Thursday, December 27, 2012

4 Seasons Tanning - North Wales

Grabbed a "Groupon" deal for 4 Seasons Tanning (over a year ago but just got around to using it!). I thought tanning places were all the same (bored teenagers texting while they check you in) until I started tanning here. It may seem like a silly thing, but they leave a little peppermint on a towel on top of the beds. There are earphones and a small boom box so you can listen while you tan. The rooms the beds are in - very roomy (trying to undress in winter in the small booths at the chain shops are very challenging!). There's never any pressure to buy lotions or anything else. The receptionist is always polite and though I was disappointed when she suggested I start with 15 minutes (I tan easily) because they had placed new bulbs in the beds, I went with it and am really glad I did & didn't argue with her. Each time she bumped me up and I have really nice color. Money is tight these days so I understand when tanners chose to take whatever salon has the best deal at the time...but this tanning salon seems to offer similar packages and I would choose them over one of the chains in a heart beat. Parking is great (they are in a strip mall) - and the place is always clean (and warm!! also another bonus in the winter!!). Really, though, the peppermint  (such a little thing but I LOVE it!) , the welcoming receptionist, and the spacious rooms are what gives 4 Seasons Tanning the edge over other tanning companies!

4 Seasons Tanning
15 Stump Road.
(Between 309 & Horsham Rd.)
North Wales Pa, 19454
(215) 393-9400

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chess and Taub Family Dentistry - The Good The Bad The Overlay.

UPDATE: My second visit to Dr. Chess, I thought I was getting a filling. While in the chair (happily zooming on Valium) - the Dr. and assistant were discussing overlays and I was told "we're going to be taking a mold of your tooth."
I asked what an overlay was and Dr. Chess explained (as I understand it in regular people terms) it will cover my filling and keep it sealed in. I just think it's part of the filling process.
Uh. NO.
When I go to check out, I'm informed the overlay is going to cost me 1,300 because my dental insurance won't cover it.
WHAT??? I had a mini heart attack - I had NO IDEA this "overlay" wasn't part of the filling. Had I been informed this was an added procedure - I never would have agreed or would have sought a less expensive solution.
I'm taking some responsibility here - I should have made sure I understood EXACTLY what they were going to do, what my treatment plan was going to be. I did research my dental insurance (and therefore, knew my filling was going to be covered.). I cried all the way home (coming down from the Valium) and then when the valium wore off - I was PISSED. First I'd  had a dentist and oral surgeon tell me 4 teeth needed to be extracted - then I go to my old dentist who said I only needed 2 extracted, and felt I was dealing with an honest dentist, then after my second treatment, I'm presented with a 1,300 bill. WHAT THE FUCK! Do I have idiot written all over me? I mean, I know I can be an airhead but listen, I felt like I was totally taken advantage of. The receptionist, upon seeing my face after being told the bill, said, "Didn't anyone go over this with you BEFORE your treatment?"
To me, this is like going to a hair dresser and asking for a shampoo and then while they are "shampooing" your hair, they add color and then charge you for something you never asked for.
I get a call from Arlene the next day (she is wonderful - everyone in the office is super sweet) and said "Good news, your insurance will pay for 800.00!" Well, I guess that depends on how you look at it. Because to me, I'm still being charged for something I had no idea about. I believe this should have been made perfectly clear to me that an overlay was not part of the filling process - and HOW MUCH IT WOULD COST and what other options were available.
This is why I'm unhappy.
Then that stupid tooth broke that night (the temporary overlay came out) and they had to rush me in to fix it in the morning (which they did squeeze me in, so that's great.)
During the check out, I asked that Arlene print me out a treatment plan with potential cost, which she did...but what I really wanted was for someone to sit down and describe everything and give me options. If I were a doctor or dentist, I would start FIRST by a sit down consultation - get to know the doctor & also be given a list of procedures and the cost!!! THEN, if I had a good feeling about the doctor and the office, I would book an appointment for an exam. It's fkin RIDICULOUS that you make an appointment with a new doctor, fill out a bunch of forms about YOURSELF so they know everything about you, then get subjected to ex-rays  poking, and prodding, then a Dr. shows up at the end and says, "This is what you need. Nice weather, eh?" And you walk out with a bill that has codes and words you do not understand.
Oh, and of course, if you take your health into your own hands and question procedures you can tell the doctor and staff peg you as difficult.
Again, I will affirm that the staff and Dr. Chess are super fabulous, sweet, friendly, people. My criticism is the lack of communication or rather mis-communication.
Yes, it's great that my insurance company will pay 800.00, however, I only have 1,500 a year to work with. My solution if I had a dental practice and this happened? I'd eat the charges. I wouldn't charge the  patient nor the insurance. As a doctor, I would make sure my patient is in total agreement and understands exactly what the procedure entails.
Dr. Chess's office, unfortunately, made it seem like a happy occasion that I would only have to pay 200.00 for a procedure I didn't ask for.
I asked my friends for more local recommendations and spoke with a few receptionists on the phone. They assured me that they would go over a treatment plan and one receptionist was horrified and said, "They are still charging you?"

