Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I’ll have the brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tart combo…and can I get a side salad with that?

So, because my world rarely ventures beyond the perimeters established by Encore Westerns, TCM and the vast holdings in the dusty Thrilling Days of Yesteryear archives, I don’t often find out about the new and exciting pop culture trends until…well, sometimes it’s years after they’ve been introduced. (Case in point: I keep hearing about this thing called an i…Pod?) But in sorting through the e-mail this morning, I came across this blurb about the brand-spanking new Pop-Tarts Café that opened up yesterday in Times Square, NY.

Yes…you read that right. A restaurant that specializes in Pop-Tarts, the popular breakfast “pastry” that I could at one time devour an entire box in a single sitting back in my reckless youth…

(When sister Kat and I saw Paula Poundstone in Savannah many years back we brought her a box of Pop Tarts. “Grab for the gusto” has always been our modus operandi.)

In this article, they mention a dish called “Pop-Tarts Sushi”—and before you start running to get in line to drive the porcelain bus, it’s not what you think. It’s three kinds of Pop-Tarts minced, and then wrapped in a fruit roll-up. According to Etienne Patout, described as “a senior director of the Pop-Tarts brand” (It’s like Executive Suite at Battle Creek—quel intrigue!): “We did an internal tasting here in the building, and it was the winner.” (Yeah, like your employees are going to risk an uncertain employment future by telling you “Kee-rist, that tastes like sh*t!”)

The reviews are in, and here’s what some of the top food websites have to say:

Ashton Warren, pastry chef for Zagat: “It's not bad, but it's not good, either...The texture is all wrong. You get the crunch, but there shouldn't be a crunch when you're eating a fruit roll-up.” (Keep in mind that Zagat is the jernt that ranked Red Lobster #1 among seafood restaurants, so you should take this cumo graino salto.)

Gothamist: “Like Proust's madeleine, the taste of the Pop-Tarts sushi instantly took me back to my childhood. Specifically, memories of attempting to eat bubblegum and graham crackers at the same time. I guess that's why I never tried that again.”

Serious Eats: “I don't know how this could be so much worse than the sum of its parts, but it was. Chalky and powdery and, frankly, vile. The extra fruit filling, maybe? Edibility, 1-10: 0. I physically could not bring myself to swallow.”

The most positive rave came from Slashfood, who observes: “It tastes exactly how it sounds—sweet, possibly too sweet. I would have been more content to empty out the filling and just eat the fruit wrap. However, I can see why it has such an appeal and I truly believe everyone should try it for themselves.” The funniest observation comes from stand-up newsman Shep Smith of Fox News: “Pop-Tarts now has a store in Times Square. Pop-Tarts, crossroad to the world. Pop-Tarts. I say we bring back the porn stores.”

Had I known about this beforehand, I would have asked TDOY’s own Pam to check the place out and give us a report…but seeing as how breakfast foods like sausage gravy and Spam are foreign to my longtime online chum, perhaps it’s best that I didn’t.

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6 comments:

Elisson said...

I still remember when Pop Tarts were first introduced in 1964. Pastry that you could heat up in your toaster! Wow, what an idea!

Frankly, I was disappointed from the get-go... and it's hard to disappoint a twelve-year-old when it comes to Sweet Crap. But with an excessively saccharine filling enclosed in hard, cardboardy "pastry," I didn't much care for Pop Tarts.

I will, however, state that Pop Tarts (like Oreos and ice-cold Girl scout Thin Mints) are wonderful to gobble when you're stoned. (Don't ask me how I know this.) Of course, in that state of mind, a sponge with Log Cabin syrup is also pretty tasty.

Wings said...

Love Pop Tarts, my favorite has always been frosted Strawberry, but the Brown Sugar Cinnamon is good, too!

And I love the Poundstone bit!

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

I will, however, state that Pop Tarts (like Oreos and ice-cold Girl scout Thin Mints) are wonderful to gobble when you're stoned. (Don't ask me how I know this.)

Um...yeah, I seem to recall...uh...reading that somewhere as well.

Frankly, I was disappointed from the get-go... and it's hard to disappoint a twelve-year-old when it comes to Sweet Crap. But with an excessively saccharine filling enclosed in hard, cardboardy "pastry," I didn't much care for Pop Tarts.

See, that's why you're the Blogosphere's resident gourmet and connoisseur of fine foods...and why I would get excited if there was an extra Zinger in the package of 3 that came out of the vending machine.

I like Pop-Tarts but I was ga-ga over Kellogg's Danish-Go-Rounds, which were sort of Pop-Tarts 2.0. Of course, because I liked them so much, Kellogg's, in their infinite breakfast wisdom, decided to pull the product off the shelves--a friend of mine once e-mailed the company to ask what happened to the product and the reply he received was along the lines of "there's no market for these pastries."

Of course, they say the same thing about the unfrosted cherry Pop-Tarts...yet everybody and his brother complains that they don't sell them anymore.

Scott C. said...

I didn't care for Pop-Tarts when they first came out -- dry, ho-hum -- until they frosted them. Then it was all DON'T GET BETWEEN ME AND MY BROWN SUGAR CINNAMON. Loved those things.

Hated Danish-Go-Rounds, which my mother bought because they were cheaper, and which were, in my opinion, like gnawing on a hunk of chalk served in a puff pastry shell.

I drove my sister up to Oregon State University for an interview when she applied to grad school, and when we were heading back early the next day, we started squabbling over the last silver packet of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, getting so worked up that I veered dangerously close to the ditch. Then we spent the next ten minutes entertaining scenarios of our father being informed by the California Highway Patrol:

"Mr. Clevenger? I'm sorry, but both your children were killed on Interstate 5, just outside Corvallis, Oregon. It appears they were...struggling over a Pop-Tart."

I cannot believe how far Times Square has fallen. I remember when it was all peep shows and grindhouses showing CRIPPLED MASTERS and THE LOVE BUTCHER ("He kills for love! And loves to kill!") It all went downhill when they replaced Nathan's with an ESPN Zone.

Harrumph.

Pam said...

It is true. Sausage gravy and Spam are foreign to me. I believe I had a Pop-Tart once. Most likely at a 6th grade slumber party. I remember not being impressed.

But...for you, Ivan, anything. Anything short of drinking a glass of milk. If you want me to venture to the Times Square Pop-Tart Emporium, I will do it!

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

But...for you, Ivan, anything. Anything short of drinking a glass of milk.

Just for the sake of those uninformed...milk is Pam's personal Kryptonite.