Today I finally made it to Farm Boy Fresh in Malvern.
“Don’t take my picture!” he said “Look at this apron!”
Oh Chef, the thing is this, pristine aprons to me mean y’all aren’t having fun creating your food. (Besides, I am the home cook who can kill an apron almost as soon as I put it on!) So a little smudge of something on your apron is a good thing.
I have been wanting to get to Farm Boy Fresh and as today is Thursday, it was chicken basket day, so instead of just writing about how amazing everything looks, I went for a little look see myself. (I wrote about them earlier this month.)
Yes, seriously, we have a classically trained chef who trained with people like Emeril Lagasse right here in Chester County. Living his best life with his wife on their lovely farm and cooking breakfast and lunch….inside the Sunoco Station at Routes 30 and 29 in Malvern. Yes, where Three Crazy Ladies was.
While there, Chef Paul Marshall was telling me about the chicken he uses when he was preparing my order and a couple of others. He uses Poulet Rouge. I had not heard of that type of chicken in years. As in I saw them on a farm once in France when I was like 14. They are a russet red chicken with long legs and a bare neck. Seriously. I realized those were the chickens I saw ummm…. decades ago.
I did a little reading when I got home and these chickens do indeed have longer legs and they are less round than some chicken breeds can be. They are known for their flavor and apparently they have thinner skin. I actually found a farm down south that raises them and you can buy them and other heritage poultry and meats from (Joyce Farms).
I am not sure if this is where the chicken today came from, but the chicken I had today was so good it was like a religious experience. Did you ever have lunch that smelled so good and looked so good that it was like there was no time for social media and food photos and you just ate a meal without taking it’s photo? You know the way it used to be before we were Instagramming, Tweeting, or Facebooking?
That was today.
The chicken was hot, juicy, and fresh and there was that lovely fluffiness of perfectly cooked chicken that had not only a good dredge with flavor, but buttermilk. And a little bit of a flavor profile that gave it just a little reminiscence of a kick but not spicy. Super subtle. Served with the chicken was this slaw that I am guessing was Napa cabbage (my favorite) and I am not sure all what else, but it had Asian influences and seemed to be more of a vinaigrette and essentially I could have dined on that alone it was so good.
I also bought a yummy blueberry chia muffin, chocolate chip cookies, and a jar of hot pepper jelly.
You know what else I liked? I got to hang out and talk to the chef. I have a friend from high school who is a chef (Carlo DeMarco of 333 Bellrose in Radnor), and have met others over the years through friends and family and they are a lot of fun to speak with.
Since I like to cook, I like to learn, and all of the chefs I have met are happy to talk food and share. Chef Paul Marshall is no exception. He was so nice and very interesting and I also loved hearing him speak about his wife Julie who apparently grew up in the area. That was awesome. You have to totally and immediately appreciate and respect someone who obviously adores their spouse, and their eyes light up when they speak of them.
My friend Sherry Tillman, who created First Friday Main Line and owns Past*Present*Future in Ardmore can tell you that I am a food geek. Whenever we were doing out food events years ago like Foodapalooza, she always knew she had someone to go to the participating restaurants and photograph the food and chefs and speak with them. That is my idea of fun.
Soon at Farm Boy Fresh there will be amazing high boy farm style tables so you can eat in and not just take out. It is totally quirky to have an amazing chef cooking in a gas station, but you know what? That juxtaposition just works. This is fun.
Farm Boy Fresh is a welcome addition to the lunch and breakfast places in Chester County. It’s so great to meet someone that just loves what they do.
Go get yourself some breakfast or lunch. Farm Boy Fresh is located at the Sunoco at 7 Lancaster Avenue in Malvern (the corner of Route 30 and Lancaster Ave in East Whiteland Township)
I will note for the record that I was not compensated for this review. I went in to buy lunch and I will be back! I am Farm Boy Fresh hooked!
We had an appointment down in Chadds Ford late this afternoon so I asked my husband if we could stop at Brandywine View Antiques.
Brandywine View Antiques is locates at 1244 Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford, PA 19317, incidentally.
