Tuesday, June 26, 2012
BBQ. My personal favorite and something sacred to a lot of people and a lot of cultures. Burger King doing a version is practically food sacrilege. In spite of all of that I decided I had to give it a try. Honestly, I have to say that in terms of all the bbq I've ever ate it was probably not near the top half of the list. However, it's important to note that, for a Burger King product, it was surprisingly good, and I would even venture to say that it's the best new item BK has put on the menu in years. The bbq meat itself was very finely shredded (probably too much for my liking), and the flavor of the sauce was sweet but subtle. My sandwich also had a strange kind of sauce in addition to the red bbq sauce that seemed almost like a honey mustard. At first I was apprehensive but I didn't hate it. The sandwich was topped with some pitiful looking raw onions which I removed. They simply don't belong on a bbq sandwich. Granted, there was absolutely nothing that made this sandwich "Memphis" bbq which usually means heavily spiced meat and no sauce, but I understood from the get go that labeling it "Memphis" is just marketing.
The sweet potato fries are another matter altogether. I have to confess I'm a total sweet potato addict. I've ate them since I was a little kid, and in recent years when sweet potato fries have been the trend I've been a happy man. It was about time that a fast food chain jumped on this, and I think it was especially a good move for BK. Their regular fries are something I wouldn't feed to my dog so anything is a step up. Unfortunately, the sweet potato fries must not be a huge hit because the ones I had must have been sitting out quite a while and were rather soggy and cold. That being said I still can't hate too much on sweet potato fries and at BK I'd get them over their regular fries any time.
Taste 7.5/10 A fairly solid effort from BK that exceeded most of my admittedly low expectations. I would order both items again.
Value 8/10 I got a medium combo with upgraded fries and a special sandwich and it was basically the normal combo price. The Girlfriend got a Whopper Jr. combo and our bill was still only 11 bucks or so.
Misc I would be remiss if I didn't mention the entire experience of going to BK. Two words: it sucks. Burger King can revamp their menu, add a bunch of sundaes and drinks, and replace the traditional menu board with LED screens, but one thing hasn't changed. The service. The employees are easily the worst in all of fast food. We got ignored when we walked in, no one smiled, tables were dirty. It's just the type of thing you don't normally see at McDonald's. It's the reason my fries were cold, and that's why it's hard to go back.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
They sent me small samples of 4 varieties: sweet onion, red pepper, jalapeno, and traditional corn. The first thing I should note that at first glance these look like your basic tortilla chips you've had thousands of times with little fanfare. On a second look however, I noticed that these chips had something I had never seen before. The flavorings weren't just a dry powder coating on the chip. The jalapeno variety actually have dried flecks of real jalapenos worked into the chips. Ditto for the red pepper and sweet onion. This made for flavors that were extremely potent, and regarding the jalapeno specifically probably the spiciest chip I've ever had. The red pepper chip, though not as spicy, was equally as satisfying. It was a taste similar to a salsa flavored chip made by other companies but with a fresher taste. In contrast the sweet onion flavor was maybe the worst snack food I've ever tasted. The fresh taste that was there in the other varieties was totally lacking here. Instead the onion taste was overly abrasive and almost rancid though that may be a touch too harsh. The good news was that the plain corn variety was as good as the sweet onion was bad. Out of all the tortilla chips I've eaten in my life I have never had one actually taste like real sweet corn until I had The Better Chip. I've heard that they sell these at Meijier, and I will gladly spend my own money to get a bag. I'm not sure how much they cost, but it's worth it.
Taste 8/10 jalapeno and red pepper, 10/10 corn tortilla, 0/10 sweet onion As I said above there isn't a lot of middle ground here. Just know what to get and what to avoid.
Value ? I don't know what the retail price is for a bag of these chips, but I'd be willing to pay 5 or 6 bucks for a bag of the jalapeno, red pepper, or the corn and be very happy.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Located in a building just off of Noblesville's downtown square Conner Station is a restaurant and bar that is just now 2 to 3 months old. As a Noblesville local and someone who enjoys many of the other restaurants and shops on the square I was eager to give this place a try. Also, I'm a sucker for the design features of restaurants like Conner Station. It's in an old brick building with an updated interior and large glass windows in the front. Unfortunately, this was one of those situations where the dining experience didn't necessarily live up to the pre-dinner excitement.
