Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bahamas VII: Bahamas Goombay Punch

Who the Hell Goes to the Bahamas: Second to Last

This is the Bahamian equivalent of the kid on the milk carton.

Goombay Punch

Okay, the totally crazy can made me feel bad about drinking it. As soon as I tipped that can back the face would stop smiling and I'd feel like a murderous dick. And I hate punch out of cans. If it's a big glass bowl with bits of fruit in it, I'll give it a try, especially if there's a big metal dipper. But cans always taste like metal, especially with flat drinks.

I avoided this one even longer than the Green Power 500, and with as little reason. It isn't bad, but instead is overwhelmingly good. The sugar sweet kicks in the door to your house and then makes you square dance for six hours straight, fun for the first ten minutes but hellish after that. If this stuff met Tropical Punch Punchy, the guy in the Hawaiian hat, poor Punchy would get the worst of it (in my notes I wrote "would bend Punch over and use him roughly", but that seems in bad taste so I'm leaving it out of the blog posting).

Who the hell makes a punch drink without assloads of red dye? Who?

Let me say that again: I hated it, but I hate punch. I recognize this as something that might be good punch to folks who like punch. However, it is very, very sweet. Too sweet even for me, and I'm so full of sweet that when I pee it comes out like soft serve ice cream.

It didn't even have to go through me to get that color.

I couldn't drink the whole can, it'd've had me heaving in the bowl. It sat on a shelf for the day, then gave me a pleasant surprise that evening. The stuff came out yellow. It's yellow. Who the hell makes yellow punch?

If I liked punch, this might be king, but as things stand its nought to me but a petty despot.

I didn't believe them when they warned me
that Goombay Punch could provoke dolphin attacks.

PS. It's slightly carbonated.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bahamas VI: Green Power 500 Sports Drink

Who the Hell Goes to the Bahamas? Part Six

There is no green on the Green Power 500 can, unless you squint and shake the can back and forth really fast.

Green Power 500 Sports Drink with Added Chlorella Growth Factor, Vedan Enterprises

Okay, this stuff alarmed me from the minute I laid eyes on it in a run down convenience store in Nassau. Living in New York, I see all sorts of things that bargain seeking store owners pick up for a song, figuring if they sell one then they'll break even. "What? Cow tongue flavored bubble gum? Only a dollar a crate? I'll take it."

Actually, cow tongue flavored bubble gum is kind of a good idea. It has a certain economy to it.

Anyhow, I can't help but feel that this is something dumped on the market. That someone somewhere found out that "Chlorella" actually means "cancer", and "cancer growth factor" just can't be made into a positive no matter how you try. In the name of breaking my own rules, I looked the stuff up and found a page on it here.
"Green Power sport drink is popular in Asian countries, the best drink after sport. If you are interested in our product, please contact with me for further information. Thanks."

At least it isn't a product recall. Snooping around I found out what chlorella is, too. The page boasts that it comes with cell walls broken down because it's impossible for humans to digest it otherwise. Which brings me around to ask what is "Chlorella Growth Factor". What does that mean? Do I have chlorella growing inside of me now? Do I need to stand and open my mouth towards the sun so it can photosynthesize? Are you positive you just didn't misspell cancer?

I bought the stuff as a joke and avoided the punch line as long as I could. I danced and dived and hopped, not wanting to actually drink it. The packaging makes it look like something I should be emptying into a machine, not my body. And not the good kind of vibrating machine, either.

That is the look of someone who was almost hit by a falling safe.
The safe, missing him, splits open
and showers him with 500 Grand bars.
He hates 500 Grand bars, but is still glad the safe
didn't hit him on the head. That is this look.

But I did it. I drank it, or most of it. It wasn't bad at all, almost good. The taste was somewhere between Mello Yello and grapefruit juice, watery and sweet without carbonation. Absolutely none of that energy drink foulness, even if it was energy-drink-dirty-yellow.

Being a product of China, expect your local Wal-Mart to force feed it to you soon.

This says: "Feed to foolish Westerners,
let them ruin their economy, profit, share profit equally,
transform Wal-Marts into conqueror robots."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bahamas V: Jamaican Ting

Who the Hell Goes to the Bahamas? Part Five

By this point in the trip,
even the palms of my hands were sun-burned.

