REVIEW: Limited Edition Hostess S’mores CupCakes

Hostess Limited Edition S mores Cupcakes

What are Limited Edition Hostess S’mores Cupcakes?

If you miss roasting marshmallows around the fire pit with friends, Hostess has a new s’mores spin on its classic Cupcake to hold you over.

How are they?

All the elements are here – graham flavored cake (I think?), marshmallow cream, and that delicious sheet of chocolate with the iconic white squiggle, yet I found these ultimately disappointing.

Hostess Limited Edition S mores Cupcakes Bottom

I mean, they’re delicious, but they don’t taste THAT much like s’mores.
The “yellow” cake is clearly brownish and tastes mildly like honey graham crackers, but the box does not indicate that. Assuming I’m correct, that was a great touch. They should’ve ramped up the flavor a lot more, though.

Hostess Limited Edition S mores Cupcakes Side

The cream does taste like marshmallow, but not enough to really separate it from the standard Hostess filling. If you’re expecting Marshmallow Fluff, I’m afraid you’re burnt.

Hostess Limited Edition S mores Cupcakes Top

The chocolate is as perfect as it’s always been. No complaints here*. The weird fondant-like texture has always been delicious and reminds me of my fading youth. I wish Hostess sold these in individual slices like George Costanza’s chocolate pudding skin idea.

*Complaint here instead – the squiggle should have been marshmallow flavored.

Anything else you need to know?

With all that said, there’s still just enough here to differentiate from a regular Hostess CupCake. It’s not the “s’more bomb” (which is not an actual thing people say, well, unless you wanna make it a thing) I was hoping it’d be, but I definitely think you should pick up a box.

S’mores are a hot treat, but do what I did and freeze a few of ’em. They’re phenomenal when chilled.

Conclusion:

I’ve never had a Hostess CupCake I didn’t enjoy, and this s’mores variety isn’t changing that, but it still kinda burns my marbits that S’mores CupCakes didn’t rival my all-time favorite flavor, Orange.

Here’s the thing – these might be better than the originals, but they don’t deliver on the flavor promised enough. I guess Hostess ultimately decided to take the “less is s’more” approach so people wouldn’t forget about the O.G.

Purchased Price: $2.86
Size: 12.7 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 CupCake) 170 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 135 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of total carbohydrates, 22 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Impossible Breakfast Sandwich

Starbucks Impossible Breakfast Sandwich

What is the Starbucks Impossible Breakfast Sandwich?

Starbucks has entered the plant-based sausage revolution with its new Impossible Breakfast Sandwich.

How is it?

Burger King’s reign on top was short, because one week after claiming the Impossible Croissan’wich was my favorite plant-based breakfast sandwich, Starbucks has already dethroned it.

I’d put the new Starbucks Impossible Sausage on par with any breakfast meat – cow, pig, chicken, or plant – currently on a fast food menu.

Right out of the gate, I was relieved that the sausage patty didn’t have that “vague sagey Stove Top” flavor I always whine about.

Starbucks Impossible Breakfast Sandwich Top

Flavor-wise, I’d say it toed the line between a standard breakfast sausage and Italian butcher shop spiral sausage links, or as my mother would call them (my apologies for the phonetic spelling) “Shiv-a-lots” (pronounced with a bastardized Brooklyn Italian accent).

I took a bite of the patty isolated, and while the texture is still not 100% where I’d like it to be, it was less chewy than the others I’ve had to this point.

I give Starbucks credit for its eggs as well. It’s a fried egg, but the yolk was closer to soft-boiled, and the whites weren’t plastic, like the stuff McDonald’s serves.

Anything else you need to know?

Starbucks Impossible Breakfast Sandwich Split

I expected the bread to be the downfall because I usually think ciabatta is a trash-tier sandwich bun, but it was perfect. The shell was crispy while the inside was pillowy soft. It was like eating a bagel that came out of the oven two minutes before you ordered.

I could have easily just caught them at the right time, but every ingredient, including the aged cheddar, paired perfectly to make a delicious and perfectly sized sandwich. It curbed my hunger without that immediate fast food regret we all know so well.

Conclusion:

I won’t pretend I get a lot of food at Starbucks, but this is easily the best savory menu item I’ve ever ordered there.

We’re now at the point where you won’t even notice you’re not eating meat, and I continue to think that’s an exciting prospect for the future. Not to push an agenda, but if science can further distance plant-based proteins from real meat nutritionally, we’re all gonna be better off in the long run.

Absolutely pick up one of these next time you get a coffee.

Purchased Price: $4.95
Size: N/A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 430 calories, 23 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 830 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of total carbohydrates, 4 grams of total sugars, 3 grams of fiber, and 22 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Burger King Impossible Croissan’wich

Burger King Impossible Croissan wich

What is the Burger King Impossible Croissan’wich?

