Friday, March 31, 2006

Klondike: many flavors

the klondike bar - basically an ice cream bar w/out a stick - is quaint cuz its stick-lessness rejects mfrs' current tendency to make food "easier" via holders, containers etc (for ex, the little spouts they put on milk cartons now. spouts which are unnecessary and add another bit of plastic to the landfill. all so that it's easier for morons to open the frigging carton. but i digress) the klondike originated in PA & OH; Unilever (now good humor-breyers) bought 'em in '93 and has expanded the original vanilla+choc w/ a dozen+ flavors: caramel swirl, choc, cookies & cream, dark choc, heath bar, hershey w/ almond, krunch, neopolitan, oreo, reese's, york pepp patty, planters caramel & peanut, strawb chzcake, & "whitehouse cherry" which of course isn't avail in the dallas area becuz after all it sounds GOOD
no "fun" links today pls forgive but this tells where the name came from; this guy has a small piece on the early history of the klondike bar. here's a discussion about the klondike bar amongst a bunch of astronomy nerds

Thursday, March 30, 2006

starbucks update (part of a series)*

1. Starbucks has 2 new spring bevs based on green tea ("real Japanese matcha ground green tea leaves"): green tea latte - green tea w/ steamed milk, and blackberry green tea frappuccino which is only semi-new, really just a twist on the already-existent green tea frapp. Green tea is a big seller for sbux, acc to sbux employees who don't know they're being quoted here. haha sbux pr dept.

2. Meanwhile, for 2006, its annual new summer flavor frappuccino will be ta-da BANANA. "fresh banana pureé blended w/ coffee, milk, & ice." banana + coffee = hmm. Remember last summer's flavor was mint mocha chip; but no flavor can ever compare w/ the late, lamented mocha MALT frapp. some sbux stores still carry malt powder but the drink's not on the menu, thereby dooming its prospects for those not in the know

Of course the photo here shows an entirely diff product, starbucks' new iced coffee which has been addressed here previously, is now in stores, & which tastes somewhere between the milkier bottled frappuccino & the stronger espresso DoubleShot.

*no links today but with such exciting news, who misses the links, right?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

nestle stixx*

A few months ago, Pepperidge Farm* came out w/ a "choc fudge pirouette" – a choc version of the cylindrical pirouette cookie but w/ choc fudge filling & a choc cookie wafer. It seemed almost-newsy but not really. But there must be some kinda market for those pirouette-style cookies cuz that’s basically what new Nestle Stixx is: wafer cylinder filled w/ flavored cream & coated in choc. Flavors: 1. milk choc 2. dark choc 3. butterfinger. They’re good, esp the dark choc, w/ the A+ contrast between crispy cookie & sweet choc. The lame thing is that they’re pitching these as 90-cal bars that are "good for health-conscious types" but try eating less than 3 at a time.
*Nestle & pepp farm's websites blow

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Nakhon Thai

Is there thai in plano? There is thai in plano. More precisely, there is, acc to a dining website one hates to promote, 10 thai in plano. What this area website does not delineate is the fact that 9 of the 10 thai in plano are in WEST plano. And while Nakhon Thai is also in west plano, it is at least closer to east plano than the other west plano thais. It has the usual satays, tom yum gais, & pad thais, and it has the usual lunch specials, nearly 2 dozen, tho they’re $6.95 which is 1.95 more than what most people are looking to pay. Nakhon Thai is not only a rest in plano, it’s also a rest in London and an area in No Thailand

1116 W. Parker Rd. #300 (SW corner Parker & Alma), 972-943-8998

Monday, March 27, 2006

Black Raspberry ice creams

In any other context, the new Black Raspberry ice creams by Godiva and Haagen Dazs would be cause for celebration. Black raspberry, a N.E. fave, is a flavor w/ complexity, sophistication, élan, and etc. But the bandwagon jumping here only underscores the cluelessness among ice cream cos. wherein every mfr feels compelled to do the same thing. Oh for those days in ’99 when Dreyers intro’d Dreamery w/ 18 innovative flavors. The current lineup is down to 3: black rasp avalanche, waffle cone, & choc truffle. And one hates to be a pessimist but add this up: 1. CoolBrands, Dreamery’s boneheaded corp parent, doesn’t list Dreamery as one of its brands. 2. But it does list Godiva. 3. the ingred list for both ice creams is identical (except the new godiva product doesn't have ground-up vanilla beans) (And it should be noted here that HD does have black raspberry as an ingred, unlike the other two.) Is Dreamery, which started the whole #!&$ thing, now a lame duck?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Oliver's Eatery

ya suppose the guys who opened Oliver’s Eatery are fans of EC? (back before he married Diana Krall, of course.) More likely they’re fans of Café Express, which this casual-dining restaurant in No Dallas most resembles. The food – salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta -- looks pretty good in the pix posted on its myspace website. (kinda cute isn't it, a restaurant having a myspace site?) They make everything there, nothing frozen or pre-done, and some of the ingreds – mesclun greens, not just romaine -- are sufficiently yup to appeal to foodie types. For now, it’s not a chain, tho it hopes to be one when it grows up. For now, there’s this branch (which is at a bizzy/populous corner) and maybe down the road, another in frisco

