by Patrick VanEvery | Mar 1, 2016 | WOM Reviews | 0 comments
WOM Review – Cookout
Cookout review. I’m not the best person to review Cookout because I’m not a fan and have been to several in my travels over the years.
To sum it up quickly, it’s low cost, low quality / low nutritional value and relatively quick food but just not very good but to eaches own. It’s one of those restaurants that you will have many opinions that are pro or con.
The dining room was full of young high school kids that can stomach the bad food and like the low price tag. I’ve also driven by many a late night when it’s lined up around the building in the drive thru and packed inside with drinks with a few dollars left from the night to eat some grease. There were also a few families that I’m sure like the lower family price tag but it still is not on my WOM list.
I’ve not had everything here nor care to but not a fan of the burger and the fries are awful and the hot dog do so bad I couldn’t eat it so no need to continue on from there.
The shakes are the only thing that I would return for and they have 40 different shakes and for only $2.75 it’s the best value around and they are pretty good. I will eat somewhere else and catch a shake here on the way home.
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WOM Review Culvers opened their Woodruff Rd. location (on the good side of Woodruff Rd) 2 years ago and was the first chain location in the SE. Many in the South have never experienced or heard of Culvers but those from the Midwest that live in the South will drive way out of the way to have a ButterBurger and custard or some cheese curds with cheese and beef from Wisconsin. The Clark family who owns this franchise and plans for additional locations in the Upstate. They reviewed franchises from many different industries and with no formal restaurant experienced choose Culvers based on the Culver family values, cult like following, high quality food and pride in all they do. The training and support they received mirrors Chick-fila.
Culvers has over 500 locations in 22 states over the past 20 years and they are just getting started. Our family loves Culvers and they have something to eat for anyone and fall into the fast casual category which is the fastest growing and changing restaurant space. Known for their ButterBurgers and Custard, they have a large menu with many great things to try. I recommend you just go and try it, find something that you like elsewhere and give it a try. We think that you will be happy that you did. I’m a fan of many of their menu items but I love the custard and believe it is much better than ice cream. They have tons of custard options and toppings and are known for their flavor of the day as advertised online and on their digital sign.
Culvers is very engaging online via social media and very engaged in any community they operate. They have both indoor and outdoor seating and a very busy drive thru. It’s a nicely laid out and clean restaurant and you should experience a smiling face and prompt service. The pricing is typical of fast causal locations – $6.00 to $9.00 per person and the children’s meals at $5.29 include a custard treat and a drink. If you have been to Culvers, you have probably been back and if not, I would recommend that you give them a try and see what you think. Let me know what you have to say.
Culvers on Woodruff RD.
by Patrick VanEvery | Mar 3, 2016 | WOM Reviews | 0 comments
WOM Review – PDQ
PDQ on Pelham Road and 85 has been open now for 7 months. PDQ stands for People Dedicated to Quality and is a 47 chain restaurant group based in Tampa, FL and founded by one of the founders of Outback Steakhouse. They are know for their chicken tenders, sandwiches and salads, hand cut fries and hand spun shakes.
PDQ falls into the fast casual food concept and the menu is small and almost solely focused on chicken. The pricing for dinner and lunch is mid priced (average $8.50 for a meal)and they have a drive thru and offer catering. They have 2 of the new Coke freedom machines and the restaurant is large, modern and clean with an open kitchen and bar type seating option that looks into the kitchen. Very family friendly and focused.
I’ve been to this location 2 times, once at lunch and once at dinner and neither of the times were they as busy as I would expect or I’m sure what they expect or experience in the FL area where they have greater brand awareness. I ran into a friend while there that owned several Sonic locations and I asked his opinion and his response was so so. He said that the bread they had was not fresh and there’s no excuse for old bread. He also mentioned that pricing was a little high for the food. I felt the pricing was in line based on other restaurants in the fast casual space. He mentioned visiting the charter store in Tampa and it was lined out the building and he was very impressed and felt this location had a long way to go and no one in the area is familiar with the concept.
Last night I had a chicken Caesar salad and they promote making all their own sauces and dressings in house. I tried a few dressings and was not impressed and both were very salty and the flavors did not excite me. I had a nice conversation with the manager only because dinner was dead while their neighbor Chick-fila had customers wrapped around their building. I learned a lot about the chain and the long term vision for the brand and the challenges they are having breaking into the Upstate community.
