Latham progress?

It certainly looks like the Panda Express is coming right along.  I’m not sure what to make of that one, reviews seem all over the place apart from wild raving over the orange chicken.  I’m sure I’ll give it a try.

But the Sonic looks destined to be ‘coming soon’ for a long time, it really looks like there is zero going on there.

Honey Maid Go Bites

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In addition to the Cotton Candy Oreos, I saw these at the Mohawk Commons Target, claiming to be ‘New!’  Little graham pockets with vanilla and chocolate filling.  They looked like an interesting little snack, especially if the pocket tastes like graham, not just generic cracker.

Troublingly, they don’t actually say ‘graham’ on the front.  They are made with graham flour, though.

Update: I tried the chocolate ones.  The amount of filling is weirdly inconsistent, some basically have no filling, others are pretty stuffed.  They’re quite crunchy (think dry cereal) and have little graham flavor.  They’re closer to a generic cracker flavor.  The filling, when there is enough to notice, is fine.  Tastes like any chocolatey filling you’re likely to find in this type of snack.  I give them a solid m’eh.  I’ll have no trouble finishing them off, a serving is a decent snack size of like 26 or so of them and size-wise, again, think large cereal pieces.  Plus you get 3 grams of fiber with a serving, which is a nice bonus.

Cotton Candy Oreos

I had in mind to write something clever or funny or at least mildly entertaining once I found some new Oreos.  Well, Target in Mohawk Commons had the Cotton Candy Oreos.

Well, here they are

Well, here they are

Has the novelty worn off?  Has Oreo jumped the shark, yet?  Well, I’ll tell you one thing, the value is getting pretty lame.

Yup, 20 whole Oreos

Yup, 20 whole Oreos

The package of these was so noticeably smaller than the other Oreos it was comical.  The package looks half-sized.  The whole thing only has 20 cookies in it.  Who do they think they are?  Girl Scouts?

To add a little insult, I had to use a knife to open the convenient pull tab.

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Yadda yadda…they smell like normal golden Oreos.  The creme smells typically sweet.  The pink creme does seem to taste different than the blue.  In fact the blue seemed to have little taste.  Maybe after a few more it will make more sense.

I suppose you want to know if they taste like cotton candy.  I don’t know.  I don’t think so.  Maybe slightly reminiscent of cotton candy, particularly in the aftertaste.  At least the creme.  Eaten with the cookie I just taste golden Oreo.  Seriously.  Maybe a hint of cotton candy when you first start to chew, but it’s quickly buried by the cookies.

Anyway.  This isn’t really a review so much as a ‘here they are, Cotton Candy Oreos’ sort of post.  These just don’t seem special to me.  Or interesting.  They’re a let down in a series of let downs (interrupted only by the Reese’s flavor).  I’ll be honest, I don’t see myself chasing down any other varieties unless something truly interesting, not just ‘different’ or ‘wild’ or ‘can you believe it?’ comes along.

Must do better, Mondelez.  I can’t even eat 20 of these.  They’re going to the office.

Best and Worst Jelly Beans of the Easter that was

Looking back at the Easter candy season that has just passed, I have to say that the only thing we really found ourselves drawn to were jelly beans.  No Cadbury creme eggs were ingested.  Not a single Reeses Peanut Butter Egg.  But the basement is host to a pile of jelly beans still to be enjoyed.

Taking a look back there was a clear winner and a clear loser.  Both are from Brachs.  Worst up first.

No, Brachs

No, Brachs

These sounded really good, especially looking at the flavors included.

Sounds better than tastes

Sounds better than tastes

These sounded so good I bought two bags, flavor untasted.  It was a bag and a half too many.  I’m not sure why they call them Tiny Jelly Beans, either.  they’re not.  They’re not the giant ones that were the standard 20 years ago (not as big as the jumbos you can get now), but they’re not Jelly Belly tiny.

While there was a hint of each of the fruits mentioned, in reality these were just really REALLY floral tasting.  Not even creamy, just flowery.  Eating a small handful was just too much.  To get through these two bags I actually had to dump them into a container and mix them with better jelly beans to ‘cut’ them.  Even that wasn’t great because it emphasized how much better the others were and how weak these tasted.  Especially next to our winners.

Oh YES!

Oh YES!

