Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: Trader Joe's PB&J Milk Chocolate Bar

As you know, if you have been paying any attention whatsoever, I really like chocolate. I like it by itself, and I like it when imaginative people put fun things in it.

A year and a half ago, I did a review of Patric Chocolate's PBJ OMG bar. Whereas it has a hint of "jelly" in the fruity tones of the chocolate, this bar - 

- actually contains a jelly of sorts. According to the ingredient list, it's raspberry juice, raspberry flavor, and some sugars.

The bar is sectioned off; there are 6 portions, so you could eat the bar in different sittings, if that's how you roll. When we're talking breakfast, that is *not* my M.O.

The center has a strip of peanut butter and some gooey raspberry liquid. While the bar is certainly superior to, say, Palmer candy or other cheap-o chocolate imitators, it's basically just a milk chocolate bar, on par with more recent innovative grocery store chocolate.

The milk chocolate *is* made with cocoa butter and real vanilla; there is even extra cocoa butter in the filling. But it's too sweet to work with the jelly. It would have a more interesting flavor profile if the chocolate were darker.

Additionally, the jelly is so extremely sweet (and I'm a "there's no such thing as 'too sweet'" gal), it overwhelms the peanut butter. It might as well just be a raspberry-filled chocolate bar.

It's tasty, but I probably wouldn't seek it out again unless it were on sale, the same way I do with other "grocery store" chocolate bars. Although I loved the idea of having actual peanut butter and jelly in the chocolate bar, I would choose Patric Chocolate's PBJ OMG bar in the future. It is definitely more balanced and flavorful.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Walking Around: Castle Hill's Graffiti Park

Today was a gorgeous one in Austin!

I was sitting out on the porch with my laptop, planning for our Christmas video, when James came out, taking a break from work stuff, and asked if I wanted to go on a walk. Why, yes! I did! But it had to be a wobbly walk. Because here in Austin, we might rock steady, but we...

So, we headed out and, less than half an hour later, were here:

This is the Graffiti Park at Castle Hill (see the castle behind it?), part of the Clarksville community. 

This site was supposed to be condos. They were funded and the foundations started in the 1980s... then the site failed some structural tests and building stalled. Back in 2007, more feasibility tests were done, and it was "upzoned." Here is a site plan for it, in case you're interested.

So far, though... just cool stuff.

There were people there weeding, and picking up trash, and painting over stuff to make blank canvases to put their own art. The spray paint fumes were deliciously noxious.

I have to agree with this sentiment, especially given the foreground.

How about all of this graffiti-based encouragement?

Even the drainage ditch was all painted up.

You could look for hours, and then come back in a few weeks, and there would be different art to observe.

To get here, go west on 12th from Lamar, and take the first left onto Baylor. You can't miss it!