Johnsonville Bratwurst on Pretzel Roll

     Vending Machine Gross Item of the Week Awards   

This week’s tasty treat has been called the “thrill of the grill” and is available in your grocery store in a variety of flavors.  Because it has such a “killa from the grilla” rep, I’m surprised to see it in vending form.  Apparently it aims to please whether grilled or nuked.  So, that being said, this week we give you the award winning…

Johnsonville Bratwurst on Pretzel Roll

nov brat

For those of you lucky enough to remember, there used to be a commercial where everyone got all excited because someone was grilling Johnsonville Brats.  People would invite themselves over to your house or just announce it to everyone within screaming distance that this tasty delicacy was on the menu.  Apparently a neighbor grilling some of these babies was enough to get everyone in an uproar, to the point that they would violate your privacy and invite themselves into your yard and help themselves.  But yet, people continued to grill them.  My take: either grill something else or get 911 on the speed dial (or if you’re an extremist, an electrified fence.)  Unless you’re invited and bringing a dish to pass, keep your hands off the brats!  It’s just not polite to get all grabby with another person’s bratwurst.  As for our vended brat, it’s fogging up the plastic, but comes on a pretzel roll – and hey, who doesn’t love pretzels!?  Those crazy Warranites from the land of Ohio have done it again!

Wine pairing:  This week’s wine is the Trimbach Gewurztraminer.  This intense but dry white wine has a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, and is strong enough to match up to the zesty brat au pretzel.  A good match and a winning combination!

Beer pairing: Joining our brat all the way from the merry state of Wisconsin is the Sprecher Black Bavarian Schwarzbier.  This dark, award-winning beer has chocolaty and charcoal notes with a smoky finish.  Dark and robust, this is just the perfect beer to match up with our non-grilled griller specialty!

So, grab your brat, but watch out for interlopers or those crazy people with brat envy!  They are a rough crowd and you might have to defend your meal!

More weird vending machine news:

Ok, I don’t know when this would ever come in handy… but apparently you can buy fine china in a vending machine!  Perhaps you might find yourself in the middle of a Mel Brooks style fight scene and need to throw some plates, or maybe you just don’t feel like eating your Big Mac out of Styrofoam or cardboard… Why?  Who knows why, but regardless… your china needs can now be met in vending form!  I wonder how they keep the plates from breaking when they dispense??

nov mach


Deluxe Pizza Sub with Hot Pepper Cheese

Vending Machine Gross Item of the Week Awards    

As we journey down the road of vending greatness, we’ve seen many repeats and variations of some real interesting items!  This week’s award is no different!  We all know the chicken is King of the Machine, however, a close runner up in the realm of vending superiority are the Italian dishes, especially pizza!  This week’s variation on a theme is…

 Deluxe Pizza Sub with Hot Pepper Cheese

 sept sub

Trust me when I tell you the picture doesn’t do this entrée justice.  It’s really hard to see the mash up of items that appear to be on there.  It looks like the great vending chefs of Warren, Ohio had some leftover items and decided to just use them all up on one sandwich.  There’s all kinds of colors poking out of that roll!  Fascinating… and disgusting, all at the same time!  I cannot speak to potential condiment inclusion as there is nothing outwardly visible, however, it wouldn’t surprise me that there was something in there, and they tucked that into the roll as well.  Warranites are a sneaky breed!!

Mrs. Smith’s Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

sept pie

As a little side option, here is a slice of Mrs. Smith’s Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie.  I’m not sure what intrigues me more… the potential age of the strawberries or the cream cheese in our machine… typically when fruit has been around long enough it starts to ferment and you get wine… so, what’s up with this pie?!  Should we judge it by a vintage??

Wine Pairing:  Autumn Wind Chardonnay is this week’s pick to enhance the potluck sandwich!  Fermented (possibly like our strawberry pie) in French oak with a fine buttery character, this chardonnay would be a nice, simple finish to the potpourri of things found on this sandwich roll!

Beer Pairing:  Considering the season, the changing of the leaves and the crisp autumn breezes, this week’s beer is none other than Harvest Moon by Blue Moon Brewing Company.  This ale brings a spicy sweetness to the table and just the right flavors for enjoying a nice fall day!  Good stuff!

So this week, sit back, relax and enjoy the creative assortment that is the Deluxe Pizza Sub with Hot Pepper Cheese and sip on a nice autumn beverage while you watch the leaves fall!

