REVIEW: 7-Eleven Blue Raspberry Slurpee Donut

7-Eleven’s new Blue Raspberry Slurpee Donut

Well folks, it’s that time of year again. The weather is heating up and the chum is in the water. That can only mean one thing…

*Cue a knockoff version of the theme from JAWS, because I couldn’t clear the rights to the John Williams original.*

It’s Shark Week!

Ok, ok, I jumped the flare gun a bit there, Shark Week isn’t actually until the end of June. While you can’t get your fix of ridiculous Megalodon myths and pulse-racing Surfer-Brah horror tales until next month, you can currently get a taste of Shark Week at your local 7-Eleven.

One of the big merchandising tie-ins for this year’s Shark Week is 7-Eleven’s new Blue Raspberry Slurpee Donut.

Why?

Well, it’s blue. The ocean is blue. Sharks live in the ocean. The week is named after sharks. So, there ya go.

Let’s all kick back and enjoy Shark Week with a Blue Raspberry Slurpee Donut! We’re gonna need a bigger belt!

As an unapologetic man-child, there are few things that excite me more than blue foods. I’m also a lifelong Slurpee devotee, so I naturally had to try one of these.

I’ve had some wild donut varieties in my day, but this might take the cake donut. What we have here is a plain cake with Blue Raspberry Slurpee-flavored icing and blue sugar crystals.

The sky blue icing’s texture is more cupcake than donut to me. I think I prefer a different kind of frosting on my donuts, because they tend to harden up and glaze over a bit – think of a chocolate frosted donut from Dunkin’. The icing here is very soft and mushy and it dissolved quickly in my mouth. Not a huge deal, but I think this would have benefitted from having more of a shell.

For the first few seconds, the icing made me think of sour blue raspberry candy. I wasn’t expecting that. While it was distinctly raspberry, the sour kick was shocking.

The raspberry flavor wasn’t all that appetizing until it mixed with the cake donut itself. At that point, it became harmonious. The donut helped neutralize the sourness, and made the flavor satisfying as a whole. The cake donut was fluffy and fresh, so that helped the cause.

The crystals were supposed to give the donut an “ice-like crunch.” While there was nothing “icy” about it, the sugary crunch did add a nice element to the finished product, and I appreciated their inclusion.

As powerful as the flavor was, I was surprised at how little a scent this donut gave off. It didn’t smell like raspberries. It didn’t really smell like anything.

7-Eleven’s new Blue Raspberry Slurpee Donut 2

I picked up a Blue Raspberry Slurpee just to compare flavors and I think blue raspberry makes for a better Slurpee flavor than donut icing. 7-Eleven was definitely on the right track, but the donut’s icing was a lot sourer than the drink. So again, be prepared for that.

I give 7-Eleven credit for thinking outside the tank. This is a decently fresh take on two old favorites. Would I rather have a different flavored donut and a Slurpee on the side? Sure. I’ll probably go that route when the next Shark Week rolls around in three months, but I’d say this donut’s limited run is worth dipping your toe in the water.

(Nutrition Facts – 270 calories. No other nutritional info available.)

Purchased Price: 99 cents
Size: N/A
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Tastes good once everything mixes. Fluffy cake donut. Crunchy sugar crystals. Awesome appearance. Solid effort. Slurpee drinks.
Cons: Sour icing. Blue tongue. Lazy tie-in. Shark Week every week. The spoon on Slurpee straws is super tedious.

REVIEW: Starbucks Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino

Starbucks Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino

Out of all of the different junk food options out there, I don’t think there’s a more difficult one to spell than Frappuccino. Seriously, if the Scripps National Spelling Bee folks wanted to make it hard for kids to win, Frappuccino is the word. Heck, even Starbucks baristas seem to have plenty of difficulty spelling it.

