REVIEW: Strawberry Ice Cream Cone Hershey’s Kisses

Limited Edition Strawberry Ice Cream Cone Hershey s Kisses Pouch

What are Strawberry Ice Cream Cone Hershey’s Kisses?

Hershey’s newest Kiss is a straightforward take on a classic summer sweet -— a strawberry ice cream cone. The package suggests that it is “strawberry flavored creme and cookies.” See, the cookies are little crunchy bits meant to mimic “cone,” and the strawberry flavored creme… well, you get it.

How are they?

Delightful. Though the smell made me a little leery with its plastic artificialness (think “lip gloss being marketed to 6-year-old girls”), the taste was exactly what you’d expect -— a Hershey’s Kiss engineered to invoke strawberry ice cream. (In a cone, even.)

Limited Edition Strawberry Ice Cream Cone Hershey s Kisses Innards

The strawberry tastes less artificial than the smell would lead you to believe. The crunch of the cookie bits provides a nice textural contrast from the creme’s silkiness. They are sweet, but it’s subtle.

Anything else you need to know?

Limited Edition Strawberry Ice Cream Cone Hershey s Kisses Creme

These things are weirdly flesh-colored. So, yeah, sorry for pointing that out, but once I realized it, I couldn’t unsee it. Therefore, if you have an aversion to flesh-colored foods, you’ll probably want to pass. (Is that an actual thing? Probably. I feel like everything is a thing these days.)

Conclusion:

Limited Edition Strawberry Ice Cream Cone Hershey s Kisses Foil

These Kisses remind me of the Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars we could buy at lunch during elementary, middle, and high school. If you like those — or at least want to relive the glory days that were your middle school years — you’ll likely enjoy these, too. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find my No Fear shirts.

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (7 Kisses) 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates,0 grams of dietary fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein

REVIEW: Sonic Oreo Big Scoop Cookie Dough Blast

Sonic Oreo Big Scoop Cookie Dough Blast Big Scoop

I recently stumbled across something on the internet suggesting that Missouri actually has 12 seasons. Right now, we are in the Spring of Deception, which is past Fool’s Spring and Second Winter, and just ahead of Third Winter, the Pollening, and Actual Spring. As funny as this is, it is also hauntingly accurate.

And here in the Spring of Deception, the weather has been in the upper 60s and lower 70s, which means it is a perfectly reasonable time to try Sonic’s new Oreo Big Scoop Cookie Dough Blast. (We have a chance of snow next weekend, which will usher in Third Winter, but I suppose there are plenty of people who say there is never a bad time for frozen desserts. Then there are those who crave ice cream even more when it’s cold; if you’re in either of these camps, please ignore my preamble.)

Here’s the bottom line about this Blast: I would gleefully consume this thing in real Winter, even the one we just got out of where we spent days in a row without the temperature getting above 0. It is just that good.

Sonic Oreo Big Scoop Cookie Dough Blast Diggin In

Sonic describes its new offering as “Real Ice Cream blended with cookie dough bites then topped with even more cookie dough bites, Oreo cookie pieces, and a big scoop of Oreo chocolate chip cookie dough.”

The first thing of note is that this is a legit Oreo cookie dough scoop. A fat golfball-sized chunk of tongue-numbingly delicious dough takes up a great deal of real estate on top of the Blast, meaning that it is quite possible to nick a nice spoonful with every bite. I’ve never had Oreo cookie dough, but from what I can tell, it’s like if some lovable klutz knocked a handful of Oreo into the batch of chocolate chip cookie dough they were whipping up in the mixer. In other words, divine.

Then, peppered around the dough mountain is a large amount of crumbled Oreo along with more dough pellets.

Sonic Oreo Big Scoop Cookie Dough Blast Cookie Dough Closeup

And here’s where I’ll explain why, while this thing is tremendous, it’s not perfect— the cookie dough pieces are a bit weird. They are VERY uniform in shape and size, which makes me wonder about their origin story. Additionally, the texture is a bit odd. Contrasted with the Oreo’s crunch and Sonic’s vanilla ice cream’s smooth creaminess, the cookie dough pieces come across as almost gummy.

Sonic Oreo Big Scoop Cookie Dough Blast Spoon

But it’s a small quibble, really, as there is plenty of other magic happening in this styrofoam cylinder to make me forgive such a minor transgression.

