REVIEW: Wendy’s Garlic Fries

Wendy s Garlic Fries Tray

Garlic can be a tricky ingredient to work with. First, you’ve got to peel off all the pieces of that weird, paper-thin husk that never wants to separate, and then you have to try not to lose all the incredibly tiny pieces you get when you mince it, then you have to decide how much of it will complement your dish without blowing out your taste buds. This is kind of a shame because garlic is supposedly very healthy — not just useful for keeping away vampires — and, of course, it’s quite delicious. Now, with Wendy’s Garlic Fries, I can let little Miss Wendy put on a chef’s hat over her little red pigtails and handle all the garlic wrangling herself.

Come to think of it, do you ever wish we knew more about Wendy? I would totally rock a comic strip all about Wendy and how she passes the time waiting for fries to finish cooking. Wendy’s, if you’re listening, I can put together a package of concept sketches at a moment’s notice. I will accept payment in the form of chocolate Frosties. Not vanilla.

Wendy s Garlic Fries First

ANYWAY, the fries come in one of those attractive little covered trays to keep the fries hot, which I appreciate; all fries are better hot, but that is especially true for these, because no one wants cold garlic. The taste begins with a note of parmesan -— not surprising considering that Wendy’s lists three different cheeses in the recipe for the garlic sauce. Then the garlic takes over, and it’s assertive. I kept thinking of garlic knots, but that association actually started working against my enjoyment of the fries.

Garlic knots are usually soaked with oil — or at least that’s how my local pizza joints prepare them. So the knots are, above all, moist; these fries were not. Even though the garlic seasoning (with some cheese seasoning included in the mix) was plentiful, I felt like I was missing the moisture of a garlic knot, or even of a slice of pizza, another food where I generally consume garlic as part of the experience.

Wendy s Garlic Fries Second

Puzzled and sure I must be missing something, I tried the fries another day. This time, the fries were thoroughly enrobed in the sauce, and the whole thing worked the way it was meant to: with copious amounts of grease. I’m glad that these are good, but it’s obviously not such a great thing that I had to come back and order them again to get a version that was prepared properly.

If anything, I would like a version of these that’s even more greasy, sending these things into Garlic Knot Nirvana (Knotvana?). What would really be amazing would be if Five Guys came out with a version of garlic fries, because the chain’s substantial fries are often already greasy with all the peanut oil they’re fried in. Is it weird that I’m complaining that a fast food item isn’t greasy enough? I’m not the only one who actually likes greasy fries, right?

I asked my husband about this as he was enjoying his own order of garlic fries.

He said, “Yes, (munch) you are the only one (munch) who likes greasy fries. You are a freak.”

These new fries are winners. Just make sure you pick them up on the right day.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: n/a
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 450 calories, 30 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 730 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Entenmann’s Cake Truffles

Entenmann s Cake Truffles Box

What are they?

Not content with simply occupying an entire endcap in seemingly every supermarket on Earth, Entenmann’s is taking steps into the more luxurious side of the snack food aisle with these “decadent” chocolate cake truffles.

How are they?

First, I love Entenmann’s; I have since I was a child. That said, I don’t buy their products too often because I find it really hard to exercise portion control with them. Their crumb-topped donuts are God-tier and their chocolate-iced cakes are a chocoholic’s delight. Then there’re those little chewy chocolate chip cookies… yeah, Entenmann’s stuff always makes me want to eat the entire carton. Given my portioning problems, the idea of cake truffles that bundle the company’s cake experience into conveniently-sized balls of sugary bliss that don’t break the calorie bank is appealing.

Entenmann s Cake Truffles Top

Fresh out of the package, they smell exactly like an Entenmann’s iced fudge cake. Under the thin layer of chocolate icing is a really dense chocolate cake — so dense, in fact, that it may be the confection’s greatest shortfall. I know that these are supposed to be like a chocolate-flavored punch to the face, but the interior texture just doesn’t tempt my tongue. When I eat a piece of an Entenmann’s iced fudge cake, I enjoy the contrast between the thick icing and the loose crumb of the fluffy cake. I’m really missing that here.

