REVIEW: Dunkin’ Holiday Eggnog Signature Latte

Dunkin Holiday Eggnog Signature Latte

What is Dunkin’s Holiday Eggnog Signature Latte?

From my experience, eggnog is a pretty divisive beverage. You either love it, or you think it’s Krampus saliva. I happen to think it’s absolutely delicious, so you better believe I’m all about Dunkin’s new twist on the holiday favorite.

How is it?

I apologize for getting your hopes up with the word “twist,” because this is just straight eggnog.

Dunkin’ claims their signature lattes are “steamed milk poured over espresso,” which one would assume, but I’m pretty sure I drank a glass of iced eggnog.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? On the one hand, I love it, on the other, why go to Dunkin’ for a normal glass of eggnog?

This “latte” looks like eggnog, smells like eggnog, and tastes like watered down eggnog. Mission accomplished?

Is there anything else you need to know?

Clearly, there’s no hint of espresso here. The milk I understand, it’s definitely thinner than the usual gloppy stuff you’d get in a carton, but there’s no coffee taste or buzz.

Dunkin Holiday Eggnog Signature Latte Whipped Topping

While the flavor is almost dead on, there was slightly less of that nutmeg/cinnamon spiced flavor. I chalk that up to the barista forgetting to sprinkle the whipped topping with cinnamon sugar. I didn’t get the caramel drizzle either, but I don’t care even a little bit about that.

In all honesty, I’m pretty sick of whipped topping. It melted immediately, and I don’t think it enhances anything.

Conclusion:

This probably should have been a Coolatta to set it apart, but I can’t complain too much.

Dunkin Holiday Eggnog Signature Latte Closeup

Despite being bummed about the lack of coffee flavor, I love eggnog, and this was my first of the season. The stupid non-festive Yankees cap tried to ruin it, but I was in my holiday glory while sipping this. It almost felt like I was…sing it with me, folks:

Nog, nog, noggin on heaven’s doo-oo-rrr…

You’re not singing, are ya?

It’s all good, like eggnog, my horrific musical puns are an acquired taste.

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: Small
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 320 calories, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of sat fat, 0 grams of trans fat,90 mg of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 41 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Beyond Sausage Sandwich

Dunkin Beyond Sausage Sandwich

It seems like only yesterday when I first heard rumblings that mad scientists were attempting to create “meat-less” meats, and here I am, getting it at Dunkin’.

That’s right, Dunkin’ has jumped into the plant-based protein fray with the new Beyond Sausage Sandwich.

According to the official press release, this sausage from Beyond Meat is “made with 100% plant-based proteins and a mix of spices crafted especially for Dunkin.” So far, I’ve only tried plant-based burgers, so I was pretty pumped to see what breakfast had to offer.

Dunkin Beyond Sausage Sandwich Closeup

Well, right out of the gate, the Beyond sausage patty looked pretty gross, evoking memories of the “hamburgers” I used to get in my school lunches.

It smelled familiar, but it took me a few bites before I nailed the scent down.

The aforementioned press release mentioned the following are used to construct the patty, “peas, mung beans, rice and sunflower to provide the protein and coconut oil to ensure juiciness.” Now you know how the “sausage” is made. Who doesn’t love a good mung bean?!

Along with the sausage, the sandwich had that typical plasticky egg, a piece of cheese, and a super floppy English muffin that has a flavor like an Egg McMuffin. When I bit in, nothing tasted amiss.

The “meat” itself was pretty chewy, but the texture wasn’t that far off from what I expected from prior Dunkin’ breakfast sausage. I snipped a piece off to try solo, and it tasted like slightly over spiced, low-grade meat, but that’s honestly how I’d describe all Dunkin’s meats.

Now getting back to the smell, because it finally dawned on me what the meat seasoning smelled and tasted a bit like – stuffing.

Dunkin Beyond Sausage Sandwich Split

What’s the main spice in stuffing? I could easily Google it, but I’d rather ramble on until it pops in my brain. I remember when I reviewed the Lay’s Biscuits and Gravy chips, the main takeaway was that it tasted like Stove Top. This sandwich brought back memories of those which brought back memories of that!

