Category Archives: reviews

Review: Micro Touch Switchblade

This post is a review of the MicroTouch Switchblade. Since this is a PR-friendly blog that does product reviews, The Switchblade was sent to me by PR rep of the company for a review. I want to thank Sylvie for sending this to me after first reviewing the ONE Razor — thanks! 

Microtouch Switchblade Review from Knoxesque

Microtouch Switchblade Review from Knoxesque

The MicroTouch Switchblade is essentially a multi-purpose trimmer that has both a mini-shaver for trimming and a standard-sized shaver for larger jobs. The package you’d buy on their site comes with a whole kit of miscellaneous stuff, but the retail version you’d buy somewhere else, like on Amazon, comes with some plastic snap-on attachments to vary the length of hair you’re trimming.

The claim of being gentle on sensitive skin from head to toe and the ability to “remove hair anywhere” screams of trimming pubes. The design of the Switchblade is actually perfect for that, but if you’re like me, you have a huge problem with this type of crossover.

The Switchblade is nice and cheap, and it does the job. I like the various clip-ons because they’re great for trimming a beard & mustache without turning everything into a choppy mess. It really helped out in November, especially to clean up the absolute NAST that is neck hair. Another nice thing about the Switchblade is the smaller trimmer is perfect for nose hair trimming, but again, you may hate this level of crossover. Your call.

Like any product, the Switchblade isn’t without it’s negatives. For one, it comes with a stupid little light built into the device. I’d say “good hustle” to MicroTouch for it, but the spotlight is completely worthless and has a better chance of momentarily blinding you than helping at all. The biggest CON / negative in the way I see things is the use of batteries. I’ll concede that my batteries haven’t died yet, which is ok, I guess, but it’s still a cheap idea. The Switchblade is only $20, so I shouldn’t expect too much.

All in all, it could serve as a last minute gift. It could also be a funny white elephant gift in a group of ladies. I wouldn’t run out and buy this myself, but it IS nice to have around.

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MicroTouch ONE Razor Review

I admit it, shaving with a real razor scares the piss out of me. I shave with a Braun electric razor/shaver 360 days a year — the other few days are with real razors and each one of those days reminds me why I use a Braun.

Every fall, I’m subtly demeaned for not using real razors by things like Movember / No-Shave November and companies like the Dollar Shave Club. I just won’t have it! I just wouldn’t have it … until recently when a rep from MicroTouch ONE Razor reached out to me and asked me to give it a shot.

I said OK and almost MicroTouch One Razor Reviewimmediately received the razor, which I was excited about until I had to write the review, which obviously meant I had to use it. In case you don’t know, the MicroTouch ONE Razor comes with actual razor blades … guys, straight razors come with REAL razor blades! Hell no. Not for me. The PR rep has actually reached out to me a few times to make sure I got the product and wanting to know when I’d put up an article. Sorry about that, Syl!

Well, I finally grew the pair necessary for me to actually try the razor. I lathered up, probably overdoing this job, and started. It was similar to cliff diving or repelling after rock climbing, the very first step is the hardest to make; the first stroke was so hard! After the first stroke, which went just fine, the rest was, as they say, cake. I had a near-perfect shave. It was only near perfect because I kept the razor to my jawline while I sneezed. In case you didn’t know or couldn’t have assumed this on your own, sneezing with a razor held against your face is a bad idea and you’ll almost surely cut yourself. I slightly nicked by jaw. Aside from that little blip of stupidity, it was great. After I finished, I pretty much slammed my hand on the counter and shouted, “I’m so damn manly!”

MicroTouch One Razor Review by Nate KnoxFor only $20, the MicroTouch ONE Razor provides a great shave. I would much prefer using this over a standard Gillette razor with who-knows-how-many blades they include these days. Not only does it come with the razor, which is damn nice looking, it comes with a case and 12 razors. If you’re like me and don’t have to fully shave often, this is going to last you a while. Beyond that, razors are cheap. The only thing you may be worried about cost-wise is investing in other fancy products, like nice soups & creams.

All in all, it’s a great deal and I’d recommend it to anyone, especially if you’re in need of a cheap, but great gift idea.


November 11, 2013 · 12:23 pm

Casa Noble’s Reposado Tequila Review

It’s damn good.

