Living well on a budget, without being truly cheap.

Winner, Winner, Taco Bell's Toasted Cheddar Chalupa Dinner

By Mike Thayer

Taco Bell Toasted Cheddar ChalupaUnveiled at participating Taco Bell restaurants on September 12th, this new menu item is being featured in a combo that pairs one Toasted Cheddar Chalupa with two crunch tacos and a drink for $5.

The price is right!

The Toasted Cheddar Chalupa includes seasoned beef, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and kicking this thing up a notch is 6-month-aged cheddar toasted right into that classic Chalupa shell!  THIS THING ROCKS!  This shell is SO good, I would eat it by itself.  The texture is perfect, giving you a bit of a crunch on the outside, a soft/fluffy quality on the inside and that nice note of aged cheddar with each bite. 

Toasted Cheddar ChalupaI didn't put any sauce on it in taking that first bite, I wanted to see just what kind of flavor this thing had and it did not disappoint.  The seasoned beef, the fresh lettuce, tomato, sour cream, shredded cheese, all classic Taco Bell flavors, but what makes this thing great is that shell!  I couldn't put it down and there was no need to doctor it up with any sauce.  To repeat, it's so good, I would eat the shell by itself.  Completing my dinner were those two crunchy tacos after inhaling the Chalupa.  Now those, got sauced....

Nicely done Taco Bell!  The Toasted Cheddar Chalupa tastes great and gets 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars and the combo price of $5 is wallet friendly too! 

OK folks, now get out there and buy yourself a winner, winner Taco Bell Toasted Chalupa dinner!  Tasty, tasty!

5 stars

 


Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in the Wichita Metro area? Is it Mulligan's Pub?

By Mike Thayer

Mulligan's PubPizza is my favorite food.  Burgers, steaks, lasagna, anything grilled and an assortment of other dishes are high on the list of favorites, but there's nothing quite like a good slice of pizza pie....  That slice of pie has that perfectly baked crust that's flaky/crispy on the outside, but tender and fluffy on the inside.  Then there's the marriage of toppings, the subtle spices of pepperoni and sausage, assorted veggies that are tender-crisp like onion and bell pepper.  The sauce, it's got to be a zesty sauce, providing those notes of garlic and oregano with each bite.  And bringing everything together is a generous portion of melted cheeses, mozzarella, Parmesan, perhaps some cheddar or provolone that bubbles up in the oven to golden, brown, deliciousness!

No national chains will be included in this challenge.  Only the local, regional pizza joints qualify.  Besides, Domino's sucks, Little Caesar's really sucks (sucking SO bad they don't even deserve a link) and Papa John's and Pizza Hut are average tasting pizzas at best.  The fact is, the local/regional joints run circles around the national chains in dishing up high quality, great tasting pizza.

During the course of this challenge I'll consider customer service, time to order, price, appearance and of course, the most important thing, TASTE.

Mulligan's Pub PizzaToday's taste test:  Mulligan's Pub in Wichita

The pizza 'foundation' for this challenge is a supreme style of pizza - meat and veggie toppings.  In order to do a fair evaluation of all pizza joints, the choice of toppings has to be as similar as possible.  Mulligan's version of a supreme pizza - they call it that, a supreme - features the classic supreme style of pizza toppings plus a few extras, hamburger (not typical), pepperoni, sausage, green pepper, tomato (not typical), onion, black olive and mushroom.  I was looking forward to this, after all, their website boasts of being famous for their "amazing" pizzas!

I arrived at Mulligan's a bit after 6pm on a Tuesday evening.  With only about 13 people in the joint, I found a seat at the bar.

A gentleman who seemed to be the manager welcomed me and asked me what I wanted to drink and I responded with, "A Miller Light please."  He promptly popped the cap off a bottle and gave me a chilled glass to pour it in.  He let me know who my server would be - the bartender - and she provided me a menu.  Sorry, but I didn't catch her name and given how slow her service proved to be, I didn't care to ask.  Henceforth, she's just, "the lady bartender."

