Five Dollar Pizza is so much more than five dollars of pizza

Pizza is too expensive! We’ll just say it! It costs too much money to buy a pizza! Having to pay so much damn money for a simple bread, sauce, and cheese is exhausting. In the quarantine environment we’ve been living in for the past seven months minimum, pizza has evolved from an “easy meal” to “life-saving necessity” for us. We know that pizza isn’t cheap – the costs of cheese and toppings adds up quickly, and the margins are razor-thin even in the largest markets. 

Still, there’s a saying about bad sex and bad pizza: it’s still pretty good. Sometimes the cheapest pizzas are the best ones, not just for their quality, but for the experiences they provide. Some of our best pizza memories take place in parked cars at Little Caesars, at gas stations, in college cafeterias, getting the Pizza Hut personal pan at Target. Cheap pizza is something that’s worth hunting down and going out of your way for.

When we found a place called Five Dollar Pizza in Minneapolis, we really thought it was too good to be true. Ever since Little Caesars had shut down completely in our area, we had resigned ourselves to pizza costing over twice as much from now on.  We didn’t really mind, because Little Caesars pizza really tastes like it was made with five dollars worth of ingredients, so we willing shelled out for our local Domino’s “$5.99 for Two” deals and made do. Seeing that there was another place, an independent place, that offered pizza at a Little Caesars price seemed impossible. But, one day we were up in the area, and decided we simply had no choice but to drop in. For five dollars, what could we lose?

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Do Us A Flavor and stay inside

It’s that time of year again! In case you haven’t been out to get groceries in the past, oh, ten or so years, Lay’s has regularly done more “interesting” flavors as limited-time promotions. It all started with the “Do Us A Flavor” contest in 2012, where you could submit your ideas for chip flavors online and the winners would be made into real chips. This ended up giving us such strange chips as Cappuccino and Wasabi Ginger, which were utterly divine and need to come back. 

Now Lay’s has released a line of five “Flavor Icons”, chips inspired by famous restaurants around America. No contest here, just five bags of good ol’ American sit-down taste: Chile Relleno from Cocina Azul in Albuquerque; Wavy Carnitas Street Taco from El Torito in Los Angeles; Kettle Cooked New York Style Pizza from Grimaldi’s in New York City; Philly Cheesesteak from Geno’s Steaks in Philadelphia; and finally Nashville Hot Chicken from Party Fowl in Nashville.

We only ended up trying the former three flavors, because grocery shopping sucks. We would have loved to try the hot chicken flavor, but you can’t get everything you want, especially in this hell world we live in nowadays.

So hey, let’s crack open these bags and see what kind of weird shit Lay’s is doing this year.

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Taco John’s Meat & Potato Breakfast Burrito has meat and potato indeed

Taco Bell may have betrayed us, but it’s a good thing they aren’t the only pseudo-Mexican-style food restaurant in the business. One of our personal favorites is Taco John’s, a distinctively Midwestern brand of ground meat slop shoved into tortillas that has managed to capture our heart. 

It’s no secret that our number one favorite fast food item is Taco Bell’s Breakfast Crunchwrap, which was definitely the reason we were distracted from noticing Taco John’s breakfast menu for so long. Though Taco John’s was our first stop if we wanted shitty tacos, Taco Bell had our hearts for shitty breakfast. With Taco Bell announcing that they’re going to be making unforgivable changes to their menu, we’ve been in the market for a new tortilla-wrapped breakfast delight.

Most of Taco John’s breakfast items were the standard ‘breakfast burrito’ kind of thing, but one caught our eye: The “Meat & Potato Breakfast Burrito”. With just good old meat, potatoes, and eggs in it, it was a potential challenger to the Crunchwrap throne.

So can the Meat & Potato Breakfast Burrito dethrone the Breakfast Crunchwrap in our eyes? Hit the jump and find out.

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Trying goat at the Tandoor Restaurant

You may have heard of the Gandhi Mahal, an Indian restaurant in Minneapolis that was burned down in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. They now have a fundraiser for the rebuilding fees you can donate to, and have stood in support of the protests.

