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Author: Phatphood

Home/Articles Posted by Phatphood (Page 10)

myCharge Amp 4000 Portable Charger Review

MyCharge iPhone Charger

myCharge Amp 4000 Portable Charger Review: This less than half-a-pound phone charger can save the day when you are out and about. For instance, when I did my State Fair food adventure I was constantly using my phone to take pictures and notes on all of the food I was eating.

Well we all know iPhone batteries really suck, so not even half-way through the day my battery was at 12%. I just grabbed my newly purchased MyCharge and plugged my iPhone 5 via USB and continued with my food adventure.

Not only did my phone fully charge while I constantly used it, but the MyCharge had some juice left to keep on charging even when I left the fair with a full charge on my phone.

Great device! Light, small enough to fit in pocket, and does what is intended. 3/5. One concerning downfall, any aftermarket iPhone USB cables do not work at all. I tried three aftermarket cables and only the original cable that came with my iPhone work. This brought my product rating down significantly.

Do you know of any inexpensive portable chargers that work great? Let us know in the comments below. You can purchase the myCharge Amp 4000 on Amazon for $29.99.

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Phatphood 4 Pizzas 4 Hours 4 Reviews

Pizza Review

Phatphood 4 Pizzas 4 Hours 4 Reviews: One of my friends that enjoys my reviews suggested that I try all of the personal style pizza restaurants that offer Subway style pizzas in just a few minutes. Two of them have been around the metro area for several years now and two recently just opened in the metro. I went to all four…in one day. Four pizzas, in four hours…Woo!

Don’t worry, I had help…I brought my eldest. A 15-year-old adolescent that I felt could add some input on this new generation of fast pizza and also help to devour four pies. I timed each pizza from when they put it in the oven to when I received it. Also, I ordered one regular size soft drink at each restaurant and that is included in the price mentioned. From worst to best, here they are:

Pizza Studio

4. Pizza Studio – located on level 3 south mall, 340 South Ave Bloomington, MN at the Mall of America. The mall was very busy today and so was Pizza Studio. It is a small cramped cubbyhole with a similar mall patio to dine on. The line to order your personal pizza will have customers already seated staring inches away at your butt so be sure to freshen up prior to ordering on a busy day. With the small quarters, it is very loud. Yes, the mall is loud already but then you have their automated pizza oven that has fans that sound like a jet engine. Add the spit guard that you have to talk through and it becomes a scream match along with a lot of “what?” They should really think of just having a check off sheet with what you want. There weren’t many places to sit so a majority of the customers had no choice but to get their order to go.

Once I made it through the seven-minute line I ordered an unlimited build-my-own creation pizza with traditional crust, marinara, crispy bacon, nitrate free pepperoni, spicy pork sausage, chicken breast, caramelized onions, jalapeños, mozzarella cheese, and truffle salt. They ask you your name when they get things started and greet and welcome each customer, which is nice.

They don’t put much cheese on your pizza and if you ask for extra they will gladly do so, but not without warning you that “with how our oven cooks, it will be soggy.” While in line waiting to pay I witnessed an employee dicing greens at the cutting/plating/boxing station slice her finger. They replaced the knife she was using but didn’t notice any other clean up process. Yum. The gentleman that was taking orders, making the dough and starting your pizza experience was like a one-man-band. He immediately took over once the other employee cut herself and was handling the chaos that surrounded him very well. He is shown in the picture carrying boxes all at once to the boxing station. Give this dude a raise.

Once I received my pizza, at first glance you could tell it was unevenly cooked. The center was pretty doughy while the outer edges were burnt. The bottom was pretty much burnt as well. With all of the meats I chose, the pizza was naturally greasy. The soft drink station was out of napkins and the table we were sitting at did not have a dispenser at all. We had to finally ask the neighboring table for theirs. You can see in the pictures that my hand was covered in grease as well as the drippings with the shot of the undercooked dough. Wasn’t too excited about the pizza. It was pretty basic. Average amount of toppings and most of the pepperoni was burnt. I kind of don’t mind that though. My eldest said that he would never come back at all.

