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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Making the menu...

So.... for about 2 years we have been trying to decide what is the best way to let people know what there is to eat at Diva...should we just use a chalkboard or have a proper menu? well...we have kinda been doing both...I will start with the beginning...

For those of you who don't know, the original cafe was in Kinsale, back then my idea was mostly a coffee house, ten years ago in Ireland it wasn't that common to have the "coffee house" environment, we had the, cakes, cookies and a few cold drinks..but then the public wanted more of cafe thing, LUNCH... So, to bring the people in, we added salads, wraps, soup and sandwiches...all of this was then made at my house and then brought to my tiny cafe...and it worked! The cafe was always busy and people loved what we had to offer....we didn't have a menu, it was all written up on a chalk board...there were 4 salads to choose from 2 sandwiches and 2 wraps that were served hot. And it pretty much changed every day, so the chalk board was good.

Then, my lease was up and I made the brave move to head out to the countryside by the, that was a different situation all together, but the main difference was we had a proper kitchen. The place was small, so i was thinking I would do a little gourmet store..everything to take away...keep it simple..that was the plan....but my customer's did not have that plan in mind, they wanted the same Diva they knew in Kinsale...

Thanks to the help of my landlord's construction began, the yard out the back was turned into a kitchen and the old kitchen was then turned into more seating..we went from being able to seat 8 people to being able to seat 25.

That was great...but now, I had to decide how to proceed with the we change it daily? or make a proper menu with specials on the board? what happened was both...a year and a half ago, I printed up a few things on a plain piece of was getting towards the end of the season, so i wasn't going to put too much effort in to it... My plan backfired...a food critic decided to grace us with her presence, she took one look at my piece of paper and walked out!! Never mind that we had a beautiful quiche made with local organic leeks and cashel blue, a lovely organic black bean and pumpkin soup and I had tasty cakes and cookies on the pastry case ready to be, no...she looked at my homemade menu and walked out the door.. Well, the only thing I have to say is she missed out. Later on in the week a chef from a Michelin rated restaurant tasted our brown butter mixed berry tarts and said they tasted amazing...he even asked me how we made them! I also think she didn't like our "vibe"...she was looking to have her ass can read her column in a Irish newspaper.. we won't name any names


So, today, I sat for 3 hours making a menu... I am having it printed... It will look professional... You never know, food critic's might take us a little more seriously...


PS... this past year I did have a better menu, it was laminated and it had a cool boarder and our logo...we still had our chalkboard to deal with the stuff that wouldn't fit onto my homemade menu, the professional one will have it all in one neat little package...let us know what you think!


At March 23, 2010 at 3:15 PM , Blogger Sharon Lynn Fisher said...

How I would love to come check it out, Shannen! Sounds delicious. And Lord knows I'll use any excuse to go back to Ireland. ;) Congrats on the VIP visitor.


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