REVIEW: Sonic Twisted Texan Cheeseburger

Sonic Twisted Texan Cheeseburger

I am always on board when an American fast food chain in a non-US location unveils its version of regional American fare.

Take, for instance, McDonald’s “Big America Burgers” in Japan. The most recent iteration of this popular offering gave Japanese consumers the Texas 2, the Idaho, the Miami, and the Manhattan burgers. Some of these have very reasonable — and dare I say interesting — inclusions. A hash brown on the Idaho burger, for example, is a particularly fetching choice. And then sometimes, something seems to get lost in translation. While I applaud the pastrami topping on the Manhattan, I’m a little perplexed by the mozzarella and “sour cream sauce.”

Ditto, McDonald’s “Great Taste of America” burgers, which have popped up multiple times in the UK, the most recent being 2019. While I am impressed that the “Alabama Chicken” has a white BBQ sauce, the “New York Stack” is all over the road by serving it on a sesame and poppy seed bagel (nice!), but topping it with “bacon, cheese, creamy coleslaw, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, and pickles.” Because nothing says “New York” like mixing up your coleslaw with ketchup, mustard, and cheese, right?

Sonic Twisted Texan Cheeseburger  1

Sonic’s “Twisted Texan” Burger (or footlong, quarter-pound hot dog, if you’d rather) doesn’t really come close to some of those weird combinations, to be sure, but it also isn’t very inspired. It is a regular quarter-pound beef patty on a regular bun, topped with its regular chili, a cheese slice, and “crispy onion strings.” Do these things work well together? Sure, I suppose so.

I’m on record as being a fan of Sonic’s patties, and I usually have good luck with its buns, too. Its chili — which is almost like a Coney-style chili-sauce, if you’ve never had it — is great on its dogs and tots, and it’s fine here. The single slice of cheese got lost in the mix, which ultimately made it inessential; a second slice might’ve added more oomph.

Sonic Twisted Texan Cheeseburger  2

Now that brings us to the onion strings.

While the first bite or two of the burger noticeably benefited from them, the “crispy” exterior of the strings quickly turned to mush, making the veggie indistinguishable in consistency and taste from the chili. I’m not sure how you combat this unless you use whole onion rings. (Which, you know, could’ve been done; I’m not sure that onion strings are any more or less “Texan” than onion rings.)

In the end, this is just an okay burger, but I’m not sure what screams “TEXAS!” about it, other than the red chili. Which, I mean, is sort of Texas-y? But it’s also something that you can get a really good bowl of just about anywhere. How could have Sonic made this more of a Texas thing? Oh, I don’t know… by putting it on Texas toast, perhaps? Or maybe adding brisket. Or a tiny little, sandwich-sized cowboy hat. Anything more than just “chili and onion strings.”

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 1030 calories, 68 grams of fat, 17 gram of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 110 milligrams of cholesterol, 1940 milligrams of sodium, 68 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 33 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sonic Oreo Big Scoop Cookie Dough Blast

Sonic Oreo Big Scoop Cookie Dough Blast Big Scoop

I recently stumbled across something on the internet suggesting that Missouri actually has 12 seasons. Right now, we are in the Spring of Deception, which is past Fool’s Spring and Second Winter, and just ahead of Third Winter, the Pollening, and Actual Spring. As funny as this is, it is also hauntingly accurate.

And here in the Spring of Deception, the weather has been in the upper 60s and lower 70s, which means it is a perfectly reasonable time to try Sonic’s new Oreo Big Scoop Cookie Dough Blast. (We have a chance of snow next weekend, which will usher in Third Winter, but I suppose there are plenty of people who say there is never a bad time for frozen desserts. Then there are those who crave ice cream even more when it’s cold; if you’re in either of these camps, please ignore my preamble.)

Here’s the bottom line about this Blast: I would gleefully consume this thing in real Winter, even the one we just got out of where we spent days in a row without the temperature getting above 0. It is just that good.

Sonic Oreo Big Scoop Cookie Dough Blast Diggin In

Sonic describes its new offering as “Real Ice Cream blended with cookie dough bites then topped with even more cookie dough bites, Oreo cookie pieces, and a big scoop of Oreo chocolate chip cookie dough.”

The first thing of note is that this is a legit Oreo cookie dough scoop. A fat golfball-sized chunk of tongue-numbingly delicious dough takes up a great deal of real estate on top of the Blast, meaning that it is quite possible to nick a nice spoonful with every bite. I’ve never had Oreo cookie dough, but from what I can tell, it’s like if some lovable klutz knocked a handful of Oreo into the batch of chocolate chip cookie dough they were whipping up in the mixer. In other words, divine.

Then, peppered around the dough mountain is a large amount of crumbled Oreo along with more dough pellets.

