3223 Perkiomen Ave, Reading, PA | Directions 1960640.323646 -75.875295
Pulled one end of a long white hair out of my mouth on first forkful of Charcoal salad, kept pulling remainder of hair out of bottom of salad bowl. Hair was at least a foot long. Showed it to waitress (wasn't mine or hers - I'm a brunette and she was a redhead). She told owner (Effie) at register, and all she did was get flustered and insisted she had no one like that????? NEVER AGAIN.. Also observed grill chef handling raw meats and making cold sandwiches at same time with ungloved hands in full view of customers. Where are the inspectors???
Consistent and dependable – I am a regular (as many others) to this establishment. Sometimes I have something light (if I dine alone), some others I bring friends and business associates. I never been disappointed! Breakfast is great, nice selection and quick service. Dinner is very good, too, especially the steaks (succulent and tender). My biggest surpise was the oysters on half shell! I would have expected it in a five star restaurant. To top all these an owner who really cares and makes rounds to ask customers how was everything. Thanks Effie
Always good – I was used to visit this place in the past - I grew up in Mt Penn - and I felt saddened when it started going down till a NEW owner bought it few years ago and REVITALIZED it. What a pleasant surprise! The essence of the Charcoal Chef has remained the same - good steaks and seafood as well as marvelous salads, especially the deluxe Chef's salad. The service friendly and efficient, food fresh and plenty, atmosphere familial and cozy. The new owner, Effie, is a charm to talk to and always stops by to say hello or share a nice story. I am glad that someone has brought this place to life!
Unsanitary Conditions! – No Charcoal Chef for me! Yikes! My mother and I stopped in yesterday (Mother’s Day 2009) for a quick bite. There were no tables on this busy day and they asked us if we would take a seat on a bench on the right since there would be a small wait.
Ok, the food is cooked in the font of the establishment and the cooks put the entrees and sides on a prep table to be placed on trays to be taken to the table. Here’s where it gets bad, Effie, the owner was taking the entrees and sides and putting them on the tray to be taken to the table. How was she doing this? She was eating with her right hand, licking her fingers. I saw here pick up three (3) entrees and took the same right hand and picked up the entrée food with the same hand and rearrange it on the plate while then continuing to eat licking her fingers.
I turned to my mom and asked if she just saw want I did and she said yes. We left. The owner doing this? Yikes, imagine what else goes on there!
That was a busy day. I know Effie for over 20 yrs; I have never seen her licking her fingers; this restaurant is cleaner than a hospital operating room. I have been in this kitchen and many operating rooms. She wins hands down. No contest. Sorry for your impatience.
Paul J. Turrisi, DPM
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