Sunday, August 17, 2014

MikeSell's - New Flavor Alert!

Like any good Daytonian, I usually go A-1 ape when Mikesell's comes out with a new flavor. In fact, they have yet to do something I don't like. Tuscan spice, new kettle chips flavors, cinnamon puffcorns - they can do no wrong. If you ask around Dayton, usually the only complaint is that they might make a wonderful flavor that's limited edition and haven't brought it back yet (ahem, Habanero Lime). 

This weekend, the Dayton-born and bred company is releasing a Southwestern Queso cheese curl and a Beer Can Chicken groovy chip. I was unreasonably excited when I got a text Tuesday night with an offer to try the new flavors, just cooked and packaged earlier that day. 

Beer Can Chicken: 

Kudos, as usual forgetting even flavor distribution on each chip. This is an area that I feel like a lot of potato chip makers are lacking in. I was half-expecting an artificial smoke flavor, but that's not what I got. What I did get was a wonderful savory flavor that had hints of well-seasoned chicken skin. Frankly, I haven't eaten enough actual beer can chicken to tell you if they got the flavor spot on. Regardless, they're delicious and I will absolutely buy them again. 

SW queso curls: They really did get the flavor spot on here, but the jalapeno flavor is a bit much for me. I've never been a fan of that particular flavor, but Mr. FvF had no problem inhaling two bags of these. They aren't spicy by any means, but there is a strong pepper flavor. To my knowledge, there are no puffs/curls available in a flavor like this. 

Even though the queso curls weren't my personal favorite, sandwiching one between two of the beer can chicken chips was one of the better snack ideas I've had recently. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

FGAtFT: Zombie Dogs

I finally got to eat a Zombie Dog. A lot of them, to be precise. I couldn't decide on one and was feeling less gluttonous than usual, so my family of 2.5 got three dogs and split them. From front to back, you're looking at Blood Graffiti, Juan of the Dead and Dead Dixie. 

It's hard to give an incredibly descriptive review of franks, but they were all kick ass.  I thought I would like Dead Dixie the best, but I actually liked it the least. It was good, but not nearly as stand-out as Juan. Blood graffiti was basically a pizza dog, something someone should have thought of a long time ago. Can't wait to catch them close to home or work again, hopefully without a painfully long line!  And thanks to my friend Jason Laveck to giving me the heads on their location frequently. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Finally getting around to food trucks: Harvest

People are always so surprised that up until a couple of months ago, I had never really tried any of the local food trucks. I tried to go to one of the food truck rallies downtown, but I made the mistake of going to the first one that was held and it was a hot mess. My job has me in a different city every day, and when I check the food truck schedule-no food trucks are in that city on that day. 

However, I live close to Eudora Brewing and have a friend that alerts me anytime Zombie Dogs is close to my office or home. Eudora's parking lot has started hosting several different food trucks on the weekends, as has my friends' workplace - Community Tissue on Research. 

I popped into CTS to have lunch with my friends and try Harvest. The menu that day didn't really blow my mind, but I decided to go with the local wrap. After seeing my pal's fries, I immediately regretted my decision to go with Sun chips. The wrap, I thought, would be so amazing I wouldn't care. 

The wrap looks really good on paper(or dry erase board), but lost a little something in execution. The photo above shows a beautiful cross-section, which is how it was displayed in the box that it was neatly packed up in. Only the first bite of either side looked and tasted like that cross-section.  
Let me preface this by saying that I know chicken is expensive. The wrap was mostly greens, a little sauce, some asparagus, a sliced strawberry and maybe a teaspoon of goat cheese. Very little chicken to speak of. It pains me to say this, but it was bland. What I'm really looking for here is for someone to tell me that it was an off day, or that I simply ordered the wrong thing. While I don't mind paying $10 for lunch to support a local business, it had better taste like a $10 lunch. You dig? 

Monday, June 9, 2014

FvF on the Road: Las Vegas

Let's be serious: I drank a lot more than I ate in Las Vegas. This is comical in and of itself, considering drinks run about $11-20 a piece. But hey, when in rome - get loaded on expensive craft cocktails, right?

