Wednesday, September 26, 2007

On the eve of lunch service

While opening for lunch doesn't look like much on paper, it is a whole different beast in physical form. In reality I have the prospect of doubling my workload from what it's been thus far. This is not much of a challenge....but, what if, rather, WHEN, we get busy!!??

The joy of this lunch launching is that I've changed a few dinner items in an attempt to begin an upscale swing in the items offered. In turn, I've come to the conclusion that making sandwiches is not an emotionally satisfying event. I have added five wonderful sandwiches to the lunch menu. Items that are high quality, tasty sandwiches, but it's not at all rewarding. I plan on spending my lunchtime finding ways to improve expenses and increase income.

In mentioning this upscale swing, I am adding to the dinner menu a braised pork belly, a cassoulet, pickled pear salad, and a ratatouille dish that are knock-your-socks-off winners. The pork has a Dr. Pepper glaze that is even better than I imagined it would be. The cassoulet has lamb, pork, beef and duck and is turning into my favorite dish already. I mixed up the classic pear and blue cheese salad by pickling the pears and using them as the acid which usually lives in the vinaigrette, but I'm dressing the greens with maple syrup. Works perfectly; add some diced butternut squash and mm, mm good. Ratatouille is a classic. Even after the movie of the same name, no one has really latched on to this wonderful dish. I've been a fan since my youth, graduating to caponata, but always remembering a good ratatouille. It's one of the rare recipes where a large variety of ingredients work together instead of against each other in order to make something wonderful.

As for the sandwiches, the classic chicken salad is great, in fact I'm eating one right now as I type this, it's good. The Thai chicken wrap is also very tasty, there is a lot going on in that wrap, but overall it reminds me of pad thai, which was our goal. The roast beef is just there to be the best seller because every guy that comes in is gonna get a roast beef and a Dortmunder - done, out the door, while staring at the TV the whole time. Hurray! The grilled cheese is special to me because I love my grilled cheese with onion and tomato, and if it's just right the tomato is warm and juicy and the onion is still sharp....perfect. One of my favorite movies is "The Last Time I Committed Suicide." It's based on a letter written from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac. In the movie, Neal comments that his bedtime beau made the best grilled cheese; melted, yet raw on the this point in the movie, she then went in the bathroom and slit her wrists. I take this to mean this type of sandwich is really, really good!!! Finally the Pan Bagnat - the classic French tuna salad sandwich, have I doomed myself using the French on the menu??? I'm sure I have, but it's a holistic thing. Tuna poached in olive oil, fresh made mayo, hard boiled egg, radish, I mean, there are parts of the world where this is the top seller, come on lunch crowd! You're all educated professionals, have some worldly culinary fun with me!


Anonymous said...

I gotta find some time to try your place out - the menu sounds great. I would think pan bagnat made with oil poached tuna sounds rich enough without the home made mayo (always rich). The French version (since you've stuck your neck out there with the authentic French name) as I know and love it has just a light dress of oil and vinegar, or maybe just vinegar - cuts the fattiness. Nice blog. HRobb

Michael Walsh said...

Thanks for commenting. The tuna comes out wonderfully. I don't actually use oil to poach it, i use the duck fat that i use for duck leg confit, and it carries alot of the flavors i cure the duck legs in, most notably cinnamon, and clove. we make the sandwich on a soft roll, alot of tuna with a little gribiche sauce, alot of radish, a whole egg boiled, and a heaping tablspoon of ratatoille toped with fleur de sel. I'm happy to say we've sold at least one every day so far. No one really knows how to pronounce it, so i tell the servers the faster they say it the more authentic it sounds!!! Hope to see you at the wonder bar. thanks again for commenting

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, duck fat is FAR less rich than olive oil :)!
Sounds positively wonderful. HRobb