Snack Time #16 – M&M’s Strawberry Nut

M&Ms are very good at routinely releasing different limited edition flavours and for the most part they pass the taste test. Mrs. Sip spotted this variation while we were recently in Las Vegas and I’m so glad she did.

The Strawberry Nut variety is delicious. The key is that the strawberry flavour is kept light and then you have the usual peanut and chocolate enjoyment that is typical from M&M’s Peanut products. The strawberry adds a touch of decadence.

M&M's Strawberry Nut.jpg

Coming in red, pink and green candy-coated shells, it’s taken great willpower for me to ration the little treats. I don’t know whether they’re available outside the US and how long they will remain on store shelves before disappearing.

This isn’t M&M’s first foray into strawberry fields (forever), as the company has also released Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberried Peanut Butter and plain ol’ Strawberry recipes. Keep em’ coming, guys!

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Sip Trips #100: Easter Eggs (Part 2)

Part one of our Easter long weekend expedition to Las Vegas can be found here

Day three of our trip began with us finally buying some show tickets. With the task of having to redeem our seats – starting at Bally’s and then travelling all the way to the Luxor (Blue Man Group), before traversing nearly the entire strip and hitting Treasure Island (Cirque du Soleil: Mystère), then finally returning to The Linq… all while Mrs. Sip relaxed poolside – I knew I needed some good stiff drinks for the trek.

That was achieved by popping into the Fuel Bar, using one of their 2-for-1 drink coupons. For only $14, I was able to get two very strong Melon Mules, while enjoying the skilled flair bartenders. To say I set out on my expedition feeling good and fuzzy, would be an understatement!

Shut Up Liver

My arduous two-hour journey complete – to be fair, I actually like doing these missions… just don’t let Mrs. Sip know – I collected Mrs. Sip from the pool and we made our way to Hyde Lounge for drinks and the Bellagio fountains. I had wanted to order their Smore cocktail, but they were out of the Graham cracker rim. I settled for the Love Unit (Vodka, Vanilla Vodka, Thai Basil, Lime, Grapefruit, and Bell Pepper Juices), which was pretty good. I would also like to try their Mexican Hot Coffee in the future.

From there, it was off to see the Blue Man Group at the Luxor. This show was non-step energy and entertainment. I totally blue myself! Following the spectacle, we were given 2-for-1 drink coupons at the Centra bar, where we were able to mix and match some cocktails. I ended up with their Smoked Salt Margarita and Hrdara, which featured Jameson Whiskey.

Not content to end the night, we ventured to New York New York’s The Chocolate Bar, which had caught our eye a couple nights earlier. My beverage of choice was the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Martini (Castries Peanut Butter Rum, 360 Chocolate Vodka, Marie Brizard Chocolate Liqueur), which was every bit as decadent as it sounds.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

After a slow start to the next day, we took advantage of the Yard House’s weekday happy hour and grabbed a set of cheap appies: Buffalo Boneless Wings, California Roll, and Wisconsin Fried Cheese Curds. To wash down all the delicious nibbles, I ordered a pint of the Ninkasi Tricerahops, which lived up to its awesome name.

Next up was our Cirque du Soleil: Mystère show, which combined a nice mix of acrobatics and comedy. Forgive me for going on a little rant, but I have to call out the loser who sat in front of us at the show. First, his family showed up after the opening act and then he proceeded to constantly turn his phone on and off throughout the show, even sending photos via messaging. The kicker was that he then left just minutes before the show was over, causing yet another disturbance. The phone constantly lighting up was so distracting and I wish Cirque would just outright ban the use of them at their presentations. Okay… breathe.

Not letting some asshole ruin our night, on our way back from the show, we passed The Piano Bar at Harrah’s. Noticing that their outside patio was open, we decided to watch some of the dueling pianos. I ended up ordering a bottle of Ballast Point IPA for a whopping $9, but at least I can justify the charge as part of being entertained.

Piano Lesson

Having always wanted to try eating at In-N-Out Burger and in need of a midnight snack, Mrs. Sip and I visited the location in the Linq’s Promenade area. We thought the burgers were decent and Mrs. Sip enjoyed a Chocolate Milkshake (seriously, she’s really into milkshakes and ice cream lately), but I found the name of the burger joint does give me some reservations.

On our last day, we decided to revisit our top choices from the trip. First, after enjoying the drinks and atmosphere so much, we returned to the Fuel Bar for a pair of Lynchburg Lemonades that made for a good day drunk buzz. For lunch, we revisited the PBR Rock Bar to repeat our usual menu selections, while also trying their House Made Chili, which was a very nice addition.

After a long walk along the strip, we popped into AmeriCAN for one last beverage. While I like their concept of offering largely canned craft beers, I think they will have to make some changes to survive in the uber competitive market. For example, there is no happy hour to speak of. Also, they don’t even offer guests water, instead trying to charge them $3 for a bottle. That is a cardinal sin in the Sip Advisor’s books. After being out of my first few choices, I selected the Joseph James Weize Guy Hefeweizen, which was quite refreshing, especially after our extensive walk in the Vegas sun.

