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: Jack in the Box Fruity Cereal Milk Donut Holes

Jack in the Box Fruity Cereal Milk Donut Holes Sign

Desserts have never been a major focus at Jack in the Box, but they’re usually a solid offering. Their new Fruity Cereal Milk Donut Holes are a twist on the previously marketed four-for-a-dollar donut holes. I enjoy donuts and have a close relationship with fruity cereals, so it was a promising concept.

When I ordered them, the cashier said, “They taste JUST like Fruity Pebbles. I’m not even kidding.” Being that this is exactly what I hoped they would taste like, I got pretty pumped. Unfortunately, I soon found out that she was, apparently, completely kidding.

Jack in the Box Fruity Cereal Milk Donut Holes in the Bag

The fragrance that wafted from the bag was pure grease with a little kiss of sugar. I swear I caught a hint of curly fries, but that could have easily been my mind playing tricks on me. Oddly, I didn’t mind either way. I’m not quite sure what that says about me. However, I did notice I didn’t smell anything remotely fruity.

Jack in the Box Fruity Cereal Milk Donut Holes Closeup

The donut holes glistened with oil and were covered with a light dusting of sugar, dotted with little rainbow-colored specks. There was a mass of the colorful sugar sitting at the bottom of the bag.

The donut holes were warm and pillowy – they collapsed with delicate bites, which was a positive start. The initial taste was standard donut fare: doughy, oily, and sugary. There was a distinct lack of any flavors perceivable as “fruity cereal milk.”

Jack in the Box Fruity Cereal Milk Donut Holes Innards

I decided to smash the exposed portion of the donut hole into the glob of the sugar mix and picked up an excessive amount of it. After tasting it like this, I was able to discern a very faint fruity taste. Even then, it wasn’t nearly enough for these donut holes to live up to their name.

There certainly weren’t any notes of Fruity Pebbles. It was more like a sliver of a singular Skittle had been ground up and sprinkled onto the whole batch. This let me know it’s not a preparation issue, but rather that the sugar mix itself is just sub-par.

I begrudgingly ate the rest of them, wondering what could have been.

If you find yourself craving cheap gas station donuts, these should do the trick, but don’t expect any fruit-flavored fun.

Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: 4 donut holes
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Unavailable on website.

(Drive-thru sign image via Robbie.)

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Donut Holes

Jack in the Box Donut Holes

One dollar gets you a four-piece order of Jack in the Box’s Donut Holes.

One dollar for fried dough showered with cinnamon sugar and served warm.

ONE DOLLAR, people!

They’re not just pocket change purchasable, they’re also truly wonderful, which I find surprising because I haven’t enjoyed Jack’s previous bite-sized desserts, like Mini Churros, Mini Cookies, and Brownie Bites.

The cinnamon sugar provides a little bit of crunch, and because they’re fried, the exterior has a slight crispiness to it. The interior is soft and fluffy.

Jack in the Box Donut Holes Innards

When I pull them out of the sleeve, they’re not completely coated in cinnamon sugar. I imagine a lot of it is at the bottom of the envelope they come in, but even with 50-60% coverage, they still have a bold sweet and cinnamon flavor that’s not overly sweet. There’s also a slight greasiness, but the sugary coating makes me forget about it. If you’ve had a cinnamon sugar donut before, you’ll have an idea of what these taste like. They aren’t breaking any new ground here.

But these taste slightly better than a lot of cinnamon sugar donuts I’ve had. Maybe because they’re served warm or maybe, and I don’t have any scientific data to back this up, they taste better because I spent only a dollar to obtain them. I think I should write a grant proposal to get funds so I can obtain that data. Any decent grant amount would get me a lot of data and, more importantly, a lot of Jack in the Box Donut Holes.

The only real issue I have with these is their shape. The stereotypical donut hole is spherical. Only one of the four in my order was like a donut planet. The other three were round, but they were a little flattened, making them look more like hash brown rounds or mini donuts without the holes in them. Yes, I just called them donut holes that look like mini donuts without holes.

Jack in the Box Donut Holes Waffle Lines

Oh, are you wondering what those marks are on them? It took me longer than I’d like to admit, but I realized they’re probably from the basket the donut holes were deep fried in. Any of our Jack in the Box-employed readers want to confirm this?

