REVIEW: KFC Georgia Gold Chicken

KFC Georgia Gold Chicken

Recently, I’ve been referring to KFC as Kan’t Figure (out the) Colonel because of its revolving door of portrayals that started off as confusing and is now weirdly entertaining. The latest Colonel Sanders made his debut along with the chicken chain’s new Georgia Gold Honey Mustard BBQ Chicken.

Let me preface by saying I’m a connoisseur of anything honey mustard-flavored. Amongst the fast food landscape there is the full gamut of choices, from Chick-fil-A’s non-creamy offering to Papa John’s liquid euphoria that I would very much like to bathe in.

That’s the thing about honey mustard and its flavor profile, it’s all over the place. As Forrest Gump’s mom would say, “Honey mustard is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Is it cream based? What’s the honey-to-mustard ratio? How seedy is it? Let’s see where Georgia Gold lies.

(Side note – KFC, how bout Tom Hanks as the next colonel? I BET HE WOULD CRUSH IT.)

KFC Georgia Gold Chicken 2

The chicken tenders I got came in an order of three in their own little container with some pickles for good measure. While I do love a good pickle, I’m not a huge fan when they are hot as they lose some of their gratifying crunch. They were marginal at best. I ate them first just so I could move quickly on to the stars of the dish, the tenders themselves, which were fantastic.

KFC Georgia Gold Chicken 3

The meat inside was juicy, like insanely juicy, which I definitely was not expecting. The breading was, as I like to call it, Goldilocks-style. Not too crunchy or too mushy, it was juuuuuussssssst right.

KFC Georgia Gold Chicken 4

With the perfect meat and breading I was excited for some intense flavor. However, it never materialized. It was hard to distinguish any flavor at all actually. As I looked to the bottom of the container, I saw what had happened. It had all pooled to the bottom grooves of the container so I decided to scoop up the concoction with my spork.

Once in my mouth, I got all the flavors I was hoping for. Hints of mustard and honey, a slight BBQ essence, even a little bit of heat towards the end, and all surprisingly well balanced. All notes could have been a bit stronger and I wish it was more of a smooth sauce rather than being slightly clumpy and oily, but regardless it was tasty!

I remedied the rest of my meal by adding the mixture right on top of the remaining tenders. After I was finished, forget my fingers, I wanted to lick those grooves. Yum, this was CONTAINER LICKIN’ GOOD!

(Nutrition Facts – 3 Tenders – 410 calories, 22 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 940 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 29 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Goldilocks-style breading. Insanely juicy white meat chicken. Tom Hanks as the new Colonel. A bathtub full of your favorite condiment.
Cons: Trying out a new honey mustard = taste bud Russian roulette. Georgia Gold sauce fleeing the tenders for the safety of the container grooves.

REVIEW: Lay’s Poppables (White Cheddar and Sea Salt)

Lay's Poppables

In between its flavor experiments (long live the cappuccino chip!), Lay’s has decided to try switching up the form factor on the beloved potato chip for its next innovation. The results are named Poppables for their popped up 3D shape that can easily be popped into your mouth.

Before you read any further please take note, though, that these are high class potato snacks.

Exhibit A – the eye catching design on the top of the bags as Harper’s Bazaar tells me that polka dots are recently back on trend.

Exhibit B – the o in Poppables needs a dot below it, which the internet tells me is a diacritic mark, whatever that is. Do you pronounce it differently? No clue.

Exhibit C (and if you weren’t already convinced this is the dead giveaway) – notice that the two featured flavors are not just cheddar but white cheddar and not just original but sea salt.

Lay's Poppables 2

I’m surprised they didn’t go further with possibly aged white cheddar or pink Himalayan salt or something. I, myself, alternate between drip coffee and espresso, so I do like to think of myself as highbrow every now and then meaning I was very, very excited to try out these bite-sized snacks.

Lay's Poppables 3

Their shape looks like a lattice cut potato chip and an M&M had a beautiful snack baby. A very hollow but starchy one. Each is about the size of a quarter and significantly puffed out towards the center. The crunchiness is definitely a highlight as there are so many layers to bite through from the unique shape.

