What a woman!

One thing I never considered when I was in the business for a new heating system was the many different brands to choose from. Who knew that there were so many options, I guess like everything else people like to shop around. I figured if you buy one furnace or boiler, or whatever you have bought it all, but this is not true.

This is extremely not the truth when considering a heating system for my house. Just as the restaurant is going well and business is, booming my house seems to pick this time to fall apart. As they say if I did not have bad luck, I would no have any luck at all. It feels like I have been living the same dream repeatedly. I pray that my home does not catch fire like my restaurant. Now that will be just too much.

Which leads me to number one problem this evening, should I go with a Rheem or Bryant? Both great brands with reliable equipment but which one do I want n my home is the question. This may have to wait until my wife finishes bathing the kids she is good at making these type of questions.

No lie, just last year our air conditioner was one the fritz and figured it out. By the time she was cleaning up and washing her hands, I was still online searching how to troubleshoot my A/C unit.   I think she has missed her calling, but have her tell she is content and happy as a stay at home mom and homemaker. Who I am to interfere.

Anyway, I am still at a standstill with this furnace ordeal.

This whole furnace thing got me to thinking about my first house. It was a small rental; about the size of a postage stamp, it was so small. Back in the day when money was tight, me a struggling young sous chef and my wife studding mechanical engineering at university.

The house had an old boiler that was always doing crazy things. Sometimes it would overfill and sometimes it seems as though it was drinking the water. With no money, of course I googled how to replace a boiler. However, my lovely wife took one look at it, got her tools and in less than thirty minute we were cooking with fire.

What a woman, am I right?

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Living the dream

The only thing that I hate about owning this fabulous grille and bistro is the late nights when you just cannot get rid of the customers. Some nights I would love to come home at a more reasonable time. Sit down with my family and enjoy a meal. Maybe I cooked it, maybe not. Whatever. My kids are young and they do not necessarily understand why papa takes such a long time to make it home at night.

I try to be around as much as I can but I cannot be everywhere all the time.

Not that I am complaining. During this and I am achieving my goals, living my dreams. Doing something that I have been dreaming, thinking, fantasizing, and hoping for since I could remember.

When most young boys were busy playing with G I Joe, dirt bikes, or shooting ball I was outside building my dream kitchen. With some old cabinets, bins, and trash cans. My mom scored me a set of used pots and pans from neighbor’s garage sale for two dollars. She claims that I would not play with the plastic ones from the toy store. Just plain refused.

That has not to say that I did not have a normal childhood just that I have always enjoyed cooking. Really anything to do with the kitchen.

Now as a real life grown up it is as if I am living my playtime. I guess this is the sacrifice that must be made.

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I gotta good feeling about this

What a great day at the restaurant. Folks rolling like high tide on a full moon. This is probably the best day we have ever had. This is also including the time before the fire. I mean this is only the beginning of the week but if we keep this up, I should be breaking even this year. I hope it is not just something that is a fluke.

Next Thursday I have an appointment with my financial planner that I know that, it will be good news all around. Which is such a relief, once we went through all of that fire damage I was worried that it would have put us back at least three years from my originally schedule of making a real profit.

However, this fire was a blessing in surprise. The time I was able to take time and remake the entire plan. Creating a completely new flow of loveliness. Revamping my menu, the paint, even fully upgrading the kitchen. I am so blessed to have such a supportive staff.

I hope that this Thursday when I meet with my finical advisor he confirms this profit forecast. I really feel that this will be the best information that I received in a very long time. Let me tell you, my readers, I have a very great feeling about this. I just know that it will be all good things.

Yes, this meeting is going to be a hit. My restaurant will be the cat’s pajamas or is it the cats meow?

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When it comes to heating and cooling, the sky is the limit!

Remember how I told you all that after the fire I had a new system installed. Then there was some kind of mishap that caused me to contact my heating & air conditioning company, to have it inspected. Turns out someone had just bumped the thermoset causing it to lock onto a cool temperature. Hey, what can you do? It is a touchscreen. It was easily remedy by finding my administrative login information.

