REVIEW: Little Caesars Bacon Wrapped Crust DEEP! DEEP! Dish Pizza

Little Caesars Bacon Wrapped Crust DEEP! DEEP! Dish Pizza

That mascot dude can only say one word, right? All these years and Little Caesars just propped this guy up—handicap and all—and let him be the clown prince face of the company.

“Pizza! Pizza!”

Translation: “Please pick up my kids after school. I have to work late tonight.”

“Pizza! Pizza!”

Translation: “Please. I don’t want any more pizza.”

Well, say hello hello to the new Bacon Wrapped Crust Deep! Deep! Dish Pizza. And judging from the amount of pork on this thing, they taught Caesar to say another word. “Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!” That’s eight times, said by four Little Caesar guys, which is enough fellas to be pallbearers at my funeral after I die from bacon-itis (a.k.a. heart disease).

Little Caesars Bacon Wrapped Crust DEEP! DEEP! Dish Pizza 3

The pizza is a “Detroit style” deep dish with bacon wrapped around the corners and with bacon bits sprinkled on top. I’m not completely sure what Detroit style deep dish is, but if this is any representation, it originated from a Detroit elementary school lunch program.

It’s crazy (like their bread!) that a pizza can be so greasy yet so dry and bready in the middle. But we’re here for the bacon. And the bacon presents a dichotomy. At first bite, the bacon on the crust is not as salty as expected, thus less tasty. It is fairly crispy and adds a slight textural curveball, although it overshadows the existing deep dish crust instead of amplifying it. A few slices in, however, it’s better that the saltiness is turned down a bit as pizza eating is a marathon and not a sprint. It’s so much of a marathon, in fact, that they’re adding it to the Olympics. But the Winter Olympics. Cross country ski a while, shoot a rifle, and then scarf down a personal pan pizza.

Little Caesars Bacon Wrapped Crust DEEP! DEEP! Dish Pizza 4

The bacon bits are similarly bland-ish and while the bacon that lines the crust adds a small amount of smoky flavor, the bits just add grease and a tiny bit of sweetness. To be fair, I’ve seen pictures of other people’s orders and it seems like they spilled way more on my pizza and decided I look like some sort of pork beast that wouldn’t mind. They half-pegged me. I am a pork beast, but I did mind a little bit. The pepperoni did its job fine but frankly it was out-smoked by its meat cousin. A different ingredient could have expanded the flavor dynamics a bit more. This pork beast disapproves.

The difference between this one and the regular non-bacon deep dish pizza is four bucks. You’re probably better off frying some up and placing it on top of the pie yourself for that price. I don’t think the bacon they use is great quality and the promise of a bacon wrapped crust does not enhance the flavors any more than just eating some bacon alongside some cheap pizza. That’s where we’re at, people. I just wrote “a bacon wrapped crust does not enhance…” You bastards. You broke bacon.

Little Caesars Bacon Wrapped Crust DEEP! DEEP! Dish Pizza 2

The aforementioned elementary school quality does tick off some sort of nostalgia box, though. The spongy dough punctuated with a greasy slick finish of lubricated cheese. Takes me back to pogs, algebra, and reading out loud in class.

Oh, gorsh. Imagine Little Caesar reading out loud in class.

“Kids, turn to page 67 of Animal Farm. Caesar, can you read for us?”

“Pizza! Pizza! Pizza… Pizza? Pizza. Pizza.”

“You can tell Orwell is paralleling the Bolshevik Revolution because of the tone in which Caesar said ‘pizza.’”

Welp, that mascot dude found a job and made a decent living after all. I hope he gets to date Wendy from Wendy’s (the older one, not the little kid). God bless America, America.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 slice – 450 calories, 23 grams of fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, and 830 milligrams of sodium.)

Item: Little Caesars Bacon Wrapped Crust DEEP! DEEP! Dish Pizza
Purchased Price: $12
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Little Caesars
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Smoky flavor from bacon comes through a bit. Not prohibitively salty. Comforting as bready pizza.
Cons: Greasy. Bready ass crust. Bacon on pizza is just that, nothing more.

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REVIEW: Heinz Sriracha Tomato Ketchup

Heinz Sriracha Tomato Ketchup

If you love sriracha, there’s a very good chance you have a bottle of it in your kitchen right now.

And there’s a much greater chance you have a bottle of ketchup in your kitchen or, at least, several ketchup packets you’ve accumulated from generous fast food drive-thru workers who dumped an uncounted amount of ketchup packets into your bag after you said “yes” to the question, “Would you like ketchup?”

