Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hershey's Kisses Mini Cookies

Perhaps addled by the success of its various ltd-ed kiss releases, Hershey’s seems to be under the impression that the so-called kiss shape (cuz it’s not exactly shaped like a kiss, it’s more teardrop, right?) is some kinda valuable commodity. A few mths ago, the co. issued kissables, basically an M&M in the "kiss" shape. Now: teeny-weeny Hershey’s Kisses Mini Cookies. * There's choc chip, Double Choc, & multi-colored Confetti Sprinkles. They’re so tiny that there’s lotsa crunch but not much going on taste-wise; the choc-chips are so small, they have minimal impact. It’s basically playing off the cute factor which makes you wonder how long they’ll last.

*brought to NYCE HQ by the "plano guy"

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

On the Wine Trail in Italy

As a low-pressure way to get back into gear, how bout letting another blog do the heavy lifting today: On the Wine Trail in Italy, by A. Cevola, Italian wine director for a Dallas-based booze distributor & all-round bon vivant. OTWTII may not have very catchy initials but it duz have lotsa eenteresting eenfo about Ital wine (mostly) and la dolce vita, presented in an unexpectedly lyrical fashion, tho if you know alfonso – as do most food & wine people in dallas - that’s prob not such a surprise. He’s a renaissance guy and very plugged-in to shit before everyone else.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Becuz some wks are all about junk food, let’s do a restaurant instead: Social, a mid-priced mid-atmosphered mid-calibered place serving New American food. Prob the most interesting thing izzat it’s in Univ Park, across from SMU, in the Hotel Lumen, an ex-Ramada remodeled into a semi-boutique hotel. Breakfast is brought-in pastries & there's no lunch; but at dinner, they have a chef, Jon Schwarzenberger, formerly of the Crescent Club, who does steak, seafood, salmon and so on, tho the talker is mac&cheez, made w/ brie + gruyere

6101 Hillcrest Ave, Univ Park 214-219-2400

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dish Neighborhood Cuisine

Unless you live in East Plano, you prob don’t care whether or not its quaint, brick-streeted vintage downtown area prospers. Fine. Be that way. Stick your head in the sand. Meanwhile, perhaps you’ll indulge this tiny bit of partisan cheerleading for Dish Neighborhood Cuisine, an "American bistro" opening at the end of the month (like, next week). You know how every downtrodden neighborhood begs for a Starbucks? Well E-Plano totally needs an upscale place like Dish, to offset the too-high proportion of old-lady places that dominate the 15th-st strip. Chef Blake Liles is a Serious Chef whose resume includes heritage ranch country club. His vision: "Jasper’s at half the price" ... steak frites, fish, and "cool" pizzas a la Fireside Pies a fine role model since it has the absolute best pizza in Dallas.

1022 E 15 th st. plano. 972-633-1200

Monday, May 22, 2006

POM Pomegranate Lychee green tea

Re: POM's Pomegranate Lychee Green Tea: OPEN AT YOUR OWN RISK. in a safe place. The top doesn’t screw off or have any kind of easy opener or instrux. Yer just sposed to pry it off but if you do that at your desk, you’ll be turning & pulling & when it does abruptly pop off, a third of it will drench your clothes-lap-chair. pom makes dumb bottles; seems 2B company policy. What the package DOES say is, "keep the glass" - a lovely recycling sentiment but absurd. even an avid recycler (such as myself) might question the benefit of this artless cylinder. maybe ok as a vase. anyway it's newsworthy cuz 1. itsa branching out for POM 2. it's like-snapple-but-better, cuz its first ingred is TEA, not sugar (fructose is 3rd, after pom juice). other flavs include peach & blackberry but lychee is the best, and most exotic, peach-ish but more flowery. they call this 13-oz "glass" 2 servings, 70 cal & 18 carbs each

Friday, May 19, 2006

Haagen Dazs Mayan choc ice cream

Haagen Dazs Mayan chocolate is better than the usual new prod intro cuz it’s at least original, not just a candy-bar-cloned deal but actually refs a concept reech weeth heestory: that the mayans were the first consumers of choc. HD's so behind the thing, it created this fairly silly 3D-ish graphics program that takes forever to load and duzn’t tell ya a lot. (Link only if you want to send your computer into a spiral of inefficiency.) anyway taste-wise the i.c. is "rich dark choc w/ a hint of cinnamon" and a fudge swirl. def more of an adulty thing - not sweet, little bit intense, good paired w/ other flavors.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

new Cafe Brazil

Among the things Dallas can congratulate itself for having, bohemianism isn’t one; there just isn’t much of it. Prob the closest it gets is Cafe Brazil, a mini-local-chain that serves semi-healthy food, breakfast all day, & bottomless cups of coffee, and even better, keeps late-night hours. Well a new Cafe Brazil on Greenville Ave opens tomorrow in the little strip next to Stan's Blue Note. This 7th branch basically replaces the veteran Lakewood branch, which shut down recently after losing its lease. Its opening reinforces the fact that Greenville is reasserting itself as the entertainment zone now that deep ellum's on the decline.

