about us .
First off, maybe it was Justin that got too drunk to taste the chicken he had at Congress Cocktail. At the International Chef Conference he couldn’t stop thinking about some piping hot bird he had the day before. So he went back to get his hands on more.
On his hour-long trip to the Jersey airport, floating chickens, visions of sugar plums, and smoked brisket danced in his head. He couldn’t stop thinking about that fantastic meal he had. Before long, Justin wanted to add fried chicken to everything: burgers, fries, soup, coleslaw, popcorn, ice cream, he couldn’t stop. His love for vegetables, and their misrepresentation, also came into play as he envisioned amazing sidekicks to the meat-based dishes.Then, it all came to him.
(Wait… I gotta get a beer, one sec. Ah, ok, that’s better. Moving on…)
The idea for Porch came from the want, and overall need, for a brand new concept of restaurant for Rochester. Here, we want to feed your soul, as well as fill your stomaches. Fried chicken really hadn’t been touched by many except the Colonel and Popeye (no Olive Oil required,) and after his trip to New York, things were starting to fall into place. *Cue the motivational, “new-beginning,” music.*
The idea had stuck for so long that we were determined to make it a reality. First up, finding a location. Several buildings were looked at and thought over, but it wasn’t until we saw the old train depot that we really found our diamond in the rough.
After some polishing and elbow grease, the restaurant was ready, menus typed up, and staffed with some of the coolest people we could find— I’m not just saying that because I work there… or am I…?
What we want to bring to our guests at Porch, is the idea of family style, comfort food, and sharing. Basically, you order, pass around the table, enjoy, repeat, and pass Go and collect $200. (Don’t worry, there won’t be a monocled millionaire roaming our restaurant, although there might be a thimble or top hat drifting around.) We want to create a fun, comfortable, and casual dining experience. Simply put, we asked real chefs what they would want to indulge in on their day off—no cooking required, just a place to go to where you can get your guilty pleasure.
Porch will feature items such as fried chicken, smoked brisket, kale salad, pork sandwiches, brussel sprouts, meatloaf patty melt— alright, alright, I’m not gonna give all of it away, I’m gonna make you come in and try it too— but there will be something for everyone. We’re going to be like a normal restaurant with happy hours, different sized sides, special pitcher drinks, bathrooms, you name it, we’ll probably have it. Like I’ve been saying, the over all theme is comfort; comfort food, comfortable atmosphere, comfortable dishes you’ll be familiar with, comforpedic mattresses—ok, so I’m lying about that one—but this isn’t going to be a fancy, fine-dining, make-sure-to-wear-your-pearls, type of place. Comfort and sharing family-style, easy as that.
So, what makes us so confident that we can pull this off? Well, easy, we have a great team working for us and a creative, passionate staff willing to go above and beyond expectations. Oh yeah, and we have awesome food; mouth watering, crispy, lick your fingers kind of food. Like, I’m talking about you call up your old high school bully on the phone because you feel it would be a shame if not everyone could experience this great food, kind of food. Imagine how happy the women eating yogurt on commercials are… we want you to feel that same elation with each and every bite. (Sidebar: I wish I could be as happy as those women eating Yoplait…)
Chef Justin Schoville is a wizard in the kitchen—really, no kidding. He even knows how to correctly produce the “patronus” charm and it takes the shape of a bovine, which is quite fitting if you think about it. What I mean to say, is that with all the experience, enthusiasm, and innovation he has, he can make you a pretty damn good meal. He pours his heart and soul into every dish he creates, and it’s truly remarkable. Whenever you eat something from Justin, you really will fall in love with every bite.
Justin, although major, is just one of the parts to our Porch puzzle. Sommelier Jason Zubay is another crucial player as well. Besides the fluent ability to, basically, charm the devil out of the girl in The Exorcist, he also has incredible talent at mixology. His knowledge of wine, cocktails, beer, and all the little ingredients that go into them, is very apparent as he meticulously crafts each thing he makes. You won’t leave unhappy when you’ve got Jason steering you in the right direction.
I’d get in trouble if I failed to mention our biggest supporters, Jerry and LeeAnn Zubay. I, personally, have known them since birth, but, blood or no, they want everyone to achieve success and are willing to help along the way. It was, after all, LeeAnn’s eye that found the old train depot in the first place, and Jerry was just crazy enough to plant the bug in our ear to start this endeavor.
The entire staff that we have is vital and important and we really couldn’t pull this off if not for them. Some are newbies, as green as grass, and some are veterans readying themselves for another day of service. Whether they be new or experienced, each and every one of our staff comes in happy, ready to work, and singing and dancing the day away— I’m being serious, his name is Todd. You won’t have much use for your iPhone after experiencing a Todd song and dance.
And then, I suppose there’s me, Lindsay. I dunno, what’s there really to say about myself? I’ll let myself do the talking about…myself…
The future, fully knowing it won’t be unicorns and rainbows, does seem exciting and bright; just ask Doc. Brown, he’s already been there. We are looking forward to opening up the patio, utilizing every square inch of space we have, and ice skating on the train tracks. Ok, I was vetoed out of that idea, but we do want to bring many fun and thrilling ideas to the table. Join us in starting a new venture and rev up to go 88 mph in your DeLorean to keep up with what lies ahead—Great Scott!
This is gonna be heavy…
P.S. ZZest Cafe & Bar will still be around! It won’t be the Titanic, and we aren’t going to jump ship (pun intended)—I’ll never let go, Jack! Sorry Jack. Looks like we did drop ZZest — but, there is no need to panic. Justin, Jason, Jerry, (ugh, so many “J’s”) LeeAnn, and I are constantly thinking up new projects. Yep! like a burger bar in the ZZest location! So, if you feel like you’ve over-indulged at Porch, you can turn around and do it again at new ZZest (name coming). You will still get fed by Justin and the bar set up is under Jason’s watch!