Tag Archives: 2.5 burgers

Jack in the Box Jack’s Munchie Meal Exploding Cheesy Chicken (and Jack Ca$h Card Giveaway!)

Picture courtesy Jack in the Box

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way right now: Jack’s Munchie Meals are made for stoners. 100%. I am guessing there was some discussion in the Jack in the Box marketing meeting as to whether or not to just call them “Stoner Meals”, but that was probably taken off the table pretty quickly so as to avoid outcry from the, what, 2% of people still alive that think smoking weed leads to Reefer Madness.

Need more evidence that Munchie Meals aren’t aimed towards Weedlord Cheeto? Check out this commercial, in which Jack is a puppet and he and his human friend both sound stoned out of their minds. Listening to a high-as-balls puppet Jack brings me great joy.

However, this commercial is even better. Puppet Jack and Kyndbud Bongsmythe are playing video games and Mr. Bongsmythe says “You know what I could go for right now?”

Puppet Jack responds with “A massage from your sister?” Which is a low-hanging fruit of a joke, but the perfect response for a puppet that has just blazed up.

The guy just lets it slide, since he’s probably heard that response from Puppet Jack about 700 times, and just responds with “Food.”

Puppet Jack then goes on to describe what goes into a Munchie Meal, which I wouldn’t bother mentioning except that he describes the beverage that comes with the meal as “A drink you can drink,” which just amuses me to no end for some reason. And I’m not even high.

Oh, right, and at the very end of the commercial, Puppet Jack just flies right the fuck off the couch to go get their Munchie Meals. I’d like to think this was a way out of looking like Jack in the Box is suggesting you drive while extremely high. There’s no law against puppets flying while stoned.

I’ve always loved The Box’s marketing. Please see the Hot Mess. I think they may have outdone themselves here, though. I am in love with these commercials and the foods they chose to go in the Munchie Meals, which I will get to in a second. My mind reels with joy imagining these marketing meetings, wherein a glass-walled conference room has been hotboxed into obfuscated opacity. During voiceover recordings, Richard Sittig (the man behind the giant ball-shaped curtain) is ordered to take huge rips off a bong before each take.

I just love it, and I don’t even smoke weed. It’s ballsy and clever.

Even the sides of the box are decorated with tiny little gems, ranging from darling to wtf to “Hey guys, we’re hip with the Internet memes!” Here are a few I could not resist:

Jack in the Box Jack's Munchie Meal Box Foody Call
Can we not…make this a thing anyone says, ever?
Here's an Internet meme and a happy popsicle sandwiching
Here’s an Internet meme and a happy popsicle sandwiching a picture of Lumpy Space Princess licking the sauce from the head of a dead condiment packet!
Taco Cat. Cat appendix not included in Munchie Box.
Taco Cat. Cat appendix not included in Munchie Box.
Two Wolf Jack. Okay, that's pretty funny.
Two Wolf Jack. Okay, that’s pretty funny.

As if that weren’t enough, there are games on the inside top flap of the box!

Jack in the Box Jack's Munchie Meal Box Spin the Taco
I am not comfortable with some of these. Most of these.
Jack in the Box Jack's Munchie Meal Box Napkingami
They all make sense when you’re baked.

It’s like a Happy Meal for stoners! Guaranteed to entertain for at least 30 seconds, or until you realize how deep this episode of Empty Nest that’s playing is.

What I don’t like is that Munchie Meals are only available between 9pm and 5am. I get the point, but hey – people 420 all day every day. That also makes me think they should have started and ended their serving window at 4:20. Perhaps that was another one of those “too obvious” decisions that didn’t make it out of the smoke-filled marketing meeting.

Then again, they do have a commercial wherein a Puppet Jack flies off a couch.

Much as I’d love to pontificate about the Munchie Meals’ marketing for another 5,000 words, we should probably get to the food at some point.

All of the Munchie Meals come with two tacos, “halfsies” (half curly fries, half French fries), a 20 oz. “drink you can drink”, and your choice of one of four entrees:

“Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger: Sourdough grilled cheese on top, Cheeseburger on bottom. Tuck into this tasty bunk bed!”

“Loaded Nuggets: Chicken nuggets drowning in two types of cheese with ranch and bacon. Rescue Them!”

“Brunch Burger: A burger with a fried egg and a crispy hash brown for when it’s so late you don’t know whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner.”

And, of course, the subject of this review: Exploding Cheesy Chicken: A chicken sandwich exploding with mozzarella, cheesy sticks, and gooey white cheese sauce. Oh my cheesy goodness!”

Oh my cheesy goodness, people.

Jack in the Box Jack's Munchie Meal Exploding Cheesy Chicken Box

As I mentioned, I do not smoke weed, but I really do eat like someone who does, so it was hard to make a decision in regards to which Munchie Meal I should pick. In the end, I went with the one that sounded the most silly, which is, I think, in the spirit of things. Although I have serious eyes on those Loaded Nuggets. I may rescue them on my own time. But for now, Exploding Cheesy Chicken.

Jack in the Box Jack's Munchie Meal Exploding Cheesy Chicken Sandwich

As you can see, the use of the word “exploding” was not an exaggeration. That white cheese sauce could not be contained by two mere mortal buns. And yes, I’m well aware of both what that picture looks like and what that sentence sounds like. Shush.

Jack in the Box Jack's Munchie Meal Exploding Cheesy Chicken Sandwich Open

If you look real hard, here, you can see that there are two breaded mozzarella sticks in there under all that white sauce and what I would call some obligatory shredded lettuce.

Mozzarella sticks are not a new JitB menu item – they’ve been available as a side for as long as I can remember. They’re a little bit on the small side, so the fact that only two of them fit on the chicken sandwich shows you how small the sandwich is.

Jack in the Box Jack's Munchie Meal Exploding Cheesy Chicken Halves

Speaking of the chicken, the “crispy breading” was no longer crispy after drowning in all that white cheese sauce, but, surprisingly, the breading on the mozzarella sticks held up a little better. Furthermore, the spices that they use in the sticks’ breading added some flavor that the chicken breading definitely did not.

On the opposite side, the cheese in the sticks added very little flavor, again due to the prevalenence of the white cheese sauce. The whole thing turned into what tasted like a mozzarella-stick-breaded chicken sandwich drowning in white cheese sauce.

Did I mention everything was drowning in white cheese sauce? I have often professed my love of condiments, and cheese sauce is pretty fucking high on the list, but this amount of exploding sauce was just too much for this little burger. Oh my cheesy fucking goodness, indeed.

As for the box as a whole, I thought the whole thing sounded less like a Munchie Meal and more like a meal that would leave you in a food coma. I have a pretty small appetite, but I was able to finish the whole box while still being able to get up off the couch, albeit with some reluctance.

If you don’t know JitB tacos, and I can tell you that those right there are stoner food – it’s like a crispy outer pocket that contains a greasy beef stuffing with a slice of processed cheese. It sounds awful, and they probably are to a sensible person. But somehow, I love them anyways.

The halfsie fries amount to what is probably a small serving when both are put together, which also seems the appropriate amount for a Munchie Meal.  With all that and a 20 oz. drink, though, it’s not a bad deal for $6.

But the real point here is the Exploding Cheesy Chicken sandwich, and I found it surprisingly disappointing. The chicken breading didn’t work, but the cheese stick breading did. The mozzarella sticks didn’t work, but the chicken came through. But it was all swimming in white cheese sauce, which tasted more like faintly cheesy mayonnaise than actual cheese. If that sounds disturbing to you, then you are thinking correctly.

Then again, the Exploding Cheesy Chicken Munchie Meal is designed for people who aren’t thinking correctly, and maybe those people would like this whole mess. I’d call it a Hot Mess, but Jack in the Box has already made that, and it tasted a lot better than the Exploding Cheesy Chicken.

[Disclaimer: My Jack’s Munchie Meal was purchased via a Jack Ca$h Card provided for free via Jack in the Box.]

Jack in the Box Jack’s Munchie Meal Exploding Cheesy Chicken

  • Score: 2.5 out of 5 flying Puppet Jacks
  • Price: Free (regular retail $6.00)
  • Size: 1 Munchie Meal
  • Purchased at: Jack in the Box #161
  • Nutritional Quirks: I’m too afraid to go look at what ingredients go into the white cheese sauce.

And now: The Giveaway!

Jack in the Box has kindly provided me with two $10 Jack Ca$h Cards to give away to two lucky readers! Leave a comment on this post (whatever happens to be on your mind) by midnight on Monday, October 21, 2013, and I will announce the winners on that day. Make sure you fill in the email address field so that I can contact you! (Your email address is kept private.)

Ben & Jerry’s Cotton Candy Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's Cotton Candy Ice Cream CartonCotton candy brings up mixed emotions for me. I realize that is probably the stupidest sounding sentence ever, but it’s true.

On the one hand, I think cotton candy is genius. Here’s a crazy paper cone with a bunch of what amounts to a spider web spun out of pure sugar on it!

On the other hand, spider webs are gross and sticky when they get on you, and so is cotton candy. One of my biggest pet peeves is having sticky hands.

Cotton candy is often associated with the fair. I hate the fair. Oh sure, it’s supposed to be fun, but to me, it’s just a giant mash of sweaty bodies, hay, and sad livestock. Fuck the fair.

