Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cute Alert: Sweet'N Low Dollhouse Miniature

One of the most satisfying toys I had as a child was a huge victorian style dollhouse that my mother and I assembled together from a kit.  I loved the tiny miniature furniture and accessories.  Tiny toilets, tiny lamps, tiny silverware.  There was a store a few towns over that sold exclusively dollhouse items, and it was like Mecca for me.

I think a large part of what I loved so much about dollhouse miniatures was simply the shock value that you couldn't believe someone would think of some of making them, the more banal the item the more shocking. 

And here this is exactly what I love about this Sweet'N Low miniature is exactly that.  Sure, a tiny tea set is predictable, but a sugar substitute to go along with the tea set?  That's just genius.  Perhaps there is a diabetic in the dollhouse family?  Perhaps they're on a diet? 

Currently being sold on eBay for $2.29.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Epic Win: Cafe Metro

Let me let you in on the most important part of my day:  deciding what to eat for lunch.  The website Midtown Lunch really changed my whole attitude about lunch in midtown where I work from considering it a wasteland of overpriced chains to an adventure of weird, ethnic, or greasy food.  It shames me that in the interest of being healthy, I do end up eating boring choose-your-own salads quite often.  What really gets me about these is that not only are they boring, but they're always expensive - around $8, when a pile of street meat in creamy white sauce over rice is only $5.

Then I discovered that the chain Cafe Metro offers really good deals if you order over it's website - $6 instead of $8 for a salad, and you can pay online and just walk in and pick it up.  More convenient AND cheaper!  So I order online often, then walk half a block to go pick it up.  Feel free to ask me more about my exciting life.

There's only one hitch:  sometimes I like a little midday ice coffee pick-me-up. The convenience of online lunch shopping is that you can order the ice coffee and select from a menu what kind of milk and sweetener you want.

Although I know from experience that Cafe Metro has Sweet'N Low available at all their locations,  there was no option on their site for it:

So I wrote an email to their customer service, with a suggestion that they add Sweet'N Low as an option.  A day later, I got a reply from their head of E-Commerce that not only are they going to implement my suggestion right away, but they were also going to give me a coupon for a FREE SANDWICH!

I bet you thought this story was going to be boring right?  You had no idea a free sandwich twist was comin' at ya!

Moral of the story is: I guess maybe it's better to politely suggest instead of angrily complain on the void of the internet.  Nah....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The National - Lower East Side

An anonymous tipster sent in this photo of the sweetener selection at The National Cafe.  Sigh sigh sigh sy sperling.

8 Rivington St  (between Bowery and Christie Street) 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sweet'N Low Found at OB-GYN Exam Room at Woodhull Hospital

An anonymous tipster just sent me this cameraphone pic taken inside the exam room at her OB/GYN appointment at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn. 

Note the familiar pink packet nestled right next to the stethoscope and a big box of something that reads "Disposable Vaginal Speculum".  Thanks, doc, for preparing your morning coffee right near where you are going to stick stuff in a vagina.

Breadbox, Long Island City: A Lovely Sight

Breadbox Cafe
47-11 11th Street, Long Island City
This place opened very recently in an old gas station. While it was under construction, I would drive by almost every day on my way to work, and had a bet going as to whether it was going to be a coffee shop or a rims shop, since it looked like it could go either way. It seems perfectly nice inside, although apparently there's a cockamamie scheme to decorate the entire outdoor facade in wooden rolling pins. Whatevs. Most interesting is this beautiful display area for the sweeteners. Lovely, eh?

On the other hand:
T&A Deli
Corner of Bushwick Ave. and Grand St.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Breaking News: Beaner Bar Now Carries Sweet'N Low!

HUGE NEWS!   The high-pitched whine of the anonymous internet ranker has spoken, and for once, someone actually took it seriously!! Beaner Bar has now converted to Sweet'N Low-friendly, thanks to this very blog.

Someone from the Beaner Bar website just posted a comment on my post about them with a link to their own blog, where they proudly display their new addition to the sweetener station:

On 2/10/10, they write"
"Sorry for not having Sweet n Low, we’re not complete haters. (Lori is a Splenda fan.;
2/22/10 UPDATE: You asked for it, you got it, sweet n low down reviewer!"
Beaner Bar, you have made my day!