As we were leaving we went to throw away our aftermath but the only two trash stations were overfull as shown. You can also see in the picture that if you were to sit in that special location on the mall patio you get to be in everyone’s way as they throw their trash out and you get to smell every bite that wasn’t eaten. They offer four different variety of thin crust. The place is not meant for a mall environment. It’s too small of a location. Needs a silencer on the oven fan. No take out menu seen, no plates available or given so we had to lean over the tray that our pizza came on, but really we just let it drip on the table. This place was one big cluster mess. 1/5 – $9.98 – 5:04

Punch Pizza

3. Punch Neapolitan Pizza – 8353 Crystal View Rd. Eden Prairie, MN. Upon arrival to the parking lot, it was a bit confusing. Went to two different doors before finding the third one that was the actual entrance. Boy did we look dumb. Once we finally made it inside, we were greeted by a hostess/waitress that takes your order and you pay before you seat yourself (the only one out of the four that you pay first). She was nice and explained how things work very, very thoroughly. The Punch menu seems a bit more complicated with many choices, but did not have the same options as the others. We wanted to make the pizza with the same topping throughout this eating journey, but this hybrid pizza restaurant made that a bit difficult.

We went ahead with the “craft your own pizza” and out of the two sauce options we chose margarita, made with basil and added sausage, pepperoni, prosciutto (because they have no bacon…you read that right NO BACON!!!) and piparras pepper since they didn’t have jalapeños either. Was told it would be about five minutes and to go ahead and have a seat and it will be brought out to us.

While waiting I cased the joint. This place definitely has more of a restaurant appeal to it rather than a fast food pizza shack, hence hybrid. Classic Italian music was played throughout, including the restroom. Their wood fire oven was the star of the show as you can see in the picture. The soft drink station was a bit outdated but was clean and organized. The space was very open and spacious like a studio apartment with a cool oven. The hostess/waitress brought out the pale looking pizza in good time as well as utensils and what were these round things? Plates! This was the only place to offer this necessity on this food adventure. If you see two people order one pizza you would think they are going to share and would need something other than what the pizza comes on. Kudos Punch.

Now this pizza didn’t look as appetizing as the others by all means. Guess what? Didn’t taste all that good either. Their dough was soft and chewy but in a good way, that’s if you enjoy a crust on our pizza. The center of the pizza was thin (unlike the outer crust which was billowy) and with the amount of grease under the cheese along with the sauce, everything slid right off as you grabbed a slice as a piece of topless pizza lays limp in your hand. With some marinara sauce, the outer crust would be great to dip in and enjoy alone. Definitely not worth the price and just not a huge fan. On the bottom of their take out menu it reads “SECOND CHANCE FOR PIZZA ROMANCE? Don’t like your pizza? Tell us – no matter how busy we are ! Come to the pick-up counter and we’ll remake it in 90 seconds.” Awesome! However, I didn’t notice that until I left. Plus I doubt I could eat another. Good chances I won’t be going back unless it is to try their chocolate hazelnut panini, which I heard is grand. 2/5 – $15.72 – 4:34

Solo Pizza

2. Solos Pizza Cafe – 2700 Annapolis Cir N. Plymouth, MN. I’ve been coming to this place for a while and I typically get a White Hen, but like I mentioned, I want to keep things as similar as possible to compare. So we went with the Brick House which includes; Marinara, pepperoni, sausage and smoked bacon. I added grilled chicken and jalapenos. Here they offer two different sizes, a seven-inch and a ten-inch. With the options of having original, thin or whole wheat crust. Naturally I went with larger size and original crust for comparison once again. Not because I’m starving. The signs posted on the wall aid you in making your decision and make it quite simple in doing that. After they put ample amount of toppings on, they add a little more mozzarella to top it off. Nice touch.

You pay, they give you a number and you go sit until they bring it to you. Once again, no other plates brought out or offered. The only thing available at the counter for customers to help themselves to were to-go boxes. The pizza looked wonderful. Tons of jalapenos accompanied all of those delicious meats with plenty of cheese to stretch around the table we sat at. At Solos, they use garlic butter around the outer crust as soon as the pizza comes out of the oven. I love it, but today they seemed to add a bit much. It created a butter latte that ran down the back of the crust and all over the bottom of the pizza. I usually don’t mind a butter overload, but this along with the grease created by all of the meats create a slick situation. Still it was a wonderful tasting pizza with a generous amount of toppings. Their crust is very much similar to the one at Punch, but butter lathered on makes up for any dryness. Another greasy mess, yet a good tasting one at that. 4/5 – $12.16 – 5:44

Pizza Rev

1. Pizza Rev – 525 Blake Rd. #110. South Edina, MN. The new boys in town with their second location after their first successful location opened in Hopkins earlier this year. Very simple concept, craft your own pizza at one price of $7.95. Choose one of two dough options, original or gluten-free (which is a $2 upgrade). Four sauce choices and similar cheese selections as the others offered. The have a dozen of meat options and even more vegetable options.

