REVIEW: Drake’s Alpine Yodels

Drake s Alpine Yodels Box

What are Drake’s Alpine Yodels?

I don’t know about you, but Yodelers remind me of fresh alpine snow.

I guess the good folks at Drake’s agree because they’ve decided to invert the color (and flavor) of their classic chocolate snack rolls.

How are they?

I grew up with a guy named Al Pine.

He was just another generic white dude who didn’t really bring much to the table. I can’t say I necessarily enjoyed his presence, but he was… fine? Pretty boring. Decent guy, I guess.

Ok, I’m lying. Al Pine’s not real, but everything I said about him rings true to new Alpine Yodels. I’m pretty sure they’d be dead center on the “best snack cake” chart. These could literally be the barometer for average.

Drake s Alpine Yodels Coating

Obviously, the usual Yodel chocolate is replaced by a bland, “as mildly salty as sweet,” white plastic fudge. I think? I don’t actually know what Drake’s classifies its shell as.

Drake s Alpine Yodels Filling

When you couple that thin coating of milky nothing with a yellow cake and the usual crème, you’re left with just a benign vanilla-ish flavor that will make you yearn for chocolate.

Anything else you need to know?

Drake s Alpine Yodels Wrapper

Fresh Yodels have a great texture, so while these don’t burst with flavor, that aspect was still as enjoyable as I remember. Yet I’m bummed because I love a good Yodel, or Devil Dog, or Ding Dong.

Conclusion:

If the shell was double the thickness with a stronger white chocolate flavor, these would creep up the list. But for now, I stand by the assessment that they are the most average snack cake of all time. Maybe that’s your thing, but if I indulge in a snack cake, it might as well be worth the calories.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 11.6 oz box
Purchased at: Acme
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 Cakes) 280 calories, 15 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 170 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of total carbohydrates, 24 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut

Dunkin Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut Closeup

Mmmm, forbidden donut. *Homer drooling sound*

Are you tired of Dunkin’s normal fare? Then, may I interest you in Dunkin’s new PARAnormal fare?!

*Lights flicker! A wolf howls! An additional cliché scary thing happens!*

Dunkin Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut Screenshot

This All Hallow’s Eve, Dunkin’s breaking the rules,
With a fiery delight fit for goblins and ghouls.
A ghost pepper donut?! How can it be true?!
This treat is no trick…
On to the review!

*Shrill scream, maniacal laugh, yadda yadda, and so on*

Now that I’ve set the mood…

According to the press release, the new Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut is a “classic yeast donut ring, topped with a strawberry flavored icing that features a bold blend of cayenne and ghost pepper, finished with red sanding sugar.”

If that sounds spooky and strange to you, I’m right there with you. I had no clue what to expect. “Ghost Pepper” gives the impression this donut tastes like the 4th layer of hell. But then again, would Dunkin’ really put something on the menu that would force you to chug a gallon of milk at 7 am?

Dunkin Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut Red Closeup

I won’t drag it out to calm your fear – this donut isn’t extremely spicy. I mean, it’s spicy for a donut, but you won’t have to plan your day around it.

Have you ever spritzed cologne or perfume and then walked through the mist to catch some of the droplets? This is like if a Strawberry Donut did that with pepper spray.

I’ve never eaten a straight ghost pepper because I’m not a psycho, so I can’t really vouch for the exact authenticity of the pepper flavor. I did, however, taste a crisp red pepper vegetable essence, if that makes sense.

It’s “ghost” in the sense it tastes like the ghost of pepper past. I’d put the heat level on par with a standard spicy chicken nugget. But the strawberry icing and little sugar crystals neutralize it down another Scoville notch lower.

Imagine the aftertaste of having a spicy Mexican or Indian dinner, then chasing it with a strawberry donut for dessert.

Dunkin Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut Bite

The heat did grow with each bite, leaving my lips a little numb, but it wasn’t something that stuck around. A few sips of coffee should just about wipe the ghost from your palate completely.

So, did I like it? Ehhhh. Definitely not a top tier donut, but a weird novelty worth trying if only to get into the Halloween spirit. I respect the seasonally appropriate marketing, but wish Dunkin’ went with a cinnamon-based “Red Hot” heat instead of “ghost” pepper.

