Jack in the Box Caramel Iced Coffee

Coffee superpower Starbucks has made a significant impact in the world. For some, it’s hard to imagine a world without Starbucks, so for those people I’ll use my imagination to give them an idea of it would be like. Without Starbucks, people wouldn’t spend days of their lives waiting in line for something called a Frappuccino; the term “Starbucks Run” wouldn’t exist, except in Battlestar Galactica; Borders and Barnes & Noble book stores would have more room for books; and we wouldn’t have mediocre iced coffee drinks from fast food restaurants that want to hitch onto the Starbucks coffee train, like the Jack in the Box Caramel Iced Coffee.

Flavored iced coffee was created for people who say they love coffee, but put so much cream and/or sugar in it that it turns the coffee into something that’s culinarily considered a dessert. I expected Jack in the Box to eventually come out with their own take on iced coffee, since both McDonald’s and Burger King each introduced an iced coffee within the past year.

It’s like these three fast food establishments are playing a game with consumers called Fat Fuck that involves one of them introducing a product and the others coming up with a variation of it, hoping that patrons will try all of them and choose the better one, which in turn causes the consumer to eat fast food more than they should, turning them into a fat fuck. It’s like the opposite of The Biggest Loser.

The Jack in the Box Caramel Iced Coffee, made from a blend of French roast coffee, had probably the least amount of caramel flavor legally possible before you can’t call it “caramel,” because I could hardly taste it. That lack of flavor made the beverage significantly more bitter than sweet, so it tasted pretty much like a normal iced coffee, which is another flavor Jack in the Box offers, along with vanilla. I tried the caramel one at two different Jack in the Box locations and both of them had an extremely light caramel flavor. Perhaps the only item that stands out about the Jack in the Box Caramel Iced Coffee is its inexpensive price, which makes Starbucks look like Neiman Marcus.

(Nutrition Facts – 16 ounces – 90 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 250 milligrams of potassium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, and one more fast food chain trying to hitch onto the Starbucks train.)

(Editor’s Note: Thanks to TIB reader Molly for suggesting to subject my taste buds to this mediocre iced coffee.)

Item: Jack in the Box Caramel Iced Coffee
Price: $2.19 ($1.69 at most other JITB)
Size: 16 ounces
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Inexpensive. Low fat. It’s cold. Ice cubes. 90 calories for 16 ounces. It comes in a cup. Putting it on my nipples will give me a wonderful sensation.
Cons: Extremely light caramel flavor. Not for those who like their iced coffee to be more sweet than bitter. The efforts of fast food companies to hitch a ride on the Starbucks train. Playing Fat Fuck. The word Frappuccino.

Jack in the Box Nacho Cheese Burger

Dear Jack,

I’ll get straight to the point with this letter. Please stop making new menu items, because I believe Death by Jack in the Box is no way to go. Your big white head that speaks telepathically might say that I have the option to choose between eating and not eating your food, but from a quasi-product review blog editor’s prospective, that’s not an option, because just like flies to shit, the lure of an intriguing new product will always direct me to your drive-thru, such is the case with your Jack in the Box Nacho Cheese Burger.

Please give your R&D people a break. I thought there were only so many things one could do with burgers, but your hard working R&D people have proven me wrong time and time again. They’ve put so many things in between buns that they probably would make the kinkiest gay German porn star blush.

With the influx of new Jack in the Box products recently, like the Hearty Breakfast Bowl, Cheesy Macaroni Bites, and Pita Snacks, it makes me wonder if your R&D department is a perpetual pregnant woman and their vagina has been stretched out so much that new ideas just fall out of them whenever they stand up.

I’m not sure how they conceive your products, and I really don’t want to see an awkward video of the fast food birds and the bees, but I’m kind of glad they gave birth to the very tasty Jack in the Box Nacho Cheese Burger, which is made up of a beef patty topped with a cheddar cheese sauce and sliced jalapenos in between a bun.

The jalapenos gave the burger a nice heat, but not enough to think I might have contracted a burning sensation from a drunken starlet. The cheddar cheese sauce added nicely to the burger’s flavor and was as gooey and as radioactive in color as I would expect. Perhaps the only real negative about the Jack in the Box Nacho Cheese Burger was its size, which I thought was kind of small, but then I remembered that I paid a reasonable buck and a half for one.

