REVIEW: 7-Eleven Caramel Bar Made with Twix Donut

7 Eleven Caramel Bar Made with Twix Donut

I open my review with a quote from pop culture’s most famous convenience store proprietor, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon:

“You’ve clearly taken items from the candy rack and placed them on top of the donut in an attempt to pass them off as sprinkles. A Mounds bar is not a sprinkle! A Twizzler is not a sprinkle! A Jolly Rancher is not a sprinkle, sir. Perhaps in Shangri-la they are, but not here!”

So, is a Twix bar a sprinkle? Did 7-Eleven break the convenience code, or do they use a different rulebook than the Kwik-E-Mart?

I guess a better question is do you care?

You don’t care. You just wanna know if a donut sprinkled with Twix pieces is good. I’ll kill the suspense right here. Yes. Of course a donut covered in Twix pieces is good.

Do you like heavy donuts? Your entire enjoyment of the 7-Eleven Caramel Bar made with Twix Donut might hinge on that question. This donut was almost as big a mouthful as that name.

I personally like really dense donuts, so this was right up my alley. If you wanna know what the texture was like, think of two chocolate frosted Dunkin’ Donuts violently mashed together. This is a heavy piece of pastry. The fact it’s oblong and hole-less definitely added to that density.

Sticking to that comparison, this basically tastes like a chocolate frosted Dunkin’ Donut with caramel added (Note to Dunkin’ Donuts: Sell those.)

7 Eleven Caramel Bar Made with Twix Donut 2

The caramel is painted on top like a standard icing, and definitely tasted authentic to a Twix. I will say that it did get a bit overshadowed due to the chocolate drizzle and candy pieces that were caked on top as well as the dense dough, but it was still tasty.

The Twix bits, which looked like pretzel pieces on first glance, did their job just fine. I probably could have even used more of them. The Homer Simpson approach of just tossing an intact bar atop the donut may have worked better. Instead of chopping Twix up, I would have liked five or six mini Twix on top – one per bite.

7 Eleven Caramel Bar Made with Twix Donut 3

I thought for sure there would be some kind of caramel or chocolate filling, but I cut it open and was proven wrong. That may have been overkill, but I can imagine some people yearning for a little something to cut the dough.

The donut had a pleasant scent, but everything in a 7-Eleven bakery cabinet smells the same over time.

I would recommend the 7-Eleven Caramel Bar made with Twix Donut for sure. I’d also recommend picking up a Twix and chasing each donut bite to really hammer home the Twix experience. Why not? You’ve been good all week.

This is a winner for 7-Eleven in my eye, but it might be too heavy and too skimpy on the Twix pieces for some people. Still, if you’re stopping in for a morning coffee, this beast will hold you over ’til lunch.

Thank you, come again.

(Nutrition Facts – Not available.)

Purchased Price: $1.69
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: I really like dense, chewy donuts. Fresh. Tasty combination. Can’t go wrong with Twix. Your brain reading that quote in Apu’s voice. There’s a Simpsons reference for everything.
Cons: Caramel gets masked a bit. Not enough Twix pieces. Oblong donuts. Could have come up with a better name. Nutritional facts not available on website.

REVIEW: Arby’s Pizza Slider

Arby s Pizza Slider

Simple is good. You don’t need to reinvent the proverbial wheel for a limited time product to work – you just have to switch up the core idea of a product and present it as aesthetically and gustatorily pleasing as possible.

Arby’s all-new Pizza Sliders are a great example of fast food minimalism. It’s not too ambitious, it’s not too gimmicky, and it doesn’t try to be anything bigger or better than it really is. It’s just a gloriously uncomplicated minor tweak to the chain’s tried-and-true Sliders formula and that makes for a great value-priced (read: dollar menu) offering.

Arby s Pizza Slider 2

It’s basically a miniature version of your classic Italian sub sammich. There’s a big chunk of pepperoni, several meaty chunks of Genoa salami, a hearty smattering of melted provolone cheese and a dollop of roasted garlic marinara sauce wedged in between the “mini-buns,” which are actually much larger than you’d expect them to be (for comparative purposes, I’d say they’re about twice the size of the mini-burgers at White Castle and Krystal.)

