The Grilled Cheese Burrito doesn’t redeem Taco Bell, but we’re eating there again

The Grilled Cheese Burrito was introduced at Taco Bell back in like, July, and it wasn’t until now that we’ve decided to review it. It’s not like we hadn’t had it since it came out – we’ve eaten it several times and, spoiler alert, find it really good. We’re just still bitter about the Taco Bell Menugeddon that happened around the same time period. We don’t want to give Taco Bell much attention right now.

But like a siren, the Grilled Cheese Burrito calls to us. We hear its song. The promise of crisp cheese on the outside of the burrito, and a filling almost but not exactly like our old favorite, the Beefy Fritos Burrito. We cannot resist. We must, must have this burrito. And so we did. And we had it again, and again, and again.

We broke our own oath over this thing. We pledged that we would stop eating at Taco Bell, that they had hurt us for the last time. But we knew we couldn’t stay away. It’s too, too hard. Hit the jump and you can find out what makes it so irresistible for yourself. 

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Cheetos Mac ‘n Cheese is okay.

When does irony stop mattering?

Advertisers understand that irony has been a powerful marketing force for years now. Just look at the state of many products: marketers no longer try to assure us that their products are superior, or quality, or even good. They openly and unabashedly embrace the idea that their goods are bad, strange, and comedic. “Honesty” is valued above anything else – so what if the product is garbage? You know you want it, you slob!

And we – I specifically mean food reviewers, including us here at Eggware.XYZ – fall for it every time. There’s almost nothing we can do to keep ourselves from eating these awful foods, talking about how bad they are, how absolutely awful these things are, what were they thinking? The companies that produce this garbage love it when we do this. There’s no way to actually and accurately communicate something is bad anymore. “No such thing as bad publicity” has been actively weaponized. The more we mock them, the more we insult them, the more we bemoan their terrible practices, the stronger they get.

So it’s with a heavy heart that we have decided to review the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese today. We know just by acknowledging this product’s existence, we’re letting Frito-Lay score a win over us. We don’t care anymore. To paraphrase Allen Ginsberg, you can’t win, you can’t break even, you can’t even leave the game. The world has to know how awful this stuff is.

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Surveying the Vaults of Vaarn

In case you aren’t keyed into the broader tabletop RPG universe, there’s something of an Old-School Revival or Renaissance (henceforth OSR) going on. Many RPG gamers are looking towards the past, to the RPG heydays of the 70s and 80s, to draw inspiration for the future of tabletop games. And what, exactly, does this imply? Well, the members of the OSR aren’t always sure themselves, but it’s typically a broader focus on player agency and dungeon crawling, increased risk of character death, and reduced focus on pre-written plots. The gamemaster of an OSR game is once again an impartial referee, whose role is to simply mediate the world that the players explore in a sandbox style. “Rulings, not rules” is a common refrain – instead of having granular rulesets that explore every possible corner-case, OSR games prefer lighter and simpler rules, giving the gamemaster the final say on what is and isn’t permissible. 

But what I like about the OSR scene is the incredible bulk of content for it. There’s a lot, and I mean a lot, of really fantastic OSR blogs, zines, and books out in the world filled to the brim with imaginative and wild settings. One of these settings is Vaults of Vaarn, a pay-what-you-want zine by author Leo Hunt A.K.A. graculusdroog on itch.io.

I downloaded Vaults of Vaarn on a lark, looking for more interesting RPG content to consume, and found myself blown away. Hunt emphasizes strongly his influences, naming Dune, Hyperion, and The Book of the New Sun, as well as the art of Moebius. He says it’s fine if you’re not familiar with these works, because it’ll “make his theft seem original.” Well, I’m not familiar with any of these works (aside from the art of Moebius), and Vaarn seems pretty damn original to me. So original, in fact, I thought I’d do a little review of it, just because it’s got me so jazzed.

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Popeyes’ “Twisty” Wicked Shrimp gets it twisted on the wickedness

Popeyes is one of our favorite restaurants for limited time offers. Back in the day, we practically survived off of their amazing $4 monthly deals, all of which were interesting and completely different from what other fast food restaurants were offering.

