Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jacks Dog Farm - Tops The Happy List

We "stopped" by Jack's Dog Farm not planning to purchase a puppy, however, when we laid our eyes on 3 little chocolate labs, I was smitten.
And you can see from my photo of Jack Henry, he is totally adorable!
The kennels that the dogs were kept in were very clean, all had fresh paper and fresh water. There were German Shepherds (adorable!!) and many other breeds (they are known for their Jack Russell terriers I later found out).
Jeremy came out to help us almost immediately. Do not be afriad of Jeremy. He was very kind and helpful and didn't pressure us in anyway. (Like we needed any extra help - we knew we were doomed as soon as we held the first puppy!).
I did notice a bit of a cough and Jeremy sent us home with meds just in case. Jack Henry came with papers and had already received the vaccinations that were due.
Once we got home, I became concerned about the cough. We'd just lost our dog Diablo unexpectedly, and I had "new mom" syndrome and panicked because of the recent loss of Diablo so I took him to our vet, Ark Animal, which happens to be the same vet Jeremy uses. They put Jack on a round of antibiotics and when I called Jeremy to let him know, he paid for the whole vet bill and was very very professional and kind. We later heard from many friends that new puppies and or rescues they'd gotten from either other breeders or shelters often had the same thing. I met other people who'd bought their dogs there and 2 had dogs that were fabulously healthy, awesome dogs, and one person said her puppy had been sick but that they also took care of the vet bills and now her Boxer is happy healthy and wonderful.
When I talked to Jeremy after Jack went to the vet, he gave me the name and number of a person who had bought a puppy from the same litter a few days before, in case I wanted reassurance. I think, it's not unreasonable to expect that a new puppy from any breeder might not be in tip top health - crap happens! What SHOULD be expected is for the business to work with the customer to remedy the situation - which Jeremy at Jacks Dog Farm absolutely did. Keep in mind too, if you call someone to complain and start off the conversation with a bad attitude, it doesn't help the situation. You should expect to be treated the same way you are treating the other person.
After I got home, I did some research on Jacks Dog Farm and read some horribly written reviews - I know animal people are passionate and sometimes over the top - and I think that Jacks might have been targeted by these crazy over the top people - and from the way they can barely piece a sentence together, I find it hard to believe they can afford to pay for a pure bred dog.
If you are thinking about going to Jack's Dog Farm, please, just stop by and see for yourself!
Also, Jack Henry's temperament is AWESOME! Every time we take him out (to kids soccer games/field hockey/the park) - everyone compliments how laid back and easy going he is!
We're so happy with him and I give Jack's Dog Farm 5 Stars for such a wonderful dog and 5 Stars for the way they handled our situation.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ark Animal Hospital - Best Vet in Bucks County!


My Australian Cattle Dog Diablo HATED going to the vet, so we went once to Ark Animal Hospital and went to outdoor clinics for his rabies updates (he tolerated these slightly better). Then Diablo decided to lunge at the tires of a dump truck while we were waiting to cross the street and I rushed him to Ark Animal. I can't even begin to tell you how caring and compassionate the staff was. From the receptionist to the techs to the doctors. Diablo is no longer with us and we miss him terribly but  we have a chocolate lab puppy now- who had a case of kennel cough and pneumonia and so we've REALLY got to know the staff at Ark Animal and they are all truly wonderful. From calling to make an appointment, to the clean and spacious office, and as an added bonus, I love the Ark Animal pets that wander around - esp. Zander the Cattle Dog.
Jack Henry
If you are looking for caring, kind, gregarious, and thorough animal hospital, this is the place for you and those with fur in your family.
***also of note- my daughter (8 years old at the time) - spotted a bunny on the road that had been horribly injured and was barely breathing. She insisted we take it to the vet so we took it to Ark Animal where they graciously stopped it's suffering. Hearing that my daughter wanted to be a vet one day, they offered to give her a tour of the hospital which she loved and appreciated.
Ark Animal truly goes above and beyond the call of animal duty!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sundae School - Where Ice Cream is a Religious Experience

