Friday, February 28, 2014

LOCAL REVIEW: Soon's Sushi Cafe of Kenosha

Alright, everyone, listen up! Kenosha is a tough place to live in. Not only do we have to endure 11 months of winter, but we also have a stunning lack of foreign restaurants. Sure, greasy burgers and 24/7 breakfasts are great and all, because- as the Japanese puts it -us Americans, "...basically like sweet, high fat, high calorie things."
This is true.
But, but, buuuuut... As a Kenoshan- or as a Wisconsinite, even - you have to wonder what the alternative to sweet, high fat, high calorie things is. I suppose the Japanese would know, huh? I guess the only sensible thing would be to go out and try their food. Like sushi! But for many Wisconsinites, this may prove to be a challenge, as- like I said -foreign restaurants are far and few between in our lowly Midwestern state. Most towns in Wisconsin would never have a sushi restaurant, let alone know what sushi is. But thankfully, Kenosha is, like, the fifth biggest city in Wisconsin, so we have one golden sushi joint. One. Technically, there is another sushi restaurant in Pleasant Prairie, a village located in Kenosha County, but I'm focusing on the city of Kenosha alone. 
So, yeah! We have ONE Japanese restaurant. And it's not even really Japanese. It's Korean. But, whatev! That just makes the place all the more unique! What's the name of this place, you may ask? Well, it's Soon's Sushi Cafe- a teeny tiny building tucked away in a really shady party of town. But, hey, I got my pepper spray and have my phone ready to type 911 into any second, so let's go!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

LOCAL REVIEW: Villa D' Carlo's Pizza of Kenosha

If there was any pizzeria in Kenosha that would be considered a "generational" restaurant (well, to my family, at least) -it'd be Villa D' Carlo's. My mom's mom used to work at Villa D's dontown and make the pizzas. My mom and her brothers knew when their pizza was from my grandmother as the best center piece was always missing, and the pizza box would always having something funny written on it, like, "Ron- Sober up! Kids- Go to Bed! Love You, Mom." 
It's no big surprise that, to this day, my mom still orders from Villa D' Carlo's more frequently than any other pizza joint. No, I'm not saying she orders pizza "frequently" as in ALL THE TIME- Hey! How dare you call my mom a lardo! Let me finish! -it's just that, when she DOES order pizza, you can pretty much guarantee it's going to be from Villa D's. And if by some odd chance our family were NOT to order pizza from Villa D' Carlo's, you would hear Mom's near-catchphrase, "It's good... But not as good as Carl's!" as if it were some kind of slogan.
In today's review, instead of focusing on all aspects of this restaurant, I am solely going to focus on one type of food served there, and one alone- the pizza. One reason being that our family usually orders from Carl's instead of going out to eat, so judging the restaurant as a whole would not be fair in this point in time. Another reason being that Carl's pizza is just so famous, it deserves a whole review dedicated to itself. Of course, I can talk about SOME aspects of the customer service at Villa D's too... how employees answer the phone, delivery time, yadda yadda. By the way, I will be reviewing the Villa D' Carlo's that is DOWNTOWN (otherwise known as Carl's East).
So, with that, andiamo! ("Let's go" in Italian).

Sunday, February 23, 2014

REVIEW: Girl Scouts Savannah Smiles Cookies

I've been reviewing all the new cookies that Girl Scouts has just released this Cookie Season: first I went for the Citrus Cranberry Crisps, then I tried the Chocolate Chip Shortbreads. And now that I've got those two out of the way, there aren't any more new Girl Scouts cookies to review! Oh noooooooo! So now... I guess I move on to some slightly older Girl Scouts cookies- em, not old as in stale, but old as in "not the stars of this year's cookie trend." If that makes any sense. So anyway, I don't see a problem with reviewing some has-been cookies, do you? Me neither! So let's be on our way! Today's victim on the cookie dissection block will be Girl Scouts' Savannah Smiles.
One 6 oz. box of costs around $3.75

