Gratzfood Review: Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chips/Chickstar

I love Taco Bell’s promotions. They’ll take anything and put a Mexican spin on it. Mexican pizza. Doritos locos tacos. Now it’s “naked chicken chips” or as any regular American would say, “chicken nuggets”. They come in counts of 6 and 12, $2.39 and $4.49 respectively. They also come with a side of nacho cheese to dip into (which I guess justifies them being called chips). I’m not going to make this long. They’re chicken nuggets. I liked them. They’re actually better than Wendy’s and Burger King’s (shouldn’t be too hard). I feel like they’re a little bigger than a regular chicken nugget but still $2 for 6 of them felt steep. You can get a loaded griller or a little burrito for less than two bucks which I think is the better deal. They’re processed chicken nuggets, nothing you haven’t had before but I did enjoy them. The cheese is an interesting side and your enjoyment of that will ultimately come down to if you like Taco Bell’s nacho cheese or not. I think the chips are a good compliment if you’re getting something else. For example a crunch wrap supreme might not be enough but a side of naked chicken chips would obviously be more filling and you get some variety. Ironically, they don’t have a spicy option. I think that’s something they’ll eventually roll out and those might be even better.

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I think the better option is this new thingamajig they got called the “chickstar”. It’s essentially a little folded wrap (think crunch wrap without the hard shell) with breaded chicken inside but it comes with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and avocado ranch sauce. I think at $3.39 this is a better play than just the standard nuggets, er, naked chicken chips. When I say there’s breaded chicken inside, they literally take like four of the chicken chips and put them in. We’re not reinventing the wheel here. The extra stuff inside makes it a little more filling but it’s still kind of a snack sized thing. I really love their avocado ranch sauce and thought this chickstar was pretty bangin’ overall. Well, that’s a wrap. Taco Bell rocks. Chicken nuggets are tight. Get the chickstar. Peace.

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Look at all that goodness stuffed into that wrap baby. 

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I Can’t Express How Excited We Should All Be For The New Calvin Harris Album

When it comes to producing, I’m not sure if anyone can currently touch Calvin Harris. Dude is that talented. His ability to make hit after hit and produce mainstream music that is not only tolerable but really well made is something I marvel at time and time again. Today the superstar DJ/producer dropped a huge announcement regarding his next project. Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 1.10.13 AM.png

Pretty self explanatory.  As you can see from the image above, there’s a video in the tweet that name drops all of the features on the album and the cast is absolutely star studded. Frank Ocean. Travis Scott. Kehlani. Pharrell. Katy Perry. Big Sean. John Legend. Migos. Schoolboy Q. Ariana Grande. Young Thug. D.R.A.M. Nicki Minaj. Lil Yachty. Jessie Reyez. PARTYNEXTDOOR. Snoop Dogg. Not to mention Future and Khalid who’s track can be heard as the minute and thirty four second clip plays.

Speaking of the clip, just that little snippet makes me on the verge of physically being unable to contain myself from waiting until June 30th. I need to drop what I’m doing and throw on a clean white short sleeved button down, some shades, hit a rooftop bar and grab a couple of mimosas and just enjoy life. You know what? Screw blogging. I think I’m going to take my credit card and get myself a villa on a private island and never come back to the states until collections literally comes and drags me home like David Dao.

As I mentioned before, I think Calvin Harris is one of the most talented people when it comes to making good music. The fact that he’s working with such a diverse group of artists who each possess very different styles and sounds and producing (what I’m banking on will be) high quality music is a feat few can pull off. Get ready for Summer, Calvin Harris’ new album is dropping June 30th.

Gratzfood Review: Chick’n Shack Sandwich

I get really defensive when it comes to chicken sandwiches. As you probably know, I am a vocal and devout supporter of a certain Atlanta based fast food chicken chain and am undoubtedly biased towards their food. I must be honest I was a little hurt when I initially saw Shake Shack was adding a chicken sandwich to their menu. I viewed it almost as a direct attack at my beloved favorite. But as a chicken sandwich enthusiast I had to at least try it, had to see what the competition was bringing to the table. After hitting the NFL Draft in Philly my friends and I were looking for a place to eat and when someone mentioned Shake Shack there was more fanfare than the actual draft itself. Here was a golden opportunity to finally try the chick’n shack sandwich and once and for all satisfy my curiosity.

