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Magus

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Posts posted by Magus

  1. Hello All

    I am back chasing my dream again. I wanted to let everyone know that all is well. It took al little while and had to scale things back a bit. Since the last time I spoke to you, My oldest son went off to college!...Wow, it has been a long time! Well. I finally have the spot that I want in Ann Arbor after mixing things up with the City and Health Department requirements.

    So how goes? I too have been following this thread.

    Hello All

    I am back chasing my dream again. I wanted to let everyone know that all is well. It took al little while and had to scale things back a bit. Since the last time I spoke to you, My oldest son went off to college!...Wow, it has been a long time! Well. I finally have the spot that I want in Ann Arbor after mixing things up with the City and Health Department requirements.

    So how goes? I too have been following this thread.

    Its going well. Like I said...getting back into the swing of things. Spent a lot of time researching and coming up with new food ideas.
  2. Hello All

    I am back chasing my dream again. I wanted to let everyone know that all is well. It took al little while and had to scale things back a bit. Since the last time I spoke to you, My oldest son went off to college!...Wow, it has been a long time! Well. I finally have the spot that I want in Ann Arbor after mixing things up with the City and Health Department requirements.

  3. Good morning my egullet Fmaily :biggrin:

    I know...I know, long time no hear. Well, I just wanted to let you guys know what is going on.

    As you all know I hit a couple of rough patches.

    I am now recovered.

    Business is still going great.

    Progress.

    Van...(check)

    Big Cart, should be done by Early December.

    Parking cart in Central Campus (location to be published soon)

    Our location will be out every day (YAY)!

    While first cart is being finished, second one is being designed...(different streets different plans) size wise.

    Things I has no control over.

    Put up a blog back in 2007...now it has a #1 googlel ranking. (dont ask me how) www.nineburgers.com

    Will keep you all posted.

    Oh...I also started the twitter and facebook thing...that is a lot of work...may have to hand that one over.

  4. Nice to hear from you Magus!  I was wondering how No.9 was doing!

    Still Cookin! :biggrin:

    I have been doing some research on duck fat. It seems like some put it in burgers and some use it for fries.

    Has anyone tried either duck fat in burgers for duck fat fries? I have found a source for bulk duck fat. I have to admit, it is costly. about $75 for 30lb. I may have to try these myself before I make a final call .

  5. Good Morning Everyone.

    First, I hope everyone is in good health!

    I purchased a van (used) it is running well. This will cut down on cost of renting a van and it is a great tax write off.

    I am getting ready for the Ann Arbor Art Fair this comming week.

    I cooked for a Track Team in Detroit this past weekend and everything went great!

    I have decided to use twitter to keep in touch with my customers :biggrin:

    This way I can give them quick updates as to special "Deals" and they can let me know how they like the food or what I can improve on.

    Thats all for now.

    I will never forget my egullet family :biggrin:

    http://twitter.com/nineburgers

  6. I really like the name you're using now, Magus.  In a way it seems a shame to change it since you seem to have some good customer loyalty and an excellent reputation.  I'm glad to see you're getting a new rig built, though. :cool:

    I am keeping the name No.9

  7. Hi Magus, I recall pming you last year but never received a reply. So, I'm going to direct my question at you again...as well as others who maybe able to answer.

    Did you have the griddle custom made for the main event grill? I have a main event grill too that I purchased from Sam's Club and would love to be able to use it as a griddle sometimes. If anyone know where I can purchase or offer any assistance on having a griddle plate made for these grills I would really appreciate it.

    TIA

    I am actually custom making my own equipment. now... I did use the event grill from sams. I just dropped 1/2 inch steel plate on it. It had to be cleaned and polished...something called pickling the steel. You can go to any Steel place...take your measurements and they should be able to provide this for you.

    I started making my own equipment because I was tired of the shody equipment that was out there....and I also did not want to spend 2-4K on one piece of equipment. The only thing that I am working on now is a fryer....(this is a small business that grew out of necessity)

  8. Twice fried fries

    For this to be done...there are two options.

    1.Have one fryer...pre fry all of the fries to be used. question. Can this be done the day before?

    Does anyone know how long a blanched fry can sit?

    2. Have two fryers at different temps. This cuts down on having to keep adjusting one fryer...but it does not solve the issue of how long to let the fries cool going from one temp to another.

    Also..does anyone know if people blanch > Freeze > Fry

    I am remembering my days at McDonalds...they would take the fries out of the freezer put them in fry baskets and let them sit at room temp

    If so..I can fry the fries a day before I used them...then fry them for 2-3 min when I need them.

    Frying equipment.

    From what I can tell...most fryers have a termostat. You set it at a temp and leave it. This seems reactionary. If you drop a product into the oil, this drops the temp of the oil...sending this information to the thermostat and the thermostat turns up the heat automaticly. This does not make the fry oil consistant. I am still learning about fryers. If anyone can chime in on this one that would be great.

