Quincy’s Fish moving downtown

full disclosure- my firm The Next Wave does work for Quincy’s fish- they had zero editorial input on this.

Heard it here first folks- Quincy’s Fish is moving from W. Third to the old Lou’s Broaster hut location at 865 N. Main St. It’s a blow to the West Side- but a boon to the lower Riverdale area and Downtown. Should be open by Dec. 1, 2014.

This isn’t a ding on opening business on the West Side- it’s a ding on our crappy system of recording deeds, collecting taxes and protecting vacant buildings in Dayton. It’s also good reason to hire a title company even when signing a lease on a distressed building in Dayton, especially if your landlord is a known felon.

Photo from Google Maps of corner of W. Third And Alder where Quincy's transformed an abandoned building

Before Quincy’s

The building, which at one time was a Pizza Hut and then a bank- and lastly “Charlies Angels” had sat vacant for a few years. The claimed owner was Mark Donelson, of Donelson Investments. Former husband of Scherrie McLin, daughter of former political power broker CJ McLin and sister of former Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin- who is now in prison for mishandling pre-paid funeral money in the family funeral home.

Donelson had moved the title into numerous persons’ names during his incarceration and apparently had never actually set up the Nevada corporation to which he had last transferred the title. The owner of Quincy’s found this out- after they had taken him to court over his failure to provide an air conditioner through the course of the lease. One was installed before they opened in November 2013- and promptly stolen the next day. Rent payments had been going into escrow until the matter was settled- which is when the question of rightful, legal ownership surfaced.

Despite months of sweat equity and investment into transforming the eyesore back into a going concern, the lack of legal standing of the “owner” of the building made any chance of stability in that location seem elusive.

Enter the old “Lou’s Broaster Hut” or “Chicken Louies” at 865 N. Main Street. Another building that has been adversely affected by failures of our city to protect investors’ investments. First was the closing of the highway access to N. Main street and construction. Then the break-ins through the roof and the theft of metal. Another abandoned restaurant, another reclamation project.

The abysmal record of the Dayton Police in solving crimes by drug seeking junkies who rely on pennies on the dollar for recovered scrap from viable buildings is good reason to pay attention to the County Commission race- where former Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell is proposing an idea that’s been tested in Europe- giving the worst offending heroin addicts the drug in a controlled environment so as to keep them from causing millions of dollars of damage for scrap.

With the experience on Third Street behind them- the owners of Quincy’s think they can turn the old “White Tower” building around in 30 days and be open for business by Dec. 1, 2014.

In the meantime, the question of the ownership of the W. Third Street building will just be another case of failure of our system of recording deeds and titles. Our current “system”  came along with the relaxation of rules which allowed for the resale of mortgages without physical transfer of deeds- which was in part what led to the financial crisis and housing collapse of 2009. It’s time to stop this malarkey of  digital deed transfers and shell corporations that haven’t been fully vetted. It’s also time to impose penalties on those organizations- be it banks, or shell corps, who hold these buildings without taking care of them. In the end- they cost all of us.

Quincy’s Fish now open on W. Third Street

Quincy's Original Fish House cod on a bed of fries with 2 slices of bread.

Quincy’s Original Fish House cod on a bed of fries with 2 slices of bread.

