Home > Cuisine by Brian Schropp > Getting to Know Your Local Restaurateurs

Getting to Know Your Local Restaurateurs

Brian Schropp

Brian Schropp


The restaurant business is a crazy game. Especially in the depths of Deep Northern Suburban Lankville, you see the food establishments come and go with a reckless fury. So, what makes the good ones last? The taste palette of your typical Deep Northerner can be a complicated one indeed. You need the flavors to be deep, rich and bold- a true Deep Northerner will understand the taste of ‘Lankville O’s’ mixed in a tater tot casserole better than most. One person who is trying to get the answer right is a good friend of mine, Eddie. So far in all his culinary ventures it’s been a very mixed result. I sat down to interview him at his new place ‘Eddie’s’, a newer more upscale affair than his previous restaurant ‘Eddie’s Sub Shack’.

Unfortunately things seemed a little quiet in what should of been a very busy lunch time rush. Eddie was sitting over at a table piled high with bills while punching away at an adding machine ‘trying to make the numbers work’. He was also wearing a pretty nice bra that suited him well. Before getting into the food game Eddie was known around Deep Northern Suburban Lankville as the ‘weird dude who always walked around with a bra on’. He was a local sensation for awhile being in parades and such. I guess he thought his celebrity would help propel him to a successful food career.

​Eddie- trying to make the food business work for him.

​Eddie- trying to make the food business work for him.

I took a seat pushing one of the stacks of bills away so I could see him.

“Hey Bri, just working on these figures and I gotta say it’s not looking very good. The expenses are far outweighing the people who are coming in and putting something in their mouths. I had high hopes of really making this new place as fancy as possible but I’m still using plastic utensils instead of nice silverware. In fact, I’m using the same plastic utensils over and over again since my budget will only allow for one pack.”

“Well I guess as long as you keep washing them that’s OK.”

“Yeah sure keep washing them. I need money for dish soap.”

“Are lunches always this slow?”

“Pretty much. As you can see I have a small buffet set up in the corner by that plastic plant. They say a buffet is a good way of drawing customers in but I’m not sure if it’s really working for me. I’m putting out what any Deep Northerner would look for. White bread with gravy, you can put the gravy on anything over there- the Canned Western Lankville Sausages, the cheesy pasta shells, the various meat bits. It’s good gravy, I got it at the store the other day at a good price. Also have some of those extra spicy nacho chips with a can of nacho cheese, I’ll open the can if someone is interested. Oh and a celery stick in case a person wants to put it with their food to make it look pretty.”

“Why are your bras hanging next to the buffet?”

“Oh, I’m offering a ‘Bra Buffet Special’. You can fill up both sides of the bra for $9.98, the bra cups are pretty deep so it’s a good deal.”

“Do you wash those?”

The 'Bra Buffet Special' $9.98 for BOTH cups.

The ‘Bra Buffet Special’ $9.98 for BOTH cups.

“When I can. I’m a pretty clean guy, I wash at least a few times a week. In fact the one I am wearing now a guy used for my Monday ‘Lankville O’s’ buffet special. I had that canned pasta goodness in all sorts of packaged meat bits and discounted veggies microwaved to perfection. Well actually the dude just wanted to try on the bras which was fine because he paid for the buffet. These Monday buffets have been my most successful so far.”

“How many people have come?”

“Oh, so far only that guy.”

“Have you seen my recent recipe for the ‘Lankville O’s Gelatin Dinner Time Surprise’? Maybe you could modify something like that to help increase sales.”

“I have seen it!! Looks so wonderful but also just looks too complicated to make.”

“It is at first,” I admitted. “The trick is using the right amount of non-toxic glue. And please don’t try to microwave this one, if you’re going to make it you gotta turn on your stove.”

“I try not to use the stove for much cooking.”

“I guess it’s been kinda rough trying to establish yourself as a fancy restaurant yet having to do this more common buffet.”

“Very much so! If I could only sell this food that’s in the buffet then I could use that money to buy some slightly better food and so on until the money started to flow in. This stuff here can only be refrigerated so many times before it doesn’t even look right.”

“How is the dinner experience going?”

“A little better than the lunches, I go down to the local shelter and pick up what food they have left over to use. Most of the time the stuff looks OK, I use my culinary skills to rework most of it into more fancy dining food.”

“The ‘Maple Chicken’ I got here a few weeks ago was really good, I think I recognized the syrup you used, I use it all the time on my breakfast sandwiches.”

“It’s probably the same brand, I get it at the store real cheap.”

“You know how to keep a nugget crisp even when microwaving it, that’s a pretty impressive skill.”

“Thanks. Hey, who was that crazy dude you were with? The one who freaked out on you?”

“Oh that was my Therapist, Dr. Nickelbee.”

“I would stay away from him, Bri. Not only am I a restaurateur and bra wearer but I am also a ‘soul seer’. I use to travel around with a carnival– yes I did get paid for it but it’s something I really see. That man has a real tortured soul, one of the worst I have ever seen. His inner core is pure chaos.”

“Well, Eddie I really don’t have a choice. My folks are making me see him for his ‘services’, he’s very cheap which appeals to them.”

“Then please, my friend, use your special bumpkin sense around him and use caution.”

​'The Maple Chicken' which I had before.

​’The Maple Chicken’ which I had before.

Eddie is such a good friend. We talked for a bit more about the food business and before I left a customer even came in! The man was actually just looking for a pay phone but Eddie talked him into shelling out the $9.98 for the bra buffet. In the left cup he put some western canned sausages (sprinkling some of the meat bits on top)– the last part was my suggestion. The right cup was filled with the cheesy pasta and he didn’t take up my idea of putting on the gravy. I said the canned gravy is what really makes this buffet special but I guess not everyone wants to follow everything a trophy-winning food critic with my taste profile has to say.

The gentlemen started pushing his luck slightly– asking if any drink was included in the price. Eddie being the man that he is got some tap water and filled up both cups of another bra for him. Halfway through the customer was grumbling about being able to make this at home but that there was something quite ‘erotic’ about it. He asked if Eddie or myself would be putting on any type of show maybe using the other bras somehow. Eddie just shook his head no, the guy said if there was a show attached maybe it would be worth the price and next time he would bring his wife.

Two weirdos for the bra buffet in one week who would of thought!! I wish Eddie continued success in trying to make it in the rough and tumble food trade. If you get a chance please stop and try to support him for either lunch or dinner time dining. Just say you know me and I am sure he will break out the slightly cleaner plastic ware. Until next time dear readers please keep your mouths and minds open to new ideas. Happy Eating!!-Bri

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