Review: Hungry Man Handfulls Philly Cheesesteak

Hungry-Man is a bit of an enigma in the frozen food industry, specifically in that the nerds over in high finance can’t figure out for the life of them how a brand based on big portions, low nutrition, and man-sized appetites is growing in a world where frozen foods are seeing steep declines in sales and people are generally turning to healthier alternatives. Hungry Man not only survives but succeeds and grows in an environment where branding your food “eat like a man” would get you strung up in an instant if your average vegan had any upper body strength available.

Hungry Man meals generally satisfy the five basic man food groups: Salty, meaty, cheesy, greasy, and salty, and this big pocket of hot meat doesn’t fail to satisfy that list. I’m quite surprised that Hungry Man didn’t go for the term “Man-fulls” with this product, but this blank check from Scotch Buy cigarettes for the purpose of funding the Shameless Consumer Podcast, aka Spoiled: A Shameless Consumer Podcast brought to you by Scotch Buy brand cigarettes, has me reconsidering my idea to question Hungry Man’s marketing team.

I don’t know why, I’m just feeling less inquisitive all of a sudden. This check is printed on fancy paper.

The filling is more of a combination of the thin slices of steak you see on the packaging and a slurry of beef and cheese, like a baby food for manly babies with manly baby appetites. The box says that the contents include beef, peppers, onions, and american cheese and…sure. I’ll take Hungry Man’s word for it that there are onions and peppers in this concoction. I could definitely taste hints of onion and pepper among the mixture of beef and cheese, but there definitely wasn’t the minuscule trace of visible veggies as seen on the box.

Which is fine, the less my manly eyes have to look at vegetables, the less I need to be aware that I’m eating them. Vegetables are for vegetarians, berries are for bears, and Trix are for kids, but meat? There’s no I in meat, but there’s a ME and incidentally no u, so stop I’ing me steak, if u know what’s good for u.

The Hand Full weighs in at about 9oz of food, making this a little over a half pound for about half the price of a full pound Hungry Man Dinner. I would even go so far as saying that it’s just the thing when you come from work and you don’t feel like cooking, or ordering out, but you still want something kind of resembling a Philly Cheese steak. It’s also filling, which is what you want when you’re hungry.

Getting a good Philly Cheese steak outside of the fair, a sandwich shop, or a restaurant is pretty difficult, so I’m going to grade on a curve and say that the Hungry Man Manfuls Philly Cheese Steak gets two thumbs up. It’s filling, it’s tasty, it doesn’t have a lot of vegetables, honestly the only thing I could ask for is an hour of your time with Spoiled: The Shameless Consumer Podcast brought to you by Scotch Buy Cigarettes, assuming our first episode ever gets released.

All Hungry Man needs is a catchy phrase to go with it, like snap into a Slim Jim, or mmmm, beefy. Speaking of Hungry Man, have you tried the Sixlicious new flavors? I don’t know what that means either but I’m going to find out.

Verdict: 4.5/5 – I lost the photos to this review, again, and ultimately decided not to steal snapshots from the various Youtube reviews of this product. Otherwise the only complaint I have is that a Philly Cheese Steak-like product will ultimately serve to remind you that you’d like a nice Philly Cheese Steak.

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Chef’dless Consumer: Black Truffle Butter Sirloin Steaks

Here at Shameless Consumer Industries, I have a lot of respect for the pre-made meal industry. It takes a lot of gumption to take $8 worth of food and sell it for over $20. Thanks to Chef’d you no longer have to sign up for those expensive and controlling Blue Apron subscriptions, and for $20 per two-serving meal, you can have fresh ingredients right at your fingertips, provided those fingertips are attached to a body that is shopping at your local grocery store where Chef’d products are sold.

Or if you’re a frugal consumer, like myself, you can wait until the Chef’d products are on deep clearance which in the case of my local Tops Markets is always.

Today’s product is Black Truffle Butter Sirloin Steaks, a meal that is completely worthless if you’re the type of person who hates sirloin steak and black truffle butter. Personally this meal combines two of the Shameless Consumer’s favorite things: Truffles and sirloin, and the dish itself is actually a callback to the inventor of truffle butter, Florencio Trofel, an Italian immigrant who left his country in the early twentieth century and found his way to Brazil. Florencio, incidentally and ironically, accidentally discovered where the nipples are located on cashews and thus stumbled into a rather lucrative business harvesting and selling their milk.

