Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Putting the “Oooo!” in Bloomy’s.

Last week, the Rhino and I discovered that the long-standing Gopher Towing, a.k.a. the home of Bloomy1, was going out of business. This was devastating on several fronts - mainly because it made our truck homeless and secondarily because we have to provide the bank with a storage lease in order to get our loan money. No Gopher Towing = no home = no lease = no loan. Yikes! You can imagine how big a wrench this threw in our plans. However, never fear! The Rhino stepped in and found another home for Bloomy1 in less than a week*. He even brought me there for a visit on Sunday! Now, we have a new home for Bloomy1 that is equal in awesomeness and slightly less expensive than its previous home. Rock. On. I praised the Rhino on his industriousness and gave him a kiss (on the cheek; we are not married yet).
*Why I adore the Rhino Reason #671,794.

Two Fridays ago, the Rhino accompanied yours truly to my day-job department’s holiday party. Yes, we have our holiday party in January. The party, coincidentally, was also held at Chino Latino (just like the Rhino’s holiday party was!). We got to stuff our faces with delicious food such as shrimp curry and also do awesome (at the time) things like this:

I wish I could say that this holiday party turned out differently than the last one, but it surely did not. The Rhino and I once again plopped into bed well after 3am and spent the next day rubbing our bellies and cursing our love-hate relationship with Bacardi Limon.

In any case, we recovered and were incredibly excited about our big important meeting at the…

Sysco Test Kitchen
Last Thursday, the Rhino and I took some time to visit the best place in the world (or at least the best place in Blaine), the Sysco Test Kitchen. Stocked far and wide with delicious ingredients just waiting for us to eat and judge them. Which we did. A lot. Accompanying us to this dreamland was the official taste testing crew, comprised of (in no particular order).

1. Our culinary specialist, Budda,* who brought over a decade’s worth of experience in catering, kitchen management, and creating culinary masterpieces. And a passion for agates.
2. Rhino’s BFF since 8th grade (think Stand By Me meets … Starsky and Hutch?), Ron*, and his lovely wife.
3. Our awesomesauce Creative Director, Jamie D* (the D stands for Deelightful or Deelicious, depending on your preference)
*Names may have been changed to protect the identity of our taste testing crew, or not. Probably not.

Jamie D, Rhino & I were super early to the test kitchen (ooh anticipation!) so we decided to stop off for a quick beer (it was lunch time, BTW, and therefore acceptable). My GPS wasn’t working, so the three of us were forced into looking for beer the old fashioned way*.
*By actually looking with our eyes.

Between the solid input of his car companions (KJ: “I think I might see something over there!! JamieD: No, that’s… not a place that sells beer,”) Rhino calmly navigated us to a strip mall where he found us a Chinese Buffet. We proceeded to order some Blue Moons, and I was happily surprised when the beers arrived along with three fortune cookies! I tried to trick my hunger with the beer carbonation, but it backfired, so it only took me about 5 minutes to start hoarding and devouring everyone’s fortune cookies. Sorry guys. Then we headed back to the test kitchen.

After a slightly uncomfortable yet slightly informative meeting with a salesperson, we were ushered into the super slamazing, super huge, and super HOT test kitchen. We got to sit around at a little table and have four people wait on us! And then they started bringing out food. And more food. And then they brought out some more food. By the time they brought the roast beef out, I was so excited I nearly burst into song. I believed for a moment that my life had reached its pinnacle and am about 90% certain that I also heard angels’ voices. I wondered for a moment what it would be like to live in the test kitchen (JamieD: “Awesome! It would be awesome!”). But it was just too hot… and there was no shower, which is a really bad combo. So we did eventually leave.

In any case, despite all the decisions we made on chili and coleslaw and roast beef, we still have over half our menu to go. Most importantly, we need to decide on the bread. I am head over heels for bread as it comprises the majority of my meals so am incredibly excited about this decision. However, the Rhino believes that bread is “just a vessel to get the beef into your face” so a convincing session may be in order. Another test kitchen visit?? Yes please!! Except for one small problem.

KJ and the Clean Program
(For those of you who think detoxing is a scam, feel free skip this part.)
Yes, I have decided to start a program. It is called the Clean Program. During this program, I cannot eat any of the following things: cheese, eggs, French fries, ranch dressing, bacon, bread, beer, tomatoes, pop, ice cream, pizza, Carnation Instant Breakfast, or pretty much any other thing you can think of that’s delicious and fun. I’m approximately 99% sure I’m going to pass away from lack of bacon, seeing as it has only been two days and it’s already all I can think about. Especially while I’m busy burning quinoa and trying to figure out how to cook a chicken breast.

