Monday, February 22, 2010

New Addition to Our Family

For those of you who know me, know I'm a huge dog lover! I have my own Teacup Pomeranian, Lola, who is the love of my life! She's 5lbs of pure love! Meray also has a dog, Hannah, who is a Shiatsu. Two dogs that are treated like little princesses! For example, my father spoiled them when they were pups by chopping up little bits of rotisserie chicken into there food. Now they cannot eat their food without it. To make matters even worse, and kind of funny, they don't eat the chicken if it's more than two days old. They look at us like "are you seriously trying to feed us this" and walk away in protest! Thanks Dad!!
A couple months ago, I was going through my mail and received a card, and when I opened it a picture fell out. It was a picture of the cutest little dog, so I read the card to see what this was all about. As I was reading, the card introduced me to "Olive", the new puppy of Jeff and Lynn, two very good customers of Olives. The said they loved Olives so much they named their new puppy ofter us! I couldn't believe it! What an amazing gesture! That simple card made my whole day. I was walking around showing everyone "Olive", the new addition to our family (picture coming soon)! I want to thank Jeff and Lynn for supporting Olives and more importantly for Olive herself! She's adorable!!
Finally, I cannot write a blog about dogs, without a quick shout out to "Indie", the dog of Cindy and Rick. Who is an honorary member of Olives' "dog family". With all this doggie support, I guess I have to start getting my Dad to make dog food! I'll add it to his to-do list!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Arnold Palmer - I guess he's a good golfer...

Alright - All you golf lovers are going to think I'm crazy for what I'm about to tell you, but you have to remember who's telling the story! I want to start off by saying that I know Arnold Palmer is an amazing golfer and he's won some tournaments (with green jackets)...blah, blah, blah! But thank God I didn't know the extent of this prior to meeting him. Here is my run in with a man that makes men fall to their knees - literally!!
This happened around a year ago. The GM of the hotel runs over and tells me that Arnold Palmer was staying at the hotel that evening. He was trying to act all cool about it, but I could see the look of a giddy school boy on his face. He told me not to tell anyone. I thought to myself - why would I, he's a golfer. I went on with my day as normal - I mean why wouldn't I? At around 6pm two gentleman came into the restaurant, they were older with white hair and asked if they could start off at the bar, so I politely showed them two spots. I thought it could possibly be him, but didn't think much of it (quick note - he's quite good looking for a man in his later years).
Then I stood by the hostess stand and started seeing the funniest thing EVER - grown men turning into 12 year old boys! Guys were seating at the bar staring with amazement not able to speak, others running into their wives as they were walking because they were staring and not looking in front of them! I couldn't believe a man could have such an effect on other men - it was hilarious!! Guys were buying him drinks and asking for autographs. He was gracious and polite.
He called me over and we chatted a bit. He said I looked like the girl that ran this place. I told him it was family run and we had the most amazing food he would ever eat! He winked and said I looked like a girl he could trust (what a flirt..haha!!). To make a long story short - he ate at the restaurant and LOVED IT!! He couldn't believe there was a restaurant like that in Mankato. I introduced him to my father and he had many wonderful things to say to him. He asked me if he could sign one of our menus, and of course I said "yes". We talked a bit more, than he retired to his room. He asked if I would be around in the morning so we could talk some more, and I told him I would be there just like every other morning.
The next day he came down and told me the funniest story which I have to share with you! He told me it was okay that I told people this, which I thought was funny that he even said that. Apparently in the middle of the night he got up to use the bathroom and he opened the door and once the door shut behind him......he realized he was in the hotel hallway! He turned around to grab the door and it was locked!! So there he was, Arnold Palmer, in the hallway with his pajamas! I told him he was lucky he had that much clothes on!! He laughed! He than had to go downstairs to get another key! I couldn't stop laughing. He said he couldn't believe he was telling anyone this story, but he had to share it with me! I felt quite honored!!
Before he left he asked if I wanted to go on a ride in his plane for a bit, this was due to a previous conversation we had about me never being on a private plane, I politely declined and told him "next time". I couldn't imagine telling my husband that I went on a private plane ride with this random guy! I know what your thinking - IT WAS ARNOLD PALMER! - but still. After I told my husband the story he even couldn't believe I didn't go with him...haha!!
I am SO glad I didn't know the extent of how amazing this individual was, because I know I wouldn't have been as candid and relaxed around him. He was so much fun to talk to and he is the definition of a true gentleman. Later I looked up his story - HOLY CRAP this guy is a Legend!!

Moral of the story - Don't go on private plane rides with random guys - unless of course it's Arnold Palmer!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I cannot believe it.....I have tap beer!!

