ONE OVEN CARRIES THE MENU
During the dinner rush, the conveyor oven at the center of the Abuelo's kitchen finishes a steady stream of plated appetizers and entrées. The Middleby Marshall 540 Impinger Oven uses vertical jets of hot air to penetrate the cooler, heavier air insulating the food. The oven comes with a gas management system that reduces gas consumption and boosts cooking efficiency, the company says. You'll also find a folding conveyor for easier removal; digitally controlled bake time and temperature; and adjustable air jet fingers. The 540 features a 40½"-long cooking chamber and a 32"- wide conveyor belt.
BABY, IT'S WARM IN HERE
Abuelo's cooks can hold everything from meat to vegetables to rolls in the Hatco drawer warmer. The unit comes with adjustable sliding vents and individual thermostatic controls to hold a variety of hot foods safely for peak serving periods. Available in 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-drawer freestanding units, the insulated warmer is built of stainless steel with nylon rollers, s/s slides and heavy-duty hardware. Each has a recessed on/off switch, thermostat, temperature monitor and vent slides to control humidity. Standard 20¾" x 12¾" x 6" pans are supplied with each drawer.
THAT WOOD-FIRED TASTE
The morning prep routine at Abuelo's includes loading the Aztec wood-fired grill with wood and stoking the fires for lunch service. The wood burns hotter (averaging 800°F, the company says), so food cooks faster with less moisture loss. And the wood smoke adds a distinct flavor to the food. Abuelo's specs a 48"-wide unit that comes with seven cooking grates and 960 sq. in. of cooking space. Choose from six models ranging in width from 30" to 66" . All units come with double firebox doors and ash drawers.
BAKE LIKE QUICK SILVER
A high-efficiency Southbend SilverStar gas convection oven owns the territory between the wood-fired grill and the stock pot range on the Abuelo's floorplan. This unit offers a 72,000 Btu/hr. rating per deck, giving you speedy temperature recovery after the doors have been opened. It also offers a thermostat range of 120°F to 500°F, with a holding option of 140°F to 200°F. Inside, you'll find 11 available slots for the five chrome-plated oven racks. Hot air is convected through the cavity using Soft Air technology from a two-speed, ½-hp fan motor. The double-stacked ovens measure a trim 64" high, making it easily accessible for most staffers.
THE POT CALING THE KETTLE...
Beans, sauces and soups simmer daily on Abuelo's stock pot stove from Jade Range. The unit combines four 18" W x 40" D units, for a total of eight burners, front and back. The stove's reversible cast-iron grates handle woks or standard flat-bottom kettles with equal aplomb; each burner ring has an infinite manual control. Other features include a safety pilot, s/s front and plate shelf, and tubular legs with adjustable feet. The stove's output is rated at 90,000 Btu.
CHOP, SLICE AND DICE
Any restaurant turning out a from-scratch menu needs a heavy-duty vegetable cutter in the prep area. Abuelo's specs call for a Mannhart M3000 unit, a workhorse that slices, dices, shreds, and juliennes vegetables, fruits, cheese and breadcrumbs. The machine's ¾-hp motor lets you process high volumes while running the slicer for extended periods of time. Built with a polished cast aluminum head and stainless steel housing, the units are designed with a slight 5° forward tilt, allowing gravity to feed foods into the hopper. The hoppers have half-moon and circular openings for versatility, and the head can be aligned so workers can work from left to right, right to left, or back to front.
A pair of Pitco Frialator Solstice tube-fired gas fryersthe SG18, with an 18"-wide fry tank and 140,000 Btu of powerspeed food production at Abuelo's. Fryer features include easy serviceability, front-access to the pilot, extra-strong sculptured tank sides, s/s heating tubes, individual gas shut-offs that allow one fryer to be turned off during slow periods, and a generously sized 1¼" full port drain valve for clog-free draining. Compared to earlier models, the Solstice burner/baffle design increases cooking production, lowers flue temperatures, and generates more production per Btu, says Pitco.
LET THEM EAT CHIPS
Crispy hot nacho chips and spicy salsa set the tone for an evening at Abuelo's. The restaurant serves the chips from a sturdy, free-standing Carter-Hoffmann CW4 chip warmer with first-in, first-out product rotation that guarantees crispness and freshness. The latest model is the countertop-sized CW1 model, which has the same dimensions as a two-drawer warmer but greater holding capacity. The chip warmers come standard with stainless steel loading and serving doors, but you can opt for Lexan doors for units placed in front-of-house locations. Heating power comes from a top-mounted forced-air heating system. Crumbs fall into an integrated bottom drawer that slides out for easy cleaning.
STEAMIN' ENCHILADAS (AND MORE)
Not even challenging Texas water can mess up the innards of AccuTemp's boilerfree Steam 'n' Hold units. And the closed steaming system is energy- and water-efficient, too, using only about a tenth the electricity and a fraction of the water required by conventional boiler-based steamers, the company says. The steamer's vacuum pump and reinforced cooking chamber steam-cooks at temperatures between 150°F and 212°F; and holds foods at 100°F to 200°F. Steam is produced inside the cooking compartment with no water or drain connection required. The 3-gal. water reservoir provides hours of steaming without refilling. A low-water warning alerts you when more water is needed.
QUANTITIES OF CUBES
Hot Southwestern weather requires plenty of ice cubes at any restaurant operation in the region. That's why Abuelo's specs Hoshizaki's highest capacity cubers. The KM-2400 can produce more than 2,300 lbs. of ice per day. It can also be stacked for double the production. The unit features a durable stainless steel exterior, a stainless steel evaporator, energy-efficient CycleSaver design and an EverCheck alert system to let you know if something goes awry.