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QUICK REVIEW: Market Pantry Chocolate Truffle Muffin Caps

Written by | October 22, 2013

Topics: 3 Rating, Market Pantry

Market Pantry Chocolate Truffle Muffin Caps

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 4 count
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: They look good. You can stick them in the microwave or let them thaw at room temperature for 45 minutes. Contains live and active cultures. Only 100 calories. 5 grams of fiber per muffin cap.
Cons: Weird slightly bitter flavor. Looks more chocolatey than they really are. Melted chocolate chips have a grainy texture. They look like VitaTops, but don’t provide the same amount of vitamins and minerals. Odd chewy texture. Makes me want my money back. There are tastier ways to get fiber. Calling these muffin caps instead of muffin tops.

Market Pantry Chocolate Truffle Muffin Caps Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 1 muffin top – 100 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, 4% calcium, and 10% iron.

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REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Angus Steak Big N’ Toasted Sandwich

Written by | September 23, 2013

Topics: 3 Rating, Dunkin Donuts, Fast Food

Dunkin’ Donuts Angus Steak Big N’ Toasted Sandwich

Every few months or so, some poor “high-end” food product makes the jump from pretentious to a diluted all-audience nature. It gets filtered through a wood chipper and then a toilet so in the end it no longer resembles the actual item. All this for the sake of mass consumption. Therefore, not only does it lose its pompous aura (which is fine by me), but its unique characteristics as well (which is not okay at all).

Remember Wendy’s bragging about its fries being sprinkled with sea salt? Give me a break if you’re expecting it to be the actual harvested finishing salts chefs preen about.

Kobe beef, with its already dubious nature in what can actually be called Kobe, is another victim. Kobe hot dogs? Kobe hamburgers? My eyes rolled so much that you would swear I had two lazy eyes or was the inspiration for the guy that graces each Mad Libs cover.

Another example is Kobe beef’s less-complicated, but just as maligned, American cousin, the Angus. This poor bastard is being passed around faster than a cotton towel at an orgy. I’m guessing the “certification” for Angus beef is low enough that even Stephen Hawking can jump over it. Okay, that’s a tasteless cheap shot that’s just as tasteless as the Dunkin’ Donuts Angus Steak Big N’ Toasted.

I commend Dunkin’ Donuts for attempting to separate itself from the pack by using Texas Toast for its sandwiches. The thick bread borders on overindulgence, but is perfect for capturing runny eggs and butter. Some people prefer wheat or pumpernickel, I lust after Texas Toast.

I mean c’mon!!! It’s Texas Toast, steak, eggs and cheese. You know what’s better than sliced bread? Sliced bread with beef, cheese and egg in between it. So what can go wrong? Apparently, if you make a living primarily selling donuts, then a hell of a lot.

Look, I’m a big fan of their Texas Toast Grilled Cheese. Its buttery and flaky toast and melted cheese makes me act like those monkeys in the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Dunkin’ Donuts Angus Steak Big N’ Toasted Sandwich Angus

But stupid me because I was expecting the same from this new sandwich. I opened it immediately to look at this “Angus” steak and it had the natural color of a cadaver stuffed under a house because he didn’t pay his bets on time. It was charmingly grayish and resembled an unsauced Salisbury meatloaf concoction served at all the finest detention centers.

The steak also had an overwhelming artificial smokey taste. The texture itself was flaccid and rubbery, two things I don’t want my meat to feel like. The worst part? The beef was chewy. Not Mentos candy-chewy, but chewy like the bits resting on the bottom of a beef jerky pouch.

Dunkin’ Donuts Angus Steak Big N’ Toasted Sandwich Split

Dunkin’ Donuts Angus Steak Big N’ Toasted Sandwich Egg

The toast had the dampness of a basement, but it was sufficiently buttered. The two eggs only helped in taking your hopes, smashing them, and then pissing on the remains. The eggs were laughably fake looking, like a Fisher Price plastic fried egg toy. Another thing, it had an unnatural powdery texture and lacked any of the richness an egg normally has. It was also mealy and it disintegrated in my mouth into a sandy mush.

Most things can be saved by melted cheese since it provides an extra boost of flavor and texture, which was sorely missing in this sandwich. Unfortunately, there was so little cheese, all I could taste was fake smoke and a bland egg that broke apart into grainy beads in my mouth. It was like a bad French kiss between bread.

I’ve eaten the McDonald’s Angus burgers, so I know fast food “Angus” can be achieved with some success. But it’s as if Dunkin’ Donuts is the fat kid in gym class looking at the rope their meathead teacher is telling them to climb.

