Come one, come all for its a glorious day at Smorgasburg! We’ll also be debuting a brand spankin’ new side: sweet potato slaw with toasted cashews, scallions, and Yoni’s personal fave: creme fraiche!
27 N. 6th Street
I’m always inspired by crowdfunding intitiatives so I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention aKickstarter project for the restaurant S’MAC. For those who are not familiar, this is a mac and cheese concept based in the East Village. It’s a quick-serve, single item menu and everything is made fresh to order - sound familiar? :)
The owners are the husband & wife team of Sarita & Caesar Ekya and they are in the process of opening their 3rd location in Manhattan (Murray Hill). They are using Kickstarter to tap into the community and help raise the remaining $100,000 they need to complete the build-out of their new location. Looks like they are taking on a bigger space than usual at 60 seats/1800 sqft.
I’ve thought about the rewards we would offer if we launched a crowdfunding initiative. I think S’MAC has done a pretty good job. They have all sorts of merchandise, soft opening tickets, mail order food and personal chef experiences. I’m curious to see how this project progresses with an established restaurant business and to see if the Kickstarter platform gains them the traction they need to reach their goal. As of this writing, they have raised $1,325 from 22 backers with 22 days to go. Head over to their Kickstarter page to support S’MAC!
We’ll reach out to Sarita at the conclusion to ask about her experience.
Week 5 Recap: Schnitz Has A Special Visitor
Hello My Fellow Schnitzers!
Week five has come and gone, and so far Schnitz at the ‘burg season 2 has had it’s share of mishaps, surprises and triumphs, but none have come quite as close to what we experienced this past Saturday.
It began like any other day at the market for me really; I turned the corner to hop in my car, and it’s nowhere to be found. An all too familiar wave of shock and panic sent my heart plunging into my abdomen. How THE FUCK can this be happening…again? I have been so careful to check each and every sign when I park in the LES on Friday nights, and last night was no different. So without any delay, I quickly checked the new piece of red paper taped to the parking sign on Norfolk where my car had once been and raced over to Houston St to find a cab. As I made the excruciating trip down the west side highway back to the impound, all I could think about was the mad scramble Matt, Miguel and I would have to make later to catch up on all the time I lost us. As I darted into the waiting room of the impound, I was relieved at how empty it had been, but that all changed when I heard the strange news that my car “ain’t here!” Stunned once again, I could barely pay attention to the clerk as she all but guaranteed me the DOT had simply moved my car to do repair work based on what the red sign had said. I ran back out to the street and hailed another cab to take me back to scene of the crime. As I pulled up to the corner of Houston and Norfolk, my only plan was to run around the surrounding streets pushing the unlock button on my keys hoping to hear the beeping sound in the distance. Well, in less than five minutes my plan had worked and I was staring at my car. It was merely one street east on Suffolk with a neat little sign attached to the wiper letting me know what had happened. Hey, at least I didn’t a ticket.
Once the boys and I were all set-up I stood up in front of our booth and continued to curse the skies. All week we were promised sun and 70 degree weather. Fuck you, iPhone…seriously. It wasn’t even 11am, and I could tell that the day was going to be underwhelming as basically NO mommies and strollers had been doing their usual reconnaissance missions. Yes, sir today was going to be a really blah day capped off with me angrily throwing away too much poultry. Just as I had finished my latest meteorological rant, I noticed a small scene going on across the market by the N7 street entrance. Right there in the flesh, surrounded by a small camera crew, is Mario motherfuckin Batali! And he was headed right in our direction.
I turned around to Matt and shouted, “Get me a Bamberg ready NOW!” Before I could even turn back around, I find myself face to face with the Iron Chef, a big ass TV camera and a microphone boom. “Schnitz! How are you today?” Mario asks. “Very well, sir great to see you! What can I get for ya?” I said. I think. After letting me know he had scoped us out last week, he turned the attention squarely on the Schnitz. “So what is Schnitz?” I’ll admit, I am more than prepared for this question. It seems I have been readying for it for over one year now, but when Mario Batali is asking you it may take a second for that part of the brain to kick in, trust me. I regained my senses and then launched into the usual lingo and quickly got to the beautiful sample sandwiches sitting in front of him. I barely finished listing the ingredients when Mario exclaimed, “Have you ever heard more pornographic things in one sentence?” Guys let me tell you that if I could capture this moment in a bottle, I would wear it around my neck (outside the shirt) until my last breath.
