Cleanliness and awesomeness at Market District in Robinson


Giant Eagle Market District Restaurant on UrbanspoonI’ve written about the Market District restaurant before (& specifically about the allergen signage), and have even posted a review & photos on Urbanspoon.  I probably will again.

I feel the need to write once more to applaud their cleanliness & friendliness at the BBQ station (OK, the Smoke & Fire Rotisserie).  Bethany & I were there for dinner & grocery shopping last night on a trip to get a bunch of stuff and take advantage of the dastardly cult-like fuelperks!®/foodperks!™ programs.  (Don’t tell anyone, but Tuesday night is a great night to go shopping there.)

PRETTY PLEASE! (with a cherry on top) USE MAIN ENTRANCE ←with a cart― NOT THE ROTATING DOOR
sign for the special sort of Yinzer…

I noticed a few things.  First, I noticed a sign above the soups that said that seafood soups would be available in the seafood section.  I wish I had snapped a photo.  It may not have anything to do with allergies & potential cross-contamination, but I like it.  Keep the deadly seabugs in their own little corner.

Next and more importantly, I noticed the employee that handled my order.  She told me that she’d be with me as soon as possible while she handled the order for the people in front of me.  I had no problem waiting, but the acknowledgement of my presence was a great start.  You can’t imagine how many people behind a food counter will just ignore you, and how such a simple thing as a hello makes all the difference.

The big surprise came after I ordered my turkey sandwich with St. Loius style sauce & grilled vegetables (which are so incredibly awesome).  I watched my new favorite employee take the carving knife carving, wash it in the sink, then come back to spray/wash/wipe the cutting board, then proceed to carve the delicious turkey for my simple yet tasty sandwich.

(You mean, there are steps beyond wiping a knife with a dirty rag?  Yes, I’m talking to you, Subway.)

Such simple steps, such a comfort for someone with food allergies.  I know I go to the Rotisserie station because it’s deathfish free, but hopefully this is an insight to Market District‘s overall food prep/handling policies.  If not put in place by training, I applaud this team member’s personal dedication to cleanliness!  I wonder if they’ve looked at FAAN’s guide to welcoming guests with food allergies?  I was already a fan of the place because of other chefs there that I had talked to regarding food allergies, and this just put it over the top.

I hope to write to Market District to express my awe & thanks.  If only they would do a few more simple things, they would indeed be the most awesome grocery store ever:

Turner's Tea-Bird
Turner’s Tea-Bird

Subway | Eat Death™


I’ve recently renewed my dialog with Subway, sparked by the news of them rolling out a gluten-free menu.  Here’s how it’s going down:

From:

ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 11:16 AM
Subject: Gluten-Free Menu Options in Texas?
To: Paula Gomez <gomez_p@subway.com>, Rob Searfus <R.Searfus@sfaft.org>, Mack Bridenbaker <m.bridenbaker@sfaft.org>, Christine Sumecki <c.sumecki@sfaft.org>, Subway Customer Care Team <asksubway@subway.com>, “B. Pingarron” <b.pingarron@sfaft.org>, “M. Luby” <m.luby@sfaft.org>, “Anna Marie Seeley (Customer Care Representative)” <seeley_a@subway.com>, Kevin Kane <kane_k@subway.com>

Hello Friends at Subway,

I write to you today because we have had a dialogue going in the past about food allergies and cross-contamination that I would like to continue.  I have recently read a few articles online informing the masses that Subway plans to roll-out some gluten-free menu options in the Dallas & Tyler Texas markets soon.  If you would like to read the articles in question, here are some links:

While I would like to be able to applaud this effort, I also find it quite frustrating.

I am quite proud of Subway as an organization when I read such responsible things like “The baked goods will arrive pre-packaged and individually wrapped. Employees will be educated on how to cut the bread using a pre-wrapped knife to avoid cross contamination.”  I mean, really… this is a novel idea and a stellar effort as well as great news for Celiac afflicted potential Subway customers.  Certainly lines like “Also, to further avoid cross-contamination, that same Sandwich Artist will prepare the order from beginning to end, ensuring a 100-percent gluten-free meal” offer a level of comfort to those who must dine gluten-free.  While other restaurants have offered gluten-free menus, you seem to understand that a knife that cuts a regular bun cannot also cut the bun of a gluten-free selection.  This would, I imagine, be quite a worry for a wheat-allergic or Celiac person.  I can imagine this scenario quite well, actually.  You may remember my past missives expressing my allergy to shellfish (and more specifically to your “seafood” sub offering).

This is where my frustration sets in.  I have written to you on multiple occasions expressing the frustration for not only my shellfish allergy, but all of the “top 8”; Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, Soy, & Wheat.  Why have you picked this opportunity to only concentrate on the wheat?  There are others too… I know of people with tomato and pepper allergies that would be thrown into the same anaphylactic shock that I would given I were to take a bite of unknowingly deathfish-laiden lunchmeat.  While you seem to understand the importance of a gluten-free knife… what about a cheese-free, tomato-free, and shellfish-free knife?  Perhaps you have forgotten my previous letter with a few colorful illustrations of the contaminated knife issue.  I will repost here for your convenience:

Then we have the community knife.  If one were to cut someone’s seafood sub with that knife, wipe it off, then cut my sub, there are STILL allergens on that knife, enough allergens to kill me.  Do you want me to be thrown in to an Anaphylactic fit?  I doubt it.  Well, at least, I hope not.

Think about this – do you share your toothbrush with everyone in your household?  Would you with everyone in your office?  Would you share it with everyone that you pass on the way to work in the morning or with everyone who’s eating lunch with you at the same place where you’re choosing to dine?

Yes, it sounds gross, but those potential germs that you’re no doubt currently horrified of are the same as the very real allergens that will most certainly throw me into instant death.

If that didn’t do it for you, imagine I put a giant dried dog turd on the sandwich board, cut it in half, wrapped it, wiped off the knife [with a re-used dishrag type cloth], and then cut your sandwich.  By Subway’s current logic, that knife is clean and contamination free.  This is most certainly not a pretty picture to you, my friend.  Is it?

