Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dang Toasted Coconut Chips

First of all, this is a hilarious name. "Dang"? C'mon. I kind of admire it for that, especially because the packaging mentions (a) it's named after the creator's mom, but also (b) 'these chips will have you saying "dang, these chips are good!"' which is great.

The chips are pretty good. They taste basically like lightly sugared roasted coconut, which is in fact what they are. If you like coconut, you will probably like these. They also look like little white bacon curls, which is kinda fun as well. I got bored of them about halfway through the bag, though, but if you like coconut these are a nice snack.

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 7/10

Glee Gum - Triple Berry


I like that these are NOT sugar-free, and I like the packaging/all-natural ingredients, of course. But the flavor is a little bit medicinal (although maybe that's just because of the "triple berry" flavor) and fairly weak after a minute or so. Also, this gum stuck to my teeth a lot! I don't know if this is a personal problem or if there's something that makes this gum extra sticky, but it was awfully inconvenient at tooth-brushing time.

Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 5/10

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kiwa Vegetable Chip Mix

These chips are pretty tasty -- but then again, they're salty, fatty, chips, so of course they are. Fun fact: "kiwa" is quechua for "green"! Anyway! This is a cool mix, because it has beetroot (tastes like a beet :6), cassava (basically: potato), Sweet Potato (but they're white and purple!! tasting different than a sweet potato, tasting like...potato), Arracacha (carroty), and banana (these are the tastiest, good thick texture). Nevertheless, not any better than a storebrand chip, and not that much better for you even though there is a good mix of vitamins cuz' it's an assortment. :P

gluten free though! ;P

Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 6/10

Santa Fe Mexican Grill

This is one of those bars on Main Street that I (and undergrads) tend to overlook -- even though it's really good. I guess the drinks aren't especially cheap, but it's conveniently located to campus, the food is good, the service is good.

Also, they have 3$ breakfast burritos that are really good. Especially the ham one. And 1$ cups of coffee! And free chips and salsa! C'mon, man, this place is great.

Edits: OK, the burritos vary in quality. The good chipotle rosa sauce is crucial, and sometimes they do not include it! It seems the earlier in the day you are, the more likely you are to get this key sauce.

Other foods: Tierra: Idk wtf this is (basically bits of meat, cheese, and veggie?) with rice, but it was very good and reminded me of Fiesta Mexico. Olé!
Spinach Enchilada: "Meh." Came with Meh-y corn mush.
(red) Sangria: &yum;

Overall
Cost: 7/10 [wildly variable!]
Taste: 7/10

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Outback Steakhouse



Famous for the Bloomin' Onion (delicious calories) and for being my dad's favorite restaurant -- can't believe I hadn't reviewed it already! Outback has done a great thing lately and indicated dishes that may contain nuts with a special symbol on their menu. They don't have one for vegetarians, they don't have one for gluten free, they just have a nut symbol. Never in my life have I encountered such an amazing thing, especially by chance. I think it's fairly new, too. So great. Made my affections for a decent chain resto go way, way up!

Anyhoo, Outback always gives you a log of brown bread pre-meal (which is safe). Nice. I usually get ribs and a baked sweet potato, which is very tasty. Once I got a ribs + baked chicken combo, but the chicken was very boring so I don't recommend that. Other foods: Alice springs chicken is chicken with bacon and mushrooms and cheese on it....pretty darn unhealthy, but tasty of course! No-rules parmesan pasta = standard fettuccine dish, tasty and unhealthy too. Dad likes the coconut shrimp.

Watermelon vodka drinks are also good. ;9

Pricing is standard for a chain resto, maybe a little higher since it's steaks. Generally good quality food though, and always prompt service at ours.

Overall
Taste: 7/10
Cost: 5/10



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop

Classic sandwich shop! It tastes very good, and their sandwich "the bobbie" is one people talk about for being a very delaware-y sandwich. It consists of turkey, mayo, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, which is as delicious as it sounds! Also apt to give me stomach pains if I'm not careful :P. But it is a very tasty sandwich, and their cheesesteaks are good as well. A little pricy, but satisfying enough to be worth it once in a while.

Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 8/10

Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch

This is kind like a combination of Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz (which now has a peanut warning!?!? >:() and Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch flavors, but it is sadly not as good as either one. The heath pieces are still really good, but this coffee ice cream isn't that great -- not really that coffee-y, more like chocolate ice cream which I don't really like. So the vanilla ice cream is better, and the espresso-caramel bits of the Buzz Buzz were better. Nevertheless, this is still a tasty treat, it's just that there are superior flavors available to me.

