Starting a small Tavern in rural Northern California. Barley and Hops Tavern catalogs the trials and tribulations of the restaurant biz, and teaching wine country to love beer.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Under Pressure!



It was what we had been dreading. Sure, all of that sanding, painting, and polyurathaning was tedious -- but the kitchen...

The kitchen has not been occupied for a year, so it was upon us to clean the snark out of it. I want an impeccably clean kitchen - a kitchen so clean, that you could eat out of it (!) Step one was hiring a pressure wash crew to do the major crud-busting; the ovens, flue, etc. But today we got up on our matching ladders (yes really, we spend so much time in the air that we have matching ladders), and cleaned the ceiling, and cleaning a ceiling when there are deep fryers is no small chore. In fact, it's a hippopotamus-sized chore. In fact, if you were to go to ... wherever it is that hippos live (I imagine them in a hippodrome) , you'd find them blushing at the size of said chore.

So we did that all day. And the walls, and miles of stainless shelving, and other places what must be spotless (everything).

But let me hit rewind for a moment.

I have a friend in Santa Rosa, Paul, who owns the (outstandingly good) Toad in the Hole pub and music venue. It's a great little place where the beer distributors come to have a beer (and are great for a chat), where the bangers are smashing, and the peas are mushy. Paul has given me a lot of great advice, most of which I'll keep to myself, but I did find out about Cash & Carry. This is a store, or chain of stores, which has many of the things which food-service vendors will bring you for a markup of about 3-6 zillion percent. It's also a great place for consumers to get an entire turkey breast for 1.25 or so / lb, and a case of Snapple for around 80 cents / unit. Pretty cool -but the best part is that the various detergents and fry oil and the like is insanely reasonable compared to the going rates through vendors. In one fell swoop, Paul has saved me a great deal of $, savings which I will use to maintain a reasonably priced menu, which is no small feat!

They also have whole wheels of cheese, which is reason enough to warrant a visit anywhere.

It was an excruciatingly long day; we didn't leave until 8:30 at night. I think that tomorrow will be easier. Most of the cleaning is done, all of the painting and such is finished, so now, it's the fun stuff.

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