Birthday Cake M&Mís

mm_birthday_cake.jpgSome things canít be improved. Milk Chocolate (a.k.a. ďregularĒ) and Peanut M&Mís may be two of those things. I happen to think that Peanut M&Mís are slightly more delicious than the Milk Chocolate ones, but I love them both. Either way, they are about as close to candy perfection as you can get. Much like Pretzel M&Mís, Birthday Cake M&Mís donít even come close. First, they donít really have a ďcakeĒ flavor. Thereís some frosting flavor going on, but thatís about it. They certainly didnít remind me of birthday cake, only of eating Betty Crocker frosting with my finger out of one of those plastic tubs. Oh, come on. You know youíve done it too. The other thing wrong with Birthday Cake M&Mís is their size. They are a bit larger than regular M&Mís, with a bigger milk chocolate center. This throws off the ever-important ďmilk chocolate to candy coating ratio.Ē Buy a bag of Birthday Cake M&Mís if you must, just to give them a try. Iíll bet, however, that you probably wonít buy them again.

Phoood rating: So-so

July 18, 2014 | By: Jim | Comments (1)

Cape Cod Waffle Cut Sea Salt Chips

capecodchips.jpgThis is one of those ďhow come nobody ever thought of thisĒ products that comes along once in a while. Waffle fries have been around for a long time, but I had never seen waffle chips until I bought a bag of Cape Cod Waffle Cut Chips while shopping at Safeway recently. The chips are delicious, with a great potato flavor and just the right amount of salt. The ďdouble-sliced waffle cutĒ gives them a unique texture that I love. Thereís just something about all those ridges and holes that makes them so enjoyable to eat. They are pretty thick chips that should stand up well to any dip that you want to eat with them. I bough the Sea Salt flavor, but the chips also come in Farm Stand Ranch and Buffalo Cheddar flavors. I figure itís just a matter of time until other companies come out with their version of waffle chips, but itís going to be hard to top Cape Cod Waffle Cut Chips.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

June 20, 2014 | By: Jim | Comments (0)

McDonaldís Shakiní Flavor Fries

mcdfries.jpgMcDonaldís is test marketing new seasoned fries in some of their Northern California restaurants. Theyíre called Shakiní Flavor Fries, a apt name because it will be you doing the shaking. Thatís right - you get an order of fries in the usual fry container, a paper bag, and a packet of seasoning. Dump your fries in the bag, sprinkle in the seasoning, seal the top of the bag, and shake it. Yeah, I was pretty surprised that I had to prepare my own fast food. First issue: Who at the corporate office thought that customers want to do the seasoniní and shakiní themselves? I sure donít. Second issue: You may not want to use the entire seasoning packet, as I did. If I ever bought Garlic and Parmesan Shakiní Flavor Fries again (which I wonít), I would start by using half the seasoning packet and add more if needed. Third issue: These are not the ďfresh garlic and imported Parmesan cheeseĒ fries you might find at a good restaurant. But, you probably already assumed this. Fourth issue: Worst product in McDonaldís history? Maybe.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

May 31, 2014 | By: Jim | Comments (0)

Taco Bell A.M. Crunchwrap Ė Bacon

amcrunchwrap.jpgTaco Bell recently introduced a new breakfast menu to their U.S. restaurants. Eager to see how the menu stacks up against the fast food competition, I visited my neighborhood Taco Bell last Saturday morning and bought a few of the new items. The Hash Brown (very similar to what McDonaldís has been serving forever) was delicious Ė golden and crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. I could have eaten a stack of them. The Waffle Taco with sausage was a disappointment, mainly because the ďwaffleĒ taco shell was dense, chewy, and didnít taste much like an actual waffle. The third item I bought was an A.M. Crunchwrap with bacon. Itís something that I can see myself ordering again and again. The Crunchwrap is made with scrambled eggs, a hash brown patty, cheddar cheese, bacon, and creamy jalapeŮo sauce, all wrapped in a flour tortilla, then grilled. The final product is a yummy tortilla pouch of goodness. Sure, I would have liked to have more bacon in it, but thatís really my only quibble. The rest of the ingredients tasted good, the hash brown patty added a nice crunchiness, and the jalapeŮo sauce spiced the whole thing up a just a little bit. I also really liked that I could eat it with one hand without it falling apart or dripping stuff down my arm. There are several other items on Taco Bellís breakfast menu, and Iím looking forward to eating some of them Ö along with an A.M. Crunchwrap.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

