Posts by rockstar-JB:
Hello all, sorry it has been so long since my last review. I had several written…but I can’t find them. I found the pictures, I’ve just been too lazy to re-write them. Maybe once I organize my HDDs….
But today I’m going to review something besides food. I’m going to review shisha. This is the tobacco used to smoke hookah.
I’ve had experience with three brands thus far with widely varying results.
First off is probably the most common. STARBUZZ.
This stuff seems to be widely available and comes in more flavors than you can shake a stick at. I’ve tried a variety of flavors, but the most noteworthy was Lemon Mint. The mint really sells it here. The taste isn’t too strong, but not too light. If anything, it is on the stronger side, which I like. The lemon isn’t as pronounced, so if you can find any of the XXX-Mint flavors, you will probably be in for a good smoke. STARBUZZ shisha is pretty sticky and burns well, but a little quickly and it is definitely prone to burning if you aggressively hit it.
I’ve never been disappointed by STARBUZZ in general. I’ve purchased some flavors that didn’t fit my fancy, but taste is up to the smoker. However, if you can, avoid grape. I haven’t met anybody who would smoke that flavor again given other options. Grape sucks. STARBUZZ is a little more expensive that most brands, but the phrase “you get what you pay for” shows here. It is a little more expensive, and is a little better. No mega value here, but it is a good default brand. BONUS: the little tins are kind of handy after you finish the shisha.
Second on this review of three is Fakhfakhina. (lolwut?)
This stuff is the reason I actually started this review. I probably should have seen this mistake coming when the head shop I was in told me it was on sale for something like buy two get one free. I got Orange Molasses, Vanilla, and Mango flavors. Pictured is Orange Molasses, the least terrible of the three. I originally opened the vanilla flavor and immediately knew I had made a mistake when I saw the actual shisha. The shisha is dry and clumpy, and has what I would say is an unnatural amount of stems. The only flavor I tasted with vanilla was “smoke” flavor. I can at least tell they were going for an orange theme with the orange flavor. I have never smoked the mango by itself, but when I mixed it with other flavors I could taste a hint of mango, so that one is probably not terrible taste wise. Because the shisha is dry and clumpy it burns pretty easily and quickly (not desired results). I can safely say that I will not purchase this brand again, especially considering that any place where I have seen it for sale also carried STARBUZZ. The value is there, though. This stuff was cheap. If you have a bunch of assbag friends over often and they want in on your hookah and you aren’t feeling charitable, this probably isn’t a terrible choice. I mean, it still tastes not bad, and it was cheap.
Finally is the gem of this group. AL FAKHER.
Aside from getting giggles when I say the name out loud (try it) I also enjoy smoking it. This little box was given to me by a man who was clearly ESL whilst in Ybor in Tampa. He gave it to me for free as well as a 50% discount on a tiny hookah because “oh? you know hookah? you smoke hookah? come come”. If that is a reason.
I got coconut because I had never tried that flavor in any brand. I knew it would be good because I could smell it without even opening the box. When I did open the box I again knew it would be good because the bag felt like it was full of jelly. This shisha is very thick and gooey. It smells and tastes great. It is pretty strong, and I like that. It also smokes pretty well. The only time that I’ve really burned it is when I had it in my larger hookah with three people pulling off of it. The down side is that I have been unable to find this brand for sale locally. I still have a few shops to check, and the internets is always an option. But the fact alone that I’m actively looking for more pretty much sums up my thoughts on this brand. I can’t say anything as to the value of this since I didn’t see a price, but I can’t imagine it being much more than other brands, and the quality is definitely there.
In the future I will post more reviews of shisha brands as I am able to try them. If it seems like I should, I will review other related things like coals. However, I’ve tried several brands of coals with no notable difference.
Sorry that I have been neglecting my DUTY of reviewing food places…but with work being so busy this season and my general distaste for the interface we have for adding posts, I have been seriously procrastinating.
I have a 5 or so reviews written, but if I just copy/paste they end up looking like crap for some strange reason. And putting pictures in is like pulling teeth (for me, Matt/Dan seem to do fine T_T)
Anyway, I have a new program on my MID that should help, so I’ll get cracking. I’m going to try to put up one update each day all next week.
