Sunday, October 18, 2015

I'll say this people either love peanut butter or they are allergic to it. Or at least that's what it seems. As the health food craze continues, I shouldn't call it a craze actually, it' a movement towards better eating and it's legit. Peanut Butter is a food item that can have a lot of positive benefits and sometimes represent something of a treat. So along with Jif, Skippy is working hard to establish new items in their portfolio.

Skippy P.B. Bites are items that can be used as a quick snack after school and for lunches. Small poppable bites they come in two flavors, double peanut butter and peanut butter pretzel. in my household we tried the latter and they are pretty decent. You have to like peanut butter for sure because the outer portion is a peanut butter shell with a core of pretzel which makes the outside part palatable when you bite into it. the peanut butter is still overwhelming so the double peanut butter I think would be too much for my tastes.

Now while I thought it was alright, my son enjoyed these immensely, taking the entire cup for himself and snacking on it over several days. If you are looking for something that you can have around for the kids when they get out of school and before athletic games this is a great little snack to keep around. They have a little bit of protein as well to help stave off hunger.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Today I had the pleasure of stopping at the corner bakery cafe, which is a chain similar to panera bread in some ways in that they sell baked items, sandwiches, salads and soups. They also offer pancakes and full style breakfast not just oatmeal and sandwiches. There is a nice counter which has the pastries, cookies and cakes that they sell.

I ordered a Turkey sandwich with havarti cheese on a pretzel roll with a spicy mustard/mayo. I did not get the onions or tomatoes that normally come with the sandwich but I do feel like there should have been something green at least offered. Some sort of lettuce or crunchy green would have been welcome, although I love Havarti Cheese which was on the sandwich. The pretzel roll itslef was nice and soft, could have been slightly more "pretzel-ish" but it was still good.

I also decided to indulge in several desserts, lemon hand pie, mini chocolate bundt cake, and a chocolate whoopie pie. The mini bundt cake itself is very chocolatey and moist. The frosting on top was a bit much but it isn't a bad topping at all. It's almost as good as the chocolate cake that I make at home. The whoopie pie has the same good chocoalte cake around a creamy icing that at first glance I didn't think I would like but turned out to be better than my expectations. It also has more flavor in it than most whoopie pies that are just sugary.

Finishing up is the lemon hand pies which I feel like not many people are the most fond of. Me I enjoy Lemon pie a bit so I had to give these a try. The crust is fine, it could be a little more flavorful but it isn't bad at all. The powdered sugar works well with the lemon pie as well and it isn't too sweet or bitter so this was another win.

The service there was a bit slow at first however. There was a long line and I'm not sure if it was some of the customers with overly complicated orders or the staff. Once I did put in my order it was very quick for my order to get completed and given to me. The food is at least a four but the time spent waiting in line dropped it down a notch.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, October 9, 2015

Jif is one of the most aggressive brands right now when it comes to expansion into other areas with their product lines. They have individual cups, cookies and cookie bars. They also have extended into the area where Nutella has been making their money, the Hazelnut spread category.

This Jif spread is for snack, desserts, and cooking. A ribbon of  cream with broken up chocolatecookie pieces runs between the chocolate Hazelnut spread. Taste wise, it's sweet, and chocolatey but the cookies and cream ribbon doesn't add much to the flavor or change things because the Hazelnut chocolate is so strong. It looks cool in the jar but doesn't do much for me. It's not bad but it isn't something that is revolutionary either.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

So there is yet another new spot in the local area for on demand Artisan pizzas and it was one I was looking forward to seeing once this trend really began to flesh itself out. MOD pizza. One of the things I have been watching closely was the proximity of these chains to one another and it seems that there is little overlap for most of them but it is starting to make me think of the numerous sub shops that exist locally. But hey, I'm willing to continue giving these places a try as they pop up.

First up, there is a menu which is pretty good and does have a lot of signature selections with a top ten of pie flavors that they offer. The design is more of the rustic reclaimed wood and dark hard grays, blacks and silver. The chairs all look like they were left over from Shake Shack. Mod does offer one major thing that most pizza places don't offer, milkshakes. The layout also has a much better setup for the pizza turner who uses a small metal paddle for the 11 inch pizzas and not a massive one which is blocked by the counter at some of the other places. In many of them I think they put more of a premium on the customer seeing the pizza than they need to.

I ordered a "Mad Dog" pizza which is the classic red sauce, meatballs, sausage and pepperoni. I opted to not get the sausage because I'm not a big fan of sausage honestly. I also ordered cinnamon strips and dipping sauce. The pizza itself is pretty good, the meatballs went a little heavy but maybe thats because the location is new and they were alright but i wasn't blown away by their taste. The sauce is pretty good but it does have a little bit of a spice to it. The pepperoni's were perfect. Aged well with a good spice to them and the cheese blend was fresh and top notch. At the end of the day, the crust of course tells the tale and the MOD crust is pretty good. I still think that bagby pizza is a little better but that's a local place which you're not going to catch everywhere. It bubbled up nicely and had a good crunch and didn't completely fall apart as I ate it.

The dessert I purchased, the cinnamon strips was a 5 inch pizza crust with butter and cinnamon on it, Simple right. The strips themselves could have been put into the oven a tad bit longer to get some more crispness- that would have made it perfect. However, this was all before I tasted the syrup/sauce of creamy cinnamon sugar goodness that was extra delicious. That dipping sauce is a highlight and it might be worth a visit on it's own I enjoyed it so much.

Taken altogether the pizza was excellent as was the dessert which definitely puts the entire experience up a couple of notches. This particular location is pretty new outside of the Columbia Mall which probably affected the staff and their relative inexperience with some aspects of the menu. However as they get some more practice, things should get better.