REVIEW: Carl’s Jr. Froot Loops Mini Donuts

Carl s Jr Froot Loops Mini Donuts

I love hip-hop.

And I love junk food.

Those may seem like unrelated interests, but truth be told, they have a lot more in common than you think. They both have very high highs – Travis Scott’s Astroworld and Krispy Kreme’s Reese’s Outrageous Doughnut, and very low lows – Hostess’ Cotton Candy Twinkies and the general existence of Lil Pump. They both simultaneously flourish and hurt themselves with excessive output.

Like Nabisco’s continual push to release more Oreo flavors than the year before with only a few true gems, or when E-40 released “The Block Brochure,” with nearly 60 songs and only a handful worthy of repeat listens. But the shining light of commonality between these two separate things is their ability to thrive in collaboration. Hip-hop tracks that bring together three or four of the hottest MC’s in the game are almost always bangers, and when junk food titans join forces to create a cohesive product, it isn’t always great, but at the very least it’s fun.

Welcome to the world, Carl’s Jr’s Froot Loops Mini Donuts!

First things first, the packaging is fantastic. So much of the allure of limited time junk and fast food lies in the bag or box that it comes in, and this Froot Loops-branded carton that looks like it could house mozzarella sticks or jalapeno poppers sets the stage for a wonderful fulfilling experience before the eating even begins.

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Opening the box is a sight and smell to behold, with five different colored donuts that mimic Froot Loops’ signature rings perfectly and carries the bold, strong scent of the cereal with absolute precision. It’s a sensory symphony of artificial fruit flavor and sugar. Some of the donuts have a thicker coating like a layer of frosting, and some have a thinner, more dissolved look like a traditional glaze.

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My hypothetical rule of collaborative truth continues to thrive as these donuts taste as good as they look and smell. Super soft and slightly crispy, the donuts burst with a perfect fruity citrus-forward flavor that tastes EXACTLY like the love child of Little Debbie and Toucan Sam. This revelation leaves me with some pretty haunting visuals, but it’s the absolute realest description possible.

The rings with a thicker, more visible layer of icing unsurprisingly pack a heftier taste bud punch, but the lighter glazed ones still get the point across, just a bit less convincingly. Like the actual cereal pieces, despite the glaringly different colors schemes, they all taste the same, like “froot.”

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In the vast land of junk and fast food collabs I can safely declare Froot Loops’ appearance at Carl’s Jr. a super hot feature. It’s such a natural and well-done pairing that I can’t believe one of the bigger companies like Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme didn’t get to it first, but as a company known for welcoming bigger brands into their home with open arms, Carl’s Jr. just earned themselves another gold star.

(Nutrition Facts – 5 donuts – 320 calories, 15 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 360 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 5 donuts
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Perfect Froot Loops flavor packed into a soft mini donut. Great box art. Awesome vivid colors
Cons: Slight inconsistency in the glaze/coating that leaves some donuts a little less spectacular than others. $2.99 is a bit high for 5 donuts, but I saw in other markets it’s $1.99, which seems perfect

REVIEW: Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Sliders

Carls Jr Charbroiled Sliders

Carl’s Jr. is a very fine fast-food establishment but one that very infrequently, if ever, enters into my thought processes when deciding on where to score some fast and easy burgers, mostly because the one that is closest to my house is a great place for getting accosted and stabbed in the parking lot and the inside really isn’t all that better. Let’s just say that if I was kidnapped and held hostage there, Snake Plissken would probably have to be sent in to find me.

So seeing as how I’m not ready to meet my maker as of yet, I tend to frequently miss out on their Superstar meals and All-Star deals. So when I decided to write up these new Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Sliders, know that I not only did so taking my life (and my stomach) in my own hands, but also filled with the knowledge it could be my last meal. The things I’ll do for The Impulsive Buy.

That being said, after stuffing a few phone books down my pants, prison-style, any type of mild assault would have been absolutely worth the scars because these Charbroiled Sliders are simply to die for.

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Above and beyond the culinary erectile dysfunction that is the McDonald’s tired $1 cheeseburger, Carl’s Jr’s $1 Charbroiled Slider is a true revolutionary moment in time for budgetary eaters. It featuring an overgrown slider-style burger that is practically comparable in size to anything on most value menus, but with the much-needed addition of an obviously high-quality slab of beef – charred to sweaty perfection, natch — on a thick and toasty sturdy bun, and then double-downed with pickles, onions, and American cheese.

It’s even boxed like a White Castle just to rub salt in the wound because if you’ve ever had a White Castle slider, you know it really ain’t all that. If Carl’s could appropriate a Crave Case while they’re at it, then I’d be all set for the weekend.

