Tag Archives: food

Ice Cream and Cake and Cake!

Every few months I find myself falling in love with a commercial that the majority of the ad industry (or at least industry press) vehemently hates.  A few months ago I was gaga for the quirky Geico googly-eyed stack of cash commercials while much of the rest of the world expressed intense displeasure. Did I love the concept behind them?  No. Did I think they showed smart and strategic marketing genius? No. But did I love the catchy “Somebody’s Watching Me” tune and find myself getting off the couch to dance along? You betcha.

Knowing this, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the new Baskin Robbins ice cream cake spot is my favorite commercial of the moment:

And what a shock, the critics find it irritating. One even called it “brain-drilling.”  Well it definitely gets me off the couch and dancing, even if it’s just a 15-second spot. But then again, I’m definitely in the it’s “a funny and joyous celebration of ice cream and cake” camp.

Besides, shouldn’t ice cream and cake be fun?  Frankly, I have no interest in ice cream or cake commercials that snub their nose at silliness and humor.

You know who has it exactly right?  Heather McLane at FresnoBeehive.com.  Glad to hear her reaction to the spot was the exact same as mine:  a dance party with an abrupt stop for a drooling trance.

Besides, the commercial is darn good advertising!  Good thing most of the commercials out there don’t entice me into that “must have now” urgency.

And at $9.99?  I’m a little concerned about my willpower — I live a mere block away from the closest BR.



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Disgustingly Good Eats

What do you do when the gastronomic world of chicken fried steak with gravy, chili cheese fries, and Oreo brownie sundaes aren’t unhealthy enough?

You throw a bacon cheeseburger on a Krispy Kreme glazed donut instead of a bun! Check out the insanity!

When on a friend’s recently Dugg’d pages list, I found this incredible delicacy. Apparently it was served in Google’s New York office in celebration of the cafeteria’s chef’s birthday. On my next birthday I’ll have to remember to serve up artery-clogging goodness to my family, friends, and peers.

Now seems a good as time as ever to pronounce my love for adventures to find outstanding(ly bad for me) food. A few months ago, one of my friends came up with the brilliant idea to go on a Texas BBQ-themed road trip. We drove down 183 for about 30 miles or so and did a spur of the moment tour of the towns of Lockhart and Luling, Texas. In Lockhart we sampled the ‘cue of Smitty’s (my favorite of the trip) and Kreutz, and made a quick walk-through at Black’s Barbecue in order to briefly relax our stomachs. In Luling we saw a ton of campaigning for the town’s Watermelon Thump Queen, the pinnacle award at the town’s annual watermelon festival. But we also took a whack at that town’s best BBQ joint — The City Market. In filling our bellies to our content, we took a stab 3 of what Texas Monthly named the top 5 BBQ joints in Texas for 2008.

Yes, I have a hankering for more trips like this in the future. It’s been a dream for the past few years to sometime make it to the North Carolina State Fair where I’ve heard legends about the deliciously bad-for-you delicacies: fried Twinkies, fried Snickers bars, and fried who knows what else. All of them will one day be mine! Stay tuned to my post in 2015 when I finally get to fulfill my dream! In the meantime I’ll lick my lips and gaze at the holy grail:

Special thanks to Channel M for her tantalizing write-up of the NC State Fair last year (and source of above picture). I can’t wait to have my heavenly deep-fried experience as well as the chance to see pig racin’ for myself!


Filed under food, road trips

Austin Outburst Addendum

Sporadic Austin thoughts/updates:

  • Finally got a chance to check out Barton Springs this past weekend. Very cool, will definitely be going back. (Note to Gregory Gym Pool: don’t worry, I still love you too!)
  • The aforementioned snowcone shack I love on South Lamar is called Molly’s Original Sno-Cups. You can’t miss the gleaming silver trailer in the P. Terry’s parking lot. While there this weekend for a post-Barton treat we stumbled upon P. Terry’s 3rd anniversary party and got free t’s and yummy burgers to accompany our ‘cones.
  • Tried breakfast tacos at Torchy’s… indeed they’re better than Taco Shack.
  • I need to save up more of my pennies so that I can actually buy stuff at the stores on South Congress and Hey Cupcake!, speaking of silver trailers full of sweet treats.

