Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Your guide to eating cheap including tips, recipes and techniques

Archive for January, 2010

[ Currently Eating: Money ]

Nong Shim Bowl - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Spicy Bung

Ah, yes.

There are many roads I could have gone down with this review. Many, many roads. Roads not taken. Roads passed by and gone forever. Two roads diverged in a mofo woods, and I said screw it.

I said “woods”, not Tiger Woods.


When presented with choices, I inevitably choose the most difficult route. Or at least the one that annoys the most people. Here is a Shin Bowl by Nong Shim, one of those instant noodle and soup contraptions. I planned to review it a few weeks ago. But I couldn’t really think of what to say about it.

Scorched poo hole

I could have gone down the “Shin Bowl Is Connected To The, Knee Bowl” route. Easy peasy. But I chose not to confound you with Hokey Pokey. I could have gone down the “Tastes Exactly Like Cup O Noodles If You Add Cayenne Pepper” route. Because, it does sort of taste like a cup of Cup O’ Noodles. Sorry, I mean a Cup ‘O Cup ‘O Noodles. Hell, let’s just add another “cup” to it and call it Cup ‘O Cup ‘O Cup ‘O Noodles. That’s Cup Cubed Noodles. Haha, says the math major dropout.

As usual I’ve chosen the road of grade school goofiness. Playground puerility. As is my wont.

Wont wont wont. Wont. As a side note, I sometimes imagine a parallel universe where everyone only has ONE word in their vocabulary. If that universe were ours, I would hope my word would be “wont”. It would be so entertaining to run around and just say “Wont, wont wont wont? Wont wont WONT wont.”

Nong Shim Bowl - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Anyhow, I’ve already guessed you may not like this review approach. It’s so tired and abused. Not amused.

Anal ring of fire.

In fact, I’ll lay you ten to one that right about now, you are wishing this was a Youtube video of an ambitious cat trying to climb into a box. Go ahead – change the channel. I don’t blame you.

Truth be told, I’m no longer the fake-fried-instant-noodle aficianado I was in college. Still, I regularly eat another one of Nong Shim’s products. That one is called “Neoguri” Udon Type Noodles, and I get the “Spicy Seafood” variety. Not sure if that’s the only variety they have, but it’s the one they sell in a giant bulk pack. I decided to try out this instant Shin Bowl (hmm… why isn’t it called a “Shim” Bowl) for old time’s sake.

Holy hole of burning, Batman.

One difference with the Neoguri one is that it doesn’t come in a styrofoam bowl, so you have to cook it in a pot. Yes, a pot – those things you put on the stove and boil water in. It also has two seasoning packets as opposed to one for this bowl.

Nong Shim Bowl - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Overall, the Shin Bowl didn’t come close to the texture or taste of the Neoguri package. For one thing, the noodles do really taste like spongy Cup ‘O Noodle noodles. The flavor of the soup was not as spicy as the Neoguri either, but I wonder if that’s because I didn’t dump all of the packet in.

Raw and red flaming cornhole

The “vegetables” in these things are awful – I almost wish they didn’t put them in and just made the bowl bigger. It had carrots, shiitake (not shittake or shitocky) mushrooms and green onions. Sometimes for grins, I crack an egg in noodles like this. But that only works if they’re the type you cook on the stove.

I also felt like the amount of noodles wasn’t as substantial. But this could be because I was punch drunk hungry at the time.

Squinting, fiery turtle head poking out of it’s carapace

OK, I will stop with the rectum allusions. But I don’t apologize for them. To be honest, I couldn’t think of any other synonyms for bungholes. (PLEASE DO NOT WRITE IN TO TELL ME WHAT THEY ARE. THANK YE)

You see, I want people to read this review and think, “This is NOT the intelligent, musings of a high-bred (or in-bred) college student having fun with a blog.” I want people to read this review and think, “These are the projectile vomitings of a prickly, gross thirty seven year old idiot loser who eats instant noodles for breakfast lunch, dinner and dessert and then talks about how he has to take a spicy crap.”