Finally, what really kicked me in the balls was the price — $4.29. I haven’t felt this ripped off since I was conned into buying Viagra from Mexico.

(Nutrition Facts – 620 calories, 34 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 180 milligrams of cholesterol, 1290 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 34 grams of protein)

Item: Dunkin’ Donuts Angus Steak Big N’ Toasted Sandwich
Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Dunkin’ Donuts
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Texas Toast. Having the option to buy a donut instead. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sufficiently buttered toast. Soft drinks from Mexico.
Cons: Texas Toast. Artificial smoke flavor. Rubbery grey beef. 2010: The Year We Make Contact. The powdery egg that looks fake. Small amount of cheese. Pharmaceuticals from Mexico.

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QUICK REVIEW: Lay’s Fun Wasabi Shrimp Flavor Potato Chips (China)

Written by | September 13, 2013

Topics: 3 Rating, Asian, Chips, Lay's

Lay's Fun Wasabi Shrimp Flavor Potato Chips

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 75 grams
Purchased at: Received from a friend
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Enjoyable mild wasabi flavor; very little wasabi heat. Kind of smells like McDonald’s Hot Mustard Sauce. Whatever I eat to get the flavor of these chips out of my mouth.
Cons: Not fun after the wasabi flavor goes away. Do I taste cheese? Shrimp isn’t noticeable until the aftertaste. Smells fishy. I can’t eat much of it. Gagged twice while eating my way through the bag. Dollop of wasabi on the bag looks as sad as I do while eating these chips.

Lay's Fun Wasabi Shrimp Flavor Potato Chips Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 30 grams – 656 kcal, 9.2 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 144 milligrams of sodium, 16.2 grams of carbohydrates, 1.7 grams of protein.

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REVIEW: Nabisco Rice Thins (Original and Sea Salt & Pepper)

Written by | August 29, 2013

Topics: 3 Rating, 8 Rating, Crackers, Nabisco

Nabisco Rice Thins (Original and Sea Salt & Pepper)

My wife has celiac and although it sounds exotic and scary, simply put, she’s allergic to wheat. Basically, she’s on an involuntary gluten-free diet. Although gluten free became a new fad diet for a time with celebrities extolling the virtues of no wheat, there was a positive effect in that it raised the awareness of those with gluten intolerance. So many manufacturers, if not expressly making gluten-free alternatives of their best selling products, are at least listing “contains wheat” on their packaging.

Eating out while having this allergy ranges from amusing to borderline murderous. McDonald’s is pretty understanding, no weird looks when we order a Quarter Pounder without a bun. Maggiano’s Little Italy and Bonefish Grill are really good about it. Having celiac means no Chinese food because most soy sauce has wheat but P.F. Chang’s has a whole separate gluten-free menu. In fact, most chains will have a gluten-free menu if you request it, just like most Chinese restaurants have a “real” menu if you ask for it.

The worst experience was during our anniversary, we ate at a Daddy Warbucks kinda place. The type of restaurant where there’s a mixologist and artesian waters are served. We were excited and I was ready to tear into their small batch whiskeys and ryes. My wife wanted something as simple as to not be poisoned at dinner.

After explaining in detail to the server and being assured gluten would not be an issue. This jackass assured us a second time that the crackers were gluten free. Halfway through eating their artisan crackers with small farm cheeses, the server tells us the crackers were actually only half-gluten so we should be fine. I’ll spare you with what my wife endured for a few days. And I’ll spare you with what immediately happened after the server stopped talking, but I will tell you it involved some hazmat suits, an axe, and a ditch.

I remember the days when we would have to shop at treehuggery supermarkets (I’m looking at you Whole Foods) that smelled like an Asian grandma (I’m looking at you Grandma), filled with skinny leathery old women wearing either mom pleated pants or Juicy Couture (I’m looking at 80 percent of old ladies here in the area I live and used to live in). We would have to shove through Birkenstock wearing jerkbags to grab Kinnikinnick Oreo-like cookies or Glutino’s Tastelikeassbutwe’llcallitMexicanBeanSurprise frozen dinners.

Remembering when my wife was first diagnosed, I had to pretend the tapioca bread tasted just as good as Wonder bread when in reality it had the flavor of blue construction paper. Now there’s Udi’s that makes bread as close to the real thing. Even our supermarket chain, Publix, has been placing the GF labels on its aisles and has a list of their own foodstuffs to let you know “It ain’t got no wheats, homies!”

I normally seethe at whatever pop culture embraces but I’m okay with the gluten-free “craze” because my wife, and others with celiac or lesser forms of gluten allergies, need as many choices available.

