Took time for lunch today. Docked at Patty’s Off Center Cafe. Chef Bob had the best idea! Fresh and delicious tomato slices added to my Toasted Ham and Swiss put this girl’s lunch over the top. Soooo good! Enjoyed both offerings of house made soups and found the clam chowder to be quite spectacular. No bacon... just the perfect ratio of ingredients and a lovely green onion garnish. The base wasn’t too thick and it wasn’t too thin. To quote Goldie Locks, “It was just right!”
The flavors in everything we ordered were well blended. The green salad was fresh and delicious. The Little American flag as a garnish to my plate brought a patriotic feeling. I’m excited for the 4th of July. It’s one of three days a year Geppetto's is closed!
Little known fact... Roger and I don’t just pray before eating. We pray before dining. Our prayers were answered today. Patty and crew at Patty’s Off Center Cafe are doing a great job. We left feeling healthy, strong and ready for the next round this crazy restaurant life brings!
You are under arrest!
Certainly a new one today!
Police came by the restaurant to investigate. A very upset customer had called to report fraud at Geppetto’s. He claimed he was overcharged.
We listened and dug in to the matter. The man was indeed charged the correct amount. I didn’t know banks may approve credit card amounts a certain percentage over actual purchase price... just in case the buyer wishes to add gratuity. This particular customer did not tip. The overage was, in fact, the bank’s doing.
I confirmed with our merchant services company that said customer was only charged the actual amount due. Then I called the customer. The angry accuser replied with a doubting tone... “Well... if that is in fact true... then I guess I owe you an apology.”
Whatever... but please don’t waste law enforcement’s time with an issue you could have simply resolved with with your credit card company or stimulus card bank.
Geppetto's at The Manila Fiesta with a Goose
The world is filled with wonderful foods from all kinds of places. We met our daughter (and our Goose) for Filipino lunch. Owner, Marissa, is his other Grandmother. Goose’s family frequents for the Lumpia. I saw with my own eyes, Marissa treats everyone like family. It is an honor to share the Goose with such a kind hearted woman. Blessings to Marissa and her family. May The Manila Fiesta live long and prosper!
Resetting My P-RAM and Dessert
When functions are sluggish...
as my Mac starts... holding Command, Option, P and R through the chimes... makes things right again. In my visual brain... it’s like shaking a snow globe and letting the bits land where the need to be. You don’t do it very often... only when you realize things aren’t running as they should. It only takes a couple minutes and really seems to help.
I took time at home this morning to reset my personal P-RAM. I took time to listen. Between traffic and the noisy man hole out front there was the sweet sound of birds chirping and Roger breathing. So much to be thankful for. I texted with a friend. She’s been dealing with a lot. As I prayed for her I encouraged myself. Seeking things above, as the Monks of the Mount Angel Abbey have encouraged me to do, makes rough waters navigable and brings peace. One tangible thing at a time sometimes is all we can do. Even if the next move is as little as having a shower... it is forward motion. We must care for ourselves and each other. Eat right and hydrate. Live in love and seek joy in the midst of sorrow. If need be... take life one tangible thing at a time.
Spring is here and so is pie! We are open for dine in (protocols in place). Outdoor dining is still an option. We’ve got tables and heat lamps if that’s your preference. Takeout and delivery are available too, seven days a week... 11:00am-8 or 9ish.503.378.1271
A Little Backed Up
So much to write about.. and not enough time in each day. Lost an hour last night springing forward. Feeling the day is getting away from us already! Roger said, “Let’s go to the beach.” Alas... tax info is due and the restaurant needs freshening after yesterday’s guests.
The men’s room is one step closer... countertop installed!
After 3.65 years... no James today. He is moving on to other things. We are excited for him but miss him already. We need a line cook... someone who loves the food and cares about the customer experience, a team player who seeks to serve and can take customer orders over the phone. If you know someone... or happen to be that someone... drop a resume... or give us a call... 503.378.1271.
Happy Sunday All! Spring is just around the corner! For almost a year now... we’ve been open seven days a week 11:00-8 or 9ish. Twenty-Five percent capacity for dine in, takeout and delivery to all of Salem and Keizer. I’d say, “Try the veal!” But were sold out. So... try the pizza... the manicotti... the Ma’s Lasagna... the chicken parm or any number of other dishes. The big guy is handling invitations. It’s our job to be ready! At...
