I finally made it to Taco Bell so I could try their new "Cinnabon Delights"... which are little balls of dough that are filled with Cinnabon frosting, then rolled in cinnamon-sugar. Kind of a faster-food version of a fast-food version of a cinnamon roll.
When I first heard of them, my reaction was to say "God exists. And he's working at Taco Bell. I love stuff like this... totally bad for you, yet utterly delicious. Much like so many things on Taco Bell's menu (Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, anyone?).
Here is what got me so excited...
Even the photo is orgasm-inducing.
But how does reality stack up?
First of all, none of my bites were filled with hot frosting goo as shown in the ads...
They were kind of mooshy inside... like the frosting goo had been absorbed or something. Maybe they had been sitting out too long? But they did taste like there was Cinnabon frosting inside, so I guess that's what's important.
But the bigger problem with these things is the texture. The sugar crystals are a bit big, so they add a grainy gritty feeling when you take a bite. Do not like. If they could fix this, I'd probably enjoy them a lot more because the flavor is pretty decent.
In the meanwhile, I'll just track down a Cinnabon shop when I have a craving for cinnamony goodness.
Of course the nearest Cinnabon is just over two hours away, so maybe time constraints or desperation will have me cruising Taco Bell after all.
Such is my lot in life.
Stop pondering how many licks it takes to get to the middle of a Chicken McNugget... because Bullet Sunday starts now...
• Blacklisted. As a James Spader fan, it was a no-brainer to add his latest television effort, The Blacklist to my DVR. But the previews and ads for the show kind of led me to believe that it was a bad Silence of the Lambs rip-off with Spader as a poor man's Hannibal Lecter, so I kept putting it off (there's already a television version of that running). Well, yesterday I finally got around to watching it... and am completely hooked. Yes, there are familiar elements here, but the show itself is so much more...
But the highlight is Spader, of course. Very few people could pull off this role in a way that's so darkly entertaining yet somehow likable. This... this... is everything the Hannibal television show should have been, but doesn't quite reach. Highest recommendation. If you've been missing it, the iTunes Music Store currently has a Season Pass for the show on sale for $35 so you can start from the beginning (and I recommend you do).
• Lion. If you haven't yet read about the lion cub that was rescued by two guys from the Modisa Wildlife Project in Botswana, here you go!
The TED Talk by the Modisa Wildlife Project's Mikkel Legarth is also worth a look.
• Faith. I... do not... have the... words... God exists, and he's working at Taco Bell...
I'll be trying these bad boys post-haste!
• Visits. Most "States I've Visited" maps are a binary "yes or no" type affair. Jeremy Nixon has come up with an alternative that provides a much better picture...
Red states are those you've barely visited. Orange states you know a little better. Blue states you've spent quite a lot of time in. Green states are those you know extremely well. Cool, huh? You can make your own map over at Jeremy's Defocus Blog.
• Dyslexic. I was very lucky that I was diagnosed early and got help when I was young enough to make a difference in my life. I'm also fortunate that my form of dyslexia is mild and I was able to train my brain to cope with it relatively easily. Still, dyslexia is something I have to deal with every day, so I was really happy to see this amazing project on Kickstarter called "I wonder what it's like to be dyslexic" which features a book that attempts to illustrate what it's like to struggle with reading. They've reached their funding goal, but such a beautiful and educational book deserves to be seen by everybody, so here you go!
More information can be found on Kickstarter.
• Storm. My thoughts are with everybody in The Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the region this past week. The devastation looks horrendous, and they are estimating the dead could top 10,000 people across the country. As I type this, the storm has landed in Vietnam, and is expected to cause heavy rains and flooding in the northern part of the country... including Hanoi, where I was visiting just last month...
Haiyan chart image taken from NOAA.
As if these storms aren't frightening enough, scientists are projecting that things are only going to get worse. Severe storms are going to form more frequently and be stronger than ever before. If science is right, life on this planet is going to have to change quite dramatically over the next century. Whether we like it or not.
See you in seven days.
