My Fellow Texas French Bread lovers,
I stand before you today to tell you that the state of our bakery game is STRONG.
Thank you, Thank you... (waits for applause to die down, peers out into vast cavernous room, adjusts apron)...
Today I can report to you that 2015 was a bellwether year for our little bakery community. Sales were up. Annoying problems were down. And the quality and consistency of our food and service continues to improve! (standing ovation, wild applause...)
Ok - I don't know where that silliness is coming from, but I did want to say what a great year we had, and I guess with the State of the Union and all, that's what popped out. In all seriousness, last year was an amazing year for us at TFB. We met or exceeded virtually every goal we set for ourselves. We are incredibly grateful to all of you who show up week in and week out to support us, making yourselves an essential part of the community we seek to build. You have given us an incredibly precious gift - a chance to do good and meaningful work that we care about. And we could not be more grateful - thank you.
Anyway, since we've finally been having cooler weather, I was planning on writing about our coffee program. I figured the best place to start was to sit down and talk to Josh Williams - the coffee program is really his love child. He was instrumental in getting us up and running a couple of years ago with new, state-of-the-art equipment and a detailed training program for our staff to ensure that we're really cranking out the good stuff.
Anyway - that conversation wasn't quite as detailed as I hoped.
Me: Josh, what are the most important bullet points I can hit regarding our coffee program?
Josh: (thinks for a minute) Well... tell them it's really good coffee, better than a lot of other restaurants... and, um... they should just come in and get a cappuccino.
OK - not quite what I was looking for. So, deterred, I changed tracks. I thought maybe I'd write more about the bread that I've been baking - it comes out of the oven hot just before we start dinner service every day. And here I encountered the opposite problem.
Me: Ok, what are the most important bullet points I can hit regarding our bread program?
Also Me: (begins written response and 30 pages later is still writing in excruciating detail on our bread program)-
Also not very helpful...
Fortunately, this week Chef Ben rescued me. We've got something like seven new dishes on the dinner menu that I'm incredibly excited to eat (and describe to you). First, if you haven't tried the pasta bolognese, you need to. It's a cold weather dish, so it won't be around forever. We have limited quantities at night because the pasta is made fresh daily. Get here early; it's not to be missed (and not to toot my own horn, but it goes pretty well with the bread I've been making).
Also worthy of note - we have in some stunningly sweet and delicious gulf shrimp that are just hours out of the water. We're grilling them and saucing them with anchovy butter.
Ben's new cauliflower gratin is (as Josh Williams noted about our coffee program) really good.
And finally, there's my new personal fave - ridiculously fresh Spanish Mackerel from the Gulf. It's going out pan-seared with kale and garlic over a thick, hearty romesco (full of olive oil, bread, almonds and sweet peppers).
It's a good week to join us for dinner - hope to see you soon.
PS - this just in - on the menu tonight will be lamb shank served with couscous, dried fruit, almonds, shaved fennel, and mint. There will also be a new small plate of marinated grilled carrots, cumin yogurt and carrot top tabouleh.