I’m lucky. I’ve been invited to the sneak peek, and stopped in on the quiet opening day.
I’ve tried the Whiting, Perch and Cod- which is every fish on the menu, and I’m a fan.
Now, full disclosure, I do work for Quincy’s- but, I’m going to make a confession- I don’t usually like fried fish. I’m a raw sushi kind of guy- the fish and chips thing was never the same since being served it wrapped in newspapers in England off a street cart- where the grease was so thick you could lube your axles with the newspaper when you were done eating.
So, I ran some of it over to an expert- my mother. 85 years old and still sporting the Brit accent. She pronounced it as great too.
They make everything from scratch- and the menu is super limited. 3 kinds of fish, all served on 2 slices of bread, with hand cut fries and peppers and onions. Warning- the peppers and onions are powerfully hot. I get hick-ups eating them, so be careful.
The coleslaw is also made fresh and is equally awesome.
Prices at lunch are $3 cheaper than dinner. The lunch portion will fill you up- the dinner portion- will almost feed two. Leave room for desert too- Keith has started selling his Chocolate Chunk cookies- $1.59 ea or 2 for $3.00. Pretty amazing.
The Whiting is $4.99 at lunch, and $7.99 at dinner, The cod and perch are $5.99 at lunch and $8.99 for dinner.
They are open at 11 a.m.- and stay open till 11 p.m. Monday- Saturday and close at 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Head over to 3907 W. Third St., just before Gettysburg, across from Auto Zone in the old Pizza Hut.
Their phone is (937) 263-3474 (FISH) Call ahead to have your order ready. The lobby is small.

Web site: www.quincysfish.com

[update] June 21 2014, Quincy’s is now also serving broasted chicken. I’m not sure what makes it “broasted” – it’s cooked in a Henny Penny pressure fryer- but- that’s the word they are using. It’s really good as well. Go in and check it out.[/update]

Food Truck rally at Vet Town- Saturday Oct 12 Noon-5pm

VOB Ohio, of which I was one of the founders, is hosting an open house- with a special visit from the food trucks and the National Guard.

VetTown is at 140 N. Keowee St at the corner of N. Keowee and Monument in the building that last held ISUS charter school- and for the old timers, was Kiefaber Hardware.

There will be raffles, an obstacle course for kids- and, well- food.

Vet Town is the hub for Veteran Owned Businesses to provide a place where Vets help vets work

There isn’t anything about this event up on either the www.vobohio.org or www.vettown.com site, but trust me, there will be an event.

South Park, the mecca of pizza

I’ve been campaigning on the West side of Dayton a lot lately, and the concept of food desert has been setting in. I’ve tried to eat at locally owned places- Marilyn’s Grill on Gettysburg, Moe’s Fish and Chicken, the new Cheesesteak guy on W. Third by the old Home Avenue plant, Dragon China, Napoleon’s,  Diamond D’s Diner, Huffies BBQ. But for every one of these, there are probably an equal number of closed places. Even among the national chains, the pickings are slim. And although I understand the need for security, the thick plate glass and revolving food door, remind me I’m not in my ‘hood. That bothers me.

That businesses have to invest in roll-down door covers, security cameras and those plexi-glass walls, tells me that things aren’t the way they should be. Also note, for every place that has the carousel, there is one that doesn’t- and they can be blocks away from each other.

Compared to South Park, where my dining choices go from sushi to spaghetti and breakfasts to burgers, I have a smorgasbord all within a half mile of my house. Just for example, I’m going to list all the options for pizza.

  • Pizza Factory, 1101 Wayne Ave.- 224-4477 a client and one of my all-time faves. Try the Buffalo Bacon Ranch or the Reuben.
  • South Park Tavern- 1301 Wayne Ave., 586-9526- technically- same pizza as Pizza Factory- only you can sit and drink a beer.
  • Jimmie’s Ladder 11, 936 Brown St., (937) 424-1784 – pizza is just a part of their extensive menu, but some people swear by theirs.
  • Coco’s Bistro- 250 Warren St., 228-2626 – another client. artisan thin crust pizza. Not their main thing- but, an option.
  • Wheat Penny – 515 Wayne Ave., 496-5268 The “new place” – fancy pizza in a finer dining setting.
  • Oregon Express- 336 E. 5th St., (937) 223-9205- A bar- with good pizza
  • Salar; 410 E. 5th St. 203.3999, a fine dining place that has a few nice pizzas on the menu.
  • Serendipity Bistro- 25 S. St. Clair St., (937) 760-5380 – a bistro- wine bar- that also makes some artisan pizza.
  • Olive, an urban dive 416 E. Third St.,222.3483 – they are too cool to call it pizza- but, it’s gluten free, made with chickpeas- they call it Socca- tres good!
  • The Flying Pizza- 223 N. Main St., 222-8031 – they still sell by the slice. I used to be in love with their thick Sicilian Slices. They close early.
  • Uno’s Chicago Grill- 126 N. Main St., 910-8000 – a chain, with lots of kitsch on the walls.
  • Cousin Vinny’s 2032 Wayne Ave., 262-7757 – the king of late-night cheap pizza for UD students.
  • Submarine House 1137 Brown St., 222-7939 – another local institution- either you love it or hate it.
  • Dewey’s 131 Jasper St., 223-0000 Gourmet pizza- with amazing service.
  • Milano’s Atlantic City Subs 1834 Brown St., 222-7072 my favorite is their calzones. In fact, I had a pepperoni and mushroom one tonight.
  • NY Pizzeria Restaurant 1430 E. 5th St., 222-0321 – Old school diner feel. Huge calzones.
  • Cassano’s Pizza King- 1043 Brown St., 294-5464 about to move up the street into new building. Dayton’s original pizza chain.

