REVIEW: Hardee’s Frisco Angus Burger

Hardee s Frisco Angus Burger Full

Hardee’s has reintroduced a classic from the ’90s: the Frisco Burger. It was a childhood favorite of mine, so I pulled up an old commercial on YouTube that slapped me in the face with nostalgia and reminded me how excited 7-year-old me was to try the sourdough bread. How exotic! I’d only had regular, non-sour bread before. Sourdough bread isn’t quite as novel these days, but Hardee’s has brought back its San Francisco-inspired burger as the Frisco Angus Burger. Will it live up to my fond childhood memories?

I order and receive my hamburger in under a minute. The cynical adult in me says that means it’s been sitting under a heat lamp for who knows how long, but the little kid in me is excited to have food so quickly.

Hardee s Frisco Angus Burger Split

As cynical adult me feared, the hamburger patty on my burger didn’t seem to be the freshest. The outer edges were attractively crisped, but when I cut the patty, it was a dull grey color. And once bitten, it was dry and unremarkable. The bacon was thin and unremarkable, as fast food bacon almost always is.

I’ve always been skeptical of the Angus branding of beef, and even more these days when I can get an Angus cheeseburger at my local gas station. Hardee’s Angus Thickburgers used to be a premium fast food offering, and it’s sad to see the quality dip.

Hardee s Frisco Angus Burger Top

As a child, I wouldn’t have noticed how much the two large tomato slices contribute to this meat-and-cheese-heavy sandwich. I was assiduous in removing every tomato from sandwiches until my early thirties. These days I can tell that the tomatoes here contribute some needed freshness and are better than the wet, flavorless discs on other fast food burgers.

The sourdough bread is plain white bread, just as it was in the past. The sliced round pieces were innovative in the ’90s and allowed a pleasantly toasted presentation, but no wild bacteria are flavoring the burger bun here. I don’t really expect that; good sourdough needs a mature starter that’s fed and cared for like it’s family. In my experience, great, really funky sourdough needs a starter that’s been burbling away for years (and occasionally forgotten) so that it’s surly, nearly sentient, and plotting its escape. And that’s a lot for a fast food company to deal with. My point is the bread is fine.

The 2022 Frisco Angus Burger is a decent sandwich, but it’s missing the crucial special sauce that made the ’90s sandwich a standout. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but years later, when the internet was finally a thing, I asked Jeeves (look it up, Zoomer), “What is the Frisco Burger Special Sauce?” and he responded, “Onion mayonnaise, sir.” My Frisco Angus burger had plain mayo that combined with the processed Swiss cheese into a white goopy mess. Just like the old days! But without the onion mayo, it’s just not the same congealed goo I loved as a kid.

Despite my disappointment, the Frisco Angus Burger is a perfectly serviceable sandwich. Perhaps it could have never lived up to my memories, and mine seemed particularly heat lamp-struck, but it gets the fundamental combination of toasted bread, meat, and cheese right.

Purchased Price: $7.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 760 calories, 50 grams of fat, 17 grams of saturated fat, 120 milligrams of cholesterol, 1550 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 36 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Chocolate Confetti Cake Oreo Cookies

Chocolate Confetti Cake Oreo Cookies Package

In celebration of Oreo’s 110th birthday, Mondelez has released Limited Edition Chocolate Confetti Cake cookies. Oreo is the world’s most successful cookie, sold in over 100 countries with sales of more than $500 billion. Isn’t it a bit gauche for a rich and famous cookie to ask us to buy something for its 110th birthday? I’m getting “Bilbo celebrating his eleventy-first birthday” vibes from this. But, like a good little hobbit, I can’t help but attend and see how the food is.

The cookie contains two crème layers: standard chocolate and a buttercream-flavored white crème with confetti mixed in. They’re sandwiched between classic chocolate Oreo wafers sprinkled with even more confetti.

Birthday cake flavor can be tricky to get right, and it takes a special kind of alchemy to distill the essence of birthday cake and infuse it into a snack. I felt regular Birthday Cake Oreo were a rare misfire from the brand. They tasted too artificial, less like alchemical magic, and more like a laboratory accident.

