Thursday, May 30, 2019

Keurig K-Cup Review - Wolfgang Puck After Dark

I made the mistake of brewing this cup of coffee for our live recording of the Tabletop Bellhop Gaming podcast last night. Things were running late and I was actually making this after the show started. My co-host Sean  was keeping the fans busy while I made this coffee.

When going to make it I first grabbed another Folgers pod. I figured I reviewed Folgers already yesterday so wanted something different. The next one I grabbed was some kind of Breakfast Blend. At this point it was 9:40pm and I figured I didn't need a breakfast blend. The final pod I grabbed was a Wolfgang Puck After Dark. It was definitely after dark, this should have been perfect.

Wolfgang Puck After Dark:

Scent: Almost nothing. Seriously. Every coffee should smell like coffee. They should smell strongly of coffee. The smell should permeate the room, potentially even filling the house. This brew I could barely distinguish with my nose over my mug. That should have been the first sign to me. I missed it.

Look: Despite using the strong setting on my Keurig (I always use the strong setting), this wasn't a very dark pour. It was also very hazy. Holding my mug up to the light I saw that this coffee looked a lot more Tea like than coffee like. It was actually a red colour. It looked like a colour I like to see in my Beer and not my coffee. This would have been clue two. I missed this one yet.

Black: On a positive note, I can drink this coffee black. The problem is, that I can do this because it has almost no taste. This is one of the most watery brews I've had in my life. Not only did it kinda look like tea it tasted like it too, and I don't like tea.

Milk and Sugar: I didn't bother. No dairy or sweetener was going to improve this mess. 

Verdict: Hell no!

Did you figure out the clues before I did? Right in the middle of the start of our live stream I ended up googling this coffee. Trying ot figure out what flavour it was supposed to be and if it was supposed to taste this bad. That's when I discovered that I had brewed a big old mug of decaffeinated coffee. Blech. No wonder it had no taste.

Now I hope I'm not the only one who didn't realize that After Dark means no caffeine so you can drink it late at night and still sleep. Here I thought After Dark meant, I'm staying up late, give me some damn caffeine.

Lesson learned. I hope that this serves as a warning to other people out there who are unaware of this naming convention.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Keurig K-Cup Review - Folgers Classic Roast

The local Home Hardware has a fantastic selection of K-Cups. For a while now I've been meaning to go in there and buy a bunch of individual cups in order to try all the flavours and see which ones I like the best. I finally picked up a handful today.

In order to track what I think of each of these I created an excel file. While working on that I had the thought that since I'm going to be basically reviewing each of these coffees, why not publish my reviews somewhere. So here we are.

Folgers Classic Roast

Scent: Wow does this coffee ever smell good. Not only that it filled the house with fresh coffee smell. Not fancy coffee smell, just good old fashioned regular coffee smell. 

I was reminded of those old commercials where you see various members of the family waking up to the smell of coffee, taking a deep breath in and smiling. Come to think of it those may have been commercials for Folgers (with flavour crystals).

Black: Unfortunately that amazing scent did not carry over to the taste. This coffee is way, way too bitter for me, at least black. It's also somewhat tart. The bitterness lingers and sticks in the back of your throat. I can still taste it minutes after taking a drink.

With Milk and Sugar: Not much better. More drinkable to me, but now my coffee is watery. It's like all the actual coffee flavour is washed away and all that's left is that bitter aftertaste. Yes even with milk and suggest that lingering nastiness is still there.

Verdict: Not for me, 

Friday, December 7, 2018

#FoodPornFriday - Good Indian food, at the mall?

Today for #FoodPornFriday I'm featuring a Hurry Curry which can be found at the Devonshire Mall Foodcourt.

Good food in a food court? Yep, it can be a thing. Actually, for years there has been a Niko Sushi booth at Devonshire that offered some of the best Sushi in the city, so it's not as rare as you might think.

They have been doing a ton of renovations on the old mall and part of that is a completely new rebuilt food court. I have to admit it's pretty impressive looking. It's also better organized, managed and kept much cleaner. With the move and construction quite a few new restaurants have been added and so far Hurry Curry is my favourite.

So what you see here is the Meat Thali or meat combo. You pick 2 Meat, 1 Veg, get rice, Salad with Raita, Naan and a Gulab Jamun ball. The meats are Butter Chicken and Beef Vindaloo and the veg is Aloo Gobhi.

Every piece of this meal except the rice was excellent. The rice wasn't bad, but it was very plain. Which isn't really a problem as I ended up eating everything else on top of it so by the end it was soaked in three different sauces.

It's not often I'm going to recommend you eat at a Food Court but in this case, I think Hurry Curry is worth it. Though you may want to wait until January. The mall is a bit nuts right now.

Note: Hurry Curry is a chain, with most of the locations located in the GTA with at least one location in Hamilton. So even those of you not from Windsor may get a chance to check them out. Of course, I also can't be sure that the ones not in Windsor are as good as ours.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Found a new breakfast spot for #FoodPornFriday

The Lunch Reporter gets credit for today's #FoodPornFriday post. Cathy not only shares the amazing food she's found and eaten over on Facebook but also supports all of the local places by sharing their content. It was one of her shares, that got me to try Potka's Kitchen

Potka's Kitchen is a small greasy spoon located in the middle of an industrial park out in Tecumseh off Highway 22. It's the same plaza you will find The Sushi Bar. The actual address is 480 Advance Blvd, unit number 235.

They only do breakfast and lunch and close every day at 2pm. They do open early, at 6am and if you can get there that early (before 7) you get a sweet buy 1 get 1 half off discount on your breakfast.