Price: $0.99 for 3 oz bowl
Found At: Fresh & Easy
Cheap Eats Score: 5/10

[ Currently Eating: Burnt Toast ]

Food Makes Me Poll - Cheap Eats

Another year, another poll. Ever eat food dropped on ground? Please answer at top. See you later.

What. You were expecting a long and drawn out discussion of the winner of our previous poll: “Food Makes Me Feel…”?

[Editor's Note: Today's post and discussion analysis will be brought to you entirely inside of this editor's note. Why do people attach these stupid, italicized things to posts anyhow (he asked himself rhetorically)? Well, I know why I do. Since my memory is slowly fading away like so many 37 year old twinkies, I often forget to talk about important things in the main body of the post. And it takes too much of that fading brain power to rewrite the post to include that all-important tidbit. So I just tack it on at the end.

Plus, writing an editor's note makes me feel like this is one of those food blogs worth a million dollars that Boogle will eventually get around to buying. And when that happens, I really CAN retire on that island where Lost was shot. And so on.

Anyhow, we had 284 respondents to the "Food Makes Me Feel..." poll. One hundred twenty eight of those were probably duplicate responses made by Smart, Smart, Smart folks who get around the IP check by visiting all the libraries in their area and stuffing the ballot box.

I actually had a fourth answer in the poll originally, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was! Another twinkie bites the dust. Well, the reason I don't remember it is probably because no one picked it, so I ended up deleting it after awhile. I think it was one of those "Too Smart For My Own Good" answers - maybe it was the word "logy".

Damn, the Simpsons were good for something after all.

The remaining answers were "Happy", "Fat" and "Dangerous". It's no surprise that "Happy" won with over 70% of the responses, since the type of people who read this blog definitely fall in the glass half full category. I mean Jeebus Weinerchrist, there's no way you could possibly get through this type of elliptical, incoherent rambling unless food really made you happy enough that you didn't blow a mind gasket. Or want to come after me with a 2 by 4.

By the way, in case you did not know: Happiness is a Warm Flan. You heard it here first.

The second answer, "Fat", was meant to prey upon everyone's new year resolutions that are never, ever kept. And indeed, twenty one percent of folks picked this answer. Indeed. I am thinking right now, that rather than get myself into serious trouble by trying to make any weight jokes, I should just shut up about this answer.

The third answer, "Dangerous", was inspired by those Dos Equines commercials. Excuse me, I didn't mean two horses. But yeah, I was thinking about that most interesting, dangerous godfather in the world who has awkward moments just to feel what it was like. Thinking about this answer made me wonder: are there actually clandestine Food Agents roaming the world, posing as mild-mannered advertising consultants, and attempting to infiltrate major corporations to obtain the secret formulas to their products?

(Tfeuhg8kuwhgjw wkg pugh1h Coke's Secret Ingredient is Happiness te398f lrtjgewb o8h)

No, I wouldn't know anything about that.]

1/5/10 | Fruit Roll-Ups

[ Currently Eating: Tacos, Chile Rellenos and Rice Oh My ]

Fruit Roll Ups - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Man, what a day.

I mean, man what a week. Hmm… let’s extend that to, man what a month. Man, what a year.

Man, what a life.

Et cetera, exaggerated and so on.

In case you haven’t noticed, I am very, very old. I once had a reader tell me that judging by the way I spake (speaked, spoke?) I was probably a 55 year old crotchety wizard living in his parent’s van down by the river, typing grumbly food review posts by day and selling Depeche Mode T-shirts to ex-New Wave disc jockeys by night.

I THINK he was being insulting, but to this day, I’m not sure.

He will never know how close he was to the truth. Actually, he’ll never know because I deleted his email, blocked his IP, ISP, erased his face. Excuse me, I mean erased his Facebook. Whatever that is.

But enough about trolls. Let’s get back to the heart of the matter, the kernel of the nugget of truth, lies and videotape.

