Food Review – Homemade Jambalaya

Alright, alright, alright:

We have ourselves a homemade recipe of Jambalaya to blog about. Every Jambalaya dish is a little different so here are the ingredients to this particular dish:

Shrimp

Shredded Chicken

Andouille Sausage

White Rice

Cajun seasoning

Louisiana hot sauce

Garlic

Green Peppers

Green Onions

Diced Tomatoes

Tomato Sauce

A great dish of Jambalaya has to blend perfectly. If it’s too spicy, then you will scare most eaters away. If it isn’t spicy enough, you will scare eaters away too. No single ingredient should dominate a Jambalaya dish. In this dish, that I tried, no ingredient stands out. They all mesh to perfection. I personally can handle spicy foods, but I keep a very open mind for blogging purposes. The non spicy eater would definitely love this recipe, as well as the spicy eater; perfect amount of spice!

So, the ingredients go very well together. You don’t need any type of bread to go with it. The dish is very fine on it’s own. 8.5/10

Advertisements

Food Review – Dog Haus 9-29-2017

Hello Everyone,
Welcome to another edition of my food blog.  This will mark the 2nd edition of my on location experience.  So let’s go!
On Friday I visited “Dog Haus” in North Hollywood, CA.  This restaurant is known for specialty hot dogs, specialty burgers and sides.  They are not just another hot dog place, which is very cool.  I love a little mystery when I am trying a place for the first time.
I am more old school when it comes to finding out what I want to order.  I am not one to look up a menu online ahead of time.  I like that “struggling” feeling on trying to decide what I want to get.  I ended up choosing the “Cowboy” hot dog and an order of the chili cheese tater tots.
Ladies and gentleman, this is not your ordinary hot dog and tater tots, that you cook up at your house.  I am talking about gourmet, high restaurant quality food.  A great sign of a great dish is; how quickly do I eat the food?  For those who know me best, the quicker I eat, the more I enjoy it.  Well folks, I devoured this meal like it was my last meal I would ever had.  The great thing about a hot dog is, in one bite, you get to taste all the ingredients; which in this case (other than the hot dog), nacho cheese sauce, bacon, diced up onion straws and barbecue sauce all on a King’s Hawaiian bun.  One bad ingredient can ruin a hot dog, which is definitely not the case here.
That is my intake on the “Cowboy” hot dog.  Now the chili cheese tater tots are next.  What can you say, they were to die for!  Crispy, golden to perfection, tater tots, homeade chili, green onions and nacho cheese sauce all mixed into a savory delicious bite.
Overall, well done, Dog Haus, well done.  10/10
IMG_5095

 

Food Review – Mel’s Drive-In Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA

Alright guys,

Here we go! This is my 1st blog during my visit in Southern California. I decided to blog on my latest food adventure. I went to Mel’s Drive-In in West Hollywood, CA this afternoon. As seen in the beginning of HBO’s “Entourage”, I never thought I would ever eat here.

I have a friend, who I met in Wausau, and now lives in Los Angeles, made the suggestion of going to Mel’s. I am very glad she did. I knocked off another iconic Los Angeles establishment. The best part, is the food was very delicious!

Atmosphere – It was all there; hot and humid Southern California weather, eating outside basking in the sun. As a Wisconsin resident, I was a little kid who got the candy in the candy store. Plus I am not working, and neither was my friend.

Attitude – I was very excited to eat here. I was ready to go! On the other hand, are the employees ready to give me a great customer service experience? They sure were! They were on their game, checking in on us frequently. I was even asked if I wanted a refill of Diet Coke to go. I have never witnessed this before, and I wish other restaurants followed this.

Food – I ordered a short-rib grilled cheese sandwich with onion rings. The rib meat decides the fate of the sandwich. I do not like any type of meat that I have to chew extensively in order to swallow it (ask my immediate family anytime). This is definitely not the case here; it was made and cooked to perfection! It melted right in my mouth, and I felt I could have eaten the sandwich in 5 bites! The onion rings were a thicker breading version, and when you have an onion ring like this:

A: There could be too much breading

B: The actual onion can be undercooked

Both A & B passed with flying colors. Well done!

So, Mel’s passed all three of my phases of a solid food review. It is very difficult to achieve perfection. Trust me, I am a perfectionist. This is as close to a perfect comfortable experience as you can get.

9.5/10

Food Review – 9/16/17, Everest Area Optimist Cheese Curds

Hello there!

This week we are going a little local on this blog.  This will be my one last hurrah, Summer blog before we start heading in the fall.

This blog is all about Wisconsin Cheese Curds.  We have a local stand in the Wausau area called the “Everest Area Optimist Club” who serves cheese curds, brats, hamburgers and hot dogs about a half of dozen times a Summer.  They’re always parked at Ace Hardware in Weston, WI (Wausau suburb), across from Target.  I found out they were serving food on Friday and Saturday.  The heart was racing with excitement.