Does any of this ring a bell?

Also, I have received conflicting reports on how such issues are currently handled or have been handled in the past.  One reply states…

The Company policy directs our independent restaurant owners / operators to take all necessary precautions to prevent the possibility of cross contamination. This includes the policy of washing all utensils and containers after each use. Each restaurant is independently owned and operated and is the responsibility of the franchise owner to implement and enforce the policy.

Which seems to conflict with yet another reply…

I have gone ahead and copied our Training Department so that further lessons can be addressed with owners and their employees on proper handling.

And, the latest information according to the QSRWeb.com article is that “Sandwich Artists in those two markets will be trained on how to cut the roll with a pre-wrapped knife for one use only.”  So, have they been trained in allergies in cross-contamination already, or not?  Color me confused, my friends.

I’d feel safer if the seafood concoction wasn’t anywhere near the meat & cheese where it currently sits.  I’d also feel safer if the same knife wasn’t used to cut all of the sandwiches, and the same dishrag-type towel wasn’t used to wipe off the knife in random intervals between sandwich slicing.  I’d feel safer if all the sandwich artists, managers, and owners were trained on allergens, cross-contamination, and the seriousness of anaphylactic shock.  I’d feel safer if all stores contained a first aid kit complete with an epi pen and clear instructions for its use.

Why should the Celiac-afflicted feel safer, but the rest of us with deadly food allergies should not?  I look forward to your response, your insights, and how you plan to move forward regarding all potentially deadly allergens and how they are to be handled in your stores.  Thank you once again for your time, I hope to hear from you soon.

Inquisitively,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

P.S. – I was wondering, when you work in an office for Subway, do you have an in-office Subway in which the employees receive (or make) their own lunch?  Or, is there a Subway nearby where you get free or discounted food?  Or, are you all too sick of Subway to eat there?

And I got this back…

From: Searfus, Rob <R.Searfus@sfaft.org>
Date: Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 4:31 PM
Subject: RE: Gluten-Free Menu Options in Texas?
To: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Hello Eric,

My apologies for not replying earlier, I was traveling and in meetings most of the week, (as well as attending to some family business).  But enough of the excuses.

Forgive me for not having more product answers, but I’m simply a field marketing representative out here on the west coast.  I have inquired with our R&D department to try and get the answers to your questions.  No replies yet, but this week has been tough for me to get a hold of anyone on the east coast due to the severe winter storms that they have been having (offices closed for at least a couple of days.)

I’ll follow up by e-mail when I get any answers for you.

Thanks, and BTW, what part of the US to you hail from?

Rob Searfus
Field Marketing Manager
Subway® Franchise World Headquarters
16337 SW Leeding Ln
Tigard, OR 97223
Cell: 503-954-5479
Toll Free: 1-800-888-4848 x 4089
Fax 503-579-6715
e-mail: searfus_r@subway.com

IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION CHANGE:  PLEASE NOTE MY EMAIL ADDRESS HAS CHANGED TO searfus_r@subway.com.  Please update your address book to reflect this change.  We are undergoing a technology transition.  During this transition, you may still receive emails from the “sfaft.org” address.  This is not an error, but please enter my new subway.com email address when sending emails.

So I wrote this…

From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 4:17 PM
Subject: Re: Gluten-Free Menu Options in Texas?
To: “Searfus, Rob” <R.Searfus@sfaft.org>

Thank you Rob,

I had actually wondered if anyone would reply.  I had an email chain going before with a Ms. Paula Gomez & Ms. Ana Seely… but they have been short replies and my main questions have gone unsanswered.

I’m in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.  Thanks for your time, I hope to hear from your colleagues soon!

-Eric

But in the mean time, I made some pretty pictures.  I can’t decide which one I like the most.

Which one do you like best?

Pandora’s Lunchbox


Heh.  Twitter is fun.  So, you may know that I have my W(aL)D Twitter account, and I use it to be goofy.  I think I re-opened the Subway door here.  Mayhaps this time I’ll get some sort of resolution?

Today, Subway Freshbuzz tweeted the following…

Does anybody else out there try to save half of their $5 Footlong for a 2nd meal, only to be called back by its delicious siren song?

So, I posted this in response…

@subwayfreshbuzz Nope. Not when 1 bite is a potential trip to the E.R. thanks to cross-contamination in the food-prep area.

Tonight, I have this in my Direct Message box…

subwayfreshbuzz Thanks for the feedback. It would be great if you could let us know more about this incident on our cust. service page  http://bit.ly/bhSAn

Well, at least I have someone paying attention!  I sent them a link to my original complaint to Subway, but I’d like to list the whole saga here… in case I need them to refer back to the message trail at some point…

Five. Five dollar. Five dollar… foot up your ass.

• October 28, 2009 • 8 Comments (Edit)

Subway Customer ID: 1918316

• October 29, 2009 • 7 Comments (Edit)

Quiznos writes back before Subway!

• November 12, 2009 • 8 Comments (Edit)

So, we have a response from Subway! – Not really a response, if you ask me…

• November 13, 2009 • 2 Comments (Edit)

The Quiznos Toasty Torpedo™ and the diminutive hand model…

• November 17, 2009 • 3 Comments (Edit)

“You never told me you spoke my language, Doctor Jones.”

• November 18, 2009 • 3 Comments (Edit)

If we’re keeping score, that’s Subway 1 and Quiznos 3½. – No doubt.

• November 20, 2009 • 3 Comments (Edit)

Subway®: “First, allow me to apologize.” – Again, this really wasn’t a nice response, or a response at all…

• November 24, 2009 • 4 Comments (Edit)

Allergies, Alliteration, and Annoyance.
– I had to take it somewhere else.

• November 25, 2009 • 6 Comments (Edit)

Allergies, Annoyance, Alliteration, & Acceptance

• December 21, 2009 • 1 Comment (Edit)

Turner Dairy products at Giant Eagle stores?


