Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review: Taco Bell Quad Steak Burrito

So here is another Taco Bell review. Anyone who looks at this blog often will see Taco Bell Reviews most.
So I find it kind of ironic this came out the same week as all this controversy regarding Taco Bell's meat quality. I do not think this has anything to do with that being as one, the problem is with their ground meat, and two, this came out way to fast. Anyways a quick description of what a quad steak burrito is. As described by the Taco Bell website, it is "Four portions* of Taco Bell’s new thick and tender steak, all wrapped in a warm flour tortilla filled with seasoned rice, fire-roasted salsa, reduced-fat sour cream and cheddar cheese." So at first I thought this thing just sounded boring. It sounded like another typical Taco Bell item, just filled with more meat to help push Taco Bell's new steak. 

Now it definitely succeeded on the steak front. There is lots of steak in this thing. I do not think I got all four portions in mine personally, I would guess I got three, but still thats a lot of steak. Another thing this burrito has going for it is size. It is big, not huge, but definitely filling. I got just the burrito and I was pretty full, which is rare for me to do with one item from Taco Bell. Another thing that really kicked the burrito up is the fire roasted salsa. I was impressed with how much flavor a little bit of that stuff gets. I really liked it when I put it on things when it came out as a new sauce and it does a good job here adding flavor. 

Now I do have some gripes. First thing is I feel like, as I said, I got screwed on my steak. the burrito had way too much rice. This is probably just because my Taco Bell is very inconsistent with items, so I cannot say this is the case with everyone. The new steak is also disappointing, I didn't really see much of a difference. It just seems to be cut into bigger pieces. It still has that nasty clear goo covering it which freaks me out. My biggest complaint by far is price though. This thing is expensive. I am talking like five dollars expensive. The item is so expensive the combo only comes with the burrito and a drink! I am a cheap guy though so that might not upset everyone like it did me. I am just used to cheap Taco Bell goods. 

Rating- 3/5 "It's Meh"

Overall its worth trying, especially if you like Taco Bell steak. From there you can be the judge, but I am not a very big fan of this thing. Once again Taco bell provided a weak new item. 

On to the next one

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Quickview: Seira Mist Natural and Tastycakes

So I meant to do a review today on Dutch's, a local burger joint here in Fort Worth, but I forgot to take pictures! So here is what you guys get, two reviews of crap.

First up, Sierra Mist Natural!
So again, I am a huge soda junkie. In the war of Coke vs. Pepsi, I have to say I am currently leaning toward Pepsi. Granted it changes pretty often but I would say I like Pepsi products more in general. The one soda Pepsi fails miserably at is the lemon-lime soda. Sprite has been and will continue to be far superior to Sierra Mist. Pepsi recently updated Sierra Mist and added "Natural" to it mentioning there are no artificial ingredients. What this means? Who cares, it still sucks. Sprite has this crisp, refreshing bite to it that makes it so good on a hot summer day. Sierra Mist tries to mask that bite with insane amounts of carbonation, unfortunately that passes after about five minuets. What you get is the same crappy, flat, overly sugary flavored water that you wish you didn't waste that many calories on. It gives me that same nasty sugar-mucus the throwback mountain dew does. Either way I am not a fan of this stuff, Sprite is so much better. 

Rating: 1 Star- "It's Flippin Horrendous!"

Nice try Pepsi, but you fail.

Next up, Tastykakes!!

Now I am from Texas, and quite honestly Tastykakes in Texas are about as rare as snowmen. I got these because my aunt sent my father a box of them for Christmas. Tastykakes are pretty much a type of bakes snack like Hostess. Only better. I have had the pleasure of eating these things for the past month and I am still not sick of them. I have had five different varieties and I have liked them all. There are two things that really separate Tastykakes from Hostess or Little Debby. first is the cakes themselves. They are soft and moist, actually tasting like something baked in the last year. this is a nice contrast from Twinkies and such because those always taste so spongy and fake, whereas these feel fantastic.
The second thing is the icing. Now this stuff reminds me of fondant you find on cakes. It is thick and dense, not very fluffy. It is also sweet, but not overly sugary, which is nice and rare for icing on these sorts of things. Anyways my favorite flavor had to be Butterscotch, just because that is a such an underused flavor anymore and is so good. Especially on baked goods. I am going to just give these things a general ranking though, if you want to know the best kind, let me know.