4727 Frankford Rd #373 Dallas 972-818-5445

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

RB, chick etc

March has been a regular orgy of new ice-creams-espresso-drinks-restaurants-in-dallas (so much so that getting items posted in a timely manner has been a challenge). By now, even Osama bin Laden has heard about quizno’s prime rib sub & arby’s chicken samwich. Rather than pretend these are news, this is a pointer to two xlent reports on said samwiches which address the following:
1. does the quizno’s prime rib sub really taste good
2. is arby’s chick any more like chick than its RB is like RB

*semi-deceptive photo shows double portion of meat

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Twix White Chocolate

twix rules but has a downside. To its credit, it has the fab contrasting combo of salty (cookie base) & sweet (caramel & choc), in the same way as LU’s Le Petit Ecolier cookies (plain biscuit+choc) and Hershey’s Take 5 (pretzels+choc) (which btw will have 2 ltd eds this year). If only Twix didn’t have palm kernel oil which is not so great for you and leaves an icky residue on the tongue. And yet despite all that, Twix are still xlnt - even the new ltd ed Twix White Chocolate. Rather than tasting white chocolately, the white choc + the caramel = buttery. sigh maybe a little palm kernel oil isn't so bad

Monday, March 20, 2006

Porta di Roma in Plano

hey plano is just like downtown dallas now! well not really but it IS about to welcome a 2nd branch of Porta di Roma, an Italian rest in the CBD (in the gorgeous Wilson loft bldg). Porta di Roma might could be confused as just another red-sauce eyetal tho it really is better than that w/ food that’s well above-average; but no matter what, it gets a nod for opening in downtown D at a time when no one could even fathom downtown having a nightlife. W/ this plano branch, PdR remains the urban visionary by eschewing the cheezy west side of plano and opening instead on the east side, off that hip little 15th st area.

1410 K Ave (next to kelly’s) 972-943-3533 opening in april

Friday, March 17, 2006

7-Eleven ciabatta

Oh here’s an interesting "new product": 7-Eleven ciabatta sandwiches. Which, fine, rah rah for offering sumthin they didn’t have before and ciabatta yes def more interesting than white bread. But to listen to the spiel, you’d think 7-11 pioneered the idea. "Developing the ciabatta took longer than a year" sez the 7-11 product dev guy. And the mktg lady, when asked why ciabatta is hot, attributed it to the evolution of food trends. Helloo can anyone say jack in the box?? who DID pioneer ciabatta sams in may '05? THANK YOU. 7-11's 1st 2 ciabatta flavors are "brown sugar turkey" & "ital cold cuts". Subway, btw, is also doing ciabatta sandwiches. guess mickey d will get around to it in 2007.

*photo is of a JACK IN THE BOX sandwich. get the point

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dr Pepper Berries & Cream

This is cool: 1. that dr p has a new flavor, Dr Pepper Berries & Cream, described as a raspberry + cream soda combo, test mktd in half a dozen states, & launching in april. 2. that dr p has an ebay "identity": "dr-pepper soda" 3. that dr p is selling cases of it for charity. What they’re selling is test samples, w/ different packaging than what’s coming out in april, which makes it appealing to collector types (current price as of 9:25 a.m.: $217.50).

*hi-5 to twistedlink for the tip

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Zander’s House

After 25 yrs, August Moon, a Chinese rest on 75 in Plano best known for its A+ lunch buffet, closed. (Point of info: A cheaper place called Chinese Buffet opened a few blocks away. It’s a dog-eat-dog world.) (Point B: The NoDallas branch is still open.) In its place: a vietnamese rest-lounge called Zander’s House, opened by the Bui family who moved here from NY. (Daughter Tran wears cool Prada glasses.) The menu has a ++ collex of not-the-usual stuff: crepes w/ steamed rice shrimp pork & mushrooms; claypot salmon; shaking cubed filet mignon; crispy anchovies w/ papaya salad & peanuts; "water spinach" sauteed w/ garlic. Plus 25 lunch specials @ $5.50. The white-stucco-&-blue-neon décor’s pretty and, to hedge their bets, there’s a hardwood dance floor. And for the next couplo wks, they're lopping 15% off of every check.

