restaurant translatior – how the menu reads to a cook

After a over a decade in the food service industry . I’m still a huge fan of eating out I do it at least a couple times a weak however working in the industry does mean I read things differently to the average customer . The way I see it everybody is entitled to know what their really getting when they step into a restaurant  , so in todays post I will translate some of the most common culinary cons.

Daily special – Thing with high food costs that are about to go bad combined and disguised with  a nice sauce to seem more edible.

Catch of the day – Whatever fish is on the turn._MG_0235

Half price baked goods – stale baked goods.

Brunch – unimaginative staple dishes comprised largely of scrapes and eggs , prepared by the kitchens least experienced cooks.

Seafood Bisque and Boulliabassie – Seafood compost add water or cream ,season and reduce.

Discount sushi – old sushi.

Well done – Cuts of steak no one else wants incinerated into tasteless boot leather.

White wine mussels – poorly stored over priced freebie dish the cook doesn’t care about . Watch out for the closed or close to closed ones.

House wine – cheap plonk.shepards pie

Julienne potatoes – French fries.

Shepard’s pie or beef parentier – left overs with mashed potatoes on top.

Chili special – left overs slow cooked in a pot.

Vegetarian plate , Crudités – Over priced sliced vegetables in pretty patterns probably made by the dishwasher\kitchen helper same goes for the fruit plate.

don’t get me wrong I love restaurants, if you like something and it tastes good who cares if it’s predominantly scraps if you enjoy it go for it more often than not your paying for a chefs ability to make low food cost items delicious there’s nothing wrong with that !

These are just a few if you have more to add please leave them as a comment I love to hear other peoples, translations.

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Kickin Chicken sandwich recipe

Looking to add some heat that fabulous frosty event or spice up your winter dinner or lunch routine. Well I got something for you a favorite from my latest workplace, a sure fire hit with those who savor the swelter . The best part their healthy and as easy to make for 2 as for 22 .

You will need

chicken breasts skinless (1 per sandwich)

your favorite multigrain bread (2 slices per sandwich)

light mayonnaise

olive oil



vegetable seasoning

3 mangos

5 peaches

2 large tomatoes

1 red onion

3 jalapenos (optional)

 romaine lettuce

baking sheet

First prepare your dry rub to do this mix 1 part paprika , 1 part cayenne and 2 parts vegetable seasoning ( you should have roughly 1 table spoon of mixed dry rub per breast) .

Next arrange your chicken breasts on the baking tray , sprinkle a generous dusting of rub( make sure to keep some for the spicy mayonnaise) and as the name suggests rub thoroughly into the meat splash with olive oil, flip and repeat on the other side . let them marinade for at least an hour .


Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit (175 Celsius) , then place the baking tray on the center rack for 35-45 minutes depending on your oven and how many sandwiches your preparing .

Note: I you are unsure weather your chicken breasts are fully cooked take one of the larger ones and cut into the center of it if it is at all pink or fleshy looking  place back in the oven and check back in 3-5 minutes .


While your chicken is cooking you can prepare the mango salsa , Start by peeling mangos and chopping them to a medium size , pit and chop the peaches to the same size , chop the tomatoes slightly larger . Peel and chop the red onion very fine , if you are using jalapenos remove the tops and seeds and to the same consistency as the onion. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.


You can also use this time to wash and dry the lettuce, toast your bread and prepare the spicy mayonnaise , to do this simply mix the remaining dry rub and mayonnaise to your desired kick .

By the time you finish your chicken should be cool and ready for it’s debut!

To assemble your Kickin Chicken Sandwich:

Smear both pieces of toast with a generous helping of spicy mayonnaise

Then add 2 table spoons of mango salsa distribute to evenly cover the bottom slice of toast

Next your chicken

Finish with a slice of crisp lettuce for a tasty crunch


Voilà ! a tasty unique treat to warm up your mid winter gatherings

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Synthetica – or how I deal with anoying customers

There are some customers you just can’t please, if you follow my blog or have the misfortune to work in customer service your self then you have probably encountered them. They are devoid of human emotion and treat those you serve them like scum. To spite this widely known fact and my widely known opinions about such people , I often hear the praises of how patient and understanding I can be. Seriously I’m not tooting my own horn here, I hear it all the time and I owe it all to my custom made sub-personality .

I call her Synthetica and I invented her years ago when dealing with particularly unpleasantsb10067887bb-001 hockey coach.  Developed from a mixture of the most tolerant happy people I observed as well as select cheery portions of my own personality. Her job? To deal with the outside world when I couldn’t , this way the real me can scream fuck you ! while Synthetica helps you with your meal selection.

