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Everything posted by beans

  1. I was playing devil's advocate. But look at how many threads/posts exist about how a cook show host rubbed their nose, touched their hair, licked their fingers, placed the spoon they just used to sample their sauce back into the pot; and as I mentioned ealier about those that freak when they spot another kitchen or waitstaff person touching their food without wearing gloves. Besides, when the homeless walk around the market you shop in, you start to wonder where those little fingers were as you see them chewing while walking up and down the aisles. (I live near to two large soup kitchens within walking distance... ah, the joys of an urban redevelopment, historical neighbourhood...!)
  2. So, you agree that taking things from the market and eating them without paying for them, the question here, is stealing. With that I agree. Stealing from your employer is another thread, no? That was all built into the argument that we all have ways to rationalise what we do in the bigger picture of things. Okay, playing a bit of devil's advocate and not saying anyone here, but how does it compare? I mean really? One who samples various mustards (or whatever), breaking the seal, then returning it to the shelf. Don't they know they just contaminated a jar potentially making another ill? That's two acts of crime! Helping yourself for a taste then allowing that item remain to be sold. Then what do you do? Take it to customer service and state "I tried this _____ and I didn't like it, so I don't want another to get ill from my germs so I recommend this be tossed away." ??? Do you take that jar you just opened and tasted and upon the decision of not liking it, do you take it for purchase so as not to potentially make another ill with your germs? Okay, sub in produce. Cherries are in season (I got my PNW yellow lovelies right now calling to me....), so are grapes and well, then there's the olive cart. After plucking a grape, eating a cherry, do you just dip your fingers into the "salad bar like" display of where you scoop your own variety of olives into a plastic container? With the same fingers that have already been near, possibly touching or in your mouth? Then leave the rest behind because you didn't like them? Okay, produce does get washed once it gets home, but what about the olives? Rationalise that the brine will kill the germs? And as KateW mentioned (I've had this happen with same bunch of grapes too!) how many grapes do you munch before you feel is a fair representative sample? I think some of my own beliefs are showing a bit, because I believe that eating in a commercial kitchen while at work or in a grocery store while shopping only leads to problems. Something wasn't rung up that otherwise is costed and considered for sale and revenue bottom line dollars -- in both situations. Possible contamination issues, and even thoughtlessness to the next unsuspecting consumer. (yum, complete stranger's germs -- with all sorts of possible undesirable medical conditions) Just throwing all of this out there.
  3. I agree with tommy. When I was a busy little legal assistant researching on Lexis, or whatever, I still had a target billable amount of time. If I spent 3/10ths of an hour surfing eG (it wasn't around when I was stuck in an office) then I did. I wasn't stealing from my employer as I didn't bill a client for it and I rare took a lunch hour out in a sit down restaurant and usually did working lunches of catered meetings or eating at my desk as I read, researched or drafted/wrote my assignments. (oh, administrators spotted and eliminated that personal mail through the company's mail room meter thing like a hawk watching a mouse.... personal photocopies as well by creating account numbers for personal matters for each and every employee) I think everywhere I've worked I've been pressed to remain accountable, even down to using a stamp! If I log on to eG while at work, it is work related. Or on some of my personal off time to upload images (with my boss' approval for eGCI). Besides all of that, I still feel sampling grocery store foods is different, but yes I notice how many will rationalise. (based on many work related experiences and observations, but off topic) Anyone ever think of or hear or think about eating before you grocery shop? I know I spend less when I do and it may be a cure for preventing hungry adults and children alike.
  4. This thread is still kicking around?
  5. Re: sampling produce If a corporate grocer even permits sampling. Yes, you are purchasing food and this may be comparing apples to oranges, but is it a customary practice to ask for a bite sized sample of ____________ from a restaurant (not fast food) before ordering it to see if it is good? With produce I tend to believe it is a gamble, to some extent. You do learn the season for X and the particular variety of X you prefer. The best I can hope for is it was a great growing season for X. Who rips open the ears of corn and checks for that little crisp pop? (and what happens to all of those that failed the test and are left behind for the market to eventually toss or to someone who is not picky or in the know about the fingernail popping checking for freshness? Which BTW, is why I *never* purchase corn on the cob from anyone else than Farmer ______'s own little roadside stand). Is this a considered a crime? Who bruises apricots, figs, nectarines and peaches? (shame on you! ) Who sniffs melons and checks for that heaviness for its size? Some of this I feel is a crime against the grocer, some of wise consumerism, and probably varies greatly from each person's perspective.
  6. Oh! All of this Fernet! Branca! Menta! I remember seeing a bottle of Fernet Menta somewhere on my travels, can't remember where though and I didn't taste it. Must. Obtain. A. Bottle.
  7. Were does one draw the line? I mean, some freak out because a FTV host touches their hair while prepping food that they themselves will be eating. Then there are those that their stomaches churn when a server touches a lettuce leaf of their house salad when carrying the plates to the table. And here is some discussion about grocery shopping carts.... I sincerely don't mean to put anyone off, and with apologies in advance if anyone should find this upsetting, but it is something to think about when a young child is eating, while seated seated in a cart at the grocery store. My biggest pet peeve and I find completely a crime against grocery: finding packages in inappropriate places, i.e, a package of fresh strawberries dumped in the freezer, a seafood package left in the cereal aisle, etc.
  8. I was just going to post and ask if you've made it here!
  9. I remember an occasion with a co-worker that I had become friends with. Three of us from the restaurant were off for the evening and rented a movie. We ordered up two dinners of the gigantic, featured two plus pound lobster tails togo, figuring that was just fine for a dinner for three. Our chef only charged us at cost, which was an unforseen bonus. Clint, was exhausted and fell asleep as soon as the movie started, however my other fellow co-worker and I shared one tail eating only with our fingers, inclusive of the herbed-garlic roasted baby reds. I think that was the only time during the busy season that we had time to laugh, smile and look into each other's eyes. I fell in love, as the Clintster snored, although I don't think either one of us really heard him. We ate the remainder of this gigantic lobster tail, watched the movie, and at one point Clint woke up and we all returned to our professional, work personalities. Sadly he moved for his job as did I, but get together when either is in town for some more outstanding dinners.
  10. I can't help myself. I recently up'ed my collection +4 with: Mes Confitures by Christine Ferber A Passion for Preserves by Frederica Langeland Caprial's Bistro Style by Caprial Pence Cold Weather Cooking by Sarah Leah Chase Each day the mail has been quite exciting. Anyone into putting up preserves must check out A Passion for Preserves.
  11. Wow Pan. I've never seen roaches going after human foods. All of the ones that were running around the walls where I work were in the upstairs restaurant's dry storage area where there isn't any food product. The only other time I encountered these insects was when I owned a condo in Shaker Heights that was a converted old 1920's apartment building, still with the original system of steam heat. There was a basement room filled with old refridges and stoves, as storage from the previous building owner. The roaches were infested in those until we got the former owner to haul those away! They were feasting on the insulation!
