Friday, May 25, 2012

Atlanta Underground Market 03/04/12

So it turned out that Atlanta Underground Market was becoming so popular that it had to surface. So we immediately signed up when the date for the last market was announced. We had been doing well, selling most of our goods, and having many repeat customers. All that being said, it almost didn't happen. Rebecca's cousin ad recently become engaged and was having their engagement party, in the next state over. I asked a couple co-workers to help out and ask Rebecca to make my apologies for me. Heck, I even had a back-up helper in case the first one backed out. We had learned a better way to operate from each market and this was surely going to be the easiest one yet. The menu had been decided upon and shopped for. All advanced prep had been done and everything was set.

The only photo of the night, the pork belly pastrami sandwich.
The menu was again three things, two of which we repeated from the previous market. The Scotch egg had sold out lickety-split so it was back. The Pork-rinds are always a hit. And I had a great sandwich up my sleeve to knock all their socks off. The organizer said that there was another event being held next door, so we should be ready for a big turnout!

About opening time I realized not only had I forgotten to grab the pork rinds, which I had left sitting in the kitchen, but I got a text that my helper wasn't coming. On top of that I couldn't reach the back-up, who hadn't returned a call all weekend! So there I was without any help. My responsibilities were to include: order taking, cash handling, order filling, complete set-up and finally complete take-down. But only the first three, which in this type of set-up happen simultaneously and must follow certain sanitation guidelines.

Right off the bat I solved the cash handling trouble. Since I forgot the pork rinds, the box in which they usually sat was left empty. I quickly placed a linen in it and a small spread of one and five dollar bills. I simply asked everyone to make their own change since I was short handed. I kept an eye on the process and it worked out fine, besides throwing some people for a loop when I asked them to do it. Everyone happily complied once they realized why! This made the jobs of order taking and filling quite easy. As it turned out, the big event next door did draw a lot of people. Not to our event though. But rather to fill up the entire parking lot for the area and leave most of our potential attendees searching for parking, and many failing.

For those lucky enough to get in (2/3 the attendance of the previous market) they gobbled up my Pork Belly Pastrami sandwiches. It was a traditional pastrami prep where I substituted pork belly for the brisket. I followed the same spicing, curing (brining) and cooking techniques as I do for my pastrami. I sliced it thin and put it on a H&F Bread Roll and topped the thing off with a cabbage slaw and scallions. The belly had the perfect lean to fat ratio and the spice was perfect. What little didn't was enjoyed my me at home the next few days!

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