REVIEW: Burger King Mexican Original Chicken Sandwich

I feel like there’s some really clever joke that does something with the idea, “Hey, you got your Taco Bell in my Burger King!” but I can’t actually think of the joke; I just know it’s out there, somewhere, in the ether. Maybe “My Burger King may taste like Taco Bell today, but at least my Dunkin’ doesn’t taste like Arby’s!” Nah. I’m going to need to workshop this one.

We’ve been getting some dinners from Burger King lately since the BK in the area is right on the way home from my daughter’s dance class, so it was very convenient to try out this new sandwich. Apparently, there are other special chicken sandwiches on offer right now: an Italian-style and an American-style, but the Mexican is the only new offering — others are returning fare.

I’ve always been fond of the BK long-and-thin chicken sandwich, so it was an appealing package right out of the paper sack. When I opened the sandwich up to see its beautiful innards, I saw a whole bunch of green specks that looked a bit like grains of rice. Later, I would find out these are little pieces of fried (and crunchy) jalapeno. I purposely didn’t look up the components for this item before tasting it so I would take note of what I was actually tasting and not what I was “supposed” to taste, so the little green bits were mysterious at first, although now I can’t imagine what else they could have been besides jalapeno. The other spicy component is a queso that is slathered on the buns.

For the first few bites, it was just a regular BK chicken sandwich. I asked my husband, “Are you sure you got me the Mexican one?” He gave me a “How stupid do you think I am?” look and I sheepishly returned to eating my strangely-oblong sandwich. Fortunately, it was at that point I started biting into the little jalapeno crumbs of joy and a pleasant spice began burning my mouth. This is actually pretty spicy, with the queso cheese bringing most of the heat, but as I’ve mentioned recently, I am new to spicy food so my “really spicy” might be someone else’s “meh, whatever.” That said, this sandwich was about as fiery as my food can get before it becomes a problem and I need a drink (and possibly some consoling), so it’s definitely not bland.

So, between the jalapeno and the queso, there’s definitely some spicy action going on here, but is it really “Mexican?” I can’t decide. With those two components, the sandwich definitely should taste Tex-Mex, but something about the stolid flavor of the original BK chicken sandwich seems to fight against that. I definitely want to have it again though, so it’s clear BK did something right. Even though they don’t carry the brunt of the spice quotient, those tiny little green jalapeno fried bits are addictive; as soon as I finished my sandwich, I ate all the little jalapeno pieces that had fallen onto my wrapper.

There’s something in me that doesn’t want to give this sandwich a high score because it’s not “really” Mexican, but….so what? More importantly, it was delicious, and deliciously spicy. Now I have a new dinner order for dance class nights.

Purchased Price: $5.29
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 680 calories, 31 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 1900 milligrams of sodium, 75 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 28 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Salsa Verde Grilled Chicken Burrito

Spicy food is pretty new to me. I’ve been too afraid to order fiery food for most of my life, and only recently realized that I actually like the burn of mild-to-moderately spiced food. I’m still never going to order a Super Triple Spicy Ghost Pepper Burger or whatever, but I like me some Wendy’s Spicy Nuggets.

What makes this item interesting — yet another burrito from Taco Bell, oh joy — is that it seems like the spiciness has been calibrated for people like me. You’ve got the salsa verde, which Taco Bell calls “green sauce,” which is spicy, but the presence of rice, grilled chicken, reduced fat sour cream, and a three-cheese blend are all fighting valiantly to cancel out that spice. What I ended up with was a burrito that created a pleasant, light-burning sensation on the tip of my tongue and the roof of my mouth, but did not spread that heat to the back of my mouth.

Other than the perfect spice level (for me, anyway), there isn’t that much to talk about. The other foods that complement the green sauce, save the cheese blend, are all relatively bland, which leads to a bland dining experience. The chicken tastes fine, but lightly marinated chicken is never going to rock your socks off with flavor. The cheese blend could add some flavor contrast, but I tasted very little cheese in my burrito. I’m assuming that means there wasn’t much in my burrito to begin with because cheese has a flavor that would have stood out if it was there in any reasonable quantity. More green sauce would have dialed up the flavor, but then the burrito would lose its “perfect for spice-wimps” level of heat.

Since I have so little to say about the flavor, I spent a little time online seeing what other reactions this burrito has been inspiring. Surprisingly, some eaters noted that it had too much cheese and not nearly enough salsa verde, which does not match my experience at all. Apparently, there may be some quality control issues going on here, which will not shock anybody.

The last thing I want to mention is the fact that this burrito is only two dollars on Taco Bell’s “Cravings” menu. Criticisms aside, this is a pretty hefty burrito for only two dollars; if you’re a somewhat light eater, this could serve as a really cheap lunch. Taco Bell is known for providing cheap eats, and while this burrito is far from perfect, it’s a pretty good deal for what it is.

Purchased Price: $2.00
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 390 calories, 12 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 1110 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of sugar, and 18 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Bacon Avocado Tomato Sandwich

As a Millennial, I am contractually obligated to enjoy avocado toast, so the hearty bread-and-avocado combination is very familiar to me. However, this could more accurately be called a Tomato Tomato Tomato Bacon Avocado sandwich because the tomato totally takes over, the avocado under-performs, and the saltiness of the bacon only pokes through occasionally.

The thing is, if you had asked me before trying it what I thought the biggest flaw was likely to be, I would have said, “Not enough bacon.” So either I’m growing wise to the tricks the big snack chains use, or I am clairvoyant.

First, the bread. Dunkin’ uses a very chewy, substantial sourdough bread, and it’s really satisfying to eat. Unfortunately, I found it hard to take bites big enough to encompass the entire sandwich, often eating one slice of bread with the fillings at a time. People with normal-sized heads, as opposed to my tiny pinhead, will likely have better results. All that said, this is a very bread-forward sandwich, but fortunately, I like toasted bread a lot.

Next, the avocado: It’s there. That’s pretty much all I can say about it because the flavor is not very assertive. It’s not flavored like guacamole, so it’s just kind of a subtle goopiness that encompasses the sandwich. The soupy avocado does contrast nicely with the other textures, but you could probably take it out of the sandwich entirely and it wouldn’t change the experience much.

Next, the tomatoes; Oh God, the tomatoes. This thing is loaded to the gunnels with these fairly large, teardrop-shaped slices of oven-roasted tomato, which taste about halfway between sun-dried and regular tomatoes. They are also chewy and don’t split apart easily under your teeth, so you keep ending up with whole pieces in your mouth, where they must be masticated thoroughly before you can continue your sandwich-eating. They taste good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just a lot at once. Pieces of tomato also escaped out the other half of my sandwich, making a bit of a mess.

This is a pretty messy sandwich, but the sourdough bread is hearty enough to maintain its integrity when moistened, so your hands actually stay pretty clean; it’s your plate that gets messed up.

Finally, there’s the bacon. It’s a nice sensation when you get a crispy, salty piece of bacon standing up to the murky avocado and sweet-and-sour tomatoes, but it’s pretty rare. I think I only got a couple of bites of bacon in my entire sandwich.

Still, even with all my caveats, this was enjoyable. Is it good enough that I’m going to start ordering it instead of my beloved Sausage, Egg and Cheese on a Croissant at DD? Maybe if I’m in the mood for something a little healthier, but I have a feeling the sausage sandwich is going to win that battle most of the time.

Purchased Price: $4.29
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 480 Calories, 18 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 1240 milligrams of sodium, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 64 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 17 grams of protein.

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.