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Dexter Holland’s GRINGO BANDITO Hot Sauce is Full-Throttle Flavor [Product Review]

Like the Offspring’s catalog, the three signature flavors of Gringo Bandito Hot Suace pack a wallop with a heavy undercurrent topped with notes that are surprisingly pure and light.

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A decade ago, it might have seemed almost too obvious for the lead singer of a punk-tinged alt-rock band to come out with a hot sauce brand—a condiment as hardcore as the albums. 500 restaurants, 7,000 supermarkets, and countless bottles later, however, it actually makes perfect sense that Offspring frontman Dexter Holland’s Gringo Bandito project was so successful. Like the Offspring’s catalog, the three signature flavors of Gringo Bandito pack a wallop with a heavy undercurrent topped with notes that are surprisingly pure and light.

The Green hot sauce is refreshing in its consistency. It doesn’t fall into the trap of many similar styles that tamp down the heat by thinning the hot sauce. Instead, the Gringo Bandito Green keeps the spice down by balancing out the habaneros and serranos (bold choices for their lightest sauce) with citrusy, herbal mojo and plenty of fruity garlic. Thin enough to sprinkle over rice, nachos, soups, or sauces, the Green hout sauce is has the thickness to assert itself on top of cuts of meat. The slow, low burn blossoms and lingers on the tongue long after the first bite, revealing the full depth of the flavor of the mysterious “other peppers” listed on the menu.

Dexter in a hot sauce frenzy… photo credit Chapman Baehler.

The Original Red hot sauce is a medley of three peppers—citrusy habaneros, sweet jalapenos, and warm, earthy Japanese hot peppers. What stands out about the Red, however, over other low-to-mid-heat hot sauces, is that the Gringo Bandito Red manages to boast a first ingredient of vinegar without being as runny as Tabasco-style sauces like Crystal or Texas Peat. Instead, it’s thick like Valentina or Cholula, only with far more depth of flavor and complexity. It’s ideal for dishes that call for a cayenne-forward hot sauces like Frank’s, instead giving an extra woah-woah to mac n cheese, wings, and buffalo-style cauliflower.

Our journalist Meghan is making us hungry with these dope hot sauce shots…

Gringo Bandito’s Super Hot variety just might be the best of the bunch. Like the song goes, it’s “complicated, X-rated,” with Moruga Scorpion peppers and Bhut Jolokia Ghost Peppers. There is plenty of flavor underneath the intense but not-insurmountable heat. This hot sauce is great on its own, poured over cuts of meat or into dressings and marinades, or just to kick your usual Mexican favorites up a notch. It has a strong character on its own, but easily harmonizes when blended into a dish. That’s where Dexter’s garlic influence on all three sauces is a smart move, lending a familiar flavor that plays nice with others even while the peppers and vinegar are moshing off to the side.

If you want to give Gringo Bandito a shot in the proper context, you have your chance this summer. 311 and The Offspring are trekking across the US as part of their co-headlining “Never-Ending Summer” tour with support from Gym Class Heroes, and they’re bringing Gringo Bandito along for the ride. Check out the Gringo Bandito tent on site at one of the shows listed below and you can slurp a sample.

Check out this rad Gringo Bandito Taco Challenge from 2012.


Offspring & 311 Shows featuring Gringo Bandito:

07/25 – Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
07/27 – West Valley City, UT – USANA Amphitheater
07/28 – Las Vegas, NV – Downtown Las Vegas Events Center
07/29 – Chula Vista, CA – Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
07/31 – Phoenix, AZ – Ak-Chin Pavilion
08/21 – Hartford, CT – XFINITY Theatre
08/22 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
08/24 – Bethel, NY – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
08/25 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
08/26 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live

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311 “Come Original” India Pale Ale [Product Review]

Celebrated alternative rock band 311 has unveiled their official and impressive “Come Original” India Pale Ale that succeeds on all fronts.

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311 “Come Original” India Pale Ale

In collaboration with El Segundo Brewing Company based in El Segundo, California, alternative band 311 has launched their new beer, Come Original India Pale Ale. This brew features Simcoe, Mosaic, and Chinook hops, resulting in a delicately sweet and crystal-clear final product with hints of tropical flavours and lasting bitterness. 311 worked closely with El Segundo Brewing Company to create a one-of-a-kind beer that’s as captivating as the band themselves.

Appearance:

When pouring the Come Original IPA, you will notice a deep amber colour that is slightly hazy. The beer produces a thick and foamy head that dissipates slowly, leaving behind a lacing on the glass. The carbonation is visible, and the beer looks refreshing and inviting.

