REVIEW: Burger King Farmhouse King

Burger King Farmhouse King
 
Usually when you order a fast food burger the product is considerably smaller than the item advertised. In the case of Burger King’s Farmhouse King, however, it’s just the opposite – as soon as the cashier handed me the bag, I thought they had accidentally dropped a napkin dispenser in there.

Be forewarned, the Farmhouse King is not for the faint of heart. Packing in a monstrous 1,220 calories, it surpasses the calorie count of Arby’s Meat Mountain sandwich. Indeed, this item could be considered the breakfast version of Arby’s aforementioned Noah’s Ark Sammich (since it pretty much contained two of each animal under its buns.)

We’ve got nearly a pound of burger going on here. That includes about half a pound of flame-kissed beef in the form of two Whopper patties, plus a heaping helping of smoked bacon, plus a double shot of melted American cheese, plus a handful of crispy onions and – the kicker – a fried egg capping the whole thing off like an angel atop a Christmas tree. And underneath the toasted sesame seed buns you’ve got a smattering of ketchup and BK’s proprietary “creamy sauce,” which to me, tastes a lot like honey BBQ sauce.

Burger King Farmhouse King 2

Needless to say, this stuff is intense. All by itself it makes up more than half of one’s recommended daily allowance of calories, and with more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium, it does constitute an entire day’s worth of USDA-approved salt intake. That said, it’s undeniably a yummy novelty burger, and if absolutely nothing else, one of the most filling single-serve fast food items in recent memory.

I suppose the first question most people would ask is whether the addition of the egg improves or worsens the product. To be perfectly honest, the taste of the egg itself is pretty hard to distinguish from the goulash of meats and sauce, which ultimately coalesces into this extremely tasty medley of BBQ sauce, beef, bacon, and onion (which, for whatever reason, most fast food places describe as “Western”). I mean, if you really focus you can pick up the yolky aftermath, but it’s nowhere near as prominent as you’d imagine. I wouldn’t go as far as to say the egg is superfluous, but it’s certainly downplayed once you start chowin’ down.

Burger King Farmhouse King 3

If you’re looking for a satiating sandwich, unless you’re a world class competitive eater, this sucker ought to have you down for the count. About halfway through my sandwich I was getting winded and by the time I finished the last bite, full-fledged the itis had set in. In hindsight, it wouldn’t surprise me if that BK “secret sauce” was actually Nyquil-laced Thousand Island dressing.

I wouldn’t want to down a Farmhouse King every week, but for a one-time, super-gluttonous fast food treat it’s downright marvelous. But if you’re going to eat it, be prepared; not only are you going to need a small army of napkins, you better have a pillow handy, too.

(Nutrition Facts – 1,220 calories, 720 calories from fat, 80 grams of fat, 28 grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of trans fat, 335 milligrams of cholesterol, 2050 milligrams of sodium, 62 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of sugar, and 63 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $6.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: The beef, bacon, cheese, onion and BBQ sauce medley is downright delicious. It WILL fill you up. the egg taste is subtle, yet distinct.
Cons: The price point is pretty steep. Some might find the egg flavor too downplayed. Eating the sandwich at noon and having a duel to the death with The Sandman until 5 p.m. rolls around.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Cocoa Puffs Cereal

Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Cocoa Puffs Cereal

The competitive world of junk food has given us tons of oddball mashups that seem to come out of nowhere — Swedish Fish Oreo, Root Beer Float Chips Ahoy, Jolly Rancher Sour Green Apple Pop-Tarts, and the list goes on and on.

Sometimes those products work, and sometimes they taste like absolute garbage. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, there are some combinations that make so much sense that it’s unreal they haven’t been done before. It took General Mills 59 years to put their top dog cereal masterminds together to release the insanely obvious and new for 2017 Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Cocoa Puffs.

The concept is very straightforward. Take the already established cocoa-y cocoa puffs and add some circular dried marshmallows to the mix. There’s not too much to break down here, as anyone who has ever had Cocoa Puffs (everyone?) will know exactly what they taste like — a light chocolate flavor with hints of crunchy corniness.

Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Cocoa Puffs Cereal 2

The mini marshmallows are nothing fancy, and in the scheme of hot cocoa they shouldn’t be. They’re aerated and sweet with a much more mallow-y texture once they’re submerged in milk.

The two flavors work together very well — simple, but effective. The added sweetness and slight touch of creaminess does remind me of sipping a steaming cup of winter’s finest and makes the bowl a bit more intriguing than your usual Cocoa Puffs.

Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Cocoa Puffs Cereal 3

The already light cocoa flavor is very much akin to the kind found in instant hot chocolate packets, and as a result, General Mills has stumbled into success. Not to mention the milk it leaves behind with the added sugary sparkle of the marshmallows is straight up rich chocolate perfection.

The immediate comparison is Count Chocula, my favorite chocolate cereal. While this is definitely similar, it still isn’t quite as good. I slightly prefer the texture of the Count’s cereal pieces, and the combination of both regular and chocolate marshmallows makes Mr. Chocula still a bit more complex and delicious – winning the battle of holiday choco-mallow cereal supremacy if that were ever a thing.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 100 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 12.75 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Light chocolate Cocoa Puffs flavor naturally fits hot cocoa theme. Marshmallows make everything better. Amazing cereal milk.
Cons: Holiday magic still can’t take down the count.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Oreo Cookies 1

The Oreo factory has been cranking out limited edition flavors like a proliferative hen laying her eggs. The latest to come out of the Mondelez coop is the Hot Cocoa Oreo. I thought this was a curious move as they recently launched their Hot Cocoa Mix – maybe they’re running out of ideas.

I also thought it was odd that there was a new packaging bubble on the front stating that it’s “Always Made With Real Cocoa.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought about it being/not being made with real cocoa. It has always been in its own league – dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and Oreo. Oreosities (oreo + curiosities!) aside, I thought this latest flavor was a nice break from all the pumpkinundation, caramel apple, and gingerbread flavors.

Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Oreo Cookies 2

Lifting the flap, they looked and smelled like regular Oreo cookies. The only difference was the crème which was half chocolate and half regular. Of course, it’s never as pretty in real life as it is on the outside packaging shot, but, whatever, when it comes to food aesthetics – I always say that it’s all going to the same place (my stomach).

I tried it in multiple ways — whole sandwich form, then layer-by-layer (cookie, regular crème, chocolate crème then cookie), then dunked in milk (per standard Oreo protocol!), and finally compared it with the Oreo Hot Cocoa Mix.

I thought it tasted best whole because I experienced more of the hot cocoa, or what I interpreted as such because of the subtle marshmallow flavor. Like a regular Oreo, the last taste in your mouth is still the chocolate cookie, but the marshmallow was definitely there.

Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Oreo Cookies 3

When eaten layer-by-layer, it was like a disappointing peek behind the curtain of magic. They just replaced half of the regular crème with some chocolate crème, which I was able to peel away. But, it’s surprising to find the marshmallow flavor was actually coming from the chocolate crème. My least favorite combination was the cookie dunked in milk because the marshmallow flavor was completely washed out, which made it taste like a regular Oreo.

Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Oreo Cookies 4

Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Oreo Cookies 5

Finally, I compared it with the Oreo Hot Cocoa Mix. Depending on how you look at it, it could be a good or bad thing that they taste nothing alike. Dipping the cookie into the hot chocolate also didn’t do much; it was a chocolate cookie wash. But, I thought the cookies were better than the drink.

Even though this new flavor is very subtle, I think subtlety is an art! Plus, I don’t know how else they would’ve done a better job capturing hot cocoa experience – except to make something pie in the sky like a self-heating Oreo or something. These still don’t dethrone my favorite limited edition flavor (Reese’s), but it’s still a tasty addition.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 10.7 oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Nice break from all the pumpkinundation, caramel apple, and gingerbread products. Marshmallow! Doesn’t taste like the Oreo Hot Cocoa Mix.
Cons: Subtle flavor gets drowned out if dunked in milk. I don’t know how else they could’ve better captured hot cocoa since a self-heating Oreo doesn’t exist.