Entenmann s Cake Truffles Split

However, the portion control aspect might be very appealing to some chocoholics: two of these balls come to a not-that-heavy 260 calories, and polishing off two of them is relatively satisfying. Of course, you defeat the purpose of portion control when you finish off the entire box (not that I would know or anything).

Anything else you need to know?

There are two varieties, Chocolate Delight and Cookies & Cream. Now I wish I’d picked up the latter because, from the pictures on Entenmann’s website, they look like they have more textural contrast.


These could be very useful if you’re a chocolate-lover watching your caloric intake, but when I really want to indulge, I usually want a big slice of cake, not…little chocolate golf balls.

Purchased Price: $6.89
Size: 9.1 oz
Purchased at: King Kullen
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 pieces) 260 calories, 12 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Cherry Bliss Freeze

Taco Bell Cherry Bliss Freeze Cup

What is it?

Taco Bell’s new Cherry Bliss Freeze is for the kind of people who steal all the red Jolly Ranchers out of the bag. You know who you are.

How is it?

As big a sugar fiend as I am, I’m not a huge consumer of sugary drinks. I don’t dislike them, but my reasoning is that if I have a limited calorie allotment for treats, then I’d rather have my fun in the form of cake, or maybe a sundae, as opposed to a liquid. That said, I was excited to try the Cherry Bliss Freeze because it gave me an excuse to do something unusual for me. I also prefer black cherry soda on the rare occasions when I have soda, so I’m already something of a cherry fan.

Circumstances aligned themselves in favor of me liking the CBF: I got it on an unseasonably warm day, and I was feeling pretty thirsty by the time I got it home. It was actually hard to wait long enough to take a photo, because I was that parched.

Taco Bell Cherry Bliss Freeze Top

My first sip, all I could think about was Luden’s Cough Drops. Apparently, they’ve rebranded as Throat Drops because they were never actually cough drops, or something, but you probably know what I’m talking about. The more I sipped, the more it started to taste like fruit punch. Apparently, Taco Bell uses the flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry in this freeze, so it stands to reason that it would taste like a mix. The final impression it left me with is liquified Cherry Starburst. I think those of us who are into cherry-flavored products will approve of that.

As you would expect, this thing is incredibly sweet. I actually liked it more toward the second half of the drink, as the ice started to melt and the water diluted the flavor a little bit.

Anything else you need to know?

Taco Bell’s promotional images for this depict it as red and purple in color, but what I received was pink. Was this a mistake, or is something else going on here?


If you like cherry-flavored things, you’re not going to do much better than this.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: Small
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 180 calories, 0 grams of fat, 70 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 45 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Heath Brownie Caramel Cupfection

Dairy Queen Heath Caramel Brownie Cupfection Top

It’s pretty unusual for me to order something where I have no clue what it is. However, when I ordered the new Heath Brownie Caramel Cupfection at Dairy Queen, I didn’t know what I was getting.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I knew that it would have ice cream and at least the ingredients listed in the title, but I didn’t know much beyond that. Was it a shake? A sundae? What in God’s name is a “Cupfection?”

My treat was served on one of those ubiquitous little cardboard drink trays that DQ uses for ice cream and drinks, and it looked basically like a shake with abundant toppings. “Okay,” I thought, “So a ‘cupfection’ is just a fancy name for a shake; I can handle this.” Seeing all the different layers on top and the pure white soft-serve on the bottom, I assumed I was supposed to mix it all up, which sounded fun. However, I soon realized there is no mixing this thing up because there is an entire freakin’ brownie sitting on top of the treat, and you need to fully consume the brownie before you can access most of the ice cream. I had originally assumed that the “brownie” in the title must refer to small chunks in the mix, but oh, no: this thing is massive.

Dairy Queen Heath Caramel Brownie Cupfection Brownie Dig In

In addition to the brownie, this thing also has a river of caramel and Heath bar pieces. The only time I see Heath bars available in any form is as an optional ice cream topping that I never order, so I didn’t know what they tasted like, and to be honest, I still don’t. Their flavor is totally overpowered by everything else that’s going on here. What the Heath bar pieces do is provide a highly satisfying crunch that serves as a contrast to the abundant, sticky caramel and the chocolatey gooeyness of the brownie.

