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netfoodie.com- snack food reviews, recipes and blog.

Question- Do you tip the restaurant owner?

restaurant table setting

In the US, it’s generally accepted that when you eat at a restaurant, you must tip. The general guideline is 15-20%, more or less, and is based on the performance of the server. There are many differing opinions on gratuities, especially with individuals who have themselves been servers/waiters/waitresses.

I like to eat at mom and pop restaurants. At many of these restaurants, the owner or family will be the one serving your food. After you meal, do you tip the owner?

I feel uncomfortable tipping the owner of a restaurant. I feel like it’s almost an insult to the owner. Tipping carries an underlying connotation of class structure. You tip people that serve you. By tipping someone, you are implying that (for this interaction at least) you are above them. This is further cemented by the accepted salary for waitstaff which is $2.13 an hour in Texas. many waiters and waitresses depend on tips to make a living.

I do not own a restaurant, but as an entrepreneur, I consider restaurateur to be a position of prestige. By tipping the owner, you are lowering the class of the owner. I may be way off base here, but I don’t believe a restaurateur goes into business expecting to make tips. You figure out your costs and other variables and set your prices to make a profit. The owner is not being paid $2.13 an hour.

It’s stupid to assume that there aren’t restaurant owners out there that want/need that extra money. And if you like a restaurant, it makes sense that you want to help the restaurant stay afloat. I think a better policy would be to order extra food or dessert to go. Bring this food to a friend with a business card or takeout menu. Here’s the important part: be sure to tell the owner that you loved the food so much that you’re bringing some to a friend. You are supporting your local restaurant without tipping. Even more so, you are spreading the word about the restaurant and potentially generating more business. Do you think the owner would rather have your 5 bucks now or more people coming through the doors?

Do you think restaurant owners should be tipped?

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How to make Heinz 57 steak sauce

Easy Heinz 57 steak sauce recipe

Like Heinz 57 sauce? In a pinch or don’t want to shell out the cash? Here’s a (surprising) recipe to make a mock Heinz 57 sauce:

Ingredients:

 

  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 2/3 Cup Heinz ketchup
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 4 oz applesauce
  • 2 T Wish Bone Itailian Dressing

Directions:

  1.  Put all ingredients in blender and blend for 2 minutes on HIGH or until smooth.
  2.  Enjoy!
  3.  Be sure to keep the sauce in a container in the fridge.
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Hydrive Energy Drink- Kiwi Strawberry

 

Hydrive Energy- Kiwi Strawberry

Picture taken in my Global Cultures class via laptop webcam, heh.

Ah, another energy drink review. Must mean class has started up again! Today we’re trying out Hydrive Energy- Kiwi Strawberry “Alertness Formula”. I picked it up in the market on UT Arlington’s campus. I needed a pick me up and due to the campus’ recent switch to Pepsi, I was having a little trouble. Most of the issue was not being able to find a decent sugar free caffeine fix. I almost picked up a low carb No Fear drink, but struggled with the concept of imbibing on a drink by a defunct Walmart clothing line.

As a last chance effort to avoid this, I checked the other side of the shop and ran across a section of Hydrive Energy drinks. At first glance, they seemed to have answered a number of pleas for energy drinks:

  1. Low cal- it’s not sugar free, but has only 30 calories.
  2. $1.59- a lower price point is always happy.
  3. Non-carbonated- sometimes I just can’t stomach harsh carbonation in the morning.
  4. IT’S IN A FREAKING RECLOSABLE BOTTLE!- I actually have a conspiracy theory that drink companies WANT us to spill our drinks in class, go flat or warm up since we can’t close it and throw it in our backpacks. It’s warm, just buy another drink, right?

Thank you for thinking of me, Hydrive. It has a good taste, though a tiny bit oversweetened, with a bit of sugar free aftertaste. You come to expect taste as an afterthought when it comes to energy drinks, but Hydrive exceeds that expectation. With 145 g of caffeine- along with the usual array of taurine, guarana and whatnot- it completely satisfies my caffeine fix. In fact, I think it works better since it’s smoother, and quicker, to drink.

Hydrive Energy is the answer to my energy drink dreams. Hydrive Energy gets a 4 out of 5 awesomes!

Rating= 4

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Gardetto’s Chipotle Cheddar Snack Mix

Gardetto’s Chipotle Cheddar snack mixI’m always on the lookout for cool new snacks- especially on my lunch breaks. That’s right, I’m working hard for you guys while even while I’m on break. This bag of Gardetto’s Chipotle Cheddar snack mix is what caught my eye today for lunch.

