Restaurant Biz 101

Talking to Steve, an old buddy from the days when I was a married guy. Back when my wife had friends she referred to as our “couple friends.”

We’re talking about Lindsey, his beautiful wife. Distracted by the idea of having a wife, on his way out the door, I hand Steve the wrong to-go order. Hey, I can’t walk and chew gum just like I can’t fill to-go orders and reminisce.

On cue, in walks the guy looking for his to-go order. I realize the mistake. I apologize, which is my full-time job and something I’ve been working on since my divorce.

The Deli Guys rush around, trying to make me look good, by throwing a platter together. But the customer is pissed-off, making damn sure I know we always mess-up on to-go orders, saying it deliberately loud, for the benefit of surrounding customers.


He leaves. I call Steve, apologize, jump in my car and personally deliver the correct order. Problem fixed, averting a “White Folks Tragedy.”


The other guy calls to say we forgot the cole slaw and he has a dying wife. Seriously. Believe me. I don’t have Greg or Grandma Heather’s DNA, which means I’m not exaggerating for dramatic effect.

I apologize, jump in my car and personally make the delivery. I arrive bearing gifts: Matzo Ball Soup, Everything Bagels and homemade cookies shaped like Hello Kitty.

But when I get to the door, he simply lets me know me we gave him 2 scoops of Tuna Salad and 1 scoop of Chopped Liver, but he ordered 2 Chopped Liver and 1 Tuna Salad.


I hand him the bag and get in my car. Defeated, I drive away. But restaurant defeat is just an over-hyped version of “White Folks Tragedy.”

Off to the gym, where I shoot 100 shots from the top of the key. I’m not exaggerating when I say Greg doesn’t stand a chance next time I get him on the court.

#1 raw lamb shank, season shank with cracked black pepper and kosher salt

#2 cook shank, roast until brown and set aside

#3 drop pasta in boiling water salty like the ocean, toss in virgin olive oil and fresh grated parmesan cheese

#4 saute onions and garlic, add white wine, chicken stock, dry oregano, dry parsley, chili flakes, canned roma tomatoes (diced) and simmer 10-minutes

#5 blend with a wand/burr mixer and add shanks, put pot in oven at 350 and braise 4-hours until lamb is completely tender

#6 pour over pasta and top with roasted crimini mushrooms

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11 Responses to Restaurant Biz 101

  1. Joy says:

    Mmmmm, Lamb. I was a regular at Joey’s Brickhouse. I remember you and your menu with deep affection. Finding a wife isn’t a problem for a guy like you, Joey. Keeping a wife is the problem. I dated a chef before. I always felt like he was more in love with being in the kitchen than me.

    We’re still friends. He’s a great chef. But you might very well be the best chef ever…no exaggeration! Thanks for the recipe. Me and my friends miss the round table in the corner. Joey’s Brickhouse has achieved legendary status in Chicago. You and your brother should be proud.

  2. jojo says:

    We are thinking Gold Coast next :love:

    • Maria says:

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  3. Lawrence says:

    Great recipe. The pictures are mouth watering. Thanks, Chef.

    • Rosmely says:

      16a14035233I and also my pals came checking out the best tuohghts found on your site while immediately I had an awful feeling I never thanked the web blog owner for those secrets. All the young boys became as a consequence warmed to see all of them and have in effect surely been taking pleasure in these things. Thanks for actually being really helpful and for choosing these kinds of great tips millions of individuals are really desperate to understand about. My sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to you sooner. 195

  4. Brenda says:

    Wow, the food looks amazing. So does the chef!!!!

  5. Melissa says:

    You look great in the kitchen, Joey. Thanks for another fun story. Can’t wait to surprise my husband with a lamb dinner. It’s going to make his day.

  6. Matt Davis says:

    Thanks for the lamb recipe. Can you recommend a good side? Or a complimentary appetizer?

  7. jojo says:

    Morelli Salad: sliced romaine, sunflower seeds, Japanese cucumbers, grape tomatoes, shaved parmesan, grsted carrtot, red onion, sliced avocado, garlic powder, balsamic vinaigrette, salt and pepper :love:

  8. beth says:

    I love my lamb with a tall glass of red wine this sounds delish! Keep the recipes coming please!

  9. doc says:

    Australian grass feed lamb is hormone and steroid free. Have you an opinion on grass feed products vs. corn feed?

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