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September 2008
UNIT DESIGN

Equipping Baja Fresh

Check out the related article "Baja's Fresh Approach"...

A PRESSING MATTER
Baja Fresh has doubled its production speed in heating tortillas and quesadillas with the help of a Star Pro-Max Two-Sided Grill. The split-top design cooks a variety of products simultaneously at two different temperatures. The unit's electronic programmable count-down timer has two controls so you can set time and temperature for each side. A counter-balanced hinge system provides safe, easy operation of both top platens, whose generous grilling height cooks product up to 3"high. The easy-to-read digital thermostat is rated from 250°F to 550°F. A front grease trough and drawer make for easy cleaning.
Star Mfg./Middleby
314/781-2777
www.star-mfg.com

HOT WELLS KEEP THINGS FRESH
Baja Fresh holds just-grilled steak, pork and chicken, plus beans, rice, grilled vegetables and warm sauces in a Wells MOD-400TDM hot well station. Individual controls on each well give the warmers maximum versatility. Underneath, insulation keeps the heat inside where it belongs. The "TDM" means the units are thermostatically controlled and include drains that are connected to a drain manifold. Each of the four wells features one-piece, deep-drawn, s/s construction for strength and durability. MOD Series warmers are UL listed and NSF approved.
Wells/Middleby
775/689-5700
www.wellsbloomfield.com

COLD PREPPED FOOD, AT THE READY
Baja Fresh's Simi Valley proto uses a True TSSU-72 salad/sandwich unit to hold its broad selection of menu components. The generously sized unit uses a forced-air refrigeration system to keep product at 33°F to 41°F. The unit, listed under ANSI/NSF-7-1997-6.3, features all an all-stainless front, top and sides and an aluminum finished back. Stainless steel foam-insulated lids keep pans cool while locking in freshness and minimizing condensation. A full-length, removable, white polyethylene cutting board comes with the unit.
True Food Service Equipment
636/240-2400
www.truemfg.com

CHIPS, AHOY!
Baja's signature tortilla chips are held crispy-warm in a food warmers supplied by Wells. The SS206T Built-In Rectangular Food Warmer, designed for top-mount installation, is thermostatically controlled with a heavy-duty stainless warming pan and optional drain. The warming pan holds standard 12" x 20" pans up to 6" deep and can be easily adapted to hold fractional or round pans. Underneath, a tubular element provides quick heating. The units are NSF and UL listed.
Wells/Middleby
775/689-5700
www.wellsbloomfield.com

THE SEARING STATION
At Baja Fresh's prototype, the open design of the cook and prep area lets customers watch cooks searing steaks, chicken and seafood on a 24"-wide Imperial IRB Charbroiler. The powerful underfired gas broiler sports stainless burners rated at 15,000 Btus/hr. and spaced every 6" for even heating and fast recovery. The heavy-duty cast-iron grate top delivers charbroiled markings, and its 3" x 22" sections lift off easily for cleaning. Just to the right of this piece in the floorplan is another production piece from Imperial, a 36" ITG Gas Griddle used for cooking carnitas, finishing rice and heating vegetables.
Imperial Commercial Cooking Equipment
800/343-7790
www.imperialrange.com

HOT WHEN YOU NEED IT
Baja Fresh uses a CVap HA4507 undercounter holding cabinet as the designated short-term repository for rice and beans, and, before the lunch rush, for uncut steak and chicken tenders. The holding cabinet adjusts its water vapor content to match that of the food, which means that crisp foods stay crisp and moist foods stay moist. One dial controls temperature (ranging from 90°F to 180°F) while another controls humidity levels. Inside, a fan circulates moisture throughout the cavity. Other features include full-perimeter door gaskets, magnetic door handle, removable side racks and a digital readout for water temperature. Holds four sheet pans or eight steam table pans.
Winston Industries
800/234-5286
www.winstonind.com

BACK-UP CHIPS, HELD JUST RIGHT
Baja Fresh holds just-made tortilla chips in reserve in a Hatco HDW-2BN Drawer Warmer. The unit features individual thermostatic controls to hold safely during peak serving periods. Hatco's warmers come in 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-drawer freestanding models; Baja opted for the narrow-width 2-drawer built-in model. The unit holds up to constant use thanks to heavy-duty drawer slides fitted with nylon rollers on each drawer. The drawer also features adjustable sliding vents to control humidity, individual on/off switches and temperature monitor.
Hatco Corp.
800/558-0607
www.hatcocorp.com

THE CHEESE MELTS HERE
Baja Fresh spec'd Hatco's Thermo-Finisher for its ability to melt cheese on nachos and enchilada-style burritos to bubbling perfection on demand. The unit fires up instantly when you place a dish inside, and removing the dish puts the unit into standby mode to conserve energy and keep heat out of the kitchen. As many as 10 programmable settings allow you to pre-program your most popular menu items. The Thermo-Finisher's cook chamber measures 13" x 18" , large enough for a half-size sheet pan placed widthwise, and its entry/exit height measures about 33½". Heat comes from four ribbon elements above and one ribbon element below. Choose from six sizes and colors.
Hatco Corp.
800/558-0607
www.hatcocorp.com

Check out the related article "Baja's Fresh Approach"...

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