Tag Archives: yummy

Limited Edition: Red Velvet Oreos

Usually when I hear about some too-good-to-true new flavored cookies, candies or ice creams one of two things happens. Either the story turns out to not be true or, as is usually the case, the finished product is absolutely disgusting. Luckily this time, the rumors that have been swirling online for a while now are true and Nabisco's Limited Edition Red Velvet Oreos are on store shelves as I type.

But the better news is that they are freaking awesome! Stuffed with some sort of delicious cream cheese filling (I would not advise you to even look at the nutritional information on these little pieces of heaven!) the cookie itself is amazing. Crisp, flavorful and the perfect compliment to the filling. Yum!

And best of all, these little cuties are not too sweet. I'm pretty picky about my red velvet flavored goodness and these guys totally take the cake, or um, cookie. Seriously, it's red velvet perfection! And what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day?

The only problem is actually finding Red Velvet Oreos in stores. Apparently they weren't kidding about that “limited edition” tag line on the package. These things are impossible to find, so, if you see them, buy them. And if you hate them, send them to me. ūüôā

Happy hunting!

 

 

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Pumpkin Cream Donuts at The Donut Man

Having been a Donut Man loyalist since I first sampled their now-legendary Fresh Strawberry Filled Donuts a few years back, I was really looking forward to trying their Pumpkin Cream Donuts last weekend. I mean, hello, pumpkin filling and fresh, creamy goodness piled high on a big, fluffy donut, what's not to love?

The answer, it turns out, is plenty. I'm not saying it's the worst pumpkin-flavored concoction I've ever tried, but, sadly, this seasonal favorite doesn't hold a candle to The Donut Man's rocking Strawberry and Peach bretheren. It's not terrible, but, it's just weird tasting. And though a warm donut underlayer always sounds appealing, in theory, in actual practice, it left me seriously jonesing for some proper pie crust instead.

That said, the Tiger Tails were incredible (as always), the colorful Cream Puffs pictured below were amazing (even two days later!) and Greta loved the Halloweenish sprinkles on her chocolate donut, so, any way you look at it, we came out ahead. Thanks, Donut Man!

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Pumpkin-palooza at Trader Joe’s

When pressed to pick their favorite flavor additives, most people pick something fruity, a nice strawberry lemon or cherry lime perhaps, but, if you ask me, it's all about banana and pumpkin. And while we don't have a national holiday or season that celebrates banana flavored stuff (yet!) pumpkiny goodness reigns supreme in the fall. And nowhere will you find the sweet, spicy flavors of pumpkin on display more than at your local Trader Joe's.

And while we're all used to finding the usual seasonal offerings like pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin bread and even pumpkin granola on display this time of year, the sheer volume of pumpkin-flavored goodies on TJ's shelves right now is positively staggering!

There are pumpkin cookies, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin croutons (which are freaking awesome, BTW), Joe's Pumpkin O's and of course, pumpkin spiced coffee to wash it all down. But the real standout this year is Trader Joe's new Harvest Salad mix! Yes, they even have pumpkin salad!

Featuring a fall-tastic blend of baby kale, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin cornbread croutons and pumpkin vinaigrette, this salad tastes as good as it sounds and smells. The only thing I'd caution against is using too much of the dressing. As I said above, I loves me some pumpkin-flavored food, but the vinaigrette is very flavorful and a little goes a long way, so, use it sparingly.

And speaking of using things sparingly, stay away from the Pumpkin Joe-Joe's! I know they sound good, but the pumpkin-flavored stuffing is flat out disgusting. Seriously, I defy you to find a more processed, sickly-sweet and artificial-tasting flavor in the Trader Joe's pantheon. Blech!

That said, I am kind of dying to try the pumpkin Joe's O's and the pumpkin soup they were sampling last week is absolutely delicious! So, if you're looking for some seasonal yumminess, you'd better get a move on!

Oh, and if you're looking for actual pumpkins for the low, low price of $2.99, you might already be too late. I think we bought the last four at our TJ's over the weekend. Seriously, those things are going like well, Trader Joe's pumpkin-flavored hotcakes, which are also quiet yummy. Especially smeared with pumpkin butter and syrup! Yum!

Happy pumpkin palooza, amigos!

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Dunkin’ Donuts store opening in Santa Monica on Sept. 2nd!

OK, forget what I just said about today totally sucking, I just got word from a donut-loving friend of mine that my beloved Dunkin' Donuts is finally coming back to the Southland!

That's right, amigos, after a failed attempt a few years back, Dunkin' Donuts will be opening their first of four stand alone Los Angeles store in Santa Monica on Sept. 2nd at 5:00am. Not only will they be giving out super cool Dunkin' Donuts swag bags to the first 100 people in line, but, the first person in line will win free coffee for a year!

And as anyone who has eaten their donuts can tell you, the coffee is the real star of the show at DD! Especially that crazy good iced coffee pictured here…yum! So, if you need to find me in the next few days, I think you know where to look. I'll be that crazy sunburnt guy in the front of the line!