Lucky for me, my cousin is a heating and cooling tech. he was able to refer me to a great team of technicians in my area. One of his companies, like, sister branches.

He was also able to give me a few pointers on how to find the best air conditioner and heating systems. There are so many to choose from. Find a great and reputable company by doing your research. Ask around and check on sites like “Yelp” that gives unbiased opinions on services and businesses. Do not just go by the first name, you see online or if you are going real old school, the yellow pages.

Don’t forget when updating your system there are many more options to save you mucho dolares on you gas bill by choosing an energy star efficient one. Alternatively, if you are like my mother in law, do away with the entire gas powered furnace. Go electric.

Super great and wonderfully able to completely heat an entire home costing the home or business owners for pennies on the dollar.

However, I realize that not everyone can afford to pay someone to install a brand new system. Not to mention having to pay to have they ripped out the old system to have replaced. If you are handy with tools, able to read a manual. Alternatively, at the very least do an internet search and discover a video on how to install electric heaters for dummies, of course!

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“Writers Block” keep away

I think I may add a new type of food to the menu. I was playing around with a few recipes and I think that I have developed the perfect recipe. One that is a mesh up between and Ecuadorian grilled chicken on a bed of sautéed cactus leaves with cilantro, mushroom, onions and garlic. With a delicious mole sauce.

I do not know it is just a suggestion. However, I think that now it is ready to be brought to the masses. However, I need to tweak it a little, maybe add some melted quest Blanco. I am still am not sure, but I am sure it will come to me.

Usually when I am stuck on a new recipe fusion like this I like to take nap. By the time I wake up I would have dreamt or envisioned, sometimes even taste what I want it to be. Then I go ahead and hook it up. I so hope that this time is not any different.

I know of this one chef. He has his routine of developing new recipes. One day he was stuck on how to finish off this particular dessert. He went through his steps, that day it did not work. Nothing come through for him.

He over reacted and fell into a culinary version of a writer block. Not too long after that, his restaurants went under. Now he installs HVAC system. In fact, he installed our system, he is great. Not to mention license and bonded.

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Not too bad

After all that we went through airing on the new HVAC system, I was so excited. Like genuinely excited, I mean it is so high tech. Thermostat alone is sweet. I am a fan of technology so when I saw it I was too excited.

The thing can be operated by a smartphone. When they say they have an app for everything it is not a lie. I actually have an amp to turn on or off my heating and cooling system! Which is amazing to say the least.

Imagine my surprise when I came in this morning to open everything and start the food prep. Meet my produce grocer, a local backyard farmer. She is amazing, she grows everything in her backyard, greenhouse, or in the basement. She literally has her hand in every type of vegetable or fruit. Even some exotic ones that you are not supposed to be able to grow in this climate.

Enough about my farmer.

Back to the system. Really the lifeblood of the restaurant. It went out on the fritz. I have no idea what happen but I walked into the restaurant and it was freezing. I could have sworn that I saw my breath.

Assuming that someone must have messed with it or bumped something the night before.   I tried to adjust it from my phone. When that did not work, I went to the actual thermostat.

That did not. After contacting the installers, they sent a technician out within a half an hour!

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Grand Re-Opening

I have to say I am so happy that we are passed that annoying fire. Those months without an operating restaurant, my employees without a place to go or be, just waiting and waiting and waiting. Let me tell you, t seem to take forever. We were all stress out and irritated from the setbacks and of course the waiting.

Finally, once the heating and cooling system was replaced and installed I knew that the end was near. Especially, when the workers started putting paint on the walls. Now roughly six months later back on like donkey Kong.

I think I just dated myself. Who still says that? I know my kids would be cracking up at me right now. I am talking about full belly laughs, with tears streaming down their cheeks. I can just imagine it.

