how do you create a bar menu/ happy hour menu

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by left4bread, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. left4bread

    left4bread

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    Not "how does one", but "how do you".

    I nixed the bar menu as it wasn't selling and every item on it was non-transferable to regular menu items

    (e.g. calamari, risotto, artichoke hearts were used ONLY on bar menu).

    I'm trying to rewrite both menus using items already in stock, as opposed to getting in items specifically for those limited menus.

    Seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Do you use this same method, or do you serve ample amounts of happy hour/bar menu items to warrant ordering items specifically for those menus?
     
  2. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Sounds like you're on the right track. Cross utilization and elimination of vanity products are usually good ideas.

    I'm a little bit surprised that fried calamari is being such a dog on your menu.

    Funny you should mention rissoto on the bar menu. Leftover rissoto becomes tomorrow's arroncini.
     
  3. left4bread

    left4bread

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    Gahhhhhh  There was no "leftover" risotto.  Gahhhhhh! making risotto for bar menu...  Gahhhhh!

    ...one step at a time.....

    Calamari.  Well, as you may remember, I'm new to this place, so maybe everyone was serving breaded rubber bands, IDK.

    She no sell.

    Also, the bar is not full of patrons.  Maybe a few "gimme" items are in order to boost alcohol sales/attract bar customers.

    hmmmm.....

    What's your bar menu look like tincook?  you're working again, right?
     
  4. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Filling in for a caterer's pastry/all purpose guy, atm.
    TBH, it sounds like there are some underlying problems that might not be fixed just with a menu change.

    I'd consider demoting your potato chips to freebie status. Good spot to make it your signature thing. Hot fresh potato chips. You can get vegetable and dairy powders really easily now if you want to use those in flavorings. At the very least, get some vinegar powder.

    Weren't you the guy with the case of gordita shells and no inspiration? Stuff em with cheese and other stuff and griddle em. Quesadillas are pretty popular bar fare, and could fit in with the rest of the regular menu. Looks like you got most of the ingredients already on the menu, and could easily feature several varieties. Bet you could do a mean pulled pork version.

    There is also the merchand du vin. It's a long skinny baguette (kinda the opposite of a batarde). French wine bar owners would split it, and make a simple sandwich out of it, like a smear of butter and some dry cured ham. He'd cut off pieces as needed. I could see some of those looking nice under a glass dome on the bar.

    Sliders... I hate making them.

    Supposedly pickled eggs are making a come back.

    Three of my all time favorite bar foods from places I've worked:

    Fried and battered olives (smallish green ones) w/ aioli.

    Fried calamari and chickpeas. Marinated in buttermilk, dredged in flour, fried. Tossed with some lemony olive oil, parsley and chopped pepperoncini. (From the same place as the olives)

    Fresh baked soft pretzles with a side of mustard sauce.
     
  5. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Have an alarm clock preset. If it goes off when you are sitting at the bar, you get a free drink. Give them pnut,pretzels goldfish anything that makes them thirsty
     
  6. thetincook

    thetincook

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    I can't believe I forgot atomic buffalo turds. You take a jalapeno pepper, core, stuff it with seasoned cheese mixture, wrap some thin bacon around it, and smoke or bake it till the bacon is cooked. They've been amazingly popular whenever I've served them, and I've never seen them around.
     
  7. left4bread

    left4bread

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    Thanks, guys. 

    Had a really crappy day, mentally.

    The replies helped cheer me up.

    Making turds tomorrow (yes, literally and figuratively).

    I like the goldfish idea...

    Thanks again, made my night less crappy.

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif /halved

    We have "ficelle" sandwiches on the menu.  Ham and brie, coppa and salami, tuna and cucumber.

    Perhaps a bite size portion is in order.
     
  8. thetincook

    thetincook

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    How'd the 'turds do?
     
  9. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    a few examples of your main menu could help some people here suggest some ideas for your bar that help you reduce food wastes from your main menu, like... yesterdays braised beef are todays bar tacos... but if you're in the position to write menus im sure you've thought of things like that. I worked in a pizzeria once that we shaved the faces off of all the meats and cheeses in the deli so they looked fresh again, and took some left over pizza dough and made stomboli during lunch.  Profit from garbage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  10. left4bread

    left4bread

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    They came out fine, no coaxing.  Pretty much like clockwork.

    I usually just attribute it to the beer and/or wine from the night before, but this time... just a really good texture; good color tone.

    As a side note, I tried those ABTurds the other day.  Blue cheese stuffed and wrapped with immature bacon, went in oven for 10 mins.  pretty good!

    We only gots the 1/4 inch bacon, so I tried some on the flat top until well done, pulled it off and wrapped a few while it was still hot and pliable.

    After my fingers were done burning, seriously, and the skewers were in place, I dunked them in beer batter (one part pilsner, one part lemon/lime soda, flour, baking powder) and fried them.

    My opinion: too heavy. beer batter was overkill.  peppers weren't cooked enough, despite the ample time in the fryer.

    DW's opinion:  "thanks!"

    Bartender's opinion:  "Wow!, You gonna put that on the menu?"

    Mixed reviews, if you consider mine.
    Yeah, I know what I'm doing, but I never know for sure what I'm doing.  That pizzeria?  Kinda where I am.  :)

    I don't want to print my menu and have someone else do my work for me.  That's not fair.

    Just hit a creative wall.  Fishing for ideas...  Trying (poorly) to mask my intentions. 
     
     
  11. thetincook

    thetincook

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    You could also try blanching the bacon. Not sure I'd fry with bacon. Sugar in your beer batter going to make it brown faster, but yeah, I agree that peppers need some parcooking if your going to fry them. I like to char them and get the skin off. Better flavor and the batter adheres better. Never seen ABT's fried before. They seem to be creatures of the smoker or the oven.
     
  12. thetincook

    thetincook

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    LOL, you had me going for a while.