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Results for category "Food & Beverage"

29 Articles

Pepsi True

When new sodas come to market, especially brand extensions for Pepsi and Coke’s colas, I’ll do just about anything to get my hands on it. I more or less live off colas, diet colas in particular. It’s a 2-liter a day habit that I’m not proud of, but it is what it is. Don’t judge me.

Pepsi True sneaked up on me. The last I had heard about it Read More →

Surge Is Back!

Surge was unquestionably my favorite soft drink as a teenager in the 90s. I lived for it. It was a 2-liter-a-day-plus-a-can-at-lunch kind of addiction. You can imagine my shock and horror when Coca-Cola pulled it from the shelves in 2001. I was diagnosed with depression in 2002, and I’m not sure Coke wasn’t to blame.

I kid of course. But not by much. For me Surge represents Read More →

Evan Williams Honey Reserve

Once fall begins to roll in, I traditionally switch from clear liquors (vodka or rum) to something darker and more robust, typically a whiskey or bourbon. Always on a budget, as I’m sure many of you are, I try to find quality spirits at affordable prices. I think the Evan Williams brand Read More →

Burger King Satisfries

Fatassfries no more: enter Burger King Satisfries with 30% less calories and 40% less fat. I’m a little bit of a health nut so I was really excited when I heard Burger King was putting out a less greasy option. Unfortunately, they did very little to reduce the sodium content as I saw a Burger King employee dump an inordinate amount of salt over the crinkle-cut batch. That’s right folks! Crinkle-cut! Now, tell me, who doesn’t love crinkle-cut fries?

I think it’s a general consensus that Mickey-D’s is known for having the best fast-food fries, with maybe the exception of Chik-Fil-A’s waffle fries for all you Southerners, but I have to say that Burger King might have out-done themselves with Satisfries. They’re not too thick nor too stringy and leave that oh-so-heavenly fried potato taste in your mouth.  Other than the large amount of salt there’s not a whole lot I can complain about. They keep their heat a lot longer than their stringy counterparts so you’re not shoving two or three in your mouth at a time before they get cold. Winning!

While I can’t in good conscious say that Satisfires are “healthy” I can say that they’re a lot better than the originals. Delicious, a bit healthier and crinkle cut? “Yea!”

Official Site

-Kat Graham

Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce

I never thought that I would find another hot sauce that would be worthy of sharing shelf space with Frank’s, but I found one sitting atop the salsa bar at my favorite Mexican joint. I’ve been eating at this place for years, and never bothered to try it. Major, major fail on my part; Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce may be the best tasting condiment I’ve ever sampled.

Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce is not uncomfortably hot. No sweating, tears, or disgusting runny noses. That isn’t to say it is weak, there is no doubt that it will warm your palette. Unlike many other hot sauces, Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce isn’t hot just for the sake of being hot. It is easy to pick up the more subtle, sweeter notes present in the peppers Valentina is made from. This isn’t a typical vinegar-heavy sauce like the innumerable Louisiana-style sauces crowding the super-market shelves; Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce has a ton of character. Use it on any foods you would typically use hot sauce or barbecue sauce.

Finding Valentina may prove challenging, but you are all a creative bunch, I’m sure you can locate a bottle. Or a case. I highly doubt that you’ll be disappointed in your purchase. Big spicy ‘Yea!’

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-Jeremy Hobbs

Caffeine Free Coke Zero

On my weekly trip to CVS, I found liquid manna from Heaven. Caffeine Free Coke Zero was displayed in pyramid fashion upon a shelf in the middle of the store and I knew God was real. I suffer from what you may call a sugar/caffeine sensitivity than can only be described as an off-the-wall, borderline psychotic, extreme hyperness that could potentially warrant a YouTube video that would quickly attract the attention of doctors everywhere. Are you getting my point?

I was obviously very excited when I found a soda without sugar or caffeine because who doesn’t enjoy a nice cold soda on a hot summer afternoon? The flavors are great. I can’t tell that the sugar is MIA.  If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, I wouldn’t count on Coke this time around. But if you’re looking for a crisp beverage to nurse down while you are watching the game, you can’t go wrong. And hey, if you’ve caught Coke’s latest Taylor Swift commercial you can sing about dressing up like hipsters and making fun of your exes while you’re at it.

The flavor is full and the bubbles are plentiful.  Drink on my friends. “Yea!”

Official Site

-Kat Graham

Four Loko Margarita

Four Loko’s have been a large contributing factor in the making of some horrible mistakes since the product starting lining refrigerators in convenience stores around the country a few years ago. I myself have fallen victim to this syrupy menace on more than one occasion. The entire line is comprised of super potent malt alcohol, with a heaping amount of sugar, and what I’m sure isn’t an oncologist approved mix of artificial flavors and colors. Long gone are the energy enhancing ingredients that made Four Loko even more infamous than it is currently. Our nanny-state government made them do it.

