Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Testing…. Testing….

In true Bloomy’s style, the Rhino and I decided this past weekend to start testing out some recipes. It’s important to note that we don’t even know at this point if we can get enough money to actually start Bloomy’s… but we were hungry and it seemed like a fun idea. Below is the account of our recipe testing weekend take one. Based on a true story.

Take One

Recipe Test
Description: Macaroni
Location: Bloomy’s test kitchen… (basically that’s just fancy for “our kitchen at home.”)
The Story: The Rhino first spent some time googling macaroni recipes. He has a knack for taking a recipe, pulling out the bad stuff, ignoring the dumb stuff, putting in some good stuff, and making it taste incredible. Side note: good thing he’s the brains behind this operation because, if it were just me, Bloomy’s would be a really cool looking diner with awesome music that offered one or more of the following: cheese and crackers, cereal, quesadillas. That is pretty much the extent of what I’m able to whip up in the kitchen. Good thing he doesn’t require a lady who can cook for him because he would surely be eating a lot of quesadillas.

Anyway, back to the story.

The Rhino found a few promising recipes and we decided to make two batches of what we hoped would end up being the Bloomy’s macaroni.

Macaroni Attempt #1
Star ingredients: extra sharp cheddar and gruyere cheese

Macaroni Attempt #2
Star ingredients extra sharp cheddar, asiago, and provolone cheese.

Both recipes also used swirly noodles, bread crumbs, and a secret spice I’m not allowed to reveal.

PS – I will take pictures from now on so you guys can see what this deliciousness actually looks like.

Result: Both recipes turned out good but the gruyere (so fun to say) was so super rich - I could eat like 6 bites before I felt a cheese brick growing in my belly. The second recipe was much better and didn’t make a cheese brick grow in my belly. The Rhino and I decided that attempt #2 warranted a pass to the next round of taste testing.

Recipe Test
Description: Roast Beef
The Story: Yesss, our first attempt at Bloomy’s Roast Beef! I mean the Rhino’s first attempt. I just watched and posted illegal pictures on Facebook that he made me take down. Side story on this one: We bought a normal roast from the grocery store that cost $18. Then I left it in the car….. for awhile. In my defense – the bag was totally camouflaged in the car and I didn’t see it when I was taking out the rest of the groceries. Total fail, after which I spilled melted ice cream everywhere. Yes, I also forgot the ice cream in the car. In any case, the Rhino used his super secret spidey spice sense to determine which spices to use on the roast. He threw it on the roasting pan and into the oven it went. Several hours and a graduation party later, we were finally able to eat it!

Result: Complete mouth melt down. The beef was so good and flavorful – I took it off the bun and ate it with my fingers! Hats off to the Rhino for home running it on attempt #1.  We both agreed the roast beef was slamazing (slammin’ + amazing = slamazing) and passed it to the next round.

Round Two
Now that we had a macaroni and a roast beef pass our finger licking test, we moved them to the official Taste Tester Team, also known as the Rhino’s work peeps. This team is made up of hungry young men who share a deep and abiding love for food. They also are semi-regulars at Wally’s so we need to win them over.

Taste Tester Feedback

Result: Epic Fail.
Feedback: Not creamy enough, soggy breadcrumbs, wrong kind of cheese and noodles, too white.  
Happy face or sad face: SAD FACE

So, I guess it’s back to the drawing board on this one. Don’t worry though! Next attempt will result in kid friendly, creamy, cheesy, elbow noodle goodness!

Roast Beef
Result: 1.5 thumbs up!
Feedback: Seasoned to perfection, nice meaty flavor, needs to be sliced thinner (thanks to anonymous coworker for providing a real live meat slicer for future attempts!)
Happy face or sad face: HAPPY FACE!!

So… after take one, the Rhino and I were left with near-perfect roast beef (yesssss!) and macaroni that just didn’t cut it (nooooooo!). Hey, one of two ain’t bad. Especially for a couple of kids who are just starting to learn the restaurant ropes.

Until next time….. Peace, Love, & Roast Beef.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Adventure Begins… kind of.

It all started a few months ago… November of 2010 to be exact. I know this because the Rhino and I started talking about it over a bottle of wine and, after we drank the entire thing, I wrote about it on the wine cork and tossed it in our cork jar. That was the start of Phase One.  

Phase One:
Idea: Open a Wally’s
Wally’s is a small diner in Bloomington, MN that specializes in roast beef. It’s been around forever and has a great following. In fact, I went there on a random Saturday and there was a line out the door! Who knew people loved their roast beef so much anyway.

The Rhino had been going to Wally’s for quite some time and began to think of it as a viable business venture. He is always thinking about stuff like that so we can retire and he can be a fishing guide. So he reached out to the owner to discuss the possibility of franchising… but we quickly learned that wasn't an option. And that was the end of Phase One.

We left Phase One with One Question: What should we do since we can’t open a Wally’s?

The question went unanwered until the following March…. Then Phase Two started.

Phase Two
Idea: I want to make a million dollars.
I was home alone one day contemplating life when I decided that what I really wanted to do with my life was to figure out how to make a million dollars.
So I googled it.

Here is what I learned.

Ways to Make a Million Dollars:
(1) Marry someone who has a million dollars
(2) Inherit some coin from a rich relative
(3) Get deathly injured and sue someone rich (preferably someone who has more than a million dollars)
(4) Win the lottery
(5) Open a business

So….. considering I (1) have no millionaire relatives, (2) don’t buy lottery tickets unless I find a dollar on the ground at the gas station (which hasn't really happened as often as I'd anticipated), (3) try to avoid life threatening injuries when possible, and (4) am really only interested in marrying the Rhino since we already know each other (and who, at present, does not have a million dollars)… that left just one option. Open a business. 

Since we had already thought about the roast beef shop, it seemed only natural to revisit the idea. And we did.  

THE MASTER PLAN: Open Bloomy’s Roast Beef. A totally awesome diner with wicked good roast beef!
Opening date: March 21, 2012

Rhino a.k.a. “Bloomy”  – age 34. Computer salesman. Related experience: cooking for his girlfriend Katie J, former Dominos pizza delivery man.
Katie J – age 28. Recruiter. Related experience: Subway sandwich artist for one day 14 years ago. Former cashier at Davanni’s pizzeria.
Taste Testers – Rhino’s coworkers, the roast beef connoisseurs.  

So the Rhino and I went full steam ahead and started the business plan. Now, two months later…. we’re still working on the damn business plan. BUT we’re almost finished and, thanks to the Rhino’s mastery of accounting and my ability to format word documents, it looks like we actually know what we're doing! 

This brings us to where our story officially begins. Follow the Rhino and me as we make our way from schemes and dreams to the grand opening of Bloomy’s Roast Beef. We’ll see you there!