REVIEW: Taco Bell Veggie Nachos Party Pack

Taco Bell Veggie Nachos Party Pack 18 inches

As someone who lived through the early 2000s when most fast food vegetarian options were a side salad, freezer-burnt black bean burger, or being told to “just pick off the meat,” I can say with great enthusiasm: it’s a great time to be a vegetarian.

While I am no longer strictly following the vegetarian diet, I will still happily get things marked “Vegetarian.” So, naturally, when Taco Bell advertised the Veggie Nachos Party Pack as part of its new Veggie Cravings menu, I was intrigued.

While the Party Pack Nachos aren’t a new item for Taco Bell, this version seems to be specifically branded as a vegetarian item to help push the new menu. It consists of tortilla chips topped with refried beans, warm nacho cheese sauce, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, guacamole, and reduced-fat sour cream. That’s it. I was surprised by how simple the ingredient list seemed. But I looked at the meat option too, and it came with both beef and refried beans. So why wouldn’t this one have refried AND black beans? All the other items on the Veggie Cravings menu have black beans.

Taco Bell Veggie Nachos Party Pack Guac and Jalapeno Closeup

I cannot understate how much food it is. I measured the length of the box, and it was around 18 inches. Unfortunately, the large quantity of food didn’t quite make up for the lack of quality. The initial shock of “wow, that’s a LOT of food” wore off quickly as I started to eat. It became very clear that the amount of toppings was not proportional to the amount of chips. In fact, after removing the top layer of chips and toppings, the bottom of the box was littered with the tiny broken tortilla chip bits.

Taco Bell Veggie Nachos Party Pack Too Many Chips on the Dance Floor

When getting bites with all the toppings and chips together, the item was fine. While I feel most of us are familiar with the flavors of Taco Bell, this item really showcased how they are not meant to be eaten separately. When all layered into a taco/burrito/Crunchwrap, you get the experience of all the flavors in one bite. In a nacho situation, you are often eating a chip with just some cheese or refried beans and it highlights how they don’t really stand out on their own. The occasional jalapeno or tomato piece was welcome, but didn’t do much to move the flavor needle. Maybe I expect too much from Taco Bell, but the overall salty blandness of the item was disappointing.

Taco Bell Veggie Nachos Party Pack Plated

When ordering, you are given multiple options to add other toppings to the nachos. I think, if I were to do this again, I’d add rice and black beans (which should have been there in the first place). However, when you start adding up the cost of additional items, I’m inclined to just pay the extra $2 and go to Chipotle. The only “additions” I included were three specialty sauces on the side to use as dips. I am glad we got them as we were able to eat some of the untopped chips before tapping out.

Overall, it’s not a bad item, just not as good as I felt it could have been. If you are not a strict vegetarian, I’d at least go with the Nachos Party Pack with meat. It costs the same, and (hopefully) you’d get a little more food.

Purchased Price: $10.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 box) 1770 calories, 93 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 2510 milligrams of sodium, 206 grams of carbohydrates, 34 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 28 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich

Dunkin Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich Split

What is the Dunkin’ Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich

Introduced as part of the winter seasonal menu, the sandwich consists of two eggs, five half-slices of bacon, and white cheddar on sourdough toast. ?

How is it?

I find immense joy in all types of breakfast sandwiches, but with this one, I walked away and found myself saying, “I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed.”

Dunkin Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich Whole

Unwrapping the massive sandwich, I was immediately greeted with a patchy toast pattern outside the sourdough bread. They aren’t toasting the bread and then putting the sandwich together. They assemble it and throw it in an oven to heat, which essentially acts like a broiler: the top is toasted, but the rest isn’t.

Dunkin Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich Eggs

The two eggs give the illusion of freshly cracked eggs, but ultimately fall into the category of “egg-like” discs. The bacon, while plentiful, reminded me of the thin precooked kind you’d get at the store. However, the cheese was a nice change from the normal processed “cheese product” you’d find on most sandwiches. ?
Dunkin Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich Bacon

The bread not being toasted evenly and thoroughly really took away from what could have been a fairly successful sandwich. Sourdough, in my opinion, is at its best when toasted. It is very chewy and doesn’t necessarily lend itself to being a good sandwich when it’s untoasted. This leads to uneven bites of bread without the middle ingredients. That said, the bread itself is high quality and has that rich, unmistakable sourdough flavor.

Anything else you need to know?

Right now, Dunkin’ is offering 2x Dunkin’ points on this item if you use the app until 12/01.

