NEWS: Lean Pockets Goes Limited Edition With a Three Cheese Tomato Melt Variety

Limited Edition Lean Pockets

Since 2011, there have been several limited edition Hot Pockets. There’s the Spicy Hawaiian Style Pizza, Four Cheese Garlic Pasta Bake, Chili Sauce Cheese Dog, and BBQ Recipe Bacon Burger. After the last two Limited Edition Hot Pockets releases, I began to wonder what new Hot Pockets varieties they could surprise us with next year (I hope it’s spaghetti and meatballs) and why there weren’t Limited Edition Lean Pockets.

Well, I no longer need to wonder about Limited Edition Lean Pockets, because, during a trip to Target, I discovered the Lean Pockets Limited Edition Three Cheese Tomato Melt. This particular Lean Pocket is made up of tomatoes, low fat mozzarella, reduced fat cheddar and provolone cheese with a creamy sauce in a seasoned crust.

So how lean are these Lean Pockets? One has 230 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 420 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

I’m not sure if this is the only Limited Edition Lean Pockets available right now. If you’ve seen others, let us know in the comments below.

REVIEW: Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

When I think of Italian comfort food, Burger King comes to mind.

Mmmm…rich garlicky marinara, creamy mozzarella, and herbaceous basil. Wait a minute, you don’t think of Burger King? Neither do I but when I found out BK was putting a Super Mario Bros. twist on their menu, I just had to try it.

Wait. That’s an understatement, I must try it!

I really wanted to grab their new Italian Breakfast Burrito, which is an amusing name if you think about it hard enough, but I was too late. However, I didn’t go away empty handed because I was greeted with their new Chicken Parmesan Sandwich. Admittedly, I am biased because I have a disturbing obsession with chicken parmesan. And while the ingredients are simple, the execution is not.

Chicken parmesan is my litmus test for an Italian ristorante. It’s like how egg rolls or fried dumplings can tell me how good a Chinese restaurant will end up being. If they cannot make a staple dish, their General Tso’s chicken most likely tsucks.

Ah, but let’s not kid ourselves, this is Burger King. I’m not even going to compare the level of its Italian items to depressing faketalian Olive Garden. I would probably place the sandwich at the expectations of canned Chef Boyardee pasta. Until that creepy spider fiasco, I was a connoisseur of canned ravioli and Boyardee was the bareback cowgirl of awesomeness. Damn you spiders, damn you all to hell.

I should also note I was given the option to have the chicken grilled or breaded. Grilled? You might as well serve me sushi made with brown rice or mix twelve year Van Winkle “Lot B” bourbon with Coke. I opted for the only correct choice which is breaded and if you’re wondering what the grilled version tastes like…tough, I’m not eating that (or so I thought, more on that later).

Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich Top

So now that I properly shifted my paradigm, I looked at the sandwich and couldn’t help but feel sad. It looked like their normal fried chicken sandwich with some tomato paste jizzed on it as an afterthought. I couldn’t taste the “shaved” parmesan and BK’s definition of artisan style (their words, not mine) must mean shabby. And, as a final “eff you”, the mozzarella is just drooped on top of the fried ugliness.

I guess the chance to get this “grilled” should have been ominous enough but who else can say they ate a BK Chicken Parmesan? Probably the homeless who scoured garbage cans and found these half-eaten chicken sandwiches tossed out by unhappy customers.

Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich Split

Indeed there were a couple of slices of mozzarella but when I split the sandwich in half, you can see where one layer was placed on top of another. Both layers were pretty much unmelted. I think the cadavers in the autopsy rooms at the local morgue are warmer.

Burger King’s website states that the chicken is generously breaded but my chicken was entombed with batter. It was like eating a brick filled with white chicken meat. Not surprising, the marinara was dreadful and tasted like pasty ketchup. Those On-Cor frozen chicken parmesan family entrées in the unattractive yellow boxes taste better.

Italy hasn’t been this disappointed since pre-tomatoed Mussolini. Yeah, I was pissed. Coupled with the fact that this sandwich was also expensive ($5.89!), I was ready to chalk this up as a big fail. Alas, (overdramatic sigh) I wouldn’t be giving a fair review if I didn’t purchase another one at a different Burger King.

