A fellow chippie? chipper? chip lover sent me an email last week recommending the Arriba Sweet Chili flavour, Limited Time Flavour, tortilla chips. As I should, I took C's recommendation seriously, but didn't find myself at a store to search for said chips. Coincidentally..and lucky for me..a couple days later my wife brought home some bags of Arriba guac and Arriba sweet chili chips. Yippiekayea. I was quite excited to try the Sweet Chili for a few reasons; I've recently realized my previous (unwarranted) bias against Arriba flavours was, well, wrong, the aforementioned recommendation, and Doritos Sweet Chili Heat is one of my go to's any day anytime. So lets crack this limited time flavour open (I'm actually reviewing these while they're still available, whoa). They smell like corn tortilla chips, the flavouring looks from afar similar to Doritos flavour that they're aping, upon closer inspection the flavouring is more granular with visible sugar. Once I finished visibly inspecting, I finally got around to the mastication. The crunch is crispy, but not dense (I'd have to eat these next to another Arriba flavour, but this bag seems a bit more on the light crispy side than their standard). There's a definite corn taste. Is the flavouring okay? No. The flavouring is absolutely bangin'! You can sort of feel the granular seasoning on your tongue before it explodes into a mix of sugar sweet and relatively hot chili pepper heat (6ish). The seasoning and the corn of the chips blends together fantastically with neither being too overpowering. Seasoning is well distributed with great coverage. I had high expectations for this bag of chips and gee golly, they met if not surpassed my preconceptions. Go get you some.
Just over a year ago (June 6th, 2019) River Jacks from Calgary stopped to play in Brandon. This doesn't happen all that often with touring bands and it's rare that I actually hear about the show before hand. The only reason that I caught wind of this show was from their drummer who also plays in Mandible Klaw. I had ordered a MK LP in the spring and it was taking a while to arrive, then one day I got an email from the band letting me know that my order somehow slipped through the cracks but luckily they were starting a tour shortly going through Winnipeg and asking if I minded waiting for a bit longer and they'd drop the record off on their was through Brandon. Worked for me. When they showed up at my place their drummer came to the door with the record (and a tape of theirs that they threw in for free [wasn't necessary but very much appreciated]). I had a brief conversation with him when he mentioned that his other band, River Jacks, were booked to play The 40 in June. I shut the door, looked them up on bandcamp then put a reminder into my phone for the show because the music was great. River Jacks play Celtic inspired punk (think Flogging Molly as opposed to Dropkick Murphys [River Jacks are accordion based]). Anthemic, melodic, uptempo with thoughtful socially conscious lyrics that don't fall into the Celtic punk boozehole. When I saw them play live in Brandon I was also quite impressed with their live performance, even though there wasn't much of a crowd they still put everything into their energetic set, well worth the time and money if they ever come through your city (if touring happens again?). If you go to their bandcamp right now you can find all of their merch, including music, at a pay what you can and the profits are split with half going to the band while the other half being donated to local Calgary charities. They're helping others, their drummer's been a nice guy to me, music's fantastic. Go to their bandcamp, listen, and support.
ps, I have an old note in my phone that reads, "Salty Bag Notes:..Arriba zesty tacos with philadelphia dill pickle dip". I'm going to have to assume that's a recommendation that I forgot about. Have at it.