Do you enjoy artisanal food? Your answer must be yes. Who doesn’t? Name me one person who doesn’t enjoy some made-from-scratch grub that’s been raised/grown organically and has a flavor profile that could topple an entire empire? No one!
Now that we have that settled, it should be known that when one travels in the Pacific Northwest these days, he/she experiences a plethora of local, artisanal hotspots. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great thing! As an individual who’s encountered numerous artisanal restaurants over the past few weeks in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, here are a few keen observations:
1) If you want to start an artisanal food restaurant — meaning you’re going to sell something from scratch and have hipsters wearing hairnets over their beards while making said items — then the menu should focus on something that would otherwise be qualified as totally unhealthy.
For example, biscuits topped with fried chicken and gravy. This gut bomb can be ordered off the KFC drive-thru menu for $4.99. BUT when it’s prepared from scratch by people wearing flannel in NE Portland, then it qualifies as artisanal and they can charge $12.99. Pine State Biscuits had a line out the door THE ENTIRE TIME THEY WERE OPEN. Clearly, this business model is working. Artery clogging food prepared by hand and topped with fresh herbs = billion dollar idea.
Another prime Portland example of this winning strategy: Voodoo Doughnuts. Lines out the ying yang all day long. Bonus: at Voodoo Doughnuts, you can get an entire coffin of doughnuts for $120. Which is amazingly convenient because then you can lie in it after you die from eating several dozen doughnuts. Brilliant!
2) Another observation: the true mark of an excellent artisanal establishment is its name. In my experience, this means the shortest possible name. Keeping it to one word scores extra points with locals.
These places all receive an A+ on artisanal name choices. They’re simple yet totally descriptive of their food offerings!
- Guilt (my personal favorite)
You see where I’m going with this.
So, if you’re thinking of starting an artisanal eating house, ensure that it 1) serves food that’s terrible for you and 2) has a killer chic name. Also, it’s very important that the waitstaff wears as much flannel as possible. And it doesn’t hurt to add bird images to restaurant signage and merchandise.
Gracie recently asked me since I like to bake homemade bread at home, why don’t I open an artisanal bakery with each baked item containing at least 2000 calories, name it Loaf, and happily wear a flannel shirt every day.
Wait, why haven’t I thought of this before?!?!?