More scallops? Don’t mind if I do.

We recently spent three days in Newport, RI for a short vacation. No real reason to go there in particular except we’ve been there before and hadn’t had a chance to do any of the mansion tours. As an unplanned bonus, we had breezy 70-degree weather and avoided a sweltering weekend in the 90s here at home. It was relaxing, the weather was great, we did a few things, and just got away. We also did quite well in terms of eating. As I was in vacation mode, not blogging mode, I took zero food photos. So, again, enjoy these reviews through the glory of plain text. Continue reading

Tequila’s second shot goes down better

I’m happy to report that giving Tequila’s in Shop Rite Plaza in Niskayuna went MUCH better than the first time. As I previously wrote, the food was really good, but the customer service/ordering experience was beyond frustrating.

They have since joined up with Mealeo for online/mobile ordering. This has resulted in a bit less customization availability that was welcome on their website ordering. But it also adds some accountability to online orders. Anyway, ordering on Saturday we used the Mealeo app to order. The pickup time was 30 minutes from order and was ready within 5 minutes of that time. Not great, since our order wasn’t elaborate and they didn’t seem to be busy when I went to pick it up, but at least I wasn’t standing around in the foyer for an hour. It was downright bearable. Continue reading

Desert Drink adventure part 2

Hey, my package overflowing with globetrotting junk food has arrived already!

The box was in good shape, indicating decent handling by UPS. There are a token handful of packing peanuts, but not really enough to accomplish much and there is plenty of void space, as you can see. Items condition as delivered varies from seemingly pristine to pretty darn squashed or squished. The box did bear a fragile label.

The Moon Pies, very susceptible to crushing, look to be in fine shape. The drinks are also looking fine across the board. A couple of chocolate items I think were simply poorly timed because of the blast of heat we’re experiencing. I think there was some melting, coupled with moving around against boxes and bottles, did them a disservice. I’m hoping some cooling with revive them a bit before opening, although I don’t expect them to be pretty.

The boxes of Oreo rolls were pretty crushed and the two bags of flavored popcorn from Egypt look downright trampled. But the Twinkie, also from Egypt, looks fine. The two bags of chips also seem fine with tons of air padding.

My assumption is that any damage, apart from melting, happened on the way to Desert Drinks and not due to their handling or shipping. I’m hoping they won’t be a total letdown like Pringles that inevitably show up as a pile of crumbs of varying sizes in a tube.

Although I’d like to see a little more creative/effective packaging, so far this experience isn’t too bad. In particular, I think they need to think a bit about what they’re selling…heavy, round bottles and cans of beverages and somewhat fragile snack foods. That’s basically what they’re shipping every time. Some way of protecting the snacks from the drinks would be a good idea. Just off the top of my head, maybe dividing the boxes into compartments, one for drinks and one for snacks. It wouldn’t have to be fancy, just a piece of cardboard dividing them might help.

From here I’ll have to decide whether I try them all and post a sum up or, more likely, review a few at a time.

Join me on this snack journey

Maybe you’ve gotten the same ad on social media somewhere…Desert Drinks & Exotics. Wacky fun drinks and snacks from around the world! It was the passionfruit drink picture that really sucked me in, though. Big passionfruit juice fan right here (I even bought passionfruit powder so I could make passionfruit ice cream). Anywho…

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The ups and downs of Tequila’s, Niskayuna

I’m not going to lie, I was ready to absolutely SHRED Tequila’s Mexican Bar & Grill. We decided to finally try the relatively newly opened Mexican spot (in the old LT’s Grill space in the Shop Rite Plaza – which we never did try) recently, placing an order through their website. That process was generally painless and I headed off to pick up our order at the time indicated. Well, after waiting a half hour or so for my pickup time (not unreasonable for a Saturday night), I arrived and stood around waiting for my order for very nearly AN HOUR. I wasn’t happy at this new restaurant, owned by the same people that own the well-regarded, but parking deficient, La Mexicana in Schenectady. There were two other people there waiting for takeout when I arrived that waited an awfully long time, also, not including however long they had already been there. Continue reading

Cheez-It Loaded Popcorn!

What’s this? Must be new, I count on The Impusive Buy for my new grub tipoffs but I don’t see it there, yet. Saw this at Price Chopper this evening and grabbed both flavors of Cheez-It Loaded Popcorn Cheddar and White Cheddar, both made with real cheese. I like cheese popcorn and Cheez-Its, so why not? Looks like they’ve been around for a short time as there are a few reviews online, but they just came out in February.

So far I’ve tried the Cheddar and been underwhelmed. The popcorn itself is quite decent – uniformly large, round kernels. Unfortunately a lot of husk still attached to each, so have a drink handy and look forward to making a lot of awkward noises trying to free them from parts of your mouth. The cheese coating is ubiquitous and strong without leaving much of a cheesy glove on your hand, which is nice. I get pretty much zero “Cheez-It” flavor from the cheddar, though, which is disappointing. I guess I can finish the bag, but I’m hoping for better from the White Cheddar and comparing it to Smartfood.