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Sunday, October 25, 2009

First event was a success.....but not at first.

So very tired.  Got up around 1:30pm today and still dragging around the house.  Feel like I had the hardest workout of my life.  Guess I now know how hard it is to cater an event!

Recap of German Texan Heritage Society Oktoberfest Event

Friday night - Got home around 3am, after cleaning everything up.  The propane tanks were filthy and we need to exchange one.  Not sure that we need 3, but not sure how much gas this cart can burn.  Had to setup and hookup the cart and my wife chopped onions.  That smell was giving me a headache.  Packed everything in the truck and took it home.  Will only have to get up and go in the morning.

Saturday morning - Left home around 10:30am and got to Restaurant Depot around 11:15am.  Bought the items we still needed, but couldn't find a lid for the 1/3 size pan. 

Left there and headed to Sams.  We bought all the remaining hot dog buns and then purchased some of their deli buns.  Can't wait to try those deli buns out!  They didn't have pan lids either.

Went to Mission Restaurant Supply next.  Found the 1/3 size pan lid that we needed.  Got a free rubber spatula.  Score! 

Left the parking lot to head back to Walgreens.  Left the parking lot a little fast and lost the cart.  It was still attached by chains, but the front wheel hit and caused it to come un-hitched.  Pulled into the middle turn lane and fixed it.  I was scared that we tore it up and wouldn't have a way to attach it again....but the hitch worked like it was supposed to. 

Went to Walgreens and exchanged the propane tank for a full one.  We now have 3 full tanks.  Off we go.

Saturday Afternoon - Arrived at the German Free House around 1:30pm.  Parked the cart in our spot and started to setup everything.  Had to clean the cart because it had some dust and water spots.  Arranged everything in the order we needed it.  The wife said to let people put on their own mustard and ketchup.  Boy, that will be a lifesaver!

Started the cart around 2:30pm.  We have to start serving at 3:00pm.  The wind keeps knocking the flame down.  Can't get the water to heat up and now I am freaking out!  Problem is that I insisted on buying 4" deep pans and we really needed 6" deep.  Considering going and buying new pans real quick.  Will try boiling some dogs on the stove in the house. 

Here we are at 3:15pm and still aren't ready.  A few people have started coming by and seem a little upset that it is taking so long.  I am trying to get the dogs to boil on the stove.  Came back to the cart around 3:20pm and everything is working and nearly everything is done.  Started serving around 3:25pm, but was already running out of bratwurst.

Setup the electric steamer to make more brats.  Not sure how long this takes, because we never used it before.  We seem to have enough for now, but worried that we will not have enough after the next rush.

Got the hot dogs off the stove and put on some brats.  We are doing ok because there haven't been 100s of people in line.  The electric steamer doesn't seem to be getting hot at all.  This is not going good.

Finally have enough of everything.  Checked my phone and it hasn't even been 2 hours yet.  Man, this is going to drag on.

Started to run out of brats again.  Checked the electric steamer and those are very close to being done.  Part of the issue is that we used very cold beer to cook them in, when room temp beer would have been better.  Have to tell people to wait about 5 minutes for them to finish.

Served a huge line of people and it seems that we are caught up!  Putting more brats on the stove so we have enough to stay caught up.

Saturday Evening - Things are going great.  Everyone loves these fresh bratwurst and they can't get enough of the sauerkraut.  Everyone with the German Texan Heritage Society has been great.  They come by and check on us and let us know how much everyone loves the food.  Makes me proud that my team and I could rally back and do a great job! 

Everything is starting to slow down.  Bands are still playing and some people are still eating.  Asked the band to come down once they are done.  The band played at my brother in laws rehearsal dinner.  Sorry guys, I can't remember the band name.  Hoping to see you on November 14th!

Got everything cleaned and packed up.  Was told by several members of the GTHS that we will be invited to do other events.  We really enjoyed working with them and would love to do more events. 

Pulled out around 10:15pm and headed to my brother in laws to see my wife's family.  They had come by to watch us work, earlier in the day.  Didn't get very much time to talk, since it was pretty busy.

Got interviewed for an Austin Podcast.  Don't remember the name of the podcast, but will find it and post a link here.  Was also filmed serving up brats and hot dogs, but not sure what the footage was for.  Will have to find that out also.

So that is a nutshell of what happened.  I know now that we need to buy the right pans (yes dear, you were right about the pans) and that we need to start cooking much earlier.  I am also going to replace the burners on the cart and clean the knob assembly.  One of the burners worked perfect, but the other two were acting funny.  We only ended up using one propane tank and only used less than a quarter of it.  Guess that cart is pretty efficient! 

* If I left anything out from last night it is only because I am so tired today.  The recap is pretty much the stuff that stands out in my mind and doesn't reflect the whole night.

Need to work on figuring out our counts today and sending that info to the GTHS.  Will settle up with them this week.  Need that cash to get setup and going for Halloween.

If we get the electric cart this week, then we should be a go for opening on Halloween.  I am so tired now that Saturday seems like a million years away.  Will be ready for this and will pre-test this new cart before using it.  Don't want to be behind on my first day.

Did I mention the fact that I am tired?  Also, my back starting locking up yesterday and I could hardly bend over or sit down.  My lower back always does that when I am stressed.  Will need to visit Dr. Taylor tomorrow!

Not doing anything today.  Will probably only leave the house to get a Dr. Pepper.  Will need to starting working out so that I don't feel like my next birthday will be the 75th one.  Will need to wash my hands again before leaving the house...they smell like onions.

I did find a "steam-able poppy seed free" bun that we will probably carry on the cart.  Will need to see if Restaurant Depot can get them in a 6" size.  We bought the 7" ones yesterday, but they are really big.  We didn't end up steaming them and they were still really good.  They were soft, but had a little harder outside and softer inside.  They would be perfect for those people who do not want the poppy seed buns.  Only used those once we went thru the 240 buns we had bought.  Thank goodness we remembered that the Sams deli sells buns.

So this week will involve finishing up my issues with the city, buying that electric cart, getting product to sell, and running some tests.  If everything can get done, then I will see some of you on Halloween.  We are still undecided if we will open for lunch that day or just during the Halloween event.  Will let everyone know by Tuesday or Wednesday.  Check my website to see for sure!

After Halloween, we will be on our normal schedule of 11am to 2pm Monday - Friday and 11am to 3 pm on Saturday...except during special event days.  Our Grand Opening will be on November 14th from 11 am to 5 pm.  Will have some giveaways that day, so make sure you come by!


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