If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest.

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Cornbread
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/18 10:26:22 (permalink)
My $.02

1. Vegetable plates with Pinto Beans, Rice & Gravy, Collard Greens, Candied Yams with tomato and red onion slices on the side.

2. Meatloaf with either Brown Gravy or Tomato Gravy.
3. Club Sandwiches with potato chips in the middle of the plate.
4. Homemade Fried Chicken plate with Homemade Mashed Potatoes and Biscuits.

5. Turkey and Dressing

Okay now I am starving!!!
#61
ann peeples
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/18 11:06:44 (permalink)
EVERYTHING sounds good!!!
#62
Ashphalt
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/18 12:21:41 (permalink)
Okay, I'm an amateur, but I want to eat at all of your restaurants.

Also interested in the regional take. A lot of this, like meatloaf and mac & cheese, I think are pretty universal. Here's a few that I think would be pretty common comfort foods in my area.

Chowder, clam or fish (option, oyster stew)

Meatballs, on spaghetti or in a baked sub with provolone

Franks, baked beans and brown bread

Boiled dinner (corned beef, cabbage and all the trimmings)
OR Pot roast with thick brown gravy, mashed potato and boiled veggies.

Any kind of baked pasta (baked ziti, lasagna, manicotti, even American chop suey)
#63
PapaJoe8
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/18 13:26:27 (permalink)
I can not read this thread very often, makes me WAY to hungry!

The only way to have a restaurant w/ all this stuff, all the time.... Vacume freezer bags, thaw and heat as ordered. Way to much waste otherwise. Some things might not freeze so well, but most will. Any coments?
Joe
#64
Voyageur
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/20 16:41:39 (permalink)
This makes me WAY too hungry too!
quote:
Vacume freezer bags, thaw and heat as ordered. Way to much waste otherwise.


Unless in an area where people flow in around the clock, who needs to have everything available 24/7? Why not use a chalkboard that lists your "blue plates" until they run out? For example, regulars know the lunch specials come on line at 11:00 or 11:30, and learn to come early for best selection. For less busy times, the regular menu features comfort items made to order, soups, etc. If you can somehow get people to lap up frozen and then reheated meals, go for it, but this seems to be compromising the "home cooking" theme we have going here.
#65
PapaJoe8
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/21 12:35:47 (permalink)
Voyag, good point. Some folks might not like the idea of geting something frozen from a restaurant.

The problem is that many of these items are hard to cook when ordered. They take to long and are to hard to make for just for a few people. That is why there are so few comfort food places, maybe?

Many things do not freeze so well and need to be served fresh. Some things, lke chili and some soups, get even beter when frozen and reheated.
Joe
#66
blizzardstormus
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/22 18:05:50 (permalink)
I own a restaurant that specializes in comfort food. I counted 20 above-mentioned foods on my menu. I am continually looking for ways to put more comfort food on the menu. As pointed out, a lot of comfort food takes a long time to prepare, making it difficult to keep lsbor costs in line. Also, a lot of comfort food does not hold up well over the day.
My successes & failures:
SUCCESSES
Meatloaf: we make individual loaves, bake, cool, & microwave per order.
Chili: we make 5 gallons every day & hold in crockpots for service.
Fried chicken: pan-fried chicken special every Wednesday. An hour to prepare but it holds nicely in my holding oven.
Homemade soups: small batches made every day.
Swiss steak: Thursday special: holds well.
Hot beef: slow-roasted beef, real mashed potatoes & real gravy made from stock using my beef trimmings.
Homemade pies: Sour cream raisin is our most popular but we can only make onae a day because the meringue looks funky by day 2.
FAILURES
Pot roast: I can make a fantastic pot roast but if I hold it on the steamtable it breaks down into shreds. Fantastic taste, appearance sucks.
Macaroni & cheese: Great when first made, but again appearance sucks after a while.
#67
Voyageur
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/22 20:47:29 (permalink)
blizzardstormus, the moment I read "sour cream raisin," I knew you were from Iowa!
#68
blizzardstormus
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/24 08:46:49 (permalink)
Voyageur, I lived my misspent youth in Iowa and never HEARD of sour cream raisin pie. When I returned to Iowa to open a restaursnt, my dsd insisted I put sour cream raisin pie on the menu. Thanks to the Sterns and the Norske Nook cookbook, we make an awesome pie.
#69
PapaJoe8
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/24 11:25:20 (permalink)
Sounds like the Sterns need to come visit you Blizz!
Joe
#70
Voyageur
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/25 12:42:18 (permalink)
blizzardstormus --

Bless you for serving real mashed potatoes, hopefully made with real butter, and real gravy. All sins of your misspent youth are forgiven. I'd love to visit your restaurant someday.

I’m not surprised, if you are younger, that you never had sour cream raison pie. Since I first came to Iowa also to misspend part of my youth some 42 years ago, the dining scene has changed dramatically. You hardly used to see a chain. A few Pizza Huts, A&W’s and the like, but that was about it. You could go anywhere in the state and find young people enjoying foods like homemade pies and outstanding pork tenders at mom and pop small cafes and drive ins.

