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.

Click here to read our previous fast food reviews.

REVIEW: Sonic Espresso Shake

Sonic Espresso Shake Cup

I consider myself a late adopter of “hot, caffeinated beverages.” I didn’t become a regular coffee drinker until my early 30s, and never had an espresso until a couple of years later.

This is probably why I’m not generally one to opt for coffee, mocha, or espresso-flavored inclusions to my other foods or beverages. Mocha turkey sandwich? Pass. Coffee-rubbed pepperoni on my pizza? No thank you.

One exception to the “dear coffee, please do not mate with my other food” rule are sweets. Coffee — and its coffee-adjacent friends — lend themselves quite naturally to things like cakes, pies, and ice creams. And because a milkshake is but ice cream and milk, it only makes sense that one might infuse it with a caffeinated beverage.

Sonic Espresso Shake Top

Enter Sonic’s new Espresso Shake. According to Sonic’s website, its shake blends vanilla ice cream with “original cold brew iced coffee,” which, okay, I know I’ve established I’m a novice when it comes to hot go-go juice, but aren’t “coffee” and “espresso” two different things? I mean, espresso is coffee, but it’s generally made in a different way and is a far more concentrated substance. But I guess like me, maybe Sonic doesn’t have an espresso machine, and so here we are.

Sonic Espresso Shake Straw

Sonic’s shakes, for the uninitiated, are usually pretty consistent with their viscosity. They’re somewhere between “sucking this hard on the straw hurts my cheeks” and “this is a bit too runny to warrant a spoon.” In other words, optimal milkshake consistency. What is also consistently good is Sonic’s ice cream, which is perfectly creamy and perfectly sweet.

Now that brings us to the flavoring. If Sonic has an issue with frozen drink construction, this is it. With my first taste, my thought was, “Oh, hey, I like this.” The espresso flavor was much milder than I’d been anticipating, though certainly present. (And after reading on the website how they make it, I guess maybe now I know why it was so muted.) My second and third sips were fairly similar, but the fourth left me wondering, “Wait, what happened to the slight coffee taste?” It had disappeared, and I was left with nothing more than a creamy vanilla milkshake.

This went on for a few more sips from the straw, and then, boom, another coffee pocket. Now, I understand that I might not get a blob of banana in every drink of a banana shake, but how Sonic can make a liquid add-in so hit or miss is perplexing. It would have been almost impressive, really, had it not been so disappointing. I wanted more coffee taste, not less.

Perhaps making the milkshake with coffee ice cream would have upped the wow factor. (Or, for that matter, given it a wow factor.) Maybe I should have gone with the Oreo Espresso Shake because don’t Oreo pieces make most things more palatable? As it stands, I’m not sure I’d order the Espresso Shake again — not with so many other Sonic shake options at my disposal.

Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: Small
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Unavailable on Sonic’s website

Click here for our previous fast food reviews.

REVIEW: Sonic Trick or Treat Blast

Sonic Trick or Treat Blast Cup

Never, in the history of man, has anyone ever proclaimed “Oreo” to be their favorite Halloween treat. This is because, quite obviously, Oreo cookies are not a Halloween candy. Much like a succulent ham, or a roast leg of lamb, they are an everyday indulgence that knows no seasonality. Therefore, the King of Sandwich Cookie’s inclusion in Sonic’s new Trick-or-Treat Blast is a bit confounding.

That said, it’s actually one of this treat’s few bright spots. I’ll explain in a bit.

But first, you’re probably asking, “What is this Sonic Trick-or-Treat Blast, anyway?” Well, let me tell you. This seasonal Sonic Blast comes in either vanilla or chocolate ice cream, and features Oreo cookie crumbles, mini M&M’s, and Snickers candy bar pieces.

So, you know, two perfectly fine Halloween candies and a random creme-filled cookie.

Sonic Trick or Treat Blast Top

Like I said, though, the cookie works well in the midst of all the ice cream chaos. And really, it’s because the ice cream-softened pieces give your teeth a much needed break. If you are at all familiar with ice cream “mix-ins,” you’ll know that M&M’s — particularly those of the miniature variety — are a cracked molar just lurking in a mountain of sugary goodness. Biting into the Blast for the first time, that was my initial thought: Dear God, please protect my teeth.