Now, everyone go there and order tons of expensive drinks and buy a muffin to go along with it and let them know how happy you are!  Whether you use Sweet'N Low or not, the real key here is that this is an establishment that really cares about making their customers happy and wants to make sure they're really enjoying their coffee.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reader Report: Boqueria - Flatiron District

A tipsters reports via cameraphone picture of a deficient sweetener arrangement at his business lunch:

I do a lot of searching around Flickr, looking at strangers' pictures. And I've noticed that so many people take pictures of their plate at a restaurant. It's kind of like taking a picture of the animals at the zoo - what, are you never going to see another photo of a lion in your life? I understand if you cooked it yourself and you're proud of it, but in a restaurant? "This is to remember the meal a Guatemalan man prepared for me!!!"

My distaste for restaurant meal photography makes me feel awkward and uncomfortable whipping out my camera or phone to snap a pic, but this I approve of. Well done!

53 W. 19th St.
New York, NY 10011

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Variety Cafe - Williamsburg: BTYOSNL

Variety Cafe
368 Graham Ave between Conselyea St & Skillman Ave

Look at the wooden drawers used to hold the Splenda and Domino raw sugar packets! Charming! Tres mignon!  But what is missing????

I decided to stop by here on a pretty glamorous Sunday afternoon errands run (99 cents store, liquor store, nail salon aka 3 places I spend most of my paycheck).

I had never been to Café Variety before, but I had a suspicion about it, so I packed a packet of Sweet'N Low from home into my purse. Good thing I did. Let me tell you, with my BYOSNL packet dumped into my latte, it was fantastic. It was exactly the taste sensation I craved, and with the kind of sweetener I'm used to, I was able to tell that this coffee was really delicious.

People have asked me before why I don't carry around my own Sweet'N Low packets just in case. If you've ever had a packet explode in your coat pocket or purse, you will know exactly why I don't. It's disgusting. Plus, I don't see you carrying around your own packets of ketchup in case you happen to go into a MacDonalds, do it?

But then I saw this vintage Sweet 'N Low packet holder on eBay, and I had to get it. The young person inside me shouted, "I love whimsically ironic old knick-knacks!" but the old lady inside said in a nasally voice, "this is pretty practical."

Done and done.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

BIG UPs: Cafe Beltran - Williamsburg

I put whole milk in my coffee, not Haterade, so I like to give big ups where deserved.  And it's deserved for Café Betran on Woodpoint Rd in Williamsburg, since they did have Sweet 'N Low.  I really doubted it walking in - it has all the trappings on a SNL-free zone: teeny tiny space, spartan décor, and irregular hours (they once told my friend they're open "whatever days we can").  But to my delight, there were those pink packets! 

However, they did NOT have Equal, which if I were a fair-minded person I'd say is just as bad as not having Sweet'N Low.  But hey.  This blog is about one thing and one thing only:  Sweet'N Low.  If I were to be kvetching about the lack of Equal, this blog be called something really catching like "All Things Created Equal" or "Equality NOW!".  So let's just take our pleasures where we can get them.

Because I'm into you, Café Beltran, let me give you a piece of advice:  when I Google searched you, trying to find a good pic to use for this post, the only stuff that comes up for your name is your bad restaurant inspection details (no toilet paper apparently).  Do yourself a favor and plunk down $10 for a domain name and set up a free Blogger account or something to act as your website so a bad inspection notice isn't the only thing on the internet about you.


Cafe Betran
135 Woodpoint Rd at Withers St.

Friday, January 29, 2010

D.U.B. Pies - Park Slope

On a recent Sunday afternoon, I met a friend at the west corner of Prospect Park (the corner near the Pavilion movie theater).  Since it was Sunday afternoon, obviously I had a hangover and so I was looking anxiously towards a second cup of coffee.  My friend suggested we go to D.U.B. Pies to get this special Australian style latte called a "hot white".  Going to food places (this place specializes in meat pies and pastries) is fine by me, and I feel perfectly comfortable judging them under the same harsh lens as I would a coffee-only establishment. In fact, I usually find that places that serve food are more likely to have Sweet 'N Low than just coffee shops.

