Albertson’s cheese croissant

May 25th, 2009

albertsons-cheese-thingy.jpg“This is not a cheese Danish!” the Generalissimo said. “You promised me cheese Danish! I salute your deception!”

He saluted.

It wasn’t much of a deception. When I went to Albertson’s, I bought two things that looked like cheese Danishes, only one of them turned out to be a cheese croissant. No big whoop. We’d try it, and if he liked it, then all was right with the world. Except, I made the mistake of trying it first.
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Prairie City Bakery’s Creamy Cheese Danish

May 21st, 2009

prairie-city-danish-2.jpgPrairie City Bakery’s Creamy Cheese Danish isn’t as bad as it could be. Compared to some of the other Danishes we’ve tested, it’s fantastic. The flavor is nothing special, the bread isn’t the best out there, and the frosting isn’t provided in enough quantity to make it relevant, but the filling…wow. Creamy and soft, with just enough tart to keep it interesting. The flavor reminds me of homemade, and that isn’t a criticism.

But Prairie City gets serious bonus points for the volume of cheese filling. The center core was almost three inches in diameter, and three quarters of an inch deep. That may not sound like much to you, but in the world of cheap Danishes, that’s a lot. Easily twice what I’ve seen on other Danishes, and almost twice what our local bakery puts out.
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2009 Nissan Versa 1.6 Base

May 18th, 2009

The Versa isn’t my kind of car. Don’t get me wrong. It’s cheap, which I can get behind. The sedan we tested was the base model with no options, not even a stereo, which is why it only costs $9,990. Plus tax, of course. But still, ten grand for a car? Nice.

But there’s a cost to getting it cheap. The lack of a stereo is just the tip of the iceberg. The cloth interior is something you’d get out of the recycle bin at Wal-Mart. Durability was the least of the interior’s problems, however, as the lack of stuff made me think “motorcycle with seatbelts.” No ABS. No A/C. The rear seat doesn’t fold down. This is car making at its most basic, most primitive.
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Hardy’s 2008 Riesling

May 14th, 2009

Let me begin by saying how much I enjoy writing wine reviews while actually consuming the beverage in question. Yeah, so my typing skills go south rather fast, but it makes for a much more entertaining evening.

“Quit bogarting the box!” the Generalissimo said. Well, maybe he slurred it just a bit. We’d been going at it for a few hours.

“Kiss my ass!” I said.

“That’s the spirit!” He slapped me on the back, hard enough to knock the box of Hardy’s 2008 Riesling out of my hands.

I’m a big fan of the Riesling. It’s sweet. It’s nice when chilled, and equally so when not. No one hates Riesling, making it an ideal wine to bring to someone’s house. But mainly, it’s a pleasant drink before, during, and after dinner. Can’t say that about most other wines. Well, except for the fortified ones, but those don’t really count, and they don’t go all that well with paella. Riesling? Lovely with paella.

“Tell them about the wine!”

“I am.” I’m not. My bad.

It’s yellow. It’s slightly sweet, but not like a desert wine, or even an off-dry Riesling. It’s not too tart, not too pungent, and it doesn’t leave my esophagus reaching for the Tums. It’s not the most flavorful wine I’ve ever had, but it’s got alcohol in it. And really, what’s more important than that?

“Tell them about the wine!”

“I did!”

“Did not!”

“Did too!”

“Vive a France!”

What he said. The box says that it is, “A refreshing, crisp wine with intense lime and lemon flavor and a soft lingering finish.”

Sure. And I’m the Queen of Norway. The only lemon or lime I tasted came from the Jell-o we had for dinner. The fact is, it’s not going to win any awards for complexity or its subtle nose of citrusy goodness or its palate of mooseberries. It’s simple, it’s easy to dink, and it’s cheap when you think about how many normal bottles are in that Mylar pouch.

Drink it. Don’t drink it. I don’t care. Now leave me alone. The Generalissimo is trying to get Zak the intern to join him in a spirited game of Twister.

“Put your pants back on you crazy bastard!” I yelled. Ah, screw it. Where’s that box of wine?

