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March 10, 2017 / Roy

Common Kitchen Faucet Problems and their easy fix

Kitchen Faucets have become an essential part of your kitchen and it is important that they work at all times without any issues.

But there are many common issues which you will face while using a Kitchen Faucet and knowing about them could help you in solving the issue quickly and efficiently. So what kitchen faucet problem should you be aware of?

This is a list of the few most common Kitchen Faucet problems which you would face when using it in your kitchen:

Leakages

One of the most common problem when using a Kitchen faucet would be the frequent leakages you would face once you have installed a Kitchen Faucet.

The dripping of the water from the faucet handle can result in a lot of water wastage and needs to be fixed immediately. Luckily, it is pretty simple to fix these leakages and you can do it yourself too.

You will need to read the instructions though but on a whole, the process is quite simple. Leakages can occur because of the loosened O-ring or the Cartridges in your Faucet and are not working properly anymore which might need to be replaced for the leakages to stop.

All you have to do is open your faucet and read the instruction manuals on how to replace the O-rings and the cartridges and your faucet will be as good as new.

Leaking Faucet

Low Water Pressure

Another frequent problem that you will encounter with your kitchen faucet is that after some time the flow of water won’t be as strong as it was initially.

This could be due to several reasons which include that there is too much debris or mineral deposits inside the pipes or the kitchen faucet. It is easy to fix this issue by a simple cleaning of the pipe and the kitchen faucet.

You would need to remove the kitchen spout and clean it free of all limescale and blockages. Once you have cleaned your faucet and pipes, this problem should be resolved.

But sometimes the issue runs deeper than that, your faucet and pipes might be clean but the main pipe might not be able to transfer water at a high pressure.

This would be a case if all the faucets in your home are producing low-pressure water in which case you would need to call a plumber and get it fixed or if not here’s how you can do it yourself.

Rusting and Corrosion

Another common problem faced by Kitchen Faucet users is that after some time the faucets might start showing signs of wear and tear.

Your spray head might become difficult to move or there might be rusting over your faucet. In such cases, it is better to call a plumber and see what the issue is. Sometimes the only solution for this issue is to install a new Faucet but first, check out the list of best selling faucets at Homeguyd.

Sprayer Leaks

In many faucets which come with a sprayer, you will notice that there will be a leak from various parts of the house.

But this is something easily fixable, all you have to do is tighten the various nuts and bolts in your hose connections and joints and ensure everything is tightly fixed together and you will notice that your hose will stop leaking once everything is tightened. Here’s an easy sprayer quick-fix.

April 29, 2012 / Roy

Reflections on Soda

Reflections on SodaFor the last six months, I haven’t really written about fast food for Serious Eats. Instead, I’ve penned a column on soda with my girlfriend, Carey, who happens to be the Senior Managing Editor of the site. It’s one of a few co-authored columns, but it suits us well: I cover regular soda, which she hates; she covers diet soda, which I can’t stand.

I’ve had a few ruminations brewing in my mind, and I thought I’d share them.

On Nepotism

Some of you might be crying “nepotism!” Yes, my girlfriend is the Senior Managing Editor of Serious Eats, and we co-write a column. No, it is not an example of nepotism, but rather of utilizing one’s network. I happened to be at the Serious Eats office one day when Ed Levine proposed the column to me, and we rolled Carey into the mix to cover diet soda because I hate diet soda. Nepotism is not ever turning your writing in on time, and never being scolded or reprimanded.

On Corn Syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup tastes like chewing on aluminum foil if you taste it right next to sugar. It’s faint, but the difference in taste is there.

On Espresso Coffee Soda

I’m hopelessly addicted to Espresso Coffee Soda from Manhattan special. It’s so good, once it hits the lips. You do need to watch out for foam cascading out of a freshly opened bottle, though.