I leave you with a picture of the taste oasis I’ll be partaking in the rest of the summer. More reason for more Barton Springs and Peter Pan trips! I recommend the somewhat juvenile combination of cotton candy, bubble gum & blue raspberry.

Picture source: 100 Percent Cottam blog

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Austin Lovin’

I’m head over heels… for Austin freakin’, Texas!

I have lived here almost a year and I can’t get over how much I LOVE this place! The weather, the food, the sports, the music, my school, my job, and again, my God, the foooooood. I have eaten Tex-Mex approximately 289 times since I moved here, and this is very likely not an exaggeration.

A short list of what I love about this town:

  • Red River — my favorite street in Austin. Home to lots of fun music venues like Stubb’s and Emo’s. And delicious food like Moonshine, Austin’s best brunch, and Ironworks, probably the best BBQ in town.
  • UT football games — the roaring crowds, the occasional Matthew McConaughey sighting, a real band, sweating to death and screaming at the ‘Horns… What could be a better way to spend a Saturday?
  • Austin City Limits — you already know this
  • Zilker Park Botanical Garden
  • Peter Pan — BYOB mini golf
  • road trips to close-by towns to sample Texas-style BBQ (beef brisket, etc.)
  • that awesome snowcone place beside P. Terry’s on Lamar, just north of intersection with Barton Springs
  • UT’s on-campus oasis, the Gregory Gym Aquatic Complex, for outdoor lap swimming when motivated, and lazy poolside relaxation
  • kayaking on Town Lake
  • movies at Alamo Drafthouse
  • funky and fun coffeehouses like Spiderhouse, JP’s Java, and Mozart’s

And well I wouldn’t even scratch the surface without a full list of my favorite Tex-Mex places thus far, I must stress. I’m always looking to add more to the repertoire:

  • Chuy’s — great queso, delicious food
  • Hula Hut… sister restaurant of Chuy’s but with a patio overlooking Lake Austin. They mix Polynesian and Tex-Mex flavors. I’m partial to their BBQ chicken tacos.
  • Guero’s Taco Bar — yummy South Congress place where you can eat chips and salsa and watch bands play while you wait for your table
  • Torchy’s Tacos — might be my new favorite. Fresh and exciting ingredient combinations… I recommend the Brushfire taco, filled to the brim with Jamaican Jerk chicken, mango, sour cream and a spicy “Diablo” sauce.
  • Freebirds — the Texas chain beats Chipotle at its own burrito game. And the chicken is always wholly cooked! (Though kudos to Chipotle for having intoxicatingly delicious guacamole over and over again.)
  • Taco Shack — my weekend go-to breakfast taco staple… simple, no fuss
  • Trudy’s — this college town favorite has legendarily strong Mexican Martinis and limits you to two per outing
  • The Oasis — panoramic views of Lake Travis and the self-claimed “Sunset Capital of Texas”
  • Iguana Grill — the lesser known Lake Travis treasure that I’d have to say beats The Oasis on the Tex-Mex food and live music, and certainly rivals its sunset allure

I know there are quite a few obvious “can’t miss” places I didn’t mention in Austin, but there are lots more places I need to see! Still haven’t gone to Barton Springs or Greenbelt, but I’ll be working on making it to both places in the coming weeks.

Happy 4th of July! Go out and enjoy the best of wherever you live has to offer!

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Sunshine and Tabula Rasa

Long time no post. Due to my laziness I think I’ll just make lists of tasks I hope to accomplish this summer… and other miscellaneous thoughts.

