REVIEW: Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Box

When I learned about Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza, my jaw dropped. My mouth was so agape with astonishment that an entire Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza square could’ve fit into it.

Visually, it’s impressive. It has a Cheez-It cracker crust. It comes in a sweet Cheez-It themed box that I’m going to add to my collection of fast food packaging that my wife will ask me to throw away a month from now. And, the pieces are shaped like GIANT Cheez-It crackers. Pizza Hut did a great job at making them look like the beloved snack, even doing the rigid edges and hole in the middle. And, might I say, they look extra toasty.

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Box Inside

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Shape

Each pizza comes with four pieces that measure around three inches. It’s available with either cheese or pepperoni and cheese, and comes with a marinara dipping sauce. I went with the meat and cheese option.

When I pulled back the lid, a Cheez-It aroma plume rose from the packaging and shot up my nostrils as if I was huffing a box of the crackers. As for the flavor, the cheesy goodness that we all know and love, unless you love Cheese Nips, comes through in the crust. However, that Cheez-It taste is more prevalent along the edges, but much less so towards the middle. The edges also provide the most crunch. It’s not as mouth vibrating as the actual crackers, but it’s a pleasing chomp.

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Filling

The cheese and pepperoni filling isn’t bold enough to take away the spotlight from the Cheez-It crust. To be honest, I’m not sure it enhances the flavor in any way. Plus, its texture was not what I was expecting. I thought the cheese would ooze out somewhat. The filling is so dense that there’s no oozing or stringy cheese; it’s a congealed combination of cheese and pepperoni, which is a little weird when looking at a cross section of it. It looks like fatty raw meat.

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Sauce

At first, I questioned the addition of marinara because I didn’t think the cracker’s flavor would come through with the sauce. Thankfully, it still does, and it surprisingly tastes okay with the crust’s flavor, but it’s not tasty enough that I’m going start replacing spaghetti noodles with Cheez-It crackers.

Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza is something I’m happy I tried, but I wouldn’t purchase it again. Pizza is in its name, but to me, they seem more like super fancy cheesy breadsticks. Also, because the filling is so dense, it got a little too rich for me while in the middle of eating a second piece. But, if you love Cheez-It crackers, it’s something you should get one time because it’ll be neat to experience the snack in an unusual form.

Purchased Price: $7.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 square) 240 calories, 15 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 430 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows

Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows

What are Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows?

This bag of disappointment contains classic Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows with food coloring that are shaped into hearts, stars, half-moons, and clovers.

How are they?

There’s nothing magically delicious about them. I expected the taste of these marshmallows to remind me of Lucky Charms in some way. But I knew I had to prepare myself for disappointment when I opened the bag, and they didn’t smell like the cereal. What irks me is that Kraft has the capability to make flavored ones because I’ve had the Fun Mallows that taste like Fruity Pebbles!

Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows with Cereal Pieces

To add insult to injury, Kraft didn’t even include all the shapes! Where are the horseshoes, pots of gold, rainbows, red balloons, and unicorns?! It’s as if Lucky fell asleep at the factory or no longer has magic.

Is there anything else you should know?

Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows Clovers

There are three sizes of clovers for some reason. I’m not sure if it’s an error or intentional. Also, if you like these ‘mallows more than I do, you will be happy to know they’re a permanent addition to the Jet-Puffed line.

Conclusion:

Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows 2

Taste-wise, you’re better off picking out the marbits in the cereal. But, I admit that the Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows made my marshmallow eating experience just a smidge more exciting than the regular cylindrical puffs.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 7 oz. bag
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (15 pieces) 100 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 17 grams of total sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Toasted Cheddar Chalupa

Taco Bell Toasted Cheddar Chalupa

Like the bright shimmer of hidden gold from the lost city of El Dorado, Taco Bell’s newest menu item is a shining beacon of simple ingenuity filtered through pure borderland knowhow. The Toasted Cheddar Chalupa is a revelation of fried bread and cheese, combined the way Quetzalcoatl intended.

When unwrapped from its thin paper sheath, the grease stains catching the light allows the chalupa shell to portray a certain kind of inalienable beauty. Taco Bell has turned this thick carb-heavy casing into a surprising work of edible art that feels right at home in my quivering hands.

