Who knew that a story about behind-the-scenes of a big restaurant could be gripping, but this one is. I guess it’s a combination of a fascinating operation with outstanding writing. Check it out.
Produce comes in, too — 50-pound cases of russets from Idaho stacked head high and six deep; spinach, asparagus, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes — as do dry goods, dairy and some 500 pounds of insanely expensive peanut oil for the French fries. The restaurant employs six stewards to deal with deliveries and storage alone; they weigh goods and check them against invoices, putting everything in its proper place, keeping the Health Department happy. At a typical restaurant, as much as one-third of the overhead goes to food costs, and so efficiency is an imperative. “Monday, you’ll see,” Kelvin Arias, the head steward, tells me, “all the walk-ins will be empty.”