Showing posts from January, 2011

Taste Test: Little Debbies Versus Hostess

I knew I'd be wanting a dessert soon, and the only real option was my corner bodega, so my options were limited.  What I decided to do was get a two pack of both Little Debbie and Hostess snack cakes and engage in a taste test with my roommate.

It was a single blind set up as I knew the identities of the snack cakes but my roommate did not.

The Little Debbies were only $.99 to the Hostess' $1.39 price tag, so I wanted to know if this heralded a difference in quality as well.  Also interesting to note, the more expensive Hostess cakes actually have few calories than the Little Debbie dudes.  The Hostess cakes indeed look smaller, though they also look more dense.  The Little Debbie cakes are black to Hostess' brown.  The swirlies pretty much seem the same.


My roommate guessed wrongly which cake came from which brand, but he came to the same conclusion I did, that the Little Debbies are a bit better, with more nuance to the sweetness, whereas the Hostess is sweeter b…

Two Boots Pizza: NYC: Multiple Locations

It's not hard to find great pizza in NYC, but it can be a tiny challenge to get a fast, NY-style pizza slice with a nice, interesting set of toppings.  Enter Two Boots Pizza.

Not to be confused with the run-of-the-mill NY pizza chain Two Bros. Pizza, Two Boots offers slices (as well as a bunch of other foodstuffs) with all kinds of interesting combinations and names, such as "Earth Mother", "The Dude", and "The Newman".  Cute cute.

Of course, they're consequently $4 a slice instead of $1 or $2.

I've been to two of their locations, though they're all over Manhattan (also one in Brooklyn) as well as a location in L.A., in Baltimore and in Bridgeport.  Last summer I was patronizing the West Village location a bit due to its proximity to The Cubby Hole, the lesbian bar in Manhattan.  If it stayed open later than 11pm, I would've been there a lot more often.

Sadly, that was a time before I took pictures of everything I ate.  Also, I can'…


The cashier, who was apparently new, had a tiny bit of white paint on his left eye.  Just seems worth noting.

Let's see, a delightful soft little steamed bun, with meat (the pork belly with the nice layer of fat on top slightly more delicious than the very delicious hanger steak, and the crushed peanuts, cilantro, Haus relish and Taiwanese red sugar are all just super.. 

The sweet bao "fries" (fried pieces of bao buns) are a tasty little treat, though I couldn't taste any taro flavor in the taro sauce topping I chose.  

Next time I'll try the black sesame (they've apparently discontinued the other toppings listed on the website: Durian, Pandan, S.B.J (sesame, butter and jelly)*.  

Ah, that's right, that's why I was bored.  As a foodie asshole, 95% of the reason I wanted to go here was for these dipping sauces (as they're referred to on the website, while these would more appropriately be called "drizzles"), so when 3 of the 5 "sauces&qu…

Corner Burger: Brooklyn: Park Slope

Having noticed a tasty menu back in the summer when I was strolling along in the area during the Brooklyn Pride Parade, I let myself buy a Groupon for this place back in the days when my Groupon-buying policy was less rigid than now. In other words, the menu isn't breathtaking, but it's not bad.

I started with a Brooklyn Pilsner.  Ah, so good, so refreshing..

Then I downed some Lactaid and shared the Poutine Galvaude as an appetizer:

I have to say I enjoyed this a lot more than the poutine with smoked meat at Mile End.  It wasn't too salty (or maybe my tastes have just adapted to the saltier norther cuisine), and quite frankly that's just some delicious shit right there.  The fries were that wonderful kind that are a little crispy crunchy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside.. I think maybe this kind I love has batter on them now that I'm thinking about it.  You can get poutine with a bunch of different kinds of stuff on it (including a totally vegetaria…

Rockin' Raw: NYC: Williamsburg

Update: Rockin' Raw has moved to Manhattan.

This is a really nice place. The service was really nice, and, though the space is a bit narrow, there's a good outside area.
I started with the yam chips and dip. The dip was creamy and lemony and was very nice, and the chips tasted good, but they were a bit hard (not in a crispy way).