I once volunteered at a booth at my local street fair, which is a different beast, in that it had no beasts. Or hay. I was in charge of making cotton candy cones, which was awesome for the first ten minutes, and then my arms started to hurt and the screaming children and people drunk on German beer made me remember why I don’t volunteer for things.

But on the third hand, I’m pretty fuckin’ good at spinning cotton candy, which is something I should really add to my résumé. Minus the “fuckin’” part. Because that would be unprofessional.

Check out that carton, though. B&J really knows how to make their flavors look fun. Their signature cow is holding some cotton candy, which is pretty amazing given that it’s a cow. Despite a lack of facial expression, she looks like she’s having a great time. Even though I hate the fair, I want to hang out with her. We could ride that Ferris wheel. Maybe I could win her a goldfish in a plastic bag. I’m not sure what she’d do with it, but I know she’d be delighted.

As if cotton candy wasn’t a fun enough flavor, Ben & Jerry upped the ante with candy sprinkles! Check that, it’s not just Cotton Candy Ice Cream with Candy Sprinkles, it’s Cotton Candy Ice Cream loaded with Candy Sprinkles!

Who doesn’t like candy sprinkles? They make pretty much everything better. Donuts. Cupcakes. I’m well into adulthood and I still have to resist buying Funfetti frosting, just because I remember those little multicolored chips being so awesome.

Tiny Tangent Time: I went to look up Funfetti frosting, and it was not what I remembered. The current incarnation of Pillsbury’s Funfetti frosting just has a container of sprinkles on top. The Funfetti I remember had little mini-chips of candy in it, yet I couldn’t find Funfetti like that anywhere on the Internet. Not even an old picture.

What I did find, however, were cans of Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip frosting, which just made me confused. The can was boring, and I distinctly remember the exciting look of Pillsbury’s Funfetti can as the can that contained the frosting I so loved.

I even went so far as to email my mom about this dilemma, since she was the one who made me oh-so-many graham cracker sandwiches containing what I thought was rainbow chip Funfetti frosting. Thank goodness my mom accepted my weirdness a long time ago; otherwise, an email with the subject line “Can You Help Me with Funfetti Frosting?” might raise some eyebrows.

I don’t know if it was a result of mutual hysteria, something my mother and I often share, but she completely agreed and was adamant that those little chips were Funfetti, and even agreed about the can design. But the Internet seems determined to prove us both wrong.

If you’ve managed to survive reading the last four paragraphs about frosting dilemmas, and can shed any light on this situation, please leave a comment! The Funfetti Question is now haunting me.

[Edit: If you read the comments section here, it seems like my mom and I are not alone in our memories. Credit my friend Andy for the link!]

Okay, seriously. Back to the ice cream.

Ben & Jerry's Cotton Candy Ice Cream

Soooo, I should have deduced this from the carton, but I was too enamored with the opposable-hooved cow and the idea of riding the Ferris wheel with her that I kind of ignored what the ice cream actually looks like.

The carton’s color scheme is pretty accurate, but seeing it in person, it’s a little off-putting. The cotton candy ice cream is, well, cream-colored, and the candy sprinkles are what I would describe as light magenta and pale indigo. I understand that they needed the ice cream to contrast with the sprinkles, but a blue or pink base for the ice cream itself would have been fun. I also would have liked the sprinkles to be brighter. Also, they weren’t exactly loaded in there, but they weren’t sparse, either.

For being little more than spun sugar, cotton candy does have a distinctive flavor, and Ben & Jerry’s brings it to life in ice cream form, which is not surprising. They almost always nail their flavor, for better or worse.

In this case, I’d say it’s both. Have you ever gotten a tummy ache from eating too much sweet stuff at the fair? If you’ve ever been to the fair as a kid, the answer is probably yes.

That’s what B&J’s Cotton Candy Ice Cream is like. The first couple of bites are like, yeah, this totally tastes like cotton candy! But as I continued to eat, it became, yeah, this is like, when I’m almost done with a cone of cotton candy and I can feel a ball of concentrated sugar in my stomach. They nailed the flavor, but they did it too well. It’s so rich I could never imagine having a whole bowl of the stuff. (Although really, who eats B&J’s out of a bowl, anyways?)

Ben & Jerry's Cotton Candy Ice Cream Sprinkles

But what about those loaded sprinkles? I’m sad to report that not only did they not add any extra flavor to the party, their texture was barely distinguishable from the ice cream itself. I would get a little hint of candy crunch on some bites, but for the most part it seems like they assimilated with the ice cream and lost all their crunchy powers, rendering them not much more than decorative dots.

So many things went right and wrong with Ben & Jerry’s Cotton Candy Ice Cream. They nailed the flavor, but it was too rich to really dig into. They had fun-colored sprinkles, but the base color was unappealing, and while the sprinkles looked like they should have crunched like Nerds, they just disappeared into the ice cream. The carton promised fun fair times with a cool cow, but instead I felt like sitting down on one of the dirty picnic benches and waiting for my stomach to recover.

I hate the fair.

Ben & Jerry’s Cotton Candy Ice Cream

  • Score: 2.5 out of 5 opposable-hooved cows
  • Price: $2.98
  • Size: 1 pint
  • Purchased at: Walmart #3799 (Walmart exclusive)
  • Nutritional Quirks: At 23 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup, it’s definitely living up to cotton candy sugar standards!

Burger King Spring Menu: Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger and Loaded Tater Tots

Burger King Spring Menu Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger and Loaded Tater TotsSpring has arrived, and that means it’s time for another round of seasonal Burger King offerings! I love this marketing scheme that they’ve developed: new (or new-ish, or returning) menu items available for a limited time. It keeps things fresh without over-crowding the menu. I would love to see every fast food restaurant adopt this model, although that would result in me drowning in grease and also a backlog of reviews.

BK’s Spring Menu showcases Smooth Roast Coffee, Lattes, Donut Holes, Piña Colada Smoothie, Peach and Unsweetened Iced Teas, Turkey and Veggie Burgers, Chipotle Chicken Sandwiches and Wraps, Chipotle Whopper, Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger and Loaded Tater Tots.

That’s an impressive lineup. Today we’ll be looking at the latter two items, simply because they sounded tasty and vaguely interesting, and I think I’ll tear my hair out if I have to review something chipotle-flavored and type the sentence “this doesn’t really taste like chipotle” one more time.

Who am I kidding, that’s inevitable.

Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger

Burger King Spring Menu Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger

Burger King describes this as “A Mouthwatering USDA Inspected fire-grilled ground beef patty stuffed with hardwood smoked bacon and savory cheddar cheese, topped with fresh-cut lettuce, juicy tomatoes, ketchup, mayo and crispy onion rings all on a warm, artisan-style bun.”

I’d like to translate this: “We took the stuff that tastes good on top of a hamburger and buried it inside the hamburger, thus ensuring that you do not actually taste them. But hey, it sounds like a good gimmick, right?”

You may call this harsh, since this was my immediate impression of the burger before I even tasted it. It’s just that I’ve had “stuffed” burgers before, and that’s pretty much what happens – all that good cheese and bacon flavor gets buried inside the burger, which is no fun at all. But hey, maybe Burger King will be different!

Burger King Spring Menu Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger Inside

Burger King is not different. Ignoring the especially lackluster lettuce and “good enough” tomatoes, I was pleased with the amount of onion rings on my Stuffed Burger. While the quantity was good, the quality was not – resting under mayo, ketchup and tomatoes, they were soggy as all get-out.

Burger King Spring Menu Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger Halves

While I would have liked the added crunch, the onions and the breading did add some flavor to the burger, which was welcome because…

Burger King Spring Menu Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger Close-Up

…while I could obviously see the bacon and cheddar stuffed inside the Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger, as I predicted, I could not really taste them. Every third bite or so, I’d get some creaminess or a hickory smoke taste, but they paled in comparison to a regular, topped bacon cheeseburger.

The Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger is all gimmick with little taste delivery. You’d be much better off just Having it Your Way and getting a cheeseburger with bacon on top. Burger King has some of the best bacon of all the fast food restaurants, and it’s a shame to bury it inside the patty.

Loaded Tater Tots

Burger King Spring Menu Loaded Tater Tots

It took me a while to realize that Burger King had already introduced the idea of fried cheese potato bites when they introduced their Cheesy Tots on the Winter Menu. That was only a season ago, which is less a testament to the idea that they were so forgettable and more that I have the memory of a goldfish.

Loaded Tater Tots are a somewhat different beast, however. In my review of Cheesy Tots, I mentioned that they were good but that I wanted more out of them. It seems that Burger King has listened to me.

BK describes the Loaded Tots as “A bite-sized snack that is sure to kick your meal up a notch! Enjoy warm fluffy potatoes filled with flavorful bacon and sweet onions on the inside, with a savory and crispy crumb coating on the outside. Available in eight, 10 or 12 piece servings. These LOADED TATER TOTS™ potatoes are great for sharing and are a savory complement to any meal.

Burger King Spring Menu Loaded Tater Tots Close-Up

With the addition of bacon and onions, these Tots have become Loaded. They’re shaped more like a jalapeño popper than the Cheesy Tots, which had a more rounded shape.

Burger King Spring Menu Loaded Tater Tots Inside

While BK’s description oddly leaves out that there’s cheese inside…well, there’s cheese inside. The potato innards were indeed warm and fluffy, and there was a pleasant amount of creamy cheese that worked well with the potatoes. The crumb coating was nice and crunchy, but a little thinner than I would have liked.

