Strawberry Rhubarb Dinner at Summer Winter, Burlington, MA

I don’t think I’ve ever had a better kick-off to summer than the last three days. Schoolwork over, papers discarded, and planners systematically shredded, I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while. And starting on Wednesday, Miss Love and I embarked on a three-day eating adventure with tons of amazing eats. The theme? Summer in your mouth- rhubarb and Riesling two of the top contenders.

It all started out when we were invited to a themed strawberry and rhubarb dinner at Summer Winter in Burlington, Massachusetts, home to two bright and blonde James Beard award-winning chefs, Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier. The dinner was part celebration of the beautiful weather, greenhouse tour (yep, they have their own on-site greenhouse- not bad for a Marriott off the parkway!) and dish testing to see if any would make the cut to their summer menu. Along with a gaggle of Boston-area journalists, Miss Love and I wined and dined and ate enough strawberry and rhubarb to feed a crowd of hungry farmer’s market shoppers with.

We arrived at the restaurant a little early and decided to order a cocktail to stave off the hunger- our choice of the restaurant’s flagship libation, the Garden Harvest- spiced honey pepper vodka, tonic, and a blend of herbs sourced from where else but the greenhouse, including basil and lemon geranium. The herbs you see behind me in glasses weren’t just for decoration, but were plucked out and freshly chopped for our cocktail, a very generously boozy plethora of floral scents and flavors, with a sweet citrus and honey edge. It was well balanced and crafted and made for a great start to the evening.

For starters, we went to tour the greenhouse, strawberry rhubarb margaritas in one hand and skewers of house-cured prosciutto, strawberry, and mint in the other.

 The greenhouse holds over 50 varieties of herbs and vegetables, mostly miniaturized versions of larger forms- English cucumbers, tiny tomatoes, and eggplant, to name a few. It is worth noting that due to the timing of the event, our dinner’s ingredients were not completely sourced from the greenhouse, but many of the components were- strawberries not included.

Inside, we met the head gardener, Rachel, and nibbled on our treats, fresh, zippy bites with warm, ripe berries and a kiss of mint leaves.

Inside, we started with our first course, a strawberry and rhubarb gazpacho with Vietnamese coriander, red pickled onion, and goat cheese. Exceptionally smooth texture, its creaminess was cut by thin strands of onion and a bold soapy coriander leaf, my favorite part of the dish. This was paired with an aggressively floral Allagash White- I’m not crazy about beer but this is definitely one of my favorites. With the gazpacho, the beer was aromatic and infused with a veritable garden of flavors.

We unanimously agreed that the second course was our favorite- strawberry glazed salmon cooked on a river rock (sourced from the river outside) to a perfect, jewel-pink medium rare with a rhubarb, carrot, and daikon salad. The teapot over to the left was filled with a homemade strawberry tea, poured over the top of the sizzling fish. A lover of interactive dishes, Miss Love ate all of hers and some of mine, too. The relish and fish were both tangy and sweet, with a lingering, briny salinity and rich flavor. I’ve had many a salmon dish in my day but this was easily one of the best. This was paired with a strawberry rhubarb beer from Cape Ann.

Our third and final savory course was a trio of duck, prepared in varying ways that really made it feel like three separate courses– roasted duck with duck cracklings and parsnip chips, served with a strawberry and rhubarb sake mimosa, duck confit with a strawberry rhubarb gelee, and housemade duck sausage with strawberry tarragon mustard and pickled rhubarb pieces.
The roasted duck melted in our mouths- there wasn’t a single stringy piece or frankly, any piece we had to chew. You could have served this to a toothless baby and it would have been fine. Its smoky flavor was succulent and sweet- with the tender greens, it was delicious and simple. I didn’t feel like the rhubarb chips added much to the dish, though.
The mimosa was served in a tiny cocktail glass and the sake’s bright flavors really complimented the rare duck.
The duck confit with gelee was prepared masterfully- the duck cube crisped on all sides with a thick, savory flavor, almost eggy, with rich, thick duck pieces completely front and center. The gelatinous soft cube of gelee was thick and coated the palate with its bright flavors. Paired with the confit, it made for an amazing savory and sweet dish. 
The final preparation of duck sausage was also amazing- I loved how visually attractive this component was. The fattier components- fried potato and duck, were tamed with the tangy mustard. It goes without saying- I do love a good breakfasty dish!

