All posts by Kelley

Wendy’s Bacon Queso Burger and Bacon Queso Fries

Oh Wendy’s, you had me at queso.

I’m pretty sure most of my blood is queso at this point. If you make a cheese that comes in sauce form, I’m pretty sure I’ve tried it. (Herdez Queso Blanco currently reigns supreme to me.) Quotes from the offensively boring commercial for Wendy’s line of queso products include “everything’s better with queso” and “feed your queso obsession”. I felt like they were talking directly to me.

Is everything really better with queso, though?

I thank both the Spring Oreos and the Herdez queso for their sacrifice. And yes, I tried it. It was beyond gross. Why did I do that?

Bacon Queso Burger

I picked the burger over the chicken sandwich that’s available (with all the same toppings) because I felt the beef/queso combo would be more interesting. I’ve dunked chicken into cheese sauce numerous times, but usually my cow interacts with cheese in slice form.

Wendy’s describes their Bacon Queso Burger as “A quarter-pound of fresh, never frozen beef topped with warm and spicy poblano queso, three strips of Applewood smoked bacon, fire-roasted salsa, red onions, and shredded cheddar cheese, all served on a toasted red jalapeno bun.”

I’ma get right down to it before I break down the various working parts: this burger was straight-up disappointing. I was hoping to just get real messy with some queso, but it was hardly there.

As you can see, there was more salsa than queso. It was had a little bit of heat, but the flavor was very bland. There was a hint of fire-roasted tomato, but other than that, it wasn’t something I would equate with actual salsa. It was more of a tomato mush.

I couldn’t taste any heat in the “red jalapeno” bun, although I could see little red flecks in it. It acted as little more than the usual deflated fast food bun, but the fact that it was toasted seemed to add a little extra touch to the burger that an untoasted bun wouldn’t; plus, that might have helped protect it from getting extra mushy from all the salsa.

One highlight: the bacon. I haven’t eaten at Wendy’s in quite a while, but one thing they seem to consistently get correct is their Applewood smoked bacon. It was thick, it was crunchy, and it was everything that fast food bacon usually isn’t. It’s just as good as if you made it at home in your cast iron skillet.

Also crunchy were the onions, being able to resist sogginess in their raw form. Their sharp bite seemed a bit unnecessary among all these other flavors, though.

And finally, on to the thing we’re really here for: the queso. The main star of the show. And the biggest problem.

First off, there were technically two types of queso on my Bacon Queso Burger. One of them was shredded cheddar cheese, except all I could detect were a few scant pieces on my burger. No worries though, because the star of the show is the queso sauce!

Except the queso sauce totally sucked.

First of all, I expected my burger to just be exploding with cheese sauce, much like with Jack in the Box’s Hella-Peño Burger. I don’t mind the mess; I welcome it. But the sauce was quite scant and the amount of salsa easily overshadowed it.

The biggest sin, however, is that this queso sauce had no queso flavor, and no poblano flavor to boot. Tasting it solo, there might have been a teensy bit of spiciness, but other than that, nothing. This burger had less cheese flavor than a regular cheeseburger, and it had TWO different cheeses on it.

Wendy’s Bacon Queso Burger made me sad. But I thought perhaps the next item I ordered would really let the queso shine…

Bacon Queso Fries

Wendy’s description: “Our natural-cut fries seasoned with sea salt and topped with warm and spicy poblano queso, three strips of Applewood smoked bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese.”

Okay, so no salsa mucking up the works now.

Which only reinforced how offensively bland this queso sauce was.

The bacon was still crispy and delicious (although a somewhat unwieldy fry topping) and Wendy’s fries are actually quite good and have that “natural potato” taste, so those were both good points. But it was, again, the highlight ingredient that was its downfall.

I will say that, on the surface, the fries looked short on toppings, but once I mixed it all together it coated all the fries quite nicely, and there was a lot of bacon to go around. Nothing irritates me more than cheesy fries or nachos that don’t get adequate coverage.

It took me a while to really pin it down, but Wendy’s queso is basically Bechamel sauce and xantham gum. Furthermore, Wendy’s promised me not just queso, but poblano queso, and while there seemed to be little bits of…things in the sauce, the flavor just wasn’t there.

