Food and Drink Feed

Drink Review: Clos du Bois Chardonnay - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

National Drink Wine DayIn honor of National Drink Wine Day - who thinks up these days of celebration things anyway? - Well, I'm rolling with it!

A drink review on a Chardonnay, produced by Clos du Bois

Clos du Bois is one of California's longest standing names in the marketplace, walk into almost any liquor store and you'll see their wines on the shelf.  Their Chardonnay is a popular choice because it's a reasonably priced, no-nonsense wine.  It's not top shelf stuff, but it's not bottom shelf stuff either.  This wine is popular because it delivers top shelf taste without the cost, a great bang for the Chardonnay buck.

Here are the tasting notes from the winemaker's website:  Brilliant silver straw yellow in color. Intense aromas of apple blossom, ripe pear, and sweet lemon drop are complemented by toasty oak, spice, and cream. In the mouth, the silky texture of the wine is overlaid with bright, juicy flavors of ripe apple and pear for a long and fresh finish.

Those tasting notes are spot on!  In layman's terms, it's good!

Chardonnay is also arguably the world’s most popular variety of white wine and in large part we have California to thank for that.  Winemakers there have successfully marketed the straightforward but very pleasant aromas of apple and pear and Clos de Bois is a pick of choice with many who keep a Chardonnay or two at the ready at home.  It's also a pick of choice in the bars as well.  That's saying something.

Costing me about $10, this is another wine that's easy to like, it's reasonably priced, drinks easy after a long day at work and compliments a variety of fish and chicken dishes, especially those prepared with butter, cream or herbal sauces.  It's a repeat buy and gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars!

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

Related:  Drink Review: The Ned Sauvignon Blanc

For more food and drink reviews go to www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Drink Review: The Ned Sauvignon Blanc - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

The Ned Sauvignon BlancHere's a wine you may want to have on hand.

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc.

The Ned hails from New Zealand and the Marisco Vineyards located in the Waihopai Valley.  A number of wines made there are award winning, receiving accolades in several international competitions to include the Sauvignon Blanc.

If you're not familiar with what a Sauvignon Blanc is, it's a white wine, a dry wine with the fruity flavors of lime, green apple, passion fruit and white peach. What makes Sauvignon Blanc unique from other white wines are the other flavors a producer will include such as bell pepper, jalapeño, gooseberry and perhaps even a gram or two of sugar to add a bit of richness.

Here's the tasting note description of the wine from the Marisco Vineyards websiteDelightfully ripe aromas of gooseberry and white peach are laced with refreshing notes of kaffir lime. The fleshy mid palate is tamed by an underlying minerally acid backbone that culminates in a bright, zesty finish.

This wine is easy to like, it's bright, nicely fragrant and balanced.  All that flavor from a screw cap wine!  And I'm not any kind of wine connoisseur, but I'm not a wine snob either, I know what I like and this is a good one.   This is a pretty darn good wine, no cork needed!  Besides, after enjoying a glass, the bottle is easy to cap, you don't have to worry about trying to re-cork it or grab a wine stopper.  

Costing me about $10, I'm giving The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's reasonably priced, refreshing and pairs well with seafood, chicken dishes and salads.  It's definitely worthy of a repeat buy!

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

For more food, drink, product & service reviews, go to www.bacheloronthecheap.com

 

 


Food Review: Pierre Signatures Angus Cheeseburger - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Pierre Signatures Angus CheeseburgerWith a busy work and play schedule in mind, I've been buying groceries with convenience foods on the shopping list rather than buying ingredients to cook with as of late.  The weather has played a role in the switch to my grocery buying routine too, I don't do a lot of grilling during the winter months.  This week's grocery run was no different and in searching for a convenient lunch item, I picked up a box of Pierre Signatures Angus Cheeseburgers. 

Here's the description on the box:  Premium Flame Broiled Angus Beef Steak with American Cheese on a Sesame Seed Bun.