Before going I had heard that the things to try were their breakfast skillets and their pierogies. As we went early in the day both my wife and I opted for skillets.

I got the corned beef and swiss skillet and my wife got the Reuben skillet. We were both very impressed. It's eggs how you want them on top of hasbrowned potatoes grilled with onion and lots of sweet peppers. Also includes a bit of fruit and your choice of toast.

The prices are extremely reasonable. Skillets are under $10. 2 Pancakes can be had for under $5, A greek Omelette is $8, etc.

We were both very impressed and looking forward to going back.

Friday, October 26, 2018

My secret for making great pizza at home - #FoodPornFriday

I'm staying home for #FoodPornFriday this week.

Today I'm sharing pizzas, pizzas I made at home. I decided to share this as these particular pizzas have turned out better than any other any of us have ever made at home. I thought people would be interested to learn what I used to make such great pies.

The first thing you need is Stonefire Artisan Flatbread. Costco started carrying this and it comes in a five pack which is perfect for us as there are five of us in the family.

Up next is the pizza sauce. Over the years we have tried a lot of different pizza sauces. One of our favourites was one that came in a baggie in the Kraft Pizza Kit. I've now found something we all like even better. This is Mutti Pizza Sauce with Spices.

I think anyone who regularly follows this blog knows the next important ingredient. It's one of the main things that makes Windsor Style Pizza so damn good. That's Part Skim Mozzarella from Galati Cheese. If you don't live in Windsor, I'm sorry. I can't help you out here.

The last secret, one I figured out when making Pizza Bombs is to toss the meat into your skillet for a bit before putting them on your pizza. For the pepperoni specifically, I wait until they curl and the edges are a bit crispy.

As for the rest of the ingredients that's all up to you. That's what makes this such a perfect meal for our family as everyone can have exactly what they want. My wife has recently become of fan of adding yellow zucchini to her pizza. Personally, I stuck to meats with lots of cheese.

As far as cooking goes, I used the instructions on the back of the Stonefire bread. 425F for about 10 minutes. 

I found it takes an extra 5-10 minutes or so depending on how many toppings you put on. In general, I just put the pizza in the oven and watch for the cheese to get just a tiny bit browned.

Friday, October 19, 2018

#FoodPornFriday - A chicken, fried bread and pasta monstrosity

Look at this thing. Just look at it. It's insane. This may be the largest thing I've ever featured for #FoodPornFriday 

Last night the family went out for dinner. Our initial plans fell through and we ended up out in the far West side of Windsor. We sat for a bit in a parking lot trying to decide where to go mainly thinking about places on that end of town. We eventually decided on Piccolo's Pizza and Pasta House.

It's been a long time since any of us had been to Piccolo's. I'm pretty sure D was still nursing little G at the time. It is somewhere we used to go now and then when we lived in the west end and somewhere we used to go often when it was The Pizza Merchant. I miss The Pizza Merchant and their all you could eat Pizza Bar. 

Piccolo's is a high end, fancy, Italian restaurant, that probably would fit in better on Erie St. rather than at 2135 Tecumseh Rd. W. They have a fantastic selection of pasta and pasta based dishes as well as Windsor Style Pizza. They make everything to order (including freshly made pasta) and are proud of this fact. You won't get a quick meal here, expect 2 hours (at least) for your dinner if you go to Piccolo's. It's also not cheap, most items on the menu are $19.95 or $25 a serving. They do have a good kids menu (10 and under) that's only $7 a plate.

Now I haven't really been talking about it here but this Big Dude is currently trying to become a Smaller Dude (who still likes food). So I avoided the Pizza. I skipped the Panzerotti. I was tempted by the Stromboni, which is something you can only get here. It's like a panzerotti, it's dough stuffed with pizza toppings that are first fried and then baked. Kind of like a twisted up calzone. It's rather good, but that's not what I ordered. I was trying to be good so I ordered the Cheesy Cheddar Chicken.

The pictures you see here are what showed up. Not at all what I was expecting. I think a Panzerotti would have been smaller and healthier. I couldn't get over how massive this plate of food I was served was.

Here's the description from the menu: "A mound of Cappellini baked on top of Piccolo's fresh fried dough strip covered in cheesy cheddar sauce with strips of sauteed chicken breast smothered in a blend of three cheeses."

Okay maybe I'm not great at making the healthy choices yet :D I did expect it to be somewhat better than double cheese meat pizza.

The image in my mind from that description did not match at all what I was served. I expected some bread, a thin layer of crusty bread, with pasta on it. On the pasta some chicken and on that chicken some cheesy sauce. I was not expecting this burrito-like wrap of fried bread around pasta and chicken soaking in thick sauce. 

There was enough food on my plate to feed all five of us. I ended up bringing most of it home.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Niko isn't just for sushi - #FoodPornFriday

I've shared pics from Niko Sushi for #FoodPornFriday in the past, but every picture I've ever shared has been sushi. For good reason. Niko makes the best sushi in the city.

Now that my mom lives with us we eat out together a lot more often. My wife and I tried to get my mom into sushi and we even got her to admit that she actually likes some rolls. The problem is that she has a thing about wanting her food hot. This is true of all meals. If she's not sitting down to a plate of food with steam still wafting off it, she's not truly happy.

So while she did admit she liked some of the sushi she tried, she also insists she would prefer something cooked and well, hotter.

So the last time at Niko we gave up. The rest of the family got some amazing sushi and we got my mom Teriyaki Chicken. That's it up there at the top of the page. I have to say, it looked, smelled and (according to my mom) tasted amazing.

So here's a hot tip for you: it's not just the sushi that is amazing at Niko.