Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the week in review

I still have gobs to learn about working in the Portobello kitchen, but after four days of service I feel much more settled than I anticipated after that first night.

We continued to be full-up through the rest of the week, however the pizza orders dropped by about a third. So instead of making 35-40 pizzas a night like I did when we opened, I've been making 20-25. We think the difference in numbers has to do with the fact that a lot of the people who sat at the opening were regulars who were possibly looking to try the new items on the menu. Whereas people later in the week were standard customers without an agenda.

My guess is that orders will pick up for pizza once we start offering a to-go menu, which I believe will be primarily pizza with a smattering of other options that are easily transportable. We're also looking to serve our to-go offerings at our neighboring bar/beer store, The Beermongers. I'm also hoping some good buzz on the pizza will help increase demand.

Apologies for not posting photos of the place in action, but I feel kind of weird bringing the camera out in the middle of service when I should probably be doing other things (often things I don't yet know how to do).

In the meantime, please see below. I took some leftover dough home and made myself a cheeseful margherita:

The dough is a mix of Caputo "00" and Blendako. It has a lower gluten content than what I'm used to working with, which means that it's harder to stretch out and more prone to tearing,  but that it also has a softer crumb, airier hole structure, and is lighter and easier on the stomach in terms of digesting. It's also pretty tasty.

Tomorrow we're closed for service, but are scheduled to have a kitchen meeting at some point. We're gonna try and get more organized and efficient, I believe. It'd be nice to get out of work at 12:30 instead of 1:15.

* * *

In other news, I bought a 21 or 24 speed bike from my friend (I haven't actually counted the rear sprockets, but when you have that many, it doesn't really make much of a difference). It's a nice, steel Fuji frame. Photos are TK.

This weekend I was able to do some basic maintenance—replaced the seat; adjusted the handlebars; moved the break levers to a more comfortable position; cleaned the chain, rear derailleur, and bottom bracket. I also took my Peugeot in to get the fork replaced. (And subsequently the headset and stem too, since finding a french-sized fork the right size for my bike is virtually impossible. And if you get a fork that's English-sized, then it snowballs and all the other parts that attach to it also need to be English-sized. The different standards are annoying to deal with.) The old one was bent, which I could barely notice, but when I dropped by to get a new front brake, the mechanic barely glanced at my bike and noticed it immediately. He also told me not to buy a front brake, but to replace to fork instead. Then he told me another shop in town would probably have better fork options for me. This is all fairly insignificant information. If you're still reading this, I apologize.


Anonymous said...

That pizza looks really good!

211 Vierling

Anonymous said...

OK. We'll settle for pictures of the store front and seating area when no one is there!

211 Vierling

winesavi said...

wow! i live in italy and have to put up with italians always saying we americans have no idea what good pizza is...but after looking at that pic I would have proof to show them they are WRONG!!!! nice pizza Man! where did you learn to make pizza like that? very nice!yummmy...