Goals for this summer:
1. Get advertising internship (check)
2. Take two summer school classes (signed up, much more to do)
3. Learn Illustrator
4. Learn InDesign
5. Learn AP writing style
6. Read more books… and finish them!
7. Write!
8. Less internet, more sleep.
9. Work on ads on my own

1. Road trip to Houston for an Astros game at Minute Maid Park, preferably when the Braves are in town
2. Quality time at Barton Springs
3. Explore more of Austin/Hill Country
4. More BBQ-inspired road trips
5. Swim more, run more, maybe even bike or learn to row?
6. Get tan, relax in the sun
7. East Coast vacay in August: Outer Banks, Virginia Beach, Key West (keep dreaming)… somewhere beachy

Places where I’d like to go, but probably lack the time (these are “nearby” as in within Texas):
1. Big Bend National Park
2. South Padre Island

Restaurants I’d like to try:
1. Roy’s (Hawaiian fusion)
2. Casino el Camino (gigantic burgers)
3. Juan in a Million (breakfast tacos)
4. Z Tejas (upscale Mexican)

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IHOP Update

So today I made it to the local IHOP and tried half of the Horton Hears a Who promotional menu. I tried both the Beezlenut Splash beverage and Who-Cakes. The Beezlenut Splash arrived first and was about what I expected; it tasted like Sprite with slurpable Jello chunks inside.

Upon delivery, the waiter mentioned that he had never seen an adult try either item. I must say the lack of adventurousness in the Austin IHOP-eating community is pretty disappointing. Despite this warning, I was not to be deterred on my mission. He frequently checked up on us to see that things were going OK and to see what I thought of my drink (and of course later, the Who-Cakes).

Then the Who-Cakes arrived. They were a complete sugar overload, and it made me glad that at the last second I decided to add a starchy side of hashbrowns to my order. I was warned multiple times, but of course, I had to try for myself. I’d have to say they are a lot prettier than they are tasty.

The combination of syrups was a bit much, but inside the pancakes in the stacks hadn’t absorbed nearly the same amount of syrup, which made them taste a lot better. I would have to say that the least appetizing part of the Who-Cakes were the multi-colored chocolate pieces sprinkled on top. Once I made this realization and scraped them to the side, my meal was a lot more enjoyable. I felt sorta bad about this though because the waiter made sure that they gave me extra chocolate on top in order to make it prettier:

As lame as I could possibly be, I didn’t end up finishing the Who-Cakes. I ate about 2/3 of them though, which was easier after discovering the food’s improvement upon removing the chocolate. It was nice to enjoy the lollipop at the end too. I did order a refill on the Beezlenut Splash though.

If you want to try the Horton menu, you better hurry! The promotion ends tomorrow, April 20th!


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Crazy Candy IHOP Pancakes

So the other night I went out to dinner at IHOP, where I was greeted by a colorful, eye-catching sign advertising IHOP’s new promotional menu to celebrate the Dr. Seuss movie, Horton Hears a Who. These types of signs generally don’t get my attention, but I was immediately struck by the fact that IHOP was offering pancakes that looked like candy. Here’s a quick view of what I mean:

When I got to my table to scan the menu for strawberry waffles and hashbrowns I came across a laminated insert where I saw these candy-looking pancakes again. They were baffling. Who would order these? What on earth would candy pancakes taste like? I couldn’t believe they put a lollipop through the pancakes stack! I was intrigued.

I browsed the menu and found out these so-called “Who-Cakes” are actually are made of astonishingly normal ingredients, despite their appearance. It was just a stack of four pancakes, covered with boysenberry and blueberry syrups and covered with rainbow chocolate chips. Granted the lollipop toothpick was a little bizarre, but who doesn’t enjoy a piece of candy or a mint to tie up a meal?

The menu also featured a famous Dr. Seuss favorite, Green Eggs and Ham. If these weren’t enough, they also had a special drink concoction you could order in order to wash it all down with: Beezlenut Splash. The Beezlenut Splash was simply lemon-lime soda (I assume Sprite) with red and blue Jello cubes interspersed throughout. Crazy! The drink was only $2 and you could get all-you-can-drink refills.

Needless to say, as a child trapped in a twenty-something’s body, I am completely psyched about this whole Horton promotion. I am in the process of recruiting people for an IHOP and movie doubleheader. The movie features Jim Carrey, Steve Carell (of my beloved The Office), Will Arnett (from Arrested Development), and his wife, Amy Poehler (of SNL). Pretty awesome cast, though I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more excited about the prospect of partaking in these Who-Cakes.

In other news, The Office returns in a mere week! Jim Halpert, how my weeks have longed for your return…

Pictures source: IHOP website, http://www.ihop.com/

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