We opened Olives a little over two years ago. Throughout the years we always found things here and there we wish we would have done differently. Nothing tops my list more than not having tap beer behind our bar. For two years I had beer experts come in and try to figure out what could be done - we got nowhere!! Everyone I spoke to told me it was impossible for me to have taps at the bar, which made me want it even more! My hopes and dreams diminished just like that. Guests would ask on a daily basis "What do you have on tap?". My answer never changed "I don't have any beer on tap, but I have lots of beer in bottles". Inside I would just cringe! Why didn't I think about that when we built the bar!!!
Then one day I was at Menard's. I saw a cooler for single kegs you could have at home. My mind started spinning and I wondered why I couldn't have one of those at my bar. I started looking for commercial keg coolers that day. And that is were the dream began! I examined the bar and we concluded we could take out one of our sinks that was barely used. I talked to my beer distributor and he explained we could make this happen. I wanted to ask him why a girl who doesn't drink beer figured out how to get a keg at the bar, while a bunch of beer bellied dudes were standing there scratching their heads thinking it was impossible!! I didn't want to jinks my dream of tap beer with bad karma, so I kept that comment to myself, which doesn't happen very often! After many weeks of thought and rearranging we decided we needed to move some plumbing to make this happen. I spoke with our plumber and he said it should be an easy fix. I couldn't believe this was finally going to happen! I got everything ordered and everyone scheduled.
The extra sink came out with ease. One task down two to go! Next in line - the plumber. He walked in and starting puddling around the bar. I was near him working on paperwork. I looked up from my computer to see him pacing back and forth with a confused look on his face, which is NEVER a good sign. He couldn't find the valve to shut off the water to just that area. Without that, amongst other things, he couldn't redo the plumbing, which meant I couldn't get my cooler. He wasn't sure if he could get this to work. I looked at him with the biggest puppy dog eyes and said "Look here, if you want to start off your day by crushing a girls dreams and be alright with that, than tell me you cannot figure this out. Otherwise, I would suggest you call someone and make this happen. You don't understand how much I want this." He just looked at me and cracked a little smile and said "that's a lot a pressure on one guy". I just responded by saying "Yup, sucks to be you!!" I'm happy to announce that after four hours, three guys, some phone calls and a couple of electricians - the plumbing was fixed (thanks to Peter, the plumber). We had many more complications that are too exhausting to relive at this time, but at the end of it all - I HAVE TAP BEER! Not just one kind - but FOUR! I poured my first one tonight! It was amazing! Who thought something so simple would make a girl so happy! I couldn't stop telling people all weekend about it. They looked at me like I was off my rocker. Oh well!

The moral of the story is - don't let some beer bellied dudes stop you from achieving your dreams....and who says dreams start in open fields of lilies, mine started at Menard's!

Friday, November 6, 2009 we go!!

Hello Everyone! I'm not sure how many people follow blogs, but I thought it would be fun to write a bit about what's happening at Olives. I guess my goal is to write about the business side of things, as well as , the personal side. I'm not sure if that's interesting to anyone, or if it's more therapeutic for me to write about the craziness of owning a restaurant! For those of you who don't know about Olives, it's a family run business (see "about us" on our website). Since this blog is going to be more "story-like", I'd like to refer to everyone as characters. With that said, Olives consists of four main characters - John, my father, Executive Chef and "The Boss", Najwa, my mother and "Queen Bee", Meray, my sister, Interior Designer and "The Creative One". Then there's me, Karla, daughter, General Manager and "The Money Girl". There's a more in depth story about each of us, but you will get to know us better individually in later posts. We should probably start off slow! We have had Olives for 2 years now and its been an adventure of a lifetime. I hope you enjoy the ride with us!! Here we go......

Sushi Night at Olives

We had another successful Sushi Night at Olives!! We are having so much fun figuring out new kinds of Sushi to put on the menu each week. We have been listening to everyones comments and going from there. This week I made, yes I said made, my father put two new kinds of Sushi on the menu - Caterpillar Rolls and Crunchy Shrimp Rolls. He didn't think we were going to sell very well. I didn't agree! I'm happy to report that two hours into the night - WE RAN OUT!!!! I had the pleasure of going back into the kitchen and asking him if we could get more Caterpillar rolls. He just looked at me and I replied "oh yeah, we ran out didn't we". These are the moments I live for sometimes!
Funny story - someone asked if they could meet the Japanese Chef that made their Sushi. I said "No, but you can meet the Lebanese Chef that made your Sushi". The look on their face was priceless! Many people are unaware that my father is the one that makes all the Sushi in the kitchen. I throw out crazy ideas at him, like Sushi night, and he makes it happen. We are all blessed to have such talent in our kitchen.