Now, as you sadly know, young adults dine at chains, chains, and more chains. Oh, there may be an independent pizza hangout in a small city that the kids like and far more ethnic places than before, but with some exceptions like the Hamburg Inn in Iowa City, the small independent cafes that remain tend to serve an older crowd, as I guess you likely do. These are the places where you often find sour cream raison pie or whatever the people in an area choose to call it.
#71
Voyageur
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/25 13:21:31 (permalink)
“I counted 20 above-mentioned foods on my menu.”

blizzardstormus –

One more thing. Emotionally, I know this is really hard to do, but slim down your menu of pre-prepared homemade items to save on labor and to aid holding. You mentioned that you don’t serve every specialty every day, but slim down even more. Some customers will complain if “their item” isn’t on the menu all day every day, but you’ve got to tell them that you’d rather keep prices low by saving on labor costs than by cutting the quality of the food.

Along with your homemade chile and slimmed down selection of daily specials, you can offer a base menu of comfort items made to order, Not complicated stuff like PapaJoe8 thought I meant above, but a number of—not a huge number of—things like sandwich and burger plates using signature sides such as a homemade macaroni salad and garnishes that are unique to your restaurant.

And, at the risk of having some people run me off this forum with pitchforks and torches, I’ll say that you are not a French restaurant with a French restaurant mark up. You are allowed to compromise at times where this doesn’t impact the dining experience of your customers. I mean serve those real mashed potatoes. Most of us know and really appreciate the difference, but consider enhancing and enriching some restaurant supply soup mixes to save time and serving items like good quality pre-breaded popcorn shrimp that you heat instead of fry.
#72
Fieldthistle
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/25 14:55:16 (permalink)
Hello All,
As I get older, I miss what we call Comfort Foods. My wife doesn't make things the
way my mother and grandmother made them, so I've given up on eating certain dishes.
But my dear wife has also added new Comfort Food to my life.
The problem is there are too many comfort foods, too many main dishes and side dishes
and desserts to pick from. So, here is just one meal of comfort food I'd offer...
Homemade Rolls (tall ones, fluffy in the middle and golden brown on the top and bottom)
Firm and peppery mashed potatoes with corn on top
Well-cooked green beans
Fried Chicken or Norweigan Meatballs...prefer the chicken, but the wife makes great meatballs
Apple Pie
(Dr. Pepper as my choice of comfort drink with a meal)
That's my comfort food, but it also changes with the seasons, which would make my wordy contribution
even more wordy.
Take Care,
Fieldthistle

#73
Sonny Funzio
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/25 16:30:49 (permalink)
I was just at a wedding today ... come to think of it I'd like to add a couple items to my list ...
Swedish Meatballs and
City Chicken
#74
AndreaB
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2006/11/26 01:07:03 (permalink)
I think for 5 comfort meals I'd serve:

1. Spaghetti w/ or w/out meatballs and a salad;
2. Hot Browns w/ choice of turkey, ham or chicken as the meat and real
mashed potatoes and peas;
3. Pinto beans w/ cornbread and coleslaw;
4. Salisbury steak w/ real mashed potatoes and green beans;
5. Cabbage Rolls w/ real mashed potatoes and green beans.

I'd always have squash, stewed tomatoes, peas, french fries, cottage cheese,
onion rings, mashed potatoes, and corn that could be subbed for any of the veggies.
And, there'd always be a basket of warm rolls on the table.

Andrea

#75
tanez
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2007/06/05 09:38:48 (permalink)

1. Hot turkey sandwich on white bread with turkey gravy, cranberry sauce
2.French onion soup
3. I'll go with the consensus, macaroni and cheese, but it must be homemade, creamy, and full of flavor. Not dry, or too creamy, soggy macaroni... don't get me started.
4. Chicken noodle soup
5. Roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, string beans.

~ Thanks! this was fun!
#76
CCinNJ
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/07/26 18:31:27 (permalink)
Chicken-fried Steak

Country-fried Chicken

Biscuits

Chipped Beef on Toast

Collards

#77
Russ Jackson
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/07/26 18:42:07 (permalink)
Chicken and Beef Pot Pie

Meatloaf Mashed Potatoes and Parker Rolls

Beef and Noodles

Lasagna

Burnt top Mac and Cheese

...Russ
#78
tcrouzer
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/07/26 19:35:42 (permalink)
Soup of the Day - a different soup everyday

Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy

Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans

Chicken and Dumplings

freshly made pies, biscuits, and cornbread
#79
orison
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/07/26 20:38:41 (permalink)
Hmmm

1. American Chop Suey w/ garlic bread

2. Chicken Fried Steak w/ mashed potatoes, gravy & greens

3. Hot, opened face turkey sandwich w/ all the fixin's

4. Beef Stew w/ homemade bread

5. Strawberry Shortcake
#80
spud
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/07/29 17:39:31 (permalink)
Maybe I missed it, but I didnt see stuffed peppers or pork chops or beanie weanies anywhere.

