Archive | May, 2010

REVIEW: Glaceau VitaminWater Zero Squeezed

Written by | May 26, 2010

Topics: 7 Rating, Vitamin Water, Water

I don’t know if you’ve ever bought lemonade from kids who set up shop in front of their house and sell their product at a ridiculously high markup that’s usually only seen at Asian-owned convenience stores and shady used car dealerships. If you have, I guarantee it didn’t taste like the Glaceau VitaminWater Zero Squeezed.

The wannabe lemonade stand moguls I’ve bought from make their lemonade either too sour or too sweet or, on occasion, use their short fingers to stir. Now I wouldn’t call myself a lemonade making expert, but I’ve wasted hours of my life that I’ll never get back playing Lemonade Tycoon so I know six lemons, three cups of sugar and four ice cubes make a good lemonade on a hot day, and if the weather isn’t so warm, I reduce the number of ice cubes to two or three.

Of course, I should have low expectations of lemonade made by children who don’t grasp the concept of ratios. However, I would buy lemonade from children who were selling bottles of VitaminWater Zero Squeezed, even if it’s just “lemonade flavored.”

Unlike children’s lemonade stand lemonade, which is always sweetened with pure sugar, the innocence of children and whatever germs are on their hands when they stir it with their fingers, the VitaminWater Zero Squeezed is sweetened with rebiana (stevia extract), crystalline fructose and erythritol.

This trifecta of sweeteners give it just the right amount of sweetness, but keeps the amount of sugar per serving under a gram. It’s also slightly sour, but not even close to making your lips pucker. And, of course, there’s the obligatory wateriness EVERY VitaminWater flavor has. Overall, it’s a refreshing beverage that you’ll enjoy if you like slightly watery lemonade-flavored products or if you’re looking to try every single damn VitaminWater flavor in existence.

The VitaminWater Zero Squeezed also provides 100% vitamin C, B vitamins and electrolytes. These are much better than the bonuses I’ve gotten from children’s lemonade stand lemonade, which has been an occasional lemon seed and diarrhea.

Like all VitaminWater products sweetened with rebiana (VitaminWater Zero & VitaminWater 10), the flavor of VitaminWater Zero Squeezed isn’t as palatable if consumed warm. But it’s still better than the lemon- or sugar-flavored swill that most entrepreneurial eight-year-olds concoct.

(Nutrition Facts – 8 ounces – 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 4 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 4% calcium, 40% vitamin B3, 40% vitamin B12, 4% magnesium, 100% vitamin C, 10% vitamin E, 40% vitamin B6, 40% vitamin B5 and 10% zinc.)

Read other Glaceau VitaminWater Zero Squeezed reviews:
I Ate A Pie

Item: Glaceau VitaminWater Zero Squeezed
Price: $1.79
Size: 20 ounces
Purchased at: 7-Eleven (Chicago)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Refreshing. Right amount of sweetness. Not pucker sour. Much better tasting than the swill produced by entrepreneurial eight-year-olds. Zero calories. It’s got electrolytes. It’s got B vitamins. It’s got vitamin C. Being a virtual millionaire playing Lemonade Tycoon.
Cons: It’s just lemonade-flavored, not actual lemonade. Doesn’t taste as good if consumed warm. Markups at Asian-owned convenience stores and shady used car dealerships. Using fingers to stir lemonade. Wasting hours of my life playing Lemonade Tycoon.

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REVIEW: BK Fire-Grilled Ribs

Written by | May 23, 2010

Topics: 3 Rating, Burger King, Fast Food

Burger King has ribs now! Is that the appropriate level of excitement? I can’t tell, because The King has given me no direction on how to feel about his new ribs. I look to fast food restaurants’ media and marketing departments to tell me how I should feel about their food, and there is absolutely no information about the ribs on their website. Usually, companies assault you with their new products on the front page of their sites, making sure you know damn well that there’s a new product and you’re going to love it. I couldn’t even find the nutritional information on the ribs. I had to find that through other, nefarious means. Is Burger King trying to hide them? Should I be worried?

