Catch Up with (long)

  • Thread starter EchoSierra [X-No-Archive]
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EchoSierra [X-No-Archive]

So happy to see that my favorite regulars are still here .... and some
wonderful new-to-me posters. I've really enjoyed reading the posts in
the past couple days. Don't know if any of you remember me, but a lot
has happened in my life in the past several months since we moved here
to Aiken from Florida.

First of all, Peter (the house chef) and I married on November 11th
after 8 years of partnership. We had a wonderful little wedding in our
living room - with our best friends and family in attendance. The
wedding supper was Chicken Curry with all the condiments & the wedding
cake was yellow sponge with raspberries and lemon curd iced in mango
buttercream. We had a lovely sparkling wine called Sofia from the
Coppola winery....also some excellent micro brew from Charleston and a
couple favorite wines from Murphy Goode.

We also became grandparents for the second time on October 18th...our
two year old granddaughter, Layla, welcomed her little sis, Julianne
and we are so happy to have these little angels in our lives.
pssssstttt....Layla is learning the hand drums from us and is our
little earthchild, much to my daughter's consternation...hehehehehe. We
read her Dupak Chopra.

But the foodie news is that Peter and I opened a cafe/coffee house -
which opened October 12th. It's called Cafe Monet and is located in a
large Art Gallery/Framing Shop. A completely new concept for this small
town in SC we live in - but it appears we are doing something right. We
designed it from the ground up - put in a new kitchen, an extremely
effective sandwich/salad prep area (that's where I man my helm during
the lunch crunch from 11-3) - and have a really nice Espresso
bar/dining room which is quite lovely if I do say so myself.

We had a seven layer Italian style plaster/glaze jobbie done on some of
the walls, with warm Cinnamon Stick and Caramel colored contrasting
walls, lots of mirrors/art and pyramid frosted glass halogens over the
bar. Along with the pewter colored chandeliers, black windowpane cafe
chairs and black tables - oh yeah and an Italian leather armless sofa
and some antiques - it's warm and inviting. Plus Wi-Fi and XM Cafe - a
30 inch LCD tv and by New Years we'll have our beer and wine license -
we'll be featuring only California wines though this one wine salesman
keeps bugging us to carry French, South American and OZ wines....I had
to chase him out with a broom last week. And in our tiny gift area I
feature Bodum Espresso, Coffee and Tea presses as well as Gypsy and
Numi Teas (from California, natch) and Endangered Species chocolate
bars. Oh, and those wondeful Chaleur art mugs that I have loved for
years and years in California.

We designed and put together the space in less than 8 weeks from start
to finish, bought all our fixtures/equipment online - now that was
interesting - and came in at 65K which included a great Astoria
espresso machine, computerized coffee brewers, gorgeous stainless steel
refrigeration units, stoves, worktables and everything else including
the opening food orders and retail gifts. I'm so proud of me....*grin*

Did I mention that we have a 3000 sq ft patio with burgandy Grosfillex
chairs and tables with Tan Umbrellas? We bought heaters for the patio,
part of it is covered, but right now it's raining and no one is sitting
out there, but the first month we had lots of diners enjoying the
warmer than usual weather.

What a crazy time it has been. I'm just now beginning to catch my
breath. We have a funny selection of sandwiches (all named after
artists), housemade soups, quiches, pastries...etc etc...the usual
coffee house fare.(I personally make the corn muffins every day to go
with the soup orders) We brought in Boars Head (yes I know there are
better products, but this is the best we can get here and only one
other deli in town uses it), we use all organic produce and products
wherever we can. Peter makes stellar Tarragon Chicken Salad which
apparently is the talk of the town if the response we've gotten is any
indication. And who would have thunk it, Quiche is HUGE here. We easily
get 6.95 for an order with a side salad with Peter's Raspberry
Vinaigrette that is made with 40. a gallon Olive oil, real raspberry
puree, lemon juice .

We also brought in Route 11 Chips in every variety (Dill Pickle, Sweet
Potato, Garlic and Herb, Salt and Vinegar, Crab, Mamazuma's Revenge,
Green Chili Enchilada), because I'm sick and tired of grocery store
chips...hehehehe...and our breads come from La Brea in SoCal.

We are already bored with our usual fare and are looking for ideas for
hot food specials so if anyone has a favorite please do share. It's so
cool to have been able to bring a bit of non-corporate California
Coffee House to Aiken, SC. And yes, it is 6 days a week...but I'm
workin with my husband and that's pretty darn awesome.

Oh, and we only use Wusthof knives .... what a treat that is. Our two
ranges are glass tops with 5.6 cubic foot triple rack ovens .... and
they work great. My favorite thing I bought?

Easy, the Pre-Rinse Hose that is wall mounted above our triple sink.
I'd never used one before, having never worked in a restaurant before,
but boy howdy, that thing is AWESOME. Best $150. I ever spent. Peter,
the smarty pants, insisted on it. Teee heee.

"EchoSierra [X-No-Archive]" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> So happy to see that my favorite regulars are still here .... and some
> wonderful new-to-me posters. I've really enjoyed reading the posts in
> the past couple days. Don't know if any of you remember me, but a lot
> has happened in my life in the past several months since we moved here
> to Aiken from Florida.
> <snip>
> Ellen

Welcome back and welcome home Ellen!

Ahh, Aiken. Such a lovely town. I almost moved there back in... umm... 94.
You are quite right that what you have 'brought to the table' definitely
hasn't/wasn't there and was needed. What a great concept for that area.
Woo-hoo! Kudos to both of you.

Everything sounds positively lovely. One of these days I'll have to do a
road trip up there. I still can't believe that we moved from Armpit, IL to
FL last year. My, how the time flies!

You mentioned hot foods...are you planning on serving any soups? There are
3 soups that I make that always get requests for are: Artichoke Bisque,
Reuben Soup, and a version of the Walkabout Onion Soup served at The Outback
Restaurant. Let me know if you would like any of these. The Onion soup is
one that I make for the Race for the Cure - our team sells bowls of them
during the overnight walk as their fund raiser. Last year I don't remember
how many gallons of it I made but it was sold out in less than 2 hours. I
was a tad bit giddy about that. ;D

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a very successful business for as
many years as you can stand it! LOL