Before I could get to the Sweet Onion, he went ahead and ordered a Bamberg and a Limo Nana. Matt had a perfect monster of a sandwich ready to go and I handed to him right away. Mario Batali is now holding one of OUR sandwiches that WE invented! Now he’s eating it! The look on his face after the first bite said it all. His eyes closed tightly, face smushed together in enjoyment as he turned to the camera (ABC cameras as we would later find out). HOLY SCHNITZ, HE LOVES US! He turned to the rest of his group and said “Oh man you gotta try this!” It was just one of those moments that completely validates everything you are working toward. To have someone of his caliber even come to the Smorgasburg is incredible, having an opportunity like this? Well, priceless. This is the kind of PR most restaurants like us can only dream about. Everything had coalesced into one perfect scene.
As if this wasn’t enough, a few minutes later the camera crew returned to capture some more footage of Schnitz. They interviewed me for 20 minutes about Schnitz, our product and what it was like to have Mario Batali come out and try our food. After this, they filmed the guys assembling the sandwiches, got some closeups of the finished product and our logo. Let’s just say they were given full access to the Schnitz operation. In doing so, we learned that this particular camera crew was with ABC’s The Chew which is a daily show at 1pm that’s all about food featuring famous chefs and TV personalities a-la “The View”. We exchanged information and the producers mentioned that they would try to have this footage finished by Wednesday of this week to be aired on Thursday. So set your DVRs!
After the crew had left, I felt like running to the rooftop of The Edge and shouting “MARIO BATALI LOVES OUR SCHNITZ”. I simply could not process the importance of what had just happened, I was still on such a high. NOTHING could wipe the smile off of my face the rest of that day. To cap this all off, on his way out, Chef Batali came back to our booth and said, “You guys were the bite of day!” In fact, he too felt the urge to shout it from the rooftops…of twitter.
Just want to let you all know that we launched our new facebook timeline cover. For those of you who are familiar, the timeline cover was originally introduced to personal profile pages and is now completely rolled out to business pages. It takes some getting used to but I believe the cover helps give a nice look and feel to your page. People have created unique expressions of their brand.
I was looking for some creative help in my search for a Facebook cover and I came across an offer on Appsumo which is a daily deals site for web applications. For $49, a company called Social Media Branding Kit created a facebook timeline cover with unlimited revisions (normally $99). After 5 rounds of changes, we completed the cover. They won’t make you look like a billion dollar company but with enough design direction, you can achieve a nice finished product and certainly get your money’s worth.
We decided to go with an instagram filtered photo of our booth at Smorgasburg. What’s interesting is we actually made the thumbnail image (bottom left) an extension of the cover. Most businesses use the thumbnail image as a spot for their logo but we found a cool article that explains how to setup a facebook page like ours and the exact dimensions that are needed. Our facebook cover and the dimensions are below. More to come on social media marketing for restaurants!
Week #5 of season 2 is about to get started! Come out to Williamsburg waterfront and have a Schnitz.
27 N. 6th St.
We’re back at it today at the Smorgasburg! Get hungry and get over to Williamsburg, Brooklyn fast. We’ll be serving until 5pm.
27 N. 6th St.
Looks like the rain is going to hold up and we’re going to have a beautiful day in the sun at Smorgasburg today. Tons of crunchy Schnitz being served.
See you then!
So I was cruising through my stumbleupon account and guess I what I happen to er.. stumble upon?