 

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Current fast food and fast casual promotional meal deals - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Bachelor on the Cheap 2Here's a short list of the fast food and fast casual meal deals currently going on.  Sadly, only 1 out of the 10 "limited time" offers on this list is the promotion of a new menu item.  Only Taco Bell is offering something new with an asterisk* to try!  Otherwise, all deals are for existing menu items suffering from slow sales or the "bringing back" of old promotions in lieu of introducing a new product.  It's like the fast food/fast casual kingdom isn't interested in being innovative in 2020.

Here's the list in alphabetical order and remember that caveat, available at participating locations for a limited time:

Burger King: The #2 burger chain (sales, U.S) has brought back the 5-for-$4 Deal.  You can get a bacon cheeseburger, four-piece order of chicken nuggets, a cookie, a 16 ounce soft drink, and value sized fries - all that for $4 (plus tax of course). 

Dairy Queen: America's favorite soft serve ice cream chain has brought back the popular $6 Meal Deal, which features a 1/3 Double with Cheese, OR a 3-piece order of Chicken Strips, regular fries, a 21 ounce drink and a sundae.  The $6 Meal Deal is available all day, nationwide, but of course - only for a limited time.

Hardee’s: Normally not one to offer "Meal Deals" the likes of Burger King or McDonald's, Hardee's is offering their version of a Mix and Match deal with a 2 for $5 menu that includes the choices of its Roast Beef Sandwich, Double Cheeseburger, Hot Ham ‘N’ Cheese, and Bacon Cheddar Double Cheeseburger in the deal.

IHOP:  Announcing the return of the Pancake Special, you can get free all-you-can-eat pancakes when you order any breakfast combo until March 1.  The free pancakes come two at a time.

KFC:  The #2 chicken chain (sales, U.S.) is offering its Famous Bowls, layered with KFC's creamy mashed potatoes, sweet corn and bite-sized chunks of crispy chicken, drizzled with home-style gravy and then topped with a blend of three shredded cheeses.  All that for just $3.  You can get the classic Famous Bowl or go for the Nashville Hot sauce option.  

McDonald's:  The 2 for $5 is another repeat promo.  You can get two iconic McDonald's items such as a Big Mac and a 10-piece McNugget, or a Filet-O-Fish and a Quarter Pounder with cheese - and pay just $5. 

Pizza Hut: Living up to their tag line of "No One Out Pizzas the Hut," the former #1 pizza joint (sales, U.S.) launched a $10 Meat Lover’s Pizza value deal, which is 30% off the usual price.  Pizza Hut, now the #2 pizza joint, lost its crown to Domino's.  I still don't understand that one, Domino's pizza sucks.

Ruby Tuesday: Back for a "limited time," the $7.99 fajitas special.  Choose from Veggie, Chicken and Shrimp Fajitas.  And here's where the upsell comes in.... You can round out your meal with the Endless Garden Bar for an additional $3.99 and/or add an individual side of Chips & Queso for another $1.99. 

Subway: Calling it the Fresh Values Promotion, Subway is offering the Oven Roasted Chicken and the Veggie Delite sandwiches for just $2.99.  That's cheap and probably driving franchise owners crazy.  They lost money with the $5 foot long deal.

Taco Bell:  Calling the deal Happier Hour, buy a regular freeze or medium drink for $1 and get a Doritos Locos Tacos for $1.  Happier Hour runs from 2pm to 5pm local time, every day. Also available for just $1 are the new* Double Stacked Tacos, with the flavor options of Nacho Crunch, Chipotle Cheddar and Reaper Ranch.  Double Stacked Tacos with the aforementioned flavors were introduced on December 22, 2019.  But the Double Stacked Taco is actually not a new concept.  The Double Stacked Taco (minus the Nacho Crunch, Chipotle Cheddar or Reaper Ranch flavors) was first introduced by Taco Bell in 2016, but for.....  yes, you guessed it....  a limited time and has been missing from the menu since, well, 'til now.