You’ll also note that the nutrition is, well, maybe don’t even look at that. Because honestly, if you’re eating this, you know what you’re getting into. But I will suggest that I got a small, and I was actually satisfied eating about a fourth of it. This feels like the sort of thing you might want to split with a significant other. You could also probably make multiple desserts out of it.

No matter what you do, though, you should definitely make a plan to eat one. You’ll be glad you did.

Purchased Price: $4.79
Size: Small
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 820 calories, 50 grams of fat, 21 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 520 milligrams of sodium, 106 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 65 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sonic Mesquite Butter Bacon Cheeseburger

Sonic Mesquite Butter Bacon Cheeseburger Whole

While not a lightning rod of conversation like, oh, say, pineapple on pizza, or ketchup on a hot dog, there are plenty of passionate parties on both sides of the “BBQ sauce on a hamburger” debate.

If you are on the oppositional side — believing that the “devil’s ketchup” has no place on a hamburger — this review probably isn’t for you. Nothing I have to say will convince you that it is a fine and just condiment to top your sandwich. If, however, you are staunchly on the “pro” side of the aisle, or are at the very least willing to keep an open mind and “see how things go,” you’ll want to read on.

Though this isn’t the drive-in chain’s first foray into buttered patties — it’s had a garlic butter version on at least a couple of occasions — or its first dance with BBQ sauce on a burger (its “hickory” variety of the sauce is still a customizable addition on the app). It is its first attempt at melding the two.

And so does it work?

In most ways, yes.

Sonic Mesquite Butter Bacon Cheeseburger Top

I’ve always been a fan of Sonic’s bacon. It feels like it runs a little thicker than most of their competitor’s, and it fits in well on this sandwich, adding some much needed chew. The BBQ sauce is described as a “honey” sauce, and it is, indeed, sweet. Because of the sauce and the “smoky mesquite butter” that tops the patty, you should know that this is a sloppy affair.

Sonic Mesquite Butter Bacon Cheeseburger Closeup

Additionally, I’ve always been a fan of Sonic’s American cheese. It melts well and tastes perfectly American. (Though I will say, two slices on a burger this size feels like a bit much; one would likely suffice.) The patty itself is juicy and definitely less dry than most other fast food burgers.

Though the toasted brioche bun isn’t anything special, it held up nicely to the onslaught of liquids. And while I am typically a “take-it-or-leave-it” connoisseur of pickles on a burger, these ones really stood out. Their tart acidity melded beautifully with the sauce’s sweetness, and their crunch added yet another excellent texture to the proceeding.

Sonic Mesquite Butter Bacon Cheeseburger Split

So what didn’t I like about this burger?

Really, my major complaint was with the lettuce. Quite frankly, I’m not sure lettuce even belongs on this style of burger. Even if you can make an argument that it does, you’re not likely to prove your point with the limp, wet, and warm shrubbery found here. Nor did the grilled onions add much, except to provide an arsenal of more small things to slide out of the burger’s bottom on a flume of butter with each bite. And finally, there wasn’t much of a “smokiness,” either, which, if you’re crowning your burger as “mesquite,” feels like a bit of a miss.

If you’re a BBQ burger fan, I’m confident you’ll like this. Just, you know, hold the lettuce. And maybe the onions. And what if you got a side of onion rings and slapped a couple of those fried halos under the bun? Hey Sonic, give me a call and let’s talk product development.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 690 calories,41 grams of fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 17 gram of saturated fat, 1780 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of total carbohydrates, 18 gram of total sugars, 3 gram of fiber, and 33 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sonic Chili Cheese Coney-Flavored Slim Jim

Sonic Chili Cheese Coney Flavored Slim Jim Wrapper

What is the Sonic Chili Cheese Coney-Flavored Slim Jim?

A heftily titled snack, for starters. Everyone’s favorite dead wrestler-endorsed snack tube gets blasted with an infusion of chili-dogginess from a beloved drive-in fast food chain that used to be endorsed by a 1960s teen heart-throb/singer/beach-movie idol. This is, perhaps, the most quintessentially possible American foodstuff.

How is it?

Sonic Chili Cheese Coney Flavored Slim Jim Split

Weird! It’s a Slim Jim, right? Which we’ve all had and are familiar with. Chewy, snappy, a little spicy, but then you’re hit with the undeniably unmistakable undercurrent of chili from Sonic.

