Tag Archive | Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service

SOUPFLY’S Travel Adventures -Part 3

WELCOME BACK TO SOUPFLY!

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This is the 3rd and final part recounting our travel adventures from the cross country trip we took last month.

After a few days of visiting family and friends in St. Louis it was time for us to finally start going West.  Our first stop-Kansas City, where Greg and Megan live-Michelle’s son and his wife.  Megan is a graphic designer and she is the one who designed the logo for this blog site, Soupfly as well the original cover design for my book-

Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service.  

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When we arrived in Kansas City we learned that the hotel that we booked through Hotels.com isn’t actually puppy friendly-although they come up on many puppy friendly sites as well as on Hotels.com they show up when one checks the puppy friendly filter.  So, originally we were going to stay in the Westport area of Kansas City which has tons of bars and restaurants, we ended up staying in Overland Park.  The first night in Kansas City we went to a favorite restaurant of Greg and Megan’s- Blanc Burgers and Bottles.

http://blancburgers.com/

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The food at Blanc is very good.  The truffle fries are great and they’re served in little miniature shopping carts.  Very creative presentation. The truffle fries are served with Blanc’s own house-made ketchup and chipotle aioli.

When we were there, the place was packed and there were only 2 servers in the entire restaurant.  Our server did  a good job considering that he had  a hundred other  tables.  Just kidding, not a hundred but he was pretty non-stop busy.  I was happy because they had a great lentil burger-which I really enjoyed.  So, even if you are a vegetarian or vegan, I recommend that you give Blanc a try next time you are in Kansas City.  Oh, and all the burgers are served with wonderful house-made pickles.  Yummy.

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Aside from visiting with family, in fact, Michelle’s Dad and Step-Mom also came to Kansas City, our major Kansas City highlight was our second day there which happened to be our (Michelle & Me) 1 year anniversary!  We got married-in a fever-hotter than a pepper sprout.  Johnny Cash fans-anyone?  Ok, never mind.  I’ll end the digression.  Michelle and I got married in Vegas, where we live, on 11/12/13.  So on 11/12/14  we spent the day just the two of us.  We even left the puppies back at the hotel.

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Although I had never been to Kansas City aside from being there for a conference a couple years ago, I did my research and told Michelle that I’d like to plan our anniversary day myself.  Hopefully she would be happy with the places I had decided upon for our lunch and dinner.   First lunch.  We went to the historic, 100 year old Union Station.  It is a beautiful building with surprisingly, a number of choices of places at which to  dine.  I decided to take Michelle to Pierpont’s-a famous steak and fresh seafood restaurant.

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Located in the recently renovated Union Station, Pierpont’s is a premier fresh seafood and steak restaurant in Kansas City. The restaurant has an atmosphere of casual elegance and is named after one of the most prominent people in the railroad business, John Pierpont Morgan.

Pierpont’s has a variety of seafood flown in fresh daily, such as scallops, wild salmon, ahi tuna and lobster. The restaurant also serves, Filet Mignon, Ribeye Steak, and Kansas City strip steak.  They have an excellent wine cellar that features over 300 bottle selections .

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A highlight is Pierpont’s architectural features. The space looks much like the original building did in 1914. Sixty percent of the restaurant’s three-story structure is historical space, including the original women’s smoking room, the women’s waiting room, and the women and children’s waiting room. Pierpont’s was selected as the best architecturally designed restaurant as well as the best place to take out-of-town guests.

http://www.pierponts.com/about-pierponts-at-union-station.html

Pierpont’s truly is a beautiful restaurant.  We were greeted very warmly by Sean, who also was our server.  He was very approachable, had a pleasant personality, was very informative and an overall great Service Professional.  It was quite apparent that he really enjoys his work and the people that he interacts with.

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Our lunch began with a glass of prosecco to toast our 1 year anniversary.  Next,  crab cake with a tomato mustard sauce and calamari with flash fried spinach.  Both of them excellent.  Michelle had a blue crab and sweet corn bisque and I had the Pierpont’s salad  which was topped with crispy root vegetables.  Both of our second courses were also very good.  By the time our entree’s were served we were both nearly full but today was a celebration so we pushed on.  I had the trout while Michelle ordered the pulled pork croque madam – an open face sandwich of pulled pork, with a bechamel sauce, topped with a fried egg on a brioche bun.

