Truth Is

The K'Roo at Houdini Plaza for Lunchtime Live...ain't she purty???

Quiet Reflection
The past couple of weeks have been a time of centering and refocusing for me.  Summer has gone by  so quickly and so many things have taken place, that I needed some time to gather my thoughts, sort through my emotions and face some of what the past 3 years have meant with a clear head and honest heart.  Many folks have been asking questions about the restaurant closing. I have remained uncharacteristically quiet on the subject. Not because I am hiding anything but because there is so much to sort through. So many emotions, so many logistics, so many decisions and most of all so much sadness.

A Good Run
We have had a fantastic time at The Kangaroost. I have learned so many things about restaurants, the restaurant business and people. Much of what I have learned are things that I will take with me for the rest of my life …. in all my ventures.  I have made friends, acquaintances and met some downright fantastic human beings.  I have fulfilled bucket list wishes as well as had many opportunities I never even imagined could happen to me. I am a humble quiet person, with a phobia of public speaking. This time has brought me out of that. I could talk about the Kangaroost and Kangaroostaurant all day to any group who will listen. I am very proud of what we’ve accomplished here in three years. To think that two folks and their kiddos, could have the impact we’ve had on the Fox Valley is remarkable. It has taken a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication from both Jay and I as well as our children Emma and Loudon. We have all given so much of ourselves.

My sister Kim and Emma on the truck during the Chili Cook Off.

My sister Kim and Emma on the truck during the Chili Cook Off.

20120101-161001.jpg

On the flip side, much of what I have learned, I don’t want to take with me. I have learned how to live with and work under so much stress and pressure that I can’t even begin to tell you. For those in this industry (and certainly many others), you will understand. The countless sleepless nights, and anxiety filled days.  I feel like I personally have reached the point in my life where it is not only unhealthy, but not at all sustainable to work as hard as we do, and continue being happy, healthy human beings.

Aside from the physical toll, the financial toll has been daunting. We’ve have so many people believe in us. And we had the belief that this would some day turn into a sustainable business. But, between our lack of business knowledge, cash flow and reserve cash and many expensive lessons, we have put every single penny we have, and many from others, into a business that can’t go on.

Before starting the truck, Jay and I lived with very little debt. We spent money when needed and enjoyed a good life, but lived within our means – intentionally. Since starting the truck, we have not only used up all of our future reserves, but we have added up an insurmountable amount of debt, both as a business and personally. Because of high credit scores and plenty of savings, we were at one point approved for a Small Business Administration loan. Now, 3 years later, we are unable to cosign a loan for our daughter’s college education. This is not only humbling but speaks to the fact that we really weren’t in it for the money. Every penny went back into the business, to pay employees, vendors and other folks a living wage while we were struggling. We never talked about it, because deep down we always believed it would turn around.

We’ve finally had to face the truth and realize that we were not going to make it, and that we didn’t have what it would take to make it. Jay and I are tired – physically, mentally and empty of all desire to continue with all this stress. We’ve both made decisions in the past few months that have impacted our health and our mental well being. As we work to get back on a path of healing and taking care of ourselves, we look to move beyond these poor decisions and strive to be the people we once were. It just got to be too much.

Wouldn’t Change a Thing
Now, as I say this, I want to tell you that from the depth and breath of my soul I am grateful for having had the opportunity to live out my dream. The Kangaroostaurant is a culmination of my dream and a lot of hard work and preparation. I absolutely love the food truck. Each time I am on the truck, I feel a sense of being in the right place. The past few weeks, I have been heavily focused on catering – which I really enjoy and feel that I am really good at. Sometimes finding out what you are not good at is as important as knowing what you are good at.  As we continue moving forward with the truck and catering, I am grateful and happy to be a part of so many things happening in our community and celebrations in folks lives.

Our first ever farm service...on a Red Barn Farm, captured forever by Wisconsin Foodie.

Our first ever farm service…on a Red Barn Farm, captured forever by Wisconsin Foodie.