Let me say upfront that I think a lot of the issues we experienced are part of the regular growing pains of a new restaurant. We had tried to go once before and during the prior experience we couldn't even find a hostess to take our name let along seat us or tell us how long of a wait we could anticipate. This time (a couple months later) was a little better in that we were greeted by the hostess, but she still seemed a bit out of sorts. We told her we were a party of 2 and she looked around frantically as if she didn't know where or if we could be sat. She finally glanced over at the bar area (never my first preference) and said we could take a table over there. She failed to actually walk us to our table or bring our menus. Apparently such tasks are given to the bartenders in that section on top of their normal duties of serving everyone seated at the bar and making drinks for the entire restaurant. Due to their overwhelming responsibilities our service suffered.
Once we finally got menus we gave them a quick once over and really didn't see anything that seems that original or interest-piquing. It is your typical lineup of sandwiches, salads, burgers, and pizzas. If you wanted a real entree with sides you would seem to be out of luck here. We decided to go with the appetizer of the 2 big soft pretzels, my main was a build your own burger with cheddar, bacon and bbq sauce, and The Girlfriend's choice was the breaded tenderloin.
Despite being a straight out of the bag item the pretzels took a considerable amount of time to get to our table (the entrees did as well) to the point where it was almost comical, especially for a restaurant that was not overly busy. The pretzels were warm and soft and served with a "spicy cheese", but it was honestly comparable to something you might get during the 7th inning stretch at Victory Field. This bares no resemblance to the homespun creation we had previously at C.R. Hero's. My burger was just ok. While I certainly ate it all it was cooked well done and calling it juicy would be a stretch. Most likely without the bacon and bbq sauce it wouldn't have been very palatable at all. The bun was soft and pillowy with some nice toasted edges, but it was almost too big for the burger underneath. The Girlfriend's tenderloin looked like a better play. It was hand breaded and fresh, but it did not come with the toppings she requested. Also, it seemed rather small even when comparing it to other "non-pounded thin" tenderloins I've seen. Both my burger and her tenderloin were served with straight out of the bag potato chips. As you might know that is one of my food pet peeves. Just throw in the damn french fries. I "upgraded" to fries for the criminal upcharge of almost $2(!), and while the seasoned potato wedges were crispy and had a nice kick the penalty for ordering them felt only slightly more fair than a 70s Olympic basketball game against the Soviet Union.
All in all I think it was worth trying, but I don't think we'll be rushing back anytime soon...at least until some of the kinks get worked out.
Taste 5.5/10 My meal was completely average in almost every way. They get the half-point above average for the slightly above average quality of The Girlfriend's tenderloin.
Value 3/10 I could have spent the same amount or less and had a much better meal and experience. DOWN WITH UPCHARGES!! GIVE US FRIES!!
Misc Comments: Service issues and food timing issues here. Also, a tip for the restaurant: have a real hostess station and waiting area so it's not so hectic.
Monday, May 7, 2012
The Girlfriend and I decided one evening to take a trip to Carmel to walk around and find food inspiration in the Arts and Design District after our original dinner plans fell through. While there are several options in the District some of them struck us as a little more expensive than what we were looking for on this particular evening. We wanted something very casual that wasn't bar food. We settled on Mudbugs because I was jonesing for some etouffe and I talked The Girlfriend into getting a Po' Boy. When we first walked in I was encouraged. It had a lot of the Yats feel. Order at the counter, get your own drinks, menu in chalk on the wall, and a cozy local feel. I even enjoyed seeing an expanded menu. However, after we ordering was pretty much the time to stop being excited and start getting frustrated.
I ordered the 3 dish combo (3 small portions of jambalaya, crayfish casserole, and shrimp etouffee) and The Girlfriend got the Chicken Po' Boy. With 2 sodas the whole meal totaled almost $24 or about $10 more than it costs for what we get at Yats. That in and of itself made me unhappy, but we were trying some new things and I thought there was room for redemption. I was wrong.