Of course- we also have delivery from Donato’s, Papa John’s and Domino’s, which are all just up the Wayne Avenue hill.

I don’t think I’ve missed any- but, by my count- that’s 19 choices for fresh pizza, we may be in the center of the pizza universe in the county. If I’ve missed any- please add in comments. If you have opinions on which makes the best pizza- you can add that too.

To me, pizza diversity is the most important economic indicator of a healthy community. Sure, Oakwood might have Dorothy Lane Market- but, when it comes to pizza- I’m sorry- we’ve got you beat.

To me, success as a city commissioner would be seeing a resurgence of locally owned independent food places across the city. Neighborhood bars, pizza, restaurants- gathering places for our community. I’ve actually got a pretty good idea on how to make it happen, without spending too much in the way of tax dollars.

In the meantime, keep looking at this list- and thinking, I want to live in his neighborhood.

 

Instant economic development: Food Truck Fridays

Food trucks in Dayton at Fifth and Jefferson

The place was hopping under the transportation Center

[Full disclosure, my firm The Next Wave has done work for Tonia and Joe Fish in the past. She spreads her work around, so there is no ongoing relationship.]

Last night, there was a long line at the Zombie Dogz food truck, which was the first truck of food truck row, lined up in a semi circle behind the old Sa-Bai/Elbos/Chins space that the city doesn’t seem to know what to do with. You could tell the food trucks were there from blocks away because of the din raised by all the generators. And there were people- lots of people, strolling around, sampling food from trucks run by local restaurants- and by purely mobile operators like Zombie.

At the fulcrum of this pop-up food court is a force to be reckoned with, Tonia Fish, an Oregon District resident who is a force of nature. Married to an incredible Chef- her world is food- and entrepreneurial spirit. For the last 3 or so years, they’ve run “The Chef Case” in the Second Street Market, with a broad selection of gluten-free food- and a freezer full of Dolcessa Gelato. This is in addition to Joe’s “day” job as an executive chef running UD dining halls.

About 2 years ago, Tonia started the concept of Synergy incubators- a shared commercial kitchen space for independent food businesses. Synergy ended up in control of the former Dayton Public Schools commissary, which wasn’t needed anymore as new federal guidelines required school food to be made on school premises. Think of it as an entrepreneurs’ center for food-focused businesses. Her next target is to turn the Sa-Bai space into a banquet center/demonstration kitchen/rental kitchen, food truck court to bring life to a spot that’s never had much impact economically, despite being next to the convention center.

As always the debate comes down to “Is this fair?” Is it fair to the fixed operators like Thai 9, Lily’s, Salar, Oregon Express, Blind Bob’s etc who pay property taxes, an additional tax to the Downtown Dayton Partnership, and follow all the other rules- including liquor licenses etc.- while these nomad businesses get to drive up- and drive out drawing business away? The easy answer is no. Food trucks are a parasite, sucking off the gift of an opportunistic parking space. The flip side is that the food truck rally point brings out more people than what a typical night would bring- and these people may wander down for a beer- or a band later. What Tonia brings to the table is order and marketing to what is normally a mercenary business and the synergy is a good thing.