That wrapped another amazing trip to Sin City. Given this is likely the last time Mrs. Sip and I will get to enjoy the adult Disneyland prior to kids arriving, I think we went out with a bang!

Sip Trips #99: Easter Eggs (Part 1)

The Easter long weekend found Mrs. Sip and me back in Las Vegas for another wonderful stay on the strip. With Mrs. Sip being pregnant, things are a little different than other vacations, but we still managed to have a ton of fun, despite her not being able to imbibe like the Sip Advisor.

This journey started with our Lyft driver offering to take us to the Total Wine store to pick up supplies. Not wanting to make her regret her very generous offer, I raced around the store grabbing some provisions, such as a bottle of Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum and a six-pack of Sierra Nevada Tropical Torpedo Tropical IPA. Mrs. Sip bought a couple non-alcoholic items, but I don’t think either the beers or wine were much of a hit with her.

Non-Alcoholic-Vodka

After dropping off our luggage and buying some walking drinks (Coconut Water for the well-behaved Mrs. Sip), we decided to go for lunch at what has become our traditional first meal landing spot: the PBR Rock Bar. We promptly ordered our favourite dishes in the Doritos Crusted Mac N Cheese for Mrs. Sip and Bucking Bull Fries for moi. Mrs. Sip added a plate of their Cornbread Muffins, just to spice things up.

Given we had stayed up all night, driving from Vancouver to Seattle to fly out early Friday morning, both of us were in the need of a little nap. Staying at The Linq, this was easier said than done, given our room looked out onto the hotel pool and made sleeping difficult throughout the stay, thanks to the 9am-6pm thumping music. I’d stay at the resort again, but request a room as far away from the pool as possible.

Once we did get some rest in, we returned to the strip at night, capitalizing on the free burger coupons we were given in February for the Shake Shack. We both went with the Shack Burger option and split a serving of their Bacon BBQ Cheddar Fries. To drink, I tried the Shackmeister Pale Ale, while Mrs. Sip satisfied her frozen dessert craving with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Shake.

cats-with-milkshake

We wrapped up the night sitting outside the Bar at Times Square, enjoying the dueling pianos with a drink (at least for the Sip Advisor), before Mrs. Sip needed to catch up on some more sleep.

The next morning, it was time to see what all the fuss and thumping was about at the hotel pool. In between tanning, cooling off and people watching, I did hit the bar. I elected to try the Cucumber Kick cocktail (Sauza Cucumber Chili Tequila, Watermelon-Cucumber Juice, Lime, Cucumbers), which was pretty tasty. I did get upsold to the $24 souvenir glass version, which did come in handy for later walks with my previously-purchased supplies.

For dinner, we made our way to the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops and put our names in at The Cheesecake Factory. With only a short wait to endure, we were quickly sat down. I really enjoyed my Southern Fried Chicken Sliders, paired with a Great Basin Icky IPA, while Mrs. Sip went with the Avocado Toast. The meals provided a decent amount of leftovers, which we were actually able to take away for a change, as The Linq has very rare fridges in their rooms.

Back in the room for the night and halfway through our vacation, this seems like a good point to wrap up part one of our trip summary. Join us tomorrow for part two, highlighted by shows and sips!

Beer of the Week #16 – Whistler Function Junction Northwest Pale Ale

While on a recent beer shopping expedition, looking for new and interesting products, I picked up a tall can of this Whistler Brewing release. The latest from the brewery piqued my interest with its lightness and typically enticing artwork.

The Function Junction Northwest Pale Ale was a solid drink, featuring seven different hop varieties, as well as four different malts. The 4.8% ABV (a number I’ve come across a few times lately), 38 IBUs beverage was fairly balanced and certainly refreshing.

Whistler Function Junction Northwest Pale Ale

Available exclusively at BC Liquor Stores in 500ml tall can form, the beer is priced at only $1.99 (before tax and deposit), for a limited time. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to have a few of, without losing your senses, this would be an ideal choice.

Function Junction is the area of Whistler that is home to the company’s brewery and tasting room. Whistler was recently joined by Coast Mountain Brewing in the neighbourhood, which suggests that a crawl should be organized shortly.

For more Beer of the Week articles, please visit our main page…

Mixer Mania #16 – Carmaggedon

As we feature orange soda, OJ Simpson (aka Juice) pops into my mind. I once did an article on famous vehicles from TV shows and movies. Today, we look at infamous real-life vehicles, including the controversial Hall-of-Fame member’s white Bronco ride.

1993 Ford Bronco

The earth seemingly stood still on June 17, 1994, as OJ Simpson (along with friend Al Cowlings) engaged the police in a chase, while inside the soon-to-be infamous white Bronco, with a gun to his head. Later, Simpson would incorporate a Bronco into his one-off prank show, Juiced, trying to sell the vehicle, signed bullet hole and all. The Bronco was recently rediscovered and is now house at the Pigeon Forge’s Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Tennessee.

Ford Bronco Escape

1934 Ford Fordor Deluxe Sedan

Bonnie and Clyde’s bullet-riddled death car became famous when the pair were stopped in Louisiana and a shootout ensued between the outlaws and a group of Texas officers tracking them. The vehicle now sits at Whiskey Pete’s Resort in Primm, Nevada (40 miles south of Las Vegas)… a perfect reminder of the consequences of gambling big and coming out on the losing end.