The "hot white" is basically a plain old latte, my friend tried to tell me there was something different, but he couldn't specify that was.  My friend is the kind of person who brushes his teeth with actual baking soda, so I do take his opinions on food with a grain of salt.

No worries here, a latte is perfectly delicious to me.  No disappointment, no resentment at what was a leeeetle bit pricey for a smallish latte.  That was…… until I saw that the counter offered only white, brown, or yellow packets.  No pink. 

So whatever might have been special and wonderful about this "hot white" latte, I'll never know, because to me it tasted like drinking the juice strained out of a baby's diaper.

My hangover only inflamed from here on out.

Down Under Bakery (D.U.B.) Pies
211 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(corner of 16th St)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beaner Bar - Williamsburg

I would like to state for the record that as a general rule, I do not like coffee shops.  I don't like hanging out in them, I find interacting with the staff akward, I hate the other patrons.  I don't spend time just sipping coffee and reading or on my laptop; I've never understood people who like to pass time in coffee shops; I much prefer the comfort of my own home.  But sometimes you need to stop in to grab coffee on the go. 

At least with Beaner Bar, there's really not much seating, so there aren't the degenerates who can't afford their own internet connection loitering around.  This is a big positive, enough that I'm willing to not care about the Bay Area bike messenger vibe.

But who the fuck cares, because they don't have Sweet 'N Low.  Because I always hope that perhaps they've just forgotten to refill the SNL, I usually ask if they have it.  This is usually met, as it was at Beaner Bar, with "yeah sure, we have Splenda! Right over there."    Sigh...

Beaner Bar
447 Graham Ave (between Frost and Richardson)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Serious Offender: Egg, Williamsburg

What's extra infuriating about the lack of Sweet 'N Low at Egg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is that they give the illusion of being quite serious about coffee.  Instead of serving just a cup, you get an entire French press pot, which is delightful for guaranteeing freshness, but not free refills.  Not only that, but they actually sell bags of their beans, in case you enjoyed your coffee so much there that you'd like to recreate the experience at home.  No thanks, Egg, since my coffee tasted like the fetid bongwater of Splenda, I'd rather bite the inside of my cheek then keep rebiting it accidentally for a week.

The food is very good, however.

Splenda and raw sugar only:

Coffee for sale:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Man who appreciates his Sweet N Low

The best scene of Swimming with Sharks is when the Kevin Spacey goes nuts on his new assistant for giving him an Equal packet instead of Sweet 'N Low.  It's pretty much exactly what I wish I could say to a barista when I'm told there's only Splenda available.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Patron Saint of Sweet 'N Low: Regis Philbin

When Sweet 'N Low went on the hunt for a celebrity spokesman, they knew they had to find someone who really spoke to their demographic: senior citizens and people so morbidly obese they can't leave their house and watch lots of daytime television.  So Regis Philbin was the obvious choice.

He did a TV ad spot which doesn't run anymore (and I frustratingly can't find a video of) extolling the virtues of the sweet stuff.  According to the CEO, Reeg was already an avid user, so was a natural pitchman:

“Some of these sweeteners say they taste like sugar,” Philibin says in the spots. "If I wanted my coffee to taste like sugar, I'd use sugar! To me, in my coffee, Sweet'N Low tastes better than sugar! It's got that extra that extra zing of sweetness none of the others have. Its taste is unique and I love it! You can't beat Pink, pal!”
Regis Philbin Endorses Sweet 'N Low (Promo Magazine)

What's funny to me is that Regis is also the spokesman for TD Bank, which is my bank. I never expected to find myself living a life where Regis Philbin is my guiding star, but so be it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lula Bean Cafe

Lula Bean Cafe is right near my home, and would be a great place to be able to drink their coffee.  They have good prices and really good pastries and sandwiches.  They have Splenda and two kinds of real sugar, one of which comes in a fancy shmancy tube shaped package.  Also, the people who work there are all good looking.  Apparently the beautiful don't want the business of us mouth-breathing Sweet'N Lowers, because that's the one thing this place is missing.

I don't want to gloat about the negative energy that must be circling back, but their website is also apparently hacked by some oxycotin peddlers (scroll all the way down to see)

Lula Bean Cafe on
797 Grand st. Brooklyn, N