As a person who considers tequila as something only good for margaritas and bad decisions, I was shocked to love Casa Noble‘s Reposado Tequila. I’ve always discredited people who consider tequila “a nice sipping drink” until giving Reposado a shot. It has a dark, rich and smokey taste that I’ve never found in a tequila before now.

After trying it (and loving it), I got on Casa Noble’s website and found out they mature the Reposado in French white Oak barrels for three hundred sixty four days. In my book, aging anything in an oak barrel is a good idea. The process of aging in these barrels leaves you with a smokey and spicy flavor that is incredibly smooth. For the first time ever, I considered a tequila to be “a sipping drink.”

For those looking for a nice out-of-the-normal gift this holiday season, consider giving this handsome blue/silver bottle, particularly if you’re looking to impression a dad or in-law. You’ll see various prices around the Internet, but the average price (or maybe the MSRP) is $60. I really enjoyed receiving this bottle from Casa Noble’s PR company. There are benefits to being a pr-friendly cocktail writer & blogger.

For those looking for tequila recipe ideas or margarita recipe ideas, here you go!

The Calaca

-1.5 oz. Casa Noble Reposado
-1.5 oz. Fresh Watermelon Juice
-.25 oz. Organic Agave Nectar
-.25 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
-1 pinch of Hepp’s Scorpion Salt

I have another recipe up my sleeve, but you’ll have to visit the Examiner page to check it out.


November 10, 2013 · 3:45 pm

Limited Edition Glen Grant with Limited Taste

Note: It’s nice being a pr-friendly wordpress blog with ties to because receiving pitches and products for review is fun… who’da thought? Obviously, the spirits industry reps are my favorite people to hear from, but everything is fun. I actually have some new facial hair products & reviews coming out in the next month or so. Stay tuned. In the mean time, here’s a review of a very average-tasting scotch.

Glen Grant Five Decades Limited Edition Single Malt ScotchLast month, Glen Grant announced the Five Decades Limited Edition Single Malt Scotch and made a large media push to announce it. I had my hopes up for this, all things considered, but it fell short. The taste was average, but only that exciting.

The Five Decades is characterized by an appearance of light golden barley, and a bouquet melding vanilla, honey and Oloroso sherry. Once on the tongue, the Five Decades instills tastes of honey and orange blossom, with intensely creamy sweet toffee and raisin fruit. The finish is smooth and lingering, with continued notes of fruit. While this may sound amazing to some people out there, it conflicted with my tastes, particularly the fruity ascents. That’s just me. For the price they’re asking, I would go a different route. By the way, the price is high and you can find different price points around the Internet, but the pitch listed it at $250. No thanks.

For those who are still interested, here’s the PR pitch and link to the site.

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Last Minute Cocktails: Cucumber Mint Margarita


zulka pure cane sugar can be used for bottling beer, too!

It’s Saturday night and you need a cocktail idea. Worse, you need a fun cocktail recipe for Cinco de Mayo!

Calm down, I have just the thing for you. First, let me introduce the muse of the post, Zulka Pure Cane Sugar. Zulka is a Non-GMO Project verified “Morena” sugar – a term used to describe granulated sugars that do not undergo conventional refining processes, which remove the complexity and flavor in raw sugar cane after it has been pressed.

They kindly reached out to me and provided me with a sample bag and the recipe below. I have made several drinks with it rimming the glass and several more with simple syrup I made with it, including this cocktail with Rosé Exlusiv. TRY IT! It’s a much better decision that standard, white, refined sugar.

Visit my Examiner page to see the recipe for the Cucumber Mint Margarita

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Review: Exclusiv Vodka

I received arguably the best package a person could receive in the mail about a week ago, a bottle of vodka. Biting down the urge to post a snap review, I started making drinks. How can a writer give an honest review of anything without allowing proper time for multiple testings? That’s certainly not fair when is comes to the spirits industry and some very kind PR outreach.

So, in case you couldn’t guess, I made a bunch of drinks with the product… Exclusiv Vodka.

Here’s an excerpt from their website:

From the gently rolling wheat fields of Moldova, near the shores of the Black Sea, comes exciting new vodka steeped in Russian tradition begun centuries ago. A spirit so exclusive in taste we had to name it Exclusiv.

