So, recently turning 40 has me reflecting on life in general (which is pretty damn great) & on my accomplishments as a “musician” even though I’m not actively gigging right now.
I’m pretty self-deprecating of my musical talents, but I am proud of the major part of the aural art that I helped create. I compiled and uploaded a few of my favorites after using Audacity to clip out some silence and mp3Gain to try to get all the volume levels somewhat similar.
If you’ll indulge me I’d like to give my thoughts & memories on each of these songs that I was proud to be a part of with AiXeLsyD, Gasoline Dion, & Ernie and the Berts. If I have any of the stories, names, etc. wrong, please correct me in the comments. Being that these are punk rock(ish) bands, you may find the content explicit and/or objectionable. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Gasoline Dion – “Shameless Plug”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy came up with this cool shuffling progression and I played a super easy solo over it. I believe we kept the first take of the solo even though at the time I thought I could do better. It’s not perfect, but it’s fun. It was cool to open shows with this then rip into something completely different. It was called “Tommy’s Jam” until an inside joke on a local message board inspired the new name.
AiXeLsyD – “Wait”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Probably the first song that I wrote that I liked, and probably the first original that we worked on in the band. We dug on this & recorded it a million times. It morphed a bit, but was basically the same simple jam. Ben doubling the vocals an octave lower and the guitar part at the end really fills it out.
Gasoline Dion – “Pickle Farm”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy had recorded this song solo, and it contributed to the itch that I needed to scratch when we formed Gasoline Dion. I really liked the melody. I think he stole the lyrics from Space Ghost or Brak. This song to me is about not being a square peg that’s forced into a round hole. I liked singing background vocals & playing guitar.
Ernie and the Berts – “Toybox”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin wanted to start a band to play rocked-out Willy Wonka covers. That never happened. This did. It was the first original that stuck, and an early recording became the soundtrack to a friend’s video project. Dave learned to play drums in/for this band. This is a nice simple driving groove and is the perfect vehicle for the introduction of Erin’s gnarly gravelly voice.
AiXeLsyD – “Hopeless & Heartless”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I wrote this on the outside of seeing someone with a broken heart. I thought it was pretty catchy. The “whoa-oh’s” are overkill but oddly necessary in my humble opinion. I think An-Die, Ben, & I are all singing on multiple tracks here.
Gasoline Dion – “Cold”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | This riff was a leftover AiXeLsyD riff that almost became part of two songs but never really went anywhere. Mike had some leftover Who’s.Keeping.Score? lyrics that Dave & I re-arranged. Dave & I work really well on arranging musical parts & lyrics. I really really dig Tommy & I singing together on this one.
Ernie and the Berts – “Fred Rogers”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin supposed that a local hero may not really be a hero on this one. Maybe he read that weird urban legend. I really like the guitar part here, although it’s missing some kind of effect in my head. Wah? Phaser? Not sure. Erin let me just go goofy with background vocals here. I felt like Danzig or that Not-Danzig guy in the Cult. I love how this song builds into chaos.
AiXeLsyD – “Stand Up”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | This is where it all pulled together, and it was the last proper thing we recorded. Ha ha. An-Die wrote the riff & lyrics, I arranged them. Ben came up with the guitar noodling& octaves riff. I think I came up with the stupid guitar part for the verse. I really dig my guitar solo here,even though I went too long. (Oddly, this sounds a lot like “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)” by Dramarama as played by Buckcherry.)
Gasoline Dion – “Political Songs (With Deep Meaning)”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I was listening to a lot of the Unseen, I think. I don’t really write political stuff that often. This was taking the piss out of that genre. Dave sounded better on it with vocals. I scream “feet” in the background and give the creepy laugh at the end. We lost the original lyrics, so Dave used what he remembered and made the rest up on the fly. I don’t really think any one ever tried to intemperate a deeper meaning. If they did, they didn’t tell us.
Ernie and the Berts – “Don’t Fuck With Ernie”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | It was hard to tell if Erin was serious or joking a lot of the time. He had a deadpan delivery, and it was hilarious. To deliver this ridiculousness so seriously is hilarious to me. I think I sort of came up with this riff over top of his bass line.
