Tag Archives: BARS

俳句… HAIKU BOMBERS #2… St. Paddy’s Tacos

I first posted this story on March 15, 2012… I thought it would be fun to bring back for St. Pat’s Day 2016… it was one of my first attempts at writing a Haiku…

          Quill Shiv has a new Haiku writing prompt… A photo of Saint Patrick.  

My result:

                         You can make your own,
                         corned beef, cabbage, and salsa
                         at the taco bar.

 

Corned Beef and Cabbage Tacos… In 1986, back in my Restaurant Days, I went to work for Jerry Franco.  Jerry was a bit of a culinary impresario on the Sacramento restaurant scene.  He had just reopened the Town House on 21st Street, down the block from The Sacramento Bee newspaper.  The Town House had been a Mexican Food tradition and had been sitting empty for a few years after the owner retired.   Franco had opened in a blaze of glory, courting the news hounds and the denizens of California State Government. Having just left a job managing The Fabulous Fifties Cafe, I was ready to mingle with and serve adults.  So I went to work for Jerry as a waiter/bartender/manager.

It was a fun place to work, and we did some crazy promotions to try to make the Town House a success.  Big lunch business, big after-work bar business.  He kept a few Mexican items on the menu, along with the ‘Upscale Designer’ dishes he came up with.  Each Happy Hour, we featured a Taco Bar, where the patrons could make their own tacos, to wash down with their Martinis and G & T’s.  For me, that taco bar was a pain in the ass, since I had to leave the bar and run back to the kitchen to replenish the supplies.  But the tips were pretty good as long as the food held out.

Saint Patrick’s Day was coming up, and the Town House, along with every other bar and restaurant in Sacramento… no, in the United States… was looking for ways to make some money off one of our more important Drinking Holidays.  I had the bright idea to put corned beef and cabbage on our Taco Bar for the day.  Jerry agreed that it was a brilliant idea, and gave me full credit, in case it bombed.  Getting free publicity was not too difficult since we always made sure to ‘take good care of’ certain writers from up the street.  Low and behold, we saw some nice mentions in the gossip and the What’s Going On In Town sections of the Bee the day before, and our Happy Hour was packed that St. Paddy’s Day.  In fact, two guys drove down from Hangtown at lunchtime to try the CB&C Tacos.  I had to plead with the cook to make some for them.  At Happy Hour, the idea was well received, lots of new people came in, and best of all… Mr. Franco even stuck around to help stock the Taco Bar.
So, when I saw the photo prompt for this week’s Haiku… for some reason, I thought of those Corned Beef and Cabbage Tacos, and my days working at the Town House.
About four months later, I left for the neon restaurant lights of Chicago.  I later heard that the Town House had closed and that Franco was the chef at a seafood joint in Cape Cod. Last time I was in SacTown, it was a gay bar.

Ted’s Photobooth Story

I was honored to be a contributor to Katherine’s fascinating blog. I hope my friends will take a look and enjoy her work. If you have any old strips around, think about sharing them with her… and the world. Now I have to figure out how to tell Cheryl I did this… but judging by the first comments, I don’t think she will mind.

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I thought I would share this reblog with my friends at The Still, to introduce them to a most interesting blog by a friend Down Under… perhaps you too would like to share with her… check out her blog, and start digging through those old forgotten treasures and share them with Katherine at Photobooth Journal

p.s. I have heard from Cheryl… she remembered the Rainbow Club and didn’t mind at all…

 

Photobooth Journal

Cheryl and Ted

One of the more exciting, and for me, unexpected aspects of being a blogger is the amount of enthusisam and generosity that comes to my inbox out of the blue and from all around the world. I have recently started following a blog by Ted Strutz of Friday Harbor, Wasington State in the San Juan IslandsUSA. The blog is called TedBook and has some very amusing conversational short stories that I encourage you to check out. Ted emailed me the above photos and the following history a couple of days ago –

When I lived in Chicago in the 80’s and early 90’s, there was a bar called the Rainbow Room.  It was quite large with a big horseshoe shaped bar, booths, tables and a stage, maybe a dance floor.  They played 33 LPs on a phonograph.  Kind of an artsy place.  There was a photo booth as well…

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Friday Fictioneers: THE ICON GRILL

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I was going to ask everyone to guess what city this was taken in, except that might be too obvious.  Each week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields hosts a meeting of the FRIDAY FICTIONEERS.  She posts a photograph, and an august group of writers pen a 100 word flash fiction based on their impression.  Sometimes she ‘borrows’ one of those writer’s photos… this week she chose one of mine.