After the success of the Impossible Whopper, Burger King has brought the plant-based revolution to the breakfast menu in the form of the Impossible Croissan’wich.

How is it?

Before the McGriddle took over the fast food breakfast game, Burger King Croissan’wiches were number one in my heart with a bullet. I’ve probably eaten 200 Sausage Croissan’wiches in my lifetime, and I can happily report the “Impossible” version is about 95% as good as the old reliable I love so much.

Burger King Impossible Croissan wich Top

I’ve had a couple plant-based breakfast sausages, and this was easily the best texturally. It wasn’t chewy or gritty at all. Coupled with BK’s classic fluffy egg and croissant, it actually had the exact same bite as a regular Croissan’wich.
The only reason I won’t say it’s quite as good is because the flavor of the sausage was slightly off.

Burger King Impossible Croissan wich Patty

Burger King Impossible Croissan wich Side

This seemed to overcompensate, and pump too much of that smokey sausage gravy spice that always puts me in mind of Stove Top Stuffing. I said the same thing in my review of the Dunkin’ Beyond Sausage Sandwich (You’d think I’d know the spice I’m talking about by now).

I don’t.

Anything else you need to know?

I actually made a resolution this year to stop eating pork products*. I wanted to slowly but surely wean myself off eating meat every day, and I figured pork would be easier to kick than beef or chicken.

I was right, but man have I been craving a nice breakfast sandwich. I eat turkey bacon, but I haven’t had any sausage in 2020 until this, and it didn’t disappoint at all.

*Ok, I cheated once last month for the review of the Dunkin’ Croissant Stuffers. There was so little bacon in that, I’m not counting it.

Conclusion:

This is my favorite plant-based fast food item to date. I was right on the edge before, but now I’m a full-blown believer in “plants” as a sustainable protein source.

Between this and the Whopper before it, Burger King is absolutely leading the way when it comes to fast food plant-based options. I’m probably gonna eat a lot of these going forward.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 491 calories, 29 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 1058 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of total carbohydrates, 4 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 21 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sonic Brownie Batter Master Shake

Sonic Brownie Batter Master Shake

What is the Sonic Brownie Batter Master Shake?

Have you ever had the urge to take a big sip of brownie mix before putting it in the oven? Well, I’d suggest stopping by Sonic now that they’ve essentially created a liquid brownie.

Sonic Brownie Batter Master Shake Top

How is it?

As delicious as “brownie a la mode sipped through a straw” sounds, this is a shake of diminishing returns.

Sonic Brownie Batter Master Shake Brownie Bits

At first, the mix of vanilla ice cream, ribbons of brownie batter, and soft little chunks of brownie bits was borderline perfect. The batter and ice cream pairing highlights the vanilla base while also giving it a strong brownie flavor. And the little Cocoa Puffs-sized brownie bites were small enough to fit through the straw without making me suck to the point of a brain hemorrhage. We were on our way to a world-class shake.

Sonic Brownie Batter Master Shake Bottom

As I sipped away the ice cream, I lost interest in the shake entirely. In fairness, I should have expected this from the name, but the massive reservoir of batter at the bottom of the cup was a buzzkill.

It was just a three-inch deep pile of dark chocolate sludge that was loaded with mini chocolate chips. The last few sips of any shake are usually gross on their own, but that paired with the texture and temperature of the brownie mix made for a real downer of an ending.

Anything else you need to know?

I know what you’re thinking. He’s complaining about the brownie batter in a brownie batter-flavored shake. I know, I know, but the bottom was like getting a soda and sipping four sips of straight flavor syrup at the bottom of the can. It’s too much.

By the way, I’m not positive what constitutes a “Master Shake,” but I’m bummed Sonic didn’t also release a Frylock and a Meatwad to go along with this.

Conclusion:

I love chewy brownies, and I was well on my way to loving this shake, but it wasn’t constructed well. It could have been that mine wasn’t mixed properly at the restaurant. Get a mini size, give it a good mix before drinking, and I think you’ll be ok.

Purchased Price: $3.89
Size: Small
Purchased at: Sonic
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 760 calories, 431 grams of fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 26 grams of saturated fat, 450 milligrams of sodium, 85 grams of total carbohydrates, 57 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Carvel Tie-Dye Specialty Shake

Carvel Tie Dye Specialty Shake

What is the Carvel Tie-Dye Specialty Shake?

Carvel has channeled Ben & Jerry’s hippy-inspired flavor formula with its Limited Time Only Tie-Dye Specialty Shake.

How is it?