But enough about history, let’s talk food. Chef’d Black Truffle Butter Sirloin Steak is so easy a four year old can figure it out; six steps and hardly any words with more than two syllables. In short, I couldn’t ask for more outside of a four year old who might be able to explain how to cook a steak.

First step is to water down the chicken base (yes I said chicken base), quarter and add the potatoes, and then toss in the roasted garlic for good measure, and right now some of you are no doubt thinking “potatoes in chicken stock with roast garlic? This guy might just be on to something.” You’re welcome. Throw those puppies into the microwave for ten minutes.

Fun fact: Chicken base looks like caramel. It does not taste like caramel.

Step two is to pat the steaks dry with a paper towel, preferably while whispering sweet nothings and words of encouragement to them, and then season with salt and pepper. Not that salt. I have to say this is where Chef’d let me down with its inconsistently shaped pieces of meat. If I wanted inconsistent meat, I’d visit your dad. You know, the cross eyed butcher.

I made this joke knowing that somewhere, out there, a someone is reading this whose dad is a cross-eyed butcher and will take this way too personally. That was actually the joke, nobody is going to read this.

Step 3 is to sear the steaks for  two minutes on each side, forming a nice crust. Personally there are only three things that the Shameless Consumer is fond of having crust on. Pizza, pudding, and grandma’s mustache. That said, I’m particularly proud of any kind of crust that I made myself so this steak had wedged a special spot in my heart next to the immortal remnants of those TGIF loaded potato skins.

The next step is to put the steak, asparagus, and rosemary in the oven at 425 and bake for 4-5 minutes.

What pops out is a tasty meal if I do say so myself, with ingredients sourced from Chef’d and no need for sharp cutlery, we can ensure ourselves a delicious meal with Shameless Consumer at the helm and minimal casualties to speak of.

Speaking of deliciously sourced meals, have you heard of Food Phreak? They deliver fresh ingredients to your door on a weekly basis, and right now I have a special deal where if you go to foodphreak.com/shameless, they’ve promised to add another incident report to their rapidly growing grounds for a restraining order against me. It won’t get you anything off your first order, but if you listen to any podcasts odds are you already know of a coupon code you can use.

Ultimately I give this meal a thumbs up under the condition that you also buy it at $7 like I did. At $20, maybe not so much. It did give me two meals, and I can’t complain about the steak. No, I absolutely can.

Verdict: 4/5 – Very expensive at its normal price, but decent ingredients. Asparagus was rather soft on its tips. Truffle Butter should be in everything.

P.S.: This review was not sponsored by Chef’d, but the next one can be. Hook me up, whatever your name is.

Dollary Dursdays: $1 Chopped Beef Steak Review

(Editor’s Note: Today’s review contains graphic imagery to a degree that Shameless Consumer management has decided to step in and offer this warning: Those with weak stomachs should get over it. Thank you.)

This week on Dollary Dursdays, we dive back into the shallow end of the pool known as the Dollar Tree frozen food section, break our necks on the linoleum flooring, and gently float back up to the surface holding the $1 chopped beef steak. I know what you’re thinking: A $1 chopped beef steak? That sounds economical and delicious!

Hold all comments until the end of the review, folks, I need to get this written down before the renal failure kicks in and I go fully comatose.

The $1 Chopped Beef Steak comes to us from Chef’s Requested Foods Inc, a processing company whose slogan roughly translates to English as, “now legally recognized as food in 1 country.” It’s made a name for itself digging through the dumpster outside of the Mongolian Buffet restaurants for uneaten leftovers and converting said foodstuffs into steak-like product. The “Chef’s Requested” in “Chefs Requested Food” is presumably short for “the Chef’s Requested we throw this tainted meat out for the customer’s own safety.”

Chef’s Requested has a substantial line of dollar store meat-like products and, considering the deluge of one star reviews on their Facebook page talking about grisly meat and a large portion of the steaks being injected with water, it doesn’t get much better from here folks. The Shameless Consumer Research Council was able to go back through their history and find that at some point between 2012 and 2014, Chef’s Requested changed its supplier, opting to drop its normal steak manufacturer and instead partnering with the dog food company to reduce costs, but further rejected their plans since dog food beef is a bit too high quality for their products.

In terms of this “steak,” I have to say I’m impressed by its ability to smell both like its been preserved in formaldehyde while also smelling like its been left on someone’s shelf for the past week at room temperature. After cooking, the steak managed to take on the smell of lightly brined roadkill, hot and fresh in the afternoon sunlight and just waiting to be basted with Jack Link’s Tennessee Whiskey barbecue sauce and washed down with a refreshing can of Schwepps.

