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Mrs. Fields Nibblers Cookies Milk Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Chip and Double Chocolate

Mrs. Fields Nibblers Cookies Milk Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Chip and Double Chocolate BoxesMrs. Fields. To me, the name is synonymous with childhood trips to the mall with my parents: hours of agonizing shopping in boring department stores, where the only means of entertainment were hiding under clothing racks and touching things I was explicitly told not to touch.

My only relief: the promise of a trip to the food court afterward. Oh, the wonders! The choices! So much fast food, all in one place! What to choose?

Well, inevitably I chose Sbarro, because the only time I got to eat at Sbarro was when we went to the mall. For dessert, I would always get CheeseKorn from the KarmelKorn store attached to the Orange Julius, because I was a weird kid who didn’t really like sweets.

While I walked around smearing orange dust on things when my parents weren’t looking, my mom would munch on a Mrs. Fields cookie – another mall-only staple. At the time, the only thing that interested me about Mrs. Fields were the giant, pizza-sized cookies they’d always have on display.

I dreamed of one day getting one of those cookies, but every time I’d ask for one, my mom reminded me that I’d never actually eat it, which I had to admit was true. In hindsight, she should have just acquiesced and then taken the whole thing for herself. Opportunity missed.

The days of having to walk past a Hot Topic just to get a Mrs. Fields cookie are finally over, however – the First Lady of Cookies is finally breaking into the grocery store game, introducing her Nibblers cookies to Kroger stores nationwide in three flavors: Milk Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Chip and Double Chocolate.

All three varieties have some things in common: first off, they are, indeed, Nibblers – they’re about the size of an Oreo, as opposed to the larger size of other Mrs. Fields cookies or even a regular Chips Ahoy. They also have all had their previously bare bottoms dipped in fudge. Let the fudge and butt jokes commence.

I was mailed these cookies courtesy of Mrs. Fields, and I was worried about what kind of shape they’d be in when they arrived, given the high temperatures and the nature of the cookies. I figured I’d wind up with one giant, melted cookie mess, which, don’t get me wrong, had a certain appeal – the idea of a giant chocolate chip and fudge cookie wad holds a certain allure.

Mrs. Fields had it covered, though – each box of Nibblers contains a plastic tray that holds each cookie separately, and it’s further protected by foil packaging. My Nibblers were still a little melty, but for the most part, they remained intact and unbroken. Not the most eco-friendly packaging, but effective!

Mrs. Fields Nibblers Cookies Milk Chocolate

I went with Milk Chocolate Chip first, it being the most pedestrian-sounding of the flavors. The fudge-dipped bottom started melting the instant I touched it, making me once again thankful that the cookies were kept apart from each other.

Chewy Chips Ahoy are one of my favorite cookies; I much prefer soft cookies to hard ones. These Mrs. Fields Nibblers were like a slightly upgraded version of those cookies. There was a little bit of a crunch on the top which quickly gave way to the chewy innards. The two textures mixed together nicely.

The milk chocolate chips, which were mini to match the size of the cookies, were evenly distributed in almost all the cookies in the package. The cookie flavor itself was spot-on for a chocolate chip cookie – not overly sweet and baked just right.

The fudge bottom added more chocolate goodness without being too overwhelming, although I think calling it “fudge” is a bit of a misnomer; it tasted much more like melty milk chocolate.

Mrs. Fields Nibblers Cookies Peanut Butter Chip

I was most excited to try the Peanut Butter Chip Nibblers, because soft peanut butter cookies are great and peanut butter cookies with chips and dipped in chocolate can only be better, right?

Well, yes and no. The sad news is, there are no chips in these Peanut Butter Chip Nibblers. At least, not that I could see or feel. Which raises fundamental questions about the name of these Nibblers. I’m straight confused.

The good news: these cookies are delicious. My mom used to make soft peanut butter cookies for Christmas, and I’ve never found any brand confection that could compare. Grandma’s Cookies were the closest I could get, but Mrs. Fields blows those out of the water, and adds a nice milk chocolate – er, fudge – finish to boot.

I just wish there were peanut butter chips. Sniffle.

Mrs. Fields Nibblers Cookies Double Chocolate

I figured “Double Chocolate” would mean “double milk chocolate”, but I guess it means “milk chocolate and white chocolate chips”, although it’s also fudge-dipped, so technically it’s triple chocolate. Again, confusing name.

I was surprised at both the lack of richness of the chocolate in these chocolate cookies and also how much the white chocolate chips contributed to the flavor. I figured the chips would disappear under the chocolate flavor of the cookie, but it was actually the chips that took over in the flavor department.

While these Nibblers do actually live up to their Double Chocolate name, chocolate lovers are going to be ultimately disappointed at the lack of richness in the cookie itself.

Mrs. Fields Nibblers are generally delicious and almost too easy to eat – I found myself having to force myself to put the packages away before I plowed through the entire box and got about 500% of my daily recommended value of saturated fat.

I thought Milk Chocolate Chip was a little too pedestrian, given that it was pretty close to Chewy Chips Ahoy. I fell in love with Peanut Butter Chip, even though they had no chips. Double Chocolate Chip was pretty good, but I felt like the white chocolate chips did most of the work and the cookies themselves lacked chocolate’s signature richness. And the fudge dipping wasn’t really fudge-y, but still added a little something extra to each of the chips. Including sticky fingers.

Overall, Mrs. Fields Nibblers are a solid cookie offering. The biggest question for me is the price – I got mine for free courtesy of Mrs. Fields, but they’re available at Kroger stores nationwide in a 15-count box. A quick Internet search didn’t yield a price point. But if they’re not mall-price expensive and you’re a fan of Mrs. Fields and soft cookies, they’re worth a try.

[Disclaimer: These Nibblers cookies were provided for free via mail courtesy of the kind people at Mrs. Fields. This is no way influences my review of the products, and, in the nature of full disclosure, I still hate the mall.]

