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The Only (Sweet) Condiment You’ll Ever Need: Jif Chocolate (or Nutella if you must)

The Only (Sweet) Condiment You’ll Ever Need: Jif Chocolate (or Nutella if you must)

Nutell and Jif Chocolate are outrageously deliciousThis will likely come as a surprise given my affection for food items that reasonable adults shouldn’t really be eating, but I only recently tried Jif Hazelnut Spread (yes, it’s just Nutella in an easier to manage container) for the first time.  I might run a little behind the times in the spreadable-morning-type-foods category – I didn’t have my first bagel until I was 20.  (In my household, all “religious” foods were shunned for fear that consumption would cause radical evangelism.)  I’m pretty sure I had Nutella once before – in a NYC-street-fair crepe, paired with bananas and powdered sugar.  However the Nutella didn’t really stand out to me at the time, as there was a lot going on in that concoction, and one has to use discretion when evaluating street fair food.  So when I stumbled upon what appeared to be an empty bottle of Jif that had been refilled with chocolate sauce, my expectations were low.  I threw a piece of oatmeal toast in the TO (that’s what toaster oven owners refer to their TOs as) and enjoyed a culinary delight that combined the warm crunchy texture of peanut buttery toast with the debauchery of drink/eating a candy bar that’s been on the dashboard in direct sunlight for a little too long.

As I discussed my new find with other folks, I heard the same story over and over again: “yeah, that stuff is delicious, but don’t be fooled – it is NOT good for you!”  Luckily, I was able to sniff that one out without any research – my keen intuition suggested that spoonfuls of chocolate sauce might not be the nutritional equivalent of broccoli.  Basically this spread tastes like a Toffifay – which on taste alone had a chance to make this esteemed list– but without the pain in the ass of the worst packaging in the candy industry.  Put another way, it tastes like that damn hazelnut coffee smells – without the pain in the ass of drinking a cup of coffee.  This stuff goes good on anything you’d normally put like jelly, jam, peanut butter, cream cheese, marinara sauce on – you could also probably make a nice mole sauce if you were into that kind of thing.  I like to put a spoonful in my oatmeal – then it’s like eating a mushy candy bar with a spoon.  Just be careful – it’s apparently not good for you (but if you eat it with oatmeal – which IS good for you – isn’t that a push?)  And don’t worry, Sriracha – I haven’t foresaken you.  (Sriracha at $2.64/bottle at Wal-Mart in Arkansas represents the greatest arbitrage opportunity since Kramer and Newman figured out how to get a mail truck to Michigan.)

toffifay foil packaging
Way too many Toffifays find their way to the dirty-assed floor thanks to the infernal foil tray


Editor’s Update/What I’ve Been Up To:  I think as of my most recent update I’d mentioned additional upheaval and my retreat to a Fortress of Ineptitude in remote NE Arkansas.  That’s still going on.  In additon to Wasted Po, I’m running (or co-running) five other websites, thus posts here have been pretty infrequent.  What type of other sites you might ask?  One is a trading blog (basically a Twitter marketing exercise, going okay so far, actually a cool community of option traders on Twitter).  One is a site selling a common item that’s very competitive (started as a case study to see if I could generate real google rankings in a tough category – probably going better than expected since I haven’t done much with it, sending quite a few people to Amazon with an affiliate cookie, but not much actual purchasing going on.  Damn economy.)  Another is a ten year old site I bought for small cash and have not really figured out what to do with (converted to a product review blog for the time being to get new content on and keep rankings on).  Have a nascent finance website that I started with a partner – more work to be done but age does a lot for a site.  Finally, we just bought a small e-commerce site that used to be pretty prominent and has fallen into a bit of disrepair.  A fixer-upper.  So will be spending a lot of time there trying to get it back to where it was.  Time will tell if any of this will pay off financially, currently the sites I started myself are not self-sustaining, but let’s see what happens as Christmas nears.


Oh, and my foot f*cking hurts. Also, I think I need to change this template, the font looks so tiny.




