QUICK REVIEW: Wendy’s Buffalo Ranch Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Wendy s Buffalo Ranch Crispy Chicken Sandwich

What is it?

Wendy’s latest budget sandwich fix. The Buffalo Ranch Crispy Chicken Sandwich is a lightly breaded chicken patty smothered in Buffalo ranch sauce, topped with lettuce and a slice of Monterey Jack cheese, and served on a warm bun.

How is it?

My initial reaction when picking it up was that it felt very substantial for a buck, and indeed, it delivers. Wendy’s didn’t skimp on the sauce, which has a balanced creamy and spicy presence to it that comes through on every single bite.

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The chicken tastes more “real” and authentic than the coveted McChicken, and while the sauce does most of the driving on the overall flavor, the patty is moist and crisp and does everything it should to bring the protein foundation for this spiced up cheap thrill.

Is there anything else I need to know?

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As is the case with a lot of fast food sandwiches, the cheese didn’t add much and wasn’t fully melted sitting against the cold crisp lettuce. Initially, I was stoked to get a sandwich with cheese for such a cheap price, but I couldn’t really taste it and, in the absence of melty texture, it’s pretty unnecessary.

Conclusion:

While it’s a far cry from Wendy’s fantastic Homestyle Chicken Sandwich, that deep fries a whole chicken breast, the Buffalo Ranch Crispy Chicken Sandwich is a terrific chicken sandwich for the price.

It’s salty and creamy with enough spice to be satisfying without needing ample cups of water to survive. Wendy’s continues its tradition of offering some of the best chicken in fast food land and have a solid soldier to put forth in the budget battle of value menu supremacy.

Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: N/A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 360 calories, 19 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 1020 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 17 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Time Only Sloppy Joe Pringles

Limited Time Only Sloppy Joe Pringles

What is and is not truly American food is a great debate, but there are some things you just can’t argue.

One such United States staple is the Sloppy Joe, aka Toasted Deviled Sandwiches aka Chopped Meat Sandwiches aka A Loose Meat Sandwich aka my mom was feeling kinda lazy tonight. The Sloppy Joe is a staple of any good American household, marrying ground beef, onions, and classic condiments like ketchup into one sauteed pan of sloppy goodness that gets slop-plopped right on top of a hamburger bun.

On the cusp of celebrating America’s annual Independence Day, Pringles has taken its often experimental seasonal offerings to new patriotic heights with the Walgreens-exclusive Sloppy Joe-flavored crisps.

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In short, they taste like meat and potatoes. The first flavor is the distinct taste of ground beef followed by tomato and then the usual Pringles potato. Sloppy Joe’s are like a burger with all of the fixins’ mixed in where the individual notes get a bit blurred, and these chips reflect that. They’re kind of meaty and herbaceous with hints of onion but never really jump out with anything special or memorable.

These remind me of Pringles’ Cheeseburger flavor without the acidic pickle pop. As I continue to eat them I keep anticipating that extra dill zing and it never comes, which disappointing. It actually tastes like it took that seasoning and removed all of the great McDonald’s-y kick. When I think of a Sloppy Joe, I think of a more pronounced sweetness. While the tomato sweetness is there, I’m missing the layer of brown sugar or vinegar I want.

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Another key component that seems to be missing is Worcestershire sauce, which is fundamental to any great Sloppy Joe. The sweet and salty sauce made with anchovies brings a layer of depth that’s missing here. They aren’t sweet like BBQ or spicy like Jalapeno or complex like Salt and Vinegar, and ultimately aren’t that exciting for a brand that puts out some wild flavors.

While Pringles tend to deliver on the flavors it promises, like the magic in its Ketchup chips, or the oddly accurate Kickin’ Chicken Taco, the Sloppy Joe lacks the American spirit that makes the sandwich such a great and simple pleasure.

(Nutrition Facts – 15 crisps – 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 5.5 oz. can
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: It’s a Pringle so it’s stackable and crunchy and good but…
Cons: Not enough distinct Sloppy Joe flavor. Lack of depth, tastes like Cheeseburger Pringle without the pickle and fun.

QUICK REVIEW: Krispy Kreme Strawberries & Kreme and Banana Pudding Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Strawberries  Kreme and Banana Pudding Doughnuts

What are they?

Summer has arrived at the doughnut shop! The all-new Strawberries and Kreme Doughnut is a strawberry frosted yeast shell filled with both strawberry and KK’s signature Kreme. The returning Banana Pudding doughnut is a yeast shell filled with a mixture of banana custard and Kreme, topped with yellow icing and Nilla Wafer pieces.

How are they?

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Well, it looks like someone at Krispy Kreme didn’t get the memo because my Strawberries and Kreme Doughnut is completely devoid of any strawberry filling. I was really excited at the idea of a dual-filling and the way a jelly texture would work with a creamier one. That being said, it is BURSTING with Kreme and as a huge fan of the thick sweet stuff, I am still enjoying this immensely.

Krispy Kreme Strawberries  Kreme Doughnut

The strawberry icing has a surprisingly authentic and slightly tart berry flavor that’s much more real and much less Nesquik than I was expecting. The yeast shell is soft and fresh and even though I’m a bit letdown, I’ll take Kreme over jelly any day, and even as is it’s pretty delicious.

