The Skinny: The 86 List

Madison Hayes

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Howdy Folks,

Every restaurant has something called an “86 list”. When a kitchen sells out of a certain item, that item is then “86’ed”. Where’s that term come from? Good question. There are lots of theories out there, pick your favorite. Finding the “official” etymology is similar to going out hunting for the ever-elusive bacon stretcher 😉. 

In an ideal scenario, items are 86’ed very temporarily, quickly added to the prep list, and restocked before the next meal period. But, if there’s one constant from the past year: our present situation has often been less than ideal.

Unless you’re an off the grid homesteader, you’ve likely encountered one of the many supply chain shortages our world has seen the past 18 months. (We will all tell our grandchildren of the Great TP Shortage of 2020.) Depending on your industry and interests, a few others have likely affected your life: from bicycles, to cars, to iPads. In the restaurant world, it seems like we’ve been riding the wave from one shipping delay to the next. 

Take for example, our 86 list from this past Monday: strawberries, bananas, ice cream, whipped cream, sweet potato fries, apple cider, orange juice, ketchup, and cola. After a busy weekend, it’s not entirely unexpected to be out of one thing or another, what is unexpected is the degree to which food distributor shortages have further exacerbated the “routine” 86’ing every restaurant has to deal with. 

We live in a global food supply chain. Sourcing locally as much as possible helps us hedge against this (and why we believe a regional food system is the world we all should aspire towards), our menu is not fully immune to the ebbs and flows of the larger “system”. We’ve managed to avoid some of the more publicized shortages like chicken wings, but have faced our own struggles with many of our staple items like strawberries and bananas. We’ve also been dealing with distributor curveballs, when they’ll send us “close enough” items in good faith hoping they’ll get us through (i.e. pints of OJ instead of gallons, cases of tiny ketchups instead of the commercial jugs we’re used to). It’s also not just the food. Last week we were rocked to find out that the cold cups we serve iced coffee and other togo drinks in were on backorder.

This pandemic has been a game of whack-a-mole for so many of us. The stories behind “86’ing” may be a joy to read, but trust us when we say there’s no joy in having to rattle off our sold-out list to the guests that come through our door. As I remarked in a team meeting the other day, “we’re still in a pandemic, this is just a different phase.” We’ve clawed through months of business shortages to find ourselves in today’s scenario: we are so eager to welcome you all back – but also facing extreme staffing and supply chain shortages. Still – we’ll stay resilient and keep bobbing and weaving to satiate the crepe lovers of the world that we are just so darned grateful to be able to host across Pancakia. 

One day, like everyone, we hope to be “back to normal” (whatever that means now these days). Until then, we fear that the 86 list will be finding its way to our locations more often than we’d hope as the food distributors we rely on find their way to some stability. If you find us out of stock of one of your favorites, now you know why. But no matter the day or the 86 list, we’ll have a crepe for you, it just might have to be a new one.

-Benjy Pancake


This Week in Pancakia

Summer Music Series

Josh Panda‘s Wilykat took us from ☀️→🌙 last Friday at our Burlington Waterfront location, and we could not be happier to have Panda back in a Pancake.⁠

Our Summer Music series is officially in full swing…💪⁠

Join us for live music at our Downtown Stowe location on Thursdays, Quechee on Fridays (tonight), Montpelier on Saturdays, and the Burlington Waterfront on Sundays. There may also be sporadic, last-minute sets to be announced as they come. 🎶 🙌⁠⁠

Thank you to everyone who has come out, and supported these local musicians so far! Crepes and music have always paired about as well as crepes and maple syrup, and we are stoked to be able to bring that magic combo back to a Skinny near you 😋

A Taste of Albany

We have had a fantastic time these last two weekends in New York spinning crepes at the Washington Park Farmers Market, the Guilderland Farmers Market, and Mixed Breed Brewing! 🎉🤩🍻⁠⁠

So fantastic that we’re going to keep it rolling again this weekend at both markets from 10 am ’till 2 pm.  

Thank you to everyone who’s come out these last couple of weekends and help spread the word on the ‘Cake. We CANNOT WAIT to open our Albany location, and doing these pop-ups help us fill the NY void we feel as we finish up construction! 👷‍♀️🥞👨‍🌾

Stay up to date on the latest happenings by following along on Insta!

Specials are back!

It’s specials like this that remind us why dreams are so important to the culinary process 🍓⁠

The Crepe Dream // A chocolate frumpled crepe, served with a scoop of local vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries, mini chocolate chips, and whipped cream ⁠

This one really is a dream and comes straight from the masterminds of our team at Downtown Stowe, where it will be on special for the next two weeks (as supply allows). 🙌🍓🍫

ShiftMeals Hoodies

ShiftMeals now presents their very own, custom made hoodies created by Jaya Touma-Shoatz!

(They/She), are one of ShiftMeals’ BIPOC Food Sovereignty Program Co-Managers, and the BIPOC Growteam Art Coordinator.

They designed hoodies for the 2021 ShiftMeals’ BIPOC GrowTeam with the Growteams principles at heart: Interdependence, Abundance, Knowledge, Wisdom, and Harmony. 

ShiftMeals has partnered with Will and Jenn from Juniper Creative Arts to raise funds for a community-based mural at Candace Taylor’s Conscious Homestead in Winooski, Vermont. 

All proceeds from the ShiftMeals BIPOC GrowTeam hoodies will go towards sponsoring more free hoodies for self-identifying BIPOC people and the expenses to cover the mural painting by Juniper Creative Arts!

White folx who are interested in purchasing this hoodie must wear them with respect, honor, reverence, gratitude, and understanding of the people and land they come from.


HUMANS OF PANCAKIA HIGHLIGHT: 
Cedar Duda

Introducing Cedar Duda, a FOH Manager at Quechee! 🎉⁠

Cedar joined The Skinny Pancake three years ago when his sister referred him for a bussing position at the since-closed Hanover location. After working his way around the dish pit and dining room, Cedar made the move to Quechee where he has focussed his talents on FOH. Cedar has also had the pleasure of spinning crepes at the Norwich Farmers Market 🌿 and stepping on the line as an auxiliary cook as needed, making him very well-versed in the world of skinny pancakes! 🥞⁠

Working with customers, especially in the busy restaurant environment, has been the most rewarding in his experience in terms of helping him in his future goals:⁠

“I enjoy working with customers and customer interactions. I have grown exponentially in this job. Being able to resolve issues and make people happy is really important to me. I’m a business major and learn a lot of flashy tricks in school, but you can’t really learn the real skills of dealing with people anywhere else than on the job.” ⁠

A few other things you should know about Cedar- he’s eaten at least one Johnny Crepe every week for the last 3 years and 3 months 🤯. He grew up in Hartford, VT, went to Hartford High, and for those of us who are still working on our crepe game, Cedar says spinning one on the griddle is “all in the wrist.”⁠

Next time you’re in Quechee, make sure to say “Hello 👋”, and ask him about his investment game- he’s good at that too!


Got basil? Pomykala Farm does 💚