Monthly Archives: April 2008

The Beer With A Golden Ticket

James: The other week super-awesome-mega self proclaimed Irish Yankee drinking band Ceann was making a rare tour stop in NJ, at my freakin college. I was so pumped, I really love these guys and their music. With songs like ‘Pabst Blue Ribbon’ containing lyrics like “Get ready for the show stopper/We’ll sing along with Dennis Hopper/Heineken, man fuck that shit, Pabst Blue Ribbon is the beer that keeps on Giving/For Such a modest price you get a beer you drink twice.”

Needless to say, I was ready to drink my fill of Pabst and then some. I went to two local liquor stores to score the beer of steel works and scenesters but came up empty. At the second store, I saw what I figured would be close enough: Golden Anniversary Beer. Pabst got a blue ribbon in 18xx, Golden Anniversary got a golden medal in 1987. Both cost like $5 a twelve pack. It was on.

I wish it was off. I can honestly say, this is the worst beer I have ever purchased. It tasted like water with beer and tin can flavorings, and probably was left over from the originally award winning 1987 batch stored in old diesel drums. Trying to choke them down at a party, a man known to wear and sleep in the same clothes for a week exclaimed that it was the worst beer he had ever tasted. It’s really that bad. (The only thing keeping it from being the worst beer that I’ve ever tasted is because I brew my own and did an experiment involving 10 pounds of malt and distillers yeast. It was so foul no known human could finish even one.)

Jess: I had our usual “taster’s shotglass” of this stuff, and I have to say that Golden Magic Ticket beer is probably the worst beer I have ever had. I have quaffed the likes of natty, of bud, of god knows what else during my tenure at college but this stuff tastes like yak urine and not in the good way. If there is a good way. I hate to be crass here but I’m pretty sure this beer actually causes every single problem in the entire world just by existing. Little kid with a hole in his shoe in India? Golden Anniversary Beer. Bee population plummeting? Golden Anniversary Beer. I really, really, REALLY tried to pretend it was drinkable, but I couldn’t get past one sip. At college events they should provide this if they don’t want us getting drunk. Seriously.

Bottom Line: Buying Golden Anniversary Beer leads to sad dissapointment and that crunched up “That is awful” look. $5.99 for a twelve pack.

Malee Thai Restaurant

This article appeared in the 3/08/08 issue of The Ramapo News!

By Jess Dutschmann and James Houde, Staff Writers

James: Reading a popular local food blog the other day, I for some reason decided we should check out Malee Thai in Ridgewood. Before this, I knew nothing of Thai food other than an ill fated attempt by a roommate at westernized Pad Thai involving peanut butter. So I did what any college kid would do, I took a crash course in culture at Wikipedia University. I learned that Thai cuisine focuses on harmony of flavor to dishes, makes heavy use of fresh herbs unfamiliar to the west, and that the leader of the Thai junta claimed that the insurgency in his country is being financed by restaurants in Malaysia selling Tom Yam Kung soup. Sometimes I don’t trust the internet.

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Nellie’s Place

This review was originally in the Ramapo News–and was our first review ever! Enjoy the nostalgia.


Jess: Rumor is, a guy left Kinchely’s Tavern in the ‘80s due to his girlfriend, a waitress there, cheating on him with the guy who cuts the veggies. Found ‘em in the back bent over a container of ricotta. Disgruntled he took the secret bar pie recipe to Nellie’s Place, a similar restaurant in Waldwick, NJ. The pizza there is pretty much the same, so it’s a good place to check out when the long lines and dodgy atmosphere of Kinchley’s isn’t what you’re into.

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What 300 calories looks like!

The excellent diet blog, DietBlog (creative, innit?) found a collection of pictures that represent what a 300 calorie meal looks like. While I obviously review, cook, and enjoy food, I’ve lost around 20 pounds since the beginning of the year using simple tools such as visual portion control to cut the weight. Not eating 400 calorie Panera Bread cookies also probably helped.

What tools help you keep your eating in check?