5 Stars "It's the Bee's Knees"

these are the best baked good snacks out there. If you are somewhere were you cant get them, try em if you get the chance.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Qucikview: Sun Drop

So I was out shopping this afternoon and something caught my eye. The store had a display up that was advertising a soda I have yet to see called Sun Drop. At first I thought it was just a Kroger brand soda but then realized it wasn't. After a quick look up on my phone, turns out its Dr. Peppers version of Mountain Dew. Now I am a soda nut, so I had to try it. Apparently it has been around for a long time, but I have never seen this stuff and according to the internetz Dr. Pepper is trying to push this stuff in 2011. So how does the company that makes the best dark soda do in the green realm?

My first impression was confusion. I was definitely expecting that sugar overload you get when you drink the Dew or Vault. Surprisingly and confusingly (it has 75 grams of sugar in a bottle) you do not get that. My best description of this stuff is take Mountain Dew, Squirt, combine them, and then make it a little less tart. Now I personally think that is a good thing. It is crisp and refreshing, but not too sugary tasting. I don't get the sugar-coated-teeth feeling drinking this I normally do when having the Dew. Also it has a bit of a creamy after taste (don't ask me how), which gives it a uniqueness to it. Apparently it also has real orange juice in it and more caffeine then Mountain Dew.

Rating: 4/5 - "It's Just Swell"

I definitely enjoy this stuff, I don't know if I like as much as Mountain Dew, but I could definitely drink more of it. It has a more subdued citrus flavor and doesn't feel as sugary. If you are a fan of the Radiation Green soda I say give it a go. For me, this is gonna be a new regular at my gas station road trip stops.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Whataburger Steak Sauce Double

Being born and raised in Texas, I grew up with Whataburger. I have been to the first one a few times and have always been a pretty good fun. As a kid it was the fast food even my parents didn't mind. As a college student, it is one of three fast food places open 24 hours so as you can imagine, it is pretty popular (nothing is better then a Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit at 3 AM). Whataburger comes out with specials pretty frequently, not Taco Bell frequent but pretty close. They tend to stick to the same ones too, maybe trying a new one once a year. Today I tried the current one.

What a got: A Whataburger Steak Sauce Double Combo

How was it you ask? It was...... pretty good. There are a few things to point out about Whataburger first off. It is greasy and big. This place takes the "everything is bigger in Texas" quite serious. There burgers are not tiny, and neither are the drinks and fries. Whataburger has to have some of the tastiest plain burgers out there. They are always juicy, and unlike a McDonalds patty were it just taste like bland beef, it actually has some seasoning to it. The slice of cheese was plenty, if there was two peices it probably would have been too thick. The bacon was dissapointingly soggy. This place has always been hit or miss on bacon, it either is crunchy and perfect or soft and nasty. On the plus though, they are good size bacon strips which is nice to find at a fast food place, as opposed to the bacon paper at other places. 

The thing that really seperates this from a normal burger is the sauce and grilled onions though. I love me some grilled onions and Whataburger knows how to do em. They are browned just right, not grilled to slop, but not too crunchy either. I know in the past they used to just use A1, but they don't show the A1 bottle in the ads anymore so they might have changed. Doesn't really matter cause it tastes the same and it gives the burger a nice twang to it that normal BBQ sauce doesnt do. 

There are a few things that upset me though. The first is price, This thing cost almost two dollars more than a normal and i don't get half the stuff on it. Granted grilled onions are probably not cheap to make for fast food and Whataburger has always been about quality, not price. They might be one of the only fast food places left without a real value menu. another peeve is the fries at Whataburger always upset me. They are good when you find a crispy one but most of the time they are soggy. I don't know if they need to change the oil used or leave them in longer but this has always bugged me. 

Rating: 3/5 "It's Meh"

All in all I think it is worth trying. I just dont see why they cannot make this a permanint item and just have grilled onions and A1 on the menu all the time. The burger specials at this place never seem to have anything extra exciting. I still wish they would just have the honey BBQ chicken strip sandwich all year, that thing is the best..... yummmmm..

Tell next time

Friday, January 14, 2011

Taco Bell Beefy Crunch Burrito

So this is remarkably my first Taco Bell post, but certainly not my last. You will all soon learn I have a huge love for the Bell and eat it way tooooo often. I do not really know why I like it so much because it is all sooo bad and horrible for me but I don't care, it is my biggest food flaw. I do understand it all really sucks and everything there is pretty much the same thing in a different package but damn I love it all.

So what I got is the 99 cent Beefy Crunch Burrito. It is A burrito filled with beef, nacho cheese, rice, sour cream, and something you will not find in any other Taco Bell item yet, the Flaming Hot Frito's. Your typical taco bell fair for 99 cents but still a pretty full burrito.

