Gadget Spot: Kenmore Elite Refrigerator

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

This weekly column deals in gadgets, not politics. However, President Obama's steady stream of economic-stimulus programs has largely passed me by since I don't own or invest in financial institutions, and didn't recently need a new car.

As this is the week of Alive's Ultimate Restaurant Guide, I suggest the president offer something more up my alley: a "Cash For Fast Food" stimulus program. The folks at Wholly Joe's (1182 East Powell Rd. in Lewis Center, the place for Chicago hot dogs and beef sandwiches) and Phillip's Original Coney Island (450 W. Broad St. near Downtown, the best Coney in town, period) would make plenty of money from my business alone.

A few weeks back, however, I finally qualified for my first government rebate check. It was $100 from the U.S. Department of Energy's State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (aka "Cash For Appliances").

The deal: I buy an Energy Star-qualified refrigerator, and my government puts a C-note in my pocket.

By chance, I've had my eye on a certain refrigerator for about a year. And it's no ordinary fridge. This one dispenses shaved ice out of the freezer door. We're talking Sno-Kones, baby!

This gadget — the Kenmore Elite Refrigerator (Model 58703, available at Sears at Tuttle Crossing for $2,167) — is loaded with features.

PUR-filtered water dispenses from the freezer door. You can push a cup under the spigot to manually control the water that comes out, or you can specify an exact number of ounces and that's exactly what fills your cup with the push of a button.

Microban Antimicrobial Protection is built into selected areas of my fridge to inhibit stain- and odor-causing bacteria from growing. The SpaceSaver ice system in the freezer door means 20 percent more shelf space. An Ultra Chill Zone chills cans of soda pop at an accelerated pace.

And then there's the fridge's ice dispenser. Cubed, crushed or shaved. For me, shaved ice means one thing: nonstop Sno-Kones!

I buy my Sno-Kone supplies at Gold Medal Products, 787 Harrison Dr. on the West Side. They carry those distinctive, inverted triangular cups, neon-colored shovel straws and Sno-Kone flavored syrups. I generally pick up cherry, grape, strawberry and blue raspberry, plus a special liquid that, when sprayed on a Sno-Kone, gives it a sour flavor (sour cherry! Sour grape!).

This Kenmore Elite also has a Fresh-N-Ready bin for easy access to fruit, though I suspect the only fruit flavors hitting my lips anytime soon will be of the Sno-Kone variety.

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