Sorry once again. Now I’m going to try to put a picture in here for lawlz / to see how that works with this program.
Food Rating: – I didn’t get sick, so that’s something
Service Rating: – It took the entire length of War Pigs, by Black Sabbath to order and get my food. 8 minutes.
Price Rating: – I can think of WAY better things to eat for $7.
Overall Rating: – It is a step above the McRib, but that isn’t saying much.
687 West State Street
Hurricane, UT 84737-1973
So I saw the commercial and said “fine, I’ll bite”. I have always wondered when fast food would try and do actual ribs. Now that they have, I wanted to see how badly they effed it up. Well, the answer is pretty bad.
The ribs do seem to be actual ribs as opposed to the infamous McRib. They do also seem to have come into contact with actual fire at some point too. This is about all the good I have to say about these things.
Now, onto the bad. First off, they’re pretty flavorless besides char and salt. The majority of the flavor comes from the BBQ sauce, which is the same sauce you get if you ask for it with chicken nuggets or something. So you could really save yourself the trouble and just get some of that for free along with some salt. Put them together, imagine it has a bone in it, and you would get basically the same experience.
Also, it apparently takes them a long time to make them. There was nobody in line, and from order to driving away it took the entire lenght of “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath. 8 minutes.
Final note, don’t do it unless you have some horrible burning curiosity.
Hard Rock Cafe – Niagara Falls, NY
333 Prospect Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14303-1105
Food Rating: – Awesome. I think it is better than your normal sports bar fare.
Service Rating: – Prompt and friendly. I like a bartender who introduces his or her self.
Atmosphere Rating: – I’m a fan of the rediculous stuff that litters the walls. Other than the ROCK stuff, its like a sports bar
Price Rating: – I guess all of that ROCK stuff costs a lot of money….the food costs more than it should, but not terribly so
Overall Rating: – Good food, good service, and a new glass for my collection.
I was in a touristy spot, so I had to eat at a touristy place. I don’t know why, but I like Hard Rock Cafes. They scored major points in my book back when I lived in Japan as they were the only restaurant that had free refills on sodas. It’s the little things.
Anyway, I’ve spent a pretty penny at Hard Rocks through my years, and have various hats, shirts, glasses and shot glasses to prove it. I even have a membership card that does…something…that I haven’t figured out yet.
This Hard Rock was no exception. I ended up with about a $120 bill which I’ll break down later. But it is ok, because I walked to the casino and placed $100 on black for the sole purpose of scoring some sweet-eats-money, and it worked.
First off, the atmosphere is pretty neat. I like all the rock and/or roll memorabilia that litters the joint. I also like how the staff knows they work at a Hard Rock.
I sat at the bar because as usual I was all alone. The bartender immediately came over and introduced himself in an informal-best-buddies-I work at Hard Rock kind of way and I got my first beer. The beers are a little over priced, but it was cold and poured properly, so that’s fine.
I first ordered a batch of wings because I was interested in the combination of smoked and buffalo flavors, and as suspected, they were pretty dang good. Now, for being only a short drive from Buffalo, I probably should have just gone somewhere there for wings, but whatever. These were mighty fine. Not too hot, not too vinegary, and just SLATHERED in sauce. The smoked flavor wasn’t as strong as I had hoped, but you could tell it was there.
Now comes the entrée. I got an open faced sirloin sandwich which really means you get a fat cut of meat on a big piece of bread with a whole bunch of crap on it. It was awesome. The meat was a bit more overcooked than what I had ordered, but it wasn’t bad at all. The meat wasn’t really seasoned beyond your basic stuff, so it pretty much tasted like any sirloin, but it was juicy (which is actually required by law for an open face sandwich). The fixings were also tops. God help you if you actually try and eat this like a sandwich. I’ll help you too.