Exclusiv evokes images of icy mountain peaks and crystal clear streams. It brings to mind expressions like clean, fresh and crisp. The best and truest description we can offer is… Perfect.
Taste it.
We believe you’ll agree.

They said I would agree, and though I was skeptical, I did.

To check out the rest of my review, visit my Examiner page. I would paste the whole thing, but…nah

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Review: BD’s Mongolian Grill

Walking into a restaurant for the first time is like going on a blind date. You see the person from a distance at first (probably) and make a snap judgment on how outwardly attractive they are. You meet them face-to-face and that judgment may or may not hold water, despite a charming and great personality.

In all likelihood, you’ve become a victim of the Hot From Far Away effect.  This Effect is true when you see BD’s Mongolian Grill in Burnsville.

Pulling up to the eatery off of Country Road 42, neighboring the Burnsville Center, you see a fancy place to fill your tummy. The exterior looks great, despite feeling like a box tossed into a parking lot. The atmosphere you expect before you walk through the doors is not quite what you’d expect. The host podium is about 25 feet into the restaurant, rather than it being right inside the door, giving the waiting area an enormous feeling.

After making the awkward approach to the host/hostess, my wife and I were luckily seated on the side at a booth. If it were up to me, all seating everywhere would be booth seating. If a booth is available at BD’s, ask for it. The rest of the restaurant felt like a cafeteria. The lighting is about the same as a cafeteria, about the same uninviting feeling, the same uncomfortable nature at a glance and the same murmur. Again, luckily, we got a booth and were very comfortable.

This is only the scene at BD’s. I’m a HUGE stickler for ambiance and feeling while I eat. The cafeteria feeling is the only negative thing I have to say for BD’s.

The Staff

The entire customer experience is obviously a gargantuan factor and conscience effort for the BD’s staff. The staff ensures a pleasant and knowledgeable experience for the customer all the way from the second you walk in, to sitting down, ordering, picking your food and sauce, cooking the food, and random check-ins.

Everyone smiles the whole time and the whole place is beaming with personality.

If you’ve never been to BD’s, your server will explain the process to you. My wife and I each shared an appetizer and each got an unlimited bowl, skipping the nice-looking salad bar.

For the appy, we ordered pot-stickers. While they were good, they were nothing special. We ate nearly the whole plate before remembering to take a picture… so… here are the remnants.

Our waiter, Jeff, was a really nice guy and swung by to check in enough to make us happy, but not so much to be annoying. We made nice casual conversation without there ever being an awkward moment and he answered all of the questions we had. When we go out, we usually ask for a suggestion or their opinion on certain items… we’ve developed a knack for telling if our server is lying to us or being honest… Jeff was honest and he clearly likes BD’s and its food.

When we walked bowl-on-hand over to the sauce bar there was a friendly guy waiting to give us advice about what sauce/s to use. He asked what flavors we tend to like, spicy or sweet, etc, and gave us suggestions. He let me try one I was skeptical about with one of those little ice cream sampling spoons and threw it away for me so I didn’t have to worry about.

Having someone to help guests figure out the sauce bar is a fantastic idea. Why let the guests choose for themselves and potentially ruin the whole experience when you can place a person there to give expert advice? Genius! The sauce guy even came over to see if we liked the sauce combos we ended up choosing, which was another nice gesture from the staff.

After finalizing the food and sauce choice, you go to the cooks.

It was a slow night, so it wasn’t very exciting. Since first visiting BD’s, I’ve gone back to experience a busy night — they’re way more exciting. The cooks sing and hit gongs and shout stuff and interact with us. While a crowd stresses me out, it was worth it to chat with the cooks and get the full experience.

The staff is great at BD’s Mongolian Grill and make the whole customer experience remarkable.

The Food…

ROCKS! I love, Love, LOve, LOVe, LOVE the food! How delicious the food is is entirely up to you though. I could have made something unfulfilling, added too much meat, added too much of something or I could have ignored the sauce guy’s advice. There are plenty of variables to make the food blow your mind or ruin your night. Of course, I made something delicious. After a visit and long rant about how good the food is, a friend of mine told me that they even have gluten-free options. So if you’re looking for really good gluten-free restaurants in the South Metro area, try it – you can make a really good vegetarian bowl too.

