28-Aug-2006 (Mon) Wherein we discuss Furries, Cobra Commander, and food.

I've been messing with the photos on the front page of the site: they now have text captions built into them, and the top left one will always be a picture from an older gallery of the next upcoming event, if we have any. I'm still not totally happy with how those overlays look, but I guess it's ok.

Oh, photos, we've got photos. Just in, Gram Rabbit at Pop Roxx. I love that band -- you should go buy both of their albums immediately. They put on a fantastic show, and not just because of the gogo dancers in full-on furvert suits.

Also up, Ayria + Life Cried + The Panic Lift. Ayria's not bad. They've played here a few times before, and, eh, I've seen it. The first two bands were that same old cookie monster crap again. Scream into your one vocal effect, bent over at the waist like you're really, really constipated. Repeat until done. Don't bother to turn off your one vocal effect when doing between-song banter: "Thang-a-lang-a-lang-a-lank yooga-looga-loo!" At least they didn't dress like Cobra Commander this time.

(Would it have been better if they had been dressed as bunnies instead? Well, obviously, but that still would have been insufficient.)

So, yeah, still no kitchen. This may sound familiar to those of you who were following along when we went through the permit dance four years ago. Whenever you build anything, you need a bunch of inspections, and the last one is Building, who is (also) a meta-inspection, who looks at the signatures on your job card that say that the earlier inspections were passed.

Our other inspections are finished, and the building inspector comes out, and says, "Where's your fire inspection?" Our contractor says, "Where's the checkbox that says we need a fire inspection?" The inspector says "Oh, you always need a fire inspection." (And I say, "Why didn't our contractor know that?", but that's neither here nor there.)

Then we schedule a fire inspection. Three weeks go by. The fire inspector doesn't like our sprinkler heads (we need the kind that poke out instead of the flush-mount for some reason.) That means: we need to get someone out here to change them. Three weeks. Then we need to have Fire come back. Three weeks. Then we need to have building come back. Three weeks.

And this is how we've been perpetually two months from completion for almost a year.

You can't even pipeline these visits and schedule the inspector for the day after the work is done, because half the time contractors just fail to show up, meaning now you're late and have pissed off the inspector.

Its kind of insane how much this room has cost already, given that it's basically just a hallway with three sinks and a table.

Part of the screwage here is that, for commercial space, you're required to use licensed contractors. In your home, you can just get some Time-Life books and go crazy, and as long as you do the work right, you'll pass the inspections. But you aren't allowed to DIY in a business. It's a conspiracy of some sort, specifically designed to make my life suck.

And even if you were feeling like a scofflaw, it's not like a kitchen could just "appear" one day without that being noticed...

Anyway, assuming our kitchen ever opens, what do you think we should serve? What would you want to eat here? Think in both categories "dinner" and "snack".

We don't have a grill, or gas, or a hood, which means we are limited to things you can make without open flame or a vat of grease: microwave, hot-plate, and toaster oven, basically. (And a majority of the food needs to be prepared on-site, for permit reasons.)

Drunk people, of course, like the grease. But putting in the kind of exhaust hood we'd need for that would have been an additional $20,000! Shoot me.

It's been incredibly frustrating around here lately; I walk around and see thing I want to fix, or improve, or just change for the sake of variety, and it all costs money that we don't have.

17 Responses:

  1. usufructer says:

    Sucks about the continuing difficulties. It would be so tempting to make a kitchen appear behind a trick bookcase or something. Relive prohibition every time the building inspector comes in, but with cold food rather than bathtub gin.

    Being limited to sandwiches and such is a pain as well. I can't even think of any properly greasy foods that reconstitute properly in a microwave. Could you have a toaster oven? Then you could do big margin individual pizzas. And warm sandwiches without making the bread gooey from µwaving.

    • pdx6 says:

      Or how about a pizza sandwich, AKA hotpockets? The idea is that, hopefully, there will be less to drop on the floor since it is self-contained.

      • usufructer says:

        Yeah, but they suck, and you couldn't charge nearly as much for them. Like fo0bar suggests below, a lot of places do sandwiches, and they're often not very self-contained.

        • pdx6 says:

          One other thing I've seen is a club offering sushi. I'm not exactly suggesting this, I mean, sushi at a night club? But the one time I went to the EndUp, there was sushi, I ate some, and I lived.

  2. fo0bar says:

    I think the overlays are fine. That's probably the best you're going to get with the space you've got.

    As for food, my inner hippie is suggesting deli-style sandwiches: whole grain bread, and the different combinations you can get from lettuce, tomato, pickles, sprouts and various sliced meats and cheeses. Maybe a few toasted varieties.

    But coming from someone who has only been at the DNA about 4 times, take it with a grain of salt.

  3. netdud says:

    Good solid British/Canadian pub food! Easy, tidy way of providing the grease, gristle, and obvious phallic humor that kids love!

    Puff pastry is (barely) rolled out on a surface. Sausage meat is rolled into a cylinder, placed on the puff pastry. Roll the whole thing up, brush some water (or egg white) along the outside edge, and pinch (gently) to seal. If you want to make bite-sized, cut the resulting tubes every inch and a half or so.

    Either way, toss the little darlings into a 400 F oven (or toaster oven) for, oh, 20 minutes or so, and you've got yumptious marketable snacks that can sit around under a heat lamp or warming tray for the evening without getting repulsive.

