Today is St. Patrick’s day and it is also the day that the great people at Dellco completed the ductwork they were building for us and came to complete the installation of the hoods. While delivering the ductwork they brought with them most of the remaining items to complete the equipment line up. That leaves us with two more steps to final completion of the kitchen. Step one is to get the ANSUL system installed (that’s the fire suppression system and is essential if we are to have insurance on the property). Step two is to get the approval of the health inspector. We have been very careful to work with the inspector at every step of the way and expect this to be both simple and easy. All in all, we feel are now in good shape.
This morning I was in the kitchen making sure that everything was on track. We had three kitchen installers, two electricians, one cook, one handyman, one cleaner, myself and three dogs including a Great Dane in the kitchen at one time. If we had any more help we would need a bigger kitchen.
The ANSUL installers are the last delay and they are scheduled to be on site on the 28th, 29th and 30th of March. That means that we are really close to being fully functional.
The next big thing is to have you sample our food. I get a LOT of questions about the menu. Let’s look at what we know we will have. First of all will be pizza. The intent is to provide you with Great pizza on a homemade crust. We may not be able to come up with a homemade gluten free crust that can compete with the frozen gluten free offerings but we will keep working on that. Initially we will be working on simple toppings such as cheese (Margherita pizza), pepperoni, sausage, mushroom and a meat lovers for example. We are going to be emphasizing quality. Home made crust and top quality ingredients. We want to take care of our vegan and vegetarian customers as well as those of you with gluten sensitivity. A major frozen pizza manufacturer was caught selling sausage pizza that contained no sausage (textured vegetable protein or soy) and no cheese (synthetic cheese) and as a final insult the crust had an inert filler that was made from a waste product from the paper making industry (sawdust). We will be going in the opposite direction and will make every effort to provide premium ingredients resulting in a pizza that is memorable and worth eating with absolutely no synthetic ingredients at all.
The next food group that we will be doing will be barbecue. We have gone to considerable trouble to locate and then buy and transport back the best barbecue cooker we could find. There is much mystery and black art to barbecue cooking and the basic rule seems to be that if you cook something and you describe it as barbecue, then it is barbecue. We do not mean that. When we cook barbecue we mean West Texas barbecue. We do not “mop” our meat with mystic ingredients nor do we pour a sweet and or vinegary sauce over the meat. We rely on the following four ingredients for flavor. Meat, smoke, salt and pepper. The meat should be good quality and if it is brisket, then it should have a good fat cap on it. Brisket can be tough and to get over that you have to cook low and slow so we have a fourteen hour cooking time using the finest ingredients and we use pecan wood for smoke. We do not use gas, electric or woods other than pecan for our cooking. Personally I prefer post oak but the current consensus is that pecan is preferred by more people than the oak. I want to do some taste testing and see if I can’t change some minds. It may be as simple as the people from West Texas have easier access to pecan and have developed a taste for it and post oak is more prevalent further east. Mesquite is for grilling and it makes barbecue too bitter and strongly flavored There have not been a lot of barbecue options in Terlingua for a while, but suddenly we had four options and that was before I started cooking. I think that one of those options has already closed and some of the others don’t have barbecue available every day. We plan on barbecue every day. I love it that we have got some serious competition. The poorest will not survive long and what is left will be really good barbecue. Right now we have some serious competition and that has to be a good thing.
The last food grouping will be the non pizza, none barbecue foods. steak, chops, pasta, fish, sandwiches etc.. Many of these items will only ever appear on the chalkboard. Corned beef and cabbage on the board for St. Patrick’s day, turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, a special Christmas dinner, fish and fries because chef found some great Atlantic cod or several pasta specials because we have a group of cyclists in town needing “carb loading”. Of course that is also where are chefs can “strut their stuff” and put on Boeuf Wellington or Duck a L’orange or whatever else they feel impelled to make.
The future is exciting and we are looking forward to it with anticipation.
This week on Saturday, 19th of March we will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We have “The Battleground” from Los Angeles playing for us up until 10:00 and then our own Moses will be entertaining from 10:00 until 1:00. Come and join us and help us celebrate this once in a lifetime event.