Apparently, a love for breakfast is mutually acknowledged amongst the chefs as well- our dessert, paired with a dark, coffee-like Allagash black, came looking for all the world like a freshly made omelet with crispy bacon and crumbled bits of white bread toast! Of course, this was actually a strawberry rhubarb gratin with bruleed champagne sabayon and snickerdoodle crumbles, and it was delicious enough to eat for breakfast!
This was such a memorable dinner, and an amazing way to start the summer at that. The chefs transformed a dark, dreary evening with their popping summery flavors. They were attentive and personable, sitting with us at the end of the dinner and letting us pepper them with questions. While these dishes are not yet on the menu (crossing my fingers for that confit!!!) they used preparations that felt unique and versatile for upcoming permanent dishes. And with that greenhouse, it’s hard to go wrong! This dinner was a great introduction to the ingenuity of these chefs and I look forward to coming back and seeing what else they have in store. They really took the time to come up with some sturdy, yet inventive ideas that could easily be tweaked and updated while still feeling original. Special thanks to Summer Winter’s PR team for coordinating this- we had a wonderful time!

Mission Cantina, South Amherst, MA

Mission Cantina has one impressive set of cojones- and not in a good way. South Amherst’s latest addition to the mainly mediocre Mexican scene around town boasts a boring menu with impressive prices. For a joint set in the dingiest of strip malls, they’ve got an ego as large as the burritos they’re serving up. On a Tuesday evening, I decided to take Esportoe out to celebrate his graduation.  Only one of us would manage to survive the night without vomiting profusely. We were up against a 30-45 minute wait while being stared at by the angriest of Amherst’s notorious smug liberal adult scene. Apparently, Tuesday is Margarita and Forced Coworker Socialization night, so the tiny place was booming.

Accompanied by an abrasive mariachi soundtrack, blasting from ceiling mounted-speakers like Daft Punk, and the ever-tempting scent of pizza in the take-out joint next door, we opted to forge on. In an ideal world, we would have left after the hostess informed us that she was too busy to take our phone number so we wouldn’t have to be confined to the cramped space in order to ensure our table, and this review would show you how good our pizza slice was and how awful Mission Cantina was. Did I mention that nobody recommended we make reservations? And that I didn’t expect to for strip mall Mexican? But we’re stupid college students, so we stayed. That 30-45 minute wait turned into an hour before we were seated. Interesting cocktail flavors and Mexican coke tantalized us from the menu, but at $8.50 minimum for a medium-sized beverage, we opted for water instead.

The food is twice the price of both Mi Tierra and La Veracruzana but looked decent enough. We opted for a sampler of six tacos and chicken mole, along with an order of chips and salsa. It was worth noting that we had a wonderful multi-tasking bartender slash waitress who almost made up for the overt douchiness of the hostess. And luckily for me, I reasoned that I’d be able to eat the tacos with my hands- a boon as my fork and knife were filthy and covered with sticky bits of food. Our chips arrived quickly and came in a huge basket along with three salsas. Exactly what I expected for standard chips ‘n’ dip, but for $4.50, I wanted to see some fucking miracles. The chips were tasty- hot, crispy, and fresh, and, although this may just be something I enjoy, glistening ever so slightly with oil. Although the size was a hair unwieldy, there wasn’t a bad one in the bunch and they were wonderfully craggy, all the better to dip with.
The salsas, on the other hand, had some issues. For .75 cents apiece- more like a buck apiece if you factor in the chips at around a dollar’s worth of tortillas, they came off as kind of skimpy. They were served in an oversized container that made the portions- about an ounce’s worth of salsa per bowl, look very spartan. The flavors were tasty and I appreciated the variety. Of the three- a classic red, pineapple verde, and black bean negro, I definitely enjoyed the black bean the best. It was smoky and smooth, but not terribly thick so it still retained a spreadable texture. The pineapple was fresh and zesty but was separated as soon as it hit the table and made for a very messy eating experience. The red salsa was standard, nothing to write home about. None of them had any heat or spice.
And then our food came. When they were dropped down at our places, the bus boy neglected to mention which tacos were which. Understandable for three, but rather annoying for six, especially in the dark, cavernously lit restaurant where they all basically looked the same. Going down the line, though- we ordered carnitas, fried fish, al pastor, chorizo, chicken, and carne asada. But we’ll get back to those.

