REVIEW: Jack in the Box Homestyle Potatoes

Jack in the Box Homestyle Potatoes

French fries.

Seasoned curly fries.

Hash browns.

I guess we should include Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges.

And now Homestyle Potatoes.

That, my friends, is the list potato sides you can get at a Jack in the Box. If you’re a potatophile, this list should give you a carb-on. Although, if Wendy’s can have a baked potato, why can’t Jack in the Box? Come on, Jack! Get on that!

The chain’s Homestyle Potatoes are part of their new Brunchfast menu and they feature diced potatoes mixed with bell peppers and onions. The side comes in one serving size and it’s almost the same as a large fries.

I’ve gotten my money’s worth at several brunch buffets in my lifetime and almost all of them had roasted potatoes that looked like these. Some were just potatoes while other included peppers and onions.

The flavor of Jack’s Homestyle Potatoes do remind me of the roasted potatoes I’d form mounds of on my plate at a brunch buffet. Well, to be more exact, they’re like the potatoes I’d get from a brunch buffet that have been sitting in the Sterno-heated tray for too long, but I took them because I didn’t want to wait for a fresh tray.

Jack in the Box Homestyle Potatoes 2

The potatoes appeared to be seasoned with some herbs (although I couldn’t taste them), had a soft texture, and some of the potato skins had slightly crispy edges. The veggies, which there were not a lot of, were somewhat crisp. While I enjoyed the Homestyle Potatoes with my Brunchfast, a part of me wished I had hash browns. There’s something about that golden brown, crispy, greasy brick of potatoes, that appeals to me more.

Like all of Jack in the Box’s menu, the Homestyle Potatoes are available all day. So you can order them for Lunner, Dinnfast, Snacner, or whatever meal portmanteau tickles your fancy.

(Nutrition Facts – 259 calories, 106 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 580 milligrams of sodium, 489 milligrams of potassium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.39*
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Another potato side at Jack in the Box. Tastes like brunch buffet potatoes. Some vegetables. Some potatoes has crispy skin on the edges. Available all day.
Cons: I think I’d rather have hash browns. Tastes like brunch buffet potatoes that have been sitting out for a while. Couldn’t taste herbs. Not a lot of veggies. No Jack in the Box baked potato, yet. Making portmanteaus with a portmanteau.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Nabisco Oreo Thins Tiramisu Cookies (Korea)

Nabisco Oreo Thins Tiramisu Cookies

I love Oreo Thins.

I’ve said statements like that publicly and when I’m alone with a package in my kitchen, serenading it with the Peyton Manning Nationwide Insurance commercial jingle melody.

Oreo Thins, you taste so good.

I also like to order tiramisu whenever I’m not full or tired from eating large amounts of carbohydrates at Italian chain restaurants like Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Bucca di Beppo.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Italian desert, it features coffee dipped ladyfingers; layers of an eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese mixture; is flavored with cocoa; and may contain rum. It’s light, it has a fun name to say in a sexy voice, and it’s delicious.

So including a tiramisu-flavored creme in an Oreo Thins Cookie looks like a slam dunk or a home run. But, surprisingly, it was not. It was an air ball or an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded when (insert your team here) is down one run in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 of the World Series. Okay, maybe not that soul crushing.

Actually, my disappointment with these began before I even tasted one. I thought these would’ve been nice if they had the soft cookie of Oreo Cakesters (remember those), which would’ve matched the actual dessert’s texture.

Nabisco Oreo Thins Tiramisu Cookies 2

The tiramisu-flavored creme tastes very similar to the Italian dessert. It’s got the coffee, the cocoa, and I detect a little bit of alcohol flavor. But the thing is, when eaten whole, the creme is in the background while the chocolate wafer dominates the cookie’s flavor.

That’s typical with the Oreo Thins varieties and it’s the reason why I sing to them when we’re alone. That ratio makes them less sweet and allows me to easily pop them into my mouth one after another like potato chips. But I really wanted the tiramisu to shine, which it doesn’t. Perhaps, this flavor would’ve been better as a regular Oreo.

These Oreo Thins Tiramisu Cookies are okay. Are they good enough that you should buy a box from an eBay seller in another country since these cookie aren’t available in the U.S.? Well, if they’re not tasty enough for me to serenade, then they’re not good enough.