Chipotle flavor can really be hit or miss with me. It can range from spicy to smoky to salty. Luckily, the addition of cheddar to the mix really compliments the smokiness of the chipotle well. It’s not too spicy and packed with flavor. They’re addictive enough that my coworker Parker finished 3/4 of the bag himself. You owe me a bag you bastard.

 

4 out of 5 awesomes!

Rating= 4

 

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Loacker Tortina Chocolate Wafers

Loacker Original TortinasOh yeah! Time to review something that never gets old… CHOCOLATE! And Loacker Original Tortinas does not disappoint! I picked one up at my local World Market (great place to pick up weird candy from around the world) after dinner one night.

How’s it taste? Take a Kit Kat Bar, make it round and make it awesomer and you’ve got Tortinas! The chocolate is much richer and meltier which is nothing short of fantastic. The only negative thing I can say is that they should be bigger. Like… Frisbee sized.

Must. Eat. More. Chocolate. Discs.

Loacker Original Tortinas 2

 

4 out of 5 awesomes!

Rating= 4

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Digiorno Flatbread Melts: Chicken Parmesan - microwavable folded pizza with less mess and burning

Digiorno flatbread melt

The personal flatbread melts are a new addition to microwavable pizza. As you can guess, I really like pizza and since I can’t really cook the microwave’s one of my best friends in the kitchen. There’s always 2 main problems with microwaving pizzas is temperature control and messiness. I hate being attacked by molten cheese!

There’s different cooking times depending on what wattage the microwave is. I didn’t feel like pulling out my microwave to check what it uses but I know it keeps  hot so I started off with the shortest cooking time, and my cheese was all good and brown 15  seconds early so it cooked for 2:30. It was fun to watch because the middle of the pizza puffed up 2-3 inches tall while cooking but only 2 little pieces of topping fell off.

The directions tell you to turn it over into a triangle shape, and the toppings stayed in place again. The bread felt thick and was chewy in a satisfying way, and the parmesan tasted stronger then the chicken. And when eating it, the whole thing stayed together and didn’t fall out the bottom.

There’s no way a hot pocket could stand up to these flatbreads!

Rating= 5

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Proof that there’s no such thing as too much chocolate: Easter egg cake balls

Finished egg cake balls

My favorite thing about Easter is the candy and treats. I wanted to make something cool for Easter but it seems there’s only so much cool stuff that can be done to cakes. Then I learned about a Dallas company that sells cake balls. There’s looked fancy but I found a recipe online that basically said: bake and crumble a cake, mix with frosting, form little balls and dip in chocolate. Sounds easy enough, right? I decided to make it more dificult but making them into chocolate cadbury bunny eggs with frosting as the yolk and egg whites.

To start off I baked a regular box chocolate cake, I used a regular 9 x 11 rectangular pan, and let it cool for about 10 minutes. While it was still warm on the outside I crumbled at first half the cake into a large bowl. I did half in case something went horribly wrong but I think I could’ve easily done all of it. The recipe said to do it while it’s still warm, but be careful because for me warm turns to scalding hot in the middle.

half eggI mixed in the frosting in small batches at a time. For a small bowl of cake it took a few scoops of frosting. i used vanilla frosting and the easiest way to mix was with my fingers. I found out that if you use enough frosting to make it sticky, then you don’t see the frosting. If I use a lot of colored frosting then it kind of colors the cake but not very strongly.

It took me quite awhile to figure out how to make the eggs work like they were supposed. I used plastic eggs for my molds, it just turned out that the camo ones opened long ways instead of across the middle like normal eggs. I packed one side of the egg to a little over flowing with the cake, and the otherside packed thickly with a little space to put a little yellow and white frosting. Then i closed the two egg halves together until they closed, then slowly pulled each side apart. If I had enough cake in there, then it stick together.

whole chocolate eggAfter a bit of a mess and some research, I learned that you need to freeze the cake balls before dipping them in chocolate. The cake balls are pretty wet when you first make an egg or just roll it into little balls, I can see them being perfect at that point to roll in coconut or powdered sugar. I made 14 successful eggs, and used 8 cubes of chocolate bark to coat them. I heated the bark in the microwave, which requires frequent reheating, and thickly coated the eggs. They ended up bigger then the plastic eggs, don’t melt at room temperature and were absolutely loved by everyone who ate them.

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The Confectional- mini cheesecakes that’ll make you hug your delivery guy.

