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Category : Phatphood

Home/Archive by Category "Phatphood" (Page 10)

Bluapple Produce Saver Review

Bluapple Review

Bluapple Produce Saver Review: So we tried Bluapple which claims to prolong produce freshness. Buying two containers of strawberries we gave it the Weve Tried It test.

We placed one container of strawberries in the  upper drawer of the refrigerator with a Bluapple ball and the 2nd container strawberries with nothing added going in the drawer below it.

Bluapple website product description: Ethylene gas is given off naturally by fruits and vegetables as a signaling mechanism in order to coordinate uniform ripening. However, once concentrated in your refrigerator or other storage areas, the presence of ethylene gas continues to speed up ripening and hasten spoilage.

The Bluapple® is designed to provide effective ethylene gas absorption for three months in a typical home refrigerator produce bin or storage container. The active ingredient does not “wear out”, but continues to absorb ethylene until it has reached its capacity. A One Year Refill Kit rounds out the Bluapple® ethylene gas management product line, allowing consumers to reuse Bluapples® and not add them to landfills.

Both drawers were untouched for ten days. When we took them out, both batches of strawberries were moldy, but the one with the Bluapple appeared to have more mold (photo on left.)


Bluapple says that the approximate storage life of strawberries without using the saver ball is 7-10 days. Their claim is that by using Bluapple you can extend the useful storage life of your produce up to three times longer. Which on the short end would give your strawberries 21 days.

We may have to try with a different fruit or vegetable, but so far, this product failed. 0/5  If you want to give it a try you can purchase the Bluapple on Amazon for $13.00.


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.”

Crave Review

Crave Mall of America Review Part Two

Crave MOA

Crave Mall of America Review Part Two: After a horrible experience at Crave Mall of America we posted a less than favorable review. Shortly after posting we received a tweet from corporate and then a call from the GM at the MOA location. After a great conversation with Jude, we decided to send in one of our food and product reviewers (@phatphood via instagram) to see if he would have the same experience at this establishment.

Please note that the management and staff were aware of the date this was to occur and that it was a gentleman with two kids to come in to review their service to see if it improves. So, naturally we went during lunch time and added another person to mix it up a bit.

PhatPhood: We arrived at Crave on Saturday afternoon. I had with me my mother and my two sons. We were all greeted from a female at the hostess stand and were seated in a booth very close to the main entrance within seconds. It was loud where we were sitting with the openness of the mall so near to us so we had to talk loudly to each other. It was also very busy for this time of the day, nearly all tables were full in the section we were seated in.

Our server came over to us promptly after being seated and introduced himself to us as Jeremy. He then asked if we wanted to started off with any alcoholic beverages. We declined and I said that “the three of us will have good ol’ tap water.” My mother ordered an ice tea and he ran off to get the drinks.

We studied the menu for a bit and my mother asked if I thought they had anything low sodium for her to eat. I said I’m sure they’ll have something being that my mother had just received doctors orders to watch her sodium intake because of her blood pressure. When Jeremy came back with our drinks “here is some of Bloomington’s finest” he joked and then he asked if we would like to order appetizers and I told him no and that we were skipping apps and going to order our meals instead.

My youngest son ordered first, he then politely moved onto my mother “and for the lady?” She then asked if there were any low sodium choices on the menu after seeing at the bottom it stated to ask your server if you have any dietary needs. His reply was “Noooo not really.” Keep in mind, he had no clue as to what my mother was intending to order. My mother just came back with an “oh, okay…I guess I’ll have the turkey club sandwich with fries” and Jeremy moved on to me and my eldest. My boys and I all ordered sushi and I also ordered their Beef Kogi tacos since I heard great reviews about them.

Jeremy came back with steamed towels, chopsticks and soy sauce for the sushi eaters. He ripped open the prepackaged chopsticks for each of the three of us as we removed the chopsticks and he held on to the paper which I thought was a clever way on not having to come back to clear the table of paper debris. He then poured each of us soy sauce and let us be.

Crave Mall of America food

Our food arrived much faster than I had even expected. Two female servers were walking my way from the kitchen window with plates of food and I was actually amazed on how fast it was as they set down the dishes and new who they went to. I snapped photos of all of the dishes as I always do before anyone could touch them. My family loves to be put on pause while I do this. We then enjoyed our meals and conversation.  She said her turkey sandwich was very good, the turkey was very moist and delicious. Which is impressive with how picky she is, even prior to her recent visit to the hospital. She really could not eat the fries as she said they were heavily salted.

Crave sandwich

Both of my boys devoured their sushi and even some of mine. Hey, they are growing boys! My sushi roll, crunchy spicy tuna roll really wasn’t that good. In my opinion it lacked flavor and was quite boring. The tacos? Amazing. Would definitely order them again. Great flavors, tons of meat, very full and the kimchee was a great touch. That was the good.

Crave Sushi

The bad? We were never asked for refills or given them without asking. My mother had a quarter of a glass left when our bill came after we turned down dessert. I was in complete shock that they did not offer any type of low sodium alternatives. He did not even offer low sodium soy sauce. Is this not a standard in most sushi restaurants these days? He could have easily suggested that he could ask the cook to not salt the fries as well, but maybe I’m asking for too much as a concerned son.

After the bill came I did ask to speak to the general manager that was working, as instructed by my WeveTriedIt team. He came to the table and I introduced myself and told him which company I was representing and he said, “we were expecting you but thought it would be during dinner.” It was clear the staff was warned and on radar for my arrival.

I asked the general manager the same question my mother asked the server and how he would respond to someone that needed a lower sodium meal. His response was basically “our servers are not trained to alter the menu items but could certainly ask the cooks if it were requested.” He then asked my mother if she made a specific request which she did not. We get it. Overall, it was a good experience with them having a heads-up. I would not mind going back yet another time when it is not quite expected.


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.

Cooking steaks

Cooking Frozen Steaks Vs Thawed Test

Frozen vs Thawed Steaks

Cooking Frozen Steaks Vs Thawed Test: Our ‘Weve Tried It’ team recently read a story about cooking a frozen steak compared to cooking one already thawed out. Which one tastes better and is juicier?

Naturally WTI wanted to put this to the test, so we brought in Chef Royal.  He prepared two New York strips side-by-side with a little grape seed oil and salt & pepper. The frozen is on the left in all pictures shown above, with the thawed on the right.

They were both seared and finished in a cast iron pan. Obviously the frozen takes several minutes longer to cook.

The verdict: The frozen did hold the juices better and was a tad bit more tender. The thawed New York strip steak held the flavor better as with the frozen it doesn’t hold and get absorbed.

We are considering seasoning one of them prior to freezing and trying this test again. Our foodie: PHATPHOOD was surprised at how much juicier it tasted and how tender it is. Even Chef Royal could tell while cutting it. Don’t knock till you try it…we were surprised.

This was the original video that got us wanting to try out this test – check it out!

Have you tried cooking a frozen steak? If so, what did you think?