Okay So the biggest thing about this is obviously the Frito's, which do give the burrito a great crunch. Unfortunately they are not that hot so the burrito itself is kind of bland. If they sprayed some volcano sauce on this or something is would have been better, but then it would just be a volcano burrito so no point. The Frito's are all that really makes this thing special. I have gotten this thing a few times and if you do not get enough Frito's it kind of sucks. Thankfully my local Taco Bell loads up on them and I am getting my Frito fix.

Rating 3/5- "It's Meh"

So all in all I suppose this is an alright item for only 99 cents. I love the stuff thats has crunch at taco bell so I like it ,but it is just too bland. If they raise the price, which I am sure they will if this does well, I don't really see myself buying this again. As far as a value burrito though, it is a good addition. Give it a shot while it's still cheap.

Party on Wayne, Party on Garth

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Virgil's Root Beer, Breaking Bad, and Red Dead Redemption Quickys

Alright so here is something I will probably do every so often, especially with classes beginning soon. I call them quickys, they will just be quick reviews of various things. Tonight I am doing Virgil's Root Beer, Breaking Bad Season 1, and Red Dead Redemption.

Virgil's Root Beer
So I originally got Virgil's because I needed Root Beer to cook  some pulled pork in and wanted some good stuff to cook it in. Virgil's prides itself on being micro brewed, all natural, old fashioned root beer. If you look at the ingredients they list things like Anise, Licorice, Vanilla, Clove, Molasses, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon among others, and let me say they all come through strong. This stuff is the most flavorful root beer I have ever had. Now keep in mind you don't see High Fructose Corn syrup or sugar in that list. This stuff is all natural and taste crisp and fresh. It isn't too thick or creamy like some fake root beer. Also the carbonation level is perfect, just the right amount of bubbles.  The only downside I see of Virgil's is it is kind of pricy, I'm talking four buck for a pack of four, on sale. That is the price you pay for quality though.

Rating 5/5- "It's the Bee's Knees"

Breaking Bad: Season One

So I know I am a little late to the party on this one but I promised I would get to seeing this show someday and this holiday season I finally got to. AMC has been pumping out good shows for a while now and this was one of the first. In a nutshell the show is about a down on his luck chemistry teacher and father of soon to be two children (one who is handicapped) who finds out he had terminal lung cancer and 6 months to live. In a last ditch effort to provide for his family he decides to use his knowledge as a chemist to start producing the purest meth possible and teams up with a former screw up student to help him deal the drugs. This is a fascinating show that has a fantastic mixture of drama and humor. The pacing is fantastic and keeps the viewer on the edge every episode. Cranston in a marvelous actor throughout the whole show and really gives that attitude of a man who is over his head but still doesn't give a damn. Anyways this show is one of the most intriguing I have seen in a while and the fact it is on cable blows me away because this is an HBO caliber show. Check it out ASAP, you wont regret it

Rating 5/5- "It's the Bee's Knees"

Red Dead Redemption for the Xbox 360

Now I first have to admit this is a review without playing the multiplayer of this game, just single player. Rockstar games is known for it's Grand Theft Auto series and this is pretty much that same structure, just with a western cowboy theme. I might also mention its not quite as good either. Do not get me wrong, this is a good game, just not the best Rockstar has done. My biggest fault with this game is it just drags on way too long. As like the GTA series, the game has thousands of side missions and thing you can do, only now in a western settings, which is cool but they feel unnecessary. I literally did just the main missions and the game still took me 36 hours to beat. I like getting my moneys worth and all but that is a tad excessive for just one play through. The story is not as compelling as it could have been either, I liked the story of Neversoft's GUN better. I prefer cars to horses personally as well and it can get frustrating riding all across the west. Now they gameplay was fantastic. Shooting people with the dozens of guns in this game is satisfying and you can feel the power behind them. The leveling up system is well put together and helpful. Dueling people in the streets is compelling and nerve racking every time and using the dead eye feature to get six head-shots with six bullets never gets old. My only complaint with gameplay is shooting on horses can be frustrating because controlling yourself and the horse can be difficult. The environments and soundtrack and great and really match the game well but the character models look a bit strange. Anyways I still liked the game, but I feel like it doesn't quite live to Rockstar standards. I am excited to see what they do with LA Noir this year though.

