REWrite - The Restaurant Equipment World Blog

Restaurant Equipment World (REW) President Visits Haiti

July 9th, 2013 by REW Blog Team

Restaurant Equipment World President Brad Pierce

Restaurant Equipment World (REW) President Brad Pierce just returned from delivering medical supplies and other items to Haiti.  Brad commented, “It was truly a life changing experience.  I’ve seen pictures and watched television shows, but there’s nothing in the world that comes close to visiting in person.  These people live in tough conditions, there’s little reason for hope when you see the conditions that are their reality.  Yet, there’s a bright spot of sunshine amongst the rubble – the amazing group of passionate volunteers at the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti.  They’re not talking about change, they’re making it happen every single day.  These are modern day miracle workers.”

Originally, Brad didn’t even want to have this post written as he doesn’t want credit for doing the right thing to help others in need.  After all, in his words, “I was just a delivery guy flying an airplane, the real credit goes to those who are there every day making the world a better place.”  Upon further reflection, he decided this would be a good platform to call attention to the cause to reach even more people.  “It’s my hope that by reading my experience and story, others will be inspired to step up and get involved as well.”

You can read an inspiration story about Brad’s Haiti experience by visiting his blog post entitled: Flying a Relief Flight to Haiti: A Life Changing Experience

You can learn more about the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti by visiting: http://www.stlukehaiti.org

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New Expanded Hours of Operation at Restaurant Equipment World

February 4th, 2013 by REW Blog Team

In order to better serve the needs of our customers, we’ve expanded our phone / live chat hours of operation for our online store sales and customer service teams.  During the week, Restaurant Equipment World is now open 24 hours a day (with the exception of closing at 9pm on Friday).  This change allows us to offer personal service 7 days a week to our valued customers, with limited weekend hours.  We can be contacted at (800) 821-9153 toll-free or by dialing (407) 679-9004.  Both our USA and Dubai, UAE offices can be reached directly by dialing either of these numbers.  Customer inquiries received via e-mail will be responded to during this these times as well.

New Hours at Restaurant Equipment World Table

* This change was facilitated by the opening of our Dubai, UAE office.  We are not outsourcing calls to other companies.  Whether you call into our USA or Dubai, UAE (late evening / early morning) offices, you’ll always be speaking with a friendly and knowledgeable associate who is employed directly by Restaurant Equipment World.

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REW Visits The Ravenous Pig

August 28th, 2012 by REW Blog Team


If you are looking for the nice, comfy and relaxed atmosphere of your local bar and the elegance and eclectic menu choices of a fine dining restaurant, then a gastropub is what you are searching for. A hidden gem established by chef owners James and Julie Petrakis have done a excellent job of blending these two worlds. Having trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY they decided to return to their native Florida roots, drawing inspiration from England’s gastropubs on serving good food and hand-crafted cocktails in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. This local hot spot is known as The Ravenous Pig: An American Gastropub which James says is, “a place where you can get great food in a lively, unstuffy atmosphere.”

While they keep things on the casual side, they do advise making reservations for dinner time as it is the busiest time of the day and there might be a bit of a wait if you just drop by. The menu is varied in nature, so you can get the pub favorite of the house-made soft pretzel with whole-grain mustard or the shrimp tacos delicately prepared to perfection. A Mahi burger for lunch or a grilled sockeye salmon dish will accentuate every taste bud. Each dish, whether it be lunch or dinner, is prepared with many local organic ingredients and are utilized based on season. James explains, “Florida has produce and seafood that is second to none. We really enjoy showing people what Florida and its coasts have to offer.” Dessert being the most important part of the meal of course, house-made seasonal flavored ice cream or sherbet and “pig tail” fritters are decadent enough to satisfy that sweet craving. However, their menu changes monthly, so if you have happen to hesitate on a particular item, keep in mind it might not be there next month. The extensive wine and cocktail list will meet the needs of a casual drinker to the wine connoisseur. With the combination of leisure and class, The Ravenous Pig makes sure their guests have a fun a tasty experience each and every time.

Celebrating The Ravenous Pig’s 5year anniversary on October 3rd- James and Julie have definitely left their mark on the Central Florida restaurant scene – and they are about to make a even bigger mark as they plan to open a sister restaurant Cask and Larder this fall. Staying busy, they are also palnning on the release of a new cookbook titled; The Ravenous Pig: Seasons Of Florida, coming out on October 2nd just in time for their anniversary.

