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    Dallas, Texas
  1. We had a waitress that had all the signs of having a meth addiction. She had dirty stringy hair, open sores all over her face and neck, and rotten teeth. Hey, I watch plenty of documentaries and this was a classic meth head. I completely lost my appetite but I kept hoping that she was trying to beat her addiction and keep a job, etc. so we stayed at her table and tipped her well. I don't know how she got the job in the first place! She looked that bad.
  2. Stephen, So glad to read how you've been doing! I check here all the time for updates. I'm a little concerned about your having to "scrap your original business plan" because I know you've spent a lot of time and money getting to where you are now. A set-back in losing your kitchen and then having a Jewish angel come in to save you is tempting I'm sure, but you must think long term. Is this really what you want to do this year, 5 years from now, etc. It's a fact that all businesses evolve, often far from where they started, but please make sure the changes you make are in the direction you are comfortable with. I'm pulling for you guys!
  3. Hey Stephen, I can comment on two things: 1. I just spent 10 months looking for a place to open my commercial kitchen. It is almost unheard of for a landlord to pay for build-out of your bakery. Sometimes you can negotiate a couple of months free rent while you build or if it is a brand new space you may get a few thousand dollars but seriously, you either find a place that has everything in it or you pony up the bucks to build it yourself. This is where the old location, location, location aspect comes in. If you need a great location you will have to pay for it. I worked with a commercial realtor to finally find my space and thank goodness I did because we were able to negotiate quite a lot that I wasn't even aware of on my own. Bottom line: you will more than likely have to pay any construction costs. 2. BNI. I'm in my second year with my chapter. It is a commitment of time and money but it has paid itself back in spades. I made my yearly fee back with one job and I continue to be rewarded with my commitment to the "BNI way". You need to find a well organized group that you click with but once you do I can attest that networking really works. Landis Avenue! I remember it so well. Can't wait to read what you write next!
  4. Beautiful job! Congratulations on your successful weekend. I would love one of those lemon cupcakes
  5. I remember reading a long time ago in Philadelphia Magazine that Georges Perrier of Le Bec Fin said he always visits the restroom of a restaurant before he sits down to eat specifically to see if they are clean, have soap, etc. I've never forgotten that and I try to do it as much as possible!
  6. Stephen and Jill, I just about fell out of my chair reading your posts because I grew up in Vineland and I just never see or read about anyone from there! I live in Dallas now but I was in Vineland last year for my high school reunion. Fun times! Congratulations on your new venture. I'm kind of going through the same thing. I am a personal chef and I decided to open a commercial kitchen so that I could expand my customer base, do corporate catering, etc. It took me over 8 months but I found the perfect kitchen in the perfect location. It was extremely frustrating but I learned if you are patient the right opportunity will come along. My best friend is married to the President of City Council in Vineland so when your website is up and running let me know and I'll get the word out. We write to each other almost daily. Good luck with your search for a space and post more pictures. They're gorgeous!
  7. Dallas, TX: It never fails when attending a business or chamber event we get mixed greens with a choice of raspberry vinaigrette or ranch, followed by chicken with an herbed lemon butter sauce thickened with cornstarch, wild rice, and mushy green beans. Dessert is, yes indeedy, the Sysco cheesecake with a fanned strawberry to the side.
  8. ringflinger: How was the gorgeous dish described or titled on the menu? Something must have made you order it!
  9. I love to put sour cream on my cheeseburgers. But as far as food combos go I am in heaven when I have buttered popcorn and fig newtons together...like giant trail mix!
  10. Not ethnic but excellent: Kenny's Wood Fired Grill
  11. How about individual pies like apple, cherry, etc. You already sell ice cream so pie ala mode would be a good combo. Homemade granola is also good with ice cream.
  12. I hate to burst your bubble but you are absolutely not allowed to sell food that has not been prepared in a commercial kitchen. Here in Plano it is a $2000 fine. Chances are no one would turn you in or a health inspector won't be coming upon your garage sale but why take the chance?
  13. Brooklyncook - You're hilarious! Mr. Trash Can Lid...love it. The CIA is mighty proud of Stephen. They've sent the alumni two emails letting us know that he's on the show. But they've been awfully quiet since the show has aired. Could they be horrified of his attitude or proud of his beautiful plates? Time will tell. I was cringing at the whole Junior League/microwave food relationship. It's true, but it made me cringe.
  14. THIS is the reason egullet is so wonderful! (Jason: tell me you and Rachel weren't laughing your butts off!)
  15. First I check epicurious.com. Then I check Bittman's "How to cook Everything". Then I check "The Best Recipe". I compare and contrast all three and usually make a variation. Anal but it works!
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