Friday, February 28, 2014

Nana Joes

Nana Joes is a local San Francisco based granola company.  You can find them at farmer's markets, and a few assorted grocery stores in the area.  But I haven't actually had their granola, even though it makes up a majority of their offerings.  They also make a few other assorted snack foods, which I recently had the opportunity to try.

Like a good local company, they source from other local companies too.  Their chocolate comes from TCHO, the coffee from Four Barrel.  I believe all of their products are vegan and gluten-free too.
Orange Spiced Mixed Nuts.
"Orange spiced nuts are the holiday favorite! With pecans, walnuts and cashews these nuts have a spicy salt zing that can accompany any party. "

I love seasoned nuts, so I was really looking forward to these.  But I didn't like them.

The mix was mostly cashews and almonds, with a few walnuts.  I didn't find any pecans.  The seasoning was just really strange, a mix of orange, nutmeg, and other spices.  I get the seasonal appeal, but the flavors really did not come together for me.
Ocean Beach Granola Bar.
Next I went for the Ocean Beach Granola bar.  It starts with an oat base, adds crunchy TCHO cocoa nibs, is bound with almond butter, sweetened with maple syrup, and accented by decaf Four Barrel Coffee and cinnamon.

To call this a hard style granola bar is an understatement.  It was a rock.  Like, actually hard to bite into.  The cinnamon flavor was nice, but overall it seemed bitter.  Really not my thing.
Gluten Free Chocolate Oatmeal Cashew Butter Cookie.
After the earlier products that I didn't like, you might be surprised that I kept trying.  But for you dear readers, I try many things!  And this time, I was rewarded.

The cookie was a total surprise!  I like cookies of course, but in the realm of desserts, they fall at the very bottom of the list for me.

I went to take a bite, and it sorta crumbled into pieces.  It was super dry.  At this point, I was expecting to take a bite and move on.

But then I tasted it.  It was delicious!  Unlike a standard oatmeal cookie, it did not have large amounts of visible oats, rather, they had been ground up inside, I think because it was gluten-free and didn't use any substitute flours?  The flavor combination from the chocolate and cashew butter was really good.

I liked this far more than I expected, and I'd gladly eat another if I wanted a cookie.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Muffins, from Costco Bakery

Feel free to judge away as you read this, I would.

You know Costco muffins.  Maybe you haven't bought them at Costco itself, but if you have ever had a muffin at a coffee shop or from a corner store where they aren't baked in-house, there is a very, very good chance they are Costco muffins.

They are easily recognizable.  First, they are huge.  Seriously, 2x the size of something that would already be considered a large muffin.  The diameter is impressive.  And they weight a ton.

They come in a few flavors: standard blueberry, almond poppy, or apple crumb, and then for the chocolate lovers, there are chocolate vanilla, chocolate banana, or double chocolate chip for those who don't even want to pretend this is "breakfast" food.  And honestly, these aren't really breakfast food.  Sugar is the second ingredient in all of them, after flour.  They have about 50g of sugar each, helping make up their 700 calories.  I told you they were hefty!

I got a bit fascinated by Costco muffins after having one and uh, liking it.  I found out some terrifying details, like that they have a 45 day shelf life, once they are brought to room temp (which is after they've been frozen at Costco, and frozen in the warehouses before that).  They have many ingredients that are probably not meant for human consumption.  They are miracles of food science.  They last forever, even when barely wrapped up in flimsy plastic wrap.  They don't get crumbly.  They remind me of the mutant ice cream my dad discovered once that never melted.

[ No Photo ]
Almond Poppy Seed Muffin.

This was the first Costsco muffin I had.  And I liked it.  It was huge and dense.  Very moist, particularly on top, where it was kinda a bit gummy.  So generic, but totally endearing.  It really was exactly what I remembered muffins being.  I can't recall the last time I had this style of muffin in the past ... 10 years?  15?  They are nothing like homemade, nothing like what I get fresh baked at bakeries around town.

The completely amusing thing to me is that we have fresh muffins every morning at work.  They are house made.  They use real ingredients.  And ... I got sick of them long ago.  I passed up my office's fresh corn blueberry muffin in order to eat this Costco one.  I can honestly say I preferred the Costco one, although I'm hoping it was just due to the novelty and change.  I couldn't possibly like this thing based on its merits, right?

