food

Pickles and Customer Service

If you didn’t know before – now you do:  I’m an avid local supporter.  I absolutely adore seeing small, local business soar.  That’s the reason I decided to go full time into marketing.  I have no desire to work for a large advertising company or marketing firm.  My intention is to take my experience to the mom and pops of the world and help them soar.

I just moved this past weekend.  As most of you are aware – this is no minor task.  Thank God I have amazing friends and family that gave up their Saturday and risked their digits to frigid Midwest temps to get the job done.  After it was all said and done, I rewarded them with a trip to our local watering hole, [The Stacked Pickle] in West Carmel.

When we walked in, we were promptly greeted and seated.  Immediately after, our server cheerfully took our orders and we cheerfully accepted our drinks in return.  Hey – they were well deserved.  We placed our order for food – and literally within 5 minutes, it was placed in front of us to snack on.  My cousin, Stacey, decided she wanted something different so she placed an order for some nachos.  Two minutes later – BOOM!  Right in front of us.

A couple of rounds into it, my cousin (Joe) had to make a bathroom run.  A little background on Joe.  Not only is he a trained chef, but he also has his degree in business.  He’s every restaurant manager’s dream (and of course also potential nightmare).  As he passed the kitchen, he felt compelled to let the kitchen staff know what an incredible job they’d been doing that night.  He busted open the kitchen doors and did just that.  Just so happened, the manager of the joint heard his little speech and was delighted.

He and Joe apparently chatted for a couple of minutes, then Bryce (the manager) stopped by our table. He knew we’d been moving all day and was honored that we’d chosen his establishment to visit after a hard day.  He offered us a shot on the house and spent a few minutes getting to know us better. The entire evening was an overwhelmingly positive experience and needless to say if anyone ever asks for a place to grab food and a drink up on the north-side, you know that the Stacked Pickle is always going to be on my list of suggestions.

The lesson here is three-fold.  If you’re a manager of a small business, please understand that customers love personal attention – even a small gesture can go a long way to make your clients feel special.  Lesson two: When you’re in the role of the customer instead of the business owner, remember that recognizing good service helps to reinforce it and keeps the positive loop going. Lesson three is the power of social media in its rawest form that you’re witnessing through this blog post.  Do well – you’ll be recognized for it.  Do poorly, you’ll hear about it.  And so will 15000 other people.

Next time you’re in West Carmel – I expect you to pay this guy a visit.  They do parties as well.  Call Bryce Gerlitz at 317.876.0981

Facing My Fear Turned…. SMELLY!

Remember how I said one fear may seem absolutely asinine to you – but to me – it’s paralyzing?  That’s a picture of my first fear blog.  Most of you will probably read this and be like, “are you serious?”  YES, I’M FREAKING SERIOUS!

This fear has been ridiculous and has had complete control of my life in regard to food.  Now, let me just preempt this by saying that I know I’m a bit of a nut job.  In some ways – with me – something’s just.. not… right.  I’m fully aware, so no need to verbally flog me.

Hi, my name is Amber.  And I have a fear of any vegetable that comes on pizza. :-(

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I know.  Ridiculous.

Why?  Well, the texture of mushrooms remind me of human flesh.  How much human flesh have I consumed, you ask? Oh.  None.  But thanks for asking.

Onions and peppers – well I don’t want to ruin foods you like for you, but when you bite into either of those (especially when they’re hidden well in food or under a bun), it reminds me of biting into the hard shell of a cockroach.  Plus, you even get the burst of roach juice.  In my mind of course.

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So… Friday.  I decided.  I was going to overcome this.  My two biggest fears as far as food goes were onions and mushrooms.  I have two pretty incredible (words don’t do them justice) friends.  The husband of the husband-wife duo can cook his tail off.  I told them of my plight to overcome these fears and he had his mission.  He was going to make the best onion mushroom dish this side of the… well… UNIVERSE!  I haven’t had any such thing that I even remotely enjoy.

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As I was waiting for him to cook, I decided I was tough.  I can do this.  I’m eating this onion.  RAW.  Pictures speak for themselves.  An hour later, I’ve consumed a mini-tin of wintergreen Altoids, dark chocolate covered dried bananas and a container of plain greek yogurt trying to cover up the taste of raw onion.  I won’t be eating raw onion all by itself again any time soon.

And then the moment of truth.  A little bit of this, a little bit of that, lots of onion and mushroom and…. chopped cashew!  The texture of the cashew distracted me enough to actually enjoy the taste and texture of the onion and mushroom.  I ate the whole dang bowl.  And could have had more!

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May seem small to you – but to me, a whole new culinary world has opened up to me that I’ve shut out my entire life.  All of it.

Thanks guys!  Just want to keep encouraging you to do something at least once a week that makes you step outside of the box.  Something that scares you.  Even just a fuzz.  Grow YOU!!  Go get ‘em!

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