Aroma:

Upon taking a whiff of this beer, you will immediately notice the fruity and floral notes. There are hints of grapefruit and orange, which are complemented by a subtle sweetness. There is also a mild hop aroma that adds a nice balance to the overall scent.

Taste:

The first sip of the Come Original beer is refreshing and crisp. The initial taste is fruity and slightly sweet, with a nice citrusy tang. The beer has a medium body and is smooth on the palate, making it easy to drink. As you continue to drink, you will notice a slight bitterness that balances the sweetness. The hop flavour is present but not overpowering, adding a nice depth to the overall taste. The finish is clean and refreshing, with a slight dryness that lingers on the tongue.

Mouthfeel:

The mouthfeel of the Come Original beer is smooth and creamy, with just the right amount of carbonation. The beer has a medium body and is not too heavy or light. It is easy to drink and goes down smoothly, making it a great choice for a session beer.

Overall Impression:

Overall, the Come Original IPA is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys a refreshing and flavourful beer. The fruity and floral notes add a nice complexity to the taste, while the subtle bitterness adds a nice balance. The beer is smooth and easy to drink, making it a great choice for a hot summer day or a night out with friends. The collaboration between Rock Brothers Brewing and 311 has produced a beer that is unique and enjoyable, and it is definitely worth trying if you come across it.

Final Thoughts:

In conclusion, the Come Original IPA is a great addition to the craft beer world. It has a unique taste that is both refreshing and complex, and it is easy to drink. The beer is well-balanced and has a nice mouthfeel, making it a great choice for anyone who enjoys a good beer. Whether you are a fan of 311 or just a beer enthusiast, the Come Original beer is definitely worth trying.

The Barn, located in southeast Missouri, plays host to a number of podcasts that include Girl Dad, Vulgar Display of Podcast, Birds & Swords, Live from the Leadbelt, 3rd Eye Review, Show-Me Music Podcast, Knuckleball Prime Time, Comics and Cosmetics, The Barn Radio Show, The Chris Sabo Power Hour, and The Wellness Investors.

Follow The Barn and its brands here: https://linktr.ee/TheBarnMediaGroup.

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Culture

Blazy Susan Rolling Tray [Product Review]

“The Blazy Susan Rolling Tray is the rolling tray I’ve always wanted. I just didn’t know it!”

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Blazy Susan Rolling Tray

“The Blazy Susan Rolling Tray is the rolling tray I’ve always wanted. I just didn’t know it!” That is a direct quote from the man who is supposed to be writing this review. But instead of him, it’s me. I’m stealing this quote from him, just like I stole his Blazy Susan Rolling Tray.

The Blazy Susan is a toker’s dream come true. I intended the aforementioned to be a gift from my girlfriend and me, to him to celebrate the legalization of recreational Marijuana in Missouri as of February 3, 2023. When he stopped by the day we intended to present it to him, he couldn’t stop talking about how cool my new Blazy Susan Rolling Tray was, and I was caught up in the hype.

He pointed out how the wood grain finish matched our coffee table and, if I can steal another quote (this time from “The Dude”), it “really tied the room together.” His nonstop chatter about all the potential it had to hold hash and dabs, create a space to roll with ease and even keep our drinks nearby made me totally forget to tell him it was his. Instead, we spent the next couple of hours trying out all these accessories.

The pipe cleaner in the ashtray is an awesome touch. Almost as cool as the fact that my Blazy Susan Rolling Tray spins. Like John Cena’s WWE title belt, but I digress. It’s not just the novelty of it spinning, though the novelty of it will never EVER wear off. The fact that it spins accommodates my smoking routine. You see…my girlfriend cannot roll a joint, but she does like to be a part of the routine, so she will gladly break up some flower for me to roll up. However, the handoff of the primitive rolling tray often did not go smoothly, resulting in precious bud being spilled. Major party foul. With our new Blazy Susan Rolling Tray, incidents like that are a thing of the past.

Now, we can partake together with nothing but love. She loves my perfectly rolled joints, and I love her willingness to be a team player. After she breaks up the flower, she gives our Blazy Susan a little spin-a-roonie and I take care of my part. In mere moments, we are burning down another tasty Jay. Is it as funny as we think it is? Probably not. But will we laugh about it every time she spins that Blazy Susan Rolling Tray and MJ comes my way? Oh, you betcha. This Blazy Susan Rolling Tray has even brought more joy into our relationship! Wow! The Blazy Susan Rolling Tray… is there anything it can’t do?

Someday, we will tell our friend that this Blazy Susan Rolling Tray (our Blazy Susan Rolling Tray) was supposed to be his. Maybe around Christmas, when he opens one of his own.

