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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Event went very well.....

Festival of Trees went very well.  We had lots of fun and it was not stressful at all.  All of our equipment worked perfect and nothing really went wrong.  I really enjoyed this event and plan on doing it every year.

Here was the final menu that we had last night:

Vegetarian Pumpkin Stew  (variation of Three Sisters Stew)
Pork Sausage with Apple, Spinach, Bacon, and Feta Cheese
Hot Dog Sushi with Mustard, Onion, and Neon Green Pickle Relish

I think that all three had their fans, but the sushi probably got the best reactions of the night.  Most people were receptive to it and wanted to try it because no one had ever seen something like that before.  We did have one guy that argued with us.  He says that sushi implies "raw fish" and he "ain't eatin raw fish!".  Explained to him that it is only a hot dog and bun rolled up like sushi, and he still didn't want any part of it.  His loss.  Guess that some people just can't handle new things.  This is probably not going to be a restaurant item.  I am going to test the possibilities, but it is a lot of work and would have to be done when ordered.  We will see.

The Pork Sausage was fantastic!  My wife came up with the recipe and people raved over it.  We did have a few people who turned their noses up at it, but quickly figured out that they are "beef eaters" and probably think their bacon and ham are made from cow.  The ones that did try it, told their friends to come and try it.  This isn't a cart/restaurant item we are carrying, but we will offer it for catering.  Makes a great appetizer or entree.

The Vegetarian Pumpkin Stew was based on the Iroquois Indian recipe for Three Sisters Stew.  The recipe only calls for squash, beans, and corn.  We made it better by adding the chopped pumpkin, hominy, pureed pumpkin and spices.  Those that tried it were amazed by its wonderful flavors and heartiness considering there is no meat in it at all.  We are going to carry this in the restaurant and hopefully it will be this week or next. 

Overall it was a success.  We made new fans and wowed our existing fans.  Will hopefully be able to get some catering jobs based on our food and the professionalism of my staff.  I couldn't have done it without them and appreciate all that they did.

This week will be a slow one.  Not sure we will see many people out until Saturday.  We will be closed on Thursday and Friday.  I would be open on Friday, but our downtown area is pretty much dead until late in the day.  Since we now have several "big box" retailers in town, most people will be there or in Austin.  Saturday should be better, but you never know.

Added new menu items for this week.  Already taste tested them and they should do good.  Will be adding a couple more items in the next few weeks and then will probably stop adding until after the winter time is over.  I have tons of ideas for the spring and those should help boost the business.

Should have my crop of hot peppers ready in the next few days.  Will be canning them in the restaurant kitchen, so that we can sell them.  These are Tabasco peppers that have been growing for a couple of months now.  They are slowly turning red and it is making them hotter and hotter each day.  We had a few of them grow earlier in the year, but all this rain has made my plants really thrive.  We will also offer them as a condiment for the hot dogs.  These things are hotter than the sport peppers or jalapenos we carry now.  Will post an update when they are ready. 

Updated the website ( with new info and changed the layout a little.  Really want to have it all redesigned, but the cost of that is prohibitive at this time.  Will have to see if I can remember my html and just do it myself.

Everyone have a great week and wonderful holiday!  Please tell your friends about my blog and have them read it.  Even if you can't experience the hot dogs for yourself, you can do the next best thing and read about them.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Prepping for this weekend event.

Getting ready for the Festival of Trees.  Found a great old Iroquois Indian recipe.  It is completely vegetarian and tasted really good.  My wife made a test batch and we all really liked it.  Will probably try to sell it in our location, once we get a soup warmer. 

My super chef (my wife) came up with another recipe that uses Bratwurst.  It was REALLY good!  Can't wait to unleash it on all those hungry people.  This will definitely be something we offer for catering events.  Not really something I can do from the cart, but you never know.

Have a third item we are making, but it is TOP SECRET!  Only two of us know about it and we will be doing a test on it tomorrow.  If it works, we will also offer it for catering.  It is another item that could be done from the cart, but would have to see a demand for it first.