The Rhino is “supporting but not participating,” as he enjoys the aforementioned food and beverage items way too much to give them up (Insert Rhino comment here: “Totally! Why do you think I look so good in a white t-shirt?”). Touché.

I think we are both very nervous at what lack of grease can do to this girl’s mood but hopefully we will both make it to the end of the program. Stay tuned!

So that brings us to two days ago Sunday, during which we began the quest for the city-mandated

Commercial Kitchen
All Minneapolis food trucks are required to partner with a commercial kitchen, which doesn’t sound that difficult until you realize that there are like 20 food trucks and like 2 commercial kitchens. Yikes. We’ve been on the search for awhile before narrowing the pool to two equally magnificent commercial kitchen options:

(1) Kitchen in the Market
On Sunday, the Rhino and I ventured into unknown territory, a.k.a. Midtown Global Market. We were there to meet with the charming Molly who runs Kitchen in the Market, a wicked cool commercial kitchen smack dab in the middle of all the market glory. (If you haven’t been to the Midtown Global Market, I’d suggest going immediately. It’s the bomb. Even despite one particular woman who, every time she saw me, asked me if I was Kimberly. Um, no. But if you keep asking me, I might suddenly decide that I AM Kimberly. Oooh, what now?!)

So we got to tour the kitchen and all its slamazingness. Afterwards, we calculated the distance (7 miles) and time (20-ish minutes but we made all the green lights) between the kitchen and our storage facility. Not bad, not bad!

We were so excited that the Rhino took yours truly to JJ’s Clubhouse for a ”Katie’s last meal before her program” feast of Bloody Mary’s, sandos*, and Cajun fries.
*sando (noun): sandwich

(2) Kindred Kitchen
Last night, we met with the adorable Terese at the Kindred Kitchen. Kindred Kitchen is our second commercial kitchen option in Minneapolis and specifically supports new foodies trying to get their businesses off the ground. The Kitchen also offers a workshop series where you can learn about everything from writing a business plan to marketing strategy to Quickbooks. Dope! It is also conveniently located just 1.9 miles from our new storage facility! And across the street from a cookie shop! Go Team Rhino! We also got to meet other aspiring foodies including a chutney enthusiast, a baker, and a pasta maker. Three cheers for foodies!

It will be very tough to decide which kitchen to go with and we only have until the end of the week… because of some very best news, which I have saved for last!

Some Very Best News
As I was leaving work yesterday and walking through the parking lot to my car, I got a call from the Rhino. Here is a 100% accurate transcript of our conversation:

Phone: “Ring ring!”
Me: “Hello?”
Rhino: “Hi honey.”
Me: “Who dis?”
Rhino: “It’s Ryan.”
Me: “Oh, hi honey!’
Rhino: <Rolls eyes> “Do you want to hear some good news?”
Rhino: “Well… I just got off the phone with the bank…”
Me: Heart rate increases from 90bpm to 110bpm
Rhino: <Pause>
Me: “AND?!?!?!”
Rhino: “They said the paperwork was approved!!”
Me: (not exaggerating): Drop everything I am holding into a parking lot snow puddle (this includes: purse, lunch bag, laptop bag, high heels, water bottle) and start screaming as loud as my vocal cords allow. Then I kick up my heels and do a little jig.
Rhino: lol, lol.
Me: “Eeek! Eeek!”

So, for those of you who have been following our story, we were scheduled to close on our loan in December. Well, it is not December anymore and we have yet to close on our loan. Some “at-least-60-days-or-maybe-more” paperwork approval process came into play, and the Rhino and I have been sitting on edge for 6 weeks now, hoping and praying for the approval. Now we have it! Early! You know what that means…. BLOOMY’S IS BACK IN ACTION BABY!!

That’s all I got, for now. I wish I could say that I was off to pop open a celebratory bottle of wine but… water will have to suffice for this roast beef lover. At least for now.



  1. Awesome on so many fronts! Go Bloomy's! (He said, in his best Littl' John impression)

  2. A new home, kitchen (almost) and your loan approval? We are so popping the bubbly to celebrate in March!