REVIEW: Burger King Angriest Whopper

Burger King Angriest Whopper

It was a Saturday, just like any other Saturday. I woke up, brushed my teeth, and got ready for the day. I read the newspaper and had a cup of coffee. I went for a morning run.

Eventually, I grew hungry for lunch. I got in my car, drove to the nearest restaurant, and placed my order. I paid the cashier and waited while my food was prepared. The cashier handed me a bag and I was on my way.

Once home, I sat down at my dinner table, bowed my head, and said a prayer.

“Dear almighty (Burger) King, please don’t let me end up in a Yahoo! article for whatever color this bright red bun turns my poo.”

Okay. Maybe it wasn’t just like any other Saturday.

In the Burger King family tree, the Angriest Whopper is the livid sibling of 2009’s Angry Whopper, and the extremely sunburned cousin of last year’s A.1. Halloween Whopper (which made headlines last year after customers reported that its black bun turned their poop green).

Burger King Angriest Whopper 2

As I unveiled the burger, I was greeted by an ominous proclamation: “I SURVIVED THE ANGRIEST WHOPPER.” So there’s a chance I might not survive this thing? Were my last words really going to be a prayer about the effects a fast food cheeseburger might have on my bowels? I will admit, as gimmicky as this burger seemed, I was intrigued to see whether it would live up to its spicy billing.

Burger King Angriest Whopper 3

The Angriest Whopper’s bun is very squishy. I certainly wouldn’t think of it as a “premium” bun used in similarly-priced burgers at other restaurants. The textures of the various ingredients are mostly similar, with some decent crunch from the lettuce and bacon. Having said that, the produce is what you would expect from Burger King—more functional (to provide some color and hold the components together) than attractive.

The tamer ingredients in the Angriest Whopper are decent. The bacon is crispy and provides a good meaty flavor. The patty itself has Burger King’s strong charbroiled taste, but it is relatively thin for its menu price and not at all juicy. The other two standard ingredients, the mayonnaise and American cheese, struck me as odd choices for this burger. The mayo adds little and actually seems to dull the other flavors. The American cheese is similarly underwhelming. I think Burger King missed a chance to use pepper jack cheese to add some heat.

Burger King Angriest Whopper 4

Now, the “spicy” ingredients. If this Whopper is Burger King’s definition of “Angriest,” I’d like to point them to my mother’s reaction when I stuffed a bag of Ritz Bitz in our VCR as a child. The only real heat comes from the four jalapeño slices, which are spicy and somewhat sour. I tried the bun separately, and if there is hot sauce baked in, I definitely couldn’t taste it. The angry onion petals are soggy and limp, but actually quite tasty. They reminded me of a slightly spicier version of Burger King’s onion rings. The angry sauce is undetectable for the most part. It seemed to have mixed with the mayo, and the little taste I could pick up was more sweet (almost like barbecue sauce) than spicy.

The Angriest Whopper is a decently flavorful sandwich, with a good amount of heat coming mostly from the jalapeños. But at $5.49 for just the burger, you’re basically paying for the novelty of the blindingly red bun. At a lower price and with a few recipe tweaks, however, this burger could be a heavy-hitter as one of Burger King’s regular offerings.

(Nutrition Facts – 830 calories, 51 grams of fat, 17 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 115 milligrams of cholesterol, 1530 milligrams of sodium, 59 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 34 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Innovative ingredients. Onion petals and bacon provide great flavor. Decent heat from jalapeño slices. Managed to survive eating a fast food cheeseburger.
Cons: Lacks heat. Bun contains no flavor whatsoever. High price for one sandwich. Getting yelled at by your mom. Bathroom prayers.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Sausage GranDDe Burrito

Dunkin' Donuts Sausage GranDDe Burrito

Burritos have been getting some bad press recently. From E.coli to a firefighter punching a homeless guy while waiting in line for one, the burrito is suffering from a serious PR crisis.

Enter Dunkin’ Donuts to save the day.

