Tuesday, March 31, 2009

is that rain?

wetaher's starting to cool a little. firewood's arriving tomorrow. last weekend's trade was up a bit, which means we were just able to cover all the vital bills.

bring on april. I feel like making soups.

Monday, March 23, 2009

treading water

after seeing a bump in trade last weekend, we struggled thru another tough one. our music artist came down with the flu and couldn't appear, but there were only a few here to see her anyway.

we're beginning to consider (reconsider?) our long-term plans and the viability of growing a new business in such a tough economic market. running this place is enjoyable on so many levels, yet it's also a lot of work and stress. at the moment, we're both knocking ourselves out during the week to earn money to prop up the cafe. we knew we'd have to do that for a little while, but we're beginning to suspect that 'little while' may extend thru the remainder of the year - or more.

which is kind of frustrating, as the feedback we get from customers has been amazingly supportive and positive. we seem to be doing it 'right', yet there simply doesn't appear to be enough trade in the hills this season. and all the in-the-know economists are warning that the recovery won't be nearly as rapid as our politicians would have us believe.

from the specials board - roast pumpkin salad with english spinach, feta cheese and toasted pine nuts:

the two miss a's, proving they're considerably more than just pretty faces...

easter (and post-) weekend is proving to be a little tough for staffing. anyone up this way looking for some extra work, please get in touch.

Monday, March 16, 2009

the problems we like to have

after several weeks of less than stellar trade, we finally had a busy weekend. in fact, sunday's breakfast crowd caught us totally off guard, both staffing and stock-wise. by 11am, I had to pull the breakfast menu as we'd run totally out of eggs, sourdough, mushrooms, romas, bacon and sausage. pretty much 3/4 of the menu.

not sure what the difference was, there were a few local events, notably the blue mountains music festival over in katoomba. but I doubt if that made much difference, aside from some friends who dropped up to say hi as they were on their way. at any rate, we're hoping the summer slow season is finally drawing to a close.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

blog blahs

long time, no post. hasn't been much of note to post about, to be honest. trade's been diabolically slow all around and we're finding the need to work more mid-week and pump more cash into the cafe just to keep from drowning in bills.

there's only a few more weeks til the much-lauded tourist season, but I have to admit, I'm finding it very hard to keep enthusiastic about our prospects. we seem to be pouring more time, money and resources into this place than we'd expected, and we were expecting quite a lot.

the blue mountains folk fest is on this weekend, we'll see how attendance is. that might give a wee clue as to what to expect come easter, as far as the tourist dollars go.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

a block to chop on

anyone catching tonight's u.s. premiere of the chopping block, could you let us know your thoughts? I'm curious to see how this show is received / played out.

and I doubt we'll get it here anytime soon, one of the national networks is re-running season two of hell's kitchen. which lifestyle food has already screened at least four times. probably more. although I'll possibly catch it just for the shots of chef virginia in the spa....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

we tweet, therefore we is

we now have a twitter page for the cafe, if you're a regular tweet-type, follow us for more regular daily updates from our lil' cooking shack. we'll also have in-house specials exclusive to twitter followers.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

food blogs

who'd have predicted that blogging about food would become as huge as it has in the past couple of years? one look at the aussie foodblog list is telling, as this is just aussie blogs who've bothered to register with this directory. obviously there'd be hundreds more out there, and that's just this country alone.

there's few good interactive foodblogs that I've contributed to and kept up with. the original chef 2 chef forums were great, as they were frequented by lots of professional chefs who were very supportive and giving of their time and expertise. but after a time, the site somehow became something of an in-club until it was sold. it's never really been quite the same since.

I've tried reading thru a few of the forums at chowhound over the past couple of years, the aussie board seems to be 90% overseas visitors posting exactly the same questions about restaurants and getting exactly the same recommendations from the same posters. the food & media board seems to be a fansite for all those who worship at the altar of racheal ray, jamie oliver, iron chef america etc. the home cooking board has some interesting threads, but you've gotta weed thru a lot of dreck to find them.

vogue's food drink + entertaining board, like the chowhound media board seems largely preoccupied with celebrity chefs, although it's well-read and contributed to. I've recently discovered chef talk, it seems to be populated by pro chefs and is one of my faves now. although I find the paid ad 'infolinks' distracting.

there's lots of good review sites, which I enjoy for the customer-side insight. I particularly like rita's hobart guide (even though I'm not anywhere near tassie), as it's informative and well-written. but here I'm talking primarily sites you can use /refer to / be inspired by when it comes to sourcing, cooking and serving food, either on the pro or home level.

so I'll throw out to readers: what are your fave foodblogs, and why? I'm talking about really solid, well moderated boards that engage you on many levels, as a pro, as a foodie, as a serious home cook.