March 27, 2011

Newport Kroger Marketplace: International Foods

On today's adventure to Newport KMP I explored the exotic International Foods section.  First, may I recommend Maria cookies.  I wouldn't call them a sugar cookie or a shortbread cookie, more like a crispy wafer sweetened to perfection.  Marias also taste delicious with almond butter and dark chocolate sandwiched in between.

Next up is Ricanelas by Gamesa.  Very similar to graham crackers, but again, not as sweet and a bit crispier.  Sugar crystals are sprinkled on top and they have a very strong cinnamon taste.  Think Red Hots but not quite as intense.  Instead of cinnamon flavor it looks as though the cinnamon is grated from a whole cinnamon stick and sprinkled on top of the cracker.  Ricanelas are great paired with a cup of herbal tea.

I snapped a few additional pics of the international foods section, picked up some great ideas for themed meals.  I also noticed the prices on items (party crackers, for example) are cheaper in the International food section than in the regular food aisle.  Next week I am going to try buying similar products, one from International and one from regular foods, and perform a taste-test and price comparison.

Also, cantaloupe is for sale, $1.99 each.  I tried a sample and it was delicious.  Does this mean spring is here?

That just about wraps up todays trip but I want to leave you with a picture from a couple weeks ago.  It was Saturday afternoon and I stopped in for a quick trip.  I was in the seafood area and noticed one of the chefs placed a fresh platter of some type of sandwich wraps.  This immediately caught my attention and I walked over to get more information.  I asked if the wraps were free and conversed with the chef for a bit.  It was a breakfast burrito made with chorizo sausage, sorano peppers, cheese and a few other ingredients which have escaped my memory.  By far the BEST breakfast burrito I have ever tasted.  Newport KMP employs extremely skilled culinary artists.  I would pay good money for this dish in a restaurant.  Behold!

March 6, 2011

Newport Kroger Market Place: Magic Pop!

There's always something new to taste and/or see at Newport Kroger Marketplace.  Today I discovered Kims Magic Pop; which started out as a spectacle to see and then a delight to taste. 

The Magic Pop journey all begins in a plastic bag with small pellets made of wheat, rice and corn.

The Magic Pop machine was heating while the friendly worker explained what the pellets are made of and how the contraption itself works.  The pellets go in and they are heated and compressed which causes them to expand.

 When the machine begins to produce the discs they are small, about a 3 inch diameter.  You may be wondering why there is a 3-wall plexi-glass shield in front of the machine...this is for safety reasons.  Once the pressure and heat build to a certain point, the discs get larger and are forced out of the machine with a much higher pressure causing them to hit the shield and land in the wok.  As you can imagine this draws quite a crowd of 10-13 year old boys, but I'm sure I wasn't the only 20-something in awe by this contraption.

You can see in the picture above the disc to the right has just ricocheted off the shield and is on it's way to the landing zone.  The friendly worker had to duck to stay safe, he should probably be wearing safety goggles.

The consistency and texture of the finished product is not exactly like anything I have ever tried.  I'd say the best way to describe it is as a cross between a cheese puff and a rice cake.  More similar to the Quaker mini-rice cakes in thickness.  Flavors are plain, onion, and strawberry.  The plain and onion taste delicious dipped in hummus and the strawberry is wonderful topped with chocolate hazelnut spread.  They are also a low calorie and fat free food.

The discs are about 6in diameter and the bag has about 18-20 discs, price is $3.99 at KMP
Magic Pop entertained me for about 15 minutes during my shopping trip this week.  I walked around the cheese island and tried some other samples, finished the rest of my shopping and made my way to my car.  Just when I thought my trip couldn't get any more exciting, I saw this in the parking lot:

Yep, someone hand-painted their Nissan sedan with impressionist flowers.  It was lovely and a sure sign that spring is on its way.  Note how the artist represented the "C" on his license plates, go Bearcats!

March 5, 2011

Bockfest= beer and happy people

Bockfest 2011 kicked off last night and continues through the rest of the weekend.  We had a great time, and it all started with a ride on the hoppin' Bockfest Yellow Bus Shuttle.  Our ride was complete with a bagpipe playing fellow passenger.

Bus runs until 1am Fri/Sat and 7pm Sunday

We hopped on the bus at 13th and Main and then headed to Milton's on Sycamore, down a big scary hill to Bockfest Hall where we unloaded and re-loaded a bus chock full of Bock beer drinking delight.  The next stop on the route took us to our anticipated destination: Grammer's

This was my first-time at Grammer's.  They did it up right for Bockfest and had a packed house in additional to several tents in their outdoor area.  The evening would have been admittedly better sans the non-stop rain, but the bock beer made everything better. 

Hudepohl Bock, Schoenling Bock, Moerlein Emancipator Bock

See how happy:

We ended up staying at Grammer's for the duration of the evening and I found myself engaged in some interesting dialogue about blogging and life in general.

I think I may stop by other Bockfest venues tonight and and hit up the Cafe De Wheels, I hear they have great burgers.  And when it was all said and done I can summarize the evening as follows:

And pretzel necklaces aren't too shabby either:

Go to Bockfest, it's fun!