Tag Archives: Dark Chocolate

“Havin’ a movie night?”

IMG_3675It took a five-minute drive from the exit after the Iron Skillet on I-94 in Wisconsin to find, but the gas station convenience mart had a phenomenal candy bar aisle.

After a seven-minute perusal, I carried my bounty with both hands. There were only one and a half people in the checkout line at the mart, a young mother and her little girl. One had a handful of scratch-offs, another sported a baseball cap made of denim.

They paid, then turned to leave. I smiled and nodded as they walked past me to the door. The mom smiled back with eyes squinted in perplexion.

The girl looked a little jealous.

The bell on the door jingled as I dropped my cornucopia of sweets onto the counter. The checkout gal looks at me.

“Havin’ a movie night?”

“Ah … no. Heh, just have a bad … just, uh, work for a candy company. Always am bringin’ stuff in to the boys for inspiration.”

“Ah, that’s a fun job to have!”

“Yeah, it’s uh, a real tough business to break into, but the perks are pretty good.”

“What’s it called?”

“It’s, um, a … It’s called (cough) sorry … um, BlackHawk Candies. … “It’s a startup in Chicago.”

“Oh. Great.”

“That’ll be $27.38.”

Continue reading

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Let’s Discuss: Who Are Your Five Dating References?

IMG_3654On Monday evening, thanks to the generous, esteemed Boof Bar, I watched the Bucks get blown off the court by the Bulls. [Ed. note: It’s OK. I’m not upset. Own the future, boys.]

As is customary, we shared a postgame meal and conversation at the one and only Tater Tot Land, a swell establishment that has a kitchen open ’til 1 and serves, you guessed it, tater tots. (Also sandwiches and salads and iced tea, but who the hell wants to hear about Iced Tea Land?)

Among the topics covered in said conversation: basketball, traveling, “Bolognese”, respecting the process, roommates paying rent and/or doing dishes, Bop, work, “idiosyncrasies”, Mediterranean chopped salads, new cars, our respective adventures in the realm of dating.

Just two single fellas havin bro talk; inevitably some frustration surrounding that last topic seeped out. At one point, amongst a great deal of other points, Boof said, “It would be easier if after the first date, you could give her five people to call about you, and if she still wants to date you after that, then … let’s proceed.” (Or something like that. I didn’t have a tape recorder.)

Me: “Haha, that’s rich. ‘Hey, darlin’, I had a great time. Call these five people, and get back to me if you’re still interested.'”

LET’S DISCUSS: Assume that it’s accepted social norm that after a first date, both parties exchange a list of five references for the other to call to determine whether they want to continue to date. The references come with a maximum five-word descriptor and phone number (e.g. Will Smith: actor, rapper, Renaissance Man XXX-XXX-XXXX). These references do not know they are going to be called, but they have to at least answer the phone when the call comes.

WHO ARE YOUR FIVE REFERENCES? Continue reading

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Trader Joe’s: Checkout Gals, Dogfriends, Pop Rocks and Percentages

IMG_3584 IMG_3585Last Sunday afternoon, I walked up to the checkout aisle at Trader Joe’s with a handbasket full of sweets, cinnamon rolls and two boxes of cookies. The gal at the aisle smiled at me, then we had this exchange:

Me: “Oh hey der. Are you open?”

Checkout Gal: “Yup! Did you find everything you were looking for?”

Me: “I did. Mostly candy bars.”

Checkout Gal: (forced chuckles) “Well, we do have those.”

Me: “I know!”

(She picks up the box of cookies for scanning purposes, revealing the 15 or so candy bars at the bottom of the basket)

Checkout Gal: “OH SHIT you weren’t kidding.”

Me: “Uh, nope.”

(Checkout Gal looks at me inquisitively.)

Me: “I, um, have a bit of a sweet tooth. … And my New Year’s resolution is to eat a candy bar every day this year.”

Checkout Gal: “That’s a good resolution, I guess.”

(I smile.)

Me: “Better than most I’ve made, I must say.”

Checkout Gal: “That will be $35.[whatever the change was].”

Aaaaand scene. Continue reading

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A Passage From An Autobiography Without Any Context, Vol. 2

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… and upon circumspection of the train car, he very violently realized that he was the kinda drunk guy on the Red Line eating a candy bar he was so excited to buy at Starbucks because he hadn’t seen it before and could write about it on his candy bar blog later that his parents always warned him about.

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It’s OK, The Vegans Probably Don’t Have Any Beef With You

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“I don’t like vegans. I gotta say: I trust ’em about as much as I trust a rattlesnake.” – Unnamed, mustachioed, cigar-smoking man with whom I once judged a chili cook-off

Vegans really piss some people off.

And I’m not talking about the shitty vegans. The man-this-is-a-pretty-sweet-castle-I’m-hanging-out-in-with-my-seitan-and-judgment vegans. The please-just-look-away-while-I-eat-this-cheesesteak-because-your-eyes-are-making-me-feel-guilty vegans. I think we can all agree that those people do exist and they are terrible.

No, the ones I’m referring to are the 90-95% of vegans who are actually just people. Completely normal, personable folks who have made the dietary decision to not eat anything that has to do with an animal (or something like that — vegan friends feel free to correct and/or elaborate). They don’t force their lifestyle upon you, and the only burden they become is the astronomical lift it takes to consider their diet when you invite them into your home to entertain and feed them. They do their black bean stuff while you do your ground beef stuff and afterward you watch the game together over two bottles of the same beer.

And people despise them. Continue reading

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I’m Too Upset About The Packers To Write About Candy Bars Today

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At some point I’ll talk about Snickers Peanut Butter, but I’m really just not in the mood. Dove is Dove.

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Bars in Strange Places: Pret’s Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt

IMG_3553[Ed. note: Bars in Strange Places will be a running feature of candy bars found in an unconventional setting. Still definitely candy bars, but not ones you would perchance find while at the grocery store with your mom.]

I stumbled upon Pret’s Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt during a quick lunch stop at, you guessed it, Pret A Manger, an seemingly successful urban lunch bistro despite having a name that people are only ever a little sure how to pronounce.

I didn’t realize restaurants make their own candy bars these days. This will be something I look out for in this little adventure, perhaps earning its own feature with a bad name. (Speaking of, anybody got a better name for this one?)

Tasting Notes

– This bar definitely has more to offer to those who are chocolate melters than those who are chocolate chewers.
– Very easy to break off a piece. Not that this is a revelation, but I was able to fracture it very accurately in terms of the size of piece I was looking to break off.
– The salt is very subtle. But it’s perfect. Really. When you hit a little pocket of it, it’s smiles all around.
– I would like them to sell these in stores. Approved.

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