Needing a dictionary aside, the Frappuccino is an integral part of the Starbucks menu – so much so that they offer an annual happy hour in celebration of the various combinations of milk, coffee, flavorings, and “base.” Judging by my recent visit to Starbucks, the Frappuccino Happy Hour looks to be the most miserable place on Earth – high schoolers slurping syrupy drinks, whipped cream everywhere, and surly baristas getting a workout from pumping out so much “base.” Disney World this is not.

Starbucks tends to release a new Frappuccino flavor each year to kick off summer, and this year’s entry, the Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino, is a sugar-packed way to celebrate the solstice. Advertised as a “carnival delight, all grown up,” the blended drink is a mix of waffle cone-flavored syrup, dark caramel sauce, coffee, milk, and ice, which is then topped with whipped cream, waffle cone pieces, and more of the aforementioned caramel sauce. I guess this is what happens when an ice cream cone hits puberty.

I avoided happy hour at my local Starbucks and decided to order this Frappuccino for breakfast. Frappuccinos have a reputation amongst baristas for being horrible to prepare, so I ordered carefully and cordially. Aside from a little side-eye, my Frappuccino was good to go (except for the part where the barista spilled the waffle cone bits all over the counter while sighing heavily).

Starbucks Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino 2

Upon picking up my drink, I immediately noticed that my Frappuccino was a little naked – it was missing its topping of dark caramel sauce. Undeterred, I dug in, and was hit with an overwhelming blast of caramel. I welcomed the fact that the flavor was a little richer and deeper than the traditional Starbucks sauce, but it overpowered every single sip. In fact, it was hard to even taste the coffee over the cacaphony of caramel.

Other than the waffle cone bits perched on the whipped cream, the Frappuccino had no doughy notes to speak of. I’ll give Starbucks credit – the waffle cone bits stayed crunchy even after a few minutes on top of the drink – but they still lacked any flavor, and might have had more of a punch if they were blended in.

In the end, there’s nothing wrong with the Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino, but paying a premium for what’s essentially a caramel Frappuccino only makes sense if your name is Alanis Morissette.

(Nutrition Facts – 12 fluid ounces – 300 calories, 100 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 44 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.25
Size: 12 fl oz
Purchased at: Starbucks
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Barista upper arm workouts. Caramel. Starbucks for breakfast.
Cons: Sugared up high schoolers. No waffle cone flavor. Sauce M.I.A.

REVIEW: Cold Stone Creamery Blueberry Donut Shake

Cold Stone Creamery Blueberry Donut Shake

I’ve been living under the assumption there are approximately four Dairy Queens, two Carvels, two Baskin-Robbins, and a Häagen-Dazs between my house and the closest Cold Stone Creamery, so I never saw it necessary to trek out to one.

Well guess what, folks? You know that Blimpie a town over from me? C’mon, you know the one. No, that’s a Subway. Right. That place! Apparently, that’s a half-Blimpie, half-Cold Stone Creamery!

All this time I could’ve had my ice cream slapped and folded at a fancy “Creamery” by someone I presume is called a “Creamer.” Instead, I’ve just been opting for boring scoops elsewhere. Ridiculous.

With this newfound knowledge I immediately perused Cold Stone’s menu to see if anything struck my fancy. Something did. In fact, I can’t recall the last time my fancy was struck as hard as it was when I noticed they now serve a Blueberry Donut Shake.

A blueberry donut shake?! It’s like they made that specifically for me. I love ice cream shakes, and my go-to donut is the blueberry cake variety.

I set a course for Blimp Stone Creamery. Cold Stone Blimpery?

The “Creamer” mixed two scoops of sweet cream ice cream, a few blueberries, about 1/3 of a blueberry cake donut, and a little milk into a perfectly blended lavender shake.

Cold Stone Creamery Blueberry Donut Shake 2

Not only did the shake feature those quality ingredients, he topped it off with a dollop of whipped cream, and perhaps the greatest garnish of all time – a frozen blueberry cake donut.

*I pause this review to decree that from this point forward, all desserts must be garnished with a donut We now return to your regularly scheduled review.*

Speaking of donuts, the shake instantly reminded me of the blueberry cake donut from Dunkin’. If you’re not familiar, it’s not too far off from a blueberry muffin.

