REVIEW: Burger King Ch’King Sandwich

Burger King Ch King Sandwich Whole

Burger King has a mixed record with chicken sandwiches. My previous experience was in the form of the Original Chicken Sandwich. That’s the hoagie-like version that can have some questionable quality chicken in the form of a pressed patty. I ended up throwing half of it away because it was just not good.

So naturally, when Burger King put its new Ch’King into the ever-growing field of fast food chicken sandwiches, I knew it was time to give BK an opportunity to redeem itself.

In 2019, Popeyes started a movement through the fast food industry that is still being felt two years later. It started serving a high quality, flavorful chicken sandwich that made the standard fast food fare pale in comparison. In my opinion, Popeyes’ offering has yet to be bested. However, I went into trying the Ch’King neutral and was curious how it would end up ranking.

Burger King Ch King Sandwich Wrapper Back

The options you have at the moment when ordering are either a Ch’King or Spicy Ch’King. Both come on toasted potato buns with a signature sauce and crisp pickles. The spicy variety is the same chicken as the original (no spicy seasoning in the breading), just tossed in a spicy glaze. BK also offers a “Deluxe” version of both that sees the pickles removed for lettuce and tomato. I opted for the standard Ch’King.

Burger King Ch King Sandwich Wrapper in Wrapper

It was interesting to see it packaged in a bag similar to Chick-fil-A and Popeyes. However, upon opening it, it was wrapped in the standard wrapper. I am not sure if it’s just my location that opted for this, but I have a feeling (based on some of the soggy bits) it may not be the correct way to serve it. The sandwich itself is decently sized — not quite as big as Popeyes’, but bigger than the standard Chick-fil-A.

Burger King Ch King Sandwich Top

Upon taking it apart, I notice the crispy pickles are certainly not the standard fast food pickles. I expected dill pickles, but found them to be more like bread & butter. Generally, I don’t care much for bread & butter pickles, but they worked very well with the overall flavor of the sandwich. The sauce, described as a “savory signature sauce,” was the weakest point. It was just a generic mayo-based sauce with no real strong flavors other than slightly sweet. I’d have preferred the standard mayo instead. The bread was a nice upgrade from the standard buns and helped sell the “premium” feeling of the sandwich.

Burger King Ch King Sandwich Split

It’s a good-sized chicken fillet, breaded in a crunchy coating we’ve come to expect from these new chicken sandwiches. However, by the time I got home, it had lost some crunch due to being double wrapped. This didn’t necessarily take away from my overall enjoyment, but I had looked forward to that TikTok-worthy CRUNCH and didn’t really get it. As for its taste, it was perfectly fine, but blander than Popeyes’. In fact, the closest comparison in flavor was Chick-fil-A. The meat itself was juicy and tender. It’s always nice to get a perfectly cooked chicken sandwich as I think we can all relate to that experience of biting into one, only to be greeted by dry or rubbery meat.

Burger King Ch King Sandwich Wrapper Front

Burger King is certainly coming out swinging with its new sandwich. It’s a solid attempt with a lot to like and also some opportunity for growth. While I personally don’t feel like it topples Popeyes for the top spot, it certainly has its place at the podium.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size:N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 800 calories, 136 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 710 milligrams of sodium, 69 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 33 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pizza Hut The Edge Pizza (2021)

PIzza Hut The Edge Pizza Box

I was, admittedly, a late bloomer when it comes to Pizza Hut. Between a VERY Italian father and great local pizza joints, Pizza Hut was reserved for classroom parties and that one friend’s house that had a thick layer of dust in their kitchen from non-use.

I liked it fine, but it was just never part of my childhood. As an adult, it’s become a fairly common staple of my diet. Between the ease of getting it and some late in life rebellion against my Dad, it has become a once a month meal for me. While I usually stay within my same order, the large banner advertising the return of The Edge Crustless Pizza caught my attention.

The Edge isn’t a new item but a rerelease of a product that debuted in 1997. Described as a “tavern style, cracker thin crust pizza,” it sees the toppings go all the way to the edge (get it, like the name?), making each slice 100% covered in toppings. It’s cut into squares, aka “party cut,” giving you 16 pieces. The tavern style was actually created in Chicago, which was news to me as I only thought of the deep dish style as the only popular pizza from Chicago.