Friday, February 21, 2014

REVIEW: Kraft Oscar Mayer Selects Chicken Breast Franks

I love Hebrew National's 97% Fat Free Franks, but lately in Health Class, we've been discussing how "bad" and "detrimental" additives and chemicals in food are to your well-being. So, frankly (get what I did there?), I wasn't much in the mood for Hebrew National's low-calorie dogs. They just have way too many weird ingredients- most I can't even pronounce. So I decided to pick up a package of more all na-tu-ralll hot dogs. These Chicken Breast Franks from Oscar Mayer seemed to be a good choice- no artificial preservatives, low calories, fairly big size -all sounds swell to me! So let's dig in.
A 15 oz package with eight hot dogs costs around $4.25.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

REVIEW: GoLean Crisp! Cinnamon Crumble Cereal

I've progressively been going through all the cereals that Kashi has to offer, whether it be super-protein packed cereal, deliciously fruit-infused cereal, or heart-shaped cereal. There have been hits, there have been misses. It's been a fun journey so far. And now I'm here to review their Cinnamon Crumble Cereal. I've had this cereal once before, but I never really gave it an in-depth taste-test, so now it's time to correct my errors and review this stuff! 
A 14 oz. box costs around $3.99.

Monday, February 17, 2014

REVIEW: Girl Scouts Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Out of the two new cookies Girl Scouts unveiled this Cookie Season- the Cranberry Citrus Crisps and the Chocolate Chip Shortbreads -I was definitely more excited for the Chocolate Chips. I mean, don't me wrong, I totally LOVE it when my cookies taste like oranges, but something about chocolate chips is so alluring. Plus, Girl Scouts' Shortbread cookies are pretty much amazing, so adding chocolate chips to the mix is like making a perfect snack even more So I just knew that I had to pick up these cookies AS. SOON. AS. POSSIBLE.
Thankfully, it didn't take long for me to spot a table of Girl Scouts when I was out grocery shopping. The little girls were all wearing these ponchos with a design of each cookie in the center with the cookies' names encircling each design. It was all kinda silly, especially the Peanut Butter Patties poncho- it looked like there was a big, brown, flat circle right in the middle of the fabric, nothing more.
But kooky advertising tricks aside, I went up to the table and looked for the Chocolate Chip Shortbreads. And then, I found them! ...Kind of. See, they were in this plastic bags- kind of like the ones granola or pistachios come in -and they were labeled as "gluten free." Plus, they were, like, a dollar more than the normal Girl Scouts cookies. I figured this was only because they were gluten free, so I kindly asked one of the ladies that the table if there were UNgluten free Chocolate Chip Shortbreads, and she said no.
Well then- nobody told me that these new cookies were gluten free! Now what? I wasn't gluten-intolerant, so why would I settle for gluten free cookies? 
Right after, I saw a grocery store employee come up and ask the same lady if they had the gluten free chocolate chip cookies. I asked the employee if she knew if they were any good or not. She said no- she hadn't tried them yet. Well, if SHE was willing to try them...
I put my money down, picked up a bag of the gluten free cookies, and went home, wondering how they would turn out.
A 5 oz. bag costs around $5.00.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

REVIEW: Nasbisco belVita Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Biscuits

I've reviewed belVita's new Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits (both the Mixed Berry and the Oats & Chocolate varieties), which is all fine and good since those products are relatively new. However, I've never EVER reviewed the original belVita biscuits. In fact, I've never even TRIED them! Well, that just won't do! I believe in  the phrase "better late than never", so here I am- at least trying these things now instead of never doing so.
A 8.8 oz. box with five 1.76 oz. packs costs around $2.98.

