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Late Nite Adobo

Typing out thoughts on a website… when the cravings hit you in the late nite…

Feeling lethargic? Need a pick-me-up to lift you out of the afternoon dulldrums?  Coffee is boooooriiing. 5 hour energy? Bleh! Redbull & vodka? Blargh! Since Energon cubes are hard to come by these days, this chia kombucha drink may be the next best thing! 

Synergy Organic & Raw Kombucha Cherry Chia Drink is a blend of kombucha (a mixture of live bacteria and yeast), and chia seeds, which I first heard about in Born to Run. In the book, Christopher McDougall talks about the Tarahumara tribe of Mexico, and how they drank a chia seed concoction to help fuel their long runs. So, much like the Wonder Twins, this kombucha/chia drink has a healthy combo of probiotics, fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3s.

One fun fact on the label is a disclaimer stating: “Due to the natural fermentation, this product may contain a trace amount of alcohol.” With that in mind, the drink has a faintly tart scent that really does remind me of a very light red wine. The thick, viscous texture on the other hand, is similar to aloe drinks or tapioca pudding. I wouldn’t say it goes down smooth — Slimy would be more accurate. It’s like drinking melted jello shooters with the added bonus of giving your mouth a tingly sensation, like a fizzy, carbonated drink. Slimy yet satisfying.

If you’re ever wondering how Juicy Juice might taste like after leaving it next to the radiator for 17 months, you’ve come to the right place. It has a slightly fermented cherry taste with a hint of sweetness. At first it’s disgusting and downright icky, but it became addicting — in a teenager discovering alcohol sorta way. I wouldn’t drink it every day, but I might every now and then…whenever I wanna pretend I’m Peter Venkman getting slimed by a ghost.

Did the drink give me more energy? Surprisingly, there was a spark during my evening run…which I contribute 100% to the idea of the red slime in my belly, giving me a +25 boost against fatigue.  I call him Slimer. He gurgles and I laugh. We’re BFFs now.

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Everyone is starting off the New Year on a positive note. Here at Late Nite Adobo, we’re going against the grain by: 1) Updating the blog in 10-month intervals, and 2) Reviewing a Thanksgiving-themed product well beyond recommended consumer-based ad campaign guidelines. 

November 23rd will forever be remembered for The Thanksgiving Gumball Experiments of 2011. A slow day at work sparked curiosity to try a gag gift, which was received with an expeditious frowny face.

Hypothesis: The Thanksgiving gumballs as individuals will not shine in flavor, nor Thanksgivingness. However, as with a traditional Thanksgiving meal, the sum of all the components as a whole will bring together the true essence of Thanksgiving – in gum form.

Procedures:

1) Try turkey flavored gumball.
2) Try pumpkin pie flavored gumball.
3) Try cranberry sauce flavored gumball.
4) Try all 3 flavored gumballs together.

 

Data/Results: The turkey flavored gumball were the worst out of all of them, resembling the aftertaste of vomit after a night of drinking vodka and eating chicken nuggets. The pumpkin pie was quite yummy, but tasted more like maple syrup more than anything. The same kinda thing with the cranberry sauce- sugary sweet, but vague as to what magical fruit it was derived from. All 3 together were a party in my mouth that I wouldn’t want to invite anybody to. The medley of salty/sweet/tangy fused together into something only a child would eat in an elementary school cafeteria after being triple-dog-dared into submission. And as with most gumballs, the flavor lasts all but 30 seconds or so, depending on the ratio  of chewing speed per amount of gum in mouth.

Conclusion: Remember Big League Chew? I’m pretty sure it’s not a gateway drug to tobacco use. Buy that instead. Should all acquaintance be forgot? Heavens no. Should all Thanksgiving Gumballs be forgot? The triple-dog-dared child inside of me says a resounding “Yes.”

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by Bananaketchup

What just makes that little darn ant, think he could move a rubber tree plant? Umm…My guess would be to avoid being lightly salted, toasted, and made into a Columbian snack. 

From the creators of such delicacies as Canned Unicorn Meat, the wizards at Think Geek give us Edible Giant Toasted Leafcutter Ants. Doing my best Andrew Zimmern impression (short of shaving my head bald), I dive into the wonderful world of bizarre foods.

