Monday, August 23, 2010

Tabora Farm & Orchard - Foodie Goodness In My Backyard!

I am AMAZED that I have lived in Chalfont for 3 years and yet, never heard of Tabora Farm & Orchard!
And you know how I discovered it? Yelp!
I was sitting in my backyard, thinking it was a nice day to try something new. I opened up my Yelp App on my iPhone and searched locally and Tabora came up with great reviews.
Five minutes later, I was walking through the doors of a simple yet charming place that offers bakery treats (NutRoll! Jewish Apple Cake!) along with Gluten Free and regular bakery goods like carrot cake, cookies, donuts, elephant ears, sticky buns, Crumb cake. Pies. Cupcakes. Sheesh. I could go onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. Then, of course, there is the local produce. Fruits and veggies GALORE. There is a deli with pulled pork, mac n cheese, chicken, and all sorts of fabulous food and salads.
Everyone who worked there said a friendly "Hello!"
Oh...waittttttttttttt...I forgot to mention the ice cream. Home made - and all the usual flavors PLUS - goodies such as lavender, thyme, mint plum!!
Of course, there is also an orchard (where you can pick your own fruit). I didn't get a chance to FULLY explore the place because I was with an 11 year old that does not appreciate the slow, deliberate, ecstatic, wanderings of a foodie when they find a new food spot! Also - it started to rain!
When we walked out, there was a well fed chocolate lab sprawled on the front walk. I mean, I was already sold on the place, but then they added a happy, lazy, friendly dog...OH, and then a hefty rooster walked right by us.
You know how you meet someone and you just KNOW they are awesome? That's exactly the feeling I had when I walked in the door.
I can't wait to try EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Manhattan Bagel Fires Rude Employee After Yelp Review!

I'd given this a one star review in August 2010 because, though the food was very good, the place clean, most of the staff was extremely nice, the manager was rude (and to ME, the FourSquare MAYOR of Manhattan Bagel!) and embarrassed me in front of a busy store.
After I wrote the review, I stopped giving MB my business. It made me and dog Diablo very sad because it was a fun place to walk to (and I did love the Whole Wheat Everything Bagels).
Fast forward - February 19th, 2011. On our way to walk Diablo at the park,  KT was dying for a bagel and I swallowed my pride, parked in the MB lot, and, thinking no one would recognize me (actually, hoping no one would recognize me, I was wearing baggy sweat pants/sweat shirt, no make up), I ordered a chocolate chip bagel with cream cheese (it is better than it sounds). While waiting, someone recognized me. OMG. And asked if I brought my dog with me. "Uh, my dog was banned." I said.
And then, the heavens opened, and  a light shone down on a man who left his place behind the register and walked toward me.
He lifted his arms and sang, "Praise you, baggy sweat pants girl, and your dog, and the bad review you wrote on YELP."
Then, the people working the grill pulled trumpets from below the counter and played while he said, "The person that was rude to you was fired a few weeks after that review. It wasn't just you, she was burnt out, and rude to other people. She needed a change of scenery,and we let her go. Your dog is welcome in Manhattan Bagel."
"Who are you?" I whispered as confetti swirled down from the ceiling and the sky, which was gray when I walked in, was now a brilliant blue. "Are you Jesus Christ?"
"No. I am the owner, Don Bradley."
And so it was, on February 19th, 2011 - Dog Diablo was no longer banned from Manhattan Bagel.
I learned two very valuable lessons that I hope to pass on to other reviewers:
If you have a bad experience, don't hesitate to contact the owner. Had I contacted Mr. Bradley, I have a feeling I would never have given a one star review initially, and I would have enjoyed bagels all winter long.
If you are as vain as I am (probably impossible to be as vain as I am) - DO NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE LOOKING LIKE A SLOB. EVER!

****I may have exaggerated actual details in this story (I WAS wearing eyeliner).

Original Unhappy Post: I've been walking to Manhattan Bagel in Chalfont all summer with my dog, Diablo.  Usually I pick up a whole wheat everything bagel...I'm in and out in under 2 minutes (that's what JT said). I take my dog in because there isn't a place to tie him up outside. My dog is more well behaved than most 2 year olds and always brings a smile to customers.
Now, in the thriving metropolis of Chalfont, there are few places that I can walk to to pick up a bagel. There is Webbies, and they have good bagels, but they don't have a whole wheat everything bagel. And I do like those damn whole wheat everything bagels.

A business is only as good as the person running it. I don't care how fabulous the food is, if the manager is rude to customers, imho, it sends a message that she feels her business doesn't need customers. And if a manager treats customers poorly, I know from experience, she treats the employees the same way.
I was told my dog was no longer welcome at Manhattan Bagel due to 'insurance' reasons.
Fine. No problem with that.
But it was the way I was told.
A manager that values customers would have been kind and would have offered a solution: "Since we don't have a spot you can tie your dog up outside, we'd have no problem if you call in your order and someone will run it out to you." And then maybe she could have smiled.
But no.
It was a bark (ha ha), a growl, and obviously, the manager really could give a crap if I return.
And I was the Four Square MAYOR!!!!
It's my belief that this world would be a little bit happier if businesses treated customers with a little kindness, a sense of humor, and creativity.
So, while I give MB a B for their bagels, I give them an F for the way the manager failed to come up with a creative, no brain solution and lack of respect in dealing with a regular customer. Cockroaches don't know better. Managers do.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Porterhouse, Lahaska, Pa. Things that make you go...YUM.

Anyplace that serves up a martini called "Wedding Cake" has my vote!
Seriously, though, we've been going to The Porterhouse for  four years, and I'm happy to report, the quality of the food is consistent. I can't tell you how many times I've written reviews citing fabulous food only to return to the place and discover it's not so great, usually this is do to revolving chefs!
Anyway, The Porterhouse does not have this problem!
I've never had a bad meal here, and have tried just about everything, except the seafood. My PIC (Partner in Crime), however, has eaten the seafood and loves it!
A few favorites: The Ham & Havarti, the black bean soup, the smoked chicken spring rolls.
OMG - The Kentucky Derby Pie (pecans and chocolate) is TO DIE FOR. Seriously awesome.
And if you like bread pudding - there's is fab - homemade!
Also to note - the pasta dishes are always wonderful too. You know how often you order pasta and the noodles are limp and pasty? Not so here, it's always wonderful!
One thing that didn't please us - the Creme Brulee - it tastes like vanilla pudding with a sugary coating.
But - that's the only criticism!
Love the bar area - there is a wall of windows which brightens the place up. (I love a lot of light).
Upstairs, the whole back wall is all window, which overlooks fields and is scenic in all seasons!
Love it!
***note, they are closed on Mondays!