Special Vending Extras:

So, I admit, I’m not an outdoorsy person.  I don’t hunt, I don’t fish and I don’t spend a lot of time enjoying the wilderness outside of suburbia.  So, it was news to me that there are vending machines out there that actually sell live bait.  Some of you are probably saying “Well, yeah…. Didn’t you know?!”  Well, no.  I didn’t.  And ewww.. yuck!  It’s interesting to me that our vending machine sells chicken wings and pizza… but you don’t buy the live chicken in the machine!  It’s prepared and ready for the microwave.  Not only is this machine selling bait, but there’s critters moving around in there!  Seriously!!??  I can tell you if I put money in the machine and the item comes out moving, things will get real loud, real quick!  Woah!

In any case, for those of you who, like me, were not in the loop on this one, welcome to the party!  There be worms here!!!

sept bait

Summer Ball Park Edition

     Vending Machine Gross Item of the Week Awards    

 ** Summer Ball Park Edition **

    Good afternoon sports fans!  Welcome to another exciting round of interesting meat products and other assorted snacks in vending form!  For those of you who’ve spent the summer months sitting in a ballpark watching grown men running around getting all sweaty while gorging on ballpark specialties, this week’s awards will be right up your alley!!

There’s just something magical about watching baseball on a warm summer day and dining on any number of snack options that could possibly give you botchulism.  I don’t know if it’s the being outdoors, the smell of sweat on a warm day or the risk of possible infection, but there’s just something special about it!  When you can’t be there in person, the next best thing is to dream of the ballpark while enjoying some special vending treats!

Our first award this week goes to the king of all ballpark favorites!  According to the Hot Dog Council (yes, this is a real organization!) between Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans consume 7 billion hot dogs!  That’s 818 hot dogs every second!  We’re all about education here people!  Anywho… this week’s top dog is indeed just that…

 All Stars Double Dogs

 aug dogs

 First up to bat is this 2-for-1 deal! Perfect for any sporting event, our two-fisted special will keep any sports fan satisfied!  Share with a friend or just enjoy the deuce!  Sadly, there is no condiment station at the vending machine, so these dogs are just goin’ commando, however, maybe they’ve hidden at least a ketchup packet somewhere in the packaging.  Here’s hopin’!

 Bacon Cheeseburger

 Aug Burger

 Coming off the bench to steal second is the Bacon Cheeseburger.  The risk factor of this foul ball is pretty high – but you get two animals on one bun!  And a double-play of a cow and a pig gives us a an interesting mix and a sesame seed bun.  Special!

 For those of you who’ve been around the baseball diamond a while longer than some, you know popcorn and peanuts are a triple-play staple!  Our friends from Warren, Ohio are sympathetic, however, they try to be a bit gourmet at times.  Instead they’ve given us some popcorn chips, honey roasted peanuts and a Choco Taco ice cream sandwich.  They get the basic idea, but want to inflict their culinary prowess upon us at the same time.  What a bunch of grandstand showoffs!

 Aug chipsaug nuts  aug taco

Wine Pairing: This week’s pairing hits it out of the park!  The Clay Buchholz ChardonClay from Longball Cellars is actually a fruity, summer chardonnay with melon and apple tones and an oaky finish.  Perfect for a day at the ballpark!

aug wine

Beer Pairing:  Our beer today is the Windy City Wheat.  Served at Wrigley Field, this craft beer is a high batting average Belgian-style beer with honey and spice and hey, if it’s good enough for the Cubs, it’s good enough for us!

So, when you’re wishing you were enjoying the roar of the crowd and the thrill of the game, but stuck at your desk, be sure to try one of these interesting options from the vending machine of stolen bases and ERA’s.  It just goes to prove, if you fill it, they will come!

More Vending Fun:

Ever stayed up late at nights wondering about the origin of the vending machine??  If you have, stress no more!  This interesting article pulls back the curtain on an invention that continues to amaze us even today!

Ready Pac Bistro Salad combos, Triple Treat Jell-O & a Honey Bun

   Vending Machine Gross Item of the Week Awards  

Welcome back culinary travelers! 

After another lengthy absence of curious culinary fare, we are back and have brought questionable, eyebrow raising delights from the bowels of the great refrigerated machine.  As we’ve moved into the hot summer months, our friendly benefactors of Warren (Ohio, that is…) have responded with some fancy summer selections. 

Who knew it was possible for such variety in vending form!

 First up in the munching melee…

 Ready Pac Bistro Salad combos! 