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In addition to the single Charbroiled Slider, Jr’s is also offering these minor meaty miracles in double and triple options that have to be eaten to be believed. The $1.50 Double Charbroiled Slider is more of the same, but with twice the meat and twice the cheese and twice the value of a McDouble or Double Stack, at least in girth and the self-confidence in how to use it.

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Finally, for a mere two bucks, we have the greasy goliath that is the Triple Charbroiled Slider, but don’t let the name fool you: this towering inferno is a home run in all respects. Tripling the meat and cheese and clogs in my arteries, you have to practically unhinge your jaw to bite into the meaty mound of vaunted value that we’ve got here.

Once again, this tempting trio is ridiculously available only for a limited time and I can see why: Carl’s has got to be taking a monetary hit on these babies, right? Either way, as long as they’re available, might as well make their financial loss your weight gain, champ, and order a bag or two. ¡Cómpralo ya!

(Nutrition Facts – (single only) – 230 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 410 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: Single
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Insanely cheap. High-quality meat. Charbroiled flavor. Surprisingly huge.
Cons: Limited-time only. No Crave Case option.

REVIEW: Carl’s Jr. Hostess Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwich

Carl’s Jr. Hostess Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwich

Implementing the mechanics of a sandwich to hold ice cream in your grubby hands and shoving it into your body at the rate of an intravenous drip is something like harnessing sugary fusion.

This makes the ice cream sandwich something of a king in the category of “desserts inspired by other foods.” Personally, it ranks above the Choco Taco, the Pizookie, Twizzlers (dessert spaghetti), and the churro (dessert hot dog). Carl’s Jr. has trotted out the Hostess Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwich for a try and it proves to be a pleasant if not slightly sticky experience.

What’s interesting is that straight up ice cream is sort of a rarity in fast food. There are shakes and soft serve and Frostys and Blizzards (oh my), but as far as a straight up scoop, I’m hard pressed to think of that many options. Carl’s Jr. had that Pop-Tart Ice Cream Sandwich I never tried. Baskin-Robbins and Carvel are only for freaks on first dates that need a place to walk to and families with unbearable children. This ice cream sandwich itches that scratch of a dense, slightly-chewy scoop of frozen goodness.

The Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwich is smaller than you might think. Two Hostess Ding Dongs—actual size Ding Dongs, which are tiny—flank a relatively thick scoop of vanilla ice cream. The entire affair could probably squeeze inside a tennis ball. Then Serena Williams could serve them right into my mouth at 100 mph! Mmm, vanilla, chocolate and… sprinkles? Nope, those are broken teeth.

Ding Dongs, for those previously unacquainted, are chocolate cake pucks enveloped in a thin layer of chocolate. They do a gracious job of housing the ice cream, though the chocolate is a bit sticky. Maybe that’s something that’s insurmountable. We could have had unsticky chocolate by now but haters protested pink slime and the stuff that goes in yoga mats. Those were my favorite foods. Wednesday night is pot roast night and Thursday night was yoga mat and pink slime night. The hardened chocolate on the Ding Dong also offers a slight textural diversity to the sandwich, which is delightfully squishy on the whole.

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The ice cream is fairly regular. It’s inoffensive and tastes a little bit like a typical supermarket variety. The vanilla flavor is minor and dissipates quickly—this is not Carl’s Jr. staging an ice cream revolution. The dense ice cream pairs well with the (also pretty dense) chocolate cake, yet both together are so sweet that, about halfway through, there is a bit of sugar fatigue. However, I believe this happens with most ice cream things anyway, and speaks to the benefit of the smaller size of the product. There also isn’t much interplay between the flavors—the Ding Dongs are just there to get the ice cream in yo’ mouf.

The construction is a bit awkward, as the Ding Dongs are smaller than the scoop of ice cream. It took a bit of maneuvering to finish the sandwich without getting ice cream everywhere, especially when applying a small amount of pressure while eating it causes the ice cream to spill out a bit. It’s not a too bad of an inconvenience, though, and it’s worth it, like taking a girl taller than you to prom.

The Ding Dong ice cream sandwich is a nice changeup from the soupy shakes and air-filled soft serve cones on the fast food market. It’s not that different from any other ice cream sandwich that you might find in the frozen food aisle, but even a mediocre king is still a king.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 290 calories, 140 calories from fat, 15 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 grams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Item: Carl’s Jr. Hostess Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwich
Purchased Price: $1.89
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Carl’s Jr.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Actual ice cream fix. Pleasant all-around experience.
Cons: Ice cream is fairly regular. Ding Dongs seems supplementary, not integral to product. Still sticky.