Geppetto's Italian Restaurant
The Hardest Day
Ain’t gonna lie... restaurant ownership is hard work on a good day. I likened it, before COVID, to swimming in the ocean. Staying afloat is key... while waves hit you in the face from all directions. It’s not all bad... but it is pretty dang constant. Scheduling is an art... made more difficult when given two days notice to turn your place from a storage unit for takeout and delivery to a pleasurable dine-in experience for guests. We reviewed high risk protocols to ensure safety. Guests likely didn’t know that the 24 year bartender who served them last Thursday thru Saturday... was the lead delivery driver until the night before. Our awesome back up driver took his place as lead. So... guess who becomes backup driver on short notice? Either Roger or I.
Thank God we’ve been busy. The guys on the line are doing a great job... but they are stretched thin. We could use more help that way too and while I truly enjoy the satisfaction of working the dish room... I know it’s really not the best use of my time. Bottom line... we are in need of filling a couple of spots but please don’t drop a resume if you don’t want to work. We hope you haven’t felt any hiccups here. Thank you to those who have shown understanding and grace as we changed tires and switched gears once again from “Extreme” to “High Risk” during COVID season.
You might think those were the hardest of days... but no. In 3.6 years of Geppetto’s ownership much has transpired; a water crisis, closure due to arson fire, the pandemic, devastating wildfires and most recently... severe freezing rain. At the restaurant the power outage overnight brought food spoilage. We experienced loss but managed to re-open quickly and resume our work, providing hot food in a mostly power out valley. At home... the heavy ice brought down limbs the size of trees from our giant sequoia and elm. Power lines were downed but still connected enough to arch and pop leaving risk of fire or electrocution. We spent seven nights at The Grand Hotel. Roger remarked the morning we checked out, “I can’t believe we just spent a week sleeping in a beautiful hotel and we weren’t on vacation.” By the way... the staff at The Grand deserves a big time hospitality award. They are navigating all of this very well and their true compassion for others is real.
We were without power at home for one day shy of two weeks. I know it is worse for some and I’m so sorry for what they are going through. We are tired to say the least but the good news is this... Sometimes... from the greatest depth of challenge... comes the most good. A text message from my brother (who lives in Eastern Washington) read like this; “I talked with Kaleb he’s willing to come down and help with the clean up - he’s got a friend he would bring also - may snag Jonas also. We have the trailer & 2 chainsaws. Keep us posted - we could possibly come down next Friday 2/26 in the afternoon or wait a week and come down Thursday 3/4. I’d be happy to come down sooner if you need the generator- let me know.” I knew what we needed... but I didn’t want to ask. You see... he’s my big brother... and needing him would mean I couldn’t handle the situation myself. We had been without power for ten days at that point and the power company was giving no projected date of restoration. We had a restaurant to run and I knew we really had no choice. We had checked out of the hotel and the house was still dark and cold.
Dean, I said, I think we need to take you up on your offer for the generator. His next text message read... “I should be there before 5:00.”
I met him and our son Alex at the house when he arrived. We chained the generator to the elm tree and ran extension cords through an upstairs window. Now, at least, we had heat lamps and lighting for necessities. My brother headed home that night. He left his 18ft trailer for hauling debris along with the promise to return with muscle when we were ready to do the work.
Early Saturday morning... they came; Dean, Kaleb, Jonas and Alex. They were joined a little later by two of my sisters. They took to the debris like a swarm of angry beavers. All I could do was make breakfast and bring refreshments. The restaurant required our time that day. We had opened for dine-in the night before and needed to re-stock and prepare for Saturday dinner rush.
This was the hardest day. When the only place I wanted to be was with my family helping to do the work at home. I checked in a few times and stacked a little firewood... but that was all. At one point I stood in front of the woodpile kind of frozen. I knew I had to leave but it is so outside of my makeup to do so when work is at hand. I was torn to say the least. It took a depth of strength I’d never reached before. I was tearful and felt sick as I headed to Cash and Carry. This was the hardest day. I had to be back to the house at 3:00 to meet the insurance adjuster. I watched over his shoulders as the crew continued working. Distracted, I toured the damage with the man I had just met. I wanted to climb over him and get to work but I couldn’t. As hard as it was... I had to be present... doing what I needed to do in that moment. The crew drove away with the last load shortly after the adjuster left... just in time for the start of the dinner rush. This was the hardest day.