You’ve besmirched the good name of queso, Wendy’s. I’d consider this a capital crime, but you do have really good bacon. And I can’t quit that chili. Just…work on your cheese sauce game, or just stay out of it.

Wendy’s Bacon Queso Burger

  • Score: 1.5 out of 5 “everything’s better with queso”s
  • Price: $4.89
  • Size: 1 burger
  • Purchased at: Wendy’s #00000621
  • Nutritional Quirk: On the Wendy’s website, the ingredients for Poblano Queso Cheese sauce just says “CONTAINS MILK”

Bacon Queso Fries

  • Score: 2 out of 5 “feed your queso obsession”s
  • Price: $2.49
  • Size: n/a
  • Purchased at: Wendy’s #00000621
  • Nutritional Quirk: At 510 calories, these fries are just 40 calories less than the burger. That seems wrong, somehow.

Thomas’ Bacon Buttermilk Pancake English Muffins

Why does the idea of bacon buttermilk pancake English muffins seem so weird to me?

Twenty years ago, that would have been a perfectly reasonable line of thought. But these days, food companies have collectively lost their minds, so this should just be another yawner. I guess it’s the idea of Thomas’ going off the deep end. English muffins don’t usually enter the realm of “weird”. Plus, they went with not one but TWO weird flavors for a muffin. Just cramming a full breakfast of flavors into something that is already a breakfast food. It’s just bizarre.

Another thing that’s bizarre: the proclamation that this product will only exist for six weeks. Six weeks from when? I don’t know. That seems like an incredibly arbitrary thing to print on a package. Who is keeping track of these six weeks? Wouldn’t it be easier just to say “only available until X day”?

Six weeks. Six weeks! That’s about half a semester of college. So you could eat some English muffins at the start of school, crave some of these nooks and crannies while studying for your midterms, and not be able to get that sweet savory breakfast treat. Hell, I’ve been learning Spanish on Duolingo for over six weeks and that stupid owl just told me I’ve learned 1% of it. These English muffins are available for less time than learning 1% of a foreign language.

I usually like to take a whiff of whatever I’m about to review before I eat it, but this time I had no choice: as soon as I opened the plastic sleeve, I was assaulted with a smell that was something like if artificial maple flavoring and styrofoam had a baby. It was unlike anything my nose had ever experienced, and it was highly disheartening for the culinary experience that was to come.

Sorry, I’m bad at cutting English muffins. It’s a genetic flaw.

What is going on here? I figured the little pink blobs were supposed to be bacon, but what are these coral-colored splotches? Is that the maple? The pancake? It’s certainly unlike any pancake I’ve ever seen.

Up close, the “bacon” pieces look like the haggard teeth of a witch who lives deep in the forest and tries to lure children to her cabin with weird breakfast pastries.

There’s no good preface to this, so let’s just get going.

It starts out by tasting pretty much like a regular English muffin, then a strange sweetness creeps in. It tastes almost like someone used something sweet to try to cover the faint taste of slightly rotten meat.

What the fuck is happening here? I couldn’t taste any pancake flavor, just a little bit of that weird, sweet maple. There was also some savory, but like I said, it tasted nothing like bacon – just like slightly off meat. And the taste lingered long after the muffin was gone.

Toasting and buttering helped, but that fake sweetness remained, along with that weird, slightly off taste that just stays and stays. An English muffin isn’t that big, but I couldn’t finish it. Also, yes, that’s not a shadow. I burned one side. It’s a genetic flaw.

I’m still trying to figure out the bacon situation. It wasn’t the flavor of meat, more the ghost of bad meat…like that time I must have gotten some raw steak juice in my reusable shopping bag and after a few days everything I put in there smelled really rank. Except I can’t run these English muffins through the washing machine.

Boy, I just make Thomas’ Bacon Buttermilk Pancake English Muffins sound like shit, don’t I? Well, they sure tasted like shit to me. Just a complete failure on the bacon and the pancake part. Sort of tasted like maple syrup, if you want to offend Canadians or whatever people from Vermont call themselves. Any savory aspect of it just tasted tainted.

But, in all fairness, a friend of mine tried them and she said they were “okay”. Not a rousing endorsement, but far from the experience I had. So maybe your mileage will vary? If you can find them within the mysterious six-week window, that is.