Confectional Cheesecakes reviewAll I want for Christmas is a box full of cream cheese and love. The Confectional is a company based out of Seattle that’ll ship a heavenly(and surprisingly heavy) box of mini cheesecakes straight to your door. All they ask in return is that you confess your love for cheesecake. And these aren’t your average cheesecakes either! With a whopping 16 flavors right now, this is a great gift for any discriminating foodie in your life. You can mix and match as little of a box of 9 and as large as 20.

For our box, we chose an assortment of Seattle’s NY style, Caramel, Triple Berry, Mexican Chocolate and their in season Pumpkin cheesecake. Here’s our thoughts on each flavor:

Seattle’s NY Style- we had to of course start off with a NY style as a base. The cheesecake was sweeter than expected, but not overly sweet. You know you’re eating dessert and not a bastardized quiche-y concoction. It’s dense and creamy, how a cheesecake should be. Just enough crust- I hate a cheesecake that tastes like half crust.

Pumpkin- this is their seasonal flavor and the most anticipated one in Angela’s opinion. The pumpkin cheesecake was denser than the NY and had almost the texture of a pudding cake. It was well spiced, but the pumpkin by itself was somewhat underwhelming. Fortunately, their signature sweetened sour cream topping gave it a nice tart contrast that tied it together very well. I loved the little green stalk!

Confectional Cheesecakes reviewCaramel- this is a great choice if you prefer your cheesecake sweet. It has a caramel flavor blended into the cheesecake and also seemed to have a layer of caramel between the cheesecake and the crust. Some parts of the crust had a satisfying candied taste and crunch. Here, the crust tastes like a cookie!

Triple Berry- this one is my favorite! It has strawberries, blueberries and raspberries mixed into it. I really appreciate the whole berries in the cheesecake. The berry flavor is very prominent. It all rests on a chocolate crust. I’m usually not a fan of fruit and chocolate, but I was pleasantly surprised! The netfoodie favorite!

Mexican Chocolate- we ordered this one as test of one of their more wilder flavors. It’s a chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate crust and a sprinkle of cinnamon and cayenne to give it a little kick. You get more of a spiciness than I expected, towards the end. The chocolate cheesecake was well balanced and wasn’t overly chocolaty unlike many competitors. Very creamy!

Confectional Mini Cheesecakes review

Overall, these The Confectional’s mini cheesecakes are a great indulgent treat for you or an awesome gift for a friend. 4 out of 5 awesomes!

Rating= 4

You can check out the other flavors and place your order at http://www.theconfectional.com/

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Elotes- corn in a cup and so much more…

Elotes mexican roasted corn in a cupThis is a revisit of an older post that I liked and thought deserved another view. The revisit is one part getting an engaging post/picture to the first page and two parts trying to get my busy(read LAZY) ass back into more frequent updates. Enjoy the blast from the past!

This is one of those things that I’ve been wanting to review for netfoodie since the site started. I’ve had it before, but I’m sure many of you out there haven’t. Elotes are a popular Mexican street food. I got mine from a cart in front of Fiesta mart for 2 bucks.

Roasted corn in a cup, big deal you say? The thing that makes this treat different is what you put on it. And that’s just about everything.

List of elote toppings:

  • Heavy mayonnaise
  • Sour cream
  • Butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Hot chili sauce
  • Lemon pepper (this one’s a Texas thing)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

And of course, I went for it all! Yes, I got a styrofoam cup full of EVERYTHING!

Taste? Yes. Man this stuff’s got a lot of flavor. Each bite is a little different than the last. Here’s a sample of what to expect. First you taste the sourness of the sour cream and lime juice. Then the creaminess of the butter and the mayonnaise. Then you taste the cheese. Then it’s spicy from the chili sauce and the pepper. Then you get the sweetness of the corn. And that’s all in one bite!

And yes, I’d get it again. It’s kind of like an cow exploded in your mouth while eating some corn. Dairy is part of the food pyamid… And hey, corn is a vegetable, right?

Elotes get a 4 out of 5!

Rating= 4

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Digiorno For One Garlic Bread Crust supreme pizza

I love pizza, but not how long it takes it to cook. On the other hand you take your chances when trying to make the microwave as good as the oven. The Digiorno For One pizzas say on the box that it’s microwavable so I put it to the test. I used the max cooking time on the box, 5 mins because I like crispy pizza.

I’m happy to say this pizza beats out a lot of other microwave dishes. The crust wasn’t crispy but it wasn’t soggy and the pepperonis were crispy. The toppings were in place and hadn’t all fallen off in transit. The garlic crust was lightly flavored but the pizza sauce was well seasoned.

