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Fitz's Root Beer: I went to a conference in St. Louis earlier in the year, and since people are always talking about St. Louis barbecue, I checked out a recommended spot called Pappy's Smokehouse. Alongside my meal, I chose among around 8 different flavored sodas from a local brand called Fitz's, including an atomic purple Grape Soda and intriguing cream soda. I ended up going for root beer, a classic and usually my top choice if there isn't a ginger beer option. The soda is made with cane sugar rather tha... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 beer root fitzs stlouis rootbeer drinks soda
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Garden of Eatin Pumpkin tortilla chips: I'm not bothered by the flood of pumpkin-flavored snacks that characterize this season, so I was intrigued by these pumpkin tortilla chips from Garden of Eaten, a brand I generally enjoy. These chips felt more sweet than savory, with a pronounced pumpkin spiced flavor that reminded me of pumpkin flavored candies. I would have liked it more if the pumpkin flavor was more natural tasting and subtle, while being slightly more seasoned. They have a serving size of 8 chips, which I find laughably... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 chips tortilla pumpkin gardenofeatin
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Churro Cone Charcoal black sesame churro ice cream: Like a pop-up version of Chikalicious's Dessert Club (now closed), this standing-room-only shop has a variety of ice cream flavors served in churro cones. The charcoal black sesame (legally referring only to the color rather than the additive, as that is no longer legal in NYC) contains shards of savory black sesame which pairs nicely with the creamy and sweet black sesame soft serve. The churro cone, purchased at the end of the day, was a bit dry and verging on stale, but I appreciated that... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 cream ice churro sesame black charcoal churrocone blacksesame ice cream nyc dessert
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Happy Lemon Kiwi Matcha Slushie: I didn't expect to enjoy the mango matcha slush I had a few months ago at the Happy Lemon in Berkeley, so I decided to try the kiwi version in New York (I'm pretty sure this wasn't an option in California). Alas, despite the similar green color, this is not a match that's meant to be. If it were just a kiwi slushie, it would be pretty good because it had kiwi seeds for texture and was remarkably tart. But the addition of matcha threw it off balance. At Happy Lemon, I would stick to just ... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 matcha kiwi happylemon slushie drinks
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Way Better Snacks Sweet Chili Whole Grain Corn Tortilla Chips: I got these chips with my lunch and was pleasantly surprised by how good they were. They have a kind of sriracha flavor that is mildly sweet and whose heat builds up over time, and the chips have a satisfying crispy texture that feels healthy yet flavorful. The chips contain flax, quinoa, chia seeds, broccoli, and radish seeds. I don't really like plain tortilla chips because I never buy dips - these are multigrain chips that stand on their own! 4.0/5.0

4.0 tortilla corn grain whole chili sweet waybettersnacks multigrain spicy sriracha chips recommended
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Calpico White peach drink: As a kid, I used to drink Calpico when visiting family in Taiwan. A Japanese “soft drink,” Calpico has a milky-white color but is much thinner in consistency. I remember it being very sweet but probably haven’t had it in over a decade until I came across this white peach flavor. My memory ended up being pretty accurate, though, as the drink was far too sweet and tasted like liquid peach gummies. It’s hard to imagine a situation when it would be desirable to drink this. 2.0/5.0

2.0 drink peach white calpico japanese drinks