Friday, February 14, 2014

LOCAL REVIEW: Gateway Cafe of Kenosha

It's Valentine's Day, and love is in the air! Ahhhh... Each reader gets a complimentary kiss on the forehead. Kiss for you... Mwaah! Kiss for you... Mwaah! Kiss for you... Mwaah! Kis for you...
But just kidding. Most of you probably have someone special to kiss your forehead for you. If not, join the club.
Anyway guys, you better be taking your gal somewhere pretty special for Valentine's dinner. Iffin' you ARE taking her to Valentine's dinner. If I had a date (my lack of which I'm oddly ever-to-eager to proclaim), I would have him take me to somewhere that serves breakfast 24/7. It doesn't have to be some fancy place, no sir. I'm fine with the breakfast, thanks. And if my date suggests we go out for breakfast without even having to take my heed, he is probably Mr. Right. 
And where would I like to go for breakfast specifically? Well... the Gateway Cafe is certainly a viable option here in town. I wouldn't mind going there at all, just to give you guys a little review spoiler. But, today I'll be going over there menu items, prices, service, etc, to make sure that you guys are taking your gals to a restaurant that will fit both your Valentin-y tastes. Or whatever tastes. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

REVIEW: Frito-Lay Baked! Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Crisps

Yum, yum, yum... baked chips, baked chips. It's what happens when you find yourself reeeally hungry at lunchtime but realize you haven't packed enough to quench said hunger. So these baked chips are the best option. At least at my school anyway. Our cafeteria doesn't have the best snack selection, to put it simply. But, hey! I was really impressed with the Baked! Flamin' Hot Cheetos from Frito-Lay- these Baked! Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Crisps shouldn't be that much different. Geez... that's a long title for a chip flavor... Plus, why the exclamation point after the "baked?" Chances are people won't be too excited by eating baked chips- let's not emphasize the fact with an exclamation point. 
A 9 oz. bag costs around $3.48.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

REVIEW: Girl Scouts Cranberry Citrus Crisps

Guess what season it is!!! Winter? No!!! Valentine's? No!!!Feburary? No!!! IT CAN ONLY BE GIRL SCOUTS COOKIE SEASON... The season where you can buy overpriced cookies from your cute niece, or daughter, or neighbor, or whatever. Seriously, most of people's February expenses HAS to come from Girl Scouts Cookies (Honestly guys- we ALL know you're just gonna get Some Dumb Little Thing from CVS for your gal on Valentine's, so that don't got the cost of Girl Scouts Cookies beat).
So, in lieu of the Girl Scout Cookie Season, we'll be reviewing one of the latest flavors to appear on their order forms: these Cranberry Citrus Crisps. I think they're Girl Scouts' latest attempt at trying to make a "healthy" cookie flavor, as they're not selling their godawful Mango Cremes that were available last year, which were the previous "healthy" cookie.
One 6.3 oz. box costs around $4.00.

Monday, February 10, 2014

REVIEW: Pure Protein Chocolate Deluxe High Protein Bar

I like having snacks that are full of protein. But as much as I like food like meats and beans and cheeses and all of that stuff- they're not really convenient as on-the-go foods. Or really anything that I'd actually want as a "snack" (well, maybe cheese, but still). No, I just think there's more appeal to eating sweet protein foods when you want a snack. Like protein bars. Plus, there is no end to the variety in protein bars! Cinnamon bun-flavored protein? Blueberry pie? Oatmeal cookie? Really, you can have you protein any way you want it- there are just so many flavors to choose from nowadays. And what craaaazy-cool flavor will I be reviewing today? That's right- Chocolate! Woohoo! What the little daredevil I am!
But this isn't just any Chocolate- it's Chocolate Deluxe. Oooooooh! This bar is made by Pure Protein, and with 20 grams of the stuff in one bar, I wouldn't say the brand name is all too misleading at all.
One 50g bar costs around $1.49.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

REVIEW: Fiber One 90 Calorie Chocolate Chewy Bars

I have tried the 90 Calorie Chocolate Peanut Butter Chewy Bars from Fiber One, and I have tried their Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Chewy Bars as well, so it'd make sense for me to try the last remaining flavor of 90 Calorie Bars: the classic Chocolate. It WOULD make sense, riiiiight? But I think I held off on trying these so long just because they ARE so... classic. As in, boring-sounding. Why settle for Chocolate when you can have Chocolate Peanut Butter, or even Chocolate Caramel Pretzel? I was so passive about actually trying these things that someone ELSE bought them for me. But since they're here now, sitting in my pantry, I can't really say NO to trying these things, now can I? Well, okay- I COULD, but I'm not one to say no to a granola bar, no matter how boring. Especially if said granola bar is only 90 calories.
A 4.10 oz. box with five 0.82 oz. bars cots around $2.98.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

