Friday, September 07, 2018


Update Review, 2018

Oh HalfPops.  I last reviewed them in 2012, but I've had them many times.

I keep giving HalfPops more attemps, because I really should love this product.  I love snacks.
 I love popcorn.  I'm the girl who eats all the kernels in the bottom of the popcorn bag, and loves naturally half-popped popcorn. But HalfPops?  Meh.  Even when they make incredible flavors.  Such a shame.
Black Truffle & Sea Salt.
"We couldn’t help but get a LITTLE FANCY with one of our flavors. We know truffle is a little more unique, but it’s probably our most addictive flavor."

Great flavor.  I like truffle.  It was almost even somewhat "cheesy".

But ... I don't like HalfPops!  Which just makes no sense, because I really, really should love them. But they were just crunchy and dry.
Brooklyn Dill Pickle.
"How can you possibly improve on a pickle? Take away the jar, harness the QUINTESSENTIAL PICKLE FLAVOR and pack it with plenty of crunch."

I still kept trying more varieties.  Dill pickle flavor!  How could I not?  I love pickles so much.  I want to love Halfpops so much.

And the verdict? I hated these!

I still did not like the format, the half crunchy not quite popcorn nor corn nuts that I should I love.  And this time I hated the flavor too.  Yeah it was dill-like, but, it most certainly was not for me.  My least favorite of any variety I tried, which is sad, as it sounded so promising!

Original Review, October 2012

Halfpops are a snack food that I want to love.  They sound like they should be incredible, basically a cross between a corn nut and popcorn.  I love popcorn.  I love crunchy things.  But ... I just don't love these.  I've tried them a number of times, hoping I was just not in the right mood for them, but I'm still yet to be really impressed.  They come so close ...
Natural Butter & Pure Ocean Sea Salt.
"It’s not surprising, but this is our MOST POPULAR item, and the flavor that started it all."

Crunchy, kinda fun to eat.  These were very salty.

But ... I want to like these more than I do.  I love the concept, but this flavor isn’t really that great.  Too simple.

Update Review: I really, really want to like these, but they aren’t quite interesting enough.  Not enough butter nor salt flavor to really … pop. 

Another Update Review: These are growing on me, but still not that great.  I love the crunch, just wish the flavor was better. 

Final Update Review: Taste almost burnt, too crunchy, not enough that are ... half popped.
Aged White Cheddar
"Did you know there is actually a fear of cheese? It’s true; it’s called TUROPHOBIA! To all the people with Turophobia out there, you probably want to pick another flavor."

Nice cheddar flavor, better than butter and salt version.  Crunchy, pretty decent. 

Update Review: Wish these were better.  I want to love them, I like the crunch, I like the cheddar, but they fall short.  Not enough cheddar flavor.

Another Update Review: Decent cheesey flavor, very crunchy, not bad.

Final Update Review: Ok, I'm over these.  Too crunchy, not enough flavor, not enough cheesyness, just not great, no mater how much I want them to be.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Air Canada, AC8462, Montreal to Boston, Business Class Dinner

Flight Details:

Flight #: AC8462
Departure: Montreal, 4:15pm (scheduled), 4:45 or so (actual, because, the navigation system went down, we had to pull over, and reset the circuit breaker?!)
Arrival: Boston, 5:37 (scheduled), 6:30 or so (actual, because, then we had no available gate. Because, sigh).
Seat: 2A, Business

I'll spare you a aircraft review, since I failed to take a photo anyway, and wasn't expecting to do a review.  CRJ-900, an actual comfortable seat, with power outlets, USB, and even wifi.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Friendly efficient flight attendant.

The flight experience itself was fine, save for all the drama ... broken nav system, no gate, etc, etc.  The quick like 45 min flight turned into much more.

But, I was pleasantly surprised by the cuisine.

Food & Drink

Before we took off our FA asked if we'd like a drink once underway, and she quickly brought them out once airborne.  We were also offered a meal, which I was not expecting at all.

It was all far better than I imagined it would be.
Sparkling Water, Sauvignon Blanc.
The wine choices were a merlot for red, or a sauvignon blanc or blend for white.  I went for the sauvignon blanc.