Right out of the gate I was impressed by just how many squares of pound cake they managed to fit in the cup. Not only that, they weren’t frozen solid like I assumed they’d be. I probably ended up eating almost a full slice of cake if you factor in the tiny bits that were mixed in with the ice cream.

Carvel Tie Dye Specialty Shake Melt

Despite the shake flavor being cake driven, it wasn’t very cakey. I found the Cake Mix-flavored ice cream to be pretty similar to regular vanilla, so it just kinda tasted like a vanilla shake with bits of mushy cake and sprinkles.

With that said, Carvel’s soft serve vanilla is, in my opinion, the best vanilla ice cream on Earth.

It will always hold a special place in my heart, because I love the New York Mets (sad life, huh?) and every spoonful reminds me of my childhood sitting at Shea Stadium with a little plastic helmet full of Carvel Vanilla Ice Cream.

Anything else you need to know?

Carvel Tie Dye Specialty Shake Top

I’d be remiss not to compliment the jerk (isn’t that what they used to call ice cream parlor employees?) who made this shake because it almost looked like the press photo. Rarely does the visual reality of a product like this meet the expectation, and he claimed it was his first time ever making it.

I’d also like to criticize the jerk (actual jerk) for asking, “Do you want the food coloring? You sound like an adult?”

You believe that? I just want a Tie Dye shake, why you trying to harsh my mellow by asking that?

I immediately fired back, “Damn right I want the food coloring! That’s the whole point of the shake, bro! Why you judging me? Who’re you?!”

Ok, in reality, I semi-panicked and said, “Uhhhh, yeah ya know what? Go for it.” It’s because I’m a massive coward who is afraid of an ice cream man. It’s the Mets fan in me.

Oh, and yes, it’s just food coloring. Don’t get excited expecting a Roy G. Biv of flavors, because the tie-dye inspired swirls are just for show. They look cool though, no?

Conclusion:

If you’re lucky enough to live by one of Carvel’s 400 locations and want a fun five-minute distraction, this is definitely worth a shot. I’d actually love to see what your shake ends up looking like, because I feel like there’s very little margin for error.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: Small
Purchased at: Carvel
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Unavailable, but here is a standard Vanilla shake) 650 calories, 240 calories from fat, 27 grams of fat, 18 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 290 milligrams of sodium, 89 grams of total carbohydrates, 79 grams of total sugars, 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Pineapple Whip Freeze

Taco Bell Pineapple Whip Freeze

What is Taco Bell’s Pineapple Whip Freeze?

If you ever wanted a virgin pina colada from Taco Bell, now’s your chance.

How is it?

As far as frozen fast food drinks go, the Pineapple Whip Freeze is top-tier. It’s like drinking a refreshing pina colada-flavored Slurpee with an injection of vanilla cream replacing the coconut flavor.

Taco Bell Pineapple Whip Freeze Top

The pineapple slush is vibrant and delicious, and the vanilla flavor complements it perfectly, yet I was still left mildly unfulfilled.

I couldn’t help but think how perfect this would be if Taco Bell had an ice cream machine.

Taco Bell Pineapple Whip Freeze Bottom

While this Freeze tastes great overall, this would have been an all-time elite with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream as opposed to the “vanilla creamer whip” that Taco Bell classifies it as.

I think the image of a Dole Whip was unfairly dancing in my head every time I took a sip, so maybe that’s an unfair complaint, but still, this would have been a 10 if it was pineapple slush mixed with a thick vanilla shake. In fairness, it melted a bit in the eight minute or so drive home.

Taco Bell Pineapple Whip Freeze Melt

Anything else you need to know?

Despite my petty whining, it’s a great drink to usher in the warmer weather. It also perfectly complemented the burrito I absolutely Frankensteined in the Taco Bell app by adding almost every possible ingredient.

I bet this would make a fantastic alcoholic drink. I may grab another one and toss an airplane shot of Malibu or two in the cup. Don’t judge me. It’s summer. Live más.

Oh, and this was supposed to come with a green lid to give it a fun pineapple appearance. Naturally, I didn’t get one, because I NEVER get the special edition packaging on anything for some reason.

Conclusion:

The syrupy vanilla wasn’t as perfect as I had hoped, but the Pineapple Whip Freeze was still pretty fantastic. If you’re a fan of Dole Whips, I would recommend getting the regular Pineapple Freeze and adding your own vanilla ice cream (and maybe a shot of rum).

Purchased Price: $2.49 ($1 during Happier Hour)
Size: Regular
Purchased at: Taco Bell
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 210 calories, 1 grams of fat, .5 grams of saturated fat, 55 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of total carbohydrates, 49 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, and 0 grams of protein.