Is it sage? I think it’s sage and some onion powder. That’s the best I can do, with Dunkin’ being all Colonel Sanders secretive on its spices. For all I know, it could also have parsley, rosemary, and thyme, and the recipe could have been concocted while listening to Simon and Garfunkel.

If I had any sage advice, it would be to ease up a bit on the spices.

Beyond that, they succeeded. For what this is, it’s pretty remarkable, most definitely edible, and enjoyable. I’m not a big cheese on breakfast sandwich’ guy, but that slice helped here. The generic egg and the slightly weird protein would have made for a worse sandwich without it.

In the breakfast pantheon, it’s middle of the road at best. I’m not sure I’ll be a repeat customer. While I appreciate the nutritional improvements, it doesn’t taste quite as good as real meat to a heathen such as myself. For a vegetarian, though? This is an excellent option.

Purchased Price: $4.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 470 calories, 24 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 910 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 24 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Great Value Holiday Sugar Cookie Popcorn

Great Value Holiday Sugar Cookie Popcorn

What is Great Value Holiday Sugar Cookie Popcorn?

Walmart’s store brand has upped its game when it comes to seasonal products. One of its new yuletide items is a sugar cookie–flavored microwave popcorn. Even though “sugar” is in the name, there’s no sugar added; this microwave popcorn is flavored by “natural and artificial flavor” and sucralose.

How is it?

I had no idea what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. My coworker said, “It’s like they took a syringe and injected a full sugar cookie in each corn.” I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s definitely adjacent to a sugar cookie flavor.

Great Value Holiday Sugar Cookie Popcorn Closeup

It has a buttery element that is less reminiscent of popcorn and more reminiscent of sugar cookies. It’s sweet, but not as sweet as kettle corn. This would be a great snack to munch on while watching a holiday movie like How the Wonderful Elf Died Hard Home Alone on 34th Street.

Still, though, it’s not addicting. I usually can inhale popcorn (as long as it’s not overly saturated with artificial butter flavor), but with this sweet version, I’m satisfied with a handful or two, and I don’t feel like eating more.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Is there anything else you need to know?

I obeyed the packaging’s rule not to use the microwave’s popcorn button, even though everyone ignores that. The recommended minute and forty-five seconds was perfect for my home microwave, but it was entirely too short for the office microwave.

Also, it tastes much better than it smells.

Conclusion:

I can’t munch on this treat indefinitely, but Great Value deserves an A for ingenuity.

Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 14.04 oz. box (6 bags)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bag) 340 calories, 21 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 350 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 1 gram of total sugars, 0 grams of added sugars, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Great Value Dessert Pizzas (Apple Cinnamon, Pineapple, and S’mores)

Great Value Dessert Pizzas

Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening – Walmart has pizza for all the times!

(That fits the tune, right? Did you sing along as you read it? Solid.) ??It’s true, Walmart has decided we, as a species, don’t have enough solutions to our 24-hour pizza needs and has launched both a breakfast and a dessert line of pizzas. I, for one, will always and forever hail the cold-leftover-slice-of-pizza-straight-out-of-the-fridge as one of the most satisfying breakfast foods out there (HOW is it so delicious hot and cold?), so I went out to find the dessert situation it’s created.??I was lucky enough to stumble upon all three flavors of the new Great Value (I’ll be the judge of that) dessert pizzas and immediately knew I had to try them all — Pineapple, Cinnamon Apple, and S’ mores.

Great Value Cinnamon Apple Dessert Pizza Raw

Apple Cinnamon straight out of the box had enormous apple pieces atop the pizza along with blobs splattered of what I assume was supposed to be the icing drizzle. The word “drizzle” in the product description and image on the box is an outright lie.

Great Value Pineapple Dessert Pizza Raw

Pineapple had bright, appetizing pineapple pieces, a visible cinnamon sauce, and like its apple brethren, icing blobs trying their best to meet expectations of a “drizzle” but failing miserably.