REVIEW: Arby’s Deep Fried Turkey Club Sandwich

Arby s Deep Fried Turkey Club 1

Among the many achievements in mankind’s endless appetite for culinary innovation, I tend to think one of the more fun developments has been the deep-fried turkey.

Granted, it’s not an Oreo that tastes like a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, but there’s a combination of country-boy-can survive and backyard science experiment that makes me want to pump my fists, scream “’MERICA!” and make sure I have a fire extinguisher on hand.

Thankfully, I can skip the last part of that equation now that Arby’s has released a line of deep-fried turkey sandwiches, including the Deep Fried Turkey Club.

Arby s Deep Fried Turkey Club 2

Let’s get this out of the way: The Deep Fried Turkey Club doesn’t inspire an initial reaction of mouth-watering gawking. Among the many meat mountains that Arby’s has given us in recent years, it looks comparatively average, with noticeably less stacked meat than Arby’s Grand Turkey Club.

But it tastes better than the Grand Turkey Club, and it all starts with the deep-fried turkey.

Arby s Deep Fried Turkey Club 4

It’s a bit of a clumsy comparison, but the difference is similar to that of Arby’s roast beef and Angus steak. Where Arby’s roast turkey is actually pretty good, it’s still deli meat when you get down to it. The fried turkey, though, is succulent, slightly sweet, and has a wonderful seasoned crust. If someone served this to me at Thanksgiving, I would probably disavow cranberry sauce and gravy. It’s that good on its own.

The rest of the sandwich is top-notch and surprisingly well-balanced despite salt bombs of cheddar and bacon. Less divisive than Arby’s brown sugar bacon, the black pepper bacon adds great crunch and smoke, while the melted cheddar adds a mild creaminess and richness.

Arby s Deep Fried Turkey Club 3

And, where the bun, mayo, and toppings could have ruined the classic club taste, all three elements are executed to near perfection, creating a crisp and clean flavor to cut all the meat and salt. My only complaint was the double dose of mayo on the top and bottom buns, which makes the sandwich a bit too soggy.

Arby s Deep Fried Turkey Club 5

Arby’s release of brisket and pork belly were game changers as far as the fast food universe was concerned. I wouldn’t quite put the fried turkey into that category, but that’s only because a turkey sandwich is always going to be (for better or worse) tied to Thanksgiving. Truth be told, this is a great sandwich, and by far the best turkey sandwich I’ve had from Arby’s.

(Nutrition Facts – 540 calories, 250 calories from fat, 28 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1620 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 2 gram of dietary fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 34 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Exceptionally moist and flavorful turkey. Crispy bacon and melted cheddar cheese add quintessential supporting club flavors. Squishy, slightly sweet bun. Enjoying deep fried turkey without the hospital visit.
Cons: Double layer of mayo is excessive. Not the most filling sandwich you could get at Arby’s. Not being able to build your own Derrick

REVIEW: Doritos Crunch Mix (Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch)

Doritos Crunch Mix  Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch

I recently hit up 7-Eleven for a post-workout protein bar, because I’m super muscular and fit, and also extremely strong and powerful! While admiring my pythons in the drink case window’s reflection, something caught my eye — a stocked shelf of little Doritos branded cartons.

Variety is, as they say, “the spice of life,” and that expression has never rung truer than when pertaining to snack mixes. Why eat a pretzel when you can eat a pretzel with a corn chip, an M&M, a cashew, cereal, and a peanut butter cup?

Better question, why did it take so long for something like Doritos Crunch Mix to hit the market?

Doritos Crunch Mix  Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch 2

For a long time, Munchies was the only mix available with Doritos, but we live in wild snack concoction times and Frito-Lay is at the forefront.

The “Crunch Nut” is what you think it is – a peanut inside of a Dorito. Picture a Peanut M&M, except instead of chocolate and candy shell, it’s a Dorito. That’s probably how this idea was initially pitched to a T.