Sonic Trick or Treat Blast Spoon

My next thought was, hey, was that peanut butter, and if so, why? However, a nugget of nougat quickly followed and reminded me about the presence of Snickers; I’d simply encountered a rogue nut. The Snickers was a nice respite, but unfortunately, it seemed to be the least prevalent of the three inclusions.

Sonic Trick or Treat Blast Topless

By the lower 50% of the confection, in fact, it was a virtual wasteland, void of candy (and cookie) chunks; there was nothing left but plain ice cream featuring colorful streaks from the ghosts of M&M’s past.

And truly, that was the story of this Blast: bits and piece of mostly-indiscernible sweet stuff in regular vanilla ice cream. Nothing was bad (well, with the exception of the painful candy shard factor, I suppose), but nothing was really great, either. I was left thinking the whole thing felt a little one-dimensional. My 6-year-old had a bite and said, “YUMMY!” which, sure, why not. Perhaps she’s the target audience. And so, if you are a 6-year-old reading this review, this Sonic Trick or Treat Blast is a 10. But also, if you are a 6-year-old reading this review… huh? Shouldn’t you be not on the internet at all, please? I beg of you.

Anyway, what would have made this better? Well, some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, for one. Maybe some Twix? How about a Butterfinger? You know, other actual Halloween candies. In true gluttonous American fashion, why not, as they say, go “big” or go “home”? Remember going to the soda fountain at the gas station when you were a kid and making a “suicide” with 10 different kinds of soda? Do that, but make it a Blast. That would have been a winner. Maybe next October.

Purchased Price: $4.59
Size: Small
Purchased at: Sonic
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Unavailable on website.

REVIEW: Sonic Lemonberry Slush Float

Sonic Lemonberry Slush Float

What is the Sonic Lemonberry Slush Float?

Sonic has combined four summertime elements into one drink, from top to bottom: real strawberries, classic Sonic slush, 100% real ice cream, and lemonade slush.

How is it?

Since I had to get it from the drive-thru and bring it home (see below), I used my own straw and spoon to taste all the elements.

Sonic Lemonberry Slush Float Strawberry

The strawberries on top have the unmistakable flavor of frozen fruit. I don’t expect a national fast-food chain to use fresh berries, but I have never found frozen strawberries to taste that great.

Sonic Lemonberry Slush Float Slush

Below that, there’s the “classic Sonic slush.” Does that just mean a slush without any flavoring? Because that’s exactly what it tastes like: nothing. I guess it’s supposed to mix with the strawberries, but I don’t see the point.

Sonic Lemonberry Slush Float Ice Cream

The ice cream is what makes this a float, rather than just a slush, and it’s the reason you need a spoon instead of just a straw. It’s just what you’d expect from soft-serve vanilla. It’s enjoyable, but nothing amazing.

Since the lemonade slush was on the bottom, it was what I tasted when I stuck my straw into the cup and sucked. It was by far the best part -— tart, refreshing, and summery. Unfortunately, I quickly depleted the lemonade part and was sad when I only had the ice cream.

I had hoped the flavors would mix together better, but mostly I just tasted each element on its own, even when I wasn’t trying to keep them separate, and even though they looked like they were somewhat mixed.

Anything else you need to know?

When I pulled into a stall to order in the usual Sonic way, the red button timed out twice without anyone ever helping me, so I had to go to the drive-thru, where I kindly told them what had happened. Also, they gave me salt packets but no syrup for my French toast sticks. So, at the risk of sounding like a Karen, my experience at the Salt Lake City Sonic gets a 2 out of 10. Yelp review over. But I’m rating the drink on its own merits.


The Lemonberry Slush Float is fine, but next time I think I’ll just get a regular lemonade slush.

Purchased Price: $2.79
Size: Small
Rating: 6 out of 10

Nutrition Facts (small) 350 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 68 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 59 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.