Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Miyake Staff Meals - Part 1

In an effort to get my mind off the fact that I have to perform 6 songs as Meat Loaf (Clash of the Titans: Meat Loaf vs. KISS at the Empire Dine and Dance in Portland) tomorrow night, I’ve decided to compile a list of staff meals I’ve enjoyed at Miyake in the last 2 months. I’ve also decided to listen to “Parents just don’t understand” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince at an ear-bleeding volume. Anything to get Meat Loaf’s voice out of my fucking head.

This is truly one of the great perks of employment there, something I look forward to at the end of each shift. Every meal is served with a bowl of rice, and sometimes Shinji’s sushi rice if we’re lucky.

Gindara Saikyo Yaki (miso-marinated black cod) / Japanese curry over duck and short ribs.

Gallo (cock’s comb) pasta with motsuyaki ( berkshire pork intestines) and burdock root / Tai snapper head with potato in saffron broth.

Simple Churashi (rice, fish cake, fried bean curd, & nori) / Pork Milanese topped with egg & dashi omelette / Matsutake miso soup.

Teriyaki chicken in traditional Japanese style (soy & mirin) / Tempura of matsutake, scallop, and shrimp with daikon & ginger dipping sauce.

Mahbo Dofu (ground chicken with spicy Chinese black beans, scallions, ginger, garlic, chilies, and tofu) / Tempura of conch, matsutake, and scallop.

Katayaki Soba (crispy fried noodles with shrimp, scallops, and bacon) / Takoyaki (deep fried balls of octopus garnished with kewpie mayo, nori, bonito, and togarashi).
Interesting side fact: Takoyaki street hawker stalls are all run by the Yakuza in Japan.

Nira (stir fry of pork, eggs, Chinese chives, and onions) / Tripe Marinara

Spaghetti with shiso leaf pesto, shrimp, and anchovy / Chicken Milanese with creamy arugula salad.

Ginger pork / Hamayaki (in this case uni & saba mixed with rice and kewpie mayo then broiled)

Korean style cod stew with tofu / Ginger pork

Unadon (unagi & nori over sushi rice) / Pork toro with sambal oelek & cilantro.

Fusili Carbonara w/ matsutake mushrooms / Insalata Masa with pickled white asparagus

Pork meatball soup with bean threads & tofu / Gindara Saikyo Yaki (miso-marinated black cod).

Potato gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce / Insalata Masa / Tripe Marinara

Oyakodon (chicken and eggs in dashi) / Korean style soft tofu and cod stew.

Teriyaki chicken / Soba noodles in dashi + nato (fermented soy beans that are fucking disgusting) & rice.

Salmon with buerre noir / Insalata Masa / Ton jiru (pork soup)

Ragu of motsuyaki (berkshire pork intestine) & miso served over fusili with yam cake / Insalata Masa with sesame & wakame / Miso & daikon soup.

Masa Burgers (pork and ginger patties) with gorgonzola served with a red wine & ketchup sauce / Insalata Masa / Super Toro Roll / Kamo jiru (duck soup)

Pork katsu (breaded and fried) with Japanese curry / Rigatoni with scrambled eggs, bacon, and brussel sprouts.

Yasai-Itame (ginger pork toro with cabbage) / Insalata Masa / Oyekodon (chicken and eggs in dashi)

Katsu 3 ways (chicken, salmon, and scallop) / Miyake crab cake (the lightest, fluffiest, and most delicious crab cake I’ve ever had).

Braised pork with Japanese curry / Insalata Masa with carrot & ginger vinaigrette.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pumpkin Beer Tasting: Don't Try This At Home

In an effort to understand how strangely excited people get for pumpkin beer season, Nolan (Beer Buyer, Dowenast Beverage) and I embark on an epic quest to taste several of the offerings on the market.
Showing up hungover to taste things that may be disgusting is not reccomended, but we are alcohol professionals.
We decide to start with the least promising of the bunch:

1. Shipyard Brewing Pumpkinhead - Portland, Maine
Me: This tastes like Shipyard Export that someone vomited pumpkin pie into. Quite possibly one of the worst things I've ever tasted. The level of excitement people have for this now officially makes me angry.

Nolan: It's like a Schlitz got raped with spices. It's awful. I guess we should have a dump bucket, huh?

2. Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale - Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Me: Tastes like a decent beer with pleasant pumpkin and spice notes. I think I like it. There may be hope for this tasting...

Nolan: You can tell by the orange color that they used real pumpkin. It actually has a good amount of hops and a nice bitterness.

3. Fisherman's Brewery Pumpkin Stout - Gloucester, Massachusets

Me: Very strong espresso flavor with very subtle pumpkin notes. I don't hate it or love it.

Nolan: I like it, but the spices may have been drowned out by the 2 initial beers we tasted. It's got a really nice dryness.

4. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale - Milton, Delaware

Me: I love the way the fruitiness compliments the pumpkin and spice. I think this is my favorite so far.

Nolan: Very aromatic. It has the body to gracefully carry the spices, and a high alcohol content.