Gratitude isn’t a big enough word. To those facing similar challenges... hang in there. In case you are wondering what keeps us from falling apart... here is a list... We trust that God is in control. We pray always and persist in acknowledging our blessings. We find the funny and surround ourselves with goodness, light and love. We share our experiences, our thoughts and feelings with others. We know that we are never alone. We seek to serve... but when we need help... as hard as it is... we accept it. On the hardest of days... refer to the first item on our list. Geppetto's is currently open for dine-in, takeout and delivery. 11:00am -8 or 9ish.
The calm before the storm. Or should I say AFTER the storm? One day shy of two weeks... power came on at the house! Amazing what you take for granted. Also amazing how many times a person can walk into rooms with no power flipping switches in vain. This whole season has been a brain twister but we are still standing! We are open for 25% dine in. No more than 50 inside at a time including staff. Talk about staff! We are stocked and loaded... best crew in town. No breakfast this weekend. It’s coming... just not yet. We are here... ready to serve. You know who’s in charge of invitations. Let the fun begin! Geppetto's Italian Restaurant 503.378.1271
Mr. Toad’s wild ride just doesn’t seem to stop.
Freezing rain and power outages put the kibosh on a lot of things. Our crab cakes and wild mushroom risotto never made it out of the gate. Went straight to the dumpster after the power outage. While we were sad to see them go to waste... we managed to reopen and have been serving up our regular menu; pizza, pasta and more! Despite the bitter cold... live music happened along with outdoor dining on Valentine’s Day. Nathan Olsen and his buddy, Wes, entertained guests with a wonderful variety of music. Patio heaters did the trick. Lap blankets were loaned to those who needed them. Takeout and delivery brought food to folks... some are still in the dark. While we are excited about our breakfast menu... we are putting that on hold until March. We have hope that better... warmer days are coming. And wouldn’t it be something if we were allowed to serve food and drink inside too!
Roger and I are still without power at home... and it seems it could be quite some time before it is restored. Don’t worry about us. There are many folks in far greater need. Check on your elderly neighbors. A woman from Indiana called to order food delivered to her sister in law, who lives here in Salem. She had sent the police to do a well check days prior because no one had heard from her. When I arrived with her spaghetti and birthday dessert... she was emotional and in disbelief. She’d had no way to communicate because she hadn’t charged her little flip phone before the power went out. I took her phone back to the restaurant for charging. Brought it back later along with a back up charger.
There may be many like her. We are coming up on seven days without power. Let’s take good care of each other. A hot meal and a good charge can make all the difference. Stay safe. Keep looking up. Be the light and find the funny whenever possible!
Danner & Soli Vintage and Unique Event Decor... and Simply Event Rentals, thank you!
Your Valentine’s Day contributions made a world of difference in our outdoor dining set up. Thank you and bless you!
PS... We have two phone lines at the restaurant and an answering machine which picks up when both lines are tied up. Can somebody please tell me why it is that sometimes when people call the restaurant they get a fax machine signal... when we don’t even have a fax machine!! Who the heck do we call for help with something like this? I know now it’s not Comcast or Xfinity... or whatever it is they call themselves! We shall get there... together... one day at a time. More soon!
Okay... I’ve held out long enough! Yes, the weather is a bit of a problem... but LOVE PREVAILS at Geppetto’s! We are open... outside... undercover... with heat lamps. To top it off... Nathan Olsen will be playing live tonight starting at 5:30! Bundle up and come on out! And btw... our new Bloody Mary-Nara’s aren’t just for breakfast anymore! Takeout and delivery are also available... as long as the roads are passable! 503.378.1271
It’s cold outside but we are up and running for breakfast! It smells like fresh biscuits and sausage gravy in here! As long as you can get here safely... we are here to serve. Also... if you’re just getting off work... the oven is on and we can make pizza!! Thin crust, thick crust, deep dish, stuffed! Call to order takeout... or dine outside under one of our fine patio heaters! Geppetto's Italian Restaurant 503.378.1271