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Purchased at: Pei Wei Asian Diner
Price: $3.75 (2 egg rolls)

Pei Wei is the carryout/more wallet-friendly version of PF Chang’s, a restaurant I’ve never actually been to. I’ve never felt the need to try it because Pei Wei is so damn good. These egg rolls are no exception.

I got two, but only needed to eat one. Of course I didn’t actually do this. They’re a lot different than most egg rolls I’ve gotten from Chinese take-out places. The meat in these egg rolls is GOOD. It’s cooked, ground pork, but it isn’t dry (a problem I find happens too often with ground meat). In fact, it’s really moist and delicious. There are a lot of different vegetables in these, too -carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, and scallions – and they’re all really good. I’m not usually a fan of mushrooms, but they’re cut small enough that they add flavor, but you don’t get any huge pieces of them.

The only downside to these is the fact that they’re greasier than I would prefer. They’re great, but felt a little weighed-down with grease. The filling has a lot of flavor and is pretty rich. Two for $3.75 made a good snack at a good price, but I was really full after I ate both of them.

4.5/5

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Purchased at: Kroger
Price: $3.59

I picked these up on a whim at the store earlier today and I don’t even know why. The picture on the box didn’t look appetizing and I hate Friday’s (but does ANYONE actually like it?). I go with my friends once a year and we always complain about how the food is mediocre and overpriced. But we keep on going, because, like the song in Fiddler on the Roof, it’s tradition.

The picture I took doesn’t look very good, either. They tasted better than I expected, though. The potatoes were nice and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The middles were a little “al dente,” but that may have been my oven. And it wasn’t terrible, in fact it was just about what I would expect to get from a frozen TGI Friday’s appetizer.

The bacon was surprisingly good. I, like many other food bloggers, really love bacon. I’ve had frozen bacon before (in Lean Cuisines and vegetable mixes) and it’s always been lackluster. It’s usually kind of soggy and floppy and fatty. Not here. This bacon is crispy and salty. In fact, it was the best part of these potato skins.

I’ll admit it. The cheese sauce scared me a little. It was neon orange and shiny…which aren’t qualities I usually want in my food. Construction barrels? Perfect. Cheese? Not so much. But, guess what? It tasted damn good.

Are these amazing? No. Do the bacon and cheese make up for the mediocre potatoes? Hell yes.

2.5/5

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Purchased At: Target
Price: $4.49

Before I get on with my actual review, I’d like to apologize for disappearing for almost three months. I had a crazy summer and barely had any time to sit down to eat a meal, let alone take the time to taste anything or write an actual review. But I’m back! I’ve settled into my usual college routine (doing the bare minimum, skipping as many classes as possible, and catching up on TiVoed reruns of “According to Jim”) and should be good to go. Anyway…

Back in the early 90s when I was a youngin’, trips to the mall meant two things: playing on giant plastic breakfast foods set up across from Hudson’s and warm, delicious cinnamon-roasted almonds from a little cart. Now, nearly 20 years later, trips to the mall mean clothes shopping and blowing money I don’t have. The plastic breakfast food playplace is still there, but now I see it as a germ-infested nightmare. And sadly, the almond cart is gone.

These honey cinnamon almonds from Target’s Archer Farms line of food products are the closest thing I can find to those sweet, sweet almonds I remember from so many years ago. They’re sugary and sweet (which is unsurprising, considering 3 of the first 4 ingredients listed are sugar, corn syrup, and honey powder), but not overpoweringly so. The outside is crunchy and brittle and adds a nice texture against the almonds. I definitely taste the honey, but the cinnamon is a little more subtle. For $4.49, you get a 12-ounce jar of these bad boys. I have to pace myself when I eat them because they’re so awesome. If I’m not careful, I’ll eat them all at once.

5/5