Where the party at?

One of the big reason I have not written much on this site is because I have not been working in the service industry. Full time, at least. The pandemic did much to change my life just like it did for everyone else.

But now I think I am making the jump from the kitchen to the front of house. Not permanently (I hope!) but it will be a job that lets me work my current office job.

Yes, I work in front of a computer monitor now. Turns out being able to make budgets and sales forecasting in Microsoft Excel is quite useful when it comes to working in an office.

I am picking up a job as a bartender at a local restaurant. I have worked as a barback before, and have dabbled in actual bartending, but working at an establishment is something of a new beast for me.

You have been to this kind of place. It’s something close to what Jimmy Buffett envisioned when he came up with Margaritaville. This restaurant is not chill like that, however. It doesn’t try to be and it will actively refuse to be.

This place does not belong to the understated wave of Mexican upscale dining, where the flavors in your palate are paramount. It also does not belong to that class of greasy joints where the tortas are the size of your head, burritos are the size of your thighs, and tacos that make you gain two pounds just by looking at fat dripping off them.

No, this place wants to throw a party at you and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

Having a birthday? Music will stop to play Happy Birthday loudly over the PA. Order a bottle? All the floor staff will show up to your table to congratulate you on blowing a couple hundred dollars on alcohol.

Picture the setting, if will.

You walk in from the freezing cold. Loud reggaeton and bachata immediately pound your ears as soon as you open the door. The host is running around trying to figure out where to seat you. Everyone yelling. The drinks menu is almost exclusively tequila and mezcal. All drinks have a million garnishes. Most food items are not on plates, but are on molcajetes, cutting boards, churro carts. The staff talk to each other in Spanish, but only a couple can talk to you in English because they know how to speak it. At least once an hour all music and conversation is interrupted by a celebration of some sort with screams and fireworks. The televisions are on Telemundo or Univision.

We also have these monstrosities:

Yes, that is two entire bottles of tequila

It takes two people to carry this to your table. You will not be able to have anything else on your table once it is set down.

This kind of restaurant is what I am now calling “party-mex”. Not quite a club, but it certainly has a certain amount of club DNA in it. And I am signing up to be a bartender in one of them.

Que comience la pari.

And now for a new workplace

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com
  1. And now for a new workplace
  2. Hold steady

It would seem I finally have something to write about! I started working in the kitchen of a popular spot in the downtown area when you’re going to baseball games. It’s been going pretty swell except for a few things

  • After being here for a bit it seems the Ownership don’t want to admit they are running a full restaurant. This lack of admittance leads to stupid decisions based on what the front of house wants, instead of what the entirety of the business needs. The kitchen is completely shut out.
  • There is ongoing drama with the KM and the sous not being responsible over what is happening in their kitchen. They also don not seem to be training greenstick cooks at all.
  • Due to the above I now have to come in on days off to work.
  • A coworker had a full-on mental crisis and blew up on the Ownership bypassing the GM and the KM entirely. They apparently had no inkling anything was amiss. This does not seem to have caused any changes to be made. I’m left wondering about this one coworker just going MIA one of these days.
  • They seriously want to pay people $16/h when businesses around us are starting people at $18. The minimum wage here in town is $15/h.

My fear is everything will come to a head at the worst time. The front of house is getting an entire new bar installed while the kitchen keeps dragging along with a couple of induction burners and a couple of steam food wells. Then there’s a big red flag we had the other day that I need to find out more about.

All of these things I’m sure will give me enough material for more posts, in time. But for now I get to enjoy two shifties at the end of the workday. I usually look like the featured image while I’m drinking them.

Here’s to everyone being safe out there. And fuck the Supreme Court.

There is a bar out there what will do this

Surfing around found myself entranced by this post over on Reddit:

Sure the design of the cup makes you feel like a child— which might be what the bar wants. Perhaps there are other designs out there that would hold up to the rigors of food service but I have yet to find one that fits the bill. Maybe one fully made of glass, with a wide straw opening?

Then of course you could use metal straws.

I have yet to see a bar actually washing the inside of them properly so your mileage as a bar person will vary depending on what the boss got for the place.

You could also use paper straws, which seem to be the preferred solution for bars everywhere.

People will complain they go soft too quickly… but that’s because you’re leaving the straw inside. You can put it on the bar on a napkin, or on a saucer if provided one.

Me? I’m all for sippy cups.