Dolor de Amor

ramon flores xoco chicago alonso sotelo alfonso wilfredo bravo xoco chicago arthur mullen 2015

Chef Wil’s last day:

Covers/Sales:  640/12609.37 Dine-In, 2822.40 To-Go, 412.35 ChowNow, 478.74 Caviar, $16322.86 All Day

Door: The confluence of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the good weather and the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament at the United Center made for a beautifully intense Saturday.  MVP Carlos for leading the team into battle.  He was on the floor co-hosting with Nayeli for the entire lunch well into the late afternoon, wearing neon green, laughing and joking with the crowds, and serving an unbelievable amount of margaritas and beers to the line.  It allowed me to focus on restocking, and restocking, and restocking.  Nayeli and Carlos together on the door is the Xoco dream team.  In the PM, we had Saul hosting, with Jose controlling the line and I stayed anchored on the to-go register.  It never let up, not even a little.

ramon flores xoco chicago alonso sotelo alfonso wilfredo bravo xoco chicago arthur mullen 2015

Service: Carlos commented how beautiful a service it was during the part that can be the messiest:  at the changeover.  We all knew what we had to do and to be honest, we didn’t even have to talk about it.  “Everybody did their job, everybody did it at the same time, and everybody did it hard, with precision.” Ray Allen.  I am proud of the eagle warriors’ service today.

Eagle Warriors:  I have been talking all week about how we had to work as a team to protect Xoco from drunks.  At the end of the night, just as we were about to let our guard down, a group of 7 foot tall guys with arms and necks like tree trunks snatch up table 61 before it could even be bussed.  To their great credit, the eagle warriors did not panic.  Felipe let me know about their presence, Saul rerouted other guests from that table, I spoke to the intoxicated giants and let them know they could stay, but they had to get up and order with me at the to-go register.  When they all wanted tacos and burritos, I jedi-mind tricked them into giving us their money.  We bombarded the table with 3 comped chips and salsa to get them eating.  The drunken giants could barely talk as they stumbled out in the night, and table 61 may never be the same, but they left satisfied with their Xoco experience.

ramon flores xoco chicago alonso sotelo alfonso wilfredo bravo xoco chicago arthur mullen 2015

Kitchen:  MVP performance by both Chef Alonso (6AM to 10PM, expedited literally 16 hours straight) and Chef Wil (prepped all morning, then worked the hot oven all night) and their teams.  It’s been said that it’s not possible to surpass $16K in sales without the patio…

Guests: In addition to the drunk zombies, we had Stephen (he rode in on his motorized wheelchair apparently unfazed by the hoardes), Jameel, Javier and his wife (who is now expecting!), Eric (without Jenny; he had out of town friends) and Dan and his wife.  I have never appreciated seeing these familiar faces more.  MVP Saul for recognizing our regulars.  

ramon flores xoco chicago alonso sotelo alfonso wilfredo bravo xoco chicago arthur mullen 2015

Mood Scale (from a 5 star yelp review today):  “This is probably the best meal I had in Chicago. I never like spending a ton of money to get good food. For less than $12 I had the best bowl of soup of my life. It was the four bean seasonal soup and the flavor was so complex and tasty that I’ll never forget it. And the portion size was substantial.  

Even though this is a casual restaurant, someone greets you at the door and makes sure that you get a menu and get in line in the right place. I appreciate that kind of consideration. And we were lucky enough to even see Rick Bayless behind the line. We’ll be back for breakfast before we leave town.”

Dolor de Amor:

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