Wednesday, January 30, 2019

New Posts. Light-hearted and heart-felt thoughts about this restaurant business!

Eat A Bag Of Dicks.....

Ok, so here is how this went down.  This"'EABOD" was going to be in response to an on-line review I didn't necessarily agree with, one that was just full of nonsense. My initial response was going to be to answer to this person with a very simple "Eat A Bag Of Dicks". When I ran this by Laurie, my wife, my life partner as well as my business partner, she thought maybe that wasn't the best way to get started. Laurie is the yin to my yang, and we have a very different approach on how to deal with people, particularly pretentious people, "experts", haters or just miserable people. She might agree that said reviewer should be told to "eat a bag of dicks", but she would do it in a way that they not only will come around to agree with her way of thinking, but also have them not knowing they were just told to "eat a bag of dicks". We talked, we negotiated and we settled.
I agreed to not directly respond to anyone, name names, give out phone numbers or addresses, post photos....  She agreed that I can tell people to Eat A Bag Of Dicks when it is deserved.
Hell, the public has endless outlets to post their disappointment in businesses, to lie, to slander, to share their expertise in food and running restaurants in know what I am saying.
This is my forum to vent on bad customers, on bad behavior in restaurants or anything else that I need to vent about.....

Now, I just want to add....this is not to lessen legitimate critiques, complaints or shortcomings that we may have. We take them all very seriously, we learn and we correct. We always welcome feedback positive and negative, not only do we welcome it we encourage it, it is our only way of knowing things good or bad. That being said......

Jackson Pollock

So my first post this new forum here! Get this.....

 A very busy night, 2 hour waiting list kind of night.....Everyone worked their asses off all night...everyone did a great job. Closing time comes around, customers all gone, a time for everyone to breathe, have some family meal and get to the chores of cleaning up after service to get ready for the next day.  Server comes out from the mens room white...."Brad, you need to see the mens room". "What? Why?" "Just go look". That's when I ask my right-hand man in the kitchen if he can go take a look at the men's room and come back with a report. He comes back, kind of whiteish/green....."Its bad" he says.
Seems that some guy thought he was Jackson Pollock and decided our mens room was in need of some jazzing up. Shit everywhere. Are you kidding me?.....So now at 1am someone needs go in there, clean up this entire mess and sanitize the bathroom. What kind of animal does this? and thinks that this
is ok? Look, I understand accidents...even explosive accidents...but clean up your own shit asshole.
This is not acceptable behavior ANYWHERE...unless you are into weird shit, but that's a whole nuther blog.....  No-one should have to end their night of work dealing with this.....and to you sir....Eat A Bag Of Dicks!!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes and a BIG Thank You!

Changes are happening at Salt....

It's a bag of mixed emotions here at Salt as we let you all know that Tony Mandeville, who has been in the kitchen with us here for 10 years, not to mention another 4 with me at bula in Newton, is leaving us. Tony has an opportunity to head up opening a new kitchen in Bath Maine, and being that Tony is a true Mainer, being originally from Maine, this is a "going home" of sorts. We first can't thank Tony enough for all of the work he has put into Salt...the endless hours from day one. From the normal prep and lunch/dinner service that every chef has to endure daily to being a plumber and electrician to a furniture mover and carpenter (Tony and I built the Salt bar exactly 10 years ago and moved every piece of furniture and equipment into Salt, and that meant a lot of times driving my small pick up into and out of the city with stuff hanging out windows, piled over the roof and hanging over the sides held with tie-downs.). He also played Dad, Doctor, Psychologist, Counselor, Boss and head of HR for many a young men and woman who worked their way through Salt, while at the same time maybe sending a few to see a psychologist or counselor. Tony literally gave us everything for 10 years, and we will forever be grateful. That being said we also wish Tony the absolute best up in Maine and with the new place and with everything he does....He will always be a big part of the Salt family, and will always be one of the "Originals"... he will be missed by everyone! Tony's last day is on Wed. Dec. swing on in before that, leave a note, say good-bye, send him a beer....whatever. We just want to give him a big THANK YOU. And I for one can't wait for my next "Research & Development" road trip up to Bath Maine!

