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Worst Thing You've Eaten [Lately]

Worst Thing You've Eaten [Lately]
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  • Post #1171 - July 17th, 2019, 4:54 pm
    Post #1171 - July 17th, 2019, 4:54 pm Post #1171 - July 17th, 2019, 4:54 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Panda Express, where the new roll-out Sichuan chicken tastes like it was dusted with Sweet'N Low


    How did you manage to get a picture of my lunch plate without me noticing?!?

    Had the same order today - I added some broccoli to the noodle/Kung Pao/Sichuan chicken mix but had the same overall impression. There's definitely some sichuan peppercorn in there, but I don't know what they were trying to do with the rest of the seasoning.
  • Post #1172 - July 17th, 2019, 5:02 pm
    Post #1172 - July 17th, 2019, 5:02 pm Post #1172 - July 17th, 2019, 5:02 pm
    bobbywal wrote:How did you manage to get a picture of my lunch plate without me noticing?!?

    I was the guy lurking over your shoulder.

    bobbywal wrote:There's definitely some sichuan peppercorn in there

    Not in my order, you must have got the entire Midwest allotment of Sichuan peppercorn powder. I asked twice for extra hot, waited a minute or two for them to bring out fresh product, and still thought there was about as much mala as a cherry Popsicle. Good crunch though the white meat chicken was slightly spongy. Also, not to pile on, the noodles had a weird powdery texture.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #1173 - July 17th, 2019, 6:16 pm
    Post #1173 - July 17th, 2019, 6:16 pm Post #1173 - July 17th, 2019, 6:16 pm
    For a period of a few years in the mid-late 90s, I worked at Golf Mill mall in Niles. I settled into a lunch routine: Regular fried rice from Panda Express, two soy sauce, something like $1.79. Then, I'd wander over to the Taco Bell and get three sides of jalapenos, each a 2oz condiment cup of nacho rings. I think those were a quarter each on the days they even charged me. Honestly, it was a great lunch, not too heavy but spicy and salty, some veggies and fresh scallions were in there. At the time (and maybe still?), the soy sauce packets were Kimlan, still today my sauce of choice.

    It was a great lunch, not too heavy, spicy, salty. I think both restaurants are long gone but could go for that same thing right now. I don't doubt that the Sichuan chicken is dreadful but I still consider myself a fan from those many, many lunches.
  • Post #1174 - July 17th, 2019, 6:52 pm
    Post #1174 - July 17th, 2019, 6:52 pm Post #1174 - July 17th, 2019, 6:52 pm
    I have to admit, I was there because it is usually a decent option for a quick stop during the lunch hour - the Rt 59 option. The new outpost of LSC right around the corner hasn't really proven itself yet and I can get in and out pretty quickly with not too much money spent. The kung pao chicken at my location is stocked with red chiles and decent heat for a chain.

    I was excited to try the sichuan chicken, the tiny sample on a toothpick was tasty enough. In full portion, it was reminiscent of a BW3 "lab flavor" that doesn't really work. Could've used some of those dried red chiles from the kung pao, at a minimum.
  • Post #1175 - July 18th, 2019, 3:29 pm
    Post #1175 - July 18th, 2019, 3:29 pm Post #1175 - July 18th, 2019, 3:29 pm
    In between work and a doctor's appointment, with my (grown) son in tow, we decided to stop at Dear Frank's in Deerfield for a quick snack.

    Feeling unadventurous and not very hungry, I ordered a snack size chicken strips. (Of course I know they are processed, frozen, chicken-like objects, but what can I say, these are fast-food guilty pleasure.) My son went with a double-cheeseburger with fries.

    We had indifferent service where the counterman spent an extra five minutes filling ketchup bottles rather than getting our food going....but eh we weren't in the big of a hurry. If the food had been OK, I wouldn't have thought twice about it.

    But seriously how do you make a bad set of chicken strips? By overcooking them til they are burnt, dark brown, with the actual chicken part completely dried out. I debated lodging a complaint but reconsidered when I figured he would take the same (lack of) care with the next order.