Is “Blueberry Muffin a la Mode” a thing? Try to picture that, in shake form.

The ingredients worked perfectly together. The ice cream (which honestly tasted just like vanilla) gave it a sweet base, while the donut gave it a perfect hint of cake flavor. The blueberries provided an acidic fruit kick that also emanated a pleasant blueberry scent.

It was the smoothest ice cream shake I’ve had in a while. There were no floating bits of donut or blueberry clogging the straw. I finished it off without even a hint of brain freeze, so that’s worth a point in itself.

I saved the frozen donut for last. It was still pretty firm when the shake was gone, but tasted good enough. I don’t think it would have been too far off from Dunkin’s if it were fresh from the fryer.

As great as this shake was, I had a few minor gripes.

The whipped cream was pretty bad. It reminded of Cool Whip, which I’ve always found disgusting. Whipped cream in a Starbucks drink tends to liquefy towards the bottom. In this shake it remained a firm clump the entire time. Couple that with the still frozen donut, and it ended with a bit of a whimper.

The $6.75 price tag was outrageous, but this replaced my lunch, so I guess that’s a competitive price in that sense. It’s all about perspective. I couldn’t find the nutritional “value” of the shake on Cold Stone’s website. It’s probably best not to know. But hey, I know the blueberries provide some valuable antioxidants. The milk undoubtedly had some protein too. Perspective!

I really hope Cold Stone drops more donut-based shakes, especially now that I know there’s one nearby.

(Nutrition Facts – Not available on Cold Stone Creamery website.)

Purchased Price: $6.75
Size: Love It (Medium)
Purchased at: Cold Stone Creamery
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Delicious blend of blueberries, donuts, and ice cream. A blueberry cake donut garnish. No brain freeze. Finding out there was a Cold Stone nearby.
Cons: Frozen donut. Lardy whipped cream. Crazy price. Unknown nutritional facts. Cool Whip. “Creamers.”

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich

Dunkin' Donuts Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich

Supreme is, undoubtedly, one of my favorite adjectives. It has a connotation that’s both physically big and exceptional, not to mention it lends its name to the highest court in America, a groundbreaking female vocal group, and that mysterious bad guy we saw in The Force Awakens.

Supreme is bigger, better, and tastier than super. Supreme is what superb aspires to be but will never be. Supreme is what adults say when they want to describe something but don’t want the ambiguity of stupendous.

Dunkin' Donuts Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich 2

Dunkin’ Donuts’ Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich does not look like it deserves the title supreme. Flatter than a pancake and shoved into an America Runs on Dunkin’ bag amidst the morning rush hour, its appearance might best be described as, “that’s it?”

But looks can be deceiving, and when it comes to taste, the Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich delivers.

But first, a word about croissants. Yes, the French can be annoying. Likewise, I understand southern food and, by extension, biscuits are all the rage in breakfast sandwich land. But I don’t care, because even in it’s smushed, mass-produced form, a croissant is a supreme choice for a breakfast sandwich bread.

Dunkin' Donuts Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich 4

Dunkin’s version is buttery, slightly sweet, and wonderfully compliments the hearty egg mixture. While that mixture isn’t much to look at, it has crunchy bits of flavorful potatoes, peppers, and onions, not to mention just a rich eggy flavor. A slice of perfectly melted, salty American cheese helps bring the flavors together. Finally, the bacon is exceptional. If Arby’s bacon is brown sugar bacon is divisive, then Dunkin’s bacon is a great uniter. It’s meaty and smoky, with that perfect combination of crispness and fat to appease all bacon lovers.

Dunkin' Donuts Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich 3

For as wonderful as the buttery croissant, gooey American cheese, smoky bacon, and egg and pepper mixture come together, I found the taste exactly like it sounds: a bit heavy. It’s rich and fatty and salty and everything else I want in a supreme breakfast sandwich, but it’s also missing an element of sweetness and relief.  