Sonic Oreo Big Scoop Cookie Dough Blast Cookie Dough Closeup

And here’s where I’ll explain why, while this thing is tremendous, it’s not perfect— the cookie dough pieces are a bit weird. They are VERY uniform in shape and size, which makes me wonder about their origin story. Additionally, the texture is a bit odd. Contrasted with the Oreo’s crunch and Sonic’s vanilla ice cream’s smooth creaminess, the cookie dough pieces come across as almost gummy.

Sonic Oreo Big Scoop Cookie Dough Blast Spoon

But it’s a small quibble, really, as there is plenty of other magic happening in this styrofoam cylinder to make me forgive such a minor transgression.

You’ll also note that the nutrition is, well, maybe don’t even look at that. Because honestly, if you’re eating this, you know what you’re getting into. But I will suggest that I got a small, and I was actually satisfied eating about a fourth of it. This feels like the sort of thing you might want to split with a significant other. You could also probably make multiple desserts out of it.

No matter what you do, though, you should definitely make a plan to eat one. You’ll be glad you did.

Purchased Price: $4.79
Size: Small
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 820 calories, 50 grams of fat, 21 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 520 milligrams of sodium, 106 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 65 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sonic Mesquite Butter Bacon Cheeseburger

Sonic Mesquite Butter Bacon Cheeseburger Whole

While not a lightning rod of conversation like, oh, say, pineapple on pizza, or ketchup on a hot dog, there are plenty of passionate parties on both sides of the “BBQ sauce on a hamburger” debate.

If you are on the oppositional side — believing that the “devil’s ketchup” has no place on a hamburger — this review probably isn’t for you. Nothing I have to say will convince you that it is a fine and just condiment to top your sandwich. If, however, you are staunchly on the “pro” side of the aisle, or are at the very least willing to keep an open mind and “see how things go,” you’ll want to read on.

Though this isn’t the drive-in chain’s first foray into buttered patties — it’s had a garlic butter version on at least a couple of occasions — or its first dance with BBQ sauce on a burger (its “hickory” variety of the sauce is still a customizable addition on the app). It is its first attempt at melding the two.

And so does it work?

In most ways, yes.

Sonic Mesquite Butter Bacon Cheeseburger Top

I’ve always been a fan of Sonic’s bacon. It feels like it runs a little thicker than most of their competitor’s, and it fits in well on this sandwich, adding some much needed chew. The BBQ sauce is described as a “honey” sauce, and it is, indeed, sweet. Because of the sauce and the “smoky mesquite butter” that tops the patty, you should know that this is a sloppy affair.

Sonic Mesquite Butter Bacon Cheeseburger Closeup

Additionally, I’ve always been a fan of Sonic’s American cheese. It melts well and tastes perfectly American. (Though I will say, two slices on a burger this size feels like a bit much; one would likely suffice.) The patty itself is juicy and definitely less dry than most other fast food burgers.

Though the toasted brioche bun isn’t anything special, it held up nicely to the onslaught of liquids. And while I am typically a “take-it-or-leave-it” connoisseur of pickles on a burger, these ones really stood out. Their tart acidity melded beautifully with the sauce’s sweetness, and their crunch added yet another excellent texture to the proceeding.

Sonic Mesquite Butter Bacon Cheeseburger Split

So what didn’t I like about this burger?

Really, my major complaint was with the lettuce. Quite frankly, I’m not sure lettuce even belongs on this style of burger. Even if you can make an argument that it does, you’re not likely to prove your point with the limp, wet, and warm shrubbery found here. Nor did the grilled onions add much, except to provide an arsenal of more small things to slide out of the burger’s bottom on a flume of butter with each bite. And finally, there wasn’t much of a “smokiness,” either, which, if you’re crowning your burger as “mesquite,” feels like a bit of a miss.

If you’re a BBQ burger fan, I’m confident you’ll like this. Just, you know, hold the lettuce. And maybe the onions. And what if you got a side of onion rings and slapped a couple of those fried halos under the bun? Hey Sonic, give me a call and let’s talk product development.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 690 calories,41 grams of fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 17 gram of saturated fat, 1780 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of total carbohydrates, 18 gram of total sugars, 3 gram of fiber, and 33 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sonic Chili Cheese Coney-Flavored Slim Jim

Sonic Chili Cheese Coney Flavored Slim Jim Wrapper

What is the Sonic Chili Cheese Coney-Flavored Slim Jim?

A heftily titled snack, for starters. Everyone’s favorite dead wrestler-endorsed snack tube gets blasted with an infusion of chili-dogginess from a beloved drive-in fast food chain that used to be endorsed by a 1960s teen heart-throb/singer/beach-movie idol. This is, perhaps, the most quintessentially possible American foodstuff.

