Tag Archives: shake

Jack in the Box Bacon Shake

I’m sure we can all agree that this bacon thing has gotten out of control. Bacon has become an Internet meme, putting it right up there with cat breading. Don’t know what cat breading is? Look it up. You won’t thank me.

What does this have to do with absolutely goddamn anything? Jack in the Box has a new BLT Cheeseburger. That’s fucking boring. You know what other companies call that? A bacon cheeseburger with toppings. However, there’s more to this story. So much more.

Jack in the Box has made a special website encouraging you to marry bacon. I know some gay couples who might believe Jack has his priorities a little out of order, but we’ll leave that hot button topic alone.

Political portion of this post now over, let’s take a look at this website. First off, there’s a video of a man marrying a BLT Cheeseburger, ending with the line, “You may now eat the bride.” There are jokes here ranging from generically unsettling to just plain crass, so I’ll let you choose which way you want to go on that one.

There’s also a section of bacon-related .gifs called “Wedding Gifts” with the “t” crossed out (get it? GET IT?!) and a Tumblr site, both containing items either boring or disturbing, the latter being a .gif of a woman eating a piece of bacon and then presumably devouring the face of the man next to her like a praying mantis that has just copulated.

Impossibly, things get even more disturbing with the “Make a Bacon Baby!” feature. You get a pretty clear idea of what this entails with the picture on the website, which looks like a female version of the Elephant Man’s face if she’d also been in a terrible fire and then had her head stuck on the body of a baby.

As if this weren’t horrible enough, Jack gives you the opportunity to make your own Bacon Baby. I’ve written seven paragraphs without mentioning what I’m actually reviewing, but since the title of the post is a jerk and always gives it away, you already know that all of this is really about Jack in the Box’s Bacon Shake.

I’ve had a previous experience with a bacon-flavored beverage, namely Jones Bacon Soda. To this day, it ranks #1 on the list of most horrible things I’ve ingested for Junk Food Betty, and quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever tasted in my life. And I have made some serious mistakes with expiration dates.

I knew right away who would be my Bacon Baby: Jones Bacon Soda Creepy Pig-Nose Girl.

Appropriately terrifying.

The Bacon Shake itself looked surprisingly innocent, a light pink color with whipped cream and a cherry on top. One could walk around with it and no one would know you’re holding a complete abomination. Not even any bacon sprinkles on top. Although now that I think about it, it does mimic the skin tone of a pig pretty accurately. Ugh.

It actually took a little sucking up to, well, suck it up. I stood in my kitchen, taking deep breaths, while flashbacks of the Jones Bacon Soda experience ran through my head like I was a Vietnam vet on the 4th of July. It occurred to me that I have food PTSD. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of.

I finally got up the nerve and took the plunge. The first few sips through my straw were not unpleasant; the shake was thick and creamy, a little bit less sweet than your usual shake. As I got further in, however, the porcine flavor started to come through. It was like tasting a pork belly that had been smoked to preserve it on a olde tyme boat making a venture to the New World, but made more subtle, and then mixed with vanilla ice cream. A little smoky, a little bacon-y, but not overwhelming and not very salty.

I didn’t throw up, so that’s always a plus.

Honestly, the Bacon Shake was not the horrorshow I thought it would be. The smoky bacon flavor is subdued enough that it almost works with the vanilla flavor of the shake. Almost. The shake isn’t made with actual pig; Jack in the Box uses Torani Bacon Syrup to flavor it, which is scary in and of itself, because Torani syrups are the flavors you’ll often see behind the counter at your local coffee shop, which means…well, we can all see the terrible possibilities there.

The worst part of the Bacon Shake was that it had a lingering ham flavor that stuck in my mouth long after I’d finished dumping most of it down the drain. A lingering ham mixed with ice cream flavor. I did not appreciate it.

Jack in the Box’s Bacon Shake didn’t give me PTSD, but it did make me rinse my mouth out afterwards, and I can think of about 700 other flavors I’d like in a shake besides bacon. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, bacon does not belong in everything, and I can now put milkshakes in that category. At the very least, I can say that the smoky flavor was subtle enough that it wasn’t completely discordant with the ice cream. Hell, if you like the combination of smoky, sweet and hammy, you may even enjoy the Bacon Shake. You may also have a bad palate.

Jack in the Box Bacon Shake

  • Score: 1.5 out of 5 Creepy Pig-Nose Girl Bacon Babies
  • Price: $2.79
  • Size: Regular (16 oz.) cup
  • Purchased at: Jack in the Box #161
  • Nutritional Quirks: Bacon syrup. It exists. Enough said.

The Impulsive Buy also reviewed the Bacon Shake, unfortunately for them.

Del Taco Mac ‘n Cheese Crunch Bites and Root Beer Float Shake

Mac ‘n Cheese Crunch Bites

Macaroni and cheese is generally considered a kids’ food. I suppose we have Kraft to thank for that; the current commercials I’ve seen for their iconic blue-box pasta consist of children splashing around in puddles of cheese sauce, irritating me with their gap-toothed grins and overenthusiastic energy. The macaroni even comes in shapes like Scooby-Doo and Spongebob Squarepants. If you’re an adult eating pasta shaped like the Mystery Machine, you’re either finishing your kid’s leftovers or you’ve made some seriously poor life decisions.

As a side note, I’m now irritated at Kraft and Canada. Kraft for making me visit their Wikipedia page in an attempt to identify current pop-culture pasta shapes, and Canada for making me wonder why the fuck the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Wikipedia entry was titled “Kraft Dinner”, which made me read the discussion page, and any time I read a discussion page on Wikipedia I’m guaranteed to lose my mind. Also, a whole section on Kraft “Dinner” and Canadian culture? This Wikipedia entry is obviously Canuck-skewed. I cannot condone that.