Anyway, back to the muffin.  The top was my favorite part.  Again, amusing, as it wasn't crisp, but rather gummy.  Kinda gross when I think about it.  But I liked it.  The sides and bottom were disappointing, a bit dry and over-brown.  This didn't matter though, since the thing was so ridiculously big that I still have plenty of muffin to eat by just consuming the top and the insides.  Just consider the edges and bottom as part of the wrapper :)

It was loaded with poppy seeds.  Seriously, so many seeds.  They added a delightful crunch to every bite.  The almond flavor is what really made it special.  Most poppy seed muffins are lemon, which I don't like nearly as much.  The almond flavor was just so nice.

It was also insanely buttery.  Well, I guess not buttery, uh, shortening-y.  Part of the magic to keep it moist, and part of why its fat content is through the roof.  These aren't really suitable for human consumption on a regular basis.

I don't care how much you judge me, I liked this thing.  If I was somewhere that had them, and I was hungry, I'd totally get another.  I sorta wish I'd gotten two when I got this one, particularly now that I know I can keep it for 45 days.  Shutter.
Ok, so maybe I went back to the corner store where I found the poppyseed muffin to get another.  The blueberry didn't look good, but they had only blueberry and chocolate banana when I went back.  Whoops.  Did I just admit that I went back for one?

The muffin seemed very basic, just a plain muffin with some blueberries in it.  It didn't have the lovely almond flavor that made the poppy seed muffin so special.  The muffin was again very moist and dense.  If you blindfolded me and fed me a piece of it, I would have thought it was poundcake, not a muffin.  And, that is where this falls down for me.  I haven't met a poundcake I liked.  And seriously, this was a poundcake.  The base way too sweet to really be a muffin.  If you like poundcake, you would like this.

The berries were impressive though, which I know sounds ridiculous, as I'm sure they were just frozen crap, but they were really moist and popped with fruitiness when you bit into them.

I was slightly fascinated by this muffin, mostly in how cakey it was, so I kept trying it, but pretty much hated every bite, and I certainly wouldn't get another.  Ojan, who loves blueberry muffins, also refused to have even more than a bite of this.  He independently deemed it a poundcake.
Chocolate Banana.
I got this at the same time as the blueberry, again, it didn't look good, and I don't really like banana muffins, but they didn't have my precious poppy seed, and if that muffin taught me anything, it was not to judge.  So I tried the chocolate banana.

It was as bad as it looked.  Dried out yet gummy moist on top.  The chocolate chips were all on top, the rest was just a plain sweet "muffin" base, totally uninteresting.  Again, it seemed like a sweet pound cake.  Likely the same base as the blueberry muffin.  It was banana flavored, but there was no evidence of actual banana - no chunks, no coloring, etc.  On top was also some lighter colored bits, I guess trying to be a streusel, but they were dried out and flavorless.

I tried to give this to Ojan,  but he wouldn't even try it.  Even though I hated it, I couldn't let a giant muffin go to waste.  With my expectations reset, I warmed up a chunk in the toaster oven.  Now it was a bit moister.  And since I was expecting cake and not a muffin, I served it with ice cream as dessert.  Far more appropriate.  Was it amazing?  No way.  Would I get another?  Definitely not.  But, it was salvaged.  Toaster ovens and ice cream can save just about anything in my world :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Sandwich Spot

Every once in a while, I get a serious craving for classic macaroni salad.  I'm talking the stuff that is mostly just mayonnaise.  Not aioli.  Probably not housemade.  It can come from a grocery store for all I care.  It can have a scary long shelflife.  Sometimes, I just really, really want macaroni salad.

I've been trying macaroni salad all over San Francisco, and have a list of places to try sitting on the back burner for when a macaroni salad craving hits.

The craving hit today.  And luckily for me, I had just seen a promotion in the Paypal app for The Sandwich Spot, offering up $5 of credit.  And, they were on my macaroni salad list.

Thus I headed there to check it out.  The place was bustling.  A longish line of patient people ordering sandwiches.  I'm not into sandwiches at all, but The Sandwich Spot gets really great reviews for their sandwiches, and they did look pretty good.  But I was there for one thing only: the macaroni salad.

I joined the line, and pulled up the Paypal app to check in (which is how you pay sooo easily).  Except, The Sandwich Spot did not show up!  Their other locations did, but not the one I was at.  There were signs everywhere saying you could pay with Paypal, and I knew I'd just seen it in the app the day before.  So I went to the register to ask about it.  The guy assured me that they do take Paypal, it just wasn't turned on.  By the time I got through the line, it would be ready.