Conclusion:

While I applaud Dunkin’ for taking a big swing, this one didn’t really pay off as well as I had hoped it would. While not the worst, it’s definitely not something I’d get again. It could probably be halfway decent if you get home and throw it in your air fryer or toaster oven. But let’s be real: most of us are just looking for something to shove in our faces between sips of coffee.

Purchased Price: $4.19
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 serving) 650 calories, 32 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 365 milligrams of cholesterol, 1360 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 31 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Chai Oatmilk Latte

Dunkin Chai Oatmilk Latte Cup

Much like that dramatic period piece movie that comes out in the 11th hour for Oscar consideration, oatmilk has come to win over all our hearts in the tail end of this year.

While I was familiar with it from the wall of milk substitutes in my local stores, it really grabbed my attention when Dunkin’ started to advertise it heavily. The chain has gone through an extensive rebrand over the last year. Even my closest store just reopened from a lengthy remodel. So I was excited to give the new drink and Dunkin’ a chance.

The siren call of oatmilk was too loud to ignore when I saw they were offering a Chai Oatmilk Latte. According to Dunkin’, it’s a lightly sweetened blend of chai spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, combined with oatmilk. You can get the tea drink hot or cold, but since we’re going into full fall/winter cozy mode, I opted for hot.

Upon first getting the drink, I took a moment to take a whiff of it. The blend of spices was strong. Don’t mistake my saying “strong” with overpowering. Chai is successful to me when it has a bold scent and flavor that is enjoyable without feeling like I walked into a Bath & Body Works. Oftentimes when you are getting drinks poured from premixed concentrates, the chai flavors don’t balance and can be completely overpowering or completely overpowered and bland from too much sugar. In this case, the drink exceeded my expectations for a fast food chai. I think this is also due, in part, to the oatmilk.

When I tried oatmilk on its own recently, I found it to have a sweet and earthy flavor. It is almost the perfect companion for coffee/tea drinks in that way. Most creamers (particularly flavored ones) add a sweetness that overshadows the coffee or tea. Oatmilk, on the other hand, seems to make the beverage better while not taking over the show.

Dunkin Chai Oatmilk Latte Foam

Each sip of this Chai Oatmilk Latte was smooth and rich without being heavy. I really appreciate how well the oatmilk in this drink foamed! Many milk substitutes don’t get as foamy or don’t manage to last longer than the first sip, but here the oatmilk foam hung in there through the whole drink. Even giving me just a little of that “bottom of the cup” foam.

My only real criticism was that it wasn’t piping hot. I don’t think it was sitting long (I used mobile ordering), but the store was cranking out orders, so it’s possible.

Dunkin Chai Oatmilk Latte Sign

Also, and this is a minor annoyance, my husband’s iced gingerbread latte came in the cute holiday cup, but mine was in the everyday Dunkin’ cup. So much for getting those super cute pics for “the ‘gram.” Lastly, I opted for a medium even though the app defaulted to a large. I’m glad I did as I think (especially since the temp was a little off) by the end of a large, I would have experienced major diminishing returns of my enjoyment of the item.

Dunkin’s Chai Oatmilk Latte was excellent, and I’m excited to add this item to my rotation of special seasonal drinks.

Purchased Price: $3.89
Size: Medium (14 oz)
Purchased at: Dunkin’ Donuts
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 250 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 33 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Click here for our previous fast food reviews.

REVIEW: Birthday Party Edition Planters and Natural Light Beer Flavored Peanuts

Birthday Party Edition Planters and Natural Light Beer Flavored Peanuts Can

What are Planters Natty Light Peanuts?

In celebration of Mr. Peanut turning 21, Planters has teamed up with the maker of Natural Light Beer (Anheuser-Busch) to release beer-flavored peanuts. Even though the brand has expanded into some unique flavors the past few years, this is certainly the most unique it has done.

How is it?

Birthday Party Edition Planters and Natural Light Beer Flavored Peanuts Closeup

Ooof. Admittedly, I had some pretty high hopes for these. I enjoy the taste of beer and was imagining the yeasty flavor mixing with the salted peanuts. What I was expecting and what I got were two entirely different things. They didn’t have a strong smell upon opening the container outside of the normal peanut smell you expect. Examining the nuts up close, I noticed what appeared to be a hard sugar glaze similar to those of the sugared nuts you’d get at a fair.