I made plans, on Saturday, to visit the Everest Area Optimist Club one last time before the cooler weather hits, and as I expected, I was not disappointed by any means.  That golden beer battered curd was melting in my mouth immediately, cooked to perfection.  This is the curd to get guys.  This is the curd of the Summer!  A great beer battered cheese curd cannot be too greasy, which means they were not cooked long enough, and you should not be able to crunch the curd like a potato chip; that means they were cooked too long.

I experienced the perfect cheese curd, and Wisconsin folks know what I am talking about.  The only thing I am going to gripe about is, they could have been hotter, temperature wise.  They were definitely under a hot light, but they were still perfectly cooked.  9/10

 

Food Review – Opening Sunday NFL 9/10/2017

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to another edition of my food blog.  This week I will be discussing my annual opening Sunday NFL Feedbag Extravaganza!  This is my 9th year doing this, and I want to do this another 9 years at least.  It really should be a holiday.  That’s how popular the National Football League (NFL) is.  The NFL makes me forget about any other sport.  The Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour is even contemplating moving their Fed Ex Cup Playoffs to August, so it does not interfere with the NFL.

Anyway, let’s get to the food.  On the menu this year was:

  • Screwdrivers with Ocean Spray orange juice and Svedka vodka
  • Scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon
  • Pizza dip with italian herb flatbread crackers
  • Mini brownies with Kemps vanilla custard ice cream
  • Buffalo chicken dip
  • Meatballs with barbecue sauce

Here is what I had to say about each item:

A screwdriver is not a fancy cocktail, but it is a great way to start your NFL Sunday Morning.  Three of these, and I am good to go!  Wink, wink… 7/10

The scrambled eggs with cheese and a side of bacon was a great start to the feedbag, but again, it was nothing out of the ordinary.  6/10

The pizza dip, on the other hand, is unique, and I eat it twice a year (the other time being the Super Bowl).  The dish was discovered by my mother in 2015, and it is on the menu every year.  The ingredients consist of cream cheese, pizza sauce, pepperoni, green peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese.  The presentation and quality is just to die for.  Every ingredient in this dish as a combination works to absolute perfection.  10/10

Mini Brownies with vanilla custard ice cream was our dessert this year.  We did not want to fancy this up.  Simple, a lot of times, is good.  This dish worked.  Add a little bit of caramel topping, and it works even better.  7/10

The buffalo chicken dip is the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a few at various restaurants.  What makes it great is the hot buffalo sauce.  If I don’t get a little red in the face, after a bite, it is not true buffalo chicken dip.  This recipe does the job extremely well.  The main ingredients are sharp cheddar cheese, diced chicken, ranch sauce and Frank’s Buffalo Wing sauce.  The buffalo chicken dip is the favorite every year we for 8 years, but not this year.  I feel terrible saying this, and I apologize to the buffalo chicken dip, but the pizza dip tasted better this year.  I still am giving this amazing dip a 9/10!

Last is the meatballs.  There’s no sugarcoating here; these are bought from the frozen section at the grocery store.  But you still have to put the right amount of sauce (in this case we used Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce), and you have to master the correct Crock Pot setting.  These meatballs are fantastic, and the beauty is, they are not from scratch.  Who would have thought a frozen meatball could taste this amazing?  I am a believer now.  8/10

This is the end to another blog from Matthew D. Kring.  A new blog to arrive on the internet soon.  Take it easy!

Food Review – Taste of Madison Food Festival – Madison, Wisconsin Part 2

Hello again!

Here is part 2 of my blog from the Taste of Madison food festival in Madison, Wisconsin.  This is where you will get to see my feedback on each item I tried this past weekend.  Let’s get down to it…

Burnt Ends from Blowin’ Smoke BBQ – This was a very small portion, but it was definitely enough to get a good taste.  The flavor was a very smoky and juicy piece of barbeque.   Very, very top notch!  9/10

Bacon Chicken Ranch Slider from Blowin’ Smoke BBQ – This had great value, with very tender chicken.  I am a huge fan of crispy bacon.  It could have used more ranch on the slider.  7/10

Grat 3 Cheese Balls from Bonefish Grill – This was the best dish I had at the festival.  The breading was cooked to perfection.  The shredded potatoes inside and the shredded cheese were cooked to perfection too.  Temperature wise, they couldn’t have been more perfect.  Hands down 10/10!