Ting by Ting, bottled in Jamaica
I bought a bottle of Ting at the same time I bought the other Bahamian sodas I tried out. I hoped to slip it by my wife, but I failed. She instantly detected that I had put a bottle in the basket which we already had in New York. "But honey," pleads I, "but honey, I gots to try it. We're closer to Jamaica so it'll taste different."

Now this is before I had tried both the Jamaican and Canadian versions of Ting Old Jamaican Ginger Beer, which was drastically different between bottlers. So this part one of the two Tings:

It is seriously, seriously grapefruity. I didn't bother to read the label, but dug right in - it was like a kick in the roof of my mouth. A kick, by necessity, expertly aimed by someone with a very small foot. The stuff is described on the bottle as a "carbonated beverage from grapefruit concentrate". They have their version of that sentence all in caps, but I didn't want to shout so I made it lower case.

Anyways, it was powerfully grapefruit. So over the top, I almost couldn't place it at first, thinking that it was lemon. I thought it too sour, my wife thought it salty. Regardless, it had a strong tin-can aftertaste which I associate with made-from-frozen-concentrate orange juice.

Speaking of made from concentrate stuff in the home, is it more environmentally friendly? Sure, it has to be refrigerated, but might that be offset by the amount of energy used to ship an unconcentrated amount of liquid, and the plastic in the container? I hope not, because I hate the stuff.

6% juice, 94% don't worry be happy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bahamas IV: Evervess Ginger Ale

Who the Hell Goes to the Bahamas, Part Four

"Bahamians, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight
on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender
to the Pepsi Bottling Company and it's faux ginger ale."

Evervess Ginger Ale, Pepsi Bottling (Bahamas)

Evervess boasts real sugar. Hey! So why does it suck? This stuff tastes like ginger went through a vat of 7-Up "on stilts". I think the first time I heard the phrase "on stilts" was while watching the Three Stooges. They were roped into being waiters, or maybe were masquerading as doctors or orphans, and drank some punch at a fancy party. One of them comments on the punch being weak, and Curly says "I think the rum went through this punch on stilts".

Whoever thought up Evervess deserves a good poke in the eyes, this stuff is dull. It doesn't deserve to be called a Ginger Ale, that's for certain. There is almost no taste here, seriously. It even smells like 7-Up, how can you have a ginger anything and not have it be a gingery smeller?

The coat of arms on the bottle should have been "suck" crossed with "boring" above a tubby guy rampant. Go to Hell, Pepsi. Go to Hell and make me some caffeine free Mountain Dew.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bahamas III: Barritt's Stone Ginger Beer

Who the hell goes to the Bahamas? Part 3

A soda from 1874 with graphic design from 1961.

Barritt's is best drank while admiring stalactites.

Barritt's Stone Ginger Ale

Barritt's Stone Ginger Beer is good. Its sweet and very gingery, but not to the point of discomfort. It does have a slight chemical taste, what it is would be hard to define. I'm not a chemist, after all. It's not that this slight chemical taste is bad, it's just not supposed to be there. Like finding a stranger sitting on the curb in front of your house, not quite alarming but certainly worth remarking on.

Another odd point on the taste is the oft mentioned cardboard/ginger confutation of tastes. In Barritt's it leans away from the cardboard and more towards that fake leather you find in older cars. Having spent my young life cleaning cars for my father's used car lot, I feel pretty confident in naming this as the mystery off-ginger taste. I've dealt with that fake leather when it was dirty, clean, wet, dry, Armor-Alled, cracked and new - while I never tasted it I know it every other way you can imagine. Barritt's has a slight taste of fake leather. At this point I throw my arms out in front of me and quickly say "Not that this is bad!"

You can tell I made the most of every minute of my fancy trip.

This is a high fructose corn syrup soda, but is good in spite of it which adds another point toward my theory of colas not being able to handle corn syrup well. The can boasts that the beverage has been made since 1874, I wonder what it tasted like back then? I wonder if civil war veterans drank it? Or whalers retiring from a dying industry. How do you present a soft drink made in the nineteenth century? Was it sold by the keg like beer? How long did it keep? Where would you go to buy it, if it was only sold by the keg?

