Few restaurants are open on Thanksgiving Day and fewer still have been around 28 years. Q. Cumbers always did break the mold as a healthy food restaurant before diners were particularly health conscience. Today, it’s one of the few remaining American-style buffet restaurants in the Midwest.
A restaurant for the 90s motto made sense a few decades ago but the cafeteria trays once embellished with the phrase are long gone. Skip forward to 2018, after its third and most extensive remodel, Q. Cumbers is well situated for the future.
A few atmospheric changes gave the 210-seat restaurant a refresh. The color scheme was updated to a more modern palette. Autumnal tones carry throughout framing the expanse of windows that overlook Centennial Lakes Park. Tables and chairs were refurbished. Everything has a new look from the carpet to tile to lighting.
Thanksgiving at Q. Cumbers has all the fixings with none of the fuss for customers. Think turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, plus fall soups and other extras. There is something for everyone to enjoy, and the holiday is one of the busiest days at the restaurant. “There’s more and more demand to be open,” says owner Mickey McCabe.
Quality, cleanliness and personalized service have kept customers coming back. Multigenerational groups are not uncommon. Over the years, McCabe has gotten to know the regular patrons. Q. Cumbers has its fans.
McCabe has reason to be proud but is quick to attribute his success to the support of his wife, Sheila McCabe, along with his staff and his customers. Many of his 35 employees
share a track record of loyalty: a dishwasher for 28 years, a manager for 27 years, soup maker—Hector Hernadez—for 15 years, along with his brother, Rigo, the kitchen manager who has been with the restaurant for 20 years. When Q. Cumbers was closed for construction, McCabe kept his staff on the payroll. He didn’t want to lose anyone.
The restaurant was closed for seven weeks during the remodel and customers were anxious about the completion date. He needn’t have worried about losing business during the downtime. With its updated décor and furnishings, Q. Cumbers is more popular than ever serving an average of 500 to 1,000 people daily. McCabe does a little of everything, paying bills, doing payroll, bussing tables, cooking and greeting customers, but it’s the people aspect he enjoys most. “It’s a popular concept, and I get to hear everybody say that they love it,” McCabe says.
The renowned salad bar has 50 to 60 items. “The buffet layout stayed pretty consistent,” McCabe says. In one food change, mini muffins gave way for pizza, and kids especially love the change. Ice cream ranks as another kid-friendly crowd pleaser among the many buffet choices.
Variety guides the Q. Cumbers menu with soups and hot bar dishes changing daily. During the colder months, wild rice soup, baked chicken and other comfort foods are in high demand. McCabe knows what people like by watching how fast the food disappears. “That’s the beauty of a buffet, you have instant feedback,” he says.
Arezzo’s Wine Cocktails For Fall
Can the charm of autumn go into a glass? The creative crew at Arezzo Ristorante thinks so. Come fall and winter, wine cocktails turn spicy and warm. The apple pie sangria bursts with seasonal fruits. Traditional German spiced mulled wine goes Italian with the warm scents of Mediterranean herbs. Savor a wine cocktail flavored with fresh rosemary, basil, lemons, oranges or apples. You’ll forget about the cold of November. Arezzo’s authentic Italian cuisine and cocktails will warm the heart.
Try making a Torino at home. Torino is the “Italian name for Turin; birthplace of vermouth rosso and the classic aperitivo,” Cristina Monesterio general manager explains. “Our twist on an Italian aperitivo (pre-dinner drink) to get the digestive juices flowing, open the appetite and allow people time to relax, unwind and socialize after work—something the Italians know a thing or two about. I would describe it as a twist to the classic Negroni; a semi-sweet bitter aperitivo; an acquired taste to jump start your digestion before you consume an Italian meal.”
Torino Aperitivo, a classic twist to vermouth rosso served with a fresh orange wedge
Recipe yields: one glass
- 2 oz. sweet vermouth
- 1 oz. orange juice
- 5 pulls Aperol
- 5 drops bitters
- 3 oz. Gavi di Gavi (white wine from Piedmont, Italy)
- Splash club soda
- Fresh orange wedge
Directions: In a low-ball glass, add the sweet vermouth, orange juice, Aperol and bitters. Add ice and Gavi di Gavi. Top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with an orange wedge and cocktail straw.
Fall Table Decorating Tips From Paper Source
During the holidays, one sure way to make mealtime more merry is to get the kids involved. Constructive crafts let them lend a hand and see how their creations enhance a get-together. Paper Source has fall table setting and décor ideas kids can easily do. Store Manager Ty King offers these tips and tricks for table décor.
- Personalized place cards decorated in festive washi tape, stickers or heat embossed stamp elements.
- Handmade napkin rings with pompoms and twine.
- Paper flower bouquets to add height to your tables.
- Food recipe books for table conversation starters and taste testing.
- Placemats or table runners crafted from fine papers.
- Personalized napkins* with multiple colors to fit any theme.
Paper Source offers workshops throughout the holiday season and year-round. Learn to make some of these items in-store or purchase what you need to get creative at home.