Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fest Pecan Root Beer

I brought this with me to class today, and tried it out after I got done expanding the minds of my students:

Fest Pecan Root Beer

Brand: Fest Pecan Root Beer.

Origin: New Orleans, LA.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: I don't love or hate pecans, so I was curious what I'd think of this root beer. Verdict: it wasn't great. I see what they were going for with the pecan flavor, but it tasted a lot like coffee. I had a hard time concentrating on where the root beer flavor was. If a smooth, nutty/coffee flavored soda sounds good to you, then check this out. Otherwise, stay away. I didn't like it at all, and I couldn't finish it.

Score: 2.5 out of 10.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Americana Honey Lime Ginger Ale

I enjoyed this with lunch yesterday:

Americana Honey Lime Ginger Ale

Brand: Americana Honey Lime Ginger Ale

Origin: Mukilteo, WA.

Purchase Place: Frattallone's Ace Hardware, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: I'm not the BIGGEST fan of the hardcore BITE produced by a good ginger ale. But the honey and lime cut through that powerful bite in this soda. It was one of the most interesting ginger ales I've ever had, and the flavor combination was fantastic. There's still just too much bite in the back of my throat from the ginger, but it was one of the best ginger ales I've had.

Score: 7 out of 10.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Caleb's Kola

I grabbed this from Kowalski's recently:


Brand: Caleb's Kola.

Origin: Riviera Beach, Florida.

Purchase Place: Kowalski's Market, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Fair Trade Cane Sugar.

Review: This is a solid cola. It has a nice bite from the Kola Nut Extract, and there's a BIT of an extra bite that is a little like ginger ale (but not nearly that strong). If you like cola with a slightly bigger kick, then try this. I have no big complaints.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Faygo Diet Root Beer

I forgot to take a photo of this one as my wife and I grabbed it on a quick trip to Mankato recently, so here's a photo from the web:

Brand: Faygo Diet Root Beer.

Origin: Detroit, MI.

Purchase Place: Kwik Trip, Mankato, MN.

Sweetener: Aspartame.

Review: This had a pretty sharp bite - it reminded me of Dad's Root Beer. It wasn't my favorite, and I didn't find it that great. My wife, however, liked it a bit. It was OK, but I don't know that I'll get it again.

Score: 4 out of 10.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

New Sodas at Kowalski's

I stopped by Kowalski's Market in St. Paul with my boys over the weekend. They are just starting to wrap up their construction, and they've COMPLETELY redone the store. Here's a quick snapshot of about 1/2 of their chilled "purchase by the can" section:

Kowalski's sodas

I grabbed a bottle of the "Caleb's Kola" (blue and black bottle near the lower right) to try, and I still haven't cracked into it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Strawberry Kiwi Breese

I cracked into this after a long holiday weekend of yard work:

Strawberry Kiwi Breese
The label has an adorable illustration of a kiwi and strawberry in a breeze.  Adorable.

Brand: Strawberry Kiwi Breese.

Origin: Breese, IL.

Purchase Place: Frattallone's Ace Hardware, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This was pretty good. It wasn't an even mix of strawberry and kiwi - more like 80% strawberry and 20% kiwi. It was pretty smooth and sweet, and it went down easy.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Rating Our State Fair Treats!

Yesterday, my boys and I went to the Minnesota State Fair.  Here's a quick rundown of the 9 treats we had while I was there (with my standard scoring system of 1=crap, 5=average, and 10=the best thing ever).

FOOD #1: Soft pretzel from the place next to the sheep barn: delicious.  SCORE: 7.

FOOD #2: Deep-fried Spam bites. OK, but nothing spectacular. SCORE: 5.

FOOD #3: Deep-fried olives stuffed with cream cheese. I'm not a huge olive fan,
but these were GOOD. My Dad loved them. SCORE: 8.5.

FOOD #4: Ice cream sandwich (free at the end of the kid's "farmhand experience").
It's a standard ice cream sandwich. SCORE: 5.

FOOD #5: Gizmo (Italian bun stuffed with sausage, beef, and cheese).
Good seasoning. Good flavor. Cheesy goodness! SCORE: 7.

FOOD #6: Deep-fried grilled cheese bites from O'Garas. AMAZING. Really cheesy
and not super bready. These rival cheese curds. Really. SCORE: 9.

We HAD to stop for honey sticks in the Horticulture building. They're 4 for a $1.

FOOD #7: Henry's eating a root beer honey stick, and I had a clover honey and wildflower honey stick. SCORE: 6.

FOOD #8: Seriously some of the best mini donuts I've ever had. This was right next to the Kiddie Midway,
and I think it was Tiny Tim donuts (maybe Tom Thumbs - I'm not sure). SCORE: 8.5.

FOOD #9: Cotton Candy on the way home. Just normal cotton candy. SCORE: 5.

Oh, and I didn't have any soda at the fair this year, but I passed 2 or 3 of these root beer barrels:

And I NEARLY stopped for a 1919 root beer float on the way to the exit.

I Instagrammed this photo of our 9 fair foods.

For me, the olives were the big surprise, and the deep fried grilled cheese bites were my favorite. But the mini-dounts were a close 2nd!

Here's a quick post from the State Fair in 2013, here are some photos from Henry's and my visit to the State Fair in 2014, and a few photos from 2015.  In 2013, it was my 100th post; in 2014, it was my 199th; and in 2015, it was my 299th. This year, it's my 409th post. Upping the pace a bit I guess.  :)