December 11, 2011 / Roy

From Fastfoodr to Slowfoodr

For the better part of the last year, I’ve cataloged some of the exploits of being a Fast Food Blogger.  I’ve tremendously enjoyed giving you all a glimpse into the life of a fast food writer, but my tastes (in writing at least) have changed.  I’ve passed the torch for Fast Food Bureau Chief to Will Gordon, and I think he’s already done a great job to spice up the column.  I’m now focusing on Soda for drinks.seriouseats.com/ along with Carey Jones.

This does NOT mean I dislike fast food, as my tastes haven’t changed.  (In fact, I was at Five Guys just yesterday.) I’ve always preferred sitting down to long meals, tasting bits of many things, and enjoying my food along the lines of the Slow Food movement.    On top of that, in college, I was a French and Italian major, which are two regions of the world which adhere to Slow Food Principles.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to marry two passions of mine: food and romance languages.   So, I will be switching to writing more about Slow Food on slowfoodr.wordpress.com

I’ll continue to post fast food related items to FastFoodr, and it will continue to serve as my main site for SeriousEats.com related posts.  However, I want to begin to explore a new and different part of the food world.  I hope you’ll check out the new site!

October 25, 2011 / Roy

Taco Tour Day 0

It’s always nice to leave New York. As great as it may be, it can feel confining. I jumped at the opportunity to spend this week touring Texas and New Mexico with SeriousEats.com editor Carey Jones.  One week driving around the South / Southwest, paid for by someone else?  I’m in.

The first stop on Day 0 was Houston.  If “Highway” doesn’t come right after “Houston” in the dictionary, it should.  I’ve never seen so many highways in my life.  Though the city is laid out on a map in rather straightforward terms, it seemed as if they elected to build highways instead of regular roads.  For a relatively “new” city, it makes sense.  Supersize for your growing population.

The first stop was El Real, a former theater converted into a Tex-Mex restaurant.  Carey grew furious as I spent the better part of the dinner transfixed by “A Fistful of Dollars,” which they projected on the wall.  Their puffy tacos were quite good: crispy tortillas filled with picadillo beef, a peppery and spicy loose ground beef.  Not to miss were the house salsas and the queso. A can’t miss, though, are their churros: quite possibly the fluffiest, crunchiest churros I’ve ever had, dusted ever so gently with sugar and cinnamon. These weren’t the stale, microwaved junk they Sodexho served you in high school; no, handmade by a Mexican baker, they’re to die for.

At the end of Day 0, we’d had 5 tacos, 4 salsas, and 1 amazing churro. Not a bad way to christen a journey!

October 17, 2011 / Roy

Interview with the Biscuitville CEO, Part II: Family Business

A few months ago, I published the first half of an interview I did with the CEO of Biscuitville, Burney Jennings.  He told me a great deal about the company, its operations, and its philosophies.  You can read the first part of the interview here.

As I said in my first article, “fast food executive” conjures the image of a rotund man in a suit.  Burney looked more like a golf pro: slim and trim, with a big smile.  Here is part two of our interview.

Me: So, they tell me Biscuitville has one of the highest turnover rates in the industry.

Burney: Phil Johnston [author of Biscuitville: The Secret to Building a Sustainable Competitive Advantage], whom I really like a lot, has done a great job with statistics. I won’t say 39% because I don’t truly know, quote him and not me, but yes, we do have very high turnover in terms of product. And we don’t have a big warehouse, so Larry (our warehouse manager) can’t have lots of product sitting around.

Me: There’s no Ronald McDonald, there’s no Ray Kroc anymore. Other restaurants have that family connection. Can you comment about Biscuitville as a family owned business? How family owned is it? What has that been like? Has that put any strain on you?

Burney: It is a family business. Let’s start with the relationship with my dad. I slowly worked into this position of President. In 1996 I became president, but he was still active as Chairman of the Board. It took another 7 to 8 years before he became hands-off with the business. He is still Chairman of the Board. We have had discussions, but we haven’t had major disagreements. As a family business in going from the first generation to the second, it’s been a fairly smooth transition, which is pretty unusual. Usually, the first generation has trouble letting go… It is a family-owned company. I have brothers and sisters who own the business, but I am only that is active in the business.

