Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gone Fishing!

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Bret and I leave Thursday for a much needed 10 day vacation. We will drive up to spend a few days with his parents in Sinking Valley then head on up with the family to Elgan Ontario. Once there we will spend 7 days fishing and swimming and playing with our nieces and nephews. From there we will head up to Ottawa for a day then down to Windsor to spend the night before returning home. While I am gone I am turning the blog over to Chris. It will be interesting to see what he has to say.

Lots of fun stuff going on while I am gone. Please be sure to check out the calendar at

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Great Ketchup Debate

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I recently started making my own ketchup at the restaurant. People are digging it. Well most people are digging it. One lady compared it to crack. Not sure about her or crack. So Laura (the bartender of course) and Chris (the GM and son of course) don't like it. WHAT? How do they not like my ketchup when people are comparing it to addictive drugs? They say they don't like cinnamon in there ketchup. So following is my recipe for ketchup (sorry it makes a lot). But here is the question. Do I get bottled ketchup for the people whom don't like homemade? Once reason for making my own was because it was wasteful.

1 12oz. can tomato puree
1tsp cayenne
1/4 c brown sugar
1 TBS thyme
2 TBS salt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 TBS ground cloves
1 TBS ground cinnamon
Blend with electric mixer and add water until the right consistancy

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Diner On Sycamore

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Yes this is going to be a review. A review of Joe's Diner. First I must say I am glad and proud they are opened.

One of my stories goes like this...
Poor. Buy Arnold's. Poor. Riots. More Poor. Scary Poor actually. Gas shut off notice poor is how poor. Get my point? So on the gas shut off notice poor part of it, I am driving down Sycamore and look into The Diner. On Sycamore Street that is. No one is in there and the lights seemed to be off. Crud, not another one, we are dropping like flies. I go to the door and there is a notice. They are done. Crud. I cry. I cry like you can not believe cry. It was a symbol and I was sad. Crud, is the oldest bar in the city next? Well I was too stupid and too proud. During all that I bought my partner out and rebounded.

Fast forward to today. I walked up those steps and entered into a delightful opened restaurant now called Joe's Diner. It is sparse and clean. It is a soft opening which means they aren't quite ready and working out the kinks. That is fine by me. I am just glad to be there. I know everyone that walks in the door. I feel at home. The employees are friendly, I hope they keep that part because it was really nice. Bret orders breakfast at 7pm! 2 eggs scrambled, 2 sausage patties, hash browns and toast. I order a burger with bacon and an egg on it. Delicious. I love the burgers at Arnold's and will stand up against our burgers everyday. But they are different, char grilled and our customers like them that way (yes, I took a poll). But this burger is really delicious and when I want a burger from a griddle I will go to Joe's and get it. It truly is better than any burger I have tried outside of Arnold's. Look at me, I have tried a lot.

Joe's Diner is halfway between my business and my home. Joe's Diner will be my go to place like Arnold's is for so many. Please when you see me in Joe's I am not "checking out the place" or seeing how many of my customers are there. I am there because I live and work in this neighborhood. We all need to eat out once in a while. I love the sushi at Mixx Ultra Lounge and it looks like they are going to do right at The Diner too.

Full circle? I think so!

Joe's Diner on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dog Days of Summer and the Storm

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Ollie ran for cover from last nights storm while Nora took advantage of the guest bedroom where she knows she isn't allowed to be.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Do I Change The Season

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I recently saw the owner of another restaurant in the restaurant supply store and he asked me how things were going. I said great and mentioned it was our slow time of the year. He asked me why and I then told him it was because we don't have air conditioning. He asked me why again. I proudly told him because we just don't have it in the main bar (please note the 2nd floor is air conditioned). He basically told me I was crazy and to put air conditioning in.

I got in my car and thought a bit about that. Arnold's has it's seasons. We go from the beautiful cool fall and Midpoint Music Festival right into the cold days of Christmas and the Christmas play. From there we head into the start of spring with Bockfest and St. Patty's Day. But what about summer? Hot summer nights in the courtyard with cool jazz and fresh squeezed lemonade. A cold beer from the tap. Sit at the bar under the fan and let the breeze from it cool you down. Go back in time of a slower day. When you stopped at your local bar to have a cold one and to talk about your day. There are people that appreciate that. Darren, and Derek and Jen and Allen to name just a few.

It's Arnold's slow season. I'm thinkin it's okay. Time for a new paint job here, a new floor there, Murphy's oil soap and lemon oil. Every year I debate getting air in the bar. I'm thinkin I might just wait one more year.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

All Spiffed Up

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This week we spent Sun. - Thurs. afternoon doing some repairs on the building. The week after the 4th of July seems like a good week. I painted the ladies bathroom and refinished the floor in there.

The bookshelf was gone though and we were able to remove 8 books from the ever growing library, I put them in the ladies restroom if anyone would like to see what didn't make the cut.

Bret spent his time refinishing the bar floor and it looks great. He also put a coat of finish on all the shelves.

The biggest thing was the kitchen floor. We got a new kitchen floor! I have wanted a new floor since buying the place 12 years ago and finally I was able to do that. It seems to get messier faster than the old one but maybe we just notice it more. Jim Tarbell stopped in and faked cried, saying that was what he always wanted when he owned it and also said his other dream was to have a bigger walk in box. Funny but that is my other dream too. Maybe someday on that!

As always the rest of the restaurant got a good summer cleaning by a lot of the employees.

I am grateful once again for all the customers we have. Summer is a trying time at Arnold's without having A/C. Every year I say I am going to do it and don't. Maybe this will be the year.