I’m glad I called my local BK earlier to make sure they were carrying the ribs, because, again, there was no indication of their existence at the restaurant. No big pictures on the drive-thru menu, no posters in the window…nothing. There is no way in the world for you to know these ribs exist, unless you stumbled upon a news story about them on the Internet. (Or the editor of the website you review for told you about them.) I felt like I was in on some sort of secret, like In-N-Out’s not-so-secret secret menu.

I don’t even actually know what these things are officially called. The box says, “Straight from the grill”, but there’s no name on it. The side of the box at least has little pictures of ribs on it, so at least I know I’ve got the right product.

Edit: The Internet just told me they’re called BK Fire-Grilled Ribs. Mystery solved.

According to the box, you can get either six or eight pieces, but my secret nutritional information source says that you can also get a three-piece box. Who knows? Burger King certainly isn’t going to tell me. And that creepy King never talks, so he’s of no help. Yeah, you just keep standing over there with your arms crossed, The King. Looking all creepy and smug, knowing that nobody knows a damn thing about your ribs.

I dunno about these guys. They look kind of weird. And…burned. There is a pleasant smell of grilled meat faintly wafting from the box, but it does smell a little like what happened when I tried to use a grill once. Considering I once managed to ruin a package of ramen, I think you see where I’m going with this.

These certainly don’t look like any ribs I’ve ever seen before. I guess they’re supposed to be short ribs? Hey, wait, is that…is that a bone I see? Oh, these are actual ribs! Up to this point, I thought they were just going to be strange and boneless, like that mutant piece of meat on the McRib. Burger King copies all of McDonald’s other ideas, so I just figured this would be more of the same. Good thing I noticed the bones before I bit into them. That could have gone poorly.

They look mostly like seriously failed chicken wings. Or perhaps the severed limbs of infant burn victims? Okay, that’s just tasteless. C’mon now. Seriously though, it looks like a Chihuahua caught on fire in the Burger King parking lot and they decided to call it a “happy accident.” I mean, I’m not a rib expert, but these just don’t look right.

They don’t taste right, either. The first one I tried was dry and terribly burned. The second one was moist, and by that I mean greasy, and burned. And that’s pretty much the story for the rest of the box. The few moist bites I got showed that the meat closest to the bone had some good flavor and texture, but there wasn’t much of that on those little ribs. One person on the Internet noted that they got barbecue sauce with theirs, so I made sure to ask for some at the window. The King’s serf assured me that it was in the bag. It was not in the bag.

The ribs seemed like they didn’t have any seasoning on them, unless you count “burned” as a seasoning. If I’ve learned anything from Bobby Flay, besides the fact that you can cook anything on a grill (I think I saw him make a bowl of Frosted Flakes on there once), it’s that your ribs need to be properly seasoned, whether that’s with a dry rub or a wet one. If I’ve learned anything from the various barbecue shows I’ve seen on the Travel Channel, the nation is polarized between wet and dry rubs, but I’m pretty sure they’d all agree that a naked rib is a no-no.

Honestly though, any seasoning they might have applied to it would have been overpowered by the taste of charred flesh. The flavor stayed in my mouth long after I’d finished the ribs, leaving me feeling like I’d just eaten a box full of the remains of someone’s tragic house fire. No amount of barbecue sauce is going to cover that up. Speaking of covering up, I see now why Burger King is keeping these ribs under wraps. These ribs just ain’t right.

(Nutrition Facts – 6 ribs — 450 calories, 33 grams of total fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 140 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,290 milligrams of sodium, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugars and 35 grams of protein.)

Here are other BK Fire-Grilled Rib reviews:
Brand Eating
Everyview
Hamburger Calculus
Wandering Foodie
Mishen’s Fast Food Reviews

Item: BK Fire-Grilled Ribs
Price: $5.69
Size: 6 ribs
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Some meat was moist. Feeling like part of a secret club. Actual meat on a bone and not fake, formed ribs. Getting to call a Burger King employee a serf.
Cons: Charred as all get-out. The King, being smug and creepy. Lots of dry meat. Making infant burn victim jokes. Charcoals-in-my-mouth taste will not leave.

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THE WEEK IN REVIEWS – 5/22/2010

Written by | May 22, 2010

Topics: Candy, Energy Drink, Pepsi, Soda

Here are a few product reviews posted this week from other blogs we like.