Overall
Cost: 7/10 (on sale!)
Taste: 6/10

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Home Grown Café

This place perturbs me because it's one of those "gluten-free, vegan + vegetarian friendly" places that have no allergy menu or policy or awareness above the norm. However, it's very popular with my social group, and it is a "chill" bar. They have good brunch food; in fact, their food is good overall, it's just scary because there are definitely lots of peanuts + nuts on the menu. Still, I have mentioned my allergy every time and so far so good.

Burrito Verde (with pork): pricy but good, a tasty pork burrito. Chips were fine (but would have been better with some dip or something, c'mon now).

Philly Steak sandwich: This is garlicy and cheesey and the bun is toasted and it comes with tasty greens, so it was pretty great. 

Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 7/10

On The Border

This is apparently a big chain, which explains why they have (a) a (confusing) allergen menu online and (b) a huge regular menu. We went to one in Elkridge MD with a big party, so service was really slow. However, they do ply you with infinite chips + salsa, which is nice. Salsa is a bit spicy, which is good. Chips are big wedges, which is funny. Anyway, that part was good. I also got a sangria, which was in a weird test-tubey glass, and was good (but not great). For food I ordered chicken fajita quesadilla, because it's so good at Fiesta Mexico, but here it was really not great. Just a generic quesadilla with a few cold peppers in it. Boo. I also tried their mexican rice, and although it did have corn in it and no peas (:D) I still didn't like it. Shrug!! For dessert, though, there was a Kalua Ice Cream Pie with no nut allergens, so I did enjoy that a lot. It was like an Oreo pie from Burger King, but fresher and with hot fudge on top. :9

Price was decent, too.

Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 6/10

Friday, September 6, 2013

Margherita's Pizza

Now that Main Street Sliders has shut down :(, I need a new place on Main Street that can be my "cozy easy comfort food joint", yanno what I mean? And Margherita's is definitely my favorite pizza on Main Street; great variety, great service, tastes really good, 3$ slices, great location, etc. The only downside for me is that these are really big, really cheesy, really fatty slices that can make me feel pretty queasy afterwards if I'm not careful!!! (I think pizza + I have a personal issue). And apparently they have beers on tap too; I never noticed because like I said, I always just come here alone for a comforting snack. But this seems like a great hangout and the pizza is really really good. Gotta give a shoutout to my friend Rachel who picked Margherita's as her favorite Newark pizza long before I did -- good call, Rach.

Enzo's White: Tomato, mozzarella, spinach?? a classic
Spinach, mushroom, + ricotta: excellent :9 especially the ricotta, sweet and good.

Overall
Cost: 8/10
Taste: 9/10


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cosmos Creations Sea Salt + Butter Popcorn

These are more bearable than the caramel ones, as predicted, but I still wasn't able to finish the entire bag. Really tasted like cheese curls covered in salt, which is tasty for the first few but after that it's just too much!! These are also not very good for you in terms of fat/salt/calories, so I think I'm just going to give up on Cosmos Creations. Alas.

Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 4/10


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vitamin Water

Try it!


I tried it. Initially, I hated it, saying they tasted like water with an eyedropper of Kool-Aid mixed in. Not great. Unpleasant. But you know that thing where you keep trying something because it's convenient and your best friend likes it and you buy a bunch of them for a phonology conference and it's cheap and it has vitamins in? So I kept drinking them and eventually I found myself buying my own Vitamin Water try its, monthly, weekly, daily. Alas. Alas. But I won't buy the "Zero Calorie" ones, that's just too much.

Overall
Cost: 7/10 [usually 1$]
Taste: 7/10 ?????

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Utz Extra Dark Sourdough Pretzels

I never was a huge pretzel fan (except for honey pretzels) but I do like Utz, and surprise surprise, these really hit the spot! They have a little too much salt, but a few of these makes a great little snack. The "extra dark" toasty flavor is really good, and these are crispy and fun to eat into shapes, as you do with pretzels. Bought for a party, but I might have to start keeping these on-hand as a snack for myself!

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 7/10

Dizzy Pig Tsunami Spin Spice Rub


I overall enjoyed this seasoning - I used it on some pork chops and linguine and it was pretty tasty, although nothing especially remarkable -- tastes a lot like the seasoning I'd normally use on pork chops, anyway. It was very convenient and cooked well, a nice amount of sweetness and not too overwhelming. I might buy this again, even though I sprinkled pretty liberally and so it wouldn't last that long. Nevertheless, it could be the impetus for a good meal!


Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 7/10

Monday, August 26, 2013

NoNuttin Vanilla Caramel Granola

This granola is safe and good for you(ish), so I want to like it a lot! Ultimately, I think I like it pretty well, but it's still not as tasty as Quaker granola. Still, this is filling (it IS granola) and has a nice gentle vanilla-y oat flavor. The texture is a little soft, but then again, that's probably good for my teeth. Great with fruit and yogurt.

Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 7/10

Saturday, August 24, 2013

No Nuttin' Granola Bars

OK, bratty secret: I saw that these were egg, dairy, and gluten free (as well as nut free of course) and I thought "man these are probably gonna suck!" True fact: they didn't suck! To be fair, the texture is a little spongy and soft and chewy(?) for a granola bar, but the taste was good (I think! I was pretty drunk and starving, but I inhaled them :P). The Apple Cinnamon one really does taste appley, and it's a cool change of granola-bar-flavor pace. The Double Chocolate Chunk one was chocolatey, as expected, and gave me a good energy boost. I think I might buy some of these in the future. Plus, the wrappers make them look like delicious Easter candies!

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 8/10

Border Café

This is a big tex-mex resto mini-chain! It's a short drive from Newark, so I'm glad I finally got a chance to go. Ambiance reminded me a lot of Fiesta Mexico (in Harrisburg), just more Texan/New Orleansean. Sat outside on the little patio stoop, which was nice. Free chips and salsa, which were good. Nice big sangrias (strong, too! ;9). I ordered the Chicken and Chorizo Etouffée, which is probably exactly what it sounds like if you have any clue what an etouffée is (I didn't). Basically it tastes like my mom's stuffed peppers - tomatoey beefy peppery rice dish. It was good, but not amazing (sorry mom!). My friend Rach thought it was spicy, but I didn't really think so. Just the slightest spice (which, to be honest, is all I want). Came with some sweet cornbread, which was great (probably not great for you, though..!). Overall a good experience, and the things my dining companions got (jim bowie steak and chicken guadalajara) were both very well-received. Probably a good place to take your parents! Oh, and for the amount you get, prices are very decent.

So... I came back with my parents, and I got the Blackened Chicken, which was chicken that came with a mango marmaladey sauce to dip in and José's rice. Chieken was good (but not amazing). And I discovered that I don't think I like Mexican rice very much! But, that being said, there are plenty more things on the menu that I'd like to try. And the sangria remains great! ;D

Overall
Cost: 8/10
Taste: 7/10

Friday, August 23, 2013

Utz Jalepeño & Cheddar Dip

Lord, how I regret this purchase!!!! I thought it was cheap and not too unhealthy, but what I didn't realise was that it would taste truly horrible. One bite and I threw it out. This isn't like nacho cheese dip you'd get at a movie theater. This isn't like jars of cheese sauce you find in the salsa aisle. This is like....fungus and goop in a misleading yellow guise. Do not buy. I repeat, do not buy. (Sad because I like Utz chips! alas)




Overall
Cost: 8/10
Taste: 2/10

El Pinto Medium Salsa


This is a supposed "medium", but to me it was fairly spicy. Not bad, just a little too spicy for me! The taste was pretty average, maybe more watery than I would like. Pretty much a standard prepacked salsa. I'd rather make my own! :9

Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 5/10

Cosmos Creations Salted Caramel Popcorn

Well la dee da, you may say, but now that I'm getting to try all these peanut-safe popcorns, I can safely say that I don't really like this one. It's both too sweet and too salty without being buttery enough. The carmel is just sickeningly sweet after only a few pieces! I can't imagine that Cracker Jack and Crunch N Munch taste this way...but if they do, then I am happy I'm not really missing out. Still, the fact that a company like this exists makes me very happy, and I look forward to trying a less sweet flavor soon.

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 4/10

McGlynn's Pub

This place is almost identical to Deer Park Tavern in terms of menu and specials, but it's a little quieter and less college-y. It's a small local chain, so I think there are about 5 of these types of restos. I only started coming because our favorite trivia host started doing trivia here, too! Anyway, it's a nice change of pace, because unlike Deer Park, you get really good service during trivia. The booths are also comfier and more private. And some of the food is slightly slightly different (hot dogs and sausages, more fish dishes)!

So far, I've gotten the cobb salad (v. meaty, identical to deer park's). and the london broil steak (comes with cornbread (v. sweet), garlic "smashed" potatoes, and mushroomies). It's satisfying and meaty but always too oily for me to finish the whole thing! Also they didn't include a house veg like the menu said they would >:( Anyways, if we keep winning trivia, I'll be back here a lot!

prime rib: also a fatty cut, but with a baked potato is a pretty good once-a-month treat ;D

fried eggplant sandwich: tastes pretty good I guess, but the frying breadcrumbs make me a little itchy and ultimately I'd rather eat a pizza or something if I'm gonna eat that much cheese!


Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 7/10 [realllly depends what you order: e.g. burgers are dry!]

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Good Boy Organics Sea Salt BOPS

A gluten free organic product that doesn't contain nuts! How wonderful. Also wonderful: BOPS stands for "baked organic potato snacks". Hee hee. Anyway, these are decent, but not amazing/as good as most "normal" chips like UTZ or Bickels or those sweet potato chips I like. The flavor is good, salty but also a little creamy, maybe because the texture of the chip is a little mushier than a standard crisp. Kind of a weird little corn(?) aftertaste. Corn and salty sour cream flavored BOPS, maybe. I'd be interested in trying the other flavors! And the fat content isn't too bad.

Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 6/10

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Greene Turtle

Their website says "The Greene Turtle shouldn't be defined as a bar or a restaurant"!... well, sorry, but it's a sports bar. you guys. But a nice one, better than Buffalo Wild Wings, kinda like Damon's was (sigh...). Each booth has its own TV so you can watch sports of your choosing in your own little world while sadly drinking alone. I imagine. It was pretty crowded at like 5pm though, so either Little League baseball is way more popular than I thought or this is just a generally hopping place. Anyway we got a table (pops and I) because we don't look like hip alkies. Whatever, teen hostess! >:(

ANYWAYS, I got the baby back ribs because I often get baby back ribs when I'm v. hungry. Comes with cole slaw (decent but not great) and fries (same, but I don't really like fries). The ribs were pretty good; I liked the sauce but they were a little porky for me still. Good tenderness but maybe too tender?! Anyway, not bad. I will try a sandwich or tacos or something next time though! And I should mention that they have a pretty comprehensive allergen guide online, which is great. I also got a strawberry lemonade in a jar - it was 'eh'. Pops got fish and chips, he seemed to think it was "ok" but I think he wanted tartar sauce and he got a weird horseradish sauce so we probably won't go back. haha. I liked it pretty well though.

BBQ flatbread pizza: a mistake! onions and tomato sauce = not what I wanted (what I wanted was Kildare's flatbread, always amazing.)

Overall
Taste: 7/10
Cost: 5/10

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wawa

Specifically, Wawa Hoagie Fest! A magical time in late summer where all hoagies are less than 5 dollars. And they're good, my friends. They're good. Plus you get to order using a touchscreen where you can ALSO order cawffees. Anyway, it's a good time. Here are some sandies I got:

~

Beef cheesesteak [with american cheese, sautéed onion, tomato, lettuce]: pretty good. Makes you think "I'm gonna be fat now", but good! :9

Roast Beef with horseradish sauce Club Sandwich [as offered]: good, but too horseradishy after all. I liked it the first time, but now I'm "over it". :P

BBQ Pork [with lettuce?]: not great. Way too dry, hardly any BBQ sauce, and the bread was weird. Weird!

Egg+sausage [with cheddar cheese, tomato]: Would be better without tomato! Good but vommy.

Chicken Corn Chowder: This is a very good soup. Unfortunately, it makes me a little bit itchy, even though there are no peas or beans. The power of soy! I will get a small one sometimes, though. A little cheesy, with chicken and potatoes and carrots and corn.

Overall
Cost: 8/10
Taste: 8/10

Enjoy Life Ricemilk Crunch Bar

I don't want to be a brat, but I'd enjoy this a lot more if it had milk and soy and gluten in it. Basically I was hoping for a Crunch or Krackel bar without the stupid "may contain peanuts" warning...but this isn't that. This is very sickeningly sweet, and not creamy at all (makes sense - no milk!). The rice bits are a little too prominent too, and spread too thin. Basically, not what I was looking for. Still tastes like a candy, of course, and it wasn't bad, just not good. Definitely not worth 2$ (unless you do actually have milk+soy+nut allergies, in which case this might be your best bet, poor bbs).

