Tag Archives: 4.5 burgers

Ring Pop Halloween Screaming Berry Pop

I haven’t had a Ring Pop in forever, so when I found these Halloween Screaming Berry pops, I thought they looked appropriately festive and picked them up. Nice font use on the package, cute little bat thrown in there. And the Ring Pops themselves, if advertised correctly, are black and orange! I have no idea what berry flavoring has to do with anything, but at least they made the berries scream while they were being transformed into Ring Pops. That’s pretty hardcore Halloween.

The pops themselves totally deliver on the Halloweenosity, alternating between jet black and spooooooky orange. I thought they seemed smaller than the last Ring Pop I’d been in a room with, but my husband explained to me that no, I had just grown bigger. Fortunately, my fingers are dainty, so I was still able to wear the Ring Pop as it was properly intended.

Even though berry isn’t the scariest flavor in the world, it is one of my favorites. Although wearing a black and orange costume, I know it’s blue raspberry underneath, and blue raspberry rocks. The only thing better than sucking on a blue ring is sucking on a black-and-orange ring that tastes blue. My Screaming Berry Ring Pop lasted a satisfyingly long time, too.

I know this is a short review, but really, there’s not a whole lot to say. It’s a Halloween Ring Pop. It’s awesome! And it comes in packs of two, so after my lips un-shrivel from the sourness of the blue raspberry, I can have another one! Halloween is awesome because I can wear candy rings and get away with it.

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 berries screaming in terror
  • Price: $0.99
  • Size: 2 0.5 oz. pops
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: No real quirks, but I like the idea of Blue Raspberry wearing a costume. Trick or treat!

Box of Boogers

First Halloween review of the month! Hooray!

Box of Boogers almost didn’t make it to Junk Food Betty. I passed it up as “eh, just another novelty candy”, but then I saw “Ssssnot Your Regular Candy!” and I realized I’d be insane not to buy these. I mean, c’mon, look at this box:

Awesome, right? Look at that insane guy! And they actually use the term “boogies”! I didn’t even notice how much more awesome it got until I got home:

OH MY GOD THEY WERE PICKED OUT ESPECIALLY FOR ME. And check out those flavors! Snottermelon! Sour Green Boogy! Lemon Loogy! Okay, Sour Green Boogy is pretty weak, but I pronounce Snottermelon and Lemon Loogy to be solid. I haven’t seen this many puns about nose mucus since Jimmy Bermond performed his stand-up comedy routine at our fourth grade talent show.

The full-length view of Crazy Monster Chef is much more satisfying than the headshot on the front of the box. I count four different colors of stains on his clothes and spatula, and there’s a big ol’ spider hanging out on his hump. He appears to be cooking up a delicious stew of infant skull, bone of questionable origin, eyeball and earthworm, all in a delicious green sauce. Listen, I’m not super picky about the cleanliness of restaurants I frequent, but somebody should really call the Health Department on Crazy Monster Chef. If his appearance is any indication, I’m betting his kitchen has a number of violations.

Speaking of Crazy Monster Chef, I almost missed this little piece of joy on the side of the box:

He’s not generic Crazy Monster Chef, he’s CHEF GHOULICIOUS! And he has a whole pantry of candy! Chef Ghoulicious, you are the best! I promise not to call the Health Department on you.

The box alone would have been well worth the price, but it turns out there’s actually candy inside!

Expect to see this cocktail napkin again.

Snottermelon and Sour Green Boogy are hard to tell apart at first glance, until you realize the back of the box has a helpful color guide and each of the three flavors has their own unique but uniform shape.

Let’s just get the elephant in the room out in the open now: Sour Green Boogy looks sort of like cock-and-balls. There, I said it. Other than that, the boogers are basically lumpy, shapeless forms with flat bottoms. Still talking about the candy, folks. I’m not sure why the bottoms are flat, but it did make photographing them a bit easier. Chef Ghoulicious thinks of everything.

I like that Chef Ghoulicious kept true to booger colors. The shapes and sizes don’t exactly reflect any mocos I’ve ever mined out of my nasal caverns, but I love the colors. Clear snot is boring, but when you reach Lemon Loogy color, you know something is wrong. Probably coming down with a cold. Sour Green Boogy, you should probably see a doctor about that sinus infection. Snottermelon? I’m assuming that’s the color of mucus that Spiderman spews out whenever he sneezes. Box of Boogers teaches kids about early illness detection.

I forgot that I don’t like gummy candy until I bit into my first Booger. I’ve never eaten my own (or anyone else’s) boogers; or, at the very least, my mom scolded me enough when I was little so that I didn’t become that one kid everyone else made fun of in elementary school who ate her boogers in plain view of everyone. That kid was probably scarred for life, but she made great material for Jimmy Bermond.