With that kind of ringing endorsement of the Jack in the Box Nacho Cheese Burger, you would think I would want more new products to try, but my body can only take so much and I think it’s nearing its limit of Jack in the Box food. So Jack, please cut back. I don’t want a heart attack.

Sincerely yours,

Marvo

(Nutrition Facts – 1 burger – Nutrition facts not available on website or I just couldn’t find them.)

(Editor’s Note: Thanks to TIB reader Jason for recommending the Jack in the Box Nacho Cheese Burger. If anyone else wants to recommend something, please make sure it’s a salad or something that won’t give me high blood pressure.)

Item: Jack in the Box Nacho Cheese Burger
Price: $1.49 ($1.29 everywhere else)
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Very tasty. Jalapenos gave it a good kick, but not too much of a kick. Reasonably priced.
Cons: Kind of small, so it probably won’t make a good lunch by itself. My attraction to new products that are probably bad for me. I couldn’t find nutritional information. Death by Jack in the Box.

Caramel Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches!

When Post introduced the new Caramel Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches! cereal, I realized I no longer had a use for Sally (not her actual name, because I can’t pronounce her real name), the 8-year-old illegal immigrant Chinese girl I paid $1 a month to separate the bunches from my Honey Bunches of Oats cereal. Believe me it was worth the dollar to separate the flakes and the bunches in the cereal, because the bunches are the best part — they have all the flavor.

Some of you might be appalled by my blatant ignoring of child labor laws, but I will tell you that I treated Sally much better than she would have been treated in China. Not only did I pay her a dollar a month, I also let her eat all the Honey Bunches of Oats flakes she could eat, since I wasn’t eating them, but she had to provide her own milk, because I’m not a cow. I also taught her English by making her work in front of a television throughout the day. So far, she can say pretty well, “Survey says…” and “Come on down! You’re the next contestant on the Price is Right!”

When I showed Sally the box of Just Bunches! cereal and told her she was free to leave, she smiled and said, “cao ni zuzong shiba dai wonang fei” which at the time I thought it meant “thank you very much” in Chinese, but later found out that it really means, “Go fuck your ancestors to the eighteenth generation, loser.”

The Caramel Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches! cereal looks like I took a granola bar out of a hippie’s hands and beat them with it, causing the bar to break down into small pieces. The box it comes in is Grape Nuts-ish, which means it’s significantly smaller than most other cereal boxes because the cereal doesn’t take up much space, just like brains in the skulls of all contestants who are hoping to find love through a reality show. Because the bunches take up less space, I’m unable to determine what’s a good serving size without hauling out measuring cups. According to the box, there are eight 2/3 cup servings per box, but it took me four normal-to-me-sized bowls to eat all of it.

The cereal has a sticky, sweet smell and its caramel taste seemed very artificial, but neither of those were the most disturbing attributes of the Caramel Just Bunches! cereal. What was unsettling was its unnatural crunchiness after sitting in milk for ten minutes; its ability to turn skim milk brownish, a little thicker, and gross; and the use of a fucking exclamation point in its name. It’s a cereal, not a fucking energy drink.

As you can tell, I didn’t really care for the Caramel Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches! cereal, but there’s also a version with honey roasted bunches, just like the ones I paid Sally pick out, so maybe those will be better, but if not, I need to go find Sally and give her a 25 cent raise to encourage her to come back.

(Nutrition Facts – 2/3 cup – 250 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 3.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 135 milligrams of potassium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugar, 25 grams of other carbohydrates, 5 grams of protein, a whole lot of vitamins and minerals, and one less illegal immigrant.)

(Editor’s Note: Thanks to TIB reader Jessica for recommending the Just Bunches! cereal. She now owes me protection from child labor laws.)

Item: Caramel Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches!
Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 17 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Stays crunchy in milk. Vitamins and minerals. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. 4 grams of fiber. Paying someone a dollar per month to separate the bunches and the flakes in Honey Bunches of Oats cereal. Learning English through game shows.
Cons: Very artificial caramel flavor. Sticky, sweet smell. Turns milk gross. Enough in box for only four manly-sized bowls. Unnecessary use of an exclamation point in its name. Ignoring child labor laws.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Vanilla Milkshake Pop-Tarts

Vanilla is a synonym for boring and boring can best describe how I feel about the Kellogg’s Vanilla Milkshake Pop-Tarts. I guess vanilla had to be the next natural progression for Pop-Tarts flavors since the Pop-Tartologists at Kellogg’s have pretty much squeezed out every single chocolate flavor from the cow’s udder of toaster pastry imagination.

