REVIEW: Domino’s Bread Twists (Garlic, Parmesan, and Cinnamon)

Domino s Bread Twists

Domino’s new bread twists have an interesting shape. They look like those cancer research ribbons people wear.

“Oh, good for you Domino’s, raising money for a good cause. And what cause will you be supporting? I can’t seem to find the organization on any of the news stories. Oh, there is none? Awwwkward!”

Anyway, while odd, the shape is a nice switch up from the standard small bite, knot, or very boring breadstick. There are two savory flavors to choose from, garlic and parmesan, and one sweet one, cinnamon. I couldn’t dare pick just one to try so I went with all three. Each order comes with a good number of twists and they aren’t uniform in appearance which gave me a good vibe of potentially being homemade.

On all three flavors the shining star was definitely the dough and the cooking method used to bake them. These two aspects worked together to make the exterior crispy and insides pleasantly soft. The weird shape actually made them more fun to eat and, as you probably have experienced with pretzels, there were different experiences when biting into either the center crossing, end pieces, or top bend.

Domino s Garlic Bread Twists

While the garlic ones were very buttery with a good amount of herbs and spices sprinkled on top, they were my least favorite. The garlic flavor was somewhat artificial. When I tried them with the marinara sauce, the garlic was completely overpowered so all I tasted was the dipping sauce.

Domino s Parmesan Bread Twists

The Parmesan Bread Twists were very similar to the garlic ones, just with a heaping amount of parmesan pieces on top. They started off tasting exactly like the garlic ones but then I got a blast of cheese at the end with the herbs and spices. These had multiple layers of flavor and, unlike the garlic ones, worked well with the marinara sauce provided, making them my favorite. It was like having a pizza party in my mouth.

Domino s Cinnamon Bread Twists

Finally, the only sweet one of the bunch was cinnamon. Cinnamon sugar is strewn about in strips atop the twists unevenly but this really allowed both the buttery bread and seasoning to shine separately. It also meant these weren’t a sugar bomb, until the mediocre sweet icing was added. When dipped, everything was too sweet to enjoy.

Domino’s Bread Twists are an odd product if you think about it. First, their shape makes me want to donate to some cause. Second, the garlic and parmesan varieties taste strikingly similar. Third, Domino’s already has parmesan bread on their menu, but in bite form. Fourth, Domino’s had cinnamon bread called Cinna Stix on their menu, albeit non-twisted.

While they may be odd, they are, for the most part, also pretty darn tasty. Just make sure to enjoy them hot and only sauce up the parmesan ones. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have one twist left that’s going on my lapel. I have to go to a fancy benefit for bread research.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 pieces – Garlic – 220 calories, 90 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat,4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Parmesan 230 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Cinnamon – 2 pieces – 250 calories, 110 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.99 each
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Garlic)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Parmesan)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Cinnamon)
Pros: Breathtakingly good buttered browned bread. Unique shape that is surprisingly fun to eat. Parmesan twists plus marinara sauce = a pizza party in my mouth.
Cons: Strange shape that evokes cancer research. Garlic and Parmesan varieties taste similar. Marinara sauce overwhelms garlic flavor.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Cheesecake Cool Whip

Limited Edition Cheesecake Cool Whip

Despite Reddi-wip’s furious smear advertising campaign touting the advantages of real cream, Cool Whip remains untouchable, eaten by 66 million more Americans than its canned counterpart.

The reasons are pretty simple: You can freeze Cool Whip and eat it like ice cream, you can blend it into no-bake desserts easier than Reddi-wip, and you can leave it on your angel food cake outside during a hurricane and it’ll stay put.

Despite that indestructible texture reputation, the new Cheesecake Cool Whip isn’t any thicker or creamier than the original version. While the packaging art would have us skip June, July, and August to pumpkin season, the allusion to cream cheese frosting is a poor one, mostly because trying to use Cool Whip as frosting is like trying to use tomato juice for pizza sauce —- it’s just not thick enough.