I’ve had the privilege of serving food to Will Allen and have the truck be featured in an episode of Wisconsin Foodie. Who could ever have imagined, that I ….would be cooking food for the person who launched the Urban Food Revolution and changed the way we all look at the food we eat and how it is produced. Or, that one day, I would have Arthur Ircink following me around with a camera asking questions while I cooked and served food to folks on a farm. These things alone, are proof that we don’t always know what are dreams are until they happen!

will allen

This summer we have had the privilege of catering nearly 20 weddings and other celebrations.  Each one has been breathtaking in it’s own way. From beautiful décor, to stunning brides, being a part of these days will forever remain etched in my heart. I have seen so many first dances, father daughter dances, and glass clinking kisses.  Love truly is a precious and delicate gift. I wish I could tell you all of the stories of love that I have heard, but, there are too many to even begin. From New Mexico to New York, we’ve catered wedding for folks from all over. As we wind down this fall, we look forward to catering our first same sex couple wedding. It seems a very befitting end to a wonderful summer and fall of celebrating.

hattiewedding flowersginidessert hattiechicken and biscuit sliderssunset

Grateful For Many
Aside from the celebrations themselves, I am extremely grateful for and impressed by the folks who have worked so hard with us over the summer to make all of these events happen. From formal plated dinners to casual picnics by the lake, so many people have put everything they had into making them happen. I especially want to thank Chef Lindsey for all she did this summer. In August, she decided to accept a sous chef position and return to Bon Appetit at Lawrence University. This was a fantastic opportunity for her. We haven’t talked about it, mostly because, like many other things the last year, it made me sad. She is so talented, and such a hard working, creative, dedicated chef, a fantastic mother and down right fantastic human being who never pulled punches. I am thankful for her commitment the first part of the summer and all of her help in organizing and preparing for the second half of the summer. She is missed deeply and appreciated greatly.

You may also have noticed another one of our longer time employees had been absent lately. Katie, who along with her husband had a small CSA Farm as well as supplied us with micro greens, decided to move on to pursue her passion in farming with Olden Produce CSA. She has been helping them work the farm as well as learning all the ins and outs of farming. We miss her. Every day, I think about how much I miss her kindness and gentle spirit. She worked so hard here and was always willing to go above and beyond.

perfectionists

The past couple of weeks, I have seen the strength of character and the commitment so many have shown to making things run smoothly around here. Your kind dedication is greatly appreciated. You’ve seen me through a lot of tears the past few weeks, (which we don’t pay extra for) and have quietly listened as we reconciled the events happening.

Heart Wrenching
This summer has been a time of heart wrenching change and surrender to many unknowns. As we move forward, we are grateful for the opportunity to continue being a part of this community.

We still have many decisions to make, and things to decide, but one thing is for sure – no matter what we decide from here on out, it won’t be easy. Please be patient with us and know that we are doing our very best to make things work for as many people as possible. Please know, that we are not being intentionally evasive. We just don’t know what the future holds right now.

So, thank you to all of you for your support and encouragement as we continue down this road.  At the end of the day, it’s the relationships we’ve formed and the people that we have met that make this all worthwhile.

And, as always, thank you for your continued patronage. We look forward to seeing you on the streets!

 

Posted in Kangaroostaurant | 7 Comments

A Midsummer’s Night Out

A Midsummer’s Night Out
4 Course Dinner Demonstration hosted by Kelly and Jay Barnes

jay and kelly

Jay and I would like to invite you to join us for an evening of fun, food and maybe a little romance. We have worked out a simple yet elegant 4 course meal that Jay and I will show you how to prepare. Once we’ve demonstrated the simplicity of cooking dinner for two, you will be able to enjoy that dinner with your date.

Since starting the Kangaroostaurant 3 years ago, we’ve learned that we could do a lot together in the kitchen. With one leading and the other following ~ we found that we worked best together when we both did what we were best at. It is our intention to show you the delicate dance of cooking with your partner, while having fun. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but, with the right mindset and a good sense of humor, anything is possible.

Mocha Pots De Creme for Downtown Appleton Death By Chocolate

Mocha Pots De Creme for Downtown Appleton Death By Chocolate

The dinner will feature local ingredients in simple preparations and prepared from scratch. We want you to see how easy this can be.

The demonstration will begin at 6pm. The demonstration part of the evening will be done by 7:30 which will leave you the rest of the evening with your partner to enjoy a quiet and delicious meal. Accordion player Troy Jones will be joining us to play sweet and romantic accordion music while you are enjoying dinner. This is a great chance to meet new people, and share a good meal with the one you adore ~

cheese

 We will have Wisconsin Cheese and Fruit Flights for you to enjoy during the demonstration.

Where – The Kangaroost – 3301 West Prospect Avenue – Appleton

Cost $100/couple (includes 4 course dinner)

Date – Saturday July 19th Time- 6pm-10pm

To sign up, email Kellyjo@kangaroostaurant.com or call 920-830-1688. Payment must be received by July 12th to ensure your spot.