Esportoe’s chicken was pretty good. Served with rice and beans, mole dripping off of everything, it was an incredibly well-rendered rendition of the sauce. When eaten with the sides, however, it was as though we were eating a different sauce completely. It translated so differently on protein versus on a carbohydrate, the latter full of cinnamon and smoke, tempered by the meat. It was a little too intense, slightly imbalanced and overpowering almost every other flavor. His chicken was crisp and tasty. Served with four tortillas, it made tacos better than the ones I’d ordered.
I won’t mince words: three out of my six tacos were edible. Not good- that distinction goes to only one taco. Three out of six were food-like enough to put in my mouth and chew. We’ll start with the failing three. We bit into the carnitas taco first, only to find that it was incredibly dry and stringy, not to mention cold and flavorless. The chorizo was even more offensive. I mean, it’s pretty difficult to screw up chorizo, unless of course you fry little chunks of it into oblivion until they’re charred and black, add excess oil when you realize you’ve seared off all the fat and moisture, and serve it on a tortilla. The result is burnt chorizo popcorn pieces. That was the first time I’ve ever spat something from a restaurant into my napkin. Hideous. The carne asada hovered on the cusp of edible and dog food, with a flavor nowhere near steak and a heavy-handed cuminy aftertaste, so oversalted I could feel my blood pressure take a direct hit.
The chicken and fried fish tacos were stuffed full– at least a half cup of cubed, grilled chicken and a large hunk of fried fish spilling out of the tortilla, but were undistinguished in flavor. The slaw atop the fish barely registered as part of the taco and the chicken was bone-dry, improved in flavor as well as in texture with a little salsa dribbled on top. The only taco we both enjoyed was the al pastor, and here, the definition of enjoyed is more like “tolerated.” Sweet, tender, and tasty pork. Whatever. It was edible. It’s also worth mentioning that both our plates looked like they’d been through a shooting range. How were they so chipped!?

The bill came to around $50 with a tip and to our delight a few hours later, came with a free round of food poisoning for Esportoe, who texted me the one-word review of “threwup” later that evening. Absolutely horrendous. It’s double the price and double the attitude. It made me wonder whether the few bright spots in the meal were merely flukes. After reading all of this, you’re probably guessing that the restaurant is new and still wobbling on its soft opening legs. It’s been open for six months. Anywhere else and this place would have been shuttered within a month, but I’m guessing its loyal fan base will keep it festering for a little bit longer. My advice- cut off those cojones and serve them in a better taco. If you cook it correctly, maybe I’ll even come back. Mission Cantina, meet Mission Improvement. It’s a good thing. 

Wendy’s New Smoky Honey Mustard and Asiago Ranch Grilled Chicken Flatbread Sandwiches

I’ve got to admit, I don’t make it out to Wendy’s often. It’s not the restaurant’s fault, but the location of the closest one is within a quick radius of at least three other good restaurants, a Trader Joe’s, and is halfway between home and school, so it’s rare that I’m ever making a pit stop. Tonight, though, I found myself with a block of spare time and a nagging parched feeling, so I decided to stop for a soda for the ride home, remembering I’d had a gift card for the new ranch guacamole chicken sandwich to try out.
However, when I saw an advertisement for two new varieties of grilled chicken flatbread tucked behind some bushes, I couldn’t help myself. As luck would have it, they happened to be out of guacamole as well. I was initially apprehensive because from the angle my car was at, all I could see was “smoky honey-” and I reasoned that if the next word was “BBQ” I’d just pass. Fast food barbecue is nothing exciting and the bulk of them are overly sugared and sticky, but it turns out that I was in luck. Smoky honey mustard and asiago ranch awaited me along with a cool drink.

They also explicitly advertised the sandwich in a generic “fancy food” font and had a strange sign (presumably for people with allergies to butter? Or a desire for fine dining at fast food prices?) informing customers that the flatbread sandwiches were prepared with butter. All righty, then!

For $3.99 plus tax, the flatbreads provide a decent value and an excellent quality. After a little research, I found that the chain has been testing four varieties for the last five months, switching up the flavor combinations and offering two others in addition to the two mentioned above, smoky apple barbecue (though whether that’s applewood or apple fruit, I don’t know) and caprese. They’re packaged in a special brown-bag wrapper with instructions to rip and grip for eating on the go.

