THE HISTORY OF BRENDA’S – A SWEET ENDING

with a Recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

 

If at some point in your life you too decide to transform a crappy old laundromat into a larger extension of a too-small,  though fully operable restaurant,  here are a few of our statistics you may want to first consider:

 

Old Laundry

 

305 = number of days it took to purchase the laundry. From the day the agent notified us to when we finally made the last payment to the seller, it pretty much took the better part of a year.

 

 

Wait

 

2,525 = approximate number of times we were asked when the expansion would be complete.  Bless all of those poor and wonderful souls who would stand outside sometimes for as long as 2 ½ hours (!) to get into the original space.  Once the building permit notice went up in the window next door, all of those patient would-be diners went into an absolute frenzy.

 

$18622.68 = how much free, yes free $ that we got from the Mayor’s Office to help us beautify our unsightly block.

Yep, that's Mayor Ed Lee holding a press conference at the restaurant with me in the back trying not to pass out from stage fright.

Yep, that’s Mayor Ed Lee holding a press conference at the restaurant
with me in the back trying not to pass out from stage fright.

 

 

0 = number of architects who stuck around to see the job to completion.  Leading the pack of shysters who appeared out of nowhere once the expansion was made public was one particularly slick architect/building department retiree who approached us bearing promises of super-cheap fees along with a 100% guarantee of all necessary permits.  Of course being the naïve, virgin restaurant expanders that we were, we jumped right on board.  Aaaand, we pretty much didn’t get what we didn’t pay for, which would have been a responsible architect who saw the job through once we received our permits and he received his $.

Live and Learn.

Luckily these GUYS showed up and between our deep, deep desire to wrap up this never-ending story and the contractors extraordinary trouble-shooting skills we made it happen sans “architect”.

 

 

142 = number of guest at our big, GAY wedding.  Ummm, yeah.  In the middle of everything else going on, we (as in my now wife/business partner) decided that we wanted to be legally married and decided to do this:

Wedding

 

 

458 = number of days it took to build out the space.  

Build Out

View of the Kitchen from the Mezzanine, Me standing in the Dining Room, Entrance

 

23 = number of staff members added to our payroll.

the Crew

More Crew

A small sampling of the cast of characters
I’ve had the pleasure of working (and playing!) with.

 

 

702 = Approximate square feet added to my kitchen.

 

Shiny Kitchen

 

 

44 = number of seats added to the dining room.

 

New Dining Room

 

 

2 = number of easily accessible bathrooms created thus putting an end to our world famous “bathroom-in-the-kitchen tour” once and for all!

 

Bathroom Toast

Our entire staff and construction crew piled into our 
GINORMOUS new bathroom for a Champagne toast!

 

And on November 21, 2011 we officially opened the newly expanded Brenda’s.

 

Skillet

 

 

 

 

Oh, and before I forget, there was one more tiny addition to our lives that bears noting:

 

holy baby

 

Talk about a sweet ending…

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce

8 C Lightly Packed Day Old Bread, Torn into Pieces

2 C Over Ripe Bananas, Mashed

1 1/2 C Chocolate Chips (We use Ghirardelli at the Restaurant)

Bread Pudding Custard Base (Recipe Follows)

Hard Sauce (Recipe Follows)

Whipped Cream (Optional)

Bread Pudding Custard

2 Eggs

3/4 C Sugar

1/2 TSP Cinnamon

1/2 TSP Nutmeg

2 C Milk

Whisk Together.

Hard Sauce

1/2 Stick Butter

Pinch Salt

3/4 C Sugar

1/4 C Bourbon

1/2 TSP Vanilla Extract

In a small saucepan, melt butter, salt and sugar together.  Whisk together then add bourbon and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.

To make the pudding:  Lightly grease a loaf pan.  In a large bowl combine bread pieces, mashed banana and chocolate chips.  Pour custard over bread mixture and mix together.  Pour into loaf pan.  Place pudding into another pan large enough to hold it and fill larger pan with 1″ water.  Cover Loaf pan with foil, place in oven and bake for about 40 minutes in a 350* oven or until done in the middle.

Serve bread pudding drizzled with hard sauce and whipped cream.

Banana Bread Pudding