Menu

Crostini with Caramelized New Onions, Fig and Black Tea Preserves and Gorgonzola Cheese

Pan Seared Trout in Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and White Wine Sauce with Grilled Summer Squash*

Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas and Pancetta*

Dark Chocolate and Red Wine Pavlova with Red Wine Soaked Raspberries and Fresh Whipped Cream

*Vegetarian Option Available

Posted in Kangaroostaurant | Leave a comment

Off to a Good Start ….. Summer Cooking Classes

Start your kid’s summer break off right with some fun and learning at the Kangaroost!

This is just a small sampling of the produce we've purchased from Riverview Gardens. Beautiful tomatoes, Dragon Tongue Beans and fennel fresh and local.

This is just a small sampling of the produce we’ve purchased from Riverview Gardens. Beautiful tomatoes, Dragon Tongue Beans and fennel fresh and local.

As many of you know, Kelly and Emma have been cooking together since Emma was little. Sharing her love of good food with Emma has sparked the same passion in Emma. And now, they would like to share that with your kids!

20121229-124158.jpg

Once a week, we will turn the Kangaroom into a Class Room and learn about different foods available locally. Summer is an abundant time in Wisconsin and we are going to show the kiddos how to make the best of this time of year in the kitchen. We will show them some simple techniques that they will learn to do on their own as well as a few trickier items that they can do at home with a little help.

This will be an interactive experience and involve preparing and tasting a wide variety of foods. Below are the details of this six week kid’s culinary adventure. Please note, this class is specifically designed for kids age 8-12. Class space is limited to 15 so be sure to plan now! If you have any questions or to reserve your child’s spot ~ email Kelly @ kellyjo@kangaroostaurant.com or call 920-830-1688. Questions are best sent via email, as many of your know….it’s not easy to get Kelly on the phone ~

cookies

Off to a Good Start
Kiddos Summer Cooking Class

Class Length Six Consecutive Weeks
Tuesday 2pm-5:00pm
1st class Tuesday June 10th
Final Class and Family Dinner July 15th
Kelly Barnes and Emma Witzke
$130 for 6 weeks

Week 1
Leafy Greens

This week we will learn about four greens: spinach, collard, Swiss chard, and kale. Greens are vegetables. Students will prepare a fresh salad and learn about handling, cooking and preparing greens to make them tasty and tender!

 Week 2
Berries

This week the class will explore berries. We taste several different berries available in NE Wisconsin. We will prepare Strawberry Shortcake and Blueberry Vinaigrette in class.

berries

Week 3
Exploring Starches and Beans

Bean and Grains are some of the oldest and misunderstood vegetables. This week we will learn about fresh and dried beans as well as some less common yet nutrient rich grains. Students will be preparing Wheat Berry Salad and the classic kid favorite…Macaroni and Cheese.

Week 4
Tomatoes of All Shapes and Sizes

From Brandy Wine to Roma, tomatoes come in all shapes, sizes, flavors and textures. This week we will taste many of these varietals. We will prepare a no cook pasta sauce using fresh tomatoes and basil and of course, BLTs

20120709-151714.jpg

Week 5
Something Sweet

Pastry Chef Andrew Brand will join us as we learn about some simple sweet treats from Granola to Cookies. We will learn how to make the perfect pie crust.

Week 6
Family Dinner

Each participant will help prepare a meal to be enjoyed with their family. As a class we will chose a few of the favorite dishes from the previous weeks for them to share with two of their family members or friends.

Lunch is Served

Lunch is Served

Posted in Kangaroostaurant | Leave a comment

Labor of Love and Love of Labor

Love of Labor
It’s Monday morning, and I am deep in thought about many things, but mostly, about how much I enjoy the work I do here at the Kangaroostaurant and Kangaroost. It hardly feels like work. I have  an endless to do list  interruptions to say a quick hello or have a short visit with family, friends, co workers and other folks who come by the restaurant.  I enjoy the things on my list….I only wish I had more time!

Devon was grown with lots of Kangaroost food ~ we had the honor and privilege of knowing his family since the beginning of the truck. They have since moved to the East Coast...and like family, we miss them.

Devon was grown with lots of Kangaroost food ~ we had the honor and privilege of knowing his family since the beginning of the truck. They have since moved to the East Coast…and like family, we miss them.

