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REVIEW: Burger King Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger

Written by | June 6, 2014

Topics: 7 Rating, Burger King, Fast Food

Burger King Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger

To some of you, what’s in the photo above looks disgusting, as if someone regurgitated a burger. I can see that. There’s no doubt it’s the burger equivalent of a disheveled drunk laying on the sidewalk after a long night of debauchery.

The melted American cheese is like the pools of one own’s filth a passed out drunk would lie in. The golden onion rings peeking out from under the long hoagie sesame seed bun are like the accidentally exposed nipple or genitals. The BBQ sauce is the dried blood on the disheveled drunk, who will not know how it got there, why there’s so much of it, and whose blood it is.

The previous paragraph probably made your opinion of the Burger King Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger even lower, but, to me, what’s in the photo is extremely sexy and I’m getting wet staring at it. Because I’m drooling and I have slightly overactive saliva glands. Ask my pillow and anyone I’ve yelled at.

Burger King Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger Closeup

The melted cheese makes the sandwich appear as if it has a built-in fondue machine. The golden brown onion rings scream crispy. The dark BBQ sauce is like black lingerie, hidden underneath the bun. There isn’t a lot of it, but there’s enough of it to tantalize me. Then there’s the two round beef patties topped with all the other ingredients.

Everything brings back memories of throwing loose change on the counter to pay for the inexpensive, tasty, but now discontinued Rodeo Cheeseburger. Yes, if you’re familiar with Burger King menus of yore, you’d know this is a stretched-out Rodeo Cheeseburger.

Obviously, with pretty much the same ingredients as a Rodeo Cheeseburger, the Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger tastes as wonderful as the beloved little burger. The onion rings have a slight crunch and just enough onion flavor to cut through the BBQ sauce, which has a wonderful sweet and spicy flavor and is, in my opinion, the best tasting BBQ sauce among the big burger chains. The combination of beef patties, cheese, onion rings, and BBQ sauce hit my taste buds with so many different flavors — salty, sweet, spicy, oniony, and greasy. It’s definitely a better tasting use for Burger King’s hoagie bun than their Original Chicken Sandwich.

While the Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger is tasty, its price is an issue. Like with stretched-out limos, there’s a premium for this stretched-out Rodeo Cheeseburger. My fellow future Lipitor taker, Ryan over at Grub Grade, noted in his review that one can get two Rodeo Burgers, plus pay extra for cheese, for a total that’s significantly cheaper than this limited time only burger. However, if you’re super hungry or have friends, Burger King recently added the sandwich to their 2 for $5 deal.

Let’s be honest, Burger King’s “new” Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger isn’t new. The combination of ingredients is old. Heck, the “Extra Long” name is old (it’s been used by Burger King in other countries) and using BK’s hoagie bun for a cheeseburger in the U.S. is also old (see BK’s Bullseye BBQ Burger). But my taste buds sure do like reminiscing with it.

Burger King Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger Wrapper

(Nutrition Facts – 590 calories, 28 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 1080 milligrams of sodium, 62 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of sugar, and 22 grams of protein.)

Item: Burger King Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger
Purchased Price: $6.79 (value meal)
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like my beloved Burger King Rodeo Cheeseburger. It looks sexy (to me). Onion rings have a nice crunch and have enough flavor to cut through BBQ sauce. So many flavors coming together. Burger King’s BBQ sauce, which, I think, is the best of the big burger chains. Available with Burger King’s 2 for $5 deal.
Cons: Not really a “new” product. Pricey if you purchased one, would be cheaper to buy two Rodeo Burgers with cheese. Could’ve used a bit more BBQ sauce. To some it might look like a disheveled drunk.

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REVIEW: Arby’s Auntie Anne’s Cheddar Pretzel Nuggets

Written by | June 6, 2014

Topics: 7 Rating, Arby's, Fast Food

Arby’s Auntie Anne’s Cheddar Pretzel Nuggets

Since the dawn of creation, mankind has faced two fundamental questions when it comes to procuring food. The first, “How do I cook this?” is easily answered thanks to the advent of microwaves, grills, and fancy sous-vide machines I can’t afford. The second, and perhaps exponentially more important for our survival, is a question which is not so easily answered: “How can I stuff this with cheese?”