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Hard to believe 10 years is around the corner! No shit, where does the time go...I mean, it actually feels as though it's been a lifetime and that I have lived my entire life at Salt. At the same time it seems like yesterday we were just putting this whole thing together. Wow. That being said, where the hell did this year go? I would swear the last time I posted a blog, the "looking 50 in the eye" (a year ago almost to the day)was just a few weeks ago...Well, here we are, and here is another post... I keep telling myself that I need to get on here and let things out, to talk about things that even if no-one reads them I can get them out of my head and onto "paper". But life seems to get in the way, time seems too quick and then shit just fester's in my head....and as Kristin, our mixologist extraordinaire/bar manager/advice giver/therapist/listener and so many other things said today that I am always just "slightly angry", as I was giving one of my beer sales reps a sarcastic ration of shit in our weekly Thursday meeting today (yesterday). So I am going to make this the first year I actually make some resolutions for the new year. I will make a bunch, knowing that not many of them actually make it to let's start the list. 1. Blog more often to get things off my mind and put it out there in the world. 2. Be a little less "slightly angry" as Kristin describes it...I see more meditation in my future. 3. Running with the Salt Shakers again this year...clears the mind, sheds a few pounds, brings a little more focus, and hell they are a fun bunch of crazy ass drinkers with a running problem 4. Replace a low-boy refrigerator in the kitchen, though no-one out there gives a fuck about that, nor should they...but Tony will be happy 5. Bring in some incredible music to the Salt Stage, some of you may give a shit about that. 6. To continue to be an important part of the community through giving back, helping those that need a hand and being aware and appreciative of what's going on right here at home 7. To continue to strive to make out restaurant "green" and good stewards locally and globally. 8. To continue my Research & Development for the restaurant, by having to taste beers, foods and spirits. I know, I say "Brad, how do you keep the pace? How do you constantly taste beer and food and spirits from all over the world? I would hate to be you". Believe me, I know..It sucks. But it is the sacrifice I make and it is an important sacrifice that I am willing to make to better Salt for all. That is probably enough for now...maybe I will add some as the end of the year gets closer...But for now...Say-La-V

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Looking 50 square in the eye

I had forgotten about this blog place, and when I stumbled upon it again I actually had a lot of fun reading the older posts, though they seemed ages ago....and I mean ages. I sit here now looking 50 square in the eyes as it quickly approaches.....a mere 26 days away, and think to myself, Fuck.
Yep, thats the first thing that comes to mind and seems fitting for most of what has gone on over the past 10, 12, 15 years.
Let's see
*The "baby" started high school this year- Fuck
*We opened 4 restaurants- yep, thats a Fuck
*We helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities and the community- Fuck
*We had David Johansen, yes, New York Dolls DAVID JOHANSEN, THAT David Johansen, not once but twice play at Salt-Fuck (and thats a kind of high pitched long drawn out Fuck)
*We made my Grandmother Tillies chicken paprikash the national dish of Salt and the most highly anticipated Fall event in the North East, and this one I will give to her, because wherever she is, and looking down upon me she is saying Fuck (again in that high pitched long drawn out kind of way)
*Sprouted quite a few gray hairs, but managed to keep it all for the most part-Fuck
*I still drive the same truck I have had through all 4 restaurants, and probably the only car my kids ever remember me driving, yep-Fuck
*Ran not just 1, but 2 NYC marathons-Fuck (as in Fuck Yea)
*I was on "Chopped" and lost in the dessert round-Fuck (as in Fuck me, and you Scott Conant..fucking pasta)
*Lived to see the country elect Donald Trump as President-Yep, another Fuck (as in Holy Fuck,take that one how you will)
There are sooo many more "Fuck's", I could go on and on, but those are the first top 10 that popped in my head,so we'll leave it there for now. I have so much to be grateful for over these years as well. The family have all remained healthy, a few scares over the years but have all come out the other side. We have a great "work family" that we love as much as our own blood and are grateful for all they bring us and contribute. We have the most loyal, most giving and caring customers in the world and who really make Salt a community thing.  Again, I could go on and on about how much I have to be grateful for.
So here's to looking (with a raised glass of Ballantine) at 50 square in the eyes and saying Fuck You! Bring it on 50! I may look like hell and feel 90 years old and have a bum knee and the beginnings of arthritis in my hands. I may need a nap in the afternoon, and it may take me an hour after I get out of bed to finally lose the limp and straighten my back fully. I may now need "readers" (I didn't even know that fucking word a year ago) just to read my own menu. And so what if sometimes I realize midway through the day that I put my underwear on backwards, or that I don't give a shit if my socks match. Bring it on...