Overall
Cost: 4/10
Taste:5/10

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hungry Man Veal Parmigiana

Mistakes were made, dear readers. I like the turkey hungry man OK, but all the rest have just been bad news. You'd think it's hard to screw up Veal Parm, especially with so much fat + salt, but alas, this is not a tasty meal. I didn't even finish it! The brownie is good, and I ate that, and the green beans are OK, but a little too buttery. The pasta is OK too, I think, but there were only like 4 noodles so it's hard to judge. The veal pieces (2) were really bad. The breading is standard, but the meat is just....crumbly and chewy and not good. Just not good. Very "frozen patty"esque but in the worst possible way. Don't buy this again, self!!! D:

Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 3/10

Monday, July 8, 2013

Super Pretzel Pretzel Dogs (Beef and Cheddar Cheese)

I probably should regret buying and eating these, but they're too little to regret. Plus, they were on sale for like 2.00 and I was in the mood for pigs in a blanket, which is basically what this was. Note you have to cook them for like 60 sec, not 30. But anyway, these are a little greasy and have a little bit of a weird aftertaste, but overall it's a wee hot dog in a nice pretzel bread. They taste good, but they aren't filling and they're nutritionally crap, so probably they don't taste good enough to overcome those things. Just make your own hot dog concoction at home.


Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 8/10

Chobani Greek Yogurt

Chobani! It's so popular here at least, makes me feel like I should hate them on principle. But they are a good source of protein and convenient and they come in a lot of flavors so. . . . I mean. . . they're all right.

peach: fruit on the bottom style! I enjoyed it, but i WAS hungry at the time. . .


Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 7/10

Sunday, June 23, 2013

August Henry's City Saloon

Located right across from the Megabus stop in downtown Pittsburgh, this place is super convenient! it also didn't seem to have a separate bar room!! Amazing. Very peaceful during the day, and an extensive menu for both food and drinks. I would love to try their stromboli...and steak...and beer! a good beer selection! so nice.

Anyway, we got fried zuccinni as an appetizer - it was OK, pretty standard. HUGE portion though, like 5 giant slabs of zucc. Only managed to eat one, ha ha. Marinara sauce was good, didn't try the horseradish.

Ordered a Cobb Salad, and it was HUGE!! A whole egg, half an avocado, tonnes of chicken and bacon and corn and nacho strips...glad I didn't get bleu cheese on that sucker. Good TI dressing, but I could barely eat half of the thing. Ay yay yay!

Drinks were great, coffee included.

Overall:
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 7/10

Laura says: oh my god they make the biggest salads. in like not a great way? i guess if you were only eating here and then going straight home it would be nice but then you just have impossibly huge food to eat. it was alright food but i guess but i don't think i'd go back.

Round Corner Cantina

This place reminded me so much of this random resto in Ocean City(?) MD that I went to with Tim when Jane was at a wedding. Sprawling, loud, a little obnoxious...windy....

We wanted to sit outside, so we had to wait for a seat-yourself table for a long time, which is super awkward. What a bad system!! Also because it is loud and crowded, the servers seem distracted. They do have a fetch-your-own water station, which I liked. Anyway, the drinks are served in jars, which is cute, but they are also approx 9 dollars, which is not cute! >:(! The food consists mostly of 2tacos, although they had chips + guac which are v. good. I got the carnitas tacos...they were OK, but had corn tortillas (bleh) and a weird too-sweet-too-strong sauce. Good meat and cucumbers though. I bet a different taco would be better, but I don't think I have strong enough reason to come back...especially since it opens at 5 and seems all but impossible to get an isolated, peaceful table. Also it is smokey on the patio. I did note that they have a lot of vegetarian options!

Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 5/10

Laura says: maybe i just have decided that i love cantina, but i love cantina! it's very crowded on weeknights, apparently, but besides how busy it is (and how pricy it can be) the tacos are some of my favorite in pittsburgh and their cocktails do live up to the price.

G & M Dog'n Burger Shoppe

No picture for this elusive Bloomfield diner! It's great, though. Very cheap prices (like 2-3 dollars for everything hello) and the food is great (although terrible for you i'm sure!!). I got a breakfast, eggs, toast, sausage, bacon, juice, potatoes. It was tasty all, except the toast perhaps (the cooking oil was a bit stale, I think). All for like 5 bucks. They also have burgers and hot dogs and a few sandwiches. I would totally go back! With my parents, because they'd love it. Ha ha.


Overall
Cost: 9/10
Taste: 7/10

Laura says: i like this place a lot! it's so so cheap and the short menu for me is a plus. i'd like to go back once i know the protocol for ordering/seating, which was pretty much the only downside.

Kelly's Bar & Lounge

Apparently very popular (just check the reviews on yelp!) but I didn't see the appeal. A narrow chunnel with a long bar on one side and a bunch of small tables on the other. Not really a place for food, but they do have a lot of cool cocktails and a small selection of decent beers. The prices are OK, especially if you stick to the singular drink special of the night, but nothing outstanding. I didn't get any food there, but I hear it's decent bar fare. My dark and stormy was good, tom collins was eh.


Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 7/10

Laura says: i love kelly's! their cocktails are my (and mostly everyone's) primary reason for going but i also really like their appetizers and i don't think i've ever felt as comfortable in a bar as i do at kelly's. there are booths and a patio and it's not usually too crowded aside from friday or saturday nights.

Harris Grill

Apparently a very hip place to be for the young + beautiful of the 'burgh! Super crowded, but since we didn't sit outside or in the bar-room (seriously, what is this) we didn't have to wait long for a table upstairs. Still, nice interior.  Friendly service. I got great frozen sangrias for like 3$ each! Unexpected!

For an appetizer, we got the spinach dip with pita triangles, which was very good. Hard to mess up spinach dip, I know, but this is in the upper range!

I got the hanger steak (med rare), which was great. Had a scary-looking cilantro paste drizzle, but don't worry, it was safe. Potatoes, broccos. Very satisfying. Also I was so full afterwards holy crap.

I should note also that the menu is quirky and has funny names for everything! Great for "my kind" (people who like to order things with funny names) except they don't tell you exactly what's in everything so you have to ask awkwardly. YOU HAVE TO. :P I'd like to come back here, too!

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 8/10

Laura says: the jokey menu descriptions and silly names of things weird me out here. the place is really spacious and all the food i've ever had there is good, but it's always so busy and loud and is more expensive than i'd like. there's just nothing too noteworthy for me about harris grill.

Pleasure Bar

A nice little bar/resto on Liberty Ave in Bloomfield's Little Italy. The name makes it sound like there might be exotic delights inside, but mainly it was a lot of elderly women drinking soup. Either way, I found pleasure. A cozy, welcoming atmosphere in the dining room; a deadening, uncomfortable one at the bar. (Why are all of PGH's "hip" restos split into a bar room and an eating room? What is this, Pat's Pizza??)

We ordered the 'Italian Egg Rolls (4)' appetizer, which was some fried meats and zucchinis, and was pretty tasty!

I got the chicken marsala, which was good at the time, but then I saved my leftovers and saw the congealed fat in the sauce and it was just an offputting time. Soo I can't give an unbiased account, but I think it was pretty good fresh and pretty awful the next day. Like fried rice but worse!!

Anyway, I really liked this place on the whole and would return.

Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 8/10

Laura says: i didn't expect to like pleasure bar at all? but then i kind of did? it's more of a kitschy italian restaurant than how it looks from the street would suggest. i mean, we only ate in the restaurant part and didn't go to the bar, but the restaurant part was so family-friendly and looked like it had hotel art and nicknacks or something.

Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich - Sausage, Egg & Cheese

On road trips, I've always liked McDo's Sausage McMuffins, so I thought this might be a nice healthy at-home version of that treat. But alas. The bread is bad, the sausage is fine, the cheese is fine although it seems to be a small circle, and the egg is horrible!! horrible!! not that i've ever had a good frozen egg patty, but this is just a bad time. I put a lot of mustard on it and managed to eat all 4 after a few month's time, but I don't think I'll revisit this line of frozen delicacies :(

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 4/10

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Simply Lemonade with Blueberry


  Clearly this isn't "SIMPLY LEMONADE" anymore, because this one has blueberry flavor! Ha, ha. Anyway, I like it a lot -- tastes like the strawberry lemonade from a can my grandma used to whip up -- a special treat, in other words. It is very sweet, so I can only handle a half-glass at a time, but it's also very tasty. 

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 8/10

I have no idea what happened to the formatting in this post, btw. 

Knorr Chipotle Rosa Pasta Sides

Sigh. There used to be this amazing Lipton("knorr") pasta side called "nacho pasta". It was spicy and cheesy and beautiful, and I'm pretty sure I read at least 6 Harry Potter books the first time while eating it alone on the floor. weird food nostalgia. Anyway, those are gone now, and a few months ago, this came out -- and it looked super similar, so I was excited. Unfortunately it's nowhere near as good. It is still spicy, but maybe too spicy, or the flavor is a bit 'off' -- I can't put my finger on it, but it just isn't great. Eating a whole pot isn't even pleasant!! So that's the sad story. If I had never had nacho pasta, would I like this? I'm not sure. I think I would think it's "OK" every now and then, but nothing special. :(

Edit: somehow I'm drawn to this, especially with meat and asparagus or green beans. When cooking, smells kind of like a carnival, zoo, or fairground? Idk but I think it's a good thing.