Thanks to the recent Pact of Saltiness agreed between Auntie Anne’s and Arby’s, this question just got a whole lot easier to answer. As if sent just in time for the dog days of summer baseball season, the new Cheddar Pretzel Nuggets combine cheddar cheese with the salty and yeasty greatness of a soft pretzel. What’s more, having them available hot and ready allows me to avoid awkwardly standing in the grocery store frozen foods section, all the while staring at a box of Nacho Super Pretzels while wondering, “Do I dare?”

I’ll be honest with you if you’re willing to be honest with yourself. As you’d expect, these are absolute salt bombs. But isn’t that exactly what we’re looking for in a fast food side item? Last I checked, we weren’t raving about the crispness of the lettuce in the McDonald’s side salad, or the bright sweetness of the grapes in a Chick-fil-A fruit cup. No, Arby’s Pretzel Bites are more primordial in their appeal, and despite leaving me feeling one skipped heartbeat away from a heart attack, I kind of liked them.

Arby’s Auntie Anne’s Cheddar Pretzel Nuggets Innards 2

No one is going to confuse these for a main course. The bites are definitely “nugget” sized, with a shiny buttery-spread coating and soft feel beneath coarse grains of pretzel salt. Mine were defiantly warm, fogging up the plastic container so much that I grew concerned they might steam themselves into a glutinous ball of cheese and pretzel salt.

Wasting no time in adverting such a disaster, I discovered the give of each bite to be gentle, with a malty and earthy sweetness balancing a savory butter taste and, of course, the crunchy salt granules. Likewise, I enjoyed the moist and chewy crumb, which avoided the dry and crumbling texture that prepackaged pretzel rolls sometimes have.

Arby’s Auntie Anne’s Cheddar Pretzel Nuggets Innards

I realize processed cheese is amongst the most polarizing topics in our world today, so I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying you’ll either love or hate the filling. I personally love it. Thick, but gooey in a way that would allow you to sculpt a Leaning Tower of Cheeza, the cheddar filling is plentiful while having that je ne sais quoi flavor of a melted then cooled slice of a good old Kraft Single. On its own it might pass for too much, but combined with the malty sweetness and buttery texture on the pretzel bites, it creates an addictive grilled cheese effect.

I admit the processed cheese makes the bites overly salty, but at the same time it creates a snack that’s good enough to eat without sauces. That said, I appreciate Arby’s open dispensers of Honey Mustard Sauce, which add a nice blend of sharpness and sweetness to the dipped bites.

While I liked the bites, I do think they are a little on the pricey side for their size, and freely admit their heavily salted flavor and overly chewy texture will definitely turn some off. Still, they solve an age old snacking question without me having to take any undue risks, and satisfy a need for a salty and cheesy indulgence.

(Nutrition Facts – 5 pieces or 83 grams – 210 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 1560 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of sugar, 1 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein..)

Item: Arby’s Auntie Anne’s Cheddar Pretzel Nuggets
Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 5 pieces
Purchased at: Arby’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Guilty pleasure salt-bomb appeal combines nicely with malty sweetness of the pretzel. Cheese is thick and gooey with some actual cheddar flavor. Buttery spread aftertaste. Pretzel portion tastes fresh baked and yeasty.
Cons: A little expensive for the serving size. An awesome source of sodium, and by awesome I mean capable of giving you a heart attack. Will completely turn some people off with saltiness and thick processed cheese texture. Getting yelled at in the grocery store for holding the freezer door open.