Check out their website to create your own bowl. I really like this idea because if you’re looking into going there and not sure about the food (like me), you can check everything out ahead of time. While the website is actually a bit limiting in terms of portions and amount of ingredients to add, it gives you a great preview.

Again, we got swept away with our food and forgot to take pictures until we were basically done.

Here is the appropriately-labeled bowl I made:

The KNOX-esque
  • 3 oz Chicken
  • 3 oz NY / KC Strip
  • 1 oz Bean Sprouts
  • 1 oz Broccoli
  • 1 tsp Cilantro
  • 1 oz Mushrooms
  • 2 x 1 oz Spicy Buffalo Sauce
  • 1 oz Chili Garlic Sauce
  • 1 oz Sweet n Sour
  • An extra pinch of garlic
  • .5 tsp. Oil Blend (added at the Grill)
  • 3/4 cup Rice (optional – choice of brown or white)
  • 3 oz. Rice Noodles

This is my bowl, except I put WAY more meat on it. Lamb, shrimp, rib-eye, pork, etc. I also had pea pods and other stuff, but that’s the gist of it. If you go soon, they might still have their Octoberfest Beer Soaked Pork. IF they still have it, GET IT. This was my favorite portion of meat in the entire thing. Seriously, it’s delicious. Now that it’s November, you might be S.O.L. If that’s that case – sorry.

Get my point yet? The food is really good. I’ve heard people say it’s not as good as Khan’s, but I’ve never been there and won’t give it a chance because I’m smitten with BD’s. Plus, BD’s is closer to my house… why make the trip?

Aside from the uncomfortable environment, which I can get over with time and food, I give BD’s full marks. So let’s say 4.5 stars out of 5. I’m really excited to go back and enjoy more awesome food. You should check it out too when you have the chance.

I had a coupon to share with all of you, but it’s now expired because I wanted to go back to experience a busy night before I wrote the review. Sorry. You should still go.

Me and my product placement.

{The small print disclaimer: The restaurant and its PR agency discussed on this column provided a free dinner to review on this blog. While free stuff will guarantees a sampling, it doesn’t promise giddy, happy props from me. Thanks to BD’s Mongolian Grill in Burnsville for providing a nice date night for my wife and I. 🙂 }

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St. Paul’s Tequila Bar – Barrio

I posted this last night on my Examiner page…

Unbeknownst to the general public outside of the state, Minnesota’s Twin Cities area is a thriving cultural hub in which the music, theater and food/drink scenes have launched into Splendor. Some may argue it, but many will proclaim it. Whether they’re blogging about some new song they heard on the Current or posting about being in a favorite bar on Twitter, the MNScene is Alive!

Last night, I took my soon-to-be fiance (shhh! don’t spoil it) to Barrio in downtown St. Paul. Barrio is a Minnesota-based tequila bar, which I didn’t even know Minnesota had until now, that is “brought to you” by the same folks who own La Belle Vie.

The place was packed!

I couldn’t tell if it was just a really popular place or if the crowd was a product of St. Paul’s Winter Carnival, which was going on right across the street. Either way, there were people everywhere. Sarah and I walked in and were seated immediately despite the crowd. I made a reservation online at their website – cool idea, Barrio!

After being seated we immediately ordered chips and guac and a couple margaritas. A nice guy brought us our chips and guac right away and gave us a little cup of tangy, slightly spicy salsa to compliment the guac. It was delicious! It wasn’t skimpy on the guac either, we actually ran out of chips before finishing the guac and salsa.

When our drinks came, we were annoyed. Despite being really good and strong margaritas, our drinks were in small, plastic cups. Part of me understands the use of plastic cups because it was so busy. Another part of me cried foul. This isn’t college. This isn’t even a college town. I see LOTS of glassware. I see glasses that would have been an appropriate size for a drink.

We paid $9 each for small cups of margarita mix.

Not cool.

Then our food came quite a while later. We ordered a few tacos and enchiladas. They were SMALL! For the three bites it took to each one, they were pretty fantastic… but they were hella expensive. You can see pictures of our food in the Slideshow. Each taco, which was about the size of the palm of my hand, was $4.