There’s a gummy candy that looks like plastic green army men. They may look like plastic green army men, but will it hurt and cause me to curse like a sailor if I accidentally stepped on them? (via Candyblog)

I hope the Zombie Blood Energy Potion isn’t the beginning of an influx of zombie-related energy drinks. You don’t think that can happen. Six words: Zombie movies and zombie video games. (via Caffeine Critic and ED Junkie)

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young has an energy drink and it sucks. Too bad there isn’t a Joe Montana energy drink to make us forget about it. (via Screaming Energy)

Cherry Vanilla Pepsi is a new Pepsi flavor that combines two old Pepsi flavors. It’s like a Franken-Pepsi. (via BevReview and Soda Giant)

Three words: Freeze-dried meals. (via Review Spew)

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REVIEW: Thomas’ Plain Bagel Thins

Written by | May 20, 2010

Topics: 8 Rating, Bagels, Thomas'

Let me start out by saying that I’m not much of a breakfast girl.

I mean, you got cereal, which is cold and unforgiving, and better suited as a late night snack if you ask me. (Especially if the cereal is Cap’n Crunch.) Then there’s oatmeal, which sometimes I will force myself to eat because while nutritionally it’s good for you, it’s kind of gross; especially if you make it from scratch. And I figure if either it’s artificially sweetened and flavored, overly processed gloppy glop from a packet or it’s naturally prepared gloppy glop from the canister, I guess I’ll take the gloppy glop from the canister and enjoy the benefits of a regular bowel movement. Oh, and yogurt? Don’t even get me started on effing yogurt.

Pretty much the only breakfast foods I enjoy are the ones that aren’t good for me, and as summer approaches and I go through my yearly ritual of “Operation Fitting Into Shit Again,” it really limits my options. Sometimes I will literally go the whole day without eating just to avoid breakfast, and then 5 o’clock hits and I eat things like a giant take-out burrito the size of a baby. And that is about as counterproductive as it is delicious.

One “healthier” option I’ve found that I do enjoy eating for breakfast is a low-fat or whole wheat English Muffin. Sure, I can deal with that. However, my last trip to the English Muffin aisle in my local grocery store yielded an unexpected and delightful surprise: Thomas’ Bagel Thins. Really Thomas’?

You mean to tell me that I can have all of the deliciousness of a bagel for roughly the same amount of calories as an English Muffin? And that I no longer have to stare with envy at my boyfriend’s Trader Joe’s Sesame Seed bagels sitting on the shelf, because he’s a bastard with fast metabolism and can eat giant doughy balls of seed-studded carby goodness for breakfast? This is the best thing to happen to my waistline since that time I got my wisdom teeth out and I couldn’t eat solid food for an entire week. And Bagel Thins won’t even give me the dry socket!

With an impressive four grams of fiber, Bagel Thins are nutritionally comparable so I don’t even have to feel guilty about replacing it with my usual whole wheat English Muffin. And with a couple of tablespoons of 1/3 less fat cream cheese — because everyone knows that fat-free cream cheese is basically like eating caulk — the whole shebang still clocks in under an impressive 200 calories. Heck, I can even throw in a glass of low-sugar orange juice into the mix for those numbers! Another way Bagel Thins are better than English Muffins is that, for about the same price, Bagel Thins come eight to a package whereas English Muffins only come with six. You don’t have to be a Harvard-educated mathematician to know that eight is better than six.

Thomas’ Bagel Thins are chewy and bagely, basically just like a regular bagel, and are about the same size, so it actually feels like you’re eating something substantial. Unlike one of Thomas’ sad little “mini bagels,” anyway – I mean, what are those even good for? My only real (albeit minor) gripe with the Bagel Thins was that because of their thinness, they unfortunately got cold really fast — especially if you’re slathering it with cold cream cheese from a cold refrigerator. Although on the other side of the coin, I could see the thinness lending itself perfectly as a bread/roll replacement for a sandwich or veggie burger. Quite frankly I’m surprised it took this long for America’s obsession of thinness (models, cell phones, televisions, etc.) to revolutionize the modern bagel, but it’s a trend I would like to see continue.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Bagel (46 grams) – 110 calories, 1 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein and 8% iron.)