Arby s Pizza Slider 3

If you’re trying to stretch a dollar, you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth here. Don’t let the “miniature” gimmick fool you, these things are remarkably dense and surprisingly filling. I ordered three of them and by the time I put down the third Slider I felt as if I had crammed down a full-sized meatball hoagie.

Arby s Pizza Slider 5

But not all is well in Pizza Slider Town. The sandwich is also very salty, packing a walloping 930 milligrams of sodium. That’s about half the sodium content you’d find in something like Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr.’s Baby Back Rib Thickburger, a competing LTO burger easily three times the slider’s girth. So if you tear into these things sans a beverage on the side, don’t say I didn’t try to warn you.

Arby s Pizza Slider 4

It’s a minor point of contention, but I also thought the marinara sauce could’ve been better (and, believe it or not, it’s not the same stuff Arby’s uses for its mozzarella sticks.) The sauce here is less tangy and more watery, and could really benefit from a pulpier blend and just a wee bit more garlic or oregano. It’s no deal breaker, though – and since the burger is only a buck, I suppose I can let it slide (get it, because it’s called a Slider?)

Terrible puns aside, these things are just dandy. They’re yummy, satisfying and super-duper affordable — essentially, everything you want out of a seasonal fast food item. And as far as imitation pizzas go, these things beat the susceptor-coated sleeves off Hot Pockets’ wannabe pizza sandwiches in overall quality and price.

(Nutrition Facts – 300 calories, 150 calories from fat, 17 grams of total fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 930 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 13 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: The sandwiches have a LOT of pepperoni and salami on them. The melted mozzarella is fairly flavorful. Despite their stature, they are astonishingly filling.
Cons: The marinara sauce is kinda’ weak. All that sodium will have you chugging Aquafina like your uvula is on fire. Having no idea which packet of sauce to ask for to accompany the sandwich.

REVIEW: Popeyes Sweet & Crunchy Tenders

Popeyes Sweet  Crunchy Tenders

When I opened my Popeyes box with the new Sweet & Crunchy Tenders, it smelled as if I opened a box of donuts.

That’s due to the shortbread cookie coating on the all white meat chicken. Yes, I did just type these have a cookie coating and, no, I did not misspell “shortening cooked coating” or “shorthair cat coating.”

Popeyes Sweet  Crunchy Tenders 2

From what I could tell, there aren’t shortbread cookie pieces in the coating, but these have a jaw-rattling crunch. If you examine a piece, it looks like the hardened skin of a golden brown Godzilla protecting the perfectly cooked chicken underneath. But after eating all three tenders in the box, I realized it might be too crunchy because I ended up with a mild case of Cap’n Crunch Mouth.

The coating has a noticeable sweetness, but it doesn’t remind me of shortbread cookies or, sadly, donuts. Being shortbread, I was expecting a butteriness, but I didn’t taste any.

Popeyes Sweet  Crunchy Tenders 3

I haven’t had other Popeyes products that had a sweet coating, like the Chicken Waffle Tenders and Southern Fair Chicken Tenders, so I also can’t say these remind me of any of their previous limited time offerings. But I can say, if by some chance your Popeyes forgets to include a sauce with your tenders, eating them sans sauce won’t be too bad.

Popeyes Sweet  Crunchy Tenders 4

While the sweet and savory tenders are good enough that they could be eaten without sauce, they are wonderful with the Smokin’ Pepper Jam Sauce. When I tasted it by itself with my pinky finger, it instantly reminded me of the sweet chili sauce that comes with the spring rolls from my favorite Thai restaurants. It’s slightly more sweet than peppery and when combined with the tenders it enhances the shortbread coating’s sweetness and adds a nice peppery element as a contrast to the sweetness.

Popeyes Sweet & Crunchy Tenders with Smokin’ Pepper Jam Sauce is a great tasting limited time offering. Even though it gave me Cap’n Crunch Mouth. I’d recommend giving it a try while it’s around.

So now that Popeyes has a coating made from cookies, maybe the chicken chain could try making one with another snack — potato chips.

(Nutrition Facts – Not available on website.)

Purchased Price: $7.00* (meal)
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Smells like donuts. Coating is made with frickin’ shortbread cookies. Crunchy. Smokin’ Pepper Jam Sauce is wonderful and reminds me of sweet chili sauces for Thai spring rolls.
Cons: Might be too crunchy; gave me a mild case of Cap’n Crunch mouth. Limited time offering.