The Ravenous Pig is located at 1234 N. Orange Ave. Winter Park, Fl 32789
http://www.theravenouspig.com/

http://www.caskandlarder.com/

www.Facebook.com/pages/the-ravenous-pig/48468194369

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REW’s Beach Day

July 6th, 2012 by REW Blog Team

Here at REW, we’re always thinking of new ways to have fun and break up the monotony of the work week. These past few weeks have been especially trying on the staff as REW has undergone an interior face-lift in the form of a few new coats of paint.

Helping customers, updating our web-pages, and providing some of the best service in our industry was all done around an army of professional painters. For their understanding and continued professionalism during the renovations- and to celebrate our new brightly colored palette- we decided to proclaim last Friday “Beach Day”. Everyone in the office was invited to dawn their favorite beach attire (no speedos, thank God) and show their summer spirit.

As you can see, some were more “beachy” than others and there were a few that went over the top with grass skirts and coconut braziers. But its summer, so why not? Right?

To top off the day, everyone was treated to a nice, cool ice cream sundae to beat the summer heat (we set the thermostat to a balmy 75 degrees).

The staff of REW would like to thank Vice President Patty Nuzzo for organizing the first, and hopefully not only, official beach day and ice cream sundae party.

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An Interview with John Rivers from 4Rivers Smokehouse

June 13th, 2012 by REW Blog Team


 

The South is no stranger to good barbeque. From the Carolina hills to the Mississippi deltas, barbeque has been engrained in Southern culture. But oddly enough, its the Texas-style of barbeque that has the people of Orlando talking.
Read the rest of this entry »

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REW at the Bat

June 13th, 2012 by REW Blog Team

The game was fairly brilliant for the REW team Tuesday;
The score stood 10-to-none, with no more innings left to play,
Drew, Jose, Kevin, Gian, Felicia, and Adrianne all came,
And made a sickly silence fall upon the losers of the game.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
And there’s plenty of joy at REW – the other team struck out.

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Hot Olives, Winter Park FL- An Exclusive Interview With Richard Rogers

April 11th, 2012 by REW Blog Team

Running a successful restaurant in this economy is not an easy task, but for Richard Rogers, a part owner for Hot Olives in Winter Park, this success has been going 12 years strong. Originally located in Hannibal square , this “simple gourmet” restaurant has been flourishing in its new location on the corner of New York and Fairbanks Avenues. Richard and his business partner, Glenn Partin, made their beginnings far from the restaurant industry, but soon found themselves as owners of a restaurant following the wild success of their former catering business aptly named “The Striped Apron”. Borrowing from the restaurants signature garnish- a hot green Queen olive adorning each sandwich, Richard and Glenn’s new venture took on the name “Hot Olives”. And the rest has been history.

Hot Olives’ motto is “simple gourmet,” a notion that is followed and brought to fruition with each dish offered. When asked the meaning of the motto and its origin, Richard responded, “The best ingredients; the simplest ingredients is all you need to make a great dish. Quality is our main goal.” Based on our experience in sampling some of the restaurant’s fare, Richard is absolutely right.

Hot Olive’s crab cake sandwich featured plump crab cake placed between a lightly toasted Kaiser roll with key-lime remoulade, lettuce, onion, and tomato. While the ingredients seemed to adhere to the restaurant’s motto of “simple”, their presentation and taste were anything but. We found ourselves wanting more but a bit too embarrassed to ask for a second helping. We recommend leaning from our mistake and ordering two during your next visit.

One thing that makes this simple gourmet establishment unique is the undeniable feeling of a neighborhood restaurant. Richard claims, “We’re like a country club. We have the best of the best clientele.” Locals, including many Rollins College students and faculty, have become regulars of Hot Olives, especially since it is within walking distance of the campus. Some patrons even have house accounts based on their loyalty to the restaurant. To recognize some of these loyalties, you can see various menu items with names of a few of their customers in order to personalize the experience and the dishes such as Hadley’s Cream of Mushroom soup.

If you have never been to this time-honored eatery, Richard can best describe it as, “Clean, friendly, the best food in town.” It’s hard to dispute Richard’s opinion of the place since the food was delectable, the décor was charismatic, and the staff was unbelievably welcoming. You can find this Winter Park charm at 601 South New York Avenue Winter Park, fl 32789.

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Everything You’ve Wanted To Know About Coffee… And Then Some

January 6th, 2012 by REW Blog Team

If your restaurant serves breakfast, you probably serve coffee as well. But have you really thought about what goes into that little caffeinated (or decaf) cup of goodness? What happens between water and coffee?

