The Week in Reviews – 11/15/2008

There’s only 40 more days until Christmas. None of the following will make a decent Christmas present, unless you don’t like the person you’re giving them to.

It began with 5-Hour Energy. Now it’s six hours of energy? You know what gives me 16-18 hours of energy? Sleep and hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock five times. (via Energy Drink Ratings)

The Limited Edition Candy Cane Oreo with help prepare my palate for all the candy canes I’ll receive/shoplift/steal from shopping mall Santas/bully away from school children this holiday season. (via Gigi Reviews)

My face burns red with shame because the Japanese can only fit three berries into a Kit Kat bar. Japanese ingenuity has died. (via Japanese Snack Reviews)

I promise I’m not linking to this video review of the Skyline Chili and Spaghetti frozen meal because the reviewer is a fellow Asian. I’m linking to it because I miss Heat Eat Review. (via Freezer Burns)

Pfff…A hand renewal dishwashing liquid? Nothing is sexier than rough hands and fingers stroking my back and making me imagine I’m caressing Bea Arthur. (via Cheaplander)

REVIEW: Carl’s Jr. Big Country Breakfast Burrito

The Carl’s Jr. Big Country Breakfast Burrito is meant for the daring. It’s made for women who are willing to dance with the guy in the corner wearing sunglasses at night, with two popped collars, and clubgoers always form a large circle around him, not because he needs space to break out his dance moves, but because he has poor personal hygiene. It’s made for men who have the huge brass cojones to write a heart-warming sonnet that uses the Shakespearean rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG to proclaim their love for combing the manes of their My Little Ponies. It’s made for the small dogs who go up to significantly bigger dogs and bark the words, “You are my bitch.”

This breakfast burrito is only meant for the audacious diner because its ingredients list makes the KFC Famous Bowl seem a little less famous, like going from Alec Baldwin to Daniel Baldwin, and its nutritional values would make a doctor’s heart skip a beat. The cavalcade of ingredients not only consists of the trifecta of pig products — sausage, ham, and bacon — it also has scrambled eggs, hash brown nuggets, shredded jack cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and white sausage gravy in a flour tortilla. It’s like they took George Orwell’s Animal Farm, wrapped it in tortilla, and scraped out the equines and communism.

With all of those ingredients, I was thinking some would overwhelm others, like normal people being stuffed in a room with Robin Williams clones, and it turns out that I was correct. All I could taste was the egg, tortilla, ham, and sausage gravy, although the white gravy was a little weak, making biscuits everywhere cry a little. I was hoping there would be a strong sausage and bacon flavor, but I guess ham is the Highlander and there can only be one in this breakfast burrito. The hash browns were soggy to the point where its texture was as soft as the eggs, so it didn’t add any crunch to it. Perhaps if I ate it in the restaurant instead of eating it ten minutes later in the comfort of my love shack, the hash brown would’ve still been crunchy. Despite not being able to taste all of the ingredients, it was decent as a ham and egg burrito, plus it had a nice heft to it, but I probably wouldn’t order it again.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 burrito – 770 calories, 47 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 495 milligrams of cholesterol, 1530 milligrams of sodium, 57 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of sugar, 6 grams of dietary fiber, and 31 grams of protein.)

Item: Carl’s Jr. Big Country Breakfast Burrito
Price: FREE (with coupon from PR peeps)
Size: 308 grams
Purchased at: Carls’ Jr.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Meant for the daring eater. Decent tasting as a ham and egg burrito, since that most of what I could taste.. High in protein. Six grams of dietary fiber. George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Cons: Couldn’t taste sausage and bacon. Sausage gravy was a little weak. Hash brown were soggy. High in sodium and saturated fat. Being in a room filled with Robin Williams clones.

REVIEW: Cheese Omelet with Vegetables Power Performance MRE (Meals Ready to Eat)

Don’t get me wrong. I may be a passive pacifist, but I’m not one of those beatniks who believe that everything can be solved without violence. Somebody has to be the bully or the badass with the poo on the stick once in awhile, but Jack Bauer’s chewing Doublemint gum right now, so he’s a bit too busy to kick ass, and Chuck Norris is retired from Delta Force…which is why we have military forces to take their place, armed with state-of-the-art weapons and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat).

Cheese Omelet with Vegetables Power Performance MRE is fairly low in calories and quite nutritious for something its size, but that comes with a caveat. It’s got the longest list of ingredients for an omelet I’ve ever seen. Here’s a quick rundown of what it contains (which is only a wee fraction of the entire list): liquid eggs, cottage cheese, green chilies, mozzarella, water, cream, modified starch, and about seven or eight preservatives. It’s just like dear old grandma’s secret recipe for a prize-winning omelet (incidentally, I’m still waiting for her to pass on her coveted buck cake recipe)! It’s supposedly designed to last for at least 14 years, which explains the caveat, I guess. It’s also packed so full of cholesterol that the plaque-y goodness must aid the preservation process.

I tore open this bag to find myself utterly devoid of patriotism. I knew that MREs had a bad reputation, but this was completely uncalled for. It belongs on a stick…a very long stick. It tastes like crap and quite frankly it reminds me of really terrible and rancid coffee, which dominates the palate, both on and off the tongue. The texture is basically what you’d expect; extra congealed and crumbly, with the dryness of extra hard boiled egg yolks despite an eerie moistness, which is the only thing remotely egg-y about this thing. The veggies were a lost cause as well, since their flavors were completely dominated and their texture was soggier than wet toilet paper. It smelled like really bad tin can food.

