Food

FOOD: XXTra Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

Cheetos XXtra Hot 01

“Paula, I had a horrible nightmare.”

“What was it?”

“I dreamt that they made a new, hotter variety of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos – XXtra Flamin’ Hot Cheetos – they came in a black bag. I’m scared beyond comprehension!”

“Bill, that wasn’t a dream. Those were real, and you have to eat them.”

This is a conversation that actually took place.

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are an extremely fashionable snack – considering they’re one of the few snack chips that have had a rap written by children about them, they’re unquestionably a favorite amongst people of all ages. They are hot, sure – but is that really enough? Flamin’ is a state of mind, after all. One man’s red hot is another man’s lukewarm. How can we push the envelope? How can we turn something that’s Flamin’ into even Flamin’er?

XXtra Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are the answer. Promising to be “twice as hot” as regular Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, these chips may just be enough to push our taste buds over the edge. Will they hold up to their doubly intense promise? Hit the jump and find out.

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FOOD: Trader Joe’s – Ghost Pepper Chips [Discontinued]

Ghost Pepper Chips 01

We here at Eggware.XYZ love spicy food. We are constantly on the hunt for the most spicy of snacks, no matter the country of origin. But there’s one pepper that’s come into vogue that’s continued to elude us. A pepper that was once the hottest in the world, and still takes home the bronze in heat today. The Bhut Jolokia. The ghost pepper.

Lots of restaurants and snack food providers have tried to obtain the ephemeral essence of the ghost pepper, and many have failed. Like a ghost, capturing the Bhut Jolokia is easier said than done, and it isn’t for the faint of heart to try.

But ghost-chasing is what October is all about, so when we stumbled upon this bag of Trader Joe’s Ghost Pepper Potato Chips, we knew we had may had found a worthy competitor laying claim to the title of The World’s Third Hottest Pepper. Trader Joe’s has always been good for us when it comes to cheap food and wine – will they hold up to the heat of the Bhut Jolokia itself? Hit the jump and find out.

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FOOD: Taco Bell – Lava Sauce & Volcano Quesarito [Discontinued]

Taco Bell Lava Sauce 01

Taco Bell, compared to most other nation-wide fast food restaurants, has an extremely dedicated following. Like most fast food places, Taco Bell’s menu is regularly changing, adding new items and removing old. This has led to a lot of contention among their fanbase, as cult favorites tend to be the first to get the ax. These include items such as the Beefy Crunch Burrito, the Bell Beefer, the Blackjack Taco – all cut down in (what their fans will claim was) their prime.

But there’s always been one menu item that’s had an especially loud clamor for its return. It wasn’t a taco, or a burrito, or even a real meal in itself – it was a sauce. The Lava Sauce, the foundation of the now-discontinued Volcano Menu, has been widely requested for a return to the proper menu ever since its discontinuation in 2013. It was essentially a spicy nacho cheese sauce, yes, but fans will claim that the spice made the difference. If you were to hear it from a Lava Sauce lover it could elevate virtually any Taco Bell food into a heavenly experience, a kind of claim that we only hear about Sriracha sauce nowadays. Although the Taco Bell fans cried loudly for their sauce back, Taco Bell stayed quiet… Until now.

Now, the legendary Lava Sauce is back and featured in the Volcano Quesarito, a standard Taco Bell Quesarito with Lava sauce in place of the regular cheese. We’ve never had the original Lava Sauce, but the idea of having such a monumental sauce for a limited time was too interesting to pass up. Will Lava Sauce live up to its volcanic hype or be a stone cold flop?

Find out after the jump.

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FOOD: Taco Bell – Dare Devil Grillers [Discontinued]

Taco Bell Dare Devil Grillers 01

Taco Bell has been on a roll recently! We didn’t get a chance to review the Bacon Club Chalupa, but we thought it was very good and an excellent bargain in its $5 meal deal. Their latest offering is the Dare Devil Loaded Grillers, a set of three “loaded Grillers” with super-spicy sauce in three heat levels.

Each Griller is wrapped in a grilled burrito and includes Taco Bell’s seasoned ground beef, nacho cheese, and crunchy red tortilla strips. The primary draw is the Dare Devil sauces, however: Chipotle, Habanero, and Ghost Pepper (from least to most hot).

The sauces for the Grillers are all mayonnaise based, with the Habanero sauce also including sour cream. As the sauce for the Chipotle Griller was an already established sauce on their menu, we decided to only review the two new sauces.

After the jump we’ll take the dare and see if these Grillers are red hot or stone cold.

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FOOD: Popeyes – Rip’n Chick’n [Discontinued]

Popeyes Ripn Chickn 01

Popeyes is back with another resurrection of one of their previous monthly limited time offerings: the Rip’n Chick’n. We last saw the Rip’n Chick’n in 2011, but the premise has been seen again in 2014’s Beer Can Chicken. As of late July 2015, they’ve brought the concept by itself back.

