REVIEW: Burger King Rib Sandwich

Burger King Rib Sandwich

It was a late night at the office. Outside my window, the occasional crack of thunder broke through the sound of unrelenting rain. I sat at my desk, furiously tapping away at the typewriter, working on reviews of the latest food items to hit the streets. Suddenly, the phone rang.

It was a stranger. He spoke low, almost whispering, his voice shrouded in mystery.

Me: Hello?

Stranger: Is this a secure line?

Me: Yes.

There was a pause.

Stranger: I heard you’ve been having cravings…for the McRib.

Ah, the McRib. That elusive barbecue pork sandwich sold only periodically by McDonald’s restaurants. Unfortunately, McRib season had recently ended, and my stomach growled with a hunger that could only be sated by one special sandwich.

Me: Keep your voice down! McRib season is over. There’s nothing for me to do.

Stranger: I’ve got something you should see. Meet me in the alleyway on Fourth and Main. No cops.

The stranger hung up the phone. I put out my cigarette and grabbed my trench coat and fedora. No good detective – I mean, food writer – leaves without his fedora.

I thought about the call. Could this shady stranger possibly be a McRib dealer, peddling pork sandwiches as addictive as crack cocaine? Or might his product be a cheap, low-grade imitation? There was only one way to find out.

I waited in the alleyway for the stranger. Just as I began growing impatient, I saw him appear, his identity masked by the shadows. He handed me an unmarked white bag.

Stranger: It’s not a McRib, but try it. You won’t be disappointed.

Suddenly, the stranger ran off. In the poorly lit alleyway, I had difficulty seeing what he looked like, but as he fled, I noticed the faint outline of a crown upon his head.

Ah, The Burger King. We meet again.

Burger King Rib Sandwich Wrapper

Back at my office, I opened the bag and found the new BK Rib Sandwich, a barbecue pork sandwich available for a limited time on Burger King’s new summer menu.

I must admit, I had high expectations. Could the new BK Rib Sandwich possibly compete with my beloved McRib? Wide-eyed with anticipation, I unwrapped my sandwich…

Burger King Rib Sandwich Top View

The first thing I noticed about the BK Rib Sandwich was its appearance. Unlike the McRib, which has a wider-shaped roll, the BK Rib Sandwich is served on a standard hamburger bun. Upon removing the top, we find pickles and a rather square-shaped pork patty, complete with appetizing grill marks. Though the sandwich seems a little flatter than the McRib, the pork on the BK Rib Sandwich just looks better than the pork slab found on the McRib.

But enough about the looks. Taste will be the determining factor for this sandwich.

Burger King Rib Sandwich Pork Closeup

Biting into the BK Rib Sandwich, I instantly noticed the pork flavor: it has a much more vibrant smokiness compared to the McRib. As a result, it feels more like I’m eating authentic pork and less like I’m eating a processed pork product. Furthermore, the barbecue sauce is truly enjoyable. Though the sauce might not be as noticeably tangy as the McRib sauce, it is sweet nonetheless, and even has a pleasant spiciness which I was not expecting. After a few bites, I noticed the heat of the burger. The burn is not overwhelming, though; the sauce of the BK Rib Sandwich has the perfect amount of kick to complement its sweetness.

Sadly, I feel that the pickles found on my sandwich took the back seat to the rib flavor. The sweetness of the pickles was often masked by the flavor of the barbecue sauce and pork. This was a little unexpected, as the pork patty wasn’t completely slathered in sauce. In addition, the sandwich completely lacked onions, which happen to be my favorite part of the McRib. Onions would have been a definite improvement for the BK Rib Sandwich.

So how does the BK Rib Sandwich fare against the McRib? Well, that’s a tough question. Both sandwiches have their strengths. I love what the onions and pickles do for the McRib, but the lack of onions and the masked pickle taste are definite drawbacks. However, I prefer the barbecue sauce on the BK Rib Sandwich due to its combination of sweetness and spiciness.

Overall, the BK Rib Sandwich was delicious, and I hope it will be seen as more than just a substitution for the McRib. Will I ever eat another McRib? Yes, it’s inevitable. It’s a classic! And I truly hope that the sandwich returns with Burger King’s summer menu next year.