I was enjoying that cold Miller Lite, but the menu I had long since put down as a signal I was ready to order was starting to collect dust.  The lady bartender was focused on texting......    When she finally broke from her phone and came over to take my order, I went with the small Supreme Pizza and I thanked her.   She didn't notice that my beer was nearly finished.  

The pizza didn't take long to arrive, it looked good, but I did have to prod the lady bartender for that second beer.  Oh, and I didn't get a fresh chilled glass......  'jus say'n.  Perhaps the lady bartender was fairly new? 

Mulligan's does a classic pizza pie presentation on a thin crust, and it's served on a traditional pan w/spatula at the table. 

Mulligan's Pub Pizza CrustIn taking that first bite, I was disappointed.  This was a below average pizza.  The crust was over-baked and bland with the flavor profile of a saltine cracker.  The toppings, which appeared to be plentiful at first glance, were actually very unbalanced, with veggies overpowering the less-than-generous portions of meat.  Look at how overloaded the diced green pepper is on that pizza, underneath that is a layer of onion, and then the layer of diced tomato, all hiding the skimpy meat portions.  The sausage was nothing to write home about and the few pepperoni slices that can be seen on the edges escaping the over-abundant coverage of the green peppers and onions was unremarkable.   This was more like a veggie pizza, than a true, classic, well-balanced supreme.  And the sauce...., well, it was less-than-stellar too, the pie was under-sauced and like the crust, bland.   It lacked the zesty notes of garlic and oregano you're looking for in a good sauce.  Oh, the cheese was good, but an afterthought.

I spent $20 for a small pizza, two Miller Lites, plus tip.  So the price was reasonable, but the pizza was disappointing and the service really kind of sucked.  I HATE it when a waitress/waiter/bartender asks if you want change back!  I think that's just flat out rude and a server worthy of their apron doesn't need to ask.  I paid as I went on this visit, paying for my first beer and the small pizza with a $20 bill, giving me $5 and some change back....  Then I ordered the second beer.  When I settled up that left $2 and some change which I was perfectly fine leaving on the bar (and if the food/service would have been better I would have pulled a couple more singles out of my wallet to put the tip at 20+%), but the lady bartender asked, "Did you want your change back?"  Shaking my head, I responded, "No, that's OK," while thinking, lady bartender, you didn't even deserve that 10+%.   Hey Mr. Manager, your welcome as I found a seat at the bar was great, but things went downhill after that.  Maybe spend some more time training your bartender on some customer service skills?

I was in and out for my pizza dinner, not wanting to hang around any longer than I had to.  I'm giving Mulligan's Pub Supreme Pizza just 2 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars and neither the pizza or the pub itself are worthy of a repeat!  NOT amazing.

2 stars

Mulligan's Pub is located at:

8343 E 32nd St N, Wichita, KS.

PH: (316) 636-2220

 


Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in the Wichita Metro area? Is it Ziggy's?

By Mike Thayer

Pizza is my favorite food.  Burgers, steaks, lasagna, anything grilled and an assortment of other dishes are high on the list of favorites, but there's nothing quite like a good slice of pizza pie....  That slice of pie has that perfectly baked crust that's flaky/crispy on the outside, but tender and fluffy on the inside.  Then there's the marriage of toppings, the subtle spices of pepperoni and sausage, assorted veggies that are tender-crisp like onion and bell pepper.  The sauce, it's got to be a zesty sauce, providing those notes of garlic and oregano with each bite.  And bringing everything together is a generous portion of melted cheeses, mozzarella, Parmesan, perhaps some cheddar or provolone that bubbles up in the oven to golden, brown, deliciousness!

No national chains will be included in this challenge.  Only the local, regional pizza joints qualify.  Besides, Domino's sucks, Little Caesar's really sucks (sucking SO bad they don't even deserve a link) and Papa John's and Pizza Hut are average tasting pizzas at best.  The fact is, the local/regional joints run circles around the national chains in dishing up high quality, great tasting pizza.