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This was one of the best lunches I have ever had-I think Michelle would concur.  The ambience, the decor, the food, the wine-all were excellent and Sean’s service and hospitality made it a most pleasurable experience!  Our meal, however, was not yet complete until Sean did a tableside flambe of a white chocolate bread pudding with rum sauce for us!  Very nice!

You can go here to watch Sean doing the tableside flambe’:

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And of course the company of my amazing wife-it was a perfect lunch!  What a wonderful way to start our anniversary celebration day!  Thanks Sean McKenzie!

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After lunch we did a bit-and I mean a bit, of strolling around at the Plaza (which is an outdoor mall) and shopping. However, because it was about 25 degrees outside and somewhat windy-remember-I don’t love cold weather-our Kansas City shopping was not very extensive.  I prefer shopping in sunny and warm Las Vegas.

For our anniversary dinner I chose another one of Kansas City’s premier restaurants.  Since lunch was in an old historic building, I thought we should go modern for dinner.  I made reservations at BlueStem-a recently James Beard awarded restaurant in the Westport area of Kansas City.

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http://www.bluestemkc.com/

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BlueStem describes their food as progressive American cuisine.  Their head chef,  Andrew Longres creates culinary masterpieces for the various set tasting menus that they offer.  Dinner at BlueStem was Amazing, to say the least.  We were warmly welcomed by the hostess, sorry, didn’t get her name.  She offered to hang our coats for us.  The service team of Paul and Nathan and the others (sorry didn’t get everybody’s name) did a wonderful job of creating a great dining experience for us.

I can’t recall all that we ate and I can’t even spell some of the items but here’s  little rundown: We started with an amuse bouche-which I don’t remember exactly what it consisted of but I do know that it had salmon roe and a gelee of some sort.  An amuse bouche is a single bite hors doeuvre’ that is offered complimentary by the chef to restaurant guests.  It is a French word that literally means “to entertain or entice the mouth”.

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I had an heirloom carrot salad, Michelle started with a truffle and potato tortellini with rabbit.  Both were excellent.

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For our main courses-Michelle decided to be adventurous and opted for the venison, although she had never had it before.  I had the snake river sturgeon which normally is prepared with oxtail and I believe had a sauce made with the oxtail.  I do not eat meat and  so our server asked me if I liked beets.  I said yes and sometime before our entrees were served, the chef sent out another little bite for us to enjoy of pickled beat puree-(I hope I’m getting that right).  That, too, was another delicious morsel.

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What I didn’t know at the time is that Chef, sent it out to see if I liked those flavors because he then created a beautiful beet and ginger sauce to accompany my sturgeon.

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So many times when I order something without the sauce-(oftentimes there is a veal or beef stock in it) that typically comes with a particular dish-I at most restaurants I am usually served a naked-not fully completed dish.  However, I was very impressed with Chef Andrew’s care and concern for me and he later told me, “If somebody doesn’t like a particular sauce or component on a dish-we don’t just omit it.  We replace it with something that the guest will enjoy and can eat.  We never send out “unfinished dishes”.  That was really great!  And I loved the sturgeon! Not only was our food delectable to taste, as you can see from the pictures it was stunning to behold-culinary works of art.

Our dinner ended with an apple butter cake with walnuts, raisins and cinnamon stout ice cream and a snow white goat  cheddar cheese with chestnut, roasted pear and cider.  Scrumptious! I rarely eat dessert but this was a special occasion.  And our server brought out some festive looking shooters that had-actually I don’t recall what was in them, maybe cranberry and prosecco.  He just called them “celebration aids”.  Michelle thought that was a cute name for them.  Cheers!

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After dinner, I asked our server if I could meet Chef Andrew and take some pictures of him.  I watched him plating a couple of dishes.  He does it with such care and finesse-it’s like watching an artist create a masterpiece-Andrew’s canvas is the plate.

Our first year anniversary celebration was a beautiful and very memorable day!  Thank you Kansas City!

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After another day of visiting with family it was time to hit the road and begin our trek back to Las Vegas.  I drove the puppies, while Michelle and Melissa rode in Melissa’s car.  We left Kansas City early in the morning just as a huge snow storm was on it’s way into the area.  Bye Kansas City-see you later.

