Is it a good thing when the fire department shows up on only your seventh day of business? I've been pondering this question since it happened at around 12:30pm today.
On the one hand, it means that I'm cooking so many burgers and fries that I'm generating a ton of smoke, so that's a good thing. But somehow the smoke was going into the restaurant next door (Trattoria Demi--I love the fried calamari with banana peppers) and offices above and someone called the fire department. Woo-hoo!
I tried to explain that we were just cooking lots of burgers (seriously, the menu mix has been about 30:1 burgers to anything else) and after a cursory walk-through and look-around the six or eight firemen that were suddenly everywhere seemed satisfied that our smoke was of no danger to anyone, and took their leave.
So the downside of all that burger smoke is that when it doesn't go up and out like it's supposed to, things start to cost a lot of money.
Honestly, I think the main problem is that so many people keep ordering the char burger, which is our 8oz. thick burger that gets cooked to the requested degree of doneness on the char grill. Cooking it on our really hot grill generates a ton of smoke.
In my opinion, the meat doesn't come out as nice this way as it does when it's cooked on the griddle with the smaller 4oz. patties, and I've actually toyed with the idea of removing the char burger option from the menu due to the fact that it takes longer and is also more of an adventure, since the cook is trying to hit temps--medium, medium rare, etc.
But the freshly ground beef is coming out so nice that I really hate to remove the option of having it cooked that way, if that's what one person or another prefers. But to anyone who asks, I'm recommending the griddled burger.