Thomas’ Bacon Buttermilk Pancake English Muffins

  • Score: 0.5 out of 5 “someone I know thought they were okay”s
  • Price: $3.49
  • Size: 6 English muffins
  • Purchased at: Fry’s Foods
  • Nutritional Quirk: Contains actual maple syrup. I am gobsmacked. Contains no trace of bacon. I am not gobsmacked.

Cheetos Sweetos Caramel Puffs

I always love when traditionally savory brands get into the holiday-themed snack game, but man, Cheetos, why did you have to puss out and go sweet on me? I know Frito-Lay has the dark magic ability to make meat-flavored snacks. Couldn’t we go ham, as it were? That’s an Easter classic!

Okay, sorry to start this review out with a rant. While I didn’t get the odd blessing/curse of ham-flavored Cheetos, I did at least get these Cheetos Sweetos. Last year around Easter, Cheetos introduced their first Sweetos flavor, Cinnamon Sugar. Now they’re adding Caramel to the line.

Unlike the bag of Cinnamon Sugar Puffs, Cheetos has erased all trace of connections with Easter. Chester is still as maniacally enthusiastic as ever, but gone are the rabbit ears. Now he’s crazy for what appears to just be an entire bowl of melted caramel. Cool your heels, bro. That amount of caramel is strictly for making caramel apples for Halloween.

Despite the Easter-scrubbing, for some reason Cheetos decided to keep the Puffs egg-shaped, which seems an odd choice given the lack of bunnies on the package. But at least it makes for a structurally sound Puff.

Upon opening the bag of Sweetos, I was struck by the unmistakable smell of Brach’s caramel squares. Points to Cheetos for authenticity on that one!

…And, after tasting them, points immediately taken away. Well, let me expound: the Puffs were absolutely true to the smell. Cheetos Sweetos Caramel Puffs have a super authentic caramel taste, and therein lies the problem.

The Cinnamon Sugar Puffs kind of worked because they were evocative of churros, but these just taste like sweet caramel on top of savory corn puff. It’s highly disconcerting to both the taste buds and the mouthfeel, because something that tastes exactly like caramel should not have this kind of crunchy and airy texture.

I really thought Cheetos Sweetos Caramel Puffs would just be a sort of “meh” experience, but my mouth has been deeply offended. In fact, now I wish waaaay more that Cheetos had come out with some ham-flavored egg-shaped Puffs. That would be infinitely better than these things. Nailing the caramel flavor turned out to be the actual problem.

Blech, I’m going to go drink some milk now to cleanse my palate. These things stick with you, too.

Oh, and unlike the Cinnamon Sugar Puffs variety, there’s no indication on the bag that these are limited edition. So you can not enjoy these all year-round!

Limited Time Cheetos Sweetos Caramel Puffs

  • Score: 0.5 out of 5 Easter Bunny Chester Cheetahs
  • Price: $1.39
  • Size: 2.6 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirk: Contains no actual caramel – just “caramel seasoning” – which makes the authentic taste even more mysterious and, in some ways, insulting?

Limited Edition Peeps Oreo

When I told a friend about Peeps Oreos, the first question out of his mouth was, “Are those Peep-flavored Oreos or Oreo-flavored Peeps?”

The question is 100% fair. Oreo is known for popping out a mind-boggling amount of flavors, but Peeps has developed a prodigious assortment, themselves. If you would have asked me 20 years ago what junk food franchise would go wild with their flavor selection, first I would have told you to fuck off because I was a teenager, and then I would have said literally anything but Peeps.

But for now, at least, the answer to his question is that these are Oreos with Peeps-flavored creme. For now. Expect the opposite soon.

The timing is no accident – Easter is around the corner, and before they were bats and Christmas trees, Peeps were, at heart, chicks.

Our packaging eschews all holiday-related tropes in favor of a more Spring-y landscape. The background pops with bright yellow and white polka dots, and cute little pink butterflies float around our rather solemn-looking Peep. Grass and a white picket fence complete this perfect little scene. Minus Mr. Peep, it’s as saccharine as a Peep Oreo itself!

The whole thing just makes me want to sneeze. But it’s also allergy season and I can actually smell the pollen in the air. These damn plants, always wanting to fuck all at the same time.