3/5 Stars - "It's Just Meh"

See y'all on the flip side

Thursday, January 6, 2011

In-N-Out Burger

So being a Texan and never living anywhere outside the state of Texas makes going to In-N-Out a real treat. I still remember the first time I went, thinking there was no way a place that only has two food items on the menu will be that good. Well I was wrong as usual and In-N-Out is one of my favorite burger chains......ever.

What I got- Double Double, Animal Style with Animal Fries and a Neapolitan shake and a water.

So I think most people understand how In-N-Out works but I will explain quickly anyways. They have burgers, fries, shakes and thats about it. They have a "Secret Menu" that is not that secret if you know anything about In-N-Out. The menu stops at a double cheeseburger but you can get literally any size, you just have to ask. Another thing not on the menu that is my absolute favorite is the option for Animal Style. This just means grilled onions and more of the "secret sauce", which is just their version of Thousand Island Dressing. You can make fries Animal Style also, just add cheese to the above. 

If I had to choose just one plain burger to eat the rest of my life, In-N-Out holds the crown at the moment. I have a lot of burger places I love but In-N-Out just has the best plain old fashioned burger. No tricks, no gimmicks, no special toppings. It is just a toasted bun, thin but juicy burger, a thick slice of cheese, all the veggies (which are crisp and fresh), and just the right amount of special sauce. Simply put, it is magical how beautifully basic it is. The fries are crisp and golden, and once smothered with cheese, grilled onions, and special sauce they are the best way to eat fries. The shakes are frothy and flavorful, but not too strong, they are not too thick, and not too watery. I got a Neapolitan, which is just a combo of all the three flavors and they are all delicious by themselves.

Rating 5/5 - "It's the Bee's Knees"

I am glad In-N-Out sticks to the basics and just perfects that. I will admit though I am curious what It would be like if they made a guacamole burger or something like that, especially because everything i so fresh there. Either way I would rather they stick to what they do and leave that stuff to the Smash Burgers of the world. I recently have learned In-N-Out is coming to Fort Worth and I really hope it is because I can test if my love for this place is true or if it is just because I get it so rarely. Anyways as for now I love this place. 

Tell next time,


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Favorite Albums of 2010

So this will be my first music blog, and it will be a best of list. This will give you a pretty good idea of my music taste. They are pretty varied but I tend to listen to obscure bands. Anyways here is my list of favorite albums of 2010, in no particular order.

Norma Jean: Meridional

It was close between this album and The Chariot's Long Live, but this album takes the cake. The first half is the Norma Jean we all know and love and can be summed up as organized chaos. The second half of this album is where it Norma Jean starts to look like a pretty lady in a new dress. Norma Jean experiments a lot and I hope they continue to do so in their next album because it sounds fantastic. Moody, ambient, yet still rocks in that Norma Jean way. 

Rating: 4/5 - "It's Just Swell"

Fair- Disappearing World

Fair is a band led by front man Aaron Sprinkle. I doubt many know who he or his band are, but you might be familiar with some of his other projects. He is the main producer behind bands like Mae, Anberlin, Emery, Copeland, and many more. As you can imagine with a mastermind like this at the wheel this album is genius. This is music at its best. A basic, simple rock album with no gimmicks or tricks that manages to fit with any mood. I listened to this album after a great first date, and I did after that same first date dumped me 6 months later. This is my favorite album of the year, only because I know I will be able to listen to this years later and it will still shine

Rating 5/5 - "It's the Bee's Knees!!"

Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

My first preview of this album is when Kanye posted a mix of Monster of twitter. I remember hearing that thinking, "holy balls, if this album is anywhere near this good, it will be AWESOME". Turns out, it is that good and it is awesome. Between the hip-hop and rap oriented Monster, Power, and Hell of a Life to the more pop/R&B oriented Runaway, All of the Lights, and Devil in a New Dress, this album hits all of the bases. A lot of people complain the last few songs are weak but I disagree, they are just different, in a good way. This is by far Kanye's best album and easily the best rap/hip hop album of the year.

Rating 5/5- "It's The Bee's Knees"

Bonus- Kanye put out a remix of Power with Jay Z when he was doing his G.O.O.D. Fridays releases. If you have yet to hear it, find it. It is better then the original in my humble opinion.

House of Heroes- Suburba

So I think House of Heroes got the royal shaft on this one. This album just happened to drop the same day as another very popular band's album of a similar name did. This is the more solid release if you ask me, but once again what do I know!? The album concept by the band was just to write a record that sounds like the best-summer-of-your-life soundtrack and they nail it. Every song in this album is immediately catchy but they all become much more layered and deep after a few listens. Also the bonus track "Galveston" is WAY too good to be just a hidden track.