Not one, but TWO fun facts about two of Schnitz’s main ingredients on ivillage.com. The article is called: 15 Food Swaps That Could Save Your Life.
to keep blood pressure in check, coat with panko instead of italian breadcrumb
Panko, Japanese breadcrumbs made from crustless bread, contain less than one-tenth the sodium of Italian breadcrumbs. This is critical since excess sodium can cause high blood pressure, one of the leading risk factors of heart disease. And though the two coatings are calorically equivalent, “you can use less panko and still get the same crunch,“ Newgent says. “Panko breadcrumbs are coarser, and therefore absorb less oil, which translates to way less fat in every forkful.” For an even healthier coating, reach for whole-wheat panko to add fiber and protein to whatever you’re cooking.
Who knew? Panko is the way to go!
to absorb the most nutrients, choose a chicken thigh over a breast
White meat chicken breasts do contain less fat and fewer calories than the darker thighs (2.5 grams of fat and 115 calories in a 4oz chicken breast, and 7.5 grams of fat and 146 calories in a thigh) — but dark meat also packs a bigger nutritional punch. Chicken thighs beat out breasts in: iron, which your body needs to move oxygen to your organs; zinc, which helps your body fight cold and flu bugs; and vitamin A, which promotes eye health.
I knew we were doing something right (besides making delicious schnitzel ofcourse) Next time you’re chowing down on one of our sandwiches, you can be rest assured that not only are you making the right choice flavor-wise, but you’re also making some sound nutritional choices, too!
It feels great to report that we’ve completed our first week back at Smorgasburg! As you can imagine, it was a hectic week leading up to the big day.
We only secured the keys to our new kitchen space in Brooklyn on Thursday night so we weren’t able to move all of our supplies in until Friday. Operationally, it’s a solid kitchen space with plenty of storage and low boy refrigerators. We need to work a bit on the dishwashing system but, overall, having the kitchen space close to the market is incredible. Yoni and Donna started what would become a 13-hour prep day on Friday with a run to Essex market for veggies and Restaurant Depot for supplies. We then had to get ourselves situated in the kitchen, clean it thoroughly, activate the refrigeration and complete a major chicken pounding and pickeling session which we had not done in months. It was exciting to be back to our old ways. We got it done with over 200 pieces of chicken marinating overnight.
Everyone parted ways to get a good night’s rest. Yoni’s jeep was packed with supplies, including the deep fry for transporting to the market in the morning. As the story goes, Yoni put his head on the pillow that night and quickly dozed off without realizing that there’s no parking, WHAT-SO-EVER on Orchard St. over the weekend…no exceptions. Yoni jumped up instinctively in the middle of the night and ran downstairs to find the jeep missing! You could not believe the thoughts running through his head at that moment. Rumor has it he was trembling profusely and wishing he could disapear, haha. Long story short, one trip to the New York City impound and 3 hours later, the jeep was back in Yoni’s posession. It was an experience for the ages.
The next morning, Tom Cat bakery delivered the bread and we promptly headed over to the market. Setup was fairly simple. We invested in a really nice dolly for the season. It can transport all of our supplies in 4 rounds. Not bad but we’ll still try to improve on that. The Smorgasburg had a phenomenal 2012 debut. It was windy as usual on the waterfront but it was full of hungry visitors. The market management left the entire middle of the lot empty. All vendors are now situated around the fence. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, we sold out! Over 120 sandwiches eaten plus a ton of beverages, which reminds me, we have a couple new drink options. We still have our traditional limonana but also Mexican colas and San Pelegrino, which were popular during week 1. We’ll need to be ready for a hot summer of refreshing drinks!
Overall, the first week was a success. We have a number of things we want to work on immediately as we prepare for a high volume summer:
- We need to make bulk orders of drinks to last weeks
- We ordered heating lamps to use for the chicken when its out of the deep fry and waiting for sandwich preparation
- We ordered ice packs to keep the garnishes cool. This is instead of using real ice which is commodity when you’re running a mobile vending station.
- We need to invest in an automated meat tenderizer (more on that in the coming weeks).
- We need to ivnest in a proper stand. Some of the booths at the Smorgasburg are impressive. We need to improve our design. (More on this as well in the coming weeks)
Come one, come all! Schnitz is ringing in the Smorgasburg season today. It will be the first of many weekends at this fantastic market. We look forward to kicking things off. The details are as follows: