Outdoor Gardening Fun With a #BeanHouse. ūüĆĪ


So, I dig gardening. (Get it?)  I have passed that on (so far) to my oldest child, and the little one really likes playing in the dirt.  I also enjoy doing things with the kids that are not only fun, but that allow me to sneak in some learning.

Today we set up a Bean House. ¬†What’s a bean house? ¬†I don’t know. That’s what my daughter wanted to call it & it’s really the most appropriate title. ¬†We got the idea from a¬†friend’s Facebook wall with instructions for¬†a bean den and a willow den.

Basically, we built a play house that will act as a trellis for a (hopefully) vining bean plant. ¬†I started with an area that had already been cleared thanks to a pile of brush that was recently removed. ¬†Speaking of that brush that I have recently cleared form our jungle of a back yard;¬†I grabbed 4 rather large branches with a “Y” shape, cut them to roughly the same length with the chainsaw, and sharpened the bottoms. ¬†I dug some holes with a small gardening shovel and drove the posts in as far as I could, mounding up some dirt around¬†each pole. ¬†I used some gardening wire to secure four branches¬†across the top for a nice little cube-ish frame.

Then, I let the munchkins “help” while I secured several smaller sticks across the top, down along the sides, and across the sides. ¬†At one point we ran low on sticks, so I used some old wooden and bamboo tomato stakes. ¬†The wooden stakes seemed to really help make the rest of the structure stable because I could really pound them into the ground well. ¬†To secure everything, I used some newly purchased garden wire, and whatever twine and garden wire that we had leftover from previous years’ gardening adventures.

The top is a thatched mess of “wonky” branches that are woven together to provide slightly more shade than the sides, but will still be open for the growing vines. ¬†My shelter would probably make Survivorman Les Stroud hang his head in shame, but it’s better than most of the shelters on Naked and Afraid.

The wife and little guy helped water the mounds so I could pack them down, and then I mounded dirt all around every post & they helped do the same.  Then we mulched the mound with grass clippings & packed it down again.

Finally I dug some holes for the pre-soaked Kentucky Wonder green bean seeds (beans?) around the base of the entire structure, and the whole family helped put in the seed-starter potting soil mix, the seeds, and some more dirt & mulch in place.  We placed some plastic forks facing outward all around the seeds at the base of the thing to hopefully help ward off the local overpopulation of rabbits.  I may try some additional deterrent like bloodmeal.

Later indoors, we found some other stuff and made a sign to hang once I get a coat or two of clear coat on it.

While we put it up, we talked about enjoying outside, building things, growing things, recycling and up-cycling, sunshine, water, and everything. ¬†We talked about how grass clippings act like a mulch that holds moisture for the plants. ¬†We talked about how the fertilizer and Miracle-Gro in the water acts like vitamins for the plants… vitamins like the one’s we’ll get from eating the beans. ¬†I’m sure we’ll have discussions in the future about patience, including our little brother, and¬†not knocking the bean house over.

My wife and I have always tried to talk to the kids with the same respect we’d give other¬†adults. ¬†We don’t use small words. ¬†We explain things as best we can, encourage and answer questions. ¬†I’m continually amazed at the observations that our daughter makes in conversation, and through our son’s actions that show an understanding of exactly what is going on.

If you’re reading this and are a parent, I ask you to narrate to your kids what you’re doing & why when you do an activity together. ¬†You may think they’re too little to get it, but they’re constantly absorbing what you’re doing.

This is a great way to get into all kinds of stuff¬†like gardening, up-cycling/recycling, food not lawns, urban farming, and striving to pass on the importance of such things as knowing how to grow food to your kids. ¬†I’m excited to plant some tomatoes, peppers, and try a few new things this year. ¬†I love going outside and seeing vegetable plants in the summer. ¬†I love the smell of the dirt and growing plants. ¬†I hope to pass this on and that the kids love it too.

All-in, I paid around $10 for the seeds, wire, & fertilizer.  Everything else we had here on hand or could have probably found easily for free.

Please, enjoy some photos and share some in the comments if you build your own!

At my signal, unleash a $3 VHS cassette.


So, browsing one of the local flea-market/yard-sale type groups on Facebook, I discovered this post…

Gladiator on VHS for sale. Only $3.00 American!

Gladiator on VHS for sale. Only $3.00 American!

As you can imagine because I’m blogging about it, many questions came to mind.¬† It’s hard to even know where to begin.

We’ll start with the obvious.¬† Who would pay $3 for a VHS cassette of any movie, let alone this movie?¬† I mean Gladiator was a good film… but¬†here is a shortlist of better values available online…

This is just for physical media. ¬†I didn’t even look into streaming. ¬†I get that not everyone is set up to stream and that some people (myself included) like to put their hands on physical tangible media.

Who has a working VCR?¬† OK.¬† I do, but I’m odd.¬†¬†It’s a VCR/DVD-recorder, and someday I will transfer all of my VHS tapes to DVD (which is already a dead format).¬† Who is still watching video tapes?¬† I mean, watching the old 4:3 aspect ratio drives me nuts these days.

The other side of this… who goes through their stuff, decides they can part with this, and assigns a $3 value to it? ¬†I mean, I could see if this was a collector’s item. ¬†I have Star Wars on VHS and I’ll probably have it forever, but The Gladiator? ¬† Sure, it was a good movie… but not that good. Why were they even still making video tapes in the year 2000?

What do you need that badly that costs $3? ¬†This wouldn’t be worth the gas money or the bus fair to meet someone to make the¬†sale.

I have been strapped for cash, but never would think to list what essentially amounts to garbage for a negligible value on a Facebook flea market group.  If this sells, I really have a lot of stuff that I need to be listing for under $5 amounts.

Let’s start some #AxlRumors:


So, Axl is everywhere in the rock media world again and 15 year old me reads every stupid article like those it’s those goofy gossip columns in Rip or Metal Edge that used to be one sentence stories with bold rock star names jammed into one long nonsensical paragraph. ¬†I’m actually excited to maybe try & see whatever version of Guns N’ Roses eventually ends up in Pittsburgh (if it makes it that long).

#AxlRumors

#AxlRumors

I even made a parody news article with my last post that fell super flat with no reads or comments.  Oh well, my bad.

I know I broke the one rule of blogging by never having regular steady content any more, but work with me here.¬† I want some interaction. ¬†Maybe no one cares. ¬†I guess we’ll see.

Let’s start some Axl Rose rumors.¬† Use the hashtag #AxlRumors on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or newer cooler social media platforms that I am wholly unaware of but still use hashtags.

You can post the url to your rumor(s) here in the comments, and we’ll see if it gets beyond this little corner of the internet, and if anyone finds their way back here.

Kapish?

I’ll start:

Now you.

⚠ Go! ⚠

(Don’t forget the #AxlRumors hashtag!)

Axl ‘Leaks’ Possible New GN’R Tunes


Recent reports have surfaced that Guns N‚Äô Roses‚Äô sole founding member and self-proclaimed demigod Axl Rose may have literally leaked tunes to the upcoming GN‚ÄôR ‚Äúreunion‚ÄĚ album. TMZ has posted but since redacted¬†an audio clip of Axl Rose passing gas taken via iPhone by a fan in an adjacent restroom stall at a roadside rest stop in Tennessee. Lucky listeners may note that the flatulence has a powerful sound that when transcribed as musical notes or tablature would make an incredible guitar riff hearkening back to the Appetite era, and sounds light years heavier anything on Chinese Democracy.

Axl squeezing one out on stage.

Axl squeezing one out on stage.

The fan asked Rose to autograph a sanitary toilet seat cover, but Rose declined stating that his new boss, Angus, wouldn’t allow it. Further investigation showed that someone had ripped the dispenser off the wall and urinated all over it anyway.

When Ultimate-Guitar.com reached out to Dave Mustaine for comment, Dave enlightened the all of rock and metal fandom…

‚ÄúAxl and I had the same voice coach right around the time that I was kicked out of Metallica for writing better riffs than Jaymz and being a bigger douche than Lars. I‚Äôm great friends with Slash since we used to do heroin together, but I have to say that Axl‚Äôs farts make better riffs than the too-low-in-the-mix guitars¬†the last Velvet Revolver album, whatever it was called.‚ÄĚ

Dave went on to tell everyone that he wrote all of the essential building blocks for Metallica’s albums up until the black one, and that he could play all of the Metallica Metallica riffs and solos in his sleep with his balls on a Hello Kitty ukulele.

Izzy Stradlin recently came out of his hole, saw his shadow, and asked Blabbermouth.net to get off of his lawn.

Sebastian Bach tweeted about the news, adding that Axl’s farts not only sound great, but that they smell like fresh roses and have since 1997. He wishes he could maximize his own lower orifice potential and maybe that would finally convince the other guys in Skid Row to take him back.

Slash and Duff McKagan could not be reached for comment. Dizzy Reed and Gilby Clarke tried to comment, but no one would listen. Steven Alder has an upcoming exclusive interview with the every-other-week best-sale-ever flyer from Guitar Center, keep reading with us for updates when we steal that story before doing any fact-checking.

Matt Sorum still wants to punch Axl in the face, but would take the gig with Axl/DC if the current drummer tries to kill anyone.  He has been asking Rush if he can join their band.

Axl has also been rumored to be singing for Queen (to be billed as Rocket Queen), and for Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, & Jason Bonham in a project billed as Red Zeppelin since Robert Plant won’t return any of their calls.  Rose’s trash collector’s brother denies rumors of Axl fronting a Dio-era Black Sabbath/Heaven & Hell tribute tour which may or may not include Bill Ward.

In related news, a special episode of ABC‚Äôs Celebrity Wife Swap will have Joe Perry and Slash trade places for a week to see how the other guy¬†deals with each other’s wives & bands for two weeks on tour.

Discovering New Music?


Ask A Pittsburgh Expert: Best Ways To Discover New Music

Ask A Pittsburgh Expert: Best Ways To Discover New Music

I was recently asked to put together some thoughts on discovering new music for an article on CBS Local Pittsburgh.  The article is now up!

Please take the time to check out the article by local blogger Jennifer Stockdale and share your thoughts here (or on the Facebook link) on how you discover new music:

Comments aren’t available on the CBS Local article for some reason, but please share your ways of discovering new music here, or share a link to the main article on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, or whatever to start your own discussion amongst your friends and peers.

Most importantly, the take-away is that I may now be considered an expert for all of your musical discovery needs.

#MeatballSub #Recipe


So, I’ve been hungry for meatball subs. ¬†They’re so simple to make, but we just never seem to do it at home. ¬†I shared the photo on social media, because I’m weird like that and it annoys people, and some people seemed to dig it. ¬†wanted to share how easy it was with¬†a minimal amount of¬†effort.

#MeatballSubs make a good lunch after playing in the snow! ‚ĚĄ

A photo posted by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

So, the wife got a pound of ground meat from Aldi the other day, and I picked up the rest of the stuff that we didn’t already have at Giant Eagle on my way home from work. ¬†I probably could have gotten all of this from Aldi.

So this is what I used…

  • 1 lb. of ground beef
  • a handful or two of finely shredded fancy 6 cheese “Italian” stuff¬†– I started with a 2 cup bag. ¬†We always have this or something similar around.
  • Whatever “shake cheese” you put on spaghetti. I have Parmigiano-Reggiano because they think it needs to sound fancy.
  • A handful of crackers. ¬†We had “club” crackers from Aldi
  • Italian Dressing (we seem to really dig Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian)
  • A jar of cheap-ass pizza sauce ¬†(I probably should have used some better marinara sauce)
  • Spices (Season All, cracked black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, Italian seasoning, paprika …whatever floats your boat.)
  • Brown sugar
  • Sub buns (I like the Cellone’s or bakery ones, but I was being cheap this shopping trip and got some weird mass-produced ones.)
  • EVOO
  • Butter

And this is what I did…

Meatball Subs

MEAT.

Turn the oven on first so you don’t have to worry about it later. ¬†Put it on 375¬į because that’s always what they seem to say to put it on. ¬†I don’t know why. ¬†I don’t even know who they are.

I made some meatballs with the meat, some hand-crushed crackers, a dash of the pizza sauce, a dash of Italian dressing, a dash of whatever spices I grabbed off the rack (probably pepper, season all, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika),¬†a bit of the¬†Parmesan shake cheese and the mysterious “six cheese Italian” stuff.

I put some spices on the outside because why not, and tossed them into a frying pan with EVOO and a small pat of butter on the bottom.  I pre-heated it to high, then turned it to 6 before I tossed in the balls.  6 is at about 6:00 on my stupid electric stove top.

I melted a bit of butter in the microwave. ¬†I quickly cut open the buns, put them on a baking sheet, spread on some melted butter with a brush and added… garlic powder, onion powder, a dash of shake cheese, and “Italian seasoning” to the buns. ¬†No Italian seasoning for my wife, and no garlic powder for my 2¬Ĺ year old. ¬†I popped them in the¬†375¬į oven on the middle rack for a bit.

I used tongs to turn the meatballs over & popped a lid on the pan.

I dumped the remaining pizza sauce into a soup cup (it was a little jar), and added a sprinkle of brown sugar. ¬†I nuked it for 45 seconds or so. ¬†Why? ¬†I like sweet sauce, and grandma always said “it cuts the acid.”

I turned the meatballs on to an undone side, and got the sub rolls out of the oven. ¬†I knew they were done because… I didn’t even look at them. ¬†I just took them out. ¬†They looked fine. ¬†Plus, we’re not totally finished. ¬†I added some pizza sauce and some of the finely shredded awkwardly named cheese to the buns.

I made sure the meatballs weren’t going to kill us with the food thermometer. ¬†They weren’t. ¬†I put those on the buns and added more sauce, shredded cheese, and shake cheese.

I set some meatballs aside for my 10 month old. ¬†The sandwich was a little much for him, but he will eat just about anything you put in front of him. ¬†Seriously. ¬†even if it’s not edible.

I put the now built subs into the oven and cranked the knob to 400¬į because I am impatient and my 2¬Ĺ year old kept asking if lunch was ready. ¬†I turned the light on in the oven and watched the cheese melt. ¬†Not only was that fun, I could also make sure I wasn’t going to burn the bejesus out of things. ¬†I didn’t. ¬†I took it out in time.

Well, some of the cheese that fell on to the baking sheet burned, because I made a mess.  Oh well.

These were pretty good, although next time I will use different/better sauce. ¬†That squeeze stuff isn’t bad. ¬†Maybe I can make a simple marinara. ¬†Also, homemade-ish deli rolls or Cellone’s are worth it… and I would cut a little triangle out of the top like Subway used to, before we were over-saturated with them and they started to serve terrible cream-of-deathfish.

At any rate. ¬†This is easy to do. ¬†You could buy your own meatballs or bake your own bread or use cheese slices to make this as easy or as difficult as you like. ¬†I cut my 2¬Ĺ year old’s into 3 sections so she had sliders. ¬†I cut my wife’s in 2. ¬†I ate the whole thing¬†in one big sandwich like a hungry hungry pig. ¬†I refuse to apologize.

Share photos of yours or links to your own blogged recipe in the comments!

 

( ¬į) Pointless Arguing. |-o-| [-o-] |-o-|


One thing people seem to be good at is arguing over texts.¬† We can argue different points about the same information.¬† How many interpretations are there for the constitution?¬† And that’s just one language.¬† Hit up the Torah, Bible, or Koran that’s been translated into different languages a few times and it’s absolute chaos.¬† People seem to focus on minutiae instead of the big picture.

image

I¬†can easily imagine a post-apocalyptic dystopian future where the Star Wars films have become the basis for religion. People will subscribe to their own versions of the Jedi and Sith philosophies and have an overall high regard for the force. Some people will say it’s all fiction. Magicians will use levitation and spoon-bending illusions to “prove” that the force is real.

imageI can imagine sects breaking out of each group of trilogies, finding their own interpretations of the overall themes to be the only correct way to see things.

Some will say Anakin/Vader brought balance to the force. Some will say it was Luke. Some may focus on the new characters to come. Some cults will say you have to go to the dark side before you can be redeemed by the light and that is the only true path to Jedi salvation.

Some will argue that the original films unedited are the only true word. Some will argue that the standalone films and animated series are like the apocrypha, and can’t be true canon.

Monasteries will open and instead of vows of silence, they will talk like Yoda.

Books will be written trying to prove that the holiday special did in fact exist.