Real booger consistency aside, Box of Boogers gummy candy are the kind of gummies that challenge your teeth to bite them in half on the first gnash. They manage to be springy, yet firm. I’m sure there are people out there who like this kind of texture, so I’m trying to remain objective and not give my personal opinion, which boils down to “this feels gross”. Then again, we are talking about a box of boogers, so maybe that’s actually an endorsement.

I pushed my distaste for the texture aside and decided to focus on the flavors, which were surprisingly well-developed for a throwaway gag candy. Snottermelon delivered a strong hit of watermelon candy flavoring, which of course tastes nothing like actual watermelon. I immediately thought of a watermelon Jolly Rancher, which is not a bad thing in my book. Sour Green Boogy tasted just like any other green apple candy I’ve ever tasted. It was more muted than the watermelon, and I think the addition of “sour” was extraneous, since all three flavors had that citrusy sour bite to them. I guess they tried to make up for Sour Green Boogy’s weak moniker by making it look like – oh right, we’re done talking about that. Lemon Loogy was probably my favorite. As you may have guessed, it tasted like lemon candy! The fine print on the back of the box clears up any confusion about what these flavors are supposed to be and lists Lemon Loogy as “lemon/lime”, but I think it most resembled a gummy incarnation of Lemonheads, which I enjoyed greatly as a child.

All in all, Box of Boogers gets an A+++ from me. I scored a box for just a buck on sale, and if I were a person of moderate means who wanted to be the talk of the town come November 1st, I’d hand these out to kids dressed up in cheap plastic Iron Man costumes in a second. Chef Ghoulicious and his green infant stew sells itself, and the sour gummies are just icing on the ridiculous gross-out cake. While gummy candies aren’t really my thing, Box of Boogers is my new favorite gimmick candy, at least until Box of Armpit Farts comes out.

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 mysterious stains
  • Price: $1.00 (on sale; regular price $1.49)
  • Size: 3.5 oz. box
  • Purchased at: Albertson’s
  • Nutritional Quirks: No actual boogers listed on the ingredients list, but you never know.  YOU NEVER KNOW MUAHAHAHAHAHA

Carl’s Jr. Philly Cheesesteak Burger

I felt pretty guilty entering the driveway to my local Carl’s Jr. (or Carsl’s Jr., as it has affectionately come to be known) because kitty-corner to it, mere hundreds of feet away, sits my favorite mom ‘n’ pop sandwich shop, which serves the best cheesesteaks I’ve ever eaten. Given, I haven’t eaten a lot of cheesesteaks in my day, and I’m sure any Philly native would slap me across the face and start raving about Pat’s or Geno’s and how there certainly isn’t enough abuse from the staff when ordering, but all I know is that their cheesesteaks are delicious.

This is why I felt guilty as I drove past them in order to hit the Carl’s drive-thru to pick up their new Philly Cheesesteak Burger. I was eschewing my favorite, locally-owned sandwich shop in order to pick up some short-lived fast food gimmick. But that is my job, a job I don’t actually get paid for, so it had to be done.

The Philly Cheesesteak Burger is pretty self-explanatory. Carl’s Jr.’s website describes it as “Juicy steak, with sautéed green bell peppers and onions, and melted American and Swiss cheeses, all piled on top of a charbroiled beef patty and served between a seeded bun.” Using beef as a topping for beef, or really, a sandwich as a topping for a burger, should strike me as bizarre. But I’ve seen some things lately that have apparently dulled my sense of the absurd, because the Philly Cheesesteak Burger doesn’t really seem that insane. Probably unsatisfying, but not terrifying. So I wasn’t feeling very trepidatious as I grabbed my sandwichburger without incident, avoiding eye contact with the real cheesesteak place as I drove home.

The Philly Cheesesteak Burger looked pretty innocuous on the outside, and actually smelled rather tasty. I decided to open it up to see what was inside…

Oh, come on, it doesn’t look that bad, right? Let’s take a closer look!

Okay it does look that bad. But I’m no food photographer, and I’ll be honest with you, I love how disgusting those pictures look because the Philly Cheesesteak Burger was actually delicious! I know, I’m as surprised as you are. The steak was actually juicy; it was finely chopped and really tender. The peppers and onions were crunchy, which seems quite a feat to pull off, considering fast food restaurants are seemingly incapable of keeping anything from becoming a soggy mess. While the onions didn’t add much flavor, you can distinctly taste the bell peppers. The cheese is impossibly gooey and creamy.

This all reminds me of the cheesesteaks I get from that place that sits in the same parking lot. There, you can watch them make your sandwich, and it is a thing to behold: the steak, peppers, onions and cheese are all mixed together with a giant metal spatula on top of a sizzling flat griddle. Something about throwing them around and mushing them together on that griddle makes the cheese gooey and distributed throughout the sandwich in a wonderful way, and while I hate to compare them to Carl’s Jr., I think Carl sent out a spy to see how they did it, because the taste and technique are remarkably similar.