The idea of Oreo creme that tastes like a regular Peeps marshmallow is super boring, so they decided to spice things up by adding crunchy sugar crystals to the mix, which makes sense because Peeps are covered in sugar crystals.

As always, I tried the creme by itself before I ate the Oreo as a whole. It was a smart move adding those sugar crystals, because I swear I couldn’t detect a flavor that was any different than a normal Oreo. Peeps and Oreos don’t taste the same, but I feel like they really phoned it in, just adding some sugar crystals to the regular mix.

When eaten as a whole cookie, again, you’re basically just eating a Golden Oreo, although I will say that the crystals added a crunch that was different than just the cookie crunch. It was a more pleasant experience than just eating the creme alone, because it felt more crunchy than gritty.

While the flavor of Peeps Oreo is fairly boring, the color certainly isn’t. One of the first colors of Peeps was pink, and Oreo went PINK with this filling. If you happen to have read the Internet lately, this has caused something that the Internet loves talking about: colored poop!

That’s right, the most notable thing about Peeps Oreos is that, if you eat enough of them, they will turn your poop bright pink. This is due, of course, to good ol’ Red Number 3. So, because of my status as an Investigative Reporter, I had to do my doo-doo diligence…

…and eat a whole row of Oreos at once. Also, sorry about that joke.

A row of Oreos is seven, in case you weren’t aware. And I cheated and only ate the filling, after my initial taste test for the review. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the Barbie playset in my toilet that I was hoping for. There was a faint pink tinge, but that was it.

Now, the accounts I read said they’d consumed a whole PACKAGE to achieve real results on the back end. It was a labor of love for me to just eat one row of filling – who the hell can eat an entire package in one sitting?

Enough poop talk, though. Remember those little tablets your dentist gave you to put in your mouth after you brushed your teeth to ensure you’d brushed properly? The ones that stained any plaque you missed bright pink? It turns out Peeps Oreos have the exact same effect! Thanks, Oreos, for making sure I brushed real real good!

Here are some other things these Peeps Oreos stained:

My tongue (which was another documented side effect, but I wasn’t expecting it to be QUITE that bright)

My toothbrush bristles (permanently, as it turns out – I had to buy a new one)

My sink, after I spit out my toothpaste (luckily, I noticed it was stained and wiped it off before that became permanent also)

So this review has been more about “How can I use Peeps Oreos to dye everything in my life pink?” than the flavor themselves, which speaks volumes about how interesting they were, taste-wise. The only interesting thing were the sugar crystals, and while they added a little extra crunch, I’d much rather have Marshmallow Crispy Oreos than these. And I wouldn’t have to worry about permanently staining my shirt while eating them.

Limited Edition Peeps Oreo

  • Score: 1 out of 5 toilet Barbie playsets
  • Price: $1.88
  • Size: 10.7 oz. package
  • Purchased at: Safeway
  • Nutritional Quirk: Gotta give it up to Red No. 3. Always.

Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa

The Naked Chicken Chalupa was in one test market in 2015 and another in 2016, and I read that it took two years to develop. Can you imagine being the person in charge for trying to make a fried chicken shell? Day after day, staring at this processed and battered (both literally and figuratively) piece of flat meat, trying through sheer force of will to transmogrify it into something it was never supposed to be?

“This is not how my life was meant to turn out,” he whispers to himself, fingers red and blistered from fry oil. “This was not why I got my Food Science degree. I was supposed to do good in this world.”

…If there’s a plus to rolling up on Taco Bell at 6:03am, it’s that your order is going to be fresh (or as fresh as you can expect). If there’s a drawback, it’s that you’re ordering a Naked Chicken Chalupa three minutes after opening time, and that feels embarrassing.

However, the nice man at the window did warn me that my Chalupa was fresh and therefore hot, which was both kind of him and made me chuckle at the accidental implication that the rest of my order was not, indeed, fresh. You mean the smashed wreckage that is the Meximelt isn’t lovingly crafted on the spot?

He was right though, as the fried chicken shell slightly burned my fingers when I took it out of its protective sleeve (smart move, Taco Bell) to photograph it.

I gotta say, I was surprised at how crunchy and juicy the chicken shell was. And spicy, too! I wasn’t even aware that it was supposed to be spicy, but my lips were slightly burning as I ate it.