Dunkin’ recently announced the GranDDe Burrito – a new breakfast amalgamation, offered in both sausage and veGGie varieties. Props to the Dunkin’ marketing team for the puNNy name. It sure made me giGGle when I saw the coMMercial on the bOOb tube. I knew I just had to scuRRY to my local DD right away!

Okay. I’ll stop.

The burrito features a spicy omelet, cheese, beans, rice, corn, fire-roasted peppers, and onions wrapped in a flour tortilla, a mixture that DD suggests is JAM (emphasis theirs) packed with authentic southwest flavor. Their website also suggests that the burrito is SO (emphasis mine) heavy that you might not be able to pick it up. If that’s the case, my trips to the gym are going to need to get a lot more frequent.

After ordering my sausage burrito, I watched the Dunkin’ employee unceremoniously plop the frozen wrap onto a tray and jam it in the oven. When it was finished “cooking” the burrito got swaddled in an aluminum foil blanket, which I can only imagine is Dunkin’s attempt to bump up the authenticity factor and make me feel like I’ve stepped into a New Mexican tacqueria. Albeit it’s a tacqueria that also sells frosted donuts, but I digress.

Once I sat down, I noticed the burrito wasn’t that granDDe at all. It’s definitely smaLLer than what you’d get at Chipotle or Qdoba, but thankfully it’s half the price of what you’d find there. Upon unwrapping, I noticed that the GranDDe Burrito resembled a convenience store microwave version, complete with areas of soft and hard tortilla, and grease spots where the filling had soaked through the wrap. Authenticity!

Dunkin' Donuts Sausage GranDDe Burrito 2

Since the GranDDe burrito is not a freshly made product, the contents are layered one-by-one rather than mixed together and spread throughout. With my initial bites, I could clearly identify the omelet and sausage, but by the end, all that’s left were the rice and veggies. Thankfully the pepper, onion, and cheese did a great job at amping up the flavor, but the egg lacked any punch and got lost amongst the burrito’s other ingredients.

Dunkin' Donuts Sausage GranDDe Burrito 3

Similarly, the rice was too mushy to stand out, which makes me wonder who thought it was a great idea to put rice into a frozen breakfast burrito in the first place. I feel like a salsa or picante sauce would’ve done a great job at rounding out the taste, but the only things I could find in the disorganized Dunkin’ condiment bar were ketchup and Splenda. Guess I need to pull a Beyonce next time.

All in all, you’re getting your money’s worth with the GranDDe Burrito, but don’t expect it to be a bastion of southwest flavor (which I know you weren’t even expecting anyways).

(Nutrition Facts – 1 burrito (sausage) – 710 calories, 370 calories from fat, 41 grams of fat, 17 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 225 milligrams of cholesterol, 1660 milligrams of sodium, 56 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, 30 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Dunkin’ Donuts
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Good for bicep curls. Wrapped in swaddling clothes. Double D’s. A filling meal for the price.
Cons: Burritos in the tabloids. Soft spots and hard spots. Mushy mouthfeel. Vaguely southwest.

REVIEW: Chick-fil-A Frosted Coffee

Chick-fil-A Frosted Coffee

If there’s a third rail of fast food menu boards — a single item deemed too risky to sell consistently — it might just be coffee flavored milkshakes.

Think about it: you can get a green minty Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s, a Dr Pepper-flavored shake at Burger King, and about seven billion milkshake flavors at Sonic, but none of them coffee.

You can get frappes and frozen lattes and all sorts of sugary, cold coffee “drinks” at most chains, but with the exception of a few outliers in which coffee is really just a supporting flavor — like Arby’s Jamocha Shake and Wendy’s discontinued Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty — coffee remains untouched when trending closer to the shake side of menus.

Why coffee-flavored shakes are so underrepresented has got to be among the greatest mysteries of all time, especially since 64 percent of Americans drink at least one cup of coffee a day.” What the hell, fast food companies? Do you not want to sell milkshakes or what?