I won’t lie to you; I grew up eating eggs with ketchup, and that’s exactly what I wished I had grabbed after my first few bites of the sandwich. While I doubt ketchup is something the Dunkin’ test kitchen chefs would consider, I do think the sweet crunchy flavor of good old fashioned, fresh sliced tomatoes would make a world of difference. A slice of Romaine lettuce, too, would go a long way to cementing the sandwich in the premium category, not to mention boost its aesthetic appeal beyond smushed UFO-looking vehicle of saturated fat and sodium (not that I’m complaining).

Dunkin’ Donuts’ Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich is definitely super, and maybe even makes the case for superb, but without a bit of sweetness and extra heft, it’s not quite the supreme it could be. Nevertheless, it’s a tasty addition to Dunkin’s menu and a hearty start to any day.

(Nutrition Facts – 600 calories, 37 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 245 milligrams of cholesterol, 1200 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 2 gram of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 23 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Dunkin’ Donuts
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Croissant has buttery, savory flavor that compliments the eggs perfectly. American cheese is wonderfully melted into the nooks and crannies of the croissant. Egg mixture is flavorful with ideal texture. Hearty, put-you-to-sleep type sandwich.
Cons: Could use more bacon to increase coverage to every bite. Needs an element of sweetness or relief from tomatoes. Potatoes don’t make much of an impact. Hearty, put-you-to-sleep type sandwich.

REVIEW: Carl’s Jr. Pretzel Breakfast Sandwich

Carl's Jr. Pretzel Breakfast Sandwich

I love celebrating food holidays.

There’s Bagel Day (2/9), Potato Chip Day (3/14), Chinese Almond Cookie Day (4/9), Animal Cracker Day (4/18), Clams on the Half Shell Day (just kidding, don’t celebrate it, but it’s an actual food holiday on 3/31) and Pretzel Day (4/26)! Thanks to Carl’s Jr., I celebrated Pretzel Day first thing that morning with their new Pretzel Breakfast Sandwich.

Deviating from their breakfast biscuit ways, Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s brought in Auntie Anne’s for some pretzel expertise. Growing up, I always wished that my aunts were as cool as Anne and Jemima. The point is, I love me some Auntie Anne’s pretzels – definitely a mall staple. So naturally, I was way too excited for this collaboration.

I unfortunately set myself up for a let down because I didn’t read the product description beforehand – I just assumed “pretzel” meant something that would be like Auntie Anne’s soft pretzels, but in bun form. So, I expected coarse salt diamonds glittering on top of a dark brown carb mountain. Instead, the bun is more like a saltless, flattened poop emoji.

Carl's Jr. Pretzel Breakfast Sandwich 2

The pretzel roll just doesn’t get me going like soft pretzel does. It’s soft but too chewy. The soft part is very much like a dinner roll, but it’s a miss on the pretzel part. I get that pretzels themselves do have more of a bite to them but when I’m also trying to chew through ham, egg, and cheese, it doesn’t create a good mouthfeel.

Also, coming from a person who practically inhales her food – don’t judge me, I know there are other food inhalers out there – the extra 3-4 chews are unwelcome. Lastly, it’s completely missing that Auntie Anne’s pretzel fragrance a.k.a BUTTER (I hope you read that in Paula Deen’s voice). A pretzel is not a pretzel without the buttery fat – erm, I mean goodness?!

Carl's Jr. Pretzel Breakfast Sandwich 3

The rest of the sandwich has all the components of a hearty and satisfying breakfast sandwich. The first thing I noticed was the cheese on cheese; you can’t miss it because it’s melting everywhere onto the wrapping and bun. It’s a little messy and reminds me of Kraft Singles but it’s actually American and Swiss cheese. Taste-wise, there’s no distinction between the cheeses, but I don’t mind.

