May 27, 2008

Baked Cheetos Crunchy

bakedcheetos.jpgHistorically, the flavor of baked snack foods has been far behind that of their fried counterparts. However, I am noticing that the gap is closing. Baked Cheetos stand up very well to regular Cheetos. Although they have 50% of the fat and 20% fewer calories compared to regular Cheetos Crunchy, they have nearly all the flavor and crunch. Sure, you can taste a difference, but it's really not that significant. Baked Cheetos have a nice cheese flavor and a satisfying crunch, without any odd taste that you sometimes get from a baked snack food. Like regular Cheetos, I have trouble restraining myself from eating a whole bag of Baked Cheetos. They are so good, in fact, that I doubt I'll ever go back to regular Cheetos. It's just not worth the extra fat and calories.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (10)

May 23, 2008

McDonald’s Southern Style Chicken Biscuit

chickenbiscuit.jpgMcDonald’s has always been one of my favorite places to go for breakfast, because they have so many delicious items on their breakfast menu. The McMuffin and McGriddle are American classics and are hard to beat when you want something that is quick, cheap, and tastes great. New to the breakfast menu is the Southern Style Chicken Biscuit. It’s about as simple as it gets: a piece of chicken between two biscuit halves. The chicken was cooked perfectly and was very moist, but was seasoned very lightly. I expected more flavor, considering it is supposed to be “Southern” style. The biscuit was tasty, but was too dry and fell apart as I ate the sandwich. I think that some other item to compliment both the biscuit and the chicken would have made the sandwich much better (butter? gravy? cheese?). Unfortunately, the Southern Style Chicken Biscuit is just too plain and uninspired for me to recommend it over other items on the McDonald’s menu.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (18)

May 20, 2008

Town House FlipSides Pretzel Crackers

flipsides.jpgI recently had a party where I was picking up some munchies, and my local grocer had a sign that said "Buy One Get One Free". This was a good deal in my opinion, since the box of "pretzel crackers" was $3.50. However, there was only one box left. I asked a salesperson, and he said that they had already restocked the shelf twice, and there were no more left. I was intrigued. A cracker that's so good it sells out? I opened my one box before I even got to the car. One side looked like a pretzel-shaped cracker, and the other side looked like a regular Town House cracker with grill marks. I ate a couple, and I was impressed with the pretzel-y flavor. Then, I ate a couple more. I tried to close the box, but I couldn't. By the time I got home, there were only a few crumbs in the bottom of the box. Each subsequent box purchased has disappeared with the same speed, and usually the box is eaten in one sitting, possibly two if I exercise extreme self-control. I'm convinced that if bars replaced regular pretzels with these, they would see huge profit increases. I could just sit there and eat them all night.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Wendy | Comments (12)

May 12, 2008

Skittles Chocolate Mix

skittleschocolate.jpgIt’s pretty hard to do chocolate wrong, but every once in a while I come across a product that messes up what you think would be pretty easy. Skittles Chocolate Mix is such a product. What works well with Skittles’ fruit flavors just doesn’t work for chocolate. The creaminess you expect in a chocolate candy is missing, probably because cocoa powder makes up less than 2% of the candy. Their chewy texture and excessive sweetness doesn’t go well with any of the five flavors – s’mores, vanilla, chocolate caramel, chocolate pudding, and brownie batter – each of which is very artificial tasting and not very appealing. If you want some chocolate candies, just buy some M&M’s. I don’t recommend wasting your money on Skittles Chocolate Mix.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (16)

May 7, 2008

Häagen-Dazs Extra Rich Light Caramel Cone Ice Cream

hdcaramel.jpgI’ve been a huge fan of Häagen-Dazs Extra Rich Light ice cream ever since it was introduced and have given good reviews to two flavors in the past. Caramel Cone, however, is probably the best one that I’ve eaten. I love anything caramel, so it’s no surprise that I loved this ice cream. It’s made with caramel ice cream with caramel swirls and chocolate-covered cone pieces. The flavors come together perfectly, and there is a good amount of cone pieces (although more wouldn’t hurt). The texture is so creamy and luscious that it’s hard to believe that it has half the fat of regular Häagen-Dazs ice cream. This leads to a question that every ice cream lover must ask themselves: With the huge improvements in light ice cream in recent years, is there really any reason (other than pure gluttony) to eat regular ice cream anymore? I don’t think there is, as long as there are products as good as Häagen-Dazs Extra Rich Light.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (7)

May 3, 2008

Phoood Fight!: Gatorade vs. PowerAde (Lemon-Lime)

gatorade.jpgpowerade.jpgThis is an epic battle between the original thirst-quenching sports drink, Gatorade, versus a relative newcomer, PowerAde. I chose to compare the lemon-lime variety, mostly because I consider it the “classic” sports drink flavor. In fact, I’m so old that I can remember when the only Gatorade flavor was lemon-lime. After doing some afternoon work in our front yard, I was sweaty and thirsty. Both the Gatorade and PowerAde were very refreshing and really hit the spot. Comparing them side-by-side, I was amazed as how similar they were in color. I was even more surprised at how similar they tasted. Their lemon-lime flavors were virtually identical, but there was a slightly odd aftertaste to the Gatorade. This is nothing new, Gatorade has always tasted this way to me. PowerAde, on the other hand, tasted better from start to finish, with no funky aftertaste at all. This was a very close match, but PowerAde comes out on top for its superior taste.

Winner: PowerAde Lemon-Lime

Posted by Jim | Comments (8)