Archive for the ‘Working’ Category

The Harrison Grille Jargon File

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Okay, in case you haven’t noticed by now, I tend to overdramatize things at the Gr1llé. Even going so far as to tell the tan-shirts, “A Eruchin, ú-dano i faelas a hyn, an uben tanatha le faelas.” during any lulls we may have. My own perfectionism and obsessive compulsiveness have blossomed into loyalty and dedication. Huh. Who saw that coming?

So imagine my surprise when I see that all but one of the freshmen enlistees who trained alongside me three semesters ago have ditched for other operations or off-campus co-ops. Apparently they failed to see the Gr1llé as I have: more than a place, but an idea. And the idea is to make money.

So I propose my idea for retaining more workers: jargon. Jargon foments acceptance. By speaking our “language”, you are informally initiated into the Gr1llé family. Jargon is catalyst for loyalty and invites one to all manner of even more inclusive inside jokes. 懂了吗? Everyone still with me? Shiny.


“bunker” The dock freezer, so called because it is sound-proof and explosion resistant with plenty of shrapnel protection.
“Code Red” The entire screen is red, meaning we have a crap ton of orders.
“Slammed” A line out the door (~40 ft), meaning we are priobably about to have a Code Red.
“sitrep” situation report
“Black Cauldron” the large soup kettle in the front wherein we hold tomato soup.
Earl The freezer across from the office where we keep bacon and ham and turkey that has few other distinguishing characteristics.
“in the trenches” back in the kitchen behind the serving window.
“Drilling teeth” making shakes aggressively/efficiently causing the mixer head to grind the sides of the cup
“Slimed” If you worked the shakes station and got slammed. Originates in that if you make shakes too rapidly, or contour the ice cream scoops just right, the half&half will be propelled up into your face.
“The Hammer” Sunday night mid shift
“Defcon 4” running out of nachos
“SOP” Standard Operating Protocol
“Big Bertha” The large 40-qt bins of chopped chicken
“Front lines” Wraps and expediting along with register/cleaning tables.

Nicknames, too. Nicknames foment camaraderie. e.g. “The Reverend”, which is taken by Doug who, despite the name, is ironically neither a clergyman nor a professional wrestler. Audrey is “Coolie”. “Hightower”, “Ro-Ro” and “Luke Skywalker” have been retired. As has “Tank”, whoever the hell he was. The following are open.

The Kid
Ice Cream Man

This is important now more than ever. It has also come to my attention that many blackshirts are leaving for either graduation or jobs elsewhere. Which leaves the Grille to very few supervisors and supervisors in training. Well. We’re boned.

The Veggie Wrap

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

I’m not a vegetarian. But I do especially enjoy the Veggie Wrap at the Grille. It consists of ranch mayo, lettuce, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, and cheddar in a tortilla. To me, the design says: “Thank you for not cutting into our profit margin by ordering a meat dish. We’ve done our best to try to simulate the meat-consumption experience for you. Enjoy.” Stick with me here.

The mushrooms are not intensely flavorful, but they do offer a subtle umami base and soft, moist, but tender mouthfeel that simulates meat. And of course, I can’t neglect to mention the contribution of the green peppers. They are the crucial element that completes the “meatness”. They replace the crunchy resistance offered by the bones of whatever “animal” it is you’re deluding yourself into eating. It’s genius.

There are some menu changes at the Gr1lle, but thankfully, the Veggie Wrap is not affected.

We say goodbye to the shrimp Po’ Boy. It sold but not quite as much as it could’ve. Also, for months now, we’ve been unable to get our hands on the special Remoulé sauce to go with it. Apparently one of the ingredients is a rare mustard, fermented by the remnant monks of an ancient order in a monastary deep in the Prussian Alps, that keeps getting confiscated by US customs.

The Big Dee’s Parmesan Chicken and Bacon Flatbread is a mouthful… of AWESOME! I don’t know who Big Dee is though. Kind of like how I have no idea who the originator of Tank’s Club [Sandwich] is. They sound like rappers. The “ParmChik” is a surprisingly close-to-the-mark stab at the cliched Italian dish considering it is made with ingredients we have had all along and I actually don’t disagree with the bacon. It won me over quickly.

This semester also marks the return of pizza to the Grille, although in a curtailed fashion. Gone is the “pick-your-own-toppings” selection, we have been cut back to sausage, pepperoni and cheese, and the only regret I have is that it excludes the popular ham and pineapple “Hawaiian” pizza conformation. There’s also the Ham and Cheese Toasted Sandwich, which I haven’t tried yet. It sounds pretty standard, but I don’t know anything about the tastes of the populace at large, if my underestimation of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich and tomato soup can attest.

Apparently that particular item has been flying out the ovens. It’s probably dirt cheap to make too. We just put a slice of cheese and some buttered white bread through the conveyor oven. Two ladles of tomato soup from “The Black Cauldron” and we have our only combo meal.

Then again, I don’t claim to know much about restauranteering at all. If my one menu suggestion was heeded, we’d be serving Kimchee by now.