Thursday, December 30, 2010

Don't Be A Celiacshole!

In the ever evolving world of food and beverage, a (relatively) new and worthy adversary has emerged with a vengeance.

Over the span of what could be interpreted as months, but has really been evolving for years is Celiacs Disease.
To those unaware, this is an autoimmune disease of the small bowel that occurs to genetically indisposed people of all ages starting in middle infancy. However; to those aware of this pre-disposition but not being directly affected by it, one could deduce that one of the most common symptoms is it can turn you into an asshole. (ironic based on the location of affected area)

Allow me to please take a sympathetic step back while Celiacs catch their breath and decide whether to keep reading or not.

I have nothing but the utmost sympathy for anybody affected by any disease and this is simply a rant to the small percentage of those that treat me (and others in my profession) like the very people that gave them their illness, and it seems to me that topically this illness could be related to kids and the ADD epidemic that seemed to gain speed and popularity as soon as Ritalin was invented and hyper kids could be muted...bottom line is that yes many people are affected directly by an intolerance to gluten and must eat accordingly, but just because you get a lower belly pain when you eat 3 loaves of bread in one seating or get a little farty when you drink a gallon of soy sauce with your sushi does not mean that you get to jump on or drive the bandwagon.

More importantly its not my fault.

So when you begin your meal with the tone of royalty telling me about your allergy and I, in turn, tell you exactly what items on the menu are safe for your consumption (because I am that prepared of a manager and so is my staff), don't waive me off dismissively like the royal food tester and aghast at my incompetence when I bring you your "very safe" soup of the day with a fried plantain chip in it, because you thought it was a tortilla chip.
Generally people don't get to take responsibility for the daily operation of an establishment when they can't even carry out the simple task of providing you a dining experience based on your dietary restrictions, and just in case your keeping score-I have the keys to the place.

Here it is-Celiacs have had a tough run of things while the general public has adapted menus and education policies for staff to assimilate themselves with this new allergy, and I can totally dig that for the last 5 years you have remained in your house eating nothing but chicken broth through a strainer behind drawn shades while the rest of us have tried to catch up, but the bottom line is communication.
All anybody has to do is make a phone call before your time in a restaurant and ask if the establishment is equipped to handle a gluten free dining experience. (most are) Then remove your empty Kleenex boxes from your feet and pull your hair back into a pony tail then step into the light and come enjoy a fine meal void of anything that may cause you pain. But leave the attitude back at the house with your collected bottles of urine because I really don't want to crumple a cracker into your salad dressing....but so help me god.

Naw, I'm just playing...could you imagine?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

From Beef to Fish

The transition is complete and I have now moved on to greener pastures...or rather out, of I suppose.

My once arena of simple grazing menu items have led me to the vast openness of sea faring creatures and all the nuances that come as a package deal. Staying true to my game, I will not publish the name of my new restaurant out of respect for those that I may inadvertently reference in a "less than" positive light, but with a little leg work, if one was so compelled, the information is readily available.

A few major differences in the land of sea:

You will be pleased to know that the finicky diner that lends themselves tirelessly to the subject matter of this blog is, not only, alive and well at my new venue but in fact further armed with the "questionable validity" of fresh seafood. This allows every Tom, Dick, and Harry to really peel apart the layers of what should be a wonderful dining experience in the hopes that they may get sick just so they can blame us. (a note on food poising to come)

My new digs come with 13..count them...13 years in the game. A far cry from the 4 years of struggle and strife trying to put a relatively new restaurant on the local map. Upon getting to know my new staff, Me:"how long have you worked here"...Her:"Oh I'm relatively new, I have only been here for 2 1/2 years"....UNHEARD OF!

It has been my happy discovery in my new home that when shucking and slurping oysters, or cracking and eating lobsters, it becomes impossible to fathom keeping white linen tablecloths clean...the solution...lose em'. Funny thing about losing tablecloths, ties and coats follow, the volume gets louder and happier, and people tend to have a grander time! Keep it informal and they will associate you with a positive place to be. The selfish side of this is I get to shed my once mandatory suit jacket for a dress shirt with rolled up sleeves. I still have the tie, because otherwise people wouldn't know who to call a dick! But the summer pounds don't come falling off in the form buckets of head and pit sweat and I'm cool with that (pun intended).

Tips on Dining Here:

A note to all those that make the conscious decision to enjoy our fresh oysters, then call later that night to tell us how sick they made you....NOT POSSIBLE! Food poisoning takes over 48 hours to set in ,if and when the food product is tainted. Contrary to popular belief, you are no more likely to get tainted fish than you would be tainted Ice Cream so stop giving the little swimmers such a bad rap and do us both a favor...get done puking and Google, Bing, whatever you want, the words "food poisoning" and then see if you can go all Doug and Wendy Whiner on us. Chances are you pshyced yourself in to hurling based soley on what your 300lb cubicle mate told about what happened at the all you can eat seafood buffet in the Greyhound bus depot outside of Reno in 1982. We are a far cry from those days and that place.

If you call a manger (me) over to your table and say "I just don't like it, it tastes a little fishy", I am going to grab the lobster mallet off your table and smash your fingers. There is a good reason your dinner tastes "a little fishy"'s because it's FISH! Maybe you should have tried something less chicken!

If you feel properly educated now, please put on your Tommy Bahama shirt and linen shorts (we don't care if they are wrinkled) and come see me for the freshest variety of fish that you will ever have, but be aware: you will have a great experience and you will want to come back even if I am "the dick in the tie".

Dearest Cow: I miss you a little and think of you often, but I am very happy in my new life. I wish you nothing but the best in yours!