Sour Pickle Balls

In an age where children are born with their own Gmail accounts, it’s easy to feel shafted on the social media front. I hear you, disgruntled children of the teens. It’s not easy having to remember both that you love potatoes and a randomized ten digit code signifying so, potatoluvr593857381. OkCupid makes you slap an -asaurus or -taco to your name as if those are acceptable suffixes for quirkiness. There are entire businesses dedicated to suffix generation. It’s not easy out there. Have a pickle ball.DSC_2725 Continue reading “Sour Pickle Balls”

Best New Chocolates at the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show

For the sixth year of covering the Fancy Food Show, I’ll be sending a correspondent in my absence and salivating enough to create a need for more bridges in Pittsburgh. This year, I scoped the scene for the best chocolatiers and their wares and compiled the most unique products to look out for. Consider it a walking chocolate tour of the Fancy Food Show!

1. Theo Salted Licorice Caramels
One of the best chocolates this year, Theo’s bitter and savory caramels perfectly exemplify umami, with smoked sea salt, fennel powder, and a creamy licorice caramel center.
wpid-img_20150515_112627673_hdr.jpg2. Ticket Grasshopper Pie
This nostalgic bar, inspired by fan family recipes and classic childhood treats, is embedded with chunks of chocolate cookies and swirls of creamy mint chocolate. It tastes like ice cream and eats like a candy bar. Continue reading “Best New Chocolates at the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show”

Road Trip: Hartford to Pittsburgh

I am settled in Pittsburgh after a weekend of driving, eating, and blasting Queen along the highway. This wasn’t as involved of a drive as last year’s, but it was still plenty of fun, with many neat stops along the way. I spent the night in Williamsport, PA, about halfway between Hartford and Pittsburgh, and stopped in Milford and State College for a rest each day on the hunt for breweries, coffee, and dive bars.wpid-img_20150528_123244664_hdr.jpg Continue reading “Road Trip: Hartford to Pittsburgh”

The Top Five Coffees in Austin, Texas

We were so smitten with Dai Due in November that we completely forgot to wax poetic about the rest of Austin– the beautifully walkable streets, the gorgeous views of the city from up above, the amazing pie, the meat, and the coffee we ate. And now, our five favorite coffees that kept us chugging from noon to night.wpid-img_20141106_111959836.jpg Continue reading “The Top Five Coffees in Austin, Texas”

Croissunday at Nadège Patisserie, Toronto, ON

When we were in Toronto, we rented an apartment in Queens West, a neighborhood Vogue rated second only to Tokyo as one of the coolest in the world. No lie there- it was teaming with interesting places to shop, eat, explore, and see, with wonderful art and music around every corner. Not a block away was Nadège Patisserie, a bonafide slice of Paris in the middle of Canada. We were lucky enough to be there right before Croissunday, a yearly event with fifteen limited flavors of croissants, starting at 8am and ending when the bakeries run out. I waited in line for six flavors of their finest and after devouring them, we decided they were the best we’d had in or out of France.wpid-img_20150308_071354346_hdr.jpg Continue reading “Croissunday at Nadège Patisserie, Toronto, ON”

The Top Five Coffees in Toronto, Canada

I’m a douche, but I’ll never be later than a month. Still a douche. It’s okay. I’m here. State of the union, I have a job and will be exploring and documenting Pittsburgh. Judging by my current poor track record, that will show up on your newsfeed sometime in October or possibly when I’m in my mid-forties, it’s hard to keep track at this point. I’ll try to keep up, you just keep on hangin’. This compilation of curated coffees was from March, when The Bedfellow and I drove to Toronto over spring break. Cool city, cooler coffee, and coffee cocktails to boot. Back to whey soon enough, but for now, check out our coffee picks here.wpid-img_20150305_170850009_hdr.jpg Continue reading “The Top Five Coffees in Toronto, Canada”

