REVIEW: Arby’s Fish ‘N Cheddar Sandwich

Arby s Fish  N Cheddar Sandwich Wrapper

What is Arby’s Fish ‘N Cheddar Sandwich?

“WE HAVE THE FISH,” declares Arby’s new Fish ‘N Cheddar Sandwich wrapper.

Arby s Fish  N Cheddar Sandwich We have the Fish

I guess it does because Arby’s has THREE limited time fish sandwich options: the Crispy Fish Sandwich (crispy fish, tartar sauce, lettuce, sesame seed bun), Fish N’ Cheddar (crispy fish, cheddar cheese sauce, tartar sauce, lettuce sesame seed bun), and the King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe Sandwich (crispy fish, cheddar cheese, tartar sauce, lettuce, tomatoes on a King’s Hawaiian bun).

We’ve seen the Crispy Fish and the King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe before, but not the Fish N’ Cheddar. But let’s be real. It’s basically the crispy fish sandwich with cheddar cheese sauce.

Arby s Fish  N Cheddar Sandwich Hang off the Bun

Arby’s also boldly declares that the fish lineup is “Hang Off The Bun Huge.” As someone who lived in Indiana and has experienced a Pork Tenderloin sandwich, which is known for the meat outsizing the bun, I can appreciate this.

How is it?

Arby s Fish  N Cheddar Sandwich Profile

If the meat is going to outsize the bun, it better be dang good. Unfortunately, in this case, the fish wasn’t. The flavor was fine, but the texture was its downfall. To be fair, it wasn’t like a soggy wet nap, but it simply didn’t have that desirable deep-fried crunch.

In my opinion, they were way too fair on the breading-to-fish ratio. I wouldn’t have been upset if Arby’s skimped just a bit to make the breading a smidge more robust to create a delicious, crispy exterior.

Arby s Fish  N Cheddar Sandwich Cheese

Now on to what makes the sandwich “new” — the cheddar cheese sauce. This sauce was basically a less liquid-y nacho cheese. I concluded that even though it provides a more favorable melted texture than a square of American cheese, its flavor doesn’t complement the rest of the sandwich.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Arby s Fish  N Cheddar Sandwich Comparison
Fish ‘N Cheddar (left) Filet-O-Fish (right)

I ate this side-by-side with McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish. Arby’s offering was bigger, wasn’t doused in tartar sauce, and contained iceberg lettuce and cheese sauce, but these differences didn’t really give it an edge over the Filet-O-Fish and is not worth the extra couple of bucks.

Conclusion:

I would pick the Filet-O-Fish over this any day. If Arby’s brought back its Nashville Hot Fish Sandwich, I may consider making it my fast food fish fix. But, when it comes to a basic fried fish sandwich, I prefer the McDonald’s classic.

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 540 calories, 22 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 1030 milligrams of sodium, 65 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 20 grams of protein.

REVIEW: KFC Secret Recipe Fries

KFC Secret Recipe Fries

As I ordered the Secret Recipe Fries from my area Kentucky Fried Chicken, there was a debate going on in the kitchen regarding these new test items: the server, who took my order, declared loudly how much she absolutely adored this new item and couldn’t wait to eat some when she got off her shift, while the guy in the back making them, on the other hand, said in a gruff voice that he liked the potato wedges better and these weren’t “flavorful” enough for him.

Listening to this fierce debate kind of got me pumped to sample this individual-sized order, waiting with small gasps of seasoned breath as I quietly wondered how the kitchen-fresh geniuses in Kentucky gently mixed their famed secret herbs and spices with their not-so-famous French fried potato offerings.

Order up, I sat down at the nearest plastic table and spilled the overflowing box all across the brown bag, the secretive spices and affirmative grease staining the area. Taking a bite out of the plump starch stick, I have to agree with the server on this one; good job, Col. Sanders!