Mrs. Fields Nibblers

  • Score (Milk Chocolate Chip): 3.5 out of 5 cheesy orange fingers
  • Score (Peanut Butter Chip): 4.5 out of 5 mysterious lack of chips
  • Score (Double Chocolate Chip): 3 out of 5 gooey fudge-covered bottoms
  • Price: Free
  • Size: Box of 15 cookies
  • Purchased at: Received in the mail (but available at Kroger stores nationwide)
  • Score Quirk: Surprisingly, there’s only 120 calories per serving of two cookies. I would have expected a more heart attack-inducing number.

Limited Edition Marshmallow Crispy Oreo and Cookie Dough Oreo

Limited Edition Marshmallow Crispy Oreo and Cookie Dough Oreo PackagesNabisco has really gone off the rails with their Oreo flavors. If I sound like a broken record, that’s because Nabisco has really gone off the rails with their Oreo flavors. This makes it really hard to come up with something unique to say about all these new Oreo flavors. Don’t get me wrong – I love variety. But this is getting exhausting. So exhausting I’d just like to get down to business. Cookie business.

Marshmallow Crispy Oreo

Limited Edition Marshmallow Crispy Oreo Package

Right off the bat, Marshmallow Crispy Oreos and I start off on the wrong foot. Upon seeing the package, all I wanted was a Rice Krispies Treat, and then I wanted an Oreo-shaped Rice Krispies Treat sandwich with Oreo filling.

Knowing from the package that neither of these are what I would find inside, I swallowed my prejudice, as it were, and dove into what registered-trademark-respecting Marshmallow Crispy Oreos really are.

Limited Edition Marshmallow Crispy Oreo

I have to say, first impressions were pretty damn close to what the picture on the package promises: a Golden Oreo with marshmallow filling that contains little crispy bites.

Since I figured I’d get the best impression of the filling by doing what everyone does with their Oreos, which is lick the crème, I…licked the creme.

Limited Edition Marshmallow Crispy Oreo Creme

It makes me mildly uncomfortable to put a picture of something I licked with my disgusting human saliva on the Internet, but I was so impressed with the number of crispy bits in the filling that I had to share. The open, un-licked cookie just doesn’t do it justice.

Defying the odds, the crunchy bits stayed crunchy in the creme and had that Rice Krispies-esque taste and texture. The creme itself did have a bit of a marshmallow taste to it, but it was a lot sweeter and came closer to the flavor of regular Oreo filling than I would have liked.

Unfortunately, that “regular Oreo” feeling came full circle when I ate a Marshmallow Crispy Oreo as a whole. The two Golden Oreo cookies already had a bunch of crunchiness to them, which made the crunchy bits in the creme pretty much disappear.

If you ask me, the best way to truly enjoy Marshmallow Crispy Oreos is to eat the filling separately and then use the Golden Oreo cookies to…uh…I dunno, dip into some cake frosting and then go into a complete sugar coma? That’s the only way I can think of to really make Marshmallow Crispy Oreos stand out from regular Golden Oreos.

Cookie Dough Oreo

Limited Edition  Cookie Dough Oreo Package

If you’re to fall for the packaging on these cookies, the Cookie Dough Oreo looks a hell of a lot like a chocolate cookie, and is “made with chocolatey chips”. This verbiage sends up red flags, as “chocolately chips” sounds a lot like “not actual chocolate chips” or maybe “chips, but not really chocolate in nature”.

Limited Edition  Cookie Dough Oreo

Upon opening my first cookie, I feared I’d never know the truth either way, as there did not appear to be any chips of chocolatey or chocolatey non-chips at all.

Limited Edition  Cookie Dough Oreo 2

I tried a second cookie at random and found it to be a little more cookie dough-looking.

I’ve eaten my share of cookie dough back in the day, laughing in the face of E. coli or salmonella or whatever the hell they say is wrong with eating raw cookie dough. Given that I’m pretty sure my bones are made of expired Slim Jims and my blood is mostly processed cheese sauce, I just don’t have these kinds of concerns. I’m sure one day this will come back to haunt me, possibly in the form of coming back up to haunt me, but I like to live dangerously.

Enough about telling kids it’s okay to eat raw eggs; the point here is that I know what cookie dough tastes like, and I can definitively say that none of the flavors of this dangerous but delectable treat are present in Cookie Dough Oreos. There’s not even a chocolate chip texture.

In fact, the creme in these cookies tastes kind of like…a mocha caramel coffee drink? What the hell?

I was so flummoxed by this that I broke my rule of not reading other people’s reviews until I’d posted my own and went in search of other people’s opinions on these cookies, certain that somehow my tongue had gone haywire. Sure enough, The Impulsive Buy shared my sentiments almost exactly, reassuring me that I had not had a stroke.

That said, mocha caramel coffee Oreos are delicious. The problem, obviously, is that these are not Mocha Caramel Coffee Oreos, these are Cookie Dough Oreos, and, given that, they fail everything that cookie dough actually is, taste- and texture-wise.

Both Marshmallow Crispy Oreos and Cookie Dough Oreos disappointed my taste buds on some level. The former with its lack of distinct marshmallow flavor and disappearing crunchy bits, and the latter with its lack of chocolate chips and, well, cookie dough-ness.

That said, I’m not kicking either of these limited edition flavors out of my cupboard. Unlike Limited Edition Watermelon Oreos, there’s absolutely nothing offensive about either flavor. While Marshmallow Crispy is just rather pedestrian, Cookie Dough is straight rockin’, although not for any reasons its namesake would imply. Given that neither will be around long, I encourage readers to give them both a try.

Limited Edition Marshmallow Crispy Oreo and Cookie Dough Oreo

  • Score (Marshmallow Crispy): 3 out of 5 trademark infringements.
  • Score (Cookie Dough): 3.5 out of 5 WHY AREN’T THESE CARAMEL COFFEE OREOS
  • Price: $3.00 each (on sale; regular price $3.69 each)
  • Size: 12.2 oz.
  • Purchased at: Safeway #1717
  • Nutritional Quirks: Chocolate is the last ingredient listed in Cookie Dough Oreos. “Chocolatey”, indeed.

