Pizza History Week: Pizza Hut launches “Eau de Amore”

(Originally written December 4, 2012)

If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for that special someone at Christmastime, look no further.  Pizza Hut has announced its new fragrance, just in time for the gift-giving season.  That’s right, I said Pizza Hut.  According to the pizza chain’s ad agency, “it smells like dough with a little bit of seasoning added.”  Tell me I’m not the only one who’s aroused right now…

The new scent, eau de amore, was spawned by overwhelming demand on Facebook, where a Pizza Hut employee joked about bottling the smell of a big pizza pie.  According to Marketing magazine, “Fans reacted with such joy that the post garnered the month’s highest engagement rate, and within half an hour ‘a few thousand people’ had responded saying they’d like a bottle.”  No word as to how many of those people were actually women, mind you.

However, this hot ‘n ready pizza scent won’t be flying off the shelves every 20 minutes (or it’s free)—only 100 Facebook followers will be getting a bottle of the love potion in the mail.  Hey, if anybody in the GTA was the recipient of this special delivery, I would definitely take you out to dinner.  I’m thinking an extra-large, hot-dog stuffed crust, bacon, pepperoni and extra ground beef…  Call me!

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Momofuku needs to bring back bacon-flavoured chicken wings!

OK, first, let me take you back to the first time I ate there…

(Originally written November 17, 2012)

Two things crossed off my “to do” list today: eat at Momofuku on University Ave and see Skyfall, the new James Bond flick.  I’d attempted the former on its opening weekend a couple months back–but at the time, the wait was so long that it would be almost dinnertime once I’d secured a table to eat lunch.  Though it’s been several weeks since then, I made sure to get there a couple minutes before they opened this time, just to be safe.  As it turns out, there were really only a handful of people waiting at 11:30, and even by noon, there were plenty of spaces available–as long as you didn’t mind sitting at a high, wooden counter.  I ended up on one of said wooden seats, which gave me a great view of what was going on in the kitchen (although there wasn’t much happening when I took this shot).

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They say Momofuku’s pork buns are to die for, and they’re not kidding.  The juicy, succulent pork belly comes enveloped in a soft, doughy shell, with sliced cucumber adding a little extra flavour.  These things literally fly off the shelves–even at $10 for two!

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Now you might be wondering, what kinda overweight, brain-dead Alberta redneck goes to a classy Asian restaurant and orders chicken wings?  This guy!  And I gotta say, Momofuku’s smoked chicken wings are darn-tootin’ delicious!  Topped with scallions and seasoned in a light oyster sauce, they’ve got the most amazing flavour–basically, they taste like bacon!  No really, I had to check under the skin to make sure they weren’t hiding bacon bits in there somewhere, but I couldn’t see any.  I suppose that the act of smoking the chicken (next to the pork belly, perhaps?) gives them that distinctive taste that just blew me away.  Because if there’s one thing better than chicken wings, it’s bacon-flavoured chicken wings.  Now, if they could only incorporate beer into the recipe somehow, I’d take up residence at the Shangri-La so I could eat there every day!  (Alas, I can’t quite afford a private residence there, so it’s probably to my benefit that the wings aren’t beerified…)

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Looks amazing, right? But here’s the problem. These wings aren’t on the menu anymore, and they haven’t been in some time. You can get hot ‘n honey wings, but only at dinnertime. I’m sure those are good ‘n all, but they probably don’t taste like bacon. Unless they do taste like hot ‘n honey flavoured bacon, in which case…I should probably go there for dinner some time.

Who needs a gastric bypass when you can have a Coke?

(Originally written January 8, 2013)

A new study shows that drinking Coca-Cola can virtually, if not entirely, eliminate stomach blockages with a success rate higher than invasive surgery.  As The Telegraph reports, “the fizzy favourite has chemical ingredients that do a similar job to gastric acid while the bubbles help speed up the process,” according to researchers at Athens University.

And if you’re on a diet, you can still keep your gastric acid flowing freely, as even Coke Zero contains the same stomach-unblocking ingredients.  On the other hand, you may want to avoid snacking on pumpkin-shaped berries; according to The Telegraph, it’s undigested fruits like persimmons that cause these problems in the first place.

Alas, while Coke was found to successfully dissolve gastric phytobezoar in over 91 per cent of patients, there have been no confirmed reports that Pepsi, Jolt or RC Cola produce the same effect—which I’m sure will be fodder for a future Coca-Cola marketing campaign.  “Have a Coke, Have a Shit” sure has a nice ring to it, dontchathink?

Food Truck Feeding Frenzy Friday: You can’t get raviolis like this from a can!