Is this how all cheesesteaks are made? Maybe so; once again, I don’t have a whole lot of experience with this type of sandwich. But the cheesesteak on top of my burger was like my mom ‘n’ pop sandwich’s sidekick: less experienced, not as polished, and with about a 30% reduction in quality. It’s not your first choice when you’re being mugged in a dark alley, but it’ll satisfy you in a pinch. And save you from the mugger? I don’t know, this analogy fell apart pretty fast.

Oh yeah, and there’s a burger in there somewhere, too. The cheesesteak kind of overwhelms it, which I am perfectly okay with, but you will taste that Carl’s charbroiled flavor at the very end. Personally, I could have done without the burger altogether, but at least it kept the bun from completely falling apart.

Carl’s Jr.’s Philly Cheesesteak Burger is delicious, which I really wasn’t expecting. Tender meat, crunchy veggies, and melty cheese all tie together in a way I didn’t think would be possible from a fast food restaurant. The burger is almost completely extraneous, but I guess Carl’s felt obligated to throw it in there, perhaps because burgers are kind of what they do, or because they felt a burger with a cheesesteak on top if it would be a proper novelty item in this exciting era of “who can make the strangest food?” Either way, I’m a fan, and I’ll keep ordering them as long as they stay on the menu.

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 sandwiches on top of sandwiches
  • Price: $3.69
  • Size: One burger
  • Purchased at: Carl’s Jr. #828
  • Nutritional Quirks: 1,420 milligrams of sodium, but that’s hardly unusual these days.  Let’s go with vegetables that are actually crunchy, which is definitely a quirk for a fast food restaurant.

Denny’s Fried Cheese Melt

It’s almost getting boring to say things like “fast food restaurants are trying to one-up each other by creating increasingly more ridiculous menu items”. I say “almost” because frankly, I hope they keep it up. This is the stuff I live for. It’s my bread and butter, baby.

So when a friend graciously alerted me to Denny’s new Fried Cheese Melt, I knew I had to have it. Denny’s isn’t the usual type of place I’d go to get a food to review – you mean, there’s a person who shows me where to sit, hands me a physical menu, and checks up on my periodically to ensure I’m having a pleasant dining experience? What foreign land have I happened upon?

But the Fried Cheese Melt was too deliciously silly to resist. It’s part of a revamp of their $2 $4 $6 $8 Value Menu, replacing the Three-cheese melt with soup or garden salad, which falls into the $4 category. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Denny’s describes the Fried Cheese Melt as “made with four fried mozzarella sticks and melted American cheese grilled between two slices of sourdough bread. It is served with French fries and a side of marinara sauce.”

Yes, that is correct. Four fried mozzarella sticks stuffed inside a grilled cheese sandwich. Gawker calls it “culinary terrorism.” I call it AWESOME.

NRN also informed me that the new Value Menu doesn’t launch until August 24. My brain chose to ignore that statement, probably due to over-excitement, possibly because I was already sticking the keys into the ignition of my car. Either way, I found myself in my local Denny’s yesterday, eager to devour this potentially awesome, potentially lethal sandwich. You can imagine my disappointment when I didn’t find the sandwich on the menu. You can imagine my thoughts of suicide when I asked the waitress about it and she told me that it wouldn’t be out until next week.

And thus ends my non-review of the Fried Cheese Melt. Worst. Review. Ever.

But I like telling stories, so let’s just keep going! Who knows what kind of magical things could happen?

Resigned to my fate of not eating a Fried Cheese Melt and also of having to actually put pants on and leave the house again next week, I ordered a Spicy Buffalo Chicken Melt and consoled myself with a giant cup of ranch dressing. The sandwich was quite tasty, and the seasoned fries were really good. I tried to enjoy myself, but across the deserted restaurant they were conducting a training class, run by the female incarnation of R. Lee Ermey, so I could hear every word of what was going on. “The napkin-bundled silverware needs to be on the right of the place mat, not on top of it,” she shouted to a group of probably-terrified trainees. I looked down at my place mat, with its bundle carefully placed directly on top of the place mat on the left-hand side, and smiled a little.

But then they started talking about the new Value Menu items, and it’s like they were intentionally torturing me. A video was presented, where I could hear an overly cheerful gentleman describe in detail the sandwich that was beyond my grasp for another full week. Just as I was about to drown myself in ranch, our waitress magically appeared. Can you guess what she was holding?


“We have a treat for you! As you can tell, we’re doing some training over there,” she told me as she set the plate down on the table. “So, well, you know…” I wasn’t really sure what that last part meant, but I didn’t care. The sandwich was MINE! Tears welled up in my eyes and I thanked her profusely. My heart went from two times too small to just 1.5 times too small. Then I whipped out my extremely large camera and slid it across the table to my dining partner and sometimes-JFB-contributor Bob, because I’m too much of a sissy to take pictures of food outside the comfort of my own home. I didn’t tell Bob at the time, but I was also afraid the Feds would bust in and arrest me for culinary terrorism. I was happy I had the sandwich, but still heartless enough to throw him under the bus.

