Saturday, November 5, 2016

Who says grass fed beef is bad?!

I was now at my parents' house, so I had to improvise a little for breakfast. This seems about right, right?

I also got a handful of those weaved cracker thingies.

For dinner, my parents and I decided that we wanted burgers. We contemplated going to LC's, Town Topic, know, the usuals. But I did a quick search and found a very highly rated burger place in Northtown that we had never tried. So we tried it.

The place is Tay's Burger Shack. Upon learning that the burgers here were made from grass fed beef, I became a little skeptical. A lot of people claim that grass fed beef doesn't taste as good as grain fed beef. But then I remembered that this place was very highly rated, and I figured that that many people couldn't be that misinformed. Surely these burgers must be good for that many people to like them.

We took a quick look at the very simple menu...

...and I knew exactly what I was going to order. Of course I ordered the Homerun Burger, which is a burger with four 3 ounce patties. I got the burger with extra cheese, carmelized onions, and bacon (obviously). I got the combo because fries.

On the tables, they had a couple of unique condiments. I approve.

They also have a decent collection of interesting decorations, my favorite being this one:

But now for the food. Oh yes, the food. Take a good look at this food.

The fries look good, don't they? Well, that's because they were! They were seasoned with some salty and wonderful seasoning, and they were just wonderful. But what about the burger?

Oh, yeah, the burger. Is this just a big pile of grass fed blandness?

Oh no, far from it my friends. Being a self-proclaimed burger connoisseur, I know what a good burger is. Was this a good burger? Let's see.

A good burger:

  • is cooked on a griddle. Check.
  • has plenty of American cheese. Check.
  • is juicy and greasy. Check.
  • is crispy around the edges. Check.
  • is served on a toasted bun. Check.
This next picture really illustrates how this burger shines. You can see the ample amounts of cheese. You can see the crispy crust around the edges of the patties. You can see the glimmer of the juiciness. You can see the toastedness of the buns.

What I mean to say is that this was one of the best burgers I've ever had, grass fed beef and all. We may very well have just discovered a new go-to burger place. What I'll also say, though, is this. While this burger easily rivaled that of LC's, I am in no way, shape, or form ready to completely write off LC's. LC's burgers are not less tasty than these. LC's is closer. And LC's is cheaper. Sure, you don't get sriracha mayo at LC's, but is that really what matters at a burger place? No. Will I come back to Tay's? Absolutely. Will I continue to eat at LC's. Of course. It's just nice, too, to have yet another option for a good burger.

Finally, to finish off this new discovery, we ordered some sundaes.

A great discovery, for sure.

When we got back to my parents' house, I took the opportunity to marvel at my dad's whimsical pumpkin carving creation.

I don't know how he comes up with these designs, and I'm not sure he does either, but this isn't the first time he's come up with an abstract jack-o-lantern design that somehow looks good.

I finished off the day with a couple trick-or-treat leftovers.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Just Add Bacon

In preparation for my undoubtedly long chemistry lab, I again supplemented my morning brotein bar breakfast, this time with a whole bagel.

Skipping past the lab entirely, I came home to find these:

And in addition to wonderful Sidney cookies, I also found some wonderful Sidney potato soup! She had been wanting to make this for a long time, and today she was finally able to. Apparently it was pretty easy too, being made in the crock pot after all.

She did take the time to make it extra special, though, by cooking up some bacon to go with it.

Literally anything is better with bacon, because bacon.

We also had some sourdough rye bread, which looked interesting.

But can you tell which bowl of soup is mine?

I supplemented my soup with some yet leftover fried rice, because huge.

And for dessert, we had those wonderful Frankencookies, the fortunate products of unfortunate surplus.

We split each one.

And milk, because cookies.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Literally, I only eat carbs.

It was back to the old grind, brotein bar speaking. To ease the transition, I added half of a bagel to my breakfast.

For lunch, my good friend Scott decided to save my gains by donating a Quest Bar to TheAverageBro's Save-The-Gains Foundation.