Upon eating one, the immediate flavor was SUGAR. Like, I checked to see if it was the first ingredient (it’s not, by the way) because it was such an overwhelming flavor. As for the beer/yeast flavor, it is sadly non-existent. It’s been a minute since I had a Natural Light, but you don’t forget that taste and it’s nowhere to be found with this snack.

Birthday Party Edition Planters and Natural Light Beer Flavored Peanuts

There is an odd aftertaste that seems like it could be beer-flavored if someone from the other room screams “BEER FLAVORED” at you. Considering “Beer” is listed as the last ingredient under the “Less than 2%,” it’s not a shock that it’s not predominant.

Anything else you need to know?

They make sure to let you know they are non-alcoholic on the packaging. Which is a shame because I think they might taste better the more intoxicated you’d get eating them.

Conclusion:

Birthday Party Edition Planters and Natural Light Beer Flavored Peanuts Closeup Can

If you like roasted, sugary peanuts with the occasional odd aftertaste, these are for you. They might even be a good option if someone in your family turns 21 because the packaging’s novelty will amuse them. But if you are looking for a fancy new addition to your charcuterie board, skip these and get something better.

Purchased Price: $4.48
Size: 10 oz can
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz/ about 47 pieces) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Mermaid, Unicorn, and Birthday Cake Waffles

Kellogg s Mermaid Unicorn and Birthday Cake Waffles Boxes

Frozen waffles are one of those items I buy randomly, enjoy immensely, and then immediately forget about until the next time I see them on sale. While I could easily get sucked into a long winded diatribe about the simple joys of Eggo Mini Waffles, that’s not why we’re here. Nope, we’re here to look at three new frozen waffle varieties from Kellogg’s — Birthday Cake, Mermaid, and Unicorn.

For some reason I assumed it was an expansion to the already popular Eggo line, but they are stand alone Kellogg’s branded items. My theory is that they did this to try and appeal to the tween crowd who are like so totally over Eggo.

The pastel boxes help set them apart and announce that these aren’t your little sibling’s waffles. There is also the possibility they are trying to appeal to the lazy Instagramers who want the aesthetics of cute food with the flick of a toaster lever. Either way, I am neither of those and was cautiously optimistic as I walked with my arms full of frozen waffles to the self-checkout.

Mermaid

Kellogg s Mermaid Waffles Box

The Mermaid is a blue raspberry-flavored waffle.

The first thing that struck me was the strong blue raspberry smell. This worried me because if the smell was this intense, how overpowering is the taste going to be?

Blue raspberry as a flavor is always extremely hit or miss. Either it’s an overly sweet sugar assault or tastes more like raspberry with a hint of blue sugar. I also noticed it was a thicker waffle, more of the Belgium variety versus your standard frozen waffle.

Kellogg s Mermaid Waffles Closeup

After toasting, I went in for the first bite and found myself pleasantly surprised! Despite the strong smell, the blue raspberry wasn’t overpowering. A few more bites in and it reminded me of when you’d get those sno-cones with the chunky ice. All the flavor syrup would sink to the bottom, leaving just a hint of it at the top. That’s how subtle the blue raspberry came through.

It was a nice break from the expected and I could see it being a hit with kids.

Fun Mermaid Fact: Throughout history sailors often mistook manatees for mermaids.

Kellogg s Mermaid Waffles Fun Fact

Purchased Price: $2.96
Size: 11.6 oz/6 waffles
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutritional Facts: (1 Waffle) 130 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Unicorn

Kellogg s Unicorn Waffles Box

The Unicorn is a cotton candy flavored waffle.

While I’m not a HUGE pink person, the pink hue of this waffle was incredibly appealing. Like, take down to the paint shop to have it matched for a bathroom trim cute.

Kellogg s Unicorn Waffles Closeup

Then I noticed what appeared to be blueberries embedded in. This immediately confused me. I looked the box over to see if blueberries were even an ingredient (they weren’t) and eventually concluded they must be “pieces” of cotton candy.

Much like the Mermaid, the smell out the box was strong. Also like the Mermaid, eating it resulted in a much more subtle flavor. However, where they diverge from one another is the little pockets of not-blueberries. With the Mermaid, I got an even flavor in every bite, but with the Unicorn it was incredibly inconsistent. The pieces with little to no sugar pockets tasted like generic waffles, but then I’d hit a vein of the blue-colored sugar pockets and get that cotton candy flavor.

Personally, I prefer when I get a more even distribution of flavor so this wasn’t a hit for me.

Fun Unicorn Fact: The Unicorn is the national animal of Scotland.