5. Shipyard Brewery Smashed Pumpkin - Portland, Maine

Me: Overpowered by cinnamon and alcohol, this beer is way out of balance. I also think it's making my stomach turn..

Nolan: Sorry Mr. Pugsley, too much corn syrup and too much alcohol make a bad base.

6. Clipper City Brewing Heavy Seas "The Great Pumpkin" - Baltimore, Maryland

Me: I like it, but I couldn't drink more than one. It's surprisingly good, being the sweetest of the bunch.

Nolan: Sweet and malty with heavy spices. Decent, but I'm still not ready to join the Mutiny.

Overall Rankings:

1. Dogfish
2. Heavy Seas
3. Smuttynose
4. Fisherman's
5. Smashed Pumpkin
6. Pumpkinhead

1. Smuttynose
2. Dogfish
3. Heavy Seas
4. Fisherman's
5. Smashed Pumpkin
6. Pumpkinhead

Saturday, November 7, 2009

100 Things a Customer Should Never Do -Part 1

After reading Bruce Buschel's "100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do" on the New York Times blog, my first reaction was "where did they find this arrogant clown?" When I thought about it more, however, It inspired me to compile my list of ways that one could be a better customer. Here are the first 50 - the next will be open for suggestions....

Things that restaurant customers should never do. Part one:

1. Assume anyone else enjoys your children as much as you do.
2. Not tip on the wine.
3. Insist on putting your bulky-ass winter coat on the back of a chair when we clearly have a coat rack.
4. Talk about your wine collection at home and what you paid for it.
5. Touch us, unless we hang out later and maybe sleep together.
6. Ask us to get you drugs when we don’t even know you.
7. Attempt to order something that’s not on the menu based on ingredients you see listed elsewhere.
8. Argue with us when informed that you can’t have something.
9. Assume you’re always right.
10. Use the “Can I take that to go?” or “I hated it!” joke when we clear your empty plate.
11. Get drunk enough that we need to cut you off. It’s uncomfortable for everyone involved.
12. Give your kids a bag of Cheerios to throw all over the fucking floor.
13. Show up for your reservation with a different amount of people without calling first.
14. No call, no show on a reservation.
15. Talk about “How much money you spend in here.” It actually makes you sound cheap and stupid.
16. Complain that your food is taking too long when you order a well-done piece of meat and no starter.
17. Try to speak restaurant lingo to impress us. You sound like an idiot.
18. Continue to talk when we’re clearly ready to tell you about the specials.
19. Make noises or faces that imply you don’t like one of the specials. Simply don’t order it.
20. Assume that because you see an empty table, it’s available. It’s called a reservation.
21. Try to impress us with what you know about wine. If you do this, chances are you don’t know shit.
22. Leave your fucking gift wrap everywhere after you have a birthday. We didn’t sign on for this.
23. Ask if you get something free for your birthday. What are you, five years old?
24. Assume when you tell us about an allergy that we don’t actually want to harm you.
25. Tell us that you’re allergic to something when you simply don’t like it.
26. Act like it’s our responsibility to fix one of your poor choices.
27. Spend a lot of money to impress your friends/date and not tip on it. If you’re going to be a big shot, follow through.
28. Tell us stories that never end. We have shit to do.
29. Go someplace where you’re out of your comfort zone and act like it’s our fault. There are plenty of other restaurants and servers for you to annoy the living shit out of.
30. Complain about vintages on what are clearly grocery store wines. Once again, you sound like a complete idiot.
31. Assume that when you order a bottle of wine and are poured a taste, it’s to see if you like it. False. It’s to check if the wine is flawed or not and that’s all. The only time this isn’t true is if the server aggressively sells you the bottle instead of your first choice. In this case, you have the option to say you don’t like it.
32. Take a mile when we give an inch.
33. Linger when you’ve clearly over-stayed your welcome.
34. Act like you don’t understand tipping because you’re from “abroad.”
35. Fill up on bread because it’s free.
36. Ask us to play music you want to hear. That’s why you have your house or apartment.
37. Tell us how to run our restaurant. Nobody is stopping you from opening your own.
38. Name-drop. Nobody cares….
39. Put your dirty plates on other tables, nothing makes us want to dump a drink on your head more.
40. Re-arrange tables or chairs without permission.
41. Complain about gratuity on a large party. If you don’t like it, dine in smaller numbers.
42. Complain solely based on the fact that you want something for free. We can see right through your bullshit....
43. Assume that entrees always come with a salad, and that salads always have a choice of dressings.
44. Assume that anyone gives a shit who you are or what you do.
45. Talk on your cell phone – I know, I shouldn’t even have to mention this but I do!
46. Piss all over the seat in the bathroom and not clean it up.
47. Have people join your table late, especially when they are only drinking. This takes up space not to mention is loud and annoying.
48. Assume that because you’re cold/ warm, everyone is.
49. Steal our fucking pens.
50. Take your signed credit card receipt – this is weirdly aggravating.

More to come!