I finally made it to Taco Bell to try their new "Cantina Bell" menu... which is supposed to be a "gourmet" selection of Mexican dishes.
My expectations were understandably low. This is, after all, Taco Bell.
I ordered the Veggie Cantina Salad with a side of guacamole and chips. The salad consisted of a bed of warm cilantro rice topped with black beans, lettuce, guacamole, roasted corn & pepper salsa, pico de gallo, and a cilantro dressing.
All I can say is bravo, Taco Bell... bravo...
The salad was excellent. All the ingredients were tasty, fresh, and of good quality. The guacamole was creamy and had good flavor. I loved the roasted corn & pepper salsa. The beans and cilantro rice were cooked to perfection. The dressing had a nice "tang" to it and tied everything together nicely. I would have liked to have had a little cheese sprinkled on top, but it wasn't a deal-breaker.
I can't wait to try the Cantina Veggie Burrito, which takes all the salad ingredients and wraps them in a flour tortilla that looks to be toasted. I'm betting it's even better than the salad...
This photo (taken from Cantina Bell) shows dead chicken in the burrito, which I'd skip.
Any one of the three sides (guac, salsa, pico de gallo) with chips and a Pepsi can be added for just $2!
The recipes for all this great stuff are courtesy of Lorena Garcia. Not only is she a famous chef who comes up with good recipes... she's totally hot and is a contestant on the current season of Top Chef Masters as well...
I can honestly say that my Cantina Bell meal at Taco Bell... YES, TACO BELL!... was as good as I've had at some finer Mexican restaurants, even though you're eating it with a plastic spork from a crappy plastic bowl. I will absolutely be eating at "Cantina Bell" again, and hope that the menu sticks around for a while.
If you need a quick meal and feel like some pretty good Mexican fare, give it a shot!
This morning I had grandiose plans to wake up early, unpack my suitcase (from four days ago), and do some chores that have been piling up over the last several weeks. Instead I read a really cool book about the Batman movies and ended up being 20 minutes late to work.
Sometimes things just don't go as planned.
Which is okay... except I'm going to be working all weekend, so my luggage and list of chores is going to be put off until next week. Heaven forbid I should get up early on a weekend to take care of stuff before a Toxic Biological Event starts growing in my suitcase...
And speaking of Toxic Biological Events...
What in the hell is happening over at Taco Bell? These new Cantina Bell items look fantastic and they have vegetarian options...
I haven't been this excited for shitty Mexican fast-food since Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes debuted!
Photo by Reddit user fybpm
Time for a trip to Taco Bell. Three Doritos tacos, substitute rice for beef please!
I just came back from London & Venice, then left for Los Angeles.
Now I'm back from L.A. and am heading off to Las Vegas.
Apparently my travel layovers are no longer in airports, they're at home. It's like I've gone back in time twenty years and I'm living out of a suitcase again. Except now I actually have a suitcase and can afford to stay in accommodations where I don't have to worry about getting stabbed in the middle of the night because somebody wants to steal my socks.
Though I did have my personal shampoo stolen while staying at a Holiday Inn just five years ago.
I suppose it was all my fault for stepping out to Taco Bell so I could try the new "Crunchwrap Supreme" that everybody was talking about. Except I had them substitute rice for the beef, so I guess it wasn't actually the same Crunchwrap Supreme that everybody was talking about after all. Still tasted good. Though it's probably impossible for anything with this much saturated fat content to taste bad. Especially when it's cheese-flavored saturated fat...
NOTE: Actual product will bear no resemblance whatsoever to this photographic fantasy.
Purple background is optional, and my not be available at your local Taco Bell.
I'm sure there's a life lesson here somewhere. I just can't decide if it's that you should never eat at Taco Bell... or you should never travel with your own shampoo and instead just use the crappy free stuff they give you at the hotel.
All I know is that they will let you take a full-size Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme through airport security. Try that with a full-size bottle of shampoo and you'll end up having it confiscated.
I'll leave it up to you to decide which is the bigger threat to National Security... but something tells me that the TSA has it all backwards.