Pizza at George’s

My teenagers and I have been craving pizza so I told them that if we survived this crazy first week of mandatory overtime at my job we would order pizza Saturday night.

Then I asked them if they’d rather go for pizza.

What a novel idea in this pandemic world.

I called them from the car as I drove home from the warehouse— because teenager #2 scrubbed up the dining room table to feed us something “sweet and yummy” procured via her actual maternal unit.

“Hey, guys, are we still going out for pizza?”

They had forgotten but teenagers are always ready to go out for pizza.

George’s is one of our local pizza joints, about a mile from the house. They have certain dishes, like their homemade vodka sauce (which you can order by the quart), which are satiating comfort foods. They had a 12” one-topping pizza for $6 that I nicknamed the “date night” pizza because it’s perfect for two people to share. They also have two sizes of cannoli which thrills teenager #1.

They once made me an entire pot of coffee because I ordered it late in the day and they offered to let me take the rest home.

I ordered, with the teenagers’ help, two of the little pizzas— one with green peppers and the other with black olives. We also ordered calamari, garlic knots and breaded cauliflower. Only I could get that many vegetables into pizza night.

After a very long day and an even longer week, it felt good to share this experience with the teens. Teen #2, at my goading, went out to the car and got $1 in quarters for each of them to use as they wished. I thought one of them would play pinball.

Teen #1 got one gumball and three bouncy balls.

Teen #2 chose expanding dinosaurs. They now reside in a cup of water at the bathroom sink.

Not impressed with GrubHub

My dear friend Bill Prystauk of Crash Palace Productions gave me a $100 gift card from GrubHub to thank me for editing the latest installment in his Kink Noir novel series, Debauchery, which came out earlier this week.

I love Bill. We both love food. It’s a pandemic. The gift card was a thoughtful gift.

Last week I ordered sushi from Tokyo Sushi in downtown Easton. I have never had their sushi and wanted to compare it to Sogo Fusion Cuisine. More importantly— much more importantly— I wanted bubble tea.

Now, I didn’t realize you could order food for pick up and I would have easily done that as the restaurant is less than two miles away. But why use GrubHub for such an order when you can call the restaurant directly?

When my meal came, the sushi was amazing but there was no bubble tea. So I called the restaurant and asked if I could come get it. They said they didn’t have the flavor I requested so they didn’t charge me. But… I already paid GrubHub. I contacted GrubHub and they put the $4.24 cents into my account.

Tonight I’m in some pain and discomfort from my back. I thought a nice meal might help. GrubHub had sent me a promo code for $10 off a $30 order.

I wanted to try Braai Hut in Bethlehem as I am a fan of most African cuisines and I can make a pretty badass peri-peri sauce. I noticed they have lamb strips in peri-peri and an African form of vegetarian baked beans.

I started ordering. Now, here comes the next thing about GrubHub that completely annoys me. I had $29 in my cart instead of $30. Instead of letting me add more food, it just deletes the promo code.

So I go back to my email and click the “redeem now” button again.

The meal arrives promptly. I am very exciting to be supporting a new, small, local and ethnic restaurant.

I ordered:

  • Lamb strips with the beans and sweet potato fries
  • A chicken slaw burger with coleslaw

I received:

  • One order of chicken kebabs with sweet potato fries and roasted corn
  • A chicken bacon burger with coleslaw

Now, they probably ran out of beans and lamb and the screw up on the burger wasn’t the end of the earth.

But if restaurants don’t have what they have listed on GrubHub they need to have some way for the restaurant to connect with me the end user.

Because I so did not want chicken kebabs.

The corn was the best part of the meal but also the cheapest side on the menu.

I was disheartened, once again, that the whole reason I placed the order was not honored.

But now my next dilemma— to whom do I complain? I guess GrubHub.

But in their help menu they don’t have an option for “they gave me the wrong food.” I decided to click on “an item was missing.” Because my lamb was missing. And my beans.

They don’t offer a place to explain the problem, just let you click off the menu. So I clicked lamb. GrubHub refunded my meal.

Now I’m worried they are going to take that money away from the small business.

And I don’t want that.

For my final GrubHub order, I’m going to select a major chain. Then I won’t feel bad complaining if they screw it up.

But I think that will be my last GrubHub order. I’m more a #curbsidefirst girl.

Here’s the video of me “unboxing” my meal: First Meal from Braai Hut

Feature: Keep on Riding (bicycle commuting, 2003)

The part of being a journalist on a regular beat is the relationships you form with people. This feature on bicycle commuting featured a local business owner (Russ Padgett, Cycle Funattic in Phillipsburg, N.J.) and if I remember correctly, because it was a decade ago, the idea came from him.

To put this story together, we followed Russ on his commuting route, a good 15 miles, and our staff photographer literally hung out of my car like we were on The Dukes of Hazzard.

I like the way the story turned out, and I feel like it was a very timely piece for its day. Gas prices then were escalating, but not nearly to the extent we would see a few years later.

This ran in the Phillipsburg Chronicle, August 1, 2003 as a “Community Life” feature. For more information on Cycle Funattic, see their web site: http://www.cyclefunattic.com/.

Feature on bicycle commuting, section 1 of 3

Feature on bicycle commuting, section 1 of 3

Bicycle commuting, section 2 of 3

Bicycle commuting, section 2 of 3

Russ Padgett, bicycle commuting part 3

Russ Padgett, bicycle commuting part 3