Tag Archives: Food

Boudin Bakery Display Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

A San Francisco Treat

I went for a 3 mile run in San Francisco today – my first since the Chicago Marathon.

I saw a pretty beach.

San Francisco Beach

I saw a cool boat.

San Francisco Harbor

Then it started to rain.  I ducked inside the Boudin Bakery on Fisherman’s Wharf.

Boudin Bakery Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

Boudin Bakery Display Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

And got a bunch of treats.  The end!

Treats from Boudin Bakery

Have you ever been to Boudin Bakery in San Francisco?  Occasionally, is your only motivation to run so you can buy treats?  More than occasionally?  Share in the comments!

Gone Nutty! Pop Tarts

Snack Review – Gone Nutty! Pop Tarts

Gone Nutty! Pop Tarts

I’ve Gone Nutty! by buying these.

What do Pop Tarts have to do with running?  They’re just about my favorite processed food in the world, and I often treat myself to a two-pack of frosted blueberry Pop Tarts when I run a marathon (and maybe sometimes when I don’t…).

 

I also love all things chocolate and peanut butter, so you can imagine my excitement when I learned Pop Tarts released a new flavor – “Gone Nutty!” frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter “Made with Real Peanut Butter” flavored Pop Tarts.  I finally found them in stores, so I quickly snuck the box into my shopping basket and pretended I was an irresponsible mother instead of a single woman with a Pop Tart addiction.

 

I always eat my Pop Tarts cold, straight from the package.  I find toasting them makes them unpleasantly crunchy.  I also strongly dislike the s’mores flavor of Pop Tarts, finding the fake graham-cracker-flavored crust abhorrent and the marshmallow filling plain gross.  In general I stick to the frosted blueberry and frosted strawberry flavors, so it was with both excitement and as much trepidation as a Pop Tart can create that I cracked into the Gone Nutty! box.

 

Upon opening the box, I was momentarily wonderstruck by the fancy gold packaging instead of the standard silver.  But upon opening the gold foil package, I was disappointed at the splotchy smear of chocolate frosting – from fancy to messy in an instant.  The Tarts smelled strongly of that lovely artificial chocolate smell, but the peanut butter filling looked legit, although incredibly thin.

 

I’ve now finished almost an entire Tart, and the most I can say about the flavor is that it can best be described as “mild.”  It doesn’t taste strongly of chocolate, or of peanut butter, or of anything, really, other than “sweet.”  It’s not bad, but it’s not soul-affirming good (as I still find those frosted blueberry ones).  It’s definitely not inedible like the s’mores flavor, and I keep eating it because it’s sweet and it’s 2:30 PM, but I will certainly not be tempted to immediately finish the box, nor will I buy another.

 

If you love chocolate and peanut butter, go out and buy some real chocolate and actual peanut butter, or a Reece’s cup, or Trader Joe’s dark chocolate and peanut butter cups (amazing, especially frozen), but skip the Gone Nutty! Pop Tarts.  If you don’t really like chocolate or peanut butter, but love mild, soft, sweet but flavorless pastries, Pop Tarts has a great new option for you.

 

One Tart has 200 calories, 5 grams fat, 19 grams sugar, and 2 grams protein.  It’s also half of what you’ll probably eat, so just go ahead and double all those amounts.

Where's the finish reviews Bonk Breaker bars

Snack Review – Bonk Breaker bars

Where's the finish reviews Bonk Breaker bars

Assorted Bonk Breaker Bars = delightful.

I just recently learned of these little gems but it seems like I’m late to the party, as I spot them everywhere now.  I first tried an assorted box of the “bite-sized” bars so I could sample several flavors, but I’ve already ordered large full-size boxes of the PB&J and the peanut butter & banana flavors.  The peanut butter & banana flavor is my good buddy now, and I take him on walks and trips and soon he’ll meet my family.

