Helen Emory Stauffer reached out tonight to purchase a gift card for Geppetto’s Front Line fund. Then went so far as to send out this message to our Class of ‘83 group. I’ve heard from others back home too! My High school French teacher,
Susan Weingarten and another dear friend, Dawn Craig, (too young to be a classmate), donated too. They are also, not living in our area. They are simply thoughtful and generous, kind and loving people. Caring about those on the front line of COVID-19, no matter which town or state they’re in. My heart has been touched by you. May God richly bless you all. And... if I could hug you... I would! I feel like we’re all floating in a river of love.
Geppetto’s Log, Stardate 042720.1
It’s been a busy few days. This weekend our crew was elated to receive another round of Taco’s Azul! Is it just me… or do the platters just keep getting prettier?
Thanks to generous donations… our Front Line Fund… (which is basically an envelope of gift cards purchased for the purpose of offering meals for Front Line workers)… Salem Hospital Nurses received a fresh round of Geppetto’s deliciousness. And the Pizza, Partnerships and Perseverance program provided fresh, hot pizza to another shift of Salem PD Patrol persons! Such an honor to be actively participating in this way. And so much fun saying that many “p” words in a row!
In other news… Chef Alonzo’s last pan of tiramisu flew out the door as though it had wings. He baked fresh lady fingers for the next batch today! That delectable pan of goodness should be ready to serve by Wednesday. Meanwhile, tomorrow will bring a fresh pot of Minestrone and Geppetto's house made Gluten Free meatballs! It all smells so good and makes being here, as much as we are, completely doable.
We’ve been hypothesizing here at the restaurant… discussing what a re-open to our dining room might look like. All of the overused words come to mind… unprecedented, uncharted, “Going where no man has gone before.” We’re just one little restaurant in one small-ish town and there is much to consider. Humbled, I ask, “How the heck do you open a Disneyland?!” Hang in there. Disneyland will be back and so will dine-in at Geppetto’s. What both of those situations will look like is TBA. #godsgottheplan
Salem Convention Center,
The Grand Hotel in Salem,
South Salem Phoenix Inn Suites
Another Saturday night Geppetto’s space jam!
If you’re in the restaurant business, you know strange things can happen. Mysteries abound. Consistency is key but sometimes ways falter.
There are routines and places for everything… for good reason. Geppetto’s has patterns, processes and procedures which have been in place for decades. That makes change hard but I know now, without a doubt, that If you don’t put stuff away where it belongs… time is wasted searching.
Too many times to count, I’ve found that very important thing, whatever it might be, in the wrong place. Take my flashlight, for instance, I’d been looking for it for some time… I happened to look up while organizing dry storage and noticed it sitting on the ice maker. Somebody must have been looking for something and borrowed it. What they didn’t do… is put it back where it belongs. A question I ask myself quite often here is, “How did that get there?!”
The dough hook for our Hobart mixer hangs on the Hobart. After fifteen minutes of looking… where it shouldn’t be… I found it standing at attention on the counter between the Kitchen Aid mixer and and the Cuisinart. Not the end of the world, I know, but bewildering and a silly waste of time. I’ve come to find that anything can happen in this business and so as I searched I let my mind ponder the worst case scenario. I strategized and made a plan for replacement.
Tonight was busy, which is great. I am thankful for our dedicated and professional staff, faithful customers and exceedingly supportive community. As things were slowing down, closing duties began. I made my way back to the office for a cold drink and to check my email. Just then, Roger came in with a strange look on his face.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Well, he said, James dropped a ladle down the steam vent on the pasta boiler and I’m looking for something to fish it out with.”
Sometimes a girl needs duct tape. Sometimes a good old wire hanger is the answer. I fashioned a hook and climbed up to have a look down the vent.
“I need my flashlight, Rog. It’s pitch black in there. It’s on the file cabinet behind my desk.” Thank goodness I had found my flashlight on the ice maker two days prior and put it back where it belonged!
Upon inspection, there wasn’t just one ladle down there… but four… and two pairs of tongs! The three forgotten ladles appeared to be old and as though they had been down there for a very long time. Likely, they represented a mystery disappearance of perhaps decades ago. The fallen ladles make sense because they hang behind the stove top just above and to the right of the steam vent. A push in the wrong direction and one could easily be gone, as evidenced this night. The tongs on the other hand… they are a mystery. They had to have been thrown… or perhaps they were dropped while attempting to retrieve fallen ladles.
Geppetto’s space jam continues. I wonder what we’ll look for tomorrow. Stay well and happy. We are one day closer to the end of this nightmare.
At 8:00 tonight, Shift Commander, Lieutenant Ditto, (You can say that again. ((wink)), received the latest Geppetto’s Pizza, Partnership, Perseverance Delivery. Patrol persons were preparing to depart as we arrived. We overheard commentary on the Grease Monkey Nitrile Gloves which were made available. Gotta keep ‘em safe. No telling where these brave souls might go or what or whom they might have to come in contact with. God Bless them all! This is a most interesting time. Salem streets pretty much deserted by 8:00pm. Seemingly, not much going. Humanity, however, is out there. And, imperfect as humanity is, the police will be called. It is our pleasure to serve those who serve all of us so bravely.
Two “restauranteurial” planets collided today. Mexico met Italy over a pizza box filled with Azuls Taco House deliciousness! It all started early this morning at Smart Food Service north. A man who called himself “T” but looked a little like Nacho the Taco Guy spoke to me as I exited the store.
“You Geppetto’s?” He asked.
“Yes, I am.” I replied.
“You guys are killin’ it.” He said. “Nice job. Thanks for what you’re doing for the community.”
“Who are you with?” I asked.
“Azuls Taco House.” He replied.
“Oh my gosh!” I blurted.