 The Mediterranean Salad


Romaine lettuce, roasted red peppers, garbanzo beans, feta cheese, olives and sun dried tomatoes with a light vinaigrette. 

All this weighing in at a mere 180 calories!  Feta and garbanzos from a machine?! 

To heck you say!!

The Turkey and Bacon Cobb Salad


A blend of iceberg and romaine lettuce, chunky bleu cheese dressing,

turkey, hard-boiled egg and bacon. 

A more weighty 290 calories, but hey.. WE’VE GOT BACON!!  AND EGGS! 

(Somebody better crack a window..)

If you have concerns, fear not!  These garden goodies have been inspected and approved by the USDA and those crazy Warranties have even included a fork!  They’ve thought of everything!  One-stop shopping and all the animals of the farm represented in these bowls! 

Does lettuce even have a shelf life??  Who knew!?

 Now, what’s summer without some type of gelatin dessert?  To answer the call, we’ve been given a Triple Treat Gelatin!  This gluten free delicacy is called “Triple Treat” for a specific reason.  It’s supposed to have three very visible and very defined layers of gelatin.  Clearly someone has sabotaged our Triple Treat!  Now it’s more like a “Triple Threat”.  How, exactly, does one make gelatin look like this?!  Somebody might want to get on the horn to Jell-O and see if they have a Hazmat/CSI-type group that may went to investigate!  Triple Treat… not so much!


 Just so you don’t think I’m off my rocker… here’s what it SHOULD look like…


This next yummy I’m throwing in just for fun.  It’s a honey bun… or is it?!  I’m not sure if it looks obscene or just gross.  After passing by this danish debacle several times, I decided it was just too nasty looking not to throw into the mix.  There’s just so many ways I could go with this one, but in the interest of good taste, I’ll just let it go.  I KNOW!!  RIGHT?!


Wine Pairing:

So by now you’re probably thinking “how are you EVER going to find a wine to pair with all this craziness?!”  Fear not fellow diners!  We gotcha covered!  Our recommendation to balance out the madness of these meals is the Ménage a Trois Rose’.  Raspberries, strawberries, floral notes and a light nuttiness seem especially appropriate for this outing.

 Beer Pairing:

If you’re going to have a Ménage a Trois wine, why not have the Polygamy Porter for your beer?  Makes sense, right?  Directly from the Utah Brewers Cooperative, this interesting beverage has hints of chocolate and vanilla with a bit of smoky and a touch of sweet. 

 So as you sit in the shade and fan yourself, contemplating your next dynamic dining event, consider taking a risk and snacking on the bounty provided.  With any luck, you’ll walk away full, happy and without food funk!


Pizza Twins

    Vending Machine Gross Item of the Week Awards   

 In our newest installment of vending machine faire, we take a look at a subject that fascinates many… twins!  As people, we like things in pairs and with a certain amount of symmetry.  And hey, if something is good, why settle for one?  Why not have two!?  In an interesting turn of events, Warranties have taken up this mantle and have delivered into our culinary custody a dynamic duo of epic epicurean proportions.  For this week’s selection from Ohio and parts beyond, I give you…

 Pizza Twins


I admit, when I saw this enticing entree in the vending machine, I was a little nauseous.  If this pasty package didn’t have a label on it, I would have had no idea what it was.  It reminds me of an alien autopsy movie I saw once.  Kinda fuzzy, kinda oval shapes… possibly some suspicious medical waste..  At best It looks like one of those pieces of modern art that you look at and think “what the hell is it?!”  A bunch of shapes and colors.  Somebody’s three year old went nuts with the crayons or something..  Anyway, what we apparently have here are 2 pieces of pizza (cut into squares) with what looks to be a slice of mozzarella melted over the top, red sauce and possibly some banana peppers.  Either that or the pizza has a tape worm.  In the grand scheme of vending machine meals, this one certainly is near the peak of the list for grossest!  The topper is the building condensation adding moisture to what may once have been a crispy pizza.

Wine Pairing:

For a dish this distinctive, you’ll need something good enough to wash it down with, but not something so strong that it flips your stomach into oblivion.  Our recommendation is a Stickybeak Syrah.  Edgy and vibrant, but still medium bodied, this wine is spicy with touches of cedar and pepper, but yet sweet with a mix of fresh berries.  With any luck, it will enhance your dining experience.

