The arrival of spring and pollen has been kicking my ass recently, but I’m back foodies. So I thought it would be interesting to share what my day is really like working at a busy downtown restaurant.
11ish AM: Wake up, possibly a little groggy after hanging out with AB at Player’s Retreat. Make a pot of coffee and hang out on the couch as long as possible until I have to get ready for work. Maybe do some laundry if I am feeling so inclined.
1:59 PM: Arrive at work and clock in with plenty of time to spare.
2:00 PM: Put on my apron, wash my hands, and peruse the prep list for the day. Normally I pick items that I don’t mind doing, such as butcher fish and make gnocchi; things that actually take a little thought and aren’t so incredibly mind numbing.
2:05 PM: Junebug has probably already either started looking at me with his enormous eyes or started to rub my legs. Note to self, don’t wear shorts to work ever again.
2:30 PM: In between deboning and scaling striped bass, I’ll probably use as many bass puns as I can think of. With March Madness going on, lots of BASSketball puns. Matt or Rotella will chime in with some terrible puns as well. Usually lots of groans or I’ll get told to go outside for telling such horrible jokes.
3:30 PM: Check prep list again, see what I can do for the next 30 minutes until I begin the process of gathering all my mise en place for the impending service.
4:15 PM: Clear off my work area and start to grab all my shit for the night. In other words, I grab at least 10 2 quart metal bain maries and fill them with all my use first and back up ingredients. Grab all my proteins all well, which are currently striped bass, scallops, and roast pork. It takes a lot of time and effort to get set up, especially with a full kitchen. No personal space.
4:45 PM: Still trying to get set up, as is everyone else in the kitchen. I’ve probably said the word “behind” a dozen or so times in the last hour. The closer I get to service, the louder I tend to say it. Still using bass puns.
5:00 PM: I peek out front, there are already 20 or so people in the restaurant. Going to be one of those nights I see. Occasionally I’ll break out the, “Hey look guys, we only have 7 hours left in service.” Lots of dirty looks.
5:15 PM: Look over my station, think I have everything ready. Make the backwait get me an iced coffee. Thanks Jack. Junebug rubs my leg one more time before he leaves for good measure. Play either terrible country or rap for the next 15 minutes to set the tone for the night. Rotella and I start throwing plastic lids at each other; later it will be used lemons.
5:30 PM: Tickets start to slowly come in.
6:15 PM: Restaurant is full and we’re on a wait for the next 3 hours. I love my job.
7:00 PM: First wave is over, time to restock. Rotella and I are both sweating profusely. More bass puns. Iced coffee is completely watered down. Drink it anyway.
8:00 PM: Still busy, most likely I’ve started complaining or throwing things.
8:30 PM: Start asking for a Coca-Cola. Hey, I need a sugar fix. It’s hot in the kitchen.
8:45 PM: Start asking louder for a Coca-Cola.
9:00 PM: Finally get an ice cold Coca-Cola. It’s like a reward/a needed sugar rush after cooking non-stop. Only a temporary fix though, I still have to cook 3 more hours.
10:00 PM: No more wait for the restaurant, but it’s still full. Slowly start the long process of breaking down my station. Looks like a bomb went off behind the line.
10:30 PM: Staff meal up, servers casually come in the kitchen and eat. I’m starving. Attempt to lady and the tramp food with Rotella or Matt.
11:30 PM: Station is all broken down and put away in the cooler, kitchen is pretty much cleaned.
11:31 PM: Walk in 5 top. Joy.
11:35 PM: Take everything I broke down and put in the cooler and bring it back out. God bless America.
11:55 PM: Everything is put away again. Re-clean my station. No one better walk in at 11:59.
12:00 AM: Freedom! And shift drinks!
1:00 AM: Player’s Retreat. And look, AB is here.
1:30 AM: Order food. Fireball.
2:00 AM: Close out. Uber home.
11ish AM: Repeat.