Wise Honey BBQ (With cheese) Cheese Curls


Cheese is an underrated delicacy, often delegated to the garnish position or simply a topping. Think about it. You see pasta with parmesan on top. A ham sandwich with a lonely American single oozing out of the top. It just ain’t fair.

Wise Honey BBQ (with cheese) cheese curls stands completely true to this point. They’re honey BBQ curls, so one would expect the traditional phallic cheese curl shape, with a honey barbecue flavoring. Wise is different. They’ve taken that, but blended it with the cheese flavoring, taking all the glory and fame from the mighty cheese curl, that rare food that features cheese, and turns it into another flash in the pan barbecue mess.

But cheese knows. Cheese knew from the moment they saw the damned bee on the package, in his bling and sunglasses and hip purple tunic, planning out a new curl. Cheese means mice on the package. Mice mean the bee loses his job and slick honey spreader. So the bee got clever, and planned a curl that featured honey BBQ. To take the fame from cheese.

Cheese is clever, though, and that’s why, in the bag, these cheese curls taste like cheese, with a slight hint of barbecue. Not barely enough to be considered a flavor, much less a prominent, glossy-fonted one. The flavor is interesting, though, like a nice spicy cheese taste. The brittleness of the puffs are from the cheese’s anger, curdled by the rage towards the bee, making each puff feel like a nice bite of cheesy broken glass.

The curls are plentiful, because the cheese must multiply and prosper, and bring down the bee. So there are enough to share. Just remember. Cheese is pissed. Don’t fuck with the cheese.

4/10- AVERAGE

Cranberry Raisinets

These confuse the hell out of me, first off. For one, cranberries are supposed to be the color of my damaged and pained skin right now- bright red. But the cranberries in the package were a dull brown.

For another, the name. Cranberry Raisinets. Now, I realize Raisinets is the brand name, but I still think people would have gotten the message if they were called “Craisinets” and the Craisin company may have been able to cash in on some product placement there. Calling them Cranberry Raisinets sort of makes me think, as the consumer, that they’re raisins flavored like cranberries, sort of an undesireable Grapple mutant, and that’s just…confusing.

These were a dollar five, and for their price, it worked out to roughly ten cents apiece, and those are some pretty tiny pieces, like breath mint sized. The pack was one hundred calories. The cranberries were average sized, and tasted average, too. I went to a cranberry festival once and ate the cranberries right out of the bog. Those were fresh, juicy, and tart. Even a lot of dried cranberries are tart, but these were not. They were mildly sweet, not very memorable.

The mockolate coating on Raisinets has always gone well, in my opinion. It was the same stuff this time around, just a milder fruit.

Send some sympathy my way. Lost my job.

4/10- LAME

Toad-Ally Snax Hanky Panky


Despite sounding like an underground and illicit pleasure, this snack is not bad at all. It’s advertised as chocolate drizzled popcorn with peanuts.

It’s definitely chocolate drizzled. Each piece of popcorn is neatly drizzled with no clumps of chocolate, creating a nice and even selection and covering. The chocolate is just a mockolate, but makes a good attempt to not have that cheap, coconutty taste of mockolate, but a nice, creamy taste. It goes well with the popcorn.

Speaking of the popcorn, it’s nice, and not clumped. The caramel is a very faint feeling, and I think that without the chocolate, this would not be a very good stand-alone snack. I’m not sure that if you told me there was caramel, I’d have been able to recognize it.

And as far as peanuts go, I don’t even want to know where they went. With a name like Hanky Panky, they could be anywhere. But they’re not in this bag at all. No peanuts. Not even a shred.

So it was a good snack, but for lack of accuracy and packaging that lies and utter perversion, the grade must go down.

5/10- YUMMY

Athena’s Silverland Dessert Collection, Part III

Part III! Sorry it’s been a slow few days. I had my graduation party yesterday, so that took up my day.

Anyhow, I still had time to come home and try some brownies and dessert bars. I had another selection of three, both room temperature and warm. I was pretty pleased with today’s bunch, but mixed with some.

The first bar I tried made me a little sad. I was most excited to try this brownie, the Alpine White Chocolate, but it fell extremely short of my expectations. I’d never tried a white chocolate brownie and had no idea that such a thing was possible. I didn’t really know people were capable of making baked goods with white chocolate, so it fascinated me.

The bar was very dense and very greasy. It was too thick and tasted not of white chocolate or even vanilla, but shortening and butter. There were very little chocolate chips spread around, giving it a very bland and flavorless aroma and taste. There were supposed to be white chocolate shavings on it, but none that I tasted of.