Overall
Cost: 8/10
Taste: 7/10

Mad Macs/ Matilda's


This is where I come for Trivia #2 (stay tuned for trivia 3 at Mojos on Wednesday, if I'm lucky!) Anyway, it's usually crowded with, as they say, townies, but it's high-energy and the food is generally very good. The trivia is also good! Anyway, this is kind of a weird tacobell-kfc combo place: Mad Macs is a mac-and-cheese place, Matilda's an Australian-themed burger place -- I guess they merged!! It's confusing and weird. But worth it, as long as you aren't alone (don't come here alone unless you're very brave).



portabello mac: probably my least favorite mac so far, but still cheesy and calorie-satisfying. very mushroomy which i'm discovering i don't necessarily love.
the pizza one, i think, is good, or the spinachy one. burgers are also good, i think. beer sampler always fun.


american mac: has hot dogs and mustard in it. "What??" you say, but it actually isn't bad. In a small dose. (I got the sampler, you see).

buffalo chicken mac: at first, not bad, good chunks of chicken and very buffalo-y. But I can only enjoy a few bites and then it's just too much!

snooki mac: basically just regular mac and cheese with little sausage circles in it. So: good but boring!






Overall
Taste: 8/10
Cost: 5/10




Sunday, June 9, 2013

TGI Friday's

For some reason, I never really liked TGI Friday's, but now I do! They have an allergy menu (standard disclaimer: you may still die) which is nice. Here are foods I have enjoyed there:

Spinach Dip: always a fun app! good dip, strong chips, nice work.

Jack Daniel's Burger (w/ sweet potato fries): excellent burger, excellent fries, excellent.

Carmel Cake: A Safe Dessert!! Pretty standard cake slice, dollop of vanilla ice cream, but very enjoyable. yum.

Taste + Share plates: Sliders (good!), Bruschetta (decent!), hibachi skewers (meat+veg good, but the pita not so much...)

acai berry sour: solid drink
jackberry smash: grate!
ultimate sangria: nice!

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 8/10

Lean Pockets - Supreme Pizza

More like Supreme Disappointment, am I right? Only not really, because it's a well-known fact in my life that  hot/lean pockets really just aren't very good. Probably the same fats/calories as a delicious sandwich, but instead we have this soggy tube of  ~3 processed meat cubes and goopy sauce-laden cheese. It isn't bad, it just really is not good. I always make one and then the other one remains in the freezer for months until I'm desperate for a quick food (that isn't even filling!!!!!!). My advice: pass on the pockets.

Overall
Taste: 5/10
Cost: 7/10

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Ice Cream

It's been a while! Anyway, I've gotten pretty into coffee. Like I really like coffee. And of course I like ice cream, so when they converted this scoop-shop flavor into a peanut-safe frozen version, of course I bought it. The ice cream base is coffee flavored, which I used to hate, but now I really like. It also has little "espresso-flavor" chocolate rectangles inside; a decent amount of them. Basically the whole thing tastes like a coffee truffle which is really good. Yum. (Super unhealthy though of course :D)

Overall
Cost: 5/10 (buy on sale!)
Taste: 9/10

Monday, January 28, 2013

Lean Cuisine - Chicken, Artichoke, and Spinach Panini

This is pretty good. The downside -- it's a big soggy (i don't know WHAT the 'special crisping tray' is doing...) and it's a bit small. I mean, this is a tiny sandwich. Makes you think "What am I doing, buying this?!". But, it does taste good. A good amount of chicken and cheese, and the artichoke doesn't taste gross like artichoke sometimes does. I might get again if it's on sale. Plus, it cooks really quickly!

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 8/10

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Celeste Mexican Pizza for One

I couldn't find a picture!! Should've dug my box out of the trash heheh. 

Anyway, this was a limited edition celeste pizza! And I really like celeste pizzas, always have, they're my favorite frozen pizza. So I tried it. First of all, the cheese is cheddar rather than mozz! I was thrown. Second, the meat is like taco-y meat. In fact the whole thing tasted like a taco bell dish. Not bad, but...I didn't feel great afterwards. Also, the meat gave me that whole chicken-breading/processed beef allergic reaction a little bit; my lips were red and itchy. So I think I'll stick with the other superior flavors of celeste pizzas for now. Not to deride their new! xciting! limited edition pizzas, because I liked the hawaiian one well enough. Still no veggie/deluxe though!!

Overall
Cost: 8/10
Taste: 7/10

Friday, January 25, 2013

Maplehurst Everyday Favorites Mini-Cupcakes

What the heck?! Peanut free cupcake? In MY grocery store!? Wow. Amazing. First donuts, now cupcakes. The world really is changing. :')

Here's a link to the bakery's page:
http://www.maplehurstbakeries.com/peanut-free.html

I like this quote: “Until you’ve lived with food allergies, there’s no way to explain how a little cupcake could mean so much.” because it's true, as i'm sure you know.

