Review: Hard Rock Cafe’s Mix It Up Cocktails, Heineken Brisket Burger, New Local Legendary Burger, The Nosh Show, Ep. 95: The Most Curmudgeonly Junk Food Show, & WE ARE ALL CURMUDGEONS
JFG Nation, I’m getting older. You’re getting older. And no matter what age you are, you are a curmudgeon when it comes to things you’ve experienced a hundred times. Watch 18 seasons of football and you’ll find yourself griping about how the game “used” to be. “Read” 5000 issues of Playboy and you’ll complain about how the articles used to be hotter. Teenagers are griping everywhere about how Chatroulette used to be fun. And that curmudgeon-spirit has spread to even your loyal junk food blog reviewers! Don’t believe me? Then check out EPISODE 95 OF THE NOSH SHOW.
For you new arrivals, The Nosh Show is a podcast started by Marvo from The Impulsive Buy, featuring Ryan from GrubGrade, Dubba from On Second Scoop, and, of course, me, your friendly neighborhood JFG. And today marks the release of The Nosh Show, Episode 95: The Most Curmudgeonly Junk Food Show.
This week: “Hostess Ice Cream, Red Velvet Kit Kat, another cinnamon cereal, McDonald’s Breakfast Chicken Sandwiches, and much more.” You can listen embedded here:
I know we’re about to hit a home stretch for the holiday season, so get it all out in the comments below: what are YOU a curmudgeon about? For Many of you, it’s easy: Oreo flavors. How many of you complain, COMPLAIN LOUDLY, when a new flavor Oreo comes out? Yeah, most of you. Me? It’s the constant use of text instead of talking to people face to face, so that so many people are so effing awkward when they actually HAVE to have a conversation, that it makes it awkward for everyone. HEY PICK UP THE PHONE ONCE IN A WHILE YOU EFFING WEIRDO.
Anyways, let’s be curmudgeons together in the comments.
Today’s review: Hard Rock Cafe’s Mix It Up Cocktails & Two New Burgers!
The Hard Rock Cafe DC reached out to me recently to try some of their new holiday cocktails, and who was I to refuse? These six new cocktails were an addition to their normal lineup of drinks, and the purchase of “two of Hard Rock’s drinks will also give back to charity.” More of that later.
The new “Mix It Up” holiday cocktails, available at Hard Rock Cafe Washington, D.C. from Monday, November 14 through Sunday, January 29, include:
Let me tell ya: that’s a lot of booze and sugar in those mason jars. The charity aspect: “for every Maria Sangria and Pomegranate Cooler purchased featuring Lifewater® Yumberry Pomegranate, Pepsico will donate 50 cents to the Hard Rock Heals Foundation, which aims to improve lives through the power of music.” I’m down with that.
Knowing I couldn’t drink all six drinks by myself (well, couldn’t drink them and still write this blog post), I brought my friends Jayme and Erin with me to the Hard Rock Cafe. And then they set down all six drinks in front of us:
The Hard Rock Cafe DC doesn’t skimp on portion size, that’s for sure. Rather than the collectible mason jars, they made the drinks for us in gigantic tall beer glasses. Boozy booze booze.
With my two drinking buddies with me, it was time to get our Hard Rock Cafe drink on. What follows are descriptions of each drink and the rapid fire reactions of me, Jayme, and Erin.
Velvet Rain – A luscious and velvety sangria made with Soul Sister Pinot Noir, Southern Comfort, Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur, tropical juices and fresh berries.
Erin: “WHOA. I definitely got all the booze in my glass.”
Jayme: “This definitely seems like more of a summer drink than a holiday one.”
JFG: “Basically tasted like boozy berry juice, very very sweet.”
Angelo’s Passion – Winner of Hard Rock’s 2016 Global BARocker Championship, Angelo Delgado, created this passionately refreshing and fruity concoction made with BACARDI Superior Rum, Midori Melon Liqueur, Passion Fruit Reál and ginger beer.