I didn’t enjoy this brownie, but I really wanted to. I ate the whole thing, trying it in the fridge, warmed up, at room temperature, but it didn’t cut it at all. It’s a shame, because everything else was really excellent.

3/10- HM.

The next bar I tried was the English Toffee Crunch. I liked this bar. It was very similar to the chocolate toffee, but much tastier and more toffee-ee. If that makes any remote sense. It had a crunchy exterior, like a Skor bar, and a buttery bottom crust.

Microwaving this is not advisable. It melted and stuck to my teeth. Still tasted great, but was sticky. Got chewy, and then brittle. I liked the flavor. If I had to make any improvement to it, it would be to put in more chocolate. There was a drizzle, but if there was a layer of fudge or chocolate chips, it would have been absolutely sublime.

6/10- GOOD

The last flavor for today was the Snickerdoodle flavor. I think it was a little misnamed, because “snickerdoodle” usually refers to those cookies and flavors of that nature that involve cinnamon, sugar, and spices in the cookie, like a souped-up sugar cookie. This was more of a Snickers bar flavor, but I’m guessing the company made a narrow save in avoiding any copyright infringement.

Name aside, this was an excellent brownie. Truly. There was a thick, thick ribbon of caramel all over the brownie, topped with the halves of salty peanuts. I love the juxtaposition, if I might use such a pretentious term, of salty and sweet. The caramel was nice and firm, and abundant all over the brownie. The firmness of the caramel made a nice contrast to the gooiness of the brownie, and the salted peanuts were just divine. I liked how they were in pieces and halves, instead of larger chunks, or ground up. It seemed to be the perfect consistency to have as a good blend, instead of overpowering or fading away. Didn’t notice any peanut butter chips, though. Still good.
9/10- AMAZING

Athena’s Silverland Dessert Collection, Part II

Here’s the next selection of bars from Athena’s Silverland Desserts. I’ve been slowly nibbling away at them, little by little, and they’re just fantastic. I ate three flavors of bars today, and I am full and bloated, but for you readers, I’d do anything. 😉

I started out by trying a 7-layer bar, also called a magic cookie bar. That’s how I’ve always known them to be, magic cookie bars. They’re bars with a graham cracker crust base, condensed milk, nuts, chocolate, walnuts, and coconut. I don’t actually think there are seven layers, just seven ingredients. They’re prepared in layers, though.

This particular bar had a nice, chewy coconutty flavor, with the addition of butterscotch chips with the chocolate. My mother doesn’t like to put butterscotch chips in her bars because she thinks they’re too sweet, so growing up, I never had the luxury of trying the bars with butterscotch. It’s fantastic. I love how the butterscotch adds a salty bite to the bar and gives it a slightly richer taste.

The bar itself wasn’t dry, but the coconut was a little flaky and fell off in parts. I could not taste any nuts, but the graham cracker crust was moist and buttery. Warm, it melted in my mouth. The bar was tasty and very rich.
7/10- WONDERFUL

I also tried the chocolate toffee crunch. This brownie was chilled in the fridge for whatever reason, so I let it sit a while at room temperature and get a little warmer. The brownie base was good, a nice, chewy, almost fudgie brownie, but there was very little toffee to see on the brownie. I couldn’t taste much within the interior, either. My mother said that she felt as though the brownie was undercooked, but I thought it was perfect

The toffee that I did taste reminded me less of toffee than it did caramel, and it wasn’t very noticeable. It was overpowered by the chocolate, which was good, but didn’t balance well regarding the ratio of chocolate to toffee. I would have preferred to see a layer of toffee, or perhaps hard toffee pieces, because it said it was a toffee crunch, but there was no crunch to speak of.

5/10- OKAY

The last brownie I tried for today was the hopscotch bar, and I’m a little confused about it. Looking on the website for the description, I saw no notice whatsoever of the hopscotch bar. There wasn’t any product description or photo for it, and nothing came up when I searched, either. I’m thinking hopscotch might be a cute nomiker for their blondies, which is the closest thing that came up for me.

Either way, it was a good bar. It had lots of chunks in it, and lots of goodies- chocolate chips, butterscotch, and walnuts, on a blonde brownie base. The texture was very rough, but it provided a nice contrast to the smoother flavors I’d been having. The walnuts were big in the flavor department here, and went very well with the vanilla-flavoring in the base.

