Thursday, December 15, 2011

Opening Day At the Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge Is December 19

Just a quick shout out to announce our opening day at the Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge. We are very excited to be back in the Keys. The weather is perfect, and we look forward to seeing our Winter time customers again. We always look forward to working at the BPKFL because the staff and community alike are really great to be around. We just want to do our best to keep the prices down and the food at the highest level - clean and delicious. For now, we just have two days per week, Monday and Tuesday,  booked through March 2012, but we hope to book Sunday at Lazy Lakes campground too. Or, perhaps even Saturday and Sunday, but only through March. April is ours, no more than two days a week from then on.  If anyone up north wants to visit us and see what Tortillaville South is like please feel free. We even have a very affordable and comfortable private guest trailer for two (double bed), with a private bath, AC, electric, bicycles, wifi and laundry, to name a few. Email us for more info. Happy 2012 all!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

We're Heading South

The final details have been taken care of. The trailer is packed up, Tortillaville Hudson is cleaned up, the leaves have fallen off the trees, and Thanksgiving is upon us. There is one more thing that we have to do before heading south to the FL Keys. And, it's always a nail biting last minute affair. And, that is to get our house ready and find a tenant  who we can trust, and who will pay us to take care of our house while we're away for five months. I am happy to report that we are three for three. This year we found a lovely tenant who we are confident will take good care of our home. But, what matters most perhaps, is that we won't have to worry about pipes freezing while we're away. I actually don't know if I could leave the house with no one in our home. But, now we can! We can enjoy five full months in the FL Keys. WE can look forward to fishing, and swimming, and relaxing a bit. We look forward to returning to the Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge where we will serve our fare Mondays and Tuesdays. We plan to find another spot too, because we need to save up some money beyond covering our expenses, because there are always other expenses. And, we want to come back ahead, not behind. While we're in the Keys, Brian hopes to get his Coast Guard approved captains license. Allison is busy planning ; sewing, art, jewelry and design projects, aside from her yoga, swimming, and windsurfing lessons. So, 2011 has wrapped up, or is wrapping up quite nicely. We will spend TD in NYC. I will also photograph food trucks and the like for my book, Food Truck 101: A Recipe For Success. The book is coming along fantastic. It is beyond my expectations. I look forward to seeing family and visiting the 10th street baths in the city. Then, it's off to Phili, where we will see the other side of the family. We might even buy a boat there to bring down to FL. We'll see. We very much look forward to FL and to our return in May. We wish you all a great holiday season and Winter months. Here's hoping that 2012 is a great year for all of us. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Opening Weekend

photo by
What can you say about opening on Memorial Day weekend? Very intense comes to mind. But, very rewarding too. It's great to see familiar faces and satisfied customers. My only worry when it gets so busy is that quality is compromised. I know that I burned a few burritos, and I apologize for it. Let me know and I'll make it right, because I only want satisfied customers. The weekend was our busiest to date. The line was long and seemingly endless. We went through 70 lbs of chicken, 80 lbs of meat, 22 lbs of fish, 16 lbs of shrimp and approximately 900 (taco and burrito) tortillas in just three days. By the time Monday rolled around, we didn't have enough supplies to open. But, we were tired too, like crash out on the floor tired, so a good excuse to rest. Is this what we should expect for future weekends? I imagine not, but Hudson seems busier than I remember, so perhaps a banner season is in the making. I only wish that we could be open seven days a week. And, I am looking into that possibility as I try to line up some reliable taco and burrito makers to help make it happen. Are you the next Tortillaville taco and burrito maker? We will only allow five hour shifts per team, which will include prep and open hours. Allison and I can do three days on our own, but we'd like to find four other people to share the other four days in shifts of; 9AM to 2:30PM and 2:30PM to 8PM. That's the idea anyway. Seasonal businesses like ours should be ope everyday Memorial Day thru Labor Day (if possible). So, if you think you have what it takes, please contact us.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Good To Be Back!

We are back in Hudson, NY. This 2011 (Memorial Day weekend thru mid-October), marks our third official season of Tortillaville, Hudson.

The City feels hopping with good energy. We are once again humbled by the embrace upon our return, with many locals commenting how good it is to have us back. We feel the same, and will do our best to live up to the hype, or should I say, to deserve your business.

We miss the perfect weather of the FL Keys, and the friends that we've met there. But, we're very happy to be back in Hudson. We especially love to share our year between here and there, and to connect our Hudson, NY and  Big Pine Key worlds, with folks from there visiting us in Hudson, and Hudson folks visiting us in the Keys, ... and maybe even staying in our guest trailer at But, enough about that.

The 2011 season has yet to officially start, but we have some big plans in mind, including; menu additions, (plates, quesadillas and maybe even tostadas), desserts, music, more days, longer hours, etc.

It looks like our opening day will be Friday May 27th. We will do Friday- Monday for the Memorial Day weekend, and then Thursday - Monday thereafter, through Labor Day. 

After that, we'll probably go back to Fri - Sun, but that's a ways off, so let's keep with the business at hand; Tortillaville: Thursday - Monday 11:30 - 7:30PM. We hope to have some guest DJ's, live music, guest art shows - and you.

Please tell your friends, bring your family and otherwise spread the word. Check out (which you're probably on), and visit us often. We're only here for a short four-and-a-half months.

As for us, we'll be cooking all Summer :o)

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Best of Both Worlds

Our dream of bringing Tortillaville to the FL Keys has been realized. That is to say, ... we did it. But, Hudson, NY is still our main home base for Tortillaville. It is where we call home, and earn a hard fought living ~ while having fun.