People will kill each other arguing over who shot first.

image

I think you now have a script for Idiocracy 2: Idiocracier.

Wait. What? (The Bob Evans saga continues.)


I never emailed these names. ¬†Seriously. ¬†Someone must have sent Jon¬†the text of my blog, or a link to my blog. ¬†My original email contained the names which I then changed to something I thought would be ridiculous and obvious, so I didn’t accidentally call out another real employee.

Am I being trolled?

On Thursday, November 19, 2015 8:54 PM, “0503, BER” <Unit_503@bobevans.com> wrote:

Hello,

                I am following up on a bad review that we had charge to our store.  I was hoping to get some more information, as we believed our location received this review in error.  We don’t have servers by either name mentioned in the review (Maleficient and Lincoln), and would like to find out which store you were actually at.  Then we can send this along to them, so that they can address these issues.  Thank you for your time.

Jon Herrmann
General Manager
Bob Evans #503
Bridgeville, PA
(412) 257-1369

Shenanigans.¬†‚ėė

I wrote back.  Nothing interesting besides pointing out that I never sent those names in an email.

I also got an email from LeAnn confirming our Dormont address, so I passed along the¬†new one. ¬†I wonder if I’ll get a T-shirt?

If it’s gift certificates, does anyone know of a charity that accepts them or of a family in need?

Maybe they’re sending someone to dispatch of me. ¬†Maybe I should ask King’s to weigh in?

This still makes me laugh uncontrollably:

YOU GET A CRAYON!

Smiling & coloring rule.

I did get a really insightful comment on the last post though. Doesn’t seem like it’s gone down that way so far.

 

Bob Evans: 1 ‚ÄĘ Eat’n Park: 1¬Ĺ


So, did you read about our¬†most recent experience with a waitress we’ll call Maleficent at the local Bob Evans?¬† If not, you may want to read that first.

I recently got the expected response from Bob Evans, and it’s nowhere near as enthusiastic as last time.¬† They are probably more displeased with my over-the-top approach to storytelling than the actions of Maleficent.

——– Original message ——–
From: “Barga, Leann D.
Date: 11/11/2015 9:23 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: me@my.email.address
Subject: Bob Evans – Reference # 1106568

Good Morning Eric,

I am so sorry to hear that you recently had a poor experience at our Bridgeville location.  The behavior demonstrated by one of our servers was unacceptable, and for that we truly apologize.  We expect all of our employees to treat our guests like family, and want our guests to be completely satisfied Рit is clear that we let you down with your initial server during this visit.

On the other hand, I am happy to hear that Lincoln ‘saved the day’ and made the rest of your time with us an enjoyable one.

I will be sharing your comments with the general manager and area coach of this location so any necessary action can be taken to ensure that all of our servers are meeting our and our guests expectations.

Sincerely,

LeAnn Barga (formerly Purdy)
Representative, Guest and Consumer Relations
8111 Smith’s Mill Road
New Albany, Ohio 43054
Phone: (800) 939-2338
http://www.BobEvans.com

It seems that Leanne is still rocking it with Bob Evans, now with a new name.  I hope she is doing well!

Not sure what this means (if anything) for Maleficent and Lincoln. ¬†Will anything actually be said? ¬†Will general¬†management or area coaches write back to me directly? ¬†Will I get a dirty look from Maleficent next time we’re there? ¬†Hopefully Lincoln is¬†on the clock.

Of course I can’t just let things like this be, so I reached out to Eat’n Park on twitter. Their response was glorious

Ha.¬† Eat’n Park for the win.

EVERYONE GETS A CRAYON!

Checkmate.

All we wanted were some crayons.


So,¬†this past Saturday¬†night we had an interesting experience at the local Bob Evans. ¬†I have blogged about one of our experiences with an¬†angry¬†server there before, but haven’t touched upon the 3 or 4 other times that “the kitchen held up the order” while she talked to other customers at great length about slot machines at the Meadows, or the time that she rolled her eyes at me while the wife and I were discussing the seasonal shrimp on the menu in regards to where it was cooked and my allergy. ¬†This time we were most likely doubly annoying as we had two small children with us. ¬†The saga begins…

From: Eric Carroll <me@my.email.addre.ss>
To: Leann D. Purdy, Nathaniel A. Riggs, BE-mail

Hello Leann and Nate,

I hope this message finds you well, and that you’re both still with the Bob Evans team! ¬†You may remember that I had contacted you in the past about¬†the #jelly3x rule¬†and a bad experience at the Bob Evans in Bridgeville Pennsylvania,¬†and blogged about that alongside¬†your enthusiastic response, and even more¬†thorough follow-up.