AiXeLsyD – “Dave Ugly’s Girlfriend”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | It’s “Dave Ugly’s Girlfriend”, not “Dave’s Ugly Girlfriend.” People always seemed to get that wrong. Dave Ugly played bass & sang for one of our favorite local bands, Useless Torment. I don’t tell the story as well as An-Die, but Dave was apparently saying he loved him, and An-Die was playing the “even if…” game, and arrived at this. I remember being “mad” when Sum 41 came out as a punk band rapping. I think Boner played guitar on this one and Ben played Drums?
Gasoline Dion – “Bitch Pants Opera”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I don’t know if we could do this one today. People seem so easily offended. It’s just a joke. We don’t really care if you wear girl pants. We’re not insinuating or implying anything. We look ridiculous too. Another Dave vocals song, I am screaming the high parts. All of us are in the beginning. I think the breakdown was inspired by hardcore /screamo kids in skinny jeans doing the windmill and Peelander-Z’s “S.T.E.A.K.”
Ernie and the Berts – “Ikea”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Dave suggested I try a little more dynamics with space and clean. Dave is usually right. You can do a lot with the same 3 chords over & over. This was a slice of Erin’s life, full of his observations. We almost got permission to go in & shoot a video there. Somebody must have really listened to the lyrics. He had “nicer” ones prepared just in case we needed to sell out.
AiXeLsyD – “Love, Hopes, Dreams, & Smiles”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] |I think An-Die hated this one. I liked the noodling& the melody. The lyrics are super dumb & trite. The song was made infinitely cooler when Ben put in that volume swell in the final mix. That was never there, then we started doing it live after he did that to the recording. This could probably be punched-up a little bit more.
Gasoline Dion – “Two of a Kind”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy sings like an angel. I have no idea what in the hell he’s talking about here. I think Dave & Mike made this honky-tonk-ish. I played a little solo under Tommy’s vocals at the end because nobody ever told me not to. The end sounds like the Misfits’ “NY Ranger.”
Ernie and the Berts – “I Don’t Wanna”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin stole this one from a band called Suck-Your-Brains-A-Go-Go. I don’t know if they ever recorded it. I should ask the man who wrote it some time. We made it ours. I think Bengt punched-up some of the guitar & added a bit of harmonies during the recording process.
Gasoline Dion – “Shameless Plug (Reprise)”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Same thing as the first track, second solo take by me with a wah pedal this time. Dave is also on guitar making crazy noises and soloing in between all of my notes. Ha ha. If you don’t “get” the speaking part, watch the Josie and the Pussycats movie some time.
I’d love to know what you think, or to read/see/hear your own memories about these bands or in any bands or projects in which you have participated. Did I miss a song or two that you may have remembered or liked? Comments (or likes or whatever is deemed social-media-appropriate) on the songs on SoundCloud or YouTube would be awesome and greatly appreciated, too.
Check out the playlist on SoundCloud:
Check out the playlist on YouTube:
Can you Dig it?
I think you should be able to download a zip of the collection on Google Drive or SendSpace if you’re so inclined. If you can’t get it there, let me know and I can email it to you.
The AiXeLsyD stuff:
The Gasoline Dion stuff:
The Ernie and the Berts Stuff:
Check out some related posts:
NOTE: Edited to correct links to YouTube videos, made new ones for some slideshows that were too short. Also, check the comments!