REVIEW: DaVinci Gourmet Zero Calorie Amaretto Syrup

Typically, Torani is my stand-by coffee syrup brand, but every now and again it's nice to branch out and try new things. Break the mold, you know?
Or maybe WalMart just doesn't carry your favorite syrup brand, forcing you to purchase something else. But what-EVER.
Anyway, today I'll be reviewing a Zero Calorie Amaretto flavor of coffee syrup by a company called DaVinci Gourmet. I've never seen their stuff outside of WalMart, so maybe it's a brand exclusive to them and them alone...
A 12.7 fl. oz. bottle costs around $2.98.

Friday, February 7, 2014

REVIEW: Kemps Mint Cow Tracks Ice Cream

Okay, so you know how I said in my last mint ice cream review that I wasn't a big fan of the flavor? Yeah, well, apparently SOMEbody in my family is because we keep buying it up for whatever reason. That somebody would be my father. But for some odd reason, I think he's buying all this mint ice cream for ME. When he bought this latest flavor of mint, he said to me, "Bought some ice cream. Got mint flavor in there." Sounds to me like a case of misunderstanding! But for now, I guess I'll just have to make do with what I got. Hey, ice cream is ice cream! I should be lucky as child to even have some.
So, the lastest mint ice cream to be welcomed up to our family's freezer is this Mint Cow Tracks Ice Cream from Kemps. It's a minty ice cream swirled with a thick fudge and dotted with chocolate-mint mini cows. Hey! This is Wisconsin; we ain't got no time for turtle tracks. Feh! Cow tracks all the way, baby!
A 1.5 qt. of ice cream costs around $3.99.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

REVIEW: Fiber One 90 Calorie Chocolate Caramel & Pretzel Chewy Bars

You know what someone ought to make? Chocolate AND caramel covered pretzels. Chocolate and caramel and pretzels HAVE been incorporated together in different ways, like in Takes 5's and plenty of desserts, but what about just plain ol' chocolate-caramel covered pretzels? You know? You already have this idea to combine all those ingredients there, so why not just put it into actual pretzel form? They might have already made chocolate-caramel covered pretzels SOMEWHERE out there, but I sure haven't seen em'. So... hop to it, you food companies.
Anyway, with that nice little segway in mind, I present to you today the 90 Calorie Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Chewy Bar, brought to you by the brilliant minds of Fiber One.
One 4.10 oz. box with five 0.82 oz. bars costs around $3.34.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

REVIEW: Marathon Crunchy Dark Chocolate Energy Bars

Protein bars satisfy. And you know what else satisfies? SNICKERS. Combine them, and you might possibly have the most satisfying snack on earth. Or the most horrendously unhealthy. I mean, come on- Snickers protein bar??? That kinda defeats the purpose of even EATING a protein bar. 
You would think so, right? But it turns out the same guys who made Snickers are now making these Marathon Energy Bars- and guess what? THEY'RE ACTUALLY HEALTHY. Gaaaaasp!
Well, at least healthy enough by MY standards. I guess it depends on which Marathon Bar you get exactly, but these Crunchy Dark Chocolate Marathon Bars are only 150 calories a pop, and are packed with 11g of protein. Not bad, especially if these thing's taste live up to the Snickers name. But if NOT... that kinda defeats the purpose of even buying these things. I can buy any old protein bar at the gas station- but when I'm buying one with Snickers on the label, IT. BETTER. DELIVER. OR I WILL CONSUME THE EARTH IN A BOUT OF FLAMES!!! AND SAY, "MARATHON! THIS WAS ALL MARATHON'S FAULT! MARATHONNNNNNNNN!!!"
But no pressure.
A 44.2g bar costs around $1.85.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