Many Hands Make Light Work
This saying always makes me think about how much easier things go when we have help. I am here to tell you that I have the best help around. Since moving the Kangaroost to the Appleton location, we’ve had the best of luck when it comes to hiring new folks to help us here at the restaurant and on the truck. All biases aside, I think we have the best Crew in town and I couldn’t be more grateful for them. Currently, we have 25 folks who work here each week. Every one of them makes this all possible. We have a great management, front of house, back of house, catering and truck team. The folks that work here do everything from marketing to lawn mowing, along with Jay and I they are the ones behind the scenes doing the work. You might see one of us at the hardware store having keys made, or picking up ramekins at rummage sales, or maybe at a thrift store in search of a cast iron frying pan. You may see us outside in what will soon be our garden. Or pulling burdock from the yard. When the website or Facebook is updated, it’s one of us.

Eric and Alex, working hard and prepping for the day ~ these two have been with us since the start of the Kangaroost.

Eric and Alex, working hard and prepping for the day ~ these two have been with us since the start of the Kangaroost.

The Heavy Lifting
There is a lot of work to be done, and though having help makes things easier, I’m here to tell you that working in a restaurant is not easy work.

When we moved to our new location, much of the work was done by our Crew or friends. We are grateful.

When we moved to our new location, much of the work was done by our Crew or friends. We are grateful.

Chef Adam hammering out menus...

Chef Adam hammering out menus…

If you are a server, you spend countless hours on your feet, taking orders, chatting with folks you don’t know yet trying to remember things about them and somehow connect while multitasking x 20, grabbing hot plates and smiling while your fingers scream expletives. Remembering everything and keeping everything organized in your brain is a challenge that our servers do without flaw. They work hard and it’s common in the restaurant business to be short staffed.  Everyday, these folks show up to work, ready to provide the best possible service and lend a hand to help in any way they can!

Server Adam photo bombing at Loudon's Birthday Celebration...sometimes serving our family and friends is involved.

Server Adam photo bombing at Loudon’s Birthday Celebration…sometimes serving our family and friends is involved.

Server Riley getting flowers together for vases on Mother's Day 2013, Riley does it all...even payroll!

Server Riley getting flowers together for vases on Mother’s Day 2013, Riley does it all…even payroll!

Front of House manager Jess puts together specials each day as well as scheduling, training, hosting, keeps Jay and I sane, organizes reservations, you name it, Jess does it!

Front of House manager Jess puts together specials each day as well as scheduling, training, hosting, keeps Jay and I sane, organizes reservations, you name it, Jess does it!

The truck folks are here early in the morning to prep and load the truck prior to lunch service. Often this means coming in at 7am and not being done until after 7pm. Working on the truck is a lot of fun, and we get to meet so many people, but the days are filled with prep, cooking, cleaning, changing oil, starting generators, filling up propane tanks, driving the truck sometimes for 3 hours, then cooking for 8 hours and then driving another 3 hours home. We have a fantastic truck crew who are learning all the ins and outs of food trucks. None of them just show up for an 8 hour shift. They are involved in the business and committed to what we do almost as much as we do. They know the truck is our baby and treat it with the same care as we do. They know it’s quirks and what to do when something is working and it can’t be fixed by duct tape or clothes hangers.

On a recent trip to Milwaukee where we cooked food for over 200 people, Eric, Chef Adam and Kelly left the Roost at 8am to return at 9pm. Yes, long lines and long days indeed.

On a recent trip to Milwaukee where we cooked food for over 200 people, Eric, Chef Adam and Kelly left the Roost at 8am to return at 9pm. Yes, long lines and long days indeed.

If you work behind the bar here at the Roost, your day starts with squeezing fresh juices, making simple syrups, gathering lemons, limes and grapefruit, filling ice bins and setting up cocktails stations before you are ready to serve a drink. Once all of that is done, your time here is spent muddling, stirring, shaking and commiserating with guests. I was taking a break one night when I overheard a guest told Alyssa “you look like you really enjoy what your are doing.” To that Alyssa replied “I love what I do.” Alyssa dreams in cocktails. Jennifer is always experimenting with new concoctions. Even Jess has stepped in and has had guests ask if she was behind the bar ~. No mixes, no high fructose corn syrup…our drinks are about simple, fresh and in house made. The spirits, beer and we serve are well thought out and researched (often many of the Crew will help with the research). Alyssa can tell you a lot about what your drinking…so don’t hesitate to ask! Keep an eye out for Jeff who you may see behind the bar. On Sundays, Jay is usually the face of the Bloodies and Mimosas – with Alyssa helping on the busier holidays.