Amongst the goodies we take for granted, Wheat Thins is one of them. My wife was ecstatic when she ran across Nabisco’s Gluten Free Rice Thins. I was more interested in the Brach’s candies in those plastic bins like an old timey candy shoppe, if they had plastic bins. Who doesn’t love those boxy nougat candies filled with gummy fruit jellies?

Nabisco Rice Thins Sea Salt & Pepper

The first thing we opened was the Rice Thins Sea Salt and Pepper made of brown rice. The crackers were light but not airy as I’m used to with ordinary rice crackers. The black pepper was faint but the peppery-ness lingered long after you ate one, which was nice. The saltiness was perfectly balanced and there was a slight mild toasted flavor. Maybe it’s the brown rice but there was a good amount of flavor.

My wife thought there should be more of a prevalent black pepper taste like in a steak au poivre. I agree, however she enjoyed the pepper flavor that would linger like a guest who should go home soon. She also felt that of all the gluten-free crackers available, this had the crunchiest texture. It was also missing the normally gross “earthy-soil” taste most g-free crackers have. Surprisingly, there was a hint of sweetness we both could taste. Maybe it was the thin coating on the crackers, but that was a pleasant touch.

We both also felt that this cracker would go extremely well with a mild cheese like a Jarlsburg (essentially it’s Gouda but awesomer) or a cream cheese based dip. She expressed that she would buy these again. I too, found these to be damn tasty and while I eat pizzas and sandwiches in front of her, I can be persuaded to actually eat these “outta” the box.

Nabisco Rice Thins Original

On the other hand, the Original Rice Thins was everything you think gluten free would taste like. Dull. Flavorless. Depressing. Instills an urge for you to choke those people who are a bit too damned chipper in the morning. Maybe urinate on your neighbor’s car just because you can.

The strongest characteristic this cracker had was a whisper of bitter burnt toast. It’s like inhaling the wafts from a just used toaster. The cracker had no weight like a rice cake and it was mealy. Every time you eat one, I’m sure a Native American turns to the camera with a tear rolling down his cheek.

My wife’s face expressed disgust when she ate one. She felt they were as bland as me getting it on. She expressed it had a repulsive texture as well. To her, they were boring and awful, like the “Under the Dome” series. She further felt they were similar to the other easily accessible and just as flavorless gluten-free crackers, Blue Diamond Nut-Thins (which really suck on a scale that paper cuts would rank as orgasmic).

There’s also a White Cheddar flavor but we passed because my wife hates Cheez-Its and cheese baked crackers.

Although these are no Wheat Thins, the sea salt and pepper is as close as there is for those with a gluten intolerance. And by close, I mean if I threw a ball to the moon and it landed on my roof instead.

As for the Original Rice Thins, they fail on such a spectacular level, it has convinced a certain someone to still eat pizza and Italian submarines in front of a certain wife (looking at me looking at you that’s also looking at me looking at you, that’s now looking at me… wait it’s like two mirrors facing each other!).

(Nutritional Facts – Sea Salt & Pepper – 13 crackers – 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 60 milligrams of potassium, 25 milligrams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of sugars, and 2 grams of protein. Original – 18 crackers – 1.5 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 45 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, o grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein).

Other Nabisco Rice Thins reviews:
Junk Food Guy

Item: Nabisco Rice Thins (Original and Sea Salt & Pepper)
Purchased Price: $2.50 (on sale)
Size: 3.5 oz box
Purchased at: Publix
Rating: 3 out of 10 (Original)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Sea Salt & Pepper)
Pros: The Sea Salt and Pepper’s texture and flavor are excellent. The fact that there are now more choices for gluten-free items. Using made up words like awesomer. The salt and pepper are perfectly balanced. Nabisco entering the gluten-free market. My wife.
Cons: The Original Rice Thins are depressingly bland. The Sea Salt and Pepper is not as close to a Wheat Thins flavor yet. Old, leathery wrinkly dinkly ladies. The Original Rice Thins are mealy. My wife’s celiac.

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REVIEW: Nabisco Raspberry Oreo Fudge Cremes

Written by | August 14, 2013

Topics: 3 Rating, Cookies, Oreo

Nabisco Raspberry Oreo Fudge Cremes

It was 98 degrees and I was searing in an oven of pavement and diesel fuel, waiting in the line for ice cream sandwiches that curved through the park. The line of 23 people seemed an eternity in the summer haze that swept across my weary brow. As I swatted the mosquitoes spinning near my heat-struck face, I saw it. There. In the distance. The grocery store. It promised air conditioning, self-checkouts, and ice cream cookie sandwiches 48 percent less expensive than anything I’d get out of a food truck.