The city is putting up every road block to this concept. The question is why? These are jobs, these are people downtown. This is a great stepping stone to a vibrant downtown, as long as these trucks aren’t a permanent fixture or not contributing back via payroll taxes, permits, health inspections etc. Working with Tonia and her band of boxed meals on wheels, could help bring vibrancy back to other parts of our community- with a rotating smorgasbord spectacle moving from Jefferson and Fifth, to Courthouse Square, to Riverscape, to Island Park to Wright Dunbar, to Residence Park. Let’s embrace the idea of bringing food to the masses and having a roving party on wheels.

I have a vision of building a mecca of street basketball courts at the old Parkside homes space- where the entire region can gather for basketball tournaments every night in the summer- with a food truck court.

The city could start by allowing the trucks to ditch the generators and hook into metered power stations, much like a trailer park. We should consider also investing in sanitary hook ups- to encourage this new breed of business. My guess is that in 5 hours last night, they did more business collectively than Sa-Bai did in a month. Isn’t this “economic development?”

Over and over, I’ve heard the same things from small businesses- that Dayton isn’t friendly or easy to work with. We have to learn to get out of the way of people on a mission like Tonia Fish- to listen to their dreams and become cheerleaders instead of gatekeepers. It’s one of my goals for my term on the City Commission- I hope you support my vision and Tonia’s this November 5th.

Sa-Bai is bye-bye

Sa-Bai was another instance of the City of Dayton trying to play developer. The space, formerly Chins, then Chins and Elbos, then just Elbos, then empty- was leased to an operator out of Cincinnati at a bargain basement rate.

They took a real long time opening. Of course, if you were Thai 9 right around the corner, you probably weren’t too happy about a government subsidized competitor opening right around the corner.

The “experiment” lasted a little over a year. In December, they had a sign $1 sushi all day. This was from a place that was charging $14 a roll when they opened.

Sa-Bai is bye-bye now. Once again, the taxpayers are left holding the bag. The $1 sushi sign isn’t out, the phone is disconnected, not even a “sorry, thanks for your patronage” sign in the window.

Photo of the founders of Fusian

Fusian Founders, lft to ri, Zack Weprin, Steve Harman, Josh Weprin

But, don’t worry- over on Brown Street you can get excellent sushi from Fusian, a business started in Cincinnati by three kids from Oakwood. A roll will set you back $7.50, be made in front of your eyes- just the way you like it- and the place is always hopping. And, besides the tax breaks and advantages given to UD and Miller Valentine, no public dollars or breaks flowed into the pockets of team Fusian.

Fusian is one of my favorite places to eat in Dayton- the staff is always friendly, upbeat and cheery. The food is awesome and fresh, and affordable. A hit with UD Students, they just opened a location in Columbus near OSU. Comparisons to Chipotle are inevitable, and it’s even part of their plan to locate near existing Chipotle locations. I’ve known all three of these young men since they were in their teens. You can’t find three nicer guys.

I won’t miss Sa-Bai a bit, but if Fusian left, I’d be devastated.

 

 

Go to Vandalia to eat around the world: World Café

I’m pretty sure a bunch of you will tell me I’m about 2 years late sharing this gastronomical find, but it’s worth talking about. Located in the butt fugly strip mall off the Northwoods exit on 75 by the airport, 2 doors down from Kroger is a former Quizno’s gone eclectic.

The World Café’s sandwich menu is split between Americas, Europe and Asia and each can be had as a toasted sandwich on white, multi-grain flatbread or as a wrap. I tried the Chicken BLT and the Brazilian Steak sandwiches as well as a sampler of three kinds of hummus, tzatziki and olive tapanade. The tapanade was so awesome I kicked myself for not getting the “New Orleans Muffuetta” which about 5 people recommended online. What makes the chicken BLT special is the avacado mayo, the Brazilian steak had a chimichurri sauce and cilantro mayo. It’s the little things that make a sandwich special.

