Archives for "Things We Hate"
General: Food Humor, Things We Hate »
I never liked the Burger King mascot. Something about that big plastic face and all that creepy, contrived silence always sent a shiver down my spine. Sure, maybe he seemed at least somewhat likable back when he was serving people breakfast in bed. But these days, he’s sneaking into bedrooms and terrifying sleeping people. What gives? We understand Burger King is trying to cater to the college crowd and to the 17 adults who liked Jackass on MTV, but they’ve totally missed the point. Air-horning people awake doesn’t make you cool or edgy. It makes you a total douchebag.
Sorry, King. The shark hath officially been jumped.
Things We Hate »
I was just looking at Alan Richman’s Top 25 Pizzas in the USA, and once again, Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven Connecticut made the list. This isn’t surprising, because it’s on many “Best Pizza” lists, and has even been featured on the Food Network several times.
What I’d like to know is… WHY? Why does this awful pizza place keep getting featured on TV and in magazines? Pepe’s pizza sucks. Don’t you food critics have taste buds, or did they all disintegrate after your last meal at The Lady & Sons? Are you buying into the “it’s on a lot of best pizza lists, so it must be good” hype? Or are you all just 3rd cousins twice removed from the Pepe family?
Here’s the thing: I live in Connecticut. I’ve waited in the lines. I’ve feasted on the various “world famous” pizza pies. And I’ve left disappointed, every time. Sure the place is filled with history, and yes, they cook in a coal oven, but so what? The result is a tired, dated restaurant and pizzas that are so chewy you can hardly swallow them. The truth is, Pepe’s serves the worst pizza I have ever eaten in my life (and I’ve eaten some pretty bad pizza all over the world).
Unfortunately, the problems with this restaurant go far beyond their inedible crust:
1. You’re not allowed to set foot into the restaurant until there’s a table ready for you, yet the only waiting area is a 3×8 coat closet that reeks of body odor, ammonia, and vomit. You’re resigned to standing there, like a child being punished, until a rude waitress pops her head through the door and motions for you.
2. The staff is rude and the “service” is poor. They act like they’re doing you a favor by taking your order. They huff and puff if you ask a simple question. And just a tip: don’t dare ask for a straw, unless you want to be looked at with the contempt of an axe murderer.
3. I’ll deal with standing around for hours, and I’m willing to endure rude service, IF the food is really good. However, PEPE’S PIZZA IS DISGUSTING. I can not emphasize that enough. On our last trip there, we ordered a large cheese pizza. What we received was a dry, cheeseless, virtually tasteless pie. This is the norm at Pepe’s, not the exception. The dough is so chewy and hard that you can hardly swallow it. The crust, which is usually one of my favorite parts, is completely inedible. The cheese is exceptionally salty. The tomato sauce is bland. All you taste is soot from the coal oven and salt from the cheap cheese, and it’s simply awful.
Check out this video we shot at Pepe’s during our last visit and make up your own mind. Does THIS look like some of tthe world’s best pizza – or cardboard that was just flattened in a compressor at the dump? Look at it! IT DOESN’T EVEN BEND! And that’s not a good thing. It’s more dried up than Jerry Seinfeld’s career.
(Have you eaten at Pepe’s? What did you think? Who serves your favorite pizza? Personally, I can’t get enough of the slices at Ray’s in NYC. But frankly, even CAFE METRO has better pizza then Pepe’s.)
Guy Fieri, Things We Hate »
Did you know Guy Fieri has an entire “Knuckle Sandwich” product line? Yes indeed! Guy “the tool” Fieri is currently hawking tacky t-shirts, aprons, bandanas, and hats with his ugly Knuckle Sandwich logo emblazoned on them.
While the t-shirts are indeed hideous, the most ridiculous product is the Knuckle Sandwich SWEATBAND: a pilly, dirty looking black thing with an image of a hand squeezing a sandwich with enough force to turn it into a diamond.
(note: to maximize the annoying factor of the logo, Fieri made sure there was a gigantic gold ring on the pinky finger.)
Question: How in love with Guy Fieri would one have to be to buy this nasty thing? And who is his target SWEATBAND audience? Frightening Fieri superfans, Biggest Loser contestants, or chefs like Tyler Florence who can’t boil water without sweating profusely?