For funzies I ordered a side of the “Twisted” macaroni and cheese because lets face it, I effin love macaroni and cheese and I had a BURNING NEED to know what made it “Twisted”. Unfortunately I never did find out why it was called “Twisted” but I have some theories. A) The type of noodle they used. B) the fact that it was kind of spicy. C) It is served at a Hard Rock Café. D) All of the above but mostly C. Doesn’t matter, it was delicious. You can see them in the picture above nestled next to my meats.
I also waffled down several beers throughout dinner because I could.
Now, here is where my tab starts growing by leaps and bounds. I bought merch. I can’t help it. I got a beer glass (which comes w/ beer in it) and a shirt for my lady. I also joined that membership thing which cost a few bucks too. All in all it came to like $120, but since the kind Native Americans paid for $100 of it, I was quite pleased with dinner and myself.
Then I went to see some waterfall everyone kept talking about.
3552 Meridian Crossings Drive
Okemos, MI 48864-6916
Food Rating: – I love these sandwiches
Service Rating: – Got my food quick, and everybody was friendly. What more can you ask for?
Atmosphere Rating: – I hardly spend any time inside. Can’t think of anything good or bad.
Price Rating: – While the prices are high, the food to price ratio is well within reason.
Overall Rating: – Only reason I don’t eat there every day is it is about a half hour round trip.
Like corned beef? Go to State Side Deli. Before you whine about the prices, look at what you get for it. That isn’t a goddamned sandwich, it is the goddamned Battle of the Bulge in a box.
I love me a ruben (and friends) sandwich. This is probably my second favorite ruben-class sandwich I’ve had in the Lansing area (the first is the Super Reuben at The Irish Pub…but I was drunk when I had it, so my judgment may be a bit off). Anyway, the State Side Deli doesn’t shit around. You get PLENTY of their delicious corned beef all up in your sandwich.
There isn’t really anything wrong with the sandwich, which in turn makes it a great sandwich since it is so hard to find a really good sandwich in a restaurant. I had plenty of sauce, slaw, etc with none of them over abundant. And if I did need anything else, everyone I’ve dealt with there was pretty friendly, so I’m sure I could have gotten it. You can check out their delicious menu online.
So, after I ate this sandwich I was pleasantly surprised to find a pickle wedge hiding underneath like I wouldn’t find it. Pickle, you can’t hide from me. I love pickles. And since the sandwich took up the whole box, I really didn’t know it was there until I finished. I propose we start saying the phrase “Like finding a pickle underneath a good sandwich” instead of “Like finding money in an old coat”
Finally, I had a slice of the something-layered cake. Forgot the number. It was given to me free of charge in hopes of a good review. While I am appreciative, and can usually be bought, there was no need sir. No need. Mmmmm, free cake.
Chili’s – Visited September 30, 2009
5055 Marsh Rd
Okemos, MI 48864-1103
Food Rating: – The food is good. Not great, but Chili’s has become pretty popular and all of the marketing in the world can’t cover up awful food.
Service Rating: – This is generally where my distaste from Chili’s comes from. The orders are wrong, nobody seems to give a crap, and nobody seems concerned about our dining experience.
Atmosphere Rating: – Gaudy. Not for me, but there isn’t anything really wrong with it.
Price Rating: – The food is slightly more expensive than I feel it should be, and the beer is considerably more expensive than it should be. But I did get a pretty big margarita for pretty cheap.
Overall Rating: – I’m neither here nor there on Chili’s. I probably will continue to avoid them, but I’m not adverse to eating there if that is what other people want to do.
Well, I picked Chili’s because they had been pretty awful the past two times I went there. I decided to give Chili’s a third chance hoping to get a funny story out of the deal. Well, unfortunately for me and fortunately for them the third time was a “charm”.
The first two times visiting this Chili’s were dismal at best. The queso dip was cold with a nice micro-waved film on top, and several orders were wrong. We had to send the server back at least twice per visit because of missing dishes, and on a fairly regular occasion people had to ask for drink refills instead of being asked if they would like more (or, bonus, the server just brings it). The restaurant was slow during these visits, which explains, but does NOT excuse why the food wasn’t fresh, and definitely makes me wonder how the server messed up so much. Both dining experiences were pretty bad.
