The Week in Reviews – 11/29/2008

Enjoy Thanksgiving? Enjoy Black Friday? If you didn’t, please enjoy these reviews from some of my favorite blogs.

So Guns N’ Roses FINALLY released their Chinese Democracy album. There’s no Slash, but thankfully all the songs are under seven minute long and there’s none of that nine minute marathon-ish-it-never-seems-to-end November Rain shit. (via Pajiba)

Oh, the Japanese! So many ways to freshen breath, but none of them work. If only their breath freshening methods were as efficient as their automobiles. (via Mike’s Blender)

I’m pretty sure if you pit a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup against other peanut butter cups, the Reese’s will win EVERY SINGLE TIME. It’s like sticking a yappy chihuahua in a cage with a cocaine-fueled Andy Dick, who will out annoy the chihuahua EVERY SINGLE TIME. (via Second Rate Snacks)

I got rid of my cable TV, downgraded my internet services, got rid of my telephone landline, and I’ve been thinking about downgrading my cell phone plan to save money, but I guess if I really want to save money, all I really need to do is buy a lot of Beanee Weenees. (via Cheap Eats)

Hey look! More turkey! (via Freezer Burns)

REVIEW: Furuta Sequoia Strawberry Chocolate

There’s a saying: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I usually thought of it as a bullshit saying because where’s the fun in that? Evil geniuses like me couldn’t fail to take over the world if we lived by those stupid sayings. Batman wouldn’t have had the rubber nipples suit and my neighbor in college wouldn’t have come up with novel ways to flash his hairy balls at me. Okay, I don’t exactly have a infallible worldwide domination plot, but I have my evil laugh down, so I’m halfway there! It’s essentially a bastardized version of Dr. Evil’s laugh, but it’s MY bastardized version.

I’ve always loved the original Kit Kat bars, and they were my favorite candy as a kid, so when I saw this at the checkout counter, I admit I was a bit eager to see a Japanese company’s take on this classic. I soon learned that I had made a horrible mistake.

It looks like a stick of strawberry gum, complete with white specks and streaks. Definitely not appealing despite its strawberry yogurt smell, which was actually kind of nice. My first thought after biting into this was, “Sweet Evil Jesus!” Seriously, where’s the strawberry? And my god, what is up with this artificial chemical taste that just bursts out with the first bite? I could barely taste the strawberry over the very artificial vanilla cream, “strawberry” coating and the stale wafer inside. It actually almost tastes like how paint smells.

I guess the target audience is for people with children…people who want to mindfuck with their children. This would actually make a decent punishment, sort of like when I was expecting a Super Nintendo on a Christmas morning and I got my hopes up so high that I cried when I tore the wrapping to find out it was just a lousy 3D Empire State Building puzzle. But the worst part? It was missing 3 pieces.

I’d like to say that one of the good things about it is that it comes in a pack of five, but unfortunately, it means there are five pieces. The only redeeming thing about this candy is the hexagonal box it comes in. If I hold it just right, I can cover up the name of the candy and tell others that it’s a smaller version of a Toblerone. Well, that, and it makes a dandy place to hide my blueprints for an underground cave lair complete with a cage for my evil guinea pig, Fuck Nut.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 and a quarter sticks – 158 calories, 8.7 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 1.6 grams of protein, and the tears of children.)

Item: Furuta Sequoia Strawberry Chocolate

Price: $2.69

Size: 30 grams

Purchased at: China Mart

Rating: 1 out of 10 

Pros: Hairy balls. Strawberry yogurt smell. Mindfucking children. Container makes a dandy hiding place. Evil guinea pig named Fuck Nut.

Cons: Bubblegum appearance. Artificial and chemical tastes. Paint smell taste. Overpowering vanilla crème. Stale Wafer. Lousy 3D puzzle. 5 pieces.

REVIEW: Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Toaster Pastry

Dear Tim Kang,

You don’t know me, but if you look in the mirror, you will know what I look like. According to numerous co-workers and people I don’t know, I look like you. No, I do not work at a beer testing facility, opium farm, or Tim Kang clone factory. Ever since the TV show The Mentalist, which you play a supporting role in, starting showing on CBS on Tuesdays, the number of people who think I look like you has been on the rise, like the roll call of Hugh Hefner’s ex-girlfriends. Actually, the comparisons started before you even began playing California Bureau of Investigations agent Kimball Cho.

It all started when someone mentioned I looked like that Asian guy with the Asian family from the Home Depot commercial. At first, I thought that person was crazy with a capital Amy Winehouse, because a commercial with only Asians in it was just something that didn’t exist. Caucasians? Of course. Hispanics? Si? African-Americans? Yes. Asian? I didn’t expect a national American television commercial with only Asians until the year 2033, after China takes over the world. However, after searching YouTube, I saw the commercial with you in it.

Then a few folks said I look like the Asian guy in the Cingular commercials, which also happened to be you.

After watching the commercials, a few minutes of The Mentalist, and this short video you starred in, I thought it was just another case of people thinking all Asians look alike, but when I saw the picture of you below, it changed my mind and made me believe that you are my celebrity doppleganger.

Oh, by the way. No one mentioned that I looked like En-Joo in the last Rambo movie, which I’m sure you played wonderfully.

It’s like you’re the Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tarts and I’m the Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Toaster Pastries, because while we may look alike, you’re well known like Pop-Tarts, since The Mentalist gets 15 million viewers per week, while I’m a Z-List internet celebrity that many people don’t know about, much like the new Fiber One toaster pastries.