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal and Frute Brute Cereal

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal and Frute Brute Cereal BoxesHappy Halloween! I celebrated the holiday in 2010 with a bowl of Boo Berry cereal. Having had a taste of the General Mills breakfast monsters, I was thrilled to hear that this year, they’re bringing back two retirees: Fruity Yummy Mummy and Frute Brute!

According to Wikipedia, Yummy Mummy has been trapped in his sarcophagus for 20 years and Frute Brute has been in hibernation for 29 years.

In addition to this, they also brought back the retro box designs. Oh, those marketers. They know nostalgia brings in the money.

Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal Box

Gotta love the insanely clashing colors on this box. Of course, if you want to get kids to start screaming at their parents that they will die unless they get some Fruity Yummy Mummy cereal, that’s the way to go.

Yummy Mummy is super psyched about his cereal. He also appears to have been wrapped in purple, pink and yellow ribbon by someone on their first day of training at the gift-wrapping station at JCPenney’s.

I guess the full name of this cereal is General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Artificial Orange Cream Flavor Frosted Cereal with Spooky-Fun Marshmallows With…MONSTER MALLOWS.

That is a lot of words, some of them redundant. Of course, the MONSTER MALLOWS are the important part, here. MALLOWS shaped like MONSTERS! Sold and sold.

Like any good kids’ cereal, there’s a little trivia quiz on the side panel of the box, including such questions as, “Finish this monster catch phrase, ‘Fruity Yummy Mummy makes your tummy…”

The answer is, “Go yummy”.

Okay, that’s kind of weak.

I do like question #5 though: “Which of these mail-in premiums was not offered with monster cereals – glow candles, monster ink stampers or a monster mansion?”

The answer is “glow candles”, and now I want a time machine to go back and get some monster ink stampers and a monster mansion. Those sound fucking awesome.

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal

Although this cereal is “orange cream flavor”, and also “mummy”-themed, we seem to have orange AND red cereal pieces that look much more like ghosts than mummies.

And as for the pink, yellow, purple and orange mallows? I have no idea what they are. My first thought was Frankenstein’s Monster head, but I guess maybe they could be the mummies? Heck, why not.

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal Bowl

I’ve been carefully ignoring the flavor of Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal because the idea of orange cream-flavored cereal scares me, and let’s face it – the packaging is awesome and the actual taste of the cereal is secondary. I could frame the unopened box, hang it on my wall, and be happy.

But I guess I’m supposed to talk about the food, so fine.

I found the flavor a little off-putting at first, but it quickly grew on me. Yummy Mummy really does taste like artificial frosted orange cream, instead of just artificial orange. This is Mr. Mummy’s saving grace. I’m pretty sure I would have hated it if it just tasted like orange Runts.

The MONSTER MALLOWS have that great instantly-dissolving sugar taste common in so many cereal mallows, but only when eaten dry. Once you add milk, their taste and texture disappears almost immediately. Luckily, the ghost…mummies hold a good crunch.

I also didn’t hate the leftover cereal milk – an important aspect of all cereals. I think the milk really helped to make the whole thing taste like a 50/50 bar, and nowhere was this more prominent than in the orange-tinged leftover milk.

I can’t honestly say that I’d like to eat Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal every day – while it wasn’t the total disaster I thought it would be, there are a lot of other cereal flavors out there that I prefer over orange cream. But when you take in the whole package, I think most kids would enjoy a bowl of ghosts and mummy heads on a fine Halloween morning.

Frute Brute

General Mills Frute Brute Cereal Box

Frute Brute likes to keep it simple. He’s just an ordinary werewolf brute, happy to eat his frute cereal. To be more specific, his Artificial Cherry Flavor Frosted Cereal with Spooky-Fun Marshmallows.

Wait, why does Yummy Mummy get MONSTER MALLOWS and Frute Brute only gets the regularly-fonted Spooky-Fun Marshmallows? Frute Brute needs to stop eating cereal and start tearin’ up a certain gift-wrapped mummy using his sharp orange claws.

Nice overalls, Frute Brute. Those clashing stripes look like they belong on an old Geocities site, which truly is terrifying. Then again, he has been gone for 29 years. Wait until he hears what the Internet has done with cats!

Like Yummy Mummy, Frute Brute has a trivia quiz on his box. “What was Frute Brute’s original catch phrase?”

“The Howling Good Taste of Frute.” I enjoy both the pun and the commitment to using the non-word “frute”.

Brutsie’s #5 question is much like the Mumsters: “Which of these mail-in premiums was not offered with monster cereals – bubble bath, bike safety flag or laboratory kit?”

The answer is “laboratory kit”, which makes me sad, because that would have gone great with my monster mansion. However, it does delight me to the bottom of my black heart that, at some point in time, you could get General Mills Monster Cereal Bubble Bath. I am trying so hard right now to finish this review and not go trolling on eBay.

General Mills Frute Brute Cereal

Okay, there’s no real way I can find to connect Brute to his cereal shapes. He’s rocking both the Pac-Man ghost cereal shapes and the “is that a skull?”-shaped marshmallows that Yummy Mummy had. Even the colors are barely different. Throw me a fang-shaped marshmallow or something.

General Mills Frute Brute Cereal Bowl

I thought I would hate Yummy Mummy’s orange cream cereal, but once it actually turned out to be not repulsive, I was less nervous about Frute Brute. It turns out I was lulled into a false sense of security.

Okay, so it wasn’t that bad. The sadly-not-MONSTER MALLOWS had the same qualities as the Mummy’s mallows, in that they were great dry but disappeared when milk was applied.

The ghosties were crunchy, but the cherry flavor just didn’t work very well as a cereal. It didn’t have that cough medicine taste that can plague cherry candy, but it was just a little bit unsettling. I would have bet that I’d like cherry over orange, but this time, that was not the case.

Frute Brute seems to be pretty into it, though. Whatever makes him happy.