The Vanilla Milkshake Pop-Tarts pretty much taste like processed sugar, so it doesn’t come close to tasting like a creamy vanilla milkshake. At best, it probably also tastes like shitty vanilla cake frosting. I imagine if you take another flavor of Pop-Tarts and extracted all of its natural and artificial flavoring, you’d probably end up with something similar to the boring, bland Vanilla Milkshake Pop-Tart.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love processed sugar as much as the next guy who probably has enough of cavities to turn the pupils in the eyes of a dentist into dollar signs, but if I wanted to savor processed sugar, I’d rather do it in a normal way with a baby pig balancing on a beach ball, while I try to suck the granules off of the pig’s back with two Crazy Straws and I’m chasing the pig with a blindfolded monkey on a tricycle who is pulling my ass which is in a Radio Flyer Big Red Classic Wagon with only three wheels.

The Vanilla Milkshake Pop-Tarts have multi-colored sprinkles on top, which pretty much are there to add some color and nothing else. They also have bone strengthening calcium in them, which they’re so excited about that they had to mention it on the front of the box. Each pastry has ten percent of your daily recommended allowance of calcium. Oooh, ten percent!!! I’m so excited that I added THREE exclamation points at the end of the last sarcastic sentence.

Sadly, that ten percent doesn’t seem like much and it is possibly the same amount one can get in a bukkake scene. Shit. I get twice the amount of calcium by eating two small L’il Critters Calcium Gummy Bears, which by the way, taste much better than these Pop-Tarts.

Yeah, I get my calcium from gummy bears. I also get my Omega-3 fats from gummy fish. You laugh now, but when I’m taking over the world with my indestructible bones and huge brain, you’ll be scarfing down gummy animals too.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 10% Vitamin A, 10% Iron, 10% Niacin, 10% Thiamin, 10% Vitamin B6, 10% Calcium, 10% Riboflavin, 8% Folic Acid, and 1 big yawn.)

Item: Kellogg’s Vanilla Milkshake Pop-Tarts
Price: $2.50 (on sale)
Size: 8 pastries
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Vitamins and minerals. Getting vitamins and minerals from gummy animals. Savoring processed sugar in a normal way. No trans fat. A world where I rule with my indestructible bones and huge brain.
Cons: Doesn’t taste like a vanilla milkshake. Tastes like processed sugar. Only ten percent of the daily recommended allowance of calcium. Kellogg’s is running out of ideas for Pop-Tarts.

REVIEW: Best Foods Mayonnaise with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

By itself, the smell and taste of mayonnaise is kind of disgusting, but when placed in between two slices of bread with cold cuts, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes or mixed with potatoes, spices, hard-boiled eggs, and mustard, it tastes pretty good. This Jekyll and Hyde condiment also has a reputation for being a bitch when it comes to healthiness, turning normal healthy sandwiches into tasty pockets for saturated fat. It’s hard to believe something so innocently, virgin off-white, could be a sinfully, slutty evil.

Mayonnaise makers have tried their best to create slightly more wholesome versions of this spreadable cream, but their attempts have pretty much ended up with bland tasting paste that would be better off being used for a mayonnaise bikini than for a sandwich or salad. Enter the Best Foods Mayonnaise with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Nutritionists have told us for years that olive oil is one healthy mofo, providing healthier fats that contain one too many prefixes, like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. The folks at Best Foods have shoehorned Bertolli’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil into their mayonnaise to go along with the usual soybean oil, eggs, and vinegar. Those ingredients will emulsify into a mayonnaise that has three times less saturated fat and almost half the calories of regular Best Foods Mayonnaise. However, it also has one-third more sodium than the original, but overall it’s healthier thanks to the multi-prefixed fats mentioned earlier.

Messing with a sandwich staple seems sacrilegious, because if you change one thing, it seems to change everything else. The Best Foods Mayonnaise with Extra Virgin Olive Oil smells like regular mayonnaise, but I have to say its flavor kind of threw off my taste buds after I spooned some in my mouth. The olive oil doesn’t overpower it, but there’s just enough to know that there is some in it and there was also a very slight bitter aftertaste to it. After getting the taste of mayonnaise out of my mouth, I realized that most sane people wouldn’t eat mayonnaise with a spoon and I needed to try it in a real world situation, so I slathered a generous glob of it in a turkey sandwich.

