Saturday, June 28, 2003

Wow, a bunch of time has gone by since the last entry. A lot of things have gone on. Most importantly our air conditioner was installed and I can report after several weeks that it is working well.

We have run through a few of Alan's specials. The most popular seems to be the huge salad with two fennel sausages. The current special is a quad burger on French bread with mozzarella and marinara.

We also had Mike work on the base for a curry sauce for us. It's not perfected yet. I want it a bit sweeter and less acidic but you can still come in and taste the "work in progress." We have been selling sides of it for 50 cents (2 oz). It's great on fries, Schnackies, and the turkey.

We are also running a veggie special. Vegan duck with POD (Potato of the Day) and sauteed veggies with a choice of marinara or curry sauce.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Another week has come and gone so quickly I can't believe it... Our weekend special will be fried tuna cakes and a small mixed chopped salad and POD (Potatoes of the Day!).

The big news is Schnack At Night, will be starting this Saturday!! 11:30pm to 2am -- Hot Dogs, Cold Beer and Music.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

We had a busy Monday, and a few glitches like a new waitress who showed up at 11am instead of 9am and had to leave by 12:30. Steve (the elder) stepped into the breach and pulled a double shift on about 4 hours of sleep. While I was off on Tuesday, Alan, our electrician, and with some help from Brent, installed a 35,000 BTU air conditioner above "table 5." It really cools the place down but it blows hard enough to make it difficult to put some specials up on the wall!

We have been running a sloppy joe-like special called Sloppy Schanck, a huge spicy plate of beef and vegetable saute. Jubilat didn't make the Knockwurst for us this week so I'm running their "jumbo" knock; I took the last of the skinnier ones and some bacon and made Japanese style coconut curry special, served of course over Japanese rice. Now of course Curry, Knockwurst and Bacon may never have appeared in the same recipe before.. but they work well together. Besides, Mrs Lee at the market next door loves it!

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Shaun from RangeMaster showed up today about 5pm and fixed our oven. It has a new pilot and some other new parts and all is good in Schnackland. We had been forced to bake off some pork earlier today at the Red Rail. Starting tomorrow we will have Cheesecake with Caramel Lemon sauce! We may bake off another banana/chocolate bread pudding again as well.

While it was a bit of a slow night at Schnack, we saw plenty of old friends stop by. Mitch and his mom, Rhonda, stopped by for dueling Reubens; one with tofu and one with Pastrami. Zack, known to many as the video guy at Pegasus, is off to NC for a week of consulting.

The good news is we added a Chocolate Shake special with Banana for $3.75, and Alan's special for the weekend is a huge salad w/ two knockwurst! A great deal at $7.50; like many of our other specials, Zack was the first to try the salad knockwurst combination. He loved it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Gravy and French Fries -- the true golden combination. In the full flush of my teenage youth (age 14) I spent 5 weeks biking through the Canadian Maritime, and on a treeless wind swept isle 8 hours deep into the North Atlantic near white sand beaches an older lady in a small shack of a building sold Fries with Onion Sauce. A light, creamy, runny, tan gravy filled with dark specs of carmelized onion. I've asked Mike to work on the Schnack version. Ours, if we ever make it, will be a bit more spicy and intense.

Last night I was inspired to do all of this by a customer who ordered a plate of large fries and a side of Sausage Gravy! He is traveling into the Maritime and I've asked him to report back on whatever gravy he encounters.

In the meantime, Brandon, who is a rather regular-regular has suggested we run banana and chocolate milkshakes -- I'm working out the details for that next week.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Another day another link.. We are listed now in the Brooklyn Blog Directory. We are, as of today, one of the 5 most recently added Brooklyn Blogs and thus are mentioned on their main page The listing says, "It's A Schnack Life: At 122 Union St, is a small Hot Dog joint called Schnack; It sits on Union St, the "Gateway to Redhook." This is the Schnack Blog! | 6/5/2003 12:24:17 PM"

It was a rainy day in Brooklyn which slowed us down a bit.. but we saw plenty of old friends coming in for some beer and burgers.

We are currently running a few specials. We had some extra ground turkey and so we are doing some turkey schnackies. Alan made up some strawberry shortcake and with very minor help from Alan, Doug did a second batch of his "Sausage Gravy."