So, lesson learned. I will question and get treatment procedures in writing PRIOR to any work being done. If they make me feel like a difficult patient because I want to be educated on procedures and billing, then NEXT...there are plenty of dentists - it took me years to find the best doctor (Dr. Notte!!! Who is not naughty (that's how his name is pronounced) - but very funny, conservative with treatment, and explains everything) - and it took me a zillion shmuck boyfriends till I found the love of my life (my ex husband wasn't a schmuck - we just weren't a good fit - he's a good guy - but all the rest are total shmucks).

I hope MY experience helps you be more vocal and communicative when dealing with the medical community. And when you find the "right" fit - make sure to spread the word!
This was updated on 12/19/2012.

Original review was 12/11/12

I had been a patient of Dr. Chess years ago but then left the area. I despise dentists almost as much as of dental pain - no new dentist when I moved.
Fast forward 5 years and a bad tooth later.
I had had a great experience at Chess & Taub BUT they are almost 40 minutes away from my house now. And I hate driving too (I swear, I do like most things though...) so I made an appointment with a dentist in Chalfont.
I liked the office staff (though they only had guy magazines in the waiting room!) and the hygienist was very nice but  the dentist made me feel like a big baby because I asked about nitrous oxide or anything they could give to help w/ anxiety. Then he told me I needed 4 teeth pulled. What??? He sent me to an oral surgeon (that they work with). The oral surgeon also said 4 teeth should come out. I was only having a problem with one, and when he showed me the xrays - I just didn't see why ALL 4 had to come out. I just had a gut feeling that something wasn't right.
Though they are far away - I decided it would be worth the trip to re-vist my old dentist and made an appointment with Dr. Chess and Taub to get a second opinion. 
They made me feel like party of the family as soon as I walked through the door. Ally (Allie?) my hygienist TOTALLY put me at ease and so did Dr. Chess. Dr. Chess is totally relaxed, and you know how you just get a gut feeling a person has the best intentions? That is Dr. Chess. He looked at my xrays and teeth and agreed that 2 teeth needed to be removed, but that the other 2 were very much salvageable. He didn't force the issue and maintained total professionalism and never came out and said that the other dentist was wrong - just that they could easily work with the teeth and it's better to keep your teeth as long as possible - but ultimately he  said the decision was up to me.
Yes, I admit I'm a baby when it comes to dental work, but Dr. Chess and Ally and the whole staff made me feel like it was no big deal.
It's totally worth the 40 minute drive for my peace of mind and they almost make dental work something to look forward to. I have another appointment this week and I'm not apprehensive at all - THAT IS A MIRACLE!!!
I can't recommend them enough.
I seldom go home and write a review within a few hours - but I wished there had been more dentist reviews when I was searching locally - so I'm hoping this helps someone.
Bottom line - I would highly HIGHLY recommend Dr. Chess (and the office staff is also totally friendly - rare to find great doctors and great office staff!).

Chess & Taub Family Dentistry
201 Old York Road Suite 200
Jenkintown, PA 19046
General Info:
(215) 576-0421
(888) 473-6614

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Traveling To Jim Thorpe? Dine at Through The Looking Glass!

You'll find this quaint charming corner restaurant up the street from the courthouse. Loved the ability to sit outside on the wide porch and watch tourists and locals stroll by. Though I didn't sit inside, I did a small walk though and it was very homey and comfortable, more as if you're a very welcome guest in the home of really good friends.
I had the fully loaded cheddar cheese biscuit. OMG.
It's rare to find homemade cheddar cheese biscuits anywhere in the north east so of course I had to try it and it was fantastic.
It was a marinated grilled chicken breast that was moist and plump on the most delicate tasty biscuit that had just a hint of cheddar cheese. Sweet onions and peppers complimented the chicken and a chipotle dressing brought it all together.
Service was friendly and attentive without being intrusive.
I spent most of my summers growing up in Nesquehoning so I'm very familiar with Jim Thorpe. Though it was my first visit to the Looking Glass, it certainly won't be my last!
 Through The Looking Glass (Link)

111 Broadway
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
(570) 325-8770

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Coach's Steak and Hoagie House in Doylestown - Something To Cheer About!