*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.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger

Jack in the Box BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger

Jack in the Box’s new BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers come with your choice of a sweet honey bourbon BBQ sauce or spicy red chili BBQ sauce. I prefer the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger with sweet BBQ sauce, which you can see above.

Or is that a photo of the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger with spicy BBQ sauce that I also bought.

Ugh. I don’t remember. They look the same.

Oh, they also look like Jack’s Outlaw Burger.

Besides the sauces, the burger brothers also come with a beef patty, bacon, onion rings, two slice of American cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes on a bun.

Now I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad thing but the sweet BBQ sauce reminds me of what you can get with McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets. I don’t taste bourbon, but it has a nice, sweet, and mellow flavor that will appeal to more taste buds.

Jack in the Box BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger 3

The spicy BBQ sauce is also tasty and slightly sweet, but VERY peppery. So much so that at one point it made me cough. Heatheads will think it’s just a tickle, but if you’re sensitive to spiciness, you should order one with the sweet BBQ sauce.

But with either burger you’ll get a lot of sauce. So don’t take it out of the white paper wrapper it comes in.

(The More You Know theme plays)

Jack in the Box BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger 2

The onion rings disappoint me. At first glance I thought these weren’t Jack’s wonderful Panko Onion Rings, but instead something that looks like they might’ve come out of Burger King’s fryers. But a closer inspection shows they have actual onion slices and not the onion mush in BK’s offering. That’s good, but the burgers would look more spectacular if they had one large Panko Onion Ring instead of the smaller pieces. It would also up the onion flavor and crunch, which these burgers could use a little more of.

The bacon isn’t impressive texture-wise. They are small limp pieces that don’t fall out because they’re incased in a melted cheese slice. But they do add a smokiness that complement both BBQ sauces. The beef patty seems to be the same one on the chain’s Jumbo Jack, the lettuce provides a little crunch, and the tomato is there to fall out as you take a bite from the burgers. To be honest, I wish these were sans veggies.

I know. Lots of little complaints. But as a whole, I found myself enjoying both versions of the burger, especially the sweet one shown below.

Jack in the Box BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger 4

Or is this the spicy one?

(Nutrition Facts – .)

Purchased Price: $5.79 each*
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Sweet BBQ Sauce)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Spicy BBQ Sauce)
Pros: Both sauces are good, but I prefer the sweet one. Bacon adds a smokiness that complements the sauces. Lots of sauce. Two slices of cheese add a creaminess.
Cons: Spicy BBQ sauce is VERY peppery and might be too spicy for some. Wish the onion rings were bigger. Why are there lettuce and tomato? Limp bacon. Can be messy.

*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.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Signature Crafted Recipes

McDonald s Signature Crafted Recipes

Baseball has been deemed “America’s pasttime” since these uniforms (photo attached) were en vogue, but now the typical game takes longer than an actual marathon.

MLB is engaging in steps to improve interest in their game, like the intentional walk signal. But their best move has been a change to their vaunted 7th inning anthem: “We’ll buy you nuggets in 4 or 6 packs.”

The Mid-Atlantic teams have partnered with the Golden Arches to bring free McNugget promotions on their app. The beleaguered Phillies have offered a free 4-piece whenever they score three runs. Their more successful counterparts, the Orioles and Nationals, have higher standards along with bigger rewards: four runs nets you a 4-piece, with six, ten, and twenty nuggets also attainable. (Notably, the Nats have restricted their rewards to home games, presumably due to road games in Colorado). Rest assured, if either club surpasses the 20-run plateau, I will make my way through the Chesapeake region, with a tank full of gas and a bunch of “burner phones.”

McDonald’s isn’t just trading nuggets for bloated ERA’s. They’re also giving you a chance to be a manager of the toppings on your own sandwich. The new Signature Crafted Recipes line attempts to emulate quick-service burger joints like Five Guys and SmashBurger by allowing you to customize your sandwich.

McDonald s Signature Crafted Recipes 2

Just don’t expect a plethora of choices. The options are limited to two bun choices, three protein choices, and three topping styles. That’s still enough combos to fill out a lineup card for both teams. We here at the Impulsive Buy selected the three featured options — the Mays, Mantle, and Snider of the bunch, if you Will(ie).