Anyway, these are great! I haven't had much cupcake experience, it's true, but I like these a lot. The size makes them fun, the icing is standard in-store bakery cake icing (but as good as it gets within those parameters) -- I like the vanilla better, and the cake part is super moist. It's good. Not good FOR you, of course, but what cupcake is?! ;)

Overall
Cost: I didn't even look, haha.
Taste: 8/10

Monday, January 21, 2013

Aero Bar Mint

This Mint Aero bar is not found in the US! I think it's a euro+canada thing. Anyway, aero bars are like this bubbly light choco, in various flavors. It's kind of fun to eat, and since it's less dense, maybe you feel less disgusting after eating an entire bar (then again...maybe not). But this mint flavor was almost too much for a whole bar! I mean, it was tasty, don't get me wrong, but for a CANDY BAR I feel like it should have been more delicious and less refreshing, somehow. Not as good as cookies + mint bars, for instance (hershey's one victory! :P)

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 6/10

Hershey's Creamy Milk Chocolate

 This is Canadian! No wonder it's so good. This is creamier than a regular Hershey's chocolate bar, almost like a red symphony bar (which is a really great bar, except it may contain peanuts now!!). I like it a lot and I wish we had them available in good old America!!


Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 9/10

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Betty Crocker Cheese Pizza Mac & Cheese

Uhh, yeah. I saw this in the store, it looked new, and it was 1 dollar. So I bought it! Cheese pizza mac and cheese, huh? It smells like pizza combos, which I DO like, but it's kind of weird for a pasta dish. I thought this tasted pretty good, actually! Surprisingly good, like something I'd order at a low-price sit-down restaurant (ha ha). Very thick (perhaps due to the weird cooking instructions: throw everything in a pot; heat) and creamy. I didn't use the full butter requested, either! It was tastier than a noodle packet, but less stomachache inducing than, say, kraft mac and cheese. The pizza taste wasn't that strong, either, just vaguely garlicy. I'll probably try the other flavors if they stay 1$!

Overall
Cost: 9/10
Taste: 7/10

Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch Cereal

I was looking for a cheap cereal, and aha! This was only 2 dollars, because it's discontinued. Perfect. But I have to say, it's not great (i.e. I'm not torn up I can't get it again!). It tastes pretty much exactly like regular cocoa puffs, maybe a little worse. It's just in a square shape. (shrug). Not that impressive, yanno? Still, edible, and chocolatey.

Overall
Cost: 8/10
Taste: 5/10

Knorr Beef Rice

Yes, another knorr packet -- it's my life. This one is quite flavorful for a rice. It's very beefy, kind of like a nice soup (if you leave it brothy). Brocco and Cauli are the best additions (and oh, you'll want additions). I was satisfied with this rice; it ate like a meal. :)

Overall
Cost: 8/10
Taste: 7/10

Monday, January 14, 2013

Barbeque Baked Lays Chips

For some reason, I've always thought that Lay's chips tasted like cat litter. It's just a very distinctive taste which I imagine cat litter to have; maybe I was eating Lay's and smelling some fresh cat litter, I don't know. Anyway, I really hate Lay's chips because of that. But I like BBQ chips, and these seemed pretty healthy for chips, and I needed SOMETHING to go with my Subway sandwich.

ANYWAY ignoring that super distinctive taste, these aren't half bad. They are big circles that are hard to bite, but I like the flavoring. And a good crunch is had. The bag isn't very full either, as per chips. But I liked it. I'll probably buy again.

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 7/10

Friday, January 11, 2013

Klondike Kate's

This place is always super crowded, even during breaks from school! But I put off trying it because the menu has a lot of nut and peanut products. Also it's teeming with undergrads which makes me uncomfortable, yanno? Anyway, I went here the other day and ordered a Texas Burger (BBQ, onion straws, bacon....yeah, ha ha ha ;D). I told them I had a nut allergy and they said 'ok', so I think it was OK. I got a side of cole slaw, which was good at first but had a lingering 'bleh' taste, maybe too vinegary or something. Anyway the burger was good except for the bun, which was chewy and kind of hard!! They have a very extensive menu, though, and overall I was satisfied. The service was a bit slow, but that's understandable considering the crowd.

Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 7/10

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Knorr Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

This is a really standard pasta side! It's OK - something my parents would like or make with dinner, ha ha. It's not cheesy or especially delicious though, I have to say. Just an average foodstuff.

Overall
Cost: 8/10
Taste: 6/10