The only thing I like as much as pizza is non-pizza products from pizza places, so Domino’s new Loaded Tots had me tantalized. There are three topping variants, but I started by pulling off one naked tot, which was standard, but well-executed fare -– salty, starchy, with an impressively crisp exterior and fluffy interior. Onto the true taste test!
It was unsettling to see so many pitch-black burnt bits of cheese along the edges, but the majority of the tots were coated in a more palatable shade of white/orange cheese blend. The prominent sharpness of cheddar was accompanied more mellowly by the creaminess of mozzarella and tanginess of provolone, a tasty cheesefest.
In mine, most of the cheese had settled to the bottom and congealed into a thick slab that the tots were resting on top of. This slab apparently also included Alfredo sauce, but I can’t say that the flavor shined through. In any case, the dense bed of solidified cheese actually was a positive for me since it avoided the classic problem of tot toppings falling off and scattering (though it did mean I ended up barbarian-ishly tearing off chunks with my hands rather than eating with a fork as I’d more civilly intended).
These tots looked very similar to the Melty 3-Cheese, so much so that I wondered if I’d accidentally been given two orders of the same thing. Upon closer examination, I was able to distinguish some fattier bacon strips. But most of the bacon came in the form of crispy bits with a color, size, and shape that were really similar to the dollops of charred melted cheese. (Though there was also an intense bacon-y smell that helped me differentiate.)
The topping – which combined said bacon with our old friends mozzarella and cheddar, as well as a garlic Parmesan sauce – was still quite congealed but more successful at perching atop the tots. Despite not being the most visually distinct, the bacon packed quite a punch taste-wise, giving this flavor a meatier, smokier quality, with some yummy complexity added by the garlic sauce.
This variant definitely looked the most photogenic, laden with an even-less-congealed version of the same mozzarella and cheddar combo as the Cheddar Bacon, plus Alfredo sauce, slabs of onion, slices of green pepper, and thin strips of steak that are described on the website as “tender.” I’d agree… but only when it comes to the centers, as the edges of the steak strips were as blackened as the aforementioned burnt cheese edges.
On their own, the ingredients tasted great – the peppers zesty, the onions sweet with a nice zing, the steak rich, and the cheese/sauce mixture as appealing as it was in the other two Loaded Tots. But taken all together, they became oddly indistinguishable to me, with all the elements canceling each other out to result in an amalgamation that was intensely savory but ultimately ambiguous.
These were all equally pretty good, but I still doubt I’d order any of them again. Loaded tots are a nice novel way to combine carbs, cheese, meat, sauce, and vegetables, but come on! If you’re already set on ordering from Domino’s, pizza would be a much more satisfying way to get your flavorful fix.
Purchased Price: $6.99 each
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (¼ an order) Melty 3-Cheese – 210 calories, 13 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 510 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. Cheddar Bacon – 240 calories, 16 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 590 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, and 7 grams of protein. Philly Cheese Steak – 200 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 530 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.