We have since had a few other experiences with that waitress, including one where she rolled her eyes at me and said “well, you don’t have to order it” when I was discussing the shrimp stir-fry available seasonally. ¬†Clearly, she has absolutely no grasp of¬†cross-contamination. ¬†The running theme with her¬†seems to be that the kitchen is always late & to blame with any service issues.

Being that we have generally excellent food & service at the Bridgeville location, and it’s now even closer to home since we have moved to Bridgeville, we have gone in to dine and simply requested with the host or hostess to not be seated in her section.

Sadly this weekend, we didn’t spot her upon our arrival and did not inform the hostess of our preference. ¬†We were quickly welcomed by the hostess, seated in her section and decided to go with it as it had been a while since we had Maleficent¬†as our server.

Nowadays, we have a 2¬Ĺ year old and a 7 month old in tow. ¬†Bob Evans is a great place to get a full meal for a family without breaking the bank, yet another notch in the proverbial “pro’s” column. ¬†(I mean, have you spent the same amount of money at Panera or Steak n’ Shake? It’s not even half of the food. ¬†Maybe local heroes Eat’n Park can almost compete.)

Maleficent quickly came to the table and took our drink orders. ¬†Our eldest ordered apple juice, I asked for an iced tea, and the wife went for water. ¬†Our drinks were brought quickly and our waitress shot a nasty look to the table beside us as the hostess sat another family with 3 older children as she set our drinks down. ¬†She came back a bit later to take our food order and my wife politely asked for straws which we didn’t get with our drinks and some crayons that weren’t included with our kid’s meal place-mat menu.

Maleficent Immediately huffed as she slammed down the straws and remarked that she didn’t have time to get crayons because she just had two other tables seated in her section. ¬†We were only wanting crayons because it had taken her a while to come back and take our food order, well before anyone else had been seated in our section.

I forget exactly what the exchange was that followed. ¬†I know my wife had mentioned that we had had several problems in the past with her service. I was pretty much shocked into jaw-agape silence at that point. ¬†My wife ended with standing up to go speak to the manager, and Maleficent yelled (yes, yelled)¬†“Lincoln, take tables 54 and 56!” or something to that effect.

After my wife came back from a conversation with the manager, one of the aforementioned customers beside us said “Wow. I can’t believe she told you no on the crayons.” ¬†We gave the super-condensed version of our history with Maleficent as they continued in their wide-eyed disbelief.

Maleficent continued to serve that family, but we and another nearby table had been reassigned to a young man named Lincoln¬†(Linkin?), on either Maleficent or the manager’s authority. ¬†I wasn’t present for my wife’s conversation with the manager, but it was apparently full of knowing nods and angry head-shakes as she regaled the manager with tales of our past adventures with Maleficent. ¬†I do know that my wife apparently characterized me as a madman about to lose all patience to bolster her point. ¬†Perhaps that’s why the manager never came to the table to offer either an apology or an explanation.

Now, reading back on this, the story so far does sound like we are being absolutely ridiculous over the exclusion of two crayons for the amusement of our child who’s behavior, rearing, and amusement are wholly our responsibility. ¬†Do you also see how the past history and an apparently poor attitude towards customers and a potential tip factor into this moment? ¬†It must have been some serious shenanigans in order for the next table to notice.

The lesson I have learned is that we will keep crayons and a coloring book in our family vehicle for just such a purpose. ¬†It is not Bob Evans’ responsibility to develop my child’s creativity and fine motor skills, nor to provide a means to pacifying the insatiable need for constant activity or the lack of patience to wait for a delicious prepared meal. ¬†Despite evidence to the contrary, we were indeed prepared parents with our own plastic mess-prevention and environment-sterilizing place-mat for our son. ¬†He can’t color yet, but he can shovel tiny bits of food into his mouth at a rate destined to require another kid’s meal sooner rather than later.