I adore the owner of Brandywine View, Lisa. She is just an awesome human being and I love to be around her. She’s a straight shooter and real. And she has an awesome eye.
When the holidays roll around, Lisa is always is on point. She has a carefully curated collection of old, new, and vintage. This year is even better than last year and I didn’t think she could top last year.
I went for some reproduction decorations including red mercury glass pinecones. I have been looking for red and green ones. I walked into Brandywine View and there they were!
Now because of the state of my knee I could not venture upstairs at Brandywine View Antiques. There are literally three floors of fun!
Anyway, there are still a few days of Christmas shopping left so don’t forget about places like Chadds Ford and Kennett Square too! Brandywine View Antiques is the perfect place to start!
I am not compensated in any way for this post. I am just a happy customer.
I am frustrated right now. I realize the post office is super busy. I realize my post office is down a postal employee. But the supervisor who works in the office isn’t exactly helpful at times. This is one of those times.
I had something on redelivery that was a giant hassle yesterday. I missed the initial delivery because I had an appointment and the mail delivery was earlier than normal. I called to try to get it yesterday and the supervisor wouldn’t call the carrier who had our route. I was just trying to figure out if it was getting delivered yesterday. Not looking for special treatment….unless basic information is special treatment?
So yesterday I subsequently filed a redelivery request on the USPS website. Have you ever attempted to navigate the USPS at peak times of the year like the holidays? I must have entered the required information seven or eight times. Then I still wasn’t sure if it was in because at one point it told me my request could not be completed or handled or something I forget what the language was, so I called my post office. The USPS supervisor assured me it would be on a truck ￼tomorrow (AKA today), after he tells me he never heard of that error before.
Just swell. Nothing like not being able to drive because you’re waiting for knee surgery and it’s your husband’s Christmas present. Only you aren’t quite sure where it is other than somewhere in the area.
So the USPS truck shows up this afternoon.￼ A different substitute driver. Very nice, but as I am calling to him to wait because the package I had on redelivery wasn’t there, he is not hearing me and starting to pull away. The reason he wasn’t hearing me is he had earbuds in. For some reason, I thought you couldn’t drive with stuff in your ears like headphones or earbuds that prohibited you from reacting to traffic and what not but I digress….
Anyway, the substitute carrier guy couldn’t have been nicer but he told me it wasn’t on the truck. So I went inside and I looked up the number and called my post office again￼￼.
I got the same supervisor on the phone as yesterday and it was a conversation for the record books.￼
“Hi sorry to call again, but the package you said would be redelivered today wasn’t and the mail carrier just left.” I said
His reply was something along the lines of there were several trucks out. So I asked him if that meant my package would be delivered later. His response was a rather oblique “maybe, possibly￼￼￼.”
I asked him if he could define that answer a little more and he said again maybe possibly￼.
So I asked if there was anyway to check with carriers to see if my package was on a truck or if it had gotten left behind. I figured that was a possibility since in the frustrating conversation of oblique replies he told me the substitute mail carrier who had been out to the house yesterday was off today.
His response to me was along the lines of “Well, if you asked the carrier to check his truck and he didn’t find it there’s really no point in me calling him.￼￼” (I am paraphrasing slightly but that was the jist of the response￼.)
So I asked him if it would just come out later today and it was another non-answer answer. He’s the supervisor so what does he know? It’s very confusing.
So I called a neighboring post office to see if they had any suggestions. Or if I was doing something wrong. The supervisor in that office couldn’t have been nicer. ￼￼
A couple of hours later, the missing package appeared like magic. I think I must have a secret Santa in that other post office.
I know the post office is slammed. I am truly sorry. But when you call for customer service, you should get actual customer service. I know people don’t like being told no, and I am no exception, but I would prefer an honest answer to a non-answer answer.
So all’s well that ends well for me today, but this is the second problem lately. And it felt like the Grinch ate my Christmas mail, right or wrong.
Quite frankly I am dreading putting my Christmas cards into the mail. But Santa says I must. Can’t be a Grinch……
The above arrived today via UPS. My husband had to bring it in because I can’t lift anything heavy right now. ￼ It was from Mieli.