2300 N. Central Expwy (by Park), 972-943-9199

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sbux coffee break

Starbucks saving mankind: Mar 15 (tomorrow), it’ll host a "coffee break" (its "first-ever")*, wherein it’ll give away free 12-oz cupsa coffee 10 am - noon. At stores and also employees’ll be on the streets dispensing cups via "giant coffee backpacks". Coincidentally, the chain is simultaneously launching its "annual brewing sale" wherein you can buy coffeemakers at low-low prices. But really that’s just a coincidence, that it happens at the same time. FREE BREWED COFFEE (not instant!?!) I mean, what a wonderful altruistic campaign

*Quotes = pressreleasespeak

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Big Gulp soda

Do you hafta grow up drinking soda to appreciate it? Personally, not much of a fan aside from a Dr P now & then. And acc to an item in the NYTimes (brought to you by kirk), soda's on the decline (to sum up: # of cases sold is down .7 %, Coke -2%, Pepsi -3.2%). But nevermind all that. this Big Gulp Soda seems newsworthy as more than simply 7-11's new house brand bottled soda entry. Cuz it's made with real cane sugar, which is a big deal among certain soda types. And fyi, even to someone who didn't grow up drinking soda, this stuff tastes pretty good. There's also an apple-ginger which was eh, and a mint which wasn't available at the time of purchase.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

blue bell flavor dump

OK this is gonna be an insult-free entry re: Blue Bell. Nunna the usual griping about their highway-robbery prices, cheapo ingreds, or weird ferrety secretiveness, just straight news about new seasonal flavors & there’s a bunch. (Of course, if Blue Bell follows SOP, then the flavors won’t taste as good as than they sound. But seriously, this is a no-judgment posting, so just the facts.) 1. Lemon Ice Box Pie, lemon w/ graham-cracker pieces & whip topping swirl (if it worked as Key Lime Pie Ice Cream, why not lemon eh). 2. Nutty Coconut, coconut w/ coco flakes & chopt almonds, pecans, & walnuts. 3. Choc Almond Marshmallow, dark choc swirled w/ marsh sauce + choc-coated almond pieces. Get that, almond pieces, not whole almonds. But seriously, no digs here. These follow Hot Chocolate, a new flavor that’s already in stores now

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

non food but fun

You Are New York

Cosmopolitan and sophisticated, you enjoy the newest in food, art, and culture. You also appreciate a good amount of grit - and very little shocks you. You're competitive, driven, and very likely to succeed.

Famous people from New York: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Tupac Shakur, Woody Allen

Monday, March 06, 2006

B&J Black & Tan ice cream

Q. Ice cream or beer? A. Ice cream, ie no alcohol. But Ben & Jerry’s Black &Tan ice cream IS named (& flavored) after the drink that combines Guinness w/ pale beer. It’s: "stout-flavored" ice cream (flavored w/ "non-alcoholic stout extract") + choc ice cream swirl. (They also describe it as being topped w/ a "foamy stout ice cream head" but whatever.) The tie-in is St. Patrick’s Day and while beer-flavored ice cream seems odd, there are beeriers making choc-flav beer so maybe not such a stretch.

*Photos "borrowed" from internet sources thus kinda illegible

Thursday, March 02, 2006


It’s hard to imagine a bev more vile than the latest dreck from Coke: Vault Zero, "an artificially flavored sugar free hybrid energy soda". Hybrid? Like, what -- it doesn’t run on gasoline? Coke's just trying to do a Mt Dew (it doesn't even have the Red Bull taurine mix), but it didn't work when it was called Surge either. How bad is it? 1. sickly color (see action photo at left). makes anti-freeze look appetizing. 2. toxic ingredients. to wit: 2 ingreds that end w/ "acid" + aspartame + caffeine + warning "contains phenyketonurics". Why not some DDT while yer at it? Where's the skull & bones? 3. tastes. like. Gatorade. who drinks Gatorade cuz they like the taste? Perhaps the Vault w/ sugar is better. But jeez, can Coke do anything right? And where’s that friggin Blak stuff

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Dallas old-timers might remember an ital place called Alessio’s, popular w/ old-farty HP types; can offer no personal testimony, but it was open 16 yrs so that’s sumfin. Owner Alessio Franceschetti has since worked at a coupla other places but now has a new Alessio’s, this time in East Dallas, up the st from Jimmy’s Food Store. (All that ‘hood needs is one more buzzy enterprise and it’ll be an official hot-spot. Perhaps you've heard that Tom Spicer, the boutique produce supplier to 5-star joints such as York St., plans to open a produce market, at 1410 Fitzhugh, 2 doors down from Jimmy's. Assuming he can get the bldg in shape. Not to mention financing.) Ever eat at the Vietnamese restaurant Pho Kim? That’s where Alessio’s is.

4801 Bryan St. 214-824-2200