McDonald s Signature Crafted Recipes Pico Guacamole

Batting leadoff was the Pico Guacamole with grilled chicken on the artisan roll. Discovering the first major fast food sandwich adorned with a lime wedge was like taking a big lead off first base. However, finding out that my hands would become messier from this sandwich than holding a rosin bag was something of a detraction.

The grilled chicken patty was relatively standard, although there was some spice and it wasn’t dry, so there were positive attributes. The artisan roll was soft but not mushy. I enjoyed the guacamole -— it fell short of feeling homemade, but was far better than Subway’s recent offering. The lime gave everything a fresh feel, even after I brought the sandwich home for inspection before consuming.

This sandwich was not a five-tool player. It did have holes in its game. Namely the pico de gallo, which was not a distinguishable flavor with the much stronger flavored guac. The white cheddar cheese was also invisible, as I would soon find out it was on all three sandwiches.

McDonald s Signature Crafted Recipes Sweet BBQ Bacon

On deck was the Sweet BBQ Bacon, with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken, also on the artisan roll (why they didn’t “load the bases” with three bread options as well is perplexing). The chicken patty was somewhat like a McChicken patty, but with a little more TLC. However, the size of the patty was only marginally thicker than the bun, which pales in comparison to the also recently released KFC Zinger. Conversely, I might say this sandwich exceeds the Zinger in spiciness. The heat builds as you eat and made me enjoy this more as I dug in.

The sandwich was onion heavy, which I appreciated (I’ll often order extra on fast food). There were two types. The sautéed onions, that tasted legit, and frizzled onions, which largely just added to the overkill of breading from the patty and bun.

The bacon was the final detail. It was nice and salty on its own, but its impact was suppressed by the other ingredients when eaten together.

McDonald s Signature Crafted Recipes Maple Bacon Dijon

In the hole was the Maple Bacon Dijon, with a beef patty (perhaps “burger” is on Vince’s McMahon’s list) on a sesame seed bun. Dijon was a new, interesting taste, although it appears in some bites and vanishes in others. Otherwise, this was the most familiar flavor combination for Mickey D’s. As for the maple? None was detected. It was indicated that maple seasoning was added to the bacon, but when I tried the bacon solo it appeared to be standard.

I suppose these were the same grilled onions that appear on the BBQ version, but against the backdrop of the stronger flavor beef patty, they did not stand out nearly as much.

The bacon wasn’t that noticeable here either amidst a sea of lettuce and again the stronger tasting burger. It seemed a little wimpier this time, although before you start computing the WAR (Working As Refreshment) stat, I did order each sandwich from a different location, so maybe the differences can be attributed to that factor.

In the end, the concept of “premium crafted sandwiches” is no different than Wendy’s LTO offerings, but with three released at the same moment. If McDonald’s wants a premium line to last, they will have to consider a larger product. “Fast foodies” do exist these days, but they still want to be satiated by the food. When it came to these members of the lineup, I didn’t get a complete game out of them. I still had to trust the bullpen (value menu) to finish it out.

(Nutrition Facts – Pico Guacamole Grilled Chicken – 520 calories, 160 calories from fat, 18 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 115 milligrams of cholesterol, 1540 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, 40 grams of protein. Sweet BBQ Bacon Buttermilk Crispy Chicken – 800 calories, 320 calories from fat, 36 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1820 milligrams of sodium, 80 grams of carbohydrates, 18 grams of sugar, 5 grams of fiber, 39 grams of protein. Maple Bacon Dijon Beef Patty – 640 calories, 330 calories from fat, 36 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 110 milligrams of cholesterol, 1260 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 37 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.79 to $5.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Pico Guacamole Grilled Chicken)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Sweet BBQ Bacon Buttermilk Crispy Chicken)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Maple Bacon Dijon Beef Patty)
Pros: Sauteed onions. Building BBQ heat. Lime wedge freshness. Hunter Greene’s potential to join the 20 HR / 20 SB / 20 win club.
Cons: None of the options are large enough. White cheddar is irrelevant. Gusto de pico es pequeno. The Twins passing on Greene with the number one pick.