a year) and Hugo 1989 (closed for 3 weeks), we've had over 25 near-miss storms which have threatened us and turned north. On many near misses we had tree, roadsign, window or rooftop damage, and of course power outages and severe beach erosion even though we were on the good side quadrant. Here's a few quick thoughts....
OUTAGES: On many of the near misses we had power outages from a few hours to days. Entire inventories were lost on at least five occasions. Tens of thousands of dollars. If you have a generator, safely ready it for perishables.
WEEK BEFORE STORM: Order perishables lightly as possible.
Cancel unnecessary orders.
Move some unneeded cooler items to freezer now to get them solidly frozen.
Freeze some large containers of water in your freezer to lengthen food survival time.
Leave some frozen containers in freezer and put others in walk-in cooler to give you a few more hours of safe temp.
Once power is off, don't open freezer of cooler.
OUTSIDE BUILDING: Common sense reminds us to move or tie down anything which can fly thru your windows. They say taping windows doesn't help.
Check flat roof for flyables like empty tar buckets, etc.
Trim branches which rub against or near window, roof eave, neon, roadsign, etc.
INSIDE: Any valuable decor painting, stained glass, etc, near a large window might be moved further back into the restaurant.
CASH: Remove cash from safe and leave cash drawers open to view.
ELECTRIC: Probably best to shut off all AC units. In and out power surges can damage compressors.
DISCONNECT GAS: Ask gas company if you have main disconnect. Ask how to handle gas lines.
WHERE TO GO: If its heading your way and there's a evacuation. Know where you, family, staff and pets will go. Have cash on hand and medications filled.
STAFF: Ask your staff (get cell numbers) where they will be, here or out of town. In the event it misses you'll want to re-open soon as possible.
Tell them what you plan to do and exactly when you plan to reopen if passes safely. You might not have enough key personnel to open even it's a miss.
INS POLICY: Read your policy now. Deductible? Wind and hale? Awning coverage? Roadsign? Food spoilage? Business interruption? Will (BI) pay your staff if you're damaged? Ask agent for details today. When storms are out there it’s too late to buy coverage but you'll know what to expect for yourself and your staff.
COMPUTER & POS: Do you have offsite backup? Do you have a backup you can take with you? Ask your computer company whether you should unplug entire system. In and out power can cause problems.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Nachos, gyros, margaritas, calamari, sushi, salsa, yogurt, gyros, even plain ole pizza got the Hollywood gourmet makeover. Then there was redfish.
Bout the same time Ozzy was bitin the head off a bat, Nawlins foodies were taking notice of Paul Prudhomme (y'know the dude so pondiferous he cooks in a wheelchair). His claim to fame was nutty roux and redfish. The kinda recipes traditionally conjured by po foks to mask the taste of of trash fish what nobody useta wanna eat.
The trash fish he famous'd was red drum.
The Boudreaus and Fonteneaus and all the other crawfish-pie Bayou boys call em redfish. Folks round her call em channel bass. I was 25 before I ever heard of somebody besides my old man using channel bass for anything but bait or pier photos.
Prudhomme spiced em fiery, burnt em black and called it Blackened Redfish.
Purty soon gastronome eggheads were enshrining Prudhomme as a porcine prophet. New york foodies took to him like a street hooker on a gold-trimmed Lexus. For the next 25 years every bayou boy with a pirou and a cane pole was out at the turn of the tide reeling in the once plentiful gulf fish, pricing it like snapper and sole and selling it to the big city boys. Nowadays since redfish has been fished out, every finned swimmer cept gefeltafish and blowfish is being offered cajun style. . .
Friday, July 8, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
In one fall full moon you rappel from the rarified air of Everest to the cash-register emptiness of the Marianas Trench. Some winter days you open the door and absolutely no one (zero, nada) darkens your door cept a map salesmen and a coupon-book purveyor dunning you for overdue bills and an Irish Traveler offering you a too-good-to-be-true asphalt patch.
Another except from Dino's book