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First Bar-B-Q in Kyrg...Shenanigans...Forever!
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01 11 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JAllen wrote:
We bought a refer for the kitchen Saturday. Yesterday we bought meat, rubbed and put it in to marinate for today. I came in this morning and checked the meat...

Frozen.

I'm gonna have another cup of coffee and calm down.


Ouch! But you gotta admit it is better than finding it rotten from the cooler not being cold enough.
Last may I found myself with frozen meat less than 24 hours before a vending event I was doing for a charity. I tossed it in the cooker to thaw the outermost part, seasoned and cooked as usual and I saw only a 3 hour increase in cooking times. I hope you are able to get this stuff cooked in a safe and expedient manner.

I like to test cooler temps by having a cup of water in it, this gives me an average temperature, this works good because air temp fluctuates with each door opening, and compressor/defrost cycles.
Do you have access to a non-contact infrared thermometer? Those work nicely too, but they are inaccurate if aimed at a reflective surface such as stainless steel. You would be best served aiming it at product stored in the cooler.
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JAllen
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Joined: 27 Oct 2010
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Location: Bishkek

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01 11 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Thanks for the advice. Our place is walking distance to the bazaar where we buy meat, and just about everything else.

I sent Sasha the bartender to get fresh meat for today. I'm hoping I can get a couple small butts finished by 7. The chicken should be fine.

dvd player out, had to buy another one. That's two in three weeks.
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01 11 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sold two bottles of champagne as a couple liked the first and ordered a second. These are eight dollar bottles of Sovietskaya. BBQ man, that's eight, not eighty.


Good one! Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

From the sounds of it:

Help is unreliable (even family)
There are a lot of alcoholic/drug addicts (not that there are none here, but yours seem to be the norm not the exception)
Quality Meat/supplies are hard if not next to impossible to get
Nobody honors their word, or contracts (your comment on the lease)
Graft/corruption is rampant
Revolution/civil unrest is a way of life.

Jeez dude, I thought raunt ownership here was a challenge! Shocked

Thanks for the share..............................
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JAllen
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Joined: 27 Oct 2010
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Location: Bishkek

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01 11 8:40 pm    Post subject: BBQMan it gets worse...you can't make this stuff up. Reply with quote

So we've been hearing about the bartender...The other guy does masonry, auto repair, monitors the smoker, and does purchases. We've know him for a few years and has been as reliable as anyone around here, which is not saying much. We've given him use of our microvan, to-from work, in addition to the motoring he does for us.

Sunday/Monday he doesn't show and he doesn't answer his cell. He shows up today and I don't see the van in the parking lot. I'm thinking he couldn't find a spot. 4 o'clock and I ask him to go drive and get my wife. He leaves and they both return as expected.

"Nice taxi ride," my wife says.

He showed up without the van. He says he left it at home 'cause he'd been drinking the past three days.

I'm switching to decaf. That should help.
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Last edited by JAllen on Wed Feb 02 11 12:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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JAllen
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Location: Bishkek

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01 11 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Checking everything...plates, sauce dishes, cold drinks, silverware...spoons, ok,...forks, ok...knives....ONE knife? WTF?

And I am not kidding. This is gonna be a funny moment in about five years.

Oh, this is fun.
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JAllen
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01 11 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We just ran out of plates and we got people eating chicken off of napkins and not complaining. Shocking. My wife just cleared a bunch of bones.

We ordered a bunch of tableware, and bought what we thought was enough for the first couple weeks. We were wrong.
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daddywoofdawg
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02 11 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serve on butcher paper like the east coast serves BBQ here.and plastic silverware if it's cheap there, that way you don't have to worry about customers walking off with it.
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JAllen
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02 11 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today we were visited by two groups of "athletes." Typically here athletes are mafia. One group said they were looking for work as guards. The other came asking for "brut" champagne or dry white wine, informing me twice that they had just come from the stadium.

I expect the next visit to be about me "needing" guards.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03 11 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JAllen wrote:
Today we were visited by two groups of "athletes." Typically here athletes are mafia. One group said they were looking for work as guards. The other came asking for "brut" champagne or dry white wine, informing me twice that they had just come from the stadium.

I expect the next visit to be about me "needing" guards.


That kinda sucks, How hard have they tried to muscle you so far? Any direct threats made yet?
What is the going rate for "Protection" these days? And how deep is the rest of the town in bed with the local syndication? I am surprised it took them this long to pay you a visit, typically they will show up during build-out to make their presence known.

Hopefully this does not become a problem too big to make go away.
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JAllen
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Joined: 27 Oct 2010
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Location: Bishkek

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03 11 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HarryNutczak: That kinda sucks, How hard have they tried to muscle you so far? Any direct threats made yet?

My comment: No threats, no muscle, pretty polite, but that's how things usually start out. The fact that they mentioned more than once that they were "athletes" was a pretty clear signal to me. Historically here, athletes, partly due to the fact that they traveled a lot on the government's dime made them prolific drug transporters during the USSR. Since then, they've transitioned nicely to various rackets.