Of course, the taco itself was mostly chicken. The sparse innards were your typical fare: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese and avocado ranch sauce. The last ingredient is the only real one of note, as its creamy texture and mild ranch flavor mixed nicely with the spicy chicken. Those bites were rare, but when they came together, it was really a good combo.

It’s disturbing how normal I felt while I was eating the Naked Chicken Chalupa. I mean, I’m eating a taco that has chicken instead of a shell. But really, it was just…eating some chicken. The thick, spicy breading and the moistness of the chicken were great surprises, especially given how pathetic the fillings were. It looks small, but it’s actually quite filling, and I can’t say as I wouldn’t have turned another one down.

Or maybe not, given what happened next.

I don’t often talk about the aftermath of eating the products I review, mostly because there isn’t one. Rarely, I get a surprise color poop, and that’s fun, but otherwise food is just food. In case you can’t tell, we’re going to get real with some toilet talk here. If that disturbs you, a.) why are you even here, and b.) skip the next paragraph.

Almost immediately after consuming the Naked Chicken Chalupa, I started having some pretty bad gas cramps. It was the only thing I’d eaten that morning, so I know it had to be the culprit. Just like any normal human, I get gas occasionally, but never have I had cramps that lasted for eight fucking hours. What I considered even more odd is that, while I was shitting more than usual, I wasn’t exactly wrecking toilets right and left. I’ve just never eaten something that left me in intestinal pain for an entire day, and I felt that was worthy of noting.

Junk Food Betty: Come to stare at gross pictures, stay for the shit jokes, leave a complaint in the comments.

Here’s a fun postscript: if you’re reading this, chances are you can’t actually get your hands on a Naked Chicken Chalupa. I suck at getting reviews out in a timely manner, and apparently this product was a big, fat failure. Less than a month after its premiere, Taco Bell has taken it off the menu. Everything you just read means nothing!

Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa

  • Score: 3 out of 5 crampy food scientists
  • Price: $2.99
  • Size: 1 taco
  • Purchased at: Taco Bell #022951
  • Nutritional Quirk: No surprise, the item is no longer listed on Taco Bell’s website, so I can’t access the nutritional information. But given the “condition” I was left in after eating it, I’m assuming the entire taco was actually made of beans.

Galerie Fries Before Guys Marshmallow Fries

“Hey Sharon, happy February 14th! I mean, fuck Valentine’s Day, right?”

“Well Carol, it’s my first Valentine’s Day without John, so I’m feeling-”

“It’s just a stupid Hallmark holiday anyways, amirite?”

“I mean, it’s my first Valentine’s Day without him, so I-”

“You know what? We should have an anti-Valentine’s Day girls’ night out! That’s right, I said anti!” How awesome would that be?”

“Carol, I’m not really feeling up to-”

“And to celebrate, I got all my gal pals these. Screw guys, amirite? We’re gonna do so many shoooooots!”

[quiet sobbing as Sharon holds her Fries Before Guys]

And that little play was pretty much what I thought of when I first saw Fries Before Guys. Listen, I get it. I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. I have a person that I love deeply (gross) and for one V-day we went to the shooting range (interesting and informative) but ultimately, it’s just a day. I won’t go on preaching, because to be perfectly honest I have another review to write because I’m a slave to consumerism who will buy any new Valentine’s-

Aw, dammit.

These things aren’t really designed for the taste, but just for the hell of it, here you go: it’s pretty weird to eat a marshmallow french fry. The taste and texture is sort of like you went cheap and got generic marshmallows instead of good ol’ Kraft Jet-Puffed, and if there’s any vanilla there, I couldn’t detect it. It was just a spongy, vaguely sugary fry thing.

And that’s it; that’s the gimmick. The real crime here is that there’s no “ketchup” packet to go with my “fries”. What are fries without ketchup? (I personally don’t like ketchup but the rest of the country disagrees, so I’m going with it.) This hokey candy might have won my heart if it came with a little packet of, say, raspberry syrup. That would have put it waaaay over the top.

Happy Anti-Valentine’s Day!