Rx Boiler Room - Mandalay Bay

Food portions are on the smaller side, but the citrus braised veal cheeks were excellent. If you're my co-worker, they may throw a hot plate of pastrami sliders at you and then only offer to replace that spilled plate for free after ruining your shirt.
The basic rundown is this: all of the servers are outfitted in steampunk regalia. If you don't know what that means, imagine if Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Bauhaus had a kid, and it got picked on at school all the time (why wouldn't it?). More importantly, the female servers and hostesses are wearing little more than a corset and some tulle. Which is great when they're pouring you one of these right out of the skull-shaped, smoke filled bottle:
Doesn't look like much, but check out this video for the full experience (and no, that lightweight is NOT me). It really was tremendous. It smelled like someone was boiling maple syrup over a campfire, and the blend of cola syrup was just right. I enjoyed the hell out of this. Service here was meh. They made a big misstep in how they attempted to correct the food spillage on my work buddy. 3.5/5

Carmine's - Shoppes at Caesar's Palace
I'll admit, this photo of Chicken Saltimbocca looks gnarly, but it was delicious. I can't find this dish on a menu in Dayton to save my life. Even more amazing, but not pictured, was the veal. Holy hell, it was out of this world. For those unfamiliar, Carmine's is a family style Italian joint with its original location in NYC. This is their Las Vegas second coming, which I hear happens a lot there. By family style (now it's your turn to get your minds out of the gutter), the dishes serve about 3-4 people a piece, so don't be alarmed at the $30+ per entree pricing. Service was outstanding, mostly because our server really knew the menu and wine list.

I had another great cocktail somewhere at the Mirage, but all I can remember is bourbon, peaches, mint and ginger. It was delicious. I obviously liked them enough to order a subsequent one, and forget where I was or what it was called.

Non-food-related notes - the pools and conference facilities at Mandalay Bay were fantastic. Rooms were fine. Not particularly earth-shattering, but the bathrooms were really nice. Views are a little limited because MB is on the ass-end of the strip. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

FvF on the Road: Toledo Eats

It thrills me that even when I'm not updating, over 100 people a day still come check out FvF.  However, it also makes me feel like a dick for neglecting it - considering I used to top 500 readers a day.

So, dear eaters, I give you a brief food tour of Toledo. Between my work travels and a real vacation, I've had a lot of outstanding food lately (and some I could have lived without) - so it doesn't seem fair to withhold all of these perfectly good recommendations...should you ever find yourself in the city by the lake. In chronological order:

Biaggi's - Levis Commons
Reminded me a LOT of Brio or Bravo.

The major difference was the combination of letters after the B. It was good, but I wouldn't say remarkable. I also didn't order a remarkable dish because it was lunchtime and I'm not an animal. I got some kind of panini that claimed to have gouda, which I couldn't taste - but the tomato bisque was nice. Would I choose Piada over it about any day? Probably.  4/5

Byblos - Holland
Hooooooooooooly falafel, Batman. This salad should be served at all times, at any and all loosely Mediterranean joints. Also, best pickles of my life. Ever. I wanted to fill my purse with them and fill my hotel mini-fridge with them, as to enjoy them my entire stay. If you've never been to Toledo (I can't say I recommend it for a lengthy stay), probably 50% of the eateries put fresh, warm pita bread on the table where you'd normally find a boring loaf of bread. This is another thing most restaurants should start adopting. Right away. Anyhow, the salad was comprised of some kick-ass falafel, fresh cukes, tomatoes and radishes - and as you can see, covered in parsley. It was so good, I didn't even miss the meat. They also have a few Turkish/Greek wines on their list that I may have enjoyed one or a handful of.      6/5

Empire Restaurant - Oregon
Just don't eat here. Really. Just don't. You're welcome.

Tony Packo's - Original Location
A Toledo institution (of the food variety, not mental).

 It was explained very basically to me, and delivered on what was promised - coneys with a split sausage instead of a hot dog. The side of paprikash I got left a lot to be desired, but the dog and sauce were great.     3.5/5

Poco Piatti
Super legit tapas. Meat lollies!!!

The great sangria, beer selection and chorizo tacos didn't hurt, either. Nifty little place, with nifty little plates.
And again, with the fresh pita on the table. 4.5/5

Friday, April 18, 2014

Free fries at Penn Station - ANY day!

Most sandwich lovers know that every Sunday in April denotes FREE fresh cut fries with the purchase of any sub. Wouldn't it be nice to get free fries on a Tuesday in June, though?

You lucky dogs, I can make that happen for you!

I have three free fry passes, good until 2015 - any ol' day of the week. The first person to send me three new fans, or the first three people to send me a new fan on the Facey Pages, are winning these suckers.  Make sure your friends that "like" FvF on Facebook shoot me a message to let me know who sent them.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

We you missed us, we're baaaaaaaack!

Stay tuned for the first giveaway in over a year, eaters.  We missed you, too!