So ever since I became DC Chinatown’s “neighborhood barkeep”, I have always taken notice when I hear people on the streets talking about booze. Business wallstreet wannabes talk about Scotch (all they typically talk about is JB Blue while they can barely afford JB black). Club rats are still trying to justify their discerning tastes for tequila (even all they know is Patron in the cup) and annoying hipster fools try to impress by being different with thier love for Rye. I always avoid saying I love certain ryes because I don’t wanna look like those artsy tight ass jean fools, BUT the Jim Bean Company in the past years has brought out their (Ri)1 Bourbon and its awesome. I will be a mixin soon, keep ya posted!
Tag Archives: bartending
So the past week has been quite eventful to put it mildly. OK absolutely crazy.
I’ll fill you guys in once i write what ultimately will be a mini novelette of the adventure that resulted in me being in Alabama. Also I have to see which version I write that is so not to offend anyone. It was an interesting trip which now I do not regret taking at all. Definitely reminded me how much adventure i used partake in before Momiji.
Today in 2009, the foodie culture is in a perpetual rise. I feel we are in an era of renaissance of food awareness and admiration. Walk in to any book store and food sections are filled with books with celebrity chefs’ faces hemming it up for the cameras, books celebrating four star restaurants and books promising you that with ease you can be a five star chef/baker/mixologist etc. and it will be all glamorous and super fun. The same goes when flipping on the tv and you find yourself on channels like the food network, travel channel and fine living. This all fills most people’s minds of how fancy, it must feel to run a successful restaurant, have people perpetually give you the thumbs up and how awesome cause people to gain massive amounts of weight and empty their pockets of money at the same time. It is…but its not all at the same time.
Even though growing up in restaurants I knew that food service was far from glamorous and not full of jovial plump chef’s like emeril lagasse and mario batilai, in the beginnings of Momiji I suffered a period of lets just say a minor state of delusion….ok more like a detour that when its too late, you realize you aren’t driving a road anymore but you are plummeting into the grand fucking canyon.
In the beginning I thought working at the new restaurant, Momiji was going to be a different and more elegant endeavor then the front counter of the hot and ever so busy Great Wall Kitchen, the restaurant of my childhood and the other restaurants over the years. Momiji, “the sushi restaurant”, the restaurant of my mid twenties, even though it has much more improved ambiance than that of the Great Wall, it has had quite inverse effects on my lifestyle. Today, I will only go briefly into the aspects of “the lifestyle” in running a restaurant.
One simple word, LONG! 12 hour days are the norm and don’t be surprised if you log in more.
People tell me wow it must be so nice to get to have all sushi and healthy good food here. News flash, restaurant folk rarely eat the good stuff, its usually reserved for the nice paying customers to get to enjoy that. Staff meals at my restaurant are nice but I always miss dinner because I am serving customers typically past closing in my section of the restaurant. So by the time I unlock the door to let the last party of late diners out. The last of the staff meal is finished or has been thrown into el basura by the dishwasher. Then fast forward to me finally getting home to the typical restaurant worker’s fridge which is typically full of a whole lot of nothing and a few random prepackaged dry goods. Even if i had fresh ingredients that is the last thing I want to do when i get home, cook…. so ramen is my gourmet choice for dinner.
You end up forgetting what you do and what don’t do each day because you may have done it the day before or the previous day. Did I buff my glassware today? did i refill the waiter stations with plates and utensils? Do I have enough juice purees, limes, lemons? Did I make that alcohol order? Did I lock the register?
You get to go home when everyone else is done having a fun night out, but when you get home its time for you to unwind. Unfortunately when you get home its late and you end up relaxing into the early morning taking care of all of your things when most normal people are asleep. This all ends up causing you to sleep when normal people wake up to clock in at their jobs.
In the end its only that I was part time in partaking “the lifestyle” in my childhood restaurant, for there was another man who endured the brunt of “the lifestyle”, my father, which with everyday I work, I understand and am more grateful for.
At the end of the day for me, the only pay off is not the money, the coolness of bartending and serving pretty looking food, its just knowing that today the establishment that I work at, even if it is just for a moment made someone satisfied with what they put in their mouth.
And just with writing that last sentence, i can only feel like I phrased that awkwardly and it somehow just gonna be turned into a dirty joke.
So I’m gonna cover my bases and say, “thats what she said”.
Well i know its not incredibly revolutionary, but I have tested out this cocktail for a few weeks now on regulars and with confidence I am putting it on the menu this weekend.
2 measures of a citron vodka
1 measure of Midori
2-3 measures of cucumber puree (strained)
fresh squeezed lemon juice
garnish with an orange wheel (throw the orange wheel in before enjoying, it definitely gives the drink balance)
I also love the new cosmopolitan glassware I purchased so posting another pic of the drink 😛