Tag Archives: bland

Finding The Perfect Fry

Once upon a time my favorite food was the french fry. When I was a kid, if we went to a fast food restaurant, my go-to meal would be two large fries and a chocolate shake (yikes). Back then, fries were delicious, greasy and salty. Nothing like the “healthier” fries of today (which are hard, dry and tasteless). Why they are trying to make fries “healthier” is a mystery to me. If I wanted to eat something nutritious, it wouldn’t be french fries in the first place.

After eating a few too many dud spuds, I decided to see if there were any good fries out there.
What follows is my quest for the perfect fry.

McDonald’s – Not bad. Not great. They’re best if they’re fresh from the fryer. And you have to eat them before they become cold and hard.

Jack in the Box – They taste almost exactly like McDonald’s.

Burger King – Too crisp, too dry.

Wendy’s – “Natural cut” fries. Too crispy and dry. The sea salt didn’t adhere.

Islands – They’re cut fresh daily and supposedly “cooked to perfection.”  If “perfection” means so dry the salt bounces off them, then I guess they are. I wouldn’t order them again.

T.G.I. Friday’s used to have some pretty good fries – with a yummy seasoning. But not anymore.
Pass.

Chili’s – meh.

Carl’s Junior – I need some more adjectives for “dry” and “tasteless”.

Callahan’s – We usually just go here for the beer. If I have enough to drink, I usually want some french fries. Theirs are okay. But only if they’re fresh from the fryer. The cajun spice helps.

Applebee’s – Maybe the best of the bunch. Not fantastic, but not disappointing.

Arby’s – they only have the curly fries in my location (which are almost an entirely different animal, due to the seasoning), but I tried them anyway. They were greasy (which is good) but had been in the fryer a little too long (which made them too hard). I couldn’t taste the seasoning on my batch at all.

Brazen BBQ in Hillcrest – Man, were these bad. They were like the potato sticks you buy in a can from the grocery store. Sadness.

Brewski’s is a little hamburger place in my neighborhood. The burgers are good, but the fries aren’t.

Fatburger – The fat fries are pretty good. But only fresh from the fryer. You can see in the picture the shine of grease on the fry. That is always a good sign.

Five Guys – I went here with Ryan. They give you a TON of fries, which is great. And from the picture, they look nice and greasy. I was too busy yapping to remember how they tasted. I know I didn’t finish them all, but that was due to trying not too look like a pig in front of the svelte Ryan, and not because of the taste.

Red Robin – Pretty good when fresh. But not outstanding. They say the baskets of fries are “endless”, but they only put in about 5 at a time.

Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza – Dry, tasteless and disappointing. Boo.

SeaWorld – Surprisingly good. You have to eat them quickly, before the sea gulls try to swipe them.

Smashburger – These fries were horrible. So bland and dry. I didn’t even want to finish them. I threw about half of them away.

In-N-Out – Their fries are cut right in front of you, so you’d think they’d be fresh and delicious. But they’re just hard little bits of tasteless potato.

Fuddruckers fries are pretty darn good. They’re nice and soft and have a tasty seasoning on them.

Sonic – They were good. There were a few really good soggy, greasy ones in there.

As you can see, this Sonic fry passes the flaccid test.

Now that I’ve sampled so many of the fries in my area, I’ve come to the conclusion that the perfect fry no longer exists. And that french fries are no longer my favorite food. And that I need to start eating salad.

This post is dedicated to Fat Betty.

Blam!

So what french fries are good in your neck of the woods? Do you think I’ll ever eat a french fry again? Did you read this whole post? It was really long. What is your favorite food? Let me know in comments!


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It’s Taste Test Time!

There are certain brands that I always buy or order because I think that they are superior. But am I just being blindly loyal or do I really think they are the best? The only way to know is to compare them with their competitors in a blind taste test. *Harry and I did not taste anything in the same order.

We started with the chocolate (milk chocolate). I was looking forward to this the most, but I have to say, it was too much of a good thing. They all tasted fairly similar, and none really stood out in a good (or bad) way.

Godiva
Harry: not as creamy as the others
Michelle: creamy, sweet and chocolatey tasting, but in a generic way. My second favorite.

See’s
Harry: had a nutty taste (like hazelnuts or walnuts), kinda weird
Michelle: Reminds me of walnuts, has a hint of cocoa

Ghiradelli
Harry: he thought this tasted the same as the Trader Joe’s chocolate
Michelle: Has a really sweet aftertaste, too sweet. My least favorite

Trader Joe’s
Harry: same as the Ghiradelli
Michelle: has a little bit of saltiness, a chocolate aftertaste, very sweet

Hershey
Harry: not as milky as the others, but is more chocolatey
Michelle: This is Hershey’s, maybe my favorite, has a very subtle grittiness

Cadbury
Harry: Tastes less sweet than the others
Michelle: Mellow, very sweet, tastes like a chocolate Easter bunny, has a hazelnut aftertaste

Lindt
Harry: Has a caramel taste. Not my favorite.
Michelle: Creamy and sweet, very melty in the mouth

Dove
Harry: Less milky and more chocolatey, just chocolate
Michelle: I like the texture, a little sweet, maybe the most chocolatey

And the winners?

Harry – couldn’t pick one. They all tasted alike to him.

Michelle – Hershey’s. I could identify it right off the bat (so did Harry). I’m surprised one of the higher end bars didn’t come in first.