I chose to craft my own instead of picking one of eight pre designed options. Sticking with a the game plan we went with original crust, red sauce, spicy pepperoni, Italian sausage, crumbled beef meatballs, crispy bacon, grilled chicken and jalapenos. It wasn’t busy at all and they were very helpful and friendly all the way throughout from the greeter/artist to the cashier to the general manager working on the Coke Freestyle machine. They use an open flamed stone bed oven that is monitored very closely by a single person. No timers, just watching and checking on it with the naked eye.

After I paid, we went and sat near the window to watch cars park at this Edina strip mall that Pizza Rev just opened it. Yay. Wasn’t sure if I was to hang out at the cashier for my pizza or if they bring it to me, so I wandered back up there until it came out. I noticed they had a nice condiment counter with everything you need…except for plates. That’s right, we weren’t given or even offered them once again. Ugh, the struggle.

This pizza came out looking perfect. Perfect design, perfect thin crispy crust, not greasy at all, just a beautiful looking za! Everything tasted fresh. They also have a Coke Freestyle machine complementing the in-and-out casual dining experience with already many options. I was fortunate enough to get to speak with the manager on duty prior to leaving and asked if they had plates available. He said they did, and that he would implement that in with the cashiers and perhaps leave some on an available stand near the condiment station. He took suggestions very well and seemed like he would go with mine. I like a place that is willing to make changes at the first sign of a customer’s good ideas. Great first experience here all around. Very tasteful pizza and a young and eager welcoming staff. The newbie’s in this state have done their homework and came to stomp the competition. Well done. 5/5 – $9.34 – 4:33

So, we tried a few similar places with different results. Pizza Rev is the cheapest and the fastest. Pizza Studio has the most crust options. Solos Pizza Café you get the most for your money. Punch is more of a get your pizza fast restaurant with a full menu including starters, desserts and alcoholic beverages. Maybe they shouldn’t have even been a part of this four-hour tour. They all have different cooking methods but similar concepts. Yes, some were busier than others with or without help of Labor Day weekend. But the quality lies within the entire product under any circumstance. You now have a few options to choose from now with all of these Subway style pizza joints opening up…I picked a favorite, which will you choose to be yours?

Follow @Phatphood & @WeveTriedIt on Instagram.


Benihana Restaurant Mall of America Phatphood Review

Benihana MOA Review

Benihana Restaurant Mall Of America Phatphood Review:

Arrived at 5:30, was greeted and asked how many in my party. Was given a buzzer and was told it would be a couple of minutes. Cool, it’s empty but ok. The couple next to me was told they could go to the bar if they want and have drinks or apps, I wasn’t given that option. Sat at bar and ordered drinks, that same couple that was at hostess stand (much older) sat next to me and was told the two bartenders names, I wasn’t offered that information. Buzzer went off, hostess came and said that was an accident. Buzzer went off again 5 minutes later, oh, they’re ready now.

Go to hostess stand, they are trying to seat me with a few other people for a hibachi table. Nope, I didn’t ask for that (keep in mind there are many, many tables open to sit at), so I now had to ask myself. Was seated out on the mall patio, was not given an option or asked if it was alright.

Ling took my order, brought out soup and salad. She realized I didn’t have utensils so she grabbed a fork quick and did a stretch hand off to me as she was talking to the other table about their horrible experience, I’m sure. Didn’t finish the salad. I left the fork she long armed me earlier in the bowl. When she came to clear the soup and salad she asked if I want to keep my fork. Now I’m at a buffet instead of a restaurant, great.

Received my Rocky’s Choice, minus any of the sauces that I actually asked for extra of, neat. After she was reminded she brought out the sauce, apologized and said “I bring you two” as in to make up for none? Now many of us Benihana veterans can agree that we pour our shrimp sauce delicately over everything on the plate with a majority of it smothering the fried rice. Well I went to do that, and at this specific location it was the same consistency as turning over a DQ Blizzard and watching with amazement that it doesn’t fall out. So I used my handy dandy buffet fork and scooped out the shrimp sauce and added it to my fake hibachi meal. Now, if my meal was even slightly warm prior to adding my shrimp blizzard, this very chilled substance quickly put an ending to that. Might as well just call it leftovers.

Moving on…I was so lucky that I didn’t pay for this meal since I had a born day coupon, also to add to my excitement I was offered ice cream “for your birthday” yea, because we all know you get ice cream with all teppanyaki meals. Oh, was there ice crystals in that chocolate ice cream?? Nope, just freezer burn.

