Marla’s Blog

Real life in the restaurant business....

Please wear a mask.

My entire staff has been vaccinated but I still worry that even a mild case of Covid for a staff member will force me to close the restaurant while we isolate and reschedule. My staff cannot afford to lose shifts. Because of this, I am returning to our Mandatory Mask requirement. Please wear your masks […]

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Valentine’s Day 2021

We will be offering a series of Specials in addition to our regular menu beginning on Friday, February 12 through Sunday February 14. Oysters Rockefeller $12. Short Rib Ravioli with a warm Lobster Salad madeira sauce, butter fondue $40. Romaine and Arugula Salad lemon thyme dressing $9. Chocolate Truffles with Raspberries, creme anglaise $12 All […]

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Will this work?

Hmm, This is tough.  We had a super turnout the first week we opened.  The second week was not so good.  Here we are mid-week of three and we are somewhere in between.  We have had some long time customers who have come each week or are making an effort to come every other week.  […]

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Opening Tonight!

Yes, here we are at the height of the Covid-19 resurgence.  We are open tonight. We will have the online ordering up and running tomorrow as well as our pantry menu. If you would like to order dinner tonight, please check our menu pages and give us a call directly at 404-523-9121.    

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The New Normal….

    Here we are reopening….in the midst of an unprecedented rise in covid-19 cases in Atlanta and Georgia.  The line that was flattening, is now rising steadily. Why am I reopening, when I sat on my high horse in April and said it’s not safe?  Because I do not think it is going away.  […]

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Dining on Babette's Back Porch

Babette’s Reopening

We are looking forward to seeing you! Here are the nitty-gritty details: We, at Babette’s Café, have always been committed to quality, excellence, and service. The safety and care of our staff and guests is always a priority, now more than ever. As we prepare to reopen, we want to make sure we do it […]

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New Interior

Reopening Soon

  Hello everyone, We are getting close..Reopening at the end of June or after the 4th of July. We are waiting for the last of our masks and sanitizers to arrive. Will have a final decision by June 15th. We have missed you and look forward to seeing you soon. No hugs though. Marla

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This week as a Chef

After 6 months of scheduling and rescheduling three different contractors to repair the decking and rotting trim on the front porch of the restaurant, I finally found someone to come and do it.  I had painters working inside at the same time, painting the ceiling, all the wood work.  The contractor and the painters both […]

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Flunking Retirement

I’ve written a couple long letters over the last few years about hiring a Manager, Chef, etc.  I wrote how I wanted to learn the names of the plants in my yard, travel with my husband, read more, get in shape, write more…. In October last year, I found myself ironing sheets on a Saturday […]

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Dear James…Southbend

Dear James, I hope you can help me.  I have a Southbend cheesemelter that I purchased in 1997, used.  It is a “double wild”.  It has worked well until this last year or so.  Been having problems with the burner staying lit on the left side.  My regular repair guy comes in and cleans out the lines and it works […]

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A Comedy…..

I ordered a new work top freezer for the restaurant kitchen in January.  Our old one was starting to suffer and the repair man kept shaking his head.  There were things he just couldn’t fix. It has been a work horse in our kitchen for close to 20 years.  It is referred to as the […]

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An Old Dog, New Tricks

In my mind I am still in the European countryside; hanging my tablecloths on a clothes line, feeding the chickens, picking walnuts off the tree for a sauce, and drying the grapes in the room above the presses. But in reality I’m trying to merge Drop Box accounts, upload old accounting data into new software, […]

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Hire a Lighting Designer.

I didn’t do this until several years after I opened the new location. Thought I couldn’t afford it. Thought the architect would take care of it. I was $30,000.00 over budget with change orders and we were three months behind with a contractor who was not paying his subs. Maybe I couldn’t have spared the money and the […]

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New Linens

Our linen company (Company #1) was bought out recently by another company. Most linen companies work on a par level which means the restaurant sets how much of each kind of napkin, cleaning towels, tables cloths we will need each week. We use cotton napkins, bar towels, 42 inch table cloths, 52 inch table cloths, 62 […]

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Spring Menus

My favorite menu of the year is spring. Navarin of Lamb is coming back (Spring Lamb Stew with Vegetables). But some of the other items Chef Justin and I are looking at: English Peas, Asparagus, Morels, Roasted Chicken, White Bean Soup with Pancetta, Tempura Baby Heirloom Carrots, Artichokes (best in May when the California crop comes […]

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Mid July

Getting ready for the Gift Mart this weekend. Training a new busser/hostess. Setting an interview with a second hostess. Searching out new chairs for the deck. Ordered a new Sonic Wall Router which I will have to figure out how to install.  $1050.00, just because the other one was too old to be “supported”. Balancing […]

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No Shows.

No Shows: def:/ someone who does not show up for a reservation at a restaurant. I am a huge Robert Altman fan.  (deceased movie director for you young people)  I must have seen “Nashville” 20 times.  In his movie:  Pret-a-Porter, Lyle Lovett plays a baker whose customer does not come to pick up and pay […]

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Today.

Called my heating and air guy about reconfiguring the thermostats on the new heaters on back porch.  Did this while still in my pajamas at home, watching last week’s TV shows on On Demand. (The greatest invention, besides the I Phone) Stopped at Farmer’s Marker because Arborio Rice did not make the delivery truck. Home […]

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Fire.

A small fire broke out in the kitchen when my sous chefs and I were working on a new menu earlier this week. The stove top was full with French Onion Soup, Basque Sauce and Beef Bourguignon. I didn’t want to spray the line with the fire extinguisher, what with the food cost and all. […]

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Staff Vacations

Covered for my Sous Chef last week, covering for my manager this week.  Liquor orders, prep lists, recipe tweaking, costing updates. Waiting patiently for a new version of my recipe costing software to be sent to me.  My old version was so old, the data had to be converted and loaded on the new disk and mailed […]

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Snow Days.

I know I have blogged about this before, but it’s a big deal.  I am currently sitting on the porch of a beach house in Florida, watching the waves.  I am in a sweatshirt.  Back home in Atlanta snow and sleet is falling.  We need to close the restaurant tonight because of weather.  I am […]

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Blogging….

A good friend told me he thought my blog was courageous.  I didn’t know what he was talking about. Most customers have told me they love reading my blog.  Great. Recently a customer commented that they thought it was not appropriate.  Not great. So I’m a more than a little nervous now about what I write.  […]

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Really Cooking

May 12, 2008 Last week I had one of my occasional episodes where I find myself watching my hands work.  They are getting a little wrinkled, have some burns, and have very tough callouses.  They are exceptionally strong.  They don’t twist and turn like they used to though.  I’m having problems getting things opened especially […]

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Bad Juju?

This is getting ridiculous.  The Air Conditioning guy caught the filters and ductwork in the kitchen on FIRE when putting in the new compressor.  Sous chef pulled the alarm and went outside.  The ac guy was able to put the flames out and repair the melted thermostat wires.  The fire department checked and everything was […]

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New Menus

It’s a ton of work.  It begins with phone calls to purveyors to find what product is available and from where.  I have to discuss specs and try samples.  I have to get firm commitments from local farmers as to when their produce will be ready to pick   Due to many new and necessary fishing […]

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Friday Update

The plumber never came last week.  He forgot about the sink.  Came this Thursday, installed sink.  The sink is defective, leaking around the drain stem, right through the porcelain.  Have to order another sink, and try to get the sink’s manufacturer to reimburse me for the extra plumbing charge.  Pending.   The panic bar I […]

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