Turner'sGiant Eagle

I’m sure you remember my last post about Turner’s with the pretty picture.  I decided to ask Giant Eagle why all of their stores don’t carry Turner’s products…

From: Eric Carroll [mailto:me@my.email.address]
Sent: Monday, February 01, 2010 1:46 PM
Subject: Turner’s Dairy | Charie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk

Hello Friends at the Big Bird,

I’m writing to you today to request that all of your Giant Eagle and Market District Stores carry products from Turner Dairy Farms, Inc.  I know that some locations do already carry Turner’s products, because I’ve written to them trying to track down some of Charlie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk… and they clued me in to the Giant Eagle in Brentwood.  I know that the Giant Eagle in Murrysville also carries Turner’s Iced Tea.

I’d love it if the Cochran Road, Bridgeville, and Parkway Center locations had Turner’s buttermilk, chip dip, and tea varieties readily available.  I’d add them to my order virtually every time we shop there… much like I do now with the tea when I find myself in Rite Aid on Banksville Road.

I also find it hard to believe that with the myriad of products and name brands available at the new Market District in Robinson… Turner’s is nowhere to be found!  Have you tried the chip dip?  It’s incredible.  It puts the Kraft and B L brands to shame.

You’ll find in the attached photo all of the Turner’s bounty that my wife & I picked up this weekend while just passing by the Brentwood Giant Eagle.  I can assure you, these products would be on every grocery order if available at the Giant Eagle locations where we typically do most of our shopping.  Not only these products, but the raspberry & lime tea… and just about everything that Turner’s offers!  (Sorry, I don’t do diet drinks.)

Thank you for taking the time to read my email, and I hope that you give Turner’s products serious consideration for inclusion in your fine establishments.

Sincerely,
-Eric
me@my.email.address

And, they responded…

From: “Frey, Brian” Brian.Frey@gianteagle.com
To: “me@my.email.address” me@my.email.address
Sent: Tue, February 2, 2010 10:39:21 AM
Subject: RE: Turner’s Dairy | Charie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk

Eric,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding Turner Dairy Farms and some of the items that you obviously like as detailed below.

I can understand your frustration related to these items that you feel passionately about not being readily available and convenient to purchase.  However, I must honestly inform you that we don’t have any upcoming plans to carry additional Turner Dairy Farms items at any of our corporately owned Giant Eagle and Market District locations.

We get contacted by customers on a daily/weekly basis requesting us to carry a variety of items from local dairies, and we just cannot support all of these local dairy item requests in our limited dairy cooler space in our stores.  To manage the limited space we have in stores, we try to partner with dairies and vendors that can provide us item programs that accommodate the needs of the majority of our customers.  If we were to carry a representative sample of all the local dairy items that we get contacted about, we would have to eliminate a large portion of our current item mix that a significantly larger customer base demands us to carry and also asks us daily/weekly to expand upon but we cannot as a result of the same limited space challenge.

Sorry I could not give you better news here.  There are a lot of items that I am personally fond of that I have decided to not carry as well due to our limited space and need to satisfy the largest amount of our customers.  In the meantime, some of our independently owned and operated stores such as Brentwood are allowed to carry the Turners Dairy Farms items as you note below.  We allow those owners to have some flexibility in their item mix, and some stores have elected to carry Turners items based on customer demand or geographic proximity to the dairy.

Sincerely,
Brian Frey

Category Buyer
Giant Eagle, Inc.
101 Kappa Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
412.963.2592
Fax: 412.968.1706
E-mail: brian.frey@gianteagle.com

D’oh!  Well, it doesn’t hurt to try, does it?  Apparently Giant Eagle has no intentions of widely carrying Turner’s products, but at least they’re honest about it.  It’s just annoying that I can’t do all of my grocery shopping in one store (or even at one chain), especially with the vicious circle of fuelperks and foodperks and whatever other kind of perks they come up with next.

Interestingly enough, I just sent an email to all those with whom I’ve shared communication with in the past at Giant Eagle, but the “To” address was cut out of the original inline reply… so I have no idea which one actually got through.

I’m assuming they’d have to have an onslaught of messages in order to even consider carrying the Turner’s products.  If you’re so inclined, you can…

Not that many of you are that adamant about the Turner’s brand… but if you are, or you know someone who is… please feel free to direct them here.

Turner’s | Charlie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk


Turner’s is awesome… whether you’re talking about the Iced Tea, the Tea-Bird, the Buttermilk, all the other products, or the customer service.  I just thought I’d share while again trying out the post-via-email feature on WordPress.  Apologies, you’ll have to read from the bottom up for it to make sense…


From: Nicholas Yon <Nicholas@TurnerDairy.net>
To: Eric Carroll <me@my.email.address>
Sent: Mon, February 1, 2010 11:38:57 AM
Subject: RE: Charlie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk?

Eric-

Thank you for the email and picture!  Looks like a nice variety of products.  I am glad to know that your trip to Brentwood GE was a success this past weekend and I hope that it continues to provide you with a viable option for procuring our higher standard products (and especially our Charlie’s Buttermilk).  If you enjoy baking, try the Charlie’s Buttermilk in everything from waffles to mashed potatoes to biscuits.  Thank you also for passing along your comments to Giant Eagle corporate.

We truly value your dedicated support of our products.  Have a great week!

Nicholas Yon

Marketing Director

Turner Dairy Farms, Inc.

From Local Farms to Local Families!

Nicholas@turnerdairy.net

412-372-2211


From: Eric Carroll [mailto:me@my.email.address]
Sent: Monday, February 01, 2010 10:39 AM
To: Nicholas Yon
Subject: Re: Charlie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk?

Hello Nicholas,

I just wanted to thank you for telling me about the Giant Eagle in Brentwood .  We stopped a few weeks ago when in the area to no avail… the milk shelves were quite bare… must have been re-stocking time.  This past Saturday evening though, we hit the mother-load.  I grabbed two little jugs of Charlie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk and (as you can see in the attached photo) a bunch of other Turner’s products!

The Buttermilk is awesome… it’s just like the stuff we used to pick up when I was really little at an old local dairy farm that is long since gone (Sinan’s in Murrysville/Export PA).

