Saturday Night Guests: The Adlers at Kitchen

27 Feb

The other day my roommate Nantina tells me that she went through my Kitchen leftovers in the fridge but couldn’t find any cauliflower. I told her I hadn’t ordered any that day. She was disappointed: it’s her favorite item on the menu and she has been trying to recreate the Dijon Cauliflower over the past few days, unsuccessfully, according to what she says. Did you see, I had some cauliflower the other day? I asked her. Yes, I already ate all of that! She replied.

Most people who order are either still trying out the many dishes available on the menu, or have already decided which few items they’ll be ordering over and over again. There’s one person who gets the West Philly Banh Mi, almost on a daily basis; I have a friend who has diligently gone from the schnitzel to the chicken to the meatloaf; another orders two banana puddings because one just isn’t enough for an evening. I don’t blame them, even if I spend hours in Kitchen, a little dizzy from the overpowering flavors and smells, I’m still the first to ask Jordan, as soon as the ordering slows down for a few minutes, if he can make me dinner. For me, my recent discovery is the couscous. Last night it was prepared with fresh spinach and sautéed leeks…

But I’m digressing. Because the highlight of last night was the company – the guests who stopped by Kitchen for a few hours: Mr. and Mrs. Adler. I walked into Kitchen at six pm sharp ready for service, and as I stepped through the door I saw Nate’s father dressed in a makeshift light blue poncho, peeling potatoes. I could hear Nate’s mother in the back washing dishes. They were both working away at their jobs in a professional, serious and efficient manner. Nate’s father expertly sliced the potatoes for the mashed. And well, despite being hidden in the back, Nate’s mother’s hard work significantly, I repeat significantly!, reduced the load of cleaning. We joked that she had washed more dishes in one night than Nate had in the past few weeks. Everyone laughed, confirming this fact. Nate’s parents had come into town just for the evening, taking a train from New York City to visit their son’s new business for a few hours. They arrived around 5pm, and left at 9pm with a roast chicken, mashed potatoes and an extra biscuit. They had been munching on biscuits and mac & cheese for a few hours. Nate’s father complimented Chef Jordan Miller’s mac & cheese – he prepares it with cheddar and smoky Gouda. There were no complaints as they peeled and washed and watched. Nate’s mother would smile as she peeked into the kitchen, taking a break from the sink and observing the organized chaos (or so we hope!). Nate’s father kept his poncho for the entire night, and I believe Nate might have snapped a few photos of his father in his new attire.

We are starting to get the hang of it, despite the first week of experimenting with who does what, now the Kitchen Operation is feeling a little less rusty. There was no yelling, everyone knew where they were supposed to be, and thanks to the Adler family, the night was a terrific success.

Nate had to leave early, so by 9:30pm, without the Adlers, we were taking our last orders, chatting with our remarkable delivery men (we couldn’t survive without them, that’s the truth). As 10pm came around and we were bagging our final order for the night, Chef Jordan Miller turned on Broken Social Scene full-blast, Daniel delivered the order, and I began to chop apples for this week’s muffins for the TriDelt brunch. This time they’re whole wheat with apples and cinnamon. At 11pm we opened the doors of the kitchen to let the cooler night air into our steaming, fragrant Kitchen. Anyone walking down the street would have seen the glowing open door, and smelled the grilled veggies, roasted chickens, and those sautéed leeks from the couscous.

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