Simply put it was really good. Very crispy breast of chicken. I really enjoyed all the toppings (lettuce, pickles, buttermilk herb mayo). The herb mayo was zesty and a welcome addition as it provided just the right amount of flavor without detracting from the chicken itself. One minor complaint was the chicken breast wasn’t evenly proportioned, one bite might have been all breading while the next was all meat. Inconsistent. I think this sandwich can coexist with others because it’s just different than the competition. Different vibe. At $6.49, it’s more expensive than a normal fast food chicken sandwich. Add $2.50 for a fountain soda and another $2.99 for fries and you’re looking at a $12 meal compared to something maybe a little smaller at $7.50. This is the perfect chicken sandwich option if you have a hankering on a Sunday. Look, there’s no denying Shake Shack has pretty damn good food. This sandwich, while maybe a little expensive, doesn’t really feel like a ripoff although I can probably eat two if I forgo fries. If you’re at Shake Shack, this is certainly a viable option and I would recommend it if you’re a fan of chicken sandwiches. Not the biggest, not too small, but just about fair and the taste surpassed my expectations. This is a welcome addition to the chicken sandwich game and a legitimate option for the fast casual realm. unnamed.jpg

It’s Time We Address These Oreo Milka Bars…

When I went to Israel in December I left with a deeper sense of purpose and a greater understanding of the meaning of life. Experiencing growth both spiritually and mentality, there’s one specific moment where I can attribute this boundless transformation to. One defining moment where it all clicked and I saw the earth through a new lens. As someone who’s a bit of a picky eater, I found myself hungry to the point of delusion and needed some sort of substance to power me through the day. At the store I saw these “Milka” bars and noticed one that was Oreo based. I wasn’t sure if these existed in the states or not so I decided to give it a try….

You may think the purpose of this piece is to celebrate and admire these candy bars. Far from it. This is a warning. This is to raise awareness on a potentially life altering substance that is (for the moment) legalized and carried in real stores. Since Israel I have learned that these bars are now available in the states. For the sake of you and your loved ones do not try them. Just say no. We could be on the verge of the next big epidemic and it’s up to us to nip it in the bud. Colossal consequences at stake. I’m happy that I found my purpose in life. I’m glad to know that if I can stop just one person from eating these then I can make a real difference. The responsibility of preventing a massive outbreak falls squarely on our shoulders. If you know someone who’s been affected by Oreo Milka bars, or are personally affected yourself, please call the Gratzfeed hotline where you will receive one on one consultation from one of our trained experts. Have a blessed day.

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Underrated Gem: Marmont Steakhouse

To be completely honest, when it comes to places to get a good steak in Philly I never really thought of Marmont Steakhouse. Until I tried it. Here’s the brief story of how I discovered this place. My family and I wanted to go out for restaurant week last year. My mom told me to pick a place and we’ll make a reservation. After perusing some of the promotional menus I thought Marmont had one you couldn’t really go wrong with. Cheesesteak spring rolls, potato soup, 12 ounce ribeye and a dessert. Booked.

Marmont is located on 2nd & Market in the Old City section of Philadelphia. The first time I went there I was kind of thrown for a loop. I was expecting some grand, fancy steakhouse but in reality the atmosphere is more of a bar setting. Some tables, the bar, few TV’s and that’s pretty much it. It’s low key and casual to say the least. In a way, it’s pretty refreshing that you can have a quality meal without all the fancy fanfare.

When going out to dinner with your mom (or at least my mom) it’s pretty essential to start with an alcoholic beverage. Marmont has you covered. They have standard beer and wine options but my eyes always gravitate to their speciality drinks. Their signature cocktail menu is expansive and no matter whether you’re a rum, gin, vodka or fan of whatever else, there’s an interesting concoction with your alcohol of choice.

Drinks are fine and dandy but unless the food is good it’s a moot point. Lets start with the appetizers. They have a potato soup with large chunks of potatoes, cheese, topped with bacon. I have had it twice and both times it was out of this world. Unfortunately it’s only a special offered on occasion which I was a little disappointed to hear during my last visit. It’s absolutely delicious and should really be a menu mainstay but since it wasn’t offered last time I opted for the fried shrimp. Woah. The shrimp were huge. You get 8, big pieces of shrimp (I know, I know it’s an oxymoron) that are full of flavor as they’re topped with fried jalapeños. Definitely a hit at the table. The real star of the show (as one may expect at a steakhouse) is the steak. I usually go with the 16 ounce ribeye ($30) cooked medium or medium rare. All three times I went it’s been with a party of four. Among the four of us we are still yet to have a bad meal at Marmont. Consistency is key and because we have had stellar meals each and every time, we gladly keep coming back. The meat is full of flavor and can go toe to toe with even the fanciest restaurants in Philadelphia. I truly believe that. I always get a side of mashed potatoes with mine which are also outstanding. Last time they came out rather cold so we mentioned it to out waitress and without hesitation she went back and got new ones for the table, which leads me to my next point…

The service is always great. The wait staff is knowledgeable and friendly and will do whatever it takes to make sure you’re satisfied. Whether it’s taking the time to explain a cut of meat or checking to see if you need another drink, we always feel well taken care of at Marmont. Sometimes at upscale places there can be an arrogance but Marmont is completely devoid of that. If you’re looking for a relaxed, casual environment to enjoy great food and service, look no further than Marmont Steakhouse.

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Man Facing Charges After Locking Son In Horse Stable

A Louisiana father is facing cruelty charges after allegedly locking his son in a horse stable overnight.

“Local news outlets report that 71-year-old Douglas Oneal of Baker was arrested Monday. Detectives say he locked his 13-year-old son in the trailer Sunday night for almost 12 hours to punish him for being disrespectful to him and his girlfriend.

Detectives also found horse feces inside the metal trailer, along with a Bible and a makeshift bed made of saddles and a plastic bag that smelled of urine.

Oneal’s arrest report says he told deputies that whipping his son was no longer working, “so he had to do something else” to teach his son a lesson. It’s unclear if the man has an attorney.”

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Ah good old Baker, Louisiana. Never been but this sounds about right. Locked in a horse stable huh? That’s a new one. Don’t hate it though. That 13 year old bastard was immune to those whippings so naturally you have to take the next step. This is the modern day equivalent of counting to 10 after asking your kid nicely. Lock em in a horse stable filled with horse shit and a Bible and they’ll find their way in life. Wish my dad did that to me, now I’m just shit. Closest thing I got to a horse with my dad was shopping at the Polo outlets. For real this kids got to treat his old man with some spect’. Dude granted him life at 58 and whether it was a horrible accident or not the fact of the matter is he’s alive today because of it. Not sure if they know about Aretha Franklin out there but where I come from she’s a force to be reckoned with. I’m sad to say that while I genuinely want to wish a happy ending for this man and his son, I kind of want the kid to act up again. I’m just dying to know what this old man can think of next. I want to learn about a sick dimension of punishment my feeble mind can’t even begin to imagine. It’s like real life ‘Saw’ which had me hooked for at least two sequels. You know what they say, you can lead your son to a horse stable filled with shit but you can’t make him not be a complete piece of horse shit.

 

Should The Eagles Pursue Richard Sherman?

For the past few years Richard Sherman has been one of the most recognizable names in professional football. Whether it’s him being a part of one of the best Superbowl winning defenses in recent memory or his fiery, charged up controversial interviews, Sherman has been as prevalent a face as there’s been in the NFL. For perhaps a few reasons, the Seahawks seem relatively open to trading the cornerback who this past season was named to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl. I’m not here to discuss those reasons. There’s one thing and one thing only that matters in my eyes. How does this affect the Eagles. I feel that despite the Seahawks open willingness to discuss a deal for him, nobody seems to be taking it too seriously. At least as of now. But I bring this to light for a few reasons, the most fundamental being that Eagles could actually really benefit from a player like Sherman. For the heck of it, let’s break this down the simple way…

 

Pros

The Eagles desperately need a cornerback. Last year their secondary woes were too dire to ignore. As bad as their cornerback situation was, where we stand now, it’s worse. The Eagles have cut Leodis Mckelvin. Nolan Carroll is gone too and while those will ultimately probably be good moves for the birds, they still have to find someone to fill the void. The Eagles play in a division where they have to face Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall twice. It’s imperative to find at least one player that has either elite production or potential. The Eagles are probably considering a corner in the first (as well as other positions) so it might make sense to get one that’s established.