Nowadays, Popeyes is in a pretty good position and doesn’t do “weirder” LTOs anymore. Most of their monthly offers have been more bargain oriented instead of experimental. We chalk this up to The Sandwich, a menu item that has completely changed how Popeyes does business. They’re a sandwich restaurant now, you know. You don’t need to be convinced to try their food anymore.  You go there to eat a sandwich.

That’s why when we saw their latest monthly offer was a five dollar Surf and Turf Basket, we didn’t think much of it. We were hungry, it was getting late, and some cheap shrimp and chicken sounded fantastic. It seemed like an LTO Popeyes would do nowadays. We had no idea what we were getting into. We had just ordered a basket of… Twisty Wicked Shrimp.

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Dunkin’ Donuts’ Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut: a hateful donut

“Ghost pepper” is a phrase that should not be used lightly. When you claim that your foodstuff has ghost pepper in it, we expect some serious fucking heat levels. The ghost pepper is one of the spiciest chile peppers in the world, with a scoville scale that reaches into the millions. It’s tough stuff. 

But ghost pepper has become pretty vogue in the past years. America’s love of spicy food continues to grow, and only show-stoppers like the ghost pepper can stun us anymore. We’ve looked at plenty of ghost pepper foods in the past: the ghost pepper chips from Trader Joe’s, the ghost pepper wings from Popeyes, and the Dare Devil Grillers from Taco Bell. Some of these were surprisingly spicy, and some were major letdowns, but they were all savory. Dunkin’ Donuts is introducing, to our knowledge, the first sweet ghost pepper offering.

Introducing the “Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut”, a doughnut promising serious heat levels just in time for Spooky Scary Halloween. Can the Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut scare us with its heat? Hit the jump and find out.

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The Checkers Experience

Have you ever eaten at a Checkers? Or have you ever eaten at a Rally’s? What if I told you that these are the same restaurant??? Madness, you’d tell me, those are two different names they must be two different places! But no. They are the same restaurant. With different names depending on where you are.

Wait, you’re telling me now. Isn’t that the same thing that Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr has too? Yes… that’s right. It’s the same gimmick. It’s also the same gimmick as restaurants Green Burrito and Red Burrito, a pair of places that we didn’t really know about until we started investigating this. And you want to know the real kicker? All of these restaurants are owned by the SAME PARENT COMPANY!!! What kind of gimmick is that? You get six properties for the price of three, I guess. 

Where we live, we’ve got Checkers, Hardee’s, and neither Green or Red Burrito. We’ve been interested in eating at Checkers for a long time because the people who eat there seem to really like eating there. The fries are pointed out repeatedly as a high point of the menu, and there’s nothing we like more than hot starch. A trip was inevitable. 

The thing was, the nearest Checkers to us was over half an hour of driving away. That’s fine, we like to drive, we love driving long distances, but this is something that you still don’t just do for fast food. We kept putting it off, and off, and off, but one day we were just so hungry and so bored we decided driving so long for some burgers would be worth it.

Then we kept going back. We couldn’t seem to stop. It was a waste of gas and time but it was… well, was it worth it? Let’s find out.

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New brew Mountain Dew VooDew Two, woohoo?

We like to drink Mountain Dew, but we’re pretty neutral on the regular Mountain Dew itself. Much more interesting is their large selection of flavors – the classics like Game Fuel, LiveWire, Code Red, and so, so many more. Plain Mountain Dew seems flat in comparison. Sure, sometimes there’s nothing you’d like more than the fresh taste of Green, but then you can just have a crisp Sprite or something. Why settle for less? Give me a glass of White Out and I’ll be happ- oh right, they discontinued White Out, and discontinued so many other limited-time flavors because we can have nothing good in the world for more than a moment.

In that vein, Pepsi has seen it fit to bring back the VooDew, the “mystery flavor” soda that was released last year for the Halloween season. With Fall somehow having come back again, VooDew has come with it as surely as the changing colors of the leaves.

The gimmick of VooDew, as we already defined, is that it is a “mystery flavor” which means it doesn’t taste like much at all. Last year it was revealed to be candy corn, an obviously Halloween flavor that is so flavorless that it probably could have been anything. What flavor could it possibly be this year??? Let’s find out!

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