6/10- TASTY

Again, excellent selection! See you tomorrow for Part III of the bar reviews! I have some backed up reviews for you, too, including Mia’s Mallows, Barker Chocolate Box, and Strawberried Peanut Butter M&M’s!

Athena’s Silverland Dessert Collection, Part I


Peter, from Athena’s Silverland Desserts, sent me twelve dessert bars and brownies to review and showcase for you. I cut each in half and review them based on how they taste at room temperature and microwaved.

First, the flax seed bar with peanut butter. This is actually a vegan bar, and has a nice honey-brown color and smells strongly of delicious peanuts. Cutting it was hard, as it is extremely chewy. This is definitely not a bar for people who like soft or crunchy things. Biting into it was great. This bar is what granola bars are supposed to taste like. I don’t think I can ever safely eat a Quaker bar again after eating this. It’s simple, sweet, but not too sweet, and the flax seeds provide a nice crunch.

Microwaved for ten seconds, this bar completely transformed. The salt in the peanut butter was brought out completely, and the bar got softer, gooier, and more incredible. I didn’t think such a feat was plausible, but they did it.

Vegan, guys. I’m still looking for the butter.

9/10- AMAZING

Next up is the double chocolate brownie, the brownie that purportedly made Athena’s famous. The bar is a dark brown and smells really chocolatey. And it might be the most incredible brownie I’ve ever eaten.

I don’t like my brownies chewy. I don’t like them crunchy. I don’t like them crispy, crumbly, cakey, or anything like that. I like my brownies mushy. This is not a mushy brownie, though. This brownie is like biting into a piece of fudge. It’s incredible. This brownie falls apart in my mouth and creates a complex, textured ride of fudgey and melting goodness.

I put it in the microwave for ten seconds, hoping that the whole thing wouldn’t melt all over. I keep expecting it to be completely chocolate, no cake. It is so rich. It’s studded with chocolate chips all over. It didn’t melt, but the chocolate chips got nice and gooey and gooooooood.

This is one rich brownie. One small square was completely satisfying without being too sweet or gloppy. It’s incredible.

9/10- INCREDIBLE

The next was the sibling to the double chocolate brownie, the double chocolate with nuts. I think all the nuts were walnuts. This brownie was the same, that same not-too-sweet perfection and sublime, velvety texture. The nuts were a little too roughly chopped, but went well with the taste and made a nice crunch to the rest of the brownie.

Microwaved, it was the same delicious ganache-like flavor and consistency.

7/10- WONDERFUL

Tomorrow, I’ll have another three bars and photos of these delights! Thanks again, Pete!

Buffalo Wild Wings Garlic Parmesan Chicken Flatbread

I went to the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant today with some co-workers. It’s a nice place, new, and has lots of televisions and good deals on wings, like forty cent traditional wings on Tuesdays. We got takeout and took it back to work.

I ordered the garlic parmesan chicken flatbread “pizza” thing. I thought the crust would be much puffier, like a gordita bread, soft, but it was basically a brittle and cracking tortilla wrap with sauce and meat on it. The chicken was a nice, soft white meat, good chicken, sprinkled liberally throughout the pizza. There was enough sauce on it so that everything stuck to the bread without falling off and making a mess.

The flatbread was easy to eat, but was just overbearingly crispy and very dry. The chicken was moist, but the cheese was melted on in such a crispy way that it lost any gooiness of a pizza and was just hard and tough to break through in my mouth. The parmesan garlic sauce was good, a little spicy, and tasty. It was more garlic than parmesan, but was smooth and not chunky or too overbearing.

4/10- NOT WORTH IT

The french fries were absolutely disgusting. For some reason, every time I go to BWW…sorry. BWW sounds like a bad personal ad. But every time I go there, my food is always a shade lukewarm. The fries were no exception. No fry I got was longer than an inch or an inch and a half and they were skinny and absolutely soggy to the touch.

Each fry was greasy, despite being overly soft and mushy, and had no salt or pepper flavor to speak of. I didn’t even finish half of these fries. They were absolutely awful. If you go to BWW, stick to their Buffalo Chips or sour cream and chive potato wedges.
0/10- INEDIBLE

Papa John’s Pepperoni Pizza with Special Garlic Sauce

I started the first day of my new job today, and we ordered pizza from Papa John’s for lunch. Never had Papa John’s before, but from what I have heard, it’s a relatively comparable chain brand, most people calling it better than Pizza Hut or Domino’s.

