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Prior to having a double lung transplant (the biggest surgery any person can have) my wife and I used to eat organic here and there. You know just to say we ate organic and try to trick our brains to think we did something healthy…not that we ate unhealthy a lot. However, after surgery we were told by the doctors and nutritionist to eat as much organic as possible.
Bottom line is they were trying to keep out any pesticides or foreign chemicals that would hinder the healing process or mess with all my medicine . We took heed to that suggestion, because the last thing you want is to find out something you ate made your body sick after having a $3M surgery!
We all know that eating healthy costs more. Organic foods are almost double what the non-organic food costs. Like bananas, organic from our store goes for $.99 lbs, non-organic is $.59 lbs. Being that potassium was and is needed for me, we buy a lot of bananas. We also know that organic foods don’t last as long, the bananas I get can go bad after about 4 days, non-organic about week. So we buy only 4 or 5 bananas at a time. I bet by now you’re tired of me saying bananas! OK moving on.
The cost of organic is higher simply because the crops don’t yield as much and the farmers tend to have a lot smaller crops over all. Have you ever seen a fruit or vegetable grove that goes for miles? Those aren’t organic and they have to use a plane in some areas to cover the crops in chemicals to keep the bugs away. Certified Organic farmers don’t use those harsh chemicals. The bugs that attack the organic farms are smarter, since they don’t eat chemicals, where is the other bugs that eat the chemical sprayed foods are more like the hippies from the 60’s. Lol just kidding
The same goes for eggs, milk, meats and packed foods. The choice to stay with this diet is flippen expensive, but the trade off is, knowing you’re eating better. For me, my body has been healing up well now. Not to say organic was the main factor, but I can say it certainly helps. By the way, organic milk tastes like it did when I was a kid.

Why am I posting this; it is because of the scare of listeria on the apples. Apples people! “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Hmm, not if it has a deadly bacteria. I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone getting sick from organic foods. But, it could happen. We wash all our fruits and vegetables prior to eating them, and so should you, regardless of where it comes from.

The best (in our opinion) fruits and vegetables come from a locally owned, organic farm. Because they know if they don’t produce good produce (did you see what I did there) they might find some of their cows tipped. Just kidding again. That actually hurts the cows, so don’t do it.

In closing, we all have choices to make when shoveling food in our pie holes, so do what you feel is right for you and enjoy!

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This is our first time visiting an O’Charley’s. We’ve seen the t.v. commercials and have heard good things about the restaurant chain.

The location of this O’Charley’s has very high traffic as it sits in a Mall parking lot and near a very busy highway. The exterior of the restaurant is appealing and clean. Although there are two entry doors, one clearly marked and the other almost looks like an emergency exit. However, once inside it opens up to a nice foyer.

We were greeted by a Host and Hostess who were friendly, smiling and ready to seat us and even though we tried to stump them with our 99 guest to follow behind us in a bus, they played right along. 

The dining room has a nice casual dining atmosphere with plenty of booths, windows and brick for a pleasant dining experience. There is a bar that allows smoking, that is to the right of the dining room, with a half wall separating the entry way. Although we were not seated near the bar, I’m never one who cares to see or smell smoke when eating at a public restaurant.

Once seated we were greeted immediately by our server to take our request for a beverage. The menus had enough to choose from, but the main dishes were of Chicken or Steak. They have burgers, salads, some seafood and Appetizers.

The server quickly returned with our beverages and fresh hot rolls and offered to take our order. We started with an Appetizer, the Spinach dip, which was on the Lunch special menu for $6.99. We explained to our server that we are picky when it comes to spinach dip, as we have had some Great ones.

Prior to ordering our meal, we took in some of the scenery around the restaurant. It was well laid out, with a large Charleston mural on one wall and plenty of seating which seemed to be about ¾ full. Most people seem to be enjoying themselves as busy servers, runners and the Dining room Manager delivered serve.

