Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ramune Shirakiku Brand *Lychee Flavor*

Back in the swing of things, during my trip I picked up a few random items, all of which will end up on this blog. If you haven't noticed yet, I really am still in the realm of junk foods. I don't think this is a bad thing, just yet. Anyway for my review today I'm doing another brand of Ramune Soda, Shirakiku, based out of a few Asian countries. I will say I'm on a bit of a lychee kick, which is weird, considering I'm not a huge fan of the flavor, but I like new things.
Another look at Ramune Bottling
So in my previous reviews I wrote the typical appeal on Ramune is the bottle. This certainly was one of the deciding factors on why I buy these soda's. Anyway, I really like the the smell of this, however it tastes just like it smells, like sweet perfume. For most people this can be a problem, as I've found with most lychee drinks, the smell. It smells kind of like drug store potpourri. Again, it's not a "bad" drink, but just not something I would probably recommend as a 'safe' or 'first timer' drink. Stick with Ramune (sangria) melon flavor, or original flavor.
Full bottle shot!
Again not a whole lot of color or real good 'flavor' in this drink. Certainly it tasted cheaper and not as good as the Sangria brand Ramune. I'd still say if you want to try something new, and relatively good, you can try one of these. Although you won't be blown away with the flavor or texture, you can still have the satisfaction from drinking from such a cool bottle and marble. Overall I'd have to say this deserves a 6.8 out of 10, since it's not necessarily BAD, but not GOOD either. There isn't a whole lot about this that I could put my finger on as being memorable. Anyway, this might be worth a try for lychee fans.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chicago Eats!! 3 Reviews in one!

So I had the opportunity to take a business trip up to the great city of Chicago! What an amazing city, in short... it's a city of great foods, beautiful sights, and amazing shopping. I will get back to doing more regular reviews here shortly. I actually just got back from a nice trip to the local international market! Anyway... on to the first review!
What a Beautiful SKYLINE!
My first meal and possibly my favorite, was at an authentic Chicago Style Pizzeria name Giordano's. Let me just say, growing up in NY, this was about the most different you could get from NY style pizza. To each their own I suppose, however I think I've found a new love. Chicago style pizza for those who weren't aware, is more like a pie, than a pizza... hence the term "pizza pie." Well lets just say, even the smaller sizes of this pizza were intimidating. We had 3 full grown men in our party, including me, and we didn't even make it half-way through it. We did order appetizers, but hey, still incredibly amazing and tasty. We ordered the garbage or everything pizza, can't exactly remember the name... and yeah, it had everything minus the gross ingredients like anchovies and pineapple. Literally, and for all intents and purposes I STRONGLY recommend you stop by and grab a slice or two (if you can make it past once piece).
Just once piece was sufficient

For my second meal we headed to a Brazilian Steakhouse, Fogo de Chao. This place was incredibly moody with low lighting, soft music and amazing service to boot. If you've never been to a place like this, then you don't know what service is... literally. This place is all about making you feel like a guest in their home. You start off with a fully stocked salad bar, from asparagus to prosciutto, this bar had it all. Speaking of bar's I probably had the best alcoholic drink ... ever... caipirinha is what they call it. Allow me to explain it the best I can, think of a mojito, add a lot of sugar (raw large crystal sugar) and remove the mint. There you pretty much have it, however they, at least at this place, didn't go light on the lime pieces, as I suspect a whole lime went into each drink. Onto the steak itself, to signify you're ready for your main course, you flip a card from red to green. Let's just say, let the meat avalanche begin! From sirloin to top round, to bacon wrapped chicken to spare ribs, they had it all. They carve it right for you on your plate, with your assistance of course, you have to use a pair of tongs. Anyway, not only did the service, drinks, AND atmosphere was correct... they also know how to cook the meat very well. Go visit this place as well, oh and in case you're wondering its a flat cost per head, so eat up!
Another great skyline picture
Lastly but not least, for sure, is Portillos restaurant. They are known all over Chicago as the authentic Chicago  hot dog place, and locals love it. I will be honest, from the outside it looks like a mill, and inside it works quite similarly. Everything in this place is built and customized for speed, and efficiency, if you've ever seen an assembly line, that is exactly how they make the hot dogs and other foods. For those who don't know (including me), what was on a Chicago-dog, basically its a hot dog, celery salt, onion, relish, yellow mustard, white onions, a bun length pickle spear, pickled sport peppers, and tomato slices. Yeah, it's loaded... and to top that, its not even on a normal bun, they use a poppy seed bun. Wow let me say, after being walked through the complicated yet archaic ordering, I was in for a treat. I will say I did order an Italian beef sandwich, which i'm not going to blog about since it really wasn't something I enjoyed all that well. Although the hot dog, was a symphony of flavors, tastes, textures to combine for the PERFECT hot dog... sorry other vendors... this place knows what's going on. Again I'll strongly recommend visiting one of their many locations in Chicago.
BEST fountain EVER!
In summary, all three of these places were quite a treat and highly recommended for their own reason. Again I'm not a Chicago expert by any means, however... I hope you enjoyed reading. Take care and happy eats!