Long before we opened the doors at River City Deli, we were planning and strategizing about our menu, our customer base, and our equipment. The equipment was a big deal. In order to do all of our meats in-house instead of buying pre-cooked deli meat, we needed some specific (and expensive!!) equipment. The first big purchase was our "combi" oven - something rarely seen in small "mom and son" operations. My son insisted. He said it would allow us to steam, bake, and roast our meats, and quite possibly even change the world. I was more skeptical. Did we really need that wildly expensive piece of equipment? Of course, he's the kitchen guy. My job is to be cute and fun to be with, and spend my time in the front of the house. He was right, of course. This is an amazing piece of equipment. We can cook everything from a hard-boiled egg to a perfectly cooked prime rib roast. It's key in steaming our amazing corned beef and pastrami.
The next big debate was the microwave. Should we have one? Again - my son, who's a purist about food - insisted that the microwave was out. He didn't want to have a kitchen where anyone would ever use a microwave. I argued back -- what if someone's soup is cold and they want us to "zap" it for them? He looked at me incredulously -- we weren't ever going to put out cold soup!! After several weeks of wrangling, I won (I am Mom after all) and a microwave was purchased for our kitchen. Once everything was installed, the microwave was placed on a bottom shelf, safely wrapped in it's saran packaging. The first few weeks went by and still the microwave sat on the bottom shelf. No one needed to have their soup zapped, and nothing ever came back cold to the kitchen. My son was right again (please keep that between us), in believing firmly that our food would always be fresh and hot and we would happily remake something versus putting it in the microwave. In March he took the microwave back to the restaurant equipment store.
Still...it would be nice to be able to zap my coffee.....
See you at the Deli!