  12. Wow. I've travelled much, dining out alone quite often. I'd have to say that 98% of the time, all was fantastic. When I travelled for business to Seattle, Phoenix, Ft. Laud/Miami area, Orlando, Atlanta, Detroit or Minneapolis all was great. Being an only child, I never find dining out alone daunting. I'm hungry, know what I want, order precisely and tip well. In fact, I've made friends with the servers I encountered on those travels and even met up with them when they had time off at another great restaurant (this happened most often in Seattle). I think the worst was when I drove I-90 West to find my way to the Blue Canoe. I was in Butte, Montana dining at the hotel's restaurant. I was exhausted, had discovered the radial something or another arm/front end alignment that I had repaired before this monster road trip moving to Alaska was all in good order only to have some serious maneuverabilty issues suddenly occur when I arrived at my hotel. I decided not to venture around the city and see what kind of eats this hotel had. When I requested a wine list I was promptly and rudely informed there was only "house" wines. I said that would be fine, but if they had a house Zin. I was then told they only had a house Chablis, Rose, Cabernet and Chardonnay and not a White Zin. I informed the server I wasn't interested in White Zin, but Zinfandel. The resulting meal ended up with most of it being incorrect. The next day, I drove farther west through Sturgis realising I really ought to have driven that extra few hundred miles.... But I was heading west onto the next Firestone, after a few lengthy cellphone conversations with the mechanic at the Cleveland Firestone, to Missoula, a lovely college town I really enjoyed for the few hours I was there. They were very charming and polite, made the correct repairs under warranty, free of charge and asked about how I liked Butte. I told them about my restaurant experience and they snickered telling me that most find the women in Butte snotty and unhelpful to out of towners. On that same trip, two days later, I dined at the Salish Lodge in beautiful Snoqualmie Falls, Washington, solo. They were positively wonderful. Dining alone? I never have any qualms about it. Perhaps being in the biz I filter out all of the petty crap that can be dished out? The last two dining alone memories were those of treating myself -- once at the sole "fine" dining establishment in Sitka on a Saturday evening after I worked a particularlly hellish week. My roomie had a date, so I decided by myself was just the ticket. It was fishing season so many of my friends were working on their boats located in some hard to pronounce bays or straights hoping to catch much salmon. Ended up one of them was stuck on shore because of some doctor appointments and she later joined me for drinks after my dinner was finished. We ended up having a fantastic evening of general mischief and debauchery launched against the non-commercial fishermen of Alaska.... Dining out alone is a different experience. Enjoy it and don't get caught up in any sort of stigma. Think of it as an adventure.
  13. beans


    Yes, blackberries and peaches are quite nice.
  14. More on Summer drinks from the Naple Daily News.
  15. Then in our case, those boxes/glue for boxes must really be yummy.
  16. My home bar varies upon season, whim and what my guests drink without mind to what is on sale at the liquor store and are usually "call" or "premium" liquors. (Patron, Woodford Reserve, Glacier, Crown Reserve, Tanqueray Ten, Stoli Vanil, Absolut Citron, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Baileys, Frangelico, Tia Maria, Jager off the top of my head)
  17. One thing to keep in mind: roaches don't eat human food. They have no interest. As lesfen stated, the place can be spic and span and the occasional roach may trapse by. They *love* boxes. Just think of how many boxes of sleeves of plastic cups, etc. are in dry storage of any given restaurant. We got a fantastic bug guy and I haven't seen any in about five years. We even got rid of those huge spiders that loved the ceilings of our outdoor bars. And they're not just in restaurants... think about being in those last rows of coach on take off.
  18. I think it is your word choice and general demeanor that made me laugh.
  19. One small island resort I worked we'd see one regularly on a wall, hiding in the canned juices/sodas, in an empty ice well, etc.... Part of the reason I couldn't stand working there a moment longer (and I did quit), despite it was supposed to ultra exclusive and a wee bit of paradise. The general manager continually assured me they weren't roaches and really were "woodland beetles." Ha. Nothing like waking up in your little boarding room and seeing one staring at you while standing on the ceiling over your bed. I was there a little longer than two months and never once was the place ever sprayed by exterminators, and we had two bars, one restaurant, health spa recreational and cottages/hotel like rooms members stayed in. During one of my sole Mondays off of work and island, I purchased some heavy duty Raid to outline all of my walls, flooring, cracks, doors, etc. Smelled bloody awful but was better than being eyeball to eyeball ever again. I've seen one on the bartop next door to where I work and didn't think much of it. That restaurant was clean and we had to coordinate our bug nights to effectively deal with the situation. (Instead of any running to escape our gassing them out -- we're literally on the water -- would run their direction and then when they'd fumigate, they'd run in our direction. All have been nicely eliminated now that we have coordinated with our neighbour. ) The only time I remember being wholly disturbed by the sight of roaches while dining out was a now defunct restaurant. Not in the food, but three were on the wall near our booth. I feared they would crawl into our jackets that were resting not too far away from them. Never went back.
