Three things to know about Travail:
- The chefs do it all, from food prep to taking orders to running the bar. "There's none of this 'front of the house/back of the house' garbage," Brown said. But make no mistake; the strategy also holds down costs.
- Travail doesn't take reservations. Best to be in line when doors open at 5 p.m. for the 62 seats. Otherwise, wait. There are no plans to change the policy. "You could wait 21/2 hours or 21/2 months," Brown said. "I just want anyone to know they can come in here and eat."
- Without warning, you may hear in a voice worthy of a carnival barker, "Fender here!" That means the bartender has just poured a combo of Surly's Furious and Bender beers. The call is echoed by each of the chefs wherever they happen to be. Brown explained: "It's a way of showing people that, for all the seeming chaos, we're in tune with each other."
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