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Happy Monday everyone.  This is the least tired I’ve been on a Monday morning in a long time.  My Fall Break began Saturday, and as a result, I had a much more restful weekend than usual.  So, this morning I am dedicating my post to an eatery we visited this weekend: Chick-fil-a.

Chick-fil-a is a small bastion of the South in this yankee city (Louisville).  Jen and I were given some nice coupons for Chick-fil-a, so we went to eat lunch there on Saturday.  I  worked at a Chick-fil-a when I was in high school.  I know what the inner workings look like behind the curtain. They are basically what you would expect: gas fryers, stainless steel tables, stainless steel sinks, a true solid door refrigerator, and the like.  Like this guy, I love many things about Chick-fil-a.  I love the sweet  tea, I love the waffle fries, I love the many varieties of greasy chicken, I love the nice people that work there, and I love the boatload of coupons they give away all the stinkin time.  One of these days, I hope to go to a Chick-fil-a opening and get a year’s worth of free Chicken sandwiches.

That is all for today.  Until later friends…

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Welcome back to “The Life of a Restaurant Equipment Employee” blog series.  It has been a while since I have focused a blog on restaurant equipment.  I thought about writing about grease traps, but one of my friends already wrote a solid blog series on them starting here.  I also fear that I have written too often about refrigerator parts, and if I write any more about them, I will lose the few readers I have.  After having a “green” blog post earlier this week, ya’ll will probably be scared I’m going down the raw-food-hippie path if I wax eloquently about a Vita-Mix Blender:

Vita Prep 3

So, what to write about?  What is something that is neutral, and more entertaining than a refrigerator temperature control? I think the answer is quite simple…stainless steel wall shelves!  Everyone is all excited about having stainless steel everything in homes nowadays.  Stainless steel is pretty cool (except that you can’t hang magnets on it).  We moved to a new apartment this spring, and we upgraded to a larger kitchen.  The layout of the kitchen was a little strange.  The refrigerator is in this vastly oversized niche. So, we put a small bookshelf for Jen’s many cooking books beside it. There was also a lot of space above the refrigerator, since we no longer live in a basement.  So, we decided to purchase a stainless steel wall shelf, and hang it above the refrigerator.

Stainless Wall ShelfI generally hate hanging things.  I take that back. I hate hanging things that require more than one nail. Once I figured out that the mounting brackets are not interchangeable, it was very simple to install.  The shelf looks great in our kitchen, and it is great for Jen’s little artistic knickknacks. Until later friends…

Over the past couple years I have learned many things about refrigeration.  Up until two years ago, the biggest question I had regarding refrigeration was, “Does the light in the refrigerator stay on when the door is shut?” Of course I thought it didn’t, but you can’t really be sure unless you get in the refrigerator and shut the door, which was always a big no-no in my home (for good reason I guess).  Since I have worked in restaurant equipment, I am reminded of Morpheus in the Matrix offering the red pill and the blue pill.  If you don’t remember the plot, you can remind yourself here.  I feel like I took the red pill of refrigeration, and now I am confronted with more information about refrigerators than I ever wanted.  I now have enough knowledge about capillary tubes, compressors, and evaporator coils to be dangerous.  Some days it makes me wish that I had taken the blue pill. However, I think that all people should be lifelong learners. So, whether or not I will ever be able to fix a refrigerator myself, I am glad to know a thing or two about them.  I’m glad I know about the temperature control, which I consider to be the flux capacitor of refrigeration.True Temp Control 800382All this to say, it is good to learn all you can – even if it is about seemingly meaningless refrigerator parts. Just remember, every great time machine in sci-fi was created from spare parts.

One of the many joys of working in the restaurant equipment world is learning more than I ever wanted to about products that I never noticed.  Up until two years ago, I never paid attention to any equipment in a restaurant unless it was really eye-catching or broken.  Now, the first thing I do anytime I enter a restaurant is size up its equipment.  Jennifer has grown to expect this, and she just sort of looks at me with one of those knowing looks that only a wife can create when I tell her that Qdoba has a T-23 cooler.  Brian Webb says in one of his songs, “we all get proud when we’ve been some place before.”  I think my attention to restaurant equipment is similar to that.  Since I have spent a lot of time learning product lines and model numbers, I guess it makes me feel good to be able to tell someone else what that seemingly meaningless piece of equipment that you can barely see past the counter is.

So, here is my daily random piece of restaurant equipment for you: the True 871791 replacement shelf.  True Shelf 871791

You may say, “dude, why would I care about a shelf?”  A couple of reasons: 1) It is always best to get replacement parts from the manufacturer (as anyone that has ever tried fixing something on their own, only to disqualify the manufacturer’s warranty can testify)  2) I also have good memories with this shelf.  You say, “good memories with a wire shelf?” Yes, I do. A friend of mine named Daniel was once assaulted by an ex-con with one of these shelves – I kid you not. It was not funny at the time, but it is now one of Daniel’s best stories. So, I recommend this shelving for anyone with a True: T-49, GDM-49, or TS-49 freezer in their shop.  Not only is it the best fit for those models, it also sails through the air quite well, and can be used as a means of self-defense if someone tries to rob you – like a giant shelf-shaped ninja star (just imagine what Gambit could do with it).

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