Wednesday, April 4, 2012

how to: dish like a pro

I started reading "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck the other day (a couple of weeks ago, but "the other day" rolls off the tongue a little nicer). My copy was purchased from a used book store here in Columbus for $3.50, which makes me think the we should all be buying used books from used book stores. But that is a discussion for another day and another post. I bring up "East of Eden" because in it one brother is writing to another, and begins with: "Dear Brother Adam, I take my pen in hand to hope you are in good health" Steinbeck continues "he always started this way to ease himself gently into the task of writing."I feel that I need some phrase to ease myself into the task of blogging, because it always seems I use a paragraph to do it.

This week I hope you'll learn something. I have been working at Northstar for about two months now and wanted to pass of some of the handy tricks I have learned while busing tables. If you have any serving experience I'm sure this will be old hat, but I thought it might be fun to anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of picking up after other peoples kids.

First: let's start of with the glasses. Northstar is a classy joint (the owners would shudder if they heard me describe their restaurant like that) where we don't have customers: we have guests. Because of this we only stack things two high, and pint glasses don't get stacked at all. When you get to the table you'll need to assess how many items you'll be able to carry. Don't worry if it seems overwhelming, you'll get it down quickly enough.

Ok. Step one in carrying glasses. Put on in between your thumb and index finger and grip. Like this:

Great! Now you'll add another glass, taken care of by your other fingers (middle, ring, pinky in case you forgot which ones you had left).

As you can see, the glass is being gripped in between the pinky and index, while being supported by the middle and ring fingers. If your grip is sure enough you'll be able to hold the glasses upside down without any problem. Don't do this at work though, the partners will get a little cross. On to the next glass!

This one is a little tricky. Balance the third glass in your palm, resting it against the first two if need be. Don't try the upside down trick now. Glasses are expensive.

Now on to plates. You can hold up to six at a time like this, but I'm going to show you three. I've been doing it all day, so I thought I'd take a break.

Place the plate in between your thumb and pinky finger, supporting it with your index, middle, and ring fingers. Easy peasy.

The next plate goes under the first, with your middle finger under it and your index and ring fingers above it. These three fingers act like a kind of vice to keep the plate steady.

Balance the third plate on the platform created by your forearm and palm, above the first plate. If you double up each plate you can get six without too much of a problem. You should also be able to carry plates full of food like this pretty easily, give it a try!


Mix it up! Try to carry a combination of plates and glasses! See what you can accomplish!


I realize that this is all a bit silly. But during my orientation at Northstar I (for some reason I've not forgotten) brought up an idea: the idea that everybody is looking to grow and develop, to become more than they are, to learn. Kevin, the owner, said that he simply didn't believe that was true. And while it may not be his point still made me sad. I have a desire in me to learn, to master things. To be better tomorrow than I am today. And I hope that you have the same drive in you. I don't know if you have learned anything today, but I hope that by reading this you are a bit more developed. A bit more knowledgeable. A bit more ready to serve even.


1 comment:

  1. Just try sticking your fingers in the tops of the glasses. You can carry way more that way. Although, people tend to frown at that, assuming you are delivering drinks.