Chick-fil-A’s new Frosted Coffee is not quite a milkshake, but it’s damn near close. And it’s damn near delicious.

If you’re a coffee snob but have never had Chick-fil-A’s iced coffee before, you’re missing out. Not quite as bitter as Starbucks, but much more sophisticated and full-bodied than McDonald’s, it could definitely pass for an independent coffee shop’s brew. Well, at least it could pass for better than fast food coffee. That flavor is apparent as soon as you take a sip of the Frosted Coffee. It has a robust-but-not-really dark flavor that conjures up images of happy farmers in some Latin America country.

Not that into coffee? Great, neither am I, which is why I’m happy to report a milkshakes worth of Chick-fil-A soft-serve Icedream goes a long way into making this much more a dessert than a breakfast. The combined flavor is a good deal lighter and refreshing than just the coffee itself. And combined with the rich milky notes and sweetness, the shake-drink-frappe hybrid might as well just text the family of the late Dave Thomas and be like, “What’s up, Wendy? We made a better coffee Frosty than you ever did.”

Chick-fil-A’s Frosted Coffee is awesome, but it would be even more so if it got the full milkshake treatment and was a bit thicker and came with whipped cream (but not a cherry, because, you know, coffee and cherry sounds gross).

Chick-fil-A Frosted Coffee 2

While it’s thick enough to eat with a spoon, annoying little pools of coffee crop up as you make your way down in the container, which makes me think that some kind of additional thickener wouldn’t kill the purity of the experience. The flavor is definitely there; now they just gotta up the texture a bit and you have a fast food dessert item that at least two-thirds of us caffeine-dependent Americans want.

Why don’t more fast food companies hit the ground running with coffee-flavored milkshakes? I don’t know. Most have already taken the first step with Frappuccino-like beverage, and Chick-fil-A has added a much needed leap by adding ice cream. Here’s to hoping it sticks around well into summer.

(Nutrition Facts – small – 240 calories from fat, 55 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of sat fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 38 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein, 25% DV calcium..)

Purchased Price: $2.69
Size: Small
Purchased at: Chick-fil-A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Sophisticated and full-bodied coffee flavor in the guise of a milkshake. Smooth, creamy, sweet soft serve balances the coffee’s flavor perfectly. Not watered down with any syrups or off flavors. Milkshake-like appeal at only 240 calories.
Cons: ould be richer and more indulgent. Begs for whipped cream. Fair-trade farming propaganda.

REVIEW: Burger King Dr Pepper Shake

Burger King Dr Pepper Shake

I, Vin, know all of Dr Pepper’s 23 flavors.

I know em all, and I’m ready to tell the world. I’m not afraid anymore. What are they gonna do, sue me? Arrest me? Bust into my house, incapacitate me, take me away in a black van and finish this blog post pretending to be me, while never actually telling you guys the 23 flavors? Pff, I’d like to see them try. They don’t have the guts.

So without further ado, here are the 23 flavors that go into every batch of Dr Pepper.

Cola

Cherry

Vanilla

(knocking at the door)

Ah, come on! Gimmie a sec, someone’s banging on my door. I’ll be back before you can say “Dr Pepper’s deepest darkest secret.”

I’m back. It was just a…vacuum salesman. Yup, just a boring, non-threatening salesman.

I know you’re anxious to read your best pal Vin’s review of Burger King’s new Dr Pepper shake…and this is most definitely Vin.

Where was I?

Burger King Dr Pepper Shake 2

This shake is nothing to look at. It’s just tan. A few syrup ribbons of dark red would have been nice, but I have to imagine that was deliberate on Burger King and Dr Pepper’s part. They don’t need to win you over with flashy colors. It’s not like they’re Surge.

Ever walk into a bakery after a fresh batch of amaretto cookies are brought out? It’s an amazing almond smell with a hint of cherry in some cases. That’s what this shake smells like.

