Saturday, August 29, 2009

Restaurant Nights...

So this post is not specifically about food, it does not include recipes or measurements, it does not have fancy pictures of rolled sponge bread, or strawberry compote. I do not mention intricate baking pattern of famous chefs. No, this is a post about the madness and craziness that the restaurant industry can have. The stress, the emotions, and then the calm that is much appreciated.
I hope to give those that have never worked in restaurants a little blimp of what it is.
Last night the restaurant I work at, ran out of Alfredo sauce in the middle of a Friday night busy shift. OMG. The two managers on duty were overwhelmed when they started to realize that other dished were coming out, but hey the ones that had alfredo were not. The GM who had opened and was about to take off, stood watching as the cooks scrambled and hurried to not go insane with all the tickets popping up on the blinking screen, and the ones that were backed up. The servers having to deal with customers who had to wait up to 45 minutes for a bowl of pasta. Some took it lightly like my table, that laughed it off, and patiently waited, other however were not so lucky and got blamed for what was a culinary mistake.
"How can this happen?" asked the managers, who is to blame in this situation. the cooks for not making more, the managers for not checking? And who is held accountable?
Servers kept coming to the line and telling the manager expoing, "where is my food?" "my table has been waiting" "what do I tell them?" "they are mad". She was doing the best she could, the manager running the floor, probably went to half the restaurant and apologized to the tables. the managers aid ended up "comping" (taking off) many of the dishes so the customers would not pay. My whole table's check was paid by the restaurant. Oh, the loss of profit on a night like that.
At some point the manager on the line, yelled at the one running the floor... Oh, all the things that happen when people are stressed.
But as much as can go wrong, there are many things that go right, as you see other servers helping those that were behind, people helping the expo manager, apologizing honestly to their tables.
And it is those moments when the customers realize you care, when they thank you even though they waited an hour to eat, when everyone helps, and laugh it off. When after all is over, you can throw the towel on the line and exhale. Those are the moments that brighten my day. When you are so tired than instead of asking for a dessert you ask for sauce and everyone laughs. When you ask your table is they would like you to grate salad when you really meant cheese.
And when in the end, we are one big dysfunctional family.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fruit Carvings....

First day of GardeManger and we have to do cuts. Of course! Knife skills is the most important thing said the chef.
Okay so we did large dice, small dice, julienne, and tournes. Oh those things are hard to do. Yup, I could not do them, correctly. The fun part was doing the fruit trays... We did an individual portion and a large tray. I love doing this.. maybe I'll take fruit carving class?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Poem to my Mother...

Will you be my hero?

And dry away my tears

Will you walk with me in the dark?

I will be your hero and

Keep you from your fears?

And hold your hand when you are lost

Will you be my friend

When no one want to be?

I will be your friend and help you see

life is worth fighting for

Will you be my shelter

And keep me safe from harm?

And read me a story to fall asleep

I will be your shelter

And keep you warm

And make you smile when you are sad

Will you be my angel

And carry me in your wings

When I am weak?

And guide my path in life

I will be your angel

And give you words when you cant speak

And keep and eye for you

Will you be my teacher

And tell me what is wrong?

I will be your teacher

And keep you strong

so you don't fall apart when things don't go your way

OH will you be my all

I will help you when you fall

Will you be there for me?

I will always help you be

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Organic Saver

SO, I have been always been a very organic kind of girl. I try to be healthy / organic and when I am at home I am trying to eat in to save money for my planned Euro Trip (Planned but not confirmed). Anyway I have been shopping at Sprouts which sells mostly organic and local food. As close as we can get to the farm in SoCal, and there I found Amy's Kitchen pre-made frozen foods that are totally organic, healthy and lowfat!!

I know I know how bad it looks that a devoted foodie would shop for frozen food, but believe me these past months have been hectic and I was eating out a lot, for lack of time. Which was a BIG MISTAKE. Sure eating out is awesome and should be done but almost everyday is not good. I gained weight and lost money...

So I figured if the food is good and healthy and I do it only when Im pressed for time, well you all will forgive me?
I really recommend the burritos,

The Indian Dishes are also very good, they have a spicy but not over the top quality...

