Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Looking for Fresh Food Fast? Try PDQ ! @pdqfreshfood #PDQ #FreshFoodFast #spon

Disclosure: This review is in association with the Tampa Bay Bloggers and PDQ. My family and I received a fabulous behind the scenes tour and meals in exchange for this review and promotion.

I love chicken ! Fried, grilled, baked, plain, or with sauce. I have a friend who loves PDQ, but the drive for what I thought to be a Fast Food place, wasn’t worth it in my mind.

I admit when I’m wrong

What is PDQ? Well, the acronym spelled out is; People Dedicated to Quality.
You are getting Fresh Food Fast !

My family and I were treated to a VIP Behind the Scenes experience at the new PDQ at 5706 W Waters Ave in Tampa, Florida. From the Freshness of the ingredients, to the quality,  cleanliness and the friendliness of the employees, we were truly impressed.

Let me begin by saying, my boys were whining. They didn’t want to go, even for food. Their tune changed once we met Jeff and Mickey. The boys received t-shirts and we all were able to visit their self-serve 120 flavor combination drink machine.

We began at the beginning and walked all the way through from the front of the restaurant to the very back. There is ample seating inside and out, and a walk up bar to sit at and watch the food as it is being prepared. While you are waiting to order your meal, the digital menu boards are along the entrance, so that you can make decisions before you get to the counter. The first thing they do is take your name. Personal? Yes! You are not a number at PDQ. When your order is ready, your name is called.

The front of the “house” is where the food orders are double checked, sauces added to trays, milkshakes are made, fresh lemonade squeezed and their apples are sliced for the side item “Fresh Apple Slices with Toffee Dip (you have to try this!).

The next Section is where the salads are made to order. Yes, each salad is made when YOU order it ! I love this. Nothing prepackaged, and if you don’t want candied almonds in you Grilled Chicken Salad, then you don’t have to have them. The newly fried and grilled chicken also rests here, waiting for your order to come through.

And the last section available to the public eyes is the frying station. Chicken and fries are cooked to perfection.

I did ask a question that has been on the forefront of everything I eat, when I am out. Is it “peanut-free” ?? My BFF’s daughter has a severe peanut allergy so the places she can eat out are limited. I am happy to say that PDQ does not cook their products in Peanut Oil. Besides the milkshake area, which has a designated area for milkshakes that use peanut products, Kaylyn love, we can go to PDQ !!!

We made our way to the back of the restaurant and walked by the carousel. The carousel bakes the fries before they are fried. Why, because PDQ is awesome ! We got to the Potato station. Will was working on fries and we were told that there is a love/hate relationship with fries. Out of each box, a potato is tested for their sugar level. If the potato has too much sugar, back to the produce supplier it goes. Once the sugar level is okayed, it goes to the press. Will’s record is 46 potatoes in 1 minute.
Via my instragram video challenge, Will pressed 16 potatoes into fries in 15 seconds. Hubby, and the 2 smaller boys gave it a try. They would not have come close to record setting but they did a great job

We also witnessed the daily making of the sauces. PDQ makes sauces and dressings in house daily. We happened to be there for Honey Mustard’s turn. They we each received a spoon and tasted it. Very yummy !

We hit the fridge section next. Do you think Anthony was a little chilly? Organization is essential, so every shelf is labeled with product placement. Each sauce has the day, date, who prepped it, who portioned it and how long it’s good for. Meats are sectioned in the rear and in special containers so there is no cross contamination.

Here’s another first for me. The Drive-Thru. You pull in, see the digital menu screen, but there is no speaker. Sorry, but you’ll be speaking to a real live person to place your order.

WHAT !?!?

That’s right, No more cracking voices, or worried that your order is wrong. Your PDQ rep is right there, waiting to take your order. It’s a very personal experience.

We met Co - founder Bob Basham too. He was so nice and shook hands with each of the boys asking their names individually. He was at the walk up bar longer than the 2 plus hours we were there, just chatting with the staff and customers.

As we sat to eat, there were staff everywhere, cleaning tables, asking if customers needed anything and making sure the ketchup/drink area was tidy and in order.

All of the boys, including my husband ordered the Chicken tenders. Seriously? Order something different boys. Oh well..I opted for the Grilled Chicken Sandwich and a Chicken Caesar Salad. The Caesar dressing is made with real Anchovies. You can tell it’s fresh! The sandwich was moist and juicy. The pickles and lettuce were crisp. We also tried a PDQ favorite, the Cheerwine. It’s a cherry-ish not too sweet soda. Luke really loved it ! The fries were just so tasty and fresh. That’s the one thing we all kept saying. Our food just tasted Fresh!

The boys were also treated to assorted milkshakes. I took a couple sips of each, just to taste them. We had Strawberry, Oreo, Heath Bar, and Chocolate Peanut Butter. The Strawberry had real pieces of strawberry coming through the straw and the Oreo had pieces of the cookie in it as well. We also had the Fresh Apple Slices with Toffee Dip. Did I mention you have to try it? So delicious. They put the sliced apples in Pineapple juice to keep them from turning brown and it really adds just another layer of amazing to the food.
We could not have had a more positive experience. The staff was so personable and enthusiastic. Jeff and Mickey were amazing and answered all the questions we had and really interacted with the boys, which is HUGE in my book. If you have a PDQ in your area, run, go…
If you live in the Tampa area and can make it to the Brand New store at 5706 W. Waters Avenue, head there now! Or maybe, when they open at 10:30am and before they close at 10:00pm, 7 days a week


  1. This post really does change my mind about PDQ. I'm sold! Thanks for the thorough review post.

  2. PDQ is AMAZING!!! Glad you liked it!


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