April 16, 2014 | By: Jim | Comments (2)

Cheez-It Grooves Sharp White Cheddar

cheezitgrooves.jpgI really liked the last Cheez-It product I reviewed, Cheez-It Zingz, and gave them Phooodís highest rating. New Cheez-It Grooves deserve an even higher rating, if such a rating existed. The best things about Grooves are their texture and crunch. You can consider Grooves to be either a thin cracker or a thick chip. Either way, Grooves successfully combine the best qualities of a cracker and a chip into a delicious snack. They come in two flavors - Zesty Cheddar Ranch and Sharp White Cheddar. Donít bother with the former, as it is a poor combination of flavors and lacks any ďzestĒ whatsoever. Sharp White Cheddar, on the other hand, is one of the best flavors the folks at Cheez-It have ever come up with. Itís bold, tangy, and goes wonderfully with the crispy, crunchy cracker/chip. Sharp White Cheddar Grooves are easily the best snack I've tasted this year, and I highly recommend them.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

March 4, 2014 | By: Jim | Comments (3)

Jack in the Box Bacon Insider

baconinsider.jpgThe burgers at Jack in the Box seem to being going downhill. First, they started overseasoning them. I no longer crave the Ultimate Cheeseburger because it doesnít taste nearly as good as it used to. Then, they introduced the worst-tasting burger Iíve eaten in recent memory: the Bacon Insider. The hamburger patty has pieces of bacon mixed in, hence the clever name. In addition to the bacon-infused patty, the burger also includes bacon strips, bacon mayonnaise, American cheese, lettuce, and tomato. It all sounds great in theory, but the Bacon Insider that I ate had a couple things wrong with it. The hamburger patty (which was much smaller that it appears to be in the photo) was seriously overcooked. Maybe it had to be cooked more than usual because of the bacon inside. I donít know, but the patty was very dry and didnít have a good flavor. Iíll take their work for it that there were bacon pieces inside the patty. Honestly, it was hard for me to see or taste any bacon in there. To add insult to injury, the burger had what had to be the smallest, thinnest pieces of bacon Iíve ever seen. I could almost see through the bacon strips, they were so thin. Thatís the best you can do, Jack? Really? The rest of the burger was Ö well, it doesnít matter because my advice is to spend your money on something else. The Bacon Insider is only available for a limited time, thank God. The faster it goes away, the better.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

February 16, 2014 | By: Jim | Comments (5)

The Habit Double Charburger with Cheese

doublechar.jpgThe Habit Burger Grill has been around since 1969, but I hadnít heard of the company until they began opening locations in Northern California a few years ago. The burger Iíve ordered each time I have eaten at the Habit is the Double Charburger with cheese. Itís hard not to compare the Double Charburger to the legendary Double-Double at In-N-Out Burger, as it looks and tastes very similar. Ever since I ate my first Double-Double, it has been my favorite fast-food burger. But, amazingly, I think the Double Charburger with cheese is even better than the Double-Double. The primary reason is because the Double Charburger has larger patties, so you get more delicious meat. The Double Charburger also has a great char-grilled flavor that the Double-Double lacks. I didnít think the Double-Double would ever be topped, but it has been. The Habit currently has locations in California, Arizona and Utah. If you are lucky enough to live close to one of their locations, I strongly recommend a visit.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

January 6, 2014 | By: Jim | Comments (3)

