15 March 2008

Ten new foods (eating out)

"Expanding Horizons" item number seven is to try ten foods that I've never tried before. Item eight is just about the same thing, only that's for cooking at home and this is for eating in restaurants.

01.) Shepherd's Pie - I went to The Cheesecake Factory with Laura and my parents and I had shepherd's pie for the first time in my life. It's kind of odd, I think, that I'd never tried it until now. It sounds like the sort of thing I'd love. I know Laura likes it but before we ordered she said it's the kind of thing that everyone makes a bit different and she'd never had it there. It was really good, I thought. The onions, zucchini and carrots were julienned and there were peas and mushrooms and ground beef, too. I hate the consistency of mushrooms, so I picked around the big ones. The potatoes that topped it were really great; there were lumps (I love lumpy mashed potatoes) and the skins were included, too. Mmmm, nom nom nom. I give it a thumbs up.

02.) Runza - From Wikipedia: "A runza (also called a bierock or fleischkuche) is a yeast dough bread pocket with a filling consisting of beef, pork, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings. They are baked in various shapes such as a half-moon, rectangle, round (bun), square, or triangle." I got my runza (with cheese) from -- wait for it...! -- Runza. It was just plain awesome and I'm terribly sad that it's a regional thing and I won't be able to get them in New York.

03.) Deep-Fried Mac & Cheese - I half expected to keel over and die from 100% clogged arteries by the time I was finished, but I didn't, and even if I did ... I would've died happy. Mmmyummy...

04.) Wendy's Bacon & Blue Burger - I had to give this one a second try before I could make a call, but not because I wasn't sure how I liked the first one. I liked it quite a bit, for a fast food burger. The problem was, my parents brought it home for me and there was no bacon on it. Um! That's an important part of a "bacon and blue" burger, I think! They brought another one home for me a few days later, and when they went through the drive through, they made sure to tell the person not to leave off the bacon. XD Anyway, Wendy's describes it as such: "Fresh, never frozen beef covered in real blue cheese crumbles layered with FOUR strips of thick, fresh-cooked Applewood Smoked Bacon. Top it off with sautéed onions, a creamy steakhouse sauce and crisp, fresh veggies." I removed the tomato and the lettuce was hardly what one could call crisp and fresh but it never is when it's been sitting under a warm meat patty for any amount of time. Like I said, as fast food burgers go, I really liked it. It might be my new favorite fast food burger, actually. I'm a total sucker for blue cheese.

05.) Olive Garden's Four Cheese Stuffed Pansotti with Sausage - This year for my birthday, Laura (and her baby!) and my parents and I went to the Olive Garden. I stayed safe with one of my usuals but my dad ordered one of the new dishes -- four cheese stuffed pansotti with sausage -- and generously handed over one of the pansotti to me. The menu describes it as "Pyramid-shaped ravioli filled with mozzarella, ricotta, asiago and parmesan cheese, served with grilled Italian sausage and melted mozzarella in a tomato alfredo sauce." I'm pretty sure with all that cheese, my digestive system would've been in panic mode an hour later if I'd had a whole serving, but that one pyramid ravioli that I ate was delish.

06.) Pizza Hut's Hershey's Chocolate Dunkers - Holy crap. If you're the sort who occasionally braves Pizza Hell, TRY THESE. Make sure you do it when you're not alone, though. Abso-fucking-lutely delicious as they are, they are so sweet you won't be able to finish them by yourself. I shared an order with gramma and still had to bring two of the five sticks home.

07.) Cheeseburger Remix - One day I was browsing through pictures on Flickr and I came across something called the Cheeseburger Remix. It was a McDonald's cheeseburger with chicken nuggets on it. Now, I love cheeseburgers and I love chicken nuggets (though both preferably not from McD's) so I figured this was something I had to try. Turns out I definitely could've lived without it. It wasn't gross (in the context of McDonald's food) but each food kind of masked the taste of the other one and it wound up being … just fattening. I'll be keeping my burgers and nuggets separate from now on, thanks.

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