For some reason, I was anticipating a big mason jar full of ants, suitable for wannabe Pokemon trainers of all ages. The jar is pretty small, with maybe 15-20 ants per freshness-sealed container.

 

These leafcutter ants are definitely not your everyday, generic army ants that invade your grandma’s kitchen craving pie. Each individual ant is HUGE and intimidating. Before munching down on one, I had one of those “What am I doing with my life?” moments of existentialism.

Thankfully (or unthankfully if you’re into insect-flavored Gushers), the abdomen section didn’t explode in my mouth with ant guts when I bit into one, as I feared. The texture is crispy and somewhat chewy. The ants indeed have a nutty, smokey, bacon-like flavor. If I did a blind taste test, I would probably guess they were krill shrimp cooked with bacon salt, but then again there’s a lingering aftertaste that screams “cree-ee-ee-py crawler!”

Even though I would go as far to say that the taste was actually good, I just can’t picture eating handfulls of ants as a snack on movie night. That would make a midnight screening of Never Say Never even more awkward than it should be. Half the battle is getting over that little voice in your head telling you that you’re eatting a bug that once happily roamed the earth, collecting leaves that were probably used to build a summer vacation home for his tiny ant family. Poor poor Timmy the Ant.

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by Bananaketchup

 

G & M Restaurant & Lounge
804 Hammonds Ferry Road
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090

Crabs. Is there anything they can’t do? If The Little Mermaid is any indication…not much. Nevertheless, what better way to celebrate singing, dancing crustaceans than to have some crab cakes?

To the G & M Restaurant and Lounge we go!

G & M serves the biggest Maryland all-lump crab cakes I’ve ever seen. Not quite as big as Giada De Laurentiis’ head — they’re about the size of half a softball, or a partially destroyed Death Star replica.  The best thing about these crab cakes is they’re all crab, with barely any filler. It’s pretty much all the best parts of eating crab without any of the messy work of using Thor’s hammer to crack open shells.

And the taste? Melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The Old Bay seasoning complimented the crab cakes, not taking away any of the sweet, delicate flavor of the meat, and I think the binding to keep the crab cake together had some of the yummy orange fatty “roe” stuff from inside the crab, which added a subtle, creamy richness.

Despite the iffyness of Sebastian’s shell color relative to the shell color of most live crabs, if you’re a seafood lover visiting the Baltimore area, you should definitely check out the G & M Restaurant and Lounge. And now, it’s time to sing and dance!

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by Bananaketchup

 

15192 D, Fredrick Road
Rockville, MD 20850

Perhaps I’m a bit crazy for wanting frosty bubble tea during these bleak winter months. Nevertheless, the bitter winds won’t stop me from heading out into the cold to satisfy my masochistic cravings. And so I stumbled upon Jumbo Jumbo Café – Asia Taste, thinking: “It must be damn good here, because it repeats itself for extra emphasis…extra emphasis…” I originally planned to get bubble tea and bubble tea only. Of course, I ended up getting an order of Taiwanese chicken to give my lonely cup of bubble tea some company.

The Taiwanese chicken is served street-food style — in a paper bag with a long skewer to use as a utensil and/or World of Warcraft LARP weapon. From a glance, it looked like ordinary chunks of boneless popcorn chicken, but the surprising taste quickly dismissed my doubts. It’s crunchy, juicy, sweet, spicy, salty, and has very distinct Asiany flavors. The basic ingredients are chili, white pepper, and basil, but there was a little kick of something added (MSG?) that made the chicken extra tasty. It was like my tastebuds looked under their chairs and received a shiny new gift from Oprah. Some people say there’s too much breading; I found the meat-to-breading ratio to be just fine. The only downside for me is that the saltiness restrains me from eating tons of the chicken. It really makes you wanna drink more and more bubble tea.

Oh, and speaking of drinks with gelatinous globs of tapioca pearls, the taro bubble tea I had was your standard cup of good bubble tea. Not too sweet, smooth finish, undertones of taro, and the tapioca pearls weren’t too firm or mushy. Nothing home to write about, but seeing as this was the initial focus of the night, my bubble tea-obtaining goals were accomplished enough to warrant a gold star on my report card.

