Category Archives: Food and Products

Collasal Falafel Failure: How one pantry meal almost caused tears.

You know what I love? Salt. I love salt. I have tried everything from pink Hawaiian sea salt to Morton’s and I just can’t seem to get enough. Salt is a lot like the Force. You can use it for good, or for evil. Casbah Natural Foods’ falafel uses it for dismal, terrible evil. A single serving (1/3 cup dry or 4 patties) contains 680 milligrams of sodium, or 28 percent. Assuming you eat two servings you’ve just consumed over half your day’s salt. And while some foods, like Twinkies, are also high in sodium, they don’t suck the moisture out of your face in quite the same cruel, Darth Vader like way.

Paired with jasmine rice, yogurt sauce and mixed vegetables I was hoping for a simple, healthy, vegetarian meal. What I got was the same feeling I got at age 10 when I accidentally pranked myself by putting salt in the sugar bowl (I was a bright child.)

Comsmopolitan KitKats: Flavors from Japan

Weird Food Products

Jess: Just when you think you really know everything about Kit-Kats, a product from Japan sets your opinions reeling. At Mitsuwa Marketplace we discovered these Kit-Kats in green tea and caramel flavoring. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they weren’t worth the four dollars we paid for them. When opening the caramel Kit-Kat’s package, you got a definate and lovely smell of caramel. Like caramel delicious enough to make you into an enraged ape diving for the Kit-Kat like it was some sublime banana. Unfortunately, the caramel Kit-Kat is a tease. It lied to us–to me. There was almost no caramel flavor.

The green tea one was even more of a rip off, at four dollars and no green tea flavor. At least they were beautiful, as James Houde’s photos let us see. At least.

 


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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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?