We're at a POS crossroads. The sturdy Micros we have had for 7 years is showing its age. We had one unit fry last year. Last week the other one fried. Of course in the middle of service. So part of what's been keeping me from writing has been research into our options.
We can try to get our existing unit repaired. However, these are so ancient Micros not only no longer makes them, they no longer really support them. I'm very fortunate that there are 2 techs in their Northern CA office who know this system. I know a lot about the system, but if I have a problem and these guys are unavailable the problem goes unresolved. Luckily as mentioned above the system is very sturdy. We've had ours for 7 years and it was old when we picked it up at auction. If we can get our unit repaired we'll also buy another if available, so if anything fries again we'll have a backup. However, without going into the long story, there are indicators that there may be other problems so we're not sure of this course of action.
Micros has a newer product, allegedly more affordable than their others and we are getting a quote on that system. Their idea of affordable and mine though are unlikely to match up. I'm sure the system would perform fine and would be ultimately worth the money but this time of year it's not as though we have piles of cash sitting around.
There are quite a number of other restaurant POS systems out there and we've been looking at a lot of them. At this point they are all basically looking the same and my head is swimming. I've been happy with the support I've had from Micros. We got our system for a song and other than paying them to turn two broken units into one functioning unit last year, we've never actually been a customer and still their techs have been great.
But, on to other topics. We've got some fun things on the menu now. While reading Ideas in Food I saw mention of a "pear steak". Now I have no idea what a pear steak might be. It could be something like a "pepper steak" but I don't think so. In the context this seemed to be a thick slice of pear. These two are far down the road of molecular gastronomy so I might be mistaken. But, thinking about clever names for things led to hushpuppy crusted ling cod. I can hear Kudzu blanching as she reads this. Cornmeal, baking soda, flour, red bells, green onions, salt, pepper and cayenne. SBP (Standard Breading Procedure) first in dry, then in liquid (in this case buttermilk), then back in dry. Brown on both sides, finish in the oven and serve with spicy rice and Creole remoulade. This is perfect for the people who want fish and chips.
The other fun thing is Roseability, the Idlewild dessert. A layer of rose gelatin, with preserved rose inside, then a tarragon pound cake, topped with rose panna cotta. Of course, no one is buying it.
Other forces have been conspiring to keep me from blogging. I'm trying to re-upholster our shabby dining room chairs. I have 9 out of 23 done and I really should be doing them this morning instead of this. But, we had the annual post-performance gala for our local opera company two nights ago and I was at work until 2am and am still a little recovering. The GM has been down with flu for a week plus, mostly recovered now except for a lingering cough and decreased momentum. We're setting an agenda for our biannual bitch fest, the staff meeting. Things are unraveling in subtle ways, we've got many new faces and we are barreling into the summer season. Unfortunately, when you are as close to many of your employees as we are, effective consequences for poor performance are hard to come by. The only really effective one we've found is to fire someone, which we don't want to do but is also why we are hiring more people than we really need for summer.
We are headed to Mexico mid May, so we really need to wrap all this stuff up. POS in place, staff energized and motivated, equipment well tuned, chairs looking lovely, etc. So, as you can see catching up on my reading is high on my wish list, but low on my actual time frame.