I intend to pass the photo along to several local Giant Eagles to urge them to also carry your products.  They’re obviously great sellers, and all the stuff in the photo could regularly be their sale if they’d only have the stuff in stock!

Have a good week!
-Eric

.seitilibasid gninrael fo nuf ekam ot ynnuf ton yllaer s’tI


From: Nicholas Yon <Nicholas@TurnerDairy.net>
To: Eric Carroll <me@my.email.address>
Sent: Mon, December 28, 2009 10:27:44 AM
Subject: RE: Charlie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk?

Eric-

Thank you for the email, kind words, and years of dedication.  The Turner family, our employees, and our local family dairy farms truly appreciate your patronage of our products all these years.  Plus iced tea stickers on a guitar case is “uber-cool.”

Listed below is the closest location to you that currently carries our Charlie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk with real butter flakes.  This is an independent Giant Eagle location, thus they are able to offer Turner’s higher standard dairy products.

I’ve also attached a “product request” form that can be filled out and turned into the store manager or sent to any local Giant Eagle or Kuhn’s.  I would also encourage you to email the company directly via their website.

We currently produce three varieties of buttermilk:

– Charlie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk – a whole buttermilk with real butter flakes

– Light Buttermilk – a 1% light buttermilk

– Baking Buttermilk – light buttermilk formulated for baking

Thank you again for the email and question.  Have a great New Year!

Giant Eagle (they carry the plastic quart size)

Brentwood Towne Center

600 Towne Square Way

Pittsburgh, PA   15227

Nicholas Yon

Marketing Director

Turner Dairy Farms, Inc.

From Local Farms to Local Families!


From: Eric Carroll [mailto:me@my.email.address]
Sent: Monday, December 28, 2009 1:03 AM
To: customer service
Subject: Charlie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk?

Hello Friends,

I’m a huge fan of Turner’s iced tea… I even wrote a letter years ago that warranted a free T-shirt and a few little jug labels.  I grew up in Murrysville PA not far form a little mom n’ pop store called Thomas’ that sold your milks, teas, and other products & got me hoooked.  I still have the Tea labels on my guitar case, and my wife cringes when I wear my bright orange and slightly tattered Tea-shirt.

Now I live in Pittsburgh, and I go out of my way to get Turner’s, as they don’t sell it at the Giant Eagle where we do our grocery shopping, or at the Kuhn’s that’s right by our house.  We have to go to Rite Aid to get the tea, and we usually pick up Turner’s dip & some chips while we’re there.

I know of a small number of other places around that carry the tea…  I think the BP station, and a beer distributor here are loyal Turner’s sellers… but I hear you have a new product that I’d love to get my hands on…  Buttermilk with the flecks?  I can’t find this type of buttermilk anywhere… I’ve been looking for it for … well, it has to be over a year now.  I heard a dairy up north makes it… but I haven’t been able to find any in local stores.

My mom told me that she had discovered it at Wal-Mart in Delmont, and belives that the aforementioned Thomas’ sells it… but I rarely find myself out that way these days… especially not to do any grocery shopping.

Are you able to tell me which (if any) stores in my area have been carrying this new flecked buttermilk?  I’m currently in Dormont… zip code 15216.

Also wondering… do you have any sort of form letter that I could send to Giant Eagle and/or Kuhn’s to request that they carry your tea in addition to or instead of some of the other local flavorless tea brands?

Thank you for your time, can’t wait to hear from you!

Thirsty!
-Eric

P.S. – What’s the difference between the baking buttermilk & the other varieties?

I told you that Kuhn’s was disgusting.


I’ve written before (although indirectly) about the foul assemblage of half-rotting food that is Kuhn’s Market on Banksville Road.  You may recall my description of Kunh’s as relayed to Giant Eagle while requesting that they carry some La Choy Teriyaki Sauce.  If not, here it is again..

I actually make special trips to the Shop ‘N Save by WAL★MART in Heidelberg or I actually set foot in Kunh’s Market on Banksville Road to get the La Choy Teriyaki Sauce. Have you BEEN to the Kunh’s on Banksville Road? I’ve gotten moldy peppers from that place, as well as ‘turned’ sour cream, …and melted ice cream. I don’t want to go in there. But, I do. Why? To get the La Choy Teriyaki sauce, my friends. It’s THAT GOOD.

I know I’ve told countless others.  I know my mother-in-law looks at me in disbelief because apparently the Kuhn’s on McKnight Road is just awesome.

But, I finally have some validation…

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVmyF8xjtSQ

See?  You can read the full story on KDKA’s website.  Yes, I get that the point of the article is the union trying to organize there… but they wouldn’t be trying to organize if conditions were good.  If I had to guess, I’d say that store owners keep the coolers and freezers on lower settings to save a buck or two… but at what cost?  I really haven’t ever heard anyone say anything nice about the place.  We’ll buy canned or boxed stuff there occasionally in a pinch, but we’re always looking closely at the expiration dates.  As far as the meat & produce & even the dairy products…  I’ll go out of my way to another store, or just go without.


Edited – Discussion was happening in other forums, decided to re-post some of that here…

From: http://www.facebook.com/AiXeLsyD13?v=feed&story_fbid=276026441617

Eric Carroll
Nice: http://bit.ly/9MqDcy I KNEW they weren’t keeping stuff cold enough at Kuhn’s. That place is filthy too.
January 28 at 7:20pm via Selective Tweets

Dave Warren
I almost never buy anything remotely perishable there.
January 28 at 7:40pm ·

Nunzio Martin
Dude that place smells I never go there
January 28 at 8:00pm ·

Dave Warren
I will go out of my way to find a Giant Eagle just to avoid Kuhn’s.
January 28 at 8:06pm ·

Andrew Welsh
walmart* is cheaper
January 28 at 8:20pm ·

Dave Warren
Wal*Mart is cheaper, when they have the items that I require. They usually do not.
January 28 at 8:22pm ·

Andrew Welsh
dave i have to correct you, it is no longer “wal*mart” it is now “walmart*” the corporate logo moved the star to the end.

yeah luckily for me walmart* carries all that i need, and is always cheaper. but that’s just me.