REVIEW: Kashi GoLean Crunchy! Honey Almond Flax

Okay guys, major dilemma: I've been reviewing so many Kashi products as of late that it seems all of my witty Kashi review post openers have drained out of my brain. And it doesn't help that the name GoLean Crunch! Honey Almond Flax doesn't really jog the imagination. I mean, what am I supposed to say? This is like a cereal that the grown up Buzz from Honey Nut Cheerios would promote?
...Actually, that's not too bad. Yeah, I guess that works.
And anyway, what is WITH Kashi putting all these flax seeds in everything?! I suppose they ARE a good source of Omega 3's, but it's not like I care about that. Yeah, I'm a bit narcissistic, so sue me!
So, I'm hoping this Kashi cereal tastes as good as their Toasted Berry Crumble, which I found worthy of a perfect score. Fingers crossed!
A 14 oz. box costs around $3.99.

Monday, February 3, 2014

REVIEW: Kemps Throwback Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

You know what food gimmick I consider silly? Huh? A promotion that I think should just be dropped altogether? One that should be sent to the bottom of a pit, never to return? Huh? Huh? You guessed it- throwback flavors. They're just so darn useless. A mere definition of the word "gimmick." Like, for instance, I remember a few years ago how my dad was so jazzed up for some old-fashioned Mountain Dew that was being released as a throwback item, and I was just like, "Why?" He said it was made with real sugar, but isn't all Mountain Dew? What's the big deal? You can't just slap "Throwback" onto any old food product you see and live a good and decent-
Uh huh. Uh huh... I see...
Well, alright, so a correspondent of mine just informed me that no, not all Mountain Dews are made with real sugar- in fact, most of the flavors are made with high fructose corn syrup.
Well. Alright then. I guess... I was wrong...
Well now, Mr. Correspondent! Do you see what you've done now?! A perfectly good rant ruined! Waaaaah!
...I guess now all I can do is introduce my next reviewing material like it is. Today I'll be trying this Throwback Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, brought to you by Kemps. I think this ice cream is labeled as "Throwback" NOT because it is a variation on Kemps' current Chocolate Chip, but because it is a flavor that the company has made since 1914. Pro deduction skills there.
Anyway, a 1.5 qt. container will cost around $3.89.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

REVIEW: Kellogg's NutriGrain Strawberry Cereal Bar

Okay, time for another Kellogg's NutriGrain review! Fun, right?! Cool review, right?! New product review, right?! Totally, right?! Oh yeah!!!
...Yeah, yeah, whatever- don't blame me for filler reviews- they gotta be done. I guess. Anyway, the last bar I happened to taste-test in the NutriGrain line was their Apple Cinnamon flavor, which was OK... But was, in essence, just that. O.K. Not impressive, but not horrible either. I suppose I thought that maybe it was just that specific flavor that wasn't pleasing my taste buds and that there was a great chance that SOME NutriGrain product out there could prove to be tastier, so I bought up a bar of their Strawberry variety.
A 10.4 oz. box with eight 1.3 oz. bars costs around $2.98.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

REVIEW: Nature's Path Organic Sweet & Salty Mmmaple Pecan Chewy Granola Bars

So, dear readers: QUESTION TIME: How do you feel about ORGANIC granola bars? Me...? Well, the only organic kind I've ever tried- or at least even close to being called "organic" -is Kashi. And simply put, their granola bars didn't exactly give my taste-buds high hopes for the rest of the organic bar line. 
"So then, Ri," you then might proceed to say, "Why did you decide to do a post on an organic granola bar product today? You didn't make it sound like you were very interested in trying them."
Very true, dear readers! But sometimes, products just jump out at you so much that you just can't NOT buy them, no matter how uninterested in them some might expect you to be. ESPECIALLY if said product is in the dusty corner of the supermarket labeled "Reduced Produce."
Hahaha... What can I say? These Mmmaple Pecan Chewy Bars from Nature's Path Organic were going for less than HALF their original price! HALF, Jim!!! And I think the only problem with them was that the box was pretty dented. Yeaaaaah, theres a chance that they could be totally expired and harboring tons of flesh-eating bacteria, but I'm gonna take my chances! Adventurous eater, awaaaaaay!
A 6.2 oz. box with five 1.2 oz. bars costs around $4.38.

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