The main problem with Loaded Tater Tots is that it’s hard to taste the Loaded. They had a pleasant hint of onion, but the bacon taste was a little lacking. Even though you can see the little bits of bacon, there’s barely a hint of that smoked bacon flavor, and there’s no real bacon texture.

Burger King’s Loaded Tater Tots are tasty. Getting the potato-to-cheese ratio is half the battle, and they accomplished that. Unfortunately, the Loaded upgrade was lacking. I’m glad that the onion wasn’t overwhelming, but they went too far in the other direction, making it rather underwhelming. My biggest disappointment was obviously with the bacon – bigger, more flavorful chunks would have added that hickory flavor that works great with potato and cheese, and having a little extra crunch from them would have been nice, too.

Burger King’s Spring Menu has a lot of variety in it. I wish I could hit it all, but then I’d probably be reviewing them well into their Fall menu. I chose the Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger and Loaded Tater Tots for their uniqueness and possible tastiness.

Unfortunately, the Stuffed Burger made a classic mistake, which is “stuffing a burger”, thus negating the very flavors they were trying to stuff, making it taste mostly like a regular ol’ hamburger.

The Loaded Tater Tots fared a little better and were indeed tasty, but the onion and especially the bacon flavor had a hard time shining through, thus making the Loaded Tater Tots a lot like BK’s Cheesy Tots. I’m achin’ for some bacon, over here.

Burger King Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger

  • Score: 2.5 out of 5 stop stuffin’ your burgers it hardly ever works
  • Price: $3.99
  • Size: 1 burger
  • Purchased at: Burger King #17145
  • Nutritional Quirks: With 12 grams of saturated fat, I feel like I should be getting more bang for my arteries.

Burger King Loaded Tots

  • Score: 3 out of 5 really outdated “Where’s the bacon?” jokes
  • Price: $1.99
  • Size: 8 tots
  • Purchased at: Burger King #17145
  • Nutritional Quirks: I just…I just want some bacon…from somewhere…

Brand Eating reviewed both products, and The Impulsive Buy and GrubGrade reviewed the Stuffed Burger.

Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Finalists: Sriracha, Cheesy Garlic Bread and Chicken & Waffles Potato Chips

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalists Sriracha, Cheesy Garlic Bread and Chicken & Waffles Potato Chips BagsThe three finalists for Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” contest have been out for a little while now. And for me, “been out” is a literal term – I first spotted all three of them at my local store and picked up the Sriracha flavor, thinking at the time that I’d review each flavor separately. When I went to the store a few days later, there was a handful of Srirachas and one Cheesy Garlic Bread bag on the shelves, which I grabbed.

After that? Nothing.

It was like they’d gotten one shipment and that was that. I couldn’t find Chicken & Waffles, the obvious crazygonuts flavor of the three, anywhere. I looked, I waited, and yet…nothing.

Just when I’d resigned myself to only reviewing two of the three flavors, leaving a large, probably-disgusting-tasting chip-sized hole in my heart, I found them. I did an actual pirouette in the store. My husband pretended he didn’t know me, which is not unusual.

So here they are. The Do Us a Flavor finalists, chosen out of 3.8 million fan submissions last summer. Lucky for me, the three people who are up for a million dollars or 1% of their flavor’s 2013 sales if they win are plastered all over each of the bags, so I get to make fun of them and/or blame them for their choices.

So let’s get to these chips, presented by coincidence in order of purchase and what I anticipate to be the best-to-worst flavors.

Sriracha

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Sriracha Potato Chips Bag

Sriracha is blowin’ up right now. One might say it is on fire, if one were to make puns about hot sauce. I used to only find it at the Vietnamese market, but now it’s pretty common on your everyday grocery store shelves. You’ve probably seen it – it’s the one with the rooster on the label, which gives everyone with a 5th grade sense of humor (me) carte blanche to call it “cock sauce”.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Sriracha Potato Chips Tyler

Hello, Tyler Raineri from Lake Zurich, IL. I’m not going to make fun of people’s pictures, because you can’t pick your genetics, but you can pick your words. And if these quotes were what these people decided would be the best blurbs to represent them on chip bags nationwide, you can bet I’m going to dig in to them.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Sriracha Potato Chips Tyler Quote

Grandma’s chips and sriracha seem like an odd combination, but hell, I’d put sriracha on just about anything, so I’ll let it slide.

What really gets me is the last sentence. “Nothing’s better than old memories.” It sounds bizarre and mildly sinister, for reasons I can’t explain. We all have “old memories”, but I wouldn’t say they are literally the best thing ever. I get this weird vibe that grandma’s desiccated corpse is sitting in Tyler’s basement or something, but maybe I’ve just seen too many horror movies.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Sriracha Potato Chips

Onward to the chips. I was actually excited to try Lay’s Sriracha, because, as I mentioned, I love the cock sauce, and it seemed like a flavor that would marry well with potato chips. It’s mostly chili, vinegar, and a hint of garlic, but it has a very unique and delicious taste.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Sriracha Potato Chips Close-Up

Unfortunately, my hopes were quickly dashed. Not just dashed, but obliterated. The chips had a bit of heat to them, and a faint garlic taste, but there was also the strong presence of cream cheese and sour cream flavors.

What? What the hell is that? I checked the ingredients, and, according to Lay’s, “sriracha seasoning” contains, among other things, sour cream, cream, onion powder, cream cheese, paprika extract, cheddar cheese, and swiss cheese.

What the fuck?

With my mouth expecting sriracha, all these cheese flavors made my taste buds instantly revolt. These chips tasted wrong, wrong, wrong. So wrong, in fact, that I went and looked at some other reviews of Lay’s Sriracha Chips – something I don’t normally do until after I finish a review, for the sake of objectivity.

To my surprise, several reviewers gave these chips high marks for tasting like the hot sauce. I’m not going to pull out my “I liked sriracha before sriracha was cool and I’m a cock sauce expert” card, but I have to say, these chips taste nothing like sriracha, and the addition of all that cheese flavoring was incredibly disconcerting.

I went back and revisited Lay’s Sriracha Chips a little later, after my mouth had had time to calm down. If you pretend these chips are called “Spicy Cheese Chips” instead of “Sriracha Chips”, they’re actually not so bad. But if Tyler’s grandma could taste these chips, she’d probably roll over in her grave. Or in her rocking chair in Tyler’s basement. Either way.

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Cheesy Garlic Bread Potato Chips Bag

With my hopes of sriracha-flavored chips crushed, I turned my attention to Cheesy Garlic Bread. I expected these to be a very middle-of-the-road flavor – take some cheese, take some garlic flavor, and there you go. However, after the sriracha disaster, I was starting to feel nervous.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Cheesy Garlic Bread Potato Chips Karen

Meet Karen Weber-Mendham from Land o’ Lakes, WI, a bold woman who is not afraid to hyphenate her name post-marriage and is also from a place that I didn’t think actually existed outside of the realm of butter.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Cheesy Garlic Bread Potato Chips Karen Quote

Everything about Karen’s quote is hilariously stupid. First off, I’m 100% positive her “favorite Italian restaurant” is the Olive Garden. It’s just one of those hunches I feel deep down inside.

Second, she’s WAITING FOREVER. That’s just bad customer service. Plus, the breadsticks are supposed to be there for when you are waiting forever. Karen, you need a new Olive Garden.

The last sentence is the icing on the cake. “Finally, the breadsticks come & they save your life!” I can’t stop reading that and laughing out loud. They save your life, people. You are sitting in a booth at the Olive Garden for so long that you are literally starving to death. I think Karen has a fondness for being melodramatic.

One more thing to nitpick about – breadsticks and cheesy garlic bread are not the same thing. If we’re taking the picture on the front of the bag to be said bread, I’ve never been to an Italian restaurant that will rock out free garlic bread like that. Maybe I was wrong about Karen’s favorite Italian restaurant. I guess I’d be more willing to WAIT FOREVER if I could get free cheesy garlic bread like that. To save my life.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Cheesy Garlic Bread Potato Chips

A strange thing happened with Lay’s Cheesy Garlic Bread Chips. They didn’t taste like cheese garlic chips at all. After the sriracha fiasco, you’d think this would have pissed me off. But quite the opposite.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Cheesy Garlic Bread Potato Chips Close-Up

Instead of tasting like cheese and garlic-flavored chips, these tasted like cheesy garlic bread. Seriously. I know it sounds weird and kind of stupid, but it’s damn true. Lay’s made a chip that tastes like a piece of bread slathered in strong garlic butter and topped with Parmesan.

At first, this had the opposite of the intended effect. It was so realistic, it was off-putting. Lay’s Cheesy Garlic Bread is in the uncanny valley of chips. The more I ate, however, the more I grew to accept this, and embrace it for its cheesy, garlicky, buttery goodness. Lay’s must be using some sort of dark magic, but I don’t care. It’s delicious dark magic.

Chicken & Waffles

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Chicken & Waffles Potato Chips Bag

Well, here we are. The Do Us a Flavor Finalist everyone’s buzzing about. Chicken & Waffles. Fuck.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Chicken & Waffles Potato Chips Christina

Meet Christina Abu-Judom from Phoenix, AZ.