Being a business that is local and owned by a family plays into being public versus being private. We have found that our customers like that we are a private company, a family company, a locally-owned company. On top of that, the way we compensate our operators is a profit-share. They really have an ownership mindset, which is important for us to maintain a high level of customer service and satisfaction.  I’ve seen them work, and they really get to know their customers and know them by name.

Me: Some of these chains grow at exponential rates. Subway largest chain in America right now. But Biscuitville has remained small, doesn’t have any debt on its balance sheet and no outside investment.  Can you comment on that?  Does that limit you?

Burney: It limits you in that you can’t add 20 restaurants next year. We could if we got outside investment. It limits you because you don’t have the dollars to do so. But we’re okay with the slow growth.

Me: Have you ever felt the pressure? Just for a small expansion?

Burney: No, none.

Me:  Well, Burney, thanks for your time and thank you for answering my questions so openly and candidly.

Burney: Of course!  I’ll be excited to read the interview!

September 20, 2011 / Roy

Blake’s Lotaburger Review

blakes lotaburger burgerI love New Mexico. My parents have been taking me there since I was a child, and I always loved it: hot days and cool evenings, dry air, and New Mexican Green Chile. Blake’s Lotaburger piles the green chile on their burgers, and they are awesome. Their other toppings are nothing to write home about, but their green chile burger is some of the best food out there under $5.

You can read my review on Serious Eats here.

August 4, 2011 / Roy

Can Fast Food and Fitness Co-Exist?

How can you work at a health and fitness company, but then write about Fast Food?

People often ask me this question, in some form.  How can I eat fast food, and be taken seriously as a someone in the health and fitness sphere?  How can I possibly eat a Big Mac knowing what I know about McDonald’s and the Nutrition Facts?  Haven’t I seen Food, Inc.?

I think it helps to take chronology into account.  I wrote about Fast Food long before I started working at a fitness company.  Between June ’10 and December ’10, I ate fast food approximately once per week, as I was writing about one column per week.  And in that time period, I gained weight.  In January ’11, I started writing around twice per week for Serious Eats and thus eating fast food twice per week.  And my weight went down.  Why? I paid very close attention to what I was eating the other 90% of the time.

In the half year from June ’10 to December ’10, I became much more involved with Serious Eats.  I attended review dinners, I visited their offices, and I was the recipient of many doggie bags.  Consequently, a large percentage of the food I ate came from restaurants — generally very rich food — and it was primarily free.  That took me to a point where I was the heaviest that I’d been in my entire life.  From January ’11 to May ’11, I almost doubled up on fast food, writing two columns per week.  But, I cut out things I used to eat and drink: Oreos, BBQ ribs, Hamburgers, and Miller High Life.  I added in Spinach, Tofu, Chickpeas, and a lot of salad.

I don’t pretend that Fast Food is healthy.  In fact, I know it’s not, and I know why it’s not.  But I am a pragmatist.  It’s there, and we eat it.  Some of us eat too much fast food, and ought to reduce that amount.  Some of us eat a harmless amount of fast food and a harmful amount of other rich foods that don’t carry the same negative stigma.

Yes, it is a hypothesis.  I haven’t done nearly enough research.  But, my diet experience made me think that fast food becomes a scapegoat for deeper, systematic issues with the American Diet, and that notion prompted me to want to work in the health and fitness sphere.

July 5, 2011 / Roy

Why I write about Fast Food: Part 1

When I was five and he was one, we discovered my brother had a severe allergy to peanuts.  The more we learned, the more we began to err on the side of cautious.  We didn’t order as much Chinese food, we didn’t venture out to restaurants we didn’t know, and we tried to eat at places that were safe.  My mom had heard horror stories of people with peanut allergies eating something fried in peanut oil and dying, so she tried to be as careful as possible.