During the course of this challenge I'll consider customer service, time to order, price, appearance and of course, the most important thing, TASTE.

Ziggy's Lunch SpecialToday's taste test:  Ziggy's East in Wichita

The pizza 'foundation' for this challenge is a supreme style of pizza - meat and veggie toppings.  In order to do a fair evaluation of all pizza joints, the choice of toppings has to be as similar as possible.  Ziggy's version of a supreme pizza - they call it "Classic Ziggy" - and it is, featuring the classic supreme style of pizza toppings, pepperoni, Italian sausage, onion, green pepper, black olive and mushroom.

I arrived at Ziggy's East at around 1:45pm on a slow Thursday afternoon.   With only a couple other people sitting at the bar, I found a roomy spot to watch the Kansas City Royals taking on the Detroit Tigers and enjoy lunch.

Julie greeted me with a smile, handed me a menu and asked me what I would like to drink.  I ordered a Miller Lite and picked up the menu.  I already knew what I was going to order, but noticed the lunch price - I could get two slices of pizza and a salad for just $6.99 - bargain!  The Ziggy's Lunch Special is available Monday - Friday, 11am - 2pm. 

Ziggy's PizzaEnjoying that cold Miller Lite, my salad was brought out almost immediately.  I ordered the Garden Salad, pretty standard stuff, Romaine lettuce, diced tomato, shredded cheddar cheese, onion and croutons and my dressing of choice was.......wait for it.....  Yes, Ranch, a man's dressing.  It was a good salad, not too big, not too small, fresh ingredients.

"But Mike," you say.....  "Enough with the salad talk, what about the pizza?"

Well, before I was maybe five bites into my salad, Julie brought out my pizza. 

"Wow, that was fast!"  I told her with thanks.

Ziggy's does the 9"x13" rectangle shaped pizza thing, you know, probably how your family did home made pizza when you were a kid, on a cookie sheet and square slices.  The pizza looked picture perfect, a nice edge to the crust, the toppings plentiful and the cheese, melted golden, brown and delicious....

I finished my salad to let the pizza cool down, I didn't want that, I burned the roof of my mouth feeling....

Ziggy's CrustIn taking that first bite, I nodded in satisfaction.  This was good pizza.  The crust had the crispiness on the outside, flakiness on the inside, the toppings were nicely balanced and presented the classic supreme style flavors well, the sauce was a nice compliment and that cheese brought it all together.  I enjoyed every bite, it was nicely prepared and it's easy to see why Ziggy's pizza is popular.  If there's anything to knock on this pizza though, it was the Italian sausage.  It was good, don't get me wrong, but I've had better.  This sausage was a bit on the bland side for an Italian sausage.

Costing me $15.76 for a salad, two slices of pizza and two beers to wash it all down with, I'm giving Ziggy's 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  The pizza was really good, the beer was cold and that lunch special is Bachelor on the Cheap friendly!  Ziggy's is definitely worth a repeat visit!

4 stars

Ziggy's has three locations in Wichita, the Ziggy's visited on this occasion is located just east of Greenwich on 21st Street North.  The service was friendly, the restaurant clean, food to table was fast and most importantly, quite TASTY!   

Ziggy's College Hill
3700 East Douglas Ave. #100 (Clifton Square Village)
PH: 316-613-2529

Ziggy's East
12115 E 21st Street N. #101
PH: 316-779-8181

Ziggy's West
8404 W. 13th St. North #100
PH: 316-201-1811


Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in the Wichita Metro area? Is it Pizza John's in Derby?

By Mike Thayer

Pizza John's MenuPizza is my favorite food.  Burgers, steaks, lasagna, anything grilled and an assortment of other dishes are high on the list of favorites, but there's nothing quite like a good slice of pizza pie....  That slice of pie has that perfectly baked crust that's flaky/crispy on the outside, but tender and fluffy on the inside.  Then there's the marriage of toppings, the subtle spices of pepperoni and sausage, assorted veggies that are tender-crisp like onion and bell pepper.  The sauce, it's got to be a zesty sauce, providing those notes of garlic and oregano with each bite.  And bringing everything together is a generous portion of melted cheeses, mozzarella, Parmesan, perhaps some cheddar or provolone that bubbles up in the oven to golden, brown, deliciousness!

No national chains will be included in this challenge.  Only the local, regional pizza joints qualify.  Besides, Domino's sucks, Little Caesar's really sucks and Papa John's and Pizza Hut are average tasting pizzas at best.  The fact is, the local/regional joints run circles around the national chains in dishing up high quality, great tasting pizza.

During the course of this challenge I'll consider customer service, time to order, price, appearance and of course, the most important thing, TASTE.

Today's taste test:  Pizza John's in Derby

Pizza Johns DerbyThe pizza 'foundation' for this challenge is a supreme style of pizza - meat and veggie toppings.  In order to do a fair evaluation of all pizza joints, the choice of toppings has to be as similar as possible.  Pizza John's version of a supreme pizza is classic, featuring pepperoni, sausage, onion, green pepper and mushroom.

With pizza on my 'menu' for lunch, I walked into Pizza John's around 2pm.  I was greeted with smiles and a big "Hi There!" from the ladies behind the counter.  I let them know I had never eaten at Pizza John's before but heard great things about the place.  One of the gals let me know about the special pricing during the lunch hour (until 3pm), a great surprise!  I found a table and my order for a small Supreme pizza and a soda to wash it down with was taken right away.  I'm thinking, "Awesome, friendly service!"   

Pizza John's CrustMy soda was quickly delivered and soon thereafter so was my pizza, piping hot and oh did it smell good!   Look at the mozzarella, melted to golden, brown perfection.  In taking that first bite, it was tasty.  The toppings were balanced, nicely portioned and hit all the notes of a classic, supreme pizza.  The pie was sauced nicely, not over-sauced, not under-sauced, I'm sounding a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears here....  It was sauced 'just right'.  The crust was perfectly baked, golden, brown on the bottom, cooked evenly throughout and crispy on the edges, but if there's a knock on this pizza, it is the crust, which I found to be a bit bland, an average crust.  This pizza was good, but I did have to add some black pepper and Parmesan cheese to season things up a bit.

Costing me just $6.77 for a small pizza and a soda, I left Pizza John's quite satisfied.  Their small pizza was perfect for lunch and hit the spot.  I'm giving Pizza John's in Derby 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  I'm looking forward to my next visit, this first time customer will be a repeat customer!

4 stars

Related:  Pizza Challenge Update....  So Far....

Pizza John's in Derby is located at 208 S. Baltimore.  The service was friendly, fast, professional, the pizza tasty, and just $4.80 for a small pizza?  What a deal! 

 


Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in Wichita? Is it Picasso's?

By Mike Thayer

Pizza is my favorite food.  Burgers, steaks, lasagna, anything grilled and an assortment of other dishes are high on the list of favorites, but there's nothing quite like a good slice of pizza pie....  That slice of pie has that perfectly baked crust that's flaky/crispy on the outside, but tender and fluffy on the inside.  Then there's the marriage of toppings, the subtle spices of pepperoni and sausage, assorted veggies that are tender-crisp like onion and bell pepper.  The sauce, it's got to be a zesty sauce, providing those notes of garlic and oregano with each bite.  And bringing everything together is a generous portion of melted cheeses, mozzarella, Parmesan, perhaps some cheddar or provolone that bubbles up in the oven to golden, brown, deliciousness!

No national chains will be included in this challenge.  Only the local, regional pizza joints qualify.  Besides, Domino's sucks, Little Caesar's really sucks and Papa John's and Pizza Hut are average tasting pizzas at best.  The fact is, the local/regional joints run circles around the national chains in dishing up high quality, great tasting pizza.

During the course of this challenge I'll consider customer service, time to order, price, appearance and of course, the most important thing, TASTE.