(Originally written May 9, 2014)

Now, when I was in high school, I pretty much subsisted on ravioli. I didn’t know how to cook, but I could empty a can of Chef Boyardee’s and put it in the microwave. So if I was left to make my own dinner, I knew what I was having. That said, I never had any raviolis that looked like this:

romen_chariot_ravioli

The Rome’n Chariot truck proudly proclaims that it was featured on Eat St, and I think I might have seen that episode. Its menu of Italian comfort food mostly consists of breaded sandwiches, but when I saw the toasted ravioli on the menu, my mind was made up. Deep-fried for a crunchy texture with a dusting of parmesan, these spinach-flavoured pillows of goodness were made for dunking in the mild marinara sauce. I could’ve used something with a bit more kick, but I certainly can’t complain about portion size—7 for $10 seems about right.

Throwback Thursday: The great New Jersey fake booze caper

(Originally written May 24, 2013)

When you order booze in the Garden State, you could be getting less than you bargained for.  As The Associated Press reports, “At one bar, a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch. In another, premium liquor bottles were refilled with water — and apparently not even clean water at that.”  Jeebus Crest, if you’re gonna serve me a water-water, at least make sure it’s clean water!

The news of this fake-drink escapade comes at the conclusion of Operation Swill, a crackdown launched by the state’s Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.  According to the AP, “As part of Operation Swill, investigators collected 1,000 open bottles of vodka, gin, rum, scotch, whiskey and tequila from the wells of the bars, state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said.”  Or rather, bottles of water, rubbing alcohol, caramel colouring and Gotti knows what else!

Although 29 establishments were charged, your chances of drinking dirty water are greatly diminished if you don’t dine at T.G.I. Friday’s.  According to the AP, 13 of the Fraudulent 29 think it’s always Friday in here.  “We want every assurance possible that our guests can continue to feel confident in the great food and drink they order at our T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants,” Rick Barbrick, president of The Briad Restaurant Group, told The Associated Press.  Let’s hope they get it, too, lest we find out that’s not really Jack Daniels in their Jack Daniels barbeque sauce…

A perfect wine pairing… for the sophisticated frozen-food conoisseur!

(Originally written February 5, 2013)

Soooo, I was making dinner the other day, Stouffer’s Skillet Sensations, when I noticed this printed on the packaging.  They suggest wine pairings–in this case, Lindeman’s Bin 65 chardonnay–for their frozen food!  I guess this is perfect for an alcoholic who spends all their money on booze, and doesn’t have time to cook…

Alas, I did not enjoy a glass of Bin 65 chardonnay with my chicken alfredo, but rather a nice big glass of Beatrice 2% milk.

It’s Deicided–death metal dudes drink Coors Light!

(Originally written December 2, 2011)

Once upon a time in the Toronto metal scene, you could tell the nu-metal kiddies from the tr00 metal heads by asking someone if they knew the Glen Benton Blue Moon story.  Mind you, that was about five or six years ago.  Since then, I’ve sorta disassociated myself from the scene by listening to too much of “that slow shit” and for all I know, there could be a whole generation of tr00 Toronto metal heads that haven’t heard the story about the time that Glen Benton walked into the Blue Moon on Queen St E.  That said, if you found this post by typing “tr00 Toronto metal heads” into Google, read on to score some scene points…

First, I should say that I wasn’t actually at the bar when this happened, however I’ve heard this story from two people who claimed to have been there, and I don’t think they had any reason to lie to me at the time.  Since then, it’s become a bit of a running gag with me bringing “real man’s beer” to birthday parties, and I even told this story at a recent office party that was serving Coors Light, so I guess now the secret’s out.

Anyways, if you’ve been to a major metal gig of the non-stadium variety in Toronto, chances are you’ve been to the Opera House.  Although more and more gigs are booked at the Mod Club nowadays (which suits me just fine, cept for their outrageous drink prices!), it used to be that if a band was too big to play the Kathedral, you’d probably find ’em at the Opera House on Queen Street, just east of Broadview.  Right next to the Opera House is a bar called the Blue Moon, which actually put up its own stage a few years ago, and now hosts metal gigs of its own.  I think that Kory Clarke-fronted Trouble has even played there.  But before any of that ever happened, it was primarily a place to grab a couple beers before a gig at the larger venue next door.  Sometimes, you’d even meet a couple guys from some of the bands playing if you got there early.

On one such evening, in 2005 I believe, or 2006, Satanic death metal band Deicide was in town.  This was somewhat of a rare occurrence, as the band has become known for booking, then backing out of Canadian tour dates.  But they made it up here this time, and if you were sitting at the bar at the Blue Moon, you would’ve seen Glen Benton, their inverted-cross-branded frontman storm in, screaming:

“It’s fucking hot in here!  Put a fan on!  And get me a real man’s beer–Coors Light!”

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Only if you’re from Florida is Coors Light considered a real man’s beer, I suppose.  But alas, whenever I’m at a bar that has an unsatisfactory tap selection, I sometimes ask for a real man’s beer.  And I wouldn’t ever think of drinking Coors Light if it wasn’t for Glen Benton.

(And there you have it, kids.  Scene cred+1.)

UPDATE: The Blue Moon is now a country bar called Boots ‘n Bourbon. I’m guessing they still serve Coors Light?