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QUICK REVIEW: Haagen-Dazs Caramelized Banana Chip Gelato

Written by | May 27, 2014

Topics: 7 Rating, Haagen Dazs, Ice Cream

Ha?agen-Dazs Caramelized Banana Chip Gelato

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 14 oz
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Wonderful banana-flavored gelato that doesn’t taste doesn’t taste at all artificial, Lots of semi-sweet chocolatey shavings throughout the container, which give the frozen dessert a texture contrast. Not overly sweet. Easy to scoop out, somewhat hard to put down (although reading the nutrition facts over and over helped me put it down). Monkeys would approve.
Cons: Can’t taste the caramelization in the caramelized banana gelato; it tastes like plain banana ice cream. Not a full pint. Texture not like gelato one would get from a gelato shop, even after letting it soften a little. Has a very faint banana aroma. Not as great as Häagen-Dazs Bananas Foster Ice Cream, which has a flavor that’s more complex than this gelato.

Ha?agen-Dazs Caramelized Banana Chip Gelato Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 1/2 cup – 260 calories, 110 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

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REVIEW: Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 855

Written by | May 27, 2014

Topics: 7 Rating, Chips, Doritos

Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 855

What’s fun about the Doritos Jacked Test Flavors is trying to figure out what flavors they are. Looking at the ingredients list is the equivalent of shaking a Christmas present to determine what it could be.

What’s on each Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 855 chip reads like result of a McCormick spices factory being dropped on a dairy and a Chinese restaurant. There’s paprika, spices, salt, sour cream, cayenne pepper sauce, onion powder, MSG, sugar, garlic powder, butter, cheddar cheese, buttermilk, and blue cheese.

A number of those ingredients make each chip look dark red, and a bit ominous, as if Lucifer stood above them, rubbed his head really fast with his hands, and let his dandruff fall on them.

The chips have a heat that matches their color. It’s the spiciest of the three Doritos Jacked Test Flavors, but it takes a few chips before the heat builds up to its maximum. Those who have a high tolerance for spiciness will consider these chips to be all show, no whoa. They didn’t make me want to reach for any soothing liquid, but they did make me yearn for tacos.

I guess I can blame the sour cream flavor that instantly hit my mouth when I started eating the chips for my tacos jones. It stood out like clowns on stilts with yellow crushed velvet track suits, oversized sunglasses, rainbow afro wigs, and erections. I liked the tangy sour cream flavor that cut through the heat of the chip, plus I now know what it’s like to make out with a Taco Bell sour cream gun.

Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 855 Closeup

The sour cream was followed by waves of spices — paprika, cayenne, onion powder, and garlic powder. The paprika and cayenne were the most noticeable of the bunch. The sour cream and spices combination caused the chips to taste like a spicy taco supreme…no wait. A spicy burrito supreme. No, um…chili cook-off chili with sour cream on top. No. A Taco Bell Cool Ranch Spicy Chicken Doritos Locos Taco. No, um… As you can see, I’m not sure what flavor they are, but these red chips are my favorite of the three Doritos Jacked Test Flavors because of its spiciness and the bold sour cream flavor.

With that said, they are also the least intriguing of the three. The other Doritos Jacked Test Flavors have ingredients like lime juice solids, orange juice solids, cocoa powder, chocolate liquor, and brown sugar. Test Flavor 855 has components that seem like they’ve flavored many other Doritos products. I guess one could say, except my computer’s spellcheck, they are the normalest of the three.

Whatever Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 855 is, when Frito-Lay announces what flavor it is, it better have a jacked name. Might I suggest Doritos Jacked Devil’s Dandruff.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce – 140 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 855
Purchased Price: $3.79 (on sale)
Size: 10 oz bag
Purchased at: Times Supermarket
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Spices and sour cream is a tasty combination. Nice medium heat that slowly builds up. Makes me yearn for tacos. If Frito-Lay ends up calling it Doritos Jacked Devil’s Dandruff.
Cons: Looks like it’s been coated with Lucifer’s dandruff. I have no idea what flavor it is. Least intriguing Doritos Jacked Test Flavor. Heat heads won’t be impressed with the level. Definitely won’t be called it Doritos Jacked Devil’s Dandruff.