So many questions. Sadly, my ignorance only policy prevents me from looking it up on the internet. Maybe I could arrange a field trip? Or write a letter. I think a letter would be fair, as it doesn't risk contaminating me with what other people have written about the drink.

It's important to know that Barritt's Stone Ginger Ale is not from the Bahamas but actually from Bermuda. Why is there such a vigorous inter-island trade in sodas? Jamaica, Bermuda, the Bahamas... I doubt that shipping containers even travel directly between those islands, why not just buy some version of these drinks from mainland USA? Do they have some special island appeal?

That doesn't look like my hand,
and not just because my penis isn't in it.
It looks more like some spooky giant corpse hand,
making me drink cursed soda from beyond the grave.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bahamas II: Delicious Coca Cola

Gravity works differently in the Bahamas.

As I say time and again, I am not a big caffeine drinker. In fact, I do my best to stay away from the stuff as it just makes my stupid go faster. I think there was a time in my life where I would drink a two liter of Mountain Dew and have super powers, flying over buildings and vibrating so fast that I could walk through walls. Or at least I just felt super powered, maybe I was wrong and that was why I had no friends.

But caffeine makes me jittery, now. I went and saw "Quarantine" today and purposefully drank a large Coke just to make me extra jittery for the movie. I don't scare easy, though certainly easier than I used to. Good movie, by the way. Logical, surprising, dreadful, believable. Except the night vision part. I hate when people use cameras to see in the dark with the night vision setting, as anyone knows who has done this the screen gives off light making the cameraperson the only visible thing in the room. But that's it. My only complaint.

Anyways, my wife and I did a Bahamas nature tour and were then dropped off at Fort Charlotte. Fort Charlotte is a pretty neat old fort, full of graffiti from the neat old days when graffiti was good. Back when you spent eight hours carving your full name into a wall of stone, making sure the serif's were in place. That was class. These kids nowadays and their imitation graffiti culture, feh. Swish swish and your done.

Those damn kids and their 1914 vandalism.

After looking at the fort we walked down to a "fish fry" near a beach. A "fish fry" is a strip of restaurants with lots of alcohol and fish, and that's about it. We found a place that came highly recommended and both ordered grilled stuff, my wife some fish and I some shrimp and conch. Grilled, I found out, meant "put a bunch of stuff in a tinfoil bag and cook it till it becomes soup". Grilling, in my book, means putting the thing on a hot set of prison bars so it gets burned strips on it. Then you flip it and do it again. Not so in the Bahamas.

But there was a good part to this visit. The Coca Cola. For whatever reason I ordered a Coke - I was tired and thought it would help me get up to speed. A can came out, I poured it, my wife had some and her eyes lit up. Seeing her finding pleasure in something I did what I always do, I snatched it away for myself.

Sucrose = Doesn't suck.

The Coke was heaven. I drifted on a cloud of joy. It was real, sugary Coca Cola. Not corn syrup, but sucrose. It was a dream. A DREAM.

I've lost my notes from that meal, I'm embarrassed to say, but I can remember a few key differences this sugared Coke had from our domestic Coke. Aside from the delicious sweetness, that is.

First off, the color was different. Our Coke has a lot of red in it when you hold it up to the light, this does not. It was just cola colored, a jarring thing once you realize what your looking at. Has Coke always been reddish in the US?

Second, the bubbles in the Bahamian Coke are larger. This may have been a function of the plastic cup I was drinking from, but I'm not certain. The bubbles adhered to the side were huge. HUGE.

Between us, we chugged down three more Coca Colas before we left, each better than the last. I swear to God, if your average American traveled enough to get foreign Coke things would change. They'd riot if the company was to serve that swill they give us. Down with corn syrup, my friends. Down with corn syrup.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bahamas I: Ting Old Jamaican Ginger Beer Revisited

Who the hell goes to the Bahamas? Part 1

That flower picture in the background is poised to attack.

So I come before you embarrassed. My wife and I took a trip to the Bahamas. Who the hell goes to the Bahamas, you ask? Well, apparently we do. I'm not proud. It was a last minute decision, we had some flight credits that had to be used immediately or they would be wasted. We found what we thought was a cheap hotel and just did it. Got our tickets and flew out the next day.

