REVIEW: Jack in the Box Popcorn Chicken

Jack in the Box Popcorn Chicken

What is Jack in the Box’s Popcorn Chicken?

Well, it’s popcorn chicken from Jack in the Box. They’re bite-sized, breaded pieces of 100% all-white meat chicken that’s available in Classic and Spicy flavors. Every order comes with your choice of dipping sauce, and it comes in a container with a fun design that I’ll be adding to my fast food packaging collection that my son will inherit someday and promptly throw away.

How is it?

Jack in the Box Spicy Popcorn Chicken

My order of Spicy Popcorn Chicken looks either spicy or burnt, but after eating a few, it’s definitely the former.

Jack in the Box Spicy Popcorn Chicken Dipped

Its flavor reminds me of Jack’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich, but more intense and, maybe, slightly more heat. It tastes fine sans sauce, but I preferred to dip them into the ranch and honey mustard sauces I asked for.

Jack in the Box Classic Popcorn Chicken

But if I decided to order Jack’s Popcorn Chicken again, I’d go with the Classic one. Both varieties are good, but my taste buds seem to be drawn more to the golden brown ones.

Jack in the Box Classic Popcorn Chicken Juicy

Its breading is seasoned enough that I ended up mostly eating it without a dipping sauce. The chicken was surprisingly juicy with the meatier pieces, although the ones I ate at the bottom of the container weren’t as much.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Both varieties have a pleasant crunchy exterior that I wish Jack’s Chicken Nuggets had.

The Popcorn Chicken is available a la carte or as part of a combo box with double the chicken, small fries, and a small drink. The box has a suggested price of $4.99, but I bought it a la carte for $5.99 (the combo sells for $7.99 here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean).

Don’t be like me and order it separately. Get the box. It’s worth it since it comes with double the chicken. The container may have a fun design, but it’s on the smallish side.

Conclusion:

I enjoyed Jack in the Box’s Popcorn Chicken more than its nuggets, which I find to be subpar when compared with McDonald’s and Wendy’s offerings. So give it a try, but get the combo box.

Purchased Price: $5.99 each*
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Classic), 7 out of 10 (Spicy)
Nutrition Facts: Classic – 260 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 1120 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 17 grams of protein. Spicy – 260 calories, 1 gram of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of trans fat**, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 1290 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 18 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.

**I’m pretty sure the fat numbers for the Spicy one, taken from Jack in the Box’s website, are incorrect.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Triplelupa

Taco Bell Triplelupa

The lord God Almighty, sitting on his golden throne in all of his wisdom and glory, gave us the ultimately confusing gift of the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Running a close second, however, is Taco Bell’s latest (and less confounding) present to humanity, the graciously heaven-sent Triplelupa.

A righteous blessing of three flavor favorites, the Triplelupa is a trio of small Chalupas connected into one, each tear-away pocket containing a taste sensation that we’ve all come to know and love over these many years: trademarked nacho cheese, creamy chipotle sauce, and, last but certainly not least, a glorious combination of the two.

Taco Bell Triplelupa Innards

With the Chalupa being arguably the finest offering on Taco Bell’s menu, the Triplelupa is an embarrassment of riches that anyone should be thankful for. It starts with the custom fried outer shell that’s thick yet soft with a hidden crunch that always makes this precious snack into a bountiful meal.

Taco Bell Triplelupa Nacho

But, as you can guess, the filling is truly where it’s at, starting with its world-famous nacho cheese. As expected, the yellow queso combines well with the seasoned meat, lettuce, tomato, and three-cheese blend, crafting near-perfection in two or three bites for this first section.

Taco Bell Triplelupa Chipotle

Additionally, the second nosh with the chipotle sauce does a sanctified job of sending my soul to sing with the angels. The creamy kick of the pepper-infused condiment gives this middle portion a well-deserved morning mass to my tastebuds.

Taco Bell Triplelupa Both

That being said, it’s in this third and final helping where the grand plan of Taco Bell’s Mexican majesty shows itself to scores of hungry patrons just waiting for a sign of extreme essence. Like a miracle, the combined efforts of both the nacho cheese and the chipotle sauce create an unheard and unseen testament to the Triplelupa, crafting a liquid blanket that makes everything feel at peace.