Many times, it can be easy to overlook this part of your menu – you put the pre-packaged Folger’s in the brewer, pour in some water, press a button, and voila – your customers get their daily dose. But what makes some people go to Starbuck’s and spend maybe twice as much to get their coffee over yours? It’s about time you make your coffee so good it becomes your customers’ favorite morning ritual.


But how?

Before we can talk about how to make it better, we should first discuss the basics of how it’s made. The first thing to note is that the coffee “bean” isn’t really a bean at all – it’s actually a roasted seed from the coffee plant. The seed is picked when it is inside the coffee plant’s cherry. To add to the confusion, the “cherry” isn’t a cherry at all, but a drupe – a more generalized description of a fleshy fruit with a pit. We’re not botanists, so from here on out we’ll simply refer to it by the misnomer we all know and love – “coffee bean.”

There’s literally hundreds of species of coffee plants, each with it’s own flavor. The plants take four or five years to mature, and then will produce a harvest for fifty or sixty years thereafter. Once the plant is grown, and once the 9 month ripening period is over, the fruit from the coffee plant is picked – usually by hand. Once picked, they are dried, and the outer layer is separated from the seed. The coffee is shipped unroasted – this is known as green coffee.

As a restaurant owner, all of this matters in regards to how the coffee you serve your customers tastes. Because of differences in soils and water cycles, coffees from different regions taste different: the Americas provide a crisp taste, the African coffees are often more acidic with a lingering aftertaste, and Indonesian coffee tends to be bolder. For mornings, American coffees are a crowd-pleaser – strong enough to wake you up, but not so strong that it’s considered a dessert coffee.

Once the coffee has been picked, stripped, and shipped, it needs to be roasted. Roasting is an art and a science, with the temperature and length of time changing depending on what type of result is desired – stronger coffee requires a darker roast and longer heating time, lighter coffees require a lighter roast and shorter heating time. After roasting, the beans take on the familiar dark color, and the roasting brings out the natural flavor so it can be transferred during the coffee making process.

Restaurants generally serve a medium roast coffee in the mornings, splitting the difference for patrons. To stand out from the crowd, it may be a good idea to offer both a dark and a light roast, or to offer a medium roast all the time (a “house” coffee) and a different specialty coffee or roast every day or week.

Once roasted, coffee is ready for grinding. Many restaurants, perhaps yours included, leave this to the experts, and buy coffee in already-ground form. Once you expose ground coffee to air, it starts losing it’s flavor, leaving you with blander coffee later in the week than at the beginning. Some coffee connoisseurs turn their nose even at the least offensive pre-ground option, which is vaccuum-sealed single-serving packages. Even though no air can reach the contents, and they don’t lose their flavor over time, there still may be a legitimate reason for this abhorrence.

When you grind your own coffee, the dust that is created doesn’t stay in the grinder; it floats throughout your establishment, creating a distinct and delicious smell – one that is oft-loved even by non-coffee drinkers. This alone may be a good reason to grind your own coffee. Besides this, however, fresh-ground coffee does just taste better, and you have more control over how it is ground. There are probably entire books devoted to how to make the daily grind, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll just note that grinds go from coarse to fine. Coarsely ground coffee is used for specialty brewers like the French press or even more exotic Toddy cold-brew method. Finely ground coffee is used for espressos and other specialty brewers like the AeroPress. Since you are more than likely using a conventional drip-coffee brewer, a medium grind works best.

So now that you have your coffee ground, just throw it in the coffee maker with a filter and some water, and you’re good to go, right? Almost.

First, if you still use paper filters, it may be time to make the switch to a non-disposable filter, usually made out of fine metal or plastic mesh. Paper filters absorb coffee oils, removing some taste from the final result. Not that much, mind you, but if you are looking to serve your customers the best, it’s something to consider. Also, you’ll be cutting down on costs in the long run, as well as keeping filters out of the landfill.

Secondly, since black coffee consists of 99% water (shocking, I know), it’s important to know what’s going into it. The difference between filtered water and regular water is night and day, so you can imagine what happens to the coffee when you put hard water that smells like eggs in your brewer – not good. So, get a water filter; if you are a low-volume coffee-serving operation, Brita will work, for larger volumes, a dedicated in-line water filter will be best. Trust me, your customers will thank you.

That about covers the basics. Feel free to send us a Tweet if you liked this article or learned something from it, and if you want to purchase a coffee machine from us, visit www.coffeemakerworld.com. A new coffee machine, with the aforementioned tips, may just be the ticket to getting a boost in your early-morning traffic.