Limited Edition Cheesecake Cool Whip 2

Eaten directly out of the tub (which is completely acceptable if you ask me) the Cheesecake Cool Whip has a distinct taste from the original variety. There’s a cheesecake vibe upon first lick, but it’s faint, giving way to a French Vanilla-type sweetness. The deeper, nuanced cream taste of actual whipped cream is obviously absent, but what’s really missing is the richness of a real cream element, which would otherwise bring out the cheesecake flavor.

Limited Edition Cheesecake Cool Whip 3

It also tastes less like cheesecake when eaten with common whipped cream accouterments. The ever reliable blueberry —- plump, sweet, slightly tart -— all but mutes the cheesecake flavor.

Even trying to cheesecake-ify yogurt is somewhat hit or miss. I tried it with strawberry yogurt, and while I did notice a cheesecake flavor, I had to add a lot of it — like 50 or 75 calories worth — to get a consistent tang. It would’ve been easier to just buy a container of Dannon Strawberry Cheesecake Greek Yogurt

Seeing that it’s 2017 and we still haven’t gotten a cheesecake Oreo or cheesecake Pop-Tart, I appreciate Kraft’s effort. That said, Cool Whip, which is mostly just water and hydrogenated oil, might not be the best medium for the flavor.

Limited Edition Cheesecake Cool Whip 4

(Nutrition Facts – 2 Tbsp – 25 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $1.78
Size: 8 oz. tub
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Recognizable cheesecake flavor when eaten alone. Adds a slight cheesecake taste when mixed with yogurt. Eating Cool Whip like ice cream.
Cons: Cheesecake flavor isn’t strong enough to stand out with other ingredients. Not thick or sweet enough to use as frosting. Lacks cheesecake richness. Eating soggy angel food cake.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Signature Crafted Recipes

McDonald s Signature Crafted Recipes

Baseball has been deemed “America’s pasttime” since these uniforms (photo attached) were en vogue, but now the typical game takes longer than an actual marathon.

MLB is engaging in steps to improve interest in their game, like the intentional walk signal. But their best move has been a change to their vaunted 7th inning anthem: “We’ll buy you nuggets in 4 or 6 packs.”

The Mid-Atlantic teams have partnered with the Golden Arches to bring free McNugget promotions on their app. The beleaguered Phillies have offered a free 4-piece whenever they score three runs. Their more successful counterparts, the Orioles and Nationals, have higher standards along with bigger rewards: four runs nets you a 4-piece, with six, ten, and twenty nuggets also attainable. (Notably, the Nats have restricted their rewards to home games, presumably due to road games in Colorado). Rest assured, if either club surpasses the 20-run plateau, I will make my way through the Chesapeake region, with a tank full of gas and a bunch of “burner phones.”

McDonald’s isn’t just trading nuggets for bloated ERA’s. They’re also giving you a chance to be a manager of the toppings on your own sandwich. The new Signature Crafted Recipes line attempts to emulate quick-service burger joints like Five Guys and SmashBurger by allowing you to customize your sandwich.

McDonald s Signature Crafted Recipes 2

Just don’t expect a plethora of choices. The options are limited to two bun choices, three protein choices, and three topping styles. That’s still enough combos to fill out a lineup card for both teams. We here at the Impulsive Buy selected the three featured options — the Mays, Mantle, and Snider of the bunch, if you Will(ie).

McDonald s Signature Crafted Recipes Pico Guacamole

Batting leadoff was the Pico Guacamole with grilled chicken on the artisan roll. Discovering the first major fast food sandwich adorned with a lime wedge was like taking a big lead off first base. However, finding out that my hands would become messier from this sandwich than holding a rosin bag was something of a detraction.