Kellogg s Unicorn Waffles Fun Fact

Purchased Price: $2.96
Size: 11.6 oz/6 waffles
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutritional Facts: (1 Waffle) 130 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Birthday Cake

Kellogg s Birthday Cake Waffles Box

The Birthday Cake is a yellow cake flavored waffle with sprinkles

Just like the other two, the smell opening the box was very strong. However, as a big believer that there is no such thing as too much birthday cake, I was happy to inhale a deep breath of it.

Kellogg s Birthday Cake Waffles Closeup

Kellogg s Birthday Cake Waffles Split

Of the three, I found it to be the most visually pleasing. The rainbow sprinkles embedded in that unnaturally yellow color takes me back to homemade cupcakes in elementary school. Also, like the other two, the flavor is fairly subtle. I guess I was expecting it to be more like cake batter turned into waffles, but instead it was a waffle flavored to taste like cake.

To its credit, it had that unmistakable cake flavor. The rainbow sprinkles added a little sweetness, but overall just seemed pretty. Of the three, it was the most enjoyable. Unlike the other two flavors, I feel there is a lot more that these can be used for outside simply heating and eating.

Maybe if they get put into the deep freeze, I can add a little whipped cream and turn them into a panic birthday cake next time I forget someone’s birthday.

Fun Birthday Fact: About 15 million people are celebrating their birthday today!

Kellogg s Birthday Cake Waffles Fun Fact

Purchased Price: $2.96
Size: 11.6 oz/6 waffles
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutritional Facts: (1 Waffle) 130 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

A few final thoughts on these products. If you always put butter and/or syrup on their waffles, I’d tread very carefully.

While I’d personally recommend them plain and toasted, I realize that makes me probably sound like a sociopath. Trying all three with just butter it didn’t necessarily take away from the flavors, but it certainly didn’t enhance them. If you’re the kind of person that needs some moisture on their waffles, this is the way to go.

Kellogg s Mermaid Unicorn and Birthday Cake Waffles Closeup Syrup

However, adding syrup was a disaster. It immediately overpowered all of them and made for a very bizarre flavor profile with the Mermaid and Unicorn. The Birthday Cake was the only slightly passable one with the syrup, but even then it still was weird. Otherwise, they are more than enjoyable enough plain and toasted. I’d love to see some other unique flavors.

Maybe a Kraken-flavored one? Green and just salty?

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Reviewer Holly

When I turned 30 a few years back, I felt a fundamental shift in my world view on food. For so long, I had categorized things I ate as “good” or “bad.”

Plain celery? Good.

Baconator from Wendy’s? Bad.

Yet, the night of my birthday, I was lying in my bed while propping myself up to discourage the stomach acid from creeping up my esophagus. It is then that I had a revelation: food is food. It cannot be inherently good or bad. Now, should I eat three Bloomin’ Onions a week? Absolutely not!…unless it gets me a free shirt, then there might be some thinking to do. I wasted so much time saying no to food because I categorized it as “bad,” but now? It’s game on.
?I feel like I should actually introduce myself now. Hello dear readers, my name is Holly, and I’m one of the new contributors here at The Impulsive Buy. I share this story of my epiphany as it was the thing that started me down the path of all food things weird, new, or Limited Edition.

I have always looked at stuff in stores or on menus at restaurants with a longing. OF COURSE, I want to try the Limited Edition Pillsbury Corn Elote Funfetti Cake, but it’s “bad.” Now when I shop, I ask myself, “Does it sound good? Does it sound unique? Will it be an experience?” If an item is a “yes” to at least one of those questions, into the basket it goes.

I live in Jacksonville, Florida, where we have the pleasure of 100% humidity at six in the morning, 343 days out of the year. I am currently working as a gig-grocery shopper/delivery gal, but I have a long history when it comes to grocery stores. I worked in big box stores, left to reset/remodel/open grocery stores across the state, and also spent time as a vendor for such brands as Hidden Valley, Soy Vay, and KC Masterpiece. Chances are if you walked through a grocery store in Northeast Florida and saw a display of Hidden Valley Ranch, it was my doing.

When it comes to food, there is very little that I will absolutely refuse to try. Even then, in most cases, I’d at least take a bite. I do tend to favor savory/salty items, but I will never say no to a doughnut, especially if it’s from Voodoo Doughnuts (Yes, Portland readers, I am aware that outside the OG Voodoo, they all pale in comparison. But let me tell you how that Memphis Mafia fritter slaps at 2 am).
?It’s going to be an interesting adventure, and I look forward to sharing it with you all!