Popeyes seems to be taking a bit of a hiatus from new concepts: we saw that next month’s offering will be the Bonafide Big Box, which has already happened back in April. This is probably for the best, because their last few offerings (like the Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken and Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp) have been less than stellar. Will this semi-retro offering give us a tasty blast from the past, or is it resurrecting what should’ve been left in the grave? Find out after the jump. Read On…

FOOD: Popeyes – Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp [Discontinued]

Popeyes Hushpuppy Shrimp 01

Although Popeyes is a fast-food chain mainly noted for its famed chicken, seafood has always been a prominent sidekick on its menu. A Louisiana themed restaurant wouldn’t be complete without a fried seafood po’boy, after all, and shrimp is the quintessential Gulf of Mexico seafood.

And though shrimp plays its part in Popeyes’ menu, hushpuppies do not. To our recollection, hushpuppies have never been a part of Popeyes’s menu. Maybe this is because hushpuppies are more of a Deep South thing than a New Orleans thing? Who knows.

But what about both shrimp and hushpuppies combined? Could a combination of two classic Southern dishes be greater than the sum of their parts? Popeyes’s Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp (their limited time offering for July) attempted to fuse these two classics to create a Frankenstein-esque monster of deliciousness. Combined with a new Cajun Cocktail sauce, and we may have had a winner on our hands – we’ll find out after the jump.

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FOOD: Arby’s – Jalapeño Hushpuppies [Discontinued]

Arbys Jalapeno Hushpuppies

Arby’s is in a very confused place. With the price of beef being sky-high, Arby’s has been trying to develop a greater range of pork, poultry and fish offerings to balance out their menu. The addition of new fish sandwiches on their menu had necessitated the addition of a fish-focused pairing: hushpuppies.

Released in late December on the cusp of the new year, Arby’s Jalapeño Hushpuppies were an attempt to create a side dish specifically for Arby’s latest fish sandwich offerings.

After the jump, we’ll put these puppies on the show circuit and give them an official judgement… Or just see if they tasted good.

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FOOD: Taco Bell – Grilled Stuft Nacho [Discontinued]

Grilled Stuft Nacho

In December of 2013, Taco Bell came out with one of its most… innovative limited time product offers in a while: the Grilled Stuft Nacho. Promising to be all the goodness of a plate of nachos that could be held in one hand, it became a minor sensation fulfilling Taco Bell’s typical promise of cheap food that was easy to eat. It was discontinued rather quickly, before we could give it a try.

It was reintroduced for a brief period at the end of May, and we got our hands on it then – but did it live up to the expectation of a full-fledged nacho experience in the palm of your hand? Read On…

FOOD: Little Caesars – Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza

Little Caesars Pretzel Crust 01

Hey, when was the last time you had something with pretzel in it? Not like, actually eating a pretzel, but when was the last time you ate a pretzel bun, or pretzel crust, or anything made with pretzel? Months ago, right? Right. So why is it, on June 29, 2015 on this dear sweet planet Earth, that Little Caesars decided to re-introduce its Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza?

Don’t get us wrong – it’s not a bad pizza, at least in our opinion, but the pretzel fad is over. Their last limited time offer was a bacon-crusted deep dish pizza, which was sensible because bacon will never die as long as Americans continue to love making their hearts suffer (as Wendy’s has recently proven with their Baconator Fries), but the Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza got a lukewarm reception the first time it was around when the pretzel fad was actually relevant. We can’t claim to read the minds of the Little Caesars corporate brains, but this just seems like a bad idea.

Regardless, we missed out on an opportunity to review the pizza proper the first time it came around and figured we’d jump on it while it was still (moderately) relevant again. We actually adored the pizza when it was new, so we really wanted to see if a few months off the menu would change it much.

After the jump, we’ll give this out-of-date fad cash-in another try and see if it’s gotten any better… or worse.

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FOOD: Wendy’s – Baconator Fries

Wendys Baconator Fries 01

Wendy’s has been in a pretty odd place with regards to its menu, recently. While McDonalds presses on with its “premium” burger selection and Burger King tries to cater to a value market with 2 for $5 sandwich deals, Wendy’s has been taking the healthy tack. They’ve been emphasizing the freshness and healthiness of their menu by pushing strawberry salads and fresh chicken sandwiches.

In this context, Wendy’s latest limited time offer, Baconator Fries (released on June 25th, 2015), is a little surreal. Neither healthy nor constructed out of premium ingredients, and still being sold at a ridiculous mark-up, it’s… trend-bucking? But not necessarily in a good way.

After the jump, we’ll find out if the newest member of the Baconator family can live up to the lofty standards set by its kin, or if this family reunion will just be awkward.

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