    My son was unimpressed with the burger - greasy and with a steamed taste to it. Fries were "meh" - not made fresh but reheated from a pile of already cooked fries.

    This all made me sad, since I grew up in Deerfield and DFs was always a go-to place for us.
    "You should eat!"
  • Post #1176 - July 19th, 2019, 6:07 am
    Post #1176 - July 19th, 2019, 6:07 am Post #1176 - July 19th, 2019, 6:07 am
    Franabanana wrote:Fries were "meh" - not made fresh but reheated from a pile of already cooked fries.

    This all made me sad, since I grew up in Deerfield and DFs was always a go-to place for us.


    I'm sorry to hear that.

    If I remember correctly, when I was a young "adult" of 20, I dated a girl who worked at Dear Frank's in Deerfield. She bragged that the fries were "blanched" and described a process similar to Belgian-style fries—fried twice.

    It sounds like maybe that kinda' pride is slipping away? If so, that would be a shame.
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #1177 - July 19th, 2019, 7:07 am
    Post #1177 - July 19th, 2019, 7:07 am Post #1177 - July 19th, 2019, 7:07 am
    Great-America-Burger-Johnny-Rockets-01.jpg Plated hamburger from Johnny Rockets at Six Flags Great America with a side of fries and onion rings.

    Great-America-Burger-Johnny-Rockets-02.jpg Cross-section of hamburger from Johnny Rockets at Six Flags Great America

    I'm working on a guide to dining at Six Flags Great America for my blog in which I plan to try most of what the park has to offer (Have to wonder if it's really worth it, right?).

    The day before yesterday, in pursuit of my quest, I force-fed myself a burger from SFGA's Johnny Rockets.

    The lightly-toasted bun was soft and fresh enough—not bad at all. And the crisp lettuce and juicy tomato presented a "front" of freshness. But despite all the bad-burger obfuscation—there was no denying that the burger was a joyless, institutional stand-in for a real burger. It was thin, arid, and saltier than necessary—although, it was thoroughly browned.

    It was really bad.

    In a way, it was kinda' fun to eat something so tragic and ironic—it was like theater. It was as if someone conjured up something this bad—despite having all the other ingredients of a decent burger—just for the experience. If Andy Kaufman made a burger, I imagine it might be something like this was.

    Btw, the onion rings could have been worse. They were decent, although they could have been a little crisper.
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #1178 - July 19th, 2019, 9:51 am
    Post #1178 - July 19th, 2019, 9:51 am Post #1178 - July 19th, 2019, 9:51 am
    When the taco place in Great America FIRST opened it was completely edible, and our go-to. My boss turned me onto the place as a definite, "you won't even believe how edible they are." We went last year on the last day of the season in November, and I am praying that it was just because it was the last day, but the meat and salsa were both horrific. Like stew meat and jarred ortega red sludge for salsa. Previously it had been chopped steak (not great or anything, but COMPLETELY edible,) and salsa that looked like it came from a blender, not a jar.

    Rockets or Mooseburger are our go-to's these days. Nothing's gonna be good. It's either edible or really, really bad. I'd LOVE to read your article when it's done.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #1179 - July 19th, 2019, 3:03 pm
    Post #1179 - July 19th, 2019, 3:03 pm Post #1179 - July 19th, 2019, 3:03 pm
    seebee wrote:When the taco place in Great America FIRST opened it was completely edible, and our go-to. My boss turned me onto the place as a definite, "you won't even believe how edible they are." We went last year on the last day of the season in November, and I am praying that it was just because it was the last day, but the meat and salsa were both horrific. Like stew meat and jarred ortega red sludge for salsa. Previously it had been chopped steak (not great or anything, but COMPLETELY edible,) and salsa that looked like it came from a blender, not a jar.

    Rockets or Mooseburger are our go-to's these days. Nothing's gonna be good. It's either edible or really, really bad. I'd LOVE to read your article when it's done.