Rating 5/5- "It's the Bee's Knees"

The Secret Handshake- Night & Day

One word will tell you if this album is for you or not, Motown. This album is so far from anything The Secret Handshake has ever done but it is the best change he could have made. He ditched his stupid, overly used techno, auto tuned beats for some good old fashioned Motown. This album was made by someone who you can tell loves Motown too. The horns sound great, the group choruses hit all the right notes, and his famously corny lyrics have even gotten a bit better (only a bit). Anyways if you are in the mood for something different or just want to something to make you smile, check out this release.

Rating 4/5- "It's Just Swell"

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross-The Social Network Soundtrack

Okay so I know this is a score but OMFG it is soooo good. I remember just watching the trailer for this film and hearing "Hand Covers Bruise" for the first time, I got goosebumps. The soundtrack captivated me the whole film and I knew I had to get it ASAP. I did and I listen to it constantly. It is one of those rare soundtracks which I can put on my ipod and actually listen to like I do normal songs. Everyone has been raving about Daft Punk's Tron Soundtrack but this blows that out of the water. This proofs once again Trent Reznor is still a musical Genius and I hope to hear more of his scores in the future. My favorite soundtrack possibly ever.

Rating 5/5- "It's the Bee's Knees"

Children 18:3 - Rain's 'a Comin'

This band is still one of the most underrated punk bands of the past few years. Their first release had great energy and this one follows through. I guess when you are a punk band singing about 101 Dalmatians it is hard to get the respect you deserve. These guys do know their stuff though. With fast and frantic drums and guitars, smooth baselines, and chaotic yet harmonies melodies, these siblings can rock you pants off. This album never has a dull moment. If you are a fan of older Green Day, Blink 182 or Weezer, check them out ASAP, I promise you will fall in love.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mel's Country Cafe

Okay so here is my first post of sorts. I am originally from the North Houston Area, and one restaurant up there that has become pretty famous is Mel's Country Cafe in Tomball, Texas. The restaurant's claim to fame is the Mel's Mega Burger. It's one of those God-awful creations that just looking at makes you feel full. It is 6 quarter pound hamburger patties, 1 whole pound of bacon, 1/4 pound cheese, and loads of lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions.

The Mel Mega Burger

So the rules are eat in all in an hour, no sharing, no getting up. If you don't want a veggie you can sub it for another beef patty. I have made the attempt at this with my two good friends in high school. Needless to say, it ended poorly. I finished all the meat, one of my friends did that and some veggies, but my third friend, well he got close. He literally had a handful of lettuce left when he had to go vomit it up. We decided that to make this even possible, you need to sub out the pickles for a patty. That is close to two big handfuls worth of pickles, which is way to many. 

Anyways, while afterwords I did not want to see a burger for weeks, on recent trips to Mel's i have tried other things on the menu, including the normal burgers. My verdict is delicious. Mel's has some of the best burgers around. They are juicy, big and flavorful. Mel's also has some of the best catfish in Houston as far as I am concerned and the place is priced reasonably. 

Mel's earns 
4 Stars - It's Just Swell

Mel's has that old school country comfort food appeal and definitely looks the part. It is pretty hard to find but if you ever visit you will see it is almost always crowded and is very popular among the locals. I recommend literally everything on the menu and if you are in the mood to show your Man Vs. Food strength, give the mega burger a try. It will hurt you.

Tell next time,


Btw- here is my breakfast this morning.... damn thats good

Chocolate Chip Waffle, Corn beef hash, bacon, eggs, tortillas, and sparkling OJ

And so it begins...

Alright so I know no one will really be reading this but I figure I am bored and need something to kill some time so this will be a fun productive time project. I mean why not use my obsession of food and music for good and let people know my personal opinions of stuff! I am doing this as a hobby, I am not paid and will try my best not to be biased in my reviews. I plan on updating once or twice a week. I have a pretty simple rating system as well. It is simaler to a five star system and will look like this-

0 Stars- It's an Abomination
1 Star- It's Flippin Horrendous!
2 Stars- It's Not Worth it
3 Stars-It's Just Meh
4 Stars-It's Just Swell!
5 Stars- It's the Bee's Knees

Obviously 5 stars are great and 1 star is really bad. I don't plan on giving a 0 stars rating unless something made me want to pull a Marty McFly and go back in time so I can punch myself in the balls for trying it. Anyways This will be a process but I do plan on getting this going ASAP.

This should be fun.....