1911 Gräf & Stift Double Phaeton

There is only one vehicle in history that played a role in starting a World War. That dubious distinction belongs to this auto, which Archduke Franz Ferdinand was riding in when he was assassinated. The vehicle can be found today in Vienna’s Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, where it has remained for more than a century. The vehicle’s licence plate of AIII 118, has been said by some to mean Armistice 11/11/18, which is when World War I ended.

1955 Porsche 550 Spyder

Actor and pop culture icon James Dean’s final minutes were spent racing down the road in his Porsche, dubbed ‘Little Bastard’. Ironically, Dean had already been ticketed for speeding on the fateful day, as he was breaking in the car to return to his passion of motor racing. Sadly, that wasn’t enough to slow him down and he later slammed into a car that turned in front of him, killing the star almost instantly. Some believe the car carried a curse with it.

James Dean Porsche.jpg

1994 Mercedes-Benz S280

Much of the world mourned together when the news came in that Princess Diana had succumbed to her injuries following a high-speed crash inside a Paris tunnel. Sorrow turned to anger, when it was revealed Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed were being pursued by the vulture-like paparazzi, leading to the catastrophe. The crumpled Mercedes was kept for investigations and inquests for more than a decade before finally being destroyed.

1961 Lincoln Continental X100

One moment, president John F. Kennedy was riding through the streets of Dallas, Texas, waving to onlookers and in the next moment, he was dead. JFK’s fateful ride took place sitting in a Lincoln Continental, which was used for another 15 years and now sits in the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. Curiously, Ronald Reagan was also entering a Lincoln Continental when his attempted assassination occurred. This vehicle should be avoided at all costs.

Mixer Mania #16: Eliminator

Eliminator.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey
  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • Top with Orange Soda
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

It’s sad that all of these vehicles are associated with death and tragedy. Are there any vehicles, which have earned our attention through positive history?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
What an aptly named drink, given the subject of this article. There is actually a James Dean drink, which uses Orange Soda, but it is a punch. I went with unflavoured liquors, hoping to allow the Orange Soda to flourish, but it still ended up a little hidden.

Snack Time #15 – Snackgold Iberian Ham Chips

Always willing to try odd potato chips flavours (despite my experience in the UK with Walker’s Lamb & Mint crisps!), Ma Sip recently picked up a bag of this very uniquely-flavoured product, which I just had to indulge in.

The Snackgold Iberian Ham Chips were very tasty, with a solid crunch. I was amazed that these chips actually tasted like ham and you could tell they weren’t bacon flavoured. The experience left me wondering why it took so long for a company to go the ham route.

Snackgold Iberian Ham Chips

For those unfamiliar with Iberia and its association with ham, you can look to countries such as Spain and Portugal, which comprise the majority of the Iberian Peninsula. Add in Andorra, Gibraltar and a small parcel of France for Europe’s second largest peninsula.

Snackgold also offers a Black Truffle flavour of gourmet chips. I’ve seen both varieties at Winners stores, although the line is also available online and can likely be tracked down at various import shops, if you’re lucky.

For more Snack Time articles, please visit our main page…

Sip Trips #98: Suds Search

With Mrs. Sip on injured reserve – you know, being pregnant and all – the Sip Advisor has been without my best drinking buddy for a few months. I’d be completely lost if the guys in my life hadn’t stepped up to try and fill that massive void and while not the same, I greatly appreciate their efforts. Such was the case on Friday when we hit the town in search of beer, burgers and booze.

After a few drinks at the Sip Advisor headquarters, we made our way to the Central City Brew Pub for dinner and further beverages. To eat, I ordered my usual Crispy Crunch Burger (with Beer-Battered Fries), which was fantastic as usual. Being cheese sensitive, I noticed the change to Jalapeno Havarti on the sandwich, which I found to enhance the meal enjoyment. I paired my burger with the Strathcona North West Pale Ale and later the Longwood Steam Punk Dunkelweizen, which were both decent, without standing out too much.

Chicken Burger

Moving on from Central City, we stopped next at Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House. There, I enjoyed two servings of the Howe Sound King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen, which is a favourite of mine, especially on a hot summer day, relaxing poolside at Ma and Pa Sip’s place. A round of Scotch (Bruichladdich Classic Laddie) was also ordered for the table because why the hell not!

On Tuesday, we sat down to dinner with the Sip In-Laws at Patron Tacos & Cantina. Mrs. Sip and I combined an order of four tacos (Al Pastor, Carnitas, Shredded Beef, Shredded Chicken) with their Queso Fundido, which was more than enough for the two of us. To wash the delicious food down, I went with their Michelada (beer with spices), which was on special. It was a unique twist to just ordering a brew and it came in a massive glass, so there was plenty of the beverage to accompany my meal.

This weekend, Mrs. Sip and I are off to Las Vegas again. I’ve already stockpiled a list of places to hit, so next week’s Sip Trips should be pretty epic!