Bulgogi Korean Tacos from Bulgogi Korean Taco – I never had one of these, so I did not know what to expect.  The pork was juicy.  The veggies mixed in well with the pork and taco shell.  Overall, a solid item! 7/10

Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds from Curd Girl – I’m a Wisco boy, born and raised.  As long as it is not a preformed curd, it has a great chance of being good.  They were cooked a little too long because they were sticking together.  Maybe a little too much batter too, but the flavor I cannot complain.  I’m a little harsher on cheese curds than most dishes.  6/10

Deep Fried Cookie Dough from Leia’s Lunchbox – How can you go wrong with this?  As long as it is not cooked too long, it will not be dry.  They did a great job with these.  8/10

Cajun Shrimp from Melting Pot – This dish would have been the closest to being better than the Grat 3 Cheese Balls.  I always start the festival with these shrimp.  I know what I want, and I know what like.  Another solid performance from Melting Pot!  10/10

Triple Mac n Cheese w/Bacon from The Rodeo Wagon – I tried this twice.  The flavor was solid, and the bacon was crispy, but they unfortunately did not cook it long enough or the crock pot/whatever they use to store the mac n cheese was not hot enough.  A great potential dish but just average this time.  4/10

WI Beer Battered Cheese Curds w/paprika sauce from The Old Fashioned – These are the best curds at Taste of Madison!  Non pre-formed curds dunked in fresh homemade paprika sauce.  There wasn’t very much grease on the curds, which means they were cooked well.  Great job Old Fashioned!  8/10

Parmesan Garlic Flavored Tator Tots from Pots n Tots – Pretty simple analysis is that they were well cooked, and they were sprinkled with parmesan garlic.  The garlic was not over-powering the tots, so overall, a good dish, but nothing fancy.  6/10

Buff Chick Slider from Slide Food Cart & Catering – I was recommended this slider by another individual in my party; he said it was buffalo chicken dip in a slider bun.  How can one go wrong with that?  My guy was correct!  They had the right combination of buffalo sauce and tender chicken.  Plus there was some bleu cheese crumbles, carrots and celery in the slider.  The presentation and appearance of the slider was the best of the weekend.  Very very good item!  9/10

Mini Deep Fried Apple Fritters from Ugly Apple – I did not know what to expect with this dish.  Unfortunately these were very disappointing.  There was hardly any apple flavoring and seasoning.  It was a pretty dry item.  1/10

Macaroni & Cheese with WI Ring Bologna from The Old Fashioned – Just like the cheese curds, “The Old Fashioned” dominated again.  This was more of a white cheddar cheese sauce.  Plus you could get a ring bologna for $1, and it was a very big piece.  Great flavor, great cooking temperature, a solid “melt in your mouth” dish.  9/10

Blueberry Vanilla Cheesecake from Grace’s Cheesecakes – Blueberry, vanilla, cheesecake, enough said.  As long as the egg does not dominate the rest of the ingredients, it is going to be fantastic!  10/10

Chicken Kabob from Gyros Express – The chicken must be cooked right, and it has to have solid flavor.  Well, this place nailed both!  If you over cook chicken, it will be dry.  If you do not flavor chicken enough, it will be dry.  “Gyros Express” did both to a T.  Great pieces of chicken!  9/10

There you have it.  Have a great week!

Matt

Food Review – Taste of Madison Festival, Madison, Wisconsin

Hi Folks!

Here is the most anticipated blog, since my return a few weeks ago.  This is Part 1 of 2.  Today is Part 1, and it will be the introduction and each item I ate.  Part 2 will be the rankings of each item I ate, and I will reveal my big winner!

This Labor Day weekend I was at a food festival in Madison, Wisconsin called the “Taste of Madison”.  I’ve been going every year since 2010, and it never lets me down.  It’s the last big bang event of the summer for me, and I go all out!  No holds bar, the see-food diet is in full force, and the feedbag is severely strapped.  Here we go…

All the food is stuff you can order at restaurants in Madison.  Everything is $4 and under, and the portions you receive depend on where you order.  Sometimes you get a huge bang for your buck; sometimes you get a small taste.  I tried more foods than any other year I have attended, because this is the first year I was present for both days.  The “Taste of Madison” is held every Labor Day weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

What I ate:

Burnt Ends from Blowin’ Smoke BBQ

Bacon Chicken Ranch Slider from Blowin’ Smoke BBQ

Grat 3 Cheese Balls from Bonefish Grill

Bulgogi Korean Tacos from Bulgogi Korean Taco

Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds from Curd Girl

Deep Fried Cookie Dough from Leia’s Lunchbox

Cajun Shrimp from Melting Pot

Triple Mac n Cheese w/Bacon from The Rodeo Wagon

WI Beer Battered Cheese Curds w/paprika sauce from The Old Fashioned

Parmesan Garlic Flavored Tator Tots from Pots n Tots

Buff Chick Slider from Slide Food Cart & Catering

Mini Deep Fried Apple Fritters from Ugly Apple

Macaroni & Cheese with WI Ring Bologna from The Old Fashioned

Blueberry Vanilla Cheesecake from Grace’s Cheesecakes

Chicken Kabob from Gyros Express

Pictures are in order of how they are listed in this blog.  Enjoy Part 1, and I will see you tomorrow!