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