With olive oil mayonnaise oozing from under the bread, I consumed the sandwich and determined that it had sort of a muted mayonnaise taste with a hint of olive oil. If you’re trying to eat healthier, it’s indubitably a much better option than any light mayonnaise, but it definitely wasn’t as good as the regular version, making the Best Foods Mayonnaise with Extra Virgin Olive Oil a lot less of a sinfully, slutty evil.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 tbsp – 50 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, less than 1 gram of carbs, 0 grams of protein, 1 mayonnaise bikini.)

(Editor’s Note: Thanks to TIB reader Alexander for recommending this product and making me his lab rat.)

Item: Best Foods Mayonnaise with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Price: $6.19
Size: 30 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: A lot less of a sinfully, slutty evil. Much better tasting than light mayonnaise. Lower in fat than regular mayonnaise. Contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Creamy. Like most mayonnaise, it makes a good mayonnaise bikini.
Cons: Muted mayonnaise taste. Hint of olive oil may turn people off. Higher in sodium than regular mayonnaise. Slight bitter aftertaste to it. I paid six dollars for a jar of it. Eating mayonnaise with a spoon straight from the bottle.

Terracycle Natural Bathroom Cleaner

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m in my shower I have to be completely naked, because just like I believe a bed is meant for sleeping and sex, a shower is meant for nudity. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, whether it’s showering, cleaning the shower, or butchering the Cyndi Lauper song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” just as bad as Miley Cyrus, I have to be naked within my shower’s three walls and shower curtain. Because I’m buck naked when I’m wiping down my “cleansing cubicle” I don’t like the cleaner I use to consist of stuff that may melt off my junk or makes me smell like a high school janitor who took a bath in Pine-Sol. Fortunately, I found a bathroom cleaner that I can get all hippie naked with — the Terracycle Natural Bathroom Cleaner.

There are several elements I like about my new shower partner. It’s non-toxic, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly, but perhaps its best attribute is the fact that it’s bottled in an actual 1-liter soda bottle that someone once drank out of. It’s cool to think that there is a possibility that I littered a park with this bottle, someone picked it up, and Terracycle then used it to bottle their cleaning products. I guess something good can come from littering.

Of course, all of this eco-friendliness would be meaningless if the Terracycle Natural Bathroom Cleaner couldn’t get my bathroom clean, but I gave my entire bathroom a good spray and wipe with this and I have to say that it did as well as any other product I’ve used. It easily cleaned the gunk in between the shower tiles, wiped away the crap on my sink fixtures, got rid of the stuff in the sink basin, and it made the shit on my mirror disappear, but it didn’t do well with troublesome hard water stains.

If you’re going to use the Terracycle Natural Bathroom Cleaner, don’t expect your bathroom to smell like potpourri, a florist, or “lemon fresh” after spraying it all over your bathroom. There are no fragrances or dyes in it, which technically makes this cleaner au naturel, like me when I’m in the shower or when I’m walking around my apartment. Its scent can be best described as sterile, which is not a horrible scent, but it’s also not a pleasant one. With most cleaning products, after I spray it on, I have to leave the room because the fumes overwhelm me and cause me to gag, like the extreme gleefulness and repetition I’m exposed to while riding the It’s a Small World ride at Disneyland would, but it didn’t happen with this product.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the Terracycle Natural Bathroom Cleaner, because it does an excellent job of cleaning in an environmentally friendly way at a reasonable price. It may not be the prettiest smelling product on the market, but a wise man once said, “The scent of a stripper does not equate to their ability to work the pole.”

Item: Terracycle Natural Bathroom Cleaner
Price: FREE (retails for $2.99)
Size: 1 liter
Purchased at: Given by Terracycle
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Cleans just as well as most other products. Reuses an actual 1-liter soda bottle. Reasonably priced. No chemical fumes to overwhelm. Non-toxic. Biodegradable. Environmentally friendly.
Cons: No pleasant scent. Didn’t do well at all with hard water stains. Not too widely available (can be picked up at Office Max and Target). Strippers who don’t know how to work the pole. It’s a Small World ride.