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Comments (64)

Michelle STEVENS
Feb 21, 2011 1:08 PM

The Vermont Creamery cheese served with Krista's dessert yesterday was their Ash Ripened Bonne Bouche.

Joe Arico
Feb 13, 2011 9:54 PM

I love this one. I once took five close friends out to dinner at a local Italian place. We sat down for dinner at 8 p.m. They closed at 10 p.m. We had a wonderful meal until 9:45. Let me go back to 8 p.m. Wine, fried calamari--fried because no one in Cleveland knows how to make them any other way--salad, pasta, wine, chicken Marsala, more wine. Now it's 9:45. Espresso, Tiramisu and the smell of bleach accompanied by the sounds of a very loud vacuum cleaner. We never went back.

Terry Walkerly
Feb 12, 2011 2:14 PM

These are excellent comments regarding the maintenance of Frying Oil. Our company has been providing services to the industry to help them minimize waste, and extend the life of the oil through a managed micro-filtration and cleaning program taking away the "thankless job", but someone’s got to get in there and remove those great friends of polymerization, food particulates. (Editor's note: Company name removed, but local companies that provide Oil Maintenance can be found in "Carpet , Hood & Commercial Cleaning Directory")

Joe Harvey
Jan 14, 2011 4:51 PM

Lest anyone think poorly of Chef Ellis... He approved the posting of the picture. A great guy with a great sense of humor... He trapped me in this one. I was taking several random shots, and he timed this perfectly as he walked by with the "I'm not even looking at you" on his face, he knew EXACTLY what he was doing. Thanks, Chef for the great night. I'll stay out of the kitchen next time.

Phil Reed
Dec 16, 2010 1:08 PM

Good Article. I would also add the NYS Wage Order that kicks in on Jan 1. Another bump up in wages

George Schaeffer
Nov 22, 2010 11:45 AM

Vito is the best. Known him since he first opened the small cafe and bakery on Hertel.

Joe Harvey
Oct 14, 2010 10:40 AM

Special thanks to Heather Turner at Forfeng Designs (http://www.forfengdesigns.com) for finding this great post...

Joe Harvey
Sep 11, 2010 11:46 AM

A vote for me means you'll never end up eatin' government cheese and livin' in a van... down by the river....

George Schaeffer
Aug 4, 2010 11:52 PM

After spending one half the summer on the Canadian Riveria I can attest to a couple of items regarding restaurant business. The Ming Tei has always been regarded as the #1 Chinese restaurant in the area. Wendy, who now owns the business, attributes the loss due to the bridge and its ridiculous waits. The prices at the Ming Tei are cheap, but when you consider the bridge and the bullsh--, they become expensive.

Joe Harvey
Jul 16, 2010 12:40 PM

It slices, it dices, it makes julienne fries... but that's not all! Order today and I'll throw in not one, but two slightly dented #10 cans of New England Clam Chowda...

Vincent McConeghy
Jul 15, 2010 1:34 PM

Sham Wow

George Schaeffer
Jul 14, 2010 11:41 AM

Pike Place - Home of the flying fish - New Broadway Market - Home of the flying wings!

Jackson Suzanne
Jun 22, 2010 5:36 PM

great site really informative i learned a lot great stuff keep it up 

Chris Marrano
May 28, 2010 8:51 AM

Never thought I'd see the day. Incredible.

George Schaeffer
May 7, 2010 5:04 PM

It won't be any of those places. I'll say Jimmy J's on Mass Ave. And whoever or wherever the Secret Service are already there.

Tricia Hanny Browne
May 6, 2010 12:15 PM

I love these articles. quick, funny and oh, so true. Keep it up, you make me smile !

Sarah Dulaney
Jan 2, 2010 8:56 PM

Hello there! I found this post to be very informational. Thank you. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to syndicate a portion of it on A4R's Points of Sale Blog. Please let me know. Happy Holidays! Sarah www.anything4restaurants.com Hello there! I found this post to be very informational. Thank you. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to syndicate a portion of it on A4R's Points of Sale Blog (http://www.anything4restaurants.com/blog). Please let me know. Happy Holidays! Sarah http://www.anything4restaurants.com

Joe Arico
Dec 19, 2009 10:20 PM

Bill representing! Now things are going to get crazy!

Bill Newberry
Dec 15, 2009 10:25 PM

When I started in the business there were no celebrity chefs, the CIA was the only Culinary school in the country and the place you got trained was with guys who trained in France or Italy. You had to have passion or the job was gone. Now with the rise of the Culinary Schools that churn out hacks for the $65,000 profit the need to pay off the loans drives the market not the passion for good food. Work 60+ hrs/week and they walk all over you. Owners usually don't give a s***!