I saw the Four Loko Margarita, and in name of thoroughnosity (yeah, I made that word up) I decided to review it for the margarita series. Surprisingly, after the first two or three agonizingly sober sips, this didn’t taste dramatically different than Bud’s Lime-A-Rita. Whether that is a complement to Four Loko Margarita, or an insult to Lime-A-Rita…. well, that’s a tough call.

The throbbing headache experienced the next morning is confirmation a plenty that one should not be drinking these things. But, if kept absolutely ice-cold, Four Loko Margarita is only half bad. Given that I was able to finish the can versus killing stubborn weeds with it as I had planned, I’m giving Four Loko Margarita an honorary ‘Meh’ for their efforts.

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-Jeremy Hobbs

Jeremy’s Margarita Series

Coke Life

Not a review, but a rather exciting preview this evening. Coca-Cola is doing a market test of a new extension of their line of colas dubbed Coke ‘Life’ in Argentina. Coke Life is going to be a mid-calorie beverage (much like Pepsi Next), but it’s signature feature is that it will be sweetened with a combination of sugar (or corn syrup in the USA), and stevia.

Stevia has been referred to as ‘unusable’ in colas by the folks at Pepsi, so I’m absolutely dying to know what Coke’s chemists have come up with. It appears that Coke Life will be marketed as an ‘all natural’ product, and will be very desirable to women, yuppies, and hipsters all the same while retaining the known and loved Coca-Cola flavor.

As an added bonus for the latter two categories of consumers, the bottle will be one hundred percent recyclable, and at least thirty percent biodegradable. This is accomplished by some convoluted process of turning veggies in to plastic; a process I’m not nearly smart enough to try to explain. But hey, if it saves a whale or two, more power to them.

I’ll have a real review out to you as soon as possible. I’m a bit worried as I’ve read stevia can cause ‘anal leakage,’ but I’ve always been willing to throw myself under the proverbial bus for my faithful readers. Coke Life will be no different. Stay tuned!!!

-Jeremy Hobbs

Zone Perfect Double Dark Chocolate

Sometimes you need a quick, easy meal to take on the road. By quick, I mean I-woke-up-so-late-I-don’t-have-time-to-brush-my-teeth-before-work kind of quick. Protein shakes and bars can take on that role extraordinarily well, often offering a substantial amount of fiber, protein, and assorted nutrients in a grab and go container.

Zone Perfect Double Dark Chocolate did this job for me on a recent outing. Typically I’m more of a shake guy, but the fiancé grabbed me one of these instead. At first bite, I was fairly impressed. The taste was definitely chocolatey, leaning more towards dark chocolate than milk chocolate, as the product name would suggest. The texture is like a very dense Rice Crispy treat.

I easily powered through three or four bites, then Zone Perfect Double Dark Chocolate bar hit my stomach. Like a brick. Or cinder block. Or one of the blocks Moses’ people used to build the pyramids. This can be taken in a positive or negative light; I felt full, but I also felt uncomfortably stuffed.

The more I tried to eat, the larger each bite felt in my mouth. By the halfway point what had started as a tasty treat started feeling like wet concrete in my mouth. Shakes have these traits as well, but they’re chuggable. There is no quick way to get one of these bars down. Because it at least started out as a tasty food stuff, I’m going to give Zone Perfect Double Dark Chocolate bar a ‘Meh.’ Should you try it, I hope you have better luck swallowing than I did.

Official Site

-Jeremy Hobbs

Monk Fruit In The Raw

I drink a lot of sweet iced tea. Started substituting it in the place of soda, mainly for budget reasons. Did the math one day and realized we were spending in the neighborhood of one hundred dollars a month on sparkling beverages, and that is just silly.  At the same time I didn’t want to start downing a ton of sugar, so I started trying shopping around for artificial sweeteners.

Monk Fruit In The Raw looked new and different, and I’ll try anything once. Monk Fruit is also known as ‘luo han guo’ according to the official site linked below. To cut straight to the point, I’m not a huge fan. It sweetens just enough to cut out the bitterness of the home brewed unsweetened tea, but did absolutely nothing beyond that to make my budget beverage any more enjoyable than the dollar store brand ‘pink stuff.’ I’ll keep my Sweet & Low, thanks.

I suppose Monk Fruit In The Raw might be suitable for those of you who are sensitive to the chemicals in the sweeteners that actually work. Also, hipsters will love offering their uninterested friends a ‘fair-trade coffee with soy cream and all natural lou han guo sweetener.’ Me? I fit neither of those groups, and I’m giving Monk Fruit In The Raw a ‘Meh…’

Official Site

-Jeremy Hobbs