Thursday, December 24, 2009

holidays...with cocktails

Perhaps you saw this? LUPEC's debut in the Style section of the Globe's "G"?

I'd recommend you try any of these drinks as you gear up for a weekend with the family and whatever that may bring this Christmas.

Silent Night Punch, my contribution and a beverage of which I am particularly fond, will cast a rosy glow over any party. Just don't drink too much, lest your night become fully cloaked in silence, as it might if one were to black out or something.

Cin cin!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The Mathematician's mom Suzanne is a truck driver. This fact often elicits a blend of shock and awe from people. It's tough work but she's been at it for over 30 years, since before power steering and commonplace automatic transmissions in rigs, meaning she's nothing short of a badass.

I, on the other hand, hate driving. I dislike it so intensely, I've taken to telling people I don't know how to drive so they'll never expect me to take the wheel. Whenever I do happen to be stuck behind the wheel, as I was while running an errand for a PR client yesterday afternoon, I think of Suzanne. I think of her especially when I'm stuck in traffic and wonder, "How does she tolerate this? This endless waiting to get from point 'A' to point 'B'?"

Last night as I waited for my last table to finish their dinner, then finish their coffee, then put their credit cards in the check presenter, then sign their charge slips, I realized: waitressing is the exact same thing. Endlessly waiting for someone else to finish doing something else. All this waiting, something I've done since I've been old enough to work essentially, as I wait for my 'real career' to take off.

Perhaps I've finally figured out why they call it "waiting"?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do

Hello, friends, it's been a while! I've missed you so, and happy to be back from my six month hiatus.

Anyone catch this post on a NYT blog about Small Businesses? I find it so irritating. First of all, there are many points in here that I consider "Waitressing 101" and total common sense. Any server worth their salt should know them and if you're interviewing potential staffers who don't, it's indicative of a problem with management. For example, pointers #1, 12, and 13:

#1. Do not let anyone enter the restaurant without a warm greeting.

#12. Do not touch the rim of a water glass. Or any other glass.

#13. Handle wine glasses by their stems and silverware by the handles.

Other rules seemed simply silly to me, such this #23:

#23. If someone likes a wine, steam the label off the bottle and give it to the guest with the bill. It has the year, the vintner, the importer, etc.

When they are kind and sweet and generous, I love to take care of guests in my restaurant. I really do. And I'd happily supply a label for you from a wine bottle if only I could figure out how to do it. But I've tried this mystical "steaming the wine label off the bottle technique" and been left with a fistful of soggy paper pulp, a ruined label, a disappointed guest, and typically in the weeds because I've wasted so much time. Why not print business cards with space to write wine information on the back, then dole those out to guests instead?

Other rules, such as #43 confused me:

#43. Never mention what your favorite dessert is. It’s irrelevant.

I mean, the question I am most frequently asked by my guests is "what do you recommend."

And many rules made me want to gouge my eyes out, such as #40 and #41:

#40. Never say, "Good choice,” implying that other choices are bad.

#41. Saying, 'No problem' is a problem. It has a tone of insincerity or sarcasm. “My pleasure” or “You’re welcome” will do."

Yech. I find it so interesting when owners/managers set guidelines for acceptable vocabulary in their establishments. No profanity is one thing, but saying "no problem"? Come on.

I'd rather eat at Toro any day.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

in Spain...

They sell tortilla at the convenience store.

I fit right in in such a place.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

No more corn at Toro...

...was an April Fool's joke.

Thanks for all who expressed concern for my plight!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

No Corn for the Weary

As we all know, it's cause for major, major crisis when we run out of the corn at Toro. You can read about my past painful experiences with this here and here.

In fact, while I was filling in as a manager at Toro, I had to make an emergency corn run to Stop & Shop at 8:30 p.m. on a Saturday night, just to avoid such a disaster. I called the Mathematician from South Bay Center to have him help calculate how much corn to buy. My shopping cart was half full of corn and nothing else, causing other shoppers to gawk and even talk about me loudly in Spanish in the check out line.

For Toro waitstaff, running out of corn is pretty much the worst thing ever. 4 out of 5 tables bitch about it, and some guests even get up and walk out, even after waiting half an hour for a table. And while I love and respect our chef and think he has done some amazing things for the restaurant since he came on board in November, I'm not so sure about his latest menu change:

"As of tomorrow, we're only going to be serving the corn seasonally at Toro, in a move to exclusively support local farmers," Jamie told us at pre-meal."

"But...but...but...people freak out if they can't have the corn!" Juan said.

"They can still have the corn," Jamie said, "just seasonally. In late July, August, and September. It's something I feel really strongly about, and Ken and I think it's going to be really great." He was visibly annoyed, so we all just nodded: yes, chef.

I don't know about the other servers, but I am mentally preparing for riots. Big, hunger-induced, angry riots.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I awake with a start when the Mathematician comes back into the bedroom to get dressed after his shower:

"I just had the craziest dream," I tell him.

"I had weird dreams, too. I bet yours weren't as weird as mine."

"Mr.T was in it and I was really pissed at him," I say, rubbing my eyes as I sit up. "We got into a huge fight."

"A fight with Mr. T, huh? I bet I know who won that battle."

"No way, man," I say, "I was winning. I threw a pile of junk mail at his head. What was yours?"

"It was about the moral struggle I felt when I hired a hermaphrodite as an intern at work, and was then forced to fire...uh, them...because they weren't competent. I didn't want them to think it was because know..."

"Hermaphrodite discrimination? Yeah, that's pretty weird. That all you got?" I say.

"No. That happened, then I introduced George [the owner of Giorgiana's] to my dad and they started wrestling. Playfully."

I'm still not sure who won.