She like most Synthetics is a mimic of nature designed with a specific purpose like an implant for my personality, and just like an implant though she may look and feel close to the real thing. At the end of the day, she’s totally fabricated , always happy smiling and up beat , you could shoot her puppy in the face and she’d ask you if would like some chamomile tea to calm your nerves.  Without her there is no way I would get through a work week without at the very least snapping at some loser on a cell phone .

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The tip debate

I work in a café on the bottom floor of one of those huge over populated commercial buildings in downtown Toronto . 2 floors above me is the office of an attractive young doctor with a healthy addiction to turkey clubs , I joke that he’s in the turkey club (I know I’m hilarious ). Anyway most of the time he sends his receptionist to pick them up but at least once a week he comes to pick the order up in person , we share a banter about the weather or the city or whatever he puts his orders on an account so I’d never actually rung him in before .

Today was one of those days he came in person and to pay his tab the first debate arises with the size of the tip 60% more than half the total bill . Being a devout over tipper my self even I was pleased but doubtful it must be a mistake I think to my self he’s entered his pin number by accident or something “I think you may have made a mistake” I question . He checks over the bill “Nope no mistake , that’s for you, Merry Christmas” .

Ok now I’m really confused but you know great I could use the money , I guess the guy really like s to talk to waitresses about the weather once a week, or he pities me or something in which case moneys money I’ll take it.

Now I just have to figure out how to deal with it seeing as my boss is definitely going to assume when he sees this that it’s a mistake because who the hell tips 60% even at Christmas. So I have to explain to him so as not to miss out on my freak tip that’s when the real question arises .

We divide tips at my work evenly between the servers who worked the day the tips are from , so when I receive my cash from the boss man I’m surprised when he says “so your keeping that for yourself right”

“well I figured I’d split it between the 2 of us (my self and the morning girl for that day”

“why she didn’t , it was only 20% that time though” apparently this had happened before and my co worker and supposed friend had pocketed the cash .

In my eyes the question is this do I trust what my boss tells me to be true and pocket the cash but betray the trust we give each other to divide tips fairly every day , or do I be the bigger man so to speak and divide it evenly to spite the fact she may not do the same?

cash questionmark

The 5 types of terrible workdays

We’ve all had them , and over the years I’ve whittled mine down to 5 distinct types so without further a due here they are.

  1. The painfully slow day by far the worst in my opinion . You’ve only been at work half an hour but it feels like a life time , no customers , no prep or cleaning to be done , why are you even here ? I find these days made even worse when you have a thousand things to do outside of work .
  2. The chaotically busy day , a close second to the former . Everything is everywhere and it’s all filthy you barely have time to take a gulp of water before it’s on to the next thing , your starving , dehydrated and in desperate need of a bathroom break . Worst of all you just know you’ll be there long after your shift supposedly ended.
  3. The can’t do anything right day. Everything you touch fails you should have just stayed in bed , you being at work today is of no benefit to anyone involved.
  4. The hangover work day . I do this at least once a week ( don’t judge me I’m young I work hard , I like to party hard) for some reason unbeknownst to me I can’t wrap my head around the concept of Friday night being followed by Saturday morning . The result Saturday at work suck!
  5. The I’m not even supposed to be here today . Dante coined it in Clerks (if you haven’t seen it do yourself a favor and download that sucker ) the day you have plans and aren’t even supposed to be there are a total drag. They are thankfully easily avoided though, I just don’t answer the phone if work calls on my day off .

I want to hear about your terrible days , got one that’s not on my list leave me a comment and tell me all about it .

not even supposed to be here today

A turkey club is like a one night stand

I’d like to share for your amusement a conversation my co worker (and friend ) and I had today . Neither of us are what you’d call skinny girls, we’ve both been fighting the battle of the bulge as long as we’ve known each other.

I fortunately was born with crazy will power which makes resisting tasty treats at work much easier for me my friend not so much. As a result I’m always trying to encourage her away from them in todays case a particularly delicious looking turkey club.

Co worker : Ohhhhh it looks soooooo good but I shouldn’t have it.turkey club

Me : Nope put the sandwich down you don’t need it .

Co worker : I know but I want it ! but I’m so fat , what’s better being skinny or this scrumptious sandwich?

Me : Well  it’s like this, a turkey club is like a one night stand, it seems like a good idea at the time and it’s great while it lasts , but then it’s gone and your left feeling guilty and greasy and wonder how you convinced your self this was in your best interest.