As far as the flavor goes, here’s a very specific taste for you to imagine. Have you ever gotten a vanilla shake with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry on top, but just let those ingredients sink to the bottom? You know those last few pinkish sips of vanilla infused with the juice runoff from the cherry? That’s what this tasted like. Vin likey.

Burger King Dr Pepper Shake 3

The Dr Pepper you know and love is definitely there, but it’s more subtle than you’d expect. It punches through a bit more once the shake starts to liquefy, but that’s only on the last few sips as this holds its texture well. Dr Pepper may have 23 amazing flavors, but I really only tasted the cherry and vanilla, which is totally fine. In fact, don’t even worry about the other 21 flavors, they don’t concern you, and trying to figure them out will not end well for you…or anyone for that matter.

Moving on…

Some shakes are so cloying they’re tough to finish. That isn’t the case here. The Dr Pepper Shake is delicious from the first sip to the last.

People like to write Burger King off, but they’ve been crushing it with menu items like this. They’re trying to offer innovative choices as of late, excelling mostly with their drinks. Here’s hoping they expand on this concept and blend up more sodas into shakes. I mean, they’ll probably be good, but not Dr Pepper good.

In conclusion, Mr. Pibb worships Satan. Drink Dr Pepper.

(Nutrition Facts – 12 fl oz – 330 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams dietary fiber, 44 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein..)

Item: Burger King Dr Pepper Shake
Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: Small (12 oz.)
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Great cherry/vanilla flavor. Olfactory satisfaction. Perfect shake consistency. Maraschino cherry flavor without the plastic fruit. Burger King owning the shake game. Doctorate degrees.
Cons: Secretive recipes. Dr. Pepper flavor could have been somewhat stronger. Super thick shakes. Home invasions. Mr. Pibb.

REVIEW: Burger King Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger

Burger King Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger

If you’ve enjoyed Jack in the Box’s Buttery Jack topped with garlic herb butter and are looking at trying Burger King’s new Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger because you expect the garlic and butter in it to make it enjoyable too, STOP!

Stop following your nose to the flame-grilled aroma coming out of the vents at the Burger King location you’re planning to go to.

However, if you’ve never had the pleasure of trying a Buttery Jack from Jack in the Box because there isn’t a location anywhere near you or their mascot’s head freaks you out or you stopped going because you looked up “jack in the box” on Urban Dictionary and can’t stop giggling every time you hear those words, you might like the Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger.

The limited time only cheeseburger features two beef patties topped with onions, lettuce, ketchup, mayonnaise, American cheese, and a buttery garlic flavored sauce on a toasted hoagie bun. So it’s basically the chain’s regular Extra Long Cheeseburger with another condiment.

Burger King Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger 2

Comparing Jack in the Box’s garlic herb butter with Burger King’s buttery garlic flavored sauce would be like comparing chocolate with chocolatey. Chocolatey is not quite chocolate because it’s missing cocoa butter, and buttery garlic sauce is not quite garlic butter because it doesn’t contain butter. Instead it’s got a bunch of oils and natural flavor that try to make it buttery.

As for the garlic flavor, according to the BK website, the sauce has garlic powder, garlic, and natural garlic flavor listed as ingredients. All those oils, natural flavor, and garlic ingredients create a sauce that not at all buttery and slightly garlicky. Although there are actual garlic products in it, the sauce tastes cheap and artificial.

As you read three paragraphs ago, this burger has a lot of different parts and that combined with the sauce not having strong flavors make it hard for any butteriness or garlic to shine through. The flavor of Burger King’s flame grilled beef stands out and whatever garlic flavor does enhance it. But, again, there’s a lot going on with the burger that distracts my taste buds. I mean, is ketchup and mayonnaise REALLY necessary?

The burger as a whole doesn’t make me want to put on a Burger King kids meal crown, run up to strangers, and praise it. It’s okay, but it’s basically an Extra Long Cheeseburger with a hint of garlic. To be honest, it really should’ve been called the Extra Long Garlicky Cheeseburger, because no buttery flavor comes through.