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Here we go again.....some "research and development" for some future Salty endeavors....a trip up to Monhegan Island, Maine...a long over-due trip that was gifted to us 2 years ago......Laurie and I finally picked a time we thought we could get away, a time that would be perfect.  We picked early September, which typically is a slightly slower time at Salt...a kind of transition time.  The weeknights  slow down a bit with school starting, yet right on the cusp of getting our asses handed to us with catering.  So what better time to try and take advantage of a few days.  Total bullshit!  The night before we are to leave is the night we host Shockenaw Mountain Boys for an awesome night of music and fun...which it was.  Then the power went out.  Not during the show, thanks to the music god's...but sometime during the over-night, something right before we are to leave for the weekend.  We get word from Mike at 8:44 am, "Powers out at Salt"....I think to myself, "Ok, this has happened numerous times, power goes out for short periods of time quite a bit, hell it is JCP&L...this is to be expected.  We did have quite a heavy rain and some wind last night".  Not in my wildest dream did I expect it to kill our Friday lunch business...but it did.  So now on our way north towards Maine we are texting and calling Salt and our team there, friends, the town offices, councilmen, the mayor and JCP&L.  Feeling eerily like something that happened in the not to distant proved to be not much different.  JCP&L knew nothing, nor did the town...but I can tell you, our Salt team knew!  No power, and no answers...from anyone!  So as I trek my way north towards Maine, with a knot in my stomach, but thinking all along there is no way this can be like last time.....after all it was a fucking rain storm.  No tornado. No hurricane. No fires. Not much of anything out of the ordinary. The trek towards Maine continues after talking to JCP&L and feeling pretty sure that power will be restored by mid-lunch. Yeah right...  Word we keep getting to us that 6:30pm latest...then midnight latest, then Sat. by noon, and definitely no later then 8pm Saturday night.  At this point I am throwing up outside the car, not really, but mentally....By the time we hit the Maine border we are both sick with anxiety and guilt for not being at the restaurant during such a crisis, a crisis we had no idea that was upon us.  As we enter Maine and the sun has fast set...we hit the black highway and get slammed with  sheets of rain.....the kind of rain that makes you feel as though you are entering Hell itself.   Sight is about 3 inches from the windshield, the wipers can't keep it off fast enough.  No lights on the highways up here, nothing open past 8pm...the highway is deserted, dark and fucking creepy.  At this point I am waiting for the car to careen off the road, land in a ditch and the wife and I have to meander through the Maine woods hoping to find life, only to be found by some three eyed, twelve fingered beauty to invite us in to get dry.  Or perhaps a "Brad" moment in the Rocky Horror, which may have been fun, but anyway....
  We keep forging North....finally coming upon our  exit..."Port Clyde"  and the rain slows....but man, we are in the midst of nothing.  We drive around everywhere, looking for anything in the midst of nothing...and we found alot of nothing and not a clue as to where to turn.  Running in circles and dead ends we see a sign for "town". Literally a broken, wooden, hand painted tiny sign...what the fuck right? To "town" we go....sure as shit, thats where we needed to be, kind of.