REVIEW: Jack in the Box Hot Mess Burger

Jack in the Box Hot Mess Burger

Jack in the Box’s Hot Mess Burger is possibly the messiest fast food burger my hands and mouth have ever wrapped themselves around, so I guess Hot Mess is an appropriate name.

How messy was it?

Six napkins and a pair of shorts soaking in water messy. Unfortunately, the bag I brought it home in only had four napkins so my burger entrails covered hands had to scramble for more disposable cloths.

What makes this burger so messy?

It’s not the seasoned beef patty, deep fried onion rings, or sliced jalapeños. What was to blame for my excessive use of paper products was the greasy, toasted sourdough bread and the melted white cheddar and pepper jack cheeses.

To be more accurate, 90 percent of the mess was from the cheeses. The white cheddar and pepper jack didn’t appear to be slices placed on the burger. Instead they were more like a cheese sauce because as they sat on my burger they didn’t harden much and it oozed all over the place. It’s as if the person who made my sandwich thought it was a smothered chicken-fried steak or wanted my sandwich to look like it was throwing up cheese after I opened its wrapper.

Jack in the Box Hot Mess Burger Throwing Up Cheese

But the cheeses weren’t there for just looks, they, surprisingly, provided a lot of flavor. In fact, I’ve never experienced a cheesy flavor level like this with a burger before. I’m not surprised Jack in the Box used white cheddar because it appears to be the new black. Burger King and McDonald’s have used the pale cheese in some of their recent burgers. As for the pepper jack, it’s hard to notice any flavor from the peppers in it because of the jalapeño.

Speaking of the jalapeño, if you love canned jalapeño peppers, then you’ll love how this burger tastes. When I peeled back the sourdough bun, it looked as if S.S. Jalapeño sank in the White Cheese Sea. There were so many peppers that, on the drive home from the restaurant, the bag that contained my Hot Mess Burger became a chili pepper air freshener, filling my car with the aroma of jalapeño. Every bite I took from this sandwich had at least a slice and they gave this burger a nice spicy kick and a lot of flavor.

The beef patty was tasty, but dry (which is par for the course). The onion rings, while a nice addition, were noticeable in only a few bites, but I’m fine with the Hot Mess Burger being mostly a cheese and jalapeño show.

Even though the Jack in the Box Hot Mess Burger was extremely messy and is quite unhealthy (which is expected), it’s so good that I think they should call it the Hot Mmmmess Burger.

(Nutrition Facts – 846 calories, 528 calories from fat, 59 grams of fat, 20 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 108 milligrams of cholesterol, 1201 milligrams of sodium, 388 milligrams of potassium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 34 grams of protein.)

Other Hot Mess Burger reviews:
Junk Food Betty
Man Reviews Food

Item: Jack in the Box Hot Mess Burger
Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: A very fine Jack in the Box burger. Strong cheesy flavor. Lots of jalapeño slices. Has a fondue fountain’s worth of cheese. Toasted bun. Jalapeño bring lots of flavor and a bit of heat.
Cons: Very messy. Onion rings didn’t add a lot of flavor. Dry beef patty. Having my computer’s autocorrect automatically change every “jalapeno” to “jalapeño.” Has two grams of trans fat.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Steak & Egg Burrito

McDonald's Steak & Egg Burrito

By bringing together steak and egg together into a burrito, it sounds like McDonald’s is stepping into undiscovered breakfast menu territory. But it turns out McDonald’s is the Christopher Columbus of fast food steak and egg burritos, while Jack in the Box, Sonic Drive-In, Del Taco, Carl’s Jr., and Taco Bell are the indigenous people who were already there.

The McDonald’s Steak & Egg Burrito is not very grande. In fact, it makes a Taco Bell soft taco look like a Taco Bell burrito, makes a Taco Bell burrito look like a Chipotle burrito, and makes a Chipotle burrito look like a newborn baby. But as I’ve been taught by multiple Nickelodeon cartoons, it not the outside that counts, it’s the inside that matters.

So what’s inside this breakfast burrito?

According to the McDonald’s website, the Steak & Egg Burrito consists of pre-cooked scrambled eggs, fully cooked shredded beef, vegetables, pasteurized process American cheese, and salsa roja wrapped in a flour tortilla.