The FL Keys is where we call home and try to break even. But, if done right, you don't break even in the Keys. It is just too darn beautiful here. It's a win / win no matter what. It amazes us to see that many of the locals in the Lower Keys work five and six days a week to get by, and sometimes with two and three jobs. It's even even more amazing to hear of those who rarely get out on the water. I mean, we understand with the economy and inequality and all, we just wish that they, the locals, could enjoy more of the beauty.

We need to do more too, as it's been much about work; Tortillaville and home improvements up to this point. But, we get out often enough, and we look forward to exploring more in the coming years.

Given the opportunity, the Keys is all about; the water and birds (flora and fauna) and snorkeling and swimming and fishing and kayaking and discovery and history. It's a place to recharge, and learn, and work, and work out (a little) and play a lot. That is why we only work two to three days a week, January through March.

But, it is also a place where we've worked tirelessly to make our humble property as comfortable as possible. It might only be a trailer with another little trailer as a guest house, but it is one sweet spot. Whoever thought that a 50' x 100' lot could be made so efficient? We are compounding it in too, and nearly complete for privacy, so to keep our outdoor life; tables, hammock, outdoor shower, boat and parking spaces all to ourselves. It is humble, but it is home away from home every November through April.

It's been hard to break-in as a business here in the Keys, and harder when you only work two or three days a week for a few months. It would be easier to establish ourselves working full-time / year round, but that is not our intention here. And, that's why our Hudson business is so important to us, and why we especially appreciate our customer support. So, thank you in advance, We'll always do our best to deserve your visit time and again. And, we like to think that our seasonal status in Hudson makes Tortillaville that much more special.

Speaking of which, it is time that we head back north once again. We are looking forward to an extended work week and extended hours Thursday - Monday 11:30AM - 7:30PM for Hudson Summer of 2011. Opening day, weather permitting, is May 21st. We want to have lots of fun and serve only great food. We truly look forward to seeing everyone. Four months goes fast, so please visit us often. There promises to be good times and great food.

Be sure to visit our new website too, if you're not already there, at And, check out our store products. Have a wonderful Summer 2011. After this past Winter and Spring, you deserve it.

Now, not to speed things up too much mind you, but when Winter plans do roll around again, please keep in mind that Tortillaville has a very comfortable FL Keys guest trailer for only $55 per night for individuals and $65 for couples, (tax included) maximum five night stay. Enjoy the grounds, bbq, use the outdoor shower, bike, visit a local restaurant or bar, write your novel, do laundry, go online, come and go as you like, relax. This is not a B&B. You're on your own here.

You can fly into Key West from Miami, or get a cheap one-week car rental in Miami and drive. It's a 3-hour drive from Miami to Big Pine Key. The guest trailer is available for customers and non-customers alike, and even complete strangers from wherever, every January - March. We especially love people from wherever. Your quarters promise to be;  very clean, very cozy, very quiet, and include; a private stand-alone trailer, a double bed bedroom, AC, a 3/4 bath, linens and towels, an office area, wifi, laundry, 2 bicycles and kind hosts. Sorry, no pets, as we have two dogs.

Consider it an open invite, and please spread the word. One of Americas best beaches, Bahia Honda, is just a few miles away and Key West is just 30 miles away. There is no shortage of things to do. Kayak, bike, snorkel, swim, take in a day of Key West, dive the reef, see live music, shop, sail, sunbathe, go out on a schooner, bird, fish, dine, chill.

Back on Big Pine Key, key deer and iguana wander about openly. Ibis, egret and heron abound. Porpoise and sea turtles are here too. This is the tropics! Or, as close as it gets to the U.S. anyway. In any case, it's the best of both worlds for us, and we're confident that you will love it too.

On another topic: we are bringing our very special Key Lime Pie recipe back with us, as well as some other great menu additions.

Thanks for keeping in touch, and please take time to visit us in Hudson, NY. Upstate's Now town.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

2011 FL Keys

2011 in the FL Keys has started to take shape. It has been a long road from Hudson, NY to Big Pine Key, FL, and equally as much an effort, fighting the fight through the bureaucracy of Monroe County (the Keys), but we have persevered.

We are the only legitimate food concession in the Lower Keys outside of Key West. We have three locations and work four days. And, we have the option of blowing off two days if something better comes along. Our goal is modest. We simply hope to establish ourselves to the local community and tourists alike. And, we want to (hopefully) cover our expenses. And, so far? To our surprise, things are going very well.

We have had to take a departure from our Hudson, NY practice of staying in one place, and instead move around to three different spots a week, but all considered, it's working out. We are finding our own, getting into a groove, and making it happen. That is to say that we have three days for ourselves. And, some weeks, we will even work just three days and take four days off. It's the perfect balance, and "balance" is a key ingredient to our purpose; of why we are here. We want to enjoy life and live in the present. We want to experience the Keys in all of its beauty. We want to succeed both in business and play. We want to cover our expenses. And, we also want to enjoy our boat, go swimming, make it down to Key West, have time with our dogs, get healthy, decorate our modest home, and just enjoy life. Otherwise, we've messed up our mission.

The word on the street is good. We are a "go to" place. But, it still takes a while before Keys folks get to you. So, the RV parks that we cater to make up for the slack. In fact, if we had our druthers, we would gladly become the full time restaurant for the Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge. Or, at least two days a week. It's such a nice environment, and almost an island unto itself. For now, we will gladly take Thursdays and hope to earn more days as time passes.

So, for a first year, we are happy. We see two sides of a coin, and we see that our efforts have not been wasted. So, for January through April, we are here, doing this. And, come May, we will look forward to a great Summer in Hudson, NY. Really great! So, people of Hudson, get ready. We certainly will be.