Taco Bell Grilled Stuft Nacho

tbstuftnacho.jpgTaco Bellís new Grilled Stuft Nacho is a great concept Ė the taste of nachos wrapped up in a grilled, flour tortilla. What better way to eat nachos while driving and not get your shirt messy, right? In reality, the Grilled Stuft Nacho isnít really made for eating with one hand. Although the triangle-shaped folded tortilla pocket is a novel and tasty idea, it is floppy and I had to use two hands to eat it or I had to fold it in half to minimize the floppiness. When folded, the contents are more prone to escape. Inside of the tortilla pocket youíll find too much going on: some seasoned beef (not nearly enough, in my opinion), nacho cheese sauce, zesty nacho sauce, reduced-fat sour cream, and tortilla strips. The flavors of these meld together and none of them stand out. Thereís too much nacho sauce and sour cream, which may explain the floppiness. The tortilla strips are small and donít stand up well to the moistness of the other ingredients. They quickly become soggy. Eating the Grilled Stuft Nacho wasnít anything like eating nachos because there was virtually no crunchiness to it. And isnít that one of the best things about nachos? On the positive side, the Grilled Stuft Nacho is a decent size (about 7 inches on each side) and only cost $1.29. If you donít want to spend much and you love nacho cheese sauce and sour cream, it might be just the item for you.

Phoood rating: So-so

January 1, 2014 | By: Jim | Comments (1)

Burger King Satisfries

bksatisfries.jpgIs it possible to make a delicious French fry with 40% less fat and 30% less calories? Maybe it is, but Burger King hasnít figured it out yet. Donít they know that fat and calories are what makes French fries so delicious? Burger Kingís new Satisfries have the aforementioned reductions in fat and calories, but they donít taste nearly as good as regular French fries. Satisfries are crinkle-cut fries that may just be the thickest ones Iíve ever seen. The Satisfries that I ate recently were crispy on the outside and moist, the way a good fry should be. The potato flavor was okay. The fries had a lot of salt on them. Iím no saltophobe, but I thought they were a little bit too salty. Sadly, the fries also had a subtle, odd aftertaste. Itís hard to describe the aftertaste that my fries had, other than to say it made me think that there was something artificial about them. Maybe there was an issue with the specific batch of fries that I ate, or something about the oil that they were cooked in. Itís possible, I guess. Giving Burger King the benefit of the doubt, and because the name ďSatisfriesĒ is so clever, they earn a ďSo-soĒ rating.

Phoood rating: So-so

December 30, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (1)

Carlís Jr. Fresh Baked Buns

carlsjrbun.jpgRecently, Carlís Jr. began offering fresh baked buns on their Six Dollar Thickburgers. Yes, buns that are baked fresh every day at the restaurant. I recently bought a Super Bacon Six Dollar Thickburger, which features the new bun. The bun looked like it should be on a twenty dollar burger at some highfalutin restaurant that requires reservations. It tasted great and had a sweetness that let you know it wasnít your typical hamburger bun. It was also substantial enough to hold the rather large burger together to the very last bite. Honestly, the bun was the best part of the burger, and Iím fairly certain Iíve never thought that about any burger Iíve ever eaten. If you want to order something other than a Six Dollar Thickburger, you can get it with a fresh baked bun for an additional charge. You may not think that a bun is that big of a deal, but I think Carlís Jr.ís fresh baked buns have potential to revolutionize the fast food hamburger. They are that good. I donít plan on ever eating a regular bun at Carlís Jr. again.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

December 6, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (2)