Sundae School - this place is a GEM and so far, hands down, the best place I've found for ice cream in Bucks AND Montgomery County.
A) - they have CMP's. If you're from coal country, you know what that is. If not, then get yourself to the Sundae School and try it!
The ice cream is thick and rich and comes in the standard flavors as well as a slew of creative flavors - red velvet cake (ohmygosh-had it-sooooo good!), birthday cake, cotton candy, almond joy, Playdough (looks like mulit colored Playdough!) Kids will love all the fun, different flavors to choose from.
Then of course, there are the standards - with many different variations - like butter pecan; there are at least 3 different versions of butter pecan.
They also have soft serve ice cream that blows away Dairy Queen soft serve!
Ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, frozen bananas, OH! And they even have fudge people!
It might be a bit of a drive for some people but let me tell you why it's worth it: All the standard flavors PLUS really creative flavors - so much to choose from! Great sundae combinations. Super nice staff. Family owned. Great parking. Picnic area outside to eat.
There is also a feeling of nostalgia and comfort as soon as you walk in the door. And I promise you - once you've been there - it will become a tradition.

Sundae School
401 W Schoolhouse Rd
Perkasie, PA 18944
(215) 723-4123

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Search For Best Breakfast Spot Ends Here.

Holy Fkin Homefries - I have found, hands down, the breakfast place of my dreams.

As the 2 of you that read my blog know, I am a FAN of breakfast, but have never found any place (other than my kitchen) that makes my fork stand up and sing.

Well, yesterday I went to Cross Keys Diner. Second time there. First time was good, but I ordered off the menu.

Yesterday, there were so many specials that screamed 'fabulous' - and I couldn't decide between them all - so I picked 2.

Eggs Estrada - scrambled eggs with andouille sausage, cheddar cheese, bacon, scallions, corn, tomatoes, with a side of homemade black beans and blue corn chips. Also - comes with homefries and toast.

Seriously? This was the best breakfast food I've ever had. I wanted to finish it, but I couldn't. I took it home and ate it for dinner and it was still fantastic the second time around.

I also had the sweet potato pecan pancakes. Nice. I wasn't overwhelmed w/ pecan - but these were subtly spicy and a nice compliment to the estrada.

I was torn between those and the oatmeal blueberry pancakes - but I'll save those for (hopefully) later. I say hopefully because these items were the "Specials" of the day - which are located on the blackboard - so make sure you take a look at the board when you arrive or ask your waitress. Actually, if you don't see anything you like on the special board - ask you waitress anyway. I know the first time we went, I didn't see anything that got me really excited. Then I ordered and a waitress went up to the blackboard and wrote "Corn Cakes" - ARGHHH! I would have so ordered that!

I have to say though, the first time there, I ordered eggs/bacon/cinnamon raisin french toast and it was ALL fantastic. The bacon (unlike other diners) wasn't so thin I could see through it. The eggs were buttery. And the homefries were tasty. The cinnamon raisin french toast, while it didn't appear thick and hearty, it was the perfect combination of sweet, spicy, and even though John doesn't like raisins, he loved this dish anyway!

The diner itself is sunny and warm and welcoming. It feels more like a cafe and less like a diner.The staff is friendly but not intrusive. Um, yeah, and when the waitress, Charlotte, (er, server, sorry) tells you that on her day off, she always wants to eat breakfast at the place she works, you KNOW the food is good!

Also - they shop for their produce every morning and when it's gone, it's gone. When they say the food is fresh (and local), it is. And you can taste this is the food!

I have been searching forever for the best breakfast place EVER and it is here, the Cross Keys Diner, where I will rest my weary coffee cup.