Instead of writing a fiction story, I thought it would be interesting to share my thoughts, and more photos of the Icon Grill.  For the first time in my Friday Fictioneers history I will write more than 100 words… Hey, it’s my photo and my story!  I always stuck to the 100 words because I was afraid of Rich, who believe me, counts every one.  It’s been over 14 months since I wrote my first story… I had commented on one of Madison Wood’s FF pieces and she suggested I write one… I said I couldn’t because I wasn’t a writer… She said “Bullshit!”  So I did… here is my first FriFic story… Friday Fictioneers#1… Semi-Precious Gememoir… not exactly fiction, but a start.

My new favorite restaurant in Seattle is the Icon Grill, under the monorail train track across 5th Ave from the Westin Hotel.  I like to stay at the Westin… right in the heart of downtown and a block away from The Palace Kitchen.  A short walk to the Seattle Art Museum, Pike Place Market, Tom Douglas Restaurants, Penzey Spices, all the theaters that count, and shopping.  In short… all the things I like to do in Seattle.  I’d looked at ‘The Grill’ before and didn’t pay much attention, maybe I was a bit put off by the tacky marquee in front…most likely left over from some old diner long before the Westin.  The neon sign was pretty cool though, so we checked out the menu in the window and were surprised at how upscale it seemed.  I was in town with my friend Michel Ann to see the musical “Flashdance” at the Paramont Theater.  She really wanted Crab Benedict, and they had it listed so we went for breakfast at the Icon Grill.  We were not really ready for the assault on the senses upon entering.  There was stuff everywhere you  looked… paintings, lamps, blown glass orbs of every shape, size and color… and the colors of the restaurant with the rich wood was absolutely beautiful.  Like a decorator on steroids… but I got the feeling it all evolved over the years, and that’s what makes it special to me.  We were seated in a spacious comfortable booth and ordered.  The food was exceptional without being ‘over the top’ with cuteness that seems to make the rounds these days.  Priced fairly, and best of all… great coffee!  But what also impressed me, was that our waiter Michael had been serving diners there for 13 years… that is the mark of a good restaurant, or any business, when the ‘help’ stays like that.  I was taught how to be a bartender by Liz Sinclair at Paragary’s Bar and Oven in Sacramento some 35 years ago… she is still tending bar at Paragary’s… and last time I was there I saw a few waiters I worked with then.  That restaurant is family… and I could see by the interaction of the staff, that the Icon Grill is family.  The art of being a good server is to make the diners feel they are welcome and important… without letting them know you are doing it.  To size up the table and know how much interaction will make them happy, and know when to shut up.  That is tricky to do well, I like to think I was pretty good… Michael is excellent at his job.  I couldn’t wait to start taking photos of this ab fab place, I couldn’t help it.  The banquet or meeting room blew me away… and the men’s room, well there’s a photo below.  I used to hang out in bars a lot, and if I had lived in Seattle, this would have been my bar.  The beautiful and relaxing ambience of the Icon settled a feeling of comfort and joy into that booth… the company didn’t hurt either.  Michel Ann loved her Crab Benedict and the bite she shared was delicious… that’s my choice next trip.          Here is the photo Rochelle chose for the prompt…

The photo I took with my iphone and posted on facebook.

The photo I took with my iPhone and posted on facebook, that became the prompt…

And here are some more of the Icon Grill.  If you are ever in Seattle… go see Michael and tell him I sent you.  Their motto is Aroused Americana!

Here’s the ICON GRILL!

Paramont Theater... The play was fabulous!

Paramont Theater… The play was fabulous!

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The Dinning Room

The Bar

The Bar

Art...

Art…

Looking down from upstairs...

Looking down from upstairs…

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Looking down at the bar area…

The Banquette Room...

The Banquette Room…

The Men's Room...

The Men’s Room…

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Everywhere you look… it’s crazy!

Back Bar...

Back Bar…

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Got to love it!

So that’s my tour of the Icon Grill in Seattle… to read my friends stories -> -> -> ->  
 

SAINT PATRICK’S DAY REVISIT…

TedBook

          Quill Shiv has a new Haiku writing prompt… A photo of Saint Patrick.  
My result:
                         You can make your own 
                         corned beef, cabbage and salsa
                         at the taco bar.
 
Corned Beef and Cabbage Tacos… In 1986, back in my Restaurant Days, I went to work for Jerry Franco.  Jerry was a bit of a culinary impresario on the Sacramento restaurant scene.  He had just reopened The Town House on 21st Street, down the block from The Sacramento Bee newspaper.  The Town House had been a Mexican Food tradition, and had been sitting empty for a few years after the owner retired.   Franco had opened in a…

View original post 424 more words

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