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A Mooncake in Shanghai

I realized the other day that I don’t blog about food nearly as often as I used to on our poor neglected sister blog, so, starting today I’m going to change that. From now on, if I eat or drink something cool or unusual in my travels, you’re going to read about it. Or at the very least, have to skip over it and wait for my next post on how not to fall asleep while playing Barbies with your daughter.

Either way, expect to read a lot more about food from now on. And to get things started I’ll tell you about the best food I had on my recent trip to Shanghai, China. Yes, believe it or not, I was invited to China to moderate a panel on the Rise of Asian Cinema inflight offerings at the first ever APEX/Asia Educational Event. That’s right, they asked me to moderate too. Crazy, huh?

Shanghai (Nov. 2013) by Tom√°s N. Romero

Shanghai (Nov. 2013) by Tom√°s N. Romero

Anyway, the event was awesome, the people on the panel — who included an old film school buddy of mine from AFI! — we’re amazing and, even with the a smog, Shanghai was gorgeous and everything I had expected it to be. Big, fun, exciting, seedy (I’ll save my back alley fake purse shopping adventures for another post) the city had a vibe that was just kind of electrifying. Everything was just happening, like, all the time. It was awesome.

The food, however, was a totally different experience. I read somewhere recently that calling the food in China “Chinese food” was like lumping all the countries in Europe together and calling it “European food”. China is just too big for there to be any sort of cohesiveness to the culinary offerings. I mean, sure, dumplings and rice and all that are pretty standard, but as far as the main dishes go, the skies the limit, with almost every region of the country having their own specialties.

And though I sort of knew that going in, and did go so far as to put a Shanghai delicacy called “hairy crab” on my plate at the buffet line at the hotel. The hair on the crab was just too damn much for me — seriously, it looked like a mustache peeking out from under the shell! — and I didn’t eat it.

Shanghai (Nov. 2013) by Tom√°s N. Romero

Shanghai (Nov. 2013) by Tom√°s N. Romero

And unfortunately everything else I tried was terrible, or, I should say, not what I expected. The biggest problem I had was texture. The dumplings and wontons were either too gooey and soft or strangely tough to bite through. I know it sounds gross, but there was a stringy, bandage-like texture to the worst wontons I tried and even the ones that were mildly palatable were filled with very odd tasting meats and chicken.

In fact, almost all of the meat and chicken I had in Shanghai was questionable, at best. Someone advised me to stick with the pork offerings and it was the best advice I got all trip. It’s pretty hard to ruin pork and you can always tell what part of the pig you’re, eating especially with bacon! So, pork was the order of the day.

That said, the one food item I ate that truly rocked my world was a tasty little Chinese Mooncake I bought for like, a quarter, at a farmers market-y kind of place near my hotel.

Shanghai (Nov. 2013) by Tom√°s N. Romero

Shanghai (Nov. 2013) by Tom√°s N. Romero

Shanghai (Nov. 2013) by Tom√°s N. Romero

Located at the northern end of Shanghai’s bustling Nanjing Road shopping district, the place sold all kinds of fancy teas and candy and stuff and up near the front sat a bored looking girl lording over a steaming little oven of freshly made Mooncakes. I don’t know what was in them (I’m pretty sure it was pork) but, they smelled like a dream and tasted even better. In fact, if I hadn’t just dumped $40 USD on tea inside the shop, I might have bought more than one. But, what can I say, I’m cheap.

And though the combination of flaky pastry and super yummy pork filling was delicious, I never went back and got more. I guess I just kept thinking I’d find something better. But, the sad truth is, apart from the excellent Indian curry dishes at the hotel, I never did. So, that honey of a Mooncake remains the best thing I ate in Shanghai, bar none. And, wow…what a treat it was!

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L.A. Donut Tour: Day One – Randy’s Donuts (Inglewood)

A good friend of ours is staying with us this week and seeing as we are both between jobs, we decided to have some good cheap fun this visit. No movies at the Arclight, no expensive theme parks or museums, no shopping…just good, old-fashioned donut worship. And what better place to explore the magic of cheap fried dough than in the car-centric Southland? So, without further ado, I give you our first ever L.A. Donut Tour! Yay!

Despite talking about it for years, neither of us had ever been to the world-famous Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood, so, naturally, we started there. We tried a cake donut, a chocolate frosted and a sprinkled and despite the giant, iconic donut on the roof of the building and the appropriately seedy, LAX-adjacent vibe in the parking lot (like all the best donut joints in Los Angeles, Randy’s does not have a dining area) I gotta tell ya, I’ve had way better donuts at several major chains. Sorry, Randy…

However, Greta (who is our tie-breaking third judge on the tour), absolutely adored the bright pink frosting on her selection, so, I’m gonna be generous and give Randy’s two out of five stars.

Here’s hoping for better luck at our next stop tomorrow…

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