We had eaten at the Gandhi Mahal before, and found the food there excellent. It was a sobering reminder for us of just how real the whole event was. It was also a reminder for us that the Gandhi Mahal is actually really great. We don’t eat at our local Indian restaurants as often as we should, which is a huge mark of shame for us. This train of thought is what brought us to an even more local place in Bloomington: equal parts ‘a desire to help’, and ‘a deep anxiety that local food will be lost in the pandemic’.

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We deem Hylics 2 the weirdest game of 2020

Hylics 2 is a JRPG-style game made by Mason Lindroth and released on June 22, 2020.

Hylics 2 was probably our most-anticipated game in many, many years. The first Hylics is one of our top games of all time, and the announcement that there would be a sequel in 2018 lit a fire under us. Mason Lindroth had been posting teasers since 2016, assuredly having begun work on Hylics 2 shortly after the first game was finished, but being able to piece together that his new work was for a greater purpose showed that Hylics 2 was going to be something massive.

The game was initially given a Summer 2019 release date – a date that Mason admitted was overly optimistic – and the wait continued on. Now it’s Summer 2020, and Hylics 2 is finally in our hands. 

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Eating at El Loro is great, even if you can’t eat AT El Loro

We miss sitting down at a real restaurant. We don’t mind takeout, we love it, but sometimes we really do want a regular, sit-down experience. Don’t worry, we’re not one of those people who will start bullying restaurants to open back up – we know this lockdown is for a good reason – but it does make us sad. If we’re struggling with this, imagine how the restaurants themselves are handling it! The answer is, for the most part, “poorly.” Restaurants that simply do not work as take-out joints have been forced to transition, and it’s not going smoothly for most places. This can be a problem with multiple factors: the food isn’t suited for take-out, they don’t have any ecosystem in place for take-out or delivery, or the owners don’t want to work out the business plan for transition.

One restaurant we’ve been wanting to go to, El Loro in Bloomington, is a sit-down Mexican place that has made the transition to take out. Have they managed to crack the code? Hit the jump to find out.

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Scott Ja-Mama’s packs big barbecue into a tiny package

We discovered Scott Ja-Mama’s by complete chance. Driving down the road, as we are wont to do, we simply came to the intersection of Diamond Lake and Nicollet and were forced to stop at its red light. While waiting, Paula turned their head and said, “Now that looks like a hole in the wall!” There was the neon sign of Scott Ja-Mama’s, promising hot barbecue with a one-of-a-kind name. We had never before gotten so immediately excited over a restaurant we had seen on the street. It is our fervent belief that the smaller a restaurant is, the better its food is. And we’re talking about floor space, not just the amount of business it does. Scott Ja-Mama’s looked like it could hold barely five people, maybe seven if they were slim.

So, of course, we were instantly enamored and had to order from there soon. And two days later, we had put the order in. We were going to find out what Scott Ja-Mama’s was all about.

But what is Scott Ja-Mama’s all about? What even is it? Hit the jump to find out.

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Why did Burger King bring back its spicy nuggets, here and now?

Burger King brought its spicy nuggets back. You didn’t know they had left? You didn’t even know that Burger King even had spicy nuggets? We can’t blame you. Burger King introduced spicy nuggets back in 2017, shortly after Wendy’s discontinued their nuggets, in a naked cash-grab. 

We’re not really in a position where going outside to grab a handful of chicken nuggets is something you can do in a lark anymore. Going out for Burger King is a thing now, like literally any reason you go outside. You gotta bring your mask, and your hand sanitizer, and carefully plan to make sure you don’t get too close to anybody else… it gets exhausting. You need a good reason if you’re going outside. Like, perhaps, Burger King offering those spicy nuggets at an unbelievably cheap price: eight for a dollar? We’ve had these nuggets before, but it had been years since we last tasted one… Well, grab your mask and hit the jump, what is there to lose?

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