NEWS: Ruffles Ultimate Potato Chips Have Deeper R-r-ridges


Update: Click here to read our Ruffles Ultimate Kickin’ Jalapeño Ranch review

While looking at the gluten-free products page on the Frito-Lay website, because that’s what I do for fun, I came across a new line of Ruffles potato chips — Ruffles Ultimate.

What’s “ultimate” about them? According to this post on the Taquitos forums, the chips are thicker than regular Ruffles, which give them deeper r-r-ridges. The chips come in three flavors: Original, Kickin’ Jalapeño Ranch, and Sweet Smokin’ BBQ. There’s also a Ruffles Ultimate Smokehouse Bacon Flavored Dip.

First, Frito-Lay gianted Cheetos, then they jacked Doritos and now they ultimated Ruffles. I hope they grande Fritos next.

If you’ve tried any of the Ruffles Ultimate flavors, let us know what you think of them in the comments.

NEWS: Jack in the Box Locations in Hawaii Now Offer The SPAM Croissant Sandwich.

IMG_1254We here in Hawaii love our SPAM.

Sure, Guam is the world’s leading per capita consumer of SPAM, but I think we in Hawaii love it more.

How much do we love our SPAM? Well, we have an annual event in Waikiki that attracts thousands of people, and I don’t think there’s anyplace else in the world where McDonald’s, Burger King, and Jack in the Box offer menu items with SPAM in them.

Jack in the Box restaurants in Hawaii have been offering SPAM breakfast platters for a while, but they’ve added to their breakfast menu, for a limited time, the new SPAM Croissant Sandwich, which is made up of an egg patty and two slices of SPAM in between a croissant.

I assume the Jack in the Box SPAM Croissant Sandwich is only available in Hawaii, but if your local Jack in the Box offers it, please let us know in the comments below. Also, if your local McDonald’s, Burger King, or other fast food chain offers regional menu items, let us know in the comments. Finally, if the idea of a SPAM sandwich grosses you out, let us know in the comments with an “Ewww.”

REVIEW: Wendy’s Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club

John Cusack was wrong. The world will not be destroyed by a Mayan calendar. It will come to an end by an angry and determined reanimated Dave Thomas stomping on the competition to the soundtrack of Joy Division’s “Transmission” …then the Universe.

How else to explain their shrewd ability to kick the King out on his ass and entrench themselves into the number two spot? Ronald McDonald should be afraid or at the very least slice Grimace up like Han Solo did to a Tauntaun and hide inside. I too would be scared of a zombie Dave Thomas in red pigtails.

Like the long-term girlfriend I had back in college, my affair with Wendy’s has been tumultuous. Sometimes I was all right with what I ate. Other times I was so disappointed I would watch a Uwe Boll film just to make myself happy again. I know a lot of you out there are extremely passionate about Wendy’s which makes me chuckle. To Wendy’s merit, they have worked hard to distinguish themselves from the big two.

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club Beverage

Wendy’s is somewhat successful in an attempt to place themselves above the grease-shacks and giving customers a higher end fast food experience. Witness the sea salt fries, Black Label burgers, and signature drinks. On a side note, sea salt has become so ubiquitous…it’s like the ahi tuna of the late nineties.

Perusing the Wendy’s menu demonstrates an uppity foodie vibe. The new Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club fits right in with what reanimated Dave Thomas demands you to eat before he takes your soul like Shang Tsung (cue Mortal Kombat shout).

The folks at Wendy’s went ahead and picked up the tab for me to try the latest offering. However, I really fumbled the first time. Besides the enjoyable texture, I thought the sandwich was just okay. My wife asked why it was called a club since there was no sign of the promised Applewood smoked bacon and club sandwiches have bacon.

I said “shut up” and threw a sea salt fry hitting her left boob. Things bouncing off breasts make me laugh, but she was right…where the hell was the bacon?

Strange but true, Seventh Day Adventists own the property where this Wendy’s was located. Hence, no bacon in my club. They don’t eat pork which makes me wonder if their Baconator is just a plain cheeseburger with a wrapper in large red fonts? However, back from the dead Dave Thomas snarled and demanded I buy another at a different Wendy’s to truly get the experience.