Right from the get-go, it was easy to see that these were not your average fast food chicken sandwich. The smoky honey mustard sandwich features grilled, seasoned chicken, a blend of lettuce and arugula, tomato slices, and a smoky honey mustard sauce atop a whole-grain flatbread. The asiago ranch flatbread, like its sandwich counterpart, features the same meat and vegetables, but adds on a slice of asiago cheese, ranch dressing, and crispy bacon.
The two flatbreads were exceptional. Although the format of the whole-grain bread has the surreptitious flavor profile of a mother trying to sneak vegetables into her kid’s food- a highly sweetened honey flavor to detract from the crunchy nuts and seeds and a toasty exterior so that nobody notices the bread isn’t blindingly white, it’s still a valiant attempt at vending whole grains on a large scale.The bread has a nice chew to it while still remaining yielding and is soft, holding together all the toppings without falling apart.

I felt like the honey mustard sandwich was the less balanced of the two. While I’m always up for a condiment-centric sandwich, there was no smokiness to be found in the sauce and its sweetness only enhanced the sugars in the bread. I would have liked to see a little more bite to this sauce, from something like paprika or even horseradish. However, the vegetables were crisp and fresh and the chicken was moist, tender, and lightly seasoned with a blend of spices that cut some of the cloying flavor. The sandwich contained about a half of a pounded, but still relatively thick, chicken breast, and was very filling.
We unanimously preferred the flavors in the asiago ranch sandwich– it’s definitely one I’d get again if I needed a quick meal.  For whatever reason, the tomato in this one was much pinker and anemic-looking, and tasted less fresh. The remaining components were amazing, though- the slice of included bacon was thick, chewy, and even a little crispy at the ends. It balanced out the bread wonderfully along with the sharp tang of the asiago, slightly melted from the heat of the chicken.
Like the other sandwich, the lettuce added a welcomed bitter contrast to the rich flavors and was bound together by the ranch sauce, which was strong enough to give a kick to the whole package, but didn’t overpower any one ingredient.

All in all, I was really impressed with these. The interesting ingredient combinations and  high-quality feel of the sandwich gave me deli or coffee shop quality at a fast food prices. I’ve seen things like this sell for around eight bucks at organic coffee places, so this is a wonderful compromise. I’d love to see new versions of these on the market soon!

Domino’s Pizza Introduces Gluten-Free Crust

On their website, Domino’s revealed the nation-wide introduction of its gluten-free crust. However, due to the large scale of its operation, the crust cannot officially be endorsed to celiac sufferers due to the potential for cross-contamination. An interesting point that we’ll later be exploring as we taste the pizza (also, only available in a 10-inch small regular pizza, artisan varieties excluded) and let you know our take on it.

Check out the press release! Also gotta love the tagline- “gluten-free pizza that doesn’t taste like the box it came in.” We’ll see about that, Domino’s!

Dunkin Donuts’ Southwest Steak and Southwest Veggie Breakfast Burritos

The cashier beamed at me like I’d just eaten a dozen doughnuts in one sitting.
 “You got the last two burritos!”
Trying not to sound too excited or too interested in the comings and goings of QSR quasi-Mexican breakfast food, I asked her if they were popular.

“We introduced them today and we just can’t keep them on the shelves!” That settled it for me. After hearing about these via press release, they sounded too good to pass up. Dunkin’ Donuts is less known for their breakfast sandwiches and wraps, having gone through strange hybridized products in the last few years. Waffle sandwiches, fruity bagels, and sausage biscuits didn’t make the cut, but I believe they may have a contender on their hands with the new Southwest Steak and Southwest Veggie breakfast burritos.
My first indicator that these would be good? The latter contains sweet potato, a component I’ve never seen used in D ‘n’ D products before, along with roasted corn, black beans, scrambled eggs, and cheese. The former, a more standard meat ‘n’ potatoes flavor, was advertised as containing seasoned steak, potatoes, various fire-kissed vegetables, eggs, and cheese. Both burritos were about the size and thickness of a TV remote control, roughly six inches long and sealed tightly with a uniform brown, bubbly crisp. That’s definitely a good sign, as nothing can bring down a burrito more than a chalky, crumbly tortilla. These had the added benefit of carrying a salty, grilled flavor on the shell, almost like a taco shell, without seeming greasy or filmy.
The tortillas held together wonderfully and contained all the fillings while still remaining soft and yielding to each bite. Whatever size they used was perfectly proportionate to the filling, which extended from edge to edge and filled the center of the tortilla, bulging slightly out of the seam. The veggie burrito was outstanding for a fast-food breakfast item. It had a predominantly smoky chipotle accent from the peppers and an underlying sweetness from the potatoes, which, as the most plentiful ingredient, were up front and center.

