June 2013

Why 1000 Mattered: A Poetic Masterpiece

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While some things matter, and some things don’t

We’ve found a matter on which we can gloat.

So forgive us this moment whilst we toot our own horn

But feats have been marked since the Justamere’s been born…


 That Saturday was the same as the others before

A busy restaurant to run while I managed the floor.

 But the excitement was hidden, not viewed with a look

For it was happening in our office, on the Jmere Facebook.

While we had set a goal many months before,

Reaching 1000 likes on facebook was all we asked for.

We didn’t use gimmicks, games or a scrumptious prize,

And while we may have grown slowly, our number did rise.

 As the number crept higher, our excitement did too

We were reaching a goal and then our wishes came true!

 That Saturday was the same as the others before

Except celebrations and high fives were what was in store.

 When word came through that we had reached our goal

Our pride grew three sizes and our hearts all felt whole.

 To the mountaintops we shouted: Hip! Hip! Hurray!!

We had accomplished one of many goals that day.

 And while the goal may seem tiny to you, my friend

A small moment of success can be an uplifting trend!

 One thousand people is a lot, more than I even know,

And you’ve all shown your love in helping us grow!

 Now on to bigger goals, but that was a good start….

You won’t all fit in our restaurant, but you fit in our heart!

1000likesmark

What the Cool Kids do on Saturday Night

People who work in the restaurant industry don’t usually get to experience the excitement that comes from the whole “T.G.I. FRIDAY!!!” thing… in fact, waking up to my radio announcing “IT’SSSSSSSSS FRRRRIIIDDDDAAAAAYYYYYY” feels just like a kick in the shin to me, (many thanks CJFX). While to sane people (and by sane, I mean those of you who know better than to work in a restaurant) the weekend is synonymous with the outdoors, parties, drinking, relaxing, watching movies, and freedom… but to those at the Justamere, it usually means long, busy days! It’s sort of a backwards idea, Monday can’t come soon enough! Then again, you have to be pretty backwards to take on the stress of cooking or serving food.

Now that being said, I imagine you’re all curious as to what someone like myself might do on a Saturday night while you’re out running free and wild…? Well, I’m glad you asked! And your question comes at the perfect time, because this last Saturday is an exceptional example of the constant trill seeker I am. It doesn’t matter to me that I work on Sunday morning.. I don’t give a care! I stayed up late anyway, having more fun than you can even imagine, doing things that would blow your mind, things that would make you ask “Hey Jillian, where can I sign up for your life??” Don’t get a head of yourselves though…

I’ll set the scene first… It was late Saturday evening, around 9:30pm, the time when things really start happening on a weekend night. I had just gotten up from a solid 4 hours of resting and chip eating (yes, of course they were Sweet Chilli Heat Doritos), so I was rarin’ to go. I had been anticipating this evening all afternoon! While I’m sure folks around town were shooting back glasses, Eileen and I started emptying glasses of our own, more than we could even keep track of. Right around the time the Pub was starting to turn up the dance floor music, we were cranking ours as well. Things were getting crazy! At one point there was even knives involved…. and enough pot(s) to keep us going for over 2 hours…

These next few photos are quite graphic, but I promised when I started this blog to give you a behind the scenes look at the Justamere and their staff. As promised, I will deliver!

 

Dishes

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That’s right folks… Eileen, Mark, and I spent our Saturday night in the kitchen of the Justamere, music blaring, washing a days worth of dishes! Now it’s not normally like this, we have super efficient waitstaff that who keep up with dishes all day long, but June 8th was no normal Saturday, like I’ve said. The Town cut our water off that day due to a crack in the pipes on Church Street, so in the middle of our lunch rush and while preparing for two banquets, we lost our water! Dishes and prep hit a standstill and everything had to be left until the water was turned back on!

We left the restaurant at 4pm, knowing that we would only have to come back later that night to clean up this mess. After some intensive laziness, we arrived back at 9:30pm, decked out in rubber boots and aprons, sleeves rolled up, tired but determined to clean the restaurant back up!

Attitude for days

Attitude for days

Three glass racks, two mug racks, silverware, plates, pots, pans, and almost 3 hours later we were finished. There were no drinks, no bon fires, or beach parties, just 3 people, not even talking, just washing dishes together. While it wasn’t the most exciting weekend, not by a mile, it also wasn’t anything terrible. There was work to be done, so we did it, and we did it together… Because that’s what the cool kids do, you know? They stay up until almost mid-night washing crusty dishes and they work on the weekends, because they’ve been lucky enough to find something that they truly love…

I’m so happy I get to spend my weekends with the cool kids.

My (Not-So-Guilty) Guilty Pleasures

Working in the restaurant industry has allowed my servers and me the unique experience of catering to some of our customers’ most guilty pleasures! Whether it be our homemade Coconut Cream Pie for breakfast or our Eggs Benedict and 3 spicy Caesar for lunch, we see, in the run of a day, tons of people giving into their weaknesses for sugar, liquor or simply a nice meal by themselves with all the trimmings!