After the crunching gives way, the flavors definitely make their arrival. The sea salt ones have a tiny bit too much saltiness to them as it increases the more you chew. The white cheddar, though, have a nice crunch followed by intense cheesy flavor that then transforms into your classic potato chip profile. I found myself continually popping these into my mouth as they are a lot lighter than expected and not heavy at all (until you have eaten half the bag, though).

Lay's Poppables 4

To wrap up on these Poppables, out of the two eatable flavors available, and while this could be debatable, I did think that the white cheddar was more desirable and capable of tingling my excitable taste buds even though both, while perishable and potentially breakable, were portable, delectable, and very satiable potato snacks.

(Nutrition Facts – White Cheddar – about 28 pieces – 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Sea Salt – about 30 pieces – 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.49 each
Size: 5 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10 (White Cheddar)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Sea Salt)
Pros: On trend packaging design. Potato chips and M&M’s falling in love and procreating. Crunchiness and lightness all in one.
Cons: Overuse of the suffix -able. Aged White Cheddar and Pink Himalayan Salt getting the shaft.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Grand Mac

McDonald's Grand Mac

Do you see that party over there? It’s an LTO (limited time offer) party and I see the King from Burger King and the chihuahua from Taco Bell absolutely going crazy and for what seems like forever. Oh, and who’s that I see over there making a fashionably late entrance? WHY IT’S RONALD MCDONALD WITH TWO NEW BURGERS!

Welcome to the party, McDonald’s! Glad to see you here even if it is for just two size variations of your top performer.

McDonald's Grand Mac 6

The burgers are siblings to McDonald’s signature item the Big Mac, one of which is called the Grand Mac. Thinking about the name, though, a Grande at Starbucks is a medium and if you translate grand from French it means “big,” so jeez McDonald’s this is confusing.

McDonald's Grand Mac 3

I got a regular Big Mac too just so I could see the difference. And if the package wasn’t warning enough (you’re gonna need two hands), you truly see the magnitude when you open the box. This thing is big! Actually, scratch that since it’s confusing. It’s huge!

McDonald's Grand Mac 4

It’s definitely larger than its star sibling but not so much in height. However, getting a bird’s eye view is simply breathtaking as you compare the diameters of the two sesame seed buns.

McDonald's Grand Mac 5

The taste is right on point with the Big Mac as the usual components are there in all their glory. The lettuce, onions, and pickles add some really nice crunch while the cheese is a sort of middle ground in texture to marry up all the different components, which it does so beautifully. However, the star here is the Big Mac sauce, which is as it should be. It’s the flavor you know and love, both creamy and delicious in full force. If you absolutely love the Big Mac but usually finish it without feeling as full as you’d like then the Grand Mac is for you.

The one disappointment I had were with the meat patties. The taste was fine but they were a bit too thin for me considering everything else that was going on. So, here’s to hoping McDonald’s has another option in the works. I even mocked one up using the gloriously sized patties from a Double Quarter Pounder. Drive-thru patrons of America? The Hamburglar? The enormous gigantic Jumbo Mac has arrived…

McDonald's Grand Mac 2

(Nutrition Facts – 860 calories, 470 calories from fat, 52 grams of fat, 18 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 140 milligrams of cholesterol, 1470 milligrams of sodium, 62 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 41 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.00
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: A truly super-sized Big Mac experience. Ronald McDonald partying with the King and a chihuahua. Packaging warnings that actually hold true.
Cons: Meat patties that are underwhelming. The French translation of Grand Mac is Big Mac.

REVIEW: Keebler Cereal

Keebler Cereal

Those crafty Keebler elves!

Not content with just a good portion of the snack aisle (they make Town House crackers, too?!) or hollowing out trees for mass cookie production, they have decided to expand their reach by entering my morning time with the debut of their eponymous cereal. They are so excited by it, actually, it doesn’t need any wildly descriptive title as it is simply just called Keebler Cereal.

