REVIEW: Jack in the Box Outlaw Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Outlaw Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Over the past few weeks, something disturbing has been appearing in my dreams. No matter how hard I try, it’s an image I can’t get out of my head and it’s been causing me to wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat.

No, it’s not Nancy Grace’s nipple. Although, now that I’ve brought it up, it’ll probably start materializing during my REM sleep as well.

The image that’s been appearing regularly in my dreams, and turning them into nightmares, is the woman at the end of the Jack in the Box Outlaw Burger/Outlaw Spicy Chicken Sandwich commercial who yells, “Ride that spicy chicken!” If you haven’t seen the commercial, it’s embedded below:

There’s something about her that scares me. It could be her teeth. It could be her eyebrows. It could be the way she said her line in the commercial. Or it could be the way I think her mouth is going to unhinge when she tries to eat that Outlaw Spicy Chicken Sandwich in her hand. Whatever it is, it’s made me not want to try the Jack in the Box Outlaw Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

But I figured since I already reviewed the Jack in the Box Outlaw Burger, I should complete the fast food bifecta and also try the Outlaw Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

The sandwich is made using a spicy crispy chicken filet topped with onion rings, cheese, hickory smoked bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and bourbon BBQ sauce on a sesame seed bun. It uses the same chicken patty that comes with Jack’s regular Spicy Chicken Sandwich. I don’t consider the patty very spicy. To me, it has a very mild heat. It’s noticeable, but I don’t feel the need to have any cool liquids handy when I eat it.

Just like the Outlaw Burger I tried, there wasn’t a lot of BBQ sauce on my Outlaw Spicy Chicken Sandwich, which was disappointing since it’s the best part of the sandwich. The slices of bacon were a little crispy and added some flavor, the onion rings need to be improved, and the cheese provided very little flavor. But overall, the Outlaw Spicy Chicken Sandwich is good and I’ll be sad to see it go since it’s a limited time offer.

Actually, I take that back. I’ll be glad to see it go because that means I’ll won’t have to see the Outlaw Spicy Chicken Sandwich commercial anymore.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 771 calories, 294 calories from fat, 32 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 82 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,859 milligrams of sodium, 648 milligrams of potassium, 80 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 37 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box Outlaw Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Price: $7.98 (combo)
Size: Medium combo
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Good chicken sandwich. BBQ sauce is good. It’s got vegetables. Has a nice heft to it. Good source of protein. Completing a fast food bifecta.
Cons: Spicy chicken patty not as spicy as I would like. Needs more BBQ sauce. Onion rings need to be improved. Nancy Grace’s nipple. The end of the JITB Outlaw Spicy Chicken Sandwich commercial.

WEEK IN REVIEWS – 10/29/2011


Here are a few SCARY product reviews posted this week from other blogs we follow.

BOO! Orange candy coated chocolate pieces in chocolate chip cookies. Oh, that’s SCARY! (via Junk Food Betty)

Even scarier? How about Sugar-Free Pumpkin Peeps that, according to its packaging, “may cause stomach discomfort and/or a mild laxative effect.” Muahahaha! SCARY…FOR YOUR UNDERWEAR! (via Rodzilla Reviews)

When I saw pictures of this scary item it shook me to the bone, which the scary item does not have. It would make Dr. Frankenstein proud. (via Tampa Bay Food Monster)

Want to scare the kiddies this Halloween? Nothing scares the kiddies more than…VEGETABLES! (via Freezer Burns)

This gummy candy is spooky. But not when you first look at them, because you can’t really tell what they are. But if you look closely and let you brain process it, then you’ll figure out what they are, and then they’ll be SPOOKY! (via Candyblog)

REVIEW: Smart Ones Satisfying Selections (Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese and Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo)

Smart Ones Satisfying Selections Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese

You have me playing a dangerous game, dear readers. A dangerous game, indeed. Preparing these particular bagged, frozen meals in the office microwave is not a feat to be taken lightly. You know that of which I speak. The horrible, pungent odor of steamed broccoli is not the first thing hungry, cranky co-workers want to encounter while trying to salvage a few minutes of their lunch break in their soulless cubicles. What is the deal with this vegetable? Why does it stink so much? I hate to admit it, but maybe George H.W. Bush was onto something. The risk of committing a terrible olfactory crime is great when cooking these broccoli-laden meals. And I’ve had to do it twice. Good thing the meals themselves came out all right.

The Smart Ones Satisfying Selections line includes several hearty meals, including the delicious Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese and the decent Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo. The main question any curious shopper will ask is if the meals live up to the promise so boldly stated on the packaging: Are these selections satisfying?

These new Satisfying Selections do in fact come in larger portions than regular Smart Ones frozen entrees. For comparison’s sake, the Smart Ones Classic Creamy Rigatoni with Broccoli & Chicken comes in a 9-ounce package, while the Satisfying Selections Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo tips the scales at 11.7 ounces. That’s a pretty good start.