George Schaeffer
Dec 10, 2009 10:24 AM

Well written Greg, After spending 30 years selling Mel Fry liquid shortening, I have learned several other methods of what independent operators do in high traffic areas of fried food sales. New England and the Cape area in the summer does an incredible fried food business. The secret was to filter daily and rotate the oil. The freshest oil was used strictly for the most delicate tasting seafoods, namely clam strips.

Joe Arico
Dec 8, 2009 9:39 PM

This is where the national chains have the advantage. I can tell you that the independent restaurants in our market--the vast majority--have some of the darkest, smokiest, dirtiest oil you'll ever see. I know first-hand that some never filter their oil. This should be an education that the health department enforces, because if most of you could see what I see on a weekly basis, you'd never eat at an independent restaurant.

Joe Harvey
Dec 8, 2009 12:56 PM

As a former McD supervisor, we taught SCATW as the enemies of shortening. S - Salt, so season front to back, not sideways towards vats. C - Carbon, Skim & scrub empty vats. A - Air,  cover 'em when not in use. T - temperature, hotter vats broke down faster. W - Water..err hydrolysis oh yeah..and try to resist reaching in to grab that fry bag you dropped...again...OUCH... one more thing...SELL the used stuff!

Jacob Brach
Dec 5, 2009 12:28 PM

Joe, I am right with you. As Charlie Trotter says, "the only kind of motivation that matters is self motivation". People work for something other than money. Unfortunatly, if a person has no passion for their work, and no desire to get to the next level, no amount of money will inspire them to do so. In good cooking, Chef Jake

Vincent McConeghy
Dec 5, 2009 6:46 AM

Saturday Weather Update 12/5: Don Paul's original forecast was only off by 8 inches of snow. You won't be able to verify this if you visit WIVB's website because that post is --- pooof---gone. I'd say weather forecasters benefit from the magic of the internet. But we are keeping score here at LFS.com. That's seven less Kung Pao Chickens for you, Don. And stuff your recapitulation blog posts after the fact.

Joe Arico
Dec 4, 2009 7:15 PM

I'll pick a high school drop out apprentice over a culinary school grad anytime. Some of the best never went to culinary school. I know a group of culinary grads that are sales people because, like you said and I agree, they couldn't hack it. Give me a kid with heart. Give me a young Marco Pierre White or Wolfgang Puck.

Vincent McConeghy
Dec 4, 2009 1:32 PM

We'll get Smania a lizard skinned Snuggie to go with his cowboy boots.

David Smania
Dec 4, 2009 12:51 PM

Shawls...not shalls. Where's my edit button? ;)

David Smania
Dec 4, 2009 12:50 PM

Bring me Don Paul's Lake Effect Snow Warning and receive 15% off your check! When life gives you lemons (or snow flakes)..... :) The snuggie comment reminds me of a recent meal at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in Vegas. The place was FREEZING. They brought complimentary shalls for the ladies. I'm sure they would have preferred snuggies.

Joe Harvey
Dec 4, 2009 6:43 AM

DONNA'S COMMENTS CONT'D :unloading a van with raw chicken breast, ground meat , seafood, milk, eggs, would that make you want to run into that restaurant and eat a great big meal..not me ! How much are you really saving ?? $ 20, $30 ..to me that is not worth piece of mind.and hopefully your sales rep are not only there to sell you food but to help grow your business, give you menu idea's , sample new products..etc you can't buy that at restaraunt depot ..

Joe Harvey
Dec 3, 2009 8:52 PM

Following Comment is from a local Cleveland DSR and current member, Donna Cordaro Iosue (via Facebook) - Working for a broadline for 12 years, I have lost alot of business to RD, mostly smaller customers, I will be the first to say that the pricing is better at Restaurant Depot, but they also do not have to pay a driver, or sales rep or fuel to get it to your restaurant. Also sooner than later the Health Dept will start cracking down on...

Jim Nolan
Dec 3, 2009 4:31 PM

Phil - Rest Depot has grown so dramatically because they give operators a sense of control. When an operator puts something tangible in his basket and says I just saved 10 bucks on this case here, that's more powerful to them their Marketin Rep or DM says to them in a sales call.

Phil Reed
Dec 3, 2009 4:14 PM

Technomic, the industry research group, stated in a study last year that one of the key reasons operators are increasingly going to Club Stores & RD is that they trust their pricing more than the pricing from their Distributor. They are viewed as having pricing "integrity." 

