REVIEW: Jack in the Box $2.99 Big Deal

Earlier this year, Jack in the Box came out with their $2.99 Jumbo Deal, which consisted of two beef tacos, a small fries, a Jumbo Jack and the feeling in your stomach that you’re doing something horribly wrong by eating it all. It was great for those who wanted their Jack in the Box saturated fat and sodium fix in this tough economy.

But, like most of the money in everyone’s retirement funds, this cheap meal disappeared. Thankfully, Jack has been kind enough to bring back a $2.99 meal, and this time it’s got a name that was probably conceived with the help of the old name and a Roget’s Thesaurus — The Big Deal.

The name is not the only thing different about this $2.99 meal. It comes with a small fries, a beef taco, either a chicken sandwich or cheeseburger and, most importantly, a beverage, which was something the Jumbo Deal didn’t have, making it hard to satisfy your thirst caused by consuming all the sodium in it. This orgy of trans fats, which by the way is the least sexiest orgy ever, has enough variety to make sure there’s something for even the pickiest stoner.

Despite having variety, none of the items in the Big Deal were new or interesting. The cheeseburger was so boring that I’m surprised the microwave oven used to warm it up didn’t fall asleep. If you’ve had a mediocre cheeseburger in any time of your life, whether it be in a school cafeteria or at some shitty diner at 3 a.m., you’ll have an idea of what this wimpy cheeseburger tastes like.

As for the beef taco, well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Jack in the Box beef taco is one of the most vile fast food menu items. It takes some huge balls to deep fry an entire taco and then sell it to the public. Not even Taco Bell is willing to do that, and they put out a lot of crap.

Jack in the Box’s Natural Cut Fries may not have been circumcised and still have the potato skin on them, but they are quite possibly the most limp fast food fries around. I’m talking seeing your grandma naked and in spread eagle position limp.

By themselves, the boring cheeseburger, deep fried taco and limp fries, aren’t going to encourage me to raise my blood pressure and harden my arteries by eating them. But when all of them are offered together with a medium drink for only $2.99, it makes the cheeseburger a little exciting, the fries a little crispy and the taco a little less greasy.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Big Deal with cheeseburger minus drink – 764 calories, 37 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 6 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 1414 milligrams of sodium, 80 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar and 26 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box $2.99 Big Deal
Price: $2.99
Size: Enough
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Good variety of food. It’s only $2.99. Nice amount of food. It’s only $2.99. It comes with a drink. It’s only $2.99. Its price makes everything slightly better than they truly are. It’s only $2.99. High in protein. It’s only $2.99.
Cons: 6 grams of trans fats (Seriously? 6 grams? If KFC can go trans fat free, then JITB should too). High in sodium. Boring cheeseburger. Greasy deep fried taco. Limp fries. Mental erectile dysfunction caused by seeing your grandma naked and in spread eagle position.

REVIEW: Wawa Soft Pretzel

When I was just a mere reader of this intellectual review site, I would always scream, jump up and down and hit my computer like a wild spider monkey at the zoo that children flick pieces of popcorn at. I bet you’re wondering why on Earth I would do this. Well, it’s because I would see food reviews for delicious, mouth-watering and other trite adjectives used to describe fast food items that will leave a tattoo on your arteries from places such as Jack in the Box and Carl’s Jr. Those of us who were represented by The Notorious BIG in the East Coast/West Coast Rap Wars of 1995 are not able to experience a Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Steak Sandwich or Del Taco Jalapeno Rings. Well, now it’s the Left Coast’s turn to cry tears of pain when they read reviews for items that only us near the Atlantic have the opportunity to devour.

Wawa is a chain of convenience stores that are located in the Mid-Atlantic. To compare it to a 7-Eleven is blasphemy. Here’s an example of a conversation between a Philadelphian and a tourist that has no clue what a Wawa is:

Tourist: “I’ve seen signs for a store called Wawa. Some have gas stations, and some don’t.”

Philly Guy: “Oh yeah, I go to Wawa every morning before work.”

Tourist: “So it’s like a 7-Eleven?”

Philly Guy: “Fuck You.”

How can you compare sandwiches made to order to oddly colored tubes of mystery meat heated by a sun lamp that slowly rotate while a loitering stoner stares for hours thinking that one of the hot dogs looks like a member of Phish? I’m not saying that 7-Eleven is awful; I do love the occasional Slurpee, but compared to Wawa, 7-Eleven is merely that chick from high school that’s popular, because she has a reputation for giving handjobs behind the bleachers.

The iconic Wawa Pretzel comes two to a package, connected in the middle. It’s much softer than a pretzel that you would get at a ballpark or from a street vendor. The doughy and slightly sticky texture makes it easier to eat without needing to have a chaser of water (or in Marvo’s case, a Throwback Pepsi) and the amount of salt on it is just about right. Although, like snowflakes, no Wawa Pretzel is alike. Some may have less salt, others more may have more salt, some could be harder than others (that’s what she said) and some could be softer than a 90-year-old man while watching Dancing With the Stars.