Try Number Due. (Get it? It’s Italian for two.)

Here is something annoying to me and I’m not sure this is the case at all Burger King locations, but if you do not specify you want the chicken grilled or breaded, it will come grilled. That makes no sense for two reasons:

1. I don’t know of any restaurant that offers chicken parmesan grilled.

2. Every picture BK has of this product, from their menu in the eatery to its website, shows that it’s breaded.

Needless to say, I didn’t indicate which one and was handed a grilled chicken version. I took a bite and was happy the cheese was melted but the chicken was spongy and bland. I returned it and got the correct artery clogging breaded sandwich.

The cheese was melted properly and this made a huge difference. The creamy mozzarella followed by the breaded chicken was excellent. The chicken was breaded with the right amount, unlike the “colostomy in your future” fried rock in my original sandwich. It was not as light as tempura (which would be gross) but heavy enough to give it that crispy bite. I could actually taste the parmesan, but suspect the cheese was sprinkled from a can versus shaved.

Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich Top 2

There was still too little of the marinara sauce, which tasted like tomato paste out the can, but the melted cheese carried the sandwich’s flavor. Also, the artisan bun the second time was devoid of weird flecky sesame seeds and other random speckles, but it didn’t affect the sandwich’s flavor.

The second Chicken Parmesan Sandwich from the second Burger King was miles better than other one I tried. That is shitty because we shouldn’t have to play Russian roulette with our Burger King locations.

I really enjoyed this sandwich even though it’s still a bit pricey for a fast food sandwich. Not sure if Little Caesars still sells their own chicken parmesan sandwich, but I believe theirs is the best fast food version I’ve eaten.

Using an old slogan of Burger King’s, my suggestion is to ensure that the cheese is melted by telling them you want to “have it your way.” And for God sakes, demand the breaded one or you will eat something horrible.

The Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich won’t blow your mind (maybe your arteries and heart), but I do think it’s a great option if you don’t feel like eating a Whopper or have always dreamt of having onion rings with your chicken parmesan.

(Nutrition Facts – 470 calories, 15 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 1600 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of sugar, and 37 grams of protein.)

Item: Burger King Chicken Parmesan Sandwich
Purchased Price: $5.89
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Melted mozzarella on breaded chicken. Burger King offering something different from the norm. The sandwich is a hit, but it depends on the BK you go to.
Cons: Grilled chicken parmesan sucks. Expensive. Having to specify which chicken you want is stupid. The sandwich is a hit, but it depends on the BK you go to.

WEEK IN REVIEWS – 9/22/2012

Limited Edition Kellogg's The Simpsons Homer's Cinnamon Donut Cereal Closeup

This week, The Impulsive Buy joined other review blogs for Retro Cereal Week. We each purchased a very old, unopened cereal box from eBay, tried it, and reviewed it. Here’s a recap of our reviews.

I’d like to apologize in advance for you throwing up a little in your mouth.

Retro Cereal Week began with me stuffing my face with stale Simpsons cereal from 2001. DOH!

Was the turn of the century uneventful for you? Well, if you want to experience a disastrous Y2K in your mouth, this cereal will help. (via Rodzilla Reviews)

Question: Do you think Bill & Ted’s Excellent Cereal is still excellent after 21 years? Click here to find out. (via Food Junk)

America runs on Dunkin’, but I think, today, most of America would run away from Dunkin’ Donuts cereal from 1988. (via Junk Food Guy)

Twenty-eight year old Kellogg’s Corn Pops was an awesome way to end our Retro Cereal Week. But it could’ve been 38-year-old Winnie the Pooh cereal if Jess was willing to spend a little more cash. Maybe next time? (via Foodette Reviews)

REVIEW: Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Buttercream & Crumbled Cookie Milano Cookie Cake

Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookie CakeChocolate Buttercream & Crumbled Cookie

I think it’s safe to say Pepperidge Farm’s Milano is America’s second favorite cookie that ends with an O. Every year, 558 million Milano cookies are made. But did you know the Milano was the result of a happy accident, like Post-It Notes, penicillin, and, maybe, you or your siblings?