Even though it seemed to me that everything we ordered should have been served up quickly due to being prepared ahead of time (no one is making jambalaya a la minute) it took almost half an hour for our food to be brought to our table. When it finally did arrive it was definitely not anything to celebrate. All three of my dishes were incredibly bland. If you're making Cajun food that should be a cardinal sin. The best part of the meal were the shrimp in my etouffee. They had good flavor and were cooked nicely, but there were so few and so small they were hard to find. The casserole had rubbery crayfish, and there was absolutely nothing at all memorable about the jambalaya other than the color was rather unappetizing. My meal was also served with a piece of toasted French bread which was nice, but definitely not as good as I've had at Yats. The Girlfriend's Po' Boy was also pretty disappointing. It was fried chicken strips that were obviously frozen and not hand breaded. All in all not a great experience and I doubt we'll be going back any time soon.
Taste 2/10 Normally I would consider giving bland food maybe a 4 or 5 as average, but damn this is CAJUN food. It's supposed to be all about flavor and spice. When there is none it deserves an extra penalty. Also frozen chicken strips on the signature sandwich? Come on man.
Value 0/10 The goose egg is harsh I know, but it deserved the whole way. Disappointing food, a ridiculous wait for food, and higher prices than a better competitor are the perfect storm.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
The humor in these Lean Pockets doesn't just start with them being ridiculously labeled "mesquite", but also from the fact that each pocket is supposed to contain chicken and "roasted red onion". If that wasn't enough these ingredients are stuffed inside of a pretzel bread pocket. In each instance this product over promises and under-delivers. The term mesquite is a type of wood used for smoking meat, but there was absolutely no smoke flavor in either the chicken or the bbq sauce. In reality it was just sweet on sweet. Not necessarily bad when you consider it's a Lean Pocket, but you can't say it was good either. As for the onion I couldn't even tell it was there at all. I was a little concerned because red onion is one of my least favorite flavors. I suppose it was somewhat of a blessing in disguise that it was almost non-existent on my palate. The pretzel bread was even more of a let down. It bore absolutely no resemblance to any type of pretzel you could imagine in terms of flavor. It might have an appearance that looks somewhat pretzel like, but the texture and flavor what traditional Hot Pocket all the way. Also who thought bbq+pretzel was a good idea?
Taste 3/10 I love trying new products. I love some flavors of Lean Pockets. I think their pizza varieties and chicken bacon dijon are quite good. My best advice? Stick to those. This bbq version is a waste of time.
Value 3/10 While not particularly expensive this flavor of Lean Pocket is lacking enough to be a bad value even with good 5 for 11 sale at Kroger. I could have bought one of the pizza varieties I like a lot more.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Hello faithful readers. I know I posted recently that I planned to do a lot more blogging, and certainly that is still the case. However, I have been saddled with some technical issues with my laptop and blogging like this from my phone is difficult. Don't worry though I have a new computer coming in the mail so I should be able to get back on the horse soon. In the meantime I wanted to say a little something about a fried pickle appetizer I had at The Mill Tavern in Westfield.
Now I have reviewed their Jellystone burger before and found it playful and unique. Their take on fried pickles is similar in that regard. Instead of the usual chips these pickles were cut lengthwise. I thought this allowed the pickle flavor to stand up to the breading a little better. And speaking of the breading I much preferred their lighter cornmeal crust to the usual thick batter. All in all very enjoyable, and a good value at only $4.50 for a large portion.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Happy Friday to ya, you guys! Once again the weekend is upon us and with it allowing myself a bit of indulgence food-wise. We don't have any definitive food plans yet, but I recently found a new Chinese takeout place with an awesome name that I think I'll be trying tonight. Also I recently was awarded a nice promotion at work so I think at least some sort of celebration might be in order! Happy eating and have a great weekend!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Located in an older strip mall at the corner of 62nd and Allisonville (other location 126th and Gray Rd.) Some Guys definitely doesn't look like much at all. In fact, unless you knew about it in advance or saw it while you were spending quality time at the discount tabacco shop you may not even have known it was there at all. When I first drove by it some time ago it looked so small from the outside I thought it was takeout only. However, when you finally walk in you're in for a pleasant surprise. The atmosphere is bistroesque with deep warm colors, and while the seating area is small (protip: go early) its bigger than you would think.