Kuhns is great for running to the store quick since it’s 3 minutes from my house.
January 29 at 1:11pm ·

Eric Carroll
Didn’t it used to be a ★?

Wonder how much time and money they wasted coming to that decision?
Sun at 12:40pm ·

Eric Carroll
Ah: http://walmartstores.com/AboutUs/8412.aspx
Sun at 12:41pm ·

Eric Carroll
And… http://wp.me/pwqzc-5b
Sun at 12:45pm ·

From: http://www.facebook.com/AiXeLsyD13?v=feed&story_fbid=274668168996

Eric Carroll
Kuhn’s Market on Banksville Rd.
Favorited on http://www.youtube.com
I keep telling people that this place is filthy. No one believed me. Ha ha. I know they don’t keep the coolers cold enough… ever. I have brought home melted ice cream. From KDKA, full news story & video here: http://kdka.com/local/Banksv…
January 29 at 12:20am via YouTube ·

T.J. Freeman
BWahahahaha fuckin bird! …. alright well if thats a violation then you need to close the foodcourt starbucks and everything else dealing with open food in robinson mall cos i’ve seen many o bird flyin around that bitch. All that aside … that Kuhn’s is about the only place around there to get food unless you wanna travel to bridgeville or parkway center or south hills…. fuck the union … if yer worried about it then just dont buy produce or deli foods there.
January 29 at 12:28am ·

Cody Starr
man i don’t care how dirty kuhn’s is ……i would eat those deli pizzas they make with dust bunnies for toppings….they are the bomb
January 29 at 5:01am ·

Jeffrey Guerriero
eric, my aunts family owns those stores, I used to shop there when we lived in Dormont.
January 29 at 12:51pm ·

Bethany Pastorius Carroll
Kuhns on Mcknight Road is wonderful however this one on Dormont is a shithole. We will only buy canned goods or boxed stuff and that’s only if its an emergency. We have bought sour cream- molded. A green pepper- mold in the inside. Ice cream- melted by the time we got home. We will go completely out of our way than go there. Disgusting place.
Sun at 12:17am ·

Eric Carroll
Yeah, they put the “ew” in Kuhn’s down here on Banksville. http://wp.me/pwqzc-5b – There are two Giant Eagles very close by too… one in Parkway Center and one on Cochran Road.
Sun at 12:37pm ·

From: http://www.facebook.com/AiXeLsyD13?v=feed&story_fbid=296660212120

Eric Carroll
I’ve had a lot of people weigh-in on Kuhn’s on various forums. I urge you all to reiterate or expand here: http://bit.ly/cb9WJX Thanks!
Yesterday at 3:56pm via Selective Tweets ·

Andrew Welsh
i still fail to see the big deal, the health department said these “aren’t earth shattering and were corrected quickly”
Yesterday at 6:42pm ·

Michael Perdue
I’ve always remembered Ferris’ in M-ville to be particularly bad.
Yesterday at 7:15pm ·

Eric Carroll
Andy… The big deal is that I was right about them not keeping stuff at the right temperature. I like to be right. Ha ha ha.

Mike – you’re right… both old Ferris weren’t quite right.
4 hours ago ·

Eric Carroll
See: http://wp.me/pwqzc-5b
4 hours ago ·

From: http://www.facebook.com/AiXeLsyD13?v=feed&story_fbid=282997407055

Eric Carroll
“KDKA-TV’s Paul Martino did an independent review of Allegheny County’s inspection of seven Kuhn’s stores last year. There were some violations, including salad stored at unsafe temperatures, contamination from raw meat, and more temperature problems.”

I told you that Kuhn’s was disgusting. « World (and Lunar) Domination
aixelsyd13.wordpress.com
I’ve written before (although indirectly) about the foul assemblage of half-rotting food that is Kuhn’s Market on Banksville Road. You may recall my description of Kunh’s as relayed …
Sun at 12:43pm ·

Adam Rahuba
Foodland, Shop & Save, Kroger, IGA, Sparkle, Kuhns are all dirty. Can’t stand em.
Sun at 2:12pm ·

From: http://www.pittsburghbeat.com/mb/viewtopic.php?topic=17308&forum=21

AiXeLsyD13
I got a lot of comments on this on facebook… both in my status, and when I “favorited” the YouTube video… None when I posted the link to the blog though.
Post Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:22 am

Mike_Hype
I have to disagree with you entirely on this one. I love that Kuhn’s and I stop there almost every Sunday night on my way home from hockey to pick up produce alone. Their apples are awesome, their bananas are always the exact amount of ripe to take home and store for the week. I have not yet found a Giant Eagle that even comes close to the quality of produce that I get from Kuhn’s. I was just there last night as a matter of fact. Rotten apples from Kuhn’s: 0, from Giant Eagle: 5. What’s worse than finding a rotten apple? Finding half a rotten apple.
Post Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:44 pm

Dave NT
The Giant Eagle Market District pwns n00bs.
Post Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:04 am

Mike_Hype
Sitting here eating one of the best apples that I have ever eaten, it happens to be from Kuhn’s.
Post Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:55 pm

AiXeLsyD13
While finding half a rotten apple is indeed disgusting, I try too look at stuff before I bite into it… although I’m admittedly overly paranoid about food in general.

I’d have to say, I’m fairly confident that if we set up an independent study of the produce at several grocery stores surrounding the Dormont/Banksville area… Giant Eagle would come out on top.
Post Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:28 pm

AiXeLsyD13
I need to figure out how to get paid for random useless shit.
Post Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:37 pm

So, we have a response from Subway!


And the plot thickens…

On Nov 13, 2009, at 4:31 PM, “ERiC AiXeLsyD” <world.and.lunar.domination> wrote:

Hello Mr. Bridenbaker,

I had recently submitted some concerns via webform to your team at Subway, and it’s been over two weeks since I’ve has a response to my last message that asked for details regarding my experiences with Subway.

Since I hadn’t heard from you (or anyone at Subway) this past week, I decided to re-send my original message, and to ask if it’s been passed on to the appropriate parties?

