Tag Archives: beer

ode to my newborn. (a harried post.)

13 Jun

It was pointed out to me yesterday by a douchey reader/friend of mine that I’m being selfish by not documenting the intricacies and antics involved in opening a restaurant (as that’s what I’m doing today. You? Slacker..). 

But something really interesting about opening a restaurant is that by the time I get done with what I need to do for this opening… oh wait. I’m still not even close to done yet and we crack the doors in 7 hours. So, sorry dudes but you’ll just have to believe me that it requires a lot of the following:

  • arguing
  • crying
  • shopping for a good outfit
  • picking a nail polish color that’s “professional, yet me”
  • wiping up your kid and/or puppy’s urine off the floor because they’re protesting the 70 extra hours you’re putting in a week
  • drinking beer for research
  • convincing your husband to double park on the side of the LIE to pick up 3 kegs of superman beer that maybe MAYBE 1% of your customer base will give a shit about from the back of a truck
  • eating bagels at 2am because you forgot to have breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • being sad about how bloated you are because you keep eating bagels at 2am
  • writing a blog post instead of finishing the cocktail list, kid’s menu, bar menu, dessert menu and programming the computer for all of them
  • tweeting, or as I like to call it “how the fuck to I tweet?”
  • forgetting to make a google place page until just now so basically I’m using this post as a to-do list. 
  • wishing you had time to do the laundry so your spanx were clean (they make man spanx so this applies to all of you except skinny people and you don’t count anyway)
  • making all the cocktail recipes a few hours before you open and consequently being wasted by the time anyone gets there. 

If it weren’t for aforementioned reader/friend whose name I won’t mention until the end of this post, I’d have taken a few moments to relax with my ukulele instead of writing this, but I didn’t, and now I don’t feel centered and I’m going to be a drunk, uncentered business owner off the bat, and SERIOUSLY GOOD LUCK to anyone who shows his or her face tonight to “be supportive” because it will most likely in a violent bar fight involving me, my dad, and some seriously impressive looking beer bottles. 

You can thank Sandy. 


suck it, wine. there’s a new bottle in town.

28 Nov

Something really interesting about the restaurant business is that I fucking hate wine.

For like however many years, I’ve been acting like I give a shit about the wine list, but the truth is, I really truly honestly completely don’t. There’s like a mute button on the remote control of my life, and, like clockwork, it immediately detonates anytime vino comes up in the convo. For instance, the chick who sells the wine for the liquor company. She comes in and talks to me about blah blah blah barrel aged blah blah dry blah blah blah. And she pours me a sample and  my response is always “I’m pregnant” and then she lays off and rubs my belly which is in actuality just filled with iced tea and Today’s Soup. I feel sorta bad for restaurant people in my boat who don’t have ovaries and various other necessary reproductive organs, and therefore have absolutely no excuse as to why they can’t drink stupid wine.

The reasons wine totally blows are sort of endless. Some highlights:

  • Wine is not refreshing. Nobody* says “Ooh, that shit is spicy! Let me wash it down with a lukewarm glass of water!”
  • Wine is high maintenance. You need to let it breathe. You can’t leave it too long or you need to throw it out. You need to constantly check its legs. It is positively far more difficult to drink a bottle of wine than it is to raise a 2-year-old.
  • Wine bottles are really big. That’s like a serious commitment. Beer is like a few sips and onto a different one. Iced tea is free refills. Wine? It’s like Chinese takeout – no matter how much you have, there’s still a bunch left. The only time that changes is after you’ve finished the first bottle and then it just goes down way too fast and you do silly things like strip karaoke to “Don’t Stop Believin'” at a gay bar or drunk dial your mom to thank her for “just everything” while sobbing like a bipolar madwoman. Or madman.
  • I burned my taste buds on a hot piece of Toaster Strudel when I was in high school and it destroyed my ability to tell the difference between a cabernet and a merlot. It’s a sore subject and I really don’t want to talk about it, ok? Just lay off.
  • There is no way to taste wine without either looking like or feeling like a total schmucko. I naturally feel and look like a schmucko on the regular without any involvement with fermented fruit, so why participate in more awkwardness?
  • No matter how much you know about wine, you don’t know anything about wine.
  • I would rather pay my mortgage than drink wine. If we could all take an honest vote, how many of us can truly (stop lying to yourself, yo) tell the difference between a $42 bottle and a $15,000 bottle. Oh don’t go acting all high and mighty, you’re just saying you can because nobody is testing you. Watch your back, I may just call your bluff.
  • Have you ever gotten lost and somehow ended up by the vines on an Italian vineyard and stolen a few bunches of grapes for a yummy afternoon snack? That shit is nasty. Unlike my cougar mom, grapes simply do not improve with age.

In other words, I switched to beer.