Cracker JackíD Cheddar BBQ Snack Mix

crackerjackd.jpgI bought a box of Cracker Jack a while back. The popcorn wasnít any good and there were maybe 3 peanuts in the box. There are much better coated-popcorn and peanut snacks you can eat, including Crunch Ďn Munch (I ate some of this recently - delicious!). So, stay away from Cracker Jack. Cracker Jackíd, on the other hand, is worth giving a try. Cracker Jackíd is a new line of snack mixes with flavors like Spicy Pizzeria, PB and Chocolate, and Zesty Queso. I bought a bag of the Cheddar BBQ flavor. The three-ounce bag cost two dollars at Walmart, which seems like an okay price considering its ingredients. There are cheddar and barbecue-flavored clusters (oat and/or rice, I believe), peanuts, and hickory smoked almonds. The snack mix has a real good flavor and thereís a decent amount of nuts in it. My only gripe is that toward the end of the bag, there was a lot of loose rolled oats that I felt I had to eat (as I had paid for themÖ) but didn't taste particularly good by themselves. Cracker JackíD is marketed as a snack that ďfills you up.Ē Iím not sure exactly who they think a three-ounce bag of snack mix will fill up, but itís sure not me. Iíd have to eat a couple bags to even make a dent in my hunger. But, that goes for most snack foods so Iím not holding it against Cracker JackíD snacks.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

November 19, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (2)

Cheez-It Zingz Chipotle Cheddar

zingz.jpgCheez-It Zingz Chipotle Cheddar are yet another addition to the Cheez-It lineup of snack crackers, and this time they hit it out of the ballpark. Zingz are a bit different than the Cheez-Its you are familiar with. They are made with corn masa flour and have a more pronounced crunch than ďtraditionalĒ Cheez-Its. I really like the texture and crunch that Zingz have. But itís the flavor of Zingz Chipotle Cheddar that really shines. The flavor is a combination of cheddar cheese, chipotle pepper, coriander, red pepper, cumin, and chili pepper. Despite all the peppers, they really arenít very spicy. Perhaps what I like best is that the chipotle flavor is very mild, not overpowering like some chipotle-flavored foods are. Typically, I avoid chipotle-flavored snacks because itís just not one of my favorite flavors. But, I love these crackers. Iíll go so far as to say that they have the best flavor of any Cheez-It product Iíve ever eaten. There have been lots of Cheez-It products that have come and gone - some good and some not so good. Iím hoping that Zingz stay around for a long time, because they are really special.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

October 20, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (1)

Carlís Jr. Strawberry Pop-Tarts Ice Cream Sandwich

cjpoptart.jpgI was very skeptical when I heard that Carlís Jr. was going to have the Strawberry Pop-Tarts Ice Cream Sandwich on their menu. Even I, who love all things sugar-filled, fattening, and unhealthy, thought that it went a bit too far. Carlís Jr. is trying too hard with this one, I said. It will be too sweet, I said. The Pop Tarts will fall apart when you try to eat it, I said. But, it was too intriguing just to ignore so I bought one. Honestly, I think itís one of the most delicious ice cream treats I have ever eaten. The flaky Pop-Tart crust, its semi-fluid strawberry filling, and the hard vanilla ice cream make a delicious and interesting combination of flavors and textures. Surprisingly, it isnít overly sweet. Itís not big; I could easily eat two of them. But, for most people it will be just the right size and at $1.49 itís a great value. It gets my highest recommendation and I suggest that you get a couple of them while you can.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

August 8, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (2)

El Restaurante Tortilla Chips

ElRestrounds.jpgYou might see a new brand of tortilla chips on store shelves in the near future. Just what we need, right? As if thereís not enough brands of tortilla chips fighting for you to buy them. Well, in this case Iím glad that another brand has entered the tortilla chip wars because El Restaurante chips are an outstanding product. Sure, theyíre just simple corn tortilla chips. You would think it would be easy to make tasty tortilla chips, but many brands fall short for one reason or another. El Restaurante chips get everything right and are probably the best tasting ones youíll find. They have a very nice corn flavor that is stronger than many other chips. They also have a texture that I absolutely love. Itís hard for me to describe the texture other than to say it is if the chips have layers. Must be the way that the chips are fried. As a result, the chips have a great, unique crunch. They also have just the right amount of saltiness, in my opinion. El Restaurante has hit a home run with these chips and they easily deserve Phooodís highest rating.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

August 1, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (0)