Good luck Mall of America Benihana’s…way to scare the tourists away from the restaurants and into the food court. Sushi was cool so 1/5


Phatphood Minnesota State Fair Food Review

Phatphood State Fair Review

Phatphood Minnesota State Fair Food Review: It was a cloudy and humid yet, pleasant day because of a cool breeze. I arrived at 9:30am and finally made it through the gates at 10:30am. Once in, I made a frantic had-to-pee marching walk to LuLu’s for the cheese stuffed sausage breakfast sandwich but I was fifteen minutes late. The Minnesota State Fair app for my iPhone states that breakfast at Lulu’s is served until 11am, but they had a hand written sign noting that it is over at 10:30am. Doesn’t matter, they said they had ran out after I begged for them to make me one. I did however get to try almost every other food item that I wanted to. Here are those items.

state fair 36

Deep-Fried Lobster On-a-Stick ~ Canadian lobster pieces poached in butter, dipped in a corn batter, deep-fried and served with a spiced dipping sauce. Served at LuLu’s Public House located next to Schilling Amphitheater at West End Market. Review: A bit tough and chewy but still delicious for a new State Fair item, not much for the $9 price tag and barely any dipping sauce given. 3/5

state fair 11

Blue Cheese and Corn Fritz ~ Six deep fried corn fritters stuffed with crumbled blue cheese, kernel corn and served with a fresh herbed chimichurri. Served at The Blue Barn located West of the Skyride at West End Market. Review: Better without the chimichurri, with it, it has a whole different flavor and steals from the fritz (fritter) itself. $7.25 4/5


Minnesota Bboying Breakdancing Competitions

Mall of America Battle Rotunda

Minnesota Breakdancing Competitions: Last weekend we sent PhatPhood to the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN to check out the Battle Rotunda 5v5. This was the largest B-Boying/Breakdancing competition in Minnesota.

The event was hosted by Jonny Craze, MN Joe with DJ’s: Los Boogie and DJ Espada. This two day event started out in St. Paul at The Central Mission. The top 8 chosen battled it out at the Mall of America.

Battle Rotunda MOA

Every level of the MOA had people looking out over the rotunda checking out the amazing teams that came from all over to compete. Phat summed up the event in just a few words, “It was fresh, dope, captivating entertainment.”


Elotes Mexican Corn on the Cob Recipe

Mexican corn on the cob

Elotes Mexican Corn on the Cob Recipe: PhatPhood shares his Elotes recipe with us and in his words, “It’s too damn good.”

Elotes in four easy steps!

1. Shuck, butter and roast ears of corn on grill or in oven at 400 for 45 minutes.


2. Lather with Mexican style mayonnaise. You can use regular mayonnaise, but the Mexican style already comes with a sour lime flavor to it.


Elote Mexican Corn on the Cob

3. Dust generously with cotija cheese.

Cotija Cheese

Elote Recipe

4. Sprinkle on some chile arbol molido and a squeeze of lime.


Follow @PHATPHOOD on Instagram to see what else he is cooking up!


Which Wich Banh Mi Sandwich PhatPhood Review

Which Wich Review Banh Mi

Which Wich Banh Mi Sandwich PhatPhood Review: Bánh mì is Vietnamese for bread, but has come to mean any type of meat-filled sandwich. Find out what PhatPhood thought…

One of the fast food sandwich chains Which Wich decided to jump on the “World of Flavor” craze and is now offering an Americanized version of the Banh Mi sandwich.

The flavors were pretty much there. The jalapeños were fresh and very spicy. The Sriracha mayo was on point. It didn’t taste like the carrots and cucumbers were pickled at all and was missing the daikon altogether but again, the flavors were there.

Bahn Mi Review

The worst part next to the $7.50 before tax price was the pulled pork. There is just too much liquid involved, and if you don’t eat this sandwich within 10 minutes it will become a soggy mess. It dripped the entire time I ate it.

In my opinion this is a mediocre attempt at offering flavors from around the world. I gave it 3/5…I’d get it again to satisfy my cravings when there are no other similar options near by, which is often the case.

Be sure to follow @PHATPHOOD on Instagram. What restaurant should I review next? Leave a comment below.


Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers Review

Freddys PhatPhood Review WTI

Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers PhatPhood Review: Finally there is a Freddy’s Custard & Steakburger in Minnesota! Conveniently located within walking distance of my home in Savage.

As I walked in today (Tuesday August 5th) to their soft opening I was surprised how much smaller it looked inside than it did on the outside. The kitchen and dining room look to be a 50/50 split of the building located in the Cub parking lot off of Highway 13.

Freddys Custard and Steakburgers WTI

The decor was mainly red, white and black with an old school diner meets Dairy Queen vibe to it. Even their slogan on the side of the soft drink cup reads “The taste that brings you back” as modern day pop hits blare throughout the entire establishment making it a little difficult to hear the order callers voice. I don’t mind any type of music playing, I actually enjoy it. I just wish the selection brought me back as they imply with their food.