Taco Bell Toasted Cheddar Chalupa 3

The basis of the Toasted Cheddar Chalupa is the chalupa shell itself: an amazing feat of Tex-Mex handcraftiness. It’s a fried centerpiece that, now with the yellow bits of cheddar cheese clinging for additional flavor, is a treasured piece of corporate frybread that one could eat all day if they ever decided to stop living by the laws of common decency.

Seriously, if Taco Bell were to ever offer these chalupa shells by themselves, I would order a slick dozen fresh from the fryer, no problem. Call it sacrilege if you must, but I actually prefer them to the lauded Doritos Locos taco shells.

Taco Bell Toasted Cheddar Chalupa 2

The typical Taco Bell fillings are all present and accounted for — temperate ground beef, cool lettuce, chopped tomatoes, stringy cheese, and reduced fat sour cream. They all seem to be spiritually created simply to mate graphically with this chalupa shell.

It was still crunchy even after an hour or two of sitting by itself on my dining room table. Even the best tacos the Bell has to offer can’t live up to that scrutiny.

More of this please, Taco Bell.

Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 450 calories, 30 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 550 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Chicken McGriddles and McChicken Biscuit

McDonald s Chicken McGriddles and McChicken Biscuit

While everyone sits around twiddling their thumbs waiting for Popeyes to announce the return of its chicken sandwich, Ronald and the gang have quietly dropped a couple of intriguing chicken sammies of their own.

I’ve never understood chicken for breakfast, but guess what? I don’t have to understand it. We live in the golden age of fast food, so I could roll up to the drive-thru and get a Chicken McGriddles and a McChicken Biscuit at three in the afternoon – and that’s exactly what I did.

I’m pretty sure these sandwiches aren’t “new,” but this was the first time they hit the menu in my neck of the woods. “Secret Menu” aficionados probably scoff at the idea of a McChicken on a biscuit or griddle cake, but these were revolutionary to a sheltered sap such as myself.

Do you like the McChicken? Do you like McDonald’s biscuits and McGriddle cakes? Well then, I think you can imagine what you’re getting here. Personally, I can live without the McChicken, but those McGriddle cakes, ohhhh baby, do I love me some McGriddle cake.

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I’ll start with the biscuit because it was the less successful of the two. The McChicken is not exactly a moist (he said “moist,” oh the horror!) piece of meat, so pairing it with a dry, crumbly biscuit only works if you also slather it in some kind of sauce. It doesn’t come with one.

McDonald s McChicken Biscuit

In hindsight, some honey or maple syrup would have improved this significantly. If you’re not in the mood for breakfast, some BBQ sauce will work as well. That’s the beauty of chicken on a biscuit. So, the McChicken Biscuit is decent, but make sure you ask for sauce.

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The McGriddles version is a McChicken patty between the two cakes, no eggs or cheese, and that was fine with me. The grease and maple syrup pockets of the McGriddle cakes provided the lubricant (a word more gross than “moist”) that the biscuit lacked.

McDonald s Chicken McGriddles

Anyone who enjoys the sweet and savory combo of chicken and waffles should be all-in on the Chicken McGriddles. I’m of the opinion that the McGriddles are the best McDonald’s menu addition in the past 20 years, and this isn’t changing my mind. I might go back and see if I can try them with eggs added. I’m sure it’s legit.

McDonald s Chicken McGriddles 2

I have to reiterate the McChicken is a middle of the road fast food sandwich at best. I couldn’t help but think this would be better with someone else’s chicken. A Popeyes filet patty between two McDonald’s McGriddle cakes would be an instant 10.

These both go down easy and can be eaten at any time of day, so they’re definitely worth checking out. They should make you forget about your Popeyes fever for a spell.

I dig this expansion of the McDonald’s brand. Maybe we can try a McGriddles Burger soon without knowing someone who works there or ordering from some secret Illuminati’s menu.

Purchased Price: $5.52 (for both – 2 for $4 before 10:30 a.m.)
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Biscuit), 7 out of 10 (McGriddle)
Nutrition Facts: Biscuit – 420 calories, 20 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1040 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein. McGriddle – 390 calories, 15 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1000 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich

McDonald s Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich

McDonald’s doesn’t come out with as many new chicken sandwiches as Burger King does every year.

I imagine they test many ideas, but only the best of the best make their way to the menu boards across the nation. It’s usually just one a year, or, if we’re lucky, two. But despite all that work I’m imagining, the flavor of the chain’s new Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich bores me.

McDonald s Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich 2

On paper, it looks good. It’s a crispy chicken filet with onions, pickles, and a spicy BBQ sauce on a sesame seed bun. It’s like a menu hack a McDonald’s kitchen staff member came up with one time when the McRib was back or something. But after my first bite, I didn’t think, “Mmmmm,” “hot damn,” or “I’m Lovin’ It.”

The sauce is what’s most disappointing, but the other toppings are accomplices in my dissatisfaction with this sandwich. Its name is dead-on, it’s a spicy barbecue sauce. It’s a little smoky, even less sweet, and there’s a mild peppery tingle from whatever spices are in it. But, I don’t know if it either doesn’t work with the chicken filet or better spicy barbecue sauces I’ve had are clouding my judgment, but it doesn’t excite my taste buds.

McDonald s Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich 3

There was a good amount of it on my order, but even with what I was given, it wasn’t enough to be flavorful. Maybe tossing the filet in the sauce like the Glazed Tenders would help? Why would I want more of the most disappointing part of this? I don’t know. I like messy sandwiches? Masochism?

McDonald s Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich 4

The onions and pickles enhance the flavor of the beloved/hated McRib, but they both don’t do it here. The tang of the pickles does a decent job of cutting through the sauce’s spiciness and being noticed among the sauce’s flavor. But the constantly falling onions only seem to be in this sandwich to prove gravity still exists.

Here are some nice things I’m going to say about the Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich I received: the chicken’s breading has some crunch and the poultry itself wasn’t totally dry. But other than that, I think it’s a mediocre sandwich.

Purchased Price: $5.49*
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 530 calories, 19 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 1260 milligrams of sodium, 64 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 26 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Buffalo and Jalapeno Cheddar Ritz Crisp & Thins

Limited Edition Ritz Buffalo and Jalapeno Cheddar Crisp  Thins

Hey, prolate spheroid-shaped ball fans! It’s time for your favorite sport that involves a prolate spheroid-shaped ball!

Rugby!

No, football!

Soccer?

No, American football!

And the famous cracker brand with a name that sounds too fancy for football has added two new limited edition flavors to its Ritz Crisp & Thins line — Buffalo and Jalapeno Cheddar. Most people don’t associate Ritz as a snack that goes with football, but the brand is trying to shed that image by becoming an Official Partner of NCAA Football, instead of an Official Partner of Appetizers at Middle Class Dinner Parties.

If you think about it, Buffalo and Jalapeno Cheddar are football tailgate/party-related flavors. Buffalo wings are a football party favorite, while jalapeno cheddar sounds like a dip for chips.

If you have to pick one of the two varieties because there’s no BOGO sale or your football party is a party of one, then I’d recommend the Buffalo version over the Jalapeno Cheddar.

Limited Edition Ritz Jalapeno Cheddar Crisp  Thins Closeup

The Jalapeno Cheddar is disappointing, although it is the spicier of the two. The first cracker in my mouth tasted great with a balanced cheesiness and pepperiness. But with the following pieces, the jalapeno and its heat took control of the flavor, and the cheddar ghosted my taste buds. I’m a little okay with the jalapeno overwhelming everything, but the cheesiness makes it taste much better.

Limited Edition Ritz Buffalo Crisp  Thins Closeup

The Buffalo version has those distinct peppery and smoky flavors that instantly tell you it’s Buffalo flavored. And like with the other one, there’s a secondary flavor that makes the cracker taste better. It’s a ranch dressing-like seasoning that helps cut through the Buffalo taste and heat. But all is not great because that dressing flavor comes and goes as it pleases like an outdoor cat. It’s annoying but, at least it comes back, unlike the cheddar in the other variety.

I’ve had a few of the Ritz Crisp & Thins since their debut in 2017, and I’ve liked what I’ve tried. But the Jalapeno Cheddar is by far my least favorite, and I wouldn’t repurchase it. On the other hand, the Buffalo one is as tasty as the others, and I would rebuy it for any of my upcoming football parties…for one.

Purchased Price: $3.99 each
Size: 7.1 oz. bag
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Buffalo), 4 out of 10 (Jalapeño Cheddar)
Nutrition Facts: (21 chips) Buffalo – 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Jalapeno Cheddar – 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 270 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.