Of course, the differences don’t stop there. While you have degrees from Berkeley and Harvard, I have a piece of paper that says I graduated with an English degree from the University of Hawaii, which is much like comparing the sweet, chocolatey, and delicious taste of the Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tarts with the not equally as impressive, but good enough taste of the Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Toaster Pastries.

Also, while you spent months in Moscow to study acting, it took me a few seconds to learn about you on the internet, which is similar to comparing the amount of time it would take to poop with the less than one gram of dietary fiber in a Pop-Tart with the speed it would take to poop with the five grams of dietary fiber a Fiber One toaster pastry has, which is 20 percent of your daily value of fiber.

However, we might be more alike than I realize. After all, we’ve never met. Just like the Pop-Tarts and Fiber One toaster pastries both have high fructose corn syrup and roughly the same nutritional values, maybe you enjoy spying on your neighbors across the street with a pair of Bushnell binoculars and a parabolic microphone, like I do. Or maybe you enjoy laying in front of a mirror and brushing a slightly exaggerated nude self-painting, much like I love doing on warm spring nights.

Well I hope that this letter to you ends up as the top search query whenever you or someone else decides to Google your name or the phrase, “cute Asian guy in The Mentalist.” Perhaps someday we can meet or switch lives.



(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 190 calories, 4 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 1 gram polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 140 milligrams of potassium, 36 grams of carbs, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, and 6% iron.)

Item: Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Toaster Pastry
Price: $3.49
Size: 6 pastries
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Doesn’t taste like cardboard. Decent tasting. 5 grams of fiber per pastry. 16 grams of whole grain. I look like Tim Kang. Spying on neighbors. Creating a slightly exaggerated nude self-painting.
Cons: Not as sweet or as chocolatey as the Pop-Tarts version. Contains high fructose corn syrup. Has same nutritional values as regular Pop-Tarts. Tim Kang looks like me.

NEWS: New Limited Edition Pop-Tarts Flavors Prove Kellogg’s Is Far From Running Out of Toaster Pastry Ideas

Just when it seemed like Kellogg’s couldn’t come up with a new Pop-Tarts flavor, they reached into their magical hat of random flavors and pulled out two: Dulce de Leche, which I’ve always thought sounds more like a World of Warcraft expansion set, and the exotic Guava Mango. Both sound appealing to me, especially the Guava Mango since here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean guava and mango products are abundant, which I guess makes the two fruits less exotic to us. Speaking of exotic, mango is said to be an aphrodisiac, but the Guava Mango Pop-Tarts are probably the least sexiest way to consume mango. As for the Dulce de Leche Pop-Tarts, I figured it was bound to happen since dulce de leche seems to be one of the popular flavors this year and because Kellogg’s was probably running out of flavors in the English language that don’t include the word “milkshake.”

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Sirloin Steak Teriyaki Bowl

I love Jack in the Box. Not the food, but the character and everything that is associated with his adorable giant head. Let’s face it – he’s the greatest fast food mascot in the history of the universe. Jack is non-threatening, yet authoritative, pleasant and jovial without being silly. I even buy a Jack antenna ball for every season of the year and enjoy it thoroughly until it’s stolen. In this era of terrible white-guy-rap McDonald’s commercials, Jack brightens my day.

But then there’s the food. Their Ultimate Cheeseburger can leave you constipated for weeks and their egg rolls are filled with the saltiest pork mixture I’ve ever tasted, which is saying something because I eat fried salt pork as a snack. I know some people swear by them, but these are people who have probably never had a real egg roll as a reference point.

Jack in the Box’s latest foray into the realm of Asian-themed food comes in bowl form, fresh off the heels of their hideous yet tasty breakfast bowls. I guess this was the logical progression. The combo even comes with one of those aforementioned egg rolls for your dipping pleasure.

These sirloin steak and chicken teriyaki bowls are made up of white rice topped with julienne carrots, broccoli, and the meat of your choice covered in a sweet teriyaki sauce. At around five bucks, they are a bit pricey, but you do get a generous amount of meat in the bowl. But as they say, quantity doesn’t beat quality unless you’re trying to get drunk. My first taste led to a resounding shrug of the shoulders and a high-pitched “Eh,” a reaction that I felt was necessary even though I was eating lunch by myself.

The steak, while abundant, obviously came pre-packaged and had that unnaturally soft texture that frozen steak tends to have. Needs more tendony mouth feel, I’d say! Unlike Yoshinoya, however, the broccoli and carrots were sufficiently crunchy. All of this smacks of mediocrity and is quite literally topped off with the one-note sweetness of the teriyaki sauce. Completely uninteresting and bland come to mind. I say stick with Yoshinoya and their baby food-soft vegetables if you want Asian-style fast food, or better yet, try a Flame Broiler if you have one in your area.

It’s a noble effort from a mascot I love, but it’s only worthwhile as a last resort when you’re desperate for some teriyaki and the better places aren’t open.

(Nutritional Facts – 1 bowl – 650 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 45 mg of cholesterol, 1740mg sodium, 106 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 30 grams of protein)

Item: Jack in the Box Steak Teriyaki Bowl
Price: $4.79
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Jack is a superior mascot. Branching out into ethnic foods can lead to possible future interesting foods. Steak is abundant and plentiful. Vegetables maintain their texture.
Cons: Steak has pre-packaged taste and texture. Sauce is obnoxiously sweet and ordinary. There’s probably a better variation of this bowl at Yoshinoya or a local joint. People stealing my Jack antenna balls.