David Smania
Dec 3, 2009 12:56 PM

The number one concern from a consumer's perspective should be the transportation of perishables in unrefrigerated vehicles. It's only a matter of time before the health department really starts to crack down on this. See http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=7030010

David Smania
Dec 3, 2009 11:33 AM

Restaurant Depot has come up more than a few times in the forums (button above) as well. A lot of restaurant owners use it as as an emergency source. The convenience (or inconvenience?) of having an RD in town seems to be offset by the lack of knowledge with staff. Again - this is all from operators in other areas of the country who've posted in the forums. The RD in your area could be totally different.

Joe Harvey
Dec 3, 2009 10:14 AM

I believe Depot is probably used more by small to medium folks that either can't or choose not to meet broadline minimums. However, if some of the bigger folks find great deals, is it then worth the time, effort, etc., to go get the product? Ya gotta do the REAL math and calculate price savings compared to the convenience of local distributor (where the money you spend STAYS local) and a Sales Rep that is there for you when the Fit hits the Shan on Fri AM, or god forbid...Sun AM. Paying a Lil mo

Joe Harvey
Dec 3, 2009 10:14 AM

Paying a Lil more upfront just may save you a TON of aggravation in the end. Or I'm full of it.

Chris Marrano
Dec 3, 2009 8:53 AM

I started going to the Depot like everybody else for the prices. I go back because the service. It's a consistently good experience.

Joe Harvey
Nov 30, 2009 2:57 PM

Money doesn't work. People CHOOSE to be passionate or motivated. It helps if the management is passionate, and the chef is passionate... a slow, uncaring employee simply reflects the leaders in the business. Create a passion-filled environment and passion will thrive. Catch folks doing things right and tell them... arrive early, stay late... set the example. Make it EASIER for everyone to BE passionate. But it's still their choice. If they choose wrong...well...be passionate about telling them!

Vincent McConeghy
Nov 30, 2009 1:05 PM

Joe..thanks for the article...As for lack of "passion", it seems the younger generation of fs worker is drive by compensation, yet higher compensation does not necessarily bring better performance...I think if you can teach something, you have a better chance to motivate

Chris Marrano
Nov 30, 2009 11:38 AM

I have noticed what I perceive as a lack of passion in foodservice. Is it tied to compansation or indicative of todays worth ethic?

Joe Arico
Nov 26, 2009 9:26 PM

Who wrote this blog? Sounds like an insurance salesman behind on his quota. "We've all been there?" Kind of a stretch, huh Sybil? Well, if you'll post this blog, I have a few suggestions for future blogs: "Burn your hand while cooking?" It could happen. "Have you ever ruined your chef's coat with too many stains." We'll, if you've ever worked in a restaurant before, the odds are that this could happen to you. Don't be that guy. Get chef's coat insurance today.

George Schaeffer
Oct 10, 2009 2:30 PM

Right on the button - it's not about Buffalo, not about "wings", not about returning an e mail message from me, not about the Anchor Bar. It's all about a self promoting, high profile guy lining his pockets with scooby doo dough!

Joe Arico
Aug 17, 2009 10:59 PM

First: You don't need culinary school. Say "Apprentice." A real chef is someone who has a passion for food. Not any passion. Not like "Hey, I have a passion for golf." Hard work, bad pay, jerk owner, chronic b.o., pain, etc. All this, and keep a passion for food. Love: it's not just a tomato--It's art. You have to be crazy to work in a kitchen--giant understatement! Culinary school/Food Network are the worst things for anyone who wants to be a chef. Give me passion over brains.

Joe Arico
Aug 17, 2009 10:46 PM

I agree. I used to run a place with a great kitchen staff. The hardest working, reliable person was a woman. If I weren't such a deadbeat I'd remember her name. She was awesome. But then again, she wasn't very feminine, swore like a retired veteran who drives trucks on the side, was bigger than me, and also loved women. So, I guess I don't agree with you because it would be apropos to include her in this blog "I got this guy."

Joe Arico
Aug 17, 2009 10:38 PM

Pretty profound stuff. Here's an idea for a blog: "Make sure you serve good food." Sorry, bad mood..........Okay I'm better. Here are your options before owning your own restaurant: Re-read this entire blog or save some time and rent the movie "Big Night." Great movie that backs up Mr. O'Dell.

Jennifer Lingenfelter
Aug 12, 2009 10:53 AM

What about this GIRL?!?! =)

Chris Marrano
Aug 7, 2009 7:33 PM

Combined with great looks (or lack there of), we can choose to have and to hire great attitude as well. The power of a smile cannot be understated and the customers typically respond well to a positive attitude as long as the service and product are great as well.