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club Innards

The sandwich was wrapped in clean white butcher-like paper to underline the high-end feel. Ranch and guacamole smeared on butter toasted buns houses the entire ensemble which consists of a tomato slice, lettuce, a black pepper encrusted battered chicken breast that is adorned with a slice of pepper jack cheese, and sweet salty thick bacon slices. That sounds like a bold flavor megamix that only the likes of Bobby “I’m on a lot of reality shows” Flay can wrangle.

I believe there is no better first time bite than something that is simultaneously creamy and crunchy. Now that doesn’t mean I would dollop Cool Whip on pork rinds because mouthfeel or not, the thing has to be tasty. Although that combo does sound good after coming home late hammered on cheap scotch. It’s a proven equation, the creamy condiments and battered chicken is akin to buffalo wings and bleu cheese so of course this would work.

The guacamole is as authentic as the Mexican cuisine from Chipotle but here’s the surprising part, there are real chunks of avocado. Among the creamy bites are diced tomato and bits of onion. It is a step up from the questionable green globs some places try to pass off as the condiment, so I was a bit impressed.

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club Center

Said chicken was very moist, no doubt helped by the thick encasement of peppery batter which was awesome. As most things that tend to orbit close to ingredient overload, the pepper jack cheese gets lost in the guacamole. To be honest so did the ranch dressing and I am not sure there was a need for it anyway since the guacamole tempers the fried chicken.

They say bacon makes everything better right? It does because without it, the sandwich was slanting towards mediocre. However the bacon’s sweetness really compliments this towering 770 calorie behemoth. The two flavors that really come to the forefront are the sweet smoky bacon and the pepper.

I love spicy heat and I went through a phase where I would put Sriracha, the Thai hot chili sauce, on everything. Like my wife does with Reddi-wip, I would squirt that stuff straight into my mouth. So the sandwich is not as spicy as I would like but I have to say this colossus’ heat lingers and has a good punch.

Speaking of punch, the sandwich with bacon or not, is a little too salty at times for my tastebuds. As you can imagine some bites reminded me of gulping seawater when a wave crashed on me unexpectedly when I was a little boy.

The high sodium levels are not a surprise considering and the number of fat grams would make Dr. Oz wage war with a sharpened tongue depressor. Hey, assholes, this is not diet food, it is a hedonistic guilty pleasure between two slices of bread. Sometimes you need that in your life and despite the saltiness, it’s not that bad.

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club Splooge

Who needs a return of the living dead, red pigtailed Dave Thomas to crush your neck to kill you? Eating a couple of these in one sitting should give you a tasty coronary failure massive enough to blow up your heart Michael Bay style. Speaking of explosions, since the sandwich is practically an encyclopedia of all things yummy, it was freaking messy to eat. I grew frustrated at how things slid off or splooged out like a porn moneyshot. This happened to both sandwiches.

Messy or not, I would recommend at least trying this sandwich from Wendy’s once. It is a step above the similar fried chicken choices from other chains. While Wendy’s and I will still have that hate/love relationship, I have to give credit for what they have done. They are raising expectations from a fast food perspective. Win or fail, Wendy’s is at least offering something different and isn’t that what we want in the end?

(Editor’s Note/Disclaimer: We received a gift card from Wendy’s in order to review their Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club. We hope our aunts and uncles will give us gift cards for Christmas in order to buy something we want, instead of giving us clothing from Sears or chocolate Santas.)

(Nutrition facts – 770 calories (less if you go to the pigless Wendy’s), 42 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 115 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,790 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugars, and 41 grams of protein.)

Other Wendy’s Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club reviews:
So Good Blog
Brand Eating
Fast Food Geek

Item: Wendy’s Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club
Price: $4.79 to $5.49 (sandwich only)
Size: N/A
Purchased: Wendy’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: There are creamy chunks of avocado. The peppery batter on that chicken is delicious. Joy Division. Spicier than most offerings than other fast food restaurants. Bouncing things off boobies. Bacon.
Cons: It is so messy to eat which is annoying. Some of the flavors get lost. Can be a bit salty. Picturing a red pigtailed back from the dead Dave Thomas frightens me. Every Uwe Boll film ever. Baconless.