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Now they are saying the stove/oven repair guy will not be around until Monday. We made up a batch of brownies anyway and "grilled" them by covering the baking pan w/ foil and heating it on the griddle. They came out good! We still need to make another cheesecake but that will have to wait until the oven is ready.

Last night was the second Friday night in a row that we did a great late night business. Last Friday at 11pm we had 20 people in the room. Yesterday we had even more. So we kept our doors and phone lines open until 11:30 and the last people left around 11:50. If this keeps up we will change our hours on Friday and stay open til Midnight.

DJ Zebra Blood and Alan finally got a chance to meet last night; this completed the circle of bringing everyone into the loop on "Schnack At Night."

Thursday, June 05, 2003

We are still having some problems with our oven and I've asked Mike to work on an alternative dessert if we are unable to bake more cheesecake and brownies.
More notes about us on the web..

From the May section of, we find, "Schnack 122 Union St., Red Hook Brooklyn, 718-855-2879 : Owned and operated by Alan Harding of “Patois” in Cobble Hill, this casual spot serves beer, milkshakes and burgers."

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Not much else to report. We moved forward more on our "Red Hook Disco Road House." We are working on a special menu which will cover the regular menu so there isn't any confusion, and we are also thinking about making a "Schnack At Night" sign for the window so that everyone can see it isn't just the regular old Schnack..

A lot of "drama" at Schnack in the last few days.. The biggest is our new menu is out and we have thousand of copies ready to hand out to those who want to take them home so they can get Schnack take-out.

One of our waiters has been going through a rough time and he didn't show up for work today. I was set to cook a double shift but I had to move in to fill the waiter position.  But Doug, on a few hours of sleep, (not expecting to work until Thurs or Fri) stepped up to the plate and worked the double for me. I did the morning table waiting until Chris took over at 4:30.

We also got in the first 10 lbs of our new Fennel Sausage. It's being made for us by our butcher to our specifications. I wanted something that's not like every other Italian sausage in the area, and Alan wanted it to be thin. I had been planning on baking the sausage until it was par-cooked but the oven was in need of repair (more drama). I par-boiled some and it tastes great, although it does have some "spice" to it.. for me a medium amount. In the process of cooking it and making our portions of it, we ended up with some trimmings.

Taking full advantage of Doug's time spent in The South and on oil rigs, I jumped at his suggestion that we use them to make a sausage gravy, thus creating our first special of the day for our new menu.. Two thin Fennel Sausage links over white bread toast with Sausage Gravy (with a side of "potato of the day.")   Yummy pork fat, spices, and starch!!

I'm hoping that Mike runs it tomorrow over grits or something like that.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

We are testing the new page for Schnack At Night... I'd love your e-mailed comments if you like this test page:

We had a great Monday. Doug, who has been training with us for a while on the grill/griddle did his first solo run with breakfast/lunch today. He rated himself as doing a C+ job but it was better than that for sure. Everyone was happy. Also, Steve, who had a recent death in his family was back at work today working the evening shift.

We have been selling the bread pudding and it has been going really fast, and everyone seems to like Mike's Caramel Lemon Sauce!!

Our new menus will be ready to be picked up at the printer's tomorrow, so we should have them ready to be handed out by Wednesday when we switch to that menu.

We taste tested our new "fennel" sausage made for us specially by one of the butchers we use. It's heavy on the fennel with some added imported cheese and a nice spicy kick at the end. We let about a dozen customers try it as well and they liked it... They are currently making up a batch of 10 lbs for us for Wednesday.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

We had our busiest morning ever at Schnack, in part to a large take-out order and a rather full dining room of people in search of BRUNCH.

Tomorrow we are putting some banana/chocolate bread pudding on as a special; we are expecting to serve it with a lemon caramel sauce.

What else? We are briefly mentioned in an article about food in the St. Petersburg Times.

They say, "Throughout the city, the hip hunger for simpler eats further down the price chain has foodies crazy for sandwiches. One chef won attention last year for closing a gourmet restaurant to give New Yorkers cheese steaks in the style of Philadelphia and south Jersy. Now there are foodie ventures such as Grilled Cheese or Peanut Butter & Co. and hot dog specialists at Crif Dogs and Schnack"