I recognize my tendency towards sticker shock, but still, $4 for a damn taco is ridiculous.
After we left still hungry, we went to the store for more food.

All in all – Barrio is a really cool place and a really nice atmosphere. There is a wall of Mexican-style wrestling masks covering one wall, a huge wall of tequila above the bar and dancing marionette dolls above the entryway. You can see most of this stuff in the Slideshow pictures. However, it is a really expensive place (expensive for my tastes… I’m a laid back kid who enjoys college-priced drinks, not the reality of downtown-priced drinks).

One thing I noticed in reading other comments about Barrio online is that people criticized it for their tequila. But they all had one thing in common: they were scared of tequila and only ordered Patron. So I have some Advice, when you go to a TEQUILA BAR, order something that you will only see in a tequila bar. Don’t order something typical. Get away from the norm. If I were with a group of people, and not driving, I would have ordered a few rounds of assorted tequila to try out. But it was Sarah and I with me driving.

I Would go back to Barrio, but not without a group of friends or family from out of town who are ready to throw down a fist of cash to pay the bill.


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Product Preview: Yummy Tea

I’m sitting in my kitchen right now with an awful crick (sp?) in my neck, trying to relax.

The stereotype is accurate: all Minnesotans play hockey.

However, not all of us do it regularly. I just got back inside from playing a bunch of hockey with some friends in the park rink in my backyard. It was fun, but my skates need to be sharpened BADLY!

So after thoroughly destroying my legs and burning my nostrils and lungs with the 3 degree air, I came inside to shower and veg out. I grabbed some of the tea that I received to review on here and “put the kettle on.”

I grabbed the Kashmiri Chai (as pictured) that Golden Moon Tea so kindly provided and I’m not on my second cup. This stuff is great! I’m eating pepper jack cheese cube with Wheat Thins as a snack also. The tea and this snack are hitting me just right.

Here’s what the site says about it, “Kashmiri Chai is an exotic, spiced loose leaf tea from the Himalayas of Northern India. Aromatic and warming, natives of India often comment that the authentic and delicious recipe reminds them of home. Serve with cream and honey for a rich treat.”

It is very warming and the spices are perfect…at least for my situation right now.

I am going to write a full product review for the oolong tea that I got in the mail soonish, but I just wanted to give Golden Moon props for such a quality tea. I’m honestly really, really enjoying it right now.


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Review: TheraPod Pro-Fit Earplugs by Acu-Life

I received a free set of these TheraPod Pro-Fit Earplugs from Acu-Life just before the Holidays to give a test run and review for them.

Here is a link to their site: TheraPod/Acu-Life Ear

Here is my honest review:

I work as a copywriter in a very loud office, so I was excited to give these earplugs a chance. Apparently I focus better when my surroundings are quite. Who knew?

After opening the box and reading the instructions (I didn’t want to do it wrong and lose my hearing forever…dramatic, I know) I mixed the two balls of goo together and stuff my ears with it.

At first, it was weird. Can you really blame me though, who enjoys sticking goo in their ears?  You’re supposed to keep the stuff if your ears for 10-15 minutes or so while it shapes to your ears — talk about custom ear plugs.

For me, this was the highlight of the product. Just about everything was cut off and I was alone with my thoughts. Really the only thing I could hear was my own breathing, which was bizarre. I felt like I should be in space.

After letting the goo form to my ears, I took the plugs out and put them in the little case that’s provided in the package and I went to bed.

The next morning, and few days after that, I tried wearing them at work. Remember, noise and writing jobs aren’t the best of friends. But every time I tried, it was tough to fit the plugs into my ears again comfortably. Despite being formed to my ears, they were now stiff and were not all that comfortable. While trying to shove and maneuver them into my ears, little white and turquoise chunks kept falling off of the plugs and were getting lodged under my fingernails. After wearing them, uncomfortably, for a little while, I took them out and put them away and went back to the free white noise website I regularly use.

I may or may not have done something wrong, but the best part for me was the formation part. After that it was a downhill slope.

I’m bummed that I have to write a negative review for a product provided free of charge, but I’m not the type of person to just write only happy things. I do wish they would have worked out in my favor, but I guess some things just don’t jive with me.

(Also, I finally received that golden moon oolong tea, a review will be up after I try all of the samples and get around to writing it.)


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