Jennifer shaking up a whiskey sour! This cocktail, made with an egg white involves 5 minutes of vigorous shaking!

Jennifer shaking up a whiskey sour! This cocktail, made with an egg white involves 5 minutes of vigorous shaking!

 

Alyssa dreams in cocktails! We are lucky to have her here ~

Alyssa dreams about cocktails! We are lucky to have her here ~

The kitchen crew is always up to something. If it is quiet in the dining room, we are preparing for the next meal service. Our kitchen Crew does every bit of the behind the scenes work that goes into your meal. Making the salad dressings, cutting and watering micro greens, cleaning plates,  planting gardens, cutting French fries, making pie crusts, baking cakes, picking up blow torches, scrubbing countless pots and pans,  ordering and sourcing food, maintaining inventories, making menus, specials, prep lists, mopping floors, it’s all part of the deal. Days are often long, without time to take a real break. But each and everyone of our kitchen Crew comes in ready to work hard and are so passionate about cooking!

House made Pickles

House made Pickles

Hard work with time for PICTURES!

Hard work with time for PICTURES!

I get emotional when I think of the love and thoughtfulness that is put into the dishes we serve. From the farmers growing and producing it, to the folks preparing it, to the servers bringing it to your table, every step of the way your food is handled with love. It’s true, this is a labor of love!

These eggs from Olden Produce are used in our kitchen, bakery and yes, even the BAR!

These eggs from Olden Produce are used in our kitchen, bakery and yes, even the BAR!

We were able to take a trip to Nami Moon Farms last fall and hang out with Chris, Maria and a bunch of turkeys.

We were able to take a trip to Nami Moon Farms last fall and hang out with Chris, Maria and a bunch of turkeys.

Chef Adam's daughter Maddy on a recent visit to Keune Organic Meats.

Chef Adam’s daughter Maddy on a recent visit to Keune Organic Meats.

Love of Labor
I’ve told you about some of the work that goes into your experience here. While the work is difficult and exhausting the reason we keep coming back and keep working hard, is because we love the work we do.

Serving food to a restaurant full of guests is a rush unlike any other.

We recently hosted a group of folks from Kimberly Clark. These guests were here from Costa Rica!

We recently hosted a group of folks from Kimberly Clark. These guests were here from Costa Rica!

Plating a dinner to be served to someone celebrating a life milestone is an honor!

We recently served a New Orleans style dinner for a friend celebrating  30 years of life!

We recently served a New Orleans style dinner for a friend celebrating 30 years of life!

Driving the truck filled with delicious food to a farm to serve guests at a wedding is an experience that will make your hair tingle! It’s even better in the rain ~

Our first ever farm service...on a Red Barn Farm, captured forever by Wisconsin Foodie.

Our first ever farm service…on a Red Barn Farm, captured forever by Wisconsin Foodie.

Another first...in an airplane hanger!

Another first…in an airplane hanger!

Having someone share your Facebook post or re tweet your tweet is exciting. It is indeed fun to know that others are as excited about what you are up to as you are!

One of our more popular Facebook photos...,

One of our more popular Facebook photos…,

Mother’s Day
So, why all the fuss over the people that work here? Because, I care for them, deeply. Each and everyone of them. I know about them, their families their other jobs, their children, what they do on their days off. It’s often hard for me to remember that they are not my children as I remind them that a pan is hot or that they should take a break. They will often give Jay and I rides home, they pack a lunch for Jay everyday as he heads off to his other job – they take care of us, and we, do our best to take care of them.

Alicia one of our cooks and also a student at the Fox Valley Tech, created this Wisconsin gem for this year's Wisconsin Restaurant Association Cake Decorating Competition.

Alicia one of our cooks and also a student at the Fox Valley Tech, created this Wisconsin gem for this year’s Wisconsin Restaurant Association Cake Decorating Competition.

they are like family...

they are like family…

The line between employee and employer is often blurred here. But, at the end of the day, we are still employers, and the people that work here employees. We take that seriously. Jay and I have spent countless hours worrying about payroll and we have often had to ask for help to make sure everyone working here gets paid. It’s a big responsibility and a huge commitment on both ends. We recognize that and take that very seriously.  Sometimes, things happen that make it necessary for folks to leave the Roost. It’s the way it goes. Things don’t work out for whatever reason, but that’s life. We always want folks to enjoy being here and being a part of the family. If it’s time to move on, we support that and have even encouraged it.

