Menu Advice

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EC.Mason
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2012/08/01 20:40:02 (permalink)

Menu Advice

Ok; so I bought my trailer to suit the needs of what I wanted to sell, however I think I'm going to change my menu to onion blossoms, hot dogs, chips, nachos and drinks. I'm debating on funnel cakes as well but I don't want to get in over my head starting out. What do you all think? Too much food? Not enough? Does the menu sound like it would sell?
#1

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    Dr of BBQ
    Filet Mignon
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/01 21:20:48 (permalink)
    Like so many new people you didn't give enough information.
     
    Where are you selling events only.....daily.......fixed location.......on the city square from 11:00 until 3:000 .....
     
    What equipment do you have on board
     
    Why did you change your mind/menu
     
    What past food experience do you have
     
    What were your original menu choices
     
    Can anyone tell from Chicago what will sell in California, I doubt it? But a bunch on here will offer their heartfelt advice.
     
    #2
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/01 21:29:17 (permalink)
    Don't know how much experience you have with onion blossoms. You have to have a system that includes prep hold drop and hopefully not hold again when done. Get a system down and some great experienced instincts. They will hold a hand or two hostage compared to other items. You can't get too far ahead of orders and you can't fall too far behind in service.
    #3
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/15 21:53:46 (permalink)
    Dr, I plan to work mostly festivals and fairs. I'd like to get in at some flea markets but they seem a little harder to get into. I decided to sell onion blossoms because I have a friend who used to sell them and he made good money. He had to sell his concession business because f the lack of time due to his and is wifes work. I don't have any experience in the food industry besides working a concession trailer for the Masonic lodge.
    #4
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/15 21:56:20 (permalink)
    CC. Thanks for tour advice. I am going to start buying some equipment in a week or so and I am going to practice making onion blossoms to get a good routine down. I do worry about keeping up with orders and not getting too far ahead. I guess that will be a learn as you go situation.
    #5
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/15 23:57:06 (permalink)
    EC,
    I think onion blossoms were a bigger hit a few years ago than today. Do you have a Smash Burger Restaurant anywhere near you?
    They are in
    Kentucky
    Highland Heights - Highland Heights
    Hurstbourne Corners - Louisville
    Lexington - Lexington
    Louisville - Louisville
    UK Campus - Lexington

    If you need to take a weekend trip go to one and try their Haystack Onions.

    I worked for a bowling alley for a time ran the bar and all food and a guy I forget who told me about onion sticks. I made some and fell in love with them. And we sold the hell out of them.

    They are so simple to make and cost pennies. Smash Burger sells what they call Haystack Onions for 1.99 per cup. I'm thinking with the cup out the door cost is around 34 cents.  You fry as needed and frying time is seconds you'll need a little salt, pepper, flour and a deep fryer. All though I would use a meat slicer to slice the onions it could be done on the cheap to start.

    One other thought if you have the heart go to a Smash Burger and get a job, work for a week or two and you'll know enough to make a great high profit item and great money at events. If you have a current job do it on vacation time. It would be worth it.
    good luck
    jack

     
    #6
    RodBangkok
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/16 00:27:52 (permalink)
    With the onion product you will probably be looking at cycling your oil in the neighborhood of 4-7 hours depending on volume.  The amount of sluffed breading is huge.  I'd be looking at a fryer with a built in pump/ filtration system for that application.  Here's an old thread about doing them:
    http://forums.foodservice...forum&FSF_ID=17600  
    Make sure you cost in a large amount of oil usage for these.  Also mixing product may be a problem, depending on what other items your frying.
    #7
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/16 00:48:33 (permalink)
    Onion product? No with onion blossoms yes but not with onion sticks or hay stack onions.
    #8
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/16 00:57:38 (permalink)
    Other than Outback (they put it on the map) I'm trying to think what restaurant has stayed with the onion blossom. Chili's moved from the Awesome Blossom to onion strings about 5 years ago. It's been a good spell since it's been all the rage.

