Dear Los Angeles, before you waste your time, Shake Shack is not good.

My Twitter feed is set up such that I barely ever know what is going on around me in Boston but I can tell you immediately when there is an earthquake in Los Angeles or it is raining in San Diego. As such, all I’ve been reading about today is the opening of a Shake Shack in Los Angeles.

Up until now I generally decline to participate in the American Regional Fast Food Burger Wars as it’s the gastronomical equivalent of arguing whether something is called “soda” or “pop.” You know where I am from. You know what my favorite fast food burger place is. I know where you are from. I know what your favorite fast food burger place is. But seeing photos of people in West Hollywood lined up around the corner to have a freaking Shake Shack burger just made me feel so bad for them.

Listen people, Shake Shack is not that good. They are not bad at what they do. But they are also not good at what they do. Here is a brief bullet point list of reasons:

  • The Burgers: There is literally nothing special about their burger. The burger and bun are indistinguishable, in many ways, from dozens of burgers I can get in the Boston area (Uburger, Roxy’s, Burgerfi etc.), so I’m assuming it’s just like the dozens of burgers you can get in your town too. The one exception being that the meat lacks flavor and they overcompensate by putting horseradish in the sauce (a la Arby’s). So yeah, Shake Shack is like the Arby’s of burger restaurants. They should be so proud.
  • The Shakes: I have never had a “concrete” from Shake Shack that was not a liquid mess on receipt because it takes them a freaking hour to cook a freaking burger (that still manages to be raw in the middle half the time) and 2 minutes to make a concrete and they set the ice cream products under a heat lamp while they wait to be combined with your burger. I know, I know. They have a separate line for shakes and you’re supposed to order separately. Bitch, I’m not standing in line twice for your shitty-assed fast food to go. You are a fast food restaurant and you offer a limited menu consisting of burgers, hot dogs and ice cream products. Learn to prepare them all at the same time.
  • The Fries: They serve crinkle cut fries. This is not even worthy of further discussion.

Also, while I’m dipping my toes into this quagmire of burger opinions, I’ll go a step further. Five Guys not that good either. So what if they have a million options? The more combinations of burgers you can create, the more chance of stumbling on one that is terrible. This message can be expanded to all restaurants that give you five thousand options for things (of which there are many): You are a restaurant. Your job is to combine ingredients in a way that tastes good, and provide me with a listing of a finite number of outcomes (this listing is sometimes referred to as a “Menu”). This activity is a really important part of your job and is a large percentage of what I am paying you for.

So back to you, Five Guys, your burgers are underseasoned, your buns are dry and bland, and you rely on 17 different topping options as a crutch to cover it up. No thanks.

Do Us A Something, Anything, Really

[Hey guys congrats! We won the Do Us A Flavor competition a few months ago with Biscuits ‘n’ Gravy, it was such an exciting and happy thing and not at all immediately pre-apocalyptic and I wish I had found the time to post a happy post about it but here were are, so let’s move on.]

Our nation has reached a critical juncture. We are faced with monumental decisions about how we  will progress as a country. Everything we thought we knew, everything we thought we could trust, is being dismantled and thrown into disarray before our very eyes. I am talking, of course, about the Lays Do Us A Flavor competition.

Just last week, I was walking through Wegman’s when what did I see on the shelf but a bag, no, several bags, of Lay’s Wasabi Ginger potato chips.

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In the year 2016, the very same Wasabi Ginger potato chips that had been eliminated by the voice of the American people three years before are sitting on the shelves ready to sneak into your pantries. And yes, I do think these chips are delicious and yes, I do think they deserve their day on the shelves, but I ask you, at what cost? The people have spoken and made their choice and the people chose Cheesy Garlic Bread potato chips. What message, then, does it send to the American people to place these Wasabi Ginger chips on the shelves? Do our votes not count? Are our voices not heard? Is the will of the people eternally destined to be trampled and oppressed by the whims and fancies of the potato chip establishment? Wasabi Ginger had a time and that time was the ’90s. I believe I speak for all of us when I say we must not go back in time. I believe the American people deserve more. I believe that if the red-blooded, natural-born American people decide that cheesy garlic powder tastes different from, and distinct from, and less establishment than, sour cream and onion powder, it is their God-given right to elect that chip over any other chip. The freedom to choose the flavor of the deep-fried potato slivers we cram into our mouths when we are super drunk or depressed or at a barbecue is what has always made America great, and what will continue to make America great for years to come. God Bless Lay’s, and God Bless America.

Guinness Potato Chips


I am so overwhelmed by potato chips right now. I have a backlog of potato chip reviews that would stress out the fucking Dalai Lama. But we have  a new site that I want to link to, and so all of these goddamned fast-food-flavored Pringles and reincarnated Lays Do-Us-A-Flavor rejects can take a fucking pause and let me say that these bizarre Guinness flavored potato chips are one of the most disgusting things I have ever eaten.

I almost feel irresponsible saying this, because I don’t “like” Guinness. I actually hate Guinness. I love beer but I hate all stouts and porters any anything of the sort. But I’ve given these disgusting chips like five chances and I stand by my decision. I defy any Guinness fan to try these ass-flavored chips and tell me they taste good.

Just to clarify, before today I have never, ever tasted a bad potato chip. Potato chips can certainly be not good. They can be less than enjoyable. But this is quite frankly the first time in my life I have had a freaking painfully, disturbingly bad potato chip. Actually, make that two, as I tried both Guinness and Guinnes + Chili flavor.  Spare yourselves.

Fiber One Fakeouts

Whatever massive food conglomerate makes Fiber One bars (they are so modest and heroic and humble they don’t even identify themselves on the wrapper) should be given the National Medal of Freedom for their tireless efforts to make low-calorie, high-fiber versions of most of the desserts I don’t allow myself to eat anymore.

First a warning about Fiber One products. They are so tasty, but you need to BE CAREFUL. You may have one Fiber One bar. If think you deserve a treat you may have two Fiber One bars. Three Fiber One bars? Ill advised. By extension, do not have four Fiber One bars. And for the love of christ do not, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, have five Fiber One bars. It is not good for you and it will not be good for you. Seriously just trust me on this one.

  • The Ultimate: The Caramel cheesecake one. The high-fiber snack of my dreams. Graham cracker crust. A cheesecake part that is sort of cheesecakey and instead more bready but it’s fakebread so I don’t even know what is happening. It’s technically maybe non-refrigerated dairy but I don’t even care.
  • The runners up:
    • The cinnamon coffee cake one – my gateway Fiber One bar, always in my heart forever.
    • Most of the brownie ones (but not the weird mint one) – I’m not big on chocolate as a concept but they are pretty good for fake brownies.
    • The lemon one – tastes a tiny bit metallic and is not as close to a lemon bar as other bars are to their namesakes.
  • Not my faves:
    • The strawberry cheesecake one – I am not a fan of strawberry gel in anything, from Pop Tarts to Nutrigrain bars to strawberry jam. If you are, go nuts.
    • The weird mint brownie one
  • Swing and a miss: The cranberry orange bread one. Flavor is ok but it’s just way too chewy. Too much chew =  no Fiber One fakebread illusion. We can’t have that.