So, now that we’ve all gone through a classic tale of love lost and found again, how does this sandwich actually taste?


Well, it tastes like four mozzarella sticks inside a grilled cheese sandwich, which is actually pretty fucking delicious. The buttery grilled bread and the cheese surrounding the sticks keeps them firmly in place, which is great, because I hate when you’re eating mozzarella sticks and you take a bite and the whole gooey mess wants to stretch into your mouth and the breading gets all broken up. I also hate when the sticks get cold too fast, and I think the hot cheese helped to insulate them, keeping them warm and gooey but not falling apart. Additionally, the bread sopped up more marinara sauce, increasing surface area and absorbency so that a person who loves lots of dip like me could glob on as much as I wanted without the sauce sliding off. The marinara sauce was delicious, and the cup contained the perfect amount of it.

These are pretty much all of the things that I told the manager when he came over a little while later with our waitress. I knew he was the manager because he was wearing a tie! I felt like a rock star when he asked my opinion of the sandwich. I savored the feeling of power. My words could make or break this sandwich. Never mind the countless focus groups it probably went through before it hit my table; my word was Law. I could crush all the hopes and dreams of Denny’s marketing department with a single sentence.

But, like I said, I didn’t. I gushed and raved about it, and both the manager and waitress seemed very pleased by this. I bet the manager went home that night and told his wife all about how two twenty-something shlubs loved the new Fried Cheese Melt. She pretended to listen but was instead wondering if she remembered to record the new episode of  The Real Housewives of D.C.  It didn’t matter, though, because he was riding on Cloud Nine.

And thus ends my wonderful adventure at Denny’s. Ms. R. Lee Ermey provided great dining entertainment, I got a delicious sandwich that I wasn’t even supposed to have, I made a manager smile, and I got to feel like a rock star. Oh, and did I mention that the waitress didn’t even charge me for the Fried Cheese Melt? I hope I tipped her sufficiently, but really, you can’t put a price on such a lovely and somewhat surreal experience. Nay-sayers be damned; I’m two thumbs up on Denny’s Fried Cheese Melt.

Edit: Remember, the Fried Cheese Melt doesn’t launch until August 24.  I got really lucky, but you might not.

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 hearts grown 0.5 times bigger
  • Price: $0.00; normally $4.00
  • Size: One sandwich with a side of marinara
  • Purchased at: Denny’s #6491
  • Nutritional Quirks: It’s probably chock full of everything bad for you, but who cares?

Doritos 1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree Burn: Blazin’ Jalapeño, Fiery Buffalo and Scorchin’ Habanero Tortilla Chips

I’m inappropriately excited about reviewing these Doritos 1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree chips. You see, I’ve been seeing 1st and 2nd Degree Burns in at least two separate stores. But wherever I looked, I just couldn’t seem to find the 3rd degree. I couldn’t understand – why so elusive? Why would you sell the first two, but not the third? Is it that dangerous? My frustration over my inability to locate the third burn only intensified my curiosity. And I couldn’t just review the first two, that would be…somehow wrong. Incomplete. So I was left to be constantly confronted by two thirds of a trio that I so wanted to take pictures of and write about on the Internet.

But then…then, one fateful Saturday afternoon, I walked into one of the stores that had been taunting me with burns that only required aloe vera and not a trip to the hospital and what did I see…3rd DEGREE BURN, MOTHERFUCKERS! I excitedly grabbed a bag and headed over to where the first two had been taunting me in the store for close to a month now. And yet, they were not there. I traversed the whole store, and couldn’t find them. So…you finally get the third, and then remove the first two? That don’t make no sense.

Luckily, I knew another place that also only carried the first two, so I picked those up and basked in triumph. And thus ends two paragraphs’ worth of a story that is only interesting to me.

Moving on! In case you don’t have a grasp on the simplest of medical concepts, the gimmick here is that there are three different levels of heat. Let’s take them literally, just for fun. The first degree, Blazin’ Jalapeño, will make your tongue mildly uncomfortable. There may also be some swelling. Run some cool water over your tongue for a while and stop being such a pussy.

The second, Fiery Buffalo, will…wait a second. How is buffalo hotter than jalapeño? According to the Scoville scale, jalapeños register in at 2,500 to 8,000 units. “Buffalo” isn’t a pepper, and thus isn’t on the Scoville scale, but I’ve had my fair share of buffalo sauces, and I don’t think any of them were in any way hotter than eating a raw jalapeño. I guess they could have just used a really hot sauce to make them. Well, regardless, after consuming these chips, you will experience severe pain and swelling of the tongue, as well as developing disgusting blisters. Cold water can also help here, but it is advised that you suck on the sap of an aloe vera plant throughout the day. Try not to pop those blisters that are filling up your mouth. That would probably taste pretty gross, and it’s bad for the wound. A sterile gauze bandage may be applied to your mouth to help protect the burn. I guess you should just stuff a bunch of gauze in there and carry around a pen and paper. It would probably hurt too much to talk, anyways.