I’m sorry if I put a visual in your head.

Clocking in at 1040 milligrams of sodium for one pretzel doesn’t make this exactly health food, and 58 grams of carbs would probably make Robert Atkins roll in his grave. The pretzel is very heavy; in fact I could barely finish one before I could feel it expand in my stomach. It’s not something I could consume everyday, but for a carb craving it certainly does the trick.

(Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 1 pretzel-310 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 1040 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 9 grams of protein. 2% calcium and 20% iron.)

Item: Wawa Soft Pretzel
Price: $1.38 plus tax
Size: 7.8 oz
Purchased at: Wawa Food Markets
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Not dry like most soft pretzels. Fills your belly up. Experiencing the wonder known as Wawa. The colorful vernacular of Philadelphians. Laughing at stoners trying to have a vision while they look at the rotating hot dogs at 7-Eleven.
Cons: More sodium than a healthy human should consume. The East Coast/West Coast Rap Wars of 1995. The image of a 90-year-old man’s problems.

REVIEW: Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Steak Sandwich

Carl’s Jr. has been promoting their new Charbroiled Steak Sandwich by saying it’s a cheap way for guys to get a steak dinner on a date, but I don’t think it’s the best strategy.

The cheapest way for some dude to get a steak dinner on date night is by going to an expensive steak place (Tip #1: Morton’s or Ruth Chris), ordering the most expensive steak on the menu, and when the bill comes, patting the pocket he usually keeps his wallet in and then frantically patting all of the pockets on his body (Tip #2: Wear cargo pants on the date because there will more pockets to pat). The dude should then deeply sigh, grimace, apologize, say he forgot his wallet at home, and ask his date if she could pay. After she does, he should tell her that he’s worried about identity theft so he needs to go home to find his wallet and he’ll call her later. When he gets home, he should call his date, tell her that he found his wallet, and then say he never wants to see her again because she is ugly and needs better personal hygiene, like flossing better or not putting on perfume that makes her smell like old fart.

(Tip #3: Get a new phone number after doing this. Actually, get a new phone number, move to a new city, and grow/shave off facial hair, because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.)

The attack on her self-consciousness will help her forget she just spent $100 on him and the only payment he’ll have to make is guilt, which goes away with a lot of alcohol.

(Tip #4: This freeloading has no gender bias. Women can also use these techniques on men.)

The Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Steak Sandwich is probably the next cheapest way to get a steak dinner on a date. It’s significantly more compassionate than the best way, but it’s also significantly less tasty because it’s quite unexciting. The sandwich is made up of a 100% sirloin steak, topped with breaded onion rings, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise in a toasted roll.

The steak that comes with it is an actual piece of steak and not any of that ground Angus stuff that Burger King tries to push as a steak in their Steakhouse burgers. The steak was a little tough and didn’t really taste like steak, instead I thought it tasted more like pork chops. Being that there’s an actual piece of steak and the onion rings hardly added any flavor to it, I was hoping Carl’s Jr. would’ve added a steak sauce to it, like A1 Steak Sauce, Heinz 57, or maybe Worcestershire sauce.

The Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Steak Sandwich is hearty like an steak, but unfortunately its flavor doesn’t match. It maybe a cheap way to get a steak dinner on date night, but I wouldn’t try it because hell hath no fury like a woman who is expecting a real steak dinner.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 700 calories, 38 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 1080 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of sugar, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 32 grams of protein, and 0 grams of self-consciousness destruction.)

(Editor’s Note: See the Carl’s Jr. commercial for their Charbroiled Steak Sandwich below.)

Item: Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Steak Sandwich
Price: $5.99 (sandwich only – $4.69 in the rest of the country)
Purchased at: Carl’s Jr.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Hearty sandwich. Has an actual piece of steak. Lot of protein. Onion rings added a slight crunch. Getting a free steak dinner though deception.
Cons: Unexciting taste. Sirloin steak tasted like pork chops. Onion rings didn’t add much flavor. No steak sauce. High in sodium. The fury of scorn women. Guilt.

REVIEW: Subway Chicken Florentine Flatbread

After trying the Subway Chicken Florentine Flatbread sandwich, I have realized that all other Subway sandwiches are as boring as watching child actors who don’t get addicted to drugs grow. The simple formula of bread that’s fluffier than a Jonas Brothers’ hairstyle, meat, veggies, and condiments gave me an option when I wanted fast food, but didn’t feel like eating a burger and fries, fake Mexican food, mediocre pizza, or 11 secret herbs and spices.

But there hasn’t been anything from Subway that has blown my mind or made me dream of bouncing up and down on a bed of Subway sandwiches. It turns out I didn’t eat them because they were good, I ate them because they were better for me than most things I could get though a drive-thru window. However, the Subway Chicken Florentine Flatbread sandwich is the first Subway menu item that I would want to take home, sleep with, and then cook breakfast for in the morning, although with some regret days later because of the fear of catching an SHD (Sandwich Heart Disease).