…Of course. Of course she’s from the Valley in which I live. Because Phoenix doesn’t get shat on enough as the asshole of the United States, and if you are to believe television shows and movies, every murderer and child molester comes to Arizona to hide out from the cops. Thanks so much, Christina, for improving our image.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Chicken & Waffles Potato Chips Christina Quote

Aaaaaand her quote is stupid, too. Also, either her nephew is a total dick, or Christina likes to really blow things out of proportion. Can you imagine the Abu-Judom family gatherings? Either her nephew brings up this most insignificant part of his life so much that everyone tells him to shut the fuck up, or Christina herself can’t talk about anything else. “Hey nephew, remember how you never let me live down that one time I stole a bite of your waffle?” Everyone rolls their eyes and goes back to talking about how much the construction sucks on Central Ave.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Chicken & Waffles Potato Chips

I’m sad to say that there are no surprises, here. These chips are disgusting. The overwhelming taste is that of maple syrup, with undertones of a buttery waffle-like taste and just a smidge of chicken bouillon. If that sentence grossed you out, congratulations, you have a modicum of common sense.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor Finalist Chicken & Waffles Potato Chips Close-Up

I ate the barest of bare minimums of Lay’s Chicken & Waffles Chips just so I could explain the flavor to you, dear reader. I’ve eaten several very disgusting things in my time as a food reviewer, and these are honestly close to the top. If taste buds could throw up, I believe mine would have, which probably would have made my stomach throw up, resulting in one of those chain-reaction vomits that would fill my entire apartment with maple-smelling bile.

“The overwhelming taste is that of maple syrup, with undertones of a buttery waffle-like taste and just a smidge of chicken bouillon.” I just wanted to repeat that sentence to emphasize how utterly repulsive these chips are. I knew I was in for a bad trip when I bought these, but this was like, bat country bad trip.

I can’t even give much credit to Lay’s for getting the Chicken & Waffles flavor right. The syrup flavor was dominant and cloying, and the chicken very subdued, for which my taste buds were thankful. You could taste a bit of butter and waffle, though, so at least there’s…that.

I feel bad for Tyler, because his Sriracha Lay’s wound up tasting nothing like the hot sauce and more like a spicy cheese chip.

Karen got her wish, because Cheesy Garlic Bread tastes eerily like what it’s supposed to taste like. I was put off by this at first, but came to embrace the accuracy and tastiness of these chips.

I hate Christina for her stupid story and her even more stupid flavor suggestion, but I hate Lay’s the most for picking it as a finalist. You know they did it just to be jerks, and they succeeded.

I find it hard to believe that out of 3.8 million submissions, these three people made unique suggestions – especially sriracha. Regardless, you can vote on your favorite on Lay’s Facebook page until May 4, 2013. If I were the Facebook voting type, which I am not, you’ve probably gathered that I would vote for Cheesy Garlic Bread. That way, Karen could keep a bag in her purse at all times and never have to worry about starving to death again.

Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Finalist: Sriracha Potato Chips

  • Score: 2.5 out of 5 opportunities to say cock sauce
  • Price: $3.19 (on sale; regularly $3.49)
  • Size: 9 1/2 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Fry’s Foods
  • Nutritional Quirks: It bears repeating: contains sour cream, cream, onion powder, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and swiss cheese,none of which are actually in sriracha hot sauce

Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Finalist: Cheesy Garlic Bread Potato Chips

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 uncanny valleys of snack food
  • Price: $3.49
  • Size: 9 1/2 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Safeway #1717
  • Nutritional Quirks: Dark magic not listed as an ingredient, but gouda cheese is. Fancy!

Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Finalist: Chicken & Waffles Potato Chips

  • Score: 0.5 out of 5 fuck you Christina
  • Price: $1.99 (on sale; regularly $3.49)
  • Size:9 1/2 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Safeway #1717
  • Nutritional Quirks: It’s gross. Also contains “natural flavor (including chicken flavor)”, which is not a phrase I find at all comforting.

Other Do Us a Flavor Finalist reviews: The Impulsive Buy (Chicken & Waffles, Sriracha, Cheesy Garlic Bread), Junk Food Guy, So Good, Fat Guy Food Blog

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco and Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco and Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco SupremeTaco Bell first unleashed the Doritos Locos Taco upon the world early last year with their Nacho Cheese offering. The Internet could not have been more abuzz about it. A Taco Bell taco with a Doritos shell?! How could this be?

Every food review website on the planet was on this like…a food review website looking for blog hits. And yet, somehow, Junk Food Betty was strangely silent.

Why? I don’t know. I remember wanting to review it. And yet, somehow, it never happened. In fact, I never tried the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco. I felt like I was doing penance for my neglect by denying myself the experience, which sounds incredibly stupid when I type it out.

Thankfully, the junk food gods gave me a second chance. Much like its Nacho brother, the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco was announced as an upcoming Taco Bell menu choice well before it came out. And, like its cheesy brethren, it received major attention from the Internet. Taco Bell is doing it again? With Cool Ranch Doritos this time? The sales of fainting couches sold on eBay spiked all over again.

Here’s the thing, and I say this looking over my shoulder, waiting for the Internet buzz police to break down my door: to me, Locos Tacos sound pointless and boring. It’s a regular Taco Bell taco with Doritos flavor dust on the shell. It’s a food crossover designed entirely for the hype machine.

That said, I’m a goddamn sucker, and after missing out on Nacho Cheese, I damned well wasn’t going to pass up on the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco. ONE OF US. ONE OF US.

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco

This taco launched on March 7th, but Taco Bell had a secret: if you asked for it, you could get one a day early, even if it wasn’t on the menu yet.

Did I say secret? What I meant to say was they advertised this fact on Facebook, Twitter, and the front page of their website. I’m surprised someone wearing a Taco Bell polo shirt didn’t knock on my door and yell “YOU CAN GET IT A DAY EARLY” when I answered it. Remind me not to tell Taco Bell about that thing I did that one time that nobody can ever know about.

And yet, some Taco Bell locations didn’t get the memo, and therefore people chomping at the bit for a Cool Ranch taco were met with blank stares, which pissed them off, especially since they’d probably gotten five phone calls from Taco Bell (some during dinner, some in the middle of the night) letting them know that they could get it a day early. Perhaps Taco Bell should have used some of this marketing energy to inform their own restaurants about this promotion.

I have to say, I’m rather fond of the packaging of Locos Tacos. The custom-made sleeve is presumably designed to keep your fingers flavor-dust free while letting you know you’re definitely eating a Doritos taco, but if you’re not worried about flavor dust when you eat Doritos chips, why would you care when you’re eating a Doritos taco? Whatever, it’s still cute.

A regular Taco Bell Crunchy Taco contains seasoned ground beef, shredded lettuce and shredded cheddar cheese. This taco contains the same, except it’s wrapped in a Cool Ranch Doritos shell.

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco Shell

Because Taco Bell’s regular Crunchy Taco is boring as hell, it’s been a really long time since I’ve had one. However, the Cool Ranch Doritos shell seemed a little thinner, like a regular Doritos chip. It also had all the flecks and markings of a Cool Ranch Dorito.

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco Inside

Upon first bite, you get a little bit of that iconic Cool Ranch flavor, but it’s quickly swallowed up by the seasoned ground beef. However, the shell does have a nice crunch, and the flavor dust sticks to your lips, which gives you a little burst of Doritos flavor after you’re almost done chewing.

I was suspicious about Taco Bell’s choice to make Cool Ranch their next Locos Taco flavor. Nacho Cheese seemed like a natural (nachoral HAHAHAHA), but when I think taco, ranch isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind.

Lucky for me, even though I ordered a regular Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco, mine came with a hidden surprise – sour cream! You wouldn’t think one innocent ingredient would turn things around, but I think the Cool Ranch combined with the sour cream made for a much more enjoyable Loco experience.

I’d like to think I got a rogue Taco Bell employee who knew this and was secretly slipping sour cream into each regular Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco. The more likely scenario is that the Taco Bell employee that made my taco didn’t give a shit about what they were doing because they work at Taco Bell. But the tiny optimist in me hopes for the former.

Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme

Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme

Figuring that reviewing the Cool Ranch Loco in a (somewhat) timely manner was my penance, I decided to rock out a Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme.

Hey look, it gets its own branded sleeve! Still cute.

In case you weren’t aware, in Taco Bell speak, “Supreme” means “regular taco with diced tomatoes and reduced-fat sour cream”.

Why is Taco Bell’s sour cream always reduced-fat? I never understood that. You could order the fattiest, greasiest thing on Taco Bell’s menu, which I don’t even want to look up, and if it contained sour cream, that sour cream would be reduced-fat. Weird.

Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme Shell

Ignoring the fact that I spend too much time thinking about Taco Bell’s ingredient choices, the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme offered no surprises. A lot of the words I wrote about the Cool Ranch variety apply here – the shell was a bit thinner, it tasted like Doritos, blah blah blah.

Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme Inside

If anything, the Nacho Cheese Doritos flavor wound up being more muted than the Cool Ranch version. Maybe it was the gloriousness of the Supremity. Maybe it was pitting nacho cheese flavor dust against real (real?) cheese. For some reason, the Nacho Cheese just didn’t stack up compared to the Cool Ranch. A surprising verdict from my taste buds.