4125 E Swamp Rd
DoylestownPA 18901
(215) 348-4911

Mon-Fri 6:30 am - 2:30 pm
Sat-Sun 7 am - 2:30 pm

Friday, June 17, 2011

Why I Hate Jodi Schad and Her Damn Fine Scones

J.Scones is a  little bakery sits behind the Cross Keys Diner (the sign says: Bake Shop) I thought I was a fabulous baker and made the best muffins and scones and then I met Jodi - what nerve!  Not only does she knock my baked goods out of the park, she's as sweet as her confections. What a bitch!
She  has a wide variety of scones - and today I chose the creme de freche and currant scone - so moist. It's really hard to find a MOIST scone, but this one managed to be both light, rich, and moist. 
The pineapple macadamia nut scone sounded amazing too - what a great flavor combination. 
John had a blueberry chocolate cinnamon chip muffin. I can honestly say, this is the best muffin I've ever had in my life (and scones). The muffin was just bursting with flavor, buttery, and moist. 
Jodi also had a gorgeous display of red velvet cupcakes, of which I took a picture!
Just fantastic. You must, must, stop in and try it. On her business card, it also says she does wholesale, and mail order. 
Remember, it's located BEHIND Cross Keys Diner. (also, Cross Keys is a fabulous diner). 
If she wasn't so sweet, I'd hate Jodi for making me realize my muffins and scones are not the best. I'm totally afraid to try her cookies, if I do, I just may never bake again!

***for those that don't have a sense of humor; I am totally kidding when I say I hate Jodi - she was quite sweet and she is NOT a bitch. Thank you. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How Best Buy Won Me Back (Hint - His Name Is Jordan)

Soooooooo...I am more a fan of Amazon (free Prime shipping, yo!) than big box stores.
I decided to pop on over to Best Buy, however, to check out some digital cameras that I'd already looked at on Amazon. I wanted to compare them "in real life" before purchasing.
While I was there, I felt this magnetic pull over to the lap tops.
It was as if they were grilling bacon in the computer department and I just couldn't help myself.
I have an Asus Eee netbook (pink, of course!) that is going on 2 years old. It only has GB and no hard drive, but since I was only going to use it for writing, I figured I didn't really need a 'workhorse' - and did I mention it was pink?
Then, right on time, it started acting up - the 2 year itch.
Not to mention I take wayyyyyyyyyyyy more pictures than I realize (thus taking up space).
Long story short - I enter the lap top section and am promptly greeted by Jordan.
Now, I like to browse solo. But I did notice that one of the computers I was looking at (Dell Inspiron) came in pink (and it was on sale) (what can I say? Marketer's live for idiots like me). I asked if they had a pink one. They did. One left.
Jordan seemed nice. So I asked a few more questions. He explained memory to me in such a way, I doubt I'll ever forget it.
Imagine you own a daycare (OhMyGod, I'd have to drink upon waking every morning) and your back yard is 'memory' - then during the day, kids come in and fill up the back yard - those kids are programs running around taking up space. He then went on to use that analogy every time I had a question (even if you uninstall a program, bits and pieces are left behind still taking up room: ie: the kids go home for the night but leave a lunch box and a pillow behind).
Then. I noticed the tablets.
Oh. Man. I wanted one.
Only because everyone else has one and they are cool.
I was torn.
Jordan suggested I could buy both (now, he does not work on commission - he did not need to take time out to listen and explain so throughly because if I bought or didn't buy wasn't in the long run, going to affect his payday) and try them both out. I had 14 days to try the computers and could return them for FULL REFUND.
Whatttttttttttttttt? I have no idea when this policy started but man, that is a keeper!
So, I bought the XooM and the Dell (pink!).
In the end, I returned the XOOM hours after buying it. For all the writing I do - I need something solid. And in all honesty, I just don't think a tablet is on my wish list anymore. It's like a bigger version of my iPhone - more for entertainment than anything.
I absolutely love my new Dell.
And had it not been for Jordan, I probably wouldn't have made any purchase. But he took the time and not only that, really seemed to enjoy his work. He came to America from Jamaica when he was only 17 (and he arrived solo). He is only 19 now, but I've no doubt he will be massively successful. He is grateful to be in America. Most 19 year olds I know are anything but attentive to customers. Jordan has enthusiasm for life, which spill over into his work.
Not only did I leave with a computer, I also left with a reminder that yes, I am blessed that I was born in America. We are given opportunities are it's up to us to make the most of our time.
Thanks to Jordan, Best Buy has won me back!