After we walked in we were seated promptly and began to look at the menu. We decided to start off with a classic appetizer of garlic bread with cheese. While such a choice may seem pretty boring at first I have to say I'm a fan and I don't care...especially when it's done the way Some Guys does it. The bread was a crusty but soft sliced Italian roll and the garlic flavor was perfectly subtle. The cheese on top was melted without being burnt or crusty. The app was good, but the pizza is the reason to stay.
While the Some Guys menu is varied in terms of entrees and toppings we knew we were going with a pizza and desired a classic combination with a dressed up twist. The House Pepperoni with hand sliced pepperoni, ricotta cheese, and fresh basil was the perfect choice. It was the first time I had experienced any of those ingredients on a pizza and I was honestly blown away. The hand sliced artisan pepperoni was thick and crisp on the edges with the ideal hint of heat. I believe it may have ruined regular pepperoni pizza for me forever. The ricotta added a nice creamy element that was a great complement to the spice of the pepperoni. The fresh basil had been added before baking, which I thought was an interesting choice, but the basil and tomato sauce combination is always a winner. And speaking of the sauce, it was quite good but I suspect that a good number of you might say there wasn't enough on the pizza. I don't consider that a problem because I think of the sauce almost a condiment that adds flavor almost without being noticed. Just a personal preference. Also, I found the crust extremely appealing in that it was thin without being either too doughy or cracker-like which I consider the death knell of an otherwise great pizza.
Taste 10/10 I'm still yet to make it to the much vaunted Pizzology, but as of right now Some Guys makes the top of my list of pizza available in Indianapolis or surrounding areas. No complaints. Zero. Even our service was exceptional.
Value 10/10 A double perfect score and well worth it. We ordered garlic bread with cheese, 2 drinks, and a medium pizza for under 25 dollars. Considering that neither one of us went away hungry and the high quality of the food and service this is an absolute steal.
In this case I decided to fill that craving with the Hardee's Bacon Cheddar breakfast wrap. Of you're wondering it is exactly what it says it is. Strips of bacon, a scrambled egg, and cheddar cheese sauce in a flour tortilla. Hardee's certainly isn't inventing this concept here. I remember being underwhelmed by a similar BK product a couple of years ago. However, Since I'm a Hardee's fan and because I liked the idea of a cheddar "sauce" I figured it was worth a shot.
With a price tag of only $2.50 for 2 wraps I can't say I was dissatisfied, but I think the execution held back the potential here. For example the cheese on my wraps was inconsistent. One was so overflowing it was incredibly messy while the other barely had any at all. The flavor of the cheese though was quite good and possibly my favorite element. The bacon was on par with the Hardee's bacon I've had in the past. It was salty, smoky, and while not thick it was better than average fast food bacon. I think the egg was the biggest disappointment. The "folded" scrambled egg was thin, rubbery, and flavorless. Much room for improvement. The tortilla, on the other hand was a surprising bright spot. It was very soft and warm. Much better than a stale tortilla that one might get at Taco Bell.
Taste 5/10 The ultimate in average. Some good spots, some not so good. If you had the time you could easily make a much better home version, but it serves as a nice fast food breakfast diversion.
Value 6.5/10 At $2.50 for 2 and the ability to combo that for under $5 makes it an above average value.
p.s. I always try to use my own photos to back up how my meal appeared as opposed to the idealized version. I apologize for using the Hardee's photo here. I was just to hungry to stop and think of taking a picture I guess.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Even if I don't get to sample some food truck offerings there is always the prospect of dinner tonight, and where were going is still to be decided. I've been wanting bbq for some time so maybe a trip down to Squealers is in order, but I've also been trying hard to venture out to places that I've never been before that you guys would like to read about. If you have any recommendations please let me know either here in the comments or via twitter @hoosierdaddyIU. Have fun and happy eatings.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
The first option I decided to try out? Edy's Maxx Drumstick ice cream. If you are not familiar with the favorite childhood treat that is the Drumstick let me catch you up. It consists of sugar cone containing vanilla ice cream that is coated in a chocolate shell and rolled in peanuts. Edy's Drumstick ice cream consists of exactly the same components but chopped up and mixed into the ice cream instead of in a cone. I have to be honest, even though this was one of my favorite frozen novelties growing up I was skeptical of how Edy's was going to treat it. My past experiences with Edy's, particularly their Somoas ice cream, have not been favorable. However, this time the price was right (a full 3 dollars cheaper than the same size Ben and Jerry's) so I decided to give it a shot.
