REVIEW: Burger King Dr Pepper Shake

Burger King Dr Pepper Shake

I, Vin, know all of Dr Pepper’s 23 flavors.

I know em all, and I’m ready to tell the world. I’m not afraid anymore. What are they gonna do, sue me? Arrest me? Bust into my house, incapacitate me, take me away in a black van and finish this blog post pretending to be me, while never actually telling you guys the 23 flavors? Pff, I’d like to see them try. They don’t have the guts.

So without further ado, here are the 23 flavors that go into every batch of Dr Pepper.

Cola

Cherry

Vanilla

(knocking at the door)

Ah, come on! Gimmie a sec, someone’s banging on my door. I’ll be back before you can say “Dr Pepper’s deepest darkest secret.”

I’m back. It was just a…vacuum salesman. Yup, just a boring, non-threatening salesman.

I know you’re anxious to read your best pal Vin’s review of Burger King’s new Dr Pepper shake…and this is most definitely Vin.

Where was I?

Burger King Dr Pepper Shake 2

This shake is nothing to look at. It’s just tan. A few syrup ribbons of dark red would have been nice, but I have to imagine that was deliberate on Burger King and Dr Pepper’s part. They don’t need to win you over with flashy colors. It’s not like they’re Surge.

Ever walk into a bakery after a fresh batch of amaretto cookies are brought out? It’s an amazing almond smell with a hint of cherry in some cases. That’s what this shake smells like.

As far as the flavor goes, here’s a very specific taste for you to imagine. Have you ever gotten a vanilla shake with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry on top, but just let those ingredients sink to the bottom? You know those last few pinkish sips of vanilla infused with the juice runoff from the cherry? That’s what this tasted like. Vin likey.

Burger King Dr Pepper Shake 3

The Dr Pepper you know and love is definitely there, but it’s more subtle than you’d expect. It punches through a bit more once the shake starts to liquefy, but that’s only on the last few sips as this holds its texture well. Dr Pepper may have 23 amazing flavors, but I really only tasted the cherry and vanilla, which is totally fine. In fact, don’t even worry about the other 21 flavors, they don’t concern you, and trying to figure them out will not end well for you…or anyone for that matter.

Moving on…

Some shakes are so cloying they’re tough to finish. That isn’t the case here. The Dr Pepper Shake is delicious from the first sip to the last.

People like to write Burger King off, but they’ve been crushing it with menu items like this. They’re trying to offer innovative choices as of late, excelling mostly with their drinks. Here’s hoping they expand on this concept and blend up more sodas into shakes. I mean, they’ll probably be good, but not Dr Pepper good.

In conclusion, Mr. Pibb worships Satan. Drink Dr Pepper.

(Nutrition Facts – 12 fl oz – 330 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams dietary fiber, 44 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein..)

Item: Burger King Dr Pepper Shake
Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: Small (12 oz.)
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Great cherry/vanilla flavor. Olfactory satisfaction. Perfect shake consistency. Maraschino cherry flavor without the plastic fruit. Burger King owning the shake game. Doctorate degrees.
Cons: Secretive recipes. Dr. Pepper flavor could have been somewhat stronger. Super thick shakes. Home invasions. Mr. Pibb.

REVIEW: Pepperidge Farm Limited Edition Banana Chocolate Milano Cookies

Pepperidge Farm Limited Edition Banana Chocolate Milano Cookies

As I sit here gazing out at mounds of dirty snow piled as far as the eye can see, I dream of a better place.

So disillusioned, I choose to believe a bite into Pepperidge Farm’s new Banana Chocolate Milano cookie will result in a reverse York Peppermint Patty effect and I will be whisked away to beautiful Milan, Italy.

Perhaps one single bite will send me to a tropical island, where I can pluck ripe bananas straight from a tree. We’ll soon find out.

It seems wild to call a cookie that is shelved right next to fish-shaped crackers aimed at children “decadent,” but that’s the word that comes to mind when I think of a Milano.

I’m of the opinion you can’t screw up a Milano. I’ve tried plenty of varieties and liked em all. I’m also a massive banana groupie (that doesn’t sound right) so I have no doubts these would be winners.

Pepperidge Farm Limited Edition Banana Chocolate Milano Cookies 2

I don’t know what it is with Pepperidge Farm’s packaging, but I never seem to open it properly. After tearing the bag to shreds, I was hit with an unmistakable banana scent that perked me up. It reminded me of the smell when you walk into a bakery. I was now ready to be whisked away.

Pepperidge Farm Limited Edition Banana Chocolate Milano Cookies 4

When I took the first bite into the wafer, nothing happened. The world isn’t fair.

It tasted as if the wafer had a bit of banana flavor baked in. But I couldn’t really tell if it was the banana filling bleeding through. I’m pleading ignorance here. I think it just tasted that way since it’s such an airy wafer. That’s one of the best parts about Milano, the crunchy, but not at all dense cookie.

