REVIEW: Burger King Garlic & Bacon King

Burger King Garlic  Bacon King Full

Ah, garlic. Aggressively odiferous plant. Repellent of vampires. Destroyer of kisses. Enhancer of… well, I was going to say “enhancer of Italian food,” but garlic is like cuteness at a kitten convention — it’s everywhere, basically. Including this new burger from Burger King, which it’s calling the Garlic & Bacon King (GBK).

Burger King’s website doesn’t really explain what is on the GBK, but other sites use this description: “a new premium burger made with two quarter-pound flame-grilled beef patties topped with three half-slices of bacon, new garlic pieces, two slices of American cheese, and mayo on a soft sesame seed bun.”

I got the single which is also an option. That also reduced the number of cheese slices by one, which was totally fine, and I’m pretty sure the single came with two pieces of bacon instead of three. (Again, this made sense.)

The real story here is the inclusion of “new garlic pieces.” Now, if you read this but haven’t seen a picture, this is pretty broad, right? Are we talking minced-up garlic mixed in with the mayo? Loose cloves lying sleepily atop the patty? The possibilities are endless. (Okay, well, maybe there are only two or three actual possibilities. But still.)

Burger King Garlic  Bacon King Gaaaarlic

In this case, we’re talking thin garlic petals that have been deep fried. And there are a TON of them. An overwhelming amount, in fact. If you do not like garlic, there is no way on Earth you like this burger. There is no subtlety here, oh no. This is a giant poke in the eye with a big, greasy, garlic-coated finger. And to borrow an expression from the youth of today, “I am here for it.”

I’m not sure I had a single bite that didn’t have a crispy, garlicky petal in it. Also, please note that I said “crispy.” Despite a 10-minute car ride home and some photography after, they were amazingly crisp. Texturally (and of a similar potency), the garlic reminded me of the French’s Crispy Fried Onions your Aunt Lydia puts on the green bean casserole each Thanksgiving. These things were STRONG, but delicious.

Burger King Garlic  Bacon King Split

Everything else about the burger was pretty standard BK fare. The bacon was thick, well-cooked, and salty, the mayo was appropriately creamy, and the cheese was perfectly fine fast food American cheese. I will say, the patty tasted a bit more charbroiled than I think BK’s patties typically are. I’m not sure how these things are prepared, so I don’t know if it was something in the preparation, or if it’s something with the meat, or perhaps some combination. In any case, it tasted fresh and meaty, and I felt like it elevated this particular burger.

While this isn’t in the same league as the new BK Ch’King sandwich, it is a nice LTO that’s worthy of a go. Just don’t do it before heading to a make-out party or inviting any vampire friends over for a board game night.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: Single patty
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Unavailable at this time (Okay, well, the website says the single I had has 214 calories, and something about that seems off. There are no other stats.)

REVIEW: Arby’s Premium Chicken Nuggets

Arby s Premium Chicken Nuggets Spill

Until I sat down to write this and started Googling for background info, I had absolutely no idea that Arby’s — noted proprietor of meat — didn’t have chicken nuggets on its menu. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the chicken tenders and just assumed it also served poultry in a more nuggeted form; maybe it’s because when traveling to the land of curly fries and Beef’n Cheddar, who feels it necessary to order nuggets?

I never had before, and, in case you don’t feel like reading a full review of Arby’s new Premium Chicken Nuggets, I probably won’t again. That isn’t to say they are appalling or abhorrently bad; they’re just… boring.

Arby’s touts its new offering as having “100% chicken breast,” which seems legit and is pretty par for the course, I guess. It’s offering them in Arby’s kids’ meals (as a 4 or a 6 piece) and as a 9-piece solo meal or as part of its “2 for $6” promotion, which also includes the Classic Roast Beef and the Classic Beef’n Cheddar. And while $3 for 9 nuggs is a reasonable deal in today’s market (Maybe? To be fair, I haven’t comparative nugget priced in a while.), you’d be better served doubling up on the B&C, honestly.