Oh, and on the back of both cereal boxes, there’s a whole cartoon story to entertain you while you eat!

General Mills Monster Cereal Box Back

Love love love it. Love the story, love the drawing, and most of all, love the Halloween puns. I love you, General Mills Monsters.

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal and Frute Brute Cereal

  • Score (Fruity Yummy Mummy): 3 out of 5 gift-wrapped mummies
  • Score (Frute Brute): 2 out of 5 overalls that would make Fruit Stripe gum proud
  • Price: $2.50 each
  • Size: 9.6 oz. box
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: Contains no actual dessicated corpse or werewolf hair

Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger

Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger[Editor’s Note: Please enjoy this special review by guest writer Robert – Not Bob. The Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger is currently only available at test market locations in Texas, and he just so happens to live in one of those areas, so he graciously provided JFB with a sneak peek!]

What’s the most Texas thing you can think of? Ok, besides a dead armadillo propped up clutching a Lone Star Beer…. It’s barbeque brisket, right? Maybe…. It’s not even our official state dish, an honor reserved for chili, but BBQ is pretty high up on the Texas scale of things.

Fast food places certainly seem to think so. Every couple of years one will trot out a limited edition “Texas” burger, which invariably has BBQ sauce on it, perhaps some jalapeños, maybe they’ll throw an onion ring into it. I will admit that the Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger is the first time I’ve seen a fast food place actually put BBQ brisket and a hamburger patty in the same bun.

Don’t look for information on this particular burger online – there’s almost none to be had. It appears to be either a Texas exclusive or a test-market offering, and apparently in some areas, they’re printing an edible local college sports team logo on the bun, which just seems stupid. Anyway, since the JFB staff is a long, long way from Texas, I bravely volunteered to try it out for them.

Now an admission. I’ve never eaten AT a Sonic. Oh, I’ve had food from Sonic before, but I’ve always eschewed the whole carhop thing and gone through the drive-through. Generally speaking, if I’m eating in my car, I’m in a big, big hurry, so that means grab something and go. If I’m going to be somewhere long enough to sit and eat, then I’m damn sure going to go in and use up some of their air-conditioning while I do it.

Also, for a place that wants to force you to use your car as a restaurant booth, Sonic sure has historically sold a lot of potential lap-stainers. From the Frito-pie wrap to the Tex Mex Footlong Quarter Pound Coney, their menu always seems to be laden with stuff you would not want to eat in your car. Or perhaps, not want to eat unless you were wearing one of those ponchos they give you when you see the Blue Man Group.

I’ve often wondered if Sonic isn’t partnered somehow with some company that specializes in cleaning stains out of upholstery and clothes. Considering that my target burger was topped with chopped BBQ brisket, I was expecting a bit of a mess, but I thought I’d give the whole Sonic experience a shot this time, and pulled into the drive-in stall.

Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger Texas Drive-In View
Editor’s Note: Visit Beautiful Texas!

The first thing I noticed when I was ordering my Brisket Cheeseburger was a sign that said “Try it with jalapeños!” So that is how I ordered it. I know you’re not supposed to modify a review burger, but hey, the suggestion was right there on the menu, so that should be allowed.

Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger Menu

Instead of a cute carhop girl on roller skates, I was served by the squeaky-voiced, pimply teenager from the Simpsons. I still have no idea if you’re supposed to tip them or not, and he started running back to the building so fast I had to holler after him to come back and handed him a dollar. He gave me a look like I was crazy but accepted it and ran off as I made ready to turn my truck’s dashboard into a dining room table.

Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger Dashboard

At first glance it didn’t look anywhere near as messy as I’d expected. Also, thankfully, instead of a stupid college team imprinted bun, it sported a handsome onion roll.

Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger

Under the hood it had a nice-sized pile of chopped BBQ brisket sitting on top of a sticky-looking slice of American cheese. Surprisingly, the brisket was not soaked in BBQ sauce.

Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger Brisket

Flipped over, you see the grievously overdone hamburger patty, the obligatory tiny diced onions, some pickles and pickled jalapeño slices, and under them, a healthy dollop of BBQ sauce.

Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger Open

Cross-sectioned, you can see that the patty to chopped brisket ratio is about the same.

Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger Inside

And how did it taste? Well, the quality of the chopped BBQ brisket was actually not too bad. Not as good as you’d get at a real Texas BBQ joint, of course, but much better than I expected. It had the consistency and texture of actual chopped BBQ brisket and a decent smoky flavor.

The decision to separate the sauce from chopped brisket was a solid one, because you tasted more of the brisket that way, and it helped make the hamburger patty taste more like an extension of the BBQ and hide the fact that it was seriously overcooked. In fact, the hamburger patty really did little other than protect the chopped brisket from the sauce.

Adding jalapeños was also the right choice, since they helped mask the flavor of the pickles. Sliced red onions would have been a better addition than the diced white ones, which seemed to have zero flavor. The gooey American cheese dragged the overall quality down. They should have gone with cheddar instead. People ordering this with the stupid college team logo are also missing out, because the onion roll was one of the burger’s better features.

Would I order it again? Not likely. I live in Texas, so I know where to get a real BBQ sammich.

Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger Bailey's Bar-B-Que

Sonic Texas Brisket Cheeseburger

  • Score: 3 out of 5 dead, beer-swilling armadillos
  • Price: $4.49, plus an additional dollar used to surprise a teenager
  • Size: 1 sandwich
  • Purchased at: Sonic, Burleson #3, Texas
  • Nutritional Quirks: Hamburger patty-shaped BBQ sauce force field

Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Crunchy Taco and Cool Ranch Crunchy Taco Tortilla Chips

Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Crunchy Taco and Cool Ranch Crunchy Taco Tortilla Chips BagsDoritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Crunchy Taco and Cool Ranch Crunchy Taco Tortilla Chips are quite possibly the most meta snack to ever hit the chip shelves. They are Doritos, based on fast food tacos, which have the shell of a Dorito.