PIzza Hut The Edge Pizza Whole

When you order, you are given an option of four recipes: Ultimate, Carnivore, Vegetarian, or Pepperoni Lover’s. For what it’s worth, it appears like you can change the toppings once you select one of the recipes, but for the sake of trying it as it’s presented, I went with the Ultimate. The Ultimate includes pepperoni, Italian sausage, green peppers, onions, and Roma tomatoes.

The first thing I noticed was the branding of The Edge on the box. Upon opening it, the consistently comforting smell of Pizza Hut pizza filled the room. However, looking at it, I noticed an issue immediately: the lack of sausage. After debating if I should get it fixed, I decided it wasn’t worth the trouble. There were more than enough toppings to judge it fairly, and (after trying it) I can say the sausage most likely wouldn’t have moved the needle much in either direction.

PIzza Hut The Edge Pizza Thinness

PIzza Hut The Edge Pizza Seasoning

Even though I knew it would be a thin crust, it was still shockingly thin. Despite its thinness, it stood up very well. There was a good balance of the sauce, cheese, and toppings that worked with the crust making each bite balanced in flavor and crispiness. The box bragged of a “garlic & herb seasoning” sprinkled on top, but was inconsistently present.

PIzza Hut The Edge Pizza Pieces Image

Beyond the missing sausage, my only other criticism was the pieces themselves. Technically, it is 16 pieces, but it’s more like “12 normal size pieces and four random bits.” Oh, and because it’s thinner, I could easily polish off a whole one which is incredibly dangerous.

Overall, it’s a nice change of pace, but nothing I’d make a regular order. It dawned on me how this will be a nice summer pizza. It’s light, so you don’t feel heavy after eating half of it, but it satisfies that pizza craving. The Edge is only around for a limited time, so I’d try it sooner than later.

Purchased Price: $12.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 “slice”) 180 calories, 10 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 680 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cookies ‘n Creme Stuffed Puffs

Cookies  n Creme Stuffed Puffs Bag

What are Cookies ‘n Creme Stuffed Puffs?

The food (mad) scientists at Stuffed Puffs have introduced a new cookies and creme variety to its permanent flavor lineup of stuffed marshmallows. This flavor takes the familiar vanilla marshmallow and wraps it around a white creme and chocolate cookie crunch center. ??

How are they?

The cookies and creme flavor is always so tricky to me. It’s a seemingly simple combination that can fail spectacularly. Sometimes they are spot on, but other times it almost feels like they got close and said, “Meh, good enough.” Luckily, in the case of these marshmallows, they nailed it.

The marshmallow exterior is a standard sweet, vanilla flavored marshmallow. Fluffy, squishy, and perfectly delicious on its own. However, it holds a sweet treasure within: a nugget of creme blended with bits of crunchy chocolate cookie.

Cookies  n Creme Stuffed Puffs Innards

The center is gray in color due to the blending of the creme and cookies. It can be jarring if you’re accustomed to a very defined black and white presentation when you think of cookies & creme, but in the words of the singing candelabra Lumiere: “Try the gray stuff, it’s delicious!”

The center’s flavor is very reminiscent of the Oreo branded candy bars/chocolate eggs. There’s a good balance between the very sweet creme and crunchy chocolate cookie bits.?

Anything else you need to know?

When I first tried them, they had been sitting in a box outside my house for a bit which made them slightly warmed and soft. I tried to replicate this in my microwave to varying degrees of success. Next time I’ll just put them in a cardboard box into the Florida sun for an hour to get them perfect.

Conclusion:

Cookies  n Creme Stuffed Puffs Split

After finally trying my first Stuffed Puff, I have to say I’m impressed. Even though they didn’t make it past just eating them straight from the bag, they are certainly good enough to try in other ways. There’s a “krispie treat” recipe on the back of the bag that is calling to me.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 8.6 oz bag
Purchased at: Received from Stuffed Puffs
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 pieces) 140 calories, 4 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 1 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pepsi Blue (2021)

Pepsi Blue 2021 Bottle

Nostalgia is a heck of a thing.

Sometimes it can drive us to make questionable decisions like almost buying a $160 17-year-old bottle of a discontinued soft drink. Luckily for me, Pepsi decided to do a re-released, limited run of Pepsi Blue hence saving me from a financial error as well as a trip to the doctor.

I had occasionally thought of the drink over the years and wondered if I had just imagined it (hence the eBay searches). But it is very real, and that the bizarrely satisfying flavor of berry cola was mine again to drink.