Arby s Premium Chicken Nuggets Innards

The thing about these is that there is nothing special about them. The seasoning is bland (and by “bland,” I mean “non-existent”) and the nuggets themselves are drier than a mummy’s tongue. These things are no different than frozen nuggets that come from a truck that maybe you’d find at a neighborhood swimming pool or waterpark snack bar. Fresh from the fryer (and these were), they are hot and salty.

Arby s Premium Chicken Nuggets Shapes

Additionally, they are decently sized. Unlike McDonald’s or Wendy’s uniformly sized nuggets, these are all like snowflakes, like the kind you’d get at, oh, say, Chick-fil-A. The smallest piece was the size of two Hershey’s Kisses mushed-up together, and the biggest was the size and shape of an obese walnut. If you’re getting them for $3 as part of the promotion, it’s a reasonable deal; if, however, you’re getting them in the meal or as a solo item ($3.99), you’re moving out of the “good deal” territory.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a perfectly acceptable sauce delivery vehicle, these will do. You know, like almost any other nugget. If, however, you want a nugget that can headline based on the strength of its own merit, this isn’t the one for you. Arby’s would do well to stick with the RB and leave the chicken to those who typically traffic in bird.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 9-pieces
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (9 nuggets) 470 calories, 23 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat,75 milligrams of cholesterol, 1360 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 38 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cap’n Crunch’s Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cereal

Cap n Crunch s Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cereal Box

What is Cap’n Crunch’s Chocolate Caramel Crunch?

Everyone’s favorite sea-based military cereal mascot is back with his newest flavor since 2019’s less-than-stellar “Cotton Candy” offering. This time, he’s bringing chocolate to the high seas (which he has done multiple times in the past), but pairing it with caramel, which, to the best of my research, is a flavor he has never attempted, ever.

How is it?

Cap n Crunch s Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cereal Dry

Not bad at all!

I can’t recall if I’ve ever had any of the previous chocolate varieties the Cap’n has offered, but this one starts off with a mild cocoa aroma and taste, and then BOOM, you’re in Caramel City. The caramel even makes it chew differently, with a bit more stickiness than standard Crunch Berries. There are light undertones of butter and salt, giving the whole affair a bit more complexity than you might expect from the wild-eyed, possibly-deranged sugar peddler of the sea.

Cap n Crunch s Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cereal Spoon

Anything else you need to know?

According to Wikipedia, there have been 30 or more varieties of Cap’n Crunch since Pamela Low developed the original in 1963, and of those 30+, only a handful have become regular offerings. So if you try this and like it, buy enough to make a strong impression, lest this version goes the way of Mystery Volcano Crunch, Deep Sea Crunch, Punch Crunch, Vanilly Crunch, or Galactic Crunch.

Conclusion:

Cap’n Crunch Chocolate Caramel Crunch is an insane amount of Cs for any one product. It also feels like one too many “crunches.” Even still, it’s a fine addition to the fleet. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to this fascinating Cap’n Crunch Wikipedia entry. (Did you know that “Captain Crunch Adams” was a short story character created in the 1940s by Allan Burns, who later created The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Munsters? Or that cereal developer Pamela Low also had a hand in developing Heath, Mounds, and Almond Joy?)

Purchased Price: $2.79
Size:11.8 ox box
Purchased at: Hy-Vee
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 150 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein

REVIEW: Tropical Mango Pop-Tarts

Tropical Mango Pop Tarts Box

What are Tropical Mango Pop-Tarts?

Forget the taste of charred hot dogs on a sweltering July evening, the feel of ice cold watermelon juice dripping down your chin as you stand on a gently swaying boat dock at the lake, or almost choking to death by the pool because you’re eating your Doritos too fast and your cousin shoots you in the face with his Super Soaker, the REAL taste of summer is the new summer line from Pop-Tarts. Joining Tropical Mango are Creme Pies of the banana and lemon variety, as well as Peach Cobbler.

How are they?

A little lackluster.