All the ingredients were well-cooked without being mushy, a typical complaint of the nuked veggies used in these premade filling mixes, and the beans and corn added a crisp texture and additional layer of flavor to the sandwich. The cheese wasn’t really noticeable but bound all the ingredients together well. While this definitely could have used a little hot sauce, the smoky heat of the peppers wasn’t shy at all.
The steak burrito was definitely the mushier, saltier one of the bunch, crammed with pieces of steak and potato. Both were texturally indistinguishable but well-seasoned with heft and body. Calling it steak is a little overzealous, on par with calling a Big Wheel a Ferrari. It has the texture of loosely chopped sausage. Like the veggie burrito, this was also spiced, but not necessarily spicy. The eggs and cheese played a bigger role in this and I felt like this had a more breakfasty feel than the other.

 I enjoyed how much meat there was in proportion to the other ingredients. For three dollars apiece, they were both filled very generously. If you skipped breakfast but don’t yet feel like lunch, one or two of these will really hit the spot.

Prometheus Springs Chili Mango

Happy Cinco de Mayo. Or at least it would be a happy one if going to a Mexican restaurant around here wasn’t like playing Russian Roulette. We have two decent Mexican places here, one of which is open on erratic days, and the other of which is a popular favorite of parents with screaming kids. Both were overflowing with Corona-pickled bros tonight. There are two more places, but with menu items like quesabbqburrito mashup with fried refried deep-fried beans, is there really even a point? I digress. We were tired and went the sandwich route this year, which was as delicious or possibly even more delicious than hearing David Bowie through a synthesizer-enhanced Dobro. But that doesn’t mean that we didn’t celebrate.

Prometheus Springs is quickly becoming my new favorite thing ever, and that’s not solely because their logo is “fire for the mortals” or due to their adorable usage of emoticons on their packaging. Or even because they send this flavor over for us to try. It’s because, quite simply, they’re freaking badass. Look at those flavors. Ignore, for a moment, that their logo looks like something you’d dream of, but never dare, tattoo on your body. Ourobouros is like, “Yeah, I’m eating my own tail. U mad bro?” Put aside the fact that there are six different ways to prepare this drink on the side of the bottle. Instead please check out the flavors. Lychee Wasabi. Citrus Cayenne. It’s silly to even review this because it gets a ten. They all get a ten. Ten for you, Glen Coco. We have spent upwards of one 2012 Toyota’s worth, or two 1998 Neon’s worth, on Pomegranate Black Pepper alone.

Regardless, it’s good to know what’s out there in the great, wide, refrigerated world, kicking Nantucket Nectar’s ass and making Juicy Juice its bitch. Chili Mango has a nose that seasoned connoisseurs will immediately recognize as a mid-90’s Snapple Mango Madness, with a clean, floral scent, almost delicate, and underlying sharpness. The chili has awakened. The flavor is by no means sharp, though. While I was left wishing the mango was a little richer in this, lacking the thick indulgence of mango nectar or juice, the acidity and general flavor was clear and pure. The spice comes and goes as a prickle, but it’s a jolt on the back of your tongue. Not unpleasant or bitter, and in no way tasting like Tabasco or even chili powder’s pungency. Just clean heat and a little buzz to start- or end- the day with.

Krispy Kreme Limited Edition Glazed Lemon Pie

Finals! They make me want to cry and laugh and tear out my hair and smash my computer and take a road trip to Tennessee and binge eat a lot of cheese and never, ever, ever write another paper using the following phrases ever again: hegemonic, platitudinous, sublimity, dialectic, linguistic, and mutated hybrid logic game. Luckily, I’m a lightweight and can easily coast on the sugar rush of a strategically placed cookie or hastily gulped Coke, its syrup streaming down my shirt as I write yet another analysis of subjective feminist literature 18th century based academic spamming keyword having. Ugh. I’m surprised I can string together a single sentence before wanting.

