Monday, November 24, 2008

Two Willett Winery Events

Two events at Willett's Winery and Cellars have just been announced and will be at the winery in Manito.

The first is a Christmas Open House from 1-4 PM on Sunday, December 7. This will be a great time to pick up some wine for the holidays, get some specialty wine related gift baskets made and enjoy some tasty hors d' oeuvres prepared by yours truly. No reservations are needed and is a free event....unless you buy something.

Ok, guys. When it comes to Valentines Day, we are a procrastinating lot. DON'T DO IT. Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday this year, so you can't use the excuse of "Oh, we'll go out this weekend instead". You have the opportunity RIGHT NOW to get one of the hottest Valentine's Day tickets out there!! So, get your tickets and mark your calendar for February 14, 2009 at 6:30 PM. Football is over, you have no excuses.

This will go fast. They always do and is usually sold out in less than a month after announced. It is $60 per person. It includes 4 courses prepared by Chef Kevin and paired with 4 of Willett Winery and Cellars wines. Music will be provided by singer\guitarist Joe Metzka. The menu is phenomenal. Call the winery at 309-968-7070 to reserve your place now. Have your credit card handy as for this and future Wine & Dine Experiences all reservations must be paid for when making the reservation.

See You Around The Table.....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just Say NO to More Restaurant Taxes

According to this article in the Peoria Journal Star, one of the leading suggestions to raise funds for the Build the Block new riverfront museum is to raise taxes in restaurants.

As someone who was formerly in the restaurant business and is still associated with it, I say NO! A BIG FAT NO! Isn't 10% high enough?

I got two ideas for you. Need money? Hold a bake sale. If that doesn't work, maybe the city council will reappropriate the "temporary" HRA tax from the "can't stand on its own two damned feet" Civic Center and direct it to the museum. Better yet, just end the 20+ year "temporary" tax.

The economy is hurting and these jokers want to reach into our pocketbooks to steal funds to build something most people do not want or give a shit about. If you disagree with me, then why don't they have the money already?

Don't ask me for suggestions (other than the bake sale) because I have little interest in seeing it built.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Time to Rant

I ran into a reader of my blog the other day and was informed that he enjoyed me bitching about things and my twisted commentary on the subject. Well, o'readerofChefKevin'sblog (sounds like one of those Bud Light commercials) hope this makes your day.

I'm at a local sports type bar with a friend of mine. As in most sports bars, there are many TVs displaying various channels, which is all cool by me. We are having some food and I notice that any conversation we are having has to be yelled as the jukebox is on "deafening" level. Why? Are the songs so profoundly good that they can not be missed? Ok, I understand it when there is a band as they are paid to entertain and be watched...that is what they are there to do and understand why they are loud and impossible to talk over them playing. But a 250dB jukebox? I could also understand if it was a dance club. But it isn't. People are eating, conversating and watching football. I'm shaking my head.

Next is work. I'm in the customer service field. I know I have gone back and forth with people discussing the "customer service sucks vs. the rude customers" debate. But here is a recent episode that is still chafing my ass. At my work, we have a pretty awesome sale going on. The other day, a man and wife appeared at the door over an hour early wanting to take advantage of said sale. Realizing that they were way early, they asked if I could open early for them. Due to some company policies and other issues at the moment, I could not open THAT early. Politely, I told them I couldn't. Mr. "Early" explained that they lived over an hour away, weren't familiar with Peoria and asked if I could make an exception. I'm not a cold hearted SOB and if it were up to me, I probably would have, but.... Once again, politely explaining why I could not, the unbelieveable happens: Mild mannered Mr. Early goes off on me. Now I don't know about any of my readers but is the best way to talk me into opening early include belligerence and belittlement? Gee, thank you. Go get lost in Peoria and screw yourself.

Last is a local utility company. I find out that they have been estimating my bill for the last three months as their equipment doesn't work. Three months. I just find out about it. I call and explain I'm not available at a convenient time for them to do whatever it is they need to do for a couple of weeks. I get a notice that I need to set up an appointment. I toss the notice as I "thought" I explained the situation. I get another notice that if I do not call within 5 days, they may have to shut me off.

Your equipment fails THREE months ago. Your company is too damned lazy to let me know before now that their equipment sucks ass and you have been estimating my bills. THREE MONTHS! NOW you have the audacity to write me and tell me I have 5 days to schedule an appointment or you are pulling the switch? Why don't I have 3 months? I got an idea. It is called a fence and a rabid pit bull. You can continue to estimate my bill.

I don't know if I feel better now or not, but I hope someone gets a laugh out of it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Prediction

I am going to predict that retailers are going to say they have a lousy Christmas selling season this year. Why? The economy? No. Gas Prices? No. People out of work? No. I've finally figured it out.

When retailers start putting out Christmas wares in September, part of their Sept., Oct., and Nov. sales are Christmas items which are really Christmas sales they don't get after Thanksgiving. But we will hear "Oh, our sales are down". Next year, Christmas will start after Columbus Day and in 2010, you will be able to pick out your tree and decorate it the day after Labor Day. I give it until mid "10's" and you can choose between Christmas candy and Easter Candy.

That, or maybe shoppers are running out of the stores trying to avoid Christmas music since they have been subjected to it since November 1.

Oh, and I hate the abbreviation X-mas. I keep thinking I'm going to see Bernard Hopkins in a Santa suit and that is kinda scary. Please use C-mas. Thank you.

(Ok, for those of you who do not "get" the above, Bernard Hopkins is the former middleweight boxing champion of the world. He just destroyed the middleweight champ in a non title bout. His nickname is "The Executioner" and he comes out with a red or silver mask with a big black "X" across the face.)

Monday, November 03, 2008


WTF I ask, WTF???

Christmas music playing in stores already!! Sister said it was being piped in at Wal-Mart yesterday and I heard it at work today.

Tomorrow, I will vote for the candidate who promises to make it illegal to play Christmas music before Thanksgiving is over. I'll even write the law:

Those who are responsible for any type of broadcast of music, spoken word or live entertainment into a public place, shall not allow the projection of Christmas music until the day AFTER Thanksgiving or be subject to a $100,000 fine and be locked into a small room where nothing but "middle C" played every second at full volume for not less than 48 hours.