Now guilty is defined as “having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong” and when we’re talking about Caesars in the afternoon, that just doesn’t sound right! We, at the Justamere don’t see anything “offensive” about indulging in what makes you happy, and we love to see people come in to enjoy a great meal! In fact, the term “guilty pleasure” should be completely banished, and I will hereby refer to them as… “shameless amusements” (big shout out to thesaurus.com for that one). So, in the spirit of indulgence, I will now stroke my own ego and indulge you all with some of my Shameless Amusements!

An Exhaustive Archive of my Shameless Amusements
(thanks again Thesaurus.com)

1. Ice Cream: I bleed that stuff. Ever since I was little and I can remember my dad giving me ice cream to sooth the chicken pox IN MY THROAT (yeah, seriously, down my throat and in my ears), I haven’t been able to get enough of the stuff. Honestly, it ruins every diet I’ve ever been on… except for the Ice Cream Diet, that one went over quite well. Everything can be A’ la mode….

2. Wine: I highly recommend not mixing #1 and #2… it can get quite interesting….(OR intigestioning… Did I just make up my own word??  TAKE THAT thesaurus.com!) But seriously, Mmm Mmm wine! Am I right? I prefer red, and luckily (not that I had any part in this) the Justamere Cafe serves my favourite kind, Banrock Station Shiraz! You can get it by the glass, the 1/2 Litre, the Litre… and maybe even the box… but that would be quite excessive… but hey, I’m not judging your shameless amusements! There isn’t anything nicer than relaxing after a long days work with a nice glass of wine!

Banrock Station

Backrock Station Shiraz

3. Canadian Classic Burger: Speaking of red wine, it pairs quite nicely with my next shameless amusement… the Canadian Classic Burger from the Justamere Cafe and Bistro. My life changed the day that this burger appeared on our menu! It is Ah-MAZING. A fresh bun, BBQ sauce, cheddar, bacon and burger… *drool* It is a daily struggle to not eat one of these for lunch. Together ice cream and the Canadian Classic Burger were solely responsible for the destruction of my Vegan lifestyle.

4. Degrassi: For my ideal date… er day… I’d be at home in my PJ’s with my cats, eating a Canadian Classic Burger, sipping a glass of wine and watching Degrassi! Which Degrassi you ask?? ANY OF THEM. Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High, Degrassi the Next Generation, The movie’s Degrassi High: School’s Out, Degrassi Takes Manhattan, or Degrassi Goes Hollywood… It matters not. I can’t get enough of those crazy kids. That show is the reason I will never do drugs, have unsafe sex, or break into a chemical plant with my leather jacket wearing boyfriend, Claude. 

5. Dresses: I could be absolutely broke and I would not be able to pass up a cute dress… Pants are part of my past… I hate them. This phase is reminiscent of my Birkenstock phase where I refused to wear shoes, even in the winter, and instead opted for 2 pairs of socks and my moms old Birkenstocks. My budget for socks alone that year was ridiculous. I recently bought a purple dress from Walmart with horses on it… Eileen refuses to let me wear it to work, saying “It isn’t appropriate” … to that I said “When isn’t a horse dress appropriate??” 

Modcloth (I must have this)

6.  Horror Movies: People are often surprised to find this out about me. “But your hair is curly!”  they all say,  ”but you wear dresses!”  they gasp! Apparently I don’t have the look of someone who doesn’t truly appreciate a movie unless there is some sort of bodily dismemberment or a blood loss quota to be met. The gorier the better, the more I jump the more happy I am. I love them. They are all I watch. The worse they are the better sometimes, the cheesier the more entertaining. Horror movies aren’t meant to be taken too seriously, and sometimes we could all be a little less serious, so I enjoy relaxing in the evening not just with a glass of wine, but also with a little bit of gore. 

7. Sweet Chilli Heat Doritos: My oh my… It wouldn’t be out of the question for me to eat a bag of these a day… in fact I think that’s exactly what I have been doing for the last week. They however, are not low fat and as such, make my refusal to wear pants even more steadfast. 

Sweet Chili Heat

8. The Justamere Cafe and Bistro: It is REALLY, REALLY hard to work at the location where many of your guilty pleasures are created! Walking around all day with the wonderful aromas of Stirfry, Quesadillas, fresh baked Coconut Cream Pies, and Canadian Classic Burgers can be awfully tempting. But it isn’t just the food that makes this place a shameless amusement for me, although it does help. There often isn’t a day that goes by that we’re not buckled over in laughter at some point. Even today Chelsey had to pull up a seat while she caught her breath from laughing. To me, a guilty pleasure isn’t really a guilty pleasure, like I’ve said. It’s something that should bring you joy and make your life a better one to live. For me the Justamere is exactly that.