Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Root Beer Milk

Place: Bonanza
Lunch: Lunch buffet, Pepsi

Bonanzas and Ponderosas (same chain, really) are hit and miss. But this one's not too bad. I used to know a guy who managed one. I recall us having this conversation:

(Me): Why'd you replace the black olives with crappy ones?
(Phil): Because they're cheaper.
(Me): But they're crappy.
(Phil): But they're cheaper.
(Me:) But they're crappy.
(Phil): Then go buy your own expensive ones. These are cheaper.

Phil was awesome, if not cheap.

So I was browsing a shiny new Price Chopper supermarket in Kansas City, because this is how I have fun...browsing supermarkets...when I see something new. It's a new flavor milk! Can you guess what it is? Can you? CAN YOU?

Uh...root beer?

No it's...YES! It IS root beer! How did you know?

Uh...the blog title?

CRAP. Well...

Milk has taken many flavors over the years. Chocolate, of course. Strawberry too. Orange cream. Banana has been a popular flavor as of late. Even vanilla. Because plain milk isn't vanilla. Plain Dairy Queen isn't vanilla either, but don't try to tell the teen behind the counter that. Then there's Ovaltine. I'm not sure what flavor Ovaltine is supposed to be...they call one chocolate and one malt...but that's okay. I like the malt one, even if the taste has nothing to do with malt.

This little dairy oddity comes from Shatto. They sell milk with no growth hormones in glass bottles. I guess that's better for you. Nobody knows why, including the FDA according to the bottle. Anyway, their products page shows they have a whole milk chocolate. I am ALL over that. You know what the fat ratio is in whole milk? 3.25 percent. WHY are you bothering with two percent?!?

(Then there's the people shouting that we shouldn't be drinking milk in the first place, proving once and for all that nothing on Earth is good for you, and that humans should starve themselves to death immediately upon birth in the name of the greater good.)

I suppose the idea with root beer was to taste something like root beer float. And it does...but something's missing. It's kind of weird. Like diet root beer float maybe.

Somebody should try raspberry or blackberry milk. Those berries are classics with cream. They do yogurts that way all the time.

Speaking of which, why doesn't anybody make chocolate yogurt? TCBY makes chocolate frozen yogurt, and apparently Yoplait makes some chocolate flavors (yes, I actually Googled before asking to see if a logical answer existed, and the best answer I got was "ugh"), but I've personally never seen a chocolate flavor in stock anywhere.

Anyway, you can find Shatto products in Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Whole Foods, or a few other grocers around the Kansas City area.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Summer Less Sweaty

Place: Okoboji Grill
Lunch: Boji Cheeseburger Melt (no tomato), Boji fries with ranch, Pepsi

So was anybody ever going to clue me in on stone coasters? The ones that absorb water off drinking glasses?

It gets hot. It gets humid. So goes the heartland. It's not uncommon for me to be to have a large glass full of ice water or limeade at the desk or on the table next to me.

Condensation builds up on the glass, of course, leaving water dripping on the surface. So you keep your glass on a coaster. These come in all sorts of different styles...cork ones, plastic ones, foam ones...I've even seen them made of fabric.

For the most part, they don't do much good. Water sits on them or rolls off of them. Some actually get sticky and adhere to the bottom of the glass. You lift up the glass, the coaster comes with it. And regardless, water drips on everything.

So about a month ago, I noticed "water stone" coasters at Pops, the wonderful tourist trap convenience store with a 66-foot pop bottle on the frontage in Arcadia, Oklahoma.
They claimed to absorb water. So I bought one to try.

Now I have four.

They're THAT good.

You can seriously pick up a glass that's been sweating awhile and NO DRIPS! The stone absorbs water! The glass isn't dry, but nothing's pooling into drips. And in a month of use with no cleaning, it still works as good as new.

They're completely awesome.

They're not quite as good with fast food wax cups, particularly if they've already been sweating between the restaurant and the home/office, but still better.

The guys who make the ones Pops sells are here, where you can buy them cheaper than the $7 each at Pops (but you won't have the snazzy "Pops" logo on them. You're heartbroken, I know).

Similar products are available from other sources as well.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Samuels Family

Place: B-Bops
Lunch: Classic double (no tomato), chili, Pepsi

It's a BEAUTIFUL day for eating outside. Little birds patrol the patio looking for people to toss them pieces of bun, which I do, of course.

Have you noticed how many restaurant chains are using the "surprise it's really our food" element in their commercials lately?

Hardee's/Carl's Jr did it recently with their premium burgers. And Pizza Hut has been doing it with their pastas. The most ridiculous of these is the Pizza Hut commercial running in heavy rotation right now where "the Samuels family" is blindfolded under the premise they're being taken to an Italian restaurant...only to be led back into their own home to be fed delivered pasta.

Suspending disbelief is beyond ridiculous here. Am I REALLY supposed to believe you wouldn't catch on you're in your own house? That you don't recognize your own home's smell? The acoustics? The seating? The steps they go up to their own front door?


Burger King is also apparently fed up. They've taken the satire route. A guy approaches two guys eating Burger King's premium burgers IN a Burger King.

"Well what if I were to tell you that those burgers came from BURGER KING!"

"We're IN a Burger King."


"There's no 'gotcha'. We're IN a BURGER KING."