It’s such a delightful combination, I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that I licked the leftover refuse from the wrapper, recycling the lettuce and sauces that spilled out like a human compactor. If it wasn’t raining down so hard right now, I would have desperately walked back to my Taco Bell to order another one of these Triplelupas – maybe two — for my own triumvirate of taste.

Per usual, this thinking outside the bun mentality that birthed the Triplelupa is a tour de sauce, a reckoning and a revelation of Biblical proportions. I urge you and everyone you know to pay your taco tithe of $3.69 and follow the way of this edible trinity. Get thee to a Bell!

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: N/A
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 610 calories, 35 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 1110 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 22 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Iced Pineapple Matcha Drink

Starbucks Iced Pineapple Matcha Drink

I’ve consumed two Starbucks Iced Pineapple Matcha Drinks so far, and I’m considering picking up a third.

That might make you think I’m giving this new spring beverage from the coffee chain my seal of approval, if I had one. But even if I did, I wouldn’t give this drink one. I’ve had two because, after the first one, I wasn’t sure how I truly felt about it. Even after the second, I’m still confused.

The beverage features flavors that I enjoy separately — matcha green tea, pineapple, ginger, and coconutmilk, all of which are shaken with ice. But when they come together in a #5 plastic Starbucks cup, I can’t help but think its flavor is weird.

Now that sounds bad, but I have to admit, I think my taste buds like that weirdness. Why do they? I don’t know.

Starbucks Iced Pineapple Matcha Drink Top

Starbucks’ Iced Pineapple Matcha Drink is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before. The matcha and pineapple are the most notable flavors competing for your taste buds, and to be honest, they are strange cupfellows. I’ve never come across the combination before among the dozens of matcha-flavored products I’ve had over the years.

The coconutmilk enhances the flavor of the pineapple, giving the whole drink a pina colada undertone. As for the ginger, it’s light and not noticeable with every sip. I’m not sure why it’s there.

While I liked the beverage, my wife didn’t, and I feel its flavor is unusual enough that many others besides her will not enjoy it. Even if you love matcha, which my wife does, it doesn’t mean you’ll fall in love with this.

With that said, if a mashup between a matcha latte and a virgin pina colada sounds intriguing to you, then give Starbucks’ Iced Pineapple Matcha Drink a try.

Purchased Price: $5.55
Size: Grande
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 170 calories, 5 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 27 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and 80 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit

Wendy s Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit

What is Wendy’s Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit?

The less-is-more approach to Wendy’s nationwide breakfast rollout that features a crispy chicken fillet topped with maple honey butter on a “fluffy buttermilk biscuit.”

How is it?

Better than McDonald’s and Burger King, but not as good as you-know-who.

The chasm between fast food biscuit sandwiches is vast, with Chick-fil-A, Hardee’s, and Whataburger leading the way, and McDonald’s and Burger King’s ubiquitous biscuits bringing up the absolute rear (unless you count the likes of 7-Eleven and other convenience stores).

Wendy s Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit Chicken

Wendy’s is somewhere in-between. The chicken component is good – meaty, juicy, and slightly peppery – and a step above the “value” McChicken that McDonald’s recently slapped between their frozen-and-thawed biscuit halves. But the chicken isn’t as good as Chick-fil-A, the honey butter isn’t as good as Whataburger’s, and the biscuit isn’t as good as Chick-fil-A or Hardee’s.

Wendy s Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit Halves

In fact, the biscuit was the biggest letdown. It was neither flaky nor spongy, and it was bland and doughy. The only real flavor came from the chicken and lightly applied honey butter.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The biscuit could have been much better if there was a more liberal application of the honey butter, which was applied only sparingly underneath my chicken patty. Given the dry and dense biscuit, more of it (especially a biscuit wash) would have helped.

Conclusion:

I didn’t dislike Wendy’s Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, but it wasn’t as “yummy” as one of my similarly fast food-obsessed coworkers claimed. Unless McDonald’s or Burger King is your only fast food option, I’d stick with the tried and true chains that have been doing chicken biscuit sandwiches for more than two seconds.