Next up were the cheesy poofs. I know, I don’t like cheese, but it’s okay on popcorn or a poof.
I think it’s a texture thing.

Cheetos
Harry: Cheesy. Poofy. Salty. This is my favorite.
Michelle: Cheesy all the way through.

Trader Joe’s (reduced fat)
Harry: Has a mild cheesy taste
Michelle: Has a milky taste, really sticks in your teeth

Little Bear
Harry: Most bland of all. It’s like a puff of air.
Michelle: No cheese taste at all. It tastes like a corn puff.

Safeway
Harry: Saltiness upfront, Some cheesy taste. My 2nd favorite.
Michelle: Has an upfront cheesy taste, You can taste the corn, is salty, probably my favorite

Smart Puff
Harry: Almost no cheese taste, has a hint of pepper
Michelle: Is very light, dissolves quickly into nothing, has a slight hint of cheese

Which was the best?

Michelle – I picked the Safeway brand

Harry picked the Cheetos brand. And though the Smart puffs didn’t taste very cheesy at all, we liked those to snack on.


We saved the “champagne” for last (we know it’s really sparkling wine, but we haven’t won the lottery to splurge on 5 bottles of the real stuff. So just play along). We’re also not “champagne” people (and especially not Brut – but it was only kind I could find enough varieties of). This may explain the following results.

Woodbridge
Harry: Thought this and the Chandon tasted the same.
Michelle: Bitter, very bitter. I don’t like it.

Chandon
Harry: See above
Michelle: It’s bitter and sour, middle of the road. I don’t like it.

Korbel
Harry: Thought it was similar to the Woodbridge and Chandon, but a little mellower.
Michelle: It’s bitter and has a sour taste. It’s my 2nd least favorite. I don’t like it.

Tott’s
Harry: Has a fruity taste, It’s the most mellow of them all.
Michelle: It’s bitter, but has a fruity taste up front. I don’t like it, but it’s the best of the bunch.

Cook’s (Harry had a devil of a time getting the damn cork out of this one)
Harry: Has a skunky smell. And a skunky taste. It’s my least favorite.
Michelle: Is bitter. Has a weird taste, Ew. I don’t like it. It’s my least favorite.

And the winners?

Harry – The Tott’s.

Michelle – They were all gross, but if I had to pick the least disgusting, it would be the Tott’s.

Do you have any ideas of how to make our leftover “champagne” more drinkable? Let us know in the comments and join us next time in the test kitchen as we taste the letter “T”!

It’s Taste Test Time!

There are certain brands that I always buy or order because I think that they are superior. But am I just being blindly loyal or do I really think they are the best? The only way to know is to compare them with their competitors in a blind taste test. So join Harry and me as we separate the best from the rest.

First up were pretzels. Which aren’t as good as chips. But they’re healthier – so there’s that, I guess.

Here is what we thought.

Snyders
Michelle – Okay. Tastes like your standard pretzel.
Harry – Salty, good taste. Thin and crispy.

Glutino (gluten free. Remember when I was doing that? Yeah, that didn’t last long).
Michelle – Not bad for a fake pretzel. Will do in a pinch. Obviously Glutino.
Harry – EW! That should not be called a pretzel. Has a chlorine taste. EW!

Rold Gold
Michelle – Salty, very crunchy. Crispier and saltier than the others.
Harry – Tastes darker, more caramelized, maybe cooked longer. Okay.

Safeway Brand
Michelle – Good salt taste, good. Tastes a little burnt.
Harry – Thicker, more doughy. Like a soft pretzel. Salty.

So the winners were:

Michelle – Rold Gold

Harry – Safeway brand

And the loser was:
The little pretzel that couldn’t – Glutino.


Next up was peanut butter. The inspiration for the taste tests in the first place. I always get JIF because choosy moms choose JIF (so what if I’m not a mom). But am I just a slave to advertisers or do I actually like JIF? Hmm…

*I wanted to include Peter Pan, but like Schweddy Balls ice cream, I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Skippy
Michelle – The sweetest. Has a nice peanut finish. Reminds me of peanut butter cookies.
Harry – Mellow. Not a lot of taste.

Organic brand
Michelle – Sticky, not too sweet. Peanutty.
Harry – Has a nice peanut taste. A little over-roasted. Has a slight bitterness. Sticky. Reminds me of peanut shells.

JIF
Michelle – Starts sweet. Peanutty and creamy. Very thick and salty.
Harry – Mellow. Not a lot of taste. (Harry couldn’t tell the difference between JIF and Skippy).

Laura Scudders
Michelle – Super sticky. Has the most peanut taste. Kind of bland. All I can taste is the peanut oil. Has a bitter aftertaste. Needs something (salt and sugar).
Harry – Stronger peanut taste. More bitterness going on.

And the winners were:

Michelle – JIF! Yay! I’ve been buying the right peanut butter all along.

Harry – Organic brand

The loser was:
Laura Scudders. Also, it was very gloopy. It was one of those peanut butters that you had to mix, but stirring didn’t make it any less oily. Gross.


Last up was pasta. Penne pasta in particular.

*Usually we eat whole wheat pasta, but I was too lazy to drive all over looking for four brands.

Eh. We tried, but they all tasted exactly the same. A couple of them were thicker and more ridgey (that’s what she said).


So if you’re in the area, stop by for some bland pasta, peanut butter and pretzels. And make sure to join us in the test kitchen next time as we taste the letter C(h)!