I tried to play with it and build little mounds of crap for my green soldiers to march over, but my wee plastic commandos mutinied and started an underground bordello for G.I. Joes and Mr. Potato Heads. This thing is completely irredeemable and worthless like Switzerland’s military might. It’s a giant fuck you to our soldiers, who deserve better like laser ray guns that go pew pew or robot butlers/maids.

At least it comes with a sah-weet brown spoon. Let me tell you, this spoon is truly badass compared to all the other wimpy plastic spoons out there. It’s frickin’ Schwarzenegger from Commando or Terminator 2. This spoon is bigger, stronger, thicker, and heavier than your average plastic spoon. It’s brown so you can eat this crap without breaking your camouflage cover, if the smell didn’t give you away first. It’s also strong enough that it can be used as a weapon of minor destruction if one finds themselves without anything else after killing too many sissy minions. Now that’s American justice: death by plastic spoon. Too bad it’s not a spork.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 mysterious package – 300 calories, 16 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 530 milligrams of cholesterol, 680 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 23 grams of protein.)

Item: MRE – Cheese Omelet with Vegetables

Price: $4.45
Size: 8 ounces
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 0 out of 10 (8/10 for the badass spoon)
Pros: Nutritious. Shelf-stable. Badass brown spoon. Grandma’s buck cake recipe. Bordellos. A badass with poo on a stick. Death by spoon.
Cons: Rancid coffee-taste. Terrible tin can food smell. Crumbly texture. Long list of ingredients. A number of preservatives. Jack Bauer chewing gum. Plaque-y goodness of cholesterol. No badass spork.

REVIEW: Strawberry FruitaBü Organic Smoooshed Fruit Rolls

The idea of fruit rolls-ups seems like something that was the result of a pleasant accident, like the Slinky, Post-It Notes, and possibly your youngest sibling, unless you’re the youngest child, in which case, you were planned. Someone apparently came up with a way to smash fruit better than a Sledge-O-Matic that also doesn’t get the first few rows of a theater covered with the carnage of fruit. If fruit roll-ups were an accident conceived in a laboratory, kitchen, or back seat of a Pontiac Firebird, I’m glad it happened because it led to the Strawberry FruitaBü Organic Smoooshed Fruit Rolls.

Although targeted towards children and people who love umlauts, I could see myself eating these in order to get the one serving of fruit they provide because according to nutritionists I don’t consume the daily recommended amount of fruit, unless a bag of Skittles or a 24-ounce Strawberry Slurpee counts as a serving. The FruitaBü is certified USDA Organic, which I would explain, but I would probably bore you with jargon like, “compliance,” “regulations,” “exceptions,” and “booteeshockee.” Basically, the Strawberry FruitaBü Organic Smoooshed Fruit Rolls is an organic and significantly much shorter version of General Mills’ Fruit by the Foot. While Fruit by the Foot provides “3 feet of fun,” the FruitaBü Fruit Rolls only offers “19.5 inches of interestingness.”

However, the ingredients in those “19.5 inches of interestingness” includes mostly of an inventory of organic apple, white grape, and strawberry concentrates and purees that provides all the sugar in each roll, while the “3 feet of fun” includes extra sweeteners, like sugar and corn syrup. Despite not having any extra added sugar, the FruitaBü was sweet, like sending a card to your grandma-sweet, but not overly sweet, like sending a strippergram to your grandma-sweet. Overall, I thought the Strawberry FruitaBü Organic Smoooshed Fruit Rolls were really good, although because of the orgy of different organic fruits, I thought the strawberry didn’t really stand out and if I were given one without any labeling I probably wouldn’t be able to tell what flavor it was. However, if your child, fruit deficient adult friend, or diacritic fanboy wants a fun way to get a serving of fruit, I would recommend the FruitaBü.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 roll – 80 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 100 milligrams of potassium, 16 grams of carbs, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 0% Vitamin A, 10% Vitamin C, 0% Calcium, 0% Iron, and 1 poem on the box.)

Item: Strawberry FruitaBü Organic Smoooshed Fruit Rolls
Price: FREE (retails for $3.69)
Size: 6 pack
Purchased at: Given by nice PR people
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tastes really good. Made from real fruit. One serving of fruit per roll. USDA Organic. No added sugar. Cute monkeys on the box that looks like were done in Adobe Illustrator.
Cons: Strawberry flavor doesn’t really stand out. Roll is not very long, only 19.5 inches of interestingness. Paper it is rolled up with is not edible. Might be difficult to find. Being conceived in the back of a Pontiac Firebird. Booteeshockee.

Thai Cashew Chicken is Back! But You Probably Didn’t Know It Left!

I guess what they say about Asians is true — most Asian dishes look alike. I swear the Panda Express Thai Cashew Chicken looks like their Kung Pao Chicken, String Bean Chicken, and Mushroom Chicken. Maybe that’s the reason why when I was picking up dinner this past weekend at Panda Express I wasn’t surprised by its sudden appearance because I thought it was something else. The Thai Cashew Chicken consists of cashews, white meat chicken, red bell peppers, some green vegetable, and cilantro. A 5.5-ounce serving has 240 calories, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 640 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of protein, and 0 grams of surprises. According to the Panda Express website, it will be around until December 30th, but when it does disappear, I don’t think anyone will notice.