Galerie Fries Before Guys Marshmallow Fries

  • Score: 1 out of 5 sobbing Sharons
  • Price: $1.79
  • Size: 2.65 oz.
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirk: It’s a marshmallow. It’s sugar.

Hershey’s Cupcake Kisses

Hey, did you know Valentine’s Day is tomorrow? I didn’t, which tells you just about how much I value the holiday! So I’ve got a couple of things to do quick reviews on before I hit the holiday deadline and these new V-Day treats become obsolete!

“Cupcake Kisses” isn’t an overtly Valentine’s Day-sounding name, but everything about the packaging tells you that you should be eating them in February. We’ve got pink overload, and hearts everywhere. Did you catch that those trees in the background are upside-down hearts? It’s a small but effective decoration on this otherwise sparsely-designed bag.

More hearts on the inside, and the flag says “CUPCAKE” instead of the usual “KISSES”. Interestingly, these are actually “white cookie cupcake” flavored Kisses. What is a white cookie cupcake? Your guess is as good as mine, but it just looks like bakery word salad to me.

The candies themselves look like an albino kid got the chicken pox, but when you cut them open they get a lot more fun! Little pink balls of cookie await your mouth as you chomp on them, evoking the exact texture of Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme, but instead of chocolate balls, these pink guys seem to be nothing-flavored. Sugar-flavored? The whole shebang just tastes like Hershey’s white chocolate with some extra sugar thrown in.

Hershey’s Cupcake Kisses don’t taste like cupcakes, but the crunchy balls inside do have a cookie-like texture. There’s an essential flavor failure here, but I feel like that’s not really what we’re here for. We’re here for a fun Valentine’s-themed candy, and on that front these Kisses succeed. Biting into one and seeing fun pink crunchies is better than eating a conversation heart, that’s for sure.

What irritates me the most is that they could have made the pink crunchies raspberry or strawberry-flavored, and then they would have had a truly unique Hershey’s Kisses flavor. But they just went the decorative route and slapped “cookie cupcake” on there. So I guess I basically just contradicted the previous paragraph in saying they weren’t a failure.

But at least they’re still kinda fun!

Hershey’s Cupcake Kisses

  • Score: 2.5 out of 5 albino kids with chicken pox
  • Price: $3.59
  • Size: 10 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirk: Nothing weird here, guys. It’s all just sugar.

Great Value Double Decker Chicken & Bacon Sandwich

As we all know, there are times when life will kick you in the balls. I mean really just get in there hard, like your dick reverberates and even your taint feels it. That’s how nard-kicking works, right?

It is at these times that you think this pain will never end, and there is no joy in the world. Well, dear reader, I want you to remember when you feel this way that there was a time, a time when you were a part of this universe, that Walmart sold a KFC Double Down Sandwich knockoff under their most generic of brands, Great Value.

I want you to always keep this information with you and call upon it in times of sorrow. This is a real thing that happened, while you were alive. And I ate it. My gift to you.

And look at that box design. “Late Night Cravings” and the overall design seem to invoke Jack in the Box’s Munchie Meals, but ALSO completely plagiarizes an old line of Doritos Late Night flavors that included Tacos at Midnight, Last Call Jalapeño Popper and All Nighter Cheeseburger, the latter of which I reviewed waaaay back in the day.

Psh, what was I thinking? Totally different.

Anyways, everything about this item thrills and horrifies me. The idea of someone mimicking the Double Down in frozen form seems clever and almost inevitable, but for Great Value to be the ones to do it? Great Value?! The mind boggles. And with zero fanfare whatsoever. In this zeitgeist of food as clickbait, Walmart just quietly put their Late Night Cravings line on shelves and walked away.

Oh yeah, there’s more of these fuckers. Can you say Donut Cheeseburger? Great Value can. I can’t even remember if my Walmart stocked those or if I only had eyes for the generic Double Down. Or maybe my brain couldn’t handle the idea of eating a Great Value Donut Cheeseburger. I took the lesser of two evils…maybe?

Since this whole line is obviously aimed at stoners and/or drunks, just like Munchie Meals, there are only microwave instructions for it. What surprised me, however, was that there were steps. C’mon, guys, who has time for steps? This is (generic) Hot Pocket-level food and should have been designed to be cooked accordingly.

