Thursday, March 23, 2017

Behind-the-Scenes at Long John Silvers!

Long John Silvers, the greasy and fishy establishment where I landed my first job. I was a senior in high school and my husband, then-boyfriend at the time, suggested I applied. So I did. I wasn’t expecting too much, and it took forever to hear back from them. But I finally did and I got the job. They provided a couple shirts, a hat, and a name tag. We had to buy a black or brown belt, black pants, and black shoes.

Here's a picture (sorry it's really blurry!) of a goblet made out of Reese wrapping my LJS co-worker made!
My first night sucked. You always have the bullies around making life miserable for everyone and she was rude to me. However; I was friendly with mostly everyone else. I’ve worked at Rural King, a university, and physician offices and yet LJS still held a spot in my heart for ‘favorite job’. It was nasty work, but the some of the people really made the difference.
I really enjoy customer service. I enjoy interacting with folks and smiling at them, making their encounter with me pleasant, and hopefully making their day just that little extra bit more special.
What’s it like to work fast food? That is usually most people’s first job. Sure it’s easy, per say, but at the same time a lot was expected from me.
There were three main positions: cook, drive-thru, and “main” which consisted of a few duties. I hated drive-thru. I had too much of a short-term memory to be doing a task and trying to remember what the person at the speaker wanted, then repeating it back to them without being at the screen punching in the order. Also, the headset was basically the devil. I couldn’t keep that sucker on my head without it being annoying and catching on everything. Plus we had to wear hats which made things even more annoying. At the particular store number I was at, we were required to say the following phrase: “Thank you for choosing Long John Silvers, my name is ___, how may I help you?” Sometimes we had to throw in something about a special and ask if they would like it.
I did help make some of the food. I will get to super-specifics on the food-aspect in a few paragraphs. You have lots of responsibilities as the cashier. I’ll list things I had to do:
  • Greet every customer with a smile and repeat the order back to them; handle the cash register
  • Prepare food and bring it out to the customers
  • Collect and clean trays. It didn’t please me when people left their trash and tray on the table. This isn’t that kind of restaurant people. Clean up after yourselves!
  • Do the dishes
  • Fill the ice in the pop machine
  • Redo the pop syrup when the machine ran out
  • Clean the tables along with wiping down the vinegar, salt and pepper
  • Rearrange the contents on the table (yes, they were specific)
  • Refill the vinegar on the tables (I hated this so much, it stunk so bad), along with salt/pepper, and napkins
  • Refill the station that included all the condiments, straws, forks, etc.
  • Clean the silver back wall
  • Clean the baseboards (yes, seriously)
  • Sweep continuously throughout your shift
  • Mop at closing
  • Push down the trash, take it out back, put a new bag in, wipe off any condiment leftovers. What annoyed me so much about this was the fact the trashcans were at the exit door and people insisted on coming in the exit instead of the entrance, so they would stand there and sigh when they had to wait on me to move myself, the trash bag and the dolley just so they could come in the wrong way because it was the closest door. And also when people just kept filling the closest trashcan when it’s overflowing because they were too lazy to put their trash in the second can.
  • Clean the windows inside and outside
  • Clean the bathrooms
  • If a customer dropped their change, I had to exit the establishment, walk around to the front, shimmy in between their vehicle and the wall, and pick up the change they dropped.
  • Accept coupons that were for Captain D’s which was two stores over (yes, really)
  • Refill and make the coffee and tea
I think that pretty much sums up the crap I did on a shift. You know how LJS in general always seems pretty slow? Well we were actually required to get things out by an X amount of minutes and when we were running behind (which was always) we offered free drinks and pies. We always got behind because we would get low on fish (we wouldn’t cook up any if no one was in the store) and no one would be there, then all of a sudden everyone literally came in at once and we would start running behind because it all took a certain amount of time to cook, of course.