**this was Best Buy in Airport Square, Montgomeryville

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's Not Always About The Bush! Bromm's Lullaby Farm

Needing a bush (hahaha, I know..I know...I said 'bush'") for our front lawn - we almost DIDNT stop at Bromm's Lullaby Farm because we usually get our trees/large garden items from somewhere else. But, we'd used them for sod before and I knew they had a nice selection of plants/flowers - so we decided to swing by Bromm's first, since it was close to our home. 
Well, not only did we find the nicest hydrangea bushes VERY reasonably priced, we also found Carolyn and Bootsie. 
You see, I'm a newbie at gardening. I ordered seeds from rareseeds.com and had grown my own little plants. I put - oh - about 6 tomato plants in a 12 inch container and I asked the lady roaming about the shop if I needed a tomato cage for ALL of them or could I use only one tomato cage for all of them. 
Well, she didn't laugh, she didn't call me an idiot (though after talking to Carolyn, I called myself an idiot!) and she spent at least 20 minutes talking to me about growing tomatoes and gave us other very practical useful info about gardening that we'd never known.
While she was talking, a sweet darling cat came from out of no where and followed me around. "Bootsie" is the cat of the farm and I couldn't resist showering him (her?) with some seriously love. 
Anyway, Bromm's has everything! From flowers to herbs to trees and bushes, we will be using them as our #1 go to gardening shop. I picked up some pineapple sage that, every time I smell it, I think of pineapple upside down cake! They have some really interesting herbs that I've never heard of before, as well as the usual suspects.
We got our bush (as a matter of fact, we bought 2) - and the selection of plants was just amazing - even though it's a big factor is us returning - it's  not always about the bush... 
The kindness and knowledge and time that Carolyn spent with us, however, is the one thing that sticks out in my mind. It's employees like Carolyn that will make customers spread the word and keep them coming back. 
We need more Carolyns. 
And I need more tomato cages!

5125 Rt. 313
Fountainville, PA 18923
(215) 345-4804

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cheese Fry Pizza - Oh. Yes. They. Did.

Roma II is relatively new in our area and I grabbed a take out menu when I was shopping in the Town Center. This review is for pizza & delivery service only.
Normally, we try to eat somewhat healthy but then I had a craving for pizza. I pulled out the Roma II take out menu and when I saw CHEESE FRY PIZZA and BRUSCHETA PIZZA - I about fainted.
Not only that, but when I called they said "Yes, we can make half cheese fry and half bruscheta pizza."
Oh. Hell. Yes.
It was delivered quickly (and free delivery I might add) by a polite, well dressed, young man. I mention this, because how often do delivery guys show up with long greasy hair wearing clothes that look like they were pulled out of a dirty hamper - sadly - too often!
And the pizza? Oh. Hell. Yeah.
The fries were crisp and drizzled with cheddar cheese sauce. I mean, truly, it's having your cheese fries and pizza too.
And the bruscheta - while it wouldn't win any awards for appearance (chunky raw tomatoes on a white pizza with a green basil/garlic sauce - it would win an award for taste! It was fantastically fresh and bursting with flavor.
I loved the pizza and loved that they have, of course, the traditional, but also include Taco pizza, buffalo chicken pizza, and Roma pizza (chicken, BACON, mushrooms, honey mustard), as well as many others.
Of course, they also have a wide arrange of other goodies: hoagies, wraps, stromboli/calzone, burgers, as well as chicken piccata, francaise, marsla, etc.
One bummer? No website. (yet).
I can't wait to try more food - and will report back when I have.
For now though, I can 100% say, as far as pizza goes - This Place Rocks!!!!
Oh, and next time, I'm totally adding bacon to my Cheese Fry Pizza!!!
Roma II
416 Town Center
New Britain Pa
215 - 340-1440

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chambers 19 - Sunday Brunch - There Will Be Breakfast. It Will Be Awesome.