As he grew older, my brother began to watch after himself.  We went back to normal routines, but he had to develop his own survival mechanisms.  Back then, he specifically requested Wendy’s.  Why?  They had no peanuts in the store, and he felt comfortable with the staff at the one near our house.  It became his go-to, to the point where we had an entire drawer of access Wendy’s BBQ sauce packets.  My brother just liked Wendy’s and felt comfortable there.

I don’t think that we, as a family, ate more or less fast food than the average.  My mom prepared home cooked meals, sometimes we had pizza or Chinese delivered, and sometimes we ate out.  Fast Food at Wendy’s was just a really convenient tool in our anti-allergy tool kit.  Restaurants like Chick-fil-a do use peanut oil, so we knew that those were not peanut friendly.  Wendy’s we had faith in, and could rely upon.

Today, my brother mostly eats chicken breasts, egg whites, and protein mix; There’s not an ounce of fat on him.  But despite living in a university town full of food options, he always asks me to take him to Buffalo Wild Wings when I visit.  Why?  He’s just comfortable there: no surprises, nothing hidden, nothing risky.

June 20, 2011 / Roy

Beyond the Column: Cheesecake Factory

cfactoryprimaryToday, SeriousEats.com launched SeriousEats: Sweets.  Congrats to them on the new blog!

To christen the new blog, yours truly went to the Cheesecake Factory and sampled all 33 of their cheesecakes.  It is a truly epic piece, so I wrote it with a Dantean style, after my favorite epic poet. (At least, I did until I actually started writing about cheesecake. Dante didn’t do cheesecake.) I hope you enjoy it, and you can read it here.

I also have to say thank you to Maggie Hoffman, Carey Jones, and Christine Tsai, all of the SeriousEats.com.  Maggie is my Drinks and Sweets editor and was with me on the trip.  Christine, the site’s main developer, is one of the best photographers on staff, and she is responsible for all the awesome photos.  Carey Jones is my main editor, and is responsible for a) making sure I get my columns in on time and b) making sure everything is spelled correctly.

I’ve been talking about this post with friends, and the reaction has been “How did you do that?” or “Did you eat anything else all day?” or “How long did it take you?”  So, I thought I’d answer some of the questions as part of my series, Beyond the Column.

How long did it take you?

About three hours.  It wasn’t just tasting, there was also note-taking, photographing, and reviewing the descriptions of each cake.  At a certain point, around number 18, we definitely sat back for 15 minutes and caught our breath.  That was a tough point, but we all pushed through and found a second wind.  Some of our favorite cheesecakes, like the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake, came near the end.

Did you eat all 33 pieces of Cheesecake?  That sounds gross…

I didn’t eat all 33 whole pieces.  I had two other people with me, Maggie and Christine, who sampled each one as I did.  Some sites are larger than others, and mine is pretty large.  I took about 2 bites of each one.  I estimated that there were approximately 15 my-size bytes in each piece of cheesecake, so that would mean I had about 4 full-size pieces.

Did you eat anything else all day?

Yes! I started following a strict low-carb diet that week, and I had to break it for this tasting.  I had eggs in the morning and pea soup for lunch.  The cheesecake tasting was in the afternoon, and then I had chicken breasts for dinner.

Was it gross?

No.  I actually kind of enjoyed it.

How much did it cost?

Full disclosure: Nothing.  It was free. Carey Jones, my editor and the editor of SeriousEats: NY, and came up with the idea of trying all of the cheesecakes at the Cheesecake Factory.  She contacted their Public Relations office, who arranged for us to try all of the cheesecakes.  I am very grateful to the Cheesecake Factory for facilitating our idea.

Are you done with cheesecake for the rest of your life?

No.  Actually, the day after, I was craving their cheesecake.  It’s quite good, and I quite liked it.  Sadly, there aren’t any in New York City, and I’ve been trying to stay away from sweets as a part of my diet.

I hope you enjoyed the article!

June 12, 2011 / Roy

Interview with Biscuitville’s CEO, Part 1: History, Footprint, Expansion

Let’s play word association.  I’ll say a word, and you think of the first thing that comes to your mind.  Ready?