These are just fantastic.  We’ve gotten Brachs Orchard Fruit jelly beans before and I cannot recommend them strongly enough.  If you prefer the tiny, many many flavored options akin to Jelly Bellys, that’s fine.  But we adore these more traditional jelly beans.  The flavors, except for apple, are pretty standard.  The apple isn’t sour apple or green apple or any nonsense like that, they’re a nice juicy red apple flavor.  With ‘orchard’ in their name they reminded me of the Orchard Skittles.  None of these flavors, like the Skittles, are sour.  They’re all juicy, flavorful, sweet enough.  That ‘made with real fruit juice’ claim doesn’t ring hollow at all.  I highly recommend giving these a try next year if that profile sounds good to you.

I didn’t see these everywhere though.  In the past I think we only saw them in Hannaford.  I do believe I saw them elsewhere this year, but they’re hardly ubiquitous.  Hannaford had them again, so give them a try.  Delicious.

Burger 4 at Burger 21

Well, it was bound to happen.  Burger 4 at Burger 21 in Latham was a bit of a letdown.  I decided to give the featured Pizza Burger a try.  The description is: “Certified Angus Beef dressed with basil pesto, tomato sauce, melted provolone and Parmesan cheeses, pepperoni and a blend of Italian herbs and spices.”  I decided against the basil pesto.

No pictures this time, but the burger was again well assembled with the correct ingredients layered tidily.  Sadly, the burger was rather undercooked, just past medium rare, which is simply not enough for me.  That, coupled with the grease from the pepperoni, led to a soggy lower bun, at least around the edges.  I’ll say this for their buns, in addition to being tasty, they’re sturdy without having that stale quality.  It didn’t fall apart.  Eating around the edge first probably helped.

The tomato sauce was extremely limited, I’ll be honest I didn’t even notice it.  The cheeses, melted atop the burger with the pepperoni, were really tasty.  The “herbs and spices” weren’t a standout, they were sort of unnoticed.  I mostly got a salty/peppery taste from the meat, which was fine.  Good really.

All in all it was just sort of OK.  Maybe the pesto would have done something positive, but it’s not really my thing, so I sort of doubt it.  The fact that it was undercooked was what really threw me off, though.  At least it was hot all the way through.  I don’t think I’ve ever had to send back a fast food burger for being uncooked.

As always, the sweet chili ketchup rocked.  I’m not too proud to admit that by the end of my burger I was dipping it into that ketchup.  It needed that little extra liveliness.

Taste the excitement!

Steve Barnes has report of two *yawn* new exciting *yawn* developments in new chains coming to the area:

Blaze Pizza.  3-minute pizzas for millenials.  Woo.  Hoo.  One of the gents opening the area Smashburgers did tell me that these instant pizza places were up-and-coming country-wide.  Look at us all catching up on national trends.  Feeling trendy?

Checkers or Rally’s.  You’re excited aren’t you?  I can tell.

 

Target Exclusive Peeps

I don’t buy Peeps.  They really don’t do anything for me, neither fresh nor stale.  But I do love lime.

Peep Peep (Peep)

Peep Peep (Peep)

Mmmm…lime.

So it looks like Target has three flavors of exclusive peeps, Lemon, Lime, and Orange Delight.  The only one that tickled my fancy was the Lime, although our cashier did rave about the Orange.

I wasn’t until I just opened these that I saw that they’re actually “dipped in lime fudge”.  I was simply blinded by the lime.

OK, that was bad.

So you get a serious smack in the nose hole upon opening these, they absolutely scream ‘artificial lime scent’.  Pulling one out you see the fudge dip.

Peepy Profile

Peepy Profile

Actually, I was first trying to figure out why the bottom was so smooth and flat.  That’s when I went back and saw the fudge part.

So let’s eat this sucker.  He’s insanely sweet, of course, when you just bite the undipped part.  Super sweet and tangy with candy-like lime flavor, but also a zesty flavor that’s sort of nice.  It’s a limey Peep.  As for the fudge dip, well, it’s gross.  I mean, really gross.  Disgusting white chocolate-ish ick.  I’d give you a better description, but it’s really just a gross addition.  The poor Peep doesn’t deserve it.

I have no trouble suggesting that you give these a pass.  Just too aggressive.  The aftertaste is a sort of nice lime, but it’s just not worth it to me to put up with the rest.

If you’re a Peep aficionado, maybe these will be more to your liking.