Great Value S mores Dessert Pizza Raw

S’ mores appeared to be the closest to the image on the front of the package and had a plethora of marshmallows, chocolate pieces, and graham crumble. ??The prep instructions are straightforward, and the pizzas even come pre-wrapped sitting in an ovenable (real word, I looked it up) tray. So all you had to do was pull off the plastic wrap and pop it straight into the oven!

Great Value Cinnamon Apple Dessert Pizza Baked

With the Apple Cinnamon one, I didn’t realize when I got excited about the giant apple pieces that it takes longer than 18 minutes to heat those pieces of frozen apple. They were thawed but STILL COLD. They also had no added cinnamon/sugar flavor. When I bit into the pizza, I got a mix of decently-toasty sweet crust, lukewarm flavorless sugar goo icing, and a cold mass of apple that filled my mouth with cold liquid when I bit into it and didn’t taste like anything. It. Was. Horrible.

Great Value S mores Dessert Pizza Baked

The s’ mores pizza looked and smelled the most appetizing of the three. I mean, are we surprised? The crust was perfectly baked, solidly crispy on the bottom, but very soft (and thicker than I thought it would be) throughout. Honestly, this tasted like a big open-face chocolate babka with marshmallows, and I wasn’t mad at it. But I do wish the graham crumble and marshmallows had a strong enough flavor to compete with the chocolate. It was definitely the best of the three but didn’t quite live up to the s’ mores hype.

Great Value S mores Dessert Pizza Closeup

Sidebar about the crust – all three dessert pizzas say they’re made on a waffle crust. I tried really hard to believe what I was eating was a waffle base, but it wasn’t. It was still delightful, but more of a sweetened dessert focaccia than a waffle. There weren’t even any square indents.

Great Value Pineapple Dessert Pizza Baked

I realize that when I say this, many of you will roll your eyes so loud that I’ll be able to hear it — I like pineapple and ham pizza.

(Please stay calm)

Once baked, the Great Value Pineapple Dessert Pizza has a flavor that I imagine a pineapple upside-down cake on cinnamon toast would have. The crust was fine. It was sweet and definitely not a waffle. The cinnamon sauce could have had more of the warm spice, and the fruit chunks were delightful. Though, I’d still pick the cake version if forced to choose. For those of you who hate the golden fruit on pizza, this probably isn’t good enough to make a turncoat out of you.

Great Value S mores Dessert Pizza Slices

Overall, there’s a LOT of food for less than $5 with these pizzas, but the s’ mores one is the only one worth buying.

Purchased Price: $4.74 each
Size: 23.95 oz. (Apple Cinnamon), 23.55 oz. (Pineapple), 20.7 oz. (S’mores)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 2 out of 10 (Apple Cinnamon), 5 out of 10 (Pineapple), 6 out of 10 (S’mores)
Nutrition Facts: (1/5 pizza) Cinnamon Apple – 320 calories, 11 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 370 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Pineapple – 310 calories, 10 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 330 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. (1/4 pizza) S’mores – 420 calories, 12 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 430 milligrams of sodium, 74 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 30 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Roasted Turkey Pringles

Limited Edition Roasted Turkey Pringles

What are Limited Edition Roasted Turkey Pringles?

Just in time for Thanksgiving prep, Pringles has dropped a roast turkey-flavored version of its potato crisps.

I have Thanksgiving-flavored-PTSD thanks to what I call “The Great 2004 Holiday Pack Debacle” – aka – that time I accidentally ordered 8 sets ($120 worth) of turkey dinner-flavored Jones Sodas, then tried until New Years’ to sell/give them to anyone who made eye contact. Two ended up at Goodwill.

But I love Pringles, and REALLY wanted to try these. So I persisted. This time I ended up with exactly as many as I intended.

How are they?

The aroma inside the can wasn’t much to write home about. It was a very slight turkey scent.