(Nutrition Facts – 560 calories, 31 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 1530 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 19 grams of sugar, 24 grams of protein.)

Item: Burger King Rib Sandwich
Purchased Price: $5.25
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Spicy barbecue sauce. Smoky pork flavor. Grill marks. Meeting strangers in alleyways.
Cons: Pickle flavor is masked. No onions!

REVIEW: Milk Chocolate M&M’s Chocolate Bar

Milk Chocolate M&M's Chocolate Bar

The color blind life can be challenging. I can remember struggling with colors since a young age, receiving criticism from my teachers for coloring the grass orange and pumpkins green in my coloring book – even though that’s what I actually saw. My inability to properly identify many of the colors soon brought forth a dislike for multicolored objects. Even sitting through an episode of Reading Rainbow was excruciating because of all the different colors in the logo – and I love LeVar Burton!

With so much color-related difficulty in my life, you might think that I would hate such a colorful candy as M&M’s, but no. For some reason, I love the little rainbow candy-coated pieces of chocolate. Sure, I might not be able to correctly tell you which colors I’m eating, but they still taste amazing. Plus, their tiny size makes them so easy to eat! My record is 154 M&M’s in three minutes. (I’m like Takeru Kobayashi, but instead of shoving wieners in my mouth, I eat candy.)

I was pretty excited when I heard about Mars’ new M&M’s Chocolate Bar. So excited, in fact, that my inner Tommy Wise broke free, and I thought, “Oh hi, Mars. M&M’s inside my candy bar? You think about everything, ha ha ha.”

But wait – haven’t I seen this M&M’s Chocolate Bar somewhere before? Oh, that’s right. Back in 2004, Mars introduced the M-Azing chocolate bar, which was only available in peanut butter and crunchy flavors. I can vaguely recall tasting an M-Azing bar and disliking it. Let’s hope this M&M Chocolate Bar does better.

I found the M&M Chocolate Bar at my local Target in the candy bar section next to the check-out line. At a mere seventy-nine cents per bar, it seemed like a true bargain.

Milk Chocolate M&M's Chocolate Bar Closeup

After removing the chocolate bar’s wrapper, I instantly noticed the imprinted design of an anthropomorphic M&M man. I don’t usually find anthropomorphic creatures on my candy bars, so this was a pleasant surprise. The chocolate bar is divided into eight sections for easy distribution among eight friends. Or if you’re like me and don’t have any friends, you’ll have to distribute the eight pieces to the various homeless men who follow you home from work everyday.

The brightly colored mini M&M’s can be seen peeking through the chocolate, giving the bar a subtle rainbow appearance. When compared to more commonly purchased chocolate such as the Hershey Bar, the M&M’s Chocolate Bar’s smell is a bit more rich and powerful, but the scent is pleasant nonetheless.

After taking my first bite of the M&M Chocolate Bar, I was surprised that the M&M’s contributed significantly less crunch than I expected. Since the M&M’s are the mini variety, they don’t add much texture to the bar. In fact, I found it pretty difficult to distinguish the M&M’s from the normal chocolate part of the bar while chewing. Everything blends together into one chocolatey mass.

Milk Chocolate M&M's Chocolate Bar Innards

Unfortunately, the chocolate used in the bar isn’t the best. It’s super sweet, almost too rich, and the M&M’s give it a somewhat chalky texture. Furthermore, it left a funny aftertaste and a strange feeling in my throat after eating all eight pieces.

Perhaps if Mars had used a higher quality chocolate in their new M&M’s Chocolate Bar, I might be a bit more of a fan. Although it’s super inexpensive, there are other chocolate bars on the market I would prefer to purchase. The M&M’s found inside of the bar fail to enhance the already unsatisfying chocolate base. Maybe if the M&M’s Chocolate Bar magically cured colorblindness, I’d consider purchasing it again, but next time, I’ll be passing this one by in the supermarket.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 220 calories, 110 calories from fat, 12 grams of total fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 26 grams of sugars, and 3 grams of protein.)

Other Milk Chocolate M&M’s Chocolate Bar reviews:
Candy Blog

Item: Milk Chocolate M&M’s Chocolate Bar
Purchased Price: 79 cents
Size: 1.5 oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Super cheap. Pleasant chocolatey scent. Awesome anthropomorphic M&M man imprint. References to Tommy Wiseau.
Cons: Low quality chocolate. M&M’s blend in with the rest of the bar. Funny aftertaste. Doesn’t cure color blindness.