Josey and Veronica.

Josey and Veronica.

Emma.

Emma.

So, for me it’s about more than employees and employers. It’s about people, their families, their history but most of all about respect and dignity. I may get frustrated and may not always have a big smile on my face, at the end of it all, I respect the folks that work here, not just for the work they do here, but for the things they do in their life to make the world a better place to be.  They are good people, who I trust, with what has become my Labor of Love.

Mason.

Mason.

So, on this year, this mom is saying thank you to all of them, for helping me learn, grow and be a better person, both personally and professionally. Just like my children,  you teach me something new each and every day.

Chef Adam and I on the line for dinner one night. Judging by the bags under both of our eyes, we were whipped, but still smiling - kind of ~

Chef Adam and I on the line for dinner one night. Judging by the bags under both of our eyes, we were whipped, but still smiling.

And to your Mothers who have raised fine human beings!

With love and gratitude.
Kelly

Posted in Kangaroostaurant | Leave a comment

On the Road

No Ho Hum Monday
As some of you know, my daughter Emma is now a college student in Milwaukee. In order to keep me happy, she has agreed to me visiting her on a weekly basis. This day has become what I call Monday with Emma Day.

Emma graduated from Appleton West and is currently a student at MSOE.

Emma graduated from Appleton West and is currently a student at MSOE.

The Journey and the Destination
I have often said “it’s not about the destination” but as I travel to and from Milwaukee each week, I realize that the reason we journey is indeed the destination. Some people are in a big hurry, others (like myself) are not. Some are distracted by phones and radios and children. Others hold tightly to the wheel at 10 and 2 and keep a steady gaze on the road ahead.  The one thing that they all have in common is they are headed somewhere! All on the same road going to different places. There are often detours, roads closed or delays, but ultimately, we all do get to our destinations…hopefully.

Emma an engineering student was impressed by the open bridge. We were delayed but not bothered...

Emma an engineering student was impressed by the open bridge. We were delayed but not bothered…

What is the Destination?
Emma and I keep our plans pretty loose. We do like to go eat and have enjoyed great lunches together at several Milwaukee gems including Beans and Barley,  The Noble and Horny Goat - Emma and I have always shared a love for good food and it’s been good fun to explore new places with her. She is always happy to take food back to the dorms with her since the food is as she describes it almost inedible.

Emma ordered the Surf and Turf on a recent visit to The Noble. Good food is always part of the destination!

Emma ordered the Surf and Turf on a recent visit to The Noble. Good food is always part of the destination!

Also part of the destination is just to spend time together. It doesn’t really matter what we do or where we go, it’s always a good place when we are there.

What About Us?
And it makes me think, that is true for all of us here at The Kangaroost and Kangaroostaurant.  We all have a destination that we hope to reach some day… not physical destinations –  but career destinations, family destinations, spiritual destinations, relationship destinations and many other places we journey to. We all have a deep sense of community and a passion for good food. Each day, we get up with the hope of doing a little better than the day before. We are people behind the wall, cooking food for people on the other side of the wall.

I recently found myself reliving and regretting the same day over and over for 3 sleepless nights. I made a decision in the kitchen that seemed like the right thing to do at the time, but afterward, I had hindsight to help me see what I should have done. Those are hard lessons for me. I’ve talked to many folks about what it’s like to work in a restaurant and all say the same thing, that 100% satisfaction is always what they aim for. We can serve 100 people who are extremely happy, but if one person’s experience is less than perfect, we will relive that over and over and do whatever it takes to ensure that not happening again. But it does for different reasons and again, we vow to never let that happen again. In our kitchen we have a slew of perfectionists.

Katie, Chef Lindsey and I are often the ruling majority of perfectionists in the kitchen.

Katie, Chef Lindsey and I are often the ruling majority of perfectionists in the kitchen.

We are a different kind of destination at The Kangaroost. One where your food is cooked to order when it’s ordered. One where we are more concerned with the experience you have here than we are about “table turns”. We invite you to stay and linger. Talk over coffee, have a cocktail crafted for you by our Barchitecht Alyssa.

Alyssa dreams in cocktails! We are lucky to have her here ~

Alyssa dreams in cocktails! We are lucky to have her here ~

Enjoy dessert…baked from scratch by Chef Adam.