Bon Appetit Vienna Cream Danish

May 11th, 2009

This is the worst pastry I’ve ever eaten. Bon Appetit, you are officially on my list. The Generalissimo not only refused to try it, but whipped out his Colt Anaconda and punched a pair of .44 holes in my plate, putting me out of my misery. And the antique table the plate was on. And the floor. Did I mention he uses explosive tipped rounds? Can you say “shrapnel wound to the shin?”

No frosting.

The bread was generic, bordering on useless.

The filling was gooey, flavorless, and made my stomach do a Triple Lindy off the 10M board.

I have but one question: are you effing kidding me? Because I’m not.


Top Food and Drug cheese Danish

May 7th, 2009

I’m a big fan of Top Food and Drug. I do quite a bit of my grocery shopping there, mainly because it’s close, but also because they carry a lot of odd items I can only find in trendier places (think Metropolitan Market or Whole Foods). And as we don’t have either of the other two, Top works for me.

I rather enjoy their individual pieces of carrot cake. The cake tends to be moist, the carrots are rarely rancid, and the cream cheese frosting is sublime. So it goes with their cheese Danish.
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2010 Mercedes Benz GLK

May 4th, 2009

GLK picI really liked the Mercedes Benz GLK. I shouldn’t for any number of reasons, starting with its lack of a manual transmission option, to its excessive price tag, to its abysmal fuel mileage.

But still…

The ride is excellent. The steering response it firm, with just a hair of roll in the corners brought on by being an SUV (if you find an SUV, big or small, that doesn’t lean in the corners, call me). The brakes were solid. It looks like a serious SUV, but in a more compact package. I’d call it rugged looking, but there’s just too much chrome for that. The interior was up to Mercedes standards, meaning lots of quality plastic and high-grade leather. For some reason the driver’s seat felt cramped, even though the overall space was more than adequate. The central command center seems to squeeze the legs a bit more than necessary, but it isn’t something I’d worry about for too long. I mean, come on, this car is plush. An when you’re driving it, all you can think about is bounding through the Sahara, chasing Leftist rebels while your buddy working the turret gun sends them a jaunty hello.
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2007 Bandit Merlot

April 30th, 2009

“What is thisthe Generalissimo asked when I handed him the container.

“It’s called wine.”



“But the container…”

“I know, I know. It’s not a box in the way you know and love them, but it’s still box-like.”

“But, where is the spout?”

“It’s got a screw cap.”


I unscrewed the top and poured him a glass. “Give it a shot.”

He stared at the glass, his lips curled into a frown that matched the curve of his mustache. He picked up the glass, tentatively bringing it to his nose. He sniffed.
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2010 Kia Soul

April 27th, 2009

I wasn’t expecting much from the Kia Soul when I got to the dealership. It’s a cool looking car, with its trendy box shape (you think Volvo might go back to it now?), squat stance, and a greenhouse that looks like a nice pair of sunglasses. But it could have been oh so much more.

We drove the base model, because that was the only one they had with a manual transmission. It was black, the interior was basic, and the engine was gutless. Not a big deal. But they several others on the lot with better packages. The Soul+. The Soul!. The Soul sport.
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Bon Appetit cheese croissant

April 23rd, 2009

I like creativity. I applaud it, even. But some formulas should not be messed with unless you’re a professional. And the people at Bon Appetit are…not.

The idea probably seemed like a good one at the time. Take a croissant. Everybody loves croissants. Add some cream cheese filling. Everybody loves cream cheese filling. Then put it in a package.

Um, aren’t we forgetting something here?

Yes. FROSTING!!! I know, it’s not advertised as a cheese Danish, and can therefore ignore the formula, but come on. To be even mildly successful, you need good ingredients. The croissant wasn’t bad. It wasn’t nearly flaky enough, but the moisture was pretty good. The flavor was unimpressive, which shouldn’t surprise me. Anything purchased at a gas station should come with some kind of warning, unless the fact that you BOUGHT IT AT A GAS STATION wasn’t enough of a hint.
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