Ok. Now. The food! I’m going to go into detail about what it took to prepare it.
Fish, Chicken
They were frozen. I think the chicken and fish were ok, along with the fries, but greasy.
Fish Tacos
Right before I left, they started requiring us to use a whole piece of fish for the taco, when previously we used half a piece. It was difficult to put the toppings in and have the tortilla try to wrap around the entire thing securely. I would actually make these for myself during break, or sometimes, even on shift (hehe). I would just use ketchup instead of the Baja sauce though. Next to the drive-thru window we had a station with all the necessities needed for the tacos and sandwiches. We really weren’t supposed to eat anything on shift though. We got 30 minute breaks once we worked 4.5 hours.
Shrimp, Clams, Crab Cakes
Anytime a customer ordered these, we would need to call out loud to the cook because we made these on a made-to-order basis (I always had such a hard time remembering to do this in the beginning). If they ordered two clam dinners, we would have to say “Two clams!” but if they ordered one, then it would just be “I need a clam!” Omg I just remembered the lobster bites! Yum! This was the same concept. They changed the recipe and taste of these though :(
So I always made fun of my mom for ordering krums/crunchies but once I started working there, holy cow! Soo many people ordered them! And they were free. They were just the extra bits that were floating around the fryer, like from the fish and chicken and stuff.
We would cut up lemons and put them in cups then stick them in the fridge for peeps. Also in the fridge were the pies that weren’t too shabby!
Green Beans
Now I’m trying to remember how we made these. It’s been like, 5 years since I’ve worked there. I think we just put them in the microwave. I think. Or maybe it was the other way. We did have these hot water things that we used to bake the corn and baked cod, and soups. We would just stick the bag in and wait till the timer went off, carefully took it out and put it on the plate.
Baked potatoes
We would dampen these, roll them in the salt and seasoning, and heat them in the microwave
Similar to the baked potatoes; I remember sometimes if you didn’t use enough water, the rice would turn black and would not want to come off the plate we used.
I still love these things! Once it got closer to closing time, if we ran out of hushpuppies, too bad because we weren’t making anymore. It happened to me once where a guy and his family wanted some and he was a big jerk about it. I had to let the manager talk to him. (Random thought: there was a guy who would stalk my co-worker. Creepy!)
So for the hushpuppies, we had to use this mix and you just had to keep stirring it and it got tough! I honestly don’t remember too much else about them.
Cole Slaw
Ok, we workers used to call this concoction “snot.” Yummy, isn’t it? We would have to put on these really flimsy elbow-length gloves and dig on down deep into the snot. Ha! We would have two bags: One bag had the cabbage, lettuce, etc. The other bag was the snot bag that contained the “creamy” part. We mixed it together in a big gallon bucket and it was kind of gross!
Thank goodness I didn’t have too many nasty bathroom clean-up incidents, but guys liked to get pee everywhere and one time I swear I saw poop particles in the trashcan.
The thing I hated most was doing them dang dishes! Those baskets we used to lower into the grease got so stinking greasy; no matter how hard I scrubbed they would not come clean! I would damage my nails all the time because they would slide around and catch on all the little holes.
Oh yeah, we weren’t allowed to paint our nails! Or wear much jewelry at all. A wedding band was fine. No facial piercings either.
The dishes would stack up so fast and it would get late and I would try to do them while also waiting on the customers. And people get so nasty when it comes to their food. They treat the area like a pig-sty!
I only had two customers that stood-out for being jerks, so I was lucky for such a low number! I worked here for three months, put in my two-weeks, worked an extra day for them on Sunday and turned around Monday and went behind the lot to Rural King for my second job! (Would anyone like a BTS of Rural King? I’m thinking I’ll do one).
Alright, I think that does it! Thank you for stopping by and reading my detailed “behind-the-scenes” look at Long John Silvers! Don’t forget to ring that bell on your way out if the service and food delighted you!
Disclaimer: Photos taken from LJS website.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Eating "Must-Try" Foods at Epcot!