Today's taste test:  Picasso's

Picasso's PizzaThis particular review is going to be a bit different.  Normally, I order a large supreme style of pizza - meat and veggie toppings.  But here's the thing with Picasso's, they specialize in HUGE slices of pizza, not the traditional small, medium or large pizza size offerings.  Sure, you can order a GINORMOUS pie, 26" of pizza goodness, but those cost $54.95 and I don't care how good the pizza is, when eating for one, I'm NOT shelling out $50+ for a pizza.  So the slice option is what I went with for this review.  

Read the full review at www.metropursuit.com


Drink Review: Crown Royal Peach Flavored Whiskey

By Mike Thayer

Hey, it's been awhile since I've done one of these....

Blended and flavored whiskeys are red hot right now, consumer demand for brown spirits continues to rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or a flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Yukon Jack Jacapple.

Crown Royal Peach PackagingBack in April, there was a big buzz about Crown Royal Peach.  A limited edition, the stuff flew off the shelves, liquor stores quickly sold out and I didn't get into a store fast enough to get some to review.  Not a store in town had any by the time I went looking for it that's how popular the peach was.  Placed on back order, it's now late August and the peach is back on liquor store shelves, so I jumped on a tip (thanks Vicki S!) and I can finally see if this stuff lives up to all the hype it got this spring.

Here's the description from the box:  To create this extraordinary blend, Crown Royal whiskies are carefully selected by our master blender and infused with the juicy flavor of fresh Georgia peaches.  Our peaches are harvested to capture their ripe succulence.  Once picked, the peaches are de-stoned, pressed and strained to preserve their bright, aromatic flavor.

The harmonious notes of this summer fruit complement the richness of Crown Royal Blended Whiskey.  The result is a vibrantly delicious whisky, bursting with the luscious flavor of peach and the distinctive smoothness of Crown Royal.  Enjoy on the rocks, as a shot, or mixed with iced tea for a refreshing cocktail.

Wow, how can you NOT want to sample the stuff after reading that?  Kudos to the Crown Royal marketing team.  So yes, as suggested, but how I taste test a review anyway, I tried it on the rocks and as a shot.  Side note:  I'm not a huge iced tea fan, but that iced tea cocktail suggestion does sound pretty good!

And now for the tasting....

Crown Royal Peach on the rocksI've sampled a few other peach flavored whiskeys and I've made the remark that I don't think whiskey and peach is a good flavor pairing.......  Crown Royal has changed my mind.

You definitely get a nice peach whiff right off the bat in the nose. The swirl (nice color!) and swallow are both quite enticing, almost dangerously so.  After reviewing Crown Royal Regal Apple back in April when the peach was not available, I half-expected this to be a bit too peach forward, like the Regal Apple was a bit too fruit forward, but not so with the peach.  This is really a very well balanced flavored whiskey to include the finish, the most important part of a good whiskey.  It's warm, the peach softly fading to that classic Crown Royal smoothness, deliciously smooth.

I didn't care for peach flavored whiskey until now, but I apparently didn't try the right stuff!  Costing me $25.99 for a 750ml bottle, it's a bit pricey - it's Crown Royal after all, part of that price is the name and the packaging - but it's well worth it!  Crown Royal Peach Flavored Whiskey is a repeat buy and has cracked my top 3 of best flavored whiskeys!  I'm giving it 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars and I'm looking forward to trying that iced tea cocktail!

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

Get the peach while you can, it's another limited edition run, supplies are limited! 


Burger Challenge Taste Test: Burger King Whopper w/cheese vs. the Impossible Whopper w/cheese

By Mike Thayer

Like you, I've seen the Burger King commercials hyping up the "Impossible Whopper"....  which has a patty of imitation meat, largely based in a soy protein.  Dressed up in all the classic Whopper toppings, consumers in the Burger King commercial claim, "I can't tell the difference!"

I call bullshit.

