Monday, November 20, 2006

Doritos Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch

These Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch Doritos are unbelievably hot. I really couldn't discern any flavour other than hot when I ate these. It probably wouldn't have mattered anyway as I've never eaten buffalo and I'm only vaguely familiar with ranch. I gave them to the lady over the road from where were staying in the end.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest

When I first travelled to the States some years ago, I was under the impression that beer brewed in America was weak and tasteless. In England we have some fantastic native breweries as well as the finest that Europe can offer on our doorstep. American beer is all about Budweiser and Coors isn't it? Well nearly...I tried a beer sampler in a restaurant that consisted of Budweiser (it's okay), Coors (tasteless, wouldn't serve it to a mule) and Samuel Adams.
As it turns out Samuel Adams is a great beer. It's strong and full of flavour. It claims to be a lager, but I would suggest that it's more of a light bitter. I fell in love with the stuff. So much so, that on a trip to Boston I visited the statue of Samuel Adams and had my picture taken in front of it. As it turns out, Samuel Adams didn't invent the beer, rather he started the revolution that saw my ancestors chased out of the country for raising the taxes on tea. Well I'll be. You live and learn, don't you?
Anyway, Samuel Adams, the beer, have brought out an Autumn variant which you know I had to try.
It actually tasted very similar to a standard Sam Adams, albeit a little maltier in flavour. It was very refreshing and I sunk all six bottles in the pack. I can't give it any more glowing praise than that really.
Learn more about Sam Adams the beer here, and educate yourself about Sam Adams the revolutionary here.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Lightning Pumpkins and Hubba Bubba Mummy Tape

I forgot that I picked up some Lightning Pumpkins and some Hubba Bubba Mummy Tape. The Lightning Pumkins are identical to the Lightning Bugs that I blogged a while back except that they are pumpkins instead of worms.
The Hubba Bubba Mummy Tape promises six feet of black raspberry bubble gum encased in a purple case with a mummy on it. It's a very nice flavour, which for some reason suprised me. I just figured it would be sour or something like that, but it's a very mellow flavour that lasts a reasonable amount of time before you have to pop another piece in your mouth. Mind you, with six feet of gum you don't even need to wait that long. I promise that I have no more Halloween items to blog.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Starbucks Mint Mocha Frappucino

You can buy Starbucks ready made frappucino's from shops other than Starbucks over in the States. This ready made mint mocha was pleasant enough despite it not really being the weather for frappucino's. It was creamy with a mild coffee/ chocolate flavour underscored by a slight mint tang.
I also had a pumpkin spice latte in a Starbucks whilst I was in America too. I didn't have my camera with me at the time. They're pretty good, although I doubt we'll ever see them in the U.K. though, as we don't do that whole pumpkin thing.

Breakfast at IHOP

Every time I come to the States my Wife insists on eating breakfast at International House Of Pancakes (IHOP) as many times as possible whilst we're there as she adores the thick fluffy pancakes that they serve.We both opted for the coffee which is unlimited and not too bad. My wife then ordered something called the split decision which is ideal for someone like her who dithers endlessly over menus, unable to choose between the various dishes on offer. The split decision offers a bit of everything. You get; 2 pancakes, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 pieces of french toast, 2 eggs (over easy) and two link sausages.
My order was just a short stack (3 pancakes) and an English muffin. English muffins are a peculiar thing. They are just bread muffins, but they taste fantastic. Muffins in England, rather strangely, taste completely different. I have never found a muffin in England that tastes like an English muffin.
The pancakes are gorgeous too. They are so light and fluffy. There are strawberry, blueberry, butter pecan and old fashioned pancake syrups at every table for you to drizzle onto the pancakes. I opted for the old fashioned pancake syrup on mine (which tastes just like maple syrup to me) and my wife opted for a mix of strawberry and blueberry. I made an assertion a while back that the pancakes served in a mock 50's American diner in London's Soho were just as good as these. I was wrong. These are better by quite some margin.
My wife also polished off a large part of her breakfast and declared it uniformly excellent.
The IHOP we visited was very busy, but the service was friendly and efficient. IHOP definately lives up to it's strapline of "Come hungry, leave happy". The particular IHOP we visited was on North Dean Street in Englewood, N.J. if ayone knows it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another Trip To The Supermarket

