REVIEW: Taco Bell Triplelupa

Taco Bell Triplelupa

The lord God Almighty, sitting on his golden throne in all of his wisdom and glory, gave us the ultimately confusing gift of the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Running a close second, however, is Taco Bell’s latest (and less confounding) present to humanity, the graciously heaven-sent Triplelupa.

A righteous blessing of three flavor favorites, the Triplelupa is a trio of small Chalupas connected into one, each tear-away pocket containing a taste sensation that we’ve all come to know and love over these many years: trademarked nacho cheese, creamy chipotle sauce, and, last but certainly not least, a glorious combination of the two.

Taco Bell Triplelupa Innards

With the Chalupa being arguably the finest offering on Taco Bell’s menu, the Triplelupa is an embarrassment of riches that anyone should be thankful for. It starts with the custom fried outer shell that’s thick yet soft with a hidden crunch that always makes this precious snack into a bountiful meal.

Taco Bell Triplelupa Nacho

But, as you can guess, the filling is truly where it’s at, starting with its world-famous nacho cheese. As expected, the yellow queso combines well with the seasoned meat, lettuce, tomato, and three-cheese blend, crafting near-perfection in two or three bites for this first section.

Taco Bell Triplelupa Chipotle

Additionally, the second nosh with the chipotle sauce does a sanctified job of sending my soul to sing with the angels. The creamy kick of the pepper-infused condiment gives this middle portion a well-deserved morning mass to my tastebuds.

Taco Bell Triplelupa Both

That being said, it’s in this third and final helping where the grand plan of Taco Bell’s Mexican majesty shows itself to scores of hungry patrons just waiting for a sign of extreme essence. Like a miracle, the combined efforts of both the nacho cheese and the chipotle sauce create an unheard and unseen testament to the Triplelupa, crafting a liquid blanket that makes everything feel at peace.

It’s such a delightful combination, I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that I licked the leftover refuse from the wrapper, recycling the lettuce and sauces that spilled out like a human compactor. If it wasn’t raining down so hard right now, I would have desperately walked back to my Taco Bell to order another one of these Triplelupas – maybe two — for my own triumvirate of taste.

Per usual, this thinking outside the bun mentality that birthed the Triplelupa is a tour de sauce, a reckoning and a revelation of Biblical proportions. I urge you and everyone you know to pay your taco tithe of $3.69 and follow the way of this edible trinity. Get thee to a Bell!

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: N/A
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 610 calories, 35 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 1110 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 22 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Breakfast Baconator

Wendy s Breakfast Baconator

What is Wendy’s Breakfast Baconator?

A pre-10 a.m. take on Wendy’s famed Baconator hamburger, this walk-of-shame variation features grilled sausage, American cheese, a flattened egg, and enough Applewood smoked bacon to choke a hog. It’s also topped with a Swiss cheese sauce and served to you with a coffee and a smile.

How is it?

Take what you think you know about breakfast sandwiches and beat it into salty submission. While the Breakfast Baconator might not look as jam-packed as, say, some monstrosity from Carl’s Jr., Wendy’s has somehow managed to pack quite a bit of grotesquely gorgeous morningside taste in its bid for total breakfast domination.

Besides the requisite slab of fried egg and cut of grilled sausage — nicely done, by the way — the two distinctly separate layers of Applewood smoked bacon, while definitely the definition of “too much,” work perfectly for the breakfast sandwich. It might be even better than the lunchtime variety. And while the Swiss cheese sauce was somewhat lighter than expected, the two slices of American cheese make up for it, giving this pile of meat a surprising bite from the dairy.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Wendy s Breakfast Baconator 2

With so much bacon — I counted eight strips on mine — the salt in this sandwich is mouth-puckeringly strong. I say skip the hash browns and order an extra cup of coffee instead. You’ll need it way more, even after the Breakfast Baconator is a belching memory.

Conclusion:

Calorically rich in its Applewood smoked goodness, it really is a perfect-enough fast food breakfast and quite obviously the cornerstone of Wendy’s burgeoning breakfast menu, which, at least in my part of the country, could be considered fightin’ words. I mean, have you seen those Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits?

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: N/A
?Rating: 8 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts: 730 calories, 50 grams of fat, 19 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 280 milligrams of cholesterol, 1750 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 7 grams of total sugars, and 34 grams of protein

REVIEW: Sonic Totchos

Sonic Tatchos

Looking down at the empty tray that once held Sonic’s latest foodstuff, the Totchos, I feel mostly disappointment where satisfaction really should be. Sure, its tater tots are a tried and true fast food go-to, and the melted cheddar cheese is always tops, but while the name is quite clever, the execution is lazy at best.

