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If You Could Create Any Restaurant....

What food would it be solely dedicated to? Like subway has sandwiches...what would yours be? I thought about it this morning and I would open a restaurant focused on creating different versions of a cinnamon roll. Yes, Cinnabon, Cindy's Cinnamon Rolls, etc. are open, but they don't offer orange rolls, or white chocolate toffee rolls!!! That might be a good thing for my waistline, though :) Anyway, what would you create??

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  1. Braised meats, if I had to pick just one.

    1. Oatmeal.

      Sweet, savory, rolled, steel cut, traditional porridge style, set cut and sauteed crispy polenta style, standalone, crusting proteins, cookies, shakes, dessert bars...

      its pretty much the perfect food.

      heck, if your cinnamon roll shop was successful, we could pair up and design an oatmeal to replicate it.

      1. I have this idea that I would like to open a cafeteria/prepared foods take-out in an area where a large real estate building has been abandoned, e.g., an anchor store in a strip mall on a highway or busy thoroughfare. The concept would be to run it like the old Morrison's Cafeterias that used to proliferate the South. The food wood be made of high quality ingredients and nothing like the cheap all-you-can-eat buffets that are prominent on today's landscape. The meal would consist of a main portion and sides for about 5 bucks. Additional sides would be priced at an additional .99-1.99. Soft beverages and desserts would be priced also at .99-1.99. There would be a mandatory service charge of one dollar imposed for each patron, which would be redistributed back to the staff. The idea would be to let the less fortunate come out and experience a meal out of the home and enjoy better restaurant fare at an inexpensive price. Those who could not afford to pay would not be turned away. In general, the food would be priced at cost and would not be run for profit. i would imagine I would serve a thousand people a day minimum, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

        Now here's the catch.....

        * The business model would include participation from the state government

        * The management would be food industry professionals giving back donating their time and expertise.

        * The labor/staff would include Culinary students from the local schools, colleges or academies seeking experience in the food industry......paid internships

        * The labor/staff would include people who have been receiving unemployment benefits for six months....where it would be required they accept a position for employment. If they decline, then they would automatically lose their benefits. If they accept, then any deficiencies in their pay would be supplement by their state through unemployment benefits.

        * The labor/staff would also include people who are welfare recipients, as their participation would be required if they wish to continue receiving benefits(supplements explained above). My intention would be to teach them life skills to be productive in the workplace and get them off welfare. As an incentive to excel, I would provide them with the guarantee for promotion and advancement within the company or any assistance possible for future employment through networking within the food industry.

        * The labor/staff would include anyone who wanted a job regardless of age and etc.

        * The staff would include handicapped/special needs persons without prejudice.

        * The labor/staff would also include non-violent ex-convicts who would agree to be put on a short leash and be strictly monitored for their performance and actions, the goal being to reintroduce them into society and become productive individuals.....the idea of giving them a second chance.

        * All employees would sign a code of conduct clause, for both on and off the job, to ensure their proper respect to their fellow employees and the community where they reside.

        In short, it would be a learning center to bring people together at the table.

        10 Replies
        1. re: fourunder

          This sounds wonderful! It is similar concept to what we are working on at our CSA farm. I hope that you do it! Keep the faith

          1. re: Fiona

            Very nice....I applaud your efforts.

          2. re: fourunder

            Fourunder, Seattle has a program like this called FairStart. It trains homeless people to be able to work in the food and restaurant industry. The food served at lunch and dinner is excellent.

            1. re: Leper

              Thank you very much for the information. I'll have to read up on the program and put it on the short list should I ever revisit Seattle.

            2. re: fourunder

              Fourunder: Sacramento has such a place for homeless women. It trains them to work and gives them job skills so that they can move on and get work elsewhere! Great concept!

              1. re: dimsumgirl

                That's great to hear.....I have to wonder why every municipality doesn't start similar programs. It's really a no brainer. Thanks for posting.