Posted in Dad Stuff, Disbanded Bands, Free Music, Guitars, I Need Your Feedback, Inspiration, Life, Pittsburgh, Your Band, \m/
Tagged & Smiles, AiXeLsyD, AiXeLsyD13, Audacity, Bitch Pants Opera, Blog, Blogging, Cold, Cuts From the Crap, ǝʌıʇɔǝןןoɔǝɹ ǝʌıʇɔǝdsoɹʇǝɹ ǝʌıʇɔǝןɟǝɹ, D.I.Y., Dave Ugly's Girlfriend, Don't Fuck With Ernie, dreams, 🎸, ERiC AiXeLsyD, Ernie & the Berts, Ernie and the Berts, Fred Rogers, Gasoline Dion, gig, gigging, gigs, Google Drive, guitar, Hopeless & Heartless, Hopes, Hugs Taken By Force, I Don't Wanna Fuck You, Ikea, Learning Disabilities, Loading Noise, local, local band, local bands, local music, love, mp3gain, Music, Musician, Pennsylvania, Pgh, Pickle Farm, Pittsburgh, playlist, Political Song (With Deep Meaning), punk, punk rock, Reflective Retrospective Recollective, RRR, SendSpace, Shameless Plug, Shameless Plug (Reprise), sloppy pop punk rock, SoundCloud, Southwestern PA, Southwestern Pennsylvania, Stand Up, SWPA, Toybox, Two of a Kind, Useless Torment, W(aL)D, Wait, Who's Keeping Score?, WordPress, World (and Lunar) Domination, YouTube
Apparently the newest annoying word for some time away is Babymoon. It’s better than Daycation or Staycation, but still annoying. The word is annoying, but the actual time away isn’t. With the impending arrival getting closer and closer, many online pregnancy-related websites & email lists suggest taking a babymoon. This goes especially for first time parents, as a nice little last fling before all of your apparent freedoms disappear.
We decided a while ago that a nice little getaway to a cabin would be the way to go. We have been tent camping at Forest Ridge Cabins and Campgrounds before, but had never tried out the cabins. They always looked quite inviting. The campground itself is always clean, and the owners are quite hospitable. The prices are competitive with other places that we checked out online, and really quite affordable. Important for the babymoon aspect, it’s not that far away. Cabins are our thing now I guess… since we honeymooned in one in Gatlinburg, TN. It all just seemed to make sense.
We booked the date a while ago, assuming that since it was spring we’d have a nice warm weekend. It was a nice weekend, but there was about 5 inches of snow on the ground, and the temperature never got much above freezing.
We stayed in the Allegheny cabin, and it was warm & cozy inside. We brought along some DVD‘s, cooked some s’mores (with peanut butter cups) around the campfire, and just had a nice relaxing weekend. The kitchen was stocked with all kinds of cookware and utensils, we made a nice steak dinner on Saturday. I also made a friend in Oliver, one of the campground cats. He strolled up as I was waiting for the last log to burn out on the campfire, then followed me up on the porch to hang out a but on top of the hot tub cover. He liked to look in the window at us, then look away when he saw that we were looking at him.
I think we’ve decided that Forest Ridge is “our place” as far as camping when we’re not going camping at Living Waters.
Check out Forest Ridge on Facebook, Twitter, & Yelp, and check out some of our photos…
Oliver, standing guard.
Best use of a phonebook since the late 90’s.
Nice n’ clean!
Oliver the cat!
Time for a picnic?
Soon, he will take over the world…
Posted in Life, Road Trips
Tagged 36, 66%, 899, Allegheny, Allegheny National Forest, Baby, Babymoon, Cabin, Cabins, Camground, campfire, Campgrounds, cat, Cold, Cook Forest, Day-tripper, Daycation, DVD, facebook, Forest, Forest Ridge, Forest Ridge Cabins & Campgrounds, Forest Ridge Cabins and Campgrounds, Forest Ridge Campgrounds & Cabins, Forest Ridge Campgrounds and Cabins, Gatlinburg, honeymoon, honeymooned, ice, Living Waters, Lodging, Mairenville, National Forest, Oliver, Outdoors, PA, Pennsylvania, Pregnancy, Recreation, Ridge, s'mores, snow, Snowman, Spring, Staycation, Tennessee, TN, twitter, United States, Yelp
“Someday” if I ever get the time, energy, & resources… I’d like to record a CD of some of my favorite songs with whatever kind of band I can pull together, or maybe even a varied assortment of musician friends. Some of them are by bigger bands, some by locals, some by bands I’ve been in.
I’m sure there are more I’d want to include. There’s no real reason to this, other than I think they’re all solid songs and it would be all kinds of fun. Well, add any of the songs from my Ramones/Misfits/related bands list, really.
If anyone has better audio links for any of these… or any link at all for ones that aren’t click-able, I’d really appreciate your sharing of such things.