The grilled chicken patty was relatively standard, although there was some spice and it wasn’t dry, so there were positive attributes. The artisan roll was soft but not mushy. I enjoyed the guacamole -— it fell short of feeling homemade, but was far better than Subway’s recent offering. The lime gave everything a fresh feel, even after I brought the sandwich home for inspection before consuming.

This sandwich was not a five-tool player. It did have holes in its game. Namely the pico de gallo, which was not a distinguishable flavor with the much stronger flavored guac. The white cheddar cheese was also invisible, as I would soon find out it was on all three sandwiches.

McDonald s Signature Crafted Recipes Sweet BBQ Bacon

On deck was the Sweet BBQ Bacon, with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken, also on the artisan roll (why they didn’t “load the bases” with three bread options as well is perplexing). The chicken patty was somewhat like a McChicken patty, but with a little more TLC. However, the size of the patty was only marginally thicker than the bun, which pales in comparison to the also recently released KFC Zinger. Conversely, I might say this sandwich exceeds the Zinger in spiciness. The heat builds as you eat and made me enjoy this more as I dug in.

The sandwich was onion heavy, which I appreciated (I’ll often order extra on fast food). There were two types. The sautéed onions, that tasted legit, and frizzled onions, which largely just added to the overkill of breading from the patty and bun.

The bacon was the final detail. It was nice and salty on its own, but its impact was suppressed by the other ingredients when eaten together.

McDonald s Signature Crafted Recipes Maple Bacon Dijon

In the hole was the Maple Bacon Dijon, with a beef patty (perhaps “burger” is on Vince’s McMahon’s list) on a sesame seed bun. Dijon was a new, interesting taste, although it appears in some bites and vanishes in others. Otherwise, this was the most familiar flavor combination for Mickey D’s. As for the maple? None was detected. It was indicated that maple seasoning was added to the bacon, but when I tried the bacon solo it appeared to be standard.

I suppose these were the same grilled onions that appear on the BBQ version, but against the backdrop of the stronger flavor beef patty, they did not stand out nearly as much.

The bacon wasn’t that noticeable here either amidst a sea of lettuce and again the stronger tasting burger. It seemed a little wimpier this time, although before you start computing the WAR (Working As Refreshment) stat, I did order each sandwich from a different location, so maybe the differences can be attributed to that factor.

In the end, the concept of “premium crafted sandwiches” is no different than Wendy’s LTO offerings, but with three released at the same moment. If McDonald’s wants a premium line to last, they will have to consider a larger product. “Fast foodies” do exist these days, but they still want to be satiated by the food. When it came to these members of the lineup, I didn’t get a complete game out of them. I still had to trust the bullpen (value menu) to finish it out.

(Nutrition Facts – Pico Guacamole Grilled Chicken – 520 calories, 160 calories from fat, 18 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 115 milligrams of cholesterol, 1540 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, 40 grams of protein. Sweet BBQ Bacon Buttermilk Crispy Chicken – 800 calories, 320 calories from fat, 36 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1820 milligrams of sodium, 80 grams of carbohydrates, 18 grams of sugar, 5 grams of fiber, 39 grams of protein. Maple Bacon Dijon Beef Patty – 640 calories, 330 calories from fat, 36 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 110 milligrams of cholesterol, 1260 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 37 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.79 to $5.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Pico Guacamole Grilled Chicken)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Sweet BBQ Bacon Buttermilk Crispy Chicken)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Maple Bacon Dijon Beef Patty)
Pros: Sauteed onions. Building BBQ heat. Lime wedge freshness. Hunter Greene’s potential to join the 20 HR / 20 SB / 20 win club.
Cons: None of the options are large enough. White cheddar is irrelevant. Gusto de pico es pequeno. The Twins passing on Greene with the number one pick.

REVIEW: KFC Zinger

KFC Zinger

The spicy chicken sandwich market has heated up (no pun intended) lately, from Jack in the Box’s Pepper Jack Ranch Spicy Chicken Sandwich to Wendy’s Spicy Sriracha Chicken Sandwich to Burger King simply revamping their new Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and now – KFC’s new Zinger Spicy Chicken Sandwich!

