QUICK REVIEW: Great Value Associates Choice Apple Pie Ice Cream

Great Value Associates Choice Apple Pie Ice Cream

What is it?

Great Value Associates Choice Apple Pie Ice Cream features vanilla custard flavored ice cream with an apple butter ribbon and cinnamon sugar shortbread pieces.

You know that small diner down the street? The one that will totally blend up a piece of their apple pie in a milkshake if you ask? Ideally, that’s what this is, just in your grocer’s freezer instead.

How is it?

I’m not sure what the difference between vanilla ice cream, frozen vanilla custard, and “vanilla custard flavored ice cream” is, but this tastes like plain vanilla ice cream to me. It’s good ice cream with a mild cinnamon spice flavor, but vanilla ice cream nonetheless. After it gets a bit melty, a very subtle apple flavor appears and completes the pie flavor.

Great Value Associates Choice Apple Pie Ice Cream 2

The shortbread pieces have a 50/50 shot of being either impressively crispy or as soggy as you’d expect. Their flavor contribution is modest in either case.

Is there anything else I need to know?

The apple butter ribbon is almost completely absent, which is a shame because it’s an unconventional ice cream inclusion that could’ve elevated it above other store brand ice creams.

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Plus, I really like apple butter, so I was looking for it. Believe me, I dug as greedily and fervently as the Dwarves of Moria. If I had delved any deeper into that carton, a Balrog of Morgoth may have been awakened. Then my ice cream would’ve melted.


Great Values Associates should be a bit choosier. It’s not a bad product, but some shortcomings keep it from achieving its full potential.

Purchased Price: $4.49
Size: 48 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (68 grams) 150 calories, 7 grams grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Arby’s Texas Brisket Sandwich

Arby s Texas Brisket Sandwich

Years of Grumpy Cat and Bad Luck Brian memes has proven that the internet is fertile ground for viral ideas. They don’t even need to be true to spread; I hear Scumbag Steve really got his life on track.

Fast food is no exception.

We’ve all heard that Taco Bell gives you diarrhea, that KFC can’t use chicken in their name because they use vat-grown chickenoids, and that Four of the Guys killed and ate the other to gain his power. We know that no one likes Arby’s.

See what I mean? The Simpsons make a joke twenty years ago, the idea goes viral, and the conventional opinion of a fast food franchise is set for decades.

I like Arby’s. It has a consistently good core menu and often has some interesting limited time items. Plus, any franchise with the guts to serve Bambi on a bun gets my support.

One of Arby’s newest offerings is the Texas Brisket Sandwich, featuring smoked brisket, crispy onion strings, dill pickles, and Texas-style barbecue sauce on Texas toast. Arby’s has had success with its brisket in the past. How does this one stand up?

Upon opening, I’m underwhelmed. I understand that “toasted” often needs to be put in quotation marks when it comes to fast food, but I was hoping that this Texas toast would live up to its name and offer a crispy counterpoint to the soft brisket. At best, this looks like it was angrily glared at by a cowboy who’s had his cattle rustled. Or maybe by a fast food patron who was expecting his Texas toast to at least be thicker than regular bread.

Arby s Texas Brisket Sandwich 2

On the inside, Arby’s is keeping things simple with just meat, sauce, onion strings, and pickles. This can work when the fundamentals are strong, and Arby’s brisket has impressed me in the past, so I was hopeful.

Arby s Texas Brisket Sandwich 3

The first bite is tangy. Very tangy. The sauce dominates every other flavor, and the pickles offer a very unneeded sharp bite at the end. “This is fine,” I tell myself. Any moment now that fatty, unctuous brisket will cut through the sharpness and bring everything into balance. Another bite reveals a mild smokiness, but the brisket itself remains dry and disappointing.

I remember Arby’s brisket being much better than this. Have they changed it recently? The Smokehouse Brisket sandwich was delicious when I had it. Then again, that one does feature copious amounts of cheese and mayo. As a Midwesterner, I admit it’s easy to trick me into thinking that something tastes good with the ol’ add-cheese-and-mayo trick, but I swear the brisket itself was better too.

So, it turns out that Terri and Sherri Mackleberry were right twenty years ago. Arby’s is kinda mediocre, at least with this offering.

(Nutrition Facts – 620 calories, 29 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 1450 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 37 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.69
Size: N/A
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Mild smokiness is pleasing when it presents itself.
Cons: Tanginess doesn’t balance with other flavors. Brisket is dry and missing the fatty element needed to balance the sauce and pickles.

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Impulsive Buy Reviewer Mike

Hello, fellow candy connoisseurs, french fry fiends, and pretzel… appreciators. I’m Mike, a new reviewer here at The Impulsive Buy.

As I sit here looking out the window at the Wisconsin winter, there are only a few things that would convince me to venture into the sub-zero temperatures. The first is going out in search of new snacks. While some Wisconsinites get by on a steady diet of beer, cheese curds, and the ironically named summer sausage, I like a bit more variety in my diet. I’m the guy who still gets excited about the latest Taco Bell iteration of meat-cheese-vegetable in a tortilla, or the newest Oreo flavor. If it’s new, I want to try it.

The second reason is to go to class. Immediately post-high school, I had dreams of being of a chef, and so went to culinary school. The crushing reality that working in the restaurant industry is the worst possible existence (unholy triad of low pay, long hours, and brutally harsh conditions) had me back at square one education and career-wise.

I’m currently finishing up a degree in English. With my dual degrees, you could say I have a very particular set of skills. They may not make me a nightmare for people like you, but they are virtually useless except for reviewing Pop-Tarts. Watch out, Liam Neeson. I’m a quarter Irish, too.

The third reason is to go to my job, where I work for a major food manufacturer. “Wait!” you might say. “How can we trust you to be honest about the industry you’re a part of!”

Fear not, gentle reader. Though I know how deeply in love with their job everyone is, how fundamental it is to their sense of self, and how it shapes their every thought every waking hour, I promise to put aside such things in the name of journalistic integrity. I’ll not be reviewing items made by the company I work for, and I promise to give my honest appraisal of those made my its competitors.

I look forward to many years of sharing my thoughts on one of my favorite subjects: food, and the eating thereof.