We did a "resort vacation", which means that we stayed at a pseudo-Disneyland hotel with a beach and a waterpark. It was better than I thought it would be, and kind of fun. My wife and I tend to take busy vacations, lots of hiking and hustle and bustle. This was supposed to be a relaxing trip, we wanted to see what it was like to sit on a beach for four days and not be full of panic.

Sitting on the beach for four days, by the way, feels like getting the backs of your knees sun burned. And that sucks.

So there we were in the Bahamas, I loaded up on new drinks at a little grocery store and stashed them in the crappy hotel refrigerator, working through them over the course of the trip. The first thing I drank was something I'd already tried once, a Ting Old Jamaican Ginger Beer. I drank it not to review it, but because I was thirsty. Having already written about the stuff once, I thought I'd had it covered - but I was wrong.

I had liked the first Ting Old Jamaican Ginger Beer I tried last month, it was super sweet and got hot only gradually. That "bad boy" was bottled in Canada, what I bought in the Bahamas was bottled in Jamaica. Jamaica is the mother land of ginger beers, a place where sugar historically equals human lives lived in servitude. They take their sugar seriously there, each spoonful in their tea demands an epic poem about wicked plantation owners fleeing across the waves to New Orleans, about the pirates LaFitte smuggling slaves over to Louisiana and Florida.

This is the real deal, thinks I, it will be a sweet tinged with pain and victory, a sweet to remember for my entire life. And... it wasn't. The Jamaican made Ting Ginger Beer wasn't half as sweet as the Canadian version. Without the sweet to conceal, the unpleasant cardboard of the ginger came out and mocked my broken hopes.

Alas, Ting. Why, oh why?

This is not the Ting I had grown to love. My fledgling circus mustache feels betrayed.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dr. Browns Black Cherry Soda

Dr. Brown's Original Black Cherry Soda

It's so good that there isn't much to say about it.

I used to drink this stuff regularly, for months and months it was my drink of choice. It had an inconsistency in the taste, though, due to the "sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup" listed on the label. It would run the gamut between too sweet goodness and burney corn nasty, a fickle drink I never learned to put my trust in.

Untrustworthy, but good. Always good, even when it's bad. The cherry taste is strooooong, it means business. It hops around in the mouth with a little pair of cherry boxing gloves, doing its best to make you know who's boss. The question is whether it's going to leave a little burned corn turd aftertaste.

One new thing about this drink, or at least this bottle, is the little black banner bearing the motto "Cherry With Other Natural Flavors". It says the same thing in the ingredient list. I wonder what happened? They reworked the recipe and must bear the red letters around their neck, proclaiming the difference? Or were they deceiving us all along, and only recently unmasked as cherry charlatans?

The trouble with delicious sodas is that they do not move me to write in an entertaining way. You can fuck a soft drink up so many amazingly diverse ways, but to make a unique good one is difficult. They all tend to move towards a certain set of "good" descriptors. Boring.

Dr. Brown's Dark Red Cherry is much better than the Dr. Brown's Cream Soda. Head and shoulders better. The cream is amateur hour compared to the cherry, it might as bear a "Vess" tag. A recommended soda commonly available in the refrigerator aisle.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ülker Link Lemon Aromated Soft Drink

Why does the can have to say "refreshing"? Now I feel pressured.

Ülker Link Lemon Aromated Soft Drink

At first drink I wasn't impressed. A very lemony soda, not much else. The waxy aftertaste was less than impressive. But then I looked at the can again, and read that this is a "Lemon Aromated Soft Drink." I love that. What the hell does "aromated" mean? Can I have it done to me when I'm dead? Aromated is a great, great word. All the better in that it doesn't pass spell check.

Look at the funny pull tab. Why can't they make pull tabs proper,
like us Americans? And look at how
they misspell "lemon" half the time.

Speaking of dead things, among the few English words on the can are "Attention!...Keep cool and away from direct sunlight". Just like a corpse, or an undead. I guess an undead is still a corpse, right? Either way, don't let Link Lemon Aromated Soft Drink bite you - zombie bite or vampire bite, neither is good in the long run.

"Lemuel, I think Hank got bit by an Ülker Link Lemon Aromated Soft Drink can during that last supply raid."

"If it's true, then he's dead to us, Zeke. He'll be aromated before sunset. We'll put on a real nice feed for him, and then put him down. Do we have any Olde Cape Cod BBQ Sauce? It goes great with everything."