And that’s where the pies from Krispy Kreme come in. In addition to quelling my fear of failing out of the 94th best national university, it also brought back some serious nostalgia to my brain, serving as an edible testimony to The One Time Connecticut Was Special And Something Nobody Else in New England Had Before Sonic. We had a short-lived Krispy Kreme. It didn’t end well. But these are a pretty damned good replacement when I need a hot doughnut fix (Editor’s Note: Check Urban Dictionary before posting thi-eeeeeeeeeeeeeew.) and don’t feel like hitchhiking to New Jersey in the process.

The new pies come in your standard fruit flavors, like apple and cherry, but the new limited edition summer flavor is lemon pie. Instead of incorporating bitter lemon peel or sugared lemon pieces or miniature lemons or anything trendy and potentially gross, they’ve gone the classic route: lemon cream. And boy, is it ever delicious. That is, if you’re looking for another way to ingest 400 calories, which is like saying that buying around 1,600 gumballs is a good way to spend that extra $400 you’ve got lying around. It’s both excessive and a little too indulgent for the average beast.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the flavor- there’s something to be said for a mass-produced dessert that is able to accurately mimic the joy of eating homemade diner-esque pie, but I digress. I’ve always had an affinity for hand-held pies, this one is no different. The cream filling is nestled in a rather thick, doughy crust, flaky and yielding with each bite. Krispy Kreme touts the fact that these are freshly made and best enjoyed no more than a day after purchase. Surprisingly, the whole pastry comes together well without being overly sweetened, a typical offense for snacks of this ilk. It has a tangy, fresh flavor abundant in citrus delight and doesn’t shy away from a little bitterness from the lemon rind. While I thought the thick, sticky layer of glaze on top was a hair too much for me, I did like that it reminded me very much of a souped-up version of what the company is most famous for- doughnuts! Don’t discount these if you see them in the supermarket. They soar well beyond the Hostess Fruit Pies of the world.

Starbucks Limited Edition Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino Ice Cream

Suckers. While most students are studying up for their finals this week at their local Starbucks, getting distracted by organic apple chips and hot sorority asses, I’ve eliminated the middle man and am sitting here, writing sixteen different papers with a pint of this new limited edition Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino ice cream courtesy of Starbucks.
You might be wondering what this is made of. While I was initially of the assumption that this would contain the dregs of vapidly sipped, half-finished Frappuccinos and vapidly typed, half-written novels, it’s actually a blend of strawberry and vanilla ice cream with chunks of frozen strawberries. In that sense it officially has 100% more strawberries than the strawberry frap. What gives?
Despite the fact that there’s no coffee in this, it’s definitely got enough sugar to keep you fueled well through whatever the night may bring, keeping you awake despite late-night singalongs from the resident guitar douche, surprise RA checks to investigate the burnt popcorn smell you’ve been trying to cover up for the last decade, and even your partially-horny animal roommate’s repetitive playing of Gotye. The pint is designed like an oversized coffee cup, or a regular sized coffee cup if you’re the type of person who enjoys cups that can comfortably fit the entire contents of a wine bottle and clearly demarcates the flavor and its ensuing limited edition status. One can only hope that with the success of this ice cream, Starbucks will release a similar “limited edition” stamp that it will imprint upon the tattooed foreheads of its less popular dreadlocked barristas.

It’s a pretty darn good ice cream. While I’m typically a staunch supporter of only cacao-laced ice creams, this does a good job making fruit less fruity and more like a milkshake, as all fruit should be. The swirl, a muted pink color, permeates the entire pint and the texture is thick and rich like most high-quality ice creams, with very little air. For me, this tastes pretty close to the original drink- heavily vanilla-influenced with a very creamy flavor and a secondary fruitiness. Strawberry lite, if you will, and although I looked very hard, I found little in the way of frozen strawberries outside of a few errant seeds.

I’m not sure where this fits into the spectrum of ice cream consumers. It seems like if you like chocolate ice cream, you typically stick to ice creams with a chocolate base. And I have the feeling that fruit-lovers will feel a little cheated at the lack of fruit chunks and diminished fruit flavor. Kids won’t get the reference and likely prefer something a bit more Red Lake 14ified. I guess if you’re a die-hard Starbucks lover or know someone who is, it would make a fun novelty gift.