In this case, the microwave didn’t let me down! Between the thick crust and toppings, that pizza could actually be a whole meal from the microwave.

Rating= 4.5

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Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce

This is one of the products that were sent to us to try. It bills itself as an “All purpose Sauce” and that description is not far off. This stuff is great on burgers, chicken and most meats. It is slightly sweet flavor blends most harmoniously with food. It achieves the state most condiments should strive for, enhancing flavor without over powering the flavor of the food itself.

My only complaint is a minor one at worst. Even though it lists fries and steaks as items on which to use this semisweet sauce, I would not recommend it. Its sweetness overrides the tradional flavor of the steak and makes fries almost dessertlike. I do see on their website that they offer a “spicy” version, and though I have not tried this version I think a bit of spice would correct the sweetness issue with steaks and fries.

Nonetheless, I would  actually purchase this sauce again, and really enjoyed it on everything else. So I would give it 3.5 stars.

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Bennigan’s going out of business! Holy crap!

Bennigans going out of businessThis news is seriously coming out of nowhere for me! According to news floating around, Bennigan’s is closing it’s doors IMMEDIATELY. No more Monte Christo sandwiches or Irish Haystacks for you! It sounds like the franchise restaurants still have a chance of staying open though.

From what I’ve been reading on various blogs, I seem to live near the only Bennigan’s with good food. Anyone else like Bennigan’s or am I the only one eating there?

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Texas Starbucks closings *whimper*

Starbucks Texas Closings

In case you haven’t heard, Starbucks is closing 600 stores nationwide due to economic woes. The Huffington Post released a list of all of them today so you can find out if your favorite cute barista may be displaced! There are 4 closings in Arlington, TX alone!!

Here’s a list of the Texas Starbucks(es?) that are closing soon:

TEXAS

6236 SOUTH ARLINGTON 1201 W ARBROOK ARLINGTON TX
6299 COOPER & GREEN OAKS 5435 S COOPER ARLINGTON TX
6301 COLLINS & GREEN OAKS 2733 N COLLINS ARLINGTON TX
9540 MATLOCK & BARDIN 4645 MATLOCK ARLINGTON TX
6403 S CONGRESS AND ACADEMY 1007 S CONGRESS AUSTIN TX
14121 MOPAC & SLAUGHTER 5000 W SLAUGHTER AUSTIN TX
9675 HWY 83 & BOCA CHICA 100 EXPRESSWAY 83 BROWNSVILLE TX
9300 US 377 & US 67 300 W COMMERCE BROWNWOOD TX
11558 SPID & WEBER 3920 S PADRE ISLAND DR CORPUS CHRISTI TX
11943 STAPLES & DODDRIDGE 3738 STAPLES CORPUS CHRISTI TX
6262 GREENVILLE & MATALEE 3715 GREENVILLE AVE DALLAS TX
6280 PRESTON & BELTLINE 14891 PRESTON RD DALLAS TX
6370 LOVERS LANE & GREENVILLE AVE 5500 GREENVILLE AVE DALLAS TX
6372 CAMP WISDOM RD & HWY 67 3431 CAMP WISDOM RD DALLAS TX
6387 SKILLMAN AND AUDELIA 9090 SKILLMAN ST DALLAS TX
10758 NORTHPARK MALL II 8687 N CENTRAL EXP DALLAS TX
10759 LBJ & MONTFORT 5631 LBJ FWY DALLAS TX
10877 ILLINOIS & WESTMORELAND 3403 W ILLINOIS AVE DALLAS TX
14144 COIT & 635 7995 LBJ DALLAS TX
6963 PLEASANT RUN & HAMPTON RD 900 N HAMPTON RD DESOTO TX
8135 CEDAR RIDGE & WHEATLAND RD 107 S CEDAR RIDGE DR DUNCANVILLE TX
13356 MONTANA & MCRAE 9615 MONTANA RD EL PASO TX
6282 SPRING VALLEY & MIDWAY 13901 MIDWAY RD FARMERS BRANCH TX
10057 CAMP BOWIE & HULEN 4603 CAMP BOWIE FORT WORTH TX
10086 HULEN MALL 4800 S HULEN ST FORT WORTH TX
14145 MCCART & ALTAMESA 6221 MCCART AVE FORT WORTH TX
13928 FM 423 LEBANON 5605 FM 423 FRISCO TX
14096 WARREN & DALLAS PKWY 6801 WARREN PKWY FRISCO TX
10295 FIREWHEEL TOWN CENTER 470 CONEFLOWER DR GARLAND TX
6274 SHEPHERD & FARNHAM 3821 SHEPHARD HOUSTON TX
7944 I-45 & RED RIPPLE 6001 N FWY HOUSTON TX
9615 HWY 249 & ANTOINE 12503 TOMBALL PKWY HOUSTON TX
10056 MAIN & DALLAS 914 DALLAS ST HOUSTON TX
10650 FANNIN & PRESTON 1018 PRESTON HOUSTON TX
11562 WESTHEIMER & BRIARGREEN 14333 WHEIMER RD HOUSTON TX
13479 BELLAIRE & WILCREST 10611 BELLAIRE BLVD HOUSTON TX
13672 FANNIN & MACGREGOR 6400 FANNIN ST HOUSTON TX
11563 DEERBROOK MALL 20131 HWY 59 HUMBLE TX
11072 HWY 77 & GENERAL CAVAZOS 1401 E GENERAL CAVAZOS KINGSVILLE TX
11565 ZAPATA HWY & CHESTNUT 2201 CHESTNUT LAREDO TX
2977 TOWN EAST MALL 2228 TOWN E BLVD MESQUITE TX
13797 HWY 271 & WHITE STREET 901 S JEFFERSON AVE MT PLEASANT TX
13395 LAMAR & LOOP 286 3855 NE LOOP 286 PARIS TX
11074 I-27 & HWY 70 1301 I-27 NORTH PLAINVIEW TX
6288 PRESTON & HWY 121 8600 PRESTON PLANO TX
6666 COIT AND HWY 190 340 COIT RD PLANO TX
10576 COLLIN CREEK MALL 811 N CENTRAL EXWY PLANO TX
13838 HWY 75 & PARK BLVD 1881 CENTRAL EXWY PLANO TX
11301 I-35 & RED OAK 502 N I-35 RED OAK TX
10528 CHERRY & BUSINESS 35 1205 HWY 35 N ROCKPORT TX
11302 HWY 59 & HWY 36 27943 SW FWY ROSENBERG TX
11982 59 & HWY 762 24406 SW FWY ROSENBURG TX
6221 SAN PEDRO/BITTERS 13429 SAN PEDRO AVE SAN ANTONIO TX
10924 RIO GRANDE & LAURENT 1310 E RIO GRANDE VICTORIA TX
13332 VALLEY MILLS & WACO DR 4300 W WACO DR WACO TX
9930 GREEN OAKS & HWY 183 500 B HWY 183 W WHITE SETTLEMENT TX
14246 US 287 & MAURINE 2009 MAURINE ST WICHITA FALLS TX