If the idea of sriracha ketchup excites you, and you have bottles of sriracha and ketchup in your kitchen, you’re better off combining the two instead of purchasing Heinz’s Sriracha Ketchup.

When I first heard about Heinz’s Sriracha Ketchup, I was excited because I love sriracha. But when I started thinking harder than anyone should over a condiment, I realized if I want a sriracha-flavored condiment for burgers, fries, hot dogs, and limp Kid Cuisine chicken nuggets, wouldn’t it be better to use sriracha over a sriracha-flavored ketchup?

Also, while thinking harder than anyone should over a condiment, I might’ve realized why Heinz decided to make a sriracha ketchup. The difference between ketchup and sriracha is as small as the difference between humans and chimpanzees. Because both condiments have salt, sugar, vinegar, garlic and/or onion, if I was somehow able to remove the tomatoes in ketchup and replace it with chili peppers, I’d have something that tastes similar to sriracha. And if I were to remove the chili peppers from sriracha and replace it with tomatoes, I’d have ketchup.

You’d think combining sriracha with ketchup would create a new Asian condiment. Well, it doesn’t. But it does taste like a old Mexican condiment — taco sauce.

Yeah, not what I was expecting.

After doing more research than anyone should on condiments, I learned it makes sense Heinz’s Sriracha Ketchup tastes like taco sauce, because the combination of ingredients IS taco sauce. Here are the ingredients found in Ortego Taco Sauce: Tomato Puree, Water, Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Spices, Paprika, Citric Acid, Green Chile Powder, and Onion Powder.

Heinz Sriracha Tomato Ketchup Closeup

Regular ketchup (top) Heinz Sriracha Ketchup (bottom).

The back of the Heinz Sriracha Ketchup bottle says it has a “hint of garlic,” but when I ate them with fries, I couldn’t detect it. Garlic isn’t listed in the ingredients list, but I imagine it’s included with “Natural Flavorings” on the list. While I didn’t taste any garlic, I did notice the ketchup had some heat to it. Its spiciness was slightly less than the rooster sauce I have in my kitchen.

Speaking of the sriracha in my kitchen, since I have some and a bunch ketchup packets, I decided to combine the two and compare it with the Heinz Sriracha Ketchup. The condiment mixture, which had more ketchup than sriracha, had a better flavor. I could taste the garlic and it wasn’t similar to taco sauce.

Overall, if you’re a fan of sriracha, I can’t recommend Heinz Sriracha Ketchup. But if you’re a fan of taco sauce, I can recommend this.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Tbsp – 20 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Heinz Sriracha Tomato Ketchup
Purchased Price: $5.19
Size: 14 oz. bottle
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Not horrible. Pleasant spiciness. Having sriracha in the kitchen. Having ketchup in the kitchen. Fast food drive-thru employees who make it rain ketchup packets.
Cons: Tastes like taco sauce. Lacks garlic flavor. Garlic isn’t listed in the ingredients list. Limp Kid Cuisine chicken nuggets. Thinking harder than anyone should over condiments. Mixing rooster sauce and ketchup tastes better.

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REVIEW: Limited Time Cheetos Sweetos Cinnamon Sugar Puffs

Cheetos Sweetos Cinnamon Sugar Puffs

As anyone who has ever eaten Cheetos knows, 90 percent of the appeal is licking the disgusting (and by disgusting, I mean awesome) amount of cheese powder residue that clings to your fingers. Cheesy, salty, delicious, and basically deserving to be packaged and sold as a savory rendition of a Pixy Stix, the Cheeto powder would constitute my entire source of calcium should the world ever see the abolition of pizza. Its deliciousness begs the existential question though: is the quintessence of the Cheeto unique to the cheesiness of the powder, or is it just the presence of a lickable flavor powder in and of itself? In other words: if you take away the cheese, can Cheetos still be great?

A question as mysterious and elusive as ”why is there an Easter bunny?”, the springtime arrival of Cheetos Sweetos as a limited edition Easter-themed snack provides ample empirical evidence to finally put to rest this most vexing of questions.

Shaped like Easter Eggs (or, presumably, drops of cheetah poop) each cinnamon sugar puff is light and airy with a dusty brown complexion one might associate with a well-aged gouda. There the similarities with cheese cease, as the hollow crunch of each puff flees from any notion of the salty Cheeto we’re accustomed to. The powder, too, is not quite as intense in its coverage, and while a fair amount of the advertised cinnamon-sugar transferred to my fingers, I didn’t find myself in need of a good Beethoven slobbering to remove it. I considered this most unfortunate.