So Chef’s Requested’s beef steak might smell like a dumpster fire outside of a porta-john recycling plant, but how does it taste? Imagine using a dirty sponge to wipe down a cast iron skillet that had just been used to cook a cheeseburger, throwing the sponge back on the skillet for a few minutes, and then eating the sponge. You’ve just imagined a more satisfying and nutritional experience.

Everything about this chopped beef steak can be best summarized as “…ish.” The steak is steak…ish, the bacon is bacon…ish, the salt water flavor injection is salt…ish. The quality of the meat is indeterminate as a slurry of mechanically compiled hunks of ground beef. Could be angus cuts, probably more likely to be a combination of low quality lips, butthole, and taint meat. This cut is more water than steak now, twisted and evil.

The $1 chopped beef steak doesn’t so much cook as it does gray, and what comes out of it is a soggy mess. You’ll remember way back in the far distant past of about two paragraphs ago I referred to this dish as a sponge filled with beef water, and as the delightfully animated gif below will show, I wasn’t lying.

You may never be hungry again. I’m so sorry.

As for the bacon, I once said that there is no such thing as bad bacon. I’d like to retract that statement. The bacon presumably was just as pumped full of water as the beef was before being cut and wrapped around the steak. The cut I got on my steak was almost pure white, all fat, and not the flavorful kind of fat either. The watery kind of fat, that makes you cry and lose faith in the powerful god of bacon.

Ultimately, the Chef’s Requested $1 Beef Steak is the kind of food by which your boss would be fully within his moral rights and legal obligations to fire you if you brought a bunch of them to serve at a corporate cookout, with the exception being that you work in an actual torture dungeon. It’s not so much a steak as it is a barely edible conglomeration of meat poorly cobbled together to serve as a vessel for lightly salted grease trap water, except not as tasty.

(Verdict: 0/5) – Chef’s Requested brings dishonor to the family name that is steak.

Clearance Stack: Good Food Made Simple Vermont Maple Syrup Oatmeal

Vermont Maple Syrup Oatmeal is good food simply made by Good Food Made Simply, and the first review for Clearance Stack, where we take a look at foods that found themselves on the clearance rack at the local grub hub outside of Shameless Consumer Industries (your mileage may vary). It comes in a plastic packet because disposable bowls are a waste. These are likely to be a bit shorter than the standard review, and thus release on a more consistent basis.

Ah who am I kidding?

But first let’s talk about the history of oatmeal. Oatmeal’s origins date back to about the year 1,000 BC and actually originated as weeds in and around central Europe. They’re actually one of the last cereal grains to be cultivated by farmers and were slow to become mainstream due to their image as a barbarian food, and due to the fact that they go rancid very quickly after harvesting if they are not processed quickly enough.

I bet you thought this review was going to talk about how oatmeal was first discovered by Transpacific adventurers and lawfully wedded couple Jacob Oates and Bethany Smeal, entrepreneurial chefs who traveled across the world in the second century BC to find the perfect coupling for their raisin cookies. The Oates family may have brought oatmeal to the coastal city of Mafra, Portugal, but they discovered the crop in the same way that Devlin Chakram “discovered” the source material for his bestselling book, 99 Uses for Belly Button Lint.

Now the Shamless Consumer loves oatmeal as much as he loves his other staple breakfast food: Garlic bread, and oatmeal has a really important added benefit: It’s very hard to screw up, both from an industry and consumer point of view. Steel cut rolled oats are cheap as hell and you throw them in a pot of boiling water (or milk) until they’re tender, toss some tasty maple syrup or brown sugar (or fruit) on top, and you’re good to go. The most important oatmeal of the day as part of the most important meal of the day.

GFMS’ oatmeal is simply made with five ingredients: filtered water, organic whole grain steel cut oats, organic vermont maple syrup, organic brown sugar, and sea salt. Presumably neither the sea salt nor the filtered water is organic.

GMFS describes its food as:

“Oatmeal doesn’t have to be the mushy stuff your mom used to make. Made with organic steel-cut oats, and with a nutty texture, it’s an oatmeal both you and your mom can love.”

Okay, GFMS, let’s clear the air. First of all, my mom didn’t make me oatmeal as a kid. Thanks for the reminder. Second, my grandma did make me breakfast but it was Farina brand farina, not oatmeal, and she melted real chocolate into it to cover the taste of the cigarette ashes that fell in because she liked to smoke over the stove. Again, thanks for the reminder.