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The Banana Pudding Doughnut came as advertised and the banana custard is AMAZING. It has the runny-ness of custard with the slight sugary grit of the classic Kreme and a big super delicious banana flavor that exceeded my expectations. It’s sweet, but rich and eggy and I can’t imagine any way it could be better.

Krispy Kreme Banana Pudding Doughnut

What could be better are the Nilla wafers, which are stale and don’t do much to elevate the experience, and kind of bring it down – making it taste and feel less fresh. Although it isn’t great, it’s easy to overlook, because once again the ratio of filling inside is damn fine.

Is there anything else I need to know?

What I got was essentially a Chocolate Iced Kreme Filled with strawberry on top and a fancy little Hostess-y squiggle. Since the Kreme filled is my number two favorite right after KK’s Original Glazed, I really dug it, but the potential for it to be even better is there.

Conclusion:

The Banana Pudding doughnut is a worthy returning flavor with an immaculate filling that’s up there with KK’s best. It may have been better with some sparingly placed white chocolate chips, but I can’t deny the necessity of wafers for the pudding profile.

Purchased Price: $1.89
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Strawberries and Kreme, but could be 9 or better if made properly)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Banana Pudding)
Nutrition Facts: Strawberries & Kreme – 330 calories, 17 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. Banana Pudding – 360 calories, 19 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein..

REVIEW: Pistachio Creme Oreo Thins Cookies

Pistachio Creme Oreo Thins Cookies

Since their inception in 2015, Oreo Thins have come in predominantly safe flavors. Original, Chocolate, Mint, Lemon, and even Coconut are far cries from the wild limited editions Nabisco have rolled out with their full-sized breadwinner in recent years.

The craziest Thins have gotten prior to the #MyOreoCreation contest’s Pina Colada is Salted Caramel, and even that is a pretty common and very popular profile among sweet tooth cookie hunters.

But for 2018, three years into their snack life, Thins are coming hard with a new flavor that’s sort of safe but also brand new and to me, pretty exciting – Pistachio.

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The light green crème is sandwiched between two wafer-thin chocolate cookies, boasting the 66 percent thinner size of all its prior incarnations. The cookies carry a gentle nutty and sweet aroma rounded out by a kiss of cocoa.

I’m not sure what the general consensus is on Thins versus the full sized real deal, but I enjoy their soft crumbly texture and mild sweetness, and the Pistachio version is no exception.

The sweet somewhat floral notes of the crème work surprisingly well with the chocolate cookie, with neither flavor being too dominant over the other. The overall taste reminds me of pistachio ice cream, both in flavor and texture, with hints of almond-y marzipan and creamy vanilla.

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I find them incredibly easy to put back in succession with a unique but very snack-able flavor that’s very tasty. It’s a much truer representation of sweet pistachio than the coconut ones were of coconut, and much like with the also delicious Pina Colada, the smaller amount of crème works well to deliver the right amount of flavor without being too intense.

There’s something old school and comforting about pistachio that feels like a cozy day at grandma’s house or grabbing a cone at the oldest scoop shop in town. It’s classic but new, and as a result, it’s a wonderful change from more bizarre Nabisco attempts, like Swedish Fish and Root Beer Float.

Keep in mind these aren’t for everyone, but as someone who thinks Pistachio Pistachio is one of the more underrated Ben & Jerry’s pints, I think these Thins are a smashing success. Or at least a success that’s going to find me smashing six in a row without blinking an eye.

(Nutrition Facts – 4 cookies – 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 10.1 oz. package
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Great balanced ice cream-y pistachio flavor. Soft crumbly texture. Simply smash-able.
Cons: Floral pistachio flavor could be off putting, but, not for me!

QUICK REVIEW: Krispy Kreme Blueberry Glaze Doughnut

Krispy Kreme Blueberry Glaze Doughnut

What is it?

The apparent runner-up to Krispy Kreme’s glaze-voting-contest-winner lemon – The Blueberry Glaze Doughnut. Once again KK’s iconic glaze conveyor belt of sickly sweet dreams gets transformed from the original wash of sugary vanilla to a brand new and seasonally appropriate blueberry.

How is it?

Out of the box, the doughnut carries the distinct aroma of one of my other favorite breakfast carb bombs – a blueberry bagel. Unlike a blueberry bagel, which always smells sweeter and more potent than the flavor it actually delivers, this doughnut comes through in a major way. The bright berry notes work perfectly with the doughy yeast base for a combination that is truly great and much tastier than it looks.

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The blueberry glaze is sweet yet sharp and highlights the golden fried exterior in a way that is often masked by the best-in-its-class original. It’s a gentle flavor that isn’t too over the top yet very present with the perfect ratio of fresh to decadent with the slightly tart blueberry helping to temper the sweeter OG recipe.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Krispy Kreme is known for its super fresh Hot Light doughnuts, but since these are only made once early in the day and I couldn’t make it until later, I had to recreate that magic at home with the microwave. Popping this berry boy into the micro for 6-8 seconds heightens the sweetness and creates a melty soft texture that’s everything conveyor dreams are made of.

Conclusion:

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It’s a damn good thing that KK decided to bring out this non-winning glaze for a week-long run because as good as the lemon was, this one is even better. It’s a more notable change to the original while still keeping everything that makes the OG so classic. The blueberry is the berry that’s made for breakfast, performing equally well in pancakes, muffins, oatmeal, and, you’d better believe, doughnuts.

Purchased Price: $1.69
Size: N/A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 200 calories, 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 120 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.