I then had the Peruvian Trio Plate. All of that was terrific, except that the peppers stuffed with minced mushrooms, eggplant, herbs and cashew cheese were unpleasantly hot (spicy hot, that is). That plate came with a delicious, creamy, orange-colored dipping sauce though that made up for it.

My sister had the Rockin' Raw Burger lunch combo. The soup of the day was a cucumber, mint thing, which wasn't all that great. It was kind of bland, really, not much depth to it. The salad was wonderful though, and the burger was delicious. Just to warn you though, it's small, and it comes on that harder kind of rye bread. She got the tamarind juice with …

Amber: NYC: Chelsea

Hibernating on this freezing Sunday wasn't an option as I'd signed up for a class at the UCB Theatre every Sunday for the next 8 weeks (good god, why in the thick of winter must I do this shit to myself?!), so I decided to hit a few birds with one Manhattan commute and planned to go to the library, Amber, and then class.

I had a $15 for $30 of food Groupon to use for this place, and it was expiring in a week, so I needed to get this done.  The first thing that annoyed me about this place (I mean, other than the fact that the sushi rolls are $15 a piece, but they are interesting.  Oh, in case you don't know me, I have almost always the read and marked the menu to a restaurant long before going there.  In this case, about 7 months before, not at all uncommon), is that the Groupon says one must make a reservation to use this and must mention the Groupon on the phone.  Now.. why?  Are they trying to embarrass coupon users?  Would they not let them use the Groupon on a busy nig…

Taco Bandito: NYC: Chelsea

I wanted a beer near UCBT, but instead, because I'm insane, I got food from Taco Bandito.  I mostly did it because I wanted to review another place near the UCB Theatre in NY.  Sadly, this place sucks.  Oh sure, maybe if you've never had any even half decent Tex-Mex, you'll enjoy this.  Otherwise, don't waste your time/money/calories.

I had a chicken burrito, figuring that would be a safe bet:

The salsa is watered down Pace (which sucks anyway).  Nothing was fresh, and all the ingredients were clearly of the cheapest possible quality.

You'd be hard pressed to find food this bad in a mall.

I mean, I almost never leave any food on my plate, but here's the "after" picture of this meal:

Okay I had one more bite after that, but only because I'm insane.  Just go across the street to Kofoo.


-Space to sit down
-Near UCBT

FA Rating: f

Colador Cafe: Brooklyn: Bed Stuy

I haven't tried any of the food yet because the menu is all vanilla, but honestly, the food I've seen on people's plates looks great.  The coffee is okay, with raw sugar, simple syrup, honey, Equal, Splenda, cinnamon and nutmeg available on the counter.  You can ask the barista for soy milk, but it never tastes right in the coffee.  The service is hit or miss, and they have wi-fi available (ask the barista for the password), but it's spotty.  There's a decent restroom for customers.  I think the biggest draw is that you can order beer, which is rare enough in this neck of the 'hood.

The place has a nice feel, a good amount of seating, and supports local artists by displaying their works, ads and cards.

I actually like Colador best when it's closed, due to the artwork on the gate:

A Fast &Healthful Option: Swich

FA Rating: F
Price: $

This place (Chelsea) is basically a yuppier Subway. The menu is a little more interesting. While you can of course create any sandwich or salad you want, I'm referring to the lemon mint edamame, and the banana lemonade. They also have more topping choices, including stuffing, basil, golden raisins, sprouts and crunchy wasabi peas.

I was trying to do a gluten-free thing (lasted half a day), so I had a salad:

They had me get the citrus vinaigrette, but I like creamier dressings or balsamic vinaigrettes.

Every order comes with a little bitty serving of lemon mint edamame:

They're totally delicious, and unlike any I've been served elsewhere. How refreshing!  I wanted to try the banana lemonade since it's interesting and Time Out NY raved about it a little bit. Fortunately, I used the word "try" instead of "have," so the cashier gave me a sample of it. It was tasty and all, but I'm not a big lemonade person.

