REVIEW: Everything Bagel Pringles

Last week, a strange mustachioed man sprinted up to me and asked if I could name Pringles’ newest flavor. I, being the eastern United States’ preeminent Pringles historian, replied to this definitely real person, “Hasn’t Pringles done everything?”

Without pause, the astonished and not made-up man’s eyes went wide with fear. He muttered under his breath, “How did you know?” Then he dropped a fresh can of new Everything Bagel Pringles at my feet and ran away in hysterics.

Not gonna lie (absolutely gonna lie, I am clearly lying); it was pretty weird. I didn’t even get any money, but hey, I got some Everything Bagel Pringles. Score.

I love Pringles and jump at any chance to review new varieties. I’ve actually been on a run of only reviewing “ring” based snacks, so it was nice to break away from that with these Pringles that are based on… bread shaped like a ring. Oh, man.

Wait a minute, pRINGles! “Ring” is right there in the name. I’m stuck in a ring-shaped loop!

Meh, whatever. At least I have snacks.

I didn’t know what to expect from these. There are a lot of elements to cover – cream cheese, onion, garlic, the various superfluous seeds, and even the bagel flavor itself. Can a chip do all that justice?

Yes and no. They’re really good, but “everything bagel” is a bit of a stretch. Also, Pringles aren’t chips, they’re crisps. You shoulda known that. I was just testing ya.

They smell like Sour Cream and Onion, which is fine, as those are my favorite OG Pringles. The flavor profile hits on onion and garlic, but they’re pretty mild. Cream cheese is the strongest flavor. I guess that’s appropriate to real life because my request of “just a little cream cheese” is always interpreted as “three pounds of cream cheese.” Sesame and poppy seeds barely have flavor as it is, so they brought nothing to the table.

These could have just been called “Cream Cheese and Chive,” but they probably need the “bagel” to move cans. Pringles don’t taste like bagels, though.

If I were to really pinpoint the flavor, I could think of one very specific food that is apparently called “Gournay Cheese.” My mother used to buy a little wheel of garlic and herb cream cheese-like spread made by a brand called Boursin around the holidays. I absolutely loved it on Wheat Thins. That’s what these Pringles taste like, almost to a T. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I implore you to try it. If you do know, just imagine these are flavored after that and not an everything bagel.

I was gonna nitpick the appearance because these crisps look boring. They barely even sprinkled them with poppies, but ya know what? You can keep ’em. Poppy seeds taste like nothing and only exist to get stuck in your teeth.

These are definitely worth a try, even if they taste more like Gournay Cheese Spread on Wheat Thins. Maybe if I guessed that, the totally real man wouldn’t have run away from me.

Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 5.5 oz
Purchased at: Shop Rite
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (14 crisps) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of total sugars, less than 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Spicy Queso Funyuns

I once played this video game… I don’t remember the exact name, but the object was to find as many golden rings as possible.

This furry blue dude ran around collecting them so that he could eventually buy his freedom from a mad scientist shaped like an egg. His name was “Static” or something. I think it was based on a true story.

Anyway, those golden rings always reminded me of Funyuns. Why? I don’t know. This is clearly a fake story, so just go with it. I mean, come on, who’s never heard of Sarnac the Muskrat?

I’ll say this: if ol’ Sarnac had to collect Spicy Queso Funyuns, he’d probably just end up keeping them all for himself and dealing with the consequences.

Yeah, those exist. In a rare move, Frito Lay has let Funyuns branch out with a new Spicy Queso flavor.

I needed a little ring redemption after my last review of Snyder’s Oktoberfest Rings, and while I liked these a lot, I gotta let you know the bad before the good – they don’t really taste like Funyuns.

I believe they set out to add a cheese flavor to the iconic flavor, but the onion essence basically gets spiced out. It’s a bit of a bummer, but I suggest approaching these as Funyuns in shape and texture form only. If you’re familiar with Frito Lay’s queso dip, I think these actually tasted like it in crisp form, so there’s some good brand synergy there.

As I crunched on, I started getting flavor vibes of two other snacks – Andy Capp’s Hot Fries and the recent Chili Cheese Doritos 3D’s. If you know Hot Fries, the heat level is slightly below those, but they have very similar textures. The lingering level of spice and cheesiness reminded me of 3Ds, although those leaned more towards a “beefy” chili flavor, so just imagine a Funyun ring that tastes like a spicy cheddar with a pinch of jalapeño. I’ve never tried Flamin’ Hot Funyuns, but I suspect those are slightly hotter overall.