The instructions are just as simple: Rinse under warm water, remove the oatmeal from the package, place into a bowl, and microwave for three and a half minutes.

While our product cooks, I’d like to take a minute and apologize for the rather boring history lesson at the top of our program. Not every food has a crazy origin, you see. This dish does give the Shameless Consumer time and opportunity to dive into our historical records and instead talk about the USDA, otherwise known as the organization founded by United States President Abraham Lincoln out of a deep desire to know what his neighbor, Thaddeus Tate, was having for dinner and if he could have a bite without looking like an intrusive schmuck. The organization’s initial goal was to knock on Thaddeus’ door each night and demand samples of his dinner under the guise of a suspected plague.

Incidentally this ruse continued for two years before Thaddeus knocked on Lincoln’s door and extended a hand of amicability. Misreading his movements, Thaddeus was quickly shot by Lincoln’s secret service. It is estimated that Lincoln’s scheme saved the country an hundred dollars in food costs, or about $3.6 million in today’s money.

Now the Shameless Consumer likes his oatmeal like he likes his women: Thick, steel cut, and covered in maple syrup, and Good Food Made Simple delivers on all cylinders. What you get is a thick, chunky, oatmeal with a sweet mapley syrup that is there without being too there if you catch my leftovers. It’s sweet without feeling sweetened and at 11 grams of sugar it’s nothing to write the dentist about.

Oatmeal is a great filling way to start the day, and this product does not disappoint. My only wish is that ol’ Abe Lincoln was still around to have a bite and admit that his secret service couldn’t kill me from point blank range all those years back. That’s right, Lincoln, you won’t be tasting any of my delicious dinners anymore.

Verdict: 5/5 – Good Food Made Simple’s Vermont Maple Syrup Oatmeal is tasty, filling, and high quality and even at the standard price of $3 for two servings, it’s worth its weight in grain.

Review: Popeye’s Rip’n Chick’n

It must be Friday because Popeye’s is coming out with another limited time offering.

Popeye’s Rip’n Chick’n comes from a long line of marketing brands that center on the consumer’s interest in doing a thing and then another thing. It’s the same sort of culture that brought us Pizza Hut’s Rip and Dip breadstick crust pizza, John Daly’s Grip It & Sip It alcoholic beverages, and your grandmother’s technique of sit’n and knit’n.

But Popeye’s is here to entertain and to nourish. No, that’s not the word I’m looking for, and it wouldn’t make much sense to say that the Colonel is here to Entertain and Mansplain. I’ll figure this out before it goes to publication, but it’s something along the lines of Fry’n and Die’n. [note: make sure this gets replaced before publishing]

I found myself in the local Popeye’s ready for dine’n and shin’n, a surprising change from the usual greet’n and beat’n I get when I walk through the front doors and try to place an order. What can you expect when they franchise to those people. You know who I mean. I’m just saying, a Popeye’s probably isn’t the smartest choice of franchising for a family of militant vegans, and they force you to order the item as it’s named on the menu, but I will admit it’s the only place that still distributes the incredibly tasty Popeye’s “I’m a scumbag” Sliders. Oh and they still have those packets of spicy honey mustard, really they’re generous people.

The chicken itself is a regular chicken breast sliced down to the base, split apart, breaded, and fried in a method that pays respects to an early third century medical remedy for peeshinus, also known as the fear of using the bathroom in public.

Popeye’s describe its Rip’n Chick’n as:

“Now available in select locations!”

You slay me, Popeye.

I was surprised to see how much of a punch the Popeye’s Rip’n Chick’n packed since I assumed that this would be a standard fare spicy Popeye’s chick’n, but rip’ned into the shape of Hanson’s strong hand from Scary Movie 2. It’s like going into a fight thinking you’re opponent is a baby when in reality it’s Jimmy “Baby Faced Assassin” McLarnin, saving up for retirement by investing his foot in your ass.

It can’t be understated how much this chicken breaks the fast food standard for spiciness, leaving the Shameless Consumer coughing and reaching for a drink with each bite. And I know spicy, ladies and gentlemen, I once watched two brothers get seriously ill eating a California Reaper pepper after losing a Super Bowl bet. Sorry, that’s the Big Game bet, and one of them wasn’t actually in on the bet.

