Tesla Service Center – Palm Beach, FL

On the road trip from North Carolina to Cocoa Beach, to see the SpaceX launch, when we stopped to charge in St Augustine, FL, and I tried to charge, it would say it was starting to charge and then kept failing. I tried 2 different chargers and it still wouldn’t work.

I was starting to get nervous that I was going to get stuck there, which would have been awful because this supercharger location was probably one of the worst locations yet. The St Augustine, FL supercharger is at an old outlet mall with very few food options and absolutely no place to get coffee.

I called Tesla service and they recommended I try all the chargers. Fortunately, the third charger I tried did work. Once it started working, I called the Tesla supercharger phone number and reported the issue to them too so they could fix it.

The next day while I was at Cocoa Beach, I got a phone call from the Raleigh Tesla service center letting me know that the engineers pulled logs on my car and the superchargers and found that the issue I experienced was actually a problem with a voltage sensor in my car, not the supercharger. She said fixing it would require replacing my entire charging unit, but it would be covered under warranty. She asked about where I was and my travel plans to see if it’d be possible to find a service center on the way to my next destination.

Palm Beach, FL was the closest service center on the way so she got up with them. They didn’t have the part I needed to be replaced in stock, but Raleigh had the part so she said they could overnight it to Palm Beach. I thought that was pretty amazing. Apparently, the repair would only take a few hours and they’d give us a rental to use while in Palm Beach.

So we got up bright and early and headed the 100 some miles to Palm Beach. We got there around 8:30 am, just 30 minutes after they opened because I had talked with the Palm Beach service manager the day before and we said it’d be best if I got there as early as possible. When I talked to service manager once we arrived and tried to get an estimate on what time the car would be done, he was a bit evasive and said something like “We’ll do our best to get it done today.” And he said something about a software update being required after This kind of freaked me out because we had no expectation of staying in Palm Beach and it was a Friday so if it wasn’t done today, we’d be stuck there until Monday, delaying our arrival in the keys by two to three days.

I figured he was probably just being overly cautious and didn’t want to set the wrong expectation, but I was already a bit disturbed because no one up until that point had said anything about the possibility of it not getting done within the day. I waited until about 12:30, at which point I could see on the Tesla app that the car hadn’t even been moved into the service bay. Considering we had gotten up extra early to get there at 9:30, I was a little perturbed by that so I called and the service manager who said they already had some cars in the bay in the morning so they had to finish those first.

At this point, I was starting to freak out a bit more about the possibility of getting stuck in Palm Beach. Honestly, Palm Beach looked pretty nice, its a nice area, but there was actually an advisory to not even get into the ocean because of some bacteria run off or something. So I remembered back when I had body repair work done on my car last year and I tweeted at Elon Musk about the shop taking a month to do an estimate, a Tesla project manager had emailed and called me to get everything straightened out. I figured it was a long shot, maybe that PM wasn’t there anymore or not available but I emailed him just to explain the situation and that I was a little bothered the possibility of having to unexpectedly stay in Palm Beach for the weekend. I figured that it’d be better to email him now instead of waiting until the service center didn’t have the car done that day and I was unhappy with not really any way to resolve it.

Within an hour he emailed me back to say he was looking into the issue. And soon after I got a call directly from the service foreman in Palm Beach letting me know there were working on my car and it would definitely be done today. About an hour later I saw that the car was starting to charge and a software update was available.

Fortunately, the supercharger in Palm Beach is right at the service center so they had plugged the car in to get fully charged for me. About 20 minutes before the charging was done, the service foreman called me back and said the car was almost done charging and I could pick it up anytime.

We got there and it was pouring down rain, but fortunately, they had a tent we could pull the rental car in and migrate all our stuff back to the car.

All in all, it wasn’t a 100% smooth experience, mostly it seems due to bad communication on the Palm Beach service manager’s part causing unneeded anxiety, but I’m 100% happy with the end result. Detecting the issue remotely, overnighting a part to Florida, getting a service appointment the next day, providing a rental car, and getting the repair done within the day is a pretty premium experience.

Moving forward, I’m wondering if Tesla can keep up this experience with the Model 3. They’re really going to have to beef up their service center infrastructure to keep up with the potential demand.

The BRICE, A Kimpton Hotel – Savannah, GA

I picked the Kimpton Brice Hotel for our stop in Savannah, GA because it had a Tesla charger and I figured we could shave some time off of the time in the car by being able to charge overnight. I booked it through the Hotel Tonight app. We checked in around 6pm. Apparently, we just missed the daily wine hour, but they just handed us a bottle of wine during check-in to have our own wine hour.

The room itself was really nice and well decorated. Very comfortable beds.

One neat thing about this hotel is that it’s very pet-friendly (they even have a “Director of Pet Relations”!). So you see a lot of animals (mostly dogs), which is always fun.

The lobby area has a really awesome vibe to it. I enjoyed working there for a few hours.

Fried Pickles: Buffalo Wings Rings and Things

After our extensive planning session for this project, we had worked up quite an appetite. So for the inaugural pickle review for this site, we ended up at our local pickle place where we could find some fried pickles, Buffalo Rings and Wings. This restaurant has a number of locations across the US and, as you might expect, specializes in wings. While we were there they also happened to have a special Lent menu that included “cauliflower wings”, which were their “Hand-breaded cauliflower, fried and drizzled with our signature Roasted Garlic Medium sauce and dusted with Parmesan cheese”. These were actually really good, especially dipped in ranch or blue cheese (but to be fair almost anything is good dipped in blue cheese or ranch). Buffalo Rings and Wings’ wings are also really good, especially their boneless style, which can be pretty weak at a lot of wings places. Their strength is in their sauces. They have some really amazing flavors. We also happened to come on a night when they had 1.99 Red Oak Amber Ales. Not a bad deal!

But on to the main course: the fried pickles. When we ordered, we asked how they were made and the waiter let us know that they’re lightly breaded in flour in-house. The waiter had an air of nom-chalantness. They came out and were mouth meltingly hot. Unable to desires, and two days later, I (Mark) definitely can feel a few burn marks on my tongue, but it was totally worth it. In my opinion, The key to quelling a piping hot pickle though is to just drench them in ranch dressing to somewhat cool them down. To be fair this is the answer to all things.

Flavorwise, the breading is definitely on the plain side. The only detectable seasoning in the breading is salt and pepper. They were a bit too sour. They are a good ol boy of a fried pickle. And the breading is very thin. A bit on the soft side though. Definitely not any crispiness.

Buffalo Rings and Wings uses pretty standard hamburger style pickle chips with a jagged cut. The pickles were quite salty, with a bit of sour and tart flavor as well. Nothing too unique or spectacular here.

Ranch dressing is the standard sauce offered with the pickle chips, but the real secret here is to also order some of their “world famous” blue cheese. That stuff is amazing. It’s so chunky and creamy. I (Helena) was quoted as saying “I adore it”. Their ranch isn’t bad, but it’s a bit on the runny side.

All in all, these fried pickles are a good compliment to their wings. Pair it with a few bourbon bbq boneless wings and a Red Oak and you definitely have a nice dinner.