Upon our spinach dip arriving to the table, we immediately noticed the portion size was very small, looked like the kitchen staff took a serving spoon full of the dip and placed it into the boat shaped dish. A small sprinkle of grated cheese on the top for looks, I assume, along with a small hand full of chips for dipping. The server was wise and polite enough to wait while we tasted it, to see if we like it or not. I would say, it’s almost like she knew it wasn’t very good, although she has never tasted it herself.  And she was right, the spinach tasted like it was frozen prior, the cheese dip was lacking cheese. It tasted like it had been sitting in a pot in the kitchen all morning, which get back to my thinking it was just plopped into the dish with a spoon, as appose to make fresh, topped with cheese and heated to warm it all together. The server was very understanding and took it back and said she would remove it from our order.

We ordered our meal, the Cowboy Sirloin and Tuscan Chicken, along with a side salad. Within roughly three minutes of our server taking our order and removing the dip from our table, we were greeting by the Dining Room Manager.  This shows us she’s a professional and caring Manager. She was pleasant and politely asked what we thought about the spinach dip. We explained our dislikes and she gladly offered to notify the Kitchen Manager.  She continued on her task of greeting each customer.

The side salad arrived to our table moments later, it was rather larger and we ordered Ranch dressing with it. The salad had several kinds of lettuce, carrot strips, cukes and cherry tomatoes. Quite frankly, it was obvious it comes from a mixed salad bag, pre-made, like you can get at your local grocery store. Although that’s not a bad thing, we still like to see a freshly made salad when we am paying that much for it. The Ranch dressing was horrible. It was watery, as to say it looks and tasted like milk was added to it. It’s not too hard to mess up Ranch dressings, it’s one of the easiest dressings to make.

Once again the Server came over to check on us and to notify us our meal was coming and to ask if we needed a refill of my drink. To me having a drink run empty and then have a server come and ask is not good service. The fact that our Server asked me three times if I needed as refill, which I declined each time, shows attention to her customers. She also asked if we wanted more salad dressing, which we quickly said no.

A Runner brought out our meals. She was nice and knew who had what dish. First appearance of the dishes and the food looked great. Plenty of food, clean and good appeal. Our Server returned to ask if we needed anything, steak sauce, drink. Now if a Steak is done properly it should not need to have additional taste, like a steak sauce, added. So upon the first bite we were glad to note it did Not need a sauce, even though our Server politely placed an A1 sauce on the table.

The steak came with bacon, cheesy mashed potatoes and a small topping of onion straws. The steak was a 6 oz sirloin that was cooked to our liking. The mashed potatoes were less than satisfying as the first bite revealed something tough, like an over cooked part of the potato skin. That aside they were edible, but the bacon was a little much.

The Tuscan Chicken was a larger portion of chicken, thick and quite juicy. It was topped with several kinds of cheese. It came with linguine pasta in a butter sauce. The chicken was very good for the most part, although the parmesan cheese got a little heavy and salty at times, and this coming from someone who likes salt. The pasta was tasteful, but in my opinion it was far too oily in the middle of the dish. The pasta around the sides were fine, as it didn’t sit in the middle where the oil gathered. I just couldn’t eat 80% of the pasta due to the oil.

Soon after we finished our meal, the Manager returned to ask how our meal was. We explained with detail about our meal, which again she offered to relay the message to the kitchen.  We engaged her in a light conversation of her restaurant experience and the general concept about O’Charley’s.

Final notes; our overall dining experience was pleasant, the staff is great, the atmosphere is nice, plenty of parking and nice curb appeal. However, the food lacked the taste that would bring us back for another meal. As with so many restaurant chains, Corporate has obviously restricted the Kitchen Manager/Staff to provide a quality meal. Cost control should not always be the deciding factor, you can have great quality meal with meeting the bottom line as well.

So, as we promised the Dining Room Manager, who works hard to maintain a great staff, we will return, but it may only be for a drink.

 

http://www.ocharleys.com/

O’Charley’s

2150 Northwoods Blvd

North Charleston, SC 29406

                       

Sincerley,

Mr. and Mrs. Philip Webb

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