                1. re: fourunder

                  Hi Fourunder
                  I just checked and the restaurant is not just for homeless women; our local program is for homeless women who have children. It's a 6-12 month program designed to give the women the skills to become self-sufficient. And the program includes day care for the children while the women are working. Nice, comprehensive package!

                  1. re: dimsumgirl

                    Very nice....publicly funded or private donations?

                    1. re: fourunder

                      I think it's grant funded and public donations; profits from the food sales.

              2. Wow, I'm torn. My initial thought was pizza - because I love a tender Napolitana as much as the next guy - but I love a filling meal of meat and potatoes.

                So either exquisite cuts of meat from a wide variety of animals - beef, bison, deer, pheasant, goose, etc. - or tender, true Italian-style pizza.

                1 Reply
                1. For me, it would be my wife's take on New Orleans Creole cuisine.


                  1. cereal bar - different granolas, different cereals, different yogurts, fruits, milks, cheeses for toppings -

                    1. Fish tacos or tiramisu for me.

                      1. When I was young I hated my mother's meatloaf (she put wet white bread in it) so I would always say I hated meatloaf & invariably someone would say "you would like MY meatloaf". Then one night I actually had a dream about opening a meatloaf restaurant that I would call "Meatloaves" & get everyone's different recipes & make them in little aluminum loaf pans & name it after the person whose recipe it is like "Jan's tangy" or "Mike's BBQ" & I would serve them with homestyle sides like green beans & mashed potatoes. I will never open this restaurant but if anyone wants to steal this idea, I would eat there.

                        1. Desserts. I have talked about this before and I am just waiting for a local eatery downtown to shut the doors so i can take over the property and open my dessert shop. hehehe.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: PotatoHouse

                            I'd open the exact same restaurant shown in the God Father where the police chef gets 'offed'.
                            That style of restaurant must have served some wicked ravioli back them.

                          2. "The Gumbo Wagon." I would do my famous gumbo at a commercial kitchen, then put it in a "wagon" - probably a converted ice cream delivery van - and drive through neighborhoods before dinner time with the bell going. It would just be gumbo and rice. You can by small, medium or large portions.

                            1. My fantasy restaurant. A restaurant whose soul purpose is to satisfy cravings. Anything the customer wants the restaurant will make. And if the customer is unsure, the kitchen just surprises them with the perfect meal. Kind of like dining at Hogwarts or in Neverland.

                              In real life. A restaurant without a menu, but the theme of the meal would be known in advance. Only two seatings, served family style, at a couple long tables. The target customers would be couples, singles, and those new to an area or students. A dinner party of strangers.

                              1. I would run a french fry cart. We would offer one food and one food only: fresh-cut russet potatoes double-fried in shortening. No burgers and hot dogs, or gimmicky stuff like poutine, just fries with salt. Having just one item ensures maximum fry quality and process efficiency, not to mention profit margin. There would be a counter on the outside with all kinds of sauces, seasonings and vinegars for customers to add their own.

                                1. Probably pizza or ice cream. I like the idea of unlimited creativity and combinations. I even devised a menu of all the pizzas we would have once.

                                  1. This is maybe not quite what you were asking, but I've thought for a while that a noma-style terroir restaurant in semi-rural Alaska would be really interesting.

                                    1. Lauren, I would have no menu. I would have the wait staff ask each patron their astrological sign. Then return to the kitchen and post the order. The cooks would create the dish accordingly....

                                      1. i'm going to respond in a little different manner. There is a restaurant building near our house. Right now it has an average Mexican restaurant. Before that it had an Italian restaurant in which the family who owned it moved from NE Minneapolis to the 'burbs. It was open for almost 50 years at its original location, but lasted about three years after it moved. What I would loke at that spot is a restaurant just like one near my aunt's house in Wisconsin, just across the river. It's a pizzaria but also has a full American menu of soups, sandwiches, burgers, and homey entrees. It's a nice small-town restaurant and the only thing we have nearby are chains and sports bars, Asian, and Mexican.