So, I re-joined the line.  Waited, waited, waited while everyone's sandwiches were customized and toasted.  It occurs to me now that I probably could have just asked the cashier for the macaroni salad since it was already pre-scooped into containers, and the person who eventually took my order just grabbed it from the fridge behind the counter.  Next time.

When I got to the register ... they still weren't listed in Paypal, and the cashier who had told me it would be ok was no where in sight.  The guy ringing me up seemed lost, and I told him that the previous person said it just wasn't on.  He had no idea how to turn it on, and found the original guy, who came and turned it on.  I was able to check in.  But, then, my new cashier had no idea how to ring me up.  It was certainly a confusing experience, not as seamless as all of the other times I've used Paypal.  I have remarked about how much better Paypal works than any other mobile payment systems, but this was a bit of an outlier.  I can't blame Paypal, but having the staff not trained to use it definitely makes it harder.

Anyway. The Sandwich Spot is a bustling little shop, with a few seats at counters along the window, small tables with plastic chairs out on the sidewalk (sadly, not in the sun), and a constant line of people.  They sell mostly sandwiches, along with a huge selection of chips (seriously, like every brand imaginable, with seriously imaginative flavors), and a few salads.

They also have a single dessert: chocolate chip cookies.  I'm not a huge cookie person, but while I was standing there waiting for so long, the cookies were staring at me, so I had to try one of those too.

Overall, my food was fine, but not remarkable, and I'd consider going back, but I'm in no rush.

Update: And, I did go back to get the potato salad.  Again, the place was crazy busy.  If I liked sandwiches, I'd be really tempted to try them, since it was soooo bustling!  I used Paypal again, and this time it worked like a charm. And, protip, if you just wants drinks/chips/salads, you can skip the crazy long line!
Macaroni Salad.  $2.49.
The macaroni salad wasn't actually "macaroni", but rather little tiny tubes.  This seems to be a theme around here these days!  Both A.G. Ferrari and Deli & ... used the same shape.  Dressing seems to get into tubes better than traditional curved macaroni, so this seems like a smart move.

The pasta was nicely cooked, not mushy, not underdone.  There was also some shredded carrot, but no other vegetables or egg.  There was a bit of seasoning in the mayo-based dressing, and it was nicely dressed, not overdone, but still creamy.  It was topped with a generous sprinkling of black pepper, which I appreciated.

But overall, not much flavor.  It was certainly better than the crazy overdressed A.G. Ferrari version, but the veggies were less remarkable than the Deli & ... one.  My favorite so far is still from Fountain Cafe.

At $2.49 it was a fine price, and once I brought it home and added my mom's zucchini relish to it, I enjoyed it quite a bit.  I probably wouldn't get it again though.

[ Update: Except, I was the neighborhood and craving macaroni salad, so I did indeed try it again.  I felt the same way about it.  Decently executed, but there just wasn't much flavor, and it clearly needed my zucchini relish added to it. ]
Potato Salad. $2.49.
I opened my container of potato salad with glee - it was topped with bacon!  Everything is better with bacon, right?

The potato salad was very creamy, perhaps overdressed, but it didn't seem too mayo-y actually.  Perhaps there was sour cream in there too?  The red skin potatoes were included with their skin still on, decently cooked, not too mushy, not underdone, although I do prefer mine a little bit more al dente.  There wasn't any egg or veggies in the mix, although there were visible herbs.  And obviously the bacon on top.

Overall, it was fine, had a bit of tang, and I liked the bacon, but it wasn't the most exciting potato salad out there.  Price was great for a container of its size.

I brought half of it home, and just like the macaroni salad, I added my mom's zucchini relish to it to jazz it up.  I liked it more this way, particularly when served alongside some of her homemade pickles too!  Seriously, that zucchini relish is quickly becoming my favorite condiment, it has so many uses!
Chocolate Chip Cookie.  $2.50.
As I said, I'm not a huge cookie person.  Desserts? Yes.  But cookies are never really what I'd pick.  I did have a bit of a sweets craving though, and this was their only dessert option.

While waiting for Paypal to be turned on, I asked the cashier if the cookies were as good as they looked.  He assured me they were, saying he'd eat one every day if he could.  Another employee said he'd baked them fresh that morning, and that yes, they were amazing.