This leads us to Lincoln (Linkin?). Lincoln was certainly on top of his game after being saddled with two more tables in addition to his already presumably busy/full section.  He came through and delighted our daughter with a two-pack of pink and purple crayons. Lincoln took our order with a smile, brought the food out quickly with no conspiratorial kitchen issues, and was just all-around pleasant.  We even had to ask for a replacement fork as we had somehow lost one.  It was brought out amid a flurry of what I presume to be normal Saturday restaurant activity with no hesitation, and rather quickly.  We even got jelly on one request.

After our meal, we thanked him for being such an incredible server, and I remarked that I was glad he was so understanding because I was nervous about being labeled as some sort of problem after requesting a new server. ¬†He indicated that it was not a surprise, happens regularly, and that he didn’t come to us with any preconceived notions. ¬†He also added that people inexplicably (my words, not his) come in and request to be seated in Maleficent’s section and Maleficent’s section only.

We will request Lincoln’s section in the future, and barring that option we’ll just request not be seated in Maleficent’s section. ¬†I can play that game. ¬†We cleaned up as best we could from our inevitable child-induced mess, left close to a 50% tip, and found the errant fork before we left. ¬†The table directly beside us (I assume the other table taken by Lincoln¬†at the same time we were handed over) also rather audibly and publicly thanked Lincoln¬†for being such a great server. ¬†I’m not sure if they also had issues that we weren’t aware of? ¬†I told the cashier how happy we were with our service upon checkout.

I don’t want to pick on a server. ¬†I do want to illustrate the contrast between what I see as poor service as it relates to incredible service and how it didn’t seem to be any more difficult than you make it. ¬†I do hope Lincoln¬†is rewarded for a job well done and his overall attitude. ¬†I’m sure it reflects in his work effort and in his gratuities. ¬†I would hope that you can again pass this email along to all of the appropriate parties. ¬†Area coaches and the store management, correct? ¬†I really feel like we were nothing but polite and reasonable up until we were denied crayons, and we remained polite and reasonable immediately after that whole exchange. ¬†That seems like an absolutely insane sentence for one adult to write to another. ¬†Do I have a valid point, or am I just super way out of line here?

I would just drop the entire issue and move on, but Bob Evans is one of the few places that I can safely get a meal with¬†my shellfish allergy, I can comfortably order anything on¬†the menu (outside of the seasonal¬†Lent-deathfish), it’s very close by, and I feel like we really get great value for a dollar when we dine at your establishment.

Last time you sent out some gift certificates. ¬†Please save them this time. ¬†I don’t want free food, I just want a stress-free dining experience. ¬†If you must send gift certificates, can you direct them to a Pittsburgh charity that can give them to people who do perhaps need a free meal? ¬†Thankfully I can put food on the table for my family while many others struggle to do so. ¬†We need to get our butts out on a kids-eat-free promotional night if we want a free meal.

I realize that in the grand scheme of things, my complaints are trivial.  I realize that some would enjoy any meal regardless of the way in which it was delivered.  What if though, this had been that meal for someone?  What if this was one night out that they looked forward to and it was met with the kind of service that we regularly receive from one apparently disgruntled waitress?  Is this how Bob Evans wants to be perceived?

I plan to blog this adventure also.  I do less of that these days, but this seemed to be appropriately entertaining.  Of course, the names will be omitted or changed.

I also look forward to your response and insight.  Thank you once again for your time and assistance!

Just crayons?

-Eric

https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com

me@my.emailaddre.ss

I can’t wait for a response. ¬†Sadly, I see from the Yahoo! mailer daemon that Nate is no longer with Bob Evans. ¬†I think I knew he outgrew them a while back. ¬†I may try to ping it out to a few more people. ¬†I have contacted others at Bob Evans in the past, during my pre-Wordpress days. ¬†I even had someone send me a “safe” list of where things were cooked and what would be OK for me to eat while they had shellfish on the menu. ¬†Overall they have stellar corporate customer service, but we just have this continual issue with a crazy server who reminds me of the mailman in the movie Funny Farm.

Bob Evans - Tuesday Night is Family Night

Tuesday Night is Family Night