Even though English is used on half the can for the draw in graphics, the ingredients are listed in Turkish, German, French, and Ancient Greek. Muddling through, I can read that the stuff is 3% "jus de citron", which I assume means fruit juice and not citric acid. Three percent juice is pretty good for any faux juice beverage, good work Ülker. Of course, Coca Cola used to have a small amount of real lemon juice in it too, till they figured out that chemicals gave a more consistent favor.

Honestly, I'm a fan of consistent flavor in my soft drinks. I don't like it when they fuck around with my expectations. If you have a batch that tastes different than the norm, put it in a different colored can and call it "Extreme" or "Original Formula".

Not that I've ever experienced Link Lemon Aromated Soft Drink having any inconsistency in taste. It's always tasted perfectly identical, from the first taste of the single can I drank to the last sip of that same can - of course I've only had one can.

I will drink this soda again, should it be foolish enough to cross my path. However, I kind of hope it stays out of my way.


...and recoil.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Goya Grape Soda

Goya Grape Soda

Here's a funny lamp and a funny plant
failing to give the bottle scale.

Believe it or not, this is a grimace of pleasure...

...and so is this.
You should see the face I pull in the bathroom.

So I have to get my wife's permission to mention her on this blog. Sometimes I am too flip in the way I talk about her, writing in a way I believe that anyone would realize is "all in good fun". Sadly, good fun is not my wife's way, so we strike Bargains.

To get permission for the previous blog, I had to strike out one phrase and replace it with another. (Note: At this point I in the original version of this entry I refer to the thing she made me strike out, explaining it. She saw THIS post and me me remove it again). More importantly, part of the bargain involved her picking out a soda for me to drink, right now and no fucking around.

Reaching this Bargain wasn't easy, and it involved her getting flustered and calling me a "spucker", but it was finally struck and I drank what was essentially a melted grape popsicle.

How can someone yell "Don't take my picture!"
and suck grape soda out of a bottle at the same time?

Goya Grape Soda smells slightly alcoholic and really, really grapey. The taste, like I said, is more like a melted grape popsicle than any other thing. Mulling it over, I think this not just because of the chemical grape taste, but because of the low carbonation. For a soda, this stuff hardly fizzes. Not that this is bad, it's actually quite good. The lack of fizz lets the sweet come through, and the grape isn't so strong that it has to fight with any of the other qualities.

Why do some flavors of soda suffer so hideously from the foul corn syrup taste? Goya Grape Soda is perfectly tasty. Do colas have a secret weakness when it comes to the sweet of the corn? Is it their Kryptonite?

I'll confess I had some trepidation. Goya isn't known for their delicious sodas as much as their starchy canned goods. But this stuff is good, my wife and I both agree that we'd drink more if given the chance. I'll hunt for another bottle in the canned bean aisle, next time I'm at the supermarket.

The bottle, though, puzzles me. The running theme of the company is Spanish foodstuffs, this bottle bears a single Spanish word, "Refresco". Nothing else on it is in Spanish, and the distributor is listed in Secaucus, New Jersey. Why that single word of Spanish? Is it meant to show the Hispanic Goya buyers that the company is still 'keeping it real'? Is the company trying to lure non-Hispanics in with the exoticism of the language?

Either way, the ink isn't directly printed on the bottle, instead it has little plastic labels stuck to it bearing all the "Refresco" this and "Artificial Flavor" that. I hate that.

Speaking of the label, check out the crazy dithering in that whispy purple band that runs around the outer edge of the graphic. That's crazy. I feel like I'm playing an illustrated text adventure on Commodore 64. And those grapes, they're all semi-transparent. Clearly their not grapes. To tell the truth, this is sort of what I imagined the thing looked like in "The Colour Out of Space". Didn't it lay eggs at one point? Or am I confusing the original story with the Cthulhu Now adventure about the same thing?

Look at that dithering. Look at it, but not too close,
for there lies madness.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Wrath of My Wife

It's sort of like a scene from "The Birds".

This is one of the main reasons my wife hates me. It's not my poor performance in the bedroom, or my lackluster earning skills. It's not that I have a whole other "blog" full of pictures I took of her losing at Settlers of Catan. No. She hates me because I have dominated the top shelf of the refrigerator with soda bottles.

