SPOTTED ON SHELVES – 9/17/2014

Here are some interesting new and limited edition products found on store shelves by us and your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of the products, share your thoughts about them in the comments.

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Blueberry and Dark Chocolate Cranberry

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Cashew and Milk Chocolate Spiced Almond

So the fruits get dark chocolate and the nuts get milk chocolate. That’s easy to remember. I wish spelling Girahdelli…Gearadeli…the name of the company that makes them was also easy to remember. (Spotted by Nick at Target.)

Swiss Miss Indulgent Collection Caramel Delight Cocoa

Indulge with an instant hot cocoa mix combined with tap water. (Spotted by Carla at Walmart.)

Alpine Spiced Cider Pumpkin Instant Drink Mix

“Mmm…I sure could use some pumpkin spiced cider,” said no one that I know of. (Spotted by Carla at Walmart.)

Paqui Limited Edition Hatch Chile Harvest Tortilla Chips

Wait. What? Retired Spanish soccer player, Paqui, has his own line of tortilla chips. Oh wait. Different Paqui. My bad. (Spotted by Lindsay at Kroger.)

Market Pantry Dipped Caramel Apple Chewy Granola Bars

Market Pantry Candy Corn Chewy Granola Bars

“Boo!” is right Market Pantry Candy Corn Chewy Granola Bars box. Candy corn granola bars sound scary. (Spotted by Steve at Target.)

Thank you to all the photo contributors! If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new or limited edition product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo and the hashtag #spotted. If you do so, you might see your picture in our next Spotted on Shelves post.

SPOTTED ON SHELVES: Steak ‘n Shake Microwaveable Steakburgers

Steak 'n Shake Frozen Double 'N Cheese and Bacon 'n Cheese Double Steakburgers

Steak 'n Shake Patty Melts

I hope these frozen Steak ‘n Shake Steakburgers don’t come with frozen lettuce and tomatoes. Wait. I take that back. I hope these frozen Steak ‘n Shake Steakburgers do come with frozen lettuce and tomatoes because I’d love to see that. (Spotted by Kevin at Walmart.)

If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new or limited edition product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo and the hashtag #spotted. If you’ve tried the product, share your thoughts about it in the comments.

SPOTTED ON SHELVES: Hot Pockets Limited Edition Chipotle Beef

Hot Pockets Limited Edition Chipotle Beef

Oooh! Flaky empanada crust! Look at you, Hot Pockets, getting all fancy schmancy! (Spotted by Matt at Walmart.)

If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new or limited edition product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo and the hashtag #spotted. If you’ve tried the product, share your thoughts about it in the comments.

REVIEW: Pizza Hut Bacon Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza

Pizza Hut Bacon Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza

All right, dammit! I admit it, I like Pizza Hut?

As a former Manhattanite who grew up on real pizza, I think my family and friends in the Big Apple just hung their heads collectively in shame and disgust. I would probably garner a better reaction if I yanked my vintage Bugle Boys pants down and angry-sharted on my grandparent’s ugly Thomas Kinkade print (..alas, aren’t they all ugly?).

Since I’m in a mood to confess…I also secretly love dog-shaming pictures. You know the ones where the owners hang a sign around their necks proclaiming they did something bad.

And I not only love Pizza Hut, I also love their stuffed crusts. I see your head shaking, I know. Despite eating at some of the best pizzerias in New York and Chicago, I come to you throwing myself on the sword asking, “What’s so wrong with Pizza Hut’s pizzas?”

Besides, I now live in a major city in Florida where everyone proclaims their pizza is “New York”-style when in actuality, it is about as New York as the set of Jackie Chan’s “Rumble in the Bronx.” How many mountain ranges can you name that’s in the middle of the Bronx?

For pizza chains, in my experience, Pizza Hut is the most consistent overall. The sauce always has a nice subtle earthy and peppery flavor that pairs well with the tangy acidity of the tomato sauce. Furthermore, the pizza satisfies my cravings when the only local pizzeria around also specializes in Mexican food. Those in Ketchikan, Alaska know what I’m talking about.