Thank goodness the packaging shows the actual product so you know that it is chocolatey cookie based like their Chips Deluxe line rather than Sandies shortbread. PHEW! However, there is a red flag on the top flap noting that I need to “SHAKE IT UP!” as the “Cookies may have settled.” Uh-oh. Upon opening the box it is worse than I imagined as there is nary a cookie in sight even after examining all sides of the inside bag.

Keebler Cereal 2

After a good, hearty shake the “real mini chocolate chip cookies” do reveal themselves as promised but the ratio is off. They are present but not predominantly and this is in addition to the fact that they are nearly half the size of the chocolatey puff pieces they are paired with. I wonder what kind of math curriculum the elves have in school because whatever it is it needs to be reevaluated.

Keebler Cereal 3

The taste of the cookies is okay with a nice milk chocolate richness that definitely comes through upon chewing, even though they are probably better suited for a snack mix than a breakfast cereal. The other pieces are mediocre, just kind of generic chocolate puffs that are very similar to those in other kid’s cereals. They remind me of the bagged bargain ones you have to buy on the bottom shelf while waddling like a penguin through the aisle as the memorable commercial dictated.

Eating the cereal with milk offers a better experience as you get a nice blast of chocolate every time you stumble upon one of the cookies amongst the puffs. However, I noticed that while eating my way through the bowl there seemed to be even fewer cookies than I had started with.

I did a test by putting one cookie and one puff in milk and stirring vigorously. Upsettingly, the cookie started to dissolve while the puff stayed intact. I was expecting Keebler magic, but not like this!!!

Better luck next time elves.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 130 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 2 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.39
Size: 11.2 oz. box
Purchased at: ShopFoodEx.com
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Rich chocolate flavor from real cookies. Keebler venturing into other grocery aisles.
Cons: Questionable elf math skills. Boring chocolate puff pieces that make me think about waddling like a penguin in a grocery store. Unintended cookie disappearing acts.

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Impulsive Buy Reviewer Leonard

My parents know it.

My friends have seen it.

I’m pretty sure my dog has witnessed it too.

It all starts with my jaw slowly dropping, next my eyes intensely widen, and this is followed by a huge gasp that is capped off by my entire body temporarily freezing. What just happened? No, not a medical emergency. Yours truly has just glanced at a NEW out-of-this-world…food item. OMG!!!

Hi everyone out there in internet land! My name is Leonard and as you can tell I am very excited to be the newest contributor to The Impulsive Buy. I hope to break the internet with my debut like Kim K. once did and amass more page views than a snippet of a sneak preview of the teaser to the teaser trailer to the latest superhero movie would.

I recently got my M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson and now I currently spend most of my time thinking about birthday parties with a side gig of learning about the worlds that different cartoon characters live in. No, seriously, though, I work at a party supplies company working on all the super exciting licensed products. We are always developing something new, which continues my obsession with the new and exciting. (As you can imagine, there are A LOT of gasps at work.)

Just like all the weird and wacky products that TIB showcases, my journey since undergrad at Penn State has been very eclectic. Rather than just boringly list off the places, I’d like to explain it through some of the signature food that I have experienced at each location. So let me see if you can guess where I have lived/worked/studied over the past few years. Gigantic smoky turkey legs, wiz covered cheesesteaks, taro flavored bubble tea topped with sea salt foam, huge hot dogs named after celebrities, and, for my current location, warm to the touch soft pretzels! What do you think? Did you get them all??

If you are having trouble, here is one hint: one location is repeated.

Got it?

Did you happen to say Disney World, Philadelphia, China, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia?

If so, then you are RIGHT! What’s the prize, you say? You get to read my upcoming reviews right here on the Impulsive Buy!!!! (And a big, but imaginary, pat on the back from me.)

On weekends I love to take a trip to my local grocery store. My friends or family rarely join me on this adventure because I could spend hours there combing the aisles for the newest piece of Impulsive Buy gold. For example, remember those green Ghostbusters Twinkies? I spent months and months tracking them down (My Mom even called up Hostess to end the madness) and then subsequently raved about them to my co-workers – JUST LOOK AT THAT EPIC GREEN COLOR.

So, get ready TIB readers because Lenny (that’s what I am called when fun is to be had) has just arrived fashionably late, which means the party can officially start!