Joe Arico
Aug 6, 2009 10:41 PM

I know a pair of restaurants like this and business has been flat, but usually they bounce back. Reminds me of another place a couple of years ago up in the mountains. Good place, but I spent most of my time in the valley. So, yes, sex sells.

Jennifer Lingenfelter
Aug 6, 2009 12:17 PM

Sex does sell! Who says using your looks to make money isn't a good thing....Girls use it to your advantage!

David Smania
Aug 6, 2009 12:54 AM

I can't answer the question (yet), but we do have a Tilted Kilt right down the street from me here in PHX. Come on out and we'll study the concept!

Joe Arico
Aug 5, 2009 10:56 PM

Sure sex helps sell. It's a, ah, yeah, it's a great idea. Who's the blonde?

Joe Arico
Aug 5, 2009 10:51 PM

Great picture of the blonde. What are we talking about?

Joe Arico
Aug 1, 2009 9:09 PM

They call me Mr. Joe Arico.(the Joe A. from Cleveland that suggested this topic) It kills me every time I order pasta at a restaurant. But yet, I still order pasta. And when it arrives I still say to myself "Did I order pasta for the whole table?" With the exception of Lola's, in Cleveland, where you get two ravioli, most restaurants give you so much pasta that it actually grows on your plate. STOP WITH THE HUGE PASTA PORTIONS! Serve smaller portions, please. The meal will be more enjoyable. And who knows, maybe you'll sell more desserts.

Joe Arico
Jul 27, 2009 11:03 PM

This is all really great information. Exceptional. But first an open letter to everyone who owns an ice machine or is in the market to purchase one. "Dear Restaurant Owner: Please purchase an ice machine that is easy to clean. Most places do not clean the ice machine. You ever Purell your ice cubes? Taste terrible. Purchase an ice machine that's easy to clean. Please.

Tim Burr
May 22, 2009 11:43 AM

Agreed, it is a swear word marathon and he runs it like a champion.

Hans Van Leeuwen
May 22, 2009 8:12 AM

I am not a fan of this Brit blow hard. His use of profanity is unprofessional and his appearance on this site is worthless. He's an actor.

Biaggio Giannini
May 21, 2009 3:25 PM

Business has been good for May, not great. All the doom and gloomers practically killed us this winter. I keep a daily log of the weather and compare same day sales with last year and take into account the weather. Timely info. Regards.

Hans Van Leeuwen
May 21, 2009 3:17 PM

I like what John Tronolone has to say. I don't get too worked up over the daily fluctuations of business. But it is so true. The weather is the single most important factor (outside of controlable factors) that affects our business. Happy Memorial Day to all

Joe Harvey
May 21, 2009 11:44 AM

I can't take credit for this gem. It was a recent "tweet" from kittenwithawhip, on Twitter. Thanks Kat!

George Schaeffer
Apr 9, 2009 5:42 PM

Terrific article Rebecca. And as a frequent diner at a wide variety of restaurants; I have seen them all and try and leave the wait staff a real decent tip and a tip not to worry about them.

Maura Crawford
Mar 27, 2009 10:31 PM

Catering has many faces and they are not always pleasant or profitable. In house banquest rooms-fabulous! Off site at the clients venue-wonderful! On premise at a greedy and under equipped venue-deadly! Catering is back breaking, hellish work. Think prostitute walking down the street with the mattress strapped to her back. Bottom line- don't under sell yourself, don't let anyone else tell you what you can charge, and keep the home fires burning!

Mike Andrezjewski
Mar 27, 2009 12:19 AM

I certainly care, Maybe more Western New Yorkers Should Participate in Beard Foundation Membership , education etc. it is a great food centric organization dedicated to raising the standards of American Cuisine. Check it out it can only make you better!! Mike A

Mike Andrezjewski
Mar 27, 2009 12:15 AM

As a longtime cook in WNY, I have experienced Janice's Reign for my entire career. (My 1st review garnered me a whopping 1-1/2 stars , I didn't deserve the 1/2) No matter what you think about Janice ,I really believe that no one in the country has put more enthusaistic work into being a food editor or has been as supportive of the local food industry as her. Hell I doubt if ANY restaurant critic in any large city paper has the guts to answer her own phone each day! Thanks Janice for caring so

chris marranooo
Feb 27, 2009 2:59 PM

Well said Vince...!

 

'Wait Til You Hear This One'

You haven't heard it all until you've worked a career in food service.

There's the daily drama that plays out.

One plot leading to the next, and every twist and turn leading to another tale of human interaction centered around our need to provide sustenance, sometimes at a profit!

We encourage all food service professionals from all sectors of the business to contribute their war stories from the front lines of food service. Through communication we can explore our common interests and seek solutions together.