Please find my original message at the bottom, the initial response from Subway, and my unanswered reply below.

I hope this can be directed to the correct person (or persons) for comment. Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

 

Sincerely,
-Eric

…and attached my previous message.  Heh.

So, I (finally) got a response…

Forwarded message
From: Bridenbaker, Mack <m.bridenbaker@sfaft.org>
Date: Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 6:27 PM
Subject: Re: Subway [Customer ID: 1918316]
To: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Cc: Paula Gomez <gomez_p@subway.com>, Kevin Kane <kane_k@subway.com>

Eric,
Paula Gomez from Subway Customer Care will be able to help you with your concerns.

Thanks.

Sent from my iPhone

Mack Bridenbaker

Mr. Bridenbaker is the Subway Spokesperson mentioned in the recent artticle about the $5 footlong.  Google FTW.

I guess there’s more to come!

I also submitted the comments from my new friends at Quiznos to Ms. Seely for her review, to see if that will solicit a response.

Subway Customer ID: 1918316


Gonna try this forwarding-an-email-to-my-blog thing out again.

My original message, the first non-automated reply from Subway, and my 1st response, all below. This is the follow up to my blog post entitled Five. Five dollar. Five dollar… foot up your ass. Please see that if you need more of a back-story.

-E.
.seitilibasid gninrael fo nuf ekam ot ynnuf ton yllaer s’tI

From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
To: Anna Marie Seeley <seeley_a@subway.com>
Sent: Thu, October 29, 2009 10:40:28 AM
Subject: Re: Subway [Customer ID: 1918316]

Hello Ms. Seeley,

Thank you for your swift reply! I am glad to see this is not an automated response. As I’m sure you’re aware, the bulk of my message was directed at the culmination of Subway’s identity as a corporate entity, its choice in advertising, and visits in general to restaurants in the Southwestern PA area over a number of years. My comments were meant for the eyes of someone on a higher corporate level. I feel that this is the level that needs to be made aware of who and what exactly is representing the Subway brand surrounding Pittsburgh.

I have included the full text of my original message below your reply for reference, as it was cut in half by the 3000 character limit, and not included in this message chain.

Below are the addresses of Subway restaurants (obtained form your store locator) that I can remember visiting over the years…

3147 Banksville Rd
Pittsburgh PA 15216

412-344-1345

4613 Centre Ave
Pittsburgh PA 15213
412-687-0701

4516 William Penn Hwy
Murrysville PA 15668
724-327-9255

4145 William Penn Hwy
Monroeville PA 15146
412-380-0380

195 A Sheffield Drive
Delmont PA 15626
724-468-1018

302 N Center Ave
New Stanton PA 15672
724-925-1898

1200 Corporate Dr
Canonsburg PA 15317
724-743-3200

2200 Washington Pike
(Located in Wal-Mart)
Carnegie PA 15106

412-279-2782

Eastgate Plaza
5126 Route 30, Ste 320
Greensburg PA 15601
724-836-2311

As for the specific location of the deathfish-flinging incident, that would be the Subway located in the Banksville Shopping Center on Banksville Road. The limited-menu location that I discovered in Wal-Mart is the Washington Pike address in Carnegie, PA.

I hope that you get a chance to review my first message in full, and are able to pass it on to the appropriate parties for a reply.

Thank you for your time, and care in directing this to the appropriate people. I hope to get another response as quickly as yours!

Sincerely,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 5:25 PM, Anna Marie Seeley <seeley_a> wrote:

Dear Mr. Aixelsyd:

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us. Our customers
provide us with valuable input, which we use to improve our operations. As
part of that commitment, we know that we have to continuously seek
improvement and monitor our performance.

All restaurants are individually owned and operated. In order for our local
regional office to investigate this properly, we need to know the exact
location of the SUBWAYR restaurant that you have visited. Can you please
reply by e-mail or by calling me at 1-800-888-4848 to provide me with a
complete address of the location you visited? Please refer to the Customer
ID listed below when replying.

I appreciate that you took the time and effort to contact us and am looking
forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Anna Seeley x8201
Customer Care Representative

Customer ID: 1918316

My original message in full:

Hello Sandwich Art Dealers,

I’d like to start out by saying I find that web submission comment forms are generally a letdown. As the submitter you’re usually sent a ‘form letter’ type of reply that doesn’t address any specific issues, and thanks you for the input. Less often, it’s followed up by a seemingly more caring missive that really doesn’t address anything specific, and sometimes attempts to placate the sender with some coupons, a T-shirt or something to that effect. It’s also generally a letdown, because I can’t cc myself a copy of what I sent, and it’s a 50/50 shot of whether my original comments are to be included in any future correspondence. Then there’s the issue of the dreaded “Your message exceeds XXXX characters” error message. When did someone’s opinion become relegated to a set limit of letters, numbers, and punctuation, my friends?

At any rate, I should move on to the point of my web form submission, as I’m sure you’ll agree by this point. I write to you today to express my general dissatisfaction with the state of Subway as it stands today.

At the top of the list: the inclusion of the seafood sub on your menu. This has plagued me for years. I have a severe shellfish allergy, and will go into anaphylactic shock if any food that I ingest were to come into contact with crab, lobster, shrimp, oyster, etc., or even the same food prep area. I have seen more than a few Subway employees who aren’t exactly sanitary in their sandwich artistry, flinging microscopic bits of crab (or imitation crab) meat all over the adjacent meats, cheeses, vegetables, and cutting board area. The last time I had this discussion with a slovenly employee at the Subway in the Kuhn’s Plaza on Banksville Road in Pittsburgh, PA… as I explained that my sandwich must not touch any shellfish or remnants of shellfish she touched the eternally-damned-to-the-wrong-function ice cream scoop that had been sitting in the red and white pile of mushy death and swung it all around spewing certain doom to the immediate food prep area and all the while exclaiming something to the effect of “Well, that’s OK, no one ever orders this stuff anyway.” I just stared blankly in disbelief as a reply. If she didn’t already know what her sandwich-baggied hands had just touched and distributed the contaminant that I had previously noted was a toxin to my system, then there was no way I was going to be able to impart this wisdom to her. I found myself having to exit on that occasion, to never return to that location.

