Normally, I would never do a review about a corporate chain restaurant however I feel that this one in particular deserves the hat tip.
Until yesterday, my last experience with an Applebees was on Veterans day a few years back. The experience back then was horrific. I, as a Veteran, went with my family to the Monroeville, PA. Applebees for the Veterans Day Luncheon. The food was horrific, the service was disrespectful and I wish I could remember the servers name because I would completely "out" her here. She was crass and curt, and pretty much made every hint that she had no respect for the men and women of the armed forces community. The food was under cooked, the glass containing my soft drink was filthy; it was enough to ensure nobody would ever return to that restaurant.
I have never been to another Applebees since. Until yesterday. My wife and I were out running errands and decided to grab lunch. We pass the Applebees restaurant located out by Century III Mall on Lebanon Church Road, just outside of Pittsburgh.
We were both starving and figured why the heck not. We park and enter, figuring we were going to have a long wait with it being the lunch rush. The place was fairly busy, but we were greeted instantly as we walked through the door. A warm smile and friendly attitude was afforded us by our hostess and we were seated immediately.
The new menus were placed before us, drink orders taken immediately and specials were explained in a non-demeaning manner. Not even 2 minutes into our experience and things were looking up. Each table has these new touch screen devices on them which have a variety of features. From a menu that you can order off of, games for kids as well as a trivia app for "bigger kids".
My much better half and I peruse the menu and are intrigued by items on just about every single page. For matters of brevity, I will get to it. For an appetizer we ordered these spicy chicken and cilantro won ton tacos. They arrived at our table in a matter of minutes. Served with a nice mellow coleslaw and lime wedges, the balance of flavors was spectacular. The bite of the cilantro played off the spice of the chicken. The lime squeezed over top gave a bright acidity that played and enhanced the flavors all around which was elegantly balanced out by the coleslaw. Not to mention that the crunch of the won ton was fun and exciting. These are a definite "MUST HAVE" if you decide to go.
For our entrees, my wife ordered the 5 cheese macaroni with honey glazed chicken strips. I didn't get to try any of it because my wife was so enamored with the dish that it was gone before I could try some. So,...I'm pretty sure she gives it her seal of approval.
I myself ordered the Brunch Burger. A beautifully seasoned hand pressed patty cooked to perfection with bacon, cheese, a hash brown and a expertly cooked fried egg on top with a side of onion rings. Let me start with explaining one thing about this heart stopping monument to burger lovers everywhere; Burgatory should WISH they could make a burger this good! Recently, I had ordered a similar burger at Burgatory. It was bland, too bready, and not even remotely cooked right. Not to mention WAY over priced for what it was. A pathetic attempt at a gourmet burger.
Applebees on Lebanon Church Road does not have this problem. I would seriously order this burger at least once a week. The egg dripping down the sides of the burger mixing with the ketchup, the crunch of the hash browns and the texture of the hand pressed all beef patty was pure delight.
I had just about given up on corporate chain food. The friendly crew and professional management staff at Applebees on Lebanon Church Road have guaranteed that I and my family will be returning for more amazing food off of their much improved menu.
I give Century III Applebees 5 out of 5 STARS! And that's saying something, because I never give a perfect score. Great Job Gang!
According to an email blast I just received from the CGC, turnaround times for getting comics and collectibles graded is about to be drastically reduced. Too often I have heard collectors state that they wanted to get key issues graded, but didn't want to wait the several months it would take to get it back.
From what the CGC says in their email, the CGC has expanded its staffing and refined it's grading and encapsulating process. For all those that have been on the fence about getting your cherished issues graded, maybe this news will be the tipping point.
From the CGC Email:
CGC reports that it has drastically reduced turnaround times for ALL tiers. In order to keep up with the increasing demands of collectors, CGC has expanded its highly skilled staff and refined its grading and encapsulation processes.
CGC Director of Operations, Harshen Patel, attributes the company’s efficiency to a concerted team effort and sees more progress on the horizon. “We’ve made strong additions to the CGC team with talented employees who fully embrace our commitment to improving the collector’s experience through faster turnaround times,” said Patel. “It’s a great sign that we’ve been able to make these strides at a time when submissions are increasing. We’re taking additional steps right now that we’re confident will continue this positive trend.”
Notably, turnaround times for economical tiers, such as Modern, Economy and Value, which are typically the slowest, have been cut by more than half. Turnaround times continue to drop across the board. See below for a current list of estimated turnaround times.