They were a very large size and looked quite soft, which is how I like my cookies, if I'm going to have a cookie.  So, I went for it.

It was an ok cookie.  Yes, it was soft, although still fully cooked.  Plentiful chocolate chips.  A pretty classic cookie.  But nothing remarkable.  I would have preferred a more interesting flavor, more buttery, or more sugary, or ... something.

$2.50 seems a bit pricey for a cookie.  Ok, it seems really pricey for a cookie, particularly from a sandwich shop.   I know that not everywhere is Quiznos offering cookies for $1.50.  And it was a huge cookie, but when you compare to the $0.75 also large version from a real bakery like Thorough Bread and Pastry, or the fancier $1.50 brown butter version from Back Yard Kitchen, another sandwich shop, The Sandwich Spot price just seems high.
The Sandwich Spot on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Legal Seafood

Legal Seafood is a bit of an institution in the Northeast.  They are a chain of seafood restaurants, known for being a bit more upscale than your standard chain restaurant, although still pretty casual style.  They've been around since the 1950's.

Most of the Legal Seafood restaurants are regular sit down establishments with waiter service, but they also have seafood markets attached to some of the larger locations that sell fresh seafood, and an online shop that will ship anywhere in the US.  The majority of the restaurants are in the Boston area, including the airport, which has full service restaurants as well as quick togo stands.  In addition to the normal restaurants, they operate several "test kitchens", which have more innovative menus.

I've been to Legal numerous times over the years, but I don't have notes from most of my visits, as they occurred before I started this blog.  I've never been blown away by a meal at a Legal Seafood, but it is generally pretty solid.  The menus are full of classic dishes, aren't very innovative, and it always seems pricey for what it is, but it is a dependable choice if you are in the area.
Cajun Seasoned Grilled Scallops ($8.95), Jalapeño Cheddar Polenta ($3.95), Seaweed Salad ($3.95)
On one visit to Legal, I wasn't looking for a large meal, and all of their regular meals are rather insane portions.  And, I didn't have a dining companion to split with.  So, I made myself a more reasonable sizes meal, out of several side dishes.  I actually thought it turned out to be the perfect size meal, and was quite happy with my picks!

I started with a skewer of grilled scallops.  Normally an add-on item that you can add to any entree, but you can also order it a la carte (although, the menu won't tell you this anywhere).  They can be customized with a bunch of different "flavors", including spices ("everything spice", cajun spice, chettinad spice) or sauces (red onion jam, shandong sauce, lemon chive butter, smoked shrimp butter).  I knew the scallops would be a bit bland without a sauce, so for additional flavor, I went for the cajun rub, which I thought would be a good compliment to the grilling technique.

They were medium sized scallops, not tiny bay scallops, but also not the large ones I was hoping for.  They were beautifully grilled, with very visible grill marks.  Sadly cooked all the way through, not mid-rare like I'd prefer.  There was no flavor to the scallops themselves, no signature sweetness I was looking forward to, and somehow the cajun seasoning really didn't amp them up at all.  I somewhat question if it was there.  I wish I had picked one of the flavored butters instead, but I'm not sure how that would work with a grilled item?

Since  I felt like the scallops really needed a sauce, so I asked for a side of tartar sauce.  The tartar sauce was mayo based, had lots of pickles, but wasn't really interesting.  I usually love dunking things in tartar sauce, but I didn't feel compelled to try much of this, and it really didn't go well with the scallops.  The tartar sauce is a signature item of Legal Seafood, sold in supermarkets even, so I was surprised that it wasn't more flavorful.

Overall, decent execution, but not the best quality product.  $8.95 for a skewer was a good price however.

I also got two of the regular sides.  I wanted something light, so I went for the seaweed salad.  It was highly unremarkable.  Not much flavor in the sauce, but the seaweed was at least fairly fresh tasting.  I wouldn't get it again, and $3.95 for the very small portion was a bit high.

My other side pick was the polenta.  I love polenta.  I was expecting a bowl of creamy polenta, not polenta cakes, but this was a pleasant surprise.  They had a great crust on them, well seared on the outside, but delightfully creamy inside.  However, they were very heavy on the cream and cheese, rather actual polenta, so I didn't really taste any cornmeal.  I like cream and cheese, but ... I did want to taste the corn.  Like the scallops, I wanted a sauce with them, even though the jalapeño provided a slight heat.  I tried using the tartar sauce, and it actually worked better on the polenta cakes than the scallops, but still wasn't quite right.  $3.95 for two large polenta cakes was a fine price.

