I took a walk to get my bearings and grab something local to eat. If you have yet to explore Boston’s restaurant offerings I highly suggest you do; you will likely find anything you are looking for. During my stroll through the North end of downtown Boston, I happened to pass by this little Chilean restaurant; it was packed! It inspired a deeper look. I figured if it was that busy, there had to be something worth waiting for.
As I entered through the old wood door with a beautiful Spanish stained glass window, I noticed a few things that stuck out upon entrance. Overall, the restaurant’s cleanliness wasn’t up to par, customers were antsy from the wait-time on their food, most people were just ordering takeout despite the many empty tables, and, here’s the kicker: there was no music! No music at all. What a shame – the ambiance could be shifted in such a dramatic way with just a little background music.
Immediately I flagged down one of the servers and asked for the owner. I started to feel like I was on one of those shows; you know the ones where an experienced chef goes in to help the restauranteurs fix their restaurant.
Overall, the staff was very polite, and the owner too, Isadora. She was young, maybe in her late twenties, but the stress of the restaurant made her look well beyond her years. I introduced myself and asked Isadora a few questions about her business. Politely I mentioned the agitation among the guests and suggested that if there was a little bit of background music to break up the sounds of a bustling kitchen and a busy work day for all, everyone would be in better shape.
She explained that they used to play music from her parents’ Chilean playlist, from their town in Chile. But since it was always the same songs on repeat it started to get old, fast, and they never got around to making new CD’s. They were definitely working with an older stereo system if they were playing CDs… I wondered if I had any CD’s in my car that I could donate for the time being.
She proceeded to show me what was causing such long wait times for food. In the kitchen she showed me the minimal amount of pots and pans she had in her kitchen. I was shocked! No wonder it took so long to serve all these customers. This was not good for the quality of the food or the restaurant. They certainly were in need of more tools to keep the kitchen running smoothly.
Without explanation, I rushed out to my car and came back with two sets of our Fleischer and Wolf Gilded Edge pots and pans. I presented them to Isadora as a gift; she was so grateful that she started to cry. I simply couldn’t let her go on. I wanted to make sure she could continue to serve her amazing dishes to customers and keep them coming back for years to come. After she thanked me, she had her chef whip me up one of their most popular dishes, Pastel de Choclo. Isadora’s version of this traditional beef and corn casserole was just as good, if not better than, the one Wolf and I tried when we visited Chile some time ago.
Before I departed, I handed Isadora a few of my favorite CDs I had in my car to add some character to her restaurant. Now, not only will her restaurant work faster for the customers, but the music will bring down the stress and make everyone’s experience, even the employees, more enjoyable.