Patric Chocolate Limited Edition Double-Vanilla Orange Sherbet Chocolate Bar

There’s something ridiculously indulgent about having a full bar with no perforations or implicit ideas about how you should parcel it out. Patric’s emblazoned signature implies one rule- eat it. And you should, because it’s the older, more sophisticated brother of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, with deeper, oiled nuances and natural caramel and butterscotch notes to make the unctuousness off the charts like a fruit off the tree from another planet. And yes, it’s milk chocolate- and not just milk chocolate, milk chocolate with whole milk powder for that dreamsicle dream. Sue me, that’s my favorite. It has a deep bone-like snap and satisfying thickness with a fresh aftertaste that reminds me, to the letter, of a coffee I had in St. Louis at Kaldi’s Coffee, a Mexican coatepec cold brew that really manages to evoke the sherbert that the name implies.DSC_2572 Continue reading “Patric Chocolate Limited Edition Double-Vanilla Orange Sherbet Chocolate Bar”

Goodbye to all that // Foodette Turns 6.

“About this business of being a gentleman: I paid so heavily for the fourteen years of my gentleman’s education that I feel entitled, now and then, to get some sort of return.”

I don’t remember when I stopped caring, but I remember exactly where I was when I started to rationalize it. It was October of my senior year of college- I was walking to work and realized I had posts due. One of them was here, one was on my new website, Nobly Rotten, and suddenly I realized that not only did I have a great deal of writing to do, I had to drink a bottle of wine. My relationship with drinking has always been a kind one– wine knowledge started early and became something I could share with my father, gin was always convivial and kept me bright and the rest, fine to keep around for company. Screenshot 2015-04-16 at 9.12.51 AMSo drinking to write and writing to drink felt natural, and I started the website. It was a process- a difficult client relationship with a web developer, starting SEO from scratch, and accessing an entirely new client base that I so badly wanted to enmesh myself with. I don’t know if I wanted another blog so much as that I wanted friends. Continue reading “Goodbye to all that // Foodette Turns 6.”

Royal Sport Charge Blood Orange BCAA-SAA

Royal Sport is the sleek king of the supplement world– eschewing the bulky, half-filled tubs of whey protein and creepy creatine supplements, covered in monsters like a sixth grader’s trapperkeeper for a matte design with minimalistic typeface. It’s what I imagine hipsters would have started on Etsy before Etsy sucked balls, kickstarted with sticker rewards, and then sold to GNC as an exclusive line. They’re made by Cellucor as a GNC exclusive and come in whimsical flavors and high prices.wpid-wp-1427652678112.jpeg Continue reading “Royal Sport Charge Blood Orange BCAA-SAA”

Nutrex Research Muscle Infusion Black Vanilla Villain

Nutrex bills this as the best underground bodybuilding protein powder. Yeah, and the Vitamin Shoppe is all in Tyler Durden’s head. Aside from being the worst/most hilarious marketing campaign to hit the shelves- personally, I think “Nutrex Research” sounds more sinister at face value than “Muscle Infusion Black”, this stuff is clean. wpid-wp-1426514593246.jpeg25g’s in the blend, 130 calories, and seven different proteins, although they will not list those proteins. That is the extent of their evil genius, though, and it is one that goes well with fruit and deadlifts. The sole complaint? It smells awful. Like, stale gym locker awful. When mixed with liquid, the odor goes away immediately- it isn’t Cellucor’s cupcake and ass-kicking excitement, but don’t let it deter you from trying it out.wpid-wp-1426514536706.jpegI mean, look at that. This powder incorporates better than a Delaware filing clerk who has just received a fifty-year service award. The red cup clashes with her pink undertones, but for two cups of raspberries, three scoops of protein, i-Satori BioGro, whole milk yogurt, and a can of raspberry seltzer, it is smoother than Kenny G on a Slip ‘n’ Slide. With solely milk and water it also mixes well, with a Nesquik-like effect. Or Quik, if you’re still young and have your best years ahead of you.wpid-wp-1426514577560.jpegFrankly, this stuff is masquerading as a bad guy but is truly ridonkulous. Yeah, that’s right, 2007, I’m taking back the slang that  was never allowed to use as a teenager. Vanilla Villain, you are not fighting The Hulk, nor have you turned me into a super-villain, although I have woken up in the morning to piles of jewels and gold bars that I had not owned or claimed as taxable income before. (Results may vary.)

You are so secretly good, secretly basic and perfect that I didn’t even bother to take a photo of you in unchanged form. Be yourself, Vanilla Villain. Just do you.rating9