Are sandwich artists trained in the ways of sanitary work stations, cross contamination, allergens, and general good hygiene? One would hope, but the question has been raised.

How can I complain about Subway if I never eat there, you ask?

I did discover that I could get my Subway fix due to the limited-menu Subway located inside the WAL-MART in Heidelberg, PA. After all, as I’m sure you know… the smell of your bread baking is intoxicating. Sadly my friends, that is where the romance ends. I used to applaud the meatball sub from Subway, and held it as the standard to which all meatball subs were to be measured. This was once upon a time when the bread was doughy, the triangle was removed from the top, and replaced… keeping the meatballs secure in a blanket of cheese to ensure safe delivery to my digestive system. I know, this was a lifetime ago, but it still burns, amigos. It still burns. (I even remember the waffle fries that went through their own tiny toaster oven which have sadly gone the way of the Dodo.)

Have you seen the Left-Handed Cartoon about Subway, cheese tessellation, and soul-crushing disappointment? A friend of mine posted the humorous drawing on a message board a while ago… and sadly it rings true of the current state of Subway. (It’s located at http://www.lefthandedtoons.com/77/ for your reference if needed.)

Lastly, I find the current crop of five-dollar foot long commercials to be among the most annoying in the world… especially the one with Jared and the football players. What advertising company actually took money for that? Hopefully it was an in house idea. If not, then you were played (as they say in the streets).

As noted in my opening paragraph, I understand that is customary to include a trite reply and coupons in apology for dissatisfaction. If so inclined… please make sure they’re for Jersey Mike’s, Quiznos, or Sheetz. (FYI, Sheetz touts a far superior foot-long sub for only $4… This reminds me of when you guys started toasting subs after Quiznos moved to town.) I would include W.G. Grinder’s, but they recently started serving a crab-cake sub, so they’re also on ‘the list’. Perhaps a Jimmy John’s coupon would work? They’re fairly new to the Pittsburgh area, and I’ve yet to go to one… I wouldn’t mind trying them out! Jersey Mike’s is by far my favorite though. They’re not the cheapest, but worth the price in quality! Being a national chain, you may not be familiar with local Pittsburgh area heavyweights Carhops or Uncle Sam’s. They would be sandwich makers to emulate!

If you’re not comfortable providing a coupon to a direct competitor, I understand completely. I would also appreciate any discounts from Qdoba, Chipotle, or the Pita Pit.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to your personally tailored reply, and perhaps a continuing dialog on Subway’s sandwich artists, advertising, and overall quality of the name brand.

Best Regards,
-Eric AiXeLsyD

(I reviewed this Subway last year on Urbanspoon.)

Five. Five dollar. Five dollar… foot up your ass.


So last night, I snapped. I have finally seen and heard my fill of Subway commercials.

Granted, there are certainly more annoying ad campaigns out there right now, and there will be in the future. But this snap sparked the ignition of the realization that I used to love Subway, and now I hate it. There’s no one reason, or even a real reason. There’s nothing that a rational person can do to change any of it or for it to make any difference or have any significance.

That’s where World (and Lunar) Domination steps in.  You may have seen my letters to companies on past message boards or blogs… maybe not.  From time to time I get goofy, and take it out on corporate America.  Sometimes the responses are serious, boring, nonexistent, intentionally funny, or unintentionally funny.

I have been encouraged to keep these rants somewhere, hence this WordPress blog.

I submitted the following (with some editing help from my friend Dave) via webform at Subway.com:

Hello Sandwich Art Dealers,

I’d like to start out by saying I find that web submission comment forms are generally a letdown. As the submitter you’re usually sent a ‘form letter’ type of reply that doesn’t address any specific issues, and thanks you for the input. Less often, it’s followed up by a seemingly more caring missive that really doesn’t address anything specific, and sometimes attempts to placate the sender with some coupons, a T-shirt or something to that effect. It’s also generally a letdown, because I can’t cc myself a copy of what I sent, and it’s a 50/50 shot of whether my original comments are to be included in any future correspondence. Then there’s the issue of the dreaded “Your message exceeds XXXX characters” error message. When did someone’s opinion become relegated to a set limit of letters, numbers, and punctuation, my friends?

At any rate, I should move on to the point of my web form submission, as I’m sure you’ll agree by this point. I write to you today to express my general dissatisfaction with the state of Subway as it stands today.

At the top of the list: the inclusion of the seafood sub on your menu. This has plagued me for years. I have a severe shellfish allergy, and will go into anaphylactic shock if any food that I ingest were to come into contact with crab, lobster, shrimp, oyster, etc., or even the same food prep area. I have seen more than a few Subway employees who aren’t exactly sanitary in their sandwich artistry, flinging microscopic bits of crab (or imitation crab) meat all over the adjacent meats, cheeses, vegetables, and cutting board area. The last time I had this discussion with a slovenly employee at the Subway in the Kuhn’s Plaza on Banksville Road in Pittsburgh, PA… as I explained that my sandwich must not touch any shellfish or remnants of shellfish she touched the eternally-damned-to-the-wrong-function ice cream scoop that had been sitting in the red and white pile of mushy death and swung it all around spewing certain doom to the immediate food prep area and all the while exclaiming something to the effect of “Well, that’s OK, no one ever orders this stuff anyway.” I just stared blankly in disbelief as a reply. If she didn’t already know what her sandwich-baggied hands had just touched and distributed the contaminant that I had previously noted was a toxin to my system, then there was no way I was going to be able to impart this wisdom to her. I found myself having to exit on that occasion, to never return to that location.

Are sandwich artists trained in the ways of sanitary work stations, cross contamination, allergens, and general good hygiene? One would hope, but the question has been raised.

How can I complain about Subway if I never eat there, you ask?