KFC Secret Recipe Fries 2

With that crunchy twice-fried heavy coating that I really enjoy on fries from the local, independent chicken places around town, the secret herbs and spices — seemingly fried right on the potato — are a salty Kentucky song of twangy finesse that is quite comparable to Taco Bell’s recent French fried output, give or take a small hurting of cheese.

The unknown spices that coat the fries are deeply Southern in their affectation — I’m sorry, but even with a detective’s delineation I couldn’t tell you what those spices are or were — but offered a saliferous smile of that famous moderately spicy KFC zing, with a slight bit of down-home sass that is definitely on par with its original recipe style of fried chicken.

KFC Secret Recipe Fries 3

And while I can’t say that it compliments KFC’s chicken per se, I can say that, as a light snack — of which these tubers definitely work best as — it’s a decently delightful soiree of Kentucky fried tastes and French fried goodness, one that should be sampled soon. And if you can bring a cup of nacho cheese from Taco Bell — these are all Yum Brands, right? — all the better.

Editor’s Note: KFC is currently testing these Secret Recipe Fries in select test regions, like Oklahoma, Virginia, and Indiana.

Purchased Price: $2.19
Size: Individual
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Unavailable.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Tiny Tacos

Jack in the Box Tiny Tacos

If you believe Jack in the Box’s tacos are a culinary abomination that makes Taco Bell’s food look and taste like something from the finest taquerias in Mexico, then you will not enjoy Jack’s Tiny Tacos.

An order comes with 15 miniature tacos that are about 1/6th the size of Jack’s regular taco. Even though they look like smaller versions, right down to the crunchy edges and the grease stain in the middle, they are not perfect scaled-down replicas. Each is filled with just seasoned ground ground beef ground ground chicken and spices. They lack the shredded lettuce and cheese the original has.

(Editor’s Note: Jack in the Box has informed us that the Tiny Tacos have ground chicken and spices, hence the edit above.)

Jack in the Box Tiny Tacos Innards

The Tiny Tacos have a flavor that’s similar to their much bigger brother, which is why Jack in the Box Taco Haters need not apply. But I’ll admit because they taste the same, it’s a little boring.

Jack in the Box Tiny Tacos Sauce

Fortunately, with every order, there’s a container of a new dipping sauce — Creamy Avocado Lime. It’s pretty much a guacamole-flavored dipping sauce, and it makes these noticeably different from the original and tastier. Unfortunately, I received only one container, which, even with conservative double-dipping, didn’t last for all 15 in the box. Four of them never got the chance to be dipped into the sauce that has a color I’ve seen way too many times dripping, oozing, or squirting on Rick and Morty.

Jack in the Box Loaded Tiny Tacos

As I mentioned earlier, regular Tiny Tacos don’t contain lettuce and cheese. If you want some, you have to get the Loaded Tiny Tacos. But they’re dumped on top of the 15 mini tacos along with taco sauce, turning the finger food into fork food (the utensil is included, and the grease stain makes an excellent soft target for a fork’s prongs).

Jack in the Box Loaded Tiny Tacos 2

The added sauce amps up the flavors that already exist with the regular Tiny Tacos. But the cheese doesn’t do much to really differentiate the flavors between the two offerings or a regular taco. And that is why I’d recommend getting the regular version over the loaded one. The tasty Creamy Avocado Lime Sauce makes the difference here. Of course, you could ask for a container of the sauce with your order of the loaded one, and that would be even more ideal.

While these are minuscule munchies, I found myself a bit full after eating half of the loaded version and most of the regular one (I stopped after running out of the sauce).

Jack in the Box Tiny Tacos Box

Jack in the Box’s Tiny Tacos are cute, but I can’t help but think I’m paying a lot for that cuteness. Jack’s price for two tacos is one of the best deals in fast food, and what’s in an order of this new menu item is equivalent to roughly three full tacos, but at three times the price of two regular tacos.

