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In the weeds

CJ’s column about the restaurant business

In The Weeds: Thanksgiving Giblets

November 24, 2009
In The Weeds: Thanksgiving Giblets

It’s been 146 years since Abraham Lincoln made his Thanksgiving Proclamation and officially declared the last Thursday in November as a day to lay down the groundwork for future heart disease, to gather in houses too small for gatherings, and to share awkward moments with relatives… “Hey, look at that.  A Garfield float.”  “Yep.”...
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In The Weeds: Think Inside the Box

November 17, 2009
In The Weeds: Think Inside the Box

Every girl loves her little black dress, her black strappy heels, her black negligee, her black nail polish (last season) and her black Mercedes (10 seasons from now).  But this weekend, I made a new best friend.  The little black box.  Of wine. That’s right.  Black Box wine.  Now before you scratch my name...
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In The Weeds: Check, Please!

November 10, 2009
In The Weeds: Check, Please!

After moving to Kansas City from Chicago about three years ago, there were many things I missed.  Like….a lake that looks like an ocean, people walking the streets after 9 p.m, riding trains to work that allow me the time to read books, and the public television show called Check, Please! The format of...
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In The Weeds: How to Order a Steak and Not Act Like a Total Tool

November 3, 2009
In The Weeds:  How to Order a Steak and Not Act Like a Total Tool

A Public Service Announcement I will borrow a page from Bill Maher today and make a new rule.  New rule! If you don’t know how to order a steak, learn.  Or become vegetarian.  These are your options. Gee willikers, the copious amounts of time I have spent running back and forth, to and fro...
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In The Weeds: Lowering the Bar

October 27, 2009
In The Weeds: Lowering the Bar

By CJ Alright, alright.  Go ahead.  Say I told you so.  I heard all the reasons why I shouldn’t be a bartender at a west-of-the-state-line establishment.  Things like 1) you’ll be the oldest person working there 2) you won’t make enough money 3) it’s a long commute 4) you hate serving ranch dressing 5)...
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In The Weeds: How to Apologize Like a Professional

October 20, 2009

Things have gotten a bit dicey lately between my mom and me when we are dining out.  I was raised in a mid-sized Midwestern town and only went out to eat at fancy restaurants like The Sizzler when someone was celebrating a birthday.  An all-you-can-eat salad bar, plus an add-on steak for $4.99?  Don’t...
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In The Weeds: Restaurant Glossary

October 13, 2009

It’s late.  I’ve just eaten at the new restaurant Julian, owned by James Beard award-winning chef Celina Tio.  My review will follow in an upcoming column.  For now, I offer a lesson on some common restaurant jargon. Pooling (pooh-ling) verb. Sometimes by choice, more often by restaurant policy, pooling refers to the practice of...
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Want to Lose Friends and End Meaningful Relationships? There’s an App for That!

October 7, 2009
Want to Lose Friends and End Meaningful Relationships?  There’s an App for That!

iHate the iPhone By CJ Attention iPhone owners!  We need to have a sit-down.  I’ve got a right mind to take your toys away and put you in time out for all your recent shenanigans, but I’m willing to start with a warning.  But don’t push me.  I’ve had about enough. Now I know...
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In The Weeds: Bitches, Hoes and Cheapskate Muthas

October 6, 2009
In The Weeds: Bitches, Hoes and Cheapskate Muthas

I always do my writing on Mondays so that I’m fresh with story ideas from my Saturday and Sunday shifts.  But I need not worry because no amount of alcohol, sleep, or therapy will likely fade the mental scars I received from this weekend behind the bar. Management must have forgotten to pay the...
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In The Weeds: Fringe With Benefits

September 29, 2009
In The Weeds: Fringe With Benefits

I mentioned last week that I had recently read Phoebe Damrosch’s book “Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter.”  I was a little too busy taking care of my two kids under four (and an unexpected 200-pound baby who arrived on my couch last week after having a useless organ removed) to comment...
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