I put it in my mouth and inhaled it like a total weirdo. Who does that? I essentially tried to smoke a cookie. I can tell you there is a nice banana…um, air when you try to smoke a cookie. Don’t smoke cookies, kids.

It wasn’t until I hit the center that the banana flavor come out in full force.

Pepperidge Farm Limited Edition Banana Chocolate Milano Cookies 3

There’s a thin layer of banana filling with the familiar chocolate layer. It had a similar texture to the chocolate. The bag actually refers to it as “banana flavored chocolate.”

Here’s my question: Where has “banana flavored chocolate” been my entire life? This was a revelation for me. I mean, I’m sure plenty of products have used a similar substance before, but why wasn’t I aware of it? I feel like I’ve missed so much. “Banana flavored chocolate” is awesome. I want more of this banana chocolate concoction in my life.

The banana is strong but not overly so. I think banana bread is very dependent on texture, but these should remind you of that flavor. Few things top a nice fresh slice of banana bread, but these are a great attempt at imitating the flavor in cookie form, with the added bonus of chocolate mixed in.

After the initial tasting, I kept a few aside to have with my morning coffee, and it was naturally a delicious pairing. Banana Chocolate Milano Cookies are a home run. As far as I’m concerned, Pepperidge Farm still hasn’t made a bad Milano.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Pepperidge Farm Limited Edition Banana Chocolate Milano Cookies
Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: 7 oz. (about 16 cookies)
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Banana flavored chocolate. Milano’s consistency. Airy wafer. Great for dipping. No artificial flavors or preservatives. A short reprieve from the winter blues.
Cons: No instant transportation properties in each bite. A rapidly growing cookie smoking habit. Fear of missing out on more banana flavored chocolate treats. Pain in the neck packaging. Limited edition.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts

If I told a younger you that “bacon overkill” would become a thing, you’d probably cry and scream “Stranger Danger” because some old weirdo was talking to you about breakfast meats. Still, I can’t help but wonder if we’re getting too much bacon.

Too much bacon?! Surely, I jest.

Don’t get me wrong, bacon is amazing. But when did we all become the dog from the Beggin’ Strips commercials? Why does it seem like Big Bacon is trying to take over our lives?

I guess its bacon’s world and we’re all just living in it.

Mini rant aside, I was excited to try Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts. I knew I had to have them the second I saw them because I’m part of the problem.

After opening the pouch I was met with a welcome pancake smell. Each pastry has the standard white frosting with brown flecks that I assume are bacon flavored. I’ll get back to that in a moment. The filling itself has a nice maple scent and an appropriate light brown coloring.

I’m normally an “eat ’em right out of the pouch” kinda guy, but for the sake of this review, I did my due diligence and tried them toasted and untoasted. I opted against the “heat in the microwave for 3 seconds” option.

I set my rarely used toaster to medium heat and waited for what felt like an hour. A watched toaster never toasts.

The flavor was faint with the maple far outweighing the “bacon.” I’d go as far to say the toasted crust and (vanilla?) frosting were the most prominent flavors. There’s just not enough of a filling to crust ratio to really get a ton of the maple bacon flavor. That’s a universal Pop-Tart problem for me.

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts 2

I scraped a few of the brown flecks off the icing, and while they did have a salty flavor to them, they didn’t scream “bacon.” I’m really only assuming they were the bacon element. I even cut one of the Pop-Tarts open and scraped the filling out with a knife so I could taste it. No bacon, it just was salty.

While I don’t know how it would have worked, I definitely think these would have benefitted from having little pieces of real bacon instead of being “artificially flavored.”

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts 3

The maple taste is the one that stands out, but even that should have been more powerful. It didn’t taste like I just ate a pancake with a big glob of maple syrup, it tasted like I ate one 20 minutes prior. They seem to have kept the maple intensity low so that the artificial phantom bacon could burst through, but it doesn’t.

I wish they swung for the fences more with this flavor. It could have been truly memorable. I definitely preferred them untoasted because there was a better balance, but, again, there wasn’t enough bacon flavor. Normally I’d tell you a wacky product like this is worth a try simply for the novelty of it, but I don’t think you even need to bother.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 210 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 8 pastries/box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Decent Maple flavor. Not terrible untoasted, Ambitious idea. Beggin’ Strips Dog.
Cons: Gimmicky. No actual bacon. Mild bacon taste at best. Stranger Dangers. Pop-Tart microwave instructions.

REVIEW: Snickers Crisper

Snickers Crisper

Chocolate. Caramel. Peanuts. Nougat. Perfection.

You can’t improve on perfection, but adding crisp rice pieces to a Snickers bar certainly can’t be a bad thing.

Enter Snickers Crisper – crisp rice, milk chocolate, caramel, peanuts and…

Hold on. Let me just flip the bag over and see if it says “nougat” somewhere. Surely they couldn’t have removed the nougat.

I don’t see it. Ha. This must be a typo. I can’t believe they would send out a bag like this with such a mistake, but I’ll let it slide. They were probably rushing them to the shelves for the holidays.