If standard Popeye’s fare runs into the realm of “too spicy for your grandma” ring, the Rip’n Chick’n blows a stop sign and runs over several pedestrians to make a no-signal left down “outing that one friend who constantly humble brags about his resistance to spicy food.” The four spice blend of cayenne, habanero, black, and white pepper left me reeling. I had no idea there was such a thing as white pepper.

Otherwise this is pretty standard fare Popeye’s chick’n, in the sense that the breading is crispy, the chicken is moist and tender, and overall it’s a pretty decent product. The spice does give it a kick, and it’s almost palatable on its own to not need any dipping sauce.

Which is fine, because the guy at Popeye’s didn’t give me any sauce. The indignity of the matter! Thankfully the Shameless Consumer hoards sauce packets like they’re used napkins, in case I need some extra barbecue sauce or FLG sauce. With some tangy barbecue sauce, I was ready to go. I guess McDonald’s dips what Popeye’s skips. This review brought to you by McDonald’s Buttermilk Crispy Tenders, now available in chicken.

The Popeye’s Rip’n Chick’n strip’n will get you Dip’n into your wallet and flip’n a snip’n of cash, no tip’n or gyp’n. What I’m trying to say is that the chicken costs $5, an extra dollar for a drink, and comes with a side and biscuit. Overall it’s a fair amount of food for its price, and your server probably won’t forget the sauce.

Verdict: 4.5/5 – My only wish is for this to become a full menu item.

Review: Chocolate Moose Milk Chocolate Moose

The Shameless Consumer found the Chocolate Moose Milk Chocolate Moose while carousing the local not-Whole Foods store also known as Orchard Fresh. Like most items chosen for review on this website, it was picked for its strange name and fancy bottle design. It’s chocolate, so it carries an inherent whimsical side, but it’s not called chocolate milk. No, siree, the Natural Chocolate Moose Milk Chocolate Moose is described as a chocolate beverage. Think Yoohoo, but with ingredients that come from nature instead of the whatever the CEO’s pool vacuum picks up on weekends.

It’s great for adults because it brings back memories of childhood without the associated shame of drinking a boxed Yoohoo. It’s also shelf-stable, so you can take your stash of Natural Chocolate Moose Milk Chocolate Moose Beverage and hide it from the kids like a serious adult. Alternately, you can lock your kids in the basement.

North American Beverages advertises the Natural Chocolate Moose Milk Chocolate Moose Fat Free Chocolate Beverage as:

“Remember what a treat it was to drink chocolate milk when you were a kid? We do, so we created Chocolate Moose Milk Chocolate Beverage.”

Of course I remember what a treat it was. Unfortunately, now I’m an adult and can have chocolate milk whenever I feel like it, which sorta softens the flair and treat aspect. Sure, I could have some sense of self control, but the Shameless Consumer just can’t help himself when it comes to the Natural Chocolate Moose Milk Chocolate Moose Fat Free Premium Chocolate Beverage.

Taste-wise, this product is mostly indistinguishable from the Yoohoo packed with your lunch for school as a kid, or the one you fished out of the garbage can in the school cafeteria (but we’re not here to point fingers). The revelation doesn’t bring down Natural Beverages as much as it does elevate Yoohoo, what with its corn syrup solids and high fructose corn syrup.

I won’t comment on the price since I bought this at not-Whole Foods where the prices are generally marked up pretty high. Going by how much I paid for it ($2.29), I’d be willing to bet that the bottles are probably sold for $1.99 everywhere else. It’s a toss up in terms of value, since you can always play the argument that you shouldn’t be drinking chocolate beverages often anyway.

Regardless, the Natural Chocolate Moose Milk Chocolate Moose Fat Free Premium Chocolate Beverage, now in chocolate flavor, is a fantastic addition to anyone’s adult lunchbox. It offers the taste of Yoohoo with none of the artificial ingredients or synthetic shame associated with drinking a boxed chocolate drink for children as an adult, in a cubicle.

Verdict: 4.5/5 – If the Shameless Consumer had been more of an adult, he wouldn’t have lost the photos for this review.

Chefless Consumer: Spruce Up A Salad With 3 Easy Ingredients

Hey folks, Chefless Consumer here today with another tip on how to spruce up those boring meals. Before we begin, I’d like to issue an apology on behalf of Shameless Consumer Industries regarding our last piece in this segment and some negative reaction over a small joke we made about how to spruce up a Chipotle Taco Bowl.