So the pizzas came, and to be honest, I was a bit worried. They were pretty tiny to feed eighteen people, but each piece was surprisingly filling. I had two slices and was full. Could have eaten three, but we are all good sharers in camp and took enough to feed everyone. The pizzas themselves remind me of a really well-cooked frozen pizza- the way the box wants it to look. There are those little delicious crispy dots on the cheese, saying that it’s cooked, and the color is nice and even.

The pizza itself is good, a softer and thick pizza, but not quite as thick as the DiGiorno’s I had to completely eliminate it from the pizza category. The crust is good, if a little dry. The pepperoni was all over the pizza, which was good, and it was a nice, thin slice of meat with good flavor and a nice chew to it. There was a sauce labeled only as “Special Garlic” boxed in with the pizzas, and that was quite intriguing. I’ll eat anything that looks like badly typed Engrish in Comic Sans.

I opened the sauce and found a yellow, melty substance, that could only best be described as pee. No, not pee, but it just looked like melted margarine, not a special sauce. I dipped it in my crust. Not garlicky. Not special. Just sauce. Margarine sauce.

Overall, the pizza was good. I’m not sure if I’d get it again as it is just a tiny little thing and not really worth the money, but was tasty. That being said, my pizza chain alliance lies squarely with the stuffed crust enterprise. Come on. You know that’s incredible shit.

SPECIAL GARLIC: 2/10- UNIMPRESSIVE
PIZZA: 6/10- OKAY

DiGiorno Four Cheese Rising Crust Pizza

I was feeling lazy today- okay, pull my leg- and wanted pizza. Problem was, I didn’t want to be social and wait around at a pizza place with the potential of social interaction, and I didn’t want to deal with waiting for people to cook the pizza and bring it over. The surgery turned me into a bitch, I guess.

So I dropped by the grocery store to congratulate myself on my new job as a camp counselor and picked up a frozen pizza. I figured I’d get DiGiorno’s, because I wanted delivery, and it is in their motto, if you will. Hefty pizza, for starters. Very heavy.

Inside the box is a round pizza with a good amount of cheese on it. DiGiorno boasts four cheeses on this pizza, including parmesan, mozzarella, asiago, and romano. I put it in the oven and read the back. I’m always amused by the back of the packages, like how they specify that the pizza shown in the cartoon-y illustration on the box might not actually be the pizza in your oven, and such. I wonder what asshats call into customer support for that.

So I waited for the pizza, and after about twenty minutes, it came out. Visually, it’s not a very appealing pizza. The outside ring of the crust was too crispy and hard looking, and the inner, middle part was mushy looking and undercooked.

Cutting into it, though, was different. It was obviously fully cooked and had a nice texture, but having grown up around such good pizzas in my life, I don’t feel like this was really a pizza at all. What they lost in circumference of pizza, they made up for in height. I don’t like that at all. I’m used to big, wide pizzas with a good, crisp crunch to them, where you can eat four huge slices of. Three tiny and squat slices of this was half the pizza and made me feel fat. If anything, this was more like a cheesy bread than pizza. The cheese didn’t melt off and string like good mozzarella does on pizza, it congealed and lumped off.

As for the bread, the advertisement didn’t lie. The crust rose. But no more than I’d have expected a regular pizza to have risen. I gave the ends of the crust to my dog because they were almost sickly sweet and had a honeyed flavor I did not enjoy.

I guess I’m too spoiled to appreciate this. It’s a bread. I was looking for a cornmeal dusted, crispy treat that I could eat a lot of and be full from, and what I got was a dense, thick bready thing.
3/10- AWFUL

Newman’s Own Organics 34% Mocha Milk Chocolate Bar

This is another bar in the truly massive selection from Newman’s Own Organics.

The chocolate is perfect, the same 34% milk base that I had in the plain bar, but with the addition of coffee. The bite is smooth, with a nice and satisfying snap to it, but virtually no coffee grounds to be seen. Where do they come from?

The answer is in the bar. You can smell them. You can definitely smell them, but unfortunately, the smell is more of a dairy creamer, gourmet coffee smell than a beany smell of freshly roasted Kona or coffee equivalent. Coffee enthusiasts, shield your eyes. What is meant to be an ingredient highlight is merely a flavor masking the chocolate, creating a pungent and fake-tasting flavor. The coffee extract.

Instead of taking a front seat and complementing the chocolate, the mocha flavor just sits there and fights with it. One minute I taste chocolate, the next minute, coffee. They argue like recently divorced couples. The chocolate melts smoothly, and that’s it. It’s an excellent milk chocolate, and I feel that by adding the extract, they really detract from the smoky, full bodiness that coffee lends to chocolate.

4/10- LAME