Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Paul Hogan is rolling in his grave

My mother never bought me Dunkaroos as a kid. Maybe because they are cookies that you dip in frosting. The ingredients list reads like a who’s-who of what should never enter your body:

Sugar, Water, High Maltose Corn Syrup, Tommy Lee, Wheat Starch, Salt, Distilled Monoglyceride, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Citric Acid, Nonfat Milk, Potassium Sorbate.

Or maybe it was the fact that the commercial mentions “triple fisting it.” I may have been an overexposed kid, but I thought that was a weird thing to say way back when this first aired. Where does that third fist come from? How is this not incredibly creepy?


The Date: not just for Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Education anymore


Last Friday I was in Penn Station with my boss, grabbing some coffee at one of those nameless shops in the terminal. I noticed they had a bunch of Larabars by the register, and immediately started preaching to my boss about how good they are. He probably thought I was crazy. Maybe because my praise was along the lines of “This is what you eat to get those mind-controlling fluorides out of your hypo-spicines! The government wants to hold you back, but Larabars are the true way!” Maybe not my exact words, but I was fairly evangelical about it.

In some sort of weird coincidence that only matters when you’re writing a blog post, I returned home that night to find a package from LARABAR TOWER USA. It contained a few new flavors for me to try out.

This is awesome for three reasons.

1. These things may have saved my life at some point. I don’t always eat well. In fact, I occasionally go weeks at a time funneling crap into my system. Sometimes I need to cleanse myself a bit, if only to purge the cheese fries and beer and Greg Rucka storylines from my body. Larabars are, as far as I know, the only high-raw, vegan, kosher, gluten-free, dairy-free and (mostly) organic prepackaged food you can buy at a convenience store.

2. “Thanks for Blogging!” Probably the first time anyone has ever said this in a non-sarcastic way. My team of forensic experts also tell me that the indentations on the card indicate that this was not generated by an inkjet printer, but rather a human hand. Odd.

3. I didn’t ask for this stuff, they just sent it to me. I think I maybe mentioned that Larabars are great in a post on a message board or blog comment section years ago, when the company was first getting started. Then someone tracked me down and started sending me swag. That’s pretty awesome. It not only validates my role in the whole “community” aspect of the internet, but reinforces the belief that this is a company that listens to its audience.

So let’s talk: these new flavors.

PB&J Larabars are off the goddamn hook. They taste exactly like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but they lack whatever poison goes into Wonderbread. Ingredients: dates, peanuts, unsweetened cherries, salt. That’s it. And I guess that’s all you need to make a PB&J without the crap.

The tropical fruit tart flavor was amazing, resembling a pina colada in food form. It had dates, pineapple, coconut and… uh, I think I threw out the wrapper. But it was probably the most complex Larabar out there. Very rich.

The German chocolate cake is part of the Jocalat line of Larabars, which contain chocolate (meaning they’re not raw). I’m not a chocolate person, so I passed this off to my dad. He seemed to orgasm for about seven minutes straight, which will haunt me until the day I die. He really liked this. And he’s the sort of guy who eats nothing but fast food and ice cream night after night.

That’s one of the things I really like about Larabars: they taste damn good. They’re rich and decadent, cakey and dessert-like. I feel like pulling a Folger’s Crystals moment on my dad: “Hey, you know that chocolate bar you just ate? IT WAS GOOD FOR YOU!” But I value the silent, ambiguous resentment of our opposing lifestyles, so I won’t risk it.

In conclusion: Hey, Larabars, I think you’re pretty keen and I want to ask you to the homecoming dance.


Come for the noodles, stay for the handjobs


I have to give props to my favorite place to eat in Chinatown: Nanzhou Noodle House, at Race Street between 9th and 10th. My friends introduced me to it when I first moved back to Philly, and it’s flat out amazing. So amazing that I took my mom there to celebrate her 50th birthday.

See that mega-meal above? That cost me five dollars. It is literally eight pounds of food, and absolutely delicious. They have an beautiful clear broth that is just so rich that no other noodle house in the city can compare. CODE NAME MOMZ got the seafood noodles, which had fish balls, clams, and shrimp added to the default mountain of bok choy, cilantro and noodles. Six dollars! She loved it (except for the fish balls, which she had never had before and produced a hilarious reaction).

Why have these shaved noodles not exploded onto the scene like a veritable Dustin Diamond of food? Some dude in the back has a ball of dough, and he’s shaving off noodles into a cauldron of broth. Then you eat them for almost no money. Everybody wins.


No, it doesn’t transform into 30 ABV

Every year the wonderful BeerAdvocate puts together a little shindig called Extreme Beer Fest, designed to educate the world as to the virtues of extreme beer. It’s important to understand that beer of the extreme variety is not ordinary beer. There are various criteria that must be met before it can be certified extreme: beer that’s 20%+ ABV, beer that’s been barrel aged, or beer made without hops would be considered quite extreme. Miller Light would not.

This year BeerAdvocate has teamed up with Dogfish Head to do something a bit special. They’ve brewed an exclusive beer just for the festivities. Names were suggested by forum users and the top ten were voted on. The results are remarkable…


Get it? BA Select? BA meaning BearAdvocate? Genius. The attendees of Extreme Beer Fest will be drinking genuine Konami code beer. I’m guessing the ‘start’ is when you tap the firkin. And after the festival is over this will be gone forever. Something tells me it won’t be popping up on eBay any time soon, either. The video game collector in me weeps.

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