This did, however, give me a chance to inspect the ingredients of this sandwich. The chicken patties looked fairly okay even frozen, but can we talk about this “bacon”, please? What the fuck is this? The cheese just looked like a bunch of Kraft American squares frozen together, but in what world is this weird, thin, floppy meat-disc bacon? It is not. Much like this generic sandwich, it is generic meat. I’d be more frightened, but it’s so thin that I feel like it can’t do too much harm.

Not off to a great start in the looks department.

When I took the chicken out to assemble and finish cooking it, it was kind of soggy, which gave me worry. However, more cook time and a little bit of time to cool down make the chicken…buns firm up nicely. The breading was only crispy around the edges but it did have a little bit of flavor to it, which was more than I was expecting. What I was expecting was horror, obviously.

The quality of the chicken was about on par with name-brand frozen nuggets, which was also more than I was expecting. Somewhat rubbery with a couple of disturbing bits of gristle. At least the meat wasn’t grey, right guys!

The cheese tasted simultaneously like plastic and nothing, which was right on par. It added a little bit of greasy lube into the mix, if that helps things. I guess it helped things? I’m eating a Walmart Double Down; I’m not sure anything I say is to be trusted at this point.

Floppy meat-disc did exactly what I wanted it to, which was nothing. Well, actually, it did add some artificial smoke flavor, which helped to make things a little more flavorful. But any texture this thin little meat thing would have added completely disappeared between two large hunks of chicken.

The Great Value Double Decker Chicken & Floppy Meat-Disc Sandwich does have one thing going for it, which is that it is quite filling. Each chicken bun has definite heft, and when you squish them together and add cheese, this is no snack – it’s a full-on meal.

Oh, there’s another thing it has going for it: like the Colonel, Great Value also has 11 secret herbs and spices, except the secret is that all of them are fucking salt. Two salty chickens, one disc of what might just be pure salt with Liquid Smoke added, and I’m pretty sure they salted the cheese, too. I love salt more than the next person, but this thing had me downing a good 50 ounces of water and coming back for more. Check the nutritional quirks below to see just how much salt.

Things could have gone so, so much worse with Great Value Double Decker Chicken & Bacon Sandwich. I wouldn’t trust my ass with Great Value toilet paper, so trusting my mouth with this imitation Double Down was a real risk. In the end, it just wound up being a hefty salt bomb. Nothing too scary (as long as you didn’t look at the bacon), but nothing particularly flavorful, either.

I will say this, though: hours later, it was still sitting in my stomach as a ball of unrest, judging me for the lifestyle choices that have led me to this point. Or maybe I was just so, so full of water.

Great Value Double Decker Chicken & Bacon Sandwich

  • Score: 0.5 out of 5 floppy meat-discs
  • Price: $2.98
  • Size: 2 sandwiches
  • Purchased at: Walmart
  • Nutritional Quirk: Get ready for 2,090 milligrams of sodium in your mouth from one sandwich. A real KFC Double Down had 1,380 mg and the Internet was losing its shit about how much salt it contained. At least you won at one thing, Great Value.

Doritos Loaded Jalapeño & Cheese

Happy New Year! How was your Christmas? And your…Thanksgiving? My god, how long have I been gone?

If you thought I was dead, fear not, for instead of being dead, I’ve just been in a lazy rut. If I believed in making New Year’s resolutions, mine would be to put out more content this year. But I don’t. So enjoy this review for a product that isn’t even that new!

Doritos Loaded have been around for a while, but I kind of forgot to look for them, until I found myself staring at them recently during a stroll through Walmart. My world shrank. It was just me and the Doritos Loaded. Part of me wanted them, because of you. Part of me wanted them because I was fascinated. And part of me wanted to walk away, because who wants to look someone in the eye while they scan your box of Doritos Loaded?

Thank god Walmart has self-checkout.

These actually began as a fast food offering from Burger King before transitioning to the freezer aisle. Between these and the Doritos Loco Taco, it seems like Doritos will just whore themselves out to any old restaurant. Coming soon: Doritos Orange Chicken at Panda Express!

Conversely, Burger King has gotten cozy with Frito-Lay once more, using a slightly different orange dust to coat their Chicken Fries with Cheetos. Coming soon: The Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles Whopper!