More on that another time, though. (Like maybe tomorrow or something)

Don’t get the wrong idea. There are lots of things other than wine that I hate about the restaurant business. :

  • Mussels.
  • Grammatical errors on menus.
  • Servers with dirty aprons.
  • Customers who get physically abusive upon learning that we don’t have matches. We’re not a 1950s catering hall, ok?
  • Missing the Green Day concert at Giants Stadium because there was a big reservation and I felt guilty about leaving the place understaffed.
  • Ugly people who sexually harass you.
  • Cold garnish on a hot dish.
  • Drinks made with Blue Curacao.
  • Cilantro.
  • Anonymous Yelp! reviews from disgruntled douches.
  • People who try to stick their empty pack of cigarettes in the slot on the ashtray that’s clearly meant only for cigarette butts and maybe a peppermint wrapper.
  • No-shows on parties larger than 6.
  • People in general.

In conclusion, if we go out to dinner please don’t ask me my opinion on the bottle of wine we’re all sharing, because I probably hate it and have absolutely nothing intelligent to contribute to our conversation. Unless it’s Manischewitz on the rocks and it’s Hannukah or Passover or frankly just a Tuesday, ’cause that is one YUMMY GLASS O’ WINE.

*Note: Some people in Europe may prefer lukewarm water to ice water, but that’s just because there’s no ice in Europe.

family business for dummies.

5 Apr

Hashbrown Harry’s update! A self-described “awesome” friend of mine was helping me come up with libations for the pop-up (Will you be drinking a maple and bacon infused Manhattan at HH? Why yes you will!) and he sent me this fine fellow:

In conclusion, I would like to thank my friend for having strange strange strange taste in beer. You are truly one-of-a-kind, because I don’t know many guys who would feel comfortable drinking Bacon Maple Ale from a pretty pink bottle, but I bet you pull it off so gracefully. Oh, and if this stuff sucks I’m going to post a photo of you as well as your work email so that people can send hate mail or just throw things at you directly.


Something that I really don’t emphasize enough here in Shelbytown is how significant a role my dad plays in my life. For instance:

  1. He has fired me at least a dozen times. A baker’s dozen. Fortunately this hasn’t happened in awhile, because I’m like super important at the restaurnat. I think he’s come to realize that if he fires me, he will have to go to work more than once every 3 years.
  2. I am a spitting image of him, as is my Babygirl. I like to think of myself as a better looking version, but it really isn’t true. My hair is just longer and I wear more mascara.
  3. He monitors my blog so I don’t get sued by Thing 1, Thing 2 or any random Asians. As Harry equates it, “he’s the FCC and you’re Howard Stern.”
  4. He plays the song “Brand New Key” by Melanie (made famous in Boogie Nights) on the guitar and we sing. We’ve also choreographed a dance to it, which we debuted at my wedding and it was a smashing success to anyone who was smashed.

Most significantly, we work on our menu as a team. The awesome thing about this type of meeting is how much we get to argue and hate each other.  Here’s how a typical Menu Development Meeting goes:

  • I suggest (incredible) items that I saw once in La La Land
  • My dad rolls his eyes and says we should just bring back a menu item from one of our restaurants circa 1996
  • Harry agrees with my dad
  • I recommend we add some seasonally appropriate dishes, local produce and maybe even some Organic beef.
  • My dad calls me a crazy hippie and that our restaurant isn’t “that kind of restaurant.”
  • Harry tells me that we’ll bring in Organic meat as a special, which I know is a huge lie.
  • Depending on the time of the month, I either call my mom crying (She no longer attends. Smartest woman I know) or I come up with a more down-to-earth genius idea
  • My dad claims that he thought of the idea first, because he’s the older genius out of the 2 of us
  • Harry give my dad mad props for thinking of the idea
  • I roll my eyes at Harry (I’ve recently become extremely mature and no longer throw temper tantrums when I don’t get credit and glory when it’s due)
  • Harry makes me a chocolate milkshake

Two days later, my dad emails over the final draft of the menu, on which everything he thought of is present, and all my ideas have failed to make the cut.

Some of you may be reading this thinking that I must get really discouraged, but this routine has inspired me to try to find a happy medium between the Bohemian cloud on which I dream and the cheesy boring Island on which I live. At today’s meeting, I was equipped with some real crowd pleasers: frickles (fried pickles), frolives (figure it out), raw bar for the summer months, bacon roasted Brussels Sprouts as a side dish and a salad of mixed greens, grapefruit, goat cheese, caramelized sunflower seeds and a honey balsamic vinaigrette. Here’s how that went over.

Dad – I can’t eat grapefruit, it doesn’t mix well with my medication

Me – Other people might like grapefruit

Dad – I’m not saying I don’t like it. But you have to be careful with grapefruit

Harry – Yeah, I’m not sure about the grapefruit.

Me – Ok. Well what about the Brussels sprouts

Dad – I don’t think people like Brussels sprouts

Me – Do you like them?

Dad – Yes. But if you asked 100 people, most would say they don’t like them.

Me – 100 people read my blog. I’m going to ask them tonight.

Dad – I’m going home now.

Me – Ok. See you tomorrow at Passover!


So now it’s your turn to decide!!!!! 

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