Lessons learned today: 1) Always wear long-johns when going out for a wintery stroll/bubble tea run, and 2) Taiwanese chicken and bubble tea make an awesome snack combo (perfect for a wintery stroll/bubble tea run) that I’ll be enjoying forever. Foreva-eva? Foreva-eva.

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by Bananaketchup

 

Oh harsh cold mistress that is Washington, DC. We need to go on a break. You’ve always been there for me through the good times and bad times, but I need to escape into the warm, open arms of the south. New Orleans here I come.

Cafe Du Monde

Known for its beignets and coffee, Café Du Monde has been a cornerstone in New Orleans since 1862. I won’t hide anything. Beignets aren’t just French donuts. They’re funnel cake on steroids. Crispy on the outside, soft & chewy in the inside — you’ll be completely drenched in powdered sugar afterwards and you’ll probably like it.

To wash down your sugary pillows of happiness, there’s the Café Au Lait; a blend of coffee, chicory and milk. I’m more of a tea drinker, but this was the best cup of coffee I’ve had in a while. And the frozen version is better than any triple-mocha-sowcow Frap from Starbucks.

Café Du Monde is a little pricey, but it’s a must-try for anyone visiting the French Quarter. It was my breakfast for 2 days in a row and I can probably eat it for breakfast every day. Who needs donuts & coffee?

Gator Me Crazy

For lunch I tried a place featured on the Food Channel for its unique, not-so-reptile-friendly menu, Gator Me Crazy.

One of the dishes that can’t be found anywhere else is the Swamp Rolls. Like a Creole mad scientist, these were invented in-house by the restaurant’s owner. They’re a mix of cheese, alligator meat, and a spicy sauce, all wrapped in an eggroll wrapper. It’s an interesting combination of flavors, kinda like a mini deep-fried Chipotle burrito. Swamp rolls are delicious, but the cheese definitely overpowered any taste of alligator to oblivion.

The fried gator po’boy wasn’t anything special. It was good, but the portions were skimpy and the breading on the meat, along with the remoulade, masked the flavor of the alligator. Eating the chunks of alligator by themselves, the taste and texture is somewhere between chicken and pork.

I’d go back to Gator Me Crazy to try the grilled gator on a stick, but there are also other options around the French Market if you get a case of the alligator shakes.

The Gumbo Shop

Based on local recommendations, and my fondness of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I had to try the turtle soup at The Gumbo Shop for dinner. It was flavorful, with a nice blend of spices, and a seafoody, tomato-based broth. It was like refreshing clam bisque with more turtle power.

I haven’t had much New Orleans cuisine, but the crawfish etouffee here is the best Cajun/Creole food I’ve ever tasted. It was spicy with just a hint of sweetness, and there were big chunks of crawfish in every bite. This is perfect hangover food after a long night of dancing with random robot men on Bourbon Street.

From the amazing food to the jazz music to the friendly locals, I really loved hanging out in New Orleans. It’s a fun city that has an authenticity and spirit of it’s own that I haven’t felt anywhere else. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to roll around in a bed of powdered sugar. Sorry…beignets withdrawal…

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by Bananaketchup

 

I’m tired…nearly chubby-tired. Here I am eating pretzels and M&M’s separately in a ceremoniously inefficient fashion when I could be snacking and building a Lego tower with the greatest of ease…until now. Pretzel M&M’s. They’re real, and they’re spectacular.

As advertised, pretzel M&M’s are indeed crunchy, salty, and sweet. And if this blog were an age-appropriate Mad Lib, I would confidently add yummy to the description list.

A quick dissection of the candy reveals a tiny pretzel ball at the core. Disappointingly, it’s not a conventional twisty-shaped pretzel that’s been miniaturized Honey I Shrunk the Kids style. The technology just isn’t there…yet.

Pretzel M&M’s are not overly chocolatey or pretzely. But make no mistake; these are not bite-sized chocolate pretzels. The algebraically-crafted ratio of chocolate to pretzel, along with the sugary shell, reaffirms the distinct M&M-ness of the candy. Pretzel M&M’s are delicious, and their naturally bite-sized snackiness make them very addicting to eat.

 

With productivity up two-fold, and my Lego tower constructed in all it’s wobbly glory, this salty/sweet combo is a welcomed addition to the M&M family.

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