Let me just take a quick bite and confirm that there is indeed the delicious nougat I’ve become accustomed to in a Snickers bar.

Mmmm. Oh yeah. Good crunch, familiar Snickers taste, and…

It’s not there.

It’s not there?!

Remain calm. It’s gotta be in there somewhere. I will find the nougat! Let me just take one more bite.

There’s no nougat. What a tragedy. I assumed this was just a nice Snickers bar with some crispy rice thrown in for additional crunch… but no noug…

Sorry about that, I passed out from shock.

Snickers Crisper 2

Snickers Crisper 3

However, nougat omission aside, it’s delicious. There were about 15 fun-sized pieces in the bag, and I put down ten easy.

Why wouldn’t it be delicious? If the word “Snickers” is in the title, you can pretty much guarantee it’s gonna be good. It’s the same Mars chocolate you grew up with. It’s the same silky caramel you know and love, and it’s the same peanuts. I don’t really have anything fond to say about them because they’re just peanuts.

I was clearly worried that the lack of nougat would screw with the texture of the bar, but there’s still enough chocolate and caramel to keep it from being a “wafery” crisp. The ingredients still mesh well enough that you won’t even miss the nougat all that much.

Snickers Crisper 4

To me it tastes like a Kudos Bar. I actually got hit with a nostalgia wave when I bit in. I used to eat Kudos religiously as a kid, but haven’t had one in years. This is a Kudos Snickers bar covered in chocolate.

Keeping that in mind, Snickers Crisper Bars are a different chew than normal. The crisp isn’t a bad element by any means, but these just taste and feel more like a chewy granola bar than your standard Snickers candy bar. Although these are fun size pieces, I’d recommend biting into a square and not putting the whole thing in your mouth, unless you’d like a jaw workout.

So while this new candy bar isn’t as perfect as regular Snickers, it’s really close.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 square – 100 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Item: Snickers Crisper
Purchased Price: $3.48
Size: 10.61 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: It’s still basically a Snickers. Addictive. Delicious caramel. Rice crisps add a nice texture. Kudos nostalgia.
Cons: Has a texture and taste that’s more like a granola bar than candy bar. Passing out. Jaw workouts.

REVIEW: Milk Chocolate Cafe Mocha M&M’s

Cafe Mocha Milk Chocolate M&M's

According to the Café Mocha M&M’s packaging, “The Holidays are better with M.”

That’s a fair statement in this reviewer’s opinion. Unless we’re talking plain M&M’s.

Plain M&M’s stink. They stink!

There, I said it. Who needs ’em?

I think they’re the 43rd best candy in the candy aisle. They’re a cookie ingredient. They exist to be customized and given out as expensive party favors. Plain M&M’s are co-stars in a good trail mix at best. They’re raisins. You can keep ’em.

Phew! Sorry folks, but that mini rant felt good. You know Vin always brings those controversial opinions. You can’t spell “controversial” without “Vin”…if you eliminate a bunch of letters and then rearrange them for some reason.

Now that I got that off my chest, I should say I actually do enjoy most other M&M’s variations. Whether it’s the ol’ reliable Peanut or the Greatest of All Time Peanut Butter; from Crispy to Pretzel to Peppermint; and all the way down to Almond and Candy Corn, M&M’s usually brings it with their other flavors. So I was genuinely excited to try the new Café Mocha M&M’s.

First, the sniff test. This was a major bummer. The bag smells like a standard bag of M&M’s. I was hoping it would have a coffee scent because I find few smells better than a freshly opened bag of coffee beans.

Cafe Mocha Milk Chocolate M&M's 2

Next, the eye test. As you can see they come in the classic green and red holiday colors. In terms of size, they’re about the same diameter of a Peanut Butter M&M and they’re bigger than a regular, but smaller than a peanut.

Last but not least, the taste test. At first it tastes like a plain M&M whose recipe went awry. It’s almost like I’m eating semi-sweet mini M&Ms made specifically for baking. The mocha is there, but the “café” takes a few seconds to recognize. Once you get the slightly bitter coffee element, it levels out and becomes a successful enough piece of candy. These are milk chocolate based, but I might have guessed dark.

If you scoop a handful of these at a holiday party, you might not even know what the flavor is. If I didn’t have the bag in front of me, I would have probably taken a couple minutes to figure it out.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re pretty good, but I think they should have had more coffee flavor. If you’ve ever had a chocolate covered espresso bean, the taste is similar. These don’t pack as much flavor intensity as any chocolate espresso bean I’ve had, but they’re definitely in the ballpark.

Café Mocha M&M’s probably aren’t going to become one of your holiday staples, but they’re definitely worth a try.

(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 oz. – 210 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 5 grams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 27 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Milk Chocolate Café Mocha M&M’s
Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: 8 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Better than plain M&M’s. Flavor is similar to chocolate espresso beans. Decent seasonal candy option.
Cons: Coffee/espresso flavor isn’t strong enough. There are better M&M’s choices. Bag doesn’t smell like fresh coffee beans. Raisins.