I think this exists just to be a fun “Bertie Botts Beans”-type prank donut to toss into a dozen. It’d be funny to watch an unsuspecting friend eat it and wonder where the spice is coming from.

I say try it if only to say you’ve had it. It’s basically a dollar. Why not?

To quote Ray Parker Jr, “don’t be scared of no ghost… pepper donut.” That’s the remix. Check his Soundcloud if you don’t believe me.

Happy Halloween!

Purchased Price: $1.19
Size: n/a
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 260 calories, 11 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 300 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 16 gram of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips

Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips Bag

What are Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips?

The next evolution of Frito-Lay’s “Hint of” Tostitos is good ol’ guac.

How are they?

Tostitos Hint of Guacamole pack a big flavor for a chip that only promises a little. They’re essentially “Hint of Doritos,” and for that reason, I loved them.

There’s a fresh avocado taste despite no avocado in the ingredient list, which was a bit weird. I guess that’s an expense thing? Either way, the taste came through.

Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips Bowl

There’s a nice “hint of” heat that I was able to decipher, and then confirm, as jalapeno. The flavor reminded me a bit of Jalapeno Fritos, which I can absolutely demolish in one or two sittings.

I also noticed a – I guess the name really fits – a “hint of” cheese, which the ingredients confirmed as cheddar and Swiss. I wasn’t expecting that, but it definitely enhanced the overall flavor.

These have all the elements of a great guacamole. Except for peas, which everyone knows is the key ingredient to a great guacamole dip. (Relax internet, I’m just kidding… although I would try that with zero remorse.)

Anything else you need to know?

Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips Closeup

Tostitos Hint of Lime might be my favorite tortilla chip, but the size and shape are annoying. You can easily break them into pieces, but let’s be real, we all try to shove the entire massive triangle into our mouths in one bite.

Hint of Guac are the ideal size. I don’t dip flavored chips, so I want them to be snackable, and I gotta give Frito-Lay credit for opting to make these “bite sized rounds.”

As I mentioned above, some chips are so caked in flavor, they might as well be guacamole-flavored Doritos – a variety I know exists, but has somehow eluded me my entire life. Maybe if enough people like these, Frito-Lay will take the hint and make those a year-round release.

Conclusion:

Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips Bag Bowl

Despite the mild spice and an overload of sodium, I found these deliciously snackable.

I think I’ve had most of the “Hint of” line, and would probably slot these just under Lime. I’d actually really like to try mixing these, Queso, and Lime together for a big “Hint of” Mexican dinner flavored mix. Someone test that out and get back to me.

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: 12 oz
Purchased at: Acme
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (20 Chips) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 150 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ The Charli Cold Brew Coffee

Dunkin The Charli Cold Brew Coffee Cup 2

What is Dunkin’s “The Charli”

What? You don’t know TikTok superstar Charli D’Amelio’s favorite Dunkin’ order?

Pff, I scoff at you. Everyone knows it’s a medium cold brew with whole milk and three pumps of caramel!

How is it?

How is it, or WHY is it?

I have to admit, I didn’t get “The Charli,” literally or figuratively. I technically cheated and got a small, which I nicknamed, “The Chaz.” (A large is obviously “The Charles.”)

Dunkin The Charli Cold Brew Coffee Cup

I mean, it’s a cold brew with milk and a lot of sugary caramel syrup. I think smalls only get two pumps, but even that was a bit too sweet for my blood. I don’t get flavors in cold brew because it masks the cold brew flavor and makes it taste like a regular iced coffee. It’s a subtle difference, but I notice it. Whole milk is not my #1 dairy choice, but it was fine.

Now to get to the why…hmm, how do I write about this weird collaboration without sounding like an angry geezer?

Dunkin The Charli Cold Brew Coffee Bottom

Anything else you need to know?

“Charli Cold Brew” sounds like the name of the guy who gets the mafia coffee, or the worst mixtape rapper of all time. Notice how I said “mixtape rapper” instead of “Soundcloud rapper.” That should give you an indication that I probably shouldn’t speak about a 16-year-old girl who dances for 15 seconds on an app I’ve never used, the eponymous Charli D’Amelio.