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After 11 hours of driving we stopped in Albuquerque for the night.  No fancy dinner this time. Just pizza delivered to our room.  The next morning, Michelle and I went to a cool local diner called Range Cafe-where they do “Ordinary Food Extraordinarily Well!”  It’s very eclectic cool place that uses local fresh ingredients and makes many types of pies in house. There’s little 1950s ovens as part of the decor as well as southwest style painted murals and colorful stuff hanging from the walls and the ceilings.  I don’t really know how to describe it.  So here’s some pictures.

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Our server was very friendly and upbeat.  All the staff seemed to be pretty cheerful people.  The food was good and it was a great way for us to start our day for the last leg of driving back home-Las Vegas.

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After a quick stop at Mama’s Minerals in Albuquerque to pick up a couple gemstones, we were finally on our way.

http://www.mamasminerals.com/

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On Soupfly’s Travel Adventures over 11 days we passed through 15 states, traveled 4488 miles, spent 63 1/2 hours in the car driving and visited many family members and friends that we otherwise would not have been able to see.  Thank you all that we got to spend time with and we miss those of you that we missed.

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Thank you to all of my readers and followers.  And Soupfly salutes all the wonderful Service and Hospitality Professionals that we were blessed to meet-both old and new, along the way.

Thank you  for reading!  As always, I love it when you Share my  Soupfly posts on Social Media.  If you have  not yet Liked our Facebook page, I encourage you to do so here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/SoupFly/1438615929733655

And as a reminder-my book- Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service is still Available for Pre-Order at the Special Introductory Price of only $20.00 !

If you work in the Restaurant/Service and Hospitality industry-you will want to read this book.  If you care about Service and Hospitality-this book is for you!

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http://www.christoffjweihman.com/my-book.html

I wish you all a very joyous and blessed holiday season!

God Bless you all and Cheers!

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Christoff J. Weihman

ASPIRE Enterprises

Las Vegas, NV

ChristoffJWeihman.com

Soupfly.net

Soupfly’s Travel Adventures

WELCOME BACK TO SOUPFLY!  And Welcome back home to Las Vegas for us!

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Today’s post is going to be a departure from our norm, as I will be sharing with you about our cross-country trek that I, Christoff and my wife, Michelle and the puppies-Lilly and Carly recently made.  We ate and shopped at a number of different restaurants and stores and we experienced some good, some great and some poor service along the way.  My main purpose for this blog is to highlight and celebrate the good and great Service & Hospitality Professionals that made our journey an enjoyable experience.

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So let’s begin.  We set out Tuesday morning from Las Vegas at about 4:15 am, puppies securely snuggled into their new comfortable car seat.  I don’t know for a fact that it was comfortable-but Lilly and Carly seemed to really enjoy it.  We drove through Utah-absolutely beautiful scenery and into Colorado.  The weather was clear and sunny and the drive was-thankfully-a success.  What do I mean by a success?

 

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Well, in the past, Carly-the brown one-half Yorkie, had a tendency to have anxiety while traveling.  This usually meant that eventually, on almost every trip, she would have an upset stomach that would express itself with her throwing up.  This would then make the drive a stressful event for me as I would be wondering when is she going to do it.  This time, however, she only did  slightly and that within the first hour of our trip.  The rest of the way she was calm and peaceful.  As was Lilly.  If you have little puppies that tend toward car anxiety-I highly recommend getting a car seat similar to the one we got for them.  You will be so happy that you did.

 

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Our destination goal for day one was Loveland, Colorado.  There, we would visit my brother, Mark and his wife Kellie and our friend Jim Edwards, owner of Next Door Food & Drink.  We arrived in Loveland after nearly 13 hours of travel.  We checked into our room, got Lilly and Carly fed and settled, quickly changed into non-travel clothes and headed out to Next Door.  We had happened upon Next Door Food & Drink when we were in Loveland in July, earlier this year.  We ate lunch there at that time and we were so impressed with the food-all locally sourced, natural, much of it organic and wonderfully, creatively prepared AND the outstanding service.