I also had a few bites of my dining companion's grilled rainbow trout.  It was a very thin filet, but like the scallops, nicely grilled and quite moist.  It wasn't my thing, but the execution was good.

Also not pictured is our appetizer, the Bang Bang Cauliflower ($5.95).  It was battered, fried cauliflower in a kung pao style sauce.  Unfortunately, there was too much batter, so you couldn't taste the cauliflower at all, and the cauliflower that was there was hard and undercooked.  The sauce was sweet and unremarkable.  Very meh, not even worth a second bite.


On a prior visit to the area, I got delayed at the Boston Airport, so I took advantage of my extra time, and went to the full service sit down Legal Seafood in the airport.  I expected it to be like eating at one of the regular restaurants, but alas, it was not.  Service was indifferent, food wasn't very good.

We started with the clam chowder, a signature Legal Seafood item.  It had shockingly few clams, and the ones that were there were super rubbery and overcooked.  A surprise, as this is an item you can even buy online and have shipped to you, so I kinda assumed it was standard everywhere.  Really not good.

Next, we went for the fish and chips.  I'm not sure what the fish was, but the breading wasn't flavorful nor crispy, and the pieces were incredibly oily.  The fries and cole slaw were completely generic, and could have been from anywhere, and were not very good.  The tartar sauce had absolutely no flavor.   I guess we were at an airport, but the $16.95 price tag seemed high for the low quality.

Not a single thing we ate in this meal was any good, and I'm glad it wasn't my first experience with Legal.
Legal Sea Foods on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 24, 2014

Munchery Dishes by Chef Bridget Batson

As you know, I'm a fan of Munchery, a meal delivery service in the Bay Area.  The meals are designed to be heated up/finished by you at home, so the quality is much higher than standard restaurant delivery.

Munchery is not just one chef however, there is a fairly large group of chefs who work to create the menu items.  The experience of some of the Munchery chefs is really impressive, and I've been narrowing in on which chefs I most prefer to order from (dishes are always attributed to their chef).

I was really excited to hear that Chef Bridget Batson joined Munchery right before the holidays.  She was executive chef at Claudine and Gitane, and has brought a number of really great sounding menu items to Munchery, with a focus on more seasonal, lighter dishes.

Since I've reviewed Munchery many times before, I'll skip all of the general details, but if you haven't checked it out already, I highly recommend it - perfect for weeknight easy meals, and so, so much better than standard delivery.  If you use my invite link, you'll even get $20 off your first order.
Winter Chicory Salad with dates, wheat berries, ricotta salata. $6.95.
"This is a great combination of bitter winter chicories, sweet dates, wholesome crunchy wheat berries, ricotta salata cheese. Accompanied by a tangy whole grain mustard vinaigrette."

I'd been eating a very heavy diet for a number of days in a row, and really wanted something light and healthy.  I never normally go for salads, but this one did sound particularly tasty.

I really appreciated the assortment of chicories, many different sizes and colors.  They seemed mixed in their freshness levels too however, some were fresh and crisp, but others seemed quite wilted.  This was strange, as I ordered for the early 5-6pm delivery slot, and consumed it within a few minutes of it arriving.

Mixed in with the greens were a few slices of dates, and a sprinkling each of the wheat berries and ricotta salata.  I was really disappointed by how little of each of these components there were.  I was looking forward to the sweetness of the dates, the crunch of the wheatberries, and the salty cheese, but there was too little of any of them to add anything to the salad.

The dressing I didn't like, it was a very thick mustard, not balanced out enough, just like coating my salad in mustard.

This salad really made me sad, as it sounded so fantastic, but failed to deliver.  The $6.95 price was fine.
California Shrimp Cocktail with celery root remoulade & traditional cocktail sauce. $8.95.
"Shrimp are poached in classic Old Bay spices and served with little gem lettuces, celery root remoulade and traditional cocktail sauce. The remoulade is made of shredded celery root, cornichon, capers, crème fraîche, Meyer lemon and tarragon."