The third degree, Scorchin’ Habanero, will fuck your shit up. Habanero peppers register on the Scoville scale at 100,000 to 250,000 units. It is advised that you wear protective gloves while handling these chips to prevent skin irritation. After you eat these chips, you should seek immediate medical attention. Do not remove any clothing you may be wearing on your tongue. Elevate the tongue to above the heart le- well I guess that one is taken care of. Call 911 or have someone drive you to the nearest Emergency Room; do not drive yourself, as you may go into shock and cause a car accident, which would only make things worse. Your tongue will require constant medical attention and bandage changes for weeks afterward. A skin graft may be required. They may harvest your new tongue skin from your buttocks.

After hearing all that, you must think I’m a fool for attempting to eat all three burns in one day. Well, maybe I am a fool, but I’m a fool who eats things so that you don’t have to. Some may call me a fool; others, a hero.

1st Degree Burn: Blazin’ Jalapeño


Hm.  These certainly taste familiar.  Where have I experienced this unique taste before?  Oh, I think I remember!  I think they remind me quite strongly of Doritos Late Night Last Call Jalapeno Poppers. Or maybe I’m thinking of Doritos Poppin’ Jalapeño! No, that can’t be it, I didn’t even know that was a flavor of Doritos until about five minutes ago. Well hey, maybe it was Doritos 3Ds Jalapeño & Cheddar, part of a brief and apparently unsuccessful gimmick from the mid-2000s!

What I’m trying to say here, and I think you’ve all pretty much guessed it by now, is that there’s nothing new in Blazin’ Jalapeño. I could go on a giant tirade about Frito-Lay constantly recycles their flavors into new gimmicks, but I don’t even want to get started, because that would then become half the content of this website.  I just need to accept it and move on.

I don’t see that actually happening.

For those of you who haven’t tried any of these other iterations, the flavor is pretty straightforward – spicy heat with an undertone of artificial cheese flavoring. I actually like them quite a bit, and they pack a surprising amount of heat. Jalapeño pepper powder is listed as one of the ingredients, and it’s definitely not shy.  Anyone who is not a big fan of capsaicin definitely would not like these.  They’ve got a good burn, but not so much so that the flavors are overwhelmed.

I don’t really have a lot more to say about 1st Degree Burn Blazin’ Jalapeño, other than that we’re off to a pretty promising start.  If this is 1st degree, I’m eager to see how much my tongue hates me as we move on!

2nd Degree Burn Fiery Buffalo


I wondered briefly why 1st Degree got the Blazin’ moniker and Doritos didn’t take alliterative advantage (heh heh) and call these Blazin’ Buffalo. And then I remembered why.  I swear I’ve had Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch Doritos before, and I don’t recall the buffalo chips being hot at all.  Just sufficiently buffalo-flavored.

Holy crap!  Holy crap these chips are hot!  The first chip delivered a blast that immediately hit my sinuses in a way 1st Degree didn’t.  It was a feeling akin to what happens when you put too much wasabi on a sushi roll.  As I kept eating them, the burn kept building.  I ate about a half dozen of them and my whole mouth was on fire.  My lips were burning, and continued to do so for minutes afterwards.  I actually had to sniffle a few times, as the heat was making my nose run a little.

I have to say, I’m honestly blown away.  These are the hottest chips I’ve ever eaten.  I didn’t know you could actually make tortilla chips this hot.  I’m not getting a lot of buffalo flavor (although the “fiery” part certainly is present), but I could see how these would be really great with a nice, thick ranch dip.  I’m sorry, but throwing some Cool Ranch Doritos into the mix won’t help this time – you’re gonna need a pretty serious dairy product to cut through the heat.

The flavor is really kind of hard to describe…”burny” is all that comes to mind.  But it’s kind of a good burn.  I’ve always poo-pooed those people who like to eat super hot hot sauce.  What’s the point of eating something if all you taste is pain?  And yet, I really liked 2nd Degree Burn.  The little masochist inside of me enjoyed the slow build of torture.  I don’t think I would eat them all the time, but honestly, if I had some good ranch dip around, I could really lay into these guys, watching tv with a box of Kleenex nearby so I could blow my nose as snot runs down my face.

I’m impressed!  And now terrified of 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin’ Habanero.  I’m actually going to have to wait a while before eating them to get some feeling back in my mouth.

3rd Degree Burn Scorchin’ Habanero


Okay so seriously I’m a little scared.  Take a look at what I’m up against:

AHHHHHHHHHHH

When I was taking pictures, before any actual tasting started, I saw these and thought, oh, these are just going to be like Flamin’ Hot Doritos, because of the coloration.  I’ve never had Flamin’ Hot Doritos, but I’ve had the Cheetos, and they are delicious, but not really that hot.  The most threatening thing about them is that the violently brightly colored flavor powder stains your fingers, letting the world know that you have recently indulged in some form of Flamin’ Hot junk food.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Now, I am not so sure.