But I suggest you order them just once so that you can let out an “awwww” when you see how small they are in real life. And then, if you’re craving Jack’s tacos again, get the two tacos deal and ask for a container of the Creamy Avocado Lime Sauce.

Purchased Price: $4.99 (Regular), $5.99 (Loaded)**
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Regular), 6 out of 10 (Loaded)
Nutrition Facts: Regular – 350 calories, 13 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 780 milligrams of sodium, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein. Loaded – 470 calories, 22 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 1340 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 17 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. You can order 15 Tiny Tacos for $3 or Loaded Tiny Tacos for $4. Of course, prices and participating may vary.

REVIEW: Starbucks Almondmilk Honey Flat White

Starbucks Almondmilk Honey Flat White

What is the Starbucks Almondmilk Honey Flat White?

Starbucks is promoting its dairy-free options in 2020 with several new beverages, including the Almondmilk Honey Flat White. A spin on the classic Flat White, this one has almondmilk and honey for a touch of sweetness.

How is it?

As someone who typically doesn’t order almondmilk with my coffee, I was intrigued by this one. Although I enjoy almondmilk itself, I don’t always feel it mixes in as smooth in my coffee drinks. But it might be user error on my part when I try it at home because it certainly was mixed in well by a professional barista. I approved!

Starbucks Almondmilk Honey Flat White 2

Let’s get down to the flavor: The first sip had a lot of foam with a subtle nuttiness from the almondmilk. I’ve had plenty of standard Starbucks Flat Whites in my day, and this one had more foam than usual, in a good way. (For those wondering, a Flat White is made with ristretto shots, which are shorter shots of espresso with less water.) The honey was a welcome addition – just the right amount of sweet. Despite it having 24 grams of sugar in a grande, it definitely doesn’t taste like it!

The Almondmilk Honey Flat White can also be made iced, and that’s next on my list to try.

Is there anything else you need to know?

If you care about what specific type of espresso is in your beverage, you can get the Almondmilk Honey Flat White with either regular espresso or the Starbucks Blonde Espresso.

Conclusion:

I liked this one but didn’t love it – I’d order it again, but it won’t become one of my usuals — only one of my once-in-a-whiles.

Purchased Price: $5.45
Size: Grande
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 170 calories, 5 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 24 grams of total sugars, 3 grams of protein, and 195 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Burger King Rodeo Stacker King

Burger King Rodeo Stacker King

Anybody who’s been following my reviews for a while knows that I am just about the biggest fan out there of “western” themed cheeseburgers. Indeed, many nights I have lamented the loss of my beloved Checker’s Wild West Bacon Cheeseburger, to the point I’m *this* close to starting a national petition to bring it back a la Crystal Pepsi and McDonald’s limited-time-only Szechuan dipping sauce.

So, despite the colossal calorie-count, I went into Burger King’s newfangled Rodeo Stacker King with a tune in my heart and a rumbling in my stomach. A short-lived test-market item from earlier this year, the Rodeo Stacker King has officially gone nationwide, and if you have a hankering for hefty hamburgers, you definitely ought to lend me your ears right about now.

The towering, edible monument of meat-stuff comes in three tiers; the single patty variety, the double-patty variety, and the virtually health insurance-policy canceling triple stacker permutation, whose caloric payload HAS to be teetering on the brink of 2,000.

As for the burger itself, you’re getting all of the expected ingredients. There’s BK’s iconic flame-grilled beef patties shellacked with a nice, molten American cheese blanket, topped with a hearty handful of crispy smoked bacon, sprinkled with a handful of deep-fried onion rings, and doused, naturally, in a generous dollop of sweet-and-tangy BBQ sauce with a little bit of the proprietary Stacker Sauce smeared on the sesame seed buns for good measure.

Burger King Rodeo Stacker King Bacon Closeup

Well, needless to say, this thing is INSANELY filling. I opted for the single-patty version, and about halfway through it, I was feeling the dreaded “itis” taking effect. You are getting a ton of food with this thing even in its economy-class format, and if you have a fondness for beef and/or bacon, you will probably adore this one.