I think we can all see where this is going. Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco… it will be the Möbius strip of food that will eventually take over Taco Bell’s entire menu and choke the chip aisle. It will be the undoing of humanity.

…Okay, maybe I’m getting a little carried away. But I think we can all agree that this is getting ridiculous.

Like the Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos, the Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Tortilla Chips come in two flavors: Nacho Cheese Crunchy Taco and Cool Ranch Crunchy Taco. Doritos loves to do the “two flavors in one bag” thing, so this is right up their alley.

Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Crunchy Taco Tortilla Chips

Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Crunchy Taco Tortilla Chips

Upon opening the bag, my olfactory senses were overwhelmed with the smell of taco seasoning. Like opening a pack of McCormick’s seasoning you’d add to some ground beef for “Tuesday Taco Night” with some of those pre-made shells that have a flat bottom so they stand up on their own. Man, I wish I had invented those. Genius.

Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chip

When I tasted the nacho cheese chips by themselves, it was instantly obvious that these are just regular Nacho Cheese Doritos, to the surprise of no one. They got a little bit of taco flavoring due to spooning with Crunchy Taco in the bag. Let’s face it; it’s like a forced cuddle party. There’s gonna be some contact.

Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Crunchy Taco Tortilla Chip

The Crunchy Taco flavor was very powerful. My brain went flipping through its Rolodex (my brain is technologically behind the times) of Doritos flavors, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint the flavor powder. It definitely wasn’t Taco Flavor Doritos. It was just…straight-up taco seasoning. I can’t find another way to describe it.

When eaten together, as I’m assuming God, Doritos and Taco Bell intended, Crunchy Taco overwhelmed the taste of Nacho Cheese. I could, however, get some nacho aftertaste, which did compliment the taco flavor.

Did these chips mimic a Taco Bell Doritos Locos Nacho Cheese Taco? Not even close. But if you want to treat these like Doritos Collisions or the various other Doritos “two flavors in one bag”, they’re not too bad.

Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Cool Ranch Crunchy Taco Tortilla Chips

Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Cool Ranch Crunchy Taco Tortilla Chips

It’s difficult to say much more about these Cool Ranch Crunchy Taco Doritos that hasn’t already been said about the Nacho Cheese version. Again, that taco seasoning smell was very present.

Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Cool Ranch Tortilla Chip

Also again, there was nothing new about the Cool Ranch Doritos. Like Nacho Cheese, rubbing up against Crunchy Taco resulted in some flavor transfer. I’m starting to wonder about these cuddle parties.

Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Crunchy Taco Tortilla Chip (2)

I kept some of my observations about Crunchy Taco Doritos out of the Nacho Cheese portion of this post so that I could say something here besides using the word “again” 20 times in one review.

The fact of the matter is, Crunchy Taco Doritos had too much flavor dust.

Now, usually, I savor the joy of finding those few Doritos that somehow got hit with too much flavoring in their journey from tortilla chip to flavored tortilla chip. In the case of Crunchy Taco, however, it was like every chip had been blasted to hell with the stuff.

Unfortunately, this fact worked against Cool Ranch even more than Nacho Cheese. Eating the two chips together pretty much obliterated the Cool Ranch flavor.

Mark this day in Junk Food Betty history, because I’m about to say something that I may never say again: Crunchy Taco Doritos were actually too salty. I say this with gravitas, because I am a salt vampire, so for me to say something is too salty is borderline insanity.

In the end, both flavor combos suffered from the same fault: Crunchy Taco was too strong, snuffing out the flavors of Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch. Furthermore, they tasted nothing like the tacos they were trying to emulate in a weird, meta way.

I actually liked the Crunchy Taco flavoring, despite it tasting nothing like a Taco Bell taco, but someone cranked the flavor knob up to 11, which resulted in too much salt and the obfuscation of the flavors it was supposed to compliment.

I usually find Doritos dual flavors uninspired but acceptable, but this was a strange case of flavor overload. I hope that my predictions of a Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Möbius strip don’t come true, because that is a weird vortex that I don’t want to be a part of.

Doritos Locos Tacos Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Crunchy Taco and Cool Ranch Crunchy Taco Tortilla Chips

  • Score (Nacho Cheese Crunchy Taco): 3 out of 5 questionable cuddle parties
  • Score (Cool Ranch Crunchy Taco): 2 out of 5 salt vampires saying “Whoah, too much
  • Price: $1.49 each
  • Size: 3 3/8 oz. bags
  • Purchased at: 7-Eleven #21821
  • Nutritional Quirks: I have no evidence to support this, but I believe a fire hose was brought in to spray the Crunchy Taco Doritos. Now that’s quirky.

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust PizzaPizza Hut and Domino’s are like rival siblings. As long as I can remember, they’ve been the two biggest pizza delivery chains in the USA. Back when I was a kid, both companies had their own schtick: Domino’s had the infamous Noid and their “30 minutes or free” guarantee, and Pizza Hut had…well, Pizza Hut had some weird commercials. I thought Pizza Hut had a 30 minute guarantee, too, but I can’t find evidence of that on the Internet.

Basically, both company’s marketing was pretty plain back then. “Hot and fresh.” It was a simpler time, when you had to use a corded phone to place your order, and the Hawaiian pizza was probably the most exotic thing on either of their menus.

Now you can order your pizza online, customizing it yourself and not having to tell another human being, “I want everything on my pizza. No, I mean literally everything. And make that with triple cheese.” Technology has come so far in allowing us to hide our shame.

But enough about me. The point here is that, as they’ve grown up, Domino’s and Pizza Hut have gone very different ways. Domino’s launched their “our pizza sucked, but now it’s better!” campaign, which has worked out very well for them.

Pizza Hut has gone in a very different direction – instead of focusing on quality, they’ve decided to focus on gimmicks and hype.

Hype is smart. The Internet loves gimmicks, and Pizza Hut has given it a lot to buzz about. P’Zolos. Overstuffed. Sliders. And these are just pedestrian gimmicks from the United States. Pizza Hut has gone batshit loco internationally. I was lucky enough to have a friend in the UK review one of these offerings, but you can see even more craziness here.