There are 16 different sandwiches and all of them sound good to me, which is rare. The only thing I’d hope to see changed is an improvement in the bread- what I’d give for it to come from either Bakehouse Bread in Troy or Rahn’s Artisan Breads (you might know them from the 2nd St. Market- full disclaimer, I’ve done work for both)- which turned me into a bread snob. Next visit I’m curious about the Thai Steak Wrap  or the Mandarin Orange Wrap as well as the Muffuletta.

The sandwiches are $6.50 or available as a half for $4.00 and there are combos with soups, or salads too. I tried a soup too- don’t ask me what it was- but it was hearty and flavorful with a tomato base. Everything is made from scratch, and the portions are definitely American sized, despite the place being owned by a Pole.

Robert Krzak ended up in Dayton after working cruise ships and traveling around the world. Don’t get him talking because he doesn’t stop. Those of you who enjoy dialects/accents will be laughing all the way as he goes between an Aussie with a g’d day, and some slang, to a heavily accented Eastern European English, all with a big smile. He came to Dayton after meeting a fair lass from Beavercreek on the cruise ship and has been here since 2005. He’s working two jobs to keep his dream of a chain of World Café’s growing, you can find him some nights at Therapy Café on E. Third in the Cannery tending bar. He was recently featured in the Dayton Daily news in a piece about immigration.

For those of you who think immigrants steal your job, I’d like to point out that this guy is hiring Americans and building his American dream for his family. If you need a reminder of immigrants’ impact on Dayton, just drive around old North Dayton and see the Polish Club, the Lithuanian Club etc. This town was built by European craftsmen.

The restaurant is at 786 Northwoods Blvd., Vandalia, OH 45377, the phone is 937-264-0100. hours are Monday- Friday 11-8, Sat. and Sun. 11-2:22. They do catering as well and deliver within a 20-mile radius.

If you’ve eaten here and had a good experience, share it in the comments, and if you haven’t- go try it and tell them Esrati sent you.

Two sides to a public lynching of a small business owner: Sidebar

[update] Sidebar 410 in Dayton is now closed, as of 30 July 2012. Former employees have weighed in with their comments below. It’s not pretty. This post has generated an unreal amount of traffic and comments very quickly.Of all the things I’ve posted since 2005, this has the most backstabbing, vitrol in comments to date. Some of these people worked for Mr. Higgins for almost 2 years- yet totally forget all the paychecks that did clear- and the tips they made, at one of the hippest places we’ve had. Please read the post carefully, because I still don’t believe it deserved the vitrol. [/update]

My very first clients for The Next Wave were restaurants. The Video Deli, The Third and Linden Market, Sodexo Marriott’s in house catering for Hobart in Troy, Pacchia. Since 1990, I’ve worked with many small businesses, but, of all of them, restaurants are by far the toughest. Employees act more like free-agents, you are judged by every single transaction based partly on personal taste, and with the advent of the Internet with sites like Yelp, Urban Spoon, Trip Advisor, FourSquare, Facebook and Google Places, every single customer can write a lousy review with impunity.

A Harvard professor did a study and differences in Yelp ratings can have significant effects on revenue. Big impacts.

Plus, depending on weather, and a whole bunch of other factors, restaurant owners almost have to gamble every night on stocking ingredients for making your meal. Predict wrong either way and it can be costly. It’s a very fickle business and I have the utmost respect for every single independent restaurant owner. I also love and appreciate the local character they infuse into a community- if the old adage about good cooking is the way to a man’s heart, a good local restaurant scene is what gives a community a heart and, a personality.