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We met Jim back in July and our server was Sydney Nelson.  Sydney’s style of service is so refreshing.  She has a positive upbeat attitude, a warm and friendly personality And she is very knowledgeable about everything regarding the restaurant-the food sourcing, the preparation, the wine and cocktails,  the materials used in the decor of the restaurant-much of it reclaimed and re-purposed.  She absolutely knows her stuff!  There are some servers (we’ve all met) who have wonderful, pleasant personalities and they seem to think that that excuses them from actually having service skills and being knowledgeable.   Not so, with Sydney.  She is a true Hospitality professional in every sense of the word.  

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I was so impressed with our experience that the following day I suggested to Michelle that we return to eat at Next Door again to see if they are consistent.  So we did, and they were.  We had a different server that day,  Jim Edwards, the owner was not in but everything was excellent, AGAIN.  To me, this is a testament to Jim’s leadership  There are many servers who excel at what they do but they work at restaurants where the leadership is either lacking or non-existent.  When one goes to those places-it’s really a hit and miss situation.  There is no consistency-because no standards are set, management is not engaged and little thought is put into who is hired.  Jim Edwards has done a wonderful job at creating a culture of caring Service and Hospitality Professionals.  And the food is great as well.

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This experience led me to ask both Sydney and Jim if I could interview them for my book-that was all back in July. Of course, I did interview them both for my book, Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service.  It was such a pleasure getting their take on what constitutes “WOW!” service and how to achieve it.   So, I was eager to connect with them again, since now the book is finally nearing a release date.

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This time our server was Andy Stephenson, who had been our server the 2nd day  back in July.  He, too, was outstanding in his affable manner, his knowledge and recommendations and  overall excellence in service.  And guess what?  Unlike Sydney, who says she’ll probably always be in the industry in some capacity because she loves it so much, Andy is planning on pursuing other career paths, however, there is no “I’m just doing this til I get a real job” attitude or mentality with him.  Andy truly seems to care about his guests and endeavors to give them a great dining experience. Just as the subtitle of my book states-“Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service”, Next Door Food and Drink in Loveland, Colorado, while NOT a fine dining establishment-it’s a semi casual place, they prove that 5 Star Service does not necessarily mean white table cloths, tuxedoed servers and fine china.  Because they have none of that.  What they do have though, is a team of people that pursue excellence on a daily basis and they create WOW! dining experiences for their guests.

Thanks, Jim, Sydney, Andy and the rest of the staff at Next Door Food & Drink!  What a great start to our cross country journey.

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After an overnight in Loveland, Colorado-we headed North and East to Minnesota to visit my daughter, Kimberly and her husband, Jesse.  A long 13 hour drive through Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota and finally arriving in chilly-ok, actually, COLD- Minneapolis, Minnesota at 3:30 am.  Although it was COLD, the days were sunny and there was no snow until the day after we left Minnesota.  Thank you, Lord!

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When in Minneapolis, one place that is an absolute Must Visit- is the Mall of America. It is HUGE.  It has an actual Theme Park inside with numerous roller coasters, theme rides  and an aquarium.  There are over 400 stores and the Mall employs over 12,000 people.  If you’ve never been-I encourage you to do so.  It’s pretty amazing.

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Our first day in Minnesota, Michelle and I toured the mall and ate lunch at Tucci Benucch.  Our server, Laslo, from Hungary did a good job.  He made some great drink suggestions for us.  Michelle had a white peach bellini made with all natural, fresh peach puree and I had a blood orange Negroni.  I only started drinking Negronis recently.   I think it was my friend, Greg DaLuz, that turned me on to them.  A Negroni is typically made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and campari.  What I love is that every place has their own take on a Negroni.  The blood orange one at Tucci Benucch was a wonderful new rendition of the classic.

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While at  Mall of America, we experienced  great service and hospitality at some of the stores likeCallisters Christmas, where we were warmly welcomed and greeted by the staff and manager.  They were very friendly and helpful, assisting us in finding the perfect Christmas ornaments for some family members.

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Also, at Marbles-The Brain Store, the retail staff were very pleasant.  They exhibited the right balance of offering assistance yet not being overbearing or stalking as is often the case at some retail establishments.  