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125 Years (and Flavors) of Coca-Cola

August 23rd, 2011 by REW Blog Team

cokefs2

The world is moving at a fast pace,

and the restaurant industry is changing right along with it. Nearly ever new piece of major equipment sold has a computer chip in it somewhere, for starters. This has led to better regulated temperatures and cooking times; now delicate food offerings can be offered at a better consistency.

This trend isn’t regulated to just food, either. Coca-Cola has been steadily marketing it’s Freestyle Coca-Cola machines, and are soon going to launch a nation-wide campaign centered around the new-ish device. For those not in the loop, the new machine can crank out 125 unique drinks out of a single spout, thanks to ditching the traditional bag-in-a-box design, adding RDIF tags, and an innovative touch-screen. In fact, Coca-Cola recently added 19 drinks to the existing 106-drink lineup in anticipation of their 125th Anniversary. So, did a serviceman come out and update the machines? Did they add new syrups? Nope, it was all done in an automatic software update via the internet. It’s been touted as the next-generation soda machine, doing to traditional soda fountains what soda fountains did to soda jerks.


Watch this robot use a Free-Style dispenser

So, there’s a lot of hype, but is it really that big of a deal? In early August, Firehouse Subs, the fast-growing chain, announced plans to implement these new Coca-Cola Freestyle soda machines in every last one of their stores. That’s a pretty big investment. As a side note, as Coca-Cola controls something like 60% of the soda market, they probably have enough money to pull off some hefty customer satisfaction surveys. But then again, they also thought New Coke was a good idea. And yet again, they probably learned from that mistake.

What does this all mean? Is there truly anything special about this cacophony of carbonated concoctions?

Let me find that out for you. I just noticed that one of these Pininfarina-designed beasts (yes, really, the company best-known for it’s Ferrari designs, including the Daytona, F40, and 599 GTB) has been installed nearby, and I’ll be sure to report back when I try it. Peach Fanta is first on my list, followed by Orange Coke.

Obviously, this machine is exclusive to Coca-Cola, and Restaurant Equipment World does not sell it. Although we never enjoy watching your business go elsewhere, you can contact your local Coca-Cola representative about getting one for your establishment. With that being said, the Scotsman Prodigy C0322 and C0522 ice machines are definitely sold by us, and they are completely compatible with the new Coca-Cola Freestyle machine. So if you happen to get one, remember who let you know about it.

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Broken Equipment Isn’t the End To Your Counter!

July 8th, 2011 by REW Blog Team


When built-in equipment fails, it can be a pain to find a good replacement. Often, the holes left behind are odd sizes, or the counter material is not up to code. Finding something to fill the hole can feel like more trouble than it’s worth, leading to operators purchasing expensive new countertops.

That isn’t to say that new counter-tops don’t have any advantages. If you run a buffet, modernizing your establishment can bring added business by word-of-mouth, especially if you go with a much different or ultra-contemporary design. Incorporating round warmers, frost tops, heated wells, and ice cream freezers may also allow you to expand your current offerings, as well. Even if the design of the counter is classic, the counter material can really make a difference in how your food is perceived; for example, granite or stainless steel counter-tops can add some class. Either way, a new counter offers the ultimate in heated well flexibility – at a cost.

However, if your current counter design works for you, there are more (and often less expensive) options. Hatco’s heated wells, for example, can fill nearly any hole left behind by your old units. Even the controls are designed to more-easily replace the broken equipments’. In addition, if your counter is made of flammable materials (wood covered in faux granite, for example), Hatco offers optional mounting kits that make your operation fire-safe and compatible with most local codes.

If the holes from your old unit or units are extraordinarily oddly sized, it isn’t the end of the world for your old counter. Hiring a professional to widen those counter-top’s holes to accommodate traditionally-sized heated wells may be your best option, especially if you are working with expensive-to-replace granite. If the holes are already too big, talk to a professional carpenter or handy-man to see what your options are. If your counter-top is laminate-covered, depending on local codes, they may be able to add supports and material to make the hole smaller and then re-laminate your counter-top. If it is granite or a synthetic substitute, it may be possible to add a step-up ring that could incorporate a smaller warmer yet be supported by the surrounding counter-top. Again, it is best to consult with a professional who can assess your unique needs.

The take-away lesson is this: broken built-in equipment doesn’t necessarily mean unusable counter-tops. Check out all of your options before spending too much!

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