(I’d actually like to re-record most of the AiXeLsyD & Gasoline Dion catalogs, just because I think a little more attention to production could really polish some of that stuff. – Reunion gig or 2 anyone? Ha ha.)
What songs do you dig enough to cover? Any of these? Ever hear of any of these? Ha ha. What would be on your album were you to do the same thing?
Posted in Life, Pittsburgh, Your Band, \m/
Tagged 20 Below, AiXeLsyD, AiXeLsyD13, Album, Allegheny, Ann Beretta, audio, Bars, Black Casket, Bottlecaps, Cakset, CD, charlotte, City of Lost Children, Cold, Compact Disc, cover album, Covers, Cyanide DT, Dead Dixie Driver, Destroy, Digger, Enemy You, Exclusion Principle, Eyeliners, Falling Apart, Flogging Molly, Forest Hills, Gasoline Dion, Graves, HLF, Honky-Tonk Angel, Hopeless & Heartless, Hopeless and Heartless, Human Liberation Front, I Turned Into a Martian, I Want My Hat Back, If I Ever Leave This World Alive, Jack Mulcahy, Jacket, Joan Jett, Keep The Beat, Legendary Hucklebucks, Misfits, mp3, Music, Nerf Herder, Nick Motown, Nine Inch Thick Skull, North Huntingdon, Not Gonna Die, Omegalord, PA, Peelander-Z, PeelanderZ, Pgh, Philly, Pickle Farm, Pittsburgh, Planet Peelander, Political Song (With Deep Meaning), Prince, Punk Rawk, punk rock, Radio Bomb, Radiobomb, Return of the Living Dead, RVA, S.T.E.A.K., Satanic Bat, Say Goodbye, Scream Out, Secrets Lie Within, Snickers Song, Snuff, Solo, Solo Album, some time, someday, Stand Up, steak, SWPA, Teen Idols, Ten Pounds Lighter, The Eyeliners, The HLF, The Legendary Hucklebucks, The Misfits, The Satanic Bat, the Teen Idols, The Unseen, Think of Me, TPL, Twenty Below, Unseen, Up to My Neck, video, Wait, War On the Poor, Westmoreland, When Doves Cry
I have a bunch of stuff I wanna blog about, but I need the time to sit down & do it. [I have some goofy World (and Lunar) Domination ones coming up, some half started… that seems to be what grabs more readers/comments.]
You’ll help write this blog post for me. If you’re seeing the link on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ … please reply in the comments section here at the blog, not in the comments stream at Facebook or Google+, & not an @ through Twitter. If you’re logged in on Facebook or Twitter you can comment down below using either account!
This one is relevant & easy to knock out because of the time of year. I was trolling through Netflix on the Wii the other night, trying to find a good Halloween-ish movie to watch.
Shaun of the Dead
My wife is scared easily, and wasn’t in the mood for House of 1000 Corpses-like gore or Alien–like “Ah!” jumps. (I still can’t get her to watch Silence of the Lambs.) I was thinking The Crow, maybe Monster Squad or Shaun of the Dead.
I thought of a bunch that weren’t available for streaming, like Wolf and Teen Wolf or even Beetlejuice. I found myself unable to think of campy other spooky fun.
Help me build a go-to list of all of us who are too old to remember good scary/funny/creepy movies like Ghostbusters, Batman, Zombieland, Fido, Edward Scissorhands, etc.
While we’re on it, does a streaming service other than Netflix offer these movies, or am I going to have to start trolling the cheap DVD/Bluray bin at Walmart? Maybe I just need to get a device like Roku that streams Amazon movies.
What movies make you want to mentally escape in front of the blue glow of your TV under a warm blanket on a cool October day?
Posted in Consumer Advocacy, Life, Movies & TV
Tagged Alien, Aliens, Amazon, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon.com, Batman, Beetlejuice, Blu-ray, bluray, campy, Cold, DVD, Edward Scissorhands, facebook, Fido, fun, google, Halloween, Halloween-ish, Halloweenish, horror, House of 1000 Corpses, light, Monster Squad, Movie, movie suggestions, Movies, Netflix, Night of the Living Dead, October, Roku, scary, Shaun of the Dead, Silence of the Lambs, streaming, streaming movies, Teen Wolf, The Crow, The Monster Squad, twitter, warm, Wife, Wii, Wolf, Zombieland
So after my last Panera-related post, I went a little goofy. I put a post on their Facebook wall…
Found this part of that amusing:
…the corporate office (or in your case the corporate office for our franchise partner who operates bakery-cafes in the Pittsburgh area) reviews your email before contacting and working closely with the general manager to try to resolve the issue.
