I thought I would add a home for rants and stuff. It’s a work in progress. Check back on occasion for updates.
It’s about turnover. If a place has a giant menu with a ton of choices that means that you are going to have a lot of ingredients being stored. You have stuff getting old. Most owners are NOT throwing stuff out. They will often use things past their prime. A smaller selection means fresher ingredients for you.
This link takes you to a page with a video of Alton Brown making french toast. I realize that restaurants won’t take this much time.
The “LINK” Be sure to watch the Video
The overwhelming majority of places do NOT know how to make French Toast. If they DO know they choose not to. REALLY? They can produce a perfect Hollandaise or an inspired Pancake concoction but Proper French Toast Prep eludes them. French Toast is some type of bread substance and a custard mixture. Eggs, a dairy product and usually some flavor enhancers. The bread is introduced to the custard then cooked. The disconnect is that the bread is usually not soaked in the mix. it’s plopped, flipped and pitched on the flattop. It ends up being dry on the inside. It tastes like warmed bread with cooked egg on the outside. When it’s done properly it’s warm moist and custardy on the inside. Even the plain version is tasty when done right. Iv’e eaten FT made by home cooks that were way better than fancy joints that charge 10 bux for 2 slices of warmed bread.
Who Doesn’t love pancakes? I don’t when they are from a mix that comes from Sysco or GFS or some other industrial food service place. A place that specializes in breakfast needs to have their own Pancake formula. PERIOD. No excuses. Those artificial Vanilla Gummy mix Pancakes that a lot of places serve should be banned. There are a LOT of upscale breakfast places that use a mix. This is totally unacceptable. Make your own or don’t make them at all.
Artificial Maple Flavored High Fructose Corn Syrup in a Drippy Sticky Slide Top Pitcher
Imagine if you will a High End Hipster Infused Breakfast Spot. A $12.00 Top Chef Produced Pancake dish. You place your order and wait. They bring THIS sticky dribble cup full of artificially colored and flavored High fructose Corn Syrup Ummmm Delightful! It’s a crime to put Fake Maple Syrup or Fakle Syrup as I call it on an $12.00 Pancake There ARE some places that offer the real deal for an additional charge and some rare ones that actually just serve it and roll it in the price. (That’s the proper way). If you want Fakle Syrup you should have to request it or go to that Inter Nation Pancake House Place.
Un Buttered Toast / Un Toasted ToastBack
When I was a kid all breakfast joints gave you buttered toast unless you requested otherwise. Now when you get toast it’s usually barely toasted and presented DRY. Toast that isn’t toasted is just warm bread. I’m usually at these places early and the butter they have on the table is usually still cold. They bring the dry, cool, sort of or not toasted bread to me. I attempt to spread the hard butter on the cool toast and of course the butter doesn’t melt. What is the end result? Cold bread with un melted and sometimes cold clumpy butter. Dear breakfast place people, Butter and toast the toast. Thank You, Geno
I went to a place once that had Kosher Salt in a little cup. Even the places that put out a 17 dollar insanely delicious entree have your standard salt shaker full of standard table salt. Table salt is too salty and has a chemical aftertaste. Kosher salt tastes much better and tastes much less salty. I’m sure Alton Brown can explain why. In theory you shouldn’t need to add salt to a dish. The chef should have made sure that your food was properly salted but this isn’t always the case. Kosher Salt is cheap and I’m sure when purchased from a restaurant wholesaler in a large quantity it’s even cheaper. They are probably using it in the kitchen already anyway. Put Kosher salt or Flake Salt on the table and get rid of that other crap.
Or as I call it, sneeze powder. More places are starting to put disposable pepper mills or re useable grinders on the table. It’s about freakn time. Sneeze powder has none of the essential oils left in it. It doesn’t have any complex flavor left and it’s hot. Pitch the Pepper Shakers Please.
Nothing about eggs should be clear. Clear=Uncooked. A properly cooked egg is surprisingly elusive. I really think that places that are trying to be breakfastcentric should have cooks that can cook eggs perfectly which brings me to…
I guess if I had to choose between overcooked or undercooked eggs I’d pick overcooked. When you overcook and egg you rob it of it’s unctuousness. It becomes dryer as the cooking increases. There is not much worse breakfast wise than an overcooked brown Omelette, well, except for maybe for overcooked Scrambled Eggs.
You have no one to blame but the person who sets it down. If it’s dirty don’t put it on the table. It’s that simple. No one including the wait staff wants to eat with dirty spotty food crusted or bent flatware.
Fingerprinty or Gunky Plates
Take 2 seconds and wipe the plates.
Sheet Trays used for plating
There is a trend that I hope ends soon to use aluminum sheet pans (Jelly Roll Pans, Cookie Sheets) as serving devices. They are particularly popular at Barbecue joints. That Industrial Chic look, low cost, low maintenance, and the fact that they are very durable makes them attractive to the management. This is a terrible thing. Not only are they ugly but the very reason that makes them great in the oven is what makes them bad for plating. They are great in the oven because they heat up fast and the good ones distribute the heat well. When used to plate food the opposite happens. They suck the heat right out of the food when its plated directly on the tray. Don’t get me wrong I love them and own MANY of them they just suck as plates. Keep them in the kitchen and out of the dining room.
The Dog Dish or Dog Bowl ie Stainless Steel Serving Bowls
I have noticed a rise in places using Stainless steel bowls for serving “Skillets” in. These devices have two problems. Just like sheet trays they suck the heat out of the food but worse for me is that it feels like I’m eating out of the Dogs Bowl.
Breakfast demands good strong Coffee. Something with personality like a good Single Origin Guatemalan Sumatran or Kenya AA Oh now I’m dreaming. At least a good blend. Weak cheap coffee has a particular smell. I don’t even have to taste it to know it’s coming.
I hate the bench!
A lot of places employ the use of a bench along a wall in conjunction with a row of tables. This is generally to maximize the floorspace. Sometimes the bench is absent and it’s just a row of two top tables about a foot apart. This causes 2 issues for me.
1. If I choose to or have to sit on the bench I have to squeeze my fat @ss between the tables to get to it which means that I have to put said @ss in someones face to get to it.
2. Whether I sit on the bench or the chair I have to sit next to a stranger whilst I eat. This is very uncomfortable situation for an introvert such as myself.
Community Tables and Lunch Counters
I feel the same way about community tables and lunch counters as I do about the bench. I don’t want to dine with strangers.
Carpet in restaurants is gross. How much old food is jammed in that carpet. It’s a fuzzy Petrie dish