My husband and I made our second visit to Epcot in Orlando, Florida. Epcot is such a neat place and it's got a nice relaxing feel.

Before the trip, I obsessed over different food options and must-try stuff (yes I am one of those researching-before-anything types!) and made a list for myself. I didn’t try all that much (definitely didn’t do the around the world taste test) since I am a choosy eater. Hehe. Choosy. You like that? I heard that not too long ago and I have used it a few times. 😃

So let me share with you some items I tried, along with picture, place, and price!

 In: Mexico
Where: La Cantina de San Angel
What: Tacos and churros
How much: $20-22
The first thing we ate (and it was lunch time, we hadn’t had breakfast and hangryness wasn’t too far in the future) were some tacos and churros at La Cantina de San Angel. Let me just say I am not really a Mexican eater. I will eat cheese quesadillas (redundant, I know) and my OWN tacos. I am weird about taco meat, and I don’t care for ground meat much (it’s all about the shredded/pulled!) BUT! I watched themissalliecakes Epcot video on Youtube and the taco/churro combination spoke to me. I had to try it! Let me tell you, the line was long. There were actually several lines and they were not moving. Hubbs told me to go ahead and grab a seat (glad I listened, he didn’t have to tell me twice!) and it was like 15-20 minutes before I saw him again.

lil birdy pal
At least I had a birdy pal to keep me company. He just wanted scraps. I didn’t take his picture, but there was this really annoying black bird that would seriously not shut his beak. I was scared I was going to get pooped on which actually happened to me my first-ever trip to Disneyworld. In my brand-new dress. I was not a happy camper.

Finally! Fooood! I let my husband dig into the tacos while I munched on the churros. The churros reminded me of Taco Bell’s cinnamon twists! They were good. They weren’t super warm which I think they might have been when first made lol. They came with caramel dipping sauce which I tried, but I am not a fan of caramel.

We switched and I ended up liking the tacos more than he did. I did not eat the beans and rice (yuck!) but gobbled the actual taco. It was pretty messy and had a lil heat to it. I loved it and I am not a fan of spicy foods. But it was so good! I was super happy it was pulled instead of ground, which I already knew this by researching beforehand. Yum! I know I said I had prices, but I lied…at least for here. My husband tossed the receipt so I don’t have exact price, but it was like $20-22 and that was with a coke.

In: Norway
Where: Norway Kringla Bake
What: SchoolBread & Troll Horn
How much: $7.97

Next up: Norway! I love Vikings. History Channel makes an excellent series that I just adore. We did not try to new Frozen ride because I didn’t want to wait 45 minutes quite yet (we saved that for Soarin'). At Kringla Bake, I knew I wanted to try to the schoolbread even though I knew I didn’t like coconut and I had a feeling I wouldn’t like the bread. Let’s be honest here: It was all about trying the cream for me. It looked so good! It’s like a vanilla custard but it wasn’t all that great. L It cost $3.49. The bread was like a lil bit cinnamony with like, fennel seeds or something. Not for me!


I also tried the Troll Horn, $3.99, which is a sugar crystal-coated crunchy pastry with some sort of berry-like cream in it. It wasn’t too bad but not the greatest neither. Oh well. All about new adventures, right?
Troll Horn

So after tax for both of those treats, the cost was $7.97. I am pretty sure that France was next. Or was it America? Germany? I can’t remember the order of things now. So let’s just go with it.

Cogsworth & Lumiere
In: France

Where: Boulangerie Patisserie des Halles
What: Macaroon
How much: $6.13

At Boulangerie Patisserie des Halles, I had to try the raspberry lime macaroon for $6.13 after tax.
I was hoping to pick it up and eat it like a sandwich like themissalliecakes does, but the bottom wasn’t firm enough. It was hardly even there, actually.
Raspberry-Lime Macaroon

I enjoyed the tartness which I thought was coming mostly from the raspberries, but it turned out it was mainly the lime cream that tarted it up. I couldn’t finish the whole thing, but did eat most of it.


In Germany, I tried the Nudel Gratin which I thought for sure I would love.

I didn’t.

It was a $4.57 (after tax) square of baked macaroni and cheese with a custard I think. The top was good, but the rest lacked flavor. I didn’t eat it all either.

Nudel Gratin

In: Germany
Where: Germany Sommerfest
What: Nudel Gratin
How much: $4.57

I did manage to see a couple of Disney Princesses!

Mulan in China
Alice in England
Snow White in Germany

Disclaimer: None of the children in the pictures are mine.


In: America
Where: Fife and Drum
What: American Dream
How Much: $4.75

In America, I had the American Dream for $4.75 (no tax was added). It had strawberry and blue raspberry slushie with vanilla ice cream. It was good but not as good as the Snow-Cream (same concept) I’ve had from a local vendor back home.

American Dream!
That was pretty much all the eats I had from Epcot. I didn’t get to have my Via Napoli pizza from Italy (which is what I had last time and yum!) or get to try the cream-cheese filled pretzel, but oh well. I will be back someday!
The Big Golf-Ball 😉

What are some of your favorite foods at Epcot? Have you tried any from my list and did you enjoy them? Talk to me in the comments and if you wanna see more from me, follow me! Thanks for reading and stopping by :)