  9. i am probably commenting on ancient, resolved issues by now but i read the first half of this thread with fascination (i have a meeting now so nca't read anymore) and thought i'd offer up some of my opinions:

    1. a trailer can be really cool. in fact, here in london there is an infamous chocolate trailer - Choco Star - actually it's really an old ice cream van - that travels around dispensing all amazingly delicious chocolately things (brownies, cakes, hot choc) etc, and is run by a chocolate maker who used to work with Pierre Marcolini. This van moves around all the time and looks like it could sell awful soft serve with stale flakes stuck in it, but it's become a legend, turning up randomly at farmer's markets, etc, and it's a business idea that's really worked. a permanent trailer for burgers has no less great potential.

    2. looking at the menu you posted a while back, i think it is too much. why not just be simple and amazing? e.g. a burger, a cheeseburger, a mushroom/veggie burger, a chicken sandwich. there's something for everyone there and it cuts down the prep that you have to do. same with the shakes - choc, vanilla and maybe you could have one flavour that always changes?

    3. i have a suggestion with the fries - i think beef tallow is the way to go, but also, perhaps you could be creative in seasonings? for example, nandos has a peri peri dry seasoning that it shakes on its chips and which elevates them to something wondrous, i've seen similar uses of dried oregano. you could offer double-fried french fries, and have some seasonings that you make up yourself that people could sprinkle on them if they like.

    4. you could name your burger joint after your son.

    1.trailer is being made.

    2. I plan to keep it simple. I would rather do a few thing great than do alot of things so-so

    3. I have a beef tallow supplier and fries will be double fried.

    4. I cant name the place after my sons they have odd yet common names. Kane & Miles just dont ring a bell for me for a burger joint.

  10. I think buying a whole cow is overkill and wasteful. The cuts being used by the good burger makers are the chuck, flanken/short rib, sirloin, variously blended. What will you do w/ the rest of the animal? The most economical would be the by the specific cuts you choose to use.

    Well after learning more from the Cattle farmers I would have to say you are correct. One thing I dont want is waste...of food or money. I will need to go outside my area to find a good butcher whome I feel I can trust.

  11. Do these cattle farmers do their own slaughtering and butchery?

    One of the farmers does...the others send it out. They sell it by hanging weight. One of the farmers even does dry aged beef...that one is pretty expensive.

    Just deterimining if this is the correct route to go.

    The way the economy is...I could prob hire a butcher on an as needed basis.

  12. Update

    I took a coulple of weeks to think outside the box and it hit me. I live in the midwest...around farmers (somewhat) so why am I buying the main items that I sell...from a store.

    I have contacted a few Potato farmers and building relationships with them. I am now getting a weekly Potato report that gives me market conditions of Potatoes and what they are selling for...yeah...I know....fun reading :huh:

    I am also contacting some Cattle farmers as well...I figured since I will be buying in bulk anyway...I might as well go to the source.

  13. On second thought...there must be a better way to get certain fat percentages besides spending $1500 on a Fat tester.

    If you're grinding yourself, why would you need a fat tester? 80 pounds of lean meat ground with 20 pounds of fat gives you 80/20, etc.

    Well...while that makes sense, that would be a guess. I guess by doing it this way saves alot of trouble.

  14. Great news that your still moving forward. Would it be possible to work w/ a local butcher/meat shop to creat your specific grind and mix? and prepping the patties? One suggestion if your looking for a facility for yourself, might try approaching a Breakfast/lunch spot or Deli that closes after lunch and seeing if you could lease the kitchen at night for prep. They get additional income ,you get a set up space.

    Well...I spoke with the Health department and for the amount that I would spend in rent, I can create a commercial kitchen on my property. As long as it is not connected to the kitchen in my home I am good to go. They gave me all the requirements to do so. So that is an option. I dont trust the butchers. So the two main things I will need is a grinder and a fat analyzer to make sure I have my percentages on point.

  15. Well, Hello All

    I am back to square one...well not exactly. I need a new name. No.9 Hamburgers just doesn’t work. I have found myself having to explain the name to many customers. Although I am glad they are interested, it takes too much time explaining it...(maybe a sign might do the trick)

    I have learned soooo much this past year. I’ve learned what I’m really good at and also my limitations. I’ll keep what I am good and work on my limitations.

    The city that I live in almost got rid of all of the vendors on the street with a new ordinance. This was fought but it took time to pass..which held up progress. Now that this is settled I can move ahead.

    Restructuring the formation of my business entity for more protection of assets.

    Purchasing company van.

    Having New carts built to specs

    Need to get the food out into the public on a consistent basis.

    I must figure out what process I want to use to make my own burgers. This year the price of the burgers I use went up quite a bit. I don’t like this because I have no control over price and quality. So there are some logistics involved.

    One of the biggest lessons that I have learned is not be so emotionally invested in this and treat it as an ongoing project.

  16. Hello All

    Well we are two weeks into the football season.

    We are now selling burgers in RECORD NUMBERS! :biggrin:

    So...we are still on our grind and back in the game!

    Im slowly getting my "swag" back.

    Thanks for all the words of encouragement!

  17. As far as the 60qt stock pot...I think I will wait until it gets colder and serve a nice soup or chili in a bowl.

    Thought about deep frying wings...they take too long!