I really enjoyed this particular flavor of ice cream. Usually when ice cream has mix-in components they tend to add texture more than a lot of enjoyable flavor. This time though I got plenty of the chocolate flavor along with the crunch from the peanuts and ice cream cone. I think it would have been better with a caramel element, but then again what isn't? Also, in that case it wouldn't have been a Drumstick product. As Billy Joel once said (probably not about ice cream) I love you just the way you are.
Taste 9/10 I would happily buy another pint of this the next time I get the chance. Classic elements and flavors from something that could have easily fallen into the gimmick trap.
Value 7.5/10 I think this score somewhat depends upon perspective. If I'm comparing it to its competitors in the name brand, small portion, premium ice cream market, like I am here, I think it stacks up well. However, if you want to compare it against some store brands (one in particular I will be reviewing later) I think it gets beat rather easily.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
If you're a fan of Qdoba like I am, and you are also a fan of getting free entrees, reduced price specials, free chips and queso I suggest you sign up next time you're there.
Image courtsey midtownlunch.com
Monday, April 16, 2012
I think what it comes down to for me is that if you really really want a regular Pepsi, or Coke for that matter, just have one. Everything in moderation. Drinking a soda that has less sugar or "diet" isn't really a healthy solution in any case. I drink Diet Coke because I prefer the taste. Always have. Always will. In making your softdrink choices I suggest you do the same.
Taste 5/10 Meh-tacular for sure.
Value N/A It costs the same as every other bottle of pop costs. I'll just say I'd spend my cash elsewhere.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
As some of you may know I'm a big fan of social media and twitter especially. If you're so inclined you can even follow me via that little link over there on the right. Twitter serves a great purpose. It allows easy social interaction and conversation. It is a source for humor. And it can be used as a cheap and effective way to promote something whether that be a political ideology, a specific candidate, a blog (ahem), or yes even a business. I don't find anything wrong at all with any of this, but I'm a believer in the concept of everything in moderation (bacon excluded) but it seems as of late some restaurants aren't subscribers to this philosophy.
I believe it's one thing for a restaurant to use twitter to interact with customers (Pizzology, Boogie Burger, Scotty's Brewhouse) and to promote special events or menu items (The Local), but a more disturbing phenomenon is using the medium to blowup followers' timelines to do nothing but inflate their own hype. Let me give you an example. If I eat somewhere and enjoy myself I might tweet and say "@XXXXX I had a nice meal tonight. Looking forward to going back." It would be proper for that restaurant to maybe send me something back saying thanks for coming out or we appreciate your business. However, what I've seen is one place in particular continuously retweeting without comment EVERY remotely positive thing people say about them. It's obnoxious and excessive, and having ate there (review to come later) an inaccurate representation of the quality of the experience. After all I certainly don't see any "My food took forever to come out and you turned my steak to shoe leather" tweets. I know. I know. Why don't I just unfollow? That's true I could do that and probably will, but I shouldn't have to. The point is that if you're making people unfollow you your social media strategy is a big wad of fail.
As you are my readers I have to assume all of you are
|Ok so this isn't Huey, but it might as well be.|
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The Hardee's Southwest Patty Melt might be a new sandwich to the Hardee's lineup, but there are definitely some derivative elements here beyond what constitutes the normal patty melt toppings. The bread is Hardee's famous toasted sourdough that has accompanied their Frisco Burger for so many years. The additions that make it different than the standard patty melt are the pepper-jack cheese substituting for swiss, jalapeno slices, and "Southwest sauce". I've seen all those elements on other burgers and sandwiches before with mixed results so I was a little worried how they would work here. Surprisingly, I think the answer is those elements work quite well. The jalapenos, sauce, and cheese definitely added some kick, but I was a little amazed at how mild the flavor actually was. Granted, I'm not someone who is that sensitive to heat but I definitely expected more heat from a sandwich with sliced jalapenos. The 1/4 lb patty size was adequate and juicy compared to other "large chain" fast food burgers. I think the sourdough "bun" with it's toasted yet soft texture made this better than if it was just served on a regular bun. However, I think there were some drawbacks here as well. Between the cheese and sauce I found the overall texture far too creamy. With the jalapeno slices it almost tasted like bland ballpark nachos. Also, the Hardee's website makes no mention of it, but I could have swore my patty melt had mayo on it which I found to be serious overkill. Also there were supposed to be grilled onions here, but they were somewhat hard to find.
Taste 6.5/10 I'm giving this an above average score because even when Hardee's has somewhat of a miss their burgers are still better than what BK, Mickey D's and Wendy's are putting out. Real solution though is just to go to Culver's if one is nearby.
Value 6.5/10 I'm giving a similar slightly above average score here because I did get a free icecream sandwich with my combo, and it was quite a filling meal.
Additional Note: While I appreciate Hardee's offering free icecream with this combo it's pretty hard to get it back to your house or office without it turning into something messier than Curtis Painter's future career prospects. Hardee's at least tried by putting it in a separate bag from my hot food, but in the end it was a ride on the failboat.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
First of all to give you a little background about what some of my preferences are. First of all I prefer meat toppings full of porky goodness just the way God and Ron Swanson intended. Second, I tend to like thinner more traditional crust pizza over deep dish. Third, and here's where the Greek Tony's lunch experience comes into play, I almost never get pizza by the slice. In the past I've felt unsatisfied by just having 1 slice of pizza even if it was large in size. Pizza is an addiction for me and I can't eat just one. So when I walked into Greek Tony's and ordered the single slice of pepperoni I had my doubts about whether it could fill me up. That worry was assuaged quickly as soon as my slice arrived in front of me.
Good lawd this slice of pep was huge. You can get some idea of scale by comparing it to my knife and fork in the picture. I knew I wasn't going away hungry. Better than the portion size though was the taste. I love pizza when it's done like they do at Greek Tony's. The crust was the perfect combination of crusty on the very bottom yet soft and chewy when you bite in all the way. Also, I couldn't get over how plentiful the cheese was here. It was as much mozzarella piled on a pie as I've ever seen. The amount of pepperoni was adequate. The only drawback I would say was the sauce. There was so little of it in comparison to the cheese and pep that it was a little hard to even taste. I'm usually not a "there needs to be more sauce" guy, but here it is undeniable. I think it should only be considered a small glitch in otherwise pretty awesome slice.
I also wanted to say a few words about Greek Tony's itself. I absolutely love places that are throwbacks to an earlier age, and Greek Tony's looks like a place that hasn't changed in quite some time. When so much of Carmel looks new and fancy it's refreshing to see a place that doesn't fit that meme. They are located in an older building, they have years of collected hockey memorabilia on one wall and games for kids on the other like a truly old school pizza parlor. Hand written specials are on a white board behind the counter where orders are taken by an employee with a friendly face. I'm looking forward to a return trip, and If I can get myself away from the pizza I might have to try their Italian Beef.
Taste 9/10 I enjoyed this pizza by the slice as much or more than any I've had.
Value 9/10 A slice and a medium drink was just over 5 bucks. Considering the size of the slice and the quality of the product I'd call that pretty darn good.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Truthfully, product reviews are some of my favorite blog posts to write for this site. I'm always thrilled about trying something new, and usually cheap considering they're usually on sale for promotion. However, more often than not it seems I keep getting let down by products that are more bark than bite. That is the case with these new Doritos.