Chef Adam created this decadent and rich chocolate cake for folks on Valentine's Day. So much chocolate and love

Chef Adam created this decadent and rich chocolate cake for folks on Valentine’s Day. So much chocolate and love

It doesn’t matter why you are here, it matters to us that you ARE here. It matters to us that you’ve chosen to spend your hard earned money with us. It matters to us that you have expectations, and it is always our goal for you to be completely fed and fulfilled when you leave here. If you aren’t, we want to know about it. We ask for feedback and with all sincerity invite you to share with us how your meal was. If you weren’t happy with every part of your experience, we ask you to tell us. This is how we learn. This is how we grow and this is how we can best achieve the goal of complete satisfaction, all of the time!

Jay has proven time and again, that customer service and satisfaction is his top priority and he will do whatever it takes to make that happen. Including this.

Jay has proven time and again, that customer service and satisfaction is his top priority and he will do whatever it takes to make that happen. Including this.

And, Riley will do the same.

And, Riley will do the same.

Once Emma asked me “why do you have to turn everything into a life lesson”. The answer to this is – I’m not sure, but I do. I am always searching for meaning or reasons that things happen the way they do.  I feel like every person that comes to eat here is coming for a reason. We honor that reason and hope you enjoy your time spent with us.

This baby, was grown with lots of Kangaroost food ~ we met him last week for the first time. His family has been eating at the Kangaroostaurant and Kangaroost since that first summer.

This baby, was grown with lots of Kangaroost food ~ we met him last week for the first time. His family has been eating at the Kangaroostaurant and Kangaroost since that first summer.

So to whatever destination your journey takes you today, may you enjoy that place while you are there.

Safe Travels!

Kelly

 

 

 

 

Posted in Kangaroostaurant | Leave a comment

Welcome New Year’s Eve

Ringing in the New

Join us on New Year’s Eve for a night of good food. We will be serving a 7 course meal specially prepared by Chef Adam Devens and out wonderful kitchen staff. There are vegetarian and vegan menus available as we want to create a night full of good food for all to enjoy. Because we make everything from scratch, many of the menu items can be modified to accommodate gluten free and other dietary restrictions. Call us at 920-830-1668.

New Year’s Eve 2013 Menu

 Amuse-bouche

Hand Sliced Grass -fed Tenderloin  on  a crisp Crostini spread with Goat Cheese and topped with Red Onion and Shallot Confit and Red Apple Balsamic Glaze.

Pickled Kohlrabi and Carrots wrapped in a thinly sliced Cucumber drizzled with Meyer Lemon Olive Oil. (Veg)

Salad

Fresh Mixed Greens tossed with Caesar Dressing and shredded Bellavitano Cheese and topped with a crispy soft-boiled Duck Egg.

Fresh Mixed Greens tossed with Sesame Balsamic, Roasted Cashews, and topped with curried Tofu and Pea Shoots. (Veg)

Cheese

Cinnamon Bellavitano cheese and Assorted Potters Crackers (Veg)

Soup

Butternut Squash Bisque with Winter Spiced Cream and Candied Pecans (Veg)

Sorbet

Pomegranate Champagne Mead

Risotto

Wild Mushroom and Tarragon Risotto with Black Truffle Olive Oil (Veg)

Entrée

Coffee rubbed, Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Herb Roasted Brussel Sprouts.

Garnished with a Chimichurri sauce.

Primavera – Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Grape Tomatoes, Pea Shoots, Sunflower Shoots and RP’s Linguini tossed with a light white wine and cream sauce. (Veg)

Sweets

Grasshopper Roll topped with Spiked Chocolate Sauce and Crème Anglaise.

Posted in Kangaroostaurant | Leave a comment

Re – Opening Day – December 11th, 2013

So Soon?

Just three weeks ago, we signed a lease and began preparing to open the doors at The Kangaroost. With a lot of hard work and creative preparations, we are preparing to reopen in our new location on Wednesday, December 11th. In true Kangaroostaurant style, we’ve done this turnaround quickly and will be continually working to make additional improvements as we go.

Riley, Emma and Meng working hard to pull up 20 years of red carpet.

Riley, Emma and Meng working hard to pull up 20 years of red carpet.

The concrete floors have been sanded (by Jay) and finished with a sort of shiny sealer to create a clean yet unpolished look.

The concrete floors have been sanded (by Jay) and finished with a sort of shiny sealer to create a clean yet unpolished look.

Where Do I Begin?