Current CGC Turnaround Times:
Modern/Signature Series: 38 Days
Fast Track Modern: 11 Days
Value: 40 Days
Fast Track Value: 24 Days
Economy: 40 Days
Fast Track Economy: 24 Days
Standard: 15 Days
Express: 5 Days
In the latest trailer for "Captain America: CIVIL WAR", we are teased by so much that it's hard to start with a particular part. Ant-Man is in action, Black Panther is chasing down Winter Soldier, War Machine takes a HUGE hit, but the best is saved for last!
We finally get our first look at Tom Holland's Spider-Man! Our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man leaps into action at the very end of the trailer and totally Boggarts Captains Shield!!! I seriously jumped out of my seat with excitement!!!
I have watched this trailer at least ten times already!
I am so excited to see this movie!!!
"So Spike, why do you always spend your time going to Conventions?" The answer is simple. Because at a convention, everyone is equal. Everyone is there for the same purpose. GEEK-DOM!
All my life, I have been brought up in the church. Russian Orthodox, Presbyterian even "Born Again" non-denominational Assemblies of God. Every single church was filled with the same types and cliques of people. The devout, those that are always there and border line zealot. The "lip-service" weekly's, those that put on their Sunday best and attend putting on a show mean while they live the rest of the week going about their decadent and sinful ways. Then there are the "habitual's" those that just attend because they are so ingrained, so used to it, that they just go through the motions and then drone on through their lives.
Do not get me wrong. I know this is coming off as an atheist rant. It is not. I intend for this article to hopefully be an eye opener. For I am a Christian. I am just a Christian that is tired of judgement, false disciples and people that don't do their homework.
You see, at a Sci-Fi convention, Anime Convention, Comic Book Convention; we are all there for the same purpose. GEEK. NERD. Fan-dom, call it what you will. At a Con, we are all equal. Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist; it DOESN'T MATTER! Under that roof, we are all the same.
I may not be into all things Anime, and the person I just met may not be into the comics or movies that I am. However, we can both agree and admit that we are there for the simple fact that we are fans in some aspect of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy realm. We find common ground and go from there,
This is where the world has gotten it wrong. It's not about confirmations, and baptisms. It's not about how many times you attend service on a Sunday. It's not about whether you prayed your mandatory 5, 10, 15 times that day. It's about your actions as a person.
Did you treat your neighbor kindly? Did you do the best you were able to at your job? Were you selfless, and stop your car to help that person to the side of the road when their car died in the middle of traffic? Did you speak up and defend that kid being bullied in the hallway after class?
You see, as a student and writer of literature, I have often delved into the religions of the world. Although many of the religions say many different things, the main sentiments usually ring true through each and everyone. Don't kill, don't steal, don't rape. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Now, are there "followers" that read into these or misinterpret these teachings for their own political/societal means and become mass murdering zealots? Sadly yes. Look at ISIS. A ton of idiots, that took their faith and use it to justify their insatiable blood lust. Hell, the Catholic Church did similar things in the Dark Ages.
At a Convention, this isn't an issue. Cos-Players, Artists, Writers, Celebrities, Vendors; we are all there for one thing. It's freaking CON! We get to forget about the corrupt politicians, evil bosses, and the fact that the rest of the world sucks. We get to be our Geeky selves and enjoy each other and the magical escape that Con affords us.
Do I believe in God?
Do I believe that society, on a GLOBAL scale has the misconceived notion that you have to believe their faith is the right one or you are wrong?
You see, the bible says; "...where two or more are gathered, there I am...". It, along with the Koran, the Torrah and much more, all preach the same thing. Ultimate paradise, do no harm and work together. As a Military Veteran, I worked with men and women from many different races, cultures and religious beliefs. They were my Brothers. My Sisters. We got the job done and then partied our butts off. Conventions are much the same way.
We are all there for one purpose. To express our love and passion for all things Sci-Fi/Fantasy related. I am proud to say, that i am a #ProfessionalGeek and that I attend "The Church of Geek" as much as possible. Because according to my faith, and my Bible; Jesus was a fan of mankind and humanity. And there is nothing that exemplifies this aspect of humanity, and the ability to work together and love one another; more than a Con.
CEO Spike Bowan is the Pittsburgh based Actor/Director/ Author/ Creator of the Alternate History Genre/Fiction saga "War in the Backyard".
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