Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Random Tater Pic of the Day #255

A peek inside Doctor Strange's kitchen with Spider-Man and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D….

If you'd like to see my reviews of the television series "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." at Biff Bam Pop!, click here, and if you'd like to read my review of the Doctor Strange movie, click here. The above comic panel comes from the S.H.I.E.L.D. comic book, reviewed here.

Friday, November 11, 2016

French Fry Diary 724: Lay's Passport to Flavor

Last week we got to hear what friend, FFD contributor, and guest blogger Bryan F. Irrera thought of Lay's Passport to Flavor potato chips, now here's my take.

In recent years, Lay's has made a name for exotic flavors in potato chips with their Do Us A Flavor contests both in the United States and Canada, as well as overseas. Now they've brought four new flavors to the US each with a specific international flair as part of their Passport to Flavor contest. I was lucky enough to find all four at Walgreens this past weekend, and here's what we thought.

Chinese Szechuan Chicken - While I've never actually had Szechuan chicken (I lean toward sweet and sour or General Tso myself), I understand it's got that hot and spicy vibe going on with just a touch of sweetness. The ingredients include actual Szechuan pepper and promise "the tongue tingling sensation of mala," and no, I have no idea what mala is.

Opening the bag revealed potato chips with seasonings of various colors. As always, The Bride tried them first. I'm no fool. She thought they tasted like what they were supposed to taste like, and that they were very spicy. I would definitely go with the latter, but unlike other 'meat' chips I couldn't detect any chicken. These weren't bad, unlike some of the other flavors, I had more than one. Have a beverage nearby because there will be a hot aftertaste.

Greek Tzatziki - I have encountered Tzatziki once before in chip form when I reviewed the Do Us A Flavor flavor Greektown Gyro, and I was not a fan. Tzatziki has that yogurt and cucumber vibe that just doesn't appeal to me, so I was hesitant to try these.

The smell at first when opening the bag was a bit off-putting, almost as if something had gone bad. These wavy chips did not taste as bad as I thought they would, but I definitely wouldn't try them again. The Bride thought they were okay, and again that they tasted like what they were supposed to taste like, noting the cucumber and yogurt.

Brazilian Picanha - This one is another meat chip, this one manifesting the flavor of Brazilian steakhouses, steak and chimichurri sauce. One I like and one I don't. I wonder how these will go. Picanha, by the way, is the finest cut of Brazilian steak, skewer-grilled with salt to lock in the flavor.

They smelled pretty good when I opened the bag, and these chips were big and had green seasoning on them. I'm not a big fan of chimichurri sauce but I assume that's what that was. The Bride thought they were just all right, rather unenthused by these chips. I got the steak right away, and kinda liked these a bit. I could get used to these.

Indian Tikka Masala - Despite what many folks might think, this catastrophically picky eater does occasionally try exotic foods, among them, I've enjoyed chicken tikka masala at Indian restaurants in the past. I have actually been looking forward to trying this one, and as fate would have it, so had The Bride, so we saved this one for last.

Upon opening the bag, a spicy aroma filled our nostrils. The Bride declared these kettle cooked chips the best of the lot after trying one and taking more for later. That said, she mentioned that they still weren't as good as the Do Us A Flavors from previous years. I thought they weren't bad, definitely tasting like what they were supposed to. I agree with The Bride, these were the best of the bunch.

What did you folks think?

Monday, November 07, 2016

Free Fries for Election Day

Even though I have moved a thousand miles away, I still miss, and love, The Pop Shop. One of the places I will be sure to visit when I come back to New Jersey will be The Pop Shop.

For Election Day, for all you folks in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area, The Pop Shop is doing something special. Show them your "I Voted" sticker on Election Day, and you'll get a free Deluxe Pop Fries with any purchase of $6.00 or more. Awesome!

So get out there and vote, then stop by The Pop Shop for some of the best fries in the area!

Friday, November 04, 2016

French Fry Diary 723: Presidential Fries

This has been one of the most controversial and brutal Presidential elections in memory, and even though I try not to be political, I couldn't help but make a few observations.

We know where Hillary Clinton stands on French fries from her last bid for the Presidency. She's cool with them, puts ketchup on them, and eats with the people.