You’re probably curious about the steak. Or, for those of you are air quote-happy, “steak.” Or, for those of you who want to appear snobby and witty at the same time, “Steak? Pishaw. More like stfake.” Well, if you’re one of those people who likes air quotes or would use the word “stfake,” you have every reason to feel the way you do because, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, what’s in this burrito isn’t what many people think of as steak. I don’t know about you, but shredded beef does not equal steak. If Taco Bell can put slices of steak into their burritos, then why not McDonald’s.

McDonald's Steak & Egg Burrito Closeup

Now with that said, the shredded beef was tender, each burrito had beef from end to end, and it had a nice meaty flavor. It’s not bad for something that’s not steak. However, what gave this burrito most of its flavor was the salsa roja, which was a nice tomatoey and slightly garlicky sauce with a little spicy kick.

Including American cheese, which is the same stuff you’d find in a Big Mac, was surprising, and perhaps pepper jack or cheddar would’ve been better, but the American cheese was fine. As for the scrambled eggs, they really didn’t have any noticeable flavor. All they seemed to do for this burrito was give it some girth and allow this small breakfast item to have a double protein punch.

As much as I ragged on the McDonald’s Steak & Egg Burrito in this review, it’s tasty enough that I would order it again, and I prefer it over McDonald’s Sausage Burrito. If you decide to try it, I’d recommend buying two to fill you up (or maybe order an oatmeal), because it really is quite small.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 burrito – 280 calories, 13 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 125 milligrams of cholesterol, 790 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of protein, 8% vitamin A, 15% calcium, and 10% iron.)

Other McDonald’s Steak & Egg Burrito reviews:
Grub Grade

Man Reviews Food

Item: McDonald’s Steak & Egg Burrito
Purchased Price: $3.59 (for two)
Size: N/A
Purchased at: McDonald’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Shredded beef has decent flavor. Salsa roja provides most of the flavor. Cheese, surprisingly, added flavor. A good source of protein. Lessons taught at the end of cartoons.
Cons: Its size makes a Taco Bell soft taco look bigger than it really is. Shredded beef isn’t really steak. Small. Awesome source of sodium. Eggs were almost flavorless. It’s more like a burito than a burrito. One isn’t filling.


Here are some interesting new and limited edition products found on store shelves by us and your fellow readers.

Chex Mix Muddy Buddies Snickerdoodle

Why would someone want a snack that tastes like snickerdoodles? If one wants a snack that tastes like the cookie, wouldn’t real snickerdoodle cookies be that snack? (Spotted by Stephanie at Sheetz.)

Planters New Peanuts

There are two new Planters dry roasted peanut flavors. Thank goodness. If I had to eat one more honey roasted or Five Alarm Chili peanut, I was gonna choke a legume. (Spotted by @jgotelli at Target.)

Campbell's Fancy 100% Natural Soups

“New and Delicious”? With flavors like Butternut Squash Bisque and Creamy Gouda Bisque, shouldn’t it say, “New, Delicious, Fancy Nancy, and Makes Our Condensed Soup Look Less Appetizing”? (Spotted by Marvo at Safeway.)

Quaker BIG Chewy Granola Bar

I wanted to put a risqué paragraph here. Actually, I did type one and it was super filthy…and lengthy. 50 Shades of Grey-lenghty, but with even poorer writing. (Spotted by Charmi 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 (or really unusual), snap a picture of it, and send us an email ( with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. If you do so, you might see your picture in our next Spotted on Shelves post.


Here are some quick reviews of weird Japanese snacks we’re too lazy to write full reviews for:

Calbee KFC Garlic Salt Potato Chips

Item: Calbee KFC Savory Salt Ginger Chicken Potato Chips
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 70 grams
Purchased at: Received from @Cheerios47
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Holy crap KFC-branded chips! Better than I thought they would be. If you enjoy ginger, the chips have a nice strong ginger flavor. Strong ginger aroma. Crunchy.
Cons: Doesn’t taste like chicken. No chips that taste like regular KFC chicken. The ginger flavor becomes subdued the more you eat.

Polar Bear Salt Ramen Bar

Item: Polar Bear Salt Ramen Bar
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Received from @melissa808
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: It looks like Cup Noodles in bar form. There’s corn! No flavor packet needed. Not too salty. Not made with polar bear. Can be eaten in snack bar form or prepared in hot water. Tasty as a snack bar.
Cons: It looks like Cup Noodles in bar form. Not sure if I’m supposed to eat it as a snack bar or prepare it in hot water because I can’t read the label. Can be messy to eat. Hard to eat as instant ramen. Threat number one: Bears!