I also tweeted a few times…
…and got this DM from them:
panerabread Hey, thx for sharing feedback through website. Sorry about your disappointing experience, our CS team is looking into & will be in touch.
I got this email from the local general manager…
From: 3497 <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2011 10:50 AM
Subject: Contact Us
I would like to introduce myself as Carrie Janota, the General Manager at the Greentree Panera Bread. I appreciate all your feedback and coaching. Your response will definitely help us with current and future training to associates, especially this time of year. The company has made several changes with menu items that you expressed in your comments. First, our turkey is now presliced so the consistency is different than when we sliced it in house. We also changed the recipe of our chicken noodle soup, which makes it all natural. Another healthy initiative we have taken is the removal of sauces on all cafe sandwiches. We offer packets of mayo and mustard at the condiment bar or you are welcomed to inform the cashier that you would like the condiments on the sandwich and we will gladly put them on for you. The “no onions” is our mistake and I would like to compensate you for a free meal next time you visit a Panera Bread. If you could please send me your address, I will gladly put the coupon in the mail for you. Again, thank you for your input, I use all issues as a learning tools for our associates.
So, this is what I wrote back to them…
Thank you Ms. Janota,
You certainly can address me as “Eric”, not “Mr. Carroll”. I appreciate your incredibly rapid and well-stated response to my experience yesterday. I was going out of my mind in disbelief. I would suggest that Panera spend more time asking/telling customers about changes, and less time advertising your catering services. I mean, really… on the pop machine, you’re advertising the catering service? What about a nice big poster that says… “WARNING: WE CHANGED THE TASTY NOODLES IN THAT SOUP THAT YOU LIKE, THE MEAT ON OUR SANDWICHES, AND HAVE DECIDED TO FORGO MUSTARD.” (Or even a nice traditional Coke or Pepsi logo?)
Boston Market is annoying/obnoxious with advertising their catering too. I get it. You guys cater. I know this. I’m here for dinner. You don’t need to advertise for a place that I’m already in. Imagine going into Walmart & seeing a sign in every aisle that advertises the stuff in the next aisle. This could get quote old quite quickly.
- Attn: Panera – I don’t host any lunch parties or have a need for sandwich rings.
- Attn: Boston Market – I can cook my own Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner.
- Attn: Bob Evans – I can handle making my own lasagna or meatloaf.
- Attn: Chick-fil-A – The only thing I’d do with a tray full of nuggets is eat them all myself.
Since you took the time to write, and you’re obviously concerned and well-written, I’d like to address my concerns & the new issues raised more specifically.
The Onion – This is not a big deal. I generally don’t even say anything & just take the onion off myself. This is the first time I was ever asked “Lettuce, tomato, & onion?” in a Panera. So, I said “Lettuce & tomato, no onion please.” This is the only reason I took note. It also said on my receipt “NO ONION” – so the cashier took the effort to note it, and the sandwich-maker had to read & ignore it. Just odd. Again, this is nothing that should ruin one’s day.
The Turkey – I call shenanigans. Any foodie will tell you there’s a world of difference between lunch-meat turkey and the freshly-sliced real thing. Why would Panera decide to sacrifice quality like this? Does it save time? Does it save money? Certainly it can’t be healthier… isn’t pre-packaged lunch-meat loaded with salt & preservatives? Imagine my surprise upon looking at my $6 half-sandwich full of lunch-meat where I had expected (and previously received) actual turkey. Where was my warning of this upon ordering? I certainly didn’t get the proverbial memo here. At least there’s no confirmation of turkeys with gold nuggets in their gizzards and fine wine in their gullets. Although, I didn’t get a staunch denial.