WEEK IN REVIEWS – 4/28/2012

Hot Dog # 2

Here are a few product reviews posted this week from other blogs we follow.

Seriously, are we Americans too busy deep frying things? Because we should’ve been first to come out with this product. (via Junk Food Betty)

Obligatory Trader Joe’s review. (via What’s Good At Trader Joe’s)

I’m pretty sure Oreo wouldn’t have lived long enough to celebrate its 100th birthday this year if it ate a lot of Oreo cookies. (via Foodette Reviews)

Awesomesauce! A way to use overripe bananas that’s not banana bread or a love hotel for fruit flies. (via Rodzilla Reviews)

REVIEW: Red Bull Total Zero Energy Drink

Red Bull Total Zero

The list of beverages that contain the word “zero” in their name is significantly larger than zero.

Here, I’ll let you count some of them: Coke Zero, Sprite Zero, VitaminWater Zero, Powerade Zero, Propel Zero, Monster Absolutely Zero Energy Drink, Rockstar Zero Carb Energy Drink, Fanta Zero, Dr Pepper Zero, Big Red Zero, Sodastream Zero Cola, Pibb Zero, Virgil’s Zero Root Beer, Diet Rite Pure Zero, Schweppes Zero Cream Soda, Mello Yello Zero, and now Red Bull Total Zero Energy Drink.

Wow. That’s a lot of zeroes. I haven’t seen that many zeroes since Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber’s perfect game. Or if you’re reading this in 2013 or beyond, or have no idea what a perfect game is…I haven’t seen that many zeroes since I stood in between two parallel mirrors and looked at an infinite reflection of myself.

Companies attach the word “zero” to their beverages for several reasons. They either contain zero grams of sugar, zero calories, zero grams of carbohydrates, or any combination of the three. Although with some beverages, I’d like to think the word “zero” equates to the zero creativity used to come up with a name, instead taking whatever another company used.

As for Red Bull Total Zero Energy Drink, it has no calories, zero grams of sugar, and zero grams of carbohydrates. Although, if I wanted to be a total prick about it, I could say it’s not “total zero” because it has 60 milligrams of sodium and less than one gram of protein. Oh, I should note my head hurt trying to wrap my brain around the fact that for some strange reason the 12-ounce size has ten calories. That there is some crazy ass food math.

Wait, I just thought of something.

If Coca-Cola, who started this “zero” beverage trend, makes Dasani Zero bottled water, I swear I’m going to punch a polar bear in the face.

Red Bull Total Zero has a similar aroma and the same amber color as the other two Red Bull varieties (original and sugar free), and it has the same amounts of taurine and caffeine, both of which are supposed to give Red Bull drinkers wings. I estimate I’ve consumed almost 50 cans of Red Bull, but despite all that liquid and lots of bell ringing, I have yet to get my wings.

Red Bull Comparison Chart

As for Red Bull Total Zero’s flavor, it isn’t as syrupy as regular Red Bull and it’s slightly more artificial sweetener-y than Red Bull Sugar Free, but it has that distinct Red Bull flavor. In order to be calorie, carb, and sugar free, Red Bull Total Zero contains the Three Sweeteneers: Aspartame, Sucralose, and Acesulfame K. Red Bull Sugar Free contains just Aspartame and Acesulfame K.

Overall, I think Red Bull Total Zero is decent, but between it and Red Bull Sugar Free, I prefer the latter because it’s smoother. Sure, the sugar free version has ten calories and three grams of carbohydrates, but that’s an insignificant difference. I think I just burned ten calories and three grams of carbohydrates by typing this paragraph.

(Nutrition Facts – 8.4 ounces – 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Our video review:

Item: Red Bull Total Zero Energy Drink
Price: $2.29
Size: 8.4 ounces
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Has familiar Red Bull flavor. No calories, carbs, and sugar. It’s a Wonderful Life reference. Another option to mix with alcohol. Perfect games in baseball.
Cons: Not great if you hate aspartame and sucralose. Pricey when compared with other energy drinks. Slightly harsher than Red Bull Sugar Free. Excessive use of the word “zero” in the beverage industry. Dasani Zero.