Whopper comparison wrapped
The Impossible Whopper, in it's "green" wrapper

Yes, you CAN tell the difference between a regular Whopper and an Impossible Whopper.  Easily!

With the Burger King commercial in mind and having sampled a few fake meat burgers on occasion (and not really liking them), I traveled to my neighborhood Burger King to give the Impossible Whopper a try.  It's been awhile since I've tried a veggie burger (cough) so what the heck and maybe they're onto something, right?  I ordered a Whopper w/cheese and an Impossible Whopper w/cheese for a mano e' mano of sorts taste comparison.  I didn't do the value meal thing, just ordered the two "burgers."  I didn't special order any ingredients on or off, both burgers were prepared with the standard toppings, lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickles, onions, ketchup and cheese.

Whopper comparison outside appearance
Outward appearance the same, same burger to bun ratio...

The before taking a bite pic shows the outside appearance of both burgers to be very similar.  Not surprising, after all, all ingredients are identical except the patties.

A closer review of the patties however, well, you can clearly see the difference.  Look how hockey puck the Impossible patty is.  The perfect circular shape, the rigid, straight side, the overkill on the grill marks (plants burn a lot quicker than beef, more on that in a bit)....

I first took a bite of the regular Whopper w/cheese.  Just as it should be, juicy, the classic combination of ingredients giving you a nice burger bite.

Then I took a bite of the Impossible Whopper.  Now keep in mind, Burger King claims this is 100% Whopper and 0% beef and their commercial would have you believe there is no difference in taste.....

Whopper comparison
Can you say, "Hockey Puck?"

Oh, but there IS.

I tasted the Impossible Whopper just like I did the regular whopper, taking every ingredient in.  It just doesn't measure up to the real thing.  Not even close.  It's less juicy, less savory, less "beefy."  It's somewhat palatable, but it's the classic toppings that make it so, NOT the fake meat.  After sampling each burger, I then took a bite of just the regular Whopper beef patty.  Tasty!  You know, what meat tastes like.  Then I took a bite of just the Impossible patty.  Not so tasty!  It was dry, a bit mealy and that char doesn't compliment the soy protein, it comes off as borderline burned. 

If Burger King is banking on the Impossible Whopper to curb the rate of BK restaurant closings (more than 100 were shuttered last year), they are taking a serious gamble with this.  Can you say, "200+ additional BK restaurants to close by 2020?

Impossible Whopper Char
Char + Soy = burnt tasting

Overall, vegetarians might like this offering, but it's flat out NOT as good as a regular Whopper, in my humble opinion not even 75% as good.   Costing me $5.79 the Impossible Whopper w/cheese is also more expensive than a regular Whopper w/cheese at $5.59.....  More money, for less taste?  It is NOT a repeat buy and so much for truth in advertising huh Burger King?

$pend Wisely My Friends..... 


Pizza Challenge, who has the best pizza in Wichita? Is it Angelo's?

By Mike Thayer

Angelo's PizzaPizza is my favorite food.  Burgers, steaks, lasagna, anything grilled and an assortment of other dishes are high on the list of favorites, but there's nothing quite like a good slice of pizza pie....  That slice of pie has that perfectly baked crust that's flaky/crispy on the outside, but tender and fluffy on the inside.  Then there's the marriage of toppings, the subtle spices of pepperoni and sausage, assorted veggies that are tender-crisp like onion and bell pepper.  The sauce, it's got to be a zesty sauce, providing those notes of garlic and oregano with each bite.  And bringing everything together is a generous portion of melted cheeses, mozzarella, Parmesan, perhaps some cheddar or provolone that bubbles up in the oven to golden, brown, deliciousness!

No national chains will be included in this challenge.  Only the local, regional pizza joints qualify.  Besides, Domino's sucks, Little Caesar's really sucks (they're so bad they don't even deserve a link) and Papa John's and Pizza Hut are average tasting pizzas at best.  The fact is, the local/regional joints run circles around the national chains in dishing up high quality, great tasting pizza.