I can just hear the infomercial for it now: “Do you like cooking, but just can’t seem to prepare a meal without dripping sweat all over the place? Does the physicality of all that chopping and mixing send your sweat glands into overdrive? No problem! Buy a signature GUY FIERI SWEATBAND!” And then strangle yourself with it.
Paula Deen, Things We Hate »
During a moment of weakness at my local grocery store, I picked up some of Paula Deen’s Handcooked Virginia Peanuts with “House” seasoning. The side of the can proudly proclaims that these plump Virginia peanuts are from an old Southern recipe, and were hand-cooked and “sprinkled with Paula’s special blend of seasonings, y’all!”
Right above that, in all capital letters, said “FROM MY KITCHEN TO YOURS.” Really? Did Paula relocate? Because the product itself is made in Virginia, not in Georgia where Paula and her annoying sons Jamie and Bobby reside.
Upon opening the can of the “House blend” Peanuts, I realized that these were the largest peanuts I had ever laid my eyes on. They had an odd orange tint to them, sort of like Carson Daly, but chunkier looking. I decided to take the plunge and eat a few at once instead of the normal cautious nibble I give most things. What the hell, y’all! Throw caution to the wind – it’s Paula Deen!
Not so fast. Within seconds, my mouth began puckering up from the overwhelming amount of salt and seasoning on these things. I instinctively reached for some water, but it did nothing to rid my mouth of the vile taste the over-sized nuts left behind. I don’t know exactly whose “HOUSE” these seasonings were blended from, but I can guarantee they had a roach problem.
While the taste was indeed bad, the texture and odor were worse. The nuts were hard, oily, and smelled like 3-day old Taco Bell. Sorry, Paula your nuts have got to go.
General: Food Humor, Things We Hate »
…how bad are these things? I’ll put it to you this way: I cooked it over a week ago, and the pungent stench that it left behind in my kitchen still lingers in the folds of my memory, and haunts my sleep in the night.
At first, I was quite excited by the premise of the Hormel Compleat. “Wow,” I thought. “A 90 second meal that is low in calories… AND has a clever name!” Ah, I was so young and naive then. My excitement started dwindling as soon as I started struggling with the packaging. The actual plastic food bowl is encased in a thick cardboard that is really hard to remove. And after giving the product a second look, I couldn’t help but wonder just how many preservatives it takes for a meat product to NOT REQUIRE REFRIGERATION (the shelf life of a Hormel Compleat seems to be around 8-10 months).
The directions on the package told me to poke a hole in the plastic film, and I complied. Honestly, I hardly got the knife out of the container before THE STENCH started filling the air. I had no idea such a putrid, rotten, intense smell could emit from such a tiny hole.
I took a deep breath, and proceeded. Hormel is insistant the meal will be “complete” in 90 seconds – however, that must only be true if you’re on the core of the sun. I had to cook mine for 3+ minutes. And here’s where it got really scary – I removed the film entirely, revealing a murky, grainy pool of gravy and a portion of mashed potatoes that literally looked like the brain of an unidentified farm animal. The potatoes were dry and thick and the overall presentation was like “an english muffin sitting on top of a brown cesspool.” Even worse, once you try to stir the potatoes into the gravy, you can kiss ‘em goodbye. They dissolve into the gravy and cause the mixture to ooze over the bowl sides.
AND THE SMELL! To think I thought it was bad when I had only poked a small hole in it! Let me tell you a story: with the entire film removed, it smelled like my kitchen was suddenly transformed into a factory that produced Purina Wet Dog Chow. It reeked of dog food, mixed with the stench of a bloated trash bag in a dumpster on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, I’m not exaggerating.
The meat bits are cut and processed into cubes (I counted a whopping 3). Hormel also threw in a few bonus pieces of slimy mushrooms that were so thin, I could see light pass through them.
So how did it taste? Don’t ask. I took two bites and was unable to continue. I couldn’t swallow it without gagging. Your mileage may vary. I thought I detected hints of teriyaki and curry powder. What’s actually in it? I have no clue. Hormel only lists “flavoring and spices” in the ingredients. Hmmm. Your guess is as good as mine.
Bottom line: I would not eat this if it was the only thing I could eat all day. The smell is worse than dog food and garbage, and it looks as aesthetically pleasing as a plate of fresh brains. Do people really eat this and enjoy it? Wait – was I just punked?
Please enjoy the following bonus video – it contains ACTUAL FOOTAGE of our experience with the Hormel Compleat as described in this review.