Fast Food CEO.

What are you picturing?  Probably a man in a suit, mid 50′s, with a round figure.  At least, that’s what I had in mind of the archetype Quick Service Restaurant executive.

Burney Jennings, the CEO of Biscuitville, reminded me more of Lance Armstrong: slim and trim, with a big smile and a firm handshake.  I met him at the Biscuitville headquarters for an interview mid-week, and he had the presence and physique of someone who likes to run for 60 minutes a day.  Whether he does or not, I don’t know.  It never occurred to me to ask when I sat down to talk with him about his restaurants.  But I did have the time to learn more about Biscuitville, its corporate structure, and its operations.

John: I read on the website that Biscuitville started out when your father founded a chain called Pizzaville.  Can you tell me about the evolution of Pizzaville to Biscuitville?

Burney:  My father started out in the Pizza business.  He had twelve restaurants called “Pizza-to-go” and later changed the name to Pizzaville.  At a certain point, he started selling Biscuits in the morning.  He saw that there was a better return on biscuits than on pizza, so he did an experiment in Danville, VA, with a Biscuitville restaurant.  It was successful, so he changed the name and style of all the restaurants.

John:  I heard a story about a grandmother’s biscuit recipe…

Burney:  My great grandmother’s recipe.

John:  It was inherited by your grandfather?

Burney:   The story goes, on my great grandmother’s deathbed, she gave my dad the choice of the family farm or the biscuit recipe.  He chose the biscuit recipe.

John: Can you confirm or deny the story?

Burney: [Laughs] I cannot confirm or deny that.  It’s what my father told me, so I cannot confirm or deny.

John: I’m sorry to put you on the spot…

Burney: [Laughs harder] You’re not the first person to ask me that question and to put me on the spot like that.

John: Local chains can often mirror the local flavor.  California, North Carolina, and New Orleans all have their own cultures, which give their chains a certain local flavor.  As far as your footprint goes, where is it? How far does it extend?

Burney: We’re headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. All of our restaurants are within a two-hour drive.  We have a high concentration in the Greensboro, Burlington, and Highpoint markets.  We also have five in Durham.  We have been in business for 45 years. We have 58 stores in 45 years in business, that is not explosive growth in this industry.

John:  Speaking of growth, what are your plans for expansion?

Burney: Our expansion plans are to do some infill within the radius.  For example, Raleigh is a really populated market, where would like to add restaurants.  We have two down in Charlotte and could do some infill there. That is our goal before we expand to markets like Columbia [SC] and Spartanburg [SC].  We have a store in Lynchburg, VA, on the north side, but we don’t have any in Roanoke, so that would be a natural place to add.

John: Before, you had a 90-minute radius.  Now it’s two hours.  Why do you keep stores so close?  Is it a producer in the area?

Burney: We do our own warehouse distribution, which is pretty unusual in our industry.  Typically, you sub that out to distributors.  It’s located in Graham.  That’s not the issue.  You can service restaurants in Atlanta from Graham.  It’s more of a management issue.  For us, because we don’t franchise, we have supervisors who visit the restaurants once a week.  If we went further out, we would have to hire supervisors just for those areas.  So right now, if it looks like we can add restaurants near our own home base, that’s what we’re going to do.

John: I had in my mind that 90 minutes was a producer issue.  Where do the ingredients come from, then?

Burney:  We make the biscuits in the restaurant.  We have fresh ingredients coming into the warehouse.  The sausage comes from Sevierville, Tennessee.  The Ham is coming from Wilkesboro, NC.  Our Chicken is out of Mississippi, the bacon from Ohio, and the steak from St. Louis, MO.  Oh, and the flour is from Henderson, NC, just northeast of Durham.  When you’re looking at a map, most of our key ingredients are 8-10 hours away maximum.

For the second half of the interview, stay tuned.  I’ll be releasing it soon.  In the meantime, the full, official history of Biscuitville can be found on their website.