She’s a massive internet star, but I’m just going on Dunkin’s word – there was zero chance I was Googling a teenager dancing.

Look, I’m sure Dunkin’s partnering with Charli has brought them a ton of business from kids who probably shouldn’t be drinking cold brew, but I just don’t understand how absolutely lazy this campaign is. There’s more to the partnership, though. You can win a “virtual hangout with Charli,” but even that strikes me as half-baked.

“It’s her favorite drink, gramps!” Fair, but this is just a regular menu item. Why not fib a little and release something new and exciting? It’s like that ridiculous Travis Scott meal at McDonald’s. People inexplicably flocked there to get Sprite and some BBQ sauce on a Quarter Pounder. They couldn’t at least add a special pickle to the burger or something?!

I don’t like this new trend of brand/celebrity collaborations that aren’t bringing anything new to the table. What’s the point? Why are famous chains doing the “name a deli sandwich after a customer” thing?

Side note: when I realized my local deli didn’t have a “Vin,” I asked, “What am I chopped liver?!” Now they serve a chopped liver sandwich called the “Vin.” (2 out of 10.)

But seriously, am I wrong to be ticked off at the marketing, or am I reading the situation wrong?

Conclusion:

“You’re talking about them, Old Timer?! It’s obviously working!”

I know, I just find it so lazy! I can’t shake that feeling, which is probably a Charli dance video title.

Dunkin Charli Dance

As far as I know, Dunkin’ has never collaborated with a celebrity like this. They decided to break the (way too much) ice with a kid from a niche app by promoting a regular variety of cold brew coffee? Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?! (I’m showing my age.)

Ya know what? I’m already too deep into “get off my lawn” territory here. I’ll shut up. You want a Charli, go get a Charli. Tell ’em Cactus Jack sent ya.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: Small
Purchased at: Dunkin
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available on the website.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Chips Ahoy McFlurry

McDonald s Chips Ahoy McFlurry

When was the last time you bought regular Chips Ahoy! Cookies?

I’m talking about those run of the mill, plain ol’ blue bag Chocolate Chip Chips Ahoy!?

I bet it wasn’t recently. Why would you? I did the math, and there are approximately 394 better cookie options sold in any supermarket at any given time. Hell, Chips Ahoy (no more exclamation points) spinoffs probably equate for about 50% of those.

They’re iconic, but they’re just not that good anymore. They’ve been lapped. I have no time for the old school “meh” flavor and texture of a regular Chips Ahoy, so why do I wanna try them as an ice cream topper so badly?

I guess I can chalk it up to loving the Chipwich. And the McDonald’s McFlurry.

The newest member of the McDonald’s frozen family blends chunks of Chips Ahoy cookies and caramel in its classic vanilla soft serve ice cream.

A blended Chipwich with caramel swirls? That sounds damn good to me regardless of the cookie.

If you’ve ever had a McFlurry – and I know you have – you know that iconic vanilla soft serve is a perfect base.

McDonald s Chips Ahoy McFlurry Top

McDonald’s soft serve will forever hold a soft spot in my heart. I always reminisce about getting one of those complimentary tiny cones when I went there as a kid. I wish they sold it as a standard vanilla ice cream in stores, so I can mess around and make my own McFlurry Frankenstein monsters at home.

McDonald s Chips Ahoy McFlurry Cookie Closeup

The aforementioned “meh” texture of Chips Ahoy makes for an ideal ice cream add-in. They never lose that crunch, and I just find that it works better in morsel-sized bites.

McDonald s Chips Ahoy McFlurry Caramel Lid

The heaping blob of caramel piped into the ice cream is the star of the show. It acted as a binding agent that delivered a generous bite of cookie with every scoop of ice cream.

As I ate on, I realized exactly what this reminded me of — a coconut-less Girl Scout Samoas Sundae.

I don’t know how I could dislike a cookie so much but love it when it’s added to ice cream. But here we are. I feel the same way about the original Milk Chocolate bag of M&M’s. I would never buy them on their own, yet I can’t get enough of them in ice cream.