But you know what? I feel better. I feel catharsis. I have now reviewed the Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco.  Supreme.

Now that I’ve done my duty as a person on the Internet who talks about food reviewing Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos, I can summarize both pretty easily: they are amazing, mind-blowing, and worth every bit of the buzz they’ve received.

Wait, no, I said that wrong. Let me rephrase: these tacos have Doritos shells, which makes them a little less boring than regular Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos and Crunchy Taco Supremes. Hooray? Oh, right, and they have custom sleeves! Double hooray?

I didn’t think to check the prices of these versus their boring un-Dorito-shelled counterparts, but I’m assuming they’re the same. In that case, why not Dorito-ify your taco? It’s a little extra flavor added to an otherwise lackluster menu item. Hooray! Go Loco with the change you found in your sofa cushions.

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco

  • Score: 3.5 out of 5 sour cream surprises
  • Price: $1.39
  • Size: 1 taco
  • Purchased at: Taco Bell #004989
  • Nutritional Quirks: OH MY GOD THEY MADE THE SHELL OUT OF COOL RANCH DORITOS

Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme

  • Score: 2.5 out of 5 feelings of taco closure
  • Price: $1.69
  • Size: 1 taco
  • Purchased at: Taco Bell #004989
  • Nutritional Quirks: Seriously, reduced-fat sour cream. WHY?

All those other guys who reviewed Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos (surely an incomplete list): The Impulsive Buy, Brand Eating, GrubGrade, Man Reviews Food, Fast Food Geek, So Good

Limited Edition Pop-Tarts Frosted Red Velvet

Limited Edition Pop-Tarts Frosted Red Velvet BoxHappy Valentine’s Day! Nothing says “I love you” like frosted toaster pastries.

Conversely, nothing says “I want to fatten you up so you lose all of your self-esteem and never leave me” like frosted toaster pastries.

Okay, so these Limited Edition Pop-Tarts Frosted Red Velvet aren’t technically for Valentine’s Day, but they might as well be. They came out about a month ago. They are, as the box screams, limited edition. And they are red and white.

In fact, why didn’t Kellogg’s market these as Valentine’s Day Pop-Tarts? Why isn’t their little toaster mascot wearing a diaper and holding a bow and arrow on the front of the box? Like many people on Valentine’s Day, I feel disappointed. By Pop-Tarts.

Limited Edition Pop-Tarts Frosted Red Velvet

While I’m disappointed by the missed opportunity for a holiday tie-in, I wasn’t disappointed by the appearance of Red Velvet Pop-Tarts. They were looking to emulate a red velvet cupcake, which is the most obvious sentence ever since there’s a picture of a red velvet cupcake on the freakin’ box, but they did do a pretty darn good job of it. Bright white frosting, fun red sprinkles, and a pastry shell that is red as red can be.

Limited Edition Pop-Tarts Frosted Red Velvet Back

While it’s not feasible to make a Pop-Tart to look exactly like a moist cupcake, the back of Red Velvet Pop-Tarts do a great job of looking like a brick, which I consider a plus. If you’ve ever dreamed of making an edible Fire Station, now is your time.

Am I the only person who has never noticed there’s punny little comments on the foil packages of Pop-Tarts, a la Taco Bell sauce packets? One I noticed was “I have a funny filling about this.”

Limited Edition Pop-Tarts Frosted Red Velvet Inside

Funny filling, indeed. Yeah, I’m making a terrible joke about exactly what you think I’m making a terrible joke about. Junk Food Betty is the New Yorker of food review sites.

Pop-Tarts describes their Red Velvet offering as “sweet cream-cheese-flavored filling enveloped by a red velvety crust and topped with vanilla icing and sprinkles. Toast it for a delicious treat your taste buds won’t soon forget.”

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with that last statement. My taste buds found these Pop-Tarts regrettably forgettable. I toasted them, which always makes Pop-Tarts better, but I couldn’t find any red velvet flavor in the pastry shell.

I was really looking forward to the cream-cheese-flavored filling, but what I got instead was a standard vanilla filling full of sugary sweetness. There was a tiny hint of cream cheese flavor, but I really had to concentrate to taste it. Mostly, I just tasted sweet pastry and sweet, gooey vanilla filling.

The frosting and sprinkles on top added a nice crunch to contrast the filling, but again, they added no red velvet aspect to these toaster pastries.

I wanted to like Limited Edition Pop-Tarts Frosted Red Velvet. As I mentioned, I was especially looking forward to the cream cheese filling. Cream cheese icing is the best, and I thought that this taste would really elevate these Pop-Tarts to the top of my Pop-Tarts flavor list, which is a real thing that I keep in my mind.

What I got instead was a perfectly generic Pop-Tart. Sweet frosting, sweet filling, pastry crust…Red Velvet Pop-Tarts nailed all of this, but the fact of the matter is that they’re supposed to taste like red velvet, and they do nothing of the sort.

Red Velvet Pop-Tarts do look pretty, and despite the lack of marketing as such, make a cute Valentine’s Day treat. But if you’re looking for some red velvet, do yourself a favor and go buy a real red velvet cupcake. Use these Pop-Tarts to make that edible Fire Station.

Limited Edition Pop-Tarts Frosted Red Velvet

  • Score: 2.5 out of 5 diaper-wearing toasters (or lack thereof)
  • Price: $1.99
  • Size: Box of 8 toaster pastries
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: With the amount of food coloring that must have been added to these Pop-Tarts, I won’t be alarmed thinking I have bleeding intestines after my next trip to the bathroom. Again, the New Yorker of food blogs, ladies and gentlemen.

Foodette Reviews and The Impulsive Buy also reviewed these Pop-Tarts.

Kettle Brand Potato Chips 30th Birthday Limited Batch Red Chili, Jalapeño Jack, Salsa with Mesquite and Cheddar Beer

Happy 30th Birthday, Kettle Potato Chips! I realize I’m a little late. Consider this your belated birthday card. Pretend it says something “funny” about me being old and forgetful. Preferably with the word “fart” involved, because that’s comedy gold in the world of greeting cards.

But this is not about me. This is about Kettle. You can read a little bit about the history of the company here, but here are the salient points: busted-up van selling chips and a picture of six people that shows definitive proof that Kettle Chips did, indeed, start in 1982.

Seriously, go look at that picture. We’ve got two guys wearing all white, one that looks like a professor of Sociology who has experimented liberally with LSD while the other is rocking a badass ‘stache and probably drove a sweet ’78 Camero with an extensive Zepplin cassette library in the center console.

The lone female in this picture looks like she’s wearing a stylish cowgirl shirt. She probably makes a mean pot of chili. She’s sitting comfortably close to a man wearing a knit cap before knit caps were cool and sporting an impressive beard. The familiarity of the two in the photo suggests they’re a couple; he probably chops his own wood and shoots deer for food, not sport. Maybe he even mined for gold before mining for gold was the subject of 700 different Discovery Channel reality shows.

In the middle we have the very picture of early 1980’s youth – a magnificent mane, moppy and tow-headed, a wide smile on his face conveying optimism and a healthy work ethic. He appears to be wearing a rubber apron, which means he either shucks oysters after school to help out his family or they make him do all the chip frying because he’s the low man on the kettle totem pole. If he played his cards right, he is probably very rich now.

Last but not least, we have Cool 80’s Dude. Everything about him, from that haircut to that stylish jersey shirt to that smug smile says, “Hey ladies.” More interested in chasing tail than making chips, he was probably in charge of standing outside the van, flashing those pearly whites and using his obvious charisma to draw in sales.

I also hope their van had a kickass mural of a barbarian dude in a loincloth standing in front of a volcano, sword held high in the air, while two scantily-clad ladies cling to his massive, muscular thighs. The other side has a wizard summoning lightning from the sky while a unicorn rears up in glory.

In reality, the van probably just had a bunch of chipped avocado-colored paint and maybe the words “Kettle Chips” crookedly stenciled on the side in spray paint.

Enough picking the low-hanging fruit of mocking the way people looked in 1982. I’m lucky Kettle blessed me with that photograph, because their packaging is severely lacking in ridiculousness to make fun of. It’s clean, it’s simple, it’s classy, and it’s the same format for all four flavors. Kudos for that, Kettle, even though I’d have had more to work with if there was a panda doing an ollie over your logo or something. That’s okay; we’ve got a lot of chips to check out, here.

A little blurb from Kettle:

There’s a reason why timeless classics never go out of style, and why we’ll forever covet dad’s vintage cars and grandma’s pearls. We’re bringing back four of our favorite retired flavors to celebrate turning the big 3-0 this year: Red Chili, Jalapeño Jack, Salsa with Mesquite and Cheddar Beer. Our four limited edition flavors celebrate 30 years of what Kettle Brand® does best: coming up with innovative flavors and making great tasting products, naturally.

Well, these flavors must have gone at least a little out of style, considering they were all discontinued. And I’m not even gonna touch that “grandma’s pearls” comment. Let’s just look at the chips.

Kettle Brand Potato Chips Red Chili Limited Batch

Kettle says:

Hold on to your time machine, because it’s a blast from the past with this sweet and spicy flavor classic. Red Chili was our very first flavor produced in 1982, after Sea Salt, and marries the flavor of sriracha sauce with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for a searing chili sensation that leaves just the right amount of heat on the tip of your tongue. We’re sure this Kettle Brand® flavor favorite will set off a symphony of fireworks in your mouth.