    Completely agree with you seebee, the food at SFGA should be evaluated on a pass/fail basis. Expectations should be low, but those prices seem to accentuate how bad the food is. Even a three-dollar frozen pizza isn't so bad that I won't eat the whole thing. But if I paid $15 for it, it would actually fall much further beneath the bottom threshold of my expectations—not just bad, but a rip-off and leaving two bad tastes in one's mouth. I'm glad I have the dining pass.

    I will follow up with a report when I try the Mexican place. It was closed today. I tried the Chili Cheese Dog today (I think I'll get an "F" on my next lipid panel test).

    Are the burgers at Mooseburger different from Johnny Rockets?

    Also, Mooseburger appears to serve something called "Flag Sauce" while Johnny Rockets serves burgers with "Special Sauce." Are those the same thing going by different names of different things entirely.

    We're "JB's Barbeque and Sports Bar" folk—they have a proper and fulsome bar.
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #1180 - July 20th, 2019, 10:20 am
    Post #1180 - July 20th, 2019, 10:20 am Post #1180 - July 20th, 2019, 10:20 am
    Hi,

    If the food is that bad, maybe the better list is food to eat before or after a visit to Great America.

    I remember when we visited MomCorn at Cynthia's suggestion, I thought it would be great place to fill up before or after Great America.

    Nearby is a Honey Baked Ham outlet to get a ham sandwich.

    If I am about to walk into a tourist trap, I try to eat before getting in. It doesn't mean I don't buy food there, but I can better ride it out if it is dismal.

    I do look forward to reading whichever way this goes.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #1181 - July 20th, 2019, 12:14 pm
    Post #1181 - July 20th, 2019, 12:14 pm Post #1181 - July 20th, 2019, 12:14 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:If the food is that bad, maybe the better list is food to eat before or after a visit to Great America.


    That's a great point, Cathy2!

    The pizza at SFGA is remarkably bad—especially egregious at that price. But in Lake County, good tavern-style pizza abounds. There are good places minutes from the park. I was considering a few recommendations.

    Cathy2 wrote:I remember when we visited MomCorn at Cynthia's suggestion, I thought it would be great place to fill up before or after Great America.


    Yes, that place is really good (especially for northern Lake County)—and has a lot of vegetarian items.

    Great suggestion!
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #1182 - July 20th, 2019, 12:46 pm
    Post #1182 - July 20th, 2019, 12:46 pm Post #1182 - July 20th, 2019, 12:46 pm
    Kaiser’s Pizza in Gurnee is another nearby option. Heartily endorsed by the LTHNLG.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #1183 - July 20th, 2019, 1:08 pm
    Post #1183 - July 20th, 2019, 1:08 pm Post #1183 - July 20th, 2019, 1:08 pm
    Dave148 wrote:Kaiser’s Pizza in Gurnee is another nearby option. Heartily endorsed by the LTHNLG.


    Yes, that was the one in particular of which I was thinking!! It's only a few minutes drive from the north entrance—east on Grand and north on IL-21.

    I'm new-ish to the area and haven't yet made it there, but I've heard good things.

    Thanks!
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #1184 - July 20th, 2019, 1:33 pm
    Post #1184 - July 20th, 2019, 1:33 pm Post #1184 - July 20th, 2019, 1:33 pm
    MungryJoe wrote:
    Dave148 wrote:Kaiser’s Pizza in Gurnee is another nearby option. Heartily endorsed by the LTHNLG.


    Yes, that was the one in particular of which I was thinking!! It's only a few minutes drive from the north entrance—east on Grand and north on IL-21.

    I'm new-ish to the area and haven't yet made it there, but I've heard good things.

    Thanks!

    You can add Gurnee Donuts to your list.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #1185 - July 20th, 2019, 1:43 pm
    Post #1185 - July 20th, 2019, 1:43 pm Post #1185 - July 20th, 2019, 1:43 pm
    And if you are a fan of gurnee doughnuts, you can get them at Tala coffee in Highwood. Excellent apple fritter.