Donald Trump may be another story. According to this account the Donald likes McDonald's, but also likes ordering fries at his own fancy restaurants. However, this one time, it didn't go so well. Read about it here.

None of the third party candidates, not Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Evan McMullin, Rocky De La Fuente, Darrell Castle, Gloria Estela La Riva, or Joe Exotic, have any particular French fry preference.

Current US President Barrack Obama however is a big Five Guys fan, which makes him okay in my book, and the First Lady has been quoted as saying, “I do love a good burger and fries. French fries are my favorite food in the whole world. If I could, I'd eat them at every meal - but I can't..."

Hmmm… can we give them another term? They seem like sensible folks, at least when it comes to fries...

No matter how you feel about the candidates, or your fries, please don't forget to vote!

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Spam Fries

I've talked about Spam fries before, but here we have an actual recipe, from Eat the Trend.

I'm still not sure about this one, but here you go...

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

French Fry Diary 722: Club House Diner

I don't go to the Club House Diner often, unfortunately when I have gone, it's after a funeral, as there's a nearby cemetery. The Bride however frequents it quite often with her gaming friends. When they wanted to throw us a going away party, it was at the Club House Diner in Bensalem PA.

Part of moving from the old place and moving to a new place is purging things that are no longer needed. I had a lot of gaming stuff I was getting rid of. I had previously given a ton of gaming books to this particular group of friends, and this night brought my HeroClix collection to get rid of, um, I mean, give away as party favors. So as the fight for plastic crack began, I ordered.

I had wanted onion rings, and while they were pretty big, they also looked dry and heat lamped so I passed on them. I also passed on the fries, which were heat lamped natural cuts. Instead I ordered some French toast and some breakfast potatoes. On the latter, I should have thought better of it.

I got cold breakfast potatoes, smashed on the griddle and folded like an omelet. They were quite cold by the time I got them, and they did not reheat well at all. Despite the bad food, this was a good time, we will miss our friends, and lots of toys got new homes. Thanks, everyone!

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Bryan F. Irrera on Lay's Passport to Flavor

Here's a guest blog on Lay's Passport to Flavor potato chips from occasional FFD contributor Bryan F. Irrera, take it away, Bryan, and thank you!

I finally got a chance to try all four Passport to Flavor chips (I hadn't seen all of them at once until now).

I think the least exciting one was the Brazilian Picanha. There's a little beefy flavor, but very light. Not much spice or seasonings. Not much of anything, really.

(Sidebar: of the "do me a flavors" in past years, I liked NONE of the 2013s, (the Garlic Bread ones were lackluster, Sriracha WAY too spicy and I didn't even want to try the Chicken/Waffles 'cause that's just wrong as an actual food, never mind simulated on a chip). In 2014, I LOVED the Mango Salsa ones, liked the Wasabi ones (that won), was mildly indifferent to the Bacon/Mac and Cheese and found the Cappuccino ones interesting but not worth buying again (I didn't see myself buying "dessert" potato chips, necessarily). Last year, I LOVED the Southern Biscuit ones, tolerated the Truffle ones (they were just weird sour cream and onion to me) and HATED the other two (the feta on the Gyro one turned me off and I hate Reubens in their true form... the chips made me nearly vomit.).

I thought that the Tzatziki ones were a VAST improvement on the Gyro ones from last year. No more lamb/feta flavoring (or lettuce/tomato). Just pure cucumber and yogurt (which gives us a milder dill pickle chip. There is light dill in this in addition to the plain (non-pickle) cucumber flavor. Nice and gentle without being bland like the Brazilian ones.

The Szechuan Chicken ones are definitely spicy, but not overpoweringly so. These aren't like Sriracha chips or most "SPICY" chips that sacrifice flavor just to burn your mouth. While I did have a tingling sensation, I didn't feel I had to run to get a glass of water immediately. These weren't "fire" chips. There's a nice sweetness from the peppers in addition to the heat.

My favorite of this batch is the Tikka Masala ones. A nice (mild) masala. Not overly spicy, but seasoned nicely. Again, a nice sweetness was present here. Full-bodied. Really captured the dish it was emulating and could be a great permanent (even if semi-rotating) addition to the line-up, since it has a different Ethnic flavor profile than most snacks.