Every couple of days she hollers at me about it, usually taking me by surprise. Maybe while sleeping or crossing an intersection, the latter clearly calculated to cause my demise. Every meal together she'll dig out a bottle and plunk it down in front of me. "Drink it!" I calmly explain that I can't drink a bottle casually sitting at a meal, I have to take my stupid photos and then write down my reactions. If I don't write them down right quick I forget, and all these valuable witticisms are lost out of the top of my thinning pate. Sadly, the more my hair thins the less patience she has for my foolish doings.

Looking at the photo of the shelf, I can see that I have some sort of aversion to green and orange sodas. Seriously, look at that. I drank all the red ones, most of the brown ones, the clear ones. That green on in the middle left with the three antlered slug on the label IS a scary one, I've been dreading it since I brought it home. One day we'll square off, but not soon enough for my wife.

The worst thing about this shelf full of soda, according to my wife, is that I have added to the mass of my collection instead of decreased it. I buy new sodas to try, and don't drink them before I get into the apartment - a certain sin in her eyes.

The worst thing in my wife is that she can tell when I put new bottles on the shelf. Even if I'm sneaky she can sense it. I'll put bottles in the back, out of sight, carefully hiding any sign of rearranging and she'll walk into the kitchen and be yelling at me before she even opens up the refrigerator.

I swear she's a witch.

The Compendium Malificarum says that witches are only allowed to practice their craft with the permission of God. Of course, God also says that we should not suffer a witch to live. Unfortunately, I don't think I can take my wife in a fair fight so I'm a little stumped. Maybe if I save all my bottles and fill them full of rocks, that will give me an edge.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dr. Brown's Cream Soda + Figuring Out BBQ Pork Ribs

The soda's color matches all the old games in the background.

Dr. Brown's Cream Soda

Cream sodas, in my experience, tends towards overly sweet and strong. Dr. Brown's dodges that bullet with a comparatively subtle amount of flavoring. I don't know what "cream" exactly means as a flavor, but Brown's begins in that flavor I know to call cream and wanders over into vanilla aftertaste. I wouldn't know that there was a difference unless the one was so clearly leading into the other.

Dr. Brown's, of course, is a reputable soda maker. Unfortunately, they deviate from the path of righteousness by using "sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup". There really is a variance in the product between batches, I was a fan of their Dark Cherry soda and drank it consistently for about six months. It baffled the mind how one can was perfectly sweet and the next flavored like burned bread.

The stuff is almost always good, even when it's corn syrupy, and that makes me wonder if just the littlest bit of sugar helps offset the corn syrup nasty. That this little bit of sugar helps the medicine taste of corn syrupy go down.

More important than the Dr. Brown's is the dinner I ate alongside it. I was attracted by a massive slab of pork ribs in the meat market, it was huge and gross and beckoned to me. I'd never cooked pork ribs, but I've had people cook them for me and they never turned out. These ribs cost mere pennies, and I took them home. There I looked up an internet recipe, and got to work.

These become...

...fatty, barbecuey perfection. You can see I ate several pieces
before it occured to me to take a photo.

I lightly fried the ribs so there were browned on two sides, then popped them in the 350 degree oven. The ribs filled two casserole dishes. I kept basting and flipping the ribs every twenty minutes, but realized that I was falling into the same nasty trap as all the oven cooked ribs I'd ever had. I'd glaze the top, flip and flip the rib, when I flipped it back all the delicious glazing had melted off in the grease, leaving a white chicken flesh colored rib.

What I figured out, and I'm sure this is obvious to those of you out there who do this sort of thing regularly, is to prop the ribs up on a skinny end. I leaned them against the side of the casserole dish, or tilted them over onto a bit of scrap bone that had come along in the rib packet. This kept the bulk of the surface up and out of the grease, letting the glaze and crust build up properly.

The ribs were amazing, almost as good as my favorite restaurant ribs. I attribute most of that to Old Cape Cod Black Angus BBQ Sauce, which turned into a candy crust with repeated bastings. This is my favorite store bought barbecue sauce anywise, it's good on everything.

I ate the entire batch of ribs in one sitting. Two huge casserole dishes full, chasing it down with Dr. Browns.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Boylans Ginger Ale

Boylan Ginger Ale

Dark places for dark deeds.

