Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Red Robin’s bottomless fries

Posted in Reviewson Dec 4, 2012

Red Robin offers “bottomless fries” with many of its burgers.  That is, if you order one of their burgers or other specified entrees, you can have as many fries as you can eat.

One of my favorite “tricks” to eating at Red Robin was to ask for the bottomless fries to be brought out immediately before the meal, so you have something to snack on while waiting for your burger to be cooked.

But no longer! Tonight, when I asked for my bottomless fries to be brought out earlier, I was told that it would cost an additional $2.  What?!?  So apparently refills of your fry basket are free, but only if you wait patiently for your hamburger.  Two dollars isn’t a huge cost, but I don’t think I should have to pay more just to get started on a bottomless amount of fries a few minutes earlier.

It is really too bad.  The whole bottomless fries “gimmick” was one of the things that contributed to a fun dining environment.  Unfortunately, not being able to dig into the fries (without paying more) has taken away from the dining experience, so I’m probably less likely to dine there in the future.  Sure, it has been a couple of years since I’ve been there anyway, but after bottomless disappointment tonight, I predict that it will be another couple of years until I go back.

What is the best root beer?

Posted in Reviewson Sep 9, 2010

I recently performed a taste test of various root beers to determine which is the best. I searched Fort Collins for every plastic bottled, non-caffeinated, non-diet root beer. I found 8 different root beers fitting this description, and I invited 10 people over to rate each root beer.

Each root beer was rated between one and five, with five meaning “excellent.” The results (showing the average scores) are:

  1. A&W – 4.0
  2. Big K (Kroger) – 3.7
  3. Refreshe (Safeway) – 3.5
  4. Mug – 3.4
  5. Walmart – 3.1
  6. Shasta – 2.8
  7. Vess (found at K-mart) – 2.5
  8. Dad’s – 1.3

The scores for A&W were all pretty positive, so if you were looking to bring a well excepted root beer to a party, you would find little complaining about A&W.  Walmart’s root beer had very mixed reviews, with some people hating it and others loving it.  It would make a good cheap alternative if you find that you are in the group of people who like it.  Kroger’s Big K root beer  had similar results to A&W, but with just a few people thinking it was less than average.

Our tasting of Dad’s root beer was very negative.  Not one person liked it, and most cared not to finish their sample.  It had a very bad aftertaste.  We conclude that they are either using a very unique and old recipe for old fashion root beer, or that we got a couple of bad bottles.

A quick word on our experiment setup:  We chilled all the root beers on the same shelf in the refrigerator.  About 10 minutes before guests arrived, we started pouring 2-3 oz samples into small disposable plastic cups.  Each set of samples was labeled with a letter A-H.  Each guest was given a score sheet to allow them to rate each root beer on a scale from 1-5.

Review of Oreo Cakesters

Posted in Reviewson Mar 3, 2010

Kraft recently sent me a coupon to try out Double Stuff Oreo Cakesters, and so I would like to tell you what I think about them.

First off, I found it hard to find a place to use my coupon. Target didn’t stock Double Stuff Cakesters, and King Soopers didn’t sell any at a price that the $3.39 max value coupon would cover. Finally I found a box selling at Walmart for $2.99.

There are five packages in the box, each package with two Cakesters. That puts eat package at almost vending machine prices.

These things aren’t healthy! Each Cakester will cost your diet 175 calories, or 150 calories for the package of two. Half of the calories come straight from sugar.

As far as the taste, these things are good, but not great. The chocolate cake tastes like it is full of preservatives, and the frosting has the same flavor as traditional Oreo filling, but with a creamier texture.

Overall, these things get a mediocre score from me. Definitely not my new favorite treat, but I’ll eat them if they are left in the cupboard.

Review of Famous Dave’s

Posted in Reviewson Oct 22, 2009

Last Tuesday, Sandy and I went to the newly opened Famous Dave’s restaurant in Fort Collins.  My general impression was that the food was good, but perhaps a little expensive.  However, the service screamed “we’ve only been doing this for a day.”
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I recently viewed the premier for the new SyFy Channel series, Stargate Universe.  While I generally felt pretty excited about it, I’m cautiously reserved because I think the new series has potential to disappoint–however, I hope I never see that disappointment.

I’ve come up with 5 things that Stargate Universe must do in order to avoid disappointment.
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Review of Fringe

Posted in Reviewson Sep 17, 2009

Imagine a modernized version of The X-Files with a little bit of CSI, Alias, Eureka, and Lost. What is in your imagination mixer might be similar to the Fox television series, Fringe, beginning its second season tonight.

In Fringe, a team composed of FBI agents, a mad scientist, and his son, investigate weirdphenomena categorized as both fringe science and terrorist activity.  Whether the team investigates weird paranormal activity, reads the mind of a dead person,  or hunt down people who can pass through solid walls, Fringe is a weird but intriguing mix of science, fiction, and crime drama.  Following the pattern of other J. J. Abrams television series, there are season long plots and unanswered questions, always haunting the viewer to watch more.  While a common complaint of Lost was that it was too complicated requiring full viewership, Fringe has a good balance of single-episode-resolution and series-long-mystery.

Peter Bishop talking with Phillip Broyles

Peter Bishop talking with Phillip Broyles

From season one, we learn there is a series of weird activity happening over the globe referred to as The Pattern.  We learned that the bio terrorist group, ZFT, seems to be responsible for the strange occurrence, but their zealous attitudes have viewers questioning if they are really the good or bad guys.

Last summer I was traveling through Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada when I walked by some filming of Fringe on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery.  Filming of Fringe moved to Vancouver for season two as a cost cutting measure.  I’ll be watching Fringe this season very closely to see if I can identify the scene of which I saw the filming.

The filming of Fringe behind me

The filming of Fringe behind me

You can buy the first season of Fringe at the Square Galaxy store.

Review of The Tale of Despereaux

Posted in Reviewson Jun 8, 2009

I recently viewed the animated film, The Tale of Despereaux.  The movie trailer made me think the movie explored the comical challenges and character growth of a mouse who was atypically unafraid of anything.  However, after watching the film, I’m not sure what it was really about (a serious problem if you know less about the plot of the movie after watching it.)

Major film elements such as plot, character development, and dialog were all seriously lacking.  The visual effects were adequate for an animated film.

The first few minutes of the film were so boring, that I threatened to turn it off if it didn’t get better.  About about 15 minutes, it did get better as they introduced the main character, but the movie never got good.

I don’t recommend seeing The Tale of Despereaux. Spend your time on a more interesting fairy tale.