Thursday, April 23, 2009

Halibut, health dept, Gwen's Buns

So much stuff going on, I can't even organize it coherently! Thanks to our neighbor Sam for bringing the onion starts and making us get out and get to work in the garden. It's been neglected, but we got the ball rolling, our strawberries look great, raspberries too, some herbs.
HALIBUT SEASON HAS BEGUN!! I love Halibut! I feel bad for the Halibuts, being fished into extinction like virtually all of our wild resources. I'm assured that Halibut has been sustainably managed, and they're not in as bad of shape as Salmon, just tastes so good! We're serving it up for "Fish Friday" over some sauteed veggies, very simply prepared. Come enjoy it!! *****The health department has a very bad fee structure which squeezes tiny guys like us....I'll keep this very brief and just say that since January, we have paid $1,271 to King Co Health dept. for fees for service. I have seen an inspector for maybe 20 minutes. Tomorrow we must mail another $226 to them for our Broadway market permit. We never even received the permit we paid for University District. I went to a meeting....they have ways of justifying do most crooks.
Bun situation....a lady named Gwen at the Dahlia Bread Bakery has been responsible for our wonderful burger buns for the last year. The only problem is that someone must go downtown to fetch those yummy buns on a regular basis...Not Fun, often stressful, sometimes trapped in the alley, ticketed. So we've decided to use our neighborhood Tall Grass Bakery for all of our bread needs for the time being. We've always used their Pullman Loaf for our sandwiches, now we're using Baguettes for the burger. Thanks Gwen, for so many great buns! I hope to still get them for catering events. And thanks to Amanda and crew at Tall Grass for the new solution.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring veggies are on!

Hopefully, we are turning the corner in many ways. We've got tasty Bloomsdale spinach from Nash's, also some rutabaga. We tried a new Polenta Royale last night which was carmelized onions, Shitake mushrooms, spinach and Queso Fresco. It was super yummy! One issue, we use lots of butter and wine to cook for ourselves. At the shop we only use olive and canola oil on the Polenta Royale. Then there's cooking with wine. Virtually every restaurant does, but you don't see it in the average closed kitchen. I can just imagine the fuss from certain people if they saw wine being splashed on their food. So we're working on a lemon verbena splash instead.
We're also thinking about menu tweaks. Tommy brought us a beautiful and inspiring book called 'Wichcraft all about sandwiches. We'd love to make some fancy pants sandwiches, but given the quality and cost of our ingredients, we'd have to sell $12 sandwiches. Maybe people want that. Which brings us back to the question we always ask, "Are we just setting ourselves up for failure by refusing to compromise on the integrity of our ingredients?" "Should we just sell industrial food and make a big profit like everyone else?" Or maybe just serve a couple really good things and serve the rest "Donkey in a Tutu". Neighborhood places serving dressed up crap are always busy, and we're barely making it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Check yer Beef !

The other day, a customer ate in our shop, and was talking about a few places that serve organic burgers. HUH? I didn't think anyone else was serving organic burgers. I know Tilth and Taste at SAM also use Skagit River Ranch beef for other items, but not fast food burgers.
The person claimed that Blue Moon Burgers and Geraldine's Counter served organic beef. I've eaten at Geraldine's many times, but I was pretty sure their beef just said "natural". But I'd never heard of Blue Moon, so I started digging. Blue Moon serves Painted Hills Beef. According to the Painted Hills website, Their beef is hormone and antibiotic free, it's from Oregon, they still finish with a corn, barley alfalfa blend for "marbling". So not 100% Grass-Fed, not organic, and not as local as Sedro-Wooley. But clearly a Thoughtful choice.
Next I called Geraldine's Counter in Columbia City. The person who answered the phone said the beef comes from Sysco.
If any other casual establishment is serving Beef close to the same quality as ours, I want to know about it! I love a good burger, and variety is nice.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lovin the Patio!

Sunshiny days worth living! So nice to be warm! Thanks to CJ for bringing by patio furniture just in time for the warm! You Rock!
Thanks also to the Granparental units for taking Cypress this weekend, a huge help when we need it most!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Soul feeding program

This Tuesday, a different type of feeding program shall benefit.
Last night as I washed many dishes, and swept up food crumbs and rocked out to my favorite radio show, Wo' Pop on KEXP, I felt that We really need to contribute to this public station which feeds our souls. We weren't able to contribute during the pledge drive because we were in the middle of opening our shop.
For many years, I've enjoyed Wo'Pop while I clean my house, now it's while I clean from serving people in our kitchen.
Thanks to our customers and KEXP.