Taco Bell Cantina Double Steak Quesadilla

tbcantinaquesadilla.jpgUntil today, I hadnít tried anything from Taco Bellís ďCantinaĒ menu, as the healthy focus of the items didn't appeal to me. Today, I stopped in to the Taco Bell near my house and saw a large sign promoting the Cantina Double Steak Quesadilla. It didnít look too healthy, so I decided to make it my lunch. For $4.99, I got the quesadilla, a small bag of tortilla chips, and small containers of salsa and low fat sour cream. The quesadilla comes cut in quarters to make it easier to eat. The first quarter that I pulled out of the wrapper had Ė no joke Ė not a single piece of steak in it. Not a good first impression. Luckily, the rest of the quesadilla had steak in it. But, I never did find the ďdoubleĒ portion that it was supposed to have. Seemed like a single portion to me. Anyway, the quesadilla tasted okay, but wasn't anything special. I like the flavor of Taco Bellís regular steak quesadilla better. The steak in it has much more flavor than the steak in the Cantina quesadilla. The salsa, while nowhere as good as the salsa you could find in any taqueria, had a bright, fresh flavor. The chips, unfortunately, were forgettable. And the low fat sour cream? I recommend not even opening the container.

Phoood rating: So-so

July 3, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (2)

Jack in the Box Chicken Nuggets

JIBchickennuggets.jpgI like the hamburgers at Jack in the Box so much that they are just about the only thing I ever order there. Occasionally, Iíll get a couple of tacos or a chicken sandwich. Recently, I broke tradition and ordered some Chicken Nuggets. Wow, are they delicious. How come I didn't know about them? Honestly, I donít recall a fast food chicken nugget that even comes close. Sure, McNuggets are iconic and are pretty tasty. But, Jack in the Boxís Chicken Nuggets are on a whole different level. I was impressed by the quality of the white meat chicken inside the nuggets. It was juicy and delicious. Even better, however, was the crispy outer coating. Itís a bread crumb-type coating that is nicely seasoned with herbs that you could see and taste. The herb seasoning really differentiates these nuggets from those of the competition. If you think that chicken nuggets are just for kids, or if you think your fast food palate is too sophisticated for chicken nuggets, I encourage you to get yourself some of Jack in the Boxís Chicken Nuggets to see what you are missing. If you already like chicken nuggets but havenít yet ordered them at Jack in the Box Ö what are you waiting for?!

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

June 8, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (2)

Sonic Peanut Butter & Bacon Shake

peanutbutterbaconshake.jpgDonít get me wrong Ė I love Sonic. Anywhere I can order delicious tater tots from the comfort of my car has a special place in my heart. But, I am very disappointed with their new Peanut Butter & Bacon Shake. What could have been a delicious flavor combination (assuming you like both peanut butter and bacon, as I do) is instead so lackluster that I didnít even finish the medium shake I ordered. I donít think I have ever left a milkshake unfinished. Even when I bought a massive (44-ounce??) shake at Humdinger Drive-In in Portland, Oregon, and I knew that I would surely regret drinking that much milkshake, I still drank it all. But, I threw out the last quarter or so of the Sonic Peanut Butter & Bacon Shake because it just wasn't worth the calories. The main problem with the shake is that it has almost no bacon flavor. There are some tiny pieces of bacon mixed in, but they donít really have any flavor themselves and apparently didnít release any flavor into the shake either. It really just tastes like a peanut butter shake, and not even a very good one at that. Even if it was just a peanut butter milkshake, Iím not sure I could recommend it. Maybe it was just too ambitious of Sonic to try and combine peanut butter with bacon. I give them credit for trying, but still must recommend that you donít waste your money on this shake.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

May 18, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (0)