I started to feel a little sick about two-thirds of the way through, but for some reason, I felt compelled to finish it, maybe to prove my mettle as a dessert eater? I’m not sure what I thought I was accomplishing, but I did eat the whole thing and then felt sick for about two hours afterwards. Do I regret it? Not really; it was nice to have a sugary treat that completely satisfied my gargantuan sweet tooth, which is never truly content with more reasonable portions.

DQ’s website says that this thing has 760 calories, and I frankly think that’s a lie. I know what a 1,000-calorie-plus treat tastes like, and that’s what this thing tasted like. Maybe I got a larger brownie than usual, but 760 just sounds small for this brownie-laden monstrosity. I guess we’ll never know.

If reading this makes you Cupfection-curious, be aware that there’s also a Brownie and Oreo Cupfection that comes with marshmallow topping and chocolate sauce. The caramel was such a prominent part of the experience that I’m genuinely curious what a version without caramel would taste like. But I won’t find out for a while because I don’t trust myself to order one of these again. I guess I could always get one and split it with my husband, but let’s be honest, I’d just promise certain favors until he gave in and let me eat his half too.

Purchased Price: $5.59
Size: n/a
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 760 calories, 29 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 117 grams of carbohydrates, 390 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of fiber, 90 grams of sugar, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, and 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Snickers Brownie Blizzard

Dairy Queen Snickers Brownie Blizzard Top

Dairy Queen’s website says that the Snickers Brownie Blizzard will “transform your taste buds forever.” Maybe it means you’ll be working so hard to determine the flavor that your taste buds will level up from sheer exertion? Maybe I can now be one of those people who can taste “notes of honeysuckle” in a glass of wine because I’ve become a flavor detective? It would be nice to think I got something out of this experience.

I had this twice and had a different reaction the second time. The first time, the brownie bits were missing chocolate flavor, and I was complaining that it was too bland. The second time, the brownie bits seemed much more flavorful. Was my palette fatigued the first time, or maybe I just got a few bigger brownie chunks in my mix the second time? The second event sounds more likely. When I properly tasted them, the brownie bits had a satisfying unctuousness and chocolatey bitterness.

Moving on to the Snickers, I think this would have worked if the candy bar pieces were a little bigger, but as it stands, it’s hard to discern much flavor. I didn’t taste major Snickers components like nougat and peanuts; there was caramel flavor, but it was kind of muted. The caramel did stick to my teeth though, so at least it was definitely present.

Dairy Queen Snickers Brownie Blizzard Spoon

The DQ description states that the Blizzard has “caramel topping,” which in this case means that the topping was mixed into the vanilla soft serve ice cream. This manages to make the soft serve even sweeter than normal, but it doesn’t really register as caramel flavor; it just amps up the vanilla.

Because of the brownie bits’ chewiness and the caramel’s sticky nature, there was textural variation, so the treat has that going for it. It’s just a little underpowered in the flavor department. This is the first Blizzard I can remember having where I felt the vanilla soft serve, bolstered by the caramel bits in the mix, completely overpowered any other flavors.

Look, Dairy Queen has a lot of Blizzards on its menu, and most of them are pretty darn good. Everyone has an off day once in a while, and I have compassion for that. I allow Dairy Queen a swing-and-a-miss, and that’s what we have here. If you want a Blizzard and are tempted to get this, unless you’ve got a real yen for brownie bits, you may want to get an Oreo Blizzard instead. In that treat, the bitterness of the chocolate contrasts with the vanilla soft serve in a truly delightful way, consistently. I’m actually sitting here feeling kind of cheated because I could have got an Oreo Blizzard (twice!) but got this instead. Blizzard Remorse is a sad, sad thing.

Purchased Price: $5.19
Size: Small
Purchased at: Dairy Queen
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 410 calories, 15 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 60 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 48 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.