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Then there was the woman at a baby store where we shopped.  It is probably more properly called a baby clothing store-as they don’t actually sell babies there.  This  retail saleswoman was not very friendly, was marginally helpful and acted as though she didn’t like people.  Although she was not very pleasant, we didn’t allow that to damper our excitement as we were shopping for clothes for our first grandbaby-to arrive in May of 2015!  (Blessings to my daughter Kimberly and her husband, Jesse)

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One would think that someone who works in such a place might actually have a joy for life because their customers are all people who either are expecting a child, have a baby or have a family member that does.  That, to me, should shout positivity, upbeatness, joy, happiness, etc.  Instead, we were met by someone who should maybe be working at a dill pickle factory.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-if you are in the service and hospitality industry-(and guess what?  retail is included in that) it is imperative that you have a positive upbeat attitude.  Just as people eat out at a restaurant for reasons other than just to consume food-they want an experience.  So, too, when someone is shopping in your store they may be there to purchase an item that they want or need but they also would like to have it be a pleasant experience.  You, the service professional, the hospitality professional, the customer service professional, the retail professional, the sales professional-whatever category you happen to be in-you are there for your guest, customer, client.  Your job is much more than just ringing people up and bagging their purchase item.

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As we are entering the holiday season, I encourage you to stop and pause for a moment and put yourself in your customers’ shoes.  Think to yourself-“What can I do to make this a pleasant and enjoyable experience for them?”  One suggestion-you might start with a smile and a genuine “Good afternoon, welcome to ABC company.”  If you say, “Hi, welcome to ABC company” but you never look up and actually make eye contact with your guest, what’s the point of mouthing the words?  You are not actually welcoming your customers.  You have no heart in it.  If instead, you come to work with a positive attitude and a sincere desire to provide great service-it will come back to you, manifold.  You reap what you sow.  Sow some kindness, some happiness and some cheer.  And watch it return to you in abundance.

 

Soupfly Travel Adventures  will continue in our next post.  We still have 3000 miles to cover and many experiences to share with you!

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Thank you for reading.  I am truly grateful for all my readers.  I want to welcome new readers from Lithuania!!  How very exciting that Soupfly continues to travel the globe!

I want to thank all of you who have pre-ordered my book-

Gettting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service.

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I invite the rest of you to go to my website and pre-order your copy today at the introductory price of only $20.00.  I am only able to accept domestic (United States) pre-orders at this time.

Go here to order your copy of Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service :

http://www.christoffjweihman.com/my-book.html

 

As always, I encourage you to share Soupfly on Social Media. Please LIKE Soupfly on Facebook.

I welcome and look forward to your comments.  If you want to Follow Soupfly and receive an email alert when a fresh Soupfly is being served please hit the Follow button.

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Cheers and God Bless you all!

Christoff J. Weihman

ASPIRE Enterprises

Las Vegas, NV                                                                                                                                                       

ChristoffJWeihman.com

 

Breaking NEWS-My Book Getting to WOW! NOW Available for Pre-Order!!

WELCOME BACK TO SOUPFLY!

This one is going to be short and to the point.
My Book- Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with Star Service is NOW AVAILABLE to Pre-Order!
Reserve your own copy-personally signed by me.  Be ONE of the First to have a copy of

Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service at a special introductory price of only $20.00 for earlier purchasers.

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Getting toWOW!  

Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service

​In Getting to WOW!  Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service, Christoff shares insights and lessons that he has learned about what it takes to provide  Exceptional WOW! service to guests, clients and customers.

Although Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service uses examples from the Restaurant/Hospitality Industry, these principles of Excellence in Service & Hospitality are applicable to any customer serving business. Whether you’re a server or bartender at a restaurant or you work in retail, customer service or sales or if you just want insights on what it takes to provide Exceptional Service & Hospitality, you will enjoy this book.

Are you ready to upgrade your service to the next level?  Are you ready to be inspired,  challenged and motivated to Excel?  Then, Christoff’s book, Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service, has your name on it.  Literally.  If you are one of the early, pre-orderers, Christoff will personally sign it and put your name on it!

Pre-order your copy NOW!

 

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Click on the Link below to be taken to a secure order:

 

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=TE7S925LJLD36

 

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These are  our original cover designs but it’s being totally revised right now.  I’m very excited.  You’re going to Love the new design.

Thank you all for your continued readership, prayers and support!  I appreciate you all so very much.

Cheers and God Bless you all!

Christoff J. Weihman

ASPIRE Enterprises

Las Vegas, NV

ChristoffJWeihman.com

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