Coach's "The Trainer" wrap

Clean, bright, huge TV's to watch sports in between tweeting, four squaring, facebooking, and talking to the person you're with while eating. Hehe.
We had the Irish Fries - scallions, bacon, Irish Cheddar and served with seasoned sour cream. Of course, they were fabulous. Fries remained hot and crispy even with all the toppings. They have an awesome selection of "dressed up" fries - including Italian fries, king crab fries, and Freedom fries (with pork roll and ranch!).
John had the "Trainer" - a roast beef wrap with swiss, cole slaw, and garlic aioli. It was the spicy garlic aioli that really made this wrap a winner.
Since it is bikini season, I asked if I could have a chicken salad wrap - but instead of a wrap, could they put it on a salad? (I'd already overindulged with the fantastic fries!). They were happy to oblige.
Coach's Irish Fries
Unlike most hoagie shops - Coach's has a few desserts. We didn't try, unfortunately, and I guess we'll just have to make sure to return! But they sound awesome: Maryanne pound cake,  a butter cake (secret family recipe) and cookies from the Maryanne bakery.
The one itme Coach's is lacking in is salads. But the simple solution to that - is do what I did - just request any hoagie/wrap item be turned into a salad.
Prices are extremely reasonable and counter staff are friendly.
Coach's gives Doylestown something to cheer about!

44 East State St
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 348-7066

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bryn and Danes Horsham - Healthy Fast Food - And Mason Jar Lamps!

We just happened to walk into Bryn and Danes in Horsham on the day they opened. What makes this place unique to the area is it's "fast food done healthy" AND offers a drive thru.
However, I would highly advise eating in at least one time - if only to sit under the "trees" that have mason jar lights hanging from them! The place has such a fresh vibe - not overly artsy fartsy - just clean and welcoming with Jack Johnson playing over the speakers.
I had the Cabo Taco wrap - one of the most popular wraps I'm told. While it was good, I guess I thought it might have a little more kick. KT had the chicken fingers and said they were the best she's ever had. And she eats a ton of chicken fingers. So - for a teenage girl to say "these are the best..."
 We tried the popcorn and sweet potato fries. Nothing spectacular in taste - however - the popcorn is served in a paper bag and there are a variety of spices you can shake into the bag - ranch, BBQ, crab, sharp cheddar...I'm probably missing one or two...but we tried the ranch and cheddar - both very good!
One of the things I love best is the natural soda. Bryn and Dane's uses the same company the Melt Down uses New Hope Premium Fountain which has no crap you can't spell in it - and comes in awesome flavors - watermelon is my favorite - followed by the skinny root beer which has this awesome spicy zing to it!
I can't wait to try ALL the wraps and salads and breakfast items.
One bone of contention...sorry...and this will hopefully change...I checked the  site looking for store hours - couldn't find any info. I tried to call the number listed - it was disconnected (215-554-2796). We decided to stop by anyway at 10:30 - walked in and was told (politely) they don't open until 11:00.
In a world of mobile media/social media - it seems a big mistake not to make sure your website and FB page have all the details needed (correct phone and store hours). This is often the first impression a customer will have and I can't count the number of times I go to a stores website and have to search around to locate the hours and or phone number. It should be on the landing page - easy to find!
That said, I have no doubt Bryn and Dane's will be a hit in the Horsham area!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ristorante Il Melograno - Best Italian in Bucks County!

 Ristorante Il Melograno is really difficult for me to prounce so I just refer to it as the 'best Italian restaurant in Bucks County). An "authentic" Italian restaurant in a SHOPPING CENTER?? - hell yeah bitches! We've been here twice, once for lunch and for dinner (I chose this for my birthday celebration - that's how much I love it).
Small, but inviting and cozy.
Staff - excellent, attentive, but with heavy Italian accent - just nod and smile if you can't figure out what they are saying.
Owner is also the Chef.
I mean, seriously.
LOML(love of my life - gag, right?? - but it's true...) had lobster bisque both times. He was astounded by the actual LOBSTER in the bisque. He loved it and said he could eat it everyday for the rest of his life and not get sick of it.
I had the Mozzarella all Caprese salad - who knew mozzarella, tomatoes and roasted peppers could taste so fresh and explode with flavor at the same time?
The second visit, I had a special of the night salad, which was beets with blue cheese - HELLO, this was FABULOUS.
The first visit, I had Pollo all cacciatora which was just perfect. LOML had Scampi e Faggioli and gave it a hefty thumbs up.
We both had dessert - he had Creme Brulee (of course) and loved it so much, he had it the second visit and proclaimed it the best he's ever had. And seriously, it's about all he ever orders for dessert, so he has many different Creme Brulee to compare it to.
I had Italian Rum cake the first time (soooo good and moist) and the second time I had a special of the night dessert, which I can't remember what it was called, but it was fabulous (see the picture).
The second visit, we split the gnocci al pomodoro - little pillows of potato goodness. I wished I'd ordered a whole dish to myself so I could take some home...
LOML had the Scampi al Aglio for his main dish (he loved) and I had the beef medallions sauteed in a peppercorn sauce (divine).
No "quirky" food here (I love quirky food) - just authentic, fantastically flavorful food, brought to you by friendly attentive staff.
OH! And my cappuccino came with a snowman rendering in the foam!
Hands down, my favorite Italian restaurant in Bucks/Montgomery county!!! And so far, even beats out the Philly places I've tried!!
Make it a New Years Resolution to try it!!!
Located at: 
73 Old Dublin Pike, Doylestown, PA 18901 · Get Directions