Taco Takedown: Taco Bell Dorito Locos Tacos vs. El Super Taco Deliciousness

Taco Takedown: Taco Bell Dorito Locos Tacos vs. El Super Taco Deliciousness

One place certainly has an edge in the "risk of homicide" category


Presumably everybody who’s read this site knows of my long-time love affair with Taco Bell.  In fact, lore (ie the historically inaccurate recollections of my mom) has it that I never ate any real food until I had my first taco.  (This probably means I was actually already enjoying hearty servings of osso buco and sweetbreads, but whatever.) Anyway, despite working at Taco Bell (including starting up a store from scratch, including picking styrofoam out of a ditch for about six straight hours – turns out there are a lot of packing peanuts in industrial kitchenware) for about three years, I still love the food, the atmosphere, the experience.  So what kind of unfair fight would it be for me to pit The Bell against a relative newcomer, the local chain El Super Taco?  Allow me to level the playing field by saying that El Super Taco is awesome, too.  Now it’s completely fair.  And, with the hype surrounding the launch of Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos tacos (the shell is made of nacho cheese Doritos – yes, it’s a f*cking great idea, wish I’d though of it) it seemed like writing a comparison would be a great way to justify eating a bunch of tacos in a short period of time.

Just to give you some contextual flavor, El Super Taco has been my happy place throughout a lot of my recent family medical drama (sounds like something you’d find on ABC Thursdays); it’s ostensibly a sit-down restaurant because they hook you up with chips and salsa, but it does more to-go business than anything.  No alcohol, thus no margaritas, thus to-go looks like a pretty good option.  I also just learned that the original El Super Taco is in the town where I currently reside, approximately one mile from where I sit with my dad almost every day.  That one is just a Southern California-esque take-out window.  I just tried it, and it sucks compared to the one (seedy-looking parking lot shown above) that I frequent.  So I will continue to burn extra time/gas to enjoy the iPad-friendly, semi-air conditioned ambience of the sit-down El Super Taco.

So how do the offerings of both joyous places match up?  Let’s consider a few categories:


Visual Appeal

Would you rather have three of these (four if you want to be completely comparable given the tip at EST):

That little sleeve can't really fend off the orange residue monster


To give you a better sense of scale, these tacos are roughly the size of a jumbo pack of Magic: The Gathering cards

Verdict:  Despite the tastiness of the DL tacos that we will get to in a minute, the visual appeal of the grilled steak and pork at El Super Taco dominates the from-another-world orangeness of the Doritos Locos.  El Super Taco wins the swimsuit category with conviction.



Verdict: Okay, there should probably be some more pictures, but this isn’t a food blog and people look at you weird around here for taking photos of your food.  In fact, people look at you weird here whenever you aren’t eating at an all-you-can-eat buffet.  But this is a very tough call; I am a huge fan of just plain crunchy tacos at TB, I could probably knock back 22 or so before starting to feel kind of full.  And the Dorito Loco version is arguably an improvement on an already-strong product.  That artificial cheese powder/sodium bomb experience at the end of each bite is an unexpected taste sensation.  (Note: I avoided the word “salty” in the previous extremely descriptive sentence to avoid any “yeah, you like that salty stuff don’t you – so does your mom” commentary from TDiddy.  I see the chessboard three moves in advance.)  I will definitely eat them periodically.  But – if my sh*tty photography permits it – take a look at those tacos from EST – they are f*cking delicious.  And you get chips and two kinds of salsa (the red one of which changes consistency daily – sometimes watery, sometimes dense enough to stand a chip up in – but is excellent regardless) plus a quiet place to sit and read the NFL chats on (I read every division, not just the NFC West, perhaps I have a problem?)  El Super Taco wins again.


Fire Sauce

This is about how much I need for four tacos

Verdict: Okay, that was kind of unfair, because you can only get Fire Sauce at Taco Bell.  But I didn’t want you to think that you knew how this was gonna end up.  Taco Bell by a mile in this category.



Handwritten signs and non-functional gas pump islands correlate highly to value


Verdict:  They cost the same.  So for $6 you can leave a 30% tip and get two phenomenal grilled meat tacos with guacamole and a basket of chips and salsa.  At Taco Bell, $6.06 gets you 4 Doritos Locos tacos, plus as much Fire Sauce as you can reasonably/responsibly grab.  I could probably eat about 19 Doritos Locos tacos without feeling too full, but after eating the aforepictured meal at EST, I’m mostly full.  Therefore, El Super Taco must be the better value.


Final Verdict:  In what at a glance appears to be a shocking upset, El Super Taco is the clear winner.  But the real winner here is me: I’ve finally found one cultural (food is in culture, right? or is that a bad word choice?) advantage to being in northwest Arkansas.  So to all you people reading this in your cool cities, with your ivory towers and your delicious Indian food – take a good long look at that adovado taco up there.  It’s pretty f*cking good.  (And, to be clear, this ain’t no dis of the DL tacos – they are legit.  Try them, you will enjoy them.  Warning: your fingers will be orange when finished, despite that cardboard sleeve thing – nobody uses that.  Also – if they ever launched a Doritos Locos Fiery Habanero taco, good god.  Now THAT would be redonk.)