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.