Following on from my trip around a Danish supermarket earlier this year, I just had to blog about the veritable Aladdins cave that is the American supermarket.In the fresh juice aisle there is plenty of apple cider to be found. Now this stuff is not be confused with the cider that we Brits drink in the pub. This is non-alcoholic and is a rich apple juice. It's delicious when it's spiced and served hot.There was a pile of Pirates of the Caribbean cereal on the reduced to clear shelf. I didn't bother picking any up though.
This pack of M&M's Pumpkin Mix was still lurking in the candy aisle.I had to grease a few palms to get one can of Dr.Pepper fountain classics to the U.K. There's boxes and boxes of the things for only four dollars in this place.
It was no great suprise to see the awful Coca Cola Blak reduced in price. Blech.I was quite amazed by shelf upon shelf of pre packed eggs, ready to be poured into a pan or baking bowl. English supermarkets have numerous products for lazy consumers but I don't ever recall seeing ready made egg mix.
Christmas is, of course, just around the corner and there was a vast variety of Egg Nog ready for the holiday season.
Variety was the big thing for me in this supermarket. There was so much choice. There were multiple versions of pretty much every product in the shop. It was dizzying. This huge open-24-hours-a-day store was also according to my guide; "Only a small one". Tesco's have got a way to go yet.

Orange Mallow Pumpkins

These two orange mallow pumpkins (made by Hershey's and Russell Stover respectively) were much more pleasant than the Peeps Halloween offerings. The reason is primarily that they were covered in chocolate, but the orange flavouring helped too.The Russell Stover marshmallow came out on top in the taste test due to it's more consistent mallow and it's stronger orange taste. Keep that in mind for next years Halloween.

Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale

There is quite an array of seasonal beers available to the Halloween drunkard and Blue Moon's Pumpkin Ale really caught my eye in the liquor store.
The box and bottles are decorated with a pumpkin patch eerily lit by a full moon.
The label claims that; "With it's clove, nutmeg and allspice flavours, this amber coloured ale is perfect for fall's crisp, clear days". This was looking like a promising beer to me and I couldn't wait to crack one open.
When I removed the top and took a sniff, there was a faint pumpkin smell. A large swig revealed a weak caramel taste with some faint spices. It wasn't unpleasant, but it was just a bit too weak to make me want to get another six-pack. It complimented the pizza I was eating well enough though.
A search around the net revealed that Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale is made by Coors, which explains the weak taste to me. I'm not a fan of Coors at all (especially after they I.D.'d me on the Coors stand at the ice hockey).

Peeps Cocoa Cats

These Peeps Cocoa cats were mildy more palatable than the pumpkins due to the fact that they're coated in hot chocolate powder. I could only eat one.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Peeps Pumpkins

I arrived in the States just after Halloween and was subsequently able to pick up plenty of cheap Halloween stuff.
I'll start with these Peeps Pumpkins. Peeps are a brand of marshmallows that are rolled out in various guises to coincide with just about every holiday imaginable. The pack is merely a cardboard tray which only intrudes a little at the edges, the main window is all about the Peeps. I think this is an odd strategy, as they don't really look like pumpkins to me. They look more like orange Mickey Mouse heads. I would have thought that a pumpkin shape was something that it would be very hard to get wrong when making a mould. I must also confess that the bright orange colour doesn't make me go "Mmmmm...." either.
They taste of an artificial nothingness. It's a very strange flavour. I also don't think Peeps are as sweet as marshmallows in the U.K.
I'm so dissapointed, I was really looking forward to these and they're quite horrible.

Pee Wee's Playhouse Calender 1990: November

I had, to all intents and purposes, abandoned this blog. My profile views had been stagnant for some time, and I didn't believe that anybody other than my Dad and my friend Chase were actually reading it. However, I have just returned from a trip to my favourite place on Earth; The U.S.A. and I have loads of things to blog about. If you do read this blog, leave a comment or drop me an email (it's on my profile). It's appreciated. Oh, it's November and it's time for pancakes in the playhouse.