We opened the packing box￼. It came shipped to me in my married name, and billed to me in my married name￼. A very expensive vacuum cleaner.
Only I did not order one.
I thought it was a present from one of my family members for some reason so I called Mieli to find out who it was from.
￼The customer service lady sounded confused. Told me that I ordered it. And I said “How would I have ordered it￼?”
“With a credit card.”
Ding ding ding. All of the alarm bells go off in my head. I said to the woman can you please tell me the credit card number. She gives me my Visa number￼￼.
I don’t use it very often. And the only time I had used it recently was for a meal (not grocery but take-out) delivery service and I had ordered fruit from a grower in Florida.
Oh and did I mention I’ve had this Visa card so long it was in my maiden name? Yet this vacuum cleaner came addressed to me in my married name￼. I do not know honestly how this ended up on my doorstep because I am not a customer of Mieli.
￼So I initiated a fraud investigation and claim with my credit card company. They suggested I call Mieli back and initiate a return of this gold plated vacuum cleaner￼. So I did that. And the customer service lady said she would email me some number and I got off the phone.
Then lightbulb went off. How could she email me? I’ve never purchased anything from this company nor received anything from this company as a gift or even seen a catalog from this company￼￼.
So I called Mieli back again. I told them I wanted a copy of the original receipt but I also wanted to know right now what was the email address used to fraudulently purchase this item￼? They gave me the email address.
If your email address is email@example.com you had better run. A fraud department is hot on your trail.￼ And quite possibly the police as that is my next call.
My bank theorizes that somebody was supposed to call the Mieli back and change the delivery address or call UPS to change the delivery address and screwed up and didn’t. Or maybe they were just going to show up and steal it from my porch.
I also went through all of my transactions on this card which aren’t very many because I don’t use it very often.
I am quite sure my Nancy Drew activities have exhausted my poor credit card bank￼. But I was also able to give them the little detail that the phone number used was close to but not my home phone number.￼
Oh and did I mention that I think this was purchased on Black Friday? I didn’t do any physical or virtual shopping on Black Friday. And a $500 vacuum cleaner is not something I’m going to buy. ￼
So chalk this up to a learning curve and it could’ve been worse. I am very grateful that my bank is so on the ball. But Fa La La it’s the holidays so be careful where you use your card￼￼.
I decided to give GrubHub one more try. They screwed up again with a super delayed order, and then delivered stone cold food.
See that burger? Do you know how gross cold, congealed melted cheese is? I bit into that burger and know now.
Disgusting, utterly disgusting, and not the restaurant’s fault but GrubHub’s
I have torn the meniscus in my left knee and my poor husband had to rush home from work to take me to Chester County Hospital, only to have to come home again because I did not break a bone so I need an MRI and you can’t get that from the ER (did not know, all I know is I was doubled over in pain, don’t like to go near hospitals but you are told to go if pain is that bad, right?)
So I ordered GrubHub as a treat. Only once again they were horrible.
￼The order that took about an hour plus longer than it should have. Their customer service was abysmal. I tried calling first but couldn’t get through. Perma-hold. So I try the “chat”.
I explain to “Jesus” the agent the problem…and the fact the driver did not reply to a polite text looking for the order when it became super late.
Do I want like GrubHub dollars or something.
No I kept saying, I want my order and should get an adjustment to my bill.
“We can’t do that.”
So yeah, I said here comes the blog post and Twitter. I also told them that they are SO bad around here that this was the SECOND restaurant this year to suggest DoorDash and Caviar!
That resonated and all of a sudden from online Jesus to his Supervisor Athena we went from $5 back to slightly more like magic.
In the end, a refund on less than half of my total order was what they promised, if they actually refund it. Nothing has been initiated as a refund. They took money out of my bank account initially in maybe 30 seconds.
So I am deleting their app and NEVER using them again. You can’t trust them.
They suck and there is always a problem. I haven’t used them that much, but every order has been a problem.
If you look on social media sites like Twitter, there is no “GrubHub” love…just complaint after complaint after complaint…from all over the country! (note the random examples I posted)
Human nature dictates we are creatures of habit and it took until this year to actually divorce and leave them. Yes, I stayed in an abusive banking relationship for far too long.