    -Will
  • Post #1186 - July 20th, 2019, 3:02 pm
    Post #1186 - July 20th, 2019, 3:02 pm Post #1186 - July 20th, 2019, 3:02 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:If the food is that bad, maybe the better list is food to eat before or after a visit to Great America. ...
    If I am about to walk into a tourist trap, I try to eat before getting in. It doesn't mean I don't buy food there, but I can better ride it out if it is dismal.
    My feelings exactly. Vendors in closed off markets (ie. airports, stadiums, amusement parks) are anti-competitive cartels. It's not that the food, let alone value, sucks, it's that it's designed to be no better than the optimal marginal output.

    If Maverick-Actually-Good-Food-Guy comes in, everyone else has to drastically reduce prices (or spend more to produce better food without raising prices) to compete. My tried and true approach to this consumer-unfriendly situation is to only purchase alcoholic beverages, as necessary. At least that industry is so heavily regulated that the fall off in a closed environment is mostly limited to value.
  • Post #1187 - July 20th, 2019, 5:09 pm
    Post #1187 - July 20th, 2019, 5:09 pm Post #1187 - July 20th, 2019, 5:09 pm
    bweiny wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:If the food is that bad, maybe the better list is food to eat before or after a visit to Great America. ...
    My feelings exactly. Vendors in closed off markets (ie. airports, stadiums, amusement parks) are anti-competitive cartels. It's not that the food, let alone value, sucks, it's that it's designed to be no better than the optimal marginal output.

    Disney seems to be an exception: it's certainly not all going to be great, but there are a lot of good choices, e.g. the vegetarian Indian stand in Animal Kingdom, Morocco in Epcot.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #1188 - July 20th, 2019, 6:15 pm
    Post #1188 - July 20th, 2019, 6:15 pm Post #1188 - July 20th, 2019, 6:15 pm
    JoelF wrote:
    bweiny wrote:Vendors in closed off markets (ie. airports, stadiums, amusement parks) are anti-competitive cartels. It's not that the food, let alone value, sucks, it's that it's designed to be no better than the optimal marginal output.
    Disney seems to be an exception: it's certainly not all going to be great, but there are a lot of good choices, e.g. the vegetarian Indian stand in Animal Kingdom, Morocco in Epcot.
    Good point. Where lodging is offered, meals are part of the overall package, and there is a sufficient return on investment in good food because the entire destination package is competing with others in the vacation destination market. It's not the monopoly Wrigley vendors have over dining while watching the Cubs live or O'Hare vendors have over meals to kill time waiting to board.
  • Post #1189 - July 22nd, 2019, 8:17 am
    Post #1189 - July 22nd, 2019, 8:17 am Post #1189 - July 22nd, 2019, 8:17 am
    I'll give a +1 on the recommendation for Gurnee Donuts apple fritter and Kaiser's pizza. Kaiser also has pizza specials Mon-Thurs, half price on Mon, AYCE Tu-Th. Dine in only, beverage purchase required, no doggie-bags. It's been years since I've been to Kaiser's, but I remember their thin crust tavern style being very good, maybe as good as Vito & Nick's?

    I wish there was a dining pass when I was a young lad with a season pass to Great America. But I agree, most of the food there seems like low-quality state fair or carnival type food. If you don't want funnel cakes or cotton candy, the actual meals seems like school cafeteria quality, but for a premium price. Maybe MungryJoe should start a SFGA thread where he eats his way throughout the park and posts his experiences?
  • Post #1190 - July 22nd, 2019, 8:27 am
    Post #1190 - July 22nd, 2019, 8:27 am Post #1190 - July 22nd, 2019, 8:27 am
    Kaiser's Pizza is one of the better thin crust pizzas in the Chicago area. The sell a frozen par-baked version (9" or 14") at the bar I go to on Tuesday nights for open jam night (2 guitars, bass, drums, mics and we play any songs we want) in Lake Bluff - Donelli's Pub.