Chocolate Confetti Cake Oreo Cookies Wafer

These are much better. The confetti is eye-catching and stands out from the dark cookie. The buttercream filling has a creamier flavor than the standard white crème, though it’s also a little artificial tasting. However, the chocolate crème and cookies manage to overpower that defect. The result is a creamy chocolate cake flavor that evokes a real cake. They’re maybe even better with milk than regular Oreo.

Chocolate Confetti Cake Oreo Cookies Creme

You may ask how I figured out the white crème tastes bad by itself if the two layers are smushed together. You see, like a hobbit, my social life revolves around food. I have a Cookie Friend. My friend and I sample every new Oreo, carefully assess, and then rank them. We’re methodical in our process, so we pried the two fillings apart to critique them independently. He pointed out these cookies seemed grittier than regular Oreo, and perhaps it’s due to the confetti. I don’t know if I agree, but you don’t disregard the opinion of your Cookie Friend, so I’m reporting it here. Then again, he also thinks that Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Oreo are good dunked in Screwball peanut butter whiskey, so can you really trust his judgment?

Chocolate Confetti Cake is an excellent addition. I think they’re a natural addition to Oreo’s growing collection of flavors, and Mondelez should consider making them permanent. These are a limited edition, so I recommend grabbing them when you see them.

Purchased Price: $4.50
Size: 12.2 oz (345g)
Purchased at:
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Two cookies) 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar including 13 grams added sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Impossible Chicken Nuggets

Impossible Chicken Nuggets Bag

What are Impossible Chicken Nuggets?

After the success of its plant-based burgers, especially in the form of the Impossible Whopper from Burger King, Impossible Foods has introduced chicken nuggets. Having made its mark on the world by creating a plant-burger patty nearly identical to beef, it was only matter of time before Impossible Foods attempted to replicate another animal. Will these plant-based nuggets manage another feat of food super-science?

How are they?

I’m the last person in the world to not have an air-fryer, so I cooked these in my stupid, non-trendy regular oven. Eleven minutes at 375 degrees resulted in hot and crispy nuggets. I ate one too quickly and burned my mouth, just like when I was a kid!

Impossible Chicken Nuggets Coating

They’re hot, juicy, too salty, and taste like chicken. Or, they taste like chicken as much as chicken nuggets do. Because that’s the thing, isn’t it? Ground, pressed, and formed chicken made into nuggets is about as far away from actual chicken as possible, so how impressive is it to recreate them from soy?

Anything else you need to know?

Impossible Chicken Nuggets Innards

I’m usually fairly forgiving when it comes to “imitation” foods. I like Boca Burgers despite them tasting nothing like actual hamburgers. Does imitation crab taste anything like real crab? No, but it’s still good. Impossible Foods has set itself the high standard of being indistinguishable from the real thing and so I judge them accordingly.

Are these plant-based nuggets the equivalent of chicken? Yeah, they’re even closer than the burgers. Yet, I have to think that these nuggets are less impressive than an Impossible Whopper. Chicken nuggets are a notoriously hyper-processed product (Jamie Oliver is on a crusade about them). When Impossible Foods delivers the whole muscle meats that they’re working on is when plant-based meat will have its true test.


Impossible Foods’ plant-based chicken nuggets achieve the (not quite) impossible feat of making a nugget that’s no different than one made from chicken. I’m looking forward to what Impossible Foods has coming next.

Purchased Price: $6.99
Size: 13.5 oz pouch (383g)
Purchased at: Woodman’s Market
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (5 pieces) 240 calories, 12 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 480 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pepsi-Cola Soda Shop Black Cherry and Cream Soda Colas

Pepsi Cola Soda Shop Bottles

PepsiCo has introduced the Pepsi Soda Shop cola line with two limited edition flavors — Black Cherry and Cream Soda. Made with real sugar, Pepsi promises a modern take on some classics. Drug store soda shops have become harder and harder to find. Yet, the concept remains a touchstone in America thanks to pop culture icons like Grease. Will these sodas have me doing the jitterbug on the way to the store for more?

I pour out samples of each. The bottle describes these as colas, so I was expecting them to be standard cola-brown. I’m pleased when the cream soda is a light caramel color and the black cherry is tinted red.