(Nutrition Facts – 710 calories, 420 calories from fat, 47 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 1250 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 26 grams of protein.)

Item: Burger King Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger
Purchased Price: $5.49*
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Whatever garlic flavor there is does enhance the flavor of the flame-grilled patties. Jack in the Box’s Buttery Jack. Available on BK’s 2 for $5 menu.
Cons: Sauce isn’t buttery and not very garlicky. Having too many toppings helps dampen whatever garlic flavor there is. Is three condiments really necessary? Just an Extra Long Cheeseburger with an extra sauce.

*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: Taco Bell Quesalupa

Taco Bell Quesalupa

This country is always trying to pit us against each other. In politics, it’s a two party system that radicalizes the masses, the haves versus the have-nots. In sports, the blowout celebration is one final matchup that stretches narratives into ideologies and forces us to choose sides, the dabs versus the dab-nots.

Taco Bell tries the opposite, joining things together with varying success. They integrate other products such as Cinnabon and Doritos into their own items and display countless permutations of existing creations, rearranging-Titanic-deck-chairs style.

Taco Bell’s latest attempt is the much-ballyhooed Quesalupa, a combination of the quesadilla and a Chalupa. A quesadilla is kind of like a grilled soft taco with lots of cheese on it and a Chalupa is kind of like a deep fried soft taco. If menu items were human beings, I would examine the family tree pretty meticulously before letting these two get married.

Taco Bell Quesalupa 4

Ostensibly, the Quesalupa is a Chalupa shell with pepper jack cheese inside then filled with sour cream, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese and a protein. This, however, is no Chalupa shell. I’m sure they had to make adjustments to accommodate the pocket of melty cheese that spills out of the center, but the near-perfect crispy-chewy Chalupa armor has been depleted to a weak facsimile.

Taco Bell Quesalupa 3

The entire Quesalupa sags in the middle, buckling to the sogginess of the cheese, without a textural counterbalance to save it. There is plenty of cheese to go around, to the point where the warm stew-like blend of ingredients exhibits the comforting consistency of a shepherd’s pie. But without the fluffy-crispy promise that a Chalupa provides, the Quesalupa falls short of expectations.

Taco Bell Quesalupa 2

I tried the beef and chicken options and the beef comes up on top, with the salty, ground meat lending better flavor to the entire item. The chicken is bland and definitely needs outside help of a hot sauce to feel complete. The produce is typical of Taco Bell and serves to fill out the item—space-wise and color-wise—and maybe to place a pebble on top of a food pyramid quota.

Perhaps it’s a testament to the Quesalupa that the cheese blends well together. It’s a gooey affair that absorbs all the qualities of both types of cheeses offered (and the sour cream as well) to make a dairy bomb that flattens out any nuance. The center of a Quesalupa is at the same time satisfying and a bit icky, melding together like a cream of Taco Bell soup. Whether that sounds good to you or not will be the deal breaker here.

For my buck, the best Taco Bell items play with texture in a unique way and dance on the crunchy-soft line: the Crunchwrap Supreme, the Double Decker Taco, and the Chalupa.

Unfortunately for the Quesalupa, while it features the warm qualities of a steaming quesadilla, it does not take the best parts of a Chalupa, which makes it a pretty average Taco Bell item. And maybe that’s the point? People hate Trump. People love Trump. People hate Cam. People love Cam. Quesalupa? “Ehh.” On this, I think, we can all agree.

(Nutrition Facts – Beef – 460 calories, 26 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 890 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, 19 grams of protein. Chicken – 440 calories, 23 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 840 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, 22 grams of protein.)

Item: Taco Bell Quesalupa
Purchased Price: $2.99 (beef) $3.79 (chicken)
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Taco Bell
Rating: 5 out of 10 (beef)
Rating: 4 out of 10 (chicken)
Pros: Comforting consistency, gooey cheese center.
Cons: Soggy in the middle. Maybe too much cheese. Texturally boring.