    Thought about fish....still not crazy about the idea...

    and I have not quite perfected my deep fried apple pie yet...so....I may have to stick with soup or chili

  18. You can find great frozen fries, no question, but I really don't think anything compares to hand cut, twice fried french fries.  Especially with gravy on them.  :)

    Peanut oils are still a huge risk for someone with a serious food allergy, even if someone read on the internet that 'it should be fine'.  In reality, you will not only lose that person as a customer, but likely their entire group as well.

    It's easier and cheaper to just stick with canola.  The results on average will have zero difference.

    Every time I look at this thread, I want a burger.

    -- Matt.

    Well. I will not be serving fries at the game. If I cant do it the right way at this time...it will have to wait. Also...the reason for wanting to use BT is because youngest son is alergic to Peanuts and tree nuts so...I would not want him smelling or touching the equipment...oil gets on EVERYTHING. But I do plan on adding Virginia cut bacon to the menu...and I am talking real bacon...not that BS one babysize slice of bacon alot of people hand out! :wink:

  19. ...The issue with blanching and holding.

    first cutting them and soaking in water...how long can I keep them in the water.

    Blanching them..Once I blanch them, do they need to be refrigerated...dont want to make anyone sick.

    I will either use beef tallow or peanut oil.

    You can hold chipped spuds in water, refrigerated, for a few days without any problem.

    Blanched fries also last for a couple of days in the fridge, and they fry up fine from fridge temperature. Your health dept probably won't want to see them unrefrigerated for more than a couple of hours.

    Before deciding on your oil, I suggest do a blind taste test on your friends and see if any can taste much difference between tallow, peanut oil and basic canola oil (especially after they add ketchup, salt etc). In a busy operation you'll be replacing your fryer oil every 2-3 days. Peanut oil costs about 40% more than canola, and I think beef tallow is more than that.

    This is great info!! I did not know how long I had for Fries soaking in water in the fridge..Nor did I know about how long Blanched fries lasted. I guess the only thing now is to find a good supplier of the spuds. From what I am reading...they are harvested at some point during the year and then stored...but while they are stored...the sugar content in the potato changes...which "WILL" affect the taste of the fries itself.

  20. ditto what boagman said.  You have a good thing going, don't mess with it right now when you've been through a rough patch.  My nutritionist friend (the one who did "drive through") who visited your stand at the end of last season is already talking about getting one of your burgers in a couple of weeks.  She works at the U of M cardiovascular center and limits saturated fat, but she's looking forward to one of your burgers.

    I am too - we'll be there for the Illinois game!

    I am looking forward to seeing you there. :biggrin:

  21. Also...I am trying to determine if I will be able to keep up.

    I cant say there is a demand because this will be my first time introducing them...and If I cant do a good job, then I will have to wait on the fries and just introduce something else.

    Hey Magus. As one of your happy, paying customers, I'd like to give my input here: skip the fries, at least for this season. You know as well as I do that the line already moves slowly enough as it is, and the fries issue would simply complicate the issue even further. You make a great burger...don't go overboard biting off more than you (or we) can chew. Sure, we all like fries with our burger, but seriously: they're ubiquitous, and they're *not* worth making the long line that much longer.

    Simplicity is its own reward. You've had a rough go of things over the past little while...come back with your strong suit. You can always add more stuff later. Be ready to deliver that which everyone has come to expect and enjoy from you, and remember why you wanted to do this in the first place: it's all about a *quality burger*, correct?

    Don't try to overdo it for now. Fries just aren't that important. Really. I look forward to seeing you at the U of M/MSU game this year. And yes: I'll be wanting bacon on mine. And so will my brother.

    Again. ;)

    :smile: Thank you...that made my day!

  22. I thank you all for your thoughts. I have taken my time to heal and now its back to work. Its just one of thoes things that life threw at me. The one thing that I will not and can not do...under any circumstance is to give up.

    Football season starts again at the end of this month so there is no choice but to brush myself off and get back into the game...no pun intended.

    The funny thing is that yesterday...I came accross a deep fryer. Not the kind you would put inside a restaurant...but a commercial outdoor deep fryer with a 60qt stock pot. I am thinking about introducing fries this year. I have not worked out the logistics yet.

    I have been doing more research on fresh cut fries vs. frozen

    From what I am finding out...and from what I have experienced...If you start with something...stick with it...not sure if this is the same thing or not.

    Fresh fries _

    Pros

    Better taste

    I can get a better price for them.

    Cons

    Quality not consistant (only being harvested once a year and must be stored...starch and sugars in the potato will change quality of product.

    Labor- More labor hrs must be dedicated to washing and cutting.

    More Labor for proper cooking...frying twice.

    More equipment: two fryers with different temps for this process.

    Space_ Proper storage of the product.

    Frozen

    Pros: Consistant, Less storage, Less Prep, Less Equipment,

    Has the ability to taste as good as fresh cut depending on which one you buy...guy from (Shake Shack)...different french fry styles. Easier to transport, Supply is larger.

    Cons...can tast bland... can taste like every other fry (which I really dont want)...

    I have to make my decision in the next week or so as far as what I will do so I can prepare for it.

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