Aaaaah food, yes, that is what I’m here for…let’s get to it!

Freddys Steakburger PhatPhood Review

Number 6. Double Steak Burger California Style with fries and a side of Freddy’s Fry Sauce. 4/5. Not bad for a cooked-to-order fast food joint. Beats Culver’s. Comparable to Smashburger. Seasoning is great! The onion on top was really fresh which made it very potent, almost overpowered everything else. Oh, the cheese on the double steakburger is melted to perfection.

The shoestring fries are meh. With a signature sauce I need a big fry to dip in it. Had to fist 4-6 fries to do some major dipping. Not a big fan of the sauce. Which I was disappointed in because I was hoping for a sauce to come back for again and again. Will definitely be back for another steak burger, probably hold the onion. $7.49.

Freddys Review

Number 3. Chicago Dog Freddy’s Style. 3/5. This was a pretty decent dog for a fast food joint. Definitely beats out Sonic. Finally a place to grab a dog on the run that has some flavor and not a soggy bun. Substituted the regular fries with the chili cheese fries, $7.89 total.

Freddys Frozen Custard and Steakburgers

Chili cheese fries. Not a fan. 1/5. They weren’t horrible, but they weren’t that good either. Others will probably disagree. The chili tastes exactly like Hormel canned chili. The cheese was decent. Yea.

photo 2 (2)

The fry sauce was a typical mixture of mayo, ketchup and some zesty spices. Nothing too brilliant that will have you Googling the recipe. They have a self-serve fry sauce station at the order pick up counter. Their signature seasoning is readily available near the soft drink station, it added a good flavoring to their scrawny shoestring fries. Ask for unsalted fries or try them before adding the seasoning.

I will try their custard on my next visit. After all, it is mentioned first in their title so I assume it’s the star of the show. The burger clearly is the best thing thus far, coming back to try a patty melt for sure! Culver’s fries are better, but the hot dogs stomp out the only competition I can think of, Sonic. (Please don’t even bring Dairy Queens hot dog into this). Welcome to Minnesota Freddy’s…can’t wait to hear/see what others think.

Follow me on Instagram @PhatPhood to see what I eat next!

CHips Review

Lay’s Potato Chips 4 Flavor Finalists Review

Lays 4 flavor finalists

Lay’s Potato Chips 4 Flavor Finalists Review by PhatPhood: Lay’s done did it again. Fans submitted flavor ideas and they were bagged in crispy potato chip form.

From left to right of the screen that is facing you:

Lays Chips

Wasabi & Ginger ~ Best out of the four! The flavor is spot on and it’s not overbearing. I could snack on these anytime I don’t have sushi and I want to get rid of that craving. 4/5 (I gave the Wasabi & Ginger a 4/5 because it comes in a 8.5oz while the others come in 9.5oz. It is the only one kettle fried while the mango is “wavy” or rippled.)

Second was the Cappuccino ~ Surprisingly this is my second favorite flavor. You want to dislike it because you’re like “Coffee!? Potato chip?!” Yes, it works. As an excellent dessert chip…that’s right, I’ll be crushing this over some vanilla bean ice cream later this evening. It has a great mocha/coffee flavor to it. If it actually had caffeine, I would have it for breakfast! 4/5

Next up, Mango Salsa ~ Too much fruity mango tasting crystals added. First time trying, it hit me harder than I had expected. A little kick with the salsa flavor as well. I tasted this one again after I had tried all four and I swear I got a hint of Fruity Pebbles. So it’s either inconsistent or my pallet is out of whack tonight. 3/5

Lastly, Bacon Mac n Cheese ~ I really wanted this to be my favorite. It just tastes like cheesy Lay’s but salter with all the flavor taken out. This is the last one I would get. Darn you, this was my pick before the tasting! 2/5

Oh well, Wasabi & Ginger it is! If you have tried the finalists be sure to vote for your favorite.

What should PhatPhood review next? Leave us a comment below. Don’t forget to follow @PhatPhood on Instagram (unless you don’t like food then don’t bother.)



DJ Phat All-Star Game Menu Review

DJ Phat Target Center All Star Game

DJ Phat All-Star Game Menu Review: If you pay attention at all to Minnesota sports then you have heard about the four new meaty food items that are being added specially just for the All-Star Game menu.

Our food expert DJ Phat tried out each of these new menu items last night. If you are on Instagram be sure to follow DJ Phat @phatphood – you won’t believe what this guys eats!

DJ Phat Target Center

• The Double Header: A brat and a Polish sausage with all the fixings, served on a foot-long bun and branded with the All-Star Game logo. (At all Kramarczuk locations)

Price: $16.50