Pepsi Cola Soda Shop Side by Side

I take a sip of the cream soda one and taste plenty of vanilla, though little cola flavor. There’s not much of a modern twist either. According to Pepsi, its soda has added agave for complexity, but I’m reminded of every other cream soda I’ve tasted. I sample again and perhaps detect a honeyed aspect to the sweetness. Then again, I mostly drink diet soda and could just as easily be tasting plain sugar.

On the other hand, there’s something immediately twisty about the black cherry. Its scent is like cough syrup. It has herbal notes, says Pepsi, which helps make sense of what I’m tasting. It reminds me of herbal craft colas I’ve had. Those colas have interesting flavors not seen in mass-market soft drinks and are bold about not being for everyone. This black cherry soda doesn’t have enough herbal notes to be as interesting as those, but has just enough to make it off-putting.

The one area that stands out with these sodas is the label design. It’s simple, comforting, and the classic Pepsi-Cola font is evocative of the era. It’s a shame the actual product doesn’t live up to it. I briefly considered getting a black leather jacket, slicking my hair back with pomade, and driving to the local drive-in movie theater to more fully embody the time. But no. The lesson here is that a cool design can’t make up for a mediocre product, not that I should buy a very, very cool leather jacket.

Good branding can’t save a mediocre product. The Cream Soda one is too mundane to set itself apart from similar soft drinks. The herbal twist with the Black Cherry is enough to make it unpalatable. Skip these sodas and seek out CVS or Walgreens instead. It won’t have a soda counter, but it’ll have plenty of other sodas worth drinking.

Purchased Price: $1.89 each
Size: 20 fl oz bottles
Purchased at: Piggly Wiggly
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 250 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 65 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 65 grams of sugar (including 65 grams added sugar), and 0 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Yoplait Go-Gurt Mystery Flavor

Yoplait has introduced a mystery flavor Go-Gurt. A staple of school lunches everywhere, I applaud Yoplait’s efforts to add some mystery and wonder for kids who bring home lunches. Why should kids who line up for the cafeteria’s Tuna Surprise be the only ones to question what they’re really eating?

Yogurt is so ubiquitous on supermarket shelves these days that younger readers may not know how much of a fringe food it once was. The only person who knew about it was your granola-eating aunt, who maybe smelled a bit weird. These days she’s busy brewing her own CBD-infused kombucha. It certainly wasn’t something kids would want to eat.

However, load it with sugar, artificial flavoring, and put it in a fun delivery mechanism, and kids will love it! And parents will think it’s a healthy treat. Which is all to say that Go-Gurt was an innovative product when it was first introduced.

I haven’t seen a tube of yogurt in my lunch since grade school, so I don’t know what to expect from this. The white color doesn’t aid me in guessing the mystery flavor, which is frustrating because I’m going to need all the help I can get. I squeeze some out onto a spoon and am surprised to see that there’s enough modified corn starch and gelatin to keep its tubular shape. I take a taste and ponder the mystery.

Mint cotton candy?

Gosh, I’m bad at this. It’s not a typical fruity flavor, so I’m at a loss for a few moments, then it hits me: bubblegum! My pack-a-week gum habit saves me! It’s odd to have a flavor so specific to one product in another, but I’m fairly sure of my guess. I’m also sure that it doesn’t work as a yogurt. There’s not enough tang to balance out the taste, so it seems flat.

These days the market is crowded with a multitude of yogurt options, from Greek to Icelandic to Bulgarian, and even kids varieties tend to claim they’re organic, or with less sugar, or naturally flavored, or something. I’m a bit confused but also impressed that the full sugar Franken-yogurt of my childhood has lasted this long. But then again, what is yogurt but milk persevering?

I tried the Strawberry flavor as well, which tasted more like the yogurt I remember. Go-Gurt is a solid product, but the bubblegum(?) flavor doesn’t work as a yogurt flavor.

Purchased Price: $3.96
Size: 32 oz box (16 tubes)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3 tubes) 150 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, 18 grams of added sugar, and 6 gram of protein.

Click here to read our previous mystery flavor product reviews.