The Lettuce & Tomato – Are Panera employees encouraged to look at the ingredients before placing them on sandwiches? Really, that’s all that would be needed to prevent the placement of brown lettuce & green tomatoes. A general rule of thumb could be “If you were going to make yourself a sandwich, would you use this?”
The lack of any condiments – Again, list this in the “things that would be nice to know before I placed my order, or at the very least as I was placing my order” category. I liked the previous dressing/sauce whatever you want to call it, and it was certainly different from the straight mayo or spicy brown mustard available by the drinks (& catering advertisement). Is this really a “healthy” option or a money-saving option? I’m reminded of the “removing one olive from every salad” story with American Airlines. It saved them a rumored $40,000. I imagine all of this no-more-condiments stuff adding up to a HUGE savings for Panera… but my sandwich didn’t get cheaper, did it? No passing along the savings? (I think Steak ‘n’ Shake has done this too… their salads used to be nice-sized with cherry tomatoes… now they’re small & have tomato slices.)
The mysterious thumbprint – The noted lack of condiments has me even more concerned about the yellow thumbprint that was on the top of my sandwich. I had just assumed it was some of the condiment that was supposed to go on the inside. I ripped this portion out of the top of my sandwich before eating, to the bewilderment of my eye-rolling yet tolerant-to-my-neuroses wife. This leads me to wonder what the yellow stuff on my sandwich was… if not mustard, was it some of her broccoli cheddar soup? If so, this is incredibly alarming because it could have easily been clam chowder… and I’m highly allergic to shellfish. How is soup on the sandwich board or my sandwich when it wasn’t even my soup? I suggest you educate your employees on allergens & cross-contamination. Barring all that… it’s just a little gross. That could have been a big yellow booger for all I know.
The healthy soup – Pardon me if I laugh at the “all natural” expression. While I understand the meaning, visions of a supernatural soup come to mind. Was the prior soup possessed by demons? The noodles certainly were homemade-looking and delicious. Were they the result of a tasty pact with the devil or an ancient spell? Did the ingredients float into the bowl themselves? I don’t know what the tiny paper-thin pasta squares in the new soup are, but they are a Ford Focus to the previous soup’s BMW 7 Series. They’re not whole-grain pasta, are they? I hate whole-grain pasta. If this soup was a state, the broth were the land-mass and the chicken bits & noodle-like squares were people… it would be Alaska or Wyoming. Do you see what I’m saying? (Actually, the noodles might be the people, and the chicken may be an endangered species living within that state… but I’ve already pushed that metaphor too far.) I’m not entirely sure if this is the fault of the soup-ladeler or the soup recipe. As far as healthy vs. tasty in soup, I suggest you look up news articles related to Campbell’s. They’re putting salt back into soup to boost sales. I see from your corporate Facebook page that this is apparently an issue that has ruffled some feathers. Perhaps a shift back is in order?
The rusty knife – Poop happens. Have the dishwasher look over some stuff. I’d throw out the rusty ones. This rust was quite prominent on the handle of the butter knife, in the details of the design.
Thank you for your time, I hope you can use my input to your advantage… for your team, and perhaps passed on to a corporate level. I’d like to respectfully decline a free meal. I don’t write these sort of emails in order to get free food… and I’m skeptical of any coupons/certificates flagging me as “oh, here’s that guy”. I may even be done with Panera bread for a while. Bedsides the potentially scary cross-contamination and general utensil-cleanliness issues, our philosophies don’t seem to mesh well. I don’t need you to make health decisions for me, I need you to give me quality meals at the prices you demand. Your new more healthy less tasty soup and lack of condiments disturbs me, and apparently your quality standards aren’t the same as mine at your current menu prices.
I’d suggest taking some of the money saved from condiment rationing, smaller noodles, & catering advertising… and funneling it into a survey system to find out what your consumers want, or at the very least making signs or T-shirts that say “We’re holding the mustard unless you tell us not to!” or “New soup! Less noodles & chicken, but no ghosts!” It would also be money well spent on allergy training or buying new non-rusty silverware. Do you have any corporate contacts whom with I could perhaps take up this discussion?
Supernatural soup supporter,
?sretac arenaP taht wonk uoy diD .seitilibasid gninrael fo nuf ekam ot ynnuf ton yllaer s’tI
I for one can’t wait for a reply.