I love that Red Chili was the second Kettle Brand flavor ever created. Most companies would go for salt and vinegar, or maybe cheese, but not Kettle Brand. Red Chili! With sriracha, no less! I’ve seen sriracha rise in popularity in recent years, even inspiring a popcorn collaboration with The Oatmeal. I guess you know you’ve arrived on the Internet when you get your own food product. Junk Food Betty Smothered Meat Patties, anyone?

Anyways, there was no Internet to go insane about foods in 1982, so I count Kettle using sriracha as an ingredient in their chips to be way ahead of the curve. Feel free to say something like “I was eating chips with sriracha before sriracha was cool” if you actually ate these Red Chili chips back in the day.

While there’s not much to say about the nicely-designed front of the packaging of these 30th birthday chips, each bag has a cute little blurb on the back that I’d feel remiss if I didn’t include them.

You go, Jimmy. You’re an inspiration to us all.

I tried the chips before I read Kettle’s description of Red Chili, and while I guess my palate isn’t refined enough to have immediately identified the sriracha, once I knew it was there, it explained how nicely Kettle Brand managed to capture the flavor of chilis.

I’ve eaten a lot of “chili” chips in my day, and Kettle Brand Red Chili was among the best, in my opinion. Instead of just being generically spicy, there was the actual flavor of chili, not just the heat. In fact, the flavor came through even before the heat, which built nicely but didn’t overwhelm. I’m glad they didn’t actually “sear”, as Kettle’s description says.

I really was impressed by these chips, and am sad that they are a limited edition flavor. Perhaps someone will start an Internet petition and bring them back! Internet petitions always work, right? JIMMY, GET ON IT!

Kettle Brand Potato Chips Jalapeño Jack Limited Batch

From Kettle:

Who needs the cheese slice when you have this Southwestern cheesy blend on a crunchy, perfectly cooked chip? The second oldest flavor in the collection, this 1989 classic has the same creamy flavor as Jack cheese but packs a fiery punch with peppercorns and jalapeño pepper that you can actually see.

Jack is obviously an egomaniac, but I feel I’ve learned so much about him in these two little paragraphs that I really don’t have the heart to tell him that his name is also a cheese. He also must not know much about cheese.

I came into Kettle Brand’s Jalapeño Jack with the feeling that I’d be tasting something I’d tasted a hundred times before: spice + cheese. Woohoo. Furthermore, we’re talking about Jack cheese, which has a mild taste that most chips render invisible by overpowering it with spice, or add a cheese flavor that doesn’t taste anything like actual Jack cheese.

Without trying to sound overdramatic, this was possibly the first time I have ever actually tasted Jack flavor on a chip that claimed to have Jack flavor. I don’t know what kind of dark magic Kettle used to achieve this, but it was wonderful to taste.

This feat is even more impressive when you consider that Jack’s companion is jalapeño. Kettle taught jalapeño some manners – it politely let the flavor of Jack go first, and then came in soon afterwards to compliment it instead of overwhelming it. There was just the right amount of heat. I wouldn’t go so far as to never buy jalapeño jack cheese ever again – I could give about a dozen answers to the question “who needs the cheese slice” that Kettle imposed – but these were some damn hell good chips. I found myself wishing once again that these weren’t a limited edition flavor.

Kettle Brand Potato Chips Salsa with Mesquite Limited Batch

From Kettle:

We all know the chip is a vehicle for party dip, but our Salsa with Mesquite cuts out the middle man for a smoky-sweet salsa everyone can agree on! No chunks in this one-just the unmatched flavor combination of sweet tomatoes and bell pepper, with a sneaky and sultry mesquite smokiness. Launched in 1999, our fans have been pining for this zesty dip-on-chip ever since.

Much like with pepper jack cheese, I think we all know that a salsa-flavored chip could never replace actual chips and salsa. However, Kettle Brand does their best, and they do a pretty good job. I could definitely taste the tomato and onion flavors, and there was a bit of zip without really being spicy, which I guess I could attribute to the bell pepper.

The mesquite flavor was a subtle finish. I wouldn’t exactly call it “sultry” – in fact, please kick me if I ever describe a chip as “sultry” – but it was a nice touch.

Salsa with Mesquite is a solid chip, but I didn’t exactly find anything surprising or groundbreaking about it. The taste delivered, but there’s a lot of other chips out there with similar flavor profiles.

I could go without hearing the phrase “smoky two-step for your tongue” ever again. And the hips reference just made me cringe. I’d prefer to hear more about Jimmy and Jack.

Kettle Brand Potato Chips Cheddar Beer Limited Batch

Go Kettle:

Who can resist the hearty flavors of the Midwest? Robust and malty beer notes are layered on this chip with extra sharp and tangy cheese for a perfect balance that goes down smooth. Smooth as a beer we think, but we’ll let you decide. And we have to tip our hats to the fans on this one, who chose this flavor during our first People’s Choice vote in 2005.

I love that Kettle chose to use the word “partying” when they obviously mean “getting super drunk off of kegstands, hitting on your best friend’s girlfriend, and then puking over the banister”. We all know what you mean, Kettle. And I wouldn’t worry about the chips part – I don’t think anyone considers making potato chips “partying”. Then again, people build boats inside bottles for fun, so.

There’s a reason you shouldn’t let people on the Internet decide what flavor your next chip offering is going to be, and Cheddar Beer is a good example. I’m sure people saw “beer” and went “FUCK YEAH BEER CHIPS!”

There’s also a good reason these were discontinued, presumably not long after 2005. The chips started out with a pleasant although mild cheese flavor that would have made for a perfectly acceptable chip.

However, the cheese flavor soon gives way to an odd, bitter taste, that only resembles beer if you’ve been drinking some very crappy beer. I guess that keeps with the spirit of “partying”, since frat parties aren’t exactly stocked with the finest beers from the local microbrewery.

The bitterness stays long after the cheddar has disappeared, along with another, more subtle flavor, which I will blindly attribute to the ingredient “tortula yeast”, which makes me think “tortuga yeast”, which seems bad in any situation.

Kettle Brand Cheddar Beer Chips have at least taught me one thing, and that is that you should not make beer-flavored chips. This is one flavor I’d like to see kept retired.

All in all, I like that Kettle Brand Chips decided to trot out some old-timey flavors to celebrate their 30th birthday. It’s a fine gimmick, the bag design is well-executed, and I love all the little blurbs on the back that tell a little story about the flavors. It makes me feel like Kettle is still being run by six people in a shitty van and not some giant, faceless mega-corporation. Whether or not this is true, I don’t care. I had fun eating them, writing about them, and taking 700 pictures of them.

Kettle Brand Potato Chips 30th Birthday Limited Batch Red Chili, Jalapeño Jack, Salsa with Mesquite and Cheddar Beer

  • Score (Red Chili): 4.5 out of 5 “I knew sriracha before sriracha was cool” old hipsters
  • Score (Jalapeño Jack): 5 out of 5 egomaniacal security guards
  • Score (Salsa with Mesquite): 4 out of 5 unwanted honest hips
  • Score (Cheddar Beer): 2.5 out of 5  puking frat boys
  • Price: $14.99 (before shipping)
  • Size: 5 5 oz. bags (including Sea Salt; not pictured)
  • Purchased at: Kettle Brand’s website
  • Nutritional Quirks: Sriracha! Yay! Tortuga yeast. Boo.

Deano’s Jalapeño Real Sliced Chips Sea Salt, Cheddar and Ranch

A little while ago, I got an email from someone named Doehne Duckworth offering to send me some free samples to review.

That was it. No product name, no pictures. Just two sentences. Mysterious.

Thankfully, Mr. Duckworth (whose name immediately invokes childhood memories of Scrooge McDuck swimming in a pile of gold coins) had an email address that Google led me to his product’s website: Deano’s Jalapeños. (Editor’s note: since the writing of this post, Deano’s Jalapeño’s website has gone down for remodeling. Consider this an archive of the beauty that it was before remodeling!)

I was met by fire gifs running down the side of the home page, which is always a sign of awesome. I was also met by the headline, “The Newest and Most UniqueSnack Food Available in the Universe”.

Fire gifs and typos. Red flags for most websites, but I’ve learned to take these things in stride when it comes to most small business’s sites, especially when it comes to the food industry. If I’d judged every local restaurant by their poorly-constructed website, I would have missed out on some of the most delicious food in my area. They’re doing the best they can, and sometimes that means asking your nephew to set up your website.

Plus, I could not ignore the brazen claim of being the newest and most unique snack food available in the universe. Not just the country, or even the world. The universe. Eat your heart out, Curiosity rover. Whatever you wind up finding on Mars, it won’t be anything like Deano’s Jalapeño Chips. Deano knows this.

I still didn’t really understand what these chips were, though. At first glance, it doesn’t sound that new or unique at all. Jalapeño chips? Welcome to the rest of the snack aisle, Mr. Duckworth.

But as I read on, I discovered that Deano was on to something different. To quote their website, “…everyone was trying to make their potato chips taste like jalapenos. Why not just use a real jalapeno!”

Why not, indeed! To explain a little further: “The award-winning flavor of Deano’s Jalapenos comes from the fact that there are no potatoes involved. Instead, this handcrafted snack is made from fresh jalapeno peppers that are sliced paper thin, kettle fried to a spicy crisp, and given a dusting of sharp cheddar, ranch or sea salt. It’s a snack that packs a late-hitting heat with a warm, salty flavor that becomes just a little addictive.”