Purchased Price: $6.00
Size: 84 g box/2 sleeves of 7 cookies
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 sleeve) 220 kcal, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein

REVIEW: Sonic Blast made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups & Peanut Butter Flavor Funnel

Sonic Blast made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups & Peanut Butter Flavor Funnel


SONIC GUY 1 and SONIC GUY 2 sit in a convertible.

SONIC GUY 1: “I really like these new Sonic Blast Flavor Funnels.”

SONIC GUY 2: “Why are you saying ‘Sonic’ like I don’t know they’re from Sonic? We’re literally at Sonic.”

SONIC GUY 1 smiles uncomfortably.

SONIC GUY 2: “Hold up, didn’t Ben & Jerry’s and Dairy Queen basically just make these?!”

SONIC GUY 1: “Shut up man, they’ll hear you! Don’t ruin the gig! Haha, he’s just joking around, boss.”


Those cornballs have been making commercials since 2004!

Sonic the Hedgehog is only 12 years older than those ads. The Seattle Supersonics – who feel like they’ve been gone forever – became the OKC Thunder in 2008! That’s how long these dudes have been shilling for America’s Drive-In.

Sonic Blast made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups & Peanut Butter Flavor Funnel 2

If you’ve seen our heroes lately, they’ve probably been promoting Sonic’s new “flavor funnels” because Ben and Jerry made “Cores,” and Dairy Queen made “Royal Blizzards,” and that’s just what competing companies do these days. Anything you can do, I can do the same! The new trend is ice cream companies jamming a thin vein of flavor through their flagship products, and pretending its ground breaking.

Sonic took their already existing “Blasts” and shot everything from caramel to Oreo crème to peanut butter down the middle, because why not?

I chose the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Blast with the peanut butter flavor funnel, because why not?!

The Blast’s base was vanilla ice cream that was neither offensive nor impressive. It was fine. Bits and pieces of Reese’s cups were blended in, which is never a bad thing.

Sonic Blast made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups & Peanut Butter Flavor Funnel 3

Once I choked down the whipped cream I wish wasn’t there, the tan flavor funnel core peaked out in all of its Jules Vernian glory. At first glance it was a sight to behold. Then, I tasted it.

The peanut butter’s texture left a lot to be desired. It was gluey, with a consistency somewhere between syrup and Jif Whips. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I don’t usually like my peanut butter to be wet. It didn’t help that while trying to get a nice balance of ice cream to funnel, I ended up basically eating half the funnel in one bite. Said bite was extremely overpowering, and the tiny bits of chocolate didn’t counterbalance it at all.

Sonic Blast made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups & Peanut Butter Flavor Funnel 4

I dug down to see if the funnel reached the bottom of the cup, and it stopped about half way. It was half a funnel! Half of “funnel” is “fun.” That’s not fun!

I only ate about 1/3rd of the Blast, and I’m pretty sure I consumed the entire funnel. Sonic’s website lists the sizes as mini, small, medium and large, but they didn’t even ask, and just gave me the “one size kills all.” It was disgustingly massive.

I paid the over five dollars by card, so I felt bad when the Carhop rolled over and I didn’t have a tip for her on hand. I’d be remised if I didn’t give props to Sonic as well as Venice Beach and old guy hockey leagues for keeping roller blades alive, though.

Look, I’m not gonna say there’s much wrong with vanilla ice cream, weird peanut butter and Reese’s, but this funnel gimmick was completely unnecessary. The Blast sans funnel is probably more satisfying.

To be fair, I only had the one flavor, and you can add as many toppings as you please, so the other flavors might be bigger hits than this one. I may go back for a mini Oreo at some point.

(Nutrition Facts – Large – 1880 calories, 840 calories from fat, 94 grams of total fat, 62 grams of saturated fat, 305 milligrams of cholesterol, 1160 milligrams of sodium, 233 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 203 grams of sugars, and 27 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.39 + $.50 for the Flavor Funnel add-on
Size: Large
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: It’s ice cream and Reese’s. It’s the lazy man’s DQ Blizzard. Sonic Guys making bank. Carhop delivery.
Cons: Weird overpowering peanut butter funnel. Absolutely massive Styrofoam cup. Not enough chocolate bits. Expensive. Look at the nutrition facts for a large. Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton are the REAL Sonic Guys.