During my first visit I did try their signature chicken tenders and several sauces and was a fan of the tenders but really think they are missing the mark on the flavors of the sauces but just my opinion as I’m sure others love them. We tried their hand cut fries and shakes and both were good but neither blew us away. They do have the best straws for their shakes and see no reason other chains don’t get them too outside of cost. They had the fattest straws and made it much easier to enjoy the milkshake! They had us sample the blueberry cole slaw that they highly recommended and did nothing for either of us and wouldn’t order again.
I’ve heard mixed reviews from others that have been several times. I’m not sure it makes my WOM list and I wouldn’t drive out of the way to go there but wouldn’t not go if I was in the area and wanted to give it another shot and try something new. They have invested a lot of money on the restaurant and the concept and it was clean and well staffed but believe they still have a lot of work to get their volumes up to meet the chains goals. I give it a so so rating, didn’t love it and didn’t hate it and could easily see varying opinions on both sides.
Would love to hear what you have to say and your thoughts on PDQ.
PDQ on Pelham Rd
by Patrick VanEvery | Mar 6, 2016 | WOM Reviews | 0 comments
WOM Review – Carolina Springs
I have not played Carolina Springs in a few years or at least since they re-did their greens over the past year or so. Carolina Springs used to have 36 holes but closed 18 in order to build a custom built neighborhood around the other 18 holes. This project was stopped with many others due to tough economic times for real estate.
We signed up for a tee time using a third party and paid $63 for 2 golfers on a Sunday at 11:40am and the system paired us with another 2 golfers using the service as well. With the holiday weekend, it was not busy so we just ended up playing as a twosome and played the round just over 3 hours. They have a practice facility where you purchase balls and a nice grill for food at the turn and or a beer after your round. I would sum up Carolina Springs as a no major frills golf course but one that is very wide open and fair for all levels of play with several challenging holes. It is your typical public course but do not think that they get the volume of play like Bonnie Brae and or Willow Creek. Some of that may be that it has a membership component or the fact that it still feels a little out there in the country for many in the Upstate and or for me, I just forget that it is even there and an option. It is not a course that I would play a lot or consider my go to course but I would have no problem teeing it up here from time to time. The new greens are very nice and when they mature and speed up they should be ever better. They hold and roll very true but were only rolling at about a 9.
If you play Carolina Springs or have played it, let me know what you think.
Comments from their website:
Since 1968, Carolina Springs Golf Club has been home to one of the most popular public golf courses in the Upstate of South Carolina. Located just minutes from downtown Greenville and the Golden Strip area. Carolina Springs is a favorite destination for many golfers looking for a great golf experience. Our 18-hole championship golf course, designed by golf architect Russell Breeden, is challenging for all levels of players, but also is fun and playable for everyone. Our staff is ready to make sure that your experience is the best anywhere, from the condition of our course, our practice areas, and our PGA professionals on staff, to our full-service bar & grill and banquet facilities.
Weekday rates: $35 / Weekend: $45
Black: yards 6803, rating 72.7, slope 131
Blue: yards 6404, rating 70.8, slope 125
White: yards 5976, rating 68.7, slope 122
Red: yards 5191, rating 70.4, slope 125
Carolina Springs on Scuffletown Rd,
Fresh to Order
by Patrick VanEvery | Mar 7, 2016 | WOM Reviews | 0 comments
Fresh to Order
WOM Review – Fresh to Order
Fresh to Order – fine. food. fast
One of the newest successful restaurants to open off of the local favorite Woodruff Rd. across from Cabellas and neat to Firebirds.
FtO is another successful franchise creation by Pierre Panos based out of ATL with close to 20 locations and growing quickly to 50 and more locations all in the SE.
They fall into the fast casual food category with a focus great food. They advertise and promote lower price points based on the quality of food and have a large price range and large menu. Based on what we ordered, 2 salads with added protein and drinking water came to $27 for lunch so not what I consider a low priced lunch but to be fair they have many other lower priced options. A basic salad and or sandwich is $8.00+. For tea fans, they have 10 different unique tea flavors as well as a soda machine and some desserts that we didn’t try.
I’ve been several times and each time it gets busier and busier and anyone that I have recommended it to and has been, is a fan and been back. They have a great menu with something for everyone and I would like to try most of the dishes as many sound amazing. The GM Chaz runs a great restaurant and has been very pleased with the entry to the Greenville market and said business is improving every week.
The 2 guests that I introduced to F2O were both highly impressed and looked forward to their next visit.
They are open lunch and dinner 7 days per week and are always packed at lunch, the only time I’ve eaten there. They focus on a modern, fresh and clean interior and have a great space outside for awesome SC weather.
There’s no reason they would not make it on our WOM list of – must try. I highly recommend that you try it for yourself and see which dish is your favorite. Enjoy and let me know what you think – you won’t be disappointed.
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