Well, there’s only one thing to do about it, and that is to eat them.  Let’s get on with it, then!  I feel like I should have some sort of spotter or sitter nearby.  Maybe a LifeAlert necklace.  C. Everett Coop is looking down at me disapprovingly from the afterlife.

Here we go…

SPOILER ALERT: I’m alive!  And I didn’t even have to go to the hospital (yet).  I actually feel like 3rd Degree is about as hot as 2nd Degree.  Of course, 2nd Degree could have turned my tongue into a charred wasteland, rendering me incapable of noticing heat differences.  I got the mouth and lip burn.  Less sinus irritation; only one sniffle came out of it.  But I did get some eye tearing with 3rd Degree, and I definitely feel it more in the throat area.  While I was eating them, I got that choking, burning feeling, like when you accidentally swallow some hot, spicy pho broth the wrong way.  Like I need to cough, or gag. Or make that gross “HUUUKKKGGGHHH” sound uncivilized guys make right before they hock a loogie on the ground.  Even after having not eaten them for a little while, my esophagus feels a tad scorched.  Scorchin’!  Well done, Doritos.

I actually got a little more flavor (other than “ouchy”) out of 3rd Degree than 2nd.  They taste a lot like Spicy Nacho Doritos.  Spicy Nacho Doritos are the wimpy kid in middle school who gets bullied on his way home one day, and the next day his older brother, Scorchin’ Habanero, comes out and absolutely kicks the shit out of those little assholes, sending them running home crying to mama.  Apparently my mouth is the gaggle of bullies, in this scenario.  My mouth is misunderstood; life at home is hard, and…oh, nevermind.  The burning isn’t going away as fast this time and I think it has spread to my brain and I can no longer think straight enough to complete an already poorly constructed analogy.

Doritos 1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree Burns kicked my ass, and I’m happy to say that.  I’m so used to fast food gimmicks claiming to be hotter than Hades winding up being about as spicy as your grandmother’s love life that I severely underestimated Doritos.  Frito-Lay comes out with a new gimmick approximately once a week, and it’s usually the same flavors we’ve seen before with a shiny new bow and a poorly-executed concept.  This time, however, they took a solid concept and really ran with it.  Okay, so 1st Degree Blazin’ Jalaepeño was a total rehash, but it still fit perfectly into the progression of Burns and is still a tasty product, even if this is its fourth iteration.  Heck, even if 2nd and 3rd Degrees are also rehashes and I just don’t know/remember it, the overall theme is solid, fun, and goddamn painful.  Painfully delicious!

Ask me to say that again tomorrow when I’m on the toilet cursing every good thing I ever said in this review while my digestive tract stages a grassroots rebellion against Frito-Lay.

Oh, and as a side note, Doritos Burns has a little cross-promo with Pepsi Max, which claims it will “cure the burn”.  I think they would have been better off striking a deal with Hidden Valley.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my mouth has a date with a wad of gauze.

Doritos 1st Degree Burn Blazin’ Jalapeño Tortilla Chips

  • Score: 3.5 out of 5 failed 3D snacks
  • Price: $0.99
  • Size: 2 1/4 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Circle K #2821
  • Nutritional Quirks: Magically reanimated flavor!  Zombification ingredients not listed.  🙁

Doritos 2nd Degree Burn Fiery Buffalo Tortilla Chips

  • Score: 4 out of 5 surviving taste buds
  • Price: $0.99
  • Size: 2 1/8 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Circle K #2821
  • Nutritional Quirks: Addition of ranch dip will significantly up the grams of fat, but it’s worth it.

Doritos 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin’ Habanero Tortilla Chips

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 charred taste buds
  • Price: $0.99
  • Size: 2 1/8 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Fry’s Foods
  • Nutritional Quirks: FIRE IN MY MOUTH!  HALP!

KFC Double Down Sandwich

KFC Double Down SandwichWell, it’s finally here.  I’ve been waiting for seven months for this day.  HAPPY DOUBLE DOWN DAY, EVERYBODY!

That’s right, the Double Down is finally here.  Ever since it was announced in test markets in August last year, the Internet has been abuzz with anticipation about when those of us not living in Nebraska or Rhode Island would get to taste this wondrous beast.  On April 1st, KFC announced that the Double Down would be released nationwide today.  A clever marketing move, making the media wonder, is this real, or just a cruel April Fool’s joke?

No joke, my friends.  KFC even created a countdown page on its website.  KFC knows what they’re doing.  If you do a Google search for KFC Double Down Sandwich, you’ll find a plethora of news articles – 223 as of about 11am this morning, in fact.  I even saw my local news channel run a story on it, right as I was taking my pictures of the sandwich.