Jayme: “looks like Mountain Dew, tastes like lemon lime, not sure where the melon is.”
JFG: “really? I can taste the ginger, passionfruit, and melon. Can’t taste the booze at all; this drink is super dangerous that way.”
Erin: “smells like potpourri, and tastes like ginger ale and Mountain Dew mixed together.”
Pineapple Sage Rita – Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur and fresh sage bring aromatic, savory spice to this margarita made with Sauza Hornitos Reposado Tequila and Monin Agave Nectar.
JFG: “love Monin! The was super sweet and super pineapple-y. Tasted like candy.”
Erin: “I can palate this one!”
Jayme: “Too much pineapple. Overdone.”
Bourbon Milk Punch – The ultimate decadent treat – Jim Beam Red Stag Bourbon, RumChata, Monin Spiced Brown Sugar and milk shaken together then topped with whipped cream, a caramel drizzle and spiced pecans.
Erin: “I can’t taste any bourbon.”
JFG: “this tastes more like a coconut drink to me than a milk punch drink or a rum punch drink.”
Jayme: “I get a pecan pie flavor, although I think it also tastes like a candle from Bath and Body Works.”
Maria Sangria* – mix of Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc, Havana Club Anejo Clasico, Lifewater® Yumberry Pomegranate and tropical juices shaken with fresh lime, orange and strawberries.
Erin: “best drink of the night! Not as sweet as the other drinks.”
Jayme: “Agree. The decrease in sweetness makes these easy to drink.”
JFG: ” I knew this would be my favorite because of the tequila. Plus, concur – less cloying flavor = chug time. I like a nice sweet drink in the summer but in the winter this is more my speed.”
Pomegranate Cooler (alcohol free)* – Don’t take this pom for granate! Monin Pomegranate, Lifewater® Yumberry Pomegranate, sweet and sour and fresh raspberries, rosemary and lime.
JFG: “Still pretty sweet but probably the most straightforward flavor of the bunch: Pom booze with a Pom drink. Easy.”
Jayme and Erin: “THIS would be great with vodka!”
Our final rankings:
JFG: Maria Sangria, Pom Cooler, Pineapple Sage Rita, Angelo’s Passion, Velvet Rain, Bourbon Milk Punch.
Jayme: Maria Sangria, Pom Cooler, Velvet Rain, Pineapple Sage Rita, Angelo’s Passion, Bourbon Milk Punch.
Erin: Maria Sangria, Pom Cooler, Pineapple Sage Rita, Velvet Rain, Angelo’s Passion, Bourbon Milk Punch.
While we were there, the Hard Rock Cafe also gave a few things to munch on to help soak up the booze. Their advertised specialty burger this season was a Heineken Brisket Burger: 1/2 pound Angus topped with caramelized BBQ onion, Heineken braised Brisket, Gouda, and Garlic Aioli.
This burger was massive. The Brisket was good; the Heineken beer gave the meet a bit of tartness that was unexpected that worked well with the sweet onions. The Brisket was chopped rather than pulled, which made it more chewy than expected, but the overall flavors were still good.
The burger wasn’t overly salty and the Gouda/mayo combo helped bring everything together.
The Hard Rock Cafe also had an off-menu new Local Legendary burger, i.e. a local burger specific to the HRC DC location. This burger had BBQ pork tips on top of the burger and was served with a black cherry mayo and cheddar cheese. The burger appeared to have some sort of sherry glaze on it as well.
This burger was ridiculously good. The sweet glaze worked really well with the BBQ tips, which were SUPER tender. The mayo helped push the sweet component of this burger while the cheddar provided a nice sharpness to cut it. More than that, however, the burger had a great smoky flavor to it. Hope I enjoyed the Heineken burger I think the char of the burger got lost in the Heineken Brisket. This burger did not have that problem. REALLY good.
So there you have it! Thanks again to the Hard Rock Cafe DC for giving me a chance to sample all of these tasty items!!