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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FOOD: Popeyes – Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken [Discontinued]

Good garlicky fast food is never easy to find. With blandness being the predominant flavor profile of most everything you can get out of a drive-through, getting something to eat with a bold garlic flavor is next to impossible. Garlic has been the territory of pizza chains for too long! Where is the affordable fast food that is bursting with garlicky flavor?
In June of 2015, Popeyes tries to rise up to the challenge with its Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken, chicken tenderloins marinated in a blend of smoked garlic and Morita chile peppers. It’s accompanied by a new garlic themed sauce as well; Garlic Herb sauce. Popeyes is no stranger to bold flavor, so will this new item surpass flimsy expectations?

After the jump is the answer, and the results are sure to be relevant to Sriracha fans. (more…)

FOOD: Taco Bell – Diablo Sauce

Diablo Sauce 01On May 5, 2015, Taco Bell unleashed the Beast upon its unsuspecting clientele. A wicked pact was signed behind the closed doors of Yum! Brands headquarters. The souls of millions of Taco Bell lovers was the price. In return, the forces of Darkness would bestow Taco Bell their most powerful, most dangerous, most evil powers. Run! Save yourselves! La Diablo is loose!

…Well, la Diablo Sauce, that is. Taco Bell’s latest offering is Diablo Sauce, a new item that they claim is their “hottest sauce packet ever”. With a name that invokes the Dark Lord himself, this little packet has a lot of heat to live up to. Is it worthy of its Satanic title, or is it as Hot as a Hot Topic kid? (more…)

FOOD: Taco Bell – Crunchwrap Sliders (Beefy Cheddar & Spicy Chicken) [Discontinued]

Crunchwrap Sliders 01
Today, instead of describing a foodstuff that is currently available as the time of this publication, we will be reviewing a fallen limited time offering that was felled in its prime. Today, we will be lighting a candle in memoriam for one of the best fast foods we have ever had the pleasure of eating. Today, we remember Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Slider. Humble in demeanor, but big in spirit, Crunchwrap Sliders lived a life full of zest, full of flavor, full of… I’m sorry, I – I just… have something in my eye…. Sob!

The Crunchwrap Slider was based heavily on its larger and older cousin, the Crunchwrap Supreme (which was introduced in summer of 2005 as a limited time offer, and became a formal menu item in 2006). Though the Crunchwrap Supreme was basically a glorified soft-shell taco, it had the unique novelty of being wrapped up like a discus-shaped tortilla sandwich, and it was the Supreme that started a series of similar menu items, such as the A.M. Crunchwrap and – yes, the subject of the review – the Crunchwrap Slider. (more…)

FOOD: Popeyes – Lemonade Icebox Pie [Discontinued]

Popeyes Lemonade Icebox Pie 01

If you haven’t had lemon icebox pie, you’re missing out. They’re similar to the classic key lime pie, with a few key differences. Made with lemon juice, condensed milk, and sugar, this pie requires little to no baking. Its name comes from iceboxes, which were the 19th century precursor to the refrigerator, because – unlike most pies – it didn’t require anything more complicated than being placed in the icebox to set.

Popeyes has come out with their own take on lemon icebox pie – well, they’ve ordered it in from Schwan’s food service, and for some reason they’re calling it a “lemonade” icebox pie. Does a citrus cold-closet confection by any other name still taste as sweet? (more…)

FOOD: Popeyes – Ghost Pepper Wings [Discontinued]

Popeyes Ghost Pepper Wings 01

It’s really hard to find truly spicy convenience food these days. The trend is picking up, but it never really matches what you can make at home or buy in a restaurant. Despite this, convenience food loves to continue branding itself as being continuous multiples of “dangerously spicy”, while the actual heat level never really rises above “uncomfortable”.
Enter the Popeyes Ghost Pepper Wings. For $3.99, you can get six wings marinated in a blend of peppers, a buttermilk biscuit, and ranch dipping sauce. This sounds pretty good, but just how spicy is it? In this article, we’ll not only be discussing Popeyes’ newest promotional item, but also the history behind the much-feared ghost pepper. (more…)

FOOD: McDonald’s – McRib

Could it be that time of year already? That beautiful time of year, when the air takes a certain chill? Can’t you just feel the holly-jolly love in the season? It is! It really, really is the most wonderful time of the year! No, no, we’re not talking about Christmastime – it’s McRib season again! Yes that’s right – our lord Ronald McDonald has once again graced us with the McRib, the processed pork patty soaked in BBQ sauce, served with pickles and sliced onion. Now people who love fast food and people who hate their arteries alike find common ground, and it’s at McDonald’s.