How is it?

Sonic Chili Cheese Coney Flavored Slim Jim Split

Weird! It’s a Slim Jim, right? Which we’ve all had and are familiar with. Chewy, snappy, a little spicy, but then you’re hit with the undeniably unmistakable undercurrent of chili from Sonic.

It tastes like maybe you took your Slim Jim and used it to stir up a big bowl of Sonic chili. (Side note: can you actually get just a side of chili from Sonic? I only know it from its appearances on top of hot dogs or blanketing a basket of tots.)

Anyway, the chili is spot-on. There is no noticeable cheese component, however, which feels like a miss. How hard would it have been to inject this stick with some artificial cheese? Seems like they missed an easy layup.

Overall, despite perfectly capturing the essence of Sonic’s chili, the entire thing is mediocre.

Anything else you need to know?

Sonic Chili Cheese Coney Flavored Slim Jim Casing

1) As demonstrated in the picture, this Jim degloved much easier than previous models.

2) Per a quick Google search, Frankie Avalon, the heart-throb mentioned in the first paragraph, is still alive. I feel like he would have been near the top of my “are they or aren’t they?” list. Good for Frankie!


This isn’t a thing that anyone needs in their life, but if you are a big fan of snackable meat sticks, it’s probably worth a whirl. The novelty alone makes it worth trying, but I wouldn’t exactly go out of my way to find it.

Purchased Price: $1.88
Size: 1.94 oz. Monster Size
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 260 calories, 19 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 gram of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 810 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sonic Extra-Long Ultimate Cheesesteak

Sonic Extra Long Ultimate Cheesesteak Full

I haven’t had a cheesesteak since I made a pilgrimage to Geno’s and Pat’s in Philly almost a decade ago.

I remember nervously asking for my “whiz without” like an apprehensive George Costanza ordering soup, and enjoying both sandwiches about the same. It was a tasty little trip, but I drove home feeling like an absolute slob.

Two cheesesteaks in one sitting?! Gross, dude!

I mean, one wasn’t quite enough, but two was definitely overkill. If only someone nearby could just make one, I don’t know, extra-long cheesesteak? That… that would be the ultimate cheesesteak.

As it turns out, I’ve somehow managed to miss the cheesesteak on Sonic’s ice cream truck style menu for years now. It took them introducing the “Extra Long Ultimate Cheesesteak” for me to finally notice.

So, what exactly makes a cheesesteak, “ULTIMATE!?” You take a foot-long bun and stuff it with sirloin steak and grilled onions, then drizzle them with “melty” cheddar and a “zesty” cheese sauce! Oh, and hold the side of tots, because they’re inside the sandwich now!

I was a bit skeptical about the idea of a fast food cheesesteak, but ten years is a long time, and I was ready to dive back into the whiz.

That sounded better in my head, and to be honest, this menu item looked better in my head.

Sonic Extra Long Ultimate Cheesesteak Meat

I could tell immediately the onions weren’t grilled well, and there might not be enough cheese. Also, the steak looked like dry greyish shawarma shavings they wouldn’t even serve on a street corner. Should I have just made the two-hour drive back to Philly?

I can happily say I’m glad I didn’t because this is actually pretty damn good.

Sonic Extra Long Ultimate Cheesesteak Cross Section

That crumbly sirloin ended up being well-seasoned and moist, and there was just enough “whiz” to lubricate each bite.

The bun’s soft texture was ideal for a cheesesteak, and just long enough that it didn’t feel excessive.

Sonic Extra Long Ultimate Cheesesteak Meat Tots

Adding tots into the sandwich was a real “why didn’t I think of that” move that added a perfect amount of crunch and salty starch that tied everything together.

Despite it tasting good, I couldn’t really distinguish between the cheddar and the so-called “zesty” cheese sauce. It was just a generic Cheez Whiz flavor, which was fine, but I was hoping for maybe a little added provolone bite or something along those lines.

Sonic Extra Long Ultimate Cheesesteak Long view

The onions were basically raw as expected. I appreciated the flavor, but the texture was a minor buzzkill.

Even with those flaws, I found it to be a completely substantial and satisfying meal. It’s not Pat’s or Geno’s, or any of the other Philly spots I’m sure are better, but it’s really solid for a fast food cheesesteak.

I’d say definitely give it a try, but maybe check out the app and see if you can’t hack in some fried onions and extra cheese. There’s also a spicy version you can try, but hurry up because the Extra Long Ultimate Cheesesteaks are only available through the end of February.

Remember to tip your carhop!

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 970 calories, 63 grams of fat, 19 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 110 milligrams of cholesterol, 2240 milligrams of sodium, 62 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 40 grams of protein.

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