As far as the crunch goes, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve compared Funyuns to Cap’n’ Crunch in the past because they usually tear my palate up. Thankfully, that didn’t happen here because the usual mouth shred paired with a spicy flavor probably would’ve destroyed my tastebuds.

Overall, these are very solid, but I was completely satisfied with a small bag. The flavor is nice, but I wish the typical Funyun flavor was ramped up. I’ve never dipped an onion ring in queso, so who knows, these could be 100% accurate. They’re not an improvement on the originals but a strong spinoff. As far as ring-based snack reviews go, I’m batting .500.

Maybe this will lead to further expansions of the Funyuns brand. Trader Joe’s used to make a Sweet Onion-flavored Funyun knockoff that was elite, and I’d love to see Frito-Lay try that next.

Here’s hoping my next review isn’t ring-based because I don’t feel like doing a bit about watching that one horror movie. It was about a ghost mime coming out of a videotape or something. I think it’s based on a true story.

Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 2 1/8 oz bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 13 pieces) 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of total sugars, less than 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Snyder’s of Hanover Limited Edition Oktoberfest Rings

I once watched this movie… I don’t remember the exact name, but it was about a ring.

These two small dudes and a schizophrenic frog-man were climbing a mountain, and then they had to throw their wedding ring into a volcano or else some fire wizard would blow up New Zealand or something? I think it was a true story.

Anyway, until today, I thought THAT ring was the worst, most evil ring to ever exist. Then… I tried Snyder’s new Oktoberfest Rings infused with Beer Flavor, and now I’m not so sure.

I reviewed Snyder’s Beer Cheese Pieces in the past and loved them, so while I assumed these cheese-less pretzels wouldn’t stack up, I was still shocked how much I disliked these.

First of all, they’re barely pretzels. These are glorified bread sticks curved into a circle.

They went light on the salt crystals here, and I can only imagine it was in an attempt to let the beer flavor shine, but that “beer” flavor is as dull as dull can be. I’ll give them a tiny bit of credit because I did taste the essence of a sweet lager, or more likely an Oktoberfest-appropriate Marzin-style beer, but it quickly changes as you munch down on the pretzel.

All I could taste after that was, and this is oddly specific, black olive. These taste like someone soaked a breadstick in the water from a can of black olives and then let the breadstick air dry and crisp back up for a few hours. They’re not stale, but the flavor just has an air of staleness to it, like old bread.

I once had “healthy” pretzel twists. They were whole wheat, low sodium, and gluten free, and were one of the biggest buzzkill snacks I’ve ever had. I thought of them immediately while eating these.

I’ll be fair and say that while I sound like a hater, I did eat about 20 in one sitting. I craved something crunchy, but I never shook that weird hint of black olive. I kept thinking the next one would taste better, and it never did. I also never found the crunch all that satisfying.

Look, I love olives, and come to think of it, I’d probably really enjoy a full-blown olive-flavored crunchy snack, but this beer-infused flavor just really didn’t do it for me.

I might as well say I think rings might be the worst pretzel shape while I’m at it. Just give me the classic pretzel knot. I didn’t like a single aspect of these other than the bag with that classic blue Oktoberfest checkerboard pattern.

I wouldn’t even serve these to a frog-man. The shape of the pretzel almost represented my score. You’d be hard-pressed to find a worse bag of pretzels in the aisle. Snyder’s has rows of amazing pretzels, so just get one of them instead. This was a slip-up for the company, but I guess it tried.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m hitting up Google Maps to find the nearest volcano in my area.


Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 10 oz.
Purchased at: Shop Rite
Rating: 2 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1oz – 10 pretzels) 110 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Summer Remix Iced Chai Tea Latte with Matcha Cream Cold Foam

I’ve been having a rough go with the Starbucks app lately. It’s completely my fault, but I just can’t seem to grasp its payment options. It’s like my brain resets after every order I successfully get through. I had a few bucks left on a gift card, and while ordering a cold brew, I somehow managed to refill said gift card with $50. I should know how to use the app by now, but I always seem to mess this up.

Long story short, I had to go back and forth with Starbucks customer service to get my money back, but every single time I opened the app to check if my balance was clear, I noticed something – the new “Summer Remix” *insert air horn blast here* Iced Chai Tea Latte with Matcha Cream Cold Foam.

While the fact it was an “app exclusive” was a little daunting to me, an apparently 97-year-old tech-challenged man, I knew I had to try that two-toned beauty, even if it meant yet again messing up the payment.