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Peppermint Crunch

There are some ice cream flavors that are just a little too bizarre for everyday eating. I understand bacon-flavored ice cream might be your guilty pleasure, but the majority of people don’t want to pair pork with their sundaes. The tamer palate might prefer a more traditional combination, such as mint and chocolate.

Mint and chocolate have been working together for years with nothing but great results. Their union has brought us such joys as Andes Candies, York Peppermint Patties, and Junior Mints. I think we can all agree that when it comes to flavors, mint and chocolate are as attached as Batman & Robin. Or maybe even Hall & Oates. Or better yet, Ben & Jerry.

Yes, that’s right. To bring these two complementary flavors together once again, Ben & Jerry’s has given us their new Chocolate Peppermint Crunch, a rich chocolate ice cream featuring swirls of peppermint and fudge mixed with crunchy mint chocolate cookie balls.

Upon opening the pint of Chocolate Peppermint Crunch, we find a traditional chocolate ice cream base mixed with visible swirls of peppermint and chocolate fudge. Scattered throughout the ice cream are the mint chocolate cookie balls, perfectly sized and distributed among the ice cream for maximum flavor. There was no lack of cookie balls here. (Do cookies even have balls?)

Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Closeup

My first taste of Chocolate Peppermint Crunch was not what I expected. I was under the impression that the peppermint and fudge swirls would give the chocolate ice cream a light, minty flavor, but the swirls weren’t strong enough to shine through the chocolate flavor of the ice cream. Nearly all of the mint flavor comes from the cookie balls, which provide a satisfying crunch and a mint-chocolate flavor reminiscent of those Girl Scout Thin Mints we all know and love. The cookie balls provide the perfect amount of mint flavor to complement the chocolate ice cream; the fresh, minty feeling doesn’t become overwhelming.

I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed, though. Chocolate Peppermint Crunch tastes almost like a normal generic brand mint-chocolate ice cream flavor, and not like a top-of-the-line Ben & Jerry’s product. I expect a bit more variety and a wider range of tastes from such a famous ice cream conglomerate.

All things considered, Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Peppermint Crunch is still a delicious flavor, and though it doesn’t have much of a wow-factor and most of the mint flavor is isolated in the cookie balls, it will undoubtedly provide mint-chocolate lovers with a sweet treat.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 300 calories, 140 calories from fat, 16 grams of total fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 30 grams of sugars, and 4 grams of protein.)

Other Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Peppermint Crunch reviews:
On Second Scoop

Item: Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Ice Cream
Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: One pint
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Mint chocolate cookie balls taste like Thin Mints. Perfect amount of cookie balls. Generally yummy.
Cons: Fudge and mint swirls fail to add mint flavor to chocolate ice cream. Expected more from Ben & Jerry’s. Still don’t know if cookies even have balls.

REVIEW: Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza

Pizza Hut likes to do things differently. In the past, they’ve been known to shove hot dogs inside of their pizza crusts, or even decorate the perimeter of a pie with cheeseburgers. It seems that Pizza Hut has once again decided to deviate from the traditional pizza crust formula with the introduction of the new Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza, which was launched in the United States on April 3 and will be available for a limited time only.

The Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza encircles a pizza with cheese pockets containing a blend of five different cheeses: asiago, fontina, mozzarella, provolone, and white cheddar. For just $12.99, hungry citizens all over the US can purchase a single topping Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza. Today, I was one of those citizens.

As my stomach growled with unimaginable voracity, I picked up the phone and dialed my nearest Pizza Hut. The exchange went something like this…

Pizza Hut Employee: Pizza Hut. How can I help you?

Me: Hi, I’d like to order a Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza.

Employee: …a what?

Me: A Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza.

Employee: Do you mean…a Stuffed Crust Pizza?

Me: No, I mean a Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza.

Employee: *silence*

Me: It’s a new pizza that was released yesterday. Do you have it?

Employee: Oh, umm…please hold.

After being placed on hold for a short while, the employee returned and allowed me to finish my order, assuring me it would be thirty minutes until my pizza arrived. I was nervous, worried that the delivery person would hand me a pizza box containing a normal, non-crazy pizza.