As you’d imagine, Crunch Nuts are pretty good. I found that the peanut flavor pushed through more with the Nacho mix than Cool Ranch. It somehow made itself known, almost making it too nutty. The cheese mixed with the creaminess of the chewed peanut had a different dynamic than with the Ranch, which was almost dulled by the peanut if anything.

Doritos Crunch Mix  Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch 3

I was pretty satisfied with the main attraction. How was the supporting cast?

The triangles are basically mini versions of those Doritos Jacked 3D chips and thus are the closest in texture to a regular Dorito.

The puffs are appropriately flavored, very light and airy cheese balls. They’re a stark contrast to the next two players in the mix.

The pretzels are essentially Snyder’s Nacho Cheese/Ranch Pretzel Pieces, and the corn sticks only exist to make you nervous you’re gonna crack a tooth. Naturally, they were the most abundant.

Doritos Crunch Mix  Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch 5

I don’t understand why every snack mix insists on having that one ingredient that could break your molar on any given chew. Chex has the bagel chips and trail mixes have 25-year-old almonds.

This mix would have been fine with the pretzel pieces. The corn sticks, while tasty on their own, served very little purpose other than adding a rocky texture that wasn’t necessary to the enjoyment of the other pieces.

In case you’re wondering, they sell packs of the Crunch Nuts alone, but why even bother when the mix exists?

Doritos Crunch Mix  Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch 4

I preferred the Cool Ranch one, but that’s always been my Doritos preference.

So, if you don’t have any dental paranoia like me, you’ll enjoy the Doritos Crunch Mixes. Frito-Lay continues to go onward and upward with their selection. Hopefully, a Doritos 3Ds revival is in our future. Let’s make that happen.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – Nacho Cheese – 210 calories, 12 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. Cool Ranch – 210 calories, 12 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.99 each
Size: 3 oz. package
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Nacho Cheese)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Cool Ranch)
Pros: Any new snack mix is a good thing. Doritos never fail. Resealable carton packaging. My impressive physique despite eating multiple cartons of Doritos Crunch Mix.
Cons: Some pieces are rock hard. Corn sticks are just filler. Peanut taste is a bit too prominent in Nacho mix. Is a single Doritos chip technically called a “Dorito?” I miss Doritos 3Ds. I lie about my muscles a lot.

QUICK REVIEW: Burger King Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shake

Burger King Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shake

Having retired from gracing the cover of cereal boxes, Chef Wendell has teamed up with the brilliant minds behind the cereal-flavored shake line at Burger King to bring us the Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shake.

Wendell’s cinnamon sugar stained hands are all over the latest offering, combining what Burger King describes as cinnamon cereal-flavored syrup and cinnamon toast crunch pieces with vanilla soft serve.

Outwardly, it dons the unassuming guise of a ho-hum vanilla shake, but just as with many superhero origin stories, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The first sip will blast even the most underdeveloped taste buds into sugary oblivion, but a warm cinnamon aftershock is definitely in play as well. This thing screams Cinnamon Toast Crunch and that beloved flavor is uniform and omnipresent.

Burger King Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shake 2

As much as I praise the shake for capturing the essence of its namesake, there are some missteps. Unsurprisingly, the cereal pieces do not fare as well as one would like. There was some crunchiness to be found, but overall, they were more soggy than not. This being the first semi-watery shake I’ve received from BK may have hastened the demise of my poor cereal bits.

For breakfast cereal junkies, and especially CTC lovers, this is a dream come true. But, while excellent in flavor, this cereal turned dairy delight hits hard and lingers, possibly even to a cloying extent for those sans adamantium pancreases forged by the cereal fueled Saturday morning cartoon bingeing of their youth.

Burger King Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shake 3

Because of those shortcomings, I cannot objectively give this a higher score. Personally though, this is everything I wanted it to be; a decadent portal to the halcyon days of color changing Ninja Turtle bowls filled with sugary goodness.

Purchased Price: $3.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Large) 780 calories, 19 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 570 milligrams of sodium, 137 grams of carbohydrates, 113 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of protein.