DiGiorno Pizzeria! Primo Pepperoni Pizza

digiornopizzeria.jpgIn their never ending quest to create a frozen pizza that is as good as you get in a restaurant, the folks at DiGiorno have introduced their Pizzeria! line of pizzas. I recently ate the Primo Pepperoni pizza. Despite itís name, itís not as good as the pizza you would get at a pizzeria. Not even close. But, that doesn't mean that it's not a really good frozen pizza. The crust, in particular, is outstanding. Itís crispy on the outside, light and airy on the inside, and has a nice flavor. Itís similar, but not as heavy or as chewy, as the crust on DiGiornoís popular Rising Crust line of pizzas. Itís the best frozen pizza crust that Iíve eaten, by far. The pizza's toppings are good, but do not stand out. The pizza sauce and pepperoni, unfortunately, are not nearly as flavorful as they could be. I get the feeling that DiGiornoís is trying to be really safe with the toppings so as not to distract from the excellent crust. Itís too bad, because with more flavorful toppings, the pizza would really be outstanding.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

May 4, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (1)

Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch

CheeriosMC.jpgThere must be 300 different types of Cheerios on the shelves of my local Safeway. Well, maybe not quite that many but there sure are a lot, including new Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch. Instead of just the ubiquitous Oís, it adds flakes and clusters to make a very tasty cereal. The Oís are Ė you guessed it Ė Honey Nut Cheerios, and I think the flakes are lightly-sweetened bran. Also included in the medley are clusters made with oats and almonds. The different textures and flavors of the three types of cereal go well together and the end result is a delicious cereal that has become one of my favorites. The only thing keeping Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch from earning the esteemed ďOutstanding!Ē rating is that there arenít enough clusters. Sometimes, youíll get a cluster or two in a spoonful of cereal, other times you wonít get any. Everyone knows that clusters are the best part of any cereal that has clusters, so itís too bad that the cereal doesnít have more of them. Even so, Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch is a tasty cereal that I recommend you try.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

April 22, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (0)

Whoppers Strawberry Milkshake

whoppersstrawberry.jpgI love going to the 99Ę Only store in my neighborhood because I always find products that Iíve never seen before. During my last visit there, I came across Whoppers Strawberry Milkshake. I love chocolate Whoppers, but I didn't know that Whoppers came in another flavor. I was intrigued and because the risk was only 99 cents, I bought the 10-ounce carton of strawberry milkshake-flavored Whoppers. They have a nice strawberry flavor that goes well with the crunchy, malt ball interior. In fact, I think the strawberry milkshake/malt ball combination is even tastier than chocolate-covered Whoppers. Chocoholics may disagree with me, but Iím a firm believer that not everything needs to be covered in chocolate to be delicious. And, 99 cents for 10 ounces of Whoppers is a great deal. I highly recommend that you make a visit to your local 99Ę Only, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Giant Dollar, or other dollar store and look for Whoppers Strawberry Milkshake.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

April 9, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (1)

Kickstart Fruit Punch

kickstartfp.jpgThe folks at Mountain Dew have set out to create a new type of morning beverage, one with the taste of juice and the ďpick me upĒ that comes from coffee. And, of course, it had to taste like a Mountain Dew product too. Kickstart Fruit Punch has a pleasant, not-to-sweet fruit punch flavor with a hint of Mountain Dew flavor in the background. The taste is light and refreshing. It really is something that I would drink in the morning, when I donít want anything too heavy but need some help getting going. The 16-ounce can of Kickstart contains 92 mg of caffeine, or 5.75 mg per ounce. Thatís more than most caffeinated soft drinks but not as much as most coffees. It also has 100% daily value of vitamin C and 80% daily value of vitamin B6. Surprisingly, the 16-ounce can has only 80 calories. Okay, so it only has 5% fruit juice. What did you expect from a soft drink maker? It may not be as good for you as a glass of orange juice, but itís probably a lot better than many other beverages you could drink to start your day.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

March 10, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (0)