Posted in Allergies, Consumer Advocacy, Fast Food Fail, Food, Letters, Pittsburgh, Rants in my pants
Tagged $6.95, 3749, Bob Evans, Boston Market, bread, Carrie Janota, catering, Chick-fil-A, chicken noodle soup, Chicken Soup, Coke, Cold, Cook, employee, General Manager, gold nuggets, Greentree, grocery store, half a sandwich, half-assed, Home, iced tea, lunch meat, Mt. Lebanon, Panera, Panera Bread, firstname.lastname@example.org, Pepsi, Pittsburgh, sandwich, sandwiches, St. Louis Bread, Steak 'N Shake, turkey, Urban Spoon, UrbanSpoon, UrbanSpoon.com
The last two times I have been to Panera Bread, it’s been a debacle. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit… but it’s still ridiculous when compared to the price. At the Robinson (Settler’s Ridge?) location, I got the wrong sandwich entirely… but tonight’s experience was absolutely ridiculous. I actually just reviewed my experience at PaneraListens.com (as per the receipt), and through the contact form on their website.
This is what I shared…
I paid $6.69 for a half of a sandwich, which is now lunch meat & used to be actual pieces of turkey. There were onions on the sandwich, and the receipt says “no onions” like I asked. No big deal in itself. There was no mustard/mayo/sauce on the sandwich, except for a thumbprint of something on the top/outside that shouldn’t be there. Didn’t it used to come with a mustard? 1 of the 2 pieces of lettuce had brown edges. The center of the tomato was hard & green. The chicken noodle soup was ridiculously sparse as far as the noodles and/or chicken. I had about 4 or 5 spoonfuls of actual ingredients, and about a half bowl of broth. The (lack of) quality of the meal was astounding. How far has a once-great restaurant fallen? I expect crappy food/service from McDonald’s… but not from Panera Bread.
You can improve by instructing employees to read their screens or receipts or whatever they read to make the orders. You can then teach them how to make sandwiches without using brown lettuce or green tomatoes… and how to not put mustard thumb-prints on the outside of mustard-less sandwiches. (Cross-contamination is a nightmare for people with food-allergies, have you considered this?) You can also teach them how to ladle proper portions of chicken noodle soup… now with lame little noodles instead of the homemade-looking ones of yesteryear.
You can also stop subbing turkey lunch meat for real turkey in your $6 turkey sandwiches. A friggin’ POUND of turkey at the grocery store doesn’t even cost $6, and YOU should be getting restaurant/wholesale prices. Not that I would deny you profit… but REALLY? Do the turkeys that you buy use gold nuggets in their gizzards? Do they drink fine wine?
I neglected to go complain, because everyone working seemed to really care less if my order was correct or not… I also fear some sort of retaliation if I need a re-made sandwich or an actual bowl (not cup) of soup.
My wife had a cream of broccoli soup & a salad that looked spectacular. No brown lettuce even… and it was a whole bowl! She did get a knife that had rust on the handle though… sort of unappetizing. I’d rather see plastic flatware than rusty flatware.
Something was really wrong here today, or I just had some bad karma all around my order.
I know I sound insane, and it’s really not that big of a deal… but this kind of stuff drives me absolutely nuts. I just can’t imagine serving a half-assed sandwich… with a thumbprint on it, either in my house to a guest, or especially not at a job where I’m being paid to do it. Also, you go to a chain for consistency… which I have never received at Panera.
I think I’m most disappointed with the apparent swindling of turkey lunch meat for actual turkey… and whatever those tiny little pasta squares were compared to the old homemade style noodles. Panrea bread… we’re not stupid. I doubt I’ll be back.
Posted in Allergies, Consumer Advocacy, Fast Food Fail, Food, Letters, Pittsburgh, Rants in my pants, Reviews
Tagged $6.95, chicken noodle soup, Chicken Soup, Cold, Cook, employee, gold nuggets, grocery store, half a sandwich, half-assed, Home, lunch meat, Panera Bread, sandwich, sandwiches, turkey, Urban Spoon, UrbanSpoon, UrbanSpoon.com