This weekend was something. After nearly a year of work on recipes, government applications, truck shopping, truck cleaning & repairing, and other general tediousness of starting a business, I was finally able to schedule a taste testing with a tap house to see about getting on their rotation!

Being a one-man cook shop means lots of planning…I’ve always struggled with the multitasking part of cooking — getting everything right so all dishes are hot and ready at the same time, all while remembering when to turn things and pull things so nothing gets burnt. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been a meat and potatoes guy…

throw potato in oven 
bake for a few hours 
make steak 
potato is ready whenever you want it.

A full menu of maybe 50-100 lbs (or more) is a different story.

So I built a big Excel spreadsheet to plan out every overlapping prep and cook step for the big taste testing (and I love hollering at my Google Home to remind me when the next step is up — a level of set-it-and-forget-it 80s infomercials could only dream of). Then bright and early, I headed across town to get the best fresh ingredients…about 6 hours before cook time.

On my way back, I went to shift gears in my old Honda Element, and on my way from first to second, the clutch pedal went to the floor and never came back up…stuck in neutral with just a little bit of inertia, I pulled over through the bus lane into the closest driveway I could find.

My insurance company has an app for that and with just a few clicks on my phone, it pinged my GPS location and assured me a tow truck was on the way. I called my fiancee and to exclaim “help, I’m stranded and need to get all this meat into the fridge!” Wonderful person she is, she dropped everything and came to my rescue, piling up all the groceries into her car and zooming off while I waited for a tow.

A tow that would never come…the app went from saying “eta 45 minutes” to “eta 5 minutes” to “what? They didn’t come? Beats me!” I should have learned from Terminator that the machines can’t be trusted…a few phone calls and another hour, and a second truck from a different towing company was dispatched…but now I’ve been waiting for 2+ hours, and with all the time it took to drive and shop…I’ve now got to start cooking in <1 hour to get everything done...and the new tow truck gives the same kind of eta the first one did...just another 45 minutes.

Well shout out to Wyatt, my new favorite truck driver (after me, of course!), he called me personally to let me know he’d beat that ETA, and in 20 minutes he was quick at work getting my Element up on his truck.

Another rescue from my fiancee picking me up at the garage, and I started cooking only 15 minutes late…but the great news about slow-smoked BBQ is that you can find little places here and there to pick up time…15 minutes ended up not being the biggest deal when my overall cook time was about 20 hours…and after a successful (and on-time!) taste testing, I’m happy to announce that I will soon be launching a weekly spot at Broadview Tap House (just a few blocks north of Carkeek Park off Greenwood)!

Stay tuned for the official launch date of Swine and Steel…it’s just around the corner now.