After diving into several hours of Destiny, what perfect food than pizza can accompany hours of button mashing? I don’t have time to coordinate with a fork when I’m too busy coordinating the controls to grind levels.?
The delivery was quick and upon opening the box, the familiar fresh smell of fourteen delicious inches of hot pizza rose up and jacked my nostrils into heaven.

Pizza Hut Bacon Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza Slice

Noticeably, the pizza looked a little weird because the crust was almost an inch and a half wide, which contained a mixture of melted cheeses and hardwood smoked bacon. The bulging crust begged to be ripped apart so the cheddar, provolone and mozzarella mixture could ooze out. I tore it apart and although there was no oozing, there was a rush of smoky bacon that filled the air around my face.

The crust was buttery with a pleasant chewy texture and the mixed melted cheese imparted a nice creamy taste, like the inside of a crab rangoon without the fake cream cheese flavor. The small bits of bacon cut through the cheese and it was awesome enough for me to eat just the crusts of several slices alone.

Pizza Hut Bacon Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza Innards

Initially, I was not happy with the paltry amount of bacon in the stuffed crust but it turned out it was the right ratio. The cheese mixture really carried the bacon well and amplified that salty and fatty porky taste. There was also a slight onion flavor in the mixture that was well received by my mouth as I continued to hand cannon aliens in the hope of grabbing some elite stuff.

The $11.99 special allowed one topping and I opted for the mushrooms, which was stupid. Pizzeria chain mushrooms are either rubbery or so thin that they are dried up like mummified corpses. I had the latter. The pizza was good but the mushrooms detracted from the pizza and I picked them all off. However, I take the blame and should have ordered onions instead.

The pizza itself sans mushrooms was good as the cheese was perfectly stretchy and the sauce lifted the flavors well. The chewiness of the crust extended to the slice and, as a whole, the pizza satiated my craving. Yet, to be honest, I would be satisfied just eating the crusts and leaving the pizza in the box.

If you’ve eaten the stuffed crust before and didn’t like it, no amount of bacon is going to change your mind. If you were on the fence, bacon does actually make it better. If you liked it, then get ready for Valhalla of epic stuffed crust-pizza proportions. While it’s not as gooey as I hoped, like a fried mozzarella stick, the taste was good enough to overlook this.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 slice w/o toppings – 340 calories, 140 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 810 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of protein.)

Item: Pizza Hut Bacon Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza
Purchased Price: $11.99
Size: Large
Purchased at: Pizza Hut
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: The cheese mixture carried the bacon well. The stuffed crust was buttery and had a nice chewy texture. Bacon and melted cheese, what is there not to like?
Cons: The cheese in the crust wasn’t gooey. The dried mushrooms sucked the life out of a good pizza. Laughing at dog shaming photos, I’m embarrassed to admit I laugh at those.

SPOTTED ON SHELVES – 9/16/2014

Here are some interesting new and limited edition products found on store shelves by us and your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of the products, share your thoughts about them in the comments.

Krispy Kreme Limited Time Pumpkin Spice Krispy Juniors

Krispy Kreme Limited Time Pumpkin Spice Krispy Juniors? Or curly fries? Sure looks like curly fries in those bags. (Spotted by Chibi at Food Lion.)

Fazoli's Parmesan Boneless Chicken and Fazoli's Six Cheese Toasted Ravioli

Fazoli's Chicken Alfredo Flatbread and Fazoli's Lasagna Fritta

Fazoli's Mozzarella Stuffed Mini Breadsticks

I’ve never been to a Fazoli’s. Can someone tell me how their food is using Olive Garden, Bucca di Beppo, or Macaroni Grill as a guide? (Spotted by Kevin at Walmart.)

Almond Dream Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Almond Drink

I’ve had dreams of this. No, seriously, I’ve been wondering when there would be a pumpkin spice almond drink ever since Silk came out with their pumpkin spice beverage. (Spotted by Emily at ShopRite.)

Werther's Original Limited Edition Spiced Caramel Apple Caramel Popcorn

I have a feeling these will get stuck to my teeth, just like regular Werther’s Originals candy. (Spotted by Nick at Target.)

Thank you to all the photo contributors! If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new or limited edition product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo and the hashtag #spotted. If you do so, you might see your picture in our next Spotted on Shelves post.