It was actually not bad.  Not acidic, not harsh, not minerally.  Also not too sweet.  Really enjoyable, too bad our flight was so short that I couldn't really have a second glass!
Smoked Salmon / Arugula / Potato Salad.
Along with drinks, we were offered a smoked salmon plate.  I accepted it, mostly out of curiosity.  I expected a tiny little appetizer or something.

Instead, it was a generous serving of smoked salmon, paired with undressed arugula, potato salad, and a wedge of lime.

The salmon I didn't actually care for, it wasn't smoky, and it was kinda fishy.  The arugula was fine, but, with no dressing, I didn't quite have a use for it.

But the potato salad?  Uh, I kinda loved it.  Big chunks of skin on red potato, cooked slightly all dente, slathered in a mayo dressing.  It was crazy basic, literally no other veggies, no token chopped celery, chives, or anything.  Literally, just chunks of potato in mayo dressing.  I'm sure the dressing had slightly more than mayo in it, as it seemed sorta like mayo-cream rather than just mayo, but, it certainly wasn't seasoned in any way.  And, we did not even have salt and pepper packets to jazz it up.

Yeah.  Crazy basic, generic, simple potato salad that needed seasoning.  That I liked.  I can't explain it.  Sometimes I go nuts over seriously low brow potato salad or macaroni salad.

Our trays also contained packages of salted almonds.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Milkshakes from Boloco

Yes, Boloco is a burrito place, but I'm here to talk about milk shakes.  If you care to read about the burritos, you can read my review of the lackluster burritos I had at a catered event.

Boloco's menu is burritos, bowls, and salads.  Yes.  But if you read further, you'll find smoothies and shakes, all made with fresh ingredients.  Totally random really, an odd match, but, I wanted to try them.

Shakes are available in only 4 varieties: 3 with skim milk and non-fat frozen yogurt as the base, the final one really is a smoothie not a shake, and I don't know why they list it otherwise, as it has no frozen yogurt, and is soy milk and fruit based.  So yes, the "shakes" are healthy shakes, froyo and skim milk as the foundation doesn't scream decadence.  The smoothies are built around fruits, fruit juices, vegetables, and raspberry sorbet.

None actually sounded like a flavor I wanted.  Because, well, healthy slant, not things like mini chocolate chip, although they do have a nutella version.

So, I modified the most decadent sounding one I could find, in an attempt to make a "real" shake.  The result wasn't great, but I'd still return sometime to try a new attempt, as the quality was high.
Jimmy Carter Shake (Sub Strawberry for Banana). Mini.  $4.50.
"All-natural creamy peanut butter, banana, skim milk, non-fat frozen yogurt."

It was a hot night, still 90 degrees at 9pm (!), and I wanted ice cream.  I went straight to one ice cream shop, but ... they had their freezers fail earlier that day in the extreme heat.  So I fell back on froyo.  I went to JP Licks, my old standby.  And ... their soft machine had run out. They had hard ice cream and yogurt of course, but, I really like their soft serve, not their hard serve!

So I decided a shake was in order instead, and ventured to Boloco next door, as I have a friend who raves about their shakes.  The options were nutella, chocolate, vanilla, or the "jimmy carter", with peanut butter and banana.

I opted for the later, but modified it, subbing strawberry, which I knew they had for the fruity smoothies, in place of the banana.  I wasn't in the mood for banana, having had Magnolia Bakery banana pudding every day for 3 days prior (review coming soon!), and the idea of a PB&J in shake form sounded appealing.  It was no problem to make this change.

I ordered the mini size, not listed on the menu in the store, but listed online, the size my friend said is plenty, and that too was no problem to do.

The shake was made to order, all fresh ingredients, and took a while, appropriately. 

It was ... fine?   But I really I wished I had left the strawberry out entirely, and just did a peanut butter shake.  The peanut butter flavor was nice, it was well made, nicely mixed, creamy.  But I wasn't into the fruity nature, certainly more berry forward than peanut butter, resulting in something that tasted a bit too much like a smoothie for me.

The mini size was $4.50, and I agree, is all you need.  The price seems high for such a small, unremarkable, item.  I think simple vanilla would be better, or, really, I just need to return when I'm in the mood for something fruity.
Boloco Inspired Burritos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato