Ben and Jerry’s Flipped Out

Ben & Jerry’s is blowing my mind right now. Did my check up on the latest cool food news that Serious Eats drops on us, and they shared this bit of info about the latest from the good ice cream folks in Vermont. Basically, Ben & Jerry’s is starting to make some in carton sundaes as their latest product. But it’s not just the product that’s cool; their entire marketing campaign is freaking awesome. This new treat is called Flipped Out and I’m on board.

In learning more about Flipped Out, I was pointed to Ben & Jerry’s Facebook page. They had a little page dedicated to Flipped Out. On it, they talked about the new flavors that are a part of this launch; Vanilla Fudge Brownie, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. What’s funky about Flipped Out is that it’s a contained sundae. When you open the lid you’ll see a layer of brownies, then the ice cream, and then fudge! Will this contribute to America’s weight problem? Absolutely. Will that stop me? No! You can either start your ice cream attack, or follow the Flipped Out lead and push out the ice cream like suggested.

While digging even deeper, I learned of the marketing that Ben & Jerry is executing for Flipped Out. And it’s quite the plan. In fact, it’s pretty awesome. First off, they’re Facebook page has this quirky little application that flips the text upside down! In fact, check out their twitter to see some examples. It’s crazy.

Also (and this is where it gets cool), the Flipped Out truck is on a nationwide tour doing its thing and giving out ice cream! To quote them, ‘it will be unflipping believable!’ Here is the line-up of where they’ll be. In fact, RSVP via their Facebook to get in on the action.

  • 6/27-28 – Brooklyn, NY – McCarren Park (27th), Prospect Park (28th)
  • 7/2-5 – Rothbury, MI – Rothbury Music Festival
  • 7/11-13 – Seattle, WA – Victor Steinbrueck Park (11th), Seward Park (12th), Westlake Park (13th)
  • 7/15 – Portland, OR – Pioneer Courthouse Square
  • 7/18-22 – San Francisco, CA – Union Square (18th), Golden Gate Park (19th), Justin Herman Plaza (21-22)

There you have it. The perpetual greatness of Ben & Jerry’s continues this summer. I’ll be sure to be at the Seattle stops. Next up is to go to the store and load up on this stuff.

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Cheap eats at Lynnwood’s San Fernando

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Roast chicken is one of those foods that resonates with me. I love that it’s simple enough for home chefs, elevated by restaurants, perfect with most types of wines; it’s one of my most favorite foods. That’s why I really loved this article that the Seattle Weekly‘s Jon Kauffman wrote about roasted chicken in the spring. He visited a few places, but the one that really caught his eye was this place in Lynnwood. I’m from Lynnwood and love it when the spotlight shines on us. The place is called San Fernando and he thought their chicken was the most delicious. This I had to see for myself.

The first thing that I think is great about San Fernando is that it’s in Lynnwood. As someone who grew up there, I really enjoy the fact that the culinary rep of Lynnwood is slowly growing. Although major chains dominate the local landscape, places like San Fernando’s helps the diners of Snohomish County. I’ve already written about the good Chinese food at Szechuan 99, and it is places like that and San Fernando’s that make a trek up north for food worth it.

For Seattle to continue growing as a top-notch food town, it only helps when the greater region elevates the food reputation. There are all sorts of cool and unique food stops at all points north, south, east and west. That’s why it’s great that this little Peruvian restaurant is around. Basically, look past the shroud of urban sprawl and find little neighborhood gems to visit.

Here are the three cool things about San Fernando:

Cool Wine Book: Heard It Through The Grapevine

While in Alaska last weekend, I wandered into the local’s bookstore of choice; Title Wave Books. I love stepping into bookstores and taking in the visual merchandising, the potential, and the dance of shopping. The clever ways that stores try to sell their stuff is something that I find entertaining (although a background in visual merchandising may have something to do with that). And like any good food nerd, I popped over to their food and wine section and was taken with one book in particular. Matt Skinner’s Heard it Through the Grapevine called out to me.

I knew of Matt because he is Jamie Oliver‘s wine guy. Jamie’s cookbooks are often great, always fun, and I liked the little touches that Matt would have for wine pairings. When I saw this book at Title Wave, I was intrigued enough to pick it up. A make-or-break deal with any food reference cookbook is to have a proper balance of visuals and content. We’re no longer in a culture where a cookbook can skate by on copy; it’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it is. I’ve picked up and put down plenty of books that don’t have the initial grab and Matt’s Heard it Through the Grapevine definitely kept my interest.

This is a pretty fun wine information book. Matt’s style of writing is very easy to digest and take in. This makes for a decent read where the information is balanced with the brevity. It’s broken down to five main sections; Shopping, Drinking, Eating, Sleeping, Well-being. I will say this though; this book is more of an intro to the world of wine. I knew most of what Matt mentioned, and it doesn’t exactly break any new ground. But the nature in how the information comes forth feels fresh. That is why I think this book is cool.

One of the search terms that I get on this blog is ‘how to drink wine’. Kind of a funny term, but it makes sense. With the growth of wine drinking, the vast choices available to consumers, and the truckloads of information out there; a book like Matt’s will be helpful to wade through it all. Heard it Through the Grapevine just came out this spring and would make for a fun book to give as a gift to a friend that wants to step into the world of wine.

Pepsi Natural

You gotta give it up for Pepsi-Cola. They are distinctly the number two beverage maker behind Coca-Cola, but they aren’t afraid to shake things up to wrestle away valuable market share points.

This past spring, they tried two new salvos to whet the whistles of beverages drinkers around the country. One, was Pepsi Throwback. A limited-run drink that uses natural sugar (instead of the dastardly High Fructose Corn Syrup). I haven’t had Pepsi Throwback, but I do have to give it up to their commercial. Beautifully kitschy and retro, I think it’s great. They also tried another new product that will be around awhile. Pepsi Natural.

I am unabashedly a Coke person. Love it. And Mexican Coke has a special place in my heart. But I’m always down to try new stuff. I’m experimental like that. On a recent visit to Costco, they had a 12 pack of Pepsi Natural. Of course I’ll try it!

Pepsi Natural is different in that it uses ‘natural’ sugar, sparkling water, and kola nut extract. And it’s in a glass bottle! Fancy. Picked it up on a curious lark, but what does it taste like? Well, it’s not bad. The first thing I noticed was that it had a bit of spice, with notes of ginger and cinnamon. The sparkling water provided subdued carbonation. It took a bit of getting used to, but it was pretty good. I didn’t know what my expectations were, but I thought it was a decent product. I still like Mexican Coke more though.

One of the cool things about Pepsi Natural for Seattle-ites is that we are one of the early markets for the beverage. So we’ve got that going for us. But Pepsi Natural is pretty good; it has the hallmarks of Pepsi, softer notes, mellow sweetness, but it’s very different from their mainline product. I still love my Mexican Coke, but won’t turn a Pepsi Natural down.

Joule’s 2nd Annual Urban BBQ

Last summer, Seif Chirchi and Rachel Yang opened Joule on Sundays to host this really cool series of dinners called the Urban BBQ. Each Sunday throughout the summer Joule had all sorts of different themes that were distinctive and fun, and allowed the team to try new culinary adventures. I’m excited to announce that the 2nd iteration of the Urban BBQ has started.

Joule has climbed the charts on my list of favorite restaurants around Seattle. I feel this way for a bunch of reasons; their creative and delicious dishes, the friendly and welcoming vibe from Seif, Rachel and the team, and the total feel of the restaurant. Taking all of these things into account it’s easy for me to say that Joule is quite awesome.

That’s why I’m pumped up to visit some of their Sunday BBQ dinners. All look interesting with a chance to get some good food. All dishes will be around $10 and the days events roll from 12-8pm. An added bonus is that live music will go from 2-4pm. This past Sunday May 31st, was the first for this summer, and the last will be on August 30th. They’ll also have stuff for kids to do too. It’s pretty cool and fun for the whole family. I would love to hit up all of them, but I’ve got my eyes set on 6/21, 7/5, 7/12, 7/26, 8/16, and 8/23. Hope to see you at some of these dinners.

Here are the food themes for the Sunday Urban BBQ dinners:

  • 5/31 – Seoul Melange: Korean Streetfood
  • 6/7 – Game’s on: Got Goat?
  • 6/14 – Night of the Iguana: Mexican Riviera
  • 6/21 – New England Clam Boil
  • 6/28 – Night in Tunisia: Seif!
  • 7/5 – Southern Affair
  • 7/12 – Bangkok Express
  • 7/19 – Salmon Run
  • 7/26 – Spanish Fever
  • 8/2 – Food on a Stick
  • 8/9 – Mambo Italiano
  • 8/16 – JFC: Joule Fried Chicken
  • 8/23 – Cochon Joule: Pig Out
  • 8/30 – Joule Country Fair

Photo from Wallyhood.org