Limited Edition Roasted Turkey Pringles Cutting Board

But when I crunched one, the flavor was there. Really there. I could have sworn I was chewing on the delightfully burnt crust on the bottom of my roasting pan on Thanksgiving night. The caramelized turkey juice, meat scraps, and spices. Yeah, the stuff you’re supposed to make gravy with, but not in my house because I eat it as an appetizer huddled over the stove while the bird rests on the counter.

Limited Edition Roasted Turkey Pringles Closeup

Three crisps in, I decided these were my favorite Pringles flavor ever. I’m going to hoard cans before they disappear. While I know it’s unlikely that there’s any actual turkey in these (“natural flavors” leaves a hair of possibility), it’s such a convincing flavor, I just don’t care.

Limited Edition Roasted Turkey Pringles Ingredients

Is there anything else you need to know?

Turkey-flavored Pringles have been released in the U.S. previously as part of “Thanksgiving Dinner” packs, but those were simply called “Turkey.” Those might be different than “Roasted Turkey,” but since I haven’t tried them, I can’t say. So I guess this is really something else I need to know.

Conclusion:

Skip the turkey. Buy the Pringles. Feast.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 5.5 oz. Can
Purchased at: Five Below
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz. – about 15 crisps) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Sonic Chili Cheese Bites and Bacon Mac & Cheese Bites

Sonic Chili Cheese Bites and Bacon Mac  Cheese Bites

Since the much-publicized Arby’s merger, Sonic has been definitely surprising me with its constant foodstuff experimentation — some good, some bad — that, lately, seems to be keeping them at the forefront of culinary innovations that are on the ironically thin cusp of making America just a little bit hungrier and a whole lot heavier.

From the Oklahoma-based group — with offices down the street from me! — this month’s bold idea comes in the form of bite-sized smatterings featuring both chili cheese and bacon mac and cheese, both reminding me of the vegetable-stuffed fried goods of my public school lunch-loving youth.

The Chili Cheese Bites and the Bacon Mac & Cheese Bites are an inventive, if not obvious, dedication to duty for Sonic. One that, whenever I’m in need of a quick unhealthy snack, I can always grab on the go.

Sonic Chili Cheese Bites

Mostly roundish in shape but decidedly Boyardee in taste, the Chili Cheese Bites encompass everything that makes a toddler’s messy lunch tray so dang delicious to pick off of. The thickly breaded and fried casing on the outside holds in place a generous glob of chili and cheese that, of course, is the same that you would probably find on a Coney.

While it is a bit of a shock to not have the plump wiener as an all-beef buffer, these bites still work fabulously. And, if I may say so, they’re even better after being left in the refrigerator overnight for a well-meaning breakfast or pre-lunch snack.

Sonic Bacon Mac  Cheese Bites

From, I’d imagine, the frozen foods aisle to your flash-fried stomach, comes the long overdue Bacon Mac & Cheese Bites. They’re a collective piece of hungry art that is much larger than the Chili Cheese Bites and have more of a triangular shape, which, I imagine, is for the kids as well, wrapped up in a lighter bread coating.

With a harsh hint of bacon and over 700 milligrams of sodium, I’m really not sure the kids will love these as much as the adults will. However, the gummy macaroni and cheese is much more welcomed than it sounds, supplying a different kind of cheesy taste than we’re used to at Sonic. The bacon – I want to say applewood smoked, but I’m probably wrong — is a great accent that, as every bite goes on longer, becomes far more notable.

Between the two of these — both of which are delicious — I will probably give the edge to the Chili Cheese Bites, mostly because Sonic has found a way to make one of its most famous standbys into a vaunted snack again, one that I would probably order on the regular if I had low self-esteem. But, and I reiterate this, that blurb isn’t to knock the dandy candy of the Bacon Mac & Cheese.

Purchased Price: $1.99 each
Size: Small
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Chili Cheese), 7 out of 10 (Bacon Mac & Cheese)
Nutrition Facts: Chili Cheese – 40 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 550 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, and 8 grams of protein. Bacon Mac & Cheese – 260 calories, 15 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 700 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, and 9 grams of protein.