Post # 344 Dreamin’ of a Restaurant

February 25, 2015 at 10:53 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 344 Dreamin’ of a Restaurant

Years ago, just after the divorce was final, and long before I met Partner/Spouse, I played with the idea of opening a restaurant.  People had suggested I work in one, or open one on my own my whole life.  I honestly don’t see myself as a world class chef, but I enjoy cooking and feeding people.  But I always told people I’d never open one because if I had to cook, it no longer was fun.  But since I had time on my hands, I played with the idea.

The first step, of course, was to buy the perfect notebook to jot all my ideas into.  It couldn’t be just a plain, run of the mill notebook like I had dozens of lying around the condo.  No, no, it had to be a perfect, special notebook that I would carry with me to jot notes in whenever I felt like.  I went to book stores, office supply stores, greeting card stores, etc. looking for just the right notebook.  After several attempts, I finally chose one I had lying around, but had interesting food stains on it.  I had to rip out a few pages from a story idea that I had already put to computer, but after that I had a nice new interesting notebook to write ideas in.

Just like everything else, a successful restaurant is all about location location location.  If people don’t go to where your restaurant is, there’s not much chance you’ll be able to sell them any food.  I wandered around the town I lived in at the time and playfully selected a busy street corner and said to myself, “There’s where it’ll be.”  It was just a game, a way to pass some time, so it didn’t matter too much exactly where it was.

Just as important, though, is what kind of food would I serve?  What would make people come to my restaurant when they had a glut of choices about where to eat?  In a four block area, there were six places to get the kind of food I normally cooked.  I didn’t have a hook that would set it apart, yet.

I’d always toyed with the idea of a place in the woods where I would make two set meals, that’s all.  People would have to call me to find out what would be on the menu that night.  Then they’d show up and choose which they’d like, and for a set price per person, I’d serve the full meal of their choice between the two entrees.  That way, I’d never be stuck cooking something I didn’t feel like making at the moment.  It was an idea I’d stolen from a couple of cooks in Naples, Italy when I’d worked there for a few weeks.

But that wouldn’t fly in this town because people like choice.

Then I had another idea.  It was a brilliant idea, one I’d never seen done anywhere.  It’s still an idea I play with once in a while with no real intent to fulfill it.  So if anyone wants it, take it.  Just let me know when it’s opening day.

Midway Treats!

I imagined a brightly lit place where people could get any kind of carnival food they wanted.  Everyone likes to go to fairs and carnivals and stuff themselves on things they wouldn’t get any other time of the year.  Shoot, in my home town, the week the fair was in town, I’d go almost everyday at lunch to stuff Indian Fry Bread with everything down my throat.  By the third day, they would let me in without buying a ticket since all I did was eat lunch and leave.

Ooops!  There was the first item on my menu.  Which then set me on the path of figuring out what other menu items I’d have.  That was the fun part.

Popcorn, of course.  Cotton Candy.  Corn Dogs!  Oh, Kettle Korn, sweetened popcorn.  Throw some roasted peanuts in there and make a Cracker Jack spin off.  Sell the roasted peanuts by themselves.  Oh, and peanut brittle, or mixed nut brittle.  Or just candied nuts!

My mouth watered as I kept thinking about the menu.  Drinks, of course.  Water, sodas, but Fresh Squeezed Lemonade!  Sparkling Orange Juice.  Slushees.  Snow Cones.  Ohhh, Funnel Cakes!

Ever have a Funnel Cake?  Cake batter poured in a thin stream into hot oil creating a bizarre pattern and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Funnel Cake

Or throw extra stuff in there and make it a towering treat of pure decadence.

Chicken wings would work since there was hot oil around for the corn dogs and funnel cakes and fry bread.  Could even go with fried rolled tacos.  And fried Twinkies, and fried candy bars.  Even fried Oreos!  Fresh Cut French Fries!  I’d even try my hand at fried pickles.

Soft Pretzels cuz I just love ’em.  And hamburgers, cuz what’s a midway without hamburgers?  Nachos!  Certainly nachos.  Soft Serve Ice Cream, yum!  Sausage on a stick.  Sidewalk Roasted Corn Ears and Onion Rings and Blooming Onions cuz you have to eat your veggies.

Chocolate dipped anything!

Chocolate filled fried donut pockets.

Spiral cut and deep fried potatoes.

PIZZA!!!!  How could I forget that?

You can see, it runs away with you.  I’ve been to more than a few fairs and carnivals in my time.  Some have been themed, such as a Strawberry Festival I once attended with a friend.  I don’t like strawberries, but I love fairs.  I wandered into a street fair my first day in Italy and discovered that fresh popcorn sprinkled with sugar is disgusting.  In Germany, one weekend I went from one street fair to the next all afternoon and ate so many pretzels, I thought I was going to be sick.

Wouldn’t it be great to get that atmosphere inside a restaurant?

Well, I’m done.  You got any ideas what could or should be served?



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