I’m not exactly a stranger to chai, but I’ve somehow never gotten it from Starbucks. If I’m there, I want coffee. That being said, I might start getting chai, because man, this latte hit the spot. You might tell me your local coffee spot does chai better, but I really liked how smooth and sweet Starbucks made it. Actually, if I’m being honest, it may have been a tad too sweet, but it worked because of the nice nutty, not quite gingery, almost nutmeg heavy eggnog-like flavor to it.

That alone would have been just fine, but the matcha cold foam is what sets this apart. I really like matcha, but sometimes I think it tastes like straight-up dirt. This did not taste like dirt. I don’t know if matcha cream cold foam has always been around at Starbucks, but it was a revelation to me. It was as if they took some green tea ice cream and threw it in a milk frother.

The texture was as good as any whipped cream I can recall having in a long time, and it added a nice little green tea offset to the black tea chai. It was the best of both worlds. Also, unlike Dunkin’s cold foam, this matcha fluff had legs. It lasted the entire length of the drink. I was able to take a sip, then lift the straw and get a hit of foam every time. That’s unprecedented. If this was sold in cans, I’d stay stocked up and probably take a few rips a day from the nozzle.

I loved it, and kept coming back to thinking that the whole thing tasted like a light eggnog-based latte, while somehow not making me think of winter. Does that make sense? It’s as if they translated eggnog into a cool summer drink.

I’m a big fan. It’s pretty expensive even for Starbucks, so maybe I shoulda just let the $50 ride, because I can definitely see myself getting this latte a few more times before the summer is out.

Purchased Price: $4.95 + 1.25 for the foam. (She had to ring it up separately b/c as mentioned, I’m bad with the app)
Size: Small
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available due to this being an existing drink with customizations.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Shredded Beef Grilled Cheese Dipping Taco

Have you heard about this new lawsuit against Taco Bell?

Some dude is suing the company because he says it deceives customers, stating the product is nothing like the advertising. I just wanna go on record right now that I am NOT the dude suing Taco Bell… despite the photos that will follow.

Look, I adore Taco Bell. When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is, “¡Yo quiero Taco Bell,” so I was obviously gonna try its new birria-inspired Shredded Beef Grilled Cheese Dipping Taco no matter what.

On the surface, the SBGCDT sounds great – a hard-shelled taco with a three-cheese blend of cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack baked on the outside. Inside you get braised shredded beef, a creamy jalapeño sauce, and more cheese for good measure. And if that’s not enough, it comes with two dipping sauces — nacho cheese and “red sauce.” How could you go wrong?

Well, I won’t mince words; my taco was an absolute crime scene. It was the messiest thing I’ve ever had at Taco Bell, and I’ve eaten the horrendously overrated Mexican Pizza.

There was only cheese on one side of the shell, and about five tacos worth of sauce blasted inside, which completely ruined the integrity of the entire thing. For something called a “dipping taco,” I had a really hard time picking it up, let alone dipping it.

I’m not one to complain (lol), and the (very nice) employees had a lunch rush to deal with, so I just soldiered on. I figured it looks bad, but I bet it still tastes good… and ya know what? It did, for the most part. You can literally see the lowlights, so I’ll focus on the highlights.

The birria-style shredded beef was excellent. It was seasoned well, super tender, and not even a little bit stringy. If it becomes a menu staple, I’m customizing all my meals going forward with shredded beef. The half-cheesed shell was limp, but I dig the general idea. It’s like a Cheesy Gordita Crunch without the outer soft tortilla.

There’s an epidemic in our society with over-saucing everything, and this jalapeño cream sauce went way beyond that. While it has a nice, slightly spicy kick, it needed to just be a dollop. Better yet, it should have been the dipper in place of nacho cheese, which is completely redundant.

The red sauce is really just a vague taco sauce, but I liked the consistency, which was similar to a thin spiced-up tomato bisque. It was actually a good “dip.”

I’m a little baffled by the concept in the sense that even if mine was clean and compact, it’s just a taco. That doesn’t seem like the right delivery system for a “dipper.” I get dipping taquitos, but an entire taco?

Assuming I got a properly constructed taco, I’d still toss this overall concept in the upper “mid” category. The grilled cheese taco shell and the pulled beef were both winning ideas. This isn’t the first time Taco Bell has done either of those things, but it should become a standard… just take it easy with the sauce.

I decided to rate this on taste and ignore the presentation. It was an absolute disaster to look at and a huge pain to eat, but I’d still rank it a “Hot” on the Taco Bell sauce chart. Sue me.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 19 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 580 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.

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