REVIEW: Mountain House Freeze Dried New York Style Cheesecake Bites

Mountain House Freeze Dried New York Style Cheesecake Bites

Amazon is creepy.

I search for astronaut ice cream ONE TIME on the online shopping site and the next day I get an email from them with a recommendation list of other freeze-dried snacks I might enjoy. So that is how I ended up with a bag of Mountain House’s Freeze Dried New York Style Cheesecake Bites.

And a 25-foot long outdoor extension power cord.

And a microphone.

The snack was an “Add-on item” so I had to spend $25 to get free shipping. You know how it is, Amazon Prime members.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mountain House, it’s a company that specializes in freeze-dried meals. It has varieties like biscuits and gravy, lasagna with meat sauce, chili mac with beef, and breakfast skillet. Just add water, wait 10 minutes, and you’ve got yourself a meal. But don’t look at it. The company also offers dessert because what better way is there to end your freeze-dried meal than with freeze-dried dessert.

Thankfully, no water is involved in order to enjoy these freeze dried cheesecake bites. Like insects to a bird, they’re ready to eat.

Mountain House Freeze Dried New York Style Cheesecake Bites 2

Each bite is a half-inch cube and appears to have a graham cracker-like topping. They look good and crunch like a school cafeteria shortbread cookie, but they taste like nothing for the first couple chews.

Only when the pieces break down in my mouth do I get any flavor. But it doesn’t remind me of cheesecake even though there is a slight graham flavor. Instead, I instantly think of lemon cookies or lemon cake because the bites are missing that distinct level of tang cheesecake has.

Even though they don’t remind me of cheesecake, Mountain House Freeze Dried New York Style Cheesecake Bites are pleasant. I imagine they would be a nice ice cream topper, albeit an expensive one. One pouch, which is also one serving, is $3.50 on Amazon. But it’s good enough that it’s made me curious about Mountain House’s just-add-water meals.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 package – 240 calories, 120 calories from fat, 14 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 1.94 oz pouch
Purchased at: Amazon
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like lemon cake or cookies. Crunchy. Eating freeze-dried desserts is cool. No refrigeration needed. Ready to eat.
Cons: Doesn’t remind me of cheesecake. First couple of chews taste like nothing. Pricey for what you get. Amazon Add-on Items.

QUICK REVIEW: Rockstar Pure Zero Lemonade Energy Drink

Rockstar Pure Zero Lemonade Energy Drink

Rockstar Pure Zero Lemonade Energy Drink is something I’d imagine one would get from a first time lemonade stand owner who’s also using it as a front to distribute cocaine.

I assume when you have a beginner’s lemonade stand/cocaine counter, the two products have to mix. So it has the flavor of mediocre lemonade, but also the ability to make your heart beat like it’s coming out of your chest.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Rockstar Pure Zero line, it consists of energy drinks that have zero calories and zero grams of sugar. Another number I’ve noticed with recent additions to the Pure Zero line is 240, as in 240 milligrams of caffeine per can. The most recent Pure Zero flavors, this beverage and last year’s Pure Zero Watermelon, have that higher amount, which is 50 percent more than the usual 160 milligrams found in most other Rockstar products.

So if you’re looking for a big jolt of energy during the day because you spent all night looking for Pokémon, this beverage in a Pikachu-colored can will definitely help.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, Rockstar Pure Zero Lemonade has an average flavor. It’s not horrible by any means, but I wish the lemon had a bit more punch. According to the can, it contains 2 percent juice that comes from lemon juice concentrate, but it seems that wasn’t enough for me. Also, because the lemon flavor isn’t very bold, the artificial sweeteners stand out a bit more than with other Pure Zero flavors.

Again, it’s an okay flavor, but it’s my least favorite of the Rockstar Pure Zero line.

Rockstar Pure Zero Lemonade Energy Drink 2

Purchased Price: $1.50
Size: 16 fl oz
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 fl. oz) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 1 gram of erythritol, and 0 grams of protein.