I had been a customer for close to 30 years, if not more than 30. I knew how their website worked, I knew my account numbers, and for years I even knew my tellers and branch managers.
Then I moved. New branches and new tellers and unpleasant experiences like trying to open a business checking account at a purported “full service branch” only to be told I had to come back another day because they weren’t really full service even if ON THE WALL it said “full service”.
Then there were other things like spite finance charges after I closed and paid off a credit card.
Soon it became if I used a teller I would get charged so just use the machines they said. Well, sometimes you just need to go to a branch and interact with someone face to face. I came out of banking and finance, and there is absolutely NO substitution for face to face customer service. Unless you bank at PNC of course.
When you need help in person at PNC they always try to UPSELL you to products you don’t need or want. Every time I went into a branch physically the past few years it was the hard sell for something. Every time. And when you tell them NO I don’t want any additional services it is like they are robots reading from a script, because they just launch into the upsell spiel anyway.
Then there were the nickel and diming fees that always felt like a moving target. It’s like you are punished for being a small customer not represented in the top 2% in this country.
Finally, the straw that broke the camel’s back was this summer when I had to go into a branch in Exton because their ATM machine was half broken and it would not let you make an ATM machine deposit.
So I went inside the branch and the bobblehead playing teller proceeded to quiz me (loudly) on why I hadn’t moved everything into my married name from my maiden name. In front of other customers who were then staring at this entire exchange. How about because it is none of your f-ing business, lady? It was like a public shaming for still using my maiden name on things.
That was it. I took my banking elsewhere. When I opened and seeded my new accounts at another bank, I began the process of winding down my PNC accounts.
I had an excruciating call with a customer service representative on the phone during this closing process. She wanted to know exactly WHY I was closing my accounts so I told her except it should be “We are sorry to lose you as a customer and I am happy to assist you.”
During this conversation I asked questions like could I get copies of all of my 2019 statements year to date mailed or e-mailed to me since I am paperless as well as physical statements mailed to me at year end for tax purposes. I was told TWO separate things. I was told I could just log into my old closed accounts and download statements. I was also told alternately that all I had to do was call customer service.
This afternoon I had time and I wanted to reconcile my closed accounts and make sure I did not miss anything. So I went to retrieve my statements. Only because I closed my accounts, in spite of what I was told by PNC customer service representatives I can’t actually access my records. So I called PNC customer service this afternoon.
Another stellar experience. A real service turd. Customer Service Turd said because my account was closed I could not access my statements online. So I asked if they could please MAIL or e-mail me statements, including year end statements. The answer was….NO.
If I want anything, I have to go into a branch.
I don’t want to go into a branch. I have proven my identity and all I am asking for are statements mailed to the address of record they have on file for me.
NO says the Customer Service Turd again.
I mean WTF? I am debating taking this to the Pennsylvania State Banking Commission. These accounts have been closed about 30 days. Not 30 months. Not 30 years.
Of course calling corporate PNC is nigh on impossible.
Here are the contacts I found:
Customer Experience Director/EVP
300 Fifth Ave. the Tower at PNC Plaza
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2401
Karen L. Larrimer
Executive Vice President, Head of Retail Banking & Chief Customer Officer
300 Fifth Ave. the Tower at PNC Plaza
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2401
William S. Demchak
300 Fifth Ave. the Tower at PNC Plaza
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2401
PNC Media Relations
INVESTOR RELATIONS- 412-768-4143
PNC Executive Office Phone Numbers:
I will send the PNC executives this post. I want my statements and I should NOT have to practically give blood to get them. But this is a good reminder as to why I left PNC. Except really, I have to wonder does old fashioned customer service and old school neighborhood banking exist any longer or are we all lost to giant conglomerates, offshore call centers and unless we are worth millions to banks we are worthless?
Things to ponder Corporate America and dear readers, things to ponder.
My final word is my new bank doesn’t know me from Adam’s House Cat but whether online, in person, or on the phone they treat me with professionalism and respect. Thank you Citizen’s Bank. It makes a difference.