This is a review for Sunday Brunch only at Chambers 19 in Doylestown, Pa. One of my friends is a fan of Chambers brunch and often posts on his Facebook about it, so last Sunday we decided to try it. Of course, I totally forgot that Sunday was MOTHERS DAY. I called around 8:30 a.m. to make reservations and though they were booked, they kindly squeezed us in. I've been a hostess at a busy restaurant and when people called for reservations at the last minute - it was always hard to keep sarcasm out of my voice, "It's Valentines Day and you want a reservation for 2 in 20 minutes??? HAAAAHAAAHAAA!" But the gentlemen who helped me on the phone was very polite. It wasn't until AFTER I got off the phone I realized it was Mother's Day. We arrived a bit early but the guy at the host stand (probably the same guy who answered the phone) - was awesome and sat us w/in 10 minutes.
Normally, brunch is only 9.99 - I mean seriously - how awesome is that???!!!! Because it was Mother's Day - it was 13.00.
Still - A BARGAIN!!
These are just SOME things that were available:
Donuts, mini scones, bagels, toast, cream cheese, jellies, veggie quiche (awesome!), a yummy dish that was like bread pudding minus the pudding -tasted like little cubes of cinnamon rolls (I forget what it was called) - biscuits and cream chipped beef (my first time having this - holy crap- it was awesome!) -  off course, all the usual suspects - eggs/sausage/bacon/ham - and to top it off - an omelet station and a Belgian Waffle station (you can top with whip cream/cherries/blueberries/strawberries). Oh, also, the home fries were awesome. I'm veryyyyyyyyyyyy picky about home fries and I was thrilled with these.
The servers were 2 awesome girls who always checked back with us for  refills.
This is pretty much standard breakfast fare - nothing that would make you want to beg the chef for the recipe- but for the price and the service this is outstanding. The food was constantly being replenished so it was nice and hot.
If you count how many times I wrote the word awesome, I think you'll understand how I really feel about Chambers 19!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Most Honest Man I Hope You Never Meet: RealTechs

I have a Gateway that decided it really wanted to piss me off and up and died on me about 1 1/2 years ago. I was so ticked, I decided to stuff it in a closet and bought a netbook (Asus Eee PC, pink, love it!).
I'm trying to practice forgiveness and so decided to forgive that little electronic bastard. I retrieved it from the closet and decided to take it to the hospital (computer repair service for those readers who take things too literally).
My first option was this little hut of a shop that, peering through the window on the day I happened by, stopped, and was relieved it was closed because it was dark and grimy and littered with papers and computers.
I started having second thoughts about reviving my Gateway. In my mind, I pictured the owner who surely wore a ripped t-shirt stained with ink and a beard crusted with doughnut crumbs.
I know so little about computers, and, given the public perception of computer technicians (lanky geeks who had posters of Pam Anderson on their walls and for them, WOW (World of Warcraft) is not a game; it's a lifestyle) -  I was: A) Afraid I'd be ripped off and B) Afraid all my bikini pictures would be taken off my laptop and traded around the WOW world.

So, I put the Gateway back in the closet (gentler this time) and decided I just wasn't ready.
And then, serendipity.
I happened to drive by a sign that said "RealTechs." It was close to my home and I thought I'd call - why not?
I spoke with a courteous man over the phone and did not detect any WOW rifle sound effects in the background.  I threw caution to the wind and drove the Gateway to a stone farm house off of 309 in Montgomeryville.
As soon as I walked in, I was relieved.
The office was bright and clean and uncluttered.
The man I'd spoken to was dressed professionally but relaxed, reminding more of a highschool baseball coach than a computer geek.
And his name was Asa. Given that I'm a fiction writer, I'm always on the lookout for cool names and instantly tucked that name in the mental notebook.
I left the Gateway with Asa and he called a few hours later.
The motherboard was shot.
It should be called the MotherFker Board.
Here is the thing. The AMAZING thing: Asa told me there was a Gateway available on eBay and RealTechs could transfer the insides of my computer into the used computer.
My other option was rebuilding the motherboard which would be extremely costly.
"How much would it cost for the labor to transfer the innards to the used computer?" I asked.
"We'd do it for free."
I almost dropped the bag of groceries I was carrying into the house.
"Yes, well, it would only take a few minutes to transfer it over, so it wouldn't be right to charge you."
Let me get this straight: The office was clean and bright. Asa was professional and didn't have a beard covered with food crumbs, and now he was telling me he'd make the switch for free because it was the honest thing to do?
Wow. And I don't mean World of WarCraft, I mean: In this day and age to find a business that values the customer over the customers money? WOW.
I hope you have a problem free computer life and never have to meet Asa, but if your computer suddenly acts like a drunk that's just been cut off by the bartender, please, please, send a message to those big box stores, send a message to businesses that only care about your money, and send a message to Asa and those like him who value the customer and honesty, and take your computer to RealTechs.
RealTechs - 577 Bethlehem Pike
Montgomeryville, Pa 18936
Phone: 215 - 853-8501
website: http://www.realtechs.net/