Added the 7" Meatball Sandwich to the menu this week.  It took the place of the Bratwurst.  I took those off the menu because we just didn't sell enough of them.  Only had 1 request for it this week and only sold 2 on Saturday....and that is why we are trying the Meatball Sandwich.  It is a great sandwich and people seem to really like it so far.  It is quite a change from the hot dogs, but adds some variety to our menu. 

Will be adding new specialty hot dogs this week and next.  Most of them are ones we have tried ourselves and really like.  Will be posting them on our website and in the restaurant.  And we are always looking for new ideas.  Send one to me and we will name it whatever you want...but only if we use it!

Worked out pretty much all of our bugs and we are doing pretty well now.  Still need to find more advertising avenues to bring people in.  I know that the cold weather is making us slow, but we hope it starts to pick up.

Will probably be serving indoors on Friday.  They are forecasting rain and cold weather.  This will be a first for us and hopefully will turn out ok. 

Come see us and get a hot dog! 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Grand Opening! (with picture goodness)

The Grand Opening went pretty well.  We sold a lot of hot dogs and sodas.  I stopped counting after a while because it was just too busy.  We had very little time to refill everything before we sold it.  Didn't think it would be that busy, but the car show usually brings tons of people in.


My wife went above and beyond today.  She was running back and forth to get me change, refill the condiments, get hot dogs, take orders, make change, etc...  She even put up with my freaking out and tantrums...yes I can be an ass from time to time, just didn't realize how busy it would be and next time will calm down first!  Lesson learned today.  One I won't forget and one she won't let me forget! Thank God she loves me!   :)

Have to run to Austin tomorrow and buy everything.  We pretty much ran out.  I thought that we had more than we did, but counted the hot dogs wrong.  Will start keeping a better inventory of what we have in the freezer.

Can't wait to take the day off tomorrow and rest some.  We need it!  So tired.

And for those that didn't get to come by today and see my "BIG" surprise, here it is.....

I went from this...


To This......


And Finally, This!

So what do you think?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Grand Opening is tomorrow @ 10:00 am

Grand Opening is tomorrow starting at 10:00 am.  Come see us for a Vienna Beef paper hat or a balloon!

No posts until after the Grand Opening.  Have lots to say, but need to sleep since we are getting up early. 

Come by to see my big surprise.  Can't tell you what it is, but will post it here on Sunday...if you didn't get a chance to find out on Saturday.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

First week went pretty well.

Week was pretty good (well, half week).  Will continue to do better with each day that we are open.  Making fans one at a time.

The new bun warmer works perfect!  Best investment I've made so far.  It works really good and frees up space to put other items on the cart.  It also only takes about 4 minutes to fully steam the Vienna buns...and that is if they unit is set to 5 or 6.  If I set it higher, it takes a lot less time.  Plus, we ran it for 4 hours today and NEVER had to put more water in it.  Going back to buy another one next week.

We bought a stainless steel table to put behind the cart and it helps with putting condiments on the dogs.  We also have a little refrigerator that keeps the drinks cold...until one explodes and shoots (yes, shoots) several drinks at the back of my legs.  Makes it worse that I was creating two Chicago Dogs at the time.  Got it cleaned up, but now we have to make sure we stack them a little different.  It was only a Diet Coke that exploded, so no big loss.  And got the customer's dogs made without further incident!

Changing our Saturday hours.  Going to be 12:00pm to 3:30pm.  We figured out today that downtown doesn't start coming alive until around Noon and then dies off quick after 3pm.  Did sell a bratwurst at 3:20pm, so that is why we are going till 3:30pm.  This will change if there happens to be a special event downtown.  And will be more like 11:00am to 4:00pm. 

Kinda have a day off for Sunday, but we need to redo one of the shelving units.  We bought longer poles so that we could add more shelves.  Using the shorter poles for some baskets we bought.  This will give us more space to keep dry and canned goods, sodas, chips, and various other items.  Will use the baskets to store vegetables and other items.