I sure am serious hungry right now!
#81
Dr of BBQ
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/08/03 10:00:41 (permalink)
http://www.caitiegirls.com/

Welcome to Caitie Girl’s! Springfield’s (and possibly the world’s) first upscale comfort food dining experience. What is “upscale comfort food” you ask? A very good question! Imagine taking an old favorite like Mac-n-Cheese and adding in bacon, cream, bowtie pasta and seven other cheeses…DELICIOUS! Or how about grilled cheese made with four flavorful cheeses, roasted tomato and basil or for that matter a pot pie made from Maine lobster and chardonnay. Now you get the picture!

At Caitie Girl’s we want you (our guest) to have a wonderfully unique dining experience. We have catered our restaurant in every facet with a creative twist and vow to continue to change and update our menu selections to keep you on your toes. With room for up to 200 people, there is always room for a few more friends, so stop in, grab a bite, and Have Fun with Food!
#82
Foodbme
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/08/03 14:28:59 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Dr of BBQ

http://www.caitiegirls.com/

Welcome to Caitie Girl’s! Springfield’s (and possibly the world’s) first upscale comfort food dining experience. What is “upscale comfort food” you ask? A very good question! Imagine taking an old favorite like Mac-n-Cheese and adding in bacon, cream, bowtie pasta and seven other cheeses…DELICIOUS! Or how about grilled cheese made with four flavorful cheeses, roasted tomato and basil or for that matter a pot pie made from Maine lobster and chardonnay. Now you get the picture!

At Caitie Girl’s we want you (our guest) to have a wonderfully unique dining experience. We have catered our restaurant in every facet with a creative twist and vow to continue to change and update our menu selections to keep you on your toes. With room for up to 200 people, there is always room for a few more friends, so stop in, grab a bite, and Have Fun with Food!


Most of the Items on the menu go WAY beyond Comfort Food. This stuff does not fit the definition of Comfort Food.
#83
uncledaveyo
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/08/03 15:37:22 (permalink)
I think Dr.BBQ's restaurant post could indeed qualify as comfort food.

Isn't comfort food a highly personal thing based on foods that bring you back to your childhood, happier times, etc? If you grew up with Mom's homemade Turkey Meatloaf with Tarragon sauce. then that is your personal comfort food. I grew up being fed Beluga from a silver spoon, so that's my comfort food.

Kidding about the caviar, but you get the point.
#84
Dr of BBQ
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/08/03 19:16:48 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Foodbme
Most of the Items on the menu go WAY beyond Comfort Food. This stuff does not fit the definition of Comfort Food.



Maybe not your definition. And I'd point out the first line said: Welcome to Caitie Girl’s! Springfield’s (and possibly the world’s) first upscale comfort food dining experience.


Many of the menu items are upscale versions from Sunday dinners in a heck of a lot of Italian/American homes here in central Illinois.

My definition of comfort food is anything served while I was growing up at my parents house especially Sundays. Then,later in my life on Sundays, at my in laws, or parents house.

#85
Michael Hoffman
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/08/03 20:08:05 (permalink)
I can't get the URL to open the site, but that aside, upscale comfort food is still comfort food -- with a boost. We have a place called Cap City Diner here, and it serves upscale diner food. That's mostly comfort food, but cooked as though Mom attended the CIA.

I love it.
#86
uncledaveyo
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/08/03 20:55:02 (permalink)
Wow. A weird Dr.BBQ/Hoffman/Uncledaveyo in agreement occurrence; although I bet Fog City Diner and Lark Creek, both bastions of upscale comfort food, opened before caitiegirls.
#87
Michael Hoffman
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/08/03 21:29:27 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by uncledaveyo

Wow. A weird Dr.BBQ/Hoffman/Uncledaveyo in agreement occurrence; although I bet Fog City Diner and Lark Creek, both bastions of upscale comfort food, opened before caitiegirls.

You left out Buckhead Diner.
#88
Dr of BBQ
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/08/03 21:42:54 (permalink)
I bet Fog City Diner and Lark Creek, both bastions of upscale comfort food, opened before caitiegirls.

Whats that got to do with anything?

I think they have only been open for 5 or maybe 10 years but I'm not sure they have had the same theme and menu since they opened. All I know is the bid against me big time when the former restaurant in that location went out of business and sold everything at auction. At the time their grandmother told me they were spending their inheritance before they got it. LOL
#89
uncledaveyo
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RE: If you were going to open a "Comfort Food" Rest. 2008/08/03 21:48:38 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Dr of BBQ

I bet Fog City Diner and Lark Creek, both bastions of upscale comfort food, opened before caitiegirls.

Whats that got to do with anything?


quote from your original post about Catie Girls:

"(and possibly the world’s) first upscale comfort food dining experience. "

Now go ahead, read that carefully, take your time. and tell me what that has to do with "anything."

See, the "first" would have to come BEFORE restaurants that have been doing it for 25 years.

Hope that clear things up for ya'
#90
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