Our lawyers have vehemently denied to the courts that our joke regarding Norovirus as a secret ingredient was in any way an indication of insider knowledge of the actual outbreak that occurred just three weeks after our segment hit the air. It was in poor taste, not unlike Chipotle’s queso, and we apologize to anyone who had the misfortune of eating at Chipotle.

Today we’re going to look at a dish that we all need to eat, as much as we really don’t want to. Of course I’m talking about salad, a food whose name is derived from the Italian phrase for “not pizza.”

I’m going to show you how with three easy ingredients, you can turn that Garden Salsad into a Garden Salglad.

Step #1: Start With Your Salad

The salad I’ve prepared for this dish is a simple combination of lettuce, onion, and thousand island dressing. Now this is a salad, which automatically makes whatever you do to it healthy, so I like to go light on the salad and heavy on the thousand island dressing. I also added a pickle for some extra crunch.

This isn’t Subway, folks, let’s not ruin another meal by putting too much lettuce in it.

Step #2: Add Cheese

What would a salad be without cheese? Praying for someone to put it out of its misery, that’s what, meaning salad and I have a lot in common with each other when in the presence of salad. Now I hit the grocery store about as often as I hit the gym, so all I had in the kitchen was some pre-sliced American cheese.

You can add any kind of cheese your heart desires, from sharp American to mild American, or even Kraft singles.

Step #3: Ground Beef

Ground beef is an overlooked commodity in salad, in fact you won’t find it in many combinations outside of the Taco Salad popularized by modern Chinese cinema. For the sake of funsies, I browned up some ground beef, drained the fat, and formed it into fun discs that can later be broken up while you eat. See? You can even have fun while having lunch, and I drained the fat from the beef which makes it healthy.

Step #4: Croutons

I’m not a fan of croutons, I find them to be difficult to chew and I’m always afraid of cracking a tooth. So to liven up this dish, while still incorporating some level of bread into the mix, I went with simple sesame buns. Sesame seeds are healthy, and croutons make for great ammunition if your friend is sleeping with his mouth open, so really we’re talking about taking this dish and having fun while staying healthy.

Step #5: Finish your Dinish

Oh no…

I must apologize to our viewers around the internet, it looks like in my pursuit of a better salad that I kinda accidentally constructed a Big Mac. I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean, other than that the Big Mac is actually healthier than nutritionists give it credit for. After all, as we have proven today it’s basically a salad.

What I’m trying to say is if you’re going to try and eat healthy, eat McDonald’s. Have a Big Mac.

(Editor’s Note: This article is not sponsored by McDonald’s, but it can be. Hit me up Ronald.)

Foodbait: Five Cheap Subway Subs For International Women’s Day That’ll Make Vegetarians Go “Blech”

(ShameCon Note: This article is not sponsored by Subway, but it can be. Hit me up, Jared’s lawyers.)

There are only two constants in this universe, the endless variety of tasty lunch combinations available on fresh baked bread and hand-crafted by specially trained Subway sandwich artists, and the equally infinite ability for Subway to cannibalize its own sales by allowing franchises to pop up everywhere. Look out for 2019 when Subway will begin allowing franchises to open up inside other Subway franchises.

In light of this understanding and in consideration of this month containing International Women’s Day, Shameless Consumer Industries came up with a list of five cheap Subway subs to enjoy while appreciating women, that would make a vegetarian shout “blech.”

1. Black Forest Ham  ($5 Footlong)

Don’t let the veggies and name “Black Forest” fool you, the only thing you’ll be finding in this forest is the tree of ham. Why not pair a Black Forest Ham $5 Footlong sub with a bag of Lays baked potato chips and a Fuze Unsweetened Ice Tea for maximum lunchtime healthy eating?

It’s the perfect combination to get together and talk about Frances McDormand’s recent Oscar for Best Actress in the hit film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and the added ham is guaranteed to make a vegetarian say no thanks.

2. Meatball Sub  ($5 Footlong)

Our researchers down in Shameless Consumer’s Vegetarian Outreach Center tell us there is compelling evidence that your average vegetarian does not enjoy a good meatball sub. It has something to do with the way the cheese is tessellated on the side, but we can’t tell because nobody has taken the bait thus far.

But why not grab yourself a tasty beverage and sit down with a nice five dollar footlong meatball sub, we won’t even tell your significant other that you skipped out on the vegetables that were so kindly placed into the photograph above to make it look healthier. Muse on life while enjoying the film Meatball Sub, starring Rhona Rees as Adele, a woman who must decide whether to save a life or eat a meatball sub.

It won’t be winning any awards, but then again neither will that marinara stain on your shirt.