Well anyway, we are past that part of our lives and I hope it never happens again. I even hope that any business owner reading this is also spared the hardships of having their business go up in flames. Literally and figuratively. Either way is a horrible predicament to be in.

Now we are back in full swing, business is booming! It is as if we never were shut down. The grand re-opening was spectacular. The crowds, the excitement, the energy. If I am being honest, it was better than the first grand opening we hosted.

Maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

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Just one thing

I was reading over my previous blog posts over this week, from the welcoming blog to the fire to the one I did last night. Eating a bowl of fried ice cream drizzled with Mexican hot fudge syrup. We make our own hot fudge, taken from an old Mexican hot chocolate recipe I “borrowed” from my Hermana Adrianna.

That chocolate syrup is award winning, for real; I have entered and dominated so many Deseret and ice cream completions all over the world. There are lots of cinnamon, vanilla, and chilies. Just one word comes to mind: delicious!

Enough about my sweet treat.

What I forget to mention about the fire is the great damage we suffer to our heating and cooling system. I have never seen anything like that.

The heat from the fire caused the old boiler that had been in that building for almost seventy-five years, burst. Something the high heat caused the water in the boiler to boil, expand, then it expanded so much that it had no way to go. However, out. In addition, out it went.

Which was really a blessing in disguise. I really needed to update the heating and cooling system. This way I was able to do so without coming out of my own pocket.

Well maybe just a little bit because I still had to pay for the deductible.

That that is a drop in the bucket when you think about how much something like that would cost otherwise. Now I have a state of the art HVAC system.

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Menu Changes

After we reopened the restaurant again, we started with the custom burritos. “Pimp Your Burrito!” It was a hit, such a great burrito. Super delicious, by far one of my favorite dishes on the menu. It was then that I decided to aver that as one of my staples on the menu, something that will always be on there no matter what season we are in. Of all of the items we have, it is always a popular choice for my customers.

Along with the burrito, we offer a wide range of South American cuisine. Something to satisfy anyone’s pallet.

From Brazil:

We offer Pao De Queijo, an appetizer that is a cheese bread. However, we import some delicious, soft, Brazilian cheese every week. Melted on hand made Brazilian bread. Then we bake it in our new brick oven that reaches the great temperatures of fifteen hundred to twenty seven hundred degrees.   It is amazing!

From Colombia:

We served two very popular and scrumptious dishes. They are called Aborrajado and Carimanola. Aborrajado is actually one of my personal favorite dishes on the entire menu. It is an order of deep fried plantains. Before frying the plantains, we painfully stuff each one. With Colombian cheese that is made in the Colombian store owned by my second cousin. In addition, Carimanola is a regional dish that is comprised of meat, cheese, and spices. Mixed in with a yucca, then it is battered and deep-fried. Like a fritter.

Oh, I have to go.

My restaurant is opening in an hour and I need to check on my team and see if anyone has any questions about the menu changes.

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Best employees ever!

Now that it is after the great fire, we have returned better and stronger than ever. At first, it was somewhat scary. Being down that long, without working it was a scary thing. Not just for me but for my employees as well. They felt that crunch and hard spot that the incident put each one of them in. I have to say this they are the best and most loyal employees that a person could ask for.

I like to think that I treat everyone like family. By making, they feel welcome and appreciated. That can only go so far, right. I am still running a business with the ultimate goal is to make money. Although I hate to be the bad person, I still have to be the money smart person. However, as long as they shoot straight with me and treat my customer’s right then I will go the extra mile.

As I would anyone in my life. That is just how I was brought up. My abuelita always told me since I was a young boy to always treat folks better than they treat you. That way you will be forever blessed in all of your endeavors.

I must say it has really paid off. Over the course of five months, I did not lose not one employee. Each and everyone stuck through it with family and me. Not wanting to be at home not earning their paycheck, they came in and helped with the rebuilt.

Man I love my workers, the best bunch of folks this side of the Mississippi.

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