I can only imagine the chaos that occurred at that Pizza Hut when I hung up the phone: employees running every which way, knocking over boxes of crusts, cheeses, and sauces, searching for some sort of clue to help them learn what exactly a “Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza” is, and exactly how one can be prepared. Soon, a riot begins, and a few unfortunate individuals lose their lives while searching for the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza recipe.

(A moment of silence for the victims of the Great Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza Massacre of 2013.)

The thirty minutes I spent waiting for my pizza were long and trying. Eventually, the delivery person arrived, and I gave him the cash in exchange for his Cheesy Crust. I opened the box, and found myself standing before a pizza somewhat shaped like a chrysanthemum. Extending from the main body of the pizza were sixteen cheesy prongs, begging to be devoured. I could wait no longer; I picked up my first slice and took a bite.

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza Slice

The main pizza portion of Pizza Hut’s new Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza offers few surprises. The sauce is Pizza Hut’s usual sweet tomato sauce, and the cheese provides a pretty standard mozzarella taste. The crust, however, is noticeably thinner than a standard Pizza Hut pizza’s crust, providing a bit less support, which leads to a sagging slice. However, this might not be deemed an issue for fans of Domino’s and Papa John’s.

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza Pocket

The real difference shines through with the pockets of cheese. Whether eaten before the rest of the slice or after, the five cheese blend tastes noticeably different compared to the rest of the pizza. The lack of sauce in the pockets really serves to highlight the flavor of the cheeses. I was unable to identify the unique flavor of any of the five cheeses. Instead, the five cheese flavors blend into one uniform taste, which comes through as slightly sharper than the standard Pizza Hut mozzarella.

The texture of the cheese inside the pockets is nearly identical to the texture of the cheese in the main body of the pizza, though slightly more spongy. I was hoping that the crust surrounding the pockets would be crispier than the rest of the crust, but it was softer than expected, most likely moistened by the cheese that sat inside of the pockets.

The pizza, though slightly overcooked, was still pretty satisfying. I imagine it would be best eaten straight out of the oven, with the cheese inside of the pockets still slightly melted from the heat. As the pizza cools down, the cheese becomes more spongy and less appealing in general.

Overall, the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza was a pleasant deviation from the standard pizza offered by Pizza Hut, but I feel like the inclusion of the cheese pockets was not enough to warrant a repeat purchase of this pizza. Its flavor is not a significant improvement over the standard pizza’s flavor, and in my opinion, Stuffed Crust is a much better option for those pizza fans looking for that extra cheese kick. All things considered, I encourage any cheese-lovers out there to try the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza while it lasts!

This review is dedicated to the victims of the Great Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza Massacre of 2013: Michael “Cheesy Crust” Robinson III, Edward “Big Eddie” McPizzaPants, and Sergeant Tony O’Sauce. Our love goes out to their friends and family.

(Nutrition Facts – Not available on website.)

Item: Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza
Purchased Price: $12.99
Size: Large
Purchased at: Pizza Hut
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: An enjoyable pizza. Five cheese! Cheesy prongs.
Cons: Sagging slices. Five cheese flavors blend into single flavor. Unappetizing when cooled down. Cheesy massacres.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Scooby-Doo! Cereal (2013)

Kellogg's Scooby-Doo Cereal

I’m in college and during the week, I eat copious amounts of fried foods at the dining hall. On the weekends, I consume my body weight in ramen and pizza. Sure, I’ll admit that I’m a little ashamed of falling victim to such a stereotypical college diet, but I decided this past weekend that I could change.

I started by reforming breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Leaving my spot in the all-you-can-eat bacon line, I dared to visit my local supermarket in search of one of these “healthy” cereals which I see advertised so frequently on television. The commercials assured me that by switching to a more hearty cereal, I could lower my cholesterol and receive my recommended daily value of vitamins and minerals.

And so, I found myself walking down the cereal aisle, scanning the shelves for my dream cereal. Cheerios? Too dry. Raisin Bran? Tasteless. Total? Well, that might actu–

OH MY GOD! SCOOBY-DOO! THAT BOX HAS SCOOBY-DOO ON IT!