Even though the packaging says new and the product has the hilarious and douchtastic label "JACKED" I can't help but feel this new flavor is completely derivative. I mean com'on man we've been given "chipotle bbq" everything for what seems like a decade. I mean that is pretty much the only reason Bobby Flay's big ginger head is creepily omnipresent on both Food Network and Cooking Channel. I can even accept that in some instances I like the flavor, but it just feels a bit tired. With that being said, I at least found these Doritos somewhat unique in actual flavor if not concept. While I was expecting a somewhat high level of sweetness despite what "chipotle" should really mean the actual flavor was quite spicy for mainstream big brand chips. I have a feeling a lot of the people I know that are more sensitive to heat would actually not be able to eat more than a couple. I actually enjoyed this aspect, but I still don't think it made for an actually enjoyable snack that I would buy again. That addictive quality that is present in so many other chips just wasn't there. Other than a little bit of heat nothing was brought to the table. Things could have possibly been different if the heat was kept in tact along with a traditional bbq flavor that is present in other chips like those of the Kettle brand.
Taste 4/10 A resounding meh. Pretty much like every other Doritos product. I'm subtracting an extra point for the weird thick texture these had. Seemed thicker than other Doritos. Strange.
Value 3/10 I got a medium sized bag for a medium sized price, but I would have rather spent my money on some Kettle chips for sure.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Those of us who live in or near Noblesville are very lucky to have such awesome breakfast choices when the mood suits us. While Best Bet tends towards the awesome and quirky, Rosie's trends warm and comforting. Kind of like a plush blanket that serves farm fresh eggs, homefries, and homemade well...everything. When The Girlfriend and I showed up at Rosie's on Sunday we were lucky enough to beat the rush and were promptly greeted with a warm smile and a good table. Our server, Jeri, was very nice and quite on her game considering how busy the place eventually became. She explained some very tasty sounding specials including a couple varieties of quiche and a breakfast burrito that sounded rather badass. However, I had my heart set on pancakes and that is exactly what I got.
Ever since I was a little kid I've been somewhat of a connoisseur of pancakes. I'm not of the opinion that all hotcakes are created equal. I tend to prefer big buttermilk pancakes without the crispy edges that develop in some cases. I have to tell you that Rosie's absolutely nailed my pancakes. Soft, pillowy, and large without that dry "cotton" quality that can sometimes occur in big pancakes. And besides my pancakes being almost as big as the plate a standard serving includes 3 pancakes. Plenty of food. No eggs, sausage, or bacon necessary. My one and only minor complaint is that the small cup of syrup they give you isn't really enough to adequately coat the 3 hotcakes. Also, as a side note I tried a bit of The Girlfriend's country eggs benedict, and that's probably what I'll get on my next visit if for some reason the brown sugar and oatmeal pancakes slip my mind.
Taste 10/10 If you told me something from here wasn't good I just wouldn't believe you. Period.
Value 10/10 Our breakfast tasted great, was plenty of food, and came in under 18 bucks before tip including drinks.
I don't know what it is. I think I first and foremost associate hamburgers with warmer weather due to the grilling out factor. In fact I did have some fantastic outdoor grilled burgers on St Patty's at KTP's Bar in Broadripple (sorry folks it's a private member's only establishment). The combination of brown sugar, bacon, and green onion mixed into the meat was truly a winner despite any reservations you may have about such a concoction being overly sweet. And while you may not get the chance to try those burgers there is a place in Broadripple that is making some truly badass burger creations that make for the perfect Spring/Summer lunch or dinner. That place is Boogie Burger.
Truthfully, I've been wanting to try Boogie Burger for a long time. Despite their new location being a stones throw from my friends' house where our group often hangs out I've just never made it in for a visit until now. Man was I missing out. As you walk in you are greeted a friendly face at the counter who is surrounded by a plethora of burger choices on the wall menu. I went back and forth for a bit, and settled on one of my favorite combinations, the mushroom and swiss. I also ordered a side of their garlic fries because I've heard good things and that it was kind of a signature item for them. My order was ready in short order and my buddy and I ventured out on their patio to enjoy our burgers in this wonderful Spring weather we've been having.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Taste 8/10 Very solid effort here. Beats Red Robin by a mile. Compared to other pubs and bars the Union Jack's food is definitely near the top.