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls - HELL YEAH! The Metropolitan American Diner - Review

The Metropolitan American Diner - North Wales Pa - 700 Upper State Road, North Wales 215-361-1603

First, let me get this big fail out of the way because it's a huge pet peeve of mine: Businesses that don't have a website or even worse, have a website that doesn't function, as, unfortunately, as of this writing (3/23/2011) is the case with The Metropolitan Diner. So frustrating when you want to send people to the website to check out the menu or when you want to write a review and mention things from the menu and THERE IS NO FUNCTIONING MENU on the website. I find this happening to many businesses in the Bucks County, Montgomery County area. I don't know which shyster is ripping you off, but you oughta demand your money back and find someone better!
If you are wondering if you should give this place a try - Hell Yeah!
The thing that jumped off the menu at me was the creativity and the quirky food. I love places that take chances (which in the Burbs, it's hard to find anything other than a forking cheesesteak or ham hoagie). Off the top of my head (since the website isn't working AGAIN) - I remember: Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls, Create Your Own Mac N Cheese, and a souped up French Onion Soup. On the daily special menu - Snickerdoodle ice cream sandwiches and chocolate chip cookie dough eggrolls.
OH. I wish I had room left after my lunch  to try those desserts!
The interior is bright and clean. We did not sit at the bar, but I can't wait to go again and eat at the bar. The bar area looked warm, bright, though it seemed big, it had a cozy feel to it.
One thing I noticed upon arrival was that the Metropolitan proudly mentioned on a card at the table that they work with local food vendors as much as possible (wouldn't that be GREAT to have on their website too??? If it WORKED!). The get their bread from the Hearth Bakery in Lansdale (love that place) and I know they offer beer from Prism Brewery (a new local brewery that has bacon chocolate beer, yo!). Anyway.
The menu is chock full of items (which, Gordon Ramsey states is a NO NO - and usually I agree but it was nice to have such a large selection and hey, it works for the Cheesecake Factory!).
Mr. Stiffy and I shared the buffalo chicken egg rolls. Oh.My.God. Loved them! A tad bit dry, but I would order them again and again and again.
For lunch, I had the pierogies which came with an onion marmalade. They. Were. Fabulous!
Mr. Stiffy had the rotisserie chicken. Presented well, but was quite dry, unfortunately. Not a dish either of us would probably order again.
It came with mac n cheese.
Now, the mac n cheese is not the usual comfort food mac n cheese. It's a bit more greasy and has more tang - but in a good way. I'd definitely like to try it again, and create my own.
There were many awesome creative items, unfortunately, I just can't remember them all, but I do remember that when I opened the menu and scanned it quickly, I got those little tingly feelings along my nerves that said "YES!!! I LOVE CREATIVE CHEFS!!"
Oh, and our waitress, Justine, was very attentive, and sweet, and of course, she had no idea that I was a reviewing star (in my own mind, that is).
And I noticed the bus boy was always roaming and checking to see if he could clear plates. A really great sign that the owners are very conscious of customer service.
 I'm extremely excited about this place.
I love the creativity. I LOVE that they work so closely with local food sources and proudly promote them.
I love the atmosphere and the service.
I'm hoping to up this to 5 Stars after a few more visits (hopefully the food won't be as dry) and if they get their website fixed.
If I was giving this a rating simply based on suburb restaurants, I'd probably give it a 5. But I'm comparing it to fabulous joints down in the city, too, and it's not quite there YET, but close.
OH, one last thing, I know those who know me won't even believe this, but, I didn't drink any alcohol! They had a cool drink list, so I'm also very excited to try that next time I go!
I can't wait to go back again and try EVERYTHING.