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Pogos potato cheese sticks review

Pogos Jalapeno Cheddar, White Cheddar and Hickory SmokedThe nice people at Medora Snacks sent us some samples of their new Pogos potato cheese sticks. Thanks guys! These are wholesome snacks made with all natural ingredients. A quick peak at the nutritional facts shows that these are actually better for you than most other snacks.

So what about taste? Taste is the most important part of a snack food and Pogos passes that test hands down. I was a little confused at first about the flavor but soon realized why. Pogos really taste like the flavor they claim to be. When I tasted the Hickory Smoked Pogos, I was expecting the same generic barbeque flavor that you get with most chips. No, these actually have a smoke taste to them. The White Cheddar Pogos(my favorite) taste like real cheese, not some fake orange stuff. And the Jalapeño Cheddar definitely has the kick of jalapeno. And it’s a spiciness that lasts.

Pogos have a very satisfying texture and crunch. They are not some flimsy little chip; these sticks have a serious crunch.

Pogos potato cheese sticks gets a 4 out of 5 awesomes. Pogos have a satisfying crunch and flavor that won’t stretch your waistline!

Rating= 4

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Join the Arby’s Rescue Brigade!

via email:

America is in desperate need of a fast food revolution, and the Arby’s Rescue Brigade is here to save the day! The Brigade-a dedicated group of enthusiasts whose mission is to save the world from ordinary fast food-is searching for a new member to help prevent everyone from falling victim to another boring burger.

In order to apply, individuals need to go beyond the typical cover letter and resume. Applicants must prepare creative videos explaining their passion for Arby’s and why
they’re fit to join the Brigade. The most qualified contender will win the opportunity to star in an upcoming Arby’s commercial and free Arby’s food for a year. The deadline to apply for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is quickly approaching - all entries must be received by June 30th!

Arbys Rescue BrigadeFor more information about how to apply, visit www.arbysrescuebrigade.com and click on the video contest link.

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