Tropical Mango Pop Tarts Crust

As you can see in the pictures, the jacket icing is nothing more than a drizzle. While most Pop-Tarts are fully iced, and a handful are naked, only a couple are adorned with a thin doodle like this Tropical Mango version. I can’t help but think these Tarts — which are very mildly flavored to begin with — would be better fully covered.

Tropical Mango Pop Tarts Filling

The filling itself is extremely, almost jarringly sweet, but it does bear a distinct mango flavor. Unfortunately, it’s just barely noticeable.

Anything else you need to know?

Of the four new flavors, mango is the only one with the Spanish word for new — “Nuevo” — on the box. That’s fine and all, but as we are all well aware, India actually produces and consumes more mangoes than any other nation on Earth. Therefore, I’m petitioning Kellogg’s to add “naveen va” — which is Hindi for new — to the other side of the box.

Conclusion:

Though mangoes are a perfectly delightful fruit, they don’t translate well into the realm of toasted pastries. I’d be surprised if these become anyone’s favorite. Or stick around. Even in India, where folklore says that mango trees can grant wishes. (I’m serious, they love their mangoes.)

Purchased Price: $2.29
Size: 13.5 oz box (8 count)

Purchased at: Sun Fresh
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 pastries) 380 calories, 11 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 400 milligrams of sodium, 68 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger

Wendy s Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger Full

In general, I am fairly apathetic when it comes to food infused with booze. Would you like to whisky-up your chicken? Okay. Wanna put beer in your chili or maybe your cheese? Sure, why not. Bourbon in your BBQ sauce? Whatever boils your potato, chief. Mostly, in my experience, adding beer or bourbon to your food is fine, but tends to land on the side of “maybe not worth whatever calories it’s adding.”

Especially when it comes to fast food.

While a local gastropub might be able to make you notice the “subtle undertones of oak in a rich BBQ sauce married with a 12-year-old, single batch bourbon,” a fast food place always runs the risk of ending up with something that tastes like your buddy got drunk and accidentally knocked his Natty Light into the cheese dip.

Wendy s Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger Toppings

So imagine my surprise when I really ended up liking Wendy’s new Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger. Wendy’s describes it as “a quarter-pound of fresh, never frozen beef topped with Applewood smoked bacon, American cheese, crispy onions, and a sweet, smoky bourbon bacon sauce that is, essentially, a sauce made with real bourbon and real bacon.” That’s the actual copy.

Anyway, this isn’t a Bourbon BBQ sauce, which is what I kept thinking, but a Bourbon bacon sauce. And how is this sauce? Extremely sweet with only a very subtle tang. You’d be hard-pressed to get anything boozy from it, which, as a person who’d prefer their food to taste as little like alcohol as possible, I’m fine with.

According to Wendy’s, some of the sauce’s 30 ingredients include brown sugar, sugar, molasses, “uncured bacon base,” another kind of molasses, and, as you may have surmised, bourbon whiskey. But once again, I didn’t taste booze, or bacon, just sugar. And it’s good! It complements the salt of the bacon strips expertly. If you’ve ever had the good fortune to eat candied bacon, you will recognize this combination. It works.

Wendy s Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger Split

The “crispy” onions also managed to stay reasonably crispy, which was a welcome surprise. The bun was warm and soft and seemed fresh, and the cheese was… present. To be honest, I didn’t really notice the cheese. This thing might’ve gotten by without it.

Despite all of these positive attributes, though, there was a pretty big negative -— the meat. While I’ve traditionally championed Wendy’s patties, this particular burger was dry and under-seasoned. Maybe I’ve had too many fantastic non-chain burgers lately, or maybe Wendy’s grill-master was having an off night. Either way, the bland meat puck took this sandwich down a notch or two. Even still, it’s worth a try if you’re looking for something a little different than most fast food offerings currently in the market. (Did you see the part about “candied bacon”? I rest my case.)

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 710 calories, 41 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 1400 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 2 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 34 grams of protein.