Yes, I visited the grocery store with the intention of purchasing one of the healthier cereals, but I left with a box of Kellogg’s new Scooby-Doo! cereal. Don’t judge me.

I shouldn’t feel too guilty, though. The box assures me that by eating Scooby-Doo cereal, I’ll receive fifty percent of the daily recommended amount of whole grain. Furthermore, the cereal’s a “good source of vitamin D” and an “excellent source of iron.” I’ll admit that the nutritional content was not what attracted me to this cereal. No sir. It was Scooby’s ridiculous grin. I mean, look at that dog. He obviously loves this cereal so much that his tongue swelled up and can no longer fit inside his mouth. Poor Scooby has macroglossia.

I quickly raced home and cracked open the box, craving some “crispy lightly sweetened vanilla flavored cereal.” The first thing I noticed was the smell. Have you ever opened up a box of graham crackers and taken a whiff? It’s the same kind of experience. There were subtle hints of vanilla in the scent as well.

Kellogg's Scooby-Doo Cereal Bowl

Pouring the cereal into a bowl, I quickly realized that what I was about to eat looked remarkably similar to dog kibble. The crunchy dog bone shapes definitely resemble what Overlord Bark-Bark III eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (And yes, that’s the name of my dog.)

But what’s this? No marshmallows? How disappointing! Whenever I purchase a cereal with a cartoon character on the box, I fully expect it to include marshmallows. This is clearly a drawback. That being said, some people might consider the lack of marshmallows to be a good thing. These people need their heads examined.

It was time for the taste test. I’m a firm believer in experiencing a cereal both with and without milk in order to become better acquainted with its full range of flavors.

Kellogg's Scooby-Doo Cereal Closeup

When consumed dry, Scooby-Doo cereal provides a very satisfying crunch similar in texture to Cap’n Crunch cereal. The flavor is best described as a slight graham cracker taste with hints of that imitation vanilla flavor that’s so commonly found in cereals. Overall, the taste is quite pleasant. Not too sweet, not too overpowering.

Sadly, when milk was added to my bowl, the cereal lost much of its flavor. It didn’t seem as pronounced; the milk masked much of the strong graham cracker taste. However, the crunchiness was in full effect. Rest assured, the milk did not diminish the crunchification one bit.

So what’s the verdict? Honestly, this is not one cereal I would purchase again. Although its dry flavor is satisfying, it clearly loses something when eaten with milk. There are other cereals out there that rock my taste buds with or without milk. Furthermore, it lacks marshmallows and resembles dog kibble. Do you really want to eat something that looks like dog food?

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup (cereal only) – 120 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 95 milligrams of potassium, 27 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 6 grams of sugars, and 3 grams of protein.)

Item: Kellogg’s Scooby-Doo! Cereal
Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: 12 oz.
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Macroglossia. No marshmallows. Stays crunchy in milk. Decent dry flavor. Not too sweet.
Cons: Resembles dog kibble. No marshmallows. Loses flavor in milk.

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Reviewer Matt

Helloooooo, nurse! My name is Matt, and I’ll be contributing the occasional food review to this here website. I hope you’re ready to impulsively buy all the delicious edibles that I will be impulsively eating. (Get it? Because the name of the website is…? Oh, nevermind.)

I’m a proud resident of New Jersey and a student of Rutgers University. I’m currently studying computer science and mathematics, but food has always been a passion of mine. I enjoy the finer things in life, such as McRibs, fat sandwiches, and deep-fried Oreos. It’s a miracle that I don’t weigh three hundred pounds.

My desire to write about food spawned from my unhealthy obsession with researching junk food more frequently than any sane person should. My friends became tired of hearing me rattle off the names of unusual Japanese Kit Kat flavors. I received strange looks when describing the effects of Twinkie Overdose Syndrome. My colleagues shunned me as I mourned the loss of the Nestlé Wonder Ball. I hope I will be able to share this fervent food fascination with the community on The Impulsive Buy.

One of my goals in life is to eat McSpaghetti, a dish found exclusively at McDonald’s restaurants located in the Philippines. And no, I’m afraid that Jollibee spaghetti is not going to cut it. I want the real deal.

You can find my personal food website at Snacken.net. I promise that the food reviews I post on The Impulsive Buy won’t be as strange as the ones found over there.

Actually, I retract that promise. Got a problem?