 

In a nutshell, Bonk Breakers are like Clif Bars, except softer, moister, tastier, and expensive-er (for comparison, one White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clif Bar has 250 cals, 7 g fat, 21 g sugar, and 9 g protein, with box of 12 about $12 with shipping, while one full-size Bonk Breaker PB&J has 250 cals, 9 g fat, 16 g sugar, 8 g protein, with a box of 12 about $31 with shipping).  Turns out you can put a price on taste, and it’s $1.60 premium per bar.  Bonk Breakers are shaped almost like perfect rectangles, instead of the oval-pod shaped Clif Bars, so they appeal to the architecturally inclined, too.  They’re also gluten and dairy free, if that’s important to you.

 

Pictured above are the following flavors, left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Peanut Butter & Jelly – This garners the most raves online, but that’s probably because they haven’t tried the PB&B flavor.  Two rectangles sandwich a visible line of jelly, which is fun.  What’s also fun is eating this bar without the hassle of actually making yourself a sandwich.
  2. Peanut Butter & Banana – I took a risk and ordered an entire full-sized box of this flavor without even trying it first!  It was a gamble that paid off in spades, though.  Spades and spades of delicious peanut buttery oaty bananay goodness.
  3. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip – No ampersand necessary in this name, it was my favorite until I tried the PB&B, and now I just don’t know where I stand on anything anymore.
  4. Apple Pie – The chia seeds are the real surprise here.  They look like miniature apple seeds left in the mix, but instead of arsenic they provide a satisfying seedy-ness much like a mustache on a pornographer.
  5. Blueberry Oat – A solid flavor, but nothing remarkable or strong or special about it.  I suppose if you’re allergic to peanut butter this could be one of those sad-but-brave-in-the-face-of-the-many-disappointing life choices you could make.

 

There are other flavors, too, like Espresso Chip and Fig, that I’d like to try, but I have a lot of eating to do in the meantime.

 

Have you tried Bonk Breaker bars?  Have you dreamt about them (while sleeping or awake)?  Share in the comments!

Snack Review – Titan High Protein Cookies & QuestBar Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor

Titan Cookies & Questbar wrapped

Titan Cookies & Questbar, in their wrappers

Instead of buying cucumbers as I promised myself yesterday, I visited the local Vitamin Shoppe (which can only be pronounced “shop-ee”) for more Fit n Crisp bars.  While there, I picked up a couple of new protein treats so I could review them for you, loyal reader.  Not so I could eat cookies in the name of science, I swear.

First up is Titan’s High Protein Cookie, Oatmeal Raisin flavor.  The package promised “20g Protein” and 2 “Soft ‘n Chewy Cookies” with “Fresh Baked Taste” that’s “fresh from your oven!”  Nutritional info on the back tells me that a serving size of ONE (1) cookie is 150 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 10 grams of protein.  Half the protein I thought I was getting!  (That big “20g Protein” on the front of the package is followed by very tiny “per pack” text.)  Ah, well.  For a fresh baked soft ‘n chewy fresh oatmeal raisin fresh cookie, that still sounds good, right?

Out of the package, the cookies somewhat resembled the photo on the package, and certainly looked like real cookies.  They smelled pretty good too, and felt like soft cookies.  But upon biting into them, the resemblance to a real cookie ended.  They were definitely soft ‘n chewy – way too chewy.  They had the consistency of a dense protein bar, and the cookie smell somehow did not translate into cookie taste.  They weren’t repellant, but this will definitely not satisfy any cookie craving I might have.

On to Titan’s Peanut Butter cookie flavor!  They looked good, felt a bit sticky, but smelled wonderful.  “This is it!” I thought to myself.  “This is going to be my new go-to peanut butter cookie!”  It had about the same nutritional profile as the oatmeal raisin flavor and the same let-down once I actually tasted them.  Actually, it was a much bigger let-down.  Not only did the smell not translate into flavor, but the texture was so dense and chewy, if you squished it up you could form the brick of a standard protein bar (not even exaggerating here – I tried it).  That’s not to say I’m not going to finish them off later.  Because, hey, “cookies.”