The Ghetto-iest Sushi Ever

I don't have much to work with in my pantry and fridge right now, so this is what I just had for a post-work out meal-snack:

Box?  What box?

or alternately:

You and your box can go fuck yourselves!!

Taqueria Coatzingo: NYC: Jackson Heights

FA Rating: F+
Price: $

I'd flown in from Atlanta and gotten off the Q33 at 82/Roosevelt, where I would be getting on the 7 Train. I wanted one more good meal before my vacation week officially ended, so I looked around for some good Mexican food. This was the first place that looked good, so I popped in. I think I made a good choice. I'm still wrapping my mind around the way Mexican restaurants works here. In Texas, we have our own brand, with restaurants memes, menus all looking pretty much the same, but man, the menus in NY at these places are even more homogenous.

Anyhow, the prices are as reasonable as anywhere I've seen up here, and there was Tapatio sauce on the table, always a good sign. As soon as the waitress brought me the chips and salsa, I breathed a sigh of bliss. I could see I'd made a good choice.

I ordered the chorizo huaraches, and they were delicious, though when I think of chorizo in Mexican food, rather than the little cubes I was served here, I ima…

#1 Foodie Asshole Approved Burger: Farm Burger

Some couples have "their song," people in my family have "their restaurants" with our significant others. Farm Burger (in Decatur, Buckhead, and Dunwoody) is my sister and her girlfriend's restaurant. Here their tastes converge.  My pescatarian sister can get a delightful vegetarian quinoa burger with many interesting toppings, and her pre-ancĂ©* can get the delicious, grass-fed cow burgers (which are amazingly perfect).

The sweet potato fries are everything they should be. The hand cut fries rule too (even better with the garlic/herb/parmesan available).

I had a bite of my sister's quinoa burger, and it was quite good. I've had a couple of vegetarian phases and have tried my fair share of the things. I would have taken the cumin down one notch, but it was about as juicy and flavorful as you can hope in a veg. burger.

You choose your own toppings (though they have a list of suggested combinations for those who suck at this kind of thing), and they range …

Best Bar in Dahlonega: Crimson Moon Cafe

FA Rating: FF
Price: $

Having driven to Dahlonega to visit Frogtown Cafe and having gotten "white trashed" off the wine there, as I put it, we needed a place in town to head to eat food (and drink beer!).  My sister had found a place she thought looked promising, and the ladies at the winery confirmed that it was a great spot.

Fifteen minutes later we arrived and sat in the back so as not to have to pay the cover charge for the show Rory Block would be putting on a couple of hours later.  We sat at the bar, and I couldn't resist ordering both beers I saw on tap, the Terrapin Rye PA and a Magic Hat #9.  I kind of wanted to order a latte since they had a few Monin syrups I'd never seen before (saying something alert).

At first glance dinerish, the menu totally is actually totally awesome.  A vegetarian* there for some breakfast?  They've got a veggie omelet with artichokes.  Otherwise, find out what makes their sausage "sawmill" gravy so sawmilly.

Lunch …

Beers and Soups at Mac McGee's

FA Rating: FFF
Price: $

My sister and I went into five different restaurants and walked out after looking at their menus before we finally found a good restaurant, Mac McGee's (Decatur (Atlanta area), GA).

I immediately caved into having a beer with lunch upon seeing the numerous and wonderful draft beer selection. There were about six I would've loved to have had, but, alas, it wasn't that kind of lunch, so I had the Red Brick brewing company's Oatmeal Porter.

It was immediately clear we needed to try both of their soups:

The beer and cheese soup was tasty, both the beer and the cheddar really coming through, not to mention my favorite parts, the carraway and pumpernickel croutons that came together to make perfect bites or belly warming goodness. This soup was much thinner than such soups usually are, and I probably would've preferred a bit thicker, though it helped make room for the beer, the upcoming food and the other soup, which was thick and creamy. Also, t…