He never gets hurt. Seriously, by some freakish chance, one of the most aggressive players in the league has not missed a game yet. He’s started in every one since he became the starter his rookie year. Having a player that doesn’t get hurt often is such a valuable asset to a team, especially one that is trying to win and figures to be in the mix for a playoff berth down the stretch. Not only would the Eagles be able to fill a void, they would be able to do it with someone they can rely on week in and week out.

His intensity is a match for Philly. Richard Sherman is one of those guys you love to hate…unless he’s on your team. Say what you want about his personality but there is absolutely no denying the mans passion for the game. Philly fans would eat that up like cheesesteaks and crab fries. A few big plays on D combined with some wins and Sherman could have the city in the palm of his hands.

His price is going down. The reason I started to ponder this was because I read that the Seahawks could be dropping his asking price. First they wanted a player and a high pick. Now they apparently want a first round pick and a conditional mid round pick later (which could be OK if that means he’s on the team for at least a couple of years). Profootballtalk suggested it could eventually drop to just a first. Instead of using a pick to draft someone who might be good the Eagles could get one who’s already proven he’s elite.

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Cons

He makes too much money. One of the reasons Seattle is likely open to trading him is because of his expensive price. The Eagles as they stand now wouldn’t have enough to take on his salary without cutting or trading additional players. Still, for a team that was supposed to be cash strapped the Eagles seemed to manage pretty well in free agency. Howie Roseman and his guys have a remarkable ability to work around the parameters of the league’s salary cap. So while as of now it would seem pretty unlikely they could afford him, if there’s anyone who could make it work it’s Howie Roseman.

He’s 29. As I mentioned before Sherman has made the Pro Bowl the past four years. But everyone knows the day comes eventually where a player loses that elite step. You don’t want to mortgage a part of your future if you think that day is sooner rather than later. Does Sherman probably have at least a few good years left in him? That’s very reasonable to believe. But let’s be honest this team is built around Carson Wentz and his future. It may be foolish to acquire too many veterans for stopgap roles instead of grooming young players who could be a core part of this team for years to come.

The Eagles could lose valuable players. If the Seahawks end up being firm and demand additional players with a first round pick then would it be worth it? What if that meant not having Jason Peters protecting Wentz’s blindside? There are certainly expendable players on the Eagles roster but there are also a lot of players I wouldn’t be excited about parting with either, especially if it means adding the 14th overall pick too.

His personality could pose some problems. Sherman is known to be a fierce competitor and quite outspoken on a number of issues. He’s played in Seattle his whole career where he’s quite familiar with his teammates and coaches. It’s fair to question how he would handle a situation he didn’t approve of in Philadelphia. What if he doesn’t agree with a scheme or assignment or decision? Could that potentially cause distractions? Issues in the locker room? That could be a risky proposition to gamble on for a 29 year old corner.

Verdict: Surprisingly, I think the Eagles should at least be interested in trading for Sherman. They need a corner, badly. Sherman plays the position at an elite level and while his production might drop they could probably still get a few good years out of him. His veteran leadership would be of great value too, considering this is a young squad still learning how to compete and play in the NFL. He’s a SuperBowl champion and he brings that championship mentality week in and week out. While his demeanor could spark some drama I ultimately think that at the end of the day Sherman just wants to win. I would want that attitude on my team. It would be risky sending away a high pick but at least you’re getting someone reliable in return. I wouldn’t want to send additional players in the deal unless the team strongly feels they would be able to win without them on the team. He’s expensive but if Howie Roseman can figure out a way to afford him then why not? The Eagles could be targeting offense at 14 but let us not forget gems at the running back position can often be found in the second and third rounds and even beyond. I would like to get another young corner to pair with Jalen Mills but drafting one later to learn from Sherman sounds like it could be a wise move too. Overall if the Eagles couldn’t swing a deal to land Sherman it wouldn’t be the end of the world. It would be exciting to keep our first round pick and draft a promising prospect that could be on the Eagles for years to come. But if the price comes down to maybe just a first round pick or even less and the Eagles could figure out a way to afford him, then I’d do it.   It would unquestionably immediately make the defense better. It would help them as they try to make the playoffs in Doug Pederson’s second year as head coach. He’s 29 but won’t turn 30 until after next season ends. Combine that with his healthy past and veteran presence and I think the Eagles would be foolish to at least not try to make a deal work.