Monday, July 18, 2005

Don't Forget The Little Guys.

This past Sunday (July 17) I cooked brunch at Panache. It was a hot and humid scorcher of a day (not to be confused with "it was a dark and stormy night"). I'm sorry to report that it was probably the worst sales day that I encountered while working Sundays at Panache. What is worse, is that food wise, I outdid myself. Yeah, yeah, it's one of those rare instances where I actually pat myself on the back. The "Poor Knights" were exquisite: Fedora's bread, lightly battered then dusted with cornflake crumbs, sautee'd in butter until golden brown and topped with a highly flavored apple compote. As well as that sounds, the Seafood Etouffee with poached eggs was probably one of the two best Creole style dishes I've ever created: rich, flavorful with a sneaky amount of Cajun heat. Not to be left behind, I don't know when I created as many omelettes that I would consider perfect as I did Sunday. Oh, well.

Now that I've got you slobbering like a St. Bernard after a 5 mile run which causes your keyboard electrical failure, the point of this isn't to WOW you with my culinary talents. Nor is it an attempt to drum up biz for Panache. I'm not really even trying to make you feel bad. But what am am trying to do is this: Don't forget the "little guys" this summer and fall. Yes, there are many one time fairs, festivals and riverfront events going on this time of year that you can only enjoy when they are here and now. However, when I go past a little independently owned restaurant on a Saturday night at 7 pm and see 4 cars in the parking lot, I wince. I hear so much bitching that there are more and more chain restaurants and less "good" places to eat in Peoria, yet the support to keep the little guy alive in the summer and early fall is damned near non existent. I pledge that this summer and fall, I am not going to eat at any big chain restaurants, so don't bother to ask me to go.

So, if you are going to go blow your hard earned dollars on $4 lemonade shake ups, greasy elephant ears and riverfront gyros on the weekend, at least during the week, blow off the big chain joints and keep the little guy going. Join me in my pledge. If you want the nice little independent guy there this fall & winter when there isn't a damned thing going on in this city, you got to support them in the summer, too. I see\hear the slogan "Support the Arts in Peoria" me, that means the culinary arts, too. And I'm not talking about the Chili's and Applebees of the world, either.

See you around the table......


angela said...

Amen, brother!

Pssst. So when are you coming to RKMC? Don't be shy!

Anonymous said...

I may be biased but I agree with you.