  20. Yeah, oHIo is a crappy state in many ways! We've discussed how limited our liquor and wine selections are.... Alaska the general starting pay for barstaff was $9.00 an hour. And I was often tipped in the freshest fish by those hunky fishermen. Great hourly that added up to a decent bi-monthly paycheck, great cash tips and ones that make sure you always had dinner to eat! Why did I leave?
  21. Oh, I see. If tips are abnormally high, then yes a few extra bucks gets distributed to those that helped you -- share in the love, right?! I've never tipped out at the minimum percent (edit to add: I've always tipped more than) and can remember many a time throwing a twenty at my service bartender when I was a boat server. Another time I can remember tipping out a bar back twenty bucks to wheel a case of a particular champagne onto one of my yachts I was waiting on. I also tipped out the dock boys for saving the prime docking spot for said yacht because their captain phoned ahead to me to confirm their intentions of spending an evening at our restaurant because they were a bit late on getting underway and requested my station on the dock. Boat servers generally don't have bussers on board (boat servers must self bus) but I've asked and tipped a ten to a busser to find one of those huge sized lexans, fill it with ice and take it aboard the boat I was serving as I went to schmooze our linens lady for a white cloth to dress up the container of ice for the case of champagne that was just dollied aboard by a barback. If you had a crappy night, then at least those that are being tipped out on your sales volume, they will see the number, see your frowning sad face and may waive you tipping them out or still expect you give them the bare minimum. Depends on much -- especially if they remember you've been generous on previous occasions, or if you never provide more than what is the bare minimum. (I can remember a server that tipped out only in quarters. Yes it was money, but it was a bit inconsiderate to the fellow employee. She wasn't invited back the following season). This system works and what comes around, goes around. Even if one gets the short end of the stick and gets stiffed on the tip outs, but then everyone knows, hears much about it and management steps in. It rarely occurs again because if you don't tip out the runners, bussers or service bar -- you will no longer find yourself on the schedule. Dizzying isn't it? And come to think of it, I've never worked in a restaurant or bar that didn't base tipping out on anything else other than sales volume.
  22. Virgin Atlantic places motivation to purchase those first class seats, no? Brief press release here. The few flights that had an experienced flight attendant at mixing up some bevies have made some of my most outstanding memories of travelling. Ah yes, when Continental had a "Sky Pub" in the main section of the aircraft on their international south pacific flights and still flew to the Fiji Islands. It was available to all on the aircraft when the "Fasten Seat Belt" sign was no longer illuminated. Real pub too -- complete with a bar to lean on and small booths and tables. Cheers!
  23. glenn: I'm not sure I'm getting what you are asking. If a server rang up $1,000 in sales, regardless of what they have earned in tips 1/2 percent of the $1,000 goes to the bussers ($5), 1 percent to the bar ($10) and 1 1/2 percent to the food runners ($15) out of their overall tips. In order to cash out, they are required to obtain a signature from the shift captain from the bussers, assigned service bar and food runners to verify they paid their tip out(s). (As well as from their own shift leader, but that is to prove that they completed their running and closing sidework). Is that what you mean about preventing dishonesty? edit to add: I was being tied up in the numerical figures and policy. It motivates the server to sell and earn those fat tips because they go into the shift knowing that three percent of their sales is going to tip outs from their own earned tips (out of their own pocket). In the event they just for one reason or another don't do well, the straight percentage tips to the ones that run their buns off and sweat hard while doing it -- the bussers, service bar and food runners -- they are not penalized and still get a piece of decent change for their efforts. Does that make sense?
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