The Barn, located in southeast Missouri, plays host to a number of podcasts that include Girl Dad, Vulgar Display of Podcast, Birds & Swords, Live from the Leadbelt, 3rd Eye Review, Show-Me Music Podcast, Knuckleball Prime Time, Comics and Cosmetics, The Barn Radio Show, The Chris Sabo Power Hour, and The Wellness Investors.

Follow The Barn and its brands here: https://linktr.ee/TheBarnMediaGroup.

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Culture

Derm Dude: A Refreshing Take on Tattoo Aftercare [Product Review]

While I’ll admit to being skeptical, the Derm Dude products do the job really well and have definitely got me eying their site for my next restock!

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Derm Dude, photo by Nathan Katsiaficas

Getting a tattoo can be a pretty serious investment—both in time and money. And while it’s easy to pop over to your neighborhood tattoo parlor or browse the infinite array of talented artists online beforehand, many folks don’t seem to put as much thought into taking care of their ink afterward. We all have those friends or acquaintances whose tattoos have begun to lose definition and fade, or become pretty darn unreadable. So why not put as much thought towards caring for your new ink and for your skin in the long term? Enter Derm Dude.

Founded by heavily tattooed, Emmy-nominated journalist-turned-entrepreneur and philanthropist Drew Plotkin (a.k.a. The Derm Dude) after 15 years working for high-end skin care companies, Derm Dude offers several lines of personal care products, including a line devoted to tattoo aftercare. With that sort of pedigree behind their founder, it wasn’t hard to say ‘Yes’ when the company reached out about sending over a few of their most popular products, especially on the eve of my 12th tattoo session on my left arm sleeve!

I opted for Derm Dude’s “Tattoo Starter Set,” which features two products aimed at brightening your ink and hydrating your skin—their Instant Brightening Mist and Nuclear Balm. For those that might be wondering, the balm and instant brightening mist are both 100% plant-based and vegan—no animals were harmed in the production of this review! The set also includes their “Invisible SPF Tattoo Brightening Spray,” a 50 SPF spray-on sunscreen, which I am unfortunately not able to use right now given that the temperature outside in Portland, Maine, is a balmy 12 degrees Fahrenheit…

But I do look forward to trying it this summer, and may post a second piece once I get to, along with a review of his recent book, Under My Skin, which the company kindly threw in as well! You can read more about Plotkin’s book, which according to the brand’s website, follows his journey to self-discovery as he travels from New Jersey to Hollywood and eventually around the world, landing gigs spearheading massive brands, brushing shoulders with Hollywood A-Listers, all while navigating life’s ups and downs as he collects experiences and tattoos, right here.

In the meantime, I decided to give the spray and tattoo balm a go. As a guy with a fair amount of tattoos myself, I’m no stranger to taking care of my ink. My typical post-tattoo routine typically involves applying increasing amounts of Aveeno daily moisturizer and lots of slapping to keep from itching. But once the flaking is done, it can be difficult to remember to moisturize and keep what was once new ink looking fresh. I began by trying the Instant Brightening Mist on some of my oldest color ink dating back three to four years. I quickly discovered that when it comes to Derm Dude’s mist, a little goes a long way. I did not find the product to be overly greasy, but it is a bit oily, which makes sense since the main ingredient appears to be grapeseed oil.

Right away, I noticed the bolder colors from my oldest tattoos, which I would typically otherwise remember to moisturize a day or two a week at best. The black tones and colors were more rich and more vibrant. Unfortunately, I did this without taking a before image, sure that it would wear off quickly and allow for a better image. Spoiler alert: it did not. Whatever is in this formula, the bolder colors hung around for days; through showers and gym sessions, my ink, which is on my right forearm and bicep, did not get dry and fade much at all.

I had a similar experience with the Nuclear Balm. The closest product I’ve tried to this is competitor Mad Rabbit’s tattoo balm. But unlike the waxy, frankly unpleasant ‘coconut oil’-feel of Mad Rabbit’s balm, the Derm Dude Nuclear Balm felt light and absorbed into my skin much more readily with no lingering residue, again leaving lasting boldness and brightness to my color tattoos. A little goes a long way with this product too—you can check out a photo of the first tattoo I ever got, a full-color stratovolcano above. In the image, the left half of the tattoo (right side of the photo) has had the Nuclear balm put on, beginning at the star all the way to the far right edge. The left half has not—the difference is visible, but the photo honestly does not do it justice, so I’ve also included some before and after photos provided by Derm Dude.

A day after applying the tattoo balm, the effects were still pretty apparent, and my skin was more hydrated after 24 hours than if I’d simply used the Aveeno. While I’ll admit to being skeptical, the Derm Dude products do the job really well and have definitely got me eying their site for my next restock!

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