Have to invest in another refrigerator for the kitchen...maybe a commercial one.  The one we have now is too small.  Everything fits in it, but we will need to have more space for new menu items.  Will start looking after the Grand Opening. 

Have to get a vinyl sticker for the electric cart.  I have some paper signs up now, but it doesn't look right.  Having trouble finding someone who can do the work.  We used to have a sign place in town, but I don't think they are in business anymore.  Want to try and do this within the next couple of weeks.

Getting ready for next Saturday.  Trying to get everything together for the giveaways.  Can't wait until there are a couple hundred kids walking around with Vienna Beef paper hats on their heads.  That will be a beautiful site.  Will try and get some stickers made so that our logo is on the hats also.  That would be even better!

Finally put chili and bratwurst on the cart today.  Chili was a big hit....but so was my California Dog.  Want to know what is in it?  Come buy one.  Not posting my recipe here...sorry.  The mystery is worth coming by and buying one from us.  Trust me, they are VERY good.

Busy next couple of weeks.  Will hopefully have time to post my progress.  If not, I will make one HUGE post that will catch everyone up.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Opened up! And some rambling updates.....

We opened yesterday (it is 12:30am on Thursday) and it went fine.  I think more and more people know we are here and that's great.  Will hopefully sell more dogs in the next 3 days.

Planning the Grand Opening and the Festival of Trees event this weekend.  Have to get a menu for the Festival and figure out what we are doing for the Grand Opening.  Will spend some time on Saturday and Sunday figuring it all out.

The new electric cart is working much better than before.  Figured out which way is high and which way is low on the knobs.  The original knobs are long gone, so we didn't really have a clue.  Ran the cart on Wednesday and it worked perfect!  Still need to replace those switches and buy new knobs.  That will happen eventually.

Bought an electric bun steamer on Wednesday.  It was on sale.  Will test it this week.  This should free up the electric cart to add on the chili and bratwurst to the menu.  It should steam our poppy seed buns really quick.  Not steaming the plain buns because they don't really need it.  Can also steam other items in it, but will probably just stick with the buns.  Just need to figure out how to fit them all in.

Still tweaking my menu.  Not going to carry the pork brats for very much longer.  Once we sell out, I will probably switch to beef brats.  Still trying to figure out which ones to use.  Also, added two new canned sodas to the menu and now carrying the Jarritos soda.  If the new ones don't sell, then we will try something else.

Testing a secret hot dog ingredient tomorrow.  Can't say much about it yet.  Hopefully it will work out fine.  If not, then we will find an alternative.  Will also be testing other secret ingredients in the next week or so.  Will slowly ad these to the menu in hopes that it will bring us more business.

Have some other new items coming in the next few weeks.  Will probably introduce them after Thanksgiving.  I suspect it will be a big hit, will have to wait and see!

Come see us today!  We open at 11:00am and will have some hot dogs ready for you.  And tell your friends!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloweenie was a success!

Halloween was pretty successful.  Still need to work on some cart issues, but we sold quite a bit of product.  Would have loved to do better, but there were 3 other people selling hot dogs.  Made some fans and those people will be back to eat lunch with us.

Here are some pics of the event, my new cart, and myself:




So those are some action shots of last nights event.  I'm very tired now and will try to rest some tomorrow.  Still have to do some more setup in the dinning area, but should be able to get it done pretty soon.  Still pushing to open on Monday.

Going to replace the controls for my electric cart.  Can't really tell when it is on high and when it is on low.  Just going to replace them and rewire the cart.  I should be able to do it with little problem since I am getting pretty good at doing electrical work.  Going to try and get some guitar or amp knobs for the controls.

Need to get another refrigerator.  The buckets of pickles really take all of the room in the one we have now.  Might look for a prep refrigerator like sandwich shops and pizza places have.  That would allow me to store the big items and then put the daily condiments in the top part.  Now we have to find one for a reasonable price.

Going to bed.  It is 1:11am and Halloween is over....Tomorrow is another day to Rock!