Fresh, fried jalapeños? I was sold. And just a few days later, I had a lovely little package in my mailbox. To my delight, this included one package of each flavor. Here we go!

Deano’s Jalapeño Real Sliced Chips Sea Salt

I like the package design, in terms of both aesthetics and practicality. First off, Deano has chosen to go the pouch route with a tear-off resealable top. The use of the resealable top in the snack world strikes me as fairly recent; off the top of my head, it seems most popular with things like beef jerky and…well, beef jerky is all I can think of right now.

I’ve only encountered one line of chips that employs the resealable top, and the first time I saw it, I thought, why isn’t every chip manufacturer doing this? The only answer I could think of is that they’re in with Big Chip Clip. It’s like cans that haven’t yet employed pull-tab top technology – I now get irritated any time I have to use a can opener, and it’s not just because I’m left-handed.

Deano’s is a small company, however, and they don’t kowtow to Chip Clips. Thus, the glorious resealable pouch.

Each of Deano’s three varieties of chips has a different design that ties in with the flavor. With Sea Salt, we are transported to a tropical island, complete with palm tree, waves, seagulls, and a wooden surfboard.

I want to lounge on a beach while my Deano’s Jalapeño Real Sliced Chips Sea Salt are served with a Mai Tai by a hunky shirtless man who does not speak English.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened the bag. I had no idea what actual fried, sliced jalapeño chips would look like. Now that I’ve seen them? Well, they aren’t exactly pretty, but they do look pretty authentico.

Upon first glance, it was obvious that these are, indeed, real jalapeños, that have, indeed, been fried, and have also, indeed, been covered in sea salt. Truth in advertising, this is.

Deano’s Jalapeño Chips can rival any other chip in the crunch category, thanks to being fried, and they are also deliciously salty, thanks to the giant chunks of sea salt visible on each piece. Unfortunately, I had a lot less slices and a lot more broken pieces, which could have been due to shipping, but it also gave it the odd appearance of looking like fried seaweed.

While the salt and crunch were excellent, I struggled to find the true taste of the jalapeño pepper inside the chip. Oh, don’t get me wrong; Deano’s brought the heat. That part was unmistakable, and kept building as I ate, until I was wishing for that Mai Tai.

However, part of the reason I love fresh jalapeños is their flavor, and I had a hard time finding it here. Maybe it was the frying process. Maybe the heat overwhelmed it. But the true taste of the pepper got a little lost somewhere. While that was disappointing, I still found myself tossing these crunchy little critters in my mouth, even as that genuine pepper heat started to make my nose run. Snot just adds to the flavor!

Deano’s Jalapeño Real Sliced Chips Cheddar

Deano’s took a mildly different turn on their Cheddar Jalapeño Chip packaging. Added are the phrases “try a slice of spice” and “made in Vermont”, which should inspire confidence, because when I think spicy peppers, I think…Vermont.

Cheddar’s packaging has the standard Deano’s logo, but varies from Sea Salt in ways I find, frankly, confusing. Gone is the surfer/beach theme, now replaced with…flames? I don’t know what cheddar has to do with flames. They’re still jalapeño chips, which means they’re all hot, right? And what’s with the generic green tattered-edge cheddar logo? That would have been a good place to stick a cheese wedge or something.

I want to be surrounded by kokopellis and  cute little gecko lizards while I eat Deano’s Jalapeño Real Sliced Chips Cheddar. A man wearing a sombrero and poncho should bring me a margarita.

More slices and less broken pieces in this one. Also, a familiar friend – neon orange flavor powder!

Having eaten pretty much every one of Frito-Lay’s 2,000 “cheese plus spicy flavored” chip iterations, I was curious to see how Jalapeño Real Sliced Chips would compare. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cheddar flavor tasted more like actual cheese than your run-of-the-mill cheese-flavored chips.

The spicy heat was present, just like with the Sea Salt variety, but I actually found more of the jalapeño pepper flavor itself present in in Cheddar chips. I have no idea why, but it was there, and it was welcome. The pepper flavor, the heat and the cheddar all worked in unison to create a delicious crunchy snack.

Deano’s Jalapeño Real Sliced Chips Ranch

Let’s call Deano’s Cheddar packaging a misstep, because Ranch brings it back around. Here we have a beautiful sunset as a backdrop to some cacti and desert brush. The flavor is announced on a perfectly appropriate wooden sign that is askew, because every ranch sign should be askew. And check out that jalapeño – it’s been lassoed. Yee-haw!

I want a dude to ride up on his horse and pull me up onto the saddle as a woman in a pearl-studded cowboy shirt rings a triangle, letting us know it’s time to eat some Deano’s Jalapeño Real Sliced Chips Ranch. I would also like to be served a mug shaped like a cowboy boot containing some Shiner Bock to compliment my chips.

The Ranch Jalapeño Chips looked remarkably similar to the Sea Salt variety; there was no dusting of little red and green flecks that I generally associate with ranch-flavored chips.

At first glance, I attributed this to Deano’s being a smaller company that used more “authentic” means of flavoring. Don’t ask me what authentic ranch flavor powder consists of; I was just giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Unfortunately, it seems that the ranch flavoring was hard to find because it wasn’t really there in the first place. I caught a bit of the familiar tanginess of typical ranch chip flavoring as an aftertaste, but for the most part, Deano’s Ranch Jalapeño Chips suffered the same problems as Sea Salt – nice heat, but little pepper flavor. At least with the Sea Salt variety you got a lot of saltiness to go with your heat; with Ranch, it was mostly just crunch and spice, through and through.

I had high hopes for Deano’s Jalapeño Real Sliced Chips. In the end, there were ups and downs. If you want to compare them to regular chips that claim to be spicy, Deano’s definitely wins. They’ve also got a great crunch to them. Out of the three varieties, I enjoyed the Cheddar the most, but the other two fell short on delivering the true flavor of jalapeño, and while the Sea Salt was, indeed, salty, the Ranch chips couldn’t bring the flavor.

Despite some their shortcomings, I still found myself liking Deano’s Jalapeño Real Sliced Chips in general. They are, indeed, quite the unique snack. You’re going to look way cooler eating a bag of Deano’s than a regular ol’ bag of Doritos. Even if looks like you’re eating fried seaweed while snot runs down your face.

(Editor’s Note: Deano’s Jalapeño Real Sliced Chips were provided for free courtesy of Deano’s Jalapeños. Thanks, Mr. Duckworth!)

Deano’s Jalapeño Real Sliced Chips Sea Salt, Cheddar and Ranch

  • Score (Sea Salt): 3 out of 5 people who think you’re eating fried seaweed
  • Score (Cheddar): 4 out of 5 missed cheese wedge opportunities
  • Score (Ranch): 2.5 out of 5 cowbells
  • Price: Free!
  • Size: 2.25 oz. bags/pouches
  • Purchased at: Received in the mail for free, but once Deano’s Jalapeños website comes back up, you should be able to purchase them there.
  • Nutritional Quirks: Real fried jalapeño slices. Beat that, Doritos! Also, the Ranch variety contains parsley. Parsley…ranch?

Limited Harvest Flavor Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis

I have to say, I’ve been disappointed by this year’s Halloween-themed food offerings. Given, my expectations are pretty high – I expect pretty much every food packaging on grocery shelves to be covered in bats, ghosts, and witches, and the contents possibly coated in Ectoplasm.

I understand that this is unrealistic, and I applaud companies for at least trying, like the Candy Corn Oreos, even if the results are less than stellar. But if I see the words “pumpkin spice” one more time, I’m going to cause an incident in aisle three that may impede my ability to do my usual grocery shopping in the future, unless I can get away with blaming it on a poltergeist.

I also realize that making something “Halloween-flavored” has some pretty strict limitations. Eating ghost-flavored Doritos would probably pretty disappointing; I’ve never tasted a ghost, but I imagine they aren’t very flavorful. Maybe cold, at best. Likewise, I would hesitate to eat a Snickers bar that had spiders instead of peanuts in it.

…Actually, that would be kind of awesome, but I understand where they could run into some problems with that.

All this complaining leads up to one of the few new Halloween offerings I’ve seen this year: Limited Harvest Flavor Milky Way Caramels.

Okay, so there’s no ghouls or goblins on the packaging, and it’s technically not a Halloween offering, it’s a “Harvest Flavor”, which is an odd thing to call a flavor, but I’ll go with it. At least it has a cute little leaf logo.

Because I so desperately want this to have some semblance of Halloween to it, I like to think the candy on the bottom is actually vomiting out the words “Caramel Apple” in delicious caramel ooze. That’s good ooze vomit control, right there. Excellent cursive. Vomiting pumpkins the world over could take a lesson from this barfing piece of candy.

These candies are called “Minis”, and for obvious reasons. Milky Way Caramel Apples are only available in this size and in this package, which means they’re obviously made for trick-or-treaters. Piece of advice: if you’re going to give these out, give more than one per child. Kids are demanding, these days. Fun Size or egg on your house.

