Switch Pizza: A Future Model of Business Failure

So, yesterday my sister-in-law took my son with her for the week leaving me and the wife alone to enjoy each other’s company!  And being a Saturday night I thought what a great opportunity to have “date night”!  I had been hearing for a week about this new brick oven pizzeria here in town called Switch, and how their gourmet pizzas, while a little pricier than the norm, were well worth it.  I checked out Yelp and saw a couple positive reviews and figured we should give it a try.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we pulled into the exit instead of entrance due to the lack of clear markings.  And, then my wife made the comment that our car might not be shiny enough for this place.  I just brushed it off thinking this is small town East Texas, we are country folk, how pretentious can it possibly be?  After all, I have cooked in Austin where you can walk into some of the finest places in shorts and nobody thinks anything of it.  Or, at least nobody makes you feel uncomfortable about it.  Anyway, we walked in and from the moment we did I could tell my wife was uncomfortable.  This was not what you expect from Brick Oven Pizzeria.  Instead of feeling a warm and welcoming atmosphere it was cold and sterile and filled with every trendy cliche’ you could throw in a restaurant these days!  High polished granite bar top, non-matching art deco lighting, rafters looking like some sort of high glossed reclaimed wood and those type of bar stools that are not only uncomfortable and weird looking, but you just can’t figure out how the hell you should sit in them.  The four-seater bar was right in your face as soon as you walk in. If I were there only for cocktails, I would hate it!

Despite all that, we put our names on the list.  There were two names in front of us and we were quoted fifteen minutes.  No problem at all!  The two parties in front of us were sat and as we waited I could not help but observe an open two top and four top staring me right in the face.  I just brushed it off figuring it was not that servers turn in the rotation or something.  As we waited, a few more parties arrived and put their names on the list and two women who just came and sat at the bar and ordered wine.  They were enjoying themselves when along came either one of the managers or owner who apparently knew them and said hi while pouring himself a rather large draft beer.  Now, I am not sure how you run your business, but if it were me and my new restaurant I might try to stay sober!  Next thing I know the three parties that had arrived after us, including those two ladies, were sat in front of us!

It was at this point that we were informed it would be another thirty minutes before we were sat because the kitchen was behind.  Kitchen behind?  I looked back and saw three “chefs” standing around doing absolutely nothing!  I shared my opinion of the situation with the hostess and left in disgust!

Now, Switch owners, allow me to enlighten you on something.  You might think that you are some kind of upscale specialty restaurant that is going to cater only to a certain type of people; however, you are in the wrong town for that.  You are in Palestine, TX, small town USA, and you can ill afford to alienate people here or else word of mouth will soon find you getting slower and slower.  The one percenters will keep you afloat for awhile but they can only eat there so many times before they start looking for something else.  Wake up and smell the oregano people!!  Or your ovens will soon be Switched OFF!!!!!



“Pink Slime”?! Jamie Oliver and ABC News Get a Clue and The Truth!

Well, once again the public has a new bandwagon to jump aboard. 

'Pink Slime', as a former USDA inspector dubbed it, is not the horrific deadly spectre of ground beef that some would have you believe. While there is a process to making this fine lean beef trimmings, it is nothing more than 93% lean ground beef. So, in actuality it is pretty damn good for you! 

OK, so here it goes.

After trimming all the cuts from a side of beef, the carcass is hit with a pressure washer and all the trimmings that remain are collected along with the fat. They are then rendered down and placed in a centrifuge where the meat is separated from the fat. It is then ground and passed through ammonium hydroxide (a mixture of water and a small amount of ammonia) only to kill all present pathogens (e.coli, salmonella, etc…). Then, it is mixed with remaining trimmings used to make ground beef. Although it sounds slightly clinical, it is completely safe and actually helpful in controlling the problems attributed to unsafe cooking processes at home. Also, the amount of ammonium hydroxide used is less of a concentration than that found in instant pudding and some baked goods, and is carefully inspected and monitered by the FDA and the USDA. 

Oh, and got some news for everyone out there, this is not new!

This has been done for the last twenty years, so if you are reading this chances are you have eaten ground beef containing fine lean beef trimmings and are still here!! 

So, yes, ABC, this is some great TV and we all know that 90% of all news is meant for nothing but shock value; however, you have gone too far with this. Jamie Oliver, you might need to sell some cookbooks and probably have some sort of food products coming out, but just keep your mouth shut and if you don't like it then there is a plane waiting to take you back home! However, when you mess with my career and livelihood with lies and deception, you mess with my family, and I will not stand for that! 

Everyone, keep eating your burgers and do not worry about how one person has taken a creative license on the truth. You want to do something positive for people, Jamie Oliver, find a way to make organics and free range products affordable to the general public. Until then, just Shut the Fuck UP!

The Pride of Detroit Still Swells in the Texan!

I was going to take the opportunity today to do my first product review, but as I sat here watching Andrew Zimmerman touring Detroit, my mind was changed!

People all over the country think that my beloved city of Detroit is just some downtrodden city on the brink of being wiped off the map. And all I say to them, is you better check your facts before spouting off!

Just watching this show brings back such amazing memories of Panzckis in Hamtramack on Fat Tuesday, the best Delis anywhere in this country. Sorry Mr. Mark Katz, but my great grandmother's deli killed yours in it's hayday! Opened in 1922 in Detroit, The Modern Delicatessen still lives on today! Thanks Great Grams for showing me the way to serve food with love and integrity.

Yet, I have not even touched on the one and the only, often imitated, but never duplicated Detroit Coney Island! As the battle wages for decades and which ever side you are on Lafayette and American Coney Island stand alone as the pinnacle of what a true chili dog should look and taste like!

I miss my town where I spent so many amazing years cooking at some very fine establishments, and I hope to return for a visit to show my wife and son all the great things that Detroit has to offer. From all the new restaurants to the classics, Detroit will never lose it's foothold on who it truly is in the culinary department! A melting pot of food from every corner of the earth perfectly blended in one city on the rise!

One man on the show simply said that more independent businesses are making up the rebirth of Detroit, because noone wants to depend on big business anymore! And, so I say to those just starting with a booth in America's largest farmer's market (Eastern Market), to the newly established restaurants and to those like my friends, Sharon and Mary, who are keeping tradition alive with Diamond Jim Brady's. Stay strong, for the phoenix shall rise from the earth once again!

Thank you all for keeping Detroit's pulse beating. I love you all and I love my City! Peace!

Welcome! Come in and Eat!

I am proud to announce the birth of my blog, The Food Nut! I am the proud husband of GoingCrazy and have been inspired to begin blogging about something that I am truly passionate about…..Food! Being a chef for twenty years had brought me much joy! Now, I am a husband, father and butcher in small town Texas in need of an outlet to express my passion for food and cooking. I firmly believe that cooking is one of the most intimate things one can do for someone else. Through this blog I hope to share my knowledge of ingredients, recipes, restaurant reviews, product reviews and meal ideas for just one, two, your family or a big party. I look forward to starting tomorrow with my first recipe and product review. TTFN!