We'll see how it goes. During lease negotiations, I was informed more than once that the owner of the building is very influential and very high up in the govt. The guy who signed for the owner made it a point that nobody bothers the renters of this location.

As far as the going rate, I don't know. Our previous FF business, we were bothered a couple times, but nothing came of it. Had some police expecting free food. Before that I was in Kazakhstan with a consumer goods company for three years and had no problems. In another business, we just paid the Prez's son, who would stop by for a visit and leave with spending money for the night. In still another business, we had a local partner who was more destructive than any of these hoodlums could ever be.

I've always tried to keep a low profile myself and for the businesses I was a part of. Sometimes I tell people I'm from Canada. This time is a bit harder as the location is on a major cross street.

Actually, I'm more worried about getting our kitchen finished and moving some ovens and freezers in, replacing the bartender, and getting some evening kitchen help.

On the ovens, my wife today went to the only place in town that sells suitable ovens (A huge Chinese warehouse that probably takes ten minutes to walk across), and the place is closed until the 5th due to Chinese New Year. What's up with that? How many days do you need off for a fricken new year?
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JAllen
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03 11 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In other news, tests of the pit and pit monitors have shown that we can turn out acceptable chicken and pork. Okay, not so hard. Beef is a problem as it's not graded here, and I haven't had the time so far to pick through what's at the bazaar. When we get a freezer, I'll do some shopping. The last lamb we tried we took to I think 155 or 160. It was sliceable and I rated it very good. Both of our employees said it was undercooked and winced in disgust so we didn't serve it. Next lamb goes to 190.

People will not eat any pink meat here. None. This lamb leg had no pink and you could cut it with a butterknife. Didn't pass.
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BBQMAN
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03 11 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sometimes I tell people I'm from Canada.


That's just priceless right there. Confused Shocked Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Tell us again why you are there?
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kcmike
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03 11 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the thread! Lots of luck, I'll be following this one.
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JAllen
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Joined: 27 Oct 2010
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Location: Bishkek

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03 11 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBQMAN wrote:
Quote:
Sometimes I tell people I'm from Canada.


That's just priceless right there. Confused Shocked Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Tell us again why you are there?


BBQMAN, I joined the Peace Corps in 92, and was part of the first group to arrive after the ussr broke up. I was in Uzbekistan as a small business development advisor. I learned Russian and went on to work around the FSU until 2006, when I decided to to train horses, play blues, and run my own business out here. I spent three years just playing clubs here and in Kazakhstan.

As far as the Canada thing, it helps to shorten the discussion that follows after, "Where are you from?" Low-profile, not too much mingling is good policy sometimes.
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daddywoofdawg
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03 11 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In this country alot of places let the police eat free.The thought is they are more than likely going to come faster and help more at places they eat at.(True? who knows)but I work at a raunt that you didn't want to go outside at night but the place was never robbed.
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ecocks
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Joined: 16 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03 11 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting comment and one that was on my mind. New thread coming.
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JAllen
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Joined: 27 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03 11 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kcmike wrote:
Love the thread! Lots of luck, I'll be following this one.


kcmike, thanks for the comment. I was worried I was getting off topic. Every day I'm more convinced that real adventure is coming.

The key to making money in this location will be using the outside area during the warmer months. If we can find a way to get loads of people sitting out back guzzling beers and eating we have a small chance.

CASH REGISTER and tax:

Local authorities had problems collecting taxes, so they simplified. Choose from the following:

1. Patent method: Buy monthly patent and Pay $30/ per table per month tax, period. In Winter that puts our tax burden at $240. Summer would skyrocket.

2. Cash register, 6% from receipts, plus employee withholding. We chose this. Here's where it gets fun: Cash in the drawer has to equal the tape or you pay a $200 fine. No opening cash in the drawer. No cash drops. Mistakes can only be voided by calling a specialist and paying $10 for him to come and take it out.

3. Pay from profit. Requires full bookkeeping purchases, sales, etc. The expense managing this and translating/transferring my ledger to their version is prohibitive.

Figure this: Chicken wings wholesale: $2.50/lb Chicken quarter thighs/legs: $0.90/lb. Thanks Uncle Sam for the subsidy. They call these "Bush's Legs"
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JAllen
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03 11 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

6pm and nobody. Not even for coffee or vodka. That's one lonely porkbutt in the smoker. Sasha the bartender is nowhere to be found. He was supposed to be rubbing hens this morning.

We still don't have signs up and have yet to advertise. Moving too slow.

Just me and the smoker and the butt. Oh and Robert Cray on the Hi Fi.
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BBQMAN
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03 11 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope your new logo helps pick up business J!


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JAllen
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03 11 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the laugh BBQMAN! I'd like to use that for my avatar. Not that I'm not proud to be American.
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