Taco Bell Loaded Potato Griller

tbpotatogriller.jpgI like Taco Bell for many reasons, but perhaps the primary reason is because they are always introducing new products to their menu (if only for a limited time). I picked up one of these products recently, a Loaded Potato Griller, because I had seen the commercial on TV and it seemed to be a bargain at $1.29. The Griller was actually larger than I expected it to be, making it an even better value. The grilled tortilla was filled with crispy potato bites, nacho cheese sauce, bacon, and sour cream. Although the Grillerís flavor wasnít terribly exciting, the combination of ingredients worked and I really enjoyed eating it. The best part of the Griller wasnít what was on the inside, however. It was the grilled tortilla. The simple step of grilling the tortilla made all the difference. It doesnít come as a surprise to me because I know that when heating a tortilla at home, doing it over an open flame or on a griddle gives it a far superior flavor. Taco Bell would be wise to offer grilled tortillas on more of their menu items, or let customers request grilled tortillas on any item. If this were an option, I wouldnít eat an un-grilled tortilla at Taco Bell ever again. And, Iíd probably eat there more often.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

February 23, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (2)

Wolf Brand Chili With Beans

wolfchili.jpgWolf Brand Chili recently showed up on the shelves of my local Safeway. I had never seen this brand of chili anywhere Iíve ever shopped, although the label indicates that itís been around since 1895. Iíve been a Dennisonís man all my life, but I bought a can of Wolf Brand Chili with Beans to see what it was like. Upon pouring the contents of the can into a bowl, my first reaction was one of disappointment at the lack of meat and beans and the abundance of sauce. Donít be fooled by the picture on the can. Your bowl of chili will look nothing like it. There was a moderate amount of meat, and even less beans, covered by so much sauce that the meat and beans were barely visible. Really, did I buy a can of chili with beans or a can of sauce? Aside from this rather significant issue, the chili tasted okay. I compared it side-by-side with a can of Dennisonís and found the Wolf Brand Chili had a deeper, spicier flavor that I preferred. But, the Dennisonís appeared to have more meat and definitely had more beans. Canned chili isnít very good when compared to homemade chili or even chili made with Carroll Shelbyís Chili Kit. But, sometimes chili from a can is the way to go. And when it is, Iím sticking with Dennisonís.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

January 24, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (7)

Tostitos Cantina Thin & Crispy

tostitoscantina.jpgTortilla chip makers have been forever trying to produce chips that are as good as they ones you get in some Mexican food restaurants. You know - the chips that you canít stop eating because they are so utterly delicious. The ones you eat so many of that when your meal finally comes, you arenít very hungry. I donít think any store-bought chips reach this level of tastiness, but Iím hoping someday they do. Tostitos gives it their best shot with their new Cantina Thin & Crispy chips. I suspect that Tostitosí goal for the chips was for them to be similar to the chips served at Chevyís, and they come pretty close. The chips are thin, but not so thin that they fall apart easily. They also have a very nice crispiness and feel great in the mouth. But, thereís one very important thing missing: flavor. I found the chips to be bland and boring, with very little corn flavor. I suppose that if you are using the chips to eat salsa or some other type of dip, the flavor of the chip isnít as important. But, I think every chip should taste good when eaten by itself, without any accompaniment. Perhaps the lack of flavor is because the chips are so thin. I canít explain why the chips are so lacking in flavor, but I know that I wonít be buying them in the future.

Phoood rating: So-so

January 3, 2013 | By: Jim | Comments (1)

Breyers Vanilla Fudge Twirl Ice Cream

breyersvft.jpgItís not often that I eat ice cream that I think isnít any good. Even second-rate ice cream is usually pretty decent. Breyers Vanilla Fudge Twirl ice cream is probably the worst ice cream Iíve ever eaten. Maybe Iíve had some ďice milkĒ or ďfrozen dairy desertĒ that tasted worse, but Iím not even sure about that. Breyers Vanilla Fudge Twirl ice cream has two strikes against it right from the get-go: the vanilla flavor is virtually non-existent and the texture is not what you expect from a quality ice cream. The third strike comes from the alleged ďfudge twirl.Ē I didnít taste or see any actual fudge in the ice cream. There were some thin streaks of cheap-tasting chocolate throughout the ice cream, but it certainly didnít qualify as fudge. Iíve had some other Breyers products that were pretty good. Iím not sure how they got so far off track on this product, but I recommend that you stay far away from it.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

December 29, 2012 | By: Jim | Comments (0)