Item: Thomas’ Plain Bagel Thins
Price: $3.29
Size: 8 Bagel Thins
Purchased at: Supreme Shop N’ Bag
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Low-calorie. Tastes like a real bagel. Only 110 calories. Eight is more than six. Fitting into shit again.
Cons: Fat-free cream cheese. Oatmeal. Boyfriends and their stupid fast metabolisms. The aftermath of gorging on baby-sized burritos.

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REVIEW: Wawa Buffalo Chicken Flatbread

Written by | May 19, 2010

Topics: 8 Rating, Fast Food, Wawa

I’ve never worked as a server (big ups to those who have), but if I ever decide to apply as one I know exactly where my first choice would be.

Hooters.

It’s not because I’m oddly turned on by overweight, drunk gentlemen coppin’ a feel or I enjoy wearing orange spandex shorts on a daily basis. Heck, I don’t even sign my name with a cute little heart at the end. My desire to work at Hooters is based purely on my love and devotion to buffalo chicken. Although, I probably would get fired for stealing buffalo wings off of plates and serving a bunch of chicken bones to horny hungry men with my mouth area covered in a red sauce that could be mistaken as the war paint used by Amazon huntresses on the prowl for a new mate.

Although working for Hooters isn’t in the near future (or distant), I’m still able to get my buffalo chicken fix without having to get a boob job, a restraining order on a customer, or having to go into American Apparel to purchase orange hot pants from a male cashier rocking sideburns, aviator shades and orange hot pants. Thanks to the new Wawa Buffalo Chicken Flatbread I can just walk a couple of blocks and get a hit of spicy chicken at any time of day. I could also walk a couple of blocks in the other direction and get my fix at any time of the day, if my buffalo chicken addiction was instead a crack addiction.

The Wawa Buffalo Chicken Flatbread is one of those microwaveable deals; it’s not made to order unless you count them nuking it for you, but for a microwavable sandwich this thing is pretty glorious. Sometimes with pre-made sandwiches the chicken is chopped so small that you need the Hubble Telescope to find out if it’s actually chicken, but as you can see, there’s quite a bit of the cluck stuff in this as well as mild buffalo sauce, ranch dressing and tiny bleu cheese crumbles.

Despite the heavenly combo of grilled chicken, ranch dressing, bleu cheese crumbles and buffalo sauce, which was about as mild as Victorian Era porn, it would’ve been better if the chicken were pieces of buffalo wings and they added extra sauce so the spicy factor could go from PBS Masterpiece Theatre level to something worthy of an AVN Award.

Looking at the innards of the Wawa Buffalo Chicken Flatbread made my stomach feel like it was being churned by an Amish girl because it looks like Michelle Duggar’s uterus; all messy and unrecognizable, but yet still able to hold a child. Speaking of pregnancies, the Wawa Buffalo Chicken Flatbread made me feel like there was a massive food baby in my gut after consuming it.

FYI — It’s not fun giving birth to it either.

Since I’ve already made up my mind that I don’t want to be pregnant with human babies, the closest I’ll ever feel to carrying a child would be with food babies. I wouldn’t mind being knocked up by anything buffalo chicken-related since it’s my favorite food. However, I’d rather have a massive plate of Hooters wings impregnating me with spicy chicken goodness than the Wawa Buffalo Chicken Flatbread.

Plus, I think it would be cute if the Hooters wings signed the birth certificate with a little heart.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 flatbread sandwich – 520 calories, 18 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 2020 milligrams of sodium, 56 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 38 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 2% vitamin C, 20% calcium and 25% iron.)

Item: Wawa Buffalo Chicken Flatbread
Price: $3.99
Size: 1 flatbread
Purchased at: Wawa
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Anything Buffalo chicken flavored. Hooters waitresses signing your check with a little heart. Wawa making is possible to get my buffalo chicken fix 24/7. Comfy American Apparel t-shirts. Using buffalo sauce as war paint.
Cons: Lots of sodium and cholesterol. Not made to order. Food babies. Not spicy enough. Bleu cheese crumbles were too small. The Duggar Family. Uncomfortable American Apparel hot pants.

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