The limited-time only sandwich is supposed to consist of chicken, olives, tomatoes, Tuscan spices, melted cheese, and a creamy spinach artichoke spread in between a folded piece of flatbread, but since Subway offers enough topping options to make extremely indecisive people freak out, I chose to fill my sandwich with provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers to go along with the chicken and creamy spread.

The flatbread has the characteristics of pita bread and Keira Knightley — white, soft, slightly chewy and, of course, flat. It isn’t freshly baked, like their regular breads are, but who fucking cares? Their meats aren’t slaughtered in the back and their vegetables aren’t picked from an organic greenhouse on the roof, so I think it’s okay that the flatbread isn’t fresh. I do recommend you get the flatbread toasted, which warms it up very nicely and can provides some temporary heat during these winter months if stuffed into the right clothing pockets.

The ingredient that stands out, but doesn’t overpower, is the creamy spinach artichoke spread, which tastes like spinach dip and makes this sandwich so much better than all the other Subway sandwiches I’ve consumed that I want to build a time machine so that I can give younger versions of me this sandwich right before I order whatever boring Subway sandwich I decided on at the time — and so that I can bet on the Giants instead of the Patriots in the last Super Bowl. If you do decide to try this, I highly recommend that you do not add any mustard, mayonnaise, or any other extra sauce to it because the creamy spinach artichoke spread is all you need. Although, like most creamy spinach dips, which contain cheese, mayonnaise and/or sour cream, I imagine it can’t be very good for you.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Subway Chicken Florentine Flatbread sandwich in front of me and I would like to spend some quality alone time with it.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 520 calories, 22 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 1330 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 35 grams of protein, 25% Vitamin A, 30% Vitamin C, 40% Calcium, and 20% Iron.)

Item: Subway Chicken Florentine Flatbread
Price: $4.99
Size: 7 inches
Purchased at: Subway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: It’s the best Subway sandwich I’ve ever had, thanks to the creamy spinach artichoke spread. When toasted, it can provide some temporary warmth during these cold winter months. No trans fat. Watching the train wreck lives of child actors who get addicted to drugs.
Cons: Only available for a limited time. Not the healthiest thing on the Subway menu. Creamy spinach artichoke spread can’t be very healthy. High in sodium. Flatbread isn’t freshly baked. Losing money on the Patriots in the last Super Bowl.

REVIEW: Carl’s Jr. Big Country Breakfast Burrito

The Carl’s Jr. Big Country Breakfast Burrito is meant for the daring. It’s made for women who are willing to dance with the guy in the corner wearing sunglasses at night, with two popped collars, and clubgoers always form a large circle around him, not because he needs space to break out his dance moves, but because he has poor personal hygiene. It’s made for men who have the huge brass cojones to write a heart-warming sonnet that uses the Shakespearean rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG to proclaim their love for combing the manes of their My Little Ponies. It’s made for the small dogs who go up to significantly bigger dogs and bark the words, “You are my bitch.”

This breakfast burrito is only meant for the audacious diner because its ingredients list makes the KFC Famous Bowl seem a little less famous, like going from Alec Baldwin to Daniel Baldwin, and its nutritional values would make a doctor’s heart skip a beat. The cavalcade of ingredients not only consists of the trifecta of pig products — sausage, ham, and bacon — it also has scrambled eggs, hash brown nuggets, shredded jack cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and white sausage gravy in a flour tortilla. It’s like they took George Orwell’s Animal Farm, wrapped it in tortilla, and scraped out the equines and communism.

With all of those ingredients, I was thinking some would overwhelm others, like normal people being stuffed in a room with Robin Williams clones, and it turns out that I was correct. All I could taste was the egg, tortilla, ham, and sausage gravy, although the white gravy was a little weak, making biscuits everywhere cry a little. I was hoping there would be a strong sausage and bacon flavor, but I guess ham is the Highlander and there can only be one in this breakfast burrito. The hash browns were soggy to the point where its texture was as soft as the eggs, so it didn’t add any crunch to it. Perhaps if I ate it in the restaurant instead of eating it ten minutes later in the comfort of my love shack, the hash brown would’ve still been crunchy. Despite not being able to taste all of the ingredients, it was decent as a ham and egg burrito, plus it had a nice heft to it, but I probably wouldn’t order it again.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 burrito – 770 calories, 47 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 495 milligrams of cholesterol, 1530 milligrams of sodium, 57 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of sugar, 6 grams of dietary fiber, and 31 grams of protein.)

Item: Carl’s Jr. Big Country Breakfast Burrito
Price: FREE (with coupon from PR peeps)
Size: 308 grams
Purchased at: Carls’ Jr.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Meant for the daring eater. Decent tasting as a ham and egg burrito, since that most of what I could taste.. High in protein. Six grams of dietary fiber. George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Cons: Couldn’t taste sausage and bacon. Sausage gravy was a little weak. Hash brown were soggy. High in sodium and saturated fat. Being in a room filled with Robin Williams clones.