— Message 1 of 2 — To be continued

Hilariously enough, their webform did only allow 3000 characters, so I had to split the message into two parts…

— Message 2 of 2 — Continued from previous message

I did discover that I could get my Subway fix due to the limited-menu Subway located inside the WAL-MART in Heidelberg, PA. After all, as I’m sure you know… the smell of your bread baking is intoxicating. Sadly my friends, that is where the romance ends. I used to applaud the meatball sub from Subway, and held it as the standard to which all meatball subs were to be measured. This was once upon a time when the bread was doughy, the triangle was removed from the top, and replaced… keeping the meatballs secure in a blanket of cheese to ensure safe delivery to my digestive system. I know, this was a lifetime ago, but it still burns, amigos. It still burns. (I even remember the waffle fries that went through their own tiny toaster oven which have sadly gone the way of the Dodo.)

Have you seen the Left-Handed Cartoon about Subway, cheese tessellation, and soul-crushing disappointment? A friend of mine posted the humorous drawing on a message board a while ago… and sadly it rings true of the current state of Subway. (It’s located at http://www.lefthandedtoons.com/77/ for your reference if needed.)

Lastly, I find the current crop of five-dollar foot long commercials to be among the most annoying in the world… especially the one with Jared and the football players. What advertising company actually took money for that? Hopefully it was an in house idea. If not, then you were played (as they say in the streets).

As noted in my opening paragraph, I understand that is customary to include a trite reply and coupons in apology for dissatisfaction. If so inclined… please make sure they’re for Jersey Mike’s, Quiznos, or Sheetz. (FYI, Sheetz touts a far superior foot-long sub for only $4… This reminds me of when you guys started toasting subs after Quiznos moved to town.) I would include W.G. Grinder’s, but they recently started serving a crab-cake sub, so they’re also on ‘the list’. Perhaps a Jimmy John’s coupon would work? They’re fairly new to the Pittsburgh area, and I’ve yet to go to one… I wouldn’t mind trying them out! Jersey Mike’s is by far my favorite though. They’re not the cheapest, but worth the price in quality! Being a national chain, you may not be familiar with local Pittsburgh area heavyweights Carhops or Uncle Sam’s. They would be sandwich makers to emulate!

If you’re not comfortable providing a coupon to a direct competitor, I understand completely. I would also appreciate any discounts from Qdoba, Chipotle, or the Pita Pit.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to your personally tailored reply, and perhaps a continuing dialog on Subway’s sandwich artists, advertising, and overall quality of the name brand.

Best Regards,
-Eric AiXeLsyD
W(aL)D

I hope the emails go to the same person, and aren’t split across some you-take-this-one,-I’ll-get-the-next-one kind of automated system.

Thanks again to Dave for the editing and re-arranging help, the chaos needs reigned in every once in a while.

Can’t wait to see if we get a reply to this one!

Beer Chips, Yuengling Lager Sauce, & La Choy Teriyaki Sauce.


Don’t worry, it’s not a recipe.

This is for my wife. Why? Because usually, she hears this rant every time I have to make a trip to the grocery store. Perhaps, in writing it here (and to Giant Eagle), I’ll refrain from telling her my feelings for the 4,397th time.

Submitted today, via contact submission form on the Giant Eagle website:

Hello,

I’d like to request that you carry the following products…

Beer Chips, Yuengling Barbecue Sauce, & La Choy Teriyaki Sauce.

More specifically, I’d like to see them at the Giant Eagle on Cochran Road in Greentree/Mt. Lebanon/Scott Township or whatever the neighborhood is over there.

I drive right by this location on my way home from work, & do the majority of my shopping there.

I first discovered Beer Chips on an end-cap in the Robinson Giant Eagle, and the only other place I’ve seen them is at the Aldi up there… but that place is never reliable as far as expecting a brand name to be there.

Previously, the Cochran Road location did carry Beer Chips in the chip aisle, but I haven’t seen them for weeks. Will they ever return to your tightly packed shelves?

Cochran Road also carried Yuengling Lager Sauce for a short while, but had more of the “hot wing” sauce than the normal stuff, and they hid it on the bottom shelf inches above the floor. How is anyone supposed to find/try the stuff if you do that? I can tell you, it’s excellent, and shouldn’t be relegated to sitting at shoelace level.

Why is the sauce not available at this location any more? If the answer is “it didn’t sell well”, please see my previous references to placement relative to eye level/awareness.

Lastly… we come to the great mystery which is La Choy Teriyaki sauce. I literally go out of my way to get this stuff. As stated previously, I do most of my shopping at the Giant Eagle on Cochran Road. I also find myself occasionally in the Giant Eagle locations in Parkway Center, Bridgeville, or Robinson… or even out in Murrysville, Monroeville, or Squirrel Hill. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that you have a chain-wide ban of La Choy Teriyaki going on. I can never find it it any of your stores. This puzzles me… because you do indeed carry La Choy products… the Soy Sauce and one other sauce which escapes me now… but I NEVER see the Teriyaki sauce in a Giant Eagle.

You may remember that I have written about this before… but I’ve never received an answer… No “we’ll consider carrying that”, no “we’ll get that in our next order to La Choy”, not even a “we don’t carry it because…”

What’s the deal? I feel that if you taste it side by side with the Kikkoman brand, or the Ken’s Steak House Teriyaki Marinade, you’ll have no choice but to agree that it’s clearly the superior product.

Even if not… you sell both Coke & Pepsi, right? Why exclude the La Choy Teriyaki from your fine selection of groceries?

I actually make special trips to the Shop ‘N Save by WAL★MART in Heidelberg or I actually set foot in Kunh’s Market on Banksville Road to get the La Choy Teriyaki Sauce. Have you BEEN to the Kunh’s on Banksville Road? I’ve gotten moldy peppers from that place, as well as ‘turned’ sour cream, …and melted ice cream. I don’t want to go in there. But, I do. Why? To get the La Choy Teriyaki sauce, my friends. It’s THAT GOOD.

I’d love to be able to do all of my grocery shopping with you, and to rack up fuelperks, foodperks, and whatever other kind of perks you come up with in the future.

I look forward to your thoughts on these matters, have a good weekend!

Inquisitively,
-Eric

Yeah.

If you want to know what I’m talking about, check out…