Value 6/10 The price for the food is exactly what I would expect to pay at such an establishment. The above average food gets it 1 extra above average point on the value meter. Watch out for the beers though. I was suprised to see that a Smithwicks draft was about $6. Ouch.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The first thing I want to say about Red Robin is that if you are under 21 or have children with you Red Robin might be the most annoying restaurant in the known universe at which to dine. When The Girlfriend and I walked in I almost turned around and walked out due to all of the screaming kids, general busyness, and crazy crap on the walls. Think Uncle Moe's Family feedbag for you Simpsonites out there. Luckily because we were both 21 we were seated on the bar side (Who is going to this place to drink??) and promptly ordered our meals.
Value 4/10 The price was average here and pretty much exactly what you'd expect. Execution issues with the food hurt the value score.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
First of all you could guess from the name that these are kettle cooked potato chips which are by far my favorite. Some may disagree, but I find the snap of the more sturdy kettle cooked chip much more satisfying. In regards to flavor Kettle isn't afraid to be aggressive. These sweet onion chips are not missing out on any flavor, but it's pretty unique and I'm not sure what I could compare them to. The onion flavor is definitely present, but it's not like eating a raw onion by any means. The hint of sweetness is there to balance that out while still having the overall taste be more salty than sweet. As a side note Kettle's bbq variety is also among the most intensely flavored and best bbq chips I've had in a long time.
Taste 8.5/10 The Kettle chips are my go to brand right now for potato chips. They have a lot of different flavors beyond the standards we see from Lays or Ruffles, and the texture is awesome. I will buy these again despite being located in the crappy "hipster food" section in Kroger.
Value 7/10 Kroger had these on sale for the price of 2 large bags for 6 bucks. I really like these chips so I consider that a pretty good deal.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Zacky's has several specialty hot dogs, and if you prefer to eat like you're a 5 year old you can even get one plain. The hot dogs are Vienna Beef and have different preparations along with different toppings. In order to satisfy my lingering desire for bbq and smoke I decided to go with the ZQ Dog. This was a deep-fried hot dog, bacon, cheddar cheese, and bbq sauce. I made mine a combo with fries and a drink for an extra 2.99. If you're so inclined you can swap out fries for various other sides including sweet potato fries. I might have done just that except there is something you should know about Zacky's. If you go on a Saturday afternoon the atmosphere in the place is a bit manic. It's fairly small, and there were a lot of people wanting to get their grub on including quite a few kids. Such a secenario doesn't give one the time to peruse the menu that otherwise might be available. Also, the number of tables is somewhat limited so beware of that if you aren't getting takeout.
Despite the busy surroundings our food was ready in a prompt manner. I was wondering if one hot dog was going to be enough to placate my hunger, but luckily it was a good sized dog and the portion of crinkle cut fries was more than adequate. This was my first time ever having a fried hot dog, and while I didn't find it as rave-worthy (cool points for made up words!) as other people I did like the texture. The flavor was just what I was looking for. The smoky bacon paired well with the cheddar and the sweetness of the bbq sauce. Also, the flavor of the hot dog wasn't lost under the toppings. While the fries weren't of the fresh-cut variety I always dig crinkle cuts served in a basket. That's 'murican right there.
Taste 8/10 Exceeded expectations for my first visit in spite of the fact that hot dogs usually aren't a go to lunch for me. I can't wait to go back and try some of their bbq offerings.
Value 6.5/10 Zacky's is putting out some dang good hot dogs, but they are a bit pricy. A hot dog combo ran between 6 and 7 bucks. An above average value for sure just not by a lot.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
My favorite candy to give or receive for any holiday are Lindor truffles. The milk chocolate and white chocolate are absolutely fantastic. Nothing better than cracking through the brittle chocolate shell and getting into the soft middle (like the Colts pass defense!). The Girlfriend and I gave these to each other, and we were both happy with that. However, I was feeling whimsical so I also got The Girlfriend a little V-Day Pez dispenser with chocolate, yes chocolate, Pez. I had never had this before so I asked her for a taste. In a word it was disgusting. Despite my general rule that candy always tastes good when coming out of the throat of a plastic animal I'm declaring that Pez should stick to fruit flavors only.
If you're so inclined leave some comments about your favorite candy or what you received for this Hallmarkiest of holidays.