2900 Greenville Ave 214-841-0901

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Banana Coconut Frappuccino®

The fact that banana is Starbucks' summer '06 flavor: not news. But it was officially announced today, along w/ the fact that (and here's what prompts today's item) Starbucks will hand out 90K bananas to customers in 21 cities to kick-off the campaign... "to celebrate the season w/ the spirit of Carnival", whatever the F that means. No data yet on which cities get the treasured free bananas (let it please be us, dear god, let it be us). But while we're here, what say we go ahead & list the new dwinks, which reportedly use real banana puree & which'll be avail til aug 30: Banana Coconut Frappuccino®, Banana Caramel Frappuccino®, & Banana Mocha Frappuccino®, which i dunno, does that really sound like it'd be good? certainly not as good as malt

Monday, May 15, 2006

Wrigley’s Doublemint Kona Crème coffee gum

Do you begin to get a sense that people are taking this coffee thing too far? To wit: Wrigley’s Doublemint Kona Crème coffee-flavored gum. Kona as you may already know is the sposed high-end coffee from Hawaii. Crème is the froufrou spelling of cream. the gum tastes at first like sweetened iced coffee. but as the combo of coffee + mint unfolds, it gets a little odd. in the + column: It has sugar (preferable to sugar-free gum which has phenylwhatsits, said to excite your brain cells to DEATH). And the coffee color is nice. But minus: tis neither refreshing, which is what you want from gum nor does it provide a dose of caffeine

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Starbucks mud pie bar

Boy talk about tailor-made for this blog: Starbucks Mud Pie ice cream bar. How can you lose w/ coffee + ice cream (not to mention sbux). itsa choc cookie w/ coffee ice cream coated in choc. But really it's just sad, in that it embodies the inevitable surrender to the American appetite. Cuz Starbucks did try a more moderate approach w/ its clever Frappuccino bar, like a coffee version of a fudgesicle and much leaner than the 350 cals this has. But unfortunately the demand is for more-more-more in ice cream prods. As an aside, these ice-cream-on-cookie things are a hot trend, w/ similar items by Dove, Nestle/Toll House, Kemp’s, as well as a big expansion of the Klondike line

note slight discrepancy between bar on box as opposed to real life

Monday, May 08, 2006


the options for today:
1. Spend 2 hrs writing about one of the many cool new prods & restaurants I know of (hate to gloat, but ha ha) 2. Pay the bills and skip the blog altogether today or 3. try something weird/new which is to spotlight a few blogs I’ve met lately. As opposed to the ones over on the right such as Cookie Madness and Tristram Shandy that you can always visit.

^The Fresh Loaf, "community" for bakers & bread fans
^All right Mr Gekko, part-time latte artist shares his pursuit of excellence. cool & quirky

Friday, May 05, 2006

White Choc M&M's

Another white choc candy would ordinarily be BFD. But it is slightly more interesting that it’s M&Ms, specifically M&M's White Choc Pirate Pearls candies. Nevermind the annoying promotional tie-in to the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest; unlike some other candy, M&M's doesn’t do many spinoffs. (Ok they did do a ltd-ed dark choc last yr, to promote another $&# movie. And ok there is also now a mega. But really, not that many spinoffs.) These have pastel shells but since they won’t be out til May 12, can't yet describe them (unless you hit Toys R Us). Sure hope the white choc is firm, not gross & soft like reese’s pieces. Less revolutionary but also related to the movie blah-blah: M&M's Minis Sunken Treasure Mix, which sposedly change colors, and M&M's Peanut Chocolate Captain's Gold, all done in fancy gold tones

Thursday, May 04, 2006

McCarty's Restaurant & Tavern

If U ever drove on 75 near LBJ, then U saw The Golden Eagle Restaurant, opened by Jack McCarty in 1958. Jack died in ‘72, and tho the McCarty family still owned the bldg, other people ran the Golden Eagle. Its last owner ran it right into the ground, declaring bankruptcy and auctioning off the fixtures in late ’05. Well it’s been reopened by the McCarty family – specifically Jack’s grandson, Jason Brown, whose b.g. includes bartending. They lost the "Golden Eagle" trademark (named after the Golden Eagles football team at Richardson High) so they’re calling it McCarty’s Restaurant & Tavern; they’re reprising the good ol' American style menu with steaks, stews, sammies, & other family recipes.

215 North Central Expwy, Richardson. 972-234-2111. Opening approx may 17

Monday, May 01, 2006

bb chocolate covered strawberries

mark the date cuz something nice is about to be said about blue bell, namely its new Choc Covered Strawberries ice cream. The description says "vanilla i.c., strawbs, choc-strawb hearts, & milk choc swirl." As a preface, bb already has a choc-covered cherries, one of their better flavors w/ cherry-vanilla i.c. and dark choc swirl (plus these "choc-covered cherry" things which aren’t cherries, more like "cherry goo"). that cherry version is good but its intense almondine flavor tastes almost fake. this straw version is better cuz 1. strawbs seem to have an intrinsically more natural taste, and 2. the strawberry & milk choc flavors combine nicely. But those "choc-strawb hearts" are just like the choc cov'd cherries: big puds that lack refinement.