It tastes like maybe you took your Slim Jim and used it to stir up a big bowl of Sonic chili. (Side note: can you actually get just a side of chili from Sonic? I only know it from its appearances on top of hot dogs or blanketing a basket of tots.)

Anyway, the chili is spot-on. There is no noticeable cheese component, however, which feels like a miss. How hard would it have been to inject this stick with some artificial cheese? Seems like they missed an easy layup.

Overall, despite perfectly capturing the essence of Sonic’s chili, the entire thing is mediocre.

Anything else you need to know?

Sonic Chili Cheese Coney Flavored Slim Jim Casing

1) As demonstrated in the picture, this Jim degloved much easier than previous models.

2) Per a quick Google search, Frankie Avalon, the heart-throb mentioned in the first paragraph, is still alive. I feel like he would have been near the top of my “are they or aren’t they?” list. Good for Frankie!

Conclusion:

This isn’t a thing that anyone needs in their life, but if you are a big fan of snackable meat sticks, it’s probably worth a whirl. The novelty alone makes it worth trying, but I wouldn’t exactly go out of my way to find it.

Purchased Price: $1.88
Size: 1.94 oz. Monster Size
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 260 calories, 19 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 gram of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 810 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Chobani Coffee Cold Brew

Chobani Cold Brew Coffee Containers

Before this assignment, I didn’t actually know that Chobani did more than yogurt. But then I Googled and it turns out that it’s got its hands in a bit of everything. (Okay, well everything dairy-based except ice cream. And cheese. And cottage cheese. Fine, I guess by “everything,” I mean all manner of yogurts, and coffee creamer, and now this. And something called “Chobani Coconut” which is billed as a non-dairy treat. Oh, and oat milk. So… some things that are also non-dairy based.)

Anyway, it’s 2021 and cold brew coffee is still all the rage (I think?) so Chobani figured, why not?

I’m a cold brew novice. It’s not that I’m anti-cold brew, I’ve just always chosen hot coffee. Especially now because it’s winter, and we’ve had multiple days this week where the high was in the single digits; iced anything is a hard sell.

But you know what’s worth the mild discomfort and probably turning the thermostat up a degree? This product.

Chobani introduced four varieties, but I was unable to procure “Pure Black.” So for the sake of this review, we’ll look at the remaining three.

Oat Milk

Chobani Cold Brew Coffee Oat Milk

So, I just got through talking about how I love this product, and now I’m going to tell you that I don’t care for this particular version. But, I’m gonna blame the oat milk. See, I don’t even know that I’ve had oat milk prior to this. But something about this just wasn’t doing it for me. The beginning of the drink is decent, but the back end hits you with a sensation that makes me think of slightly tangy chalk. It’s not repulsive, it’s just… unwelcome.

Vanilla Creamer

Chobani Cold Brew Coffee Vanilla Creamer

Simply put, this is heavenly. The vanilla is strong, muting the medium roast a tad. The rich coffee undertones are still there, but it’s a little like you maybe accidentally spilled a bit of your vanilla shake into a cup of Joe. (And no, I’m not sure how that might happen either, but play along.) From start to finish, it’s creamy and indulgent, which makes this the first time I’ve described something as such and meant it.

Sweet Creamer

Chobani Cold Brew Coffee Sweet Creamer

Remember everything I said about the Vanilla Creamer? This is that, only without the vanilla. The coffee flavoring is a bit more noticeable, but not aggressively so. Each drink manages to stay rich while remaining light and silky. While the vanilla one brought forth visions of spilled vanilla milkshakes cascading into coffee cups, this is a little like someone dumping chocolate milk into your coffee. It is, in a word, scrumtrulescent.

The two prohibitive things I could say about Chobani’s foray into cold brew coffee is that it’s not nutritionally great, and I could use a little more caffeine (it has 85 milligrams per serving). While I applaud the simplicity of the ingredients, 170 calories and 22 grams of sugar per 12 ounce serving keep this from being a daily indulgence for me. But is it worth it for a weekend treat? Absolutely.

Purchased Price: $2.99 (on sale)
Size: 32 fl oz.
Purchased at: Hy-Vee
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Sweet Creamer), 9 out of 10 (Vanilla Creamer), 6 out of 10 (Oat Milk)
Nutrition Facts: (12 oz.) Sweet Creamer & Vanilla Creamer – 170 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 22 grams of sugar (including 15 grams of added sugar), and 5 grams of protein. Oat Milk – 110 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 7 grams of sugar (including 7 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.