Today, we’re going to delve into the heart of this sandwich… and the other offal parts, too. (more…)

FOOD: Popeyes – Spicebox Chicken [Discontinued]

Popeyes Spicebox Chicken 01

If you’ve been keeping up with Popeyes news (rather than any of the many other things that are going on in the world right now), first off, good on you. I’m sure you’re a hit at parties. Second, you’re bound to already know that this month’s promotional special is the Spicebox Chicken.
If you’re not anything like us and feel like there are things more important than what America is eating right now, however, then we’re here to tell you that the Spicebox Chicken is a $3.99 special for chicken (thin strips of white meat, marinated and fried, tossed in a 12-spice blend), fries, a biscuit, and a spiced ranch dipping sauce.

In this review, we’ll be talking not only about how good this tastes, but also about some of the history behind the difficulties that fast food chicken restaurants have gone through. (more…)

FOOD: Burger King – YUMBO Hot Ham & Cheese [Discontinued]

Are you over the age of 50? Were you around the first time that bell bottoms were a fashion statement? Do you remember when the tracks on the oldies rock stations were top 40 hits? If so, you just might remember the Yumbo, a short-lived hot ham and cheese sandwich offering from Burger King. It had an official run in America from 1969 to 1974, but saw more time at individual franchises and overseas in places like Puerto Rico. Now, in December of 2014, Burger King has decided the time is ripe to re-introduce the Yumbo sandwich as part of their “2 for $5” sandwich promotion.

Like a lot of discontinued food items, the Yumbo has had a somewhat prominent following who remember the sandwich and want it back. Burger King has responded to their cries, but we have to wonder – is 40 years too long to really bring back a menu item with such fanfare? People who would have been around to taste the first version of the Yumbo would be well into their 60s by now, and while we won’t discredit the influence the over 50 crowd would have on Burger King’s decisions, it doesn’t mesh all too well with Burger King’s “cool, hip” image.

But hey, everything old is new again, right? Retro stuff is all the craze! Disco music and 70s fashion is still being re-invented today, so who’s to say that a 70s sandwich can’t be re-introduced? We’ll give the Yumbo a try, and see if it’ll be worth a revival – or if it should’ve been left in the past. Well, here goes… (more…)

FOOD: Taco Bell – Rolled Chicken Tacos [Discontinued]

It’s a generally accepted fact that Taco Bell never puts out anything new. The last successfully trending menu items they had released were the Doritos Locos Tacos and their many iterations, and they rode that wave for as long as they could. The other new items that they’ve introduced recently had received reception ranging from lukewarm (such as their frozen drinks) to incredulous (their breakfast menu), but none have shaped up to the alleged innovation of a taco with a Doritos shell.

Taco Bell is extremely guilty of its mangling of Mexican cuisine, in examples like the short-lived Grilled Stuft Nacho (which used a questionable definition of ‘grilled’, was only moderately stuffed, and had very little in common with nachos). It really should come as no surprise that they’ve managed to obfuscate the basic concept of a taquito into the mouthful that is their “Rolled Chicken Tacos”, but it’s still a disappointment.

When we first heard of the Rolled Chicken Taco, we have to admit we got a little excited. Finally, something remotely edible from Taco Bell! (Not that we have standards.) They even looked pretty tasty, featuring all-white chicken meat marinated in taco seasoning wrapped up in a corn tortilla and crispy-fried. Our excitement wavered once we noticed that was all it had in it, and dipped even further when we noticed that it was going to be a whole dollar per taquito. Regardless, we pressed on, bubbling with excitement over the thought of what is admittedly one of our favourite Tex-Mex foods finally being available at Taco Bell. We felt in our hearts that these were either going to be awesome or heart-breakingly disappointing.

Even though we had heard that these were going to be $1.99 for two, our local Taco Bell had them priced at $2.19, so we were already off to a bad start. They’re advertising these as being paired with their new Spicy Ranch sauce, but we ultimately decided on the Nacho Cheese sauce for a dip, feeling that anything we were unfamiliar with would affect our final judgment. Let’s hope that this is gonna be good… (more…)