This seemed like the perfect sort of dish for Munchery to offer, since it doesn't require reheating.  And ever since the amazing shrimp cocktail from Swan Oyster Depot, I've been craving shrimp cocktail.  So I was really excited for this.

The presentation was good, with the shrimp arranged atop the greens, sauces on the side.  Nothing was jumbled up.

The shrimp however were rather moist, a bit slimy, and a strange texture.  It is hard to explain, they were not chewy or rubbery, which is what most often goes wrong with shrimp, but something was a bit off in their texture, they were actually mushy.  I guess that means they were undercooked?  They certainly had no snap.  They were also inconsistently cleaned, I found some bits of shell on them.

I did really like the lettuce they were served atop, fresh and crisp.  A mix of little gems and some other lettuces, I'm not sure what they were.  I really liked the lettuce in here more than the actual salad I ordered.

The cocktail sauce was fairly standard cocktail sauce, it could have used a bit more zing.  The remoulade was creamy, and had an interesting flavor from the celery root.  I liked the texture from the bits of cornichon and capers, certainly my favorite of the sauces.  There was also a lemon wedge on the side.

The $8.95 price was very reasonable for 8 shrimp, but overall, this was fairly mediocre, and I wouldn't get it again.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chocolates of Vermont from Lake Champlain Chocolates

I first discovered Lake Champlain chocolate when visiting my family several years ago at Christmastime.  At the time, I thought they were just a cute local chocolatier (my family lives in New Hampshire, their factories are next door in Vermont).  Since then, I've seen their chocolates nationwide, even at my local Whole Foods here in San Francisco.  I didn't realize they had grown so much!

I liked the basic chocolate that my mom gave me back then, so I was excited when I recently attended a wedding that had Lake Champlain's "Chocolates of Vermont" signature chocolate series as party favors strewn about the tables.  I scooped up one of each variety, each printed with a Vermont inspired motif.  They were good chocolates, and I'd gladly consume more of them.
Maple Crunch.
“Maple Crunch blends the iconic flavor of real Vermont maple syrup with a crisp, golden buttercrunch center — cooked in small batches, poured onto cooling tables, then hand-cut and drenched in pure dark chocolate. Custom-designed with a pattern of sugar maple leaves and wrapped in copper foil”

This is their best seller.

The dark chocolate was the same good, smooth, flavorful dark chocolate that I know them for.  Inside was a toffee-like chunk, not centered in my piece, so almost half of my piece was actually just pure chocolate.  The toffee did have a slight maple flavor, but I could have easily mistaken it as regular toffee.

Enjoyable, and I liked the mix of dark chocolate and sweet buttercrunch.  My second favorite.
Evergreen Mint.
“Deep luscious 54% dark chocolate with just the right hit of cool peppermint crunch. Crafted in small batches from the original recipe, custom-cast with a scene of an evergreen tree by a moonlit lake and wrapped in white-gold foil “

The chocolate base was again very smooth and creamy, but not as intense as I'd like.  Dark chocolate yes, but only 54%.  The peppermint came in the form of little tiny chunks of candy inside.  They added crunch, but not as much mint flavor as I'd like.  I would have preferred a more intense experience all around, darker chocolate, more mint flavor.

My least favorite of the series, and I wouldn't get it again.

Update: I had another, and this time, since I knew what to expect, I liked it much more.  I really liked the quality of the chocolate, it was smooth and had a deep flavor.  The mint still wasn't as minty as I'd like from a mint chocolate, but I appreciated the crunch from the chunks of peppermint, and the little pop of minty freshness they provided.

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Honey Caramel.

"Pure Vermont honey, kettle-cooked with sugars and fresh cream until golden, then cooled and placed by hand in a bed of rich dark chocolate. Custom-designed with a beehive-and-wildflowers motif and wrapped in yellow-gold foil."

The dark chocolate coating was quite nice, smooth, flavorful, fairly complex.  Inside was a surprise, as I mistakenly thought I had grabbed a Maple Crunch.  I read the description of that one, and expected something like a Butterfinger inside, but instead, it was more like toffee.  A vary hard chunk of sweet in the center.  I didn't taste any maple.  My notes at the time said it was still tasty, but not maple-y to me at all.  And then, when I went to write this up, I realized what went wrong.  I had the Honey Caramel, not the Maple Crunch!  Aha! Yes, it was a toffee like filling inside, and there wasn't any maple.  It all made much more sense :)  This was my favorite piece.