We 86’d onions on Saturday night. Whitey sent me a text on Sunday morning asking me to pick some up at the grocery store on my way to work.
I hate cutting onions, especially if we have customers in the dining room. The smell overwhelms everyone, and we all get teary-eyed.
We were also down to just a few back-ups of cheese, and placed bets on if we were going to have to close early on Sunday night due to running out of mozzarella. I still ended up working an 11-hour shift, sometimes hoping we’d run out. Bad Kina.
An order comes in this morning, and we’ll be fully stocked again. We used to get two orders a week; now we’re up to four. Our walk-in is small, and we use every inch of room at all times.
There’s this guy who has his name in the paper on a regular basis, and not in a good way. Twice in the last year, he’s called after we were closed for a delivery. One of these times, after I had told him that the kitchen had closed almost an hour earlier he replied with the choicest f-bomb followed by what bulls do after eating a full meal. He’s a special guy, if you get my drift.
We ended up taking a delivery to him recently, and he called back about fifteen minutes later saying that the driver needed to come back with some napkins and peppers.
Friday night, prime-time, and he wants a rerun. For napkins. And peppers.
Wisely, our new front gal didn’t even run it by me. She let him know that if a driver was in the neighborhood, he’d come by again.
One of the front gals asked me why we call it “86ing something” when we run out of an item or someone is no longer allowed into a restaurant.
There are many variations of the origins of this term, all of which sound legit. My favorite is 80-miles out and 6-feet under, which is where you’d take someone to dig their own grave.
One popular theory has to do with a speakeasy (a place that sold liquor during Prohibition) at 86 Bedford St. in the Village in Manhattan. The cops were paid off to call before they came through the courtyard entrance, so the bartender would yell out “EIGHTY-SIX” to warn patrons to exit to the front door.
Some say 86 originated at Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City. Number 86 on their menu was their most popular item; a Rib-eye steak. It often sold out, and so 86 became shorthand for being out of an item.
Other sources claim that the term is attributed to Article 86 of the New York State Liquor Code. Article 86 specifically outlines the circumstances in which a bar patron should be refused alcohol or removed from a bar.
In the restaurant culture, some say the term goes back to the Great Depression and the soup kitchens. The standard cauldron would hold 85 cups of soup, and so therefore the 86th person was out of luck.
Freaky warm April weather recently. I even drove my car with the top on my way home last night. Flowers are coming up, Spring is in the air. I’ve never looked forward to Summer so much. I hope that the investment in our outdoor patio pays off; we’ve had a few people sitting out there this week. Although we did have snow in June last year…
I can’t keep up with the “donation” requests. Everybody has a cause or a team that needs to be “sponsored” these days. I have a problem saying no. Honestly, it’s not the donation that gets to me; it’s how long it takes to print off and document the donation. Time is a luxury, and when I have “free” time I don’t like using it to give away “free” products. I’ve been thinking of having professional Donation Certificates printed off, and when they’re gone they’re gone. I would still hate saying no, though. People take it personally.
A new week, a new to-do list. Sometimes I can’t keep up. But business is good, our crew is (finally) an honest, trust-worthy bunch, my dogs are fat and happy, and my husband is obeying (hey – he took the vow!). I really have no complaints except for not enough hours in the day.
So back to work. You too.