Totchos, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, is a combination of tots and nachos. Sonic has taken said tater tots and covered them with, of course, gloopy cheese, something called “Baja sauce,” bits of diced onion, and slices of jalapeno. That’s all well and good, but then they absentmindedly threw on a few squares of bacon.

I had to look online to make sure this wasn’t a mistake.

Sonic Tatchos 3

Needless to say, at least for me, it was somewhat distasteful to find bacon, a very un-nacho-like meat, on my cheesy tots. I prefer a pork product with a far more Mexican bent like, say, chorizo. But, still, this is what I was given, so I forged ahead with this ignoble experiment and gave the Totchos the old intento universitario.

As the cheese began to solidify quickly, I stirred my fork around the messy meal and realized it’s basically Sonic’s Cheesy Tots – sans its always delightful chili and with a scant scoop of Baja sauce in its place. You can’t go wrong with Sonic’s Cheesy Tots.

Sonic Tatchos 2

Tasting a few well-covered potato portions, the addition of onions and jalapeno is always novel, and the Baja sauce, though mild as a San Francisco breeze, did add a delightful tang when mixed with the nacho cheese. But what hurts these Totchos, sadly, are the salty cuts of bacon that give an unlikable taste for me, especially when mixed with all the other well-assembled parts.

Maybe order them without the bacon next time?

Ultimately disappointing, there are so many things Sonic could have done to make these Totchos a true nacho reality, like sour cream or even strands of chicken would’ve done alright by me. But, instead, this is what we got and it’ll have to do until they decide to head back to the test kitchen for more Totcho combinations.

Purchased Price: $3.29
Size: Medium
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 550 calories, 36 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 1670 milligrams of sodium, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Buffalo Chicken Nacho Fries

Taco Bell Buffalo Chicken Nacho Fries  1

For the most part, I like fries about as much as any other typical fast food fan probably does. But, you know, even I have to begrudgingly admit that maybe it’s time to take a break from them and turn that fryer off for a few months.

Of course, just as I think that those beautiful bastards at Taco Bell’s research and development labs go and craft this new “Mexico on the Hudson” flavor for all the fry-eaters of the world to not only enjoy, but reflect on.

With the hard-charging heat of New York’s Buffalo sauce spilling forth on the stampeding herd of Taco Bell’s famous fries — and its companion burrito, natch — it’s such a tangy stroke of corporate genius you have to wonder why it hasn’t happened before, causing a culture clash that is far more related, like distant cousins, than previously thought.

Taco Bell Buffalo Chicken Nacho Fries

Outright, the clear-cut “winner winner, Buffalo chicken dinner” is the fantastic Buffalo Chicken Nacho Fries. It comes with a nice portion of shredded chicken and the usual accouterments, such as pico de gallo, reduced fat sour cream, and nacho cheese sauce over Taco Bell’s seasoned fries. But it’s the liberal dowsing of Buffalo sauce that gives the platter a mostly loving kick in the metaphorical junk.

It was definitely a bit of culinary violence that the Bell needed, especially before its fries became a little too staid for their own good —- something I’m sure we all can agree on. That being said, the next time I order these, I’d love to add a squirt or two of the Spicy Ranch, perhaps for a bit of heated resistance.

Taco Bell Buffalo Chicken Nacho Fries Burrito

With that said, the sauce isn’t as powerful in the Buffalo Chicken Nacho Fries Burrito, but that’s not to say it’s entirely bad either. It’s just…different.

While it could’ve been a fluke in my home Bell’s kitchen, my burrito, loaded with the same items as the fries but wrapped in a loose tortilla, must have had far less of the Buffalo sauce because it wasn’t as “in your face” as the fries.

It still works well though, with the scant Buffalo sauce instead enhancing the burrito and its taste instead of utterly dominating it. I can understand if people would disagree with me about this, but, especially after the stomach-enflaming fires of the fries, that was a somewhat cooling snack, a coda on the whole Buffalo sauce phenomenon.

Who knew it would be Taco Bell, of all places, to deliver it.

Purchased Price: $2.99 each
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Buffalo Chicken Nacho Fries – 490 calories, 32 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 1080 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein. Buffalo Chicken Nacho Fries Burrito – 510 calories, 26 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 1190 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Energy Zero Sugar

Coca Cola Energy Zero Sugar

Like many dumb kids from the 80s, one of my favorite sodas – much to my parents’ chagrin – was the now-legendary Jolt Cola. Appearing infrequently and in different incarnations over the past few years — as chewing gum even, if I remember correctly – they’ve never been able to recapture that shaky soda feeling that was very much part of the whole experience.