Of course, the big selling point of the burger is its smattering of BBQ sauce, and this stuff is undeniably excellent. Some may not like its sugariness, but I thought it complemented the rest of the sodium-encrusted contents rather well. And that admixture of the BBQ sauce and the Stacker Sauce takes this to another level. I can’t describe the combination in one or two words, but it has a taste and texture you usually don’t experience in big chain fast food places.

And perhaps best of all? As sloppy as the product looks, it’s nowhere near as messy as you might think. I don’t think I got spatter anywhere on my khakis, which might be a first for any visit I’ve had at the King over the last three or four years.

Burger King Rodeo Stacker King Onion Rings Closeup

The burger does have its drawbacks, however. For one thing, I thought the volume of crispy onion rings was a little low, and they do tend to get a tad too soggy underneath that deluge of sauces. Furthermore, for north of $6, I don’t feel like I got something all that revolutionary when it comes to western-themed burgers. Yes, it’s quite tasty and satisfying, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t necessarily provide you with a gustatory experience you’ve never had before.

Burger King Rodeo Stacker King Bites

Overall, I’d say it’s probably on par with Hardee’s Six Dollar Western X-Tra Bacon Thickburger. But sadly, it doesn’t quite live up to the lofty standards set by Checker’s undeservedly discontinued “western” burger from yesteryear. You know exactly what you’re getting with an LTO burger like this one — and that’s both its greatest attribute AND its biggest weakness.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: Single patty
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not listed on the official Burger King website, but here’s the stats for the fairly similar BK Rodeo King sandwich — 1,250 calories, 738 calories from fat, 82 grams of fat, 31 grams of saturated fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 3.5 grams of trans fat, 2,270 milligrams of sodium, 69 grams of carbs, 14 grams of sugar, 60 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Snickerdoodle McFlurry

McDonald s Snickerdoodle McFlurry

What is McDonald’s Snickerdoodle McFlurry?

Thank goodness for work rage! I recently stomped out of my office and into a nearby McDonald’s for an afternoon stress-eating break and discovered the chain had rolled out a new McFlurry for the holiday season! Full of snickerdoodle cookie bits! Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Officially, the ingredient list is only vanilla soft serve and snickerdoodle cookie pieces, but there was definitely something else floating around in mine. I thought they were hazelnut bits at first. Then I read a description elsewhere that mentioned white chocolate chunks, which made much more sense.

McDonald s Snickerdoodle McFlurry 2

How is it?

Much like the Snickerdoodle itself, this McFlurry was greater than the sum of its parts. Cookies, ice cream, and white chocolate – nothing particularly fantastic, right? But that cookie dust did something magical here that turned the basic ingredients into something far better than I expected.

Yes, it tasted cinnamon-y. The baked sugar in the cookies added a caramel flavor and I was getting nutty-maple, too, but couldn’t tell where that came from based on the ingredient list. The snickerdoodle and white chocolate bits added a lovely crunch to the creamy soft-serve.

McDonald s Snickerdoodle McFlurry 3

From the first bite, this stole the crown of “my favorite McFlurry variety ever” from the Stroopwafel. The Queen is dead, long live The Queen! (Yeah, my McFlurries are female.) I hope they stick around after the holidays, but I’m going to eat as many as I can this month just in case.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Don’t try to order it at odd hours. ‘Cause the machines get hosed down. But you probably already knew that.

McDonald s Snickerdoodle McFlurry 4

Conclusion:

Buy it. Eat it. Love it. Just not at the Times Square locations, because if I go in and they’re out of them, we’re gonna have a problem on our hands.

Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: 12 oz. Regular-sized cup
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12oz/ Regular) 530 calories, 19 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 300 milligrams of sodium, 79 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 65 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.