Pepsi Blue was a weird blip in the timeline of soft drinks. Having a US-wide release in 2002, it would only be around for a little under two years before being pulled from US markets. Described as “Berry with a splash of Cola,” its bright blue color along with unique flavor was another attempt by Pepsi to capture the youth market. You have to also appreciate this was the peak time where Britney Spears was the face of Pepsi.

If I’m being entirely honest, I probably wouldn’t have tried this back in the early aughts if not for my school board making a (highly controversial) deal with Pepsi to put vending machines in the schools. To help sweeten the deal, they did giveaways of their newest product to help win us over. The product? Pepsi Blue.

I tried to not get too excited as I raced home to try it. I had been disappointed by re-released or retooled products brought back to cash in on nostalgia (looking at you Coke with Coffee). I reassured myself it was probably going to taste different due to different ingredients and my own tastes changing. After delaying the inevitable, I went ahead and opened the bottle.

Pepsi Blue 2021 Glass

The smell immediately triggered a strong memory of my middle school cafeteria. The berry sugar smell instantly reminded me of the many hours spent sitting at the uncomfortable tables, trying to scribble down something for class while shoving undercooked tater tots in my face.

The first sip was overwhelming in the best way. It tasted exactly how I remembered. The sweet berry-cotton candy like flavor hits first, followed by the cola taste. It’s almost an indescribable flavor profile. It’s not a cola with berry flavor (like Wild Cherry Pepsi), but a berry flavor with a hint of cola.

The best way I could think to describe it is this: imagine berry-flavored cotton candy packed into a cup. Now take an original Pepsi and slowly drip a little into the cup, letting it dissolve the cotton candy. That’s probably about as close as you can get to explaining the flavor to someone who has never tried it.

Nostalgia and middle school memories aside, Pepsi Blue is an extremely sweet (like 138% of your recommended daily sugar sweet), but enjoyable one-of-a-kind treat. In all the years since trying it for the first time, nothing else has ever even come close to it. It is also wonderful that a re-released item lived up to my memory of it when so many others have failed.

According to Pepsi, it will have an extremely limited run. So I would recommend, if you are at all interested, to give it a try. I look forward to it being re-released in another 20 years where I can wax poetic about when I tried it again in my 30s.

Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 20 oz bottle
Purchased at: Walmart Neighborhood Market
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 260 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 69 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 69 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Frankford Cocoa Pebbles Milk Chocolate Bar

Frankford Cocoa Pebbles Milk Chocolate Bar Wrapper

What is the Frankford Cocoa Pebbles Milk Chocolate Bar?

After the Fruity Pebbles Candy Bar release in November, it was only a matter of time before we would see the popular sister cereal, Cocoa Pebbles, get its own candy bar. The chocolatey, crunchy, mini flaked cereal is sprinkled throughout a milk chocolate bar.
?

How is it?

Frankford Cocoa Pebbles Milk Chocolate Bar Top

Frankford Cocoa Pebbles Milk Chocolate Bar Bottom

While it’s been a while since I had a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles, they have a distinct and unforgettable flavor. Unfortunately, they are pretty lost in the chocolate sauce (so to speak) with this candy bar. While there is a slight difference in taste, it essentially feels like a Nestle Crunch bar. There is a little more of a fudgy flavor than a Crunch bar, but it’s fairly subtle. It’s still a fine treat, but if you are a Cocoa Pebbles fanatic, I imagine it might disappoint. ?
Frankford Cocoa Pebbles Milk Chocolate Bar Split

When compared to the Fruity Pebbles Candy Bar, the Cocoa Pebbles variety is a weak sophomore attempt. The former managed to give you a balanced cereal and candy flavor profile, but the latter fails to stand out in both categories.

Anything else you need to know?

I think we’ve reached a point in history where kids only know Fred Flintstone as a cereal mascot, and that makes me feel old beyond belief. Excuse me while I look up night face creams on Amazon.

Conclusion:

While a fine middle-of-the-road chocolate bar, I doubt it will impress its target audience of Cocoa Pebble devotees. For the price, if you’re curious enough to try it, I say go for it. It’s novel and worth a try, but with literally dozens of higher quality chocolates at checkouts, it’s certainly not going to be my go-to. With the Fruity Pebbles Candy Bar being a home run, it’s a shame this one didn’t quite reach the same level of excellence.

Purchased Price: $1.34
Size: 2.75 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/3 bar) 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 14 gram of sugar, and 2 gram of protein.