Corn Chocolate

Item: Corn Candy Bar (I’m too lazy to translate the label)
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Received from @melissa808
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Decent. Sometimes it tastes like an ice cream cone. Sometimes it tastes like white chocolate covered popcorn.
Cons: Not shaped like corn. Doesn’t taste like corn corn. Does an awesome job of sticking to my teeth. Starts off sweet, but quickly turns bland. Fragile looking. Being too lazy to translate labels.

Genghis Khan Lamb Caramel

Item: Genghis Khan Lamb Caramel
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Received from @melissa808
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: I can eat them without spitting it out. Caramel flavor lingers in my mouth more than lamb flavor. Awesome to stick in office candy jar.
Cons: Meaty and greasy flavor will be off-putting to most people. 3 of 4 people I gave this to spit it out. Eating two in one sitting is my limit. Combining lamb flavor and caramel. Possible negative consequences from sticking it in office candy jar.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts

If I were to list my top 20 favorite products of all time, there would be only one toaster pastry and it would be Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts.

Oh, you haven’t heard of them?

Well, they were around when Pop-Tarts options were much simpler, occupied very little shelf space, and almost all of them were actually tart. But, apparently, Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts didn’t sell well and were discontinued.

When they disappeared from shelves, I had to settle for the pigs slop known as Frosted Strawberry and Frosted Blueberry Pop-Tarts. And the more I stuffed down as part of my complete breakfast, the more upset and depressed I got about not having Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts in my life.

So I did what any middle school child with a penchant for writing would do. I wrote a letter to Kellogg’s, which went something like this:

Dear Kellogg’s,

Why did you kill the frosted apple pop tarts? After I wake up my mommy puts one in the toaster for me. I ask her if I can have two but she says no cause I’ll get fat. I told her I’m already fat, but she didn’t give me two. See I like them so much that I want to eat two. I like the jelly part of the pop tart, it doesn’t taste like the red apples my mommy feeds me to make me skinny, but it taste good. Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please make frosted apple pop tarts again. I said please a lot, so that means you have to give me what I want, because when I say please a lot to my mommy she gives me what I want except when I ask for two pop tarts.

Thank you.

Despite the excessive pleases in my letter, Kellogg’s didn’t bring back Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts. Although, now that I think about it, Kellogg’s probably didn’t get my letter because, if I remember correctly, I put an Easter Seal on the envelope, thinking it was a postage stamp and I didn’t put a return address. However, these new Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts come close to replacing my beloved toaster pastries from the 1980s.

Since the Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts’ demise, there have been several apple-flavored Pop-Tarts, like Apple Strudel Pop-Tarts, Apple Pie Pop-Tarts, Apple Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, but none of them have hit me with a wave of nostalgia that these Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts have.

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts Closeup

Well, to be more precise, it’s the delicious apple pie-ish filling that takes me back to a time when I would look through the Sears Wish Book catalog, circle the toys I knew my parents couldn’t afford, and then laugh at the horrible Christmas sweaters being sold. Sure, the filling’s brown color reminds me of browning apples that have been exposed to oxygen for too long, but it’s so wonderfully sweet and tasty.

While these new Pop-Tarts may taste like Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts, there are a few major visual differences. The Pop-Tarts from my childhood were frosted almost completely from bow to stern (yes, I believe that is the proper way to address the front and rear of a Pop-Tart), but these Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts are only drizzled with frosting. Lame. But like the Oatmeal Delights Pop-Tarts we reviewed, they have wonderful sweet and crunchy crumbles on top which kind of make up for the lack of frosting.

If you do find yourself purchasing a box of these Pop-Tarts, don’t be lazy and eat them straight out of the shiny foil wrapper. Take the time to toast them and you’ll be rewarded with a much tastier experience.

And if you’re a child of the 80s who loved Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts as much as I did, the tasty apple, cinnamon, and sugar gloop in the Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts will be the flux capacitor that takes your taste buds back in time.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 50 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and a few vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 8 toaster pastries
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Sooo good. Reminds me of Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts. Delicious apple pie-ish filling. Sugary crumbles on top were wonderful. Awesome when toasted. Good when not toasted. Sears Wish Book.
Cons: Only drizzles of frosting. Limited edition. Using Easter Seals as postage stamps. Not getting what I want with a lot of pleases.