I don’t think BK ever had a jalapeño and cheese version, just the cheese variety. That’s also available in frozen form, but I had to go with the spicy version, of course. The box is strangely…ordinary. Almost like a regular bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Almost like it’s normal to be eating these.

But don’t worry! As soon as you open the box, you realize you’re getting into something. Each triangle, which is about the size of a chicken nugget, is violently orange, like the most flavor-dusted chip you’d ever find in a bag of tortilla chips. And once you open the bag, damned if it doesn’t smell just like Nacho Cheese Doritos. It’s like you’ve been blessed with a bag of eight very big, fat, neon Doritos. Except you have to cook them.

You’d think such a stonerific food would have a microwave option, but no! If you want to enjoy Doritos dust stuffed with cheese, you gotta fire up that oven. Seems like a lot of effort for a little snack, but after cooking them, I think I can see why they wouldn’t work in the microwave.

Fresh out of the oven, the breaded outside of these guys was very crispy and entirely reminiscent of a jalapeño popper. If you’ve ever tried to reheat poppers in the microwave, the breading turns into a bit of a soggy mess – thus the oven-baking instructions.

Despite the strong odor when I initially opened the bag and the neon orange coloring, Loadeds were pretty light on the actual Doritos flavor. There were hints of that classic Nacho Cheese flavor in the breading, but it definitely lacked the taste of tortilla chips.

Further overshadowing the taste of Doritos, these big ol’ triangles were quite spicy. Which isn’t a complaint; it’s actually a compliment. Those festive little red and green jalapeño bits packed a pleasant punch.

With so many things going for them, Doritos Loaded fails on a pretty important component, which is the cheese filling. Sure, it was gooey and probably very artificial and worked great with the peppers, but these puffy orange pillows were mostly full of hot air. Am I proud of that joke? A little bit. But I’m also a little miffed at Doritos for not filling these things with more cheese. They should be bursting with cheese.

So just to recap, all these words amount to a really simple breakdown: Doritos Loaded are basically deconstructed jalapeño poppers. And while I wanted to be all like, “Ew, gross, so weird,” I love me some jalapeño poppers. It just so happens that these have the Doritos brand on them. And they’re triangles. And they’re bright orange. But beyond the very light nacho cheese flavor in the breading, these could have been any other brand of frozen poppers.

I enjoyed the crispy breading and the level of spice, but there just wasn’t enough cheese. The added flavor to the breading was a nice change-up, but if I’m going to compare them to other frozen poppers, the cheese quantity becomes a real issue.

On the other hand, at least when you bite into them, the whole jalapeño doesn’t come sliding out, depositing molten hot cheese and grease all over your fingers. That’s a nice plus.

Doritos Loaded Jalapeño & Cheese

  • Score: 3 out of 5 neon orange triangle pillows
  • Price: $2.98
  • Size: 8 pieces
  • Purchased at: Walmart
  • Nutritional Quirk: There are so many ingredients on the side of the box that I tried to count them twice and lost my place. Suffice to say it’s well over 30.

Cheetos Bag of Bones Flamin’ Hot

cheetos-bag-of-bones-flamin-hot-bagToday is Halloween and I didn’t do ONE SINGLE spooky review this year. What a shitty Junk Food Betty.

Honestly, I was really unimpressed with this year’s offerings, but that’s no excuse. To make it up you, here is my heart:

cheetos-bag-of-bones-flamin-hot-heart

Or, more specifically, my rib cage. But I thought it looked like a heart.

The one thing that caught my eye this year was Cheetos Bag of Bones Flamin’ Hot. I know, I know, it’s not a new flavor OR a new concept. But it’s so perfect.

Look at our skeleton man on the package. He’s obviously being tortured by an Evil Chester Cheetah, who cackles in glee at his misfortune. Eeee!

cheetos-bag-of-bones-flamin-hot-skeleton

Here’s this year’s Cheeto skeleton, or should I say, HELLeton. As you can see, several of his bony demon fingers have been pulled off, either through some method of torture or because the OSHA standards are clearly lacking in hell.

cheetos-bag-of-bones-flamin-hot

Here is a hell sun, because when the demons come to walk the earth it will be like the scorching of a thousand suns. Or something? I don’t know! Ask Evil Chester Cheetah!

Happy Halloween, everybody!