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Archives for Cheap Eats Hall Of Shame



[ Currently Eating: Plain Tortillas ]

Here’s a quickie little post that I felt obliged to make. I have to admit that I’ve had this one tucked away in my drafts for months, but I was just reminded the other day about it from an item on a Food Network show about the $1000 (One Farking Thousand dollars, that is right) Grand Opulence Sundae from New York’s Serendipity Restaurant. The reason this sundae is not the subject of the post, is that it’s so far off the stupid-scale that it doesn’t even register on the Hall of Shame meter. Starving children in third world countries, etc..

Instead, here for your enjoyment is the World’s Most Expensive Sandwich from Selfridges. This sando definitely has the good ‘ol Earl spinning in his grave. Granted, you can no longer get the sandwich and it was only available for a few days during the Easter weekend. But still it cost £100… per person! Which I guess means that everyone getting one bite was out of the question.

Hello. I believe this definitely qualifies for Hall of Shame induction. However, because you would probably only ever order this once in your life and I didn’t give it a zero score. Kind of like a once in a lifetime, skydiving / bungee-jumping equivalent. However, it does contain foie gras, which I despise.

So here’s what’s in it that costs so much:

Rare Wagyu beef, the finest fresh duck foie gras, black truffle mayonnaise, brie de meaux, rocket, red pepper and mustard confit with English plum tomatoes in a sour dough bread.

Comes with spice dusted tortilla wedges and a mini bottle of Moet.

Now for the commentary: Uh, what the hell is “ROCKET”? They put a farking rocket in your sandwich and light it? Also, what is up with the black truffle mayonnaise. Hold the mayo and just layer those truffles on, jesus. And a “mini” bottle of Moet… the stingy bastards. If I’m going to waste £100 then I’d like to get good and drunk at the same time, please. Actually, I’m surprised there’s no edible golf leaf in this sandwich, as there is in the $1000 sundae. The rest of the items (beef is beef dangit) are not so special and overall this sandwich is extremely disappointing.

I’m going to Subway…

Cheap Eats Score: 1/10


[ Currently Eating: Pork Chop Rice ]

Kraft Cheddar Cheese CrumblesIt takes quite a bit for me to banish a particular product to the Cheap Eats Hall of Shame. In most cases, it’s a combination of factors and not only the price of the item.

In the case of the prophetically named Kraft Cheese Crumbles (as in: that’s the way the cookie crumbles) the thing that put it over the top was the commercial on TV that I just saw. I have NO idea what marketing was thinking when they gave the thumbs up to what must be the WORST butchering of a rewritten – for – commerical song.

The song in question is one-hit wonder EMF’s “Unbelievable”. I find it quite Unbelievable that they decided in the chorus to replace the syllable “Un” with “CRUMB”. Yeah, you’re “Crumbelievable“. I kid you not. They sing this line with gusto, nay with absolute JOY throughout most of the commerical.

I never liked the EMF song that much anyhow… but it’s just the cheesy (pun intended) way that it was mangled in order to get the product word embedded in it that got to me. I have resorted to keeping the remote close by so that I can MUTE the stupid song whenever that commercial comes on. That’s how much it offends. And can you imagine somehow who actually LIKED that song. They’d be out for blood.

Ok, so buffoons that the ad agency that created this commerical may be… what about the actual product itself? Cheese Crumbles. Sounds vaguely appetizing… if it were a chip or cracker. Nope. Kraft Cheese Crumbles are oddly shaped bits and crumbs of cheese. I sort of think of when you’re grating a block of cheese and you always end up with a tiny bit that you don’t want to run through the grater for fear of shredding your fingers. That little bit, to me at least, is a Cheese Crumble. And that’s what’s in the bag.

Ok, so let’s just say I had use for cheese crumbles… say like blue cheese crumbles in a salad. How hard is it to do it yourself? Why would I pay the extra money for the convenience of someone pre-crumbling my cheese. You can just get a block of cheese and do it yourself. I’m not a big fan of pre-shredded cheese in general; it tends to be more dried out and it’s more expensive. Convenience be damned… this is Cheap Eats.

I can’t tell you how the cheese actually tastes (though I do like many other Kraft products) because there’s no way I’m buying these crummy, song-butchering crumbles…

Cheap Eats Score: 1/10


[ Currently Eating: Much Needed Nectarine ]

Lobster Festival

Why hello there… we haven’t visited the infamous Cheap Eats Hall of Shame lately, thought I’ve been meaning to put a few entries in. A friend sent me a bunch of food links the other day in L.A. (including the local Tofu Festival in J-town). I took one look at the link for the Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival and knew I had a good candidate for the Hall of Shame.

First off, I’ll have you know that when I can afford it (read: when it is provided for free through hook or crook or maybe scavenging off an unsuspecting yuppie’s plate) I really do like lobster. I’m very partial to it, especially when it is stir fried with massive quantities of garlic, onions, scallions at any of the multitudes of Chinese restaurants around me. And actually, when a restaurant is having a promotion or sale, it can be phenomenally cheap. Same with crab, shrimp, fish, squid or any number of other ocean creepy crawlies. Yum.

