The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Vicki Sternfeld-Rossi
The Times 

Restaurant Confidential, continued

 

Graphic by Lane Gwinn

My mother, a very wise woman, taught my sister, brother, and I that "you don't kick a man when he's down." A lesson I remembered this week when we purchased a new ice machine for over $3,000. Three weeks ago, after our now-defunct ice machine lumbered to its slow, laborious death, I went online to look at replacement machines. I told Daniel that I found a replacement machine for approximately $2,500. He proceeded to lecture me on how much ice we (meaning me) could purchase daily from the store before we spent $2,500. Therefore, we didn't need a new machine.

Evidently, he noticed my frustration and went online and proudly announced he found one for only $800 and it would be delivered in a week. Finally, a few days ago, the ice machine was delivered, so we called the company to do the installation, only to have the installers point out that we'd only bought the ice bin, not the actual machine that makes the ice.

Remembering my mother's wise words, I didn't say a word, even though I saw that the box delivered had Ice Bin printed on the side of the box in large letters. All the while running through my head was the relief that I wasn't the one that messed up the order. We now have an $800 ice bin in the backroom to be used with my store-bought ice. We are now waiting for the machine (another $2,400) that actually makes the ice. Another week of the daily ice stop and I will take iced tea off the menu!

This past Tuesday, Daniel and I flew to Seattle to meet my friend Margie (whom I've known since we were three years old) and her husband for a quick mini-vacation. We went to a fish dinner Tuesday night and to Pike's Market Wednesday morning to bring home more fish. We all drove back to Waitsburg that afternoon, so they could spend this week with us. A welcome little breather before the craziness called - All Wheels Weekend. I tried to enlist our visitors to help wait tables and clean the kitchen, but somehow wine tasting and a trip to Palouse Falls had more appeal!

One thing we are now sure of is: Don't be sure of anything. The week before we left town, we noted that we sold only two burgers. Considering there are three restaurants selling burgers in less than a mile radius of us, we decided we should take them off our menu. Then came the All-Wheels crowd, and burgers were our biggest seller on Friday and Saturday. Anomaly? Or do our burgers stand out from the rest?

We now have a wonderful young man helping Daniel in the kitchen. And, if Daniel doesn't scare him away in less than a week, there is hope we can expand the menu and the number of people we can seat and serve.

It may also reduce my level of frustration when someone orders the gluten-free/dairy-free pasta dish, only to later order the Tiramisu for dessert, which is loaded with dairy and gluten.

Today, I met with our CPA. I felt sorry for him because I'm sure his confusion over my accounting techniques was worse than any I have over gluten-free/dairy-free orders we have.

Now, if I can get my tomatoes to grow better than Daniel's, frustrations will be mitigated, and my good life will be even better!

 

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