Getting to the candy itself: imagine you’re a youth, living in, say, Massachusetts. It’s October; the leaves are turning a myriad of beautiful colors, there’s a brisk chill in the air, but it’s not cold enough that your Ghostbusters jacket can’t keep you warm. You and your parents have made the drive out of the bustling metropolis and are at an orchard where, for a price, you now have a basket in-hand to perform your own manual labor.

You’re on the quest for the perfect apples. You need a little help to reach the taller ones, but in the end, you’ve picked the ripest, reddest, juiciest apples you could find.

Once you’re home, your mom painstakingly melts both cubes of caramel and chocolate chips on the stove while you dutifully shove popsicle sticks up the ass of the very best of the apples you’ve picked. You wait with anticipation until, finally, it’s time to dip. First the caramel, then the chocolate, and then it’s time to bite into that juicy, sugary, perfect apple. It’s harvest time, and life is good.

Now, forget all that.

Okay, that’s not exactly fair. Caramel Apple Minis have the typical Milky Way chocolate coating and caramel upper layer, but you can see that the lower nougat layer is lighter than typical Milky Ways. It’s actually rather close to the color of the inside of an apple.

It’s not just the color that’s different, however. Upon biting into one of these Minis, my mouth was instantly flooded with apple flavor. The chocolate and caramel flavors were immediately overwhelmed.

Exactly what constitutes “apple flavor”? Well, it’s a little hard to describe. It’d be easy to say that it tasted like a green apple Jolly Rancher, or a green apple Jelly Belly, or…well, any of the innumerable green apple-flavored candies that have snatched the title of “go-to green flavor” from lime in not-so-recent years. RIP, lime. I miss you.

But this candy was different. It wasn’t sour like other apple candies. It actually kind of tasted like…apples?

Don’t fall out of your chair in shock quite yet, though. It was more like a hint of real apple with a healthy chemical artificiality. I know it’s weak, but my first impression was, “This is…weird.” Not helpful, really, but there it is. It was unique in that it almost pulled off an actual apple taste, but that taste was ruined by the strength of the artificial taste. In fact, even though these candies were less than bite-sized, after eating only two, the chemicapple taste lingered well after I was done, and I’d had my fill.

I have to say, I was expecting disaster from Limited Harvest Flavor Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis. What I got was a surprising and unique apple flavor that wasn’t a total disaster, but far from a tasty autumn treat that mimics an actual caramel apple. The apple flavor was too chemically and artificial, and it overwhelmed the chocolate and caramel, leaving an unpleasant aftertaste that didn’t leave me wanting to come back for more.

As always, I give points and appreciation to Milky Way for trying to go beyond just throwing a bat on the wrapper or changing the shape of the candy to a pumpkin, but I can’t give a total thumbs up on these Limited Harvest Flavor Caramel Apple Minis. If I were a trick-or-treater, I’d be excited to see this new product in my pillow case (as long as there was more than one), but I’d wind up going back to my A-pile Fun Size Snickers and Twix pretty quickly.

Limited Harvest Flavor Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis

  • Score: 2.5 out of 5 puking pumpkins
  • Price: $2.79
  • Size: 11.5 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: Nothing remotely apple-related listed as an ingredient, so I guess the mysterious “artificial and natural flavors” are what make the apple magic happen. I’m leaning more towards the “artificial” part.

Candy Blog, Fatguyfoodblog and The Impulsive Buy also reviewed these little buggers.

Doritos Jacked Enchilada Supreme and Smoky Chipotle BBQ

Another Frito-Lay chip, another XXXtreme chip name. Ruffles became Ultimate; Doritos are now Jacked.

The word “jacked” does not immediately bring up positive connotations; when I think jacked, I think “jacked up”, like, “Oh man, you totally jacked up that guy’s face!”

Of course, now I’m old, so it’s more like, “Oh man, I totally jacked up my back while I was sleeping last night.”

Doritos seems to have a different definition of the word, however. According to the front of the bag, Jacked means “Bigger. Bolder. Thicker.”

Okay. Obviously not my first guess, but hey.

The back of the bags expounds. “It came without warning: a NEW, extreme snack sent to shock your taste buds with MIND-BLOWING flavor and a bigger, bolder, thicker CRUNCH than you’ve ever experienced before.”

The caps emphasis is all Doritos, because everyone knows caps lock means EXTREME. Or Jacked. Or maybe Doritos is just screaming at me, it’s hard to tell.

I like the idea that Doritos Jacked “came without warning”. It makes the chips sound like an old-school horror-movie monster. “It came without warning: SLIGHTLY LARGER AND THICKER TORTILLA CHIPS.” If I was your mom, I’d tell you not to eat Doritos Jacked in the dark before bedtime. You know how you get flavor dust nightmares, dear.

"Mommy, can I sleep in your bag tonight? I had that dream about those Jacked chips again."

As you can see, Jacked Doritos are indeed larger than regular Doritos, and they are also thicker. Plus side: there were almost no crushed chips in either of the bags I purchased. Negative: being larger, they are harder to shove mindlessly into your mouth. It took me at least two bites to get through each chip. Potential for double-dipping increases greatly.

Doritos Jacked comes in two flavors, Enchilada Supreme and Smoky Chipotle BBQ. Consider your mind blown all over the chip aisle of the convenience store.

Doritos Jacked Enchilada Supreme

I love enchiladas, but I had doubts about just how Supreme these Enchilada Doritos would be. According to the back of the bag, “Experience the RUSH of bold cheddar cheese & tangy salsa: then a WAVE of sizzling Mexican spices that’ll leave your taste buds BEGGING for more.”

That’s quite the promise of Flavor Country.

I wasn’t exactly sure what the “bolder” part of the Jacked equation was, but it seems to translate to “we left the chips in the flavor dust-sprayer an extra few minutes”, because these bitches be covered in powder. I’ve always appreciated finding those half-dozen Doritos in a bag that seem to have gotten an extra dust, and it seems like that’s the case with all the Jacked chips.

Unfortunately, I’ve been disappointed by Doritos and their promises of brain-spraying flavors before, and Enchilada Supreme was no exception. Again, I appreciated the heavy coating of powder, but the flavors here were nothing new. Imagine Spicy Nacho Doritos with just a hint of enchilada sauce, and that’s just about it. Does that count as a WAVE of sizzling Mexican spices? Not particularly.

Doritos Jacked Smoky Chipotle BBQ

I’d love to tell you how Doritos described these chips on the back of the bag, but we had a little…review malfunction in my household, resulting in the chips being eaten and the bag being thrown away before I had a chance to write down whatever ridiculous copy the Doritos marketing team came up with.

As an apology, I’ll use my powers of creativity and experience reading the backs of Doritos bags to make up my own description. “Your mouth parts will CRAVE this HIROSHIMA-LIKE EXPLOSION of barbecue and AUTHENTIC chipotle flavor that is so AMAZINGLY SMOKY you’ll think you just stepped into a Memphis jazz bar and someone threw a slow cooked brisket RIGHT INTO YOUR FACE. EXTREME BOLDNESS CRUNCH YOU LIKE A HURRICANE”

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Please do not mistake the accidental consumption and subsequent disposal of the bag as an overpowering eagerness to eat such delicious chips; I would describe the situation more as “these are here, and we are running out of room in the cupboard”.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, and for good reason. I’ve railed against the use of chipotle as a flavor description when there is no discernible chipotle flavor, and sadly, that remains true here. There is a little bit of smokiness, but the dominant taste is your typical barbecue chip flavoring with a definite sweet side.

Call it a personal preference, but I just don’t truck with BBQ-flavored tortilla chips. Something about the sweetness just doesn’t jive with the flavor of the tortilla chip itself. Like Enchilada Supreme, Smoky Chipotle BBQ Jacked chips are heavily coated with flavor dust, which works against the chip in this case, as it only emphasizes the sweet barbecue flavor.

The premise of Doritos Jacked chips is “Bigger. Bolder. Thicker.”, and I’d say they pretty much deliver on that tagline. They are bigger, but do you really need a bigger tortilla chip? They also do seem thicker, but not to the point of hurting your teeth, and this seems to prevent chip breakage, which I call a plus.

As for the claim of being bolder, if we’re taking that to mean more flavor powder, they do certainly deliver on that front, too. While this works for Enchilada Supreme, despite the lack of originality in flavor, it works against Smoky Chipotle BBQ, which is just too sweet and lacks any chipotle flavor.

Does the world need Doritos Jacked? Not really. I get enough crunch from regular Doritos, and I don’t really want a tortilla chip that is too big to fit in my mouth. While I am a fan of heavily-dusted chips, there’s nothing original about Enchilada Supreme, and I found Smoky Chipotle BBQ straight-up unappealing.

If the Doritos Jacked line comes out with more flavors, I’m give them a try, because I’m a sucker. But for now, I’m perfectly content with regular ol’ Doritos.

Doritos Jacked Enchilada Supreme

  • Score: 2.5 out of 5 flavor dust nightmares
  • Price: $1.49
  • Size: 3 3/8 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Circle K #2821
  • Nutritional Quirks: Do tomato and garlic powders count as “sizzling Mexican spices”? Because that’s the closest I could find on the ingredients list.

Doritos Jacked Smoky Chipotle BBQ

  • Score: 1.5 out of 5 briskets in your face at a Memphis jazz club
  • Price: $1.49
  • Size: 3 3/8 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Circle K #2821
  • Nutritional Quirks: No chipotle listed as an ingredient. Sigh.