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The line cooks at Old Ebbitt Grill know how to handle pressure. They’re used to cranking out 2,000 meals a day, says General Manager Kyle Gaffney, but today will be different. Several teams from the University of Florida, including the national championship football squad, will be eating lunch at the Grill, starting at 11:15 a.m., which means the kitchen will have to feed 225 hungry mouths at the same time.
It’s no easy task.
The first thing the managers had to do was pare down the menu dramatically —- to exactly two items. Those hulking footballers will have to choose between chicken or burgers, which, when you think about the general eating habits of college students, is no choice at all. Looks like the grill cooks will be flipping a crap load of burgers today.
The entree choices are based on the kitchen’s ability to cook the proteins slightly ahead of time, says Gaffney, and hold them until all the plates are ready to hit the dining room at once. This explains why those athletes aren’t getting any fries for lunch, either.
There’s just no way to deep fry enough cut potatoes for 225 people and have all those starchy sticks be crisp and fresh.
Looks like coleslaw all around for those big boys and girls.