During the course of this challenge I'll consider customer service, time to order, price, appearance and of course, the most important thing, TASTE.

Tonight I ordered a pizza from Angelo's, a recommendation from a friend.  I went with their "Truly Deluxe" pizza, ordering carry-out.  The order is in line with the other orders from the various pizza places I have or will be visiting, ordering a large, supreme style of pizza - meat and veggie toppings - and ordering carry out.

Read the full review at:  www.metropursuit.com

 


Food Review: Kirkland Signature Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Himalayan Salt Potato Chips

By Mike Thayer

Kettle ChipsChips, perhaps America's favorite snack food....  Walk into just about any grocery store and they have an isle dedicated to them, classic potato chips, flavored chips, wavy chips, corn chips, tortilla chips, other kinds of veggie chips and more.

Today, I'm sampling some kettle chips, the Kirkland Signature Kettle brand, a krinkle cut style with Himalayan salt.

If you don't know what the difference is between a classic chip and a kettle chip (besides appearance, texture and taste), classic, a.k.a. 'regular' chips are made on a conveyor belt through a process called continuous fry. In this method, potatoes move through hot oil on a conveyor belt.  The result is a thinner, more uniform looking chip.  Kettle chips are prepared with a process called batch cooking.  Potatoes are literally dumped into an oil-filled kettle and stirred until done, resulting in thicker, not-so-uniform, sometimes folded over, chip.  Kettle chips provide a more robust crunch than 'regular' chips.

Onto the tasting....

Kettle Chips 2These Kettle chips provide a good kettle chip crunch without being too greasy.  The krinkle cut style handles dip well (I did a classic sour cream and onion) without breakage.  I chose this particular bag of chips because I hadn't sampled a pink salt variety yet and I have to say that these chips come off as being a bit bland, even for a regular chip (no flavors added).  The pink salt doesn't seem to carry the same salty flavor burst as traditionally salted chips.  They were a bit on the boring side and that chip dip was needed.

The two pound bag of chips cost me $4.89 at Costco.  I'm giving the Kirkland Signature Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Himalayan Salt chips 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  You get the kettle crunch, they're good for dipping, but on their own they're bland.  These chips are NOT a repeat buy.

3 stars

 


Food Review: Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowl, Meat Lovers

By Mike Thayer

Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowl Meat LoversBreakfast kick starts your day, providing your body the fuel it needs to drive through the day. But it's important to eat right whether you're on a diet or not.

I suggest eating at home if you can. Not only will you save a few bucks, you'll save on some calories and believe it or not, time as well.

I am a huge fan of Jimmy Dean Breakfast sandwiches, they're inexpensive, convenient and tasty!  But today I'm trying another Jimmy Dean product, a 'Breakfast Bowl.'  I'm sampling the 'Meat Lovers' variety which is a seven ounce helping of potatoes, sausage, cage free eggs, cheddar cheese and bacon.

Prepared in the microwave per the package instructions, I was ready to eat in about 4 minutes, how's that for convenience?  Faster than cooking something up on your own and no waiting in line at a fast food drive-thru.

"But how does it taste?" you ask....

Have faith, I state that based on how good Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches are.

Jimmy Dean Breakfast BowlMy first fork full was a blast of that great tasting Jimmy Dean sausage and this breakfast bowl is loaded with it.  The eggs are fluffy, the potatoes are fluffy-tender, the crumbled bacon is a nice compliment and the buttery notes of the cheddar cheese ties everything together.  All ingredients were seasoned well throughout, this is a nicely balanced breakfast blend of quality ingredients.

A new product offering at Costco, a box of eight breakfast bowls cost me just $9.49 after an instant rebate at the register.  I should have bought TWO boxes, that's a ridiculous price at just $1.19 a bowl!

Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls - Meat Lovers - gets 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's definitely priced right (even at the regular price of $13.99 for a box of eight it's going to be just $1.75 a bowl), it's convenient as heck and most importantly, it's tasty, tasty, tasty!

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....