This was one of the better McFlurries I’ve had in ages. It also acted as a delicious neutralizing dessert for the Spicy McNuggets (I’d give them a 7 out of 10) I ate before it.

I went in knowing it would be decent at worst. Vanilla ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and caramel, how could it be bad? I came out shocked at just how good it was. Usually, a “snack size” McFlurry hits the spot just fine, but I was actually bummed I didn’t opt for at least a medium.

I plan on trying the McNuggets again, so you better believe I’ll be chasing them with another Chips Ahoy McFlurry, exclamation point. I hope the ice cream machine is operational next time you hit up Mickey D’s because you need to give this a try.

Purchased Price: $2.79
Size: Snack
Purchased at: McDonald’s
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 460 calories, 13 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 77 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 53 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Spicy Pretzel Bacon Pub Chicken Sandwich

Wendy s Pretzel Bacon Pub Spicy Chicken Sandwich Top

If we can agree on anything in these divisive times, it’s that pretzel buns are one of the greatest food inventions since Jakob Gareth Food created food in 1295.

We can agree on that, right? I know you’re nodding your heads, “yes,” so I can just move on.

In 2013, Wendy’s released the Pretzel Pub Sandwich, and it instantly knocked the Bacon Mushroom Melt out of my Wendy’s gold medal spot.

The combination of that iconic chicken, two types of cheese (Muenster and cheddar), and honey mustard on a perfectly tender pretzel bun had me coming back at least once a week. I would throw those bad boys down faster than you can say, “Sir, this is a Wendy’s,” but alas, just as the employees were memorizing my name and face, it was gone.

I’m pretty sure Wendy’s dabbled with other pretzel bun fare in the years since, but nothing ever came close to that Pretzel Pub Sandwich. Well, guess what, folks? It’s a miracle. Pretzel Pub Sandwiches are back, but this time along with the cheese and honey mustard, there’s bacon, pickles, and fried onions along for the ride.

So that’s it. That’s the review. I gushed about the OG Pretzel Pub, and this is the same sandwich with three awesome additions. It’s a 10 out of 10, right?

Wendy s Pretzel Bacon Pub Spicy Chicken Sandwich Flipped Lid

No, and I’m bummed beyond belief. There is just way too much going on with this sandwich. Each ingredient is great on its own, but once plopped on top of each other, none really stood out, and it made for a buzzkill of a meal.

I remember the original sandwich being a compact, tasty, and harmonious masterpiece. Here, the two gloopy ingredients (beer cheese and honey mustard) mixed with the lightly melting muenster make a gross texture with a flavor I could only describe as…warm?

I got a spicy chicken filet, and even that familiar flavor ended up being bland and masked. Honestly, the pickles had the most dominant flavor in the sandwich and kinda didn’t belong.

Now, while I’m pretty mad, it wasn’t all bad. I didn’t hate it.

Wendy s Pretzel Bacon Pub Spicy Chicken Sandwich Middle

The pretzel bun was still God-tier. I just love a soft pretzel’s taste and texture and believe any sandwich instantly improves with them as bread. Wendy’s cooks the best bacon in the fast food game, so no complaints there. Crispy fried onions are the most underutilized burger topper in the world, and should replace every raw onion moving forward.

Wendy s Pretzel Bacon Pub Spicy Chicken Sandwich Bite

Again, these are all good ingredients on their own, but combined? What a mess. There were too many cooks in the kitchen when they came up with this updated sandwich.

You can order a Pretzel Pub Burger, and I suspect all these ingredients might work better with beef. But I think the move might be to customize your own variation in the app.

I’m not even positive that’s allowed, but I’m going back to try this with two fewer ingredients. I think I might just cut the “Pub” out entirely and lose the beer cheese. Two sauces were just too messy.

I’ve probably romanticized the 2013 Pretzel Pub too much over the years, so you may like this much more than I did. It’s worth a shot, but just make sure you’re parked or at home while you eat it, because it’s a big sloppy experience.

Purchased Price: $6.19
Size: N/A
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 840 calories, 42 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 105 milligrams of cholesterol, 1780 milligrams of sodium, 71 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 42 grams of protein.