Category Archives: Product Reviews

Perdinci Meats

I discovered Perdinci Meats at a food show in the Javitz center. I contacted their representative because I was really blown away by the quality of their meats, especially the dried, cured pork loin, or lonza. They sent me a variety pack of sample meats, including salami, guanciale (pork cheek), pork belly, that delicious lonza, and some softer spreadables like nduja and finocchiola.

These babies were tucked away in my fridge for quite a while, and I was happy to see that they held up just fine and didn’t spoil with proper storage.

The lonza is still my favorite, but all of the other products are excellent. I highly recommend this stuff.

Allen Brothers Steaks

Allen Brothers sent me a nice package of steaks to try out here at the Food Lab.

That’s their Exclusive Prime 16-Pack, which will run you about $230. It contains four of each for a total of 16 items: (1) 6oz prime burgers; (2) jumbo steak dogs; (3) 5oz boneless rib eyes; and (4) 6oz filets mignon.

They also offer some massive, real deal steakhouse style cuts like these from their Instagram ads:

From what I understand they even supply some of these to well-known steakhouses and restaurants here in the city, so they’re not just home delivery.

Anyway let’s get down to business. You want to know if this shit is good! Okay so here we go – a review of each of the four items in the box.

The Rib Eye

While these are small at 5oz, they pack a nice amount of flavor from the intense prime-grade marbling. The best part is that you don’t have to mess around with any fancy cooking techniques to really nail them. Just sear in a hot pan with some butter or olive oil, maybe some garlic and herbs too for good measure.

The Filet Mignon

Same deal here. Small at 6oz, but really simple to cook and tons of great lean beefy flavor.

The Steak Dogs

Wow. These are amazing. When I first learned about Allen Brothers while hearing their radio ads, I immediately looked them up online and the first thing that jumped out to me were the images of these massive, juicy hot dogs. I wanted them so badly. Well here they are in all their glory, and I’m so glad I got to try them.

I decided to split griddle them, and add some pickles, jowl bacon, and jalapeños. Unbelievable!

The Burgers

At 6oz these are the perfect size for a really nice single patty burger.

I griddled with pepper.

Flipped and added three slices of American cheese.

Topped with jowl bacon and griddled jowl fat onions.

Assembled with pickled and jalapeños. Amazing

I really loved the burgers and dogs the most. I will be getting more of these babies for sure.

Golden Flake Chicharrones

My wife and I tried these pork rinds when we were in New Orleans. My snack obsession was satisfied with these delicious chicharrones that were flavored with Louisiana hot sauce.

I can eat pork skins all day, and I definitely recommend these if you come across them.

The End Hot Sauce

Pepper Palace on Chartres Street in New Orleans sells a proprietary reaper pepper and habanero sauce called “The End.”

It’s probably the hottest sauce I’ve ever had, and I can fucking take the heat like a goddamn champ when it comes to spicy shit. I had to sign a waiver before trying it. Allow me to describe what happened:

I took a small plastic spoon of the shit, maybe a third of the size you get when you take a sample of ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Just a dot, really. I placed it on my tongue and my mouth lit up with heat. To my surprise it actually had a nice smoky flavor to it. I experienced a jolt of energy, as if I just slammed a shot of strong espresso. That vibrance lasted almost a half an hour. When I swallowed the stuff, it warmed the inside of my body, as if I could feel it making contact with every surface my digestive system from my mouth down to my stomach. Heartburn, almost. Slightly painful.

Luckily I didn’t get any on my lips, and most of it stayed on my tongue before going down. I also didn’t develop any hiccoughs, to my surprise. But I can tell you that this sauce is pure insanity. If you’ve got the balls, give it a try. On our trip to New Orleans, we tried a lot of so called “crazy spicy” sauces, made with ghost peppers and reapers, but nothing came close to this shit. Crazy.

In case you’re wondering, New Orleans is famous for hot sauce. There are dozens of majorly famous brands that call the region home, such as Tabasco, Crystal and Louisiana Hot (obviously). When you walk the streets here, you are bombarded with all sorts of hot sauces for sale. I love it.

Zapp’s Chips

God damn these are some fucking great kettle cooked potato chips. I always like to try regional or local snacks whenever we travel. I was eyeballing these fuckers from the moment we landed in New Orleans.

We tried three flavors: Spicy Cajun Crawtaters, Voodoo, and Hotter N’ Hot Jalapeño. Our favorite was the Crawtators.

They had a good level of spice without getting overly aggressive. The Voodoo flavor was pungent and interesting. Good to dabble into as well. The jalapeño chips were good too, just not as unique as the other two flavors.

Momento Air Fryer

My wife and I picked up a Momento air fryer from Groupon. We are really impressed with how it works.

There’s no permeating smells throughout the apartment, no greasy end products on the food, and overall a really great crisp on everything we’ve tried so far.

My wife made egg rolls in the fryer first. They came out perfectly. Again no grease, as it only uses about a tablespoon of oil.

Next up we took some floppy leftover turkey skin from thanksgiving and crisped it up for a pasta, spinach and turkey dish.. Crunchy like potato chips!

Then we tried tots (along with some duck skin that had been refrigerated overnight after cooking). The tots went directly from frozen to crispy in just 20 minutes. Awesome.

Next up we “fried” some frozen dumplings. Another success.

Finally, we tried chicken wings. All I did beforehand was thaw them out from frozen, and toss with some flavored oils and spices. These took just 20 minutes in the air fryer, and they came out perfectly cooked, tender inside, crispy outside, and juicy as fuck.

I highly recommend this item.

Banza Pasta

I recently tried Banza pasta. Banza is made from chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), so each serving is packed with protein and fiber.

My wife used some leftover turkey from Thanksgiving to make a nice, simple, healthy and tasty dish. She diced up the turkey, added sautéed garlic spinach, and topped it with some turkey skin that she crisped up in our new air fryer (product review to come).

It was a great meal. I even added a little bit of gravy to my second bowl. But the pasta was great. You’d never know this wasn’t normal pasta. Great texture and flavor, and with the added bonus of being high in fiber and protein.

Ascend Jerky

Ascend makes a really tasty Thanksgiving Turkey flavored jerky.

This bag contained three servings at 80 calories a pop.

I ate the whole thing during lunch with a few other low calories snacks and veggies, and was completely satisfied for the whole day, through to dinner.

Really tender, and great “autumnal” flavor that incorporates all the herbs and spices you associate with a Thanksgiving feast. Highly recommended.

Perky Jerky

This turkey jerky is pretty nice. At just 80 calories per serving, it’s super healthy and satisfying too.

This is just a half serving pack (40 calories). I liked the Jamaican spice flavors on it. It was tender too. Solid brand.

Sweetwood Jerky

Sweetwood Jerky Co makes a really nice, tender, sweet and spicy beef jerky.

I was really happy with this one. Look at the pepper seeds! But that spice was nicely balanced by the sweet, so it didn’t blow up my taste buds. I highly recommend.