Sat.08/27 @ GOOSKI’S! – The Dirty Charms / Ernie and the Berts / What Else? – 21+/$5/10:00pm (via Ernie and the Berts)


I love Gooski’s. It’s a relaxing hole in the wall with a killer jukebox and ridiculously awesome honey BBQ wings. It’s always cool to play a place you’re so comfortable in, so please come out to this one, hang out, & have a fun time with Ernie and the Berts as we rock out with the Dirty Charms & What Else?.

Sat.08/27 @ GOOSKI'S! - The Dirty Charms / Ernie and the Berts / What Else? - 21+/$5/10:00pm GOOSKI’S.  That’s all I need to say.  Come early, stay late.  Rock out with some cheap beers, tasty wings & pierogies.  We all need a night of debauchery in Polish Hill every once in a while.  That’s what your favorite local rock n’ roll bands are for!  What Else? channels some glam, Ernie and the Berts will make you feel scuzzy & fuzzy, and the Dirty Charms just may make you need to take a shower… Read More

via Ernie and the Berts

LIES ABOUT POTATO CHIPS


Today, I checked out a link on the Yahoo! site because it was simply titled “The Best Potato Chips“.  Well, I like potato chips… so I had to see what was up.  Well, the first annoying thing was that it said that there’s a list of 21 chips… but there are only 7 listen on the page… then the “Continue Reading…” link takes you to a slide show.  I hate slide show lists.  I want to see it all, right there in front of me, right away.  This isn’t a meeting, I don’t need a power point presentation.  These aren’t your vacation photos, I don’t need a slide show.

Turner Dairy | Chip DipThey did manage to recognize the awesome that is plain old ordinary Ruffles.  When I want to eat Turner’s chip dip, this is the chip that I must have.  Just ask anyone who works at the Rite Aid by my house.  I’m always there buying ruffles & Turner’s dip.  Really.  Just ask them…  “Is there a weird guy in here with crazy sideburns buying Turner’s Dip and Ruffles all the time?”  They’ll totally, be like “Yeah!”  I’m telling you.

As for the rest of this list though, it’s a lie.  Don’t believe it.  If the list had any credibility beyond being able to recognize the top of the line “ordinary” chip, it would have included Beer Chips or Snyder (of Berlin) Honey BBQ Chips.  There is just no excuse for these glaring omissions.  Shame on you, Shine From Yahoo!.  Shame on you.

BEER CHIPSI’ve written of Beer Chips before, here in my blog and at PittsburghBeat.com.  Why?  Because they’re awesome.  They’re next to impossible to put down.  I’m sure I could eat an entire bag without thinking about it, and probably have.  If we break them out when people are over, the bag disappears.  Kudos to the Beer Chips people on distribution, as I’ve seen them in places from Giant Eagle and Market District to Aldi.  You may have guessed that Beer Chips are chips somehow cooked with beer.  If you haven’t guessed this, then just stop reading, as all of this will be most likely lost on you anyway.  They’re sweet, they’re salty, and they do have a hint of a beer taste… but it’s ever so slight.  Of course, they also go great with a nice bottle of Yuengling, Straub, or Penn Pilsner in my experience.  Just writing this, I may have to stop at the store to get these next time I’m out.  They are that powerful.  I mean, I have beer in the ‘fridge, but how can I enjoy it now without Beer Chips?  I can’t.  That’s how.

Snyder of Berlin | Honey BBQ ChipsOn to the Snyder of Berlin Honey Bar-B-Q Potato Chips.  First off, I love honey BBQ in general.  Gooski’s Honey BBQ wings are one of my favorite foods ever.  You just  generally can’t go wrong with Honey BBQ.  I think my first experience with these was at camp.  They were out as a snack one night and I think I ate most of the bag.  I couldn’t stop.  Again, these have that incredible sweet/salty combination that is a win every time.  I know you can generally get them at most Sheetz locations, but it’s hit or miss if they’re there in Giant Eagle or wherever I happen to be grocery shopping.  If I see them, I just unconsciously grab them and only realize they’re in my hand or the grocery cart when I go to check out.  Now, one must beware of the Herr’s and Wise imitations.  Well, I don’t know who was really first… but for my own personal tastes, Snyder of Berlin is the standard Honey BBQ chip to which all others ought to be measured.  Actually, the Herr’s is an acceptable substitute if necessary, but the Wise ones are just inferior chips altogether.

Speaking of imitations, one of these days I need to get down to the Snyder of Berlin vs. Snyder’s of Hanover thing.  (There’s even a creepy Facebook group about the rift…) They each have that ominous and almost vindictive disclaimer on their packaging that they’re not associated with the other. Too weird.

Herr's | Ketchup ChipsThere are, of course, a few others worth mentioning…  Herr’s makes some bad-ass Ketchup flavored chips, some Salt & Pepper ones, and a bunch of other cool/weird flavors.  Utz makes a bunch of flavors and are quite decent chips.  (Is it “uhtz” or “ootz”?) Although, I see a “crab” flavor, and that scares me a little.  I may have to write to them about that.  Snyder of Berlin also has a ton of interesting varieties, another of my favorites being the kettle-cooked Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper chips.

You may thank me that you’re now more informed on the subject of the best potato chips than the average Shine From Yahoo! reader.  I’d be interested to see if you agree with me or if you’re just wrong.  Please feel free to talk about your favorites in the comments section!

A barrage of emails from Pizza Hut


After getting no response to my last message, I decided to try again.  I re-sent the message, this time to a bunch of email addresses that I obtained upon a quick Google search or two, and added this little forward…

Hello,

Recently, I’ve been trying to obtain some more specific allergen information on some Pizza Hut products to no avail. I’ve sent the message(s) below, and as of yet haven’t had a real reply. Are you able to help pass this along to an individual who would be able to provide answers in writing, or even better yet… provide some answers yourself?

I thank you in advance for your time & help!

-Eric

Oh boy, did that work.  Mr. Williams’ latest message almost made me title this blog “Pissy Hut”, but I eventually decided against it.  Perhaps I’m reading too much into it… it is nearly impossible to pick up inflection via email.  I’ll let you make your own inferences.

from Williams, Corey Corey.Williams@yum.com
to “world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com”
date Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 5:55 PM
subject RE: Pizza Hut Customer Service
mailed-by yum.com

Mr. Aixelsyd-

We’ve provided you all the information we have available regarding your inquiry. If you’d like to discuss further, please provide your phone number and a customer support representative will contact you. Otherwise, we’ll consider your question resolved. Additionally, correspondences sent to multiple e-mail addresses at Pizza Hut can actually slow us down in responding to you. Please send your messages directly to me so that we may best address your concerns.

Thank you,
Corey Williams
Customer Service
Pizza Hut

Passive aggressive emails?  I’m guessing “correspondences sent to multiple e-mail addresses at Pizza Hut” is the only thing that prompted a response this time.  Again, my concerns were clearly laid out in my original response, and re-forwarded and included in its entirety with the last message.  They have yet to be addressed.

This is where we begin passing the buck.

Below, Ed is agreeable to some sort of feedback, and wishes to remain in the loop, but is clearly unable to answer any of my inquiries with any sort of direct response.  I’m guessing this cross-contamination stuff is just not common knowledge within the Pizza Hut organization.  He signed his name in large bold text.  There’s no point to pointing that out I guess, I just found it interesting.

from Ed Holt edholt@aurorahuts.com
to ERiC AiXeLsyD
date Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 4:28 PM
subject RE: Pizza Hut Customer Service
mailed-by Ed.

Mr. Aixelsyd,

Your questions have been elevated to Pizza Hut Inc. With your very specific requests, they are best capable of providing the information requested and have committed to assisting you.

I am the best contact locally and will continue to be in the communication loop. I have asked for an update to your request.

Ed

Next, Susan offers a solution, and says that she forwarded the message to the appropriate parties.  The only problem is that I still have no contact information for those parties, and I sure hope it’s not Mr. Williams or Mr. Holt.

from Burton, Susan Susan.Burton@yum.com
to ERiC AiXeLsyD
date Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 8:51 AM
subject RE: Pizza Hut Customer Service
mailed-by yum.com

Eric,

Unfortunately, I am the contact for KFC Franchising. I will forward your request to my counterpart in Pizza Hut hoping that she will be able to identify who would best answer your questions.

Thank you and have a great day!

Susan Burton
KFC Franchise Recruiting
KFC Franchise On Boarding

1900 Colonel Sanders Lane
Louisville, KY 40213
Office: 502-874-8201
Fax: 502-874-8848

What is “Franchise On Boarding”, I wonder?  Should there be a “-” in there?  As in getting someone on-board?  There is hope in her counterpart being a “she” that it’s definitely not Mr. Williams… so we may yet one day have a resolution to all of this madness.

Not even sure where or how I got the next email address, but it seems to be the one that holds the most promise.  Perhaps this is Ms. Burton’s Pizza Hut counterpart.  If so, is KFC the “evil” alternate universe?  I can only assume so, as Colonel Sanders has a goatee (and was never really a Colonel).

from Hiring Zone Candidate sites HZAdministrator@yum.com
to ERiC AiXeLsyD
date Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:49 AM
subject RE: Pizza Hut Customer Service
mailed-by yum.com

Hi, Eric –

Thank you for your email. I am sorry that you’ve had so much trouble getting in touch with the right person to handle your inquiry. Unfortunately, I’m not that person either; however, I have forwarded your question to one of the brand leads for Pizza Hut as a way to get in touch with the person who has this information to answer your questions. If/when I hear anything back from them, I will let you know, unless they confirm that they will be getting in touch with you directly.

Thanks,
Amanda E. Herde
Hiring Zone System Administrator
Yum! Global Talent Management
100% Customer Mania … It Starts With Me!

Maybe it’s the positive attitude and non-condescending tone, maybe it’s the exclamation point, maybe it’s the bold + italics power punch, maybe it’s the “100% Customer Mania” tag-line… I want to believe our friend Amanda.  Global Talent Management sounds impressive… much more impressive than Area Coach or , Region Coach.  Perhaps we shall have some answers!

To recap, this is what I’m asking…

from ERiC AiXeLsyD
to Dave Kronenwetter
cc Ed Holt
date Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 2:17 PM
subject Re: Pizza Hut Incident Eric Aixelsyd
mailed-by gmail.com

Thank you Mr. Kronenwetter,

You are, as of yet, the only representative from Pizza Hut or Yum! Brands that has answered my original query.  I applaud your dedication to service and customer satisfaction.  I used the contact form on the website, and acquired some email addresses from around the web when I discovered that was to no avail.

I am interested in the linked allergen information though.  I do have a severe shellfish allergy, and it concerns me that items with an “•” are notated with the ominous “products are prepared in common equipment and therefore may contain allergen” warning.

More interesting to me are the items marked…

  • SAUCES; All-Natural Pizza Sauce, All-Natural Sweet Pizza Sauce, All-Natural Old World Pizza Sauce
  • TUSCANI PASTAS; Lasagna, Chicken Alfredo, Meaty Marinara
  • APPETIZERS Served with dipping sauce; Breadsticks
  • WS Bone Out Wings; Garlic Parmesan
  • WS Crispy Bone In Wings; Garlic Parmesan
  • WS Traditional Wings; Garlic Parmesan

I see from the menu & nutritional info available online that there’s no shellfish available to order, so the “prepared in common equipment” line really really confuses me.  Am I to assume that the common equipment is in the manufacturing/processing/canning facility with the sauce?

Are the breadsticks & garlic Parmesan wings listed simply because they’re served with the sauce?  Are the wings breaded alongside shrimp at the factory?  Are the breadsticks marinated in butter beside lobster at the processing plant?

Are the pastas listed simply because they contain the sauce?  But then, there’s the Alfredo… which is a wholly different kind of sauce.  Are the noodles the culprit?  I must say that the whole thing has me befuddled.

Basically, you’re telling me that if I’m allergic to shellfish… I might want to avoid everything that contains pizza sauce …from a place called Pizza Hut?

Also, the text from the bottom may require a little clarification…

The allergen information displayed on this site is based on standard product formulations and is current as of March 2009. Variations may occur due to differences in suppliers, ingredient substitutions, recipe revisions, and/or product production at the restaurant.

Anchovies (Fish) are offered in many Pizza Hut restaurants. Shrimp (Shellfish) is offered in a very limited number of Pizza Hut restaurants. Customers with concerns should contact their restaurant directly to determine if these ingredients are handled in the restaurant.

Huh?  How is one to be made aware if there are different circumstances regarding  suppliers, ingredient substitutions, revisions, or product production?  I’ve never had a hostess seat me, list the specials, then divulge any information about new suppliers, possible substitutions, or about new preparation methods.  I’ve never seen it written on a dry-erase board inside the door, or in a menu insert.  How am I supposed to be sure that Pizza Hut isn’t going to inadvertently send me into Anaphylactic shock?

Does the second line about shrimp make all the above listed possible concerns no longer a concern… or is that in addition to already existing concerns?

Please, don’t take my questions as lashing out at you personally, but really… can you understand the frustration I have at learning of these menacing shellfish issues?  Certainly you can appreciate the humor of having to go to Pizza Hut only to avoid pizza sauce?  Perhaps the allergen information page needs updated and clarified?

I realize that I am sending a lot of questions your way at once.  I would like to thank you in advance for your time and I hope that you will give all of my concerns some serious contemplation, and perhaps pass it on to others at Pizza Hut or Yum! Brands for their additional input.

According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Alliance website, “Approximately 12 million Americans suffer from food allergy. Food-induced anaphylaxis is believed to cause 50,000 emergency room visits and about 150 deaths annually.”  I really don’t want to be one of those 150, or even one of the 50,000 any time soon… but I would like to be able to enjoy some fantastic pizza (without the aforementioned disastrous after-effects).

I look forward to your thoughts!

Inquisitively,
-Eric
world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Yes, Mr. Williams, I have additional questions that have gone unanswered.  No, my issue is not resolved.  No, I do not wish to discuss this issue over the phone… as discussed in my original response to you.

I hope someone out there knows the answers to my questions!  At least we can amuse & confuse the companies responsible until I have a straight answer to this cross-contamination problem.