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

For more food, drink, product and service reviews, go to www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: Ajinomoto Yakitori Chicken with Japanese Style Fried Rice - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Anjinomoto Chicken Fried RiceLooking for some convenience foods to prepare at home for those times when I don't feel like cooking, I picked up a box of Ajinomoto brand Yakitori Chicken with Japanese style fried rice when shopping recently at Costo.  I'm a sucker for fried rice and this looked pretty good.  

"What is Yakitori Chicken?" you ask....

It refers to the Japanese method of grilling skewered chicken over charcoal.  The chicken is typically cut into bite sized pieces, put on bamboo or metal skewers and placed over hot coals, the meat is seasoned over the fire.

Here's the description from the package:  Made with grilled white meat and tender vegetables in an authentic savory sauce.  In addition to the chicken and rice, the veggies include carrots, leeks, edamame soybeans, peas, red bell peppers and roasted sweet corn. 

Chicken fried rice in bagThe box contains six, nine ounce bags and preparation is easy peasy, just pop one of those bags in the microwave for three minutes and boom, dinner is served!

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: Crazy Cuizine brand General Tso's Chicken - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Crazy Cuizine General Tso's ChickenUniquely Chinese-American, General Tso's Chicken is a battered and fried chicken dish served with a delicious 'sweet heat' sauce made with a combination of soy, garlic, ginger, chili peppers, sugar and other ingredients.  It's my preferred go-to dish when I'm in the mood for Chinese food. 

I'm always looking for a restaurant quality version of the dish to prepare at home, and today I'm trying General Tso's Chicken made by Crazy Cuizine.

Here's the description from the front of the box, which is pretty straight forward:  Battered Chicken Breast with Rib Meat in a Zesty Ginger Sauce.

I prepared the chicken in the oven per the box instructions and my dinner was ready in about 20 minutes.  You can also prepare them on the stove top, but with the LSU vs. Clemson National Championship game on, I opted for the convenience of the oven.

Serving the sauced up chicken over a bed of Ramen noodles, I took that first bite....

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: Tiger Thai Shrimp Vegetable Nests - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Tiger Thai Shrimp Vegetable NestsI've been looking for something a little different to put into my meal and snacking routine.  Yes, believe it or not, chips, popcorn or Little Smokies can get old. 

During my latest shopping trip to Costco and focused on shaking up the 'house menu' I happened across some Shrimp Vegetable Nests which looked quite tasty and I'm a sucker for just about anything with an Asian Flare.

The description from the box:  Tiger Thai Tempura Shrimp and Vegetable Nests are a delightful combination of onion, carrot and kale.  We julienne the vegetables, then form them into a ring, or nest, and finish them off with shrimp on top. 

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: El Monterey Mexican Grill Chicken & Cheese Taquitos - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

El Monterey TaquitosHaving recently enjoyed some Rolled Chicken Tacos from Taco Bell (pretty much a fried taquito), I happened upon a more traditional taquito offering in the freezer section at Costco:  El Monterey Mexican Grill Chicken & Cheese Taquitos.

Here's the description from the package:  We take tender charbroiled chicken breast, real Monterey Jack cheese, our rich tomato sauce, the most robust of Mexican-style ingredients and roll it all up into a crisp flour tortilla.

How can you go wrong with that?

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com

 


Hazelnut Coffee Review: Barissimo Hazelnut Coffee from Aldi - Bachelor on the Cheap

Barissimo Hazelnut CoffeeBy Mike Thayer

Back in May of 2019, I completed a hazelnut flavored coffee challenge, in search of the best one.  I've since found another one to add to the list.  Barissimo Hazelnut Coffee, available at Aldi, is definitely a coffee you should consider.  Costing me $3.79, that's a VERY Bachelor on the Cheap friendly price and this coffee rivals what I determined to be the best available back in May - Seattle's Best - which costs $4.99 for the same amount of coffee.  Despite being a light roast (go with a heaping tablespoon per 6 ounces of water) Barissimo Hazelnut Coffee gets 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars and is most worthy of a repeat buy.

