REVIEW: Lay’s Do Us a Flavor New York Reuben Potato Chips

Lay’s Do Us a Flavor New York Reuben Potato Chips

At the risk of offending those of you who actually liked the Lay’s Chicken and Waffles Potato Chips, I’m of the mindset that the whole Do Us a Flavor competition has been one of the more impressive fails of snack food marketing over the past few years.

Why do I say that? Well, because I still cringe at the thought of 2013’s aforementioned Chicken and Waffles chips, my taste buds panic whenever I’m around mangos, and I still have a nearly full bag of the Cappuccino chips buried somewhere in my pantry.

Come to think of it, I probably haven’t made it through a full bag combined of the past Do Us a Flavor finalists I’ve tried. Meanwhile, my unquestionably brilliant idea for a chip based on the flavors of a sandwich — Buffalo’s iconic Beef on Weck — has been shot down each of the past three years.

Given my past history with Do Us a Flavor, I was ready to write this year off until I saw the finalist chips. All I can say is, “Nice job, America.” You’ve obviously outgrown your suggestions for flavors that have no business on a potato, and finally thought strategically about the chips you want to eat. You’ve even managed to get another iconic New York sandwich on there — the Reuben.

(Seriously, why don’t more chips taste like sandwiches? Sandwiches are delicious, and everyone likes them. Oh shit. Now that I’ve said that, one you is probably going to suggest we start making Peanut Butter and Jelly flavored potato chips, aren’t you?)

Lay’s Do Us a Flavor New York Reuben Potato Chips 2

The Reuben sets the bar pretty high in terms of sandwich flavors but man do these chips deliver, starting with this distinct caraway and rye smell that emanates from the bag. If you’ve ever been to a good, old-school Jewish deli than you know the smell. The taste is familiar to anyone who’s ever had a Reuben, with strong notes of all those classic pickling spices and the tangy, fermented bite of sauerkraut. It’s a great taste and not the least bit overpowering, giving way to a hint of sweet and acidic tomato and a more potent, but mellow, buttermilk and cheese aftertaste.

It’s really an impressive array of flavors, and one in which every component of the sandwich is represented in one form or another. What’s most striking is that none of the flavors dominates or overtakes another, an important element in a sandwich which such a heavy connotation. If anything, the initial taste of caraway, then sauerkraut, and finally tomato (the Russian dressing) and cheese, mirrors the progression of flavors you’d get when biting into an actual Reuben. Heck, even the crunchy chips have a sort of buttery aftertaste that can’t help bring to mind griddled bread, going a long way to create the flavor of not just sandwich components, but an actual sandwich.

Lay’s Do Us a Flavor New York Reuben Potato Chips 3

More than anything else, these sandwiches chips are downright addictive. There’s nothing which says passing the litmus test of a potato chip’s noshability than reaching into the bag to grab another chip while writing your review, only to discover you’ve just consumed an actual Reuben’s worth of calories in potato chips. If I do have a small gripe it’s that there’s nothing really meaty about the chips. I didn’t get the flavor of the spices that make corned beef, well, corned beef.

Given my disastrous experiences with finalists from the past two years, the Do Us a Flavor promotion could’ve struck out with me this year if they didn’t give me something really good. Fortunately the New York Reuben Chips are really good, even if the Reuben may have actually been invented in Nebraska and not New York. Frankly, I could care less what the truth behind the origins of the sandwich are. I’m just glad I won’t be throwing away another full bag of Do Us a Flavor chips.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 oz – 150 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 330 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein..)

Item: Lay’s Do Us a Flavor New York Reuben Potato Chips
Purchased Price: $2.48
Size: 7.75 oz bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Finally getting a Do Us a Flavor finalist that I actually want to eat. Caraway and Rye. Awesome sauerkraut and pickling spice flavor. Distinctive taste of Russian dressing and cheese. Crunchy, buttery aftertaste mimics griddled bread. Smells like a straight up Jewish deli.
Cons: Beef flavor in the corned beef is missing. Having to supply your own over-sized kosher pickle. Someone please make me my Beef on Weck flavored potato chips!

27 thoughts on “REVIEW: Lay’s Do Us a Flavor New York Reuben Potato Chips

  1. As someone who cannot recall ever ordering a Reuben but does remember the smell, these tasted pretty much how I expected a Reuben to taste and were good enough to make me think about ordering a Reuben the next time I see one on the menu. I thought I tasted a little meat, but I guess it was just the dressing; whatever it was was quite tasty.

    A close second favorite of mine and the most pleasant surprise.

    Looking forward to reviews of the other flavors.