I really enjoy them for lunch or dinner, although their variety extends to bread and breakfast products.
And since we are talking about Organic fare, I thought I'd throw out my favorite pudding, that I have in the morning,

And finally I leave you with a picture of my recent adventures organizing the company picnic. The annual employee recognition one...
It was very fun, we were there from 10am to 7pm, on my day off (let me point it out) we saw everyone come and go and we set up and cleaned. Oh, the things we do for out careers.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

favorite august thing

I have been going through my old blog post, just out of melancholiness I guess. And I realized I had done the Favorite Things of each month. And I also realized that August is drawing to an end. So I will try to restart the tradition, just like I am trying to restart so many things in my life. What is a girl to do when you mess up on life, and go into a different path. What can you do when those that love you, don't trust you, and its your own fault? What when you don't know which road to take to play it safe and stay where you are or go chase your dreams in a strange city and loose all you have gained so far. What will be better in the long run? I have no idea, and I only have one semester to figure it out... but meanwhile here are my favorite things of August.

1. Rainy Days in Portland, Oregon.
2. Training new hires at work.
3. Eating warm soy milk with Bran flakes
4. MarinePolis Sushi restaurant in Portland.
5. Reading with a cup of tea after a stress full day at work.
6. Blogging again.. gives me a sense of belonging and accomplishment even if no one read me anymore... =(

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Portland Revisited...

Well, I though since I haven't done any new recipes this week because I have been super busy getting home, then I work three days straights friday, saturday, and sunday closing nights. (OMG). And catching up with friends before I start school on Monday and Tuesday is the company picnic which I'm helping in. So, I am going to update more on my beautiful trip to Portland, Oregon.

The places where we ate at where really fun, we went to this Mexican food place called MUCHAS GRACIAS mexican food, on Weildler and 5th in the Lloyd District. It was our first night there and we were not really keen on walking a lot so we just crossed our finger and stopped there. It turned out the food was really good and they had a Chile Relleno Burrito. I ordered that since I am vegetarian and it was really good. It had a chile relleno with beans and rice, housed inside a flour tortilla. Talk about carbo loading!!

The second day after driving down to see the Columbia River about two hours, we came back to Portland and ate at this french bistro on the Pearl District. It was called Fenouil, very fancy on the inside yet the food was very economical and satisfying. They had Pommes Frittes (French Fries) and also this great Tarte au Saumon (salmon tart). It was awesome!

The third day we ate our own food, bought at the handy dandy SafeWay just a couple of blocks away from the Crown Plaza we were staying at. But at night we went to Cafe D'Art which was also a couple blocks away. It was a very bohemian coffee house, which I felt captured the spirit of the city. Eclectic, Soulful and Friendly. The day was a perfect Oregon Day, tiny rain drops fell outside giving a fresh feeling. And me and my mom sat and ordered tea made from dried leaves and enjoyed the reading materials. They also sold pastries, wine and gelatto at the coffee shop.

The final day we stayed at MarinePolis this hole in the wall sushi restaurant that my mom discovered as we were walking bye on out way to the hotel. There was a lot of people waiting so we figured it was good. There was a band running across the restaurant, and tiny sushi plates came rolling bye, each had a price on it, ranging from $1 to $3. The Miso soup was also $1 and dessert Green Tea Ice Cream was only $1.50. Between my mom and me we had Crab Salad Rolls, Salmon, Tuna, Bean Rolls, House Rolls, and Fried Fish. Each plate contains only 2 or 3 tiny portions so its not a lot. I enjoyed the experience, the serving staff which consisted of only 3 server were friendly and I loved it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Portland, Tillamook and Me


So, for the past week i went to visit Oregon, a state that has been a fascination to me for quite some time now. My mother and I took a six day trip to Portland, Oregon perhaps it's most famous city. Often called the City of Roses, Portland is a little rainy paradise. However, I could not help but ride over to Tillamook City, where of cousrse where the cheese factory lies.

I imagined a much larger factory after all it was almost two hours drive from the city, but no matter the cheese samples made up for it. Once inside you can see its history, and view how they pack the cheese, you can also get in a loooong line and take samples from different varieties of their cheese. My personal favorite ? Why, the cheese curds!

It was a fun day, actually it was a fun week and I wish it never would have ended.!