We’ve been asked by so many people what they can expect at The Kangaroost when we reopen. My best answer is a lot! From the décor to the menu,  things are different here. Old and new, fresh and familiar, local and seasonal are the best way to describe everything!

Chef Adam has worked with our kitchen staff to make our pickles in house. This is a new and much appreciated improvement to our menu!

Chef Adam has worked with our kitchen staff to make our pickles in house. This is a new and much appreciated improvement to our menu!

The dining room is a fresh mixture of natural elements. From the wood on the ceiling to the cement floors, we’ve used many of the elements already here, and updated them to a younger more current feel, while keeping the basic structure and form of this wonderful space.

The ceiling once cloudy and grey is now wrapped with this beautiful repurposed wood from Urban Evolutions in Appleton.

The ceiling once cloudy and grey is now wrapped with this beautiful repurposed wood from Urban Evolutions in Appleton.

A few special holiday decorations create natural beauty with a few touches of fun thrown in. Keep your eyes open for the birds!

A few special holiday decorations create natural beauty with a few touches of fun thrown in. Keep your eyes open for the birds!

Hand Crafted tables from Urban Evolutions adorned with candles designed by Lou Ann McCutcheon create a rustic elegance.

Hand Crafted tables from Urban Evolutions adorned with candles designed by Lou Ann McCutcheon create a rustic elegance.

More About the Food

Many of our menu items will be staying on the menu. Chef Adam and I have worked to put add a few more options for all – including more salads, sandwiches and entrees. Our menus can be found here. I am excited that Jay and I have dishes named after us on the breakfast menu.  ‘The Jay’  Monsieur and ‘The Kelly’  Madame are Chef Adam’s surprise to us on the new menu.

We will continue to focus on local and seasonal ingredients. Our menu includes many items from suppliers we’ve used since the beginning as well as a few new farmers including Keune Organic Meats. There will be a nightly steak feature on the dinner menu. Look for our Fox Cities Magazine Golden Fork Award winning Royale’ With Cheese on both the lunch and dinner menus.

The Royale with Cheese. Please note, fresh tomatoes are available seasonally only.

The Royale with Cheese. Please note, fresh tomatoes are available seasonally only.

Chef Adam's daughter Maddy on a recent visit to Keune Organic Meats.

Chef Adam’s daughter Maddy on a recent visit to Keune Organic Meats.

We were able to take a trip to Nami Moon Farms this fall and hang out with Chris, Maria and a bunch of turkeys.

We were able to take a trip to Nami Moon Farms this fall and hang out with Chris, Maria and a bunch of turkeys.

We look forward to continuing with  delicious Red Barn Family Farms milk and cheeses.

We look forward to continuing with delicious Red Barn Family Farms milk and cheeses.

And the wonderful eggs from Olden Produce!

And the wonderful eggs from Olden Produce!

Artist Daniel W. Green is working on a commissioned 4′ x 6′ piece of art for us – which will highlight all of the suppliers we use from within the great state of Wisconsin.  Here is what it looks like so far!

Each vendor will have a mini piece of art depicting the location of their farm.

Each vendor will have a mini piece of art depicting the location of their farm.

vendor map

We look forward to having this hanging at the Roost. It is scheduled to be finished in early January! What a great way to start the New Year ~

So Much to See and Savor

I could go on forever about the changes and excitement here. We are eagerly anticipating Wednesday. We look forward to seeing you during the hours below!

Monday – closed
Tuesday – 11am – 8pm
Wednesday – 11am – 8pm
Thursday – 11am – 8pm
Friday – 11am – 9pm
Saturday – 8am – 9pm
Sunday – 8am-9pm

We will be serving our full menu. We will also be offering a fantastic beer and wine menu.  To help our staff prepare and get ready for dinner service, we will be offering a smaller menu between 2pm and 4pm.

Where is The Kangaroost?

Our new location can be found at 3301 West Prospect Avenue – click here for a map. If you have any questions or would like to make reservation please call 920-830-1688.  We will have a banner our front for now, but there is a Vineyard sign – as well as a Living Faith Church sign. It’s a little confusing, but if you see all those signs, you are in the right place!!! There is a 4 way stop light at the entrance to our driveway. This makes it very handy to get in and out of and we are just minutes off of Highway 41.

Can’t wait to FEED you some GOOD Local FOOD and DRINK!

We have plenty of parking in the back of the building - so don't let the full parking lot .

We have plenty of parking in the back of the building – so don’t let the full parking lot .

Posted in Kangaroostaurant | Leave a comment