To round out the admittedly loose sibling analogy, Domino’s found success by admitting its past mistakes, straightening up and flying right, while Pizza Hut found success in stuffing cheese and whatever else it found on the floor into their pizzas. It’s like Domino’s went to med school while Pizza Hut started selling weed. Both are making good money, but how.

This analogy sucks. Let’s get to the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza, shall we!

First off, I’d like to give you a choice nugget from Pizza Hut’s press release: “Pizza Hut, the world’s largest pizza company, announced today the debut of one of its most-heralded and highly-anticipated new products of all time – Crazy Cheesy Crust.”

“Most-heralded and highly-anticipated new products of all time.”My, aren’t we full of ourselves! As my grandma would say, don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back, Pizza Hut.

Pizza Hut describes Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza as “16 dough pockets as its outer edge…each pocket is filled with a blend of five Italian cheeses.” Those cheese specifically are provolone, asiago, mozzarella, fontina, and mild white cheddar. I don’t know if “mild white cheddar” is Italian, but hey.

As you can see above, the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza looks like a beautiful, greasy flower.

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza Slice

And the slices look like greasy hearts! I love it! I also think Pizza Hut was remiss not to launch this around Valentine’s Day. Nothing says “I love you” like clogged arteries.

I went for pepperoni on my Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza because that’s the topping that was shown on Pizza Hut’s website. I am a mindless follower.

As expected, there’s not much to say about the pizza itself. It is a Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza. We’re really here for the crust.

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza Cheese Pocket

I wasn’t really sure what Crazy Cheesy Crust etiquette was. Was I supposed to rip them off right off the bat? Turn the slice around and eat the crust first, then the pizza?

In the end, I just ate it like a regular slice of pizza. Once I got to the cheese pockets, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they tasted very different than the rest of the pizza.

I am not a pizza crust person. If I were not so strongly against wasting food, I’d toss the crust of pretty much every slice of pizza I’ve ever eaten in the trash. Instead, I “tolerate” the crust, and by that I mean, I drown it in ranch dressing mixed with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Don’t judge it ’til you’ve tried it, folks.

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza Cheese Pockets

Given my distrust of crust, I was dubious about just how Crazy this Cheesy Crust would be. Consider me plum surprised. The cheese-to-crust ratio was just right, making it seem like I wasn’t eating crust at all. It was more like eating a little cheesy-laden thin breadstick. The cheese was plentiful and gooey, and you could actually taste the different cheeses. Well, I’m no affineur, so I couldn’t identify all the cheeses, but I definitely detected the asiago and mozzarella, so I can say with confidence that Pizza Hut wasn’t completely trying to shine me on.

After tasting the cheese pockets in their natural habitat for the sake of objectivity, I could have dipped. But you know what? I didn’t. I truly felt it did not need to be dipped. And that’s big, coming from me. The cheeses were tasty enough to stand on their own.

It turns out that Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza isn’t that crazy, after all. Sure, it looks a little odd. Cute, but odd. But when it comes down to what’s important, which is taste, it actually delivers. The cheese in the pockets are plentiful and delicious, although they are admittedly greasy as hell. But for someone like me who considers pizza crust nothing more than a necessary evil, I was truly impressed.

The biggest problem with Pizza Hut’s Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza is that it’s attached to a Pizza Hut pizza. Seriously, why can’t they give the whole pizza the Crazy Cheesy treatment? It would make their pizza 100% tastier.

So, while Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza temporarily cured me of my dislike of pizza crust, it could not cure me of my dislike of Pizza Hut pizza. It’s back to dipping the crust of better pizzas for me.

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza

  • Score: 3 out of 5 pools of grease
  • Price: $12.99
  • Size: 1 large 1-topping pizza
  • Purchased at: Pizza Hut #026692
  • Nutritional Quirks: In a surprising twist, one slice of pepperoni Crazy Cheesy Crust has only (well, “only”) 390 calories. I was expecting a much higher caloric disaster.

Other kuh-raaaaazy Cheesy Crust reviews: The Impulsive Buy, GrubGrade, and Brand Eating

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.

Jack in the Box Hot Mess Burger and Hot Mess Wedges

Jack in the Box Hot Mess BurgerOut of all the fast food marketing currently out there, I’ve always enjoyed Jack in the Box’s the most. I feel like Jack, the walking, talking antenna ball head, should be creepy, but unlike the King, he’s not. He’s personable! And he even makes some commercials that are actually funny. That’s no small feat.

When I saw the commercial for Jack’s new Hot Mess Burger, which aired during the Super Bowl, I instantly liked it. Jack in a hair band named “Meat Riot”? Sounds like something I would make up. Naming your burger after your fake one-hit wonder “Hot Mess”? Giving your burger a derogatory name shows that you can laugh at yourself, and I appreciate that.

After showing the lovingly mocking 1989 music video, the commercial cuts to Jack and his son watching the video. Jack says to Jack Jr., “And that’s how I met your mother.” Imagining Jack and his giant ball head bangin’ some Meat Riot groupie on the tour bus is an image I’m working really hard to keep out of my mind, but it is the perfect ending to the commercial.

What really makes me love the Hot Mess marketing campaign, however, is its website. Seriously. Just click it, even though I’m going to describe it in detail anyways.

It’s cute that you can download the song, and the lyrics, etc., but my very favoritest part is the “Legendary Moves” section. There are four animated .gifs to click on, but what I care about are the names of the moves: “Sourdough Slap”, “Jalapeño Hammer”, “Onion Slicer”, and the one I fell in love with and actually laughed out loud at, “Spicy Spasm”.

I swear to god, this is all stuff my friends and I would come up with whilst sitting around shooting the shit. And I don’t even smoke weed.