According to the Milano’s Wikipedia page (yeah, take that Encyclopedia Britannica), the sandwich cookie was created after their open-faced cookies topped with chocolate, the Naples, fused together in the packaging when sent to areas with warm weather. This problem caused the Naples cookie to evolve into the Milano.

That happened over 50 years ago, but Pepperidge Farm has been around much longer than that. In fact, this year, the company is celebrating its 75th anniversary and to honor the occasion they’ve released a Milano Cookie Cake, a two-layer vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream icing and sprinkled with crumbled Milano cookie pieces. The broken up Milano pieces make the top of the cake look like it’s used as the catch pan under Cookie Monster’s mouth to make cleaning up after him easier.

Measuring 5 3/4 inches wide and 2 1/4 inches tall, the Milano Cookie Cake’s size might have you thinking to yourself, “I probably could eat that whole thing in one sitting.” But, looking at the nutrition facts, I’d highly suggest against it. If you’re eating it by the slice, it’s prepared by cutting the portion you want, leaving it out at room temperature for 20 minutes, and then enjoying it.

Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookie CakeChocolate Buttercream & Crumbled Cookie Closeup Side

As it sat in my freezer, waiting to be devoured, I dreamt it would be an awesome dessert, but after eating my first slice, that dream was crushed, like the Milano cookies that top the cake. The Milano cookies are what drew me to this cake, but they take a backseat to the chocolate buttercream icing. I’m not talking Mini Cooper backseat, I’m talking Greyhound bus backseat.

The Milanos do nothing to enhance the flavor of the cake, instead it appears they’re like truck nuts in that their purpose is to decorate and annoy. How can a Milano Cookie Cake not have a little bit of Milano cookie flavor? It’s like buying a Playboy magazine and it’s filled with only words.

As a whole, the Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookie Cake was decent. The vanilla cake was, as expected for a frozen cake that’s been thawed, dry and crumbly. The dominating chocolate buttercream icing was rich and decadent. But this cake doesn’t do the crispy Milano cookie any justice and it’s extremely disappointing. It’s definitely not worth consuming the two grams of trans fat each slice provides.

The Milano cookie deserves better than this.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/8 cake – 250 calories, 130 calories from fat, 15 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 2% calcium, and 8% iron.)

Other Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookie Cake reviews:
Peanut Free Food Reviews
Huffington Post Food

Item: Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Buttercream & Crumbled Cookie Milano Cookie Cake
Purchased Price: $6.99
Size: 18 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Milano cookies. Happy accidents. Great if you like chocolate buttercream icing. Post-It Notes. Penicillin.
Cons: Milano cookies don’t do much in terms of flavor, but do add decoration. Two grams of trans fat per serving. Dry and crumbly cake. Pictureless Playboy magazines.

SPOTTED ON SHELVES – 9/21/2012

Here are some new products found on store shelves by us and your fellow readers. We may or may not review them, but we’d like to let you know what new items are popping up. We’ll also occasionally throw in an unusual product.

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I’m extremely disappointed there isn’t a bottle of vodka on the label. There are images of cream, tomatoes, and garlic on the label, but not the featured ingredient. There isn’t even a picture of a potato or a shirtless Vladimir Putin. (Thanks for the photo, Aaron!)

Lunchables Snackers

Fully cooked. Ready to eat. No need to heat. Yeah, that how chicken nuggets should be. Cooked, cold, and from a resealable bag. I don’t think McDonald’s can beat that with their hot, slightly crispy McNuggets that come with a dipping sauce. (Thanks for the photo, Adam!)

DiGiorno Bacon Blitz

This isn’t a new pizza. Here’s a Freezer Burns review. It’s been around for two years, but now it’s a limited edition. It’s also available for GAME TIME! Watch men play with the pigskin while eating meat that came from under a pig’s skin. Yeah! (Thanks for the photo, Adam!)

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I don’t know who Orla Kiely is, but I think with these bottles she has made my Softsoap, Dawn, and Lysol bottles extremely self-conscious.

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Since these are a Target exclusive, I’d like someone to do the opposite of shoplifting (shopdropping?) with these and stick them on one of the cereal shelves at a Walmart.

If you’re out shopping and see a new product on the shelf (or really unusual), snap a picture of it, email it to us at theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com with “Spotted” in the subject line, and you might see it in our next Spotted on Shelves post.