Overall, I love the texture and flavor of Jack in the Box’s Donut Holes. I’d happily spend another dollar to get another order to either eat by themselves, as a breakfast side dish, or as an edible garnish for a shake. They’re worth your time and your one dollar.

Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: 4-piece order
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (4 piece order) 200 calories, 13 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Spicy Chicken Strips

Jack in the Box Spicy Chicken Strips

Burnt or ominously seasoned?

Those were the two thoughts in my head when I opened the clamshell container holding my three-piece order of Jack in the Box’s new Spicy Chicken Strips.

After trying them, I realized it might be an equal amount of both as the 100% white meat chicken inside the coating was a little dry, and the menu item as a whole ended up being spicier than I thought it would be.

I expected these strips to be as peppery as Jack in the Box’s old spicy chicken sandwich, which I’ve consumed numerous times. But they’re hotter. Oh, I wrote, “old spicy chicken sandwich” because Jack has updated the menu item by using these chicken strips in it. I also think they do a better job at bringing the heat than Wendy’s spicy chicken. Don’t @ me.

Jack in the Box Spicy Chicken Strips White Meat Chicken

These also have a nice taste and crunch. The coating is crispy, most noticeably on the edges. Their flavor reminds me of Jack in the Box’s tacos for some reason but enhanced and much spicier. They’re tasty enough that they don’t need a dipping sauce, but my order did come with a container of ranch dip.

Jack in the Box did a great job with these Spicy Chicken Strips. They’re hotter and taste better than I expected. But with all that said, I’m not sure I can wholeheartedly recommend these.

Jack in the Box Spicy Chicken Strips Burnt

While I like them, the amount of trans fat they have is alarming. I got the three-piece order, which, according to Jack in the Box’s website while I was writing this, has 4.5 grams of trans fat, and the five-piece option has 8 grams.

Jack in the Box Spicy Chicken Strips Trans Fat

It might be a mistake on the website because Jack’s regular chicken strips don’t have trans fat and the updated Jack’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich that uses these strips also doesn’t have trans fat. But the nutrition for the sandwich might be for the old version, and no one changed it yet. I dunno. I hope it’s an error because I don’t want to go back to the early 1990s when the trans fat flowed as freely as crack cocaine.

Purchased Price: $4.99*
Size: 3 pieces
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 450 calories, 20 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 4.5 grams of trans fat (seriously?), 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 1970 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 30 grams of protein..

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll most definitely pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Pannidos (2018)

Jack in the Box Pannidos Deli Trio (2018)

The Jack in the Box Pannidos hit menu boards in early 2004. This website you’re reading also made its debut in 2004, but we missed out on reviewing the sandwiches before their discontinuation. So this 2018 reboot gives us a second chance to write about them. Can’t say that about many products.

The version that came out almost 15 years ago had three varieties, featured a foot-long bun, and were served in specially made bags so consumers could eat the sandwich straight out of it.

Jack in the Box Pannidos (2018)

While some things are the same about the 2018 Pannidos – coming in a bag you can eat them from – there’s a lot different.

Jack in the Box Pannidos (2018) 2

There are now only two varieties (only the Deli Trio survived the reboot and the new one is the Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar); instead of being a foot long, they’re 9 1/2 inches; and there aren’t any Pannidos commercials starring Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family.

Deli Trio Pannido

The Deli Trio (picture at the top) features smoked turkey, ham, salami, dill pickle slices, and a creamy Italian sauce on toasted ciabatta bread. You might be asking yourself, “Hey, where are those pickle slices?” I wondered the same thing when I slid it out of its bag. But I didn’t have to file a missing pickle report with the Pickle Police. It turns out the person who made my sandwich treated the pickles like loose tobacco or marijuana and used the cold cuts as rolling paper. Although not as advertised, I liked it this way because it was almost impossible for the pickles to fall out.

Jack in the Box Pannidos Deli Trio (2018) 2

As for its flavor, I enjoyed the creamy, herbaceous sauce. It beats out mayo by a mile. It tastes as if I’ve had it before, but I could put my finger on what it was. The pickles added a nice tang that cut through the saltiness of the meats and the spice from the salami. The edges of the toasted bread give the sandwich a little crunch.

Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar Pannido

Jack in the Box Pannidos Turkey Bacon Cheddar (2018)

The Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar comes with smoked turkey, bacon, cheddar cheese, and the same creamy Italian sauce on toasted ciabatta bread. When I first saw it, the amount of pork strips excited me. But, despite having many strips strewn along its length, they don’t provide much flavor. No smokiness. No saltiness. They just drape themselves off the side of the turkey like they’re trying to escape from the rest of the sandwich.

Jack in the Box Pannidos Turkey Bacon Cheddar (2018) 2

Much like the pickles in the other Pannido, the cheddar cheese found itself wrapped in a meat cocoon, instead of lovingly placed on top. I don’t know if this arrangement is the reason for it, but the cheddar cheese stands out while chomping down on this meat and bread tube. Its bite complements the turkey and it makes me wish the bacon stood out a little bit. I also like the Italian sauce with this one.

But, overall, both Jack in the Box Pannidos are mediocre and I wouldn’t care if they disappeared for another 15 years.

While the bread comes toasted, everything else is room temperature or cold. It makes for a Subway-like eating experience, which is something I would not wish upon any other fast food chain, especially one that I like eating at. To be honest, I’d nosh these over something from Subway, but just barely. The Italian sauce ended up being the Pannidos’ saving grace. Thank goodness these didn’t come with mayo because I’d be even more disappointed.

I also like the toasted ciabatta bread because its soft and, again, the crust edges have a slight crunch. But the rest of the sandwich should be warmed up too, especially this time of year when we could use these Pannidos as handwarmidos as we eat them.

Purchased Price: $6.69 each*
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Deli Trio – 580 calories, 30 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 2550 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 31 grams of protein. Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar – Not available on website at time of publication.

*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.

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REVIEW: Jack in the Box Blue Cheese & Bacon Ribeye Burger

Jack in the Box Blue Cheese  Bacon Ribeye Burger

Blue cheese is known for its funk. But for those of you in the “Ow, we want the funk. Give up the funk. Ow, we need the funk. We gotta have that funk” crowd when it comes to blue cheese, Jack in the Box’s Blue Cheese & Bacon Ribeye Burger might not satisfy your funkadelic taste buds.

The burger features blue cheese crumbles, a blue cheese sauce, grilled onions, hickory-smoked bacon, and a 100 percent ribeye beef patty on a soft potato bun.

Jack in the Box Blue Cheese  Bacon Ribeye Burger 2

I’m not in the plentifunk group because I’ve had burgers and salads that had so much blue cheese that, to make them palatable, I had to do some fast food surgery to extract some. But that’s not the case with the burger I received, which had the right amount of funk that allows the other ingredients to come through.

The white crumbles add a noticeable creaminess and saltiness but don’t add an overpowering blue cheese flavor. Because of the lack of a strong funk, the bacon and blue cheese make a wonderful couple, but not because the two headlining ingredients start with the letter B and not because both can make people smile. Their different flavors and saltiness meld together to create a pleasantly balanced savoriness that I like eating.

The grilled onions also enhance the burger’s flavor and add a slight vegetable snap to go along with the cheese’s creaminess, the bun’s fluffiness, the patty’s soft chew, and the bacon’s, um, I can’t say crispiness because it wasn’t. Um, I’ll say well doneness.

Jack in the Box Blue Cheese  Bacon Ribeye Burger 3

I know it’s a premium burger with a premium price. But when I took it out of its clamshell box and paper wrapper, I couldn’t help but think I overpaid for it because it’s on the small side. Also, to be honest, I don’t know what’s so special about these Ribeye patties. I had a Ribeye Burger when it debuted last year, and I felt the beef wasn’t better than the usual meat Jack in the Box uses for its Jumbo Jack. The patty in this burger didn’t change my feelings. Maybe it’s just me.

Overall, Jack in the Box’s Blue Cheese & Bacon Ribeye Burger is tasty. Of course, your results with the blue cheese may vary. You may get one made by someone who’s a little overzealous with the distribution of the crumbled cheese, making the funk freaky. But, of course, you can fix that with some fast food surgery.

(Nutrition Facts – 650 calories, 40 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 gram of trans fat, 100 milligrams of cholesterol, 1220 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 35 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $6.89*
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: My burger had a nice savoriness thanks to the one-two punch of blue cheese and bacon. Not overly funky. Soft bun.
Cons: Well done bacon. Kind of small for the price.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.