    It can be a pain in the ass..for sure
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2012/08/16 01:00:48
    #9
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/16 17:51:01 (permalink)
    Go from the onion to fried Dill Pickel chips, make your own potato chips seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic. put out a killer chili, forget the nachos, If your going to do Dogs, Hebrew National...that said, if I were you I'd make a garlic Lamb sausage myself, Kentuckians love their lamb/mutton. Set yourself apart! Good Luck!!
    #10
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/16 17:58:06 (permalink)
    If you make chips you can offer a malt (vinegar) salt seasoning. That gets people thirsty and sells some drinks.
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2012/08/16 17:59:57
    #11
    Foodbme
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/17 04:21:21 (permalink)
    Onion blossoms are a PITA for even an experienced person. Labor & Time consuming. You need several people to work your rig if you do them because its a full time job for one person if you are busy. i'd suggest doing something else.
    #12
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/17 10:34:24 (permalink)
    When you do a practice session (and you really should) do the complete menu in your space as if you had to bang out orders. Time it from start to finish with all of the times from the start. See if you can handle everything with one set of hands.
    Sometimes people practice with one item in their own kitchen with no stress and complete focus on that one item. Until everything is working at once and you need more more more of one item because there's so much to it...you have no idea how far you can fall behind.
    #13
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/18 19:15:29 (permalink)
    Dr. I will check out that resturant. I am about  an hour and a half away from Lexington but I am at UK often. Im a high school principal so I am there for meetings and such quite often. Ive never heard of onion sticks and that might do very well here. Thanks so much for your help and advice!
    #14
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/18 19:16:38 (permalink)
    Thanks for the advice on the deep fryer. I am planning to buy one soon and have been wondering what exactly to get. This helps a lot.
    #15
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/18 19:18:45 (permalink)
    There will be two of us at all times working the trailer. After we perfect the onion blossom (with a practice session) do you think two can manage it? Thanks.
    #16
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/18 19:22:32 (permalink)
    Thanks CC. I had planned on practicing the onion blossoms, but doing it all would benifit us greatly. Maybe I will have a family get together and try evertything at once. I really do appreciate your alls advice and am absorbing every bit of information you all are giving me. Thanks for replying everyone! Please keep the advice coming.
    #17
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/18 19:25:37 (permalink)
    Chewing, its funny you mentioned mutton. That is what my Masonic lodge serves every year at the local festival. I like that idea, but I know it takes a lot work serving mutton. We actually slaughter the lamb and everything. Something to think about though.
    #18
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/18 20:10:09 (permalink)
    They might line-up for popular items like fried bologna & chili buns in Kentucky. Those are items that you could bang-out with little stress....and if nobody else does ithose at events ...they would really sell.
    #19
    lornaschinske
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/19 11:10:43 (permalink)
    Once upon a time (2008) we stopped in at a small diner and had their onions. They were very thinly sliced with a light dusting of flour with lots of black pepper and deep fried. Very good. I liked the lack of breading. I've often thought about making up a batch or two just for snacking on at home. Only I would use a Cajun seasoning blend instead of black pepper.  Would work great sold in a big cheap paper cup or on a cheap paper plate (note the word "CHEAP). I've always thought onion blossoms were all about presentation.
     
    Darn it... Now I want fried onions!
    #20
    oqanani
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/20 09:20:41 (permalink)
    we use drakes fry mix for our onions that we deep fry.  We slice it thin on the slicer and serve it as a garnish but i dont think i can eat it straight not as a meal.  But thats just me.  I remember the blooming onion being big, the trend has definately fallen off.
    #21
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/20 09:46:42 (permalink)
    lornaschinske Once upon a time (2008) we stopped in at a small diner and had their onions. They were very thinly sliced with a light dusting of flour with lots of black pepper and deep fried. Very good. I liked the lack of breading. I've often thought about making up a batch or two just for snacking on at home. Only I would use a Cajun seasoning blend instead of black pepper.  Would work great sold in a big cheap paper cup or on a cheap paper plate (note the word "CHEAP). I've always thought onion blossoms were all about presentation. Darn it... Now I want fried onions!

     
    Those are Onion Straws or Haystack Onions. The trick is right after they are sliced lay them out and slice across the circle, so you have sticks not onion rings. Then throw them in a big bowl of ICE & WATER just in and out. Drain and batter then fry. They fry very fast in 350 oil, if they are sliced very thin. And they are not a meal lol. They are meant as a side like french fries.
    #22
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/20 09:59:07 (permalink)
    Another thing about the onion blossom...they can become very greasy if you're not careful or don't have experience with them.

    Out of curiousity I checked to see if they are still hangin' at the Fairs. The big big State Fairs still carry them (not as many as years ago). In 2009 an onion blossom cost $8 at the MInnesota State Fair.

    As far as the nostalgia factor of "remember those things?" I want one!...it has not been that long since they fell off the radar for that. It might be more like...."oh those things...I still have an onion blossom maker in the pantry that I need to put out at the next garage sale"

    By the end of the run the dollar stores were full of onion blossom paraphernalia.
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2012/08/20 10:06:00
    #23
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/21 18:54:00 (permalink)
    Dr. After the ice water, would you drop then in a dry or wet batter? Also, I am practicing deep frying a few things at home but can't get the batter to stick good. Should my batter be a little thick or thin?
    #24
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/21 18:57:48 (permalink)
    Also what exactly is the ice water for? Is it so the batter will stick?
    #25
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/21 19:21:30 (permalink)
    EC sorry my bad. There really isn't a batter it's just salt pepper and flour. After the ice water bath spread them out so they dry somewhat. Then just throw them in some flour. In fact I used a flour sifter and they don't get a heavy coat. Just a dusting, very light. And as you grab a bunch to throw them into the fryer yes a lot of the flour will fall off no problem. Fast fry and your good to go. I really wish you had a Smash Burger in town so you would no what to expect when your trying them at home. They are addicting or at least they are to me.
    jack
    #26
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/21 19:23:36 (permalink)
    The ice water will take a little of the onion smell and taste out of the onions and it helps to separate them so you don't end up with a big clump or ONION BRICK. By the way I like onion bricks also. LOL
    #27
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/21 19:29:57 (permalink)
    This site used an egg wash I didn't when I made these.
    http://deep-fried.food.co...haystack-onions-270076
     
    I'll go to Smash Burger tonight and ask how they make them. They may or may not tell me but I'll drop a note here later.
    #28
    EC.Mason
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/21 19:38:03 (permalink)
    I'd appreciate that Dr. I like the idea of the onion sticks because of the ease to make them. A lot less work then the blossom.
    #29
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Menu Advice 2012/08/21 20:28:18 (permalink)
    I've never been to Smashburger but I could easily make a meal of onion strings...and I don't eat too many fried foods.

    You can experiment a few ways. Try a buttermilk (or milk + a spoonful of vinegar) soak while the oil is heating to 375. Then into seasoned flour...coat..fry...eat...enjoy.
    #30
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