It’s hard to make fun of something that’s already making fun of itself, but I will go for the low-hanging fruit and quip that “Spicy Spasm” sounds like something that happens to your colon after eating a Hot Mess Burger. Alternatively, I think I did the Spicy Spasm once when I accidentally inhaled some Tapatio sauce. Don’t ask.

The “Meat Riot Memories” gallery section also has some gems, my instant favorite being Jack rocking out on top of a volcano while lightning shoots from the sky and a dragon and a gargoyle do a little animated .gif dance. There’s a sick part of me that wants to tattoo this upon my person. Thank god I really don’t smoke weed. My decision-making skills are obviously poor enough as it is.

The last little funny part of this promo site is a section entitled “It Still Exists: MYSPACE”, with a button that will, indeed, take you to Meat Riot’s myspace page.

It’s all brilliant.

But what about the burger, you say? Fuck you, forget the burger. 5 out of 5 on the Hot Mess marketing campaign. End of review.

…Okay, fine. I’ll tell you about the damn burger.

Hot Mess Burger

Jack in the Box Hot Mess Burger

The promo picture for the Hot Mess Burger deserves a two-page spread in Food Porn Magazine, but we all know promo pics are a far cry from the real thing. I still found mine enticing, though.

Jack describes the Hot Mess as “Beef patty seasoned with salt and pepper topped with mayo-onion sauce, melted white cheddar and pepper jack cheese, fried onion rings and sliced jalapenos on sourdough bread.”

I love Jack in the Box’s sourdough buns. They always look toasted, but are usually just greasy and buttery. Some might consider this a minus, but I love them. The bun on my Hot Mess burger did not fail to live up to these rather low expectations.

Jack in the Box Hot Mess Burger Inside

If I was meant to take the words “Hot” and “Mess” literally, I would definitely credit Jack in the Box for getting the second word right. The sauce complimented the melted cheeses nicely, and boy was there a lot of melted cheese. It seems almost impossibly melted, like some cheese slice/sauce hybrid. It will get on your hands. It will possibly get on your shirt. And it was the shining star of the Hot Mess Burger. There’s not much heat from the pepper jack, but it was still a gooey delight.

Jack in the Box Hot Mess Burger Inside Close-Up

As you can see, the onion rings and jalapeño slices were present, as promised. They positioned the rings well, since I got a piece in almost every bite. Unfortunately, the crunchiness that should be present in a fried onion ring didn’t stand a chance against the sauce and melted cheese, so while it did add a nice fried flavor, the texture wasn’t really there.

The onion string inside also added some nice flavor, although I had some problems preventing the entire string from sliding out upon my first bite, which is a component of onion rings I’ve always found annoying.

The “Hot” part is mainly supposed to come from the jalapeños. When I got one in a bite, it did add some pleasant heat and even a little crunch. The key problem here is the word “when”. As you can see, my burger had four jalapeño slices. This is most definitely not enough.

I really liked the Hot Mess Burger – enough to order it again, even. There were some flaws – mainly the sogginess of the onion rings and the lack of jalapeño slice coverage – but the messy, gooey cheese and the sourdough bun worked so well with the burger itself that even the bites that weren’t spicy were still satisfying. I’m glad that I enjoyed this burger so much, because making a “hot mess” joke about the Hot Mess Burger would be a horrible thing to have to do.

Hot Mess Wedges

Jack in the Box Hot Mess Wedges

Reviewing Hot Mess Wedges is kind of an afterthought; I ordered them because I’ve always liked Jack’s Cheddar Bacon Potato Wedges, so I figured, why not?

Jack describes them as “Potato wedges topped with a melted white cheddar and pepperjack cheese sauce and sliced jalapeños.”

Notably, they use the phrase “cheese sauce” here. Since the cheese on my wedges was pretty identical to the cheese on my burger, I’m now wondering if my mouth (and my napkins) were right – is it a cheese sauce, or melted cheese? It is a delicious, gooey mystery.

Jack in the Box Hot Mess Wedges Close-Up

Hot Mess Wedges suffer some of the same faults as the burger, and a problem all too common with Jack’s Wedges – three or four of the wedges are absolutely coated in cheese, and the rest remain sadly dry, although still crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. There were also exactly three jalapeños to cover at least a dozen wedges, which just doesn’t cut it.

Instead of spreading the sauce love thin, I’ve come to enjoy Jack’s saturated wedges on their own and then dipping the dry ones in some ranch dressing or mustard. This is obviously not ideal, since an order of Hot Mess Wedges should be able to hold their own, especially if you’re going to be eating them somewhere where extra condiments aren’t an option.

The best parts of Hot Mess Wedges are pretty much the best parts of the Hot Mess Burger – gooey sauce and crunchy, hot jalapeño slices. Like the burger, they suffer a severe jalapeño shortage; unlike the burger, however, the Wedges suffer a serious lack of cheese distribution. Maybe if I ordered some Hot Mess Wedges with double the toppings next time, they’d be more worthwhile. But also more expensive.

Despite its flaws, I very much enjoyed the Hot Mess Burger. The combination of buttery sourdough, excessive amounts of melty cheese, onions, and jalapeños all combined to make a tasty, messy burger. I would have liked to have seen more come from the onion rings as well as the jalapeños, but that crazy cheese was what really got me.

As for the Hot Mess Wedges, they suffered from a severe lack of topping distribution, which is not uncommon for Jack in the Box Wedges. The toppings that were there were just as tasty on the wedges as they were on the burger, but I’d probably opt out on them next time around.

The real winner here, however, is the Hot Mess marketing campaign. I’m scoring the food, of course, but the mythos surrounding the burger is a definite 5 out of 5. Jack in the Box’s ability to make fun of itself and create an extensive and well-crafted marketing campaign is a skill that I wish other fast food corporations would pick up. I’d like to give them all a Sourdough Slap.

Jack in the Box Hot Mess Burger

  • Score: 4 out of 5 …What else? SPICY SPASMS
  • Price: $4.29
  • Size: 1 burger
  • Purchased at: Jack in the Box #1165
  • Nutritional Quirks: Get your daily recommended intake of saturated fat all in one burger!

