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