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REVIEW: Wrigley’s Extra Dessert Delights Cinnamon Roll Gum

Written by | May 23, 2014

Topics: 7 Rating, Extra, Gum

Wrigley's Extra Dessert Delights Cinnamon Roll Gum

Remember that time you went to the mall and passed the Cinnabon sample tray? The one with the Dixie Cups? And the warm, goopy Minibons? And you took a sample? Then you took another? Then you took 10 more? Then you got dismissed for exceeding your sample limit? (“There’s a sample limit???”) Then you stomped away? And came back 15 minutes later with a fake mustache? And presumed a new identity while shoveling more Minibons down as you made a convincing argument to the fifteen-year-old employee that your voice was undergoing great strain after reconstructive surgery?

Like that time Charlie Buckets drank the Fizzy Lifting Drinks and nearly got shredded by a giant fan, it seemed like a good idea at the time. And, perhaps, for that one moment, when you got a bite of the half-baked middle, the cinnamon butter goo, the crunchity glaze, it was worth it because let us remember: this is not just any hunk of bread. This is a cinnamon roll: a warm, messy blob of cinnamon-sugar gloopity gloop and enough confectioner’s sugar to make The League of Evil Dentists cheer for all the money they’ll make filling your cavities. And yet, for each roll you have, there’s only so much chewing before it’s gone, having been chomped by your molars into the dark oblivion that is digestion. So what’s a cinnamon bun addict to do with such conundrums and deep-cut cravings?

Wrigley's Extra Dessert Delights Cinnamon Roll Gum Looking at that dashing piece of taupe

One gum. To cure them all.

As I learned from Yosemite Sam, power comes in many sizes, be it in an 19-inch-tall cowboy with a booshily beard and anger management issues or a 2-inch strip of taupe gum, and, indeed, this particular piece of Cinnamon Roll gum reinforces this lesson. The chew here starts out a little tough, then softens out for a good 17-20 minutes before gamboling into rubber tire territory.

But it’s a very tasty tire.

If this flavor were a superhero, it would be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle in a tutu. It starts off with a cooling, hyper sweetness (the tutu), then swipes at you from the shadows (like a Ninja Turtle) with a backdrop of… is that toasted caramel?? Yes, yes it is! Why, I dare say there’s even a little nuttiness as if there were a hint of toasted pecans in there.

The cinnamon doesn’t hit it out too heavily, coming in as a warm afterthought rather than a spicy kick, but that’s the genius. It allows the warm, zingy, slightly fruity/vanilla-y hints of the caramel and cinnamon to remind you of the doughy sensation you sought in the Cinnabon originals while the cooling effects of aspartame mimic that cooling sensation brought on by a caramel-sugar glaze. Nice attention to detail, Extra.

While lacking the fresh-baked, poofy texture of the true baked good, the end result here does come out tasting modestly like a cinnamon roll (but more like a caramel sticky bun) with a gentle warmth, slight sweetness, and joyous aroma all in a portable resealable cardboard square.

In a world in which Cinnabon prices are going up, all my baking pans are dirtied, and I am too lazy to pull out the Dawn Dish Soap (even if it does have aloe vera for silky smooth skin…), it’s nice to know that I can fill my cinnamon roll addiction without fear of having to take on new identities at the Cinnabon sample tray (I’m running out of disguises…). Is it deception that makes it tastes more like a caramel roll than a cinnamon roll? Perhaps, but it sure is a tasty, tasty deception.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 piece – 5 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of sugar alcohol, and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Wrigley’s Extra Dessert Delights Cinnamon Roll Gum
Purchased Price: $1.19
Size: 1 pack/15 pieces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Soft chew. Sweet toasted caramel flavor. Hint of pecan flavor. Hyper sweetness from aspartame mimics glaze. Portable. Tasty deception. Ninja Turtles in tutus. Justifies procrastination of washing dishes.
Cons: Not a warm, poofy pastry. Could use more cinnamon. Some may feel betrayed that it tastes more like a caramel sticky bun than cinnamon roll. Desperate attempts to procure free Cinnabons. Cowboys with anger management issues. Being shredded by a giant fan. The League of Evil Dentists.

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