“You’re the guys with tacos in a pizza box! I saw that on Salem Eats and I want it really bad.”
“You open today?” I asked.
“Yes, we are.” He said. “We have two locations, one on Edgewater in West Salem and the other, which just opened, on Court Street downtown.”
Well, I said you can expect to see me later! Our crew is gonna love it!”
Our encounter ended with a fully gloved fist bump. Boom!
Our crew did love the food! D-freakin'-voured! That green salsa with the pico de gallo?! Yum! The habanero hot sauce. Well… that is some seriously hot “stuff.” Brought a couple of the us to tears.
Great work Azuls Taco House! We’ll be back!
Everyone, stay happy. Stay well... and well fed! - Julie
And the last shall be first! Geppetto's is thankful for the opportunity to partner with great local businesses; Salem Conference Center, The Grand Hotel, Bentley's and Phoenix Inn and Suites. Together, through the month of April, we will be providing Geppetto's pizza for one of each Salem PD shift on patrol! Made our first delivery of thirty personal pizzas last Thursday night... to the Graveyard shift. We did this on purpose. If you've ever worked a graveyard shift... you know there is usually nothing left when it comes to the night shift. Day shift tends to get the best and the most, when it comes to the food stuff. So... we chose to serve the last first. There is more Geppetto's pizza to come! Together with our partners, will cover one of each shift through the month of April. Praying for protection for our first responders... otherwise known as... Geppetto's Front Liners. Blessings to all! Salem Conference Center, The Grand Hotel in Salem, Bentley's Grill, Phoenix Inn Suites
Warp speed has been reached! Have you been to Portland lately?! There is practically no traffic! Had to visit Zenner’s ourselves to pick up Geppetto’s sausage. Seems Sysco may have lost a little of it’s buying power. Hmmm... interesting... Sysco is usually the middle man. No worries. We’ll bridge the gap until this current situation is resolved. Did you know... Geppetto’s has its own proprietary sausage recipe? That’s why it’s so dang good! Reached out to original owner, Tom Barsotti this morning to inquire about said sausage recipe... since we can’t find it here at the restaurant. Took all of a few minutes to hear back. His answer was, “Yes.” He had it... and now we do too... just in case things go any further sideways!
Lesson learned... Hold
dear... thine sausage recipe! Whew!
We’re gonna get through this... and I’m not just talking about Geppetto’s. I’m talking about you and me, our community, our state our country and our world! #learningwiththecurve!
Geppetto's Italian Restaurant
Planet Subway provided our nourishment again today. Yay Subway! I’m really diggin’ the tuna with cheddar cheese, spinach, red onion and pickle on the Italian Herbs and Cheese bread. Yum! Had that today to make up for last Friday... which was Good Friday.
To explain... Roger and I are a little lost these days, suffering from what I’m calling “Geppetto’s Delirium.” Since he was laid off from his day job due to COVID-19, he’s here every day... just like me. Our hours of operation are the same, since quarantine, seven days a week. So... sometimes it’s a little hard to remember what day it is. Good Friday for us, was supposed to be a day of fasting. Well, we didn’t realize what day it was until Saturday morning. Our dinner the night before was an all meat Geppetto’s pizza... and it wasn’t just one meat... it was THREE... piled high... it was so meaty it was ridiculous, rich and delicious!
I believe God knows right where we are and all we are dealing with. He must have known we needed that THREE meat pizza and to fall into bed at the end of that Good Friday exhausted and full. I am in awe of how we are being broken down to the basics. We are so far wittled... that our faith cant help but be at the forefront. It is filling us, guiding us, keeping us strong. Each day is filled with determination and joy. We know we are loved by God no matter what day it is... and that the Good Friday - THREE meat pizza we devoured... was one of the best we’ve ever had. (The Star Trek theme song is playing in my head as I prepare to hit the post button. Can you hear it?)
Geppetto’s is what it is because of Tom and his mom. While she resides in heaven... Tom is still here with us... while currently cooped up at home... he is at our side and in full support of the goodness their family has poured into the area through delicious food and hard to find traditional Chicago Style Pizza and pasta dishes. Tom is the real deal. It is an honor to continue the greatness he and his “Ma” brought to the area in 1974. Thank you, Tom, for all you do to keep us on par. Call to order, 503.378.1271. Coordinate a neighborhood delivery, if you are able. Makes it easier on us and timely for you! Stay happy and healthy.
Our ship has been remiss. Truth is... I have. One of the first calls made since closing our dining room and bar on Match 16th, was to Bruce at Copycats in West Salem. They made up some metal name plates for us last year, post fire closure. Other than that we have not had cause to take advantage of their services. Being that Geppetto’s is somewhat of a hidden gem, with very little street presence, we needed some serious signage. Little known fact... In 1974 Geppetto’s was the first place of business to inhabit our strip. If you remember... the restaurant used to have windows... that was until Office Max and Copy Max were built. It was then that Geppetto’s lost all natural lighting and became a true “Chicago Feel” “hole in the wall” family restaurant. All we’ve got is that little red door under the great big overhang, hard to find if you’re not looking or don’t already know it’s there! Well, when the executive order came down on March 16th... we knew we needed banners, something to let passers by know that we are here, open for business, takeout and delivery! On a side note... It seems the population is coming to realize we offer real Chicago Style pizza, thin crust, thick crust, (cut in squares, cheese on top!), deep dish, stuffed, calzones and strombolis. Our entire menu including pasta dishes, appetizers and desserts are still available... but back to Bruce at Copycats... he makes me smile. Salem Area Chamber of Commerce Greeters Meetings would not be the same without him. And if you don’t know that... “You might just be a red neck!” Bruce and his team provided fast, helpful and extremely friendly service. Thank you, Bruce, for who you are and how you serve the community.