In the pantheon of deep-fried fast food sides, you’ve got some notable inclusions. Arby’s curly fries, for example. McDonald’s fries. Taco Bell’s…fries. Okay, so most of these are fries. But what if you don’t like your fried potato served up in an elongated rectangular fashion? Well, there’s always Sonic’s tater tots.
Long recognized as fast foods’ champion of the tatered tot, Sonic’s pillowy potato barrel is so impossible to top that I hadn’t bothered to try its version of the French fry until earlier this year. (And with sincere apologies to Sonic’s head chef, I wasn’t missing much.)
But, okay, what about those of you out there who don’t like potatoes at all, in any form? (I know this sounds crazy to most, but I actually work with a lady who hates potatoes of all sorts — mashed, smashed, fried, totted, home-styled, and even chipped. So, it’s a thing, trust me.) What are the Elena’s of the world to do when they go get a burger from Sonic? The chain’s food scientists have heard you, anti-potato people, and they present to you their newest offering, Broccoli Cheddar Tots.
According to Sonic’s website, they are “warm broccoli and melty cheddar cheese in a tot-sized, crispy coating. Served with ranch for dipping!” The important thing to note is that these are not TATER tots stuffed with broccoli and cheese; there is no tater here at all. And while that idea sounds pretty great — tots stuffed with broccoli and cheese! Or impregnated with bacon! Or infused with chili and hot dog bits! — this is, simply put, broccoli and cheese, deep fried.
And how are they?
Really great, honestly.
The exterior coating is a little less grittily textured than Sonic’s typical tot covering. It’s more of a cheese curd coating, really, which provides a bit more (buttery?) crispiness. The inside is simple, as you might imagine — piping hot cheddar cheese and improbably fresh-tasting broccoli. The cheese is a softer, creamier cheddar than you’d find in, once again, a cheese curd, or in Sonic’s dearly departed Ched’ R’ Bites (RIP), you beautiful angel.
The broccoli itself gets lost a bit in the breading, but I mean, how healthy do you really want these to taste? In most of my pieces, the veggie’s texture was almost that of a steamed piece of broccoli; it had plenty of give, but every once in a while, an occasional slight snap. It melded harmoniously with the cheese and managed to impart plenty of broccoli deliciousness without being too aggressive about the fact that, hey, you’re eating broccoli.
The Broccoli Cheddar Tots come with a side of ranch for dipping. While you don’t necessarily need it to enjoy the side, being from the Midwest, I’m of the firm belief that everything is better dipped in that white, tangy goodness. Sonic’s ranch is a good one, too, with just the right amount of zest and creaminess.
While many things I’ve read about these tots try to push them as some sort of bite-sized broccoli-cheddar casserole, I think that’s a bit silly. But as a nice alternative side to fries, rings, or regular tots, these are an excellent offering. It’s too bad they will only be around until November 28th or until they run out.
Purchased Price: $2.79
Size: Small (10 tots)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Small) 210 calories, 13 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 810 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.