Now that I’ve gotten out my inappropriate level of irritation at Kraft and Canada, let’s get down to brass tacks. Americans love deep-frying things. Oreos, candy bars, beer, bacon (of course), even butter. Yes, deep-fried butter. You can thank Paula Deen for my knowledge of that phenomenon, even though she wasn’t the first to pioneer such a revolutionary concept.

I also have Paula Deen to thank for my knowledge of deep-fried macaroni and cheese. During a brief period of insanity in my life, I actually watched shows besides Good Eats on the Food Network, and thus witnessed ham-to-the-face Paula make these bite-sized heart attacks. I was intrigued, but not enough to actually make them myself, so I figured I’d never see fried mac and cheese again, unless someone held a gun to my head and forced me to go to the state fair.

So you can imagine my surprise when Del Taco announced that they had a new product called Mac ‘n Cheese Crunch Bites. Grammar nazi rage over the omission of a second apostrophe after the “n” aside, I was immediately interested. Yeah, I still eat macaroni and cheese. At least I avoid those that are shaped like someone who lives in a pineapple under the sea. Give me some credit for that. I mainly use it as a vessel to deliver massive amounts of Cajun seasoning and hot sauce into my body when I have a salt craving and desire something a little more tangible than ramen. Since I’ve already admitted I’m an adult who enjoys mac ‘n’ cheese, might as well try fried mac ‘n’ cheese. From a fast food quasi-Mexican joint. Odd choice for Del Taco, but I’m not complaining.



As you can see, these Crunch Bites come in a triangular shape; size-wise, they’d fit nicely into the circular stain on your coffee table that your friend left after he passed out with a full glass of gin and tonic in front of him. The coaster was five inches away; would it have been so hard to use it?

They were, of course, appropriately greasy, what with being fried and all. The batter had a nice crunch and was lighter than I thought it would be. The texture and flavor were reminiscent of the beer batter you’d find on a nice piece of fish you’d order with chips.

Unfortunately, the inside didn’t do justice to the outside. You can see the little bifurcated macaronis covered in unnaturally orange cheese…substance. The pasta has an okay texture; it didn’t taste mushy or undercooked, but it was largely unremarkable. The cheese tasted markedly artificial, but that’s to be expected. When I’m buying Mac ‘n Cheese Crunch Bites from Del Taco, I’m not expecting to find gourmet flavors inside a fried batter shell. What’s interesting is that the cheese also managed to be rather bland.

If the macaroni and cheese had been served in a bowl instead of a fried triangle, it would have been usalvageable. The pasta and cheese have the batter to thank for it being mildly edible. I also found that, like with Kraft macaroni and cheese, it becomes much more palatable when used as a vehicle for hot sauce. Slathered in Del Inferno, the Crunch Bites rise to the status of “acceptable snack if you’re really stoned”. Which is still not the highest of praises. In the end, I have to judge Mac ‘n Cheese Crunch Bites on their own, and the verdict is not good. The batter can’t save the bland, artificial-tasting cheese and the forgettable macaroni pasta.

Root Beer Float Shake

I bought the Root Beer Float Shake almost as an afterthought. My main motivation, beyond already enjoying the occasional root beer float, was the name. Root Beer Float…Shake? What? It just seemed like an odd name and concept. Can’t you make a root beer float shake just by mixing the ice cream and soda in a float together?

The answer is yes, and that’s exactly what this shake tasted like. Del Taco offers Barq’s as their root beer of choice, and I assume they just blended that with some vanilla ice cream and boom! Root Beer Float Shake.

It’s not exactly an innovative concept, and yet, I really enjoyed my Root Beer Float Shake. The root beer flavor was a little muted and I detected little carbonation, but that’s the magic that happens when you mix up a float. The consistency was perfect – creamy, smooth, and just the right amount of thickness. It was also sweet, but not cloyingly so. I sucked down the entire shake without feeling sugar-sick afterwards.

I figured, much like with many of the foods I review, I’d finish the Root Beer Float Shake, write about it, and forget it forever. Not so! As I was cropping the picture, I suddenly thought, “Damn, I could totally go for a Root Beer Float Shake right now.” Hell, I had the same thought writing this brief review. I guess it’s a good thing my nearest Del Taco closed and I now have to go out of my way to go there; I may have developed a serious Root Beer Float Shake addiction.

The Root Beer Float Shake is a simple concept, but a successful one. Sure, anybody can mix root beer and vanilla ice cream together. But Del Taco had just the right ratio of soda to ice cream, and the consistency was perfect. Sometimes a new menu item concept doesn’t have to be groundbreaking; it just has to be done well. Root Beer Float Shake rules; Mac ‘n Cheese Crunch Bites suck. Del Taco should have taken a lesson from themselves.

Mac ‘n Cheese Crunch Bites

  • Score: 2 out of 5 Del Inferno sauce packets
  • Price: $1.99
  • Size: 6 Crunch Bites
  • Purchased at: Del Taco #806
  • Nutritional Quirks: No nutritional information available on Del Taco’s website, so I’ll just say, batter so right, mac ‘n cheese so wrong.

Root Beer Float Shake

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 immersion blenders making magic happen
  • Price: $2.89
  • Size: 16 oz. cup, I’m guessing?
  • Purchased at: Del Taco #806
  • Nutritional Quirks: Again, no nutritional info. Egg on my face if it turns out they didn’t just mix Barq’s with vanilla ice cream and instead used some sort of root beer extract or something.