Damn the line. I wanted my cookie sandwich and I wanted it now and, with a healthy mix of hunger, heatstroke, and adventure, I stomped right in for a trip down the cookie aisle, where I found these new fudge-covered goodies.

Yes, human beings of the world, Milk’s #1 cookie is at it again, this time in a rubus idaeobatus rendition. As a fan of raspberry-and-cream popsicles, Oreo cookies, and anything covered in a fudge-like substance, I decided I’d take the dive, and thus, with a tub of Cool Whip and my newfound cookies in hand, I trounced back to my apartment and ripped ‘em right open.

Peeling back the resealable tab, I was shocked as the smell of Extra Raspberry Vanilla Cupcake Gum attacked my nose. “What in the name of Popsicle Man hath overtaken my Oreo?!” I asked, shaking a blighted fist to the sky.

I now found myself hesitating to reach my hand in, fearing the bizarre berry burst that was shocking my senses, but one look at the melty, chocolatey little rows of O’s and my hand soon sullied forth, hooked by curiosity and fudge cravings.

For those not yet versed in the ways of the Fudge Creme, the construction of said cookie is a simple one in theory: a single Oreo cookie wafer, thin layer of creme, all covered in an especially fudge-like substance. It’s a thinner, dare I say, sleeker rendition of an Oreo, but not necessarily better.

It’s much smaller than a Oreo sandwich, thus giving it a lower ratio of crème and denying one from the “Twist and Lick” eating method. But what it lacks in “sandwich” qualities, it more than makes up for in the ample fudgy coating, which serves as a protective goo that tastes of chocolate and melts faster than a Ziploc bag on the surface of Venus (And Ziploc bags melt really fast. I discovered this in an unfortunate incident involving a microwave…)

Nabisco Raspberry Oreo Fudge Cremes Double cookie time

However, in a much more happy, non-microwave-related accident, I found that the fudge reminds me of Hershey’s milk chocolate: slightly grainy, quick to melt, and milky sweet. This is the kind of chocolate that helps me understand why people burst into spontaneous show tunes on the subway. It can be a little waxy in taste, but I give it a respectable one thumb up. The cookie is the traditional charcoal-black Oreo disk, which adds some needed crunch and crumble to counteract the mighty fudge.

A fair warning to those not yet experienced: this fudge has a super low melting point and is sure to transfer itself to your hands and fingers and, potentially, that dashing new white shirt your significant other got you the other day. I’d encourage you to consume wisely. It’s a messy affair, but, just like eating from a can of Reddi-wip, sometimes the messiest things are the most rewarding.

Nabisco Raspberry Oreo Fudge Cremes Raspberry filling! Ah!

However, this time, the creme just doesn’t jive for me. The raspberry-ness tastes a bit like a Mixed Berry Skittle with hints of cotton candy popsicles and raspberry gum. I respect this flavor as a popsicle or chewy gelatin candy, but it’s not really my thing when combined with the chocolate experience. Like someone building a nuclear testing facility over the green, fertile pastures of hippity-hoppity bunnies and happy-dappy squirrels, the creme is demolishing the fudge and cookie that held beautiful potential.

But, hey, I give props for taking risks. While some of their more recent flavors may raise accusations of blasphemy and shock, one cannot accuse Oreo of being shy. They have created a cookie of great renown, and they are using that confidence in their product to shake things up and see if they can’t nail the next Great Flavor lurking in the social subconscious.

This particular rendition doesn’t quite do it for me. But maybe I’m just a small child on the wrong end of the see-saw, and these Oreos are a bigger, more powerful kid and, as so often happens with small children on the wrong end of see-saws, these Oreos ker-plonked themselves down and catapulted me over the fence. On the whole, I’m happy to have tried them. Maybe you should, too. But I can’t say I’ll be buying them again in the near future.

(Nutrition Facts – 3 cookies – 180 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 60 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 19 grams of sugars, and 1 gram of protein.)

Other Nabisco Raspberry Oreo Fudge Cremes reviews:
So Good Blog

Item: Nabisco Raspberry Oreo Fudge Cremes
Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 11.3 oz.
Purchased at: Met Foods
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Not boring. Hershey-like fudge coating. Crunchy Oreo cookie base. Dark chocolate and milk chocolate balance each other well. Reason to buy a tub of Cool Whip. Reason to get messy. Reason to use “hippity-hoppity” in a sentence.
Cons: Flavor of creme reminiscent of cotton candy popsicle and raspberry gum in semi-liquid form. Lacks the trademark “cookie sandwich” eating experience. Fudge not good for white shirts. Microwave-related accidents. Getting flung off a see-saw.

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