3. The Spicy Italian ($5 Footlong)

Our lawyers have advised us against making any dirty jokes regarding the Spicy Italian Footlong, so we’ll use this space to point out that the combination of Genoa salami and pepperoni would likely make for a dish unsuitable for vegetarian consumption. So we’re told.

But you know who else is a spicy Italian? Monica Bellucci. Mama mia! Grab yourself a five dollar footlong Spicy Italian sub and sit down to enjoy the power of women in Hollywood with some of Bellucci’s greatest works: The Matrix Trilogy (as Persephone), Spectre (as Lucia Sciarra), and Twin Peaks (as herself).

4. Cold Cut Combo ($5 Footlong)

The Cold Cut Combo at Subway has ham, salami, and bologna, all of which are turkey based. So technically there’s really only one meat in this sub, which is two less than advertised and one more than the average vegetarian is willing to consume.

And since we’re talking about one entity playing multiple roles, why not grab a $5 footlong and a bag of cheddar baked Cheetos and spend the afternoon watching The Incredible Shrinking Woman, the 1981 film where Lily Tomlin plays Pat Kramer, Judith Beasley, Ernestine, and Edith Ann. Now that’s a role you can really sink your reward points into.

5. Veggie Delite ($5 Footlong)

The only delight you’ll be experiencing with this sub is when you pull out your cleverly hidden pocket roast beef and make this into a meal. In fact, you can pick up a roast beef sub on Subway’s Fresh Fit Choices menu and cut out the middle pocket, save that Pocket Beef®* for a snack later on at the mall, while watching the kids at the playground, and playing with the friendly Police K-9 unit.

And while the Veggie Delite may not be a Veggie Delight, why not enjoy your Pocket Beef sub while watching the hit 2013 film Afternoon Delight, directed by Jill Soloway. Enjoy how many calories your saving while engrossing yourself in the life of Kathryn Hahn’s character Rachel who, presumably fed up with her town’s lack of Subway, adopts a stripper as a live-in nanny.

*Note: Pocket Beef is a registered trademark of Shameless Consumer Industries. For your own safety we do not recommend playing with police dogs with your pocket full of roast beef.

Foodbait: Five Ways Subway Can Stop Shooting Itself in the Foot

With the news that Subway is closing down hundreds if not potentially thousands of locations, the Shameless Consumer decided to take on the task of fixing Subway’s woes by himself. As a card carrying Subway member and thus a master in the way of the sub, here are five ways Subway can stop shooting itself in the foot.

You’re welcome.

1. All Your Sandwich Artists Need Mustaches

A Simple Stache

All of them. Even the female employees.

Let’s be fair, the public doesn’t view Subway employees as sandwich artists as much as they do minimum wage fast food workers. If Subway wants to call its workers artists, they need to be appropriately adorned with an artist’s mustache. Nothing crazy, we’re not talking Nick Offerman level of facial fur. Just a simple artist cut.

Who wouldn’t want to have their Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki put together by a spry young Sandwich Artiste twirling her well oiled mustache as she asks if you’d like banana peppers or olives? If the Subway next to Shameless Consumer Industries hasn’t shut down and been replaced by a Major Magics that may or may not be haunted, I’d be in there every day for my signature cold cut combo.

Oui oui, is that enough sweet onion sauce?

2. Find Subway’s Double Down

Photographed: Artist’s rendition of possible food.

Shameless Consumer has previously referred to the Double Down as a fake food, it’s a product that really exists just to get people talking about the brand on social media, because that’s the kind of thing that drives sales in this day and age. It’s a product that is both zany and sounds pretty tasty, but you never order it because the place is always out of stock (Double Down) or the name is embarrassing (Rooty Tooty Fresh n Fruity).

Every fast food joint has to have its Double Down. Taco Bell virtually develops all of its food for social media, Burger King has its Cheetos products, Arby’s has the Meat Mountain, McDonald’s not so much, and I think you get my point. Subway needs to come out with something crazy, crazier than the thick sliced rotisserie chicken or flatbread pizzas (which are quite tasty).

Subway needs its own Double Down, and as a one time deal, I am here to offer Subway its Double Down. Here’s what you do, and you can have this idea for just 1% of your CEO’s salary (payable on approval).

Picture this commercial: Handsome fit young lady walks into a Subway restaurant and orders a six inch steak and cheese. The Subway Sandwich Aritste playfully twirls their well oiled mustache as the lady chooses her bread and type of cheese. Then the two share knowing glances as she nods and says “dip it.” The Sandwich Artiste takes her six inch steak and cheese and dunks the bastard in a container of Subway brand au jus sauce.