Why so much media coverage?  With the Double Down comes much controversy.  Some decry it, calling it a culinary monstrosity that will instantly clog your arteries and kill you on the spot.  Others revel in its ridiculousness, seeing it as the goofy, gimmicky thing it is.  It’s like the blogosphere has gone to war over this sandwich.  And that just makes me all the more happy.

There’s even one blog reporting that some lady from some committee is “urging the chain not to advertise the Double Down to children”.  If you go to KFC’s Double Down page, you can watch the commercial.  It’s actually rather bland, and not at all directed towards children.  Won’t somebody please think of the children?!  Obviously, this woman is, but KFC doesn’t really give a damn about them either way.  I love reactionaries.

I, obviously, don’t give a fuck how many calories, sodium, cyanide, whatever are in the Double Down.  I love the Double Down.  It’s the very epitome of the reason I started this website, and as long as it doesn’t taste like shit, I’ll defend its honor, even when I start seeing local lawyer commercials saying, “Have you or someone you know been injured or even killed by the Double Down?  If so, please call us.  We can help you get the money you deserve for your pain and suffering.”  Eating a Double Down is like drinking alcohol – oh sure, it will kill you eventually, but until then, you’re having a blast!

So, controversy aside, let’s start the tale of my journey to get the Double Down.  It started at about 9:30am, when I left to drop my husband off at work.  This had all been carefully planned, as there is a KFC right across the street from where he works.  Unfortunately, KFC doesn’t open until 10am.  Instead of pressing my face against the glass door of the KFC until they opened, I chose to loiter around the Fresh and Easy right next door.  I found it rather amusing, since I was hanging out in a grocery store that sells almost exclusively organic and all-natural products, waiting to go buy what may be the most maligned fast food product in history.

After I felt I had wasted enough time looking at tofu and hummus, I wandered over to the KFC.  I decided to actually go into the restaurant instead of hitting the drive-thru, and I’m glad I did.  I was inundated with posters and giant cut-outs of the Double Down.  It only served to heighten my excitement.

There was a dude in front of me in line, and I couldn’t hide a small, probably creepy-looking smile as he ordered a Double Down.  He was a stocky guy in his mid-20s, wearing a polo shirt and sporting a mild neckbeard.  I thought I’d found a soulmate.

After I placed my order, we were both hanging around the drink dispenser, waiting for our orders.  I’m generally a socially shy person who would rather stick my hand in a fryolator than strike up a conversation with a total stranger, but I felt compelled to say something.
“So, you’re here for the Double Down, eh?”  I said, flashing what I hoped was a friendly but conspiratorial smile.
“Yeah,” he replied.
I should have noticed the dead look in his eyes, the half-open mouth, but I was blinded by chicken.  “Were you just sort of lurking around, waiting for them to open so you could get one, like I was?”  I continued, stupidly.
“No.”  There was no change in his facial expression.  I was talking to a wall.  A neckbearded wall.

I stood in red-faced silence until he got his order and beat a hasty retreat out the door.  In order to mitigate my embarrassment, I concentrated all my attention on how the Double Down was being constructed.

KFC describes the Double Down as “two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe® or Grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel’s Sauce.”  You see, there’s two of everything.  Double!  The sandwich’s motto is, “This product is so meaty, there’s no room for a bun!”  I love it.  So brazen.  Just a big “fuck you” to both bread and people who want to live past 30.

KFC Double Down Sandwich Boxed

My sandwich lived up to KFC’s description, at least in construction.  The masterful artist behind the counter, who looked kind of like Edward James Olmos, pulled two chicken filets out of a drawer, set them down on a metal counter, drizzled one with the Colonel’s Sauce, pulled out one of each of the cheese slices from a chill chest, set them both on the sauced filet, took two pieces of bacon on top of the cheese, and slapped the other filet down on top of it all.  I thought there would be a further cooking process, but he just wrapped it right up and stuck it in a chicken sandwich box.  He didn’t even bother trying to close the box all the way, because it was obvious that that wasn’t going to happen.  The Double Down cannot be contained by any ordinary sandwich box.

Perhaps hoping to make me feel better about my earlier awkward conversation, or just being friendly, as Edward James Olmos put my box in a bag he smiled warmly and said to me, “This will really fill you up, mang.”  Or he could have said “ma’am” instead of “mang”, I’m not really sure.  I’m at an age where it really could have gone either way.

I smiled back and said, “I’m sure it will.  I’ve been waiting for this for a while, that’s why I’m here on the day it came out.”
“Actually, it came out yesterday,” he replied.  “We just haven’t had a lot of people come in yet because they haven’t seen the commercial.”
“Oh really?”  I said, surprised, since every website in the world had told me it came out on the 12th.  I wasn’t going to argue with the man who’d just made my Double Down, though, so I just said, “Well, I’ve been waiting since August, anyway.”
“Dang, mang, you known about it before I did!”  He said, chuckling.
“Oh yeah, it’s been all over the Internet,” I replied.  He didn’t seem like the kind of guy who watched for new fast foods on the Internet.  Edward James Olmos was completely oblivious regarding the controversy surrounding the sandwich he had just made for me.  I found it endearing.