    1. Lays DO NOT KNOW THEIR CHIPS. I bought the Reuben potato chips and quite literally they suck.
      Lays potato chips have always been way too thin so you end up getting bits and piece of chips instead of whole chips. Their packaging is poor, cheap bags that tear way too easy. But down to the flavor of the Reuben. I love Reuben sandwiches so I was really looking forward to these particular chips. BUT the flavor is so mild you can hardly taste anything at all much less a Reuben flavor.
      On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best I would give them a minus 5.
      I will never buy Lays Potato Chips again their quality is below standard

  2. The reviews on this one are *very* mixed at work. We had a bunch of people saying oh hell no, and one person who actually checked the box for “I would happily eat a bucket of these.” The truffle fries ones are the winners, or rather, the least odious…

  3. I’m from Nebraska and everyone here swears the Reuben was invented here. Who knows if it’s true or not. Great review!

  4. Aye Marvo, how are you? Not really a comment on this particular item but I just wanted to let you know I’m subscribed to Nosh and I’m ALWAYS looking through your site to see what new and interesting (maybe strange) snacks to buy. I just wanted to let you know you’re doing a great job and that you, Dubba, Ryan and Eric are funny af. 🙂 (P.S do you think you could review (if you didn’t already) the Tastykake Reese’s Kandy Bars? Thanks again-Benny

    1. Hi Benny,

      Thanks for reading and listening! As for the Tastykake Reese’s Kandy Bars, they’ve been around for a while, so we won’t review them. Sorry.


  5. Adam, I am from Buffalo. You are right on, beef on weck should have been one of the four! I was hoping these would have district caraway taste, glad to hear they do!

    1. I moved to Western New York thus year and have fallen in love with the Beef on Weck to the point where if I’m in a restaurant and that’s on the menu, then that’s what I’m ordering. That would have made an excellent selection for chip flavor but it’d probably be a piss poor attempt at recreating the flavor.

  6. I just bought these as an impulse buy at my supermarket. They really do taste like a Rueben. Obviously, its not like biting into a really good deli’s Rueben, but all the flavors are there. I really do like them, but couldnt see buying these regularly. I dont eat chips often, but when I do its with a sandwich. Chips should have a subtle flavor, as the sandwich is the main course. I dont want to feel as if I am eating two sandwiches.

  7. The Reuben is what I’m trying next, but would a Jewish deli make a reuben sandwich with CHEESE, too? That isn’t kosher. If the reuben sandwich was invented in Nebraska, I could see it, but in a NY deli, there wouldn;t be cheese and meat together.

  8. Tried them yesterday. Loved them! One thing too I loved that they tasted fresher and crunchier than what I usually get. Sometimes I wonder if they play potato chip bingo, in that I mean they remove chips from other stores and put them on our shelves. Not always fresh regardless of date. Anyway, I loved the new Reuben ones.

    1. Welp, all the oddball flavors have been taken off the shelves, everywhere I’ve looked. I did get to try a couple. Back to Herr’s Prime Rib, or BBQ, chips for me.

  9. How dare you even let the gyro flavor be out in the shelf. The most disgusting chip I’ve ever had!!! I am incredibly disappointed in the lays do us a flavor this year!!!

  10. I would say “maybe it’s a New York thing,” but Google says most searches for “reuben sandwich” come from Nebraska:

    That being said, here in Texas my local subway has been sold out of all the flavors of chips, except the Reuben flavors, which don’t sell at all. The manager said they’ve been doing Buy One Get One on them, and most people still won’t take the second bag. (Again, surely a cultural more than a culinary thing, but fun.) FWIW, I think Biscuits and Gravy sold out first.

  11. Don’t be so offended that your flavor got snubbed. I think I read there are over 14 million submissions. What does that mean? It means that your flavor must survive their computer algorithms before an actual person ever sees it. Frito Lay probably has an idea of the flavors that will win before the contest even begins. It’s just a matter of finding the right submission.

    I have a theory about this contest though. That they pick losers on purpose. When you submitted your flavor, you probably signed some consent that they could use it outside of the contest if they chose. They’d probably take the better flavors and produce them under some label that you wouldn’t recognize as FL. That way they don’t have to pay you, should you invent the next hot flavor.

  12. All three of this years flavors seemed like bland versions of existing flavors. However, I have to say, I kind of like both the cappuccino and chicken and waffle flavors, more so than any of this years choices. And of course, last years Wasabi Ginger is still my favorite lays flavor period.

  13. What a lot of fun to stumble upon these reviews, months after the fact. My name is Jeff and I am the finalist who submitted New York Reuben. These are not the first, nor the last, either negative or positive reviews I have read. All I can say at this point is enter the contest in this year of 2016 and let’s see how you do. There are A LOT of experts out there. 😉 Thank you for tasting my flavor-inspired chip and have a great 2016.

    1. I like the New York Reuben best, I think. These contests are fun! I like testing out the oddball flavors, there are so many same old – same old chili-cheese-onion combinations in the US . Someday someone will invent a new flavor that will be just as popular. (Herr’s chips have some different and tasty flavor chips.)

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