This one was also a brotein fiber bar, so I was curious to see how it stacked up against the others I had recently tried.

Wait, there it is! There's that same texture that we know and love (hate). But then there was the taste. It tasted so good. This one was by far the best tasting brotein fiber bar I've ever had. The unfortunate thing is that these bars are like $2-3 per bar, which is way more than the others. So again, I'll be sticking with Old Faithful for the time being:

And that's exactly what I did for my mid-afternoon snack.

Still good!

For dinner, we had a lot of leftover fried rice, so I had some. I supplemented it with some more carbs.

Cheesy carbs...

...and salty carbs.

And for dessert, we had some more leftover rice. Enter...

...sweet carbs.

Good day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Do we have enough rice??

Today was another day of adventure and exploration, but instead of fiber bars, I would be delving into a new flavor of brotein bar. Without the fiber, I had really high hopes for this one. It was the same brand, but it was Chocolate Salted Caramel flavor!

Just take a look at the beauty of this bar:

One of my favorite parts about my regular bar, the Chocolate Peanut Caramel, is the "caramel" top layer. I was really hoping this had one of those, too. It did!!

I can safely say that this is the best brotein bar I've ever had, taste wise. And with 19 grams of brotein and only 200 calories, it really is the best brotein bar ever in every way. Unfortunately, they only sell these by the bar instead of in 12 packs, so they are not nearly as economical as the Chocolate Peanut Caramel bars, so I'll stick with those for now. And it's not like those are bad or anything.

With that groundbreaking discovery out of the way, I finished up my day of school and then headed home. We decided to make some fried rice. We had never made it before, so let's see how it went.

We started off with some veggies...

...and then added some chicken and a little bit of rice.

After the addition of some soy sauce, it began to look like fried rice.

And I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but this is a pretty big pan, and it's almost overflowing with rice. What an awesome sight!

I got a plate and got a little bit of chicken fried rice.

And then I got some more!

This fried rice was excellent. I'm sure we could adjust our technique a little to improve the texture, but it tasted so good.

And since having just fried rice for dinner still isn't enough rice, we made some rice pudding for dessert.

The addition of the raisins serves not only to increase the aesthetic qualities of the rice pudding, but also to add textural interest and more depth of flavor.

This was also excellent. With our rice-based dinner and rice-based dessert, I concluded that I could live on a diet of predominantly rice. CARBS for YEARS!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Fiber for DAYS!!

Today was a day destined for adventure and experimentation. Today I would be sampling the brotein fiber bars I had previously discovered. I'll say that I've had a few brotein fiber bars in the past, and they're usually very tough and taste a lot like dirt or something else unpleasant and not tounge-friendly. That being said, I had high hopes for these new ones since they were the same brand as my beloved Chocolate Peanut Caramel brotein bars. Fingers crossed, I dove in to the first one. 

The first one was Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor. As I unwrapped it, my heart sank just a little. I could immediately tell by the shiny and extruded-looking appearance that this bar would have a similar texture to the others I've tried.

Fortunately, though, it tasted a lot better! Now, I think it's darn near impossible to make anything with 15 grams of fiber taste as good as something with no fiber, but this bar was definitely encouraging. It was tough, but it tasted reasonably good.

A few hours later, I had the other brotein fiber bar for lunch. This one was Cookies and Cream flavored.

Again, the texture remained the common denominator. But what about the taste?

This one was a little tricky. At first taste, I didn't like this one as much as the first one. I was sure of that. But as I continued eating the bar, the taste, like the Grinch's heart, grew on me slowly. It grew so much that by the time I had almost finished the bar, I actually preferred it over the first one. It was weird, but both of these bars gave me hope that not all fiber-dense foods must taste like dirt.

And so, with my daily fiber quota filled by two simple bars, I went home and had some non-fibrous dinner. Continuing with my current kick, I had some ramen...

...and some macaroni and cheese.

Oh, I also had some more of that chicken and noodles, too.