However, on our third venture to Chili’s they did much better. Our server still seemed like she would have preferred it if we hadn’t come in to dine, and she messed up an order, but once we pointed it out she had it fixed in a jiff.
One thing I was impressed with was a margarita I ordered. The el Presidente or some jazz. I was expecting a regular margarita with a double margarita price. What I got was a decent sized margarita, the shaker with at least another 1.5 refills in it, and a price of like $7. That is OK in my book. Super OK.
As for the food, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. Kind of generic. People ate up with no complaints.
I ordered some steak and ribs. My steak was ordered rare, and came out pretty close to what I wanted, so I can’t complain. Wasn’t a great cut of meat, but at least they cooked it how I wanted it. The ribs were dry and tasted like generic bbq sauce. As it turns out, I don’t want my Chili’s baby back ribs.
The only weird thing going on was the chips that came as an appetizer. Maybe this is how Chili’s does chips, but I wasn’t a fan. They were thin and kind of soft. Kind of like some fried tissue paper.
Also, the saltines were soggy in the packaging. Weird.
Anyway, I won’t choose to go to Chili’s again despite this not-so-terrible experience. I will sigh and groan if people want to go there, but I’ll probably go if I can’t talk them out of it. Maybe Chili’s are better somewhere else, but it was my understanding that part of being a franchise is to offer the same service no matter where it is. So, either Chili’s of Okemos shouldn’t be part of the franchise, or all Chili’s should be avoided if possible as you run a one-in-three chance of having a mediocre dining experience, and a two-in-three chance of being pissed off. We shall see!
5015 Marsh Road
Okemos, MI 48864
Food Rating: – It’s pasta bowl, man. It’s pretty tasty.
Service Rating: – Our server was not thrilled with us. Also, I wanted food, not a breakdown of the rate structuring of DirecTV
Atmosphere Rating: – It’s an Olive Garden. They are all seriously the same
Price Rating: – Dinner for two (all you can eat), salad, bread sticks, drinks. $30 after tax/tip
Overall Rating: – It’s pasta bowl, man
When and if I (n)ever adopt a child from some horrible place where they don’t have food, I will have to make sure I time it right so that one of the first things we can do is experience true American culture at an “Italian” restaurant.
That’s right kids, you heard right. Never-ending Pasta Bowl is back. And, according to our waitress, it doubles the number of guests they have.
For those not in the know, Pasta Bowl gets you free salad, breadsticks, and as many bowls of pasta as you can feed into your horrible mouth for about $14 after drink, tax, and tip. Not bad. The only real catch is that you have to pick from the pasta on the list. The list has your basic types of pasta, and a few types of sauce, and any combination your horrible mind deems fit for your horrible mouth can be yours just as soon as they can slop it into a feed bag and bring it to your horrible face.
I keep saying “horrible” because I usually eat so much that I feel like I’m going to die.
The restaurant itself isn’t bad either. Our server acted like she could totally be doing something better. Also, we were seated next to the server station, so I am now well aware that one of the employees is switching from DirecTV to Comcast and is so happy to be doing so. See, the rate structuring for DirecTV just doesn’t make any sense, and according to another employee, it is a huge scam and they basically commit fraud every time they bill you.
One quirky thing that happened during our visit was that I arrived with 2 members of my party about 20 minutes before the other two, so I had them take my name down so they could direct the latecomers to my table. Two hostesses and my waitress made sure I did this. I’ll be damned if when they got there the hostesses had no idea what was going on. Oh well, that is why Alexander Graham Bell invented cellular communications.
I generally stick to alfredo dishes, so that is pretty much all I had (but 3 bowls). I understand the mushroom sauce was undelicious, but I can’t say from experience.
Other members of my party felt like spending some more money, and got an appetizer and a dessert. They looked and tasted pretty delicious. Sorry, these pictures are after the vultures picked at them for a minute.
Basically, if when you go to the never-ending glutton bowl, tell the server to shove off when she brings you salad, and if possible go without a drink. Fill your horrible stomach with 95% pasta to get maximum value for your dollar. Or don’t.