5 stars

Coffee Challenge (May 2019)

By Mike Thayer

Cup of coffeeLike so many working stiffs, I've GOT to have my coffee in the morning to get jump started. Traditionally, I'm a Folgers Classic Roast kind of guy and I doctor my coffee with some hazelnut flavored creamer.  So no, I'm NOT a coffee snob.  I don't do the whole beans and a coffee grinder thing, screw that, buying ground coffee works just fine for me.

But in trying to eliminate some sugars from my diet, I've dropped the flavored creamer from my morning routine, switching to real, heavy cream. The various flavored brands of coffee creamer range 5-10 grams of sugar per serving, heavy cream weighs in at 0.1 grams.  But in making that change, my coffee was far less enjoyable. I missed the hazelnut! So during my next visit to the grocery store, I picked up some hazelnut coffee.  On that trip, I picked up a bag of Dunkin' Donuts hazelnut and you can read that review here.  To sum, it was OK, but I enjoyed the way I used to have my coffee, better.  A classic roast + hazelnut coffee creamer is better than the Dunkin' Donuts version of a hazelnut coffee doctored with some simple, heavy cream.  It left me wondering if there wasn't something better out there in a hazelnut grind.  Would such a coffee be Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly, or will I have to settle for something less-than-stellar, something just not as good as how I used to enjoy my cup of Joe? 

Here's the list starting with the worst Hazelnut coffee of the lot.  Figuring into the evaluation was price, aroma, availability and most importantly, taste.

20190214_151341Dunkin': Over-priced and disappointing.  The coffee delivers on the nutty flavor and it's a smooth taste, but I will say the coffee as prepared per the package instructions brews up rather weak. The instructions recommend 1-1/2 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water, I recommend two.

20190225_063246Eight O'Clock:  This is good coffee. The medium roast is spot on, the hazelnut notes are there, good aroma, nice finish. The recommended measurement on the bag is 1 - 2 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water, leaving a little wiggle room for how weak or strong you like your coffee.  It's a good coffee, but not the best coffee.

20190221_074742Folger's:  With Folger's Classic Roast being my traditional go-to coffee, I expected the same reliability in flavor from the hazelnut version. It didn't disappoint.  The hazelnut is obvious, present in both the aroma and flavor.  The grind makes a good cup of coffee.  The directions call for one tablespoon of coffee for every six ounces of water and that's one thing I've always liked about Folger's, they're not bashful with their grind, a scoop is robust and doesn't brew up weak like Dunkin' Donuts hazelnut did. 

Green Mountain CoffeeGreen Mountain: Good coffee but a light roast, so the recommended 1 heaping tablespoon of coffee per 6 ounces of water will brew up a bit weak, you may want to adjust to taste. For a more robust cup of coffee, go with 2 tablespoons. Overall, this is a pleasant hazelnut coffee, not as aromatic as others, but each sip is good nonetheless.

20190222_185535-1Great Value:  This coffee is surprisingly good, delivering on everything in the package description.  All those notes are there and the recommended measurement of 1 heaping tablespoon per 6 ounces of water is spot on.  At just $3.99 for a 12 ounce bag, this coffee is most definitely a repeat buy.  It's better than Dunkin, smoother than Folger's and just a smidgen below......

And the top Hazelnut flavored coffee is......

20190218_064652-1Seattle's Best:  The package calls for a rounded tablespoon per six ounces of water and that is spot on, brewing to the strength I like. The grind was very aromatic in the package, everybody likes to take a deep inhale of coffee from a freshly opened package right? And while brewing you get a nice aromatic whiff permeating through the house. The taste delivers and is on par to how I used to enjoy my coffee, a classic, regular roast with hazelnut flavored creamer.

 

$pend Wisely My Friends.....