Next cut, the lady is very clearly enjoying her sandwich dripping with meat broth. Camera focuses in on an old couple in line and both the couple and the Subway worker are watching the woman eat with hungry envy. Zoom in on the old lady who says “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Then Alec Baldwin shows up right in front of the camera and, twirling his own oiled mustache, says “with Subway’s new Dip It Au Jus, you too can add that kick to any sandwich. Just ask your artiste to dip it, dunk it, douse it, or drown it. I’m Alec Baldwin, and as an honorary Sandwich Artiste I know a lot about Au Jus.”

Marketing material should naturally show some athletic looking dude doing extreme sports like bungee jumping or skateboarding while dunking various non-steak and cheese sandwiches, with a speech bubble that says “any Subtime, any Subway. Dunk em all.”

“You are a rude, thoughtless little sandwich.”

Bam, you can thank me for singlehandedly turning around your misfortune in the form of a lifetime of free Subway, or 1% of your CEO’s annual salary, whichever involves less paperwork. I’m not evil.

3. Roll Hard On Those Popular High Profit Margin Items

Bet you thought this photo was fake.

Does Subway sell coffee? If not, sell coffee. In fact, let’s go further. Sell Starbucks coffee. The partnership will do great things for your brand and bring in those hipster millennials who already don’t mind paying premium prices for a tasty coffee beverage and since Starbucks itself isn’t so strong in terms of meal food, probably wouldn’t mind picking up a delicious Subway flatbread breakfast sandwich or something to have for lunch with their coffee.

Now obviously the Shameless Consumer knows that Subway has coffee, since we put a photo of it right before this section. That being said, we’re willing to bet that most people reading this did not know that Subway sold coffee.

You can even roll that into your advertising. Roll out a commercial with a tired, haggard looking mom driving to work on a rainy morning. She sees a Starbucks and a Jimmy John’s across the street from each other and realizes she doesn’t have enough time to go to both places and still make it to work on time but she didn’t pack a lunch and forgot her morning coffee. Then she sees Subway with its “Now Serving Starbucks” sign and the heavens open up.

Same terms and conditions from the previous cure to your problems apply to this.

4. Your New Spokesperson

“Remember, Subway is like a Chinese dinner. It ain’t over ’til you both get your cookie.”

This is obvious.

5. Restrain the Expansion

Future Subway outlook.

And finally, let’s not forget why Subway is partially in this pickle (or banana pepper, your choice) in the first place: Senseless expansion. Subway needs to stop letting its franchises open competing restaurants so close to one another.

To understand where the Shameless Consumer is coming from on this, take this test: Go to Subway’s website and type your zip code and see how many locations are within five miles of your location, and then ten. For the Shameless Consumer, there are ten locations within a five mile radius, and twenty within a ten mile radius.

Now compare that to Burger King (3 & 10), McDonald’s (4 & 12), Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, etc. Subway has about as many franchise locations as Starbucks and McDonald’s put together, and around a third of them are allegedly unprofitable.

In a way, Subway franchises have become just as expendable to Subway corporate as Subway employees are to Subway franchises, because the corporate body keeps the price to buy in as cheap as humanly possible and because the franchises barely make a fraction of what the competition brings in. As such, Subway costs about a tenth to own a franchise of what McDonald’s costs, for instance, requires less money, and also makes a small portion of their revenue.

So maybe try to assist your existing franchises before you double down on bringing in new ones.

Shameless Consumer Welcomes 2018

Happy new year, fellow shameless consumers. As we head into the new year, your old pal Sha’Meless Consuman wanted to touch base and talk about our plans here at SCI for the new year.

First off, nothing says a new year like the annual changing of the cups. The official Shameless Consumer beverage glass of 2018 tops this piece with all of its gold splendor, adorned with an S for symbolic reasons that will certainly come back to me at some point before this goes up to publish. Can someone in editing please make sure that this does not get published with these notes intact?

Anyhow, 2018 is set to bring in new things for Shameless Consumer, including a more consistent content schedule. Yea, we tried it in 2015 and it didn’t work out, then we tried again in 2016 and it didn’t work out, so we tried again last year twice and it still wasn’t so great. But hey, 2018 is young.  There is still plenty of time to screw up this promise.

So here’s to 2018 and to Shameless Consumer.