Photo of a protestor of the Sidebar in Dayton Ohio

The first report of trouble to my cell from one of my team

Yesterday, I got a message from one of my team with a picture of a protester outside Sidebar in the Oregon District. Sidebar employees were standing outside picketing with signs saying they hadn’t been paid. We’ve done business with Sidebar and owner Brian Higgins and have known for a long time that he was struggling. The Dayton Daily News did a huge expose on him and his other business- GSSP services, a mortuary service to the county that picked up bodies and delivered them to the morgue. It was pretty clear then that Higgins had monstrous obstacles to overcome, and this protest was going to be one more.  A friend (thanks Jay) found a piece of real investigative journalism from Chicago from 2009 about Higgins’s  operation there. I wouldn’t wish this kind of PR on anybody, and as a PR pro, it’s hard to straighten things out while people are still being handed knives to stick in you.

I put a simple post on Facebook:

Sidebar employees are out front picketing on E. Fifth Street because their paychecks bounced (again). There are two ways to deal with this- honor the protest and make sure they go out of business- or go, spend money and tip extra well and try to keep a great local restaurant in business.
Considering people are lining up at Chik-fila (sic) to show support for a homophobic corporation, we should be able to go help out a local businessman in trouble.
Will you join me there tonight?

I got a few likes and a load of hatred. The local TV stations had no problem putting this story on the news. The protesters were leaving just as I got there last night a little before 11- as was the last news truck. The place that would have normally been rocking and packed, looked like a quiet Tuesday night.

Sidebar employs about 45 people. It also brought a new level of drinks, dining and style to the Oregon District. I love the quinoa salad, the eggplant parmigiana and the beef saltado pizza. My partner loves their drinks- which were all unique and made totally from scratch- fresh squeezed juices, hand-ground spices and even different kinds of custom ice.

I’m also very connected to that space on E. Fifth Street- having helped launch Pacchia there long ago- after Glen Brailey figured out how to sneak a liquor license in to the Oregon District without paying the premium caused by limits imposed by the city. I want to see a restaurant there succeed- and even more  in other spaces like the old furniture store building a few doors east that has been vacant for 30 years. We need the Oregon to flourish.

What bothers me most is that millions upon millions of our tax dollars have been handed out to “create jobs” and “economic development” in this community- they’ve been handed out capriciously (randomly- or maybe not- some go to big campaign contributors). Sidebar hasn’t been on the receiving end of any of this. I was hoping all the people that Brian has given a free drink to, comped a meal (which he’d always do if he found out you were proposing in his restaurant- or he’d comp some champagne) or helped with fundraisers (I’d been to many there- and even held my last election night vigil there- where Brian comped some food) would come out and support him last night- and help put some more money in the bank. I was treated on Facebook like a pariah.

There weren’t any public protests about the money the government poured into MCSi and Mike Peppel, the CEO who stole millions and got 7 days in jail. Nor, have there been protests about the two-tiered tax system at Austin Landing.

Higgins isn’t the first small business to bounce a check, nor is he the only restaurant owner to owe suppliers, or miss tax bills. The list is long. But, he seems to have become our favorite pinata.

To me, there will be no winners in this. I wasn’t asking for a tax dollar supported bailout last night, I was asking for people to go out and eat and drink and to tip the remaining staff well, just in case there isn’t enough money left to pay them either.

I don’t want Sidebar to disappear. I still miss the copper clad wood-fired pizza oven from the original days of Pacchia. I miss Dominic’s garlic salad and their sizzling cheesy lasagna. I miss Kitty’s downtown with their pompous large menus and Seattle East with their really good chicken breast sandwiches and kettle chips and the movie discussions they used to hold in the back room. I miss Blue Moon’s black and white Tuna over a wasabi infused rice cake- and a certain waitress who gave me a birthday kiss- before she went on to become a reporter and then a PR person. I miss What you eat- the little vegetarian place that preceded the Blue Moon – and their white bechamel pesto lasagna and fresh baked bread with honey butter.

All of these restaurants made Dayton a great place to live, but didn’t get the support of our community, while TGI Friday’s and Applebee’s will long be with us.