East Tokyo Hibachi and Sushi Review

This review originally appeared in the Ramapo News, March 20 2008

Jess: Poor college kids. Half price sushi, what could go wrong? A lot could go wrong. Things you couldn’t imagine could go wrong. The things I’ve seen gone wrong with raw fish. At East Tokyo Hibachi and Sushi’s half price sushi night nothing actually went wrong. It was all delicious, cheap, nutritious, and—dare I say—fun? Every Thursday at East Tokyo, there is a special menu of selected half priced rolls and sushi.

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You eat THAT?!– Anthropology and Food

Today as I was walking over to my computer lab job at college, I noticed a small crowd around some picnic tables. On these tables was a strange variety of food, so I had to stop and check it out. As it turns out it was a new club doing their first event–the Anthropolgy Club presenting “You eat THAT?!”, an event which allowed students to bring the interesting things they eat.

Bananas and Honey. Tasty, but not too weird. “Spanish Rice” made “Irish Style” with canned tomato soup and ground beef. Ehh… Kimchi, not so bad. Unless it’s astronaut Kimchi. An after dinner ‘mint’, Indian style, which essentially tasted the way you’d expect Indian Fabio to taste–warm, romantic, perfumy, and a little bit hard to take seriously. Mealworms…I didn’t try the mealworms to be honest. Jalapeño hummus from a girl who “doesn’t like weird food”. I think had she brought in plain mashed potatoes she would’ve been considered similarly weird in her boringness. There was also a student who gleefully explained that she “loved eating raw cookie dough dipped in marshmallow fluff on the couch”. I actually thought the name of the event in my head–“You eat THAT?!” (No offense. I eat apples and cheese, combined, and call it “chapples”. It makes my boyfriend furious when i eat chapples.)

There was something very nice about gathering with people I’ve never met and enjoying their company around food from their homes and their families, especially foods they might be embarrassed about eating in public. I was a little disappointed, as when I looked up the advertising that I’d seen for the event it had a photo of a durian.

What, nobody was brave enough?

I thought I was into weird liquor…

Weird Food Products

I just read an amusing article in today’s Bergen Record about obscure and hard to find spirits. Jason Wilson of The Washington post talks about the return of a pre-1960’s bar staple through an anecdote of a game he plays with his brother: Liquor Store Archeology. I now have a catchy name for the game I always play, trying to find weird bottles of who-knows-what lurking on the back dusty shelves of liquor stores.

Best find of mine to date? A pumpkin spice flavored cordial.

Link to article: New lavender liqueur is filled with nostalgia

Edit from Jess: the pumpkin spice cordial is disgusting.

Double Edit from James: It is neon orange, what do you expect?

T-T-Triple Edit from Jess: It is also ten dollars. You can see as such in the picture:


Just found this article through Wikipedia, and found it really interesting that now, in addition to astronaut ice cream, there is astronaut kimchi. As the article says,

“If a Korean goes to space, kimchi must go there, too,” said Kim Sung Soo, a Korea Food Research Institute scientist. “Without kimchi, Koreans feel flabby. Kimchi first came to our mind when we began discussing what Korean food should go into space.”

Mitsuwa Marketplace, April 5 2008

This review originally appeared in the Ramapo News.

We went to Japan this week. Well, no, we really didn’t, but Mitsuwa marketplace in Edgewater, NJ is pretty much the closest available center of all things Japanese—from food to toys to car accessories. As we drove down through Edgewater on our way to Mitsuwa, we heard an exotic chirp emanate from the trees. As it turns out, Edgewater is home to hundreds of green Wild Quaker parrots—an ‘invasive’ species, nobody knows how they got here. They are to Edgewater what pigeons are to New York City.

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Ole`? No Way! – Ole` Ole` Review

This review originally appeared in The Ramapo News

Tequila Sal e` Limon, Dona Maria, and Ole` Ole` are the culinary jewels in Suffern’s Mexican food crown, but one of these, Ole` Ole`, is looking pretty tarnished lately. Upon entering Ole` Ole` on an unassuming Tuesday night, we found it packed—there was a fifteen-minute wait. However, after looking around we discovered that their entire secondary room, which has enough chairs for twenty people, was rented out to eight tipsy forty year olds wearing sombreros.

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