We said our pleasantries and I tried not to run out of the KFC to my car, because that would look weird, and I didn’t want to look weird, especially not after buying a giant chicken sandwich at 10:09am.  I impatiently fumed at the entrance to my apartment complex, waiting for an elderly couple to sloooowly make their way across the sidewalk in front of the entrance.  It was like they’d been placed there by the gods of situational comedy.  I considered just running them over, but figured that might put a kink in my day, so I just waited.  In hindsight, I should have just run them over.  The Double Down waits for no man.  Especially not an old one.

But fuck Internet buzz and neckbeards Edward James Olmos, right?  How does it taste?

KFC Double Down Sandwich Naked

DELICIOUS.

My first couple of bites were mostly just chicken, but the chicken was tender and juicy.  I don’t think I’ve ever shoved that much KFC chicken in my mouth at once.  It felt voluptuous, decadent, overindulgent.  I was transformed into a Cyrenaic.  And I loved it.

Then I hit the cheese and the Colonel’s Sauce all at once, and it was madness. The cheese was melty and creamy, which I was concerned about after seeing the process of making the Double Down.  I figured the whole sandwich would need a little more heat, but apparently they keep the chicken screaming hot, because the cheese was perfect and the sandwich was perfectly hot.  The sauce was zippy, tangy.  Combined with the juicy chicken and the Colonel’s 11 secret herbs and spices, it was so wrong, but so very right.  Screw grapes, I want hot scantily clad chicks hand-feeding me Double Downs all day, as I lounge on my gilded bed with shirtless dudes fanning me with palm fronds.

KFC Double Down Sandwich Open

While I’d like to say the Double Down was perfect, I do have a few quibbles about it.  The bacon was largely swallowed up by the massive chicken filets.  It fell victim to the classic fast food problem: limp bacon that lacks flavor and crispness.  I got a little bit of crunch and a little flavor, but, and I hate to even admit this, I actually wished there was more bacon on the sandwich.  More bacon or better bacon, whichever would make the bacon a little more prominent.

I would have liked a little more Colonel’s Sauce on my Double Down, but I do tend to like my burgers and sandwiches sauced up to a point that most people probably wouldn’t enjoy.  Since I’ve already shamed myself pretty thoroughly in this review, I’ll go ahead and admit that at one point I actually opened the sandwich up, like a delicious book, and  licked the sauce right off the chicken, so I could get a purer sense of what it tasted like.  A woman, in her late 20s, not wearing pants, fending off two cats who REALLY wanted to eat my Double Down, licking sauce off the inside of a sandwich that uses chicken filets for buns.  I do this for you, dear readers.

Colonel’s Sauce tastes like a zippy southwestern sauce.  Probably mayonnaise mixed with something mildly spicy.  A light Google search and KFC’s website itself offer no clues, but I’m comfortable with that.  I like a little mystery in my food.  That’s probably not something a person with all their faculties intact would ever say.

I couldn’t finish my entire sandwich.  I am no match for the Double Down.  Edward James Olmos was right; it will, indeed, fill you up.  Mang.  I felt logy afterward; this is a sandwich made to be eaten when you’ve cleared your plans for the rest of the day.  But my excitement to write about my Double Down experience got me through this review.  And I will give the health nut Double-Down naysayers this: damn son, this bitch be salty.  The medium iced tea I got with it was sucked dry, and I still felt like Lot’s wife.  But that’s okay with me.  I used to eat salt straight out of the shaker.  I can handle a little sodium in my sandwich.  And by a little, I mean 1,380 milligrams of it.

Don’t look at me like that.

So, was it all worth it?  The hype, the waiting, the controversy, the awkward conversation, the food coma, the excessively long, boring review?  Absolutely.  I loved it.  It’s like splurging on a really expensive meal at a fancy, overpriced restaurant – you know you’re being naughty, but you sure do enjoy yourself while you’re doing it.  You’re obviously not going to do it every day, but every once in a while, it’s fun to throw responsibility to the wind and just go wild.

Eating a Double Down probably does qualify as throwing responsibility to the wind, but I loved every minute of it.

Oh, and there’s also a grilled version of the Double Down, but I recommend you at least try the original first.  And if you think the grilled version is healthier, consider this – it actually has 500 more milligrams of sodium than the original version.  Ha!

By the way, this is what my napkin looked like at the end of the meal:

KFC Double Down Sandwich Napkin

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 neckbeards
  • Price: $4.99
  • Size: 1 sandwich
  • Purchased at: KFC #Y303048
  • Nutritional Quirks: Where to begin?  You know what, you just figure this one out for yourself.