    Donelli's Pub and Eatery serving Kaiser's Pizza (not advertised)
    515 Rockland Rd (Route 176) at US 41
    Lake Bluff IL
    847-234-0225
    Open for lunch - Closed Mondays
  • Post #1191 - July 22nd, 2019, 8:07 pm
    Post #1191 - July 22nd, 2019, 8:07 pm Post #1191 - July 22nd, 2019, 8:07 pm
    seebee wrote:When the taco place in Great America FIRST opened it was completely edible, and our go-to. My boss turned me onto the place as a definite, "you won't even believe how edible they are." We went last year on the last day of the season in November, and I am praying that it was just because it was the last day, but the meat and salsa were both horrific. Like stew meat and jarred ortega red sludge for salsa. Previously it had been chopped steak (not great or anything, but COMPLETELY edible,) and salsa that looked like it came from a blender, not a jar.

    Rockets or Mooseburger are our go-to's these days. Nothing's gonna be good. It's either edible or really, really bad. I'd LOVE to read your article when it's done.


    Can attest that the Mexican food place is extremely edible. Both the red and green salsa were really good and homemade, chips seemed freshly fried.

    The steak was fresh, about as good as low level taqueria carne asada. It also had the distinct rubbery texture of meat that's been injected with saline to increase volume (see most of the meat sold at Aldi for reference).
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #1192 - July 22nd, 2019, 8:51 pm
    Post #1192 - July 22nd, 2019, 8:51 pm Post #1192 - July 22nd, 2019, 8:51 pm
    When it first opened, it was [ul]Marriott's[/ul] Great America and the food was even more cafeteria-like. Highlights were nickel root beer (actual 5 cents), and Jewel Foods supplied pizza for at least one stand. Not great, but better than a lot of the other food.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #1193 - July 23rd, 2019, 11:40 am
    Post #1193 - July 23rd, 2019, 11:40 am Post #1193 - July 23rd, 2019, 11:40 am
    When we go to the amusement park, attend a game, etc. we have come to the expectation that our dining choices are going to be overpriced and that much of the food will be borderline in terms of taste. Airports offer a little more in the way of choices and expectations of taste/quality, though the price will still be inflated. You can find places like Tortas Frontera, Wolfgang Puck, Publican, Big & Little and many others at various airports.

    You have places like the United Center, Wrigley and Guaranteed Rate that also have some decent food options, but there still exists the basic bad hot-dog, hamburger, etc.

    The problem, when attending a game or event, is that time and line length become an issue. I may want those Tacos at Big Star in the UC, or Hot Dougs at Wrigley, but the lines are usually prohibitively long if I also don't want to miss much of the action. So the choices become eat before arriving or wait until afterwards. When at the all day event like Great America, you pack something in a cooler and go out to the lot to grab a sandwich, or you suffer thru the badness.

    What we really need to realize is that there is a large portion of the population that other than the price has absolutely no issues with the bad food they are being served.
    Reminds me of when I was in college and people would rave over some of the various (bad) cafeteria food, and I could only sit and wonder exactly what they were being fed at home if they considered that stuff good.
  • Post #1194 - July 23rd, 2019, 2:18 pm
    Post #1194 - July 23rd, 2019, 2:18 pm Post #1194 - July 23rd, 2019, 2:18 pm
    JoelF wrote:When it first opened, it was [ul]Marriott's[/ul] Great America and the food was even more cafeteria-like. Highlights were nickel root beer (actual 5 cents),


    The root beer place!
    Yes!!!!
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #1195 - July 23rd, 2019, 2:32 pm
    Post #1195 - July 23rd, 2019, 2:32 pm Post #1195 - July 23rd, 2019, 2:32 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    If the food is that bad, maybe the better list is food to eat before or after a visit to Great America.


