Saturday, April 25, 2015

This week's brand new lunch selection was a place called Burger Fi in the new Luarel Town Center. This burger joint has all of the modern claims to fame that are hip with the publiuc these days. Burgers made with fresh more natural if not all natural ingredients, quick but not fast service, and a dining area with exposed wood and aluminum accents.

The thing is I have never been to Shake Shack yet this place seems just like what I expect it to be, only less crowded. The menu board is simple with a regular burger being a little pricey because once you start adding cheese, bacon, specialties it can add up. Small fries are like most places now where you get them dumped in your bag and I had a 'concrete' which I had assumed was a trademarked kind of thing but I guess it isn't. Red Velvet, which was cake swirled with a cream cheese tasting custard.

The burger itself was just alright to me. Maybe it should be with the sauce they make to be at it's best but it really lacked a stand out characteristic. The bacon wasn't memorable either and for a company preaching sustainability, it seemed over done in the take out container which is made from recycled materials but seemed to much. The fries were fine, I like mine a little darker most times but I'm not going to complain about them.

The Red Velvet Concrete was definitely the best thing. The cake asn't too dry and it was a good mix of cake to custard. The custard was smooth and creamy and had good flavor. That one thing was worth it's cost. Overall though I wasn't feeling it very much. The prices aren't great so it isn't a value play, I get it, but for the price I need the flavors to pop and all of the elements to make their mark. Bacon should never be forgettable and the burger really underwhelmed me with the lack of any real flavor.

Rating: 2.5/5

Sunday, April 19, 2015

So I saw these desserts in the store a few times but I decided to bide my time before grabbing some to try. I mean they look really appealing and have all of the great buzz words on them and a premium look, but it took me a while to pull the trigger. I was leaning towards the Key Lime Pie Flavor but then only I would eat them (which isn't always a bad thing) but instead I grabbed a box of strawberry.

The outside of these reminds me of the Strawberry Shortcake Good Humor bars. It was a little smaller than I was expecting as well. The outside is really good, a strong flavor and a slightly soft consistency. I'm sure some will have a little bit more of a crunch but this was fine. The ice cream itself was a disappointment. There was little if any strawberry flavor that I could discern and while it was creamy, it wasn't much better than the run of the mill ice cream. In fact, the Safeway Lucerne brand of ice cream is preferable to this.

At the end of the day, all this is is a premium branded Good Humor bar that isn't as good. I would eat this, and I still want to try the Key Lime to see how it stands on it's own but the value or bang for the buck wasn't there with these bars. I wouldn't suggest you try them unless you are getting a more standout flavor that you can't find other places.

Rating: 2/5

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Simple snacking is big business and in the pretzel game Snyder's of Hanover is definitely a leader in all things, flavors, and shapes. With so many people looking to cut back on starch, carbs, salt, and processed flour, yet still looking for that pretzel flavor and crunch, Snyder's has introduced the line of pretzel poppers for that market.

Thoughts on these, the size is good with it being full of pretzels and not a half nitrogen and air bag like a lot of snack chips. They are definitely easy to pop in your mouth a few at a time and crunch to your heart's content. My beef is with the cheese flavor in the bag that I tried because it didn't have as much of a cheese flavor, it was more salty and garlicky to my taste buds. The other main issue is that the cheese powder doesn't really stick to the pretzel outsides and ends up more on your fingers making this an in the house type of snack where you can lick your fingers in peace. My daughter got the same impressions and she is a pretzel fanatic.

If you're looking for something a little lighter than regular pretzels or better than chips but with the great crunch you might want to look into these, however the flavor in three cheese isn't going to appeal to everyone and the dust will be everywhere so if you cant wipe and wash your hands easily you might want to wait until you hit home (so don't give these to the kids in the back seat).

Rating: 2.5/5

Thursday, April 9, 2015

In search of a more healthy breakfast to get the day started and bored of oatmeal like I am, a new item to try is granola in a cup from Kodiak. You may have seen their pancake and waffle mixes around and they are a bit pricey and from my experience, not really worth it in the taste department. These cups are more budget friendly definitely and an item that will probably be on sale regularly.

I have tried both the vanilla and maple pecan and think they are both pretty good. I mean they have some flavor and can be eaten warmed or with your own preferred yogurt to be a bit more filling and if you have some fresh fruit nearby you can make a quick parfait with little effort. If you are heating be mindful of the amount of milk you put in because it soaks up liquid really quickly and can be a bit of a soup if you add too much.

My only beef with these cups is that the amount of granola is kind of low as a stand alone, so you will want to either use as a snack or add something else to it to make it last a little bit as a breakfast.

Rating: 4.5/5

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Doughnuts are just one of the many "new" rages these days with chefs and amateurs alike all taking the classic simple pastry and making them into something more. Locally, The Fractured Prune has been around for a while and the flagship is Ocean City's location. One just recently opened in the Owings Mills Town Center so I took the kids by to grab a taste (my son had never been) and check out the new place.

First of all it was crazy packed but it was the first day so it was what I expected, yet the wait didn't seem too long considering the quantities that people were ordering and it being the opening. The staff was courteous though it was easy to see they were tired. They managed to keep it moving however and the only hold up was waiting on the cake doughnuts to cook. You see the doughnuts are cooked fresh to order then dipped, tossed, and dribbled with the myriad of toppings that are offered.

They offer a great variety of ready designed specialties and as well you can pick out your own unique set of toppings which they will coat your treat with. The doughnut itself is a cake variety and is pretty tasty with just enough sweetness to give it it's own thing yet be a good canvas for other toppings. They did look a little bit dark but they weren't burnt at all.

Taking a look at some of our selections I chose the caramel and sea salt and it had a bit too much salt on it and they are huge blocks of salt so if ordering tell them to go light. Ocean sand is a staple and favorite of sweet glaze and cinnamon and sugar, nothing spectacular. The Banana cream pie was lacking the banana flavor and i thought the strawberry shortcake was cool.

Overall there is a lot to choose from and like and few flaws unless you don't like this kind of cake doughnut

Rating: 4/5