Lobster FestivalBut I have to give “un-props” to whoever came up with this Lobster Festival. First, “Port of Los Angeles”? What a joke. They must mean “Ecologically Unfriendly Ocean Dump of Los Angeles”. Actually, I know they mean San Pedro, but still. I live here, so I’ve seen the beach closures and know about the high PCB and heavy metals levels in locally caught fish. This is just some spinster trying to put a shiny happy face on L.A. in order to lift a couple more dollars off the Beverly Hillites.

Second, you will note that not only do the lobsters NOT come from the Port of Los Angeles, but they go to great pains to advertise that “The Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival proudly serves only lobsters from the Great State of Maine.” In other words, these are ALL Maine Lobsters. This is just weird… I mean I totally understand the tradition of lobster festivals from the New England area because that’s where the durned lobsters come from right? So why does L.A. feel the need to make their OWN lobster festival that features lobster caught on the other side of the continent? They actually have to ship that 12 tons of Maine lobster here.

Continue reading “L.A. Lobster Festival” …

5/10/05 | Fast Food Tax?


[ Currently Eating: Cookies ]

Fast Food Nation PicHas Eric Schlosser’s book Fast Food Nation really gotten to everybody and convinced them to avoid fast food restaurants? I haven’t read the book yet, so I can’t really comment. But I’ve heard from many friends who have read it that it’s been at least partially responsible for a 180 degree turn in the way they eat.

Maybe Detroit’s mayor has read the book one too many times. Or maybe he’s gotten addled from ingesting too many Super Size Fries and Big Macs. All I can say is boy, I bet he will be one hell of an unpopular guy (at least in fast food restaurants) if this proposed tax comes about. I know he’s certainly landed on my Cheap Eats shortlist of dummies. What will this fast food tax entail? From CNN Money article:

In an effort to curb a looming $300 million budget deficit, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick last month floated what he called a “different budget than has ever been presented to our city council.”

The budget includes a proposed 2 percent tax that would be levied only on sales at fast-food restaurants, among other items that would generate additional revenue for the city.

Like the majority of the people in the article, I just can’t see the justification of taxing fast food. I mean if you’re going to tax something, tax the sit down restaurants… tax those people wolfing down creme brulee lobster or whatever. Shoot, they can afford it. The people who go to fast food restaurants more frequently are often the ones who currently need to watch every penny spent on food. So, you’re basically going to end up levying this tax against people who it would hurt the most. What the hell.


Continue reading “Fast Food Tax?” …

4/28/05 | Foie Gras Faux Pas


[ Currently Eating: Cream of Mushroom Soup ]

Man. I usually don’t try to pretend I’m a high and mighty food altruist. Let’s just say that the philosophy of Cheap Eats and environmentally friendly vegan idalism do not mix well. But anyhow, I never found anything remotely interesting about Foie Gras, otherwise known as duck (or goose) liver. I hate liver, for one. Sure, I’ve seen the Iron Chefs use bushels of it in cooking. It’s like a race to see who can whip out the liver first.

Cheap Eats Hall of Shame, say welcome to your new member.

Even for someone not knowing anything about Foie Gras, a person looking at those mealy boulder sized chunks they use on cooking shows would probably think … this thing came from a DUCK? That’s exactly what I thought. I thought maybe it was some sort of Gigantic species of dinosaur duck or something. Well, they actually get the duck livers that big by pumping enormous quantities of food into the stomachs of the birds, thereby causing their livers to expand to huge sizes. Gag!

Continue reading “Foie Gras Faux Pas” …


[ Currently Eating: ]

CaviarI’m starting up a new category called the Cheap Eats Hall of Shame. This is reserved for products which seem to hit a significant number of no-nos as far as cheap eats concerned as well as presenting other problems. Take for instance CAVIAR. Never mind the prices which we will get to. Although, there have been some strides in looking into alternatives to true caviar which is Sturgeon Roe (fish eggs), this delicacy is still frowned upon by environmental groups as a non-sustainable form of aquaculture.

I think in the old days sturgeon (which is a prehistoric looking fishing that grows extremely slowly and can reach huge lengths) were just killed in huge numbers for their eggs without a thought to the populations. Indeed, I read somewhere that it was common to have big bowls of it sitting around in bars for FREE. Nowadays, there are heavy restrictions in effect in the U.S. and in many places abroad. Different kinds of caviar include Beluga, Oestra, Sevruga which come from overseas mostly near Russia or Iran, and domestic types like White Sturgeon, Montana Golden Whitefish, Paddlefish, Chum Salmon caviars. (Some of those varieties like paddlefish aren’t “true” caviar but attempts at finding sustainable substitutes)

Continue reading “Caviar Recipes – NOT” …




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