Titan Cookies & Questbar unwrapped

Titan Cookies & Questbar unwrapped

Finally, for a bonus, I picked up a Questbar Natural Protein Bar, Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor.  The packaging really sold it to me.  While you might think it was the inexplicable photo of a flan/yellow cake with jimmies splashing into a puddle of hot chocolate, what actually got me was the nutritional facts on the back – 1 bar (the whole package, thank you very much) was only 160 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 20 grams of protein.  Ah yes, the 20 I was looking for!  It also has 17 grams of fiber, which I’m just now noticing.  Maybe good to notice that before I down the whole thing in a sitting.

Out of the package, the Questbar looks like a log with occasional flecks of what I assume are peanuts.  It has a faint chocolatey smell and very little flavor.  If I closed my eyes and you told me the flavor was raspberry, I might believe you.  The texture is very dense but not as sticky/chewy as the cookies, but it goes down fairly easily and doesn’t stick to your teeth.  To give you more of an idea on the texture, propping it up for the photo like that did not take much effort, just as propping up blocks of clay would not take much effort.  However, for 20 grams of portable protein in only 160 calories, I’d give it a thumbs up.  While you probably won’t be craving it as a snack (which is maybe another good thing, actually), this product allows you to eat something called a “Questbar” which makes you sound like a dragon-slaying princess in a computer game.

 

What highly processed, artificially created snacks do you recommend?  Have you noticed a trend of including “n” in snack names instead of “and” or “&”?  How fresh is fresh baked fresh fresh oven fresh?  Let me know in the comments!

Snack Review – Promax Fit n Crisp Bar and Body 360 BodyCrunch Whey Protein Crunchies

Whey Protein Crunchies & Fit n Crisp bars

Whey Protein Crunchies & Fit n Crisp bars

The only thing I love more than thinking about running is thinking about food.  Unfortunately, I enjoy eating a lot more than running and I have the pantry to prove it (“pantry” here meaning “extra weight”).  I also have a ginormous sweet tooth and a tusk of a carb tooth, so I love to find snacks that provide protein (especially in a sweet disguise).  [Note: I didn’t get either of these products for free, nor are the manufacturers compensating me for these reviews, but the links do send you to my Amazon through my Associates Account, where I might get some pennies if you buy stuff.]

 

My new favorite snack bar is the Promax Fit n Crisp bar in Vanilla Marshmallow flavor.  It’s 140 calories, has 3 grams of fat and 13 grams of protein.  Those are pretty good specs for a snack bar, but it also delivers on the taste.  It’s not quite as good as a real rice krispie treat (c’mon), but it is surprisingly delicious and addictive.  It’s sweet but not too sweet (at least to me), and doesn’t have a bad aftertaste.  It’s a revelation compared to all those dense, chalky, high-protein bars out there.  Downside is price and availability – a box of 12 on Amazon is $17.78 with $6.85 shipping (via Happy Vitamin) but you can probably find it cheaper elsewhere (Google tells me there’s limited availability at the local Vitamin Shoppe stores in NYC).  There’s also a Cinnamon Crisp version I haven’t tried.

 

After tearing open the BodyCrunch Whey Protein Crunchies (Natural Flavor) and dropping a handful into my mouth (fairly flavorless, crunchy, slightly dry, very little aftertaste), the bag suggested I add the crunchies to yogurt, so I did.  They added a nice crunch without any off-putting flavor, plus they provide a nice pack of protein without a lot of fat or calories (1/2 cup is 125 calories, 1 gram fat, 24 grams protein).  The biggest downside to the crunchies is price – currently a whopping $17.49 on Amazon for the 7.6 oz bag pictured.  Since they’re quite bland and not innately delicious (maybe the cocoa flavored crunchies are better?), and I am not that desperate for protein, I will probably not buy them again unless the price drops considerably.

 

[Update on the Whey Protein Crunchies – It’s been about 7 months and I’ve only eaten them once since my review – they are just unappealing and flavorless with a pasty, chalky aftertaste that is mild but makes eating yogurt an even more unpleasant experience.  Pass on these and just mix protein powder into whatever you’re eating if you really need to.]