Thursday, March 06, 2014
Christmas gift of chips I got from friends and frequent FFD contributors Dom and Cindy, these Jack 'n Jill Roller Coaster Potato Rings are a 'cheddar cheese flavored potato snack.' I've had Jack 'n Jill chips before, not bad, but never like this.
Looking at the bag, the first thing that struck me was more than a little disturbing. There was a sticky label over the ingredients. One has to wonder. Was there a typo? Did they try to slip something by and got caught? I guess I'll never know.
The rings themselves are flat half-inch bands in complete circles, a little smaller than a dime in diameter. The potato part comes in the Munchos and Pringles realm as they're made from potato starch and dehydrated potatoes. I have to be honest, when I opened the bag, the smell was not pleasant.
I made The Bride try one first, not because I dislike her, but because she's big on cheese, especially cheddar. She put one in her mouth, made a decidedly unhappy face, and said simply, "No." Uh oh. I tried one. They have a taste like a thick potato chip that's gone stale, and then with a weak cheddar aftertaste.
These are not good. At least they didn't taste as bad as they smelled, but still they didn't smell good either. Thanks, Dom and Cindy, but not recommended.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Gino's had an upscale restaurant partner called the Rustler Steakhouse. It's a thing of the past now, but where they had a Gino's, somewhere pretty close by there'd be a Rustler Steakhouse. That was the case in the 1970s during my childhood, the local Gino's by the Lindenwold Speedline had a Rustler about a hundred feet away.
Rustler was very similar to other steakhouse restaurants of the day like Bonanza, Sizzler, Ponderosa, and even the fondly remembered York. Classier than a fast food place, it was run cafeteria style, you ordered your entree then picked up your side items and then your steak was brought out to your table.
I don't recall what kind of fries they had, but I know they had killer baked potatoes. I especially remember the chocolate pudding for dessert. Anyway, once I was home, I must have raved about the Rustler Steakhouse so much that my parents took me. I remember my dad hating it so much we never went back.
When Marriott bought Gino's in the 1980s, they didn't do the same for Rustler, and they slowly faded away. Anyone else out there remember the Rustler?
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
And despite the decadent flavor of these chips, as always Kettle Brand potato chips have no MSG, no preservatives, no transfats, no GMO, are all natural and gluten free. Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the bacony goodness.
When I first opened the bag (with a scissors, they are from Whole Foods after all), the aroma that I got was close to Kettle Brand's own Backyard Barbeque flavor. I was kinda expecting something similar to Lay's Chicken and Waffles from last year's Do Us a Flavor contest, but it wasn't there.
Like all Kettle Brand chips these kettle cooked potato chips are twisty and perfect for dipping. The taste is decidedly very smoky, but not much bacon or maple flavor to it. If anything, it's more of a weak barbecue flavor if anything. The Bride agreed when she snagged one expecting bacon.
Don't get me wrong. These are really good potato chips. The you-can't-just-eat-one chip psychosis was in full effect as I ate more than a few. These are darned good, not really Maple Bacon, but darned good. Recommended.
Monday, March 03, 2014
This one completely perplexed me. Nathan's was the only counter in the entire food court that had a tip cup. Yes, a tip cup. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what they were doing at Nathan's that was different from anyone else in the food court, let alone any other counter service restaurant of this type. And they certainly weren't very friendly or helpful either - so why tip them?
Friday, February 28, 2014
The Treehouse in Audubon NJ. They have been very good to us at the South Jersey Writers' Group. It's where we hold our monthly Blogfests as well as many other functions. They are really nice to us, and besides that, it's a terrific coffeehouse, and Rob always makes a killer chocolate milkshake that is just awesome.
We got to talking one afternoon and he hipped me to Donkey's, which is now my favorite cheesesteak place. I had also promised that sooner or later I would try the potato-ey product that he served up at The Treehouse, their hash browns. I finally got around to it one Sunday I arrived extra early for one of the SJWG's Blogfests.
The Treehouse, come for the atmosphere, come for the coffee, the service, the Blogfests, the milkshakes, and come for the hash browns. Great stuff.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
good and sometimes it's bad, but always, above it all, the Island Onion Rings are awesome. They are, with their coconut shavings and Panko bread covering among the best, period.
When my friend Marni got sick, she passed along the doorprize she won at Women 2 Women to The Bride and me, that doorprize? A free Happy Hour at Bahama Breeze, woo hoo! So we scrambled together and asked a whole buncha folks, but Tuesday being the middle of the week, and a blizzard looming, and a variety of other reasons, only a handful of folks showed up. Most of them were my writer friends.
South Jersey Writers Blog this week, it was a topic heavy on my mind, and the company of writers is always a strong motivation to write and get work done. So amongst a barrage of appetizers, and those fabulous Island Onion Rings, we settled in for an evening of writing chat, made new friends, and just in general had a good time.
It was close company and good food. Fran Metzman, Terry Mergenthal, Maryliz Clark, her husband, Jim Knipp, his wife, and The Bride and I had a terrific time. And Jim, just for the record, those O-rings tasted just great after reheat in the oven at home. Trust me, you regret not taking them.
Stuff like this goes a long way toward future visits. Our wait staff was perfection. It will be a very short time between visits to Bahama Breeze next time. Recommended.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Women 2 Women 2. Women 2 Women is an advocacy group with the mission of bringing female artists together to share a night of music while raising awareness and funding for Women's causes, locally and nationally. The event features talented female performing artists from all over the Philadelphia tri-state area, from all walks of life, to share their love for their craft, music.
These performers offer a diverse range of music while raising funds for this year's chosen charity, Providence House in Burlington County. Performing that night were: Janet Bufano, Kathi Cooley, Megan Knight, Stephanie Davis, Britt Marie Zammer, Rachel Evans, Arianna Burmeister, Sandy Hall, Chrissy Hartline, Susan “Sooze” Lake, Tina Brand, Nikki Zammer, Kate Bradshaw, Danielle Denning, Carolyn, Christine & Cynthia Barbadoro, and of course, The Bride, Jennifer Walker.
The Bride was awesome and rocked the place with her renditions of Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker," Network's "Rock Me" and "Stand and Deliver" by Adam and the Ants. I thought she was the best one, but then again I'm biased. Seriously, she was fabulous, and Women 2 Women raised a lot of money for Providence House. You can see more details, more pictures, and even a video or two, here.
Indian Chief Tavern before the event began, and I got, as you might have guessed, French fries. I went simple, and usual, and got a burger and fries. The fries were deep fried regular cuts, crisp, not greasy and surprisingly good. It was also a great burger, pre-formed, medium well and served on a perfect large sesame seed bun. The perfect burger was complemented by the fries.
This was so not what I was expecting from this place. One end of the building was the bar and stage area, while the other was the restaurant I had not heard good things about. Granted what I ordered was essentially bar food, but it was awesome, as was everything else the folks in our party ordered. This was a great dinner that got us ready for a great night of music. The unfortunately named Indian Chief Tavern, and Women 2 Women, both get a thumbs up!