Well, the Zinger is only new to the U.S. as it’s apparently already in 120 other markets. Per QSR Magazine, the Zinger was launched in 1984 and over 22 million Zingers are sold in Australia alone. ?
No offense, but our Australian friends’ taste buds must be coated from all the Vegemite they eat because the Zinger is incredibly uninspiring. Even the new Colonel’s (Rob Lowe) Parks & Rec self would lit-er-ally find this repulsive. Okay, repulsive is a harsh word – I’ll stick with uninspiring.

KFC Zinger 2

The ingredients are simple: 100 percent Chicken Breast Filet – double hand-breaded and fried – served with lettuce and Colonel’s mayonnaise on a toasted sesame seed bun. I should’ve suspected that this wouldn’t be very spicy because nothing about that description speaks to heat.

When I received the sandwich, I liked the orange-gold foil – guess it’s “zinger”-y – and that the label actually listed what the sandwich was – unlike other fast food chains.

KFC Zinger 3

KFC Zinger 4

When I opened it, I was happy to see that the chicken looked like a breast at least. Low standards, I know. Cutting it in half, it looked like a solid piece of juicy chicken breast. On the edges where the breast meat met the breading, there seemed to be some chili oil-esque looking run-off so I was thinking that maybe the Colonel would come through with the heat after all. But, nope. After taking a bite, I could only detect a little fleeting singe.

To give some context to the heat – in this same meal, I ordered KFC’s Nashville Hot Chicken just to try. The Nashville Hot is nowhere near the real heat level of Nashville Hot Chicken BUT that’s the amount of heat I expected from the Zinger. It was mainly just a salty crunch followed by an umami that I can only describe as the Colonel’s secret recipe blend of 11 herbs and spices.

KFC Zinger 5

But the “hard way,” which is hand-breading chicken daily which is supposed to make it juicier and crunchier, definitely paid off. I conducted a crunch-off between Wendy’s Spicy Chicken, Burger King’s Crispy Chicken, Chick-fil-A’s Spicy Chicken and the Zinger. The Zinger was significantly crunchier than the rest. The breading to chicken ratio was comparable to Chick-fil-A’s (and they’re the gold standard in fast food chicken sandwiches in my opinion). It’s not juicier than Chick-fil-A, but it is juicier than Burger King and on-par with Wendy’s.

As for the rest of the sandwich, I was 50/50 on the bun. On one hand, I really liked how soft the bun was. On the other hand, it flattened out really quickly which made the chicken play slip & slide with all the mayo in it. Speaking of the mayo, the Colonel’s mayonnaise just tastes like mayo. Also, they kept trying to upsell bacon & cheese but I don’t think the Zinger needs it. I think it would take away from the crunch and the subtle Colonel spices.

This uninspiring sandwich left me thinking: Where’s the zinger?! In the competitive fried chicken sandwich landscape, the Zinger sits right in the middle of mediocre land. I wouldn’t eat it over Chick-fil-A’s chicken sandwiches but would absolutely eat it over all the other chicken sandwiches on the market right now.

(Nutrition Facts – Not available on U.S. website, but here’s the info from the KFC Canada website – 570 calories, 27 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 1220 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 25 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Deep-fried chicken breast actually looked like a piece of chicken breast. The Zinger wins the crunch off over Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, and Burger King.
Cons: Big statements for something pretty standard. Chicken played slip & slide with the mayo and flattened bun. Colonel’s mayo just tastes like mayo. Where’s the zinger?!

VIDEO REVIEW: Trolli Sour Brite Sloths

Purchased Price: FREE*
Size: 4.25 oz. bag
Purchased at: Received from Trolli, but available exclusively at 7-Eleven
Nutrition Facts: (5 pieces) 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

*Disclosure: Received free samples from Trolli. Receiving samples did not influence the review.