Beer Pairing:

As an interesting twist, our beer pairing is light and citricy!  Dundee Summer Shandy is a unique mix of lager and lemon, just tart enough without being too over powering, but also just the right flavor to twist up to those banana peppers!  Thanks to the Brewmeister for another awesome recommendation!

So, if you are feeling adventurous and want to live on the edge, hop on down to the vending machine of magical mystery and try your luck with these crazy twins!  You just might get lucky (and not e coli!)


Birthday Edition: Soup, Salad & Sub

  Vending Machine Gross Item of the Week Awards   

    **Birthday Edition**   

 Ok, ok… so, shameless self-promotion!  Yes, it is my birthday, but truly we all benefit!  As a result of this great, momentous event, the fine folks of Warren, Ohio have opened their cupboards and brought forth a birthday bounty of worthy, celebratory proportions!  Today we have three courses in fine culinary fare!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup


Who doesn’t love a nice, hot bowl of soup!  And when I think soup, of course I think vending machine and thus, broccoli cheddar!  A thick cheesy broth with some freshly diced broccoli all served up in a cardboard cup.  Here we experience the very essence of vending gourmet!  De-lish!!  I’m sure when fine cheese artisans made their cheeses, this is exactly what they had in mind!

 Santa Fe Salad


As a salad goes, this is pretty hearty!  The Santa Fe Salad is chock full of chicken, corn, cheese, lettuce and a zesty dressing that appears to be thousand islandish with a bit of a spicy kick.  This salad has been brought to my attention on several occasions because of the corn.  I admit, I’ve never put corn in a salad, but again, Warrenites are on the cutting edge of the culinary landscape and they see the horizon… and apparently it has corn.

 Steak & Cheese Sub


Today’s entrée is served up with fun on the bun!  This sweaty steak & cheese sub has all the right elements for a good meal (or possibly botulism)!  A roll, sliced steak and provolone comprise this savory sandwich!  Sure it’s not filet mignon, but vending fare can only go so far!

 Wine Pairing:

This tasty trifecta needs something dark and flavorful to wash it all down!  Of course, the nature of our celebration (we ARE ALL celebrating, right?!) means that it should be festive and appropriate!  Today’s wine is Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet!  This zinfandel is a blend of varietals with flavors of chocolate, mocha, blackberry and coconut!  It’s a party in a glass, so lift em’ high and toast the happy occasion!!

Beer Pairing: 

Raise your stein as we continue to toast this special day (again, gratuitous self-promotion here) with Alpine Beer’s Hoppy Birthday Pale Ale!  Citrus tones and floral hops make this a smooth APA, certainly worthy of any occasion!

So let us celebrate this important event with fine vending fare, enjoy the beautiful spring weather and hope that rain nor food poisoning will spoil this special day!

Cheers and bon appetite!








Gourmet French Dip Sandwich

Vending Machine Gross Item of the Week Awards

 Greetings Friends!  After an unfortunately long absence, we’re back with the gross items we’ve all come to savor and enjoy!  In fact, this week we have something extra special!!  Our clever companions in Warren, Ohio have waned to an all new level of woeful with this culinary curiosity.  From the colonial shores, this week I give you….

Gourmet French Dip Sandwich


Now, some of you are probably asking “Isn’t this a French dish?  It says so in the title!”  This tasty entree was actually created in the USA, but is typically served on a French roll, thus, the French dip…  Perhaps our atlas-challenged Warrenites are not aware or perhaps they are just trying to trick us again, but in either case, this sandwich is certainly NOT on a baguette!  This is one of those fancy-schmancy sandwiches that tries to be sophisticated with the au jus dip, but really it’s just a blue-collar roast beef on a seeded roll and some broth in a cup.  Who are they trying to kid here?!  Just because you put Aunt Tilly in a dress doesn’t make her a princess, know what I mean??  In any case, for $3.25, this baby is all yours!

 Wine Pairing:  This culinary creation deserves something unusual, so here it is!  Two Hands Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon!  Intense flavors of blueberry, plum and currant with smoky herbs make this wine a good match for our culturally confused sandwich!

 Beer Pairing:  For another unusual match for this sandwich, our beer this week is the Milk Stout Nitro from Left Hand Brewing Company.  Blended flavors of coffee, brown sugar and vanilla make this beer just the right stout for the French dip!

 So this week when you are looking for something a little different, certainly not your typical vending machine fare, skip on down to the vending machine that keeps the happy coming and pick up a Gourmet French Dip Sandwich!