Smart Ones Satisfying Selections Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese Closeup

The flavor of these two Satisfying Selections and their overall ability to satisfy my ravenous lunchtime hunger would be the real test. Good news for me, the Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese meal was actually pretty darn tasty. There was a lot of rice in the package, but the grains had a nice texture and didn’t come out glue-like and overdone. Also, the chunks of white meat chicken were plentiful and, thankfully, not slimy like chicken chunks tend to be in these types of meals. The broccoli was, well… like your typical broccoli, but astonishingly, the specially-designed microwave steamer packaging seemed to contain the offending aroma of cooked broccoli to the extent that I couldn’t smell a thing. Alas, I would escape the wrath of my murderous office associates and live to microwave lunch another day. Last but not least, the cheesiness of the Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese meal is very nice. It’s mixed with a light and creamy cheese sauce. Subtle, but delicious.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the Alfredo sauce on the Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo. It’s sort of globbed on there, muting the peppery seasoning on the chicken breast. On the other hand, the broccoli is almost perfectly steamed, and the rotini pasta actually comes out al dente rather than limp and soggy. The Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo is a little blander than the Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese. Not its fault, of course. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, Alfredo sauce is involved in a perpetual uphill battle against plain old (delicious) cheese sauce. I say, there is a time and place for butter and a time and place for cheese, and right here, right now, dear readers, it’s cheese time.

So, it looks like my risk-taking did not go unrewarded. I was able to enjoy two lunches without creating a malodorous catastrophe in my office space, and yes, they were satisfying. Appetite-wise at least. My fellow drones couldn’t be happier.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 meal – Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese — 340 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 730 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 31 grams of protein. Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo — 300 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 1 grams of monounsaturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 660 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, and 28 grams of protein.)

Item: Smart Ones Satisfying Selections (Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese and Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo)
Price: $2.94 (on sale)
Size: 11.7 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo)
Pros: Satisfyingly big portions. Cheese Time. Living to microwave lunch another day. Not having to eat anymore broccoli because you’re the goddamn President of the United States.
Cons: Globby Alfredo sauce. Tempting fate by cooking broccoli in an office full of ravenous cubicle jockeys. Broccoli stench. Eating lunch in the office.

REVIEW: Cap’n Crunch’s Halloween Crunch

Cap'n Crunch's Halloween Crunch

The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed in at over 1,800 pounds.

There’s a popular theory you’ve probably heard, that humans only use 10 percent of our brains; and if we could only tap the remaining 90 percent, we could do all kinds of crazy shit with our minds, like start fires and levitate objects and figure out why some people find Fergie attractive.  In reality, it’s bogus- not the Fergie part (some people actually do… carnies, I suspect), but about the brain.  You use 100 percent of your brain, same as I do.

I bring it up because it means that if I’m using all of my brain, then every time I learn something new, I forget something I already know.  Don’t argue, that’s science.  And thanks to the random factoids from the back of Cap’n Crunch’s seasonal Halloween Crunch, which I’ll be sprinkling throughout this review — and because God knows my brain won’t jettison crucial information like the lyrics to Denver the Last Dinosaur, or the names of the ghosts from Pac-Man (Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde, or Sue for Ms. Pac-Man) — I now don’t remember trigonometry, the date of the Gettysburg Address, or the middle names, technically, of both of my children.  (I want to say Alison and… John?  Wait, is one of them a boy?)

Jack O’ Lanterns originally consisted of candles placed in hollowed-out turnips to keep away ghosts and spirits.

But to business: Halloween Crunch.  The box depicts a cartoon jack o’ lantern with the Cap’n’s face carved into it, grinning like he just shivved a Soggy or has a girl waiting for him at the next port.  Actually, I have to give props to the design department… they didn’t half-ass it by slapping the word “Halloween!” over a regular box of Cap’n Crunch and calling it a day.  No, this is a full-assed production.  The font is a kind of eclectic, spooky-ish style, there are demonic-looking pumpkins and eyes all around, the coloring is black and dark green rather than the classic bright red.  Really, if not for the Cap’n’s distinct face, you could walk by this in a store without having any idea it was related to Cap’n Crunch.

Cap'n Crunch's Halloween Crunch Closeup

Speaking of which, I know a common complaint of Cap’n Crunch is that it cuts the roof of your mouth.  I guess what my dad told me growing up is true and I really AM tougher than everyone else, because I’ve never had that problem.  If you do, beware, because the main component of this seasonal variant remains “regular” Cap’n Crunch pieces.  They didn’t even change the color, which I would have liked, maybe shifting that classic yellow to a bright pumpkin orange.  But since they didn’t, the new pieces are what make the cereal Halloween-y.  These additions are pink, slightly larger than the classic pieces, and shaped vaguely like a ghost if you squint, in the same way that a Van Gogh painting of a flower looks like a flower.  Some of them are also covered in green speckles, which is almost certainly either mold or an intentional “slime” effect.  They’re shown that way on the box, so we’ll assume the latter and just hope the Ghostbusters aren’t feeling particularly litigious.

Seeds that are related to the pumpkin have been found in caves dating back over 7,000 years in Mexico.