    The thread needs to be created for inside the gates and outside. The food inside is truly bottom of the barrel, like they are OBVIOUSLY making a ton of money on that stuff since it is the lowest quality imaginable. I basically eat waffle fries, a few bites of a hockey puck burger, and a funnel cake (pretty good funnel cake, actually.)

    We get the yearly passes every year when they do the silly sale that makes it almost crazy NOT to buy their dining plan. We only buy one dining plan for me and Jr to split, tho. We eat strategically - split a lunch, a dinner, and then a funnel cake on the way out at the place by the bumper cars, then grab something far more edible on the way home. I can say this - that Jewel on Grand Ave, west of the park has crazy good baked/grilled chicken parts at the deli. I've had it at other Jewel locations, and none of them have come remotely close. BUT, I spied with my little african american eye*, an Indo Pak joint right outside the gates on Grand, and I'm dyin to give it a try for an after park meal/snack:

    http://www.mybiryanipointe.com/gurnee/

    *I'm on vacation, and a little slaphappy, sorry.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #1196 - July 23rd, 2019, 4:00 pm
    Post #1196 - July 23rd, 2019, 4:00 pm Post #1196 - July 23rd, 2019, 4:00 pm
    seebee wrote: The thread needs to be created for inside the gates and outside. The food inside is truly bottom of the barrel, like they are OBVIOUSLY making a ton of money on that stuff since it is the lowest quality imaginable. I basically eat waffle fries, a few bites of a hockey puck burger, and a funnel cake (pretty good funnel cake, actually.)

    We get the yearly passes every year when they do the silly sale that makes it almost crazy NOT to buy their dining plan.


    100% YES to all of this right here! Outside the gates definitely deserves a thread for sure (The Fogcutter is right down the street and IMO it's the best "bar" food you can get in all of Lake County).

    But an Inside Guide--especially for novices and people spending their own hard-earned cash--could be highly valuable.

    I went to GA and consumed these "lunches" with M'ungry Joe all last week, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it this week. (He had to go alone yesterday.) It's consistently terrible.

    However, I will say I was very impressed with my veggie burger at Moose Lodge on Friday. That's really only because it was made fresh on the spot (I watched the gal make it) but it was only "good" because my brain immediately started comparing it to the other garbage food I've eaten at GA. Was it a decent option for my free meal pass? You betcha. Would I pay $15 for it? NEVER!
    “Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” ―Erma Bombeck
  • Post #1197 - July 23rd, 2019, 7:13 pm
    Post #1197 - July 23rd, 2019, 7:13 pm Post #1197 - July 23rd, 2019, 7:13 pm
    Don't forget you can bring outside food into Wrigley. Burritos are convenient and travel alright.
  • Post #1198 - July 23rd, 2019, 8:13 pm
    Post #1198 - July 23rd, 2019, 8:13 pm Post #1198 - July 23rd, 2019, 8:13 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    If the food is that bad, maybe the better list is food to eat before or after a visit to Great America.


    We ended a day at Great America with a trip to Pequod's in Morton Grove... hey, it's "on the way" for anyone heading south from Gurnee! It made our "lunch" far more bearable as we knew it was in our future.
  • Post #1199 - July 24th, 2019, 5:56 am
    Post #1199 - July 24th, 2019, 5:56 am Post #1199 - July 24th, 2019, 5:56 am
    BrendanR wrote:Don't forget you can bring outside food into Wrigley. Burritos are convenient and travel alright.


    This is always the way to go, I like a banh mi or two
  • Post #1200 - July 24th, 2019, 1:09 pm
    Post #1200 - July 24th, 2019, 1:09 pm Post #1200 - July 24th, 2019, 1:09 pm
    AlekH wrote:
    BrendanR wrote:Don't forget you can bring outside food into Wrigley. Burritos are convenient and travel alright.


    This is always the way to go, I like a banh mi or two


    That'd why it was the best when Hero's was open on the corner of Western & Addison, grab one of those and you were good to go.

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