    And the whole thing works with veggie sausage (Gimme Lean or what have you) as well. Add curry or cumin for the burn that feels sobering.

    Some folks like these with mustard, but Worchestershire sauce is better, and doesn't stain your textiles/counters/doorhandles as badly.

  4. violentbloom says:

    something without eggs or tomatoes so that I can eat there. :)

    so quesadillas can be made in a toaster oven, I like mine with cheese, sliced pear (or dried cranberries) and some tomatillo salsa (no tomatoes or chilli pepper see)

    cinnamon toast

    hot cookies (frozen dough+toaster oven=mmm assuming they don't have eggs of course)

    http://www.rffretailer.com/ perhaps a subscription to refrigerated and frozen foods retailer is in your future?

    jalapeno poppers? though maybe toaster oven would be slow... you can get those bigger pizza ovens and those work pretty well. You can actually make calzones and pizza too then.

    So we have a cook as you may know. And basically he cooks a week of food and then we heat it up mostly in the microwave. And it's pretty gourmet, but of course a real stove is involved at some point for most of it. You can get burners though which are essentially the stovetop. And then that pretty much opens up everything. You could pre-cook everything and either refrigerate or freeze it and then just pull it out when someone orders. That way you can do it in bulk without having the whole setup every night.

    Seems like you could do pastas and casserole type stuff really easily.

    Our chef does catering to, it might be worth talking to him about the practicality of stuff. (This is actually a new chef that my old chef found and hired for me)And I'm sure you could hire him to make some recipes that would work for you. As I understand it they do events where they cook on site and there is no kitchen, they bring in ovens and so forth and set up tents and all that. So I think he'd understand the limitations pretty well. He makes really good chicken enchiladas actually, though I've no idea how he makes them. (with no tomatos! and wheat)

    And well sushi is an expensive thing to fuck up or have not sell. I wouldn't go there.

  5. tequilarista says:

    Crepes are fun and have the advantage of being both entree and desert.

    Mediterreanean food items like Falafel (which would need to be purchased premade since you don't have a friar), or hummus/baba ganoush platters

    If you do salads you'll want a really good cleaning systems for your veggies as well as hyper hygenic food staff

    Soups/stews/chili/other large-pot simmerers

    Italian antipasto platters.

    Sugar filled munchies. Definitely.

    I don't suppose you've goot roofspace for a BBQ?

  6. mpdwibble says:

    At some point in the past I saw (probably on Food Network, which I watch entirely too much of) a story about some entrepreneur that had made a neat doodad (specifically marketed at bars and such) that would high-speed air-cook foods that are normally deep fried.

    Got around the soggy mess problem of microwaving such things, and avoided the many perils of giant vats of grease.

    Of course, now a quick poke at google is telling me I imagined the whole thing in a fever dream, but it might be worth looking into some other way.

  7. bitjuggler says:

    Remember: melted cheese is another good source of grease :)

    So, Warm Things With Melted Cheese In or On Top:

    cheese fries
    baked potatos
    cheese tots

    Other stuff:

    pepperoni rolls (more grease!)
    individual pizzas (!!)
    empanadas (sadly, generally grease free)
    toasted sandwiches (panini? need a press)

    • cayennesauce says:

      Also the variations involving cheese dip and crackers/bread/nachos/pita crisps for dipping. Cheese dip may include various inclusions such as spinach, artichoke hearts, crab meat, etc. Plus would have the benefit of rapid preparation, as with nachos.

      For more health conscious types, hummus, fruit/veggie platters.

  8. badc0ffee says:

    Get a panini press. As for cold food, fresh spring rolls are delicious and almost as easy to make as sandwiches.

  9. bifrosty2k says:

    There's some kinda weird greaseless fryer that you can get, might do the trick.
    Personally, I'd be cool with pita chips and hummus, perhaps even microwave burritos.

  10. wfaulk says:

    Any reason you can't just get a deep fryer intended for home use? They don't need extraordinary ventilation. I'm thinking something like a couple of these. Of course, that may be against code. If so, how about an electric hot plate, a cast iron non-enamelled dutch oven, a candy thermometer, and a fry basket? A hot plate is likely to have a hard time keeping that much oil hot when you put in food, but as long as you do it in small enough batches, it should be okay. You might want to get a heat lamp, too.

  11. mark242 says:

    Whatever food you decide upon, make sure it has a low vomit-factor. That is to say, unlikely to be regurgitated, and if so, won't be totally nasty upon hitting the floor. Sandwiches with extremely large pieces of bread are a good bet.

  12. darkengobot says:

    The old roll-up standby. Choice of tortilla; choice of meat; lettuce; condiments. Roll that fucker up in wax paper, peel and eat. For extra credit offer choice of dips: salsa, barbeque, hot pepper, etc.

  13. g_na says:

    Anyway, assuming our kitchen ever opens, what do you think we should serve? ... We don't have a grill, or gas, or a hood, which means we are limited to things you can make without open flame or a vat of grease: microwave, hot-plate, and toaster oven, basically.

    Try and make that work for you by offering all the greasy food drunk people eat when they go home - pizza rolls, (formerly) frozen appetizer things, nachos, etc. Also, plates of things like bread, cheese, & olives are easy to make and tasty. Individually wrapped cookies & brownies. Ice cream cones? Try to avoid things that are too perishable.