Purchased Price: $3.39
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 500 calories, 29 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1260 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 2 gram of fiber, 9 gram of sugar, and 14 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sonic Reese’s Overload Waffle Cone

Sonic Reese s Overload Waffle Cone

What is the Sonic Reese’s Overload Waffle Cone?

The Sonic Reese’s Overload Waffle Cone is one of two new peanut butter and chocolate ice cream treats available for a limited time. It is a chocolate waffle cone filled with the chain’s real ice cream and topped with peanut butter, crumbled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Mini Reese’s Pieces. There is also peanut butter at the bottom of the cone.

How is it?

I should first disclose that I really like peanut butter and chocolate. I am one of those people that takes a chocolate bar and slathers it with the nutty spread to help satisfy a sweet craving. So you can imagine that I was very excited when I heard of the availability of Sonic’s new treats, which are described as “the perfect overload of peanut butter and chocolate.”

I was so excited that I left my house at 9 p.m. to go to Sonic (9 p.m. is late for me and typically when I am winding down so that I can be in bed by 10 p.m.). So how was this new treat that got me to extend my bedtime?

A little disappointing.

Sonic Reese s Overload Waffle Cone Half Toppings

Sonic Reese s Overload Waffle Cone Way Too Much Vanilla Ice Cream

After eating the toppings, it is just a lot of vanilla ice cream inside a chocolate cone. The cone’s cocoa flavor isn’t especially strong, but it isenough that you can tell it is not your usual waffle cone.

Sonic Reese s Overload Waffle Cone PB Bottom

At the very bottom of the cone, there is some more peanut butter, which is a pleasant surprise. Although it was not a redeeming amount for something described as an “overload of peanut butter and chocolate.” Thankfully, I do like Sonic’s vanilla ice cream, and it is a decently-sized serving given the large cone.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The toppings create a mess because they easily fall off. This is unfortunate as it further diminishes the available peanut butter and chocolate goodness that the product is already lacking. It also did not help that I was not provided with any napkins.

Lastly, the peanut butter tastes like the standard creamy stuff and not the peanut cream inside a Reese’s PB Cup.

Conclusion:

If you are craving peanut butter and chocolate, this cone is not for you. However, you might want to consider the Reese’s Overload Blast as the nutty goodness is mixed throughout the ice cream.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 700 calories, 38 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 440 milligrams of sodium, 78 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 46 grams of total sugars, and 15 grams of protein

REVIEW: Starbucks Iced Golden Ginger Drink

Starbucks Iced Golden Ginger Drink

What is the Starbucks Iced Golden Ginger Drink?

Starbucks Iced Golden Ginger Drink pairs coconutmilk with a golden ginger blend, that includes turmeric, and a pineapple ginger syrup for a fruity iced beverage.

How is it?

Wow! This drink exceeded my expectations!

Starbucks Iced Golden Ginger Drink 2

First of all, the beautiful golden yellow color is sure to be seen on Instagram accounts everywhere.

At first sip, I got a nice flavor of ginger that lingered after, but in a good way. The pineapple came through later, which I think was due to needing to stir the drink a bit after the syrup settled. My husband and I both agreed that this tasted like the perfect virgin happy hour drink — fruity, creamy, and packs just enough of a punch.

What I love about this is that it wasn’t too sugary or sweet – it didn’t leave me feeling like I just had a sugar bomb. The coconutmilk also makes the Iced Golden Ginger Drink more filling, in my opinion, than a regular Starbucks Refreshers beverage.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Unlike Starbucks Refreshers, the Iced Golden Ginger Drink does not have any caffeine in it. So don’t expect it to give you that type of energy boost! But I love having an option if I feel like I’ve already caffeinated enough but still want to partake in an afternoon Starbucks run with my co-workers.

Conclusion:

I love this drink and can’t wait to enjoy it even more as the weather warms up.

Purchased Price: $4.95
Size: Grande
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 140 calories, 5 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 19 grams of total sugars, 1 grams of protein and 0 milligrams of caffeine.