But what are the new pieces like?  Well, I have this notion in my head that they taste a lot like crunchberries, but I can’t be sure because it’s been about two decades since I last had a crunchberry.  They have a tinge of that artificially-fruity-but-not-actually-anything-like-real-fruit flavor.  You know the one.  And really, it’s just a hint — they definitely don’t overpower the taste of the regular Cap’n Crunch pieces, which is good because frankly that taste is better.  Like me in a discussion of current events, the ghost pieces are amiable and pleasant enough without contributing anything of real substance.  When the nicest thing I can say about you is that you really do turn the milk green surprisingly quickly, you know you’re destined for the “novelty fad” pile.

I really don’t have much else to say about Halloween Crunch.  I’m glad I tried it as a lark, and if you’re a fan of regular Cap’n Crunch, you might as well give it a shot, since it’s fundamentally the same cereal with a cool-looking box and some vaguely fruity ghost pieces.  But it’s not going to give the Monster Cereals a run for their money, and the only real activity on the back is a template of the Cap’n’s grinning mug that you can use to carve a jack o’ lantern, in case you want your pumpkin looking like it just made a particularly timely “That’s what she said!” remark.  Plus the pieces of trivia, of course, but now you already know those.  You’re welcome!

Did you know that pumpkins are made up of around 90 percent water?

(Nutrition Facts — 3/4 cup — 100 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 22 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 11 grams of sugars, 10 grams of other carbohydrate, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Cap’n Crunch’s Halloween Crunch
Price: $2.18
Size: 13 ounces
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Using 100 percent of your brain.  Bitchin’ box art.  Did not cut my mouth.  Still tastes as good as standard Cap’n Crunch, with only minor variation.  Turns milk green rapidly.  Stays crunchy for a while.
Cons: Mostly flash, little substance.  Fergie’s grille.  New pieces look more like alien blobs than ghosts.  Why would I want my jack o’ lantern giving Quaker free advertising?  Very little taste deviation from regular Cap’n Crunch.

REVIEW: Mountain Dew 2011 Game Fuel Tropical

Mountain Dew Game Fuel Tropical

I’m so ready to get my hardcore gaming on now that I’ve completed my thumb stretching exercises and I have a bottle of the new Mountain Dew Game Fuel Tropical. The 121 milligrams of caffeine in the 20-ounce bottle is enough energy to get me through a few hours of a crazy all-night shooting and carnage marathon.

Mountain Dew brought back their Game Fuel line to help promote the upcoming game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. But since it’s currently October and the game doesn’t come out until November, my shooting and carnage marathon consists of playing Angry Birds: Episode 6: Mine and Dine.

The caffeine surging through my body is making me so amped about doing things to wood, ice, and stone that only karate black belts do to demonstrate their skills. And, I’m ready to do things to pigs that only magicians can do — make them disappear in a puff of smoke.

I’m not sure how long it’s going to take for me to conquer every single level, but I imagine I’m going to need every single milligram of caffeine Mountain Dew Game Fuel Tropical provides because Angry Birds is a total time sink and I could easily end up playing for six hours straight and not even notice the sun went down and I skipped two meals.

But who needs meals when I have Mountain Dew Game Fuel Tropical to sustain me. The 290 calories in each 20-ounce bottle is roughly the same amount I can get with a Lean Cuisine meal, so it’s like a meal in a bottle. Sure, it’s what all nutritionists call “empty calories,” but if they’re so empty, why do they make me fat?

The soda’s green color is slightly darker than regular Mountain Dew and its color also makes it look like I can use it to clean my toilet, floors, and countertops, which I wouldn’t recommend, unless you love ants or are curious about what it feels like to be standing in a roach motel, if you use it as a floor cleaner.

The bottle says it has a “charge of tropical flavor,” which, before I drank it, hoped it didn’t mean lime, because that would be super silly since they currently have a lime-flavored Dew with their Taco Bell-exclusive Baja Blast and had a limited edition lime-flavored Dew called Distortion. Well, it turned out to be lime, but not as strong as the other two flavors I mentioned. Its lime flavor was so light that at times, while drinking it, I thought it kind of tasted like regular Mountain Dew. So it’s really not a “charge of tropical flavor,” it’s more like a light petting of tropical flavor.

Mountain Dew Game Fuel Tropical isn’t horrible, but it tastes as if not a lot of effort was put into it. If Mountain Dew put in the same amount of effort I put into completing every Angry Birds level, perhaps they would’ve come up with something better than Mountain Dew Game Fuel Tropical.

(Nutrition Facts – 20 ounces – 290 calories, 0 grams of fat, 110 milligrams of sodium, 77 grams of carbohydrates, 77 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein.)

Other Mountain Dew 2011 Game Fuel Tropical reviews:

Drink What

Item: Mountain Dew 2011 Game Fuel Tropical
Price: $1.50
Size: 20 ounces
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Not horrible. 121 milligrams of caffeine per 20-ounce bottle. Code under the bottle cap can be used to to double XP while playing Call of Duty: MW3. My mad Angry Birds skills.
Cons: Despite its color it’s not good for cleaning floors. Tastes like not a lot of effort was put into the flavor since it tastes similar to others. Doesn’t taste like it contains “a charge of tropical flavor.” Sore thumbs from mashing buttons for hours.