Now that I think about it, that’s probably because the taste falls below expectations. For something which has adopted one of the most basic adjectives in flavor for its namesake, Cheetos Sweetos don’t initially taste very sweet at all. If anything, the pieces taste like an over-buttered but under-sugared piece of slightly soggy toast, with loads of cinnamon seasoning but nothing particularly salivating about that seasoning. To put it more bluntly; they’re straight-up bland.

Cheetos Sweetos Cinnamon Sugar Puffs Closeup

The buttery coating isn’t bad, and really, the amount of actual cinnamon flavor is quite admirable, but each puff plays it too safe in the sweetness department, like some kind of alternative cereal ever cognizant of a dreaded lecture by the health food police. What I was expecting, and what my and I’m sure most sweet snack food eaters would have preferred, was something like Post’s Mini-Cinnamon Churros cereal. Likewise, the corn base and cinnamon flavor leave my taste buds grasping for a point of reference, one which inevitably turns to the sturdier crunch of sweetened corn-based cereals. In this case, the puffed approach hinders old Chester, who would have been better to market these in the traditional, crunchier texture of a regular (crunchy) Cheeto.

To be fair, Cheetos Sweetos aren’t bad. But they’re far from memorable, and I wouldn’t choose them as a snack over the multitude of very good cinnamon-sugar cereals out there. If nothing else, they’ve established a fundamental and universal truth that we Cheetos lovers have long pondered over. Yes, the greatness of the Cheeto resides not just in the fact that you get miles of flavored powder to lick from your fingers, but in the unique and especially savory cheese flavor of the powder, and no amount of buttered and slightly sweet cinnamon coating can ever come close to replicating that deliciousness.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce/about 13 pieces – 160 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 1 grams of protein.)

Item: Limited Time Cheetos Sweetos Cinnamon Sugar Puffs
Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 7 oz. bag
Purchased at: Weis
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Pretty solid buttered cinnamon-sugar toast flavor. Strong and authentic cinnamon taste. Easter-themed treat which isn’t dark chocolate. Discovering the real essence of Cheeto deliciousness.
Cons: Sweetness is dull and bland. Mild corn aftertaste is distracting. Doesn’t work well in puffed form. Not getting to slobber up Cheeto powder.

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REVIEW: Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapeño Pepper Jack

Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapen?o Pepper Jack

Like an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic or an Illuminati symbol, there’s an element of both metaphysical mystery and advanced technology suggested by the pyramidal shape of the new Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapeño Pepper Jack chips.

The obvious triple entendre of jacked certainly plays into the intrigue—Doritos wants you to know these chips aren’t just bold in flavor, they’re also studded with Pepper Jack cheese seasoning and completely “jacked up” from any type of Dorito we’ve seen previously.

As if stepping forth from a new dimension and intent on blowing our taste buds to smithereens, these new Doritos are supposed to be beyond anything we’ve been able to comprehend at this point.

Oh wait. Never mind.

Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapen?o Pepper Jack 3

Truth be told these aren’t just a clever rehashing of old Doritos concepts, which is something I’ve noticed Frito-Lay likes to try to sneak in on us every now and again. The chip’s construction really is unique, giving each crunchy corn pyramid an almost unmatched sturdiness in all of snackfooddom.

If you’re anything like me and hate buying an oversized bag of Doritos only to sob uncontrollably in disappointment over roughly one-third of your chips being broken, then you’ll appreciate the almost exclusively intact nature of the pieces.

What you may not appreciate is the taste, which leaves a lot to be desired. The intoxicating aroma and speckled seasoning immediately recalls everyone’s childhood favorite of Cool Ranch. And, yes, Cool Ranch are the *best* of the classic Doritos, but these are no worthy imitator. The seasoning is actually fairly dull.

It lacks the distinct buttermilk tang and lactic sweetness of Cool Ranch, displaying instead a bit of peppery and garlic flavor to compliment a respectable, but decidedly one-note whisper of jalapeño piquancy on the backend. Spicy enough to leave a tickle in your throat, and maybe elicit a cough or two, the taste is annoyingly persistent if only because there’s neither a cooling element associated with it or additional “hot” flavor to show an evolution in heat. For lack of a better adjective, the seasoning lacks that typical Doritos “zestiness” which makes eating an entire family size bag in one sitting such an, unfortunately, all-too-common experience.

Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapen?o Pepper Jack 2

Worse yet, the triangular pieces don’t really have much in the cheese flavor department. Jack cheese and its variants, including the jalapeño pepper jack version, should really have a mild and decidedly milky taste, but none of that comes off in the seasoning.