We have to learn how to stop kicking people when they’re down and learn how to help them up. I am very glad that Blind Bob’s is going to hold a benefit to help the employees that haven’t been paid- they are another class act that deserves your support, but, I hope there is a lesson in all of this.

The return of Carmen’s Deli

Thanks to the efforts of a whole lot of people, fans of Haitham Iman and his little deli, Carmen’s Deli has signed a 10-year lease in the space at the corner of 2nd and St. Clair in the Kettering tower. The new owner, Albert Macanian of Dunkirk Realty seems to understand how important small businesses on the ground level are- he turned down an offer for more money per square foot from a non-profit that had its eyes on the space.
The best news, is that during the three months it’s going to take to build out the current space, Haitham is going to be able to operate out of the old King Cole/Olivias, Michaels, Mr. Hyman’s rent free- he’ll be open next Wednesday, July 18th, 2012.
Premier Health Partners is even helping out- allowing him to post signs on his former space telling his patrons about the new location.

This was all done with no help from the City of Dayton office of “economic development” or the “Downtown Dayton Partnership”- who would prefer to give away our tax dollars to random businesses or throw parties respectively.

Please make an effort to stop in and see Haitham starting next Wednesday!

Spicy peanut rolls ala Esrati

The real credit for these goes to the now defunct Dharma Deli that was in the Second Street Market. I loved their spicy peanut rolls, and since we sort of cut out bread in the house, these have become a lunch staple.

I typically whip 2 of these up for lunch. Everyone I’ve made them for has loved them- so I decided to share the recipe for my spicy peanut rolls as a how-to video.

What you need- and where to get them:

From International Foods on Airway (4770)- right next to Linh’s Vietnamese Restaurant (one of my favorite places to eat in Dayton)

  • Rice paper wrappers- they come in a hundred or so pack for $2
  • Sweet chilli sauce- (egg roll dipping sauce) this is the hardest part, my favorite had a yellow squeeze bottle top, but haven’t seen it for a while. There are plenty of different brands, but they are all different. And- almost all the brands have horribly designed labels. A big bottle is $3. You can get a tiny 8 oz bottle of this stuff at Trader Joe’s for the same $3- but why?
  • Firm tofu- you can get this stuff almost anywhere.
  • Red cabbage- I shave it- then chop. Green cabbage doesn’t work- I’ve tried- different taste.
  • Organic carrots- grate them. This is one food that I demand to buy organic- the other carrots now taste weird to me.
  • Organic peanut butter- doesn’t matter what brand.
  • Red bell peppers- again, I’ve tried the green ones and it doesn’t taste the same. Slice them in long strips to stiffen the roll.

Prep your veggies- heat a bowl of water in the microwave. Dip the rice paper in- get it wet and soft, then put it on a plate. Spread peanut butter in a line down the middle, put a slice of tofu in, line up the red pepper slices along side, cover with the sliced red cabbage and the carrots- pour on your sweet chilli sauce and then fold in sides and roll the rest (see the video).

Be careful what you put these on- the rice paper sticks to lots of stuff. I usually make two for lunch. If the veggies are prepped takes less than 5 minutes for 2. Veggie prep takes a bit more time- about 1o minutes – and I keep them in a Rubbermaid container for the next day.

Here’s the video:

The video was shot by our former intern Daniel Lyon and edited by The Next Wave‘s own Max Spang. We can do videos like this for your business- to help draw traffic from YouTube to your site. YouTube is the number two search engine out there.

We also plugged the amazing anti-microbial Pasha Sponge which is a side project of The Next Wave’s Lou Lozada who runs our new Miami FL office. Lou has won One Show Pencils, Cannes Lions and can ride a surfboard, shoot video and speak Spanish all at once. You should really consider trying out one of these amazing sponges- I’ll not go back to anything else again- our other sponges just feel filthy compared to the Pasha Sponge.

Happy eating!