And that is that yeah, I’ve been around for awhile. I remember Back In The Day™, we had these things called Fruit Roll-Ups. All these Johnny-come lately frou-frou fruity bogus bars make me laugh. Back In The Day, we actually had to harvest our fruit rollups from our brown paper lunch bags.

That’s right. Oh, it was hard times back yonder, moseying down through dusty playgrounds and school hallways. I remember a fellah, what was his name… I think it was Samson. Nice guy, but near dang didn’t make it through past recess. Had a jonesing for some Fruit Rollups, so he tried to harvest ‘em early from his sack. Teacher caught ‘im and strung ‘im up on the fence as an example. But we was always doin’ stuff like dat back in dem der days. And our rollups was all flat an’ simple-like. Plain fruit for plain folks. None of this Scoobie whatchee-callit printed on it.

Tough times, and so on.

But seriously, it’s been awhile since I’ve had Fruit Roll-Ups. I just remember that they seemed to show up in my brown bag lunches quite a bit. Before I go on, I just wanted to show everyone a pic again of my good friend “Better If Used By“, which appears on the new box:

Fruit Roll Ups - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

This still makes me laugh out loud. It makes me LOL, man. Or is that “Lots of Laughs”? Sorry, I failed BBS Abbreviation class Back In The Day. I also failed Leetspeak 101, though I did manage to figure out that 55378008 typed into a calculator actually meant something.

Fruit Roll Ups - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

These new fruit rollups are packed individually in a new-fangled metallic cellophane or mylar wrapper. I don’t know if it stays fresher that way, but it sure allows me to see a reflection of my aged and ancient face squished in disturbing, carnival-esque ways.

Fruit Roll Ups - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

A note to self and/or others: when they say “Peel from cellophane backing before eating,” what they reallly mean is “No one, not even Bryan, would make the mistake of forgetting to peel off the cellophane before eating, but just in case he is having an off day, let’s remind him.

Fruit Roll Ups - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

I think the size of these fruit rollups may have gotten just a little smaller. I don’t have one from the 1980s to compare it to, so I’m not sure. One thing that I definitely did not remember was just how many Pears exist in a Fruit Roll-up. This is somewhat disturbing, considering that these are “Strawberry” Fruit Roll-Ups. Also, there is no mention anywhere else on the packaging of pears, pear-like substances or pear shaped things. (By the way, try and google “pear shaped girl”. It is amazing how many non- Sissy Bar references are returned, since that is that only reason I know that phrase.)

Fruit Roll Ups - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

So I guess the biggest surprise is how these rollups are imprinted with edible ink featuring the likeness of fricking Scooby Dooooo. Don’t get me wrong. I dig him and his pot-smoking buddy Shaggy (I call him Scooby Doobie, hahahaha). But, Like Wow, I’m just surprised to see Scooby show up on my fruit roll-up, especially since there was no mention of him on the packaging. Not that I’m complaining. It’s all “Ro Kay!” to me.

I’d forgotten how sweet this stuff is. Kinda like dropping a few chunks of sugarcane into a glass of sugar water and then pouring in some sucralose. Or Stevia. Or whatever it is they’re using nowadays. No wonder I loved this stuff as a kid. We used to barter with Fruit Roll-Ups. “I’ll trade you my mint condition plastic R2D2 windup toy for your fruit rollup.” Guess who got the shite end of that deal…

I got a small pack of them with four roll-ups inside. I think this isn’t the typical number you get, but that’s what they had at the dollar store. Not too bad for a quarter each, I guess.

I have to admit, I didn’t find them as fun as I probably could have. Oh, I did try and stretch the fruit rollup and see if it would mold around my hand. Actually, I would like to make myself some hockey gloves out of fruit rollups. You see, they’re so sticky that they’d help me keep a hold of my hockey stick while being checked into the boards by all the goons that come after me since I’m a small 5’5″ defenseman with no slapshot.

Go Kings. And so on.

Price: $1.00 for 4 0.5 oz Rollups
Found At: Dollar Store
Cheap Eats Score: 5/10



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