Jack in the Box Hot Mess Wedges

  • Score: 3 out of 5 Sadly absent Jalapeño Hammers
  • Price: $2.69
  • Size: 1 box
  • Purchased at: Jack in the Box #1165
  • Nutritional Quirks: 44 delicious grams of fat from one innocent box of potato wedges.

Man Reviews Food and The Impulsive Buy also got messy with the Hot Mess Burger.

Limited Edition Doritos Jumpin’ Jack Tortilla Chips

Limited Edition Doritos Jumpin' Jack Tortilla Chips BagComing up with new flavors is haaaard. Just ask Doritos. Over the years, they’ve introduced us to such gems as BBQ pork rib-flavored chips, cheeseburger-flavored chips, and even jalapeño popper-flavored chips.

It may sound like I’m being disparaging, but it’s really quite the contrary. Those popper chips were part of the inspiration for Junk Food Betty, and I always get snaxcited (registered trademark on that word forthcoming) when the people at Doritos snort some flavor powder and come out with a wacky new flavor.

A few years ago, however, someone got back on their medication and came up with the grand idea to introduce a long-retired flavor: Taco Flavor Doritos. They even gave it the retro packaging treatment.

The response was immediate and controversial. That iconic bag! That flavor you remember as a child!

…Or not, on that last one. My Taco Doritos review got more comments than any other review I’ve done. It was a war between the “tastes just like I remember”s and the “tastes nothing like the original”s. It was the Hatfield and McCoy of tortilla chips.

Originally intended as a limited edition flavor, the outcry over Taco Doritos was so deafening that they almost immediately announced that it would be staying on store shelves, and to this very day you can pick up a bag (retro or current design!) and decide for yourself if you want to be nostalgic or outraged.

Realizing they were onto something, Doritos decided to reintroduce two more flavors: Sour Cream & Onion and Salsa Rio. Don’t read the first part of that post; I just realized everything I wrote above about Taco Doritos I also said in that review. I’m a one taco-trick pony.

Like their taco-flavored brother, these flavors also came out in their original retro packaging. Unlike Señor Taco, however, they truly were limited editions. They came, they went, you cried, you complained, or, if you’re me, you were generally indifferent.

If you’ve spent the last year throwing pennies into fountains wishing you had more Sour Cream & Onion Doritos, save that change and use it to buy a bag, because they’re back! Sorry, Salsa Rio fans; Doritos doesn’t think you’re good enough. Commence with the angry letter-writing.

Actually, your angry letters might be worth something, because according to Snack Chat, Frito-Lay’s blatant-marketing-disguised-as-a-blog, it’s you who brought back Sour Cream & Onion, as well as another limited edition flavor that I’ve spent the last 400 words not talking about: Jumpin’ Jack!

“WOOHOO!” I can hear some of you shouting through the Internet. “There was a flavor of Doritos called Jumpin’ Jack?” I can hear others wondering. I fall in with the latter group.

Apparently this flavor was introduced in 1990 and discontinued shortly thereafter. While I was old enough to have tried these back then, I was not quite old enough to know or care that they existed, so I once again invite you to leave a comment letting me know:

a.) how much these remind you of munching on the original chips while wearing a slap bracelet and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or

b.) how you remember eating the original while organizing your pog collection and watching Saved by the Bell, and these throwbacks taste nothing like them.

Both are welcome and appreciated.

According to the totally gnarly bag, these aren’t just Jumpin’ Jack, which is not an actual flavor, but they are pepper jack flavor, which is a whole different ball game. When I think Jack-flavored snack, I think generic cheese blandsville. But when I think pepper jack-flavored, my expectations rise. Now you’ve gotta bring the cheese and the spice, and not just in the generic way that Doritos is so very fond of. I want a sliced cheese tortilla chip party in my mouth, and if Doritos doesn’t deliver it, I’m bouncing them right the fuck out and keeping the bottle of rum they brought. BYOB ends at the front door, mofos. No refunds.

As a side note, I think we can all agree that the “Jumpin’ Jack” font is radical. Do The Bartman.

Limited Edition Doritos Jumpin' Jack Tortilla Chips

I gotta say, the flavor of these chips was not exactly jumpin’. They weren’t at all bad, or shall I say, grody, they were just sort of…generically Dorito-flavored. There was a distinct cheese taste, but I wouldn’t immediately say, “Oh, yeah, they nailed Monterey Jack!” It was milder than, say, Nacho Cheese Doritos, but it was just kind of…”well, yeah, that’s cheese dust”.

Limited Edition Doritos Jumpin' Jack Tortilla Chips Close-Up

Since these are supposed to be pepper jack-flavored, the chips were smattered with little red and black flecks. Saving this from being yet another “cheese and spice” chip, the pepper flavor was very mild.

I actually appreciated this, because it made Jumpin’ Jack Doritos closer to pepper jack cheese, which is only mildly spicy and not snot-inducingly spicy. Heat lovers may object, but I really liked that the heat was mild. It complemented the cheese well.

As I mentioned earlier, I never had the opportunity to try these chips when they first came out, so I have no idea if this throwback is loyal to the original. However, I liked Limited Edition Jumpin’ Jack Doritos. I didn’t love them, but I certainly didn’t hate them. They’re a solid cheesy Dorito offering with a nice, mild heat level. If they do go away, I won’t cry like Jessie Spano on caffeine pills, but if Doritos decides to keep them on store shelves, I may pick up a bag to munch on while I watch my VHS copy of Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

Limited Edition Doritos Jumpin’ Jack Tortilla Chips

  • Score: 3 out of 5 Bell Biv Devoe cassette tapes
  • Price: $1.49
  • Size: 3 3/8 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Circle K #2821
  • Nutritional Quirks: Monterey Jack cheese is listed as an ingredient, but it’s pretty far down the list. In fact, sour cream places higher than the cheese itself.

Food Junk and The Impulsive Buy also did some Jumpin’ Jacks.

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?