February 15, 2017

Calling All Foodies! (#6)

I am not a foodie.  I love (and live by) the saying, "Some people live to eat... I eat to live." So when I fully grasped that this "bar" needed to serve food, I started getting nervous. Even more concerning was that if I found a venue that was near a ton of commercial buildings, I might need to have an entire lunch menu (a consideration I am seriously trying to avoid).  Ack!

Ok - food is a given.  So what do I want to do? (I want to just serve bar nuts).  I need to develop my food program (see, I am totally picking up on the lingo!) Here's what I know... the food has to be great.  I never understood going to a bar and ordering wings or a burger and getting anemic looking wings dripping with just Tabasco sauce or a burger cooked to death whose bun disintegrates because it has been sitting in its own juices. Blechh.   So food must be great. (I also heard more than once that Cambridgians - is that what they are called? Cambridgites? Cambridgerians? - demand quality food).

I am not striving to be a destination restaurant.  This is bar goddamit!  For lively discourse! So, following the universal rule of, well, everything, I intend to Keep It Simple, Stupid!  Great, simple food.  And that means.... ta-dah!  Small plates.

The Idea:  Lively discourse - to me - conjures up images of heated discussions, (cordial) arguments and fierce debates!  Two sides to every story! So, one idea is to have all of the small plates come in two "preparations" - a "pro" and a "con"; a "for" and an "against"; an "aff" and a "neg" (those are fancy debate terms I have just learned from my daughter).  One can order from either side of the menu - or both!  Each portion will be served on a semi-circular small plate, at a reasonable price. Order 2 plates for a full portion!  Food program coming together!

I kinda thought these would be neat.  And fit nicely on a table!

So, what am I going to serve?  I am a simple man with simple tastes.  But I know what I like!  Here's my working list of options... But I need your help.  Using comments to the blog, tell me what you think about all this.  What "plates" would you like to add?  What don't you like about any of this? Let's get this right the first time!  And remember, KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid)!


Bar Bites / Appetizers
Fish (Ahi) Tacos
Crab Cakes
Deviled Eggs
Chicken Wings
Beef Sliders
Tuna tartar
[Just noticed!  Need veggie suggestions!]

Beet Salad
Green Salad

Truffle Fries
Cole Slaw
Fried Pickles
Noodle pasta salad

Lamb chops
Short ribs
Fried Chicken

Cheesecake pops
Mini devil dogs
Fruit tart


  1. Go here and study the concept. More of a restuarant, but they have a great bar. All small plates. Also find a cool caterer that can help with the menu. http://www.sarmarestaurant.com/

    1. Not the first person to direct me to Sarma! But with your endorsement, I'll actually check it out! :) Thanks for this!

  2. Hi Pete, just a little twist to your existing list, we like a fixed menu with comfort finger foods and fancy plats du jour or catch of the day:
    - Deviled eggs (add guacamole to the traditional filling, veggie problem solve!)
    - Crab cakes (garnished with micro greens and arugula, veggie pb solved again)
    - Chickens wings with fresh celery (maybe too trivial:-))
    - Tuna tartar garnished with fried wonton skins
    - Caramel Flan
    - Simple strawberry shortcake (small slice of sponge cake, fresh strawberry, home made whipped cream, drizzled with Cointreau or malibu coconut)
    Weekend specials, maybe:
    - Octopus salad
    - Shrimp cocktail (with 3 different sauces, cocktail sauce is boring)

    1. Yes! A little more detail and I won't have to find a consultant to mae the actual menu!

  3. Great post! What about savory and sweet options for each dish? It plays into the pro/con and for/against idea but gives it a cool culinary twist.

    1. Great idea! Wait - do you have food running in the fam? ;)

  4. I like it! What about fried chicken/meatball sliders (to expand on offerings you already have) in a homemade roll, or Mac & Cheese. With the Mac & Cheese you could put your own spin on it, serve it in cast iron baked in Ritz Crackers, Cheez-Its, etc. This would expand things on the vegetarian front, as well as allow for you to provide the option for meat lovers to add your short rib or (Buffalo) friend chicken in there. You could also expand appetizers by adding Nachos smothered in your queso with short rib, giving another vegetarian/meat lover option. For desserts you could add fried oreos or fried snickers or other candy bars.

    1. I ALSO like this. Keep the comments coming!

  5. I would drop the tuna tartar till you know your crowd - expensive piece of fish to gamble on or keep it as a weekend special. Lamb chops can also be a risk, a lot of people don't like lamb. I would substitute this for a vegetarian entree. Move fried pickles out of sides and add to bar bites (can serve with a dipping sauce)

    1. Soudns like you know your stuff, Jeanne. Thanks for the input. tough call, as I love lamb chops though! Great feedback... just need to find a chef who agrees with all of this! :-)

  6. above comment by Jeanne MacLellan, not sure why my name didn't pop up.

  7. I was in California last week and ate here: http://www.thestripedpig.com/ very small menu and excellent drinks. It was called a Tapas (Small Plates) place and the food was so good and high quality. I'm sure you are way beyond the food menu, by now but good luck. I would also agree with others, know you crowd for the location. I would also try to not just duplicate other places in the area. New and exciting food and drinks maybe your thing.

  8. We hung out at this place in evening last week before heading out to our next destination. While we were at LA venue we found the service to be quick and attentive. Probably because it was early on a Friday and it was still kind of empty.