Cryptacular Trio


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 Welcome to a special Halloween edition of the Vending Machine Gross Item of the Week Awards!  This week we have a couple cryptacular specials served up with a cadaverous dessert!  From the bowels of hell (also known as Warren, Ohio), today we give you…

Spooky Salisbury Steak Combo v3


v4Creepy Club Sandwich


Chilling Chicago Style Cheesecake v5


Salisbury steak is an ambiguous thing at best.  Much like Frankenstein’s monster, it’s made up of parts.  We won’t get into which ones, we’ll just leave it there.  This nice grey slab of pre-formed morbid meatiness just stares back at you from inside the box of doom – watching… waiting… potatoes and gravy on the side!  If you look closely, I think you might even see a mushroom or two peeking from behind the label.

Our club sandwich is piled high with cheese and pieces of greying meats served with a packet of mayo.  I’m not sure what kind of meats are in the club, but it wears its Halloween disguise well by being mysterious!

Ok, cheesecake, not gross, but it maintains an air of foreboding just by the fact that it’s served up in vending machine form.  We’ll just call this one “screamy, creamy cheesecake” and ponder how long ago it was actually baked.


Wine Pairing:  A ghoulish meal deserves an equally ghoulish wine!  This week, for obvious reasons, our choice is the Ghostly White Chardonnay from Elk Creek Vineyards.  Apparitions of apple and citrus bring just enough flavor to wake the dead and make them dance a little!


Beer Pairing:  A supernatural stout to slake your thirst for this week’s fright fest is Dead Guy Ale from Rogue Brewery.  This hoppy, full-bodied ale has hints of fruit and, fortunately, no hints of actual dead guy, but certainly casts enough of a spell to be a great match for our otherworldly delights!


So tonight as you dispense your own treats and contemplate the macabre and the mysterious, we hope you’ll also consider the phantom machine of eerie snacks and bizarre delights!  You may just find your own tricks or treats!!

 **Costume Contest**

These crazy vending machine fans have really thrown down the gauntlet with their creative costumes!!!  I like that the little dude on the end seems to only charge one price for everything, but the others have a bit more variety.  Way to go vendites!!!  Way to commit!!

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Burger Quad

Vending Machine Gross Item of the Week Awards

 After a long hiatus, the Vending Machine Gross Item of the Week Awards has returned!  More mystery!  More intrigue!  More gross items in crinkly cellophane!

 To my returning vendites, welcome back to the frying pan!  For new folks who are just joining the melee, culinary greetings!  I know it’s been a while, but it’s been very exciting to have so many requests for a return to fun vending facts and curious canapes.  I’ve missed bringing them to you and hopefully can get back to a more “normal” schedule!

 That being said… this week we return with an inquisitive quad!  The culinary masterminds of Warren, Ohio have presented us with a rather interesting sandwich foursome, all unique and slightly different, and all gruesome enough to come in vending machine form:

 White Castle Hamburger Sliders

 “The Boss” Cheeseburger

 BBQ Beef Sandwich


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To folks who are new to our awards, the idea isn’t so much that the sandwiches themselves are to be considered “gross”, but the fact that they were made, prepared, wrapped and are now sitting in a vending machine waiting for your $1.75 is slightly on the nasty end of the culinary scale.  Gordon Ramsay would set a whole new level on the swear spectrum with these bad boys, so let’s take a moment to appreciate them!

Let’s start with the initial overall impression.  Each of these fine concoctions has a really alluring film of condensation, just making the item inside mysterious enough for you to wonder “could it really be so tasty, or could that be the start of botulism?”  Hmm….

White Castle Sliders:

Most people know White Castle has those tiny little re-hydrated onions on their sandwich.  So, let’s think about that.  The onion grew, was chopped, de-hydrated, sat, was shipped, re-hydrated, put into these burgers, wrapped, shipped again, and now sits on a shelf in our machine.  It is distinctly possible that Winston Churchill was walking the halls of 10 Downing Street when those onions were harvested.  If that’s the case, I’m thinking the burger might also have a fine aged quality as well…  Spoiler alert: Germany did not win the war, little onions!

“The Boss” Cheeseburger:

Past the smoky botulistic cellophane, one can’t help but admire the natural greyness of the meat patty cleverly peeking at you from outside the bun.  Who doesn’t like their meat just the right shade of mink!  I don’t know, however, if I like the fact that my burger has a bossy attitude.  This one is truly the “bad boy” of the burger lineup.  If this line-up was a boy band, he’d be wearing leather!

BBQ Beef Sandwich:

Typically there’s nothing like a good BBQ beef sandwich.  A nice, tasty beef with a tangy, spicy BBQ sauce just hits the spot, however, I’m thinking there’s a good chance the sauce has probably receded to the bottom of the package, which means the roll could possibly be soggy.  Soggy bread… ewww.


This concept is interesting because the Warrenites have given us the blending of two worlds: an old fashioned American burger with some nice Italian cheese and marinara.  Intriguing…  Kind of like a George Clooney wedding, domestic AND international!!

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 Wine Pairing:  I couldn’t help but feel the only way to go this week was with a deep, domestic hearty red.  This week’s wine is none other than the Aquinas Cabernet Sauvignon from the heart of Napa Valley.  Layered flavors of cherry, tobacco and vanilla from aged oak would be just the right touch to wash down these delightful delicacies!

 Beer Pairing:  Our beer this week is the Samuel Adams Honey Porter.  Again, a nice dark flavor to go with these happy, beefy burgers.  Strong taste, spicy aroma and a slight hint of sweetness match “just right” for these sammies!


To “wrap it up” (pun intended), if you’re feeling peckish and need a little pick-me-up, take a jaunt down to the vending machine of prizes and delights for a tasty treat!  You never know what you’ll find!!

Crazy Vending Machines in the News:

 Check out this vending machine in Beverly Hills that sells caviar!!!  What’s up with that?!



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