For the life of me, I can't find the name of the pizza restaurant near the intersection of Avenue A and 8th Street. East side of A, middle of the block, a nicer pizza restaurant that looks like a regular old shop. Help me here, folks. Edit: This place, the generically named "Pizza Shop".

Anyways, my pal Dino and I wound up at this restaurant some time ago. We'd just left a Gotham Girls rollerderby game and had set out for the lower East Side on a lark, looking for food. After a bit of random walking, Dino realized we were near one of the Gotham sponsors - the pizza place above.

Dino was feeling magnanimous, having won a bunch of gift certificates and a gift basket of Bacon Salt while at the game. He treated me to a slice at this unknown but noble pizza restaurant, a very good slice of "buffalo wing" flavored pizza. I bought a Boylan's Ginger Ale with my own money, fearing that Dino might take liberties if allowed to pay for the whole meal.

I did not buy the Boylan's intending to write a review, but as a servant of the public good I feel the necessity of writing thrust upon me. Boylan Ginger Ale was a terrible disappointment, all angry fizz and nothing else. It boasts "with Pure Cane Sugar" on the front, an easy boast to make if you hardly sweeten your product at all. Not really any ginger taste either, this was more like 7-Up from a fountain dispenser in which the syrup was running low.

I vaguely remember enjoying other Boylan products, but I sure as heck didn't like this one. While not as bad as Vernor's, it's actually worse than Reed's, and doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as Ting's Ginger Beer or the much sung Bundaberg. Whoops.

The pizza received twenty lashes with the cat, for being so delicious.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink

Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink

Buck the cat refuses to be featured in this photograph.

I used to drink Yoo-hoo when I was a kid, for no good reason. Back then it used to give me wrenching stomach cramps and explosive gas. Nonetheless I would drink it whenever a can or bottle presented itself. I wouldn't go out of my way to find the stuff, but some days I might get a wild hare and buy a can. Or bottle. Whatever it came in. It was sort of like picking at a scab, a good kind of hurt.

Drinking it now, and I haven't had Yoo-hoo in at least a decade, a lot of memories flood back. Not really memories, but merely "remembering". Remembering, mostly, the luke warm feelings I had for the watery chocolate drink. Seriously, this stuff is like watery, cold, corn syrupy chocolate milk.

Bad chocolate milk, too. Some cheap brand your friends Mom made with water instead of milk. This is odd because the second ingredient in Yoo-hoo is "whey (from milk)". The first is water, the third is corn syrup. Yuck. Milky watery syrup. "Corn syrup solids" get a second listing further along, never heard of those but they sound FOUL.

It DOES taste more like chocolate than I remember, it even has a chocolatish after-taste. No painful cramps like in the good old days, but I'm also drinking it on a full stomach.

So, yeah, it's Yoo-hoo. It's kind of gross, much more so when you read the ingredients. If I hadn't foolishly done that, I'd probably finish the can.


So at the tail end of pouring the can out, the "dregs" spill out. Gloopy bits of separated chocolate. In all fairness, this stuff probably would've made the beverage taste better and thicken it up. But I DID shake the can, and without some sort of air bubble in there to agitate, the muddy bits stayed separated. Bah. All that potential flavor, down the sink.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Ones That Got Away

The Trip to Michigan, The Epilogue

Phredd took this picture. Hey Phredd, next time
a little less Sunkist and a little more mystery Faygo.

This was taken by me with an iPhone, standing very, very still.
iPhones don't have flashes and don't do well in dim light.

Look at all those exciting drinks. It's a veritable treasure trove of knock-off sodas and mysterious new flavors. Some are obvious, Ohana Punch is must the same as Tropical Punch. I can see a Faygo Lemon-Lime. In the bottom photo, that red bottle on the upper right looks to be called "Fuck Rub". I want some of that. What sort of mysterious beast is Faygo 60/40? And look at the bottom right, Faygo RedPop. Are they making a knock-off of Big Red? My Lord, that's like making a Mr. Belvedere rip-off.

One day I will return, and I will rent a motel room and buy all these sodas. I will put on a diaper, so I don't have to get up, and then I will drink them all. Every one. One day. Unless the diabetes gets me first. Then I'll just drink the diet versions.