Each piece is saved somewhat by the strong and salty corn aftertaste, which tastes almost exactly like traditional Fritos, but with more crunch. Because I think Fritos are the most underrated of all chips, this is great news for me. But if you’re not a Fritos fan, and don’t get too crazy over the tickling heat of jalapeño, then you’ll likely find the chips a disappointment.

Unless you factor in the sturdiness of the pieces themselves, there’s nothing particularly mysterious or advanced about the rather bland and distinctively non-cheesy taste of the Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapeño Pepper Jack chips. Still, their solid crunch and salty corn base show potential to really capitalize on the Jacked namesake, but only if Doritos can apply their classic flavors to the new 3D triangular pieces.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 oz (about 13 pieces) – 150 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of total fat, 1.5 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapeño Pepper Jack
Purchased Price: $2.88
Size: 11 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Awesome crunch and sturdy construction not seen in previous versions of Doritos. Solid corn chip aftertaste will be popular amongst Fritos fans. Decent amount of jalapeño heat. Not snackable enough to eat a day’s worth of calories in flavored tortilla chips.
Cons: Seasoning is boring and not very cheesy. One-note jalapeño piquancy. Bag artwork seems stolen from Mountain Dew. Potential masonic conspiracy message engraved in a corn chip.

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REVIEW: Arby’s King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe Sandwich

Arby's King's Hawaiian Fish Deluxe Sandwich

I know few things about Hawaii. I do know the most famous celebrity is that Hawaiian Punch guy with that crazy hat. I also know that Hawaiian luxury resorts will kindly let you sleep for free when you go through a bad breakup (thanks Sarah Marshall). And I know that King’s Hawaiian bread is the best I’ve stuffed in my mouth since challah with its eggy pleasures.

Intrigued by the small four packs sitting harmlessly by the supermarket deli, they sat there engulfed in the smells of fried chicken and briny olives. The first time I picked them up was a lark but when the slightly sweet, rich taste seduced me, I was forever captive. I rarely leave the supermarket without buying a 4-pack of King’s Hawaiian rolls or sandwich buns.

I also have a strong penchant for fried fish sandwiches. While most gravitate towards Quarter Pounders or Big Macs, I go for the Filet-O-Fish. Even though it contains a lifeless fried rectangle with a flaky nondescript soylent green kind of protein, I love the Filet-O-Fish.

So imagine my fervor when I discovered the Arby’s King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe sandwich? Too many apostrophes aside, I was so excited that I immediately drove to the nearest Arby’s.

Arby's King's Hawaiian Fish Deluxe Sandwich 2

The sandwich was almost four and a half inches in diameter and the bun was similar to the King’s Hawaiian sandwich rolls. There was no mistaking that the roll made an impact visually because that slight sheen demanded that I pay fucking attention. I sank my partially brushed teeth into the softly toasted bun and into the crispy and flaky “wild caught Alaskan Pollock.” I can hear you scoffing. I am too. Regardless, if the fish was wild, I was impressed because it was not greasy.

Also, the rolls did not disappoint. They were slightly sweet, soft, and rich. They delivered, but that, surprisingly, contributed to the problem.

Arby's King's Hawaiian Fish Deluxe Sandwich 3

The sweet bread combined with the sweeter tartar sauce overwhelmed the sandwich. I couldn’t even taste the pickled chunks in the tartar sauce and it just killed the Alaskan pollock. There was too much tartar sauce on my tomato and lettuce.

The textures were pleasant enough but the slightly sweet bread on top of the sweeter sauce just shoved the fish aside like my Mom does when I try to hug her. Worse, the cheddar cheese was gloppy and lifeless. It wasn’t melted enough and it made no impression on the fish or the prized King’s Hawaiian roll.

Arby's King's Hawaiian Fish Deluxe Sandwich 4

I was a bit sad the Arby’s King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe didn’t live up to my expectation. Additionally, the $4.25 price tag is a bit too pricey and makes the term “Deluxe” really seem like an overstatement. The sandwich doesn’t balance as well as McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish. In fact, I’ve had government cafeteria fish sandwiches that tasted better. It’s a tolerable sandwich if you ignore that “deluxe” price, but otherwise I don’t think it’s really worth it.

(Nutrition Facts – 790 calories, 320 calories from fat, 36 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 125 milligrams of cholesterol, 1140 milligrams of sodium, 89 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 28 grams of protein.)

Item: Arby’s King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe Sandwich
Purchased Price: $4.25
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Arby’s
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Wild caught Alaskan Pollock was crispy and flaky. The King’s Hawaiian roll was sweet and rich.
Cons: Too much tartar sauce. The lifeless cheese slice. Deluxe price.

5 Comments