Now, probably about twenty years too late, Coca-Cola is dropping its official entry into the energy drink movement with, of course, Coca-Cola Energy. Loaded with around 114 milligrams of caffeine — that’s comparable with a 12 oz. can of Red Bull, natch — the flavors not only come in original and cherry but in sugar and sugar-free options as well. Something for everyone!

Still, with all the caffeine I ingested over the past few hours, you bet your sweet ass I went with the sugar-free selections.

Coca Cola Energy Zero Sugar Closeup

Typically I’m more of a Diet Coke drinker than a Coke Zero fanboy, so it’s always a bit jolting — no pun intended — to have the close-to-original flavor of Coke coating my tongue once again with Coca-Cola Energy Zero Sugar. With none of the guarana aftertaste that sullies most energy drinks, the mixture of caffeine and b-vitamins is mostly undetectable.

But, sadly, they maybe were a little too undetectable. I was not feeling that rush of energy, that second-wind that sweeps through my person whenever I down a Sugar-Free Red Bull, for example. It was a bit disappointing. I almost feel like I could have had about two Diet Cokes with the same basic effect.

Coca Cola Energy Zero Sugar Cherry Closeup

I figured that with no change in my typical alertness, it was the perfect time to try the Zero Sugar Cherry, which has more of a bite than Cherry Coke Zero or Diet Cherry Coke. While this variation is definitely tastier than the regular Coca-Cola Energy Zero Sugar, a little still goes a long way and I had to quickly swig the last half down.

The energy drink has a cinnamon-like flair that reminds me of the recent holidays and Christmases of long ago, like a liquidly Dickens ghost. Sadly, this spectre is still not the kinetic wave I was promised. Instead, it’s an artificially-flavored energy letdown.

Maybe, like an addict who needs harsher, more dangerous drugs to get off, I’ve spent so much of my life downing these lightning bolts of fraudulent energy that these Coca-Cola products don’t work for me.

Regardless, I’m glad Coke slapped its name on these products and threw them on the shelves. But, you know, when it comes to name-brand sodas dipping their toes in this business, you still can’t go wrong with those Mountain Dew Game Fuel drinks.

Purchased Price: $1.79 each
Size: 12 fl. oz. cans
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10 (both)
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl. oz.) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 40 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: KFC Secret Recipe Fries

KFC Secret Recipe Fries

As I ordered the Secret Recipe Fries from my area Kentucky Fried Chicken, there was a debate going on in the kitchen regarding these new test items: the server, who took my order, declared loudly how much she absolutely adored this new item and couldn’t wait to eat some when she got off her shift, while the guy in the back making them, on the other hand, said in a gruff voice that he liked the potato wedges better and these weren’t “flavorful” enough for him.

Listening to this fierce debate kind of got me pumped to sample this individual-sized order, waiting with small gasps of seasoned breath as I quietly wondered how the kitchen-fresh geniuses in Kentucky gently mixed their famed secret herbs and spices with their not-so-famous French fried potato offerings.

Order up, I sat down at the nearest plastic table and spilled the overflowing box all across the brown bag, the secretive spices and affirmative grease staining the area. Taking a bite out of the plump starch stick, I have to agree with the server on this one; good job, Col. Sanders!

KFC Secret Recipe Fries 2

With that crunchy twice-fried heavy coating that I really enjoy on fries from the local, independent chicken places around town, the secret herbs and spices — seemingly fried right on the potato — are a salty Kentucky song of twangy finesse that is quite comparable to Taco Bell’s recent French fried output, give or take a small hurting of cheese.

The unknown spices that coat the fries are deeply Southern in their affectation — I’m sorry, but even with a detective’s delineation I couldn’t tell you what those spices are or were — but offered a saliferous smile of that famous moderately spicy KFC zing, with a slight bit of down-home sass that is definitely on par with its original recipe style of fried chicken.

KFC Secret Recipe Fries 3

And while I can’t say that it compliments KFC’s chicken per se, I can say that, as a light snack — of which these tubers definitely work best as — it’s a decently delightful soiree of Kentucky fried tastes and French fried goodness, one that should be sampled soon. And if you can bring a cup of nacho cheese from Taco Bell — these are all Yum Brands, right? — all the better.

Editor’s Note: KFC is currently testing these Secret Recipe Fries in select test regions, like Oklahoma, Virginia, and Indiana.

Purchased Price: $2.19
Size: Individual
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Unavailable.