Checking out PDQ

September 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Yesterday I wrote two fun, long blog posts which completely consumed my afternoon. But I did take some photos of stuff yesterday, so they must go on the blog.

Yesterday the boys and I went to Einstein Bros. Bagels for breakfast.

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I got the turkey sausage and egg white bagel thin sandwich (350 calories). Delicious.

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Then we went to the gym.

20 minutes on the elliptical…

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then Bodypump.

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After Bodypump I took the boys home and I headed to The Dali Museum for yoga.

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I took that photo as soon as I arrived but it actually ended up being a packed house. Eric Wheeler was substitute leading again this week and he is awesome. I will definitely be trying my best to get to the Dali whenever he is there.

After yoga I grabbed lunch from the tapas menu at Café Gala.

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I got the Tortilla Española and the Plato España.

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This was so delicious. By the time I get home from yoga it is close to 2 p.m. and I am starving, so picking up lunch while still at The Dali is awesome. Plus, the food is so good.

From 3 p.m. on I was writing my Trek Store of St. Petersburg Bicycle Cruise post and my Central Florida Blogger and Social Media Convention 2012 post. Thank goodness Chad made dinner.

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It featured two of our Trader Joe’s finds:

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Loved the sausage and the dressing was good but I thought it was pretty garlicky.

This morning Chewie and I walked Mack to school and when we got home I made breakfast.

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That’s toast with Chia Charger Buffalo dirt (peanut/cashew butter with chia seeds and espresso flecks), fruit, and eggbeaters scrambled with veggies and topped with Frank’s Red Hot.

As soon as I got Cal off to the bus stop I headed to North Shore Pool to get in some laps.

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I was there right when they opened the lanes to public swimming so that I could get 2500 yards in first thing.

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Instead of face lifts we should all just wear swimming caps all the time when we are older.

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I did my 2500 yards (6X400 IM + 1X100) in less than an hour…I think it was about 57 minutes. Yay for no kids to distract me!

I was in a hurry to get the exercise portion of the day finished because I had a meeting in Tampa for lunch.

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A few weeks ago I noticed that a PDQ location was under construction on Fourth Street in northeast St. Pete. They have three locations in Tampa and I have heard my Tampa friends raving about this restaurant so I was very excited that we were getting one in my neighborhood.

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I posted a message on the PDQ St. Pete Facebook page telling them that I was psyched to see them coming to St. Pete and let them know that I’d love to help them promote the opening. A few days later I got an e-mail from their PR guy, Jeffrey, asking me to come check out their south Tampa location and try some of their food since I had never actually eaten there.

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PDQ treated me to lunch, but all opinions are my own.

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I decided to try the crispy chicken salad so that I could check out both the famous tenders and the salad.

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The salad was very fresh and it came with honey mustard dressing (pre-tossed) which was yummy. The tenders were crunchy and juicy and delicious. I’m a fan.

I also tried the blueberry cole slaw because I had never heard of such a thing.

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Seriously awesome. I picked up a small catering platter of 10 tenders and two orders of blueberry coleslaw to take home for the boys’ and Chad’s dinner tonight (I bought those).

Jeffrey insisted that I had to try a milkshake and said that his favorite was the apple pie milkshake, so I couldn’t say no (it’s for the blog, duh).

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This thing was totally filled with huge chunks of apples. That straw was useless. It was so good. It tasted just like apple pie à la mode in a cup. I ate all the tenders off my salad, as well as some of the salad itself and several bites of coleslaw, but then I had to stop so that what space was left in my tummy could be filled up by this milk shake. #worthit

I was completely impressed with this device:

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This Coke machine dispenses over 100 combinations of soda. First you choose the basic soda that you would like.

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I love it when restaurants have caffeine free Diet Coke!

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Next you get to tweak it. I’m pretty sure I can’t get this in any other restaurant around here:

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Love.

Jeffrey ate a turkey sandwich which looked great (trying that next time) while we talked about the restaurant. Everything at PDQ is made fresh daily. They don’t even have a freezer on site. The original concept for the restaurant came from a chain in North Carolina called “Tenders”, but PDQ is based in Tampa and the owners are Bob Basham, one of the founders of Outback, and Nick Reader. I got to meet the president of PDQ while I was there and he was so nice. We chatted a bit about our kids. He also has an eleven year old. That’s him in the blue shirt:

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The food is prepared there in the open kitchen by chefs wearing their whites. The service was unbelievably fast. This is not your typical fast food experience, I assure you. Check out all the stellar Yelp reviews.

The restaurant was quite busy with the lunch crowd. Obviously Tampa has discovered what St. Pete is about to learn. There’s Jeffrey standing at the bar area:

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Another thing that I thought was really a good idea was a hand washing station outside of the restrooms in plain sight of the dining area.

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The water is activated by a foot lever and apparently kids love to use this thing. Jeffrey said that his six year old usually washes his hands three times whenever they dine at PDQ. I think it’s great that you don’t have to take your kids into the restroom to have them wash their hands.

The south Tampa location also has an outdoor patio dining area. Hopefully the St. Pete location will have one also as this would be a great area to eat with kids.

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The whole concept of the restaurant feels very fresh and innovative. The only criticism I had was that they do not have nutritional information on their website. I asked about this and they explained that they are still tweaking their recipes and nailing down vendors for specific items and as soon as they have everything standardized and locked in they will have nutritional information available on their site. This is something that I think is very important. I like being able to make an informed decision, especially with regard to fast food.

The Fourth Street, St. Petersburg location is opening on Sunday, October 7th at 11 a.m. I am sure that we will be regular customers. I am so happy to have this new option in St. Pete!

After lunch I headed home until time to pick Mack up from school. He did his homework and fairly soon we went to Cal’s school to pick him up in the car line so that we could make it to karate in time. While they were in karate I wrote most of this post, then we headed home. Chad beat us there and heated up the tenders. The boys RAVED over dinner, especially the blueberry cole slaw.

With our tenders platter I also got one of each type of sauce to try…ranch, chipotle BBQ, sweet heat, garlic, and honey mustard.

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My favorite was the sweet heat which starts out sweet but ends up pretty hot. Chad and the boys liked the garlic the best.

That’s it for today. I’ve got to start thinking about what to take to Baltimore for Fitbloggin’ and get the house prepared for my absence. I must make sure everyone has clean underwear or they will have no idea how to get by.

Cya.

PDQ