The cheese overload does get to be a bit much, but the extra sodium in the smoky ham helps to cut through the bun and cheese. If ham is not for you, the other porky options are bacon or sausage. The final component is the pillowy yellow egg. The egg actually looks like something that could come off of my pan at home.

But, what’s the point of being a Pretzel Breakfast Sandwich if the pretzel part doesn’t deliver? I’d actually prefer to eat this on a biscuit.

BRB, going to the mall for some real pretzels now.

(Nutrition Facts – 520 calories, 210 calories from fat, 23 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 210 milligrams of cholesterol, 1770 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 24 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Carl’s Jr.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Celebrating food holidays! Components of a hearty and satisfying breakfast sandwich. Cheese on cheese.
Cons: Flattened Poop Emoji. Chewy. Lack of pretzel’s buttery goodness.

REVIEW: Burger King Whopper Dog

Burger King Whopper Dog

I’ve tried the original Burger King Grilled Dogs and I thought they were nothing to hot dog emoji, smiley face, and thumbs up about. They’re okay fast food fare, and I’d probably buy them again if I wanted to giggle internally by buying hot dogs from a fast food chain with the word “burger” in its name.

The newest Grilled Dog is the Whopper Dog, which is exactly what you’re thinking it is — a way to use ingredients restaurants already have to create a new product that doesn’t cost much to develop, is easy to make, and can be rolled out to all locations without much effort. The Whopper Dog combines the same lettuce, tomatoes, onions (although chopped), pickles, mayonnaise, and ketchup on a Whopper with a flame-grilled 100 percent beef hot dog and fluffy bun.

I’m not sure mine was made correctly. If you look at the photo above or below, the hot dog appears to be the topping for the toppings.

While trying to fit the Whopper Dog into my mouth for the first time, the fluffy hot dog bun’s seam tore, making consumption an adventure. The ketchup and mayonnaise acted as a lubricant to make the lettuce, onions, pickles, and tomatoes fall out of my Whopper Dog at a rate equal to the 30th level of Tetris.

At first I thought the Whopper Dog was topped with a weird combo on ingredients. But after thinking about it, it’s not too weird. Half of the toppings — ketchup, onions, and pickles — are things one can usually find on a hot dog (I’m counting the pickles, since they’re kind of close to relish). And the lettuce and tomato don’t really have strong flavor profiles.

Burger King Whopper Dog 2

After trying it, the only topping that made this hot dog taste different was the mayonnaise. And combined with the ketchup they created a decent creamy tomatoey sauce that I thought was a tasty condiment for the wiener (yes, I know fry sauce). The pickles added a nice relish-like sour bite; the chopped onions added a little crunch and mild onion flavor; the sad, white lettuce also provided a slight crunch; and the tomatoes didn’t really do anything. They were more of an obligation than anything else.

The flame-grilled wiener’s flavor with the Whopper toppings doesn’t stand out as much as the flame-grilled patty does with those same toppings. Its flavor would’ve stood out more if it was thicker, but it was the same size as one of those you’d get from a $2 10-pack at the store.

What I most disliked about the Whopper Dog I received was its temperature. After taking my first bite, the first thought that came to my mind was, “There are too many cold ingredients.” I know nothing about thermodynamics, but the toppings seem to transfer their coldness to the wiener. I imagine the hot dog started off hot when it was being made, but by the time I started chomping on it, it was lukewarm. It brought down the whole experience.

Despite it being four-napkin messy and having a lukewarm small wiener, I somewhat enjoyed my Whopper Dog. All the ingredients give it a familiar Whopper flavor, and maybe I’m too much of a Whopper fanboy to completely hate on it. But it’s definitely not something to hot dog emoji, smiley face, and thumbs up about.

(Nutrition Facts – 380 calories, 24 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1040 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $6.99* (meal)
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Not horrible. Familiar Whopper flavor. An easy way for Burger King to come up with a new product.
Cons: Messy as heck. Wiener’s flavor doesn’t stand out very well among all the other ingredients. Ingredients may have brought down the temperature of my wiener. Tomatoes were useless.

*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.