FOOD: Popeyes – The Sandwich

Chicken is the most popular meat in the world. Its meteoric rise to the top has been compounded by a number of factors: a general desire to eat “healthier”, the growing pressure of climate change and the impact of the beef industry upon it, the plummeting prices of chicken meat as a commodity…. It goes on and on. Chicken is the king, and every restaurant is trying to get in on this action.

“This action” is, almost always, a kind of chicken sandwich based upon the kind offered by Chick-fil-A. If chicken is king, Chick-fil-A is its greatest kingdom; it is without a doubt the most popular restaurant in America. Its chicken sandwich is considered one of the finest among the fast food art form, and the service exhibited at its restaurant is said to be unparalleled.

Unfortunately, Chick-fil-A is incredibly homophobic.

Chick-fil-A- was founded by S. Truett Cathy, a devout Southern Baptist. It still holds on to its southern Christian heritage to this day by closing on Sunday, printing bible verses on its cups, and donating to Christian anti-LGBT hate groups. Despite these misgivings, Chick-fil-A maintains its top position in the fast food world with this winning combination: ardent homophobic supporters; people who simply do not care; and myopic poultryvores who apparently think the food really is just that good.

Popeyes, on the other hand, is not openly homophobic. It’s not the most popular chicken restaurant in America, either, but it’s got a loyal following for its unique ‘Louisiana-style’ chicken. Being a chicken restaurant, it was only natural that they would get in on the sandwich craze. But not even Popeyes could’ve expected the massive response when they released the sandwich back in August. It exploded in popularity, fermenting a sharp war between Chick-fil-A loyalists and Popeyes fans across the nation; it was so popular that every restaurant in the nation ran out of sandwiches before the promotion was even slated to end.

Now it’s back, as a permanent menu item. We tried and failed to get it when it was new, forcing us to suffer through lengthy waits at two different restaurants with advertisements still proudly posted in their windows, but now it’s up for grabs whenever. Does it live up to the incredible hype? Can it topple the Chick-fil-A throne? Find out after the cut.

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FOOD: Taco Bell – Nacho Fries


Nacho Fries! They’re back!

Then again, we didn’t really notice they were ever gone. And from the looks of it, they came back in July, so we dropped the ball on this one right through the floor. Whoops!

Nacho Fries first popped up back in January of 2018, filling a long-pondered-about hole in Taco Bell’s menu. Taco Bell, ostensibly being a Mexican-themed restaurant, has never before offered French fries in America. Their staple cheese-saturated side dish has always been their nachos (officially, ‘Chips and Nacho Cheese Sauce’). But we, as Americans, have a long and storied love of the fried potato that extends back generations; just about every other fast food restaurant has to serve french fries whether they want to or not.

Recognizing this, Taco Bell has added other potato-based dishes to their menu – first and most notably the home fries-esque “Fiesta potatoes”, as well as breakfast hash browns – but the addition of real French fries is a genuine first for the chain.

The real question is, should they have added fries at all? This “nacho” style is an interesting Taco Bell-themed twist on regular French fries, but was it the right choice to move further away from their already distorted view on Tex-Mex cuisine? Let’s find out how we feel about this.

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FOOD: Burger King – Surge

Surge…

Want to impress someone who was born in the 90s? Tell them you have an unopened can of Surge at home. Surge was a somewhat popular citrus soda released from 1997 to 2003 in the United States. Intended to be a competitor to Mountain Dew, it never managed to find a solid market and was eventually discontinued. Dedicated Surge fans didn’t take this sitting down and immediately launched a dedicated campaign to have the drink returned to store shelves.

The campaign has paid off with small victories in the past (namely the introduction of Vault, which was also quickly removed from stores) but their ultimate goal was accomplished in 2015. Surge was released as an internet exclusive on Amazon, and eventually returned to store shelves. It’s since been available pretty consistently since then as a total 90s nostalgia cash-grab. We don’t know if you can still get it in cans or bottles right now, but it’s openly available at any Burger King with a Coke Freestyle machine.

Should they have bothered to bring it back? Let’s find out.

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FOOD: McDonalds – Szechuan Sauce

Hey, you! Do you watch television? What about watching adult alternative animation? Have you ever heard of Adult Swim? And what about the show… Rick and Morty?

Well, if you’re reading this review, you definitely have. If you haven’t, Rick and Morty is a sci-fi cartoon show on Adult Swim that recently featured a discontinued McDonald’s promo sauce for the Disney movie Mulan:

Rick Sanchez, a dimension hopping ultra-genius, reveals his motive behind his erratic actions is simply to find more Mulan Szechuan dipping sauce. The mere mention of this supposedly delicious sauce set off legions of Rick and Morty fans, who began a campaign to demand McDonald’s bring the dipping sauce back.

Fortunately for them – and unfortunately for us – McDonald’s listened.

The sauce was brought back in limited quantities as a co-tie in for their new Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Tenders. And when we say limited, we mean limited. It was only available at select restaurants, with most having less than 20 packs to give out. The fans were upset to the point of requiring police intervention at some areas.

Naturally, it was an enormous blunder for McDonald’s. But they pledged that the sauce would return in December of 2017, in quantities enough that all could enjoy the tangy Asian flavor.

Now, in February of 2018, the sauce is back. Points for trying, McDonald’s.

So, is the sauce good enough to riot over? Was it worth digging back into McDonald’s 1998 recipe box for? Was it even good enough to have been a plot point in an overly-popular cartoon? Find out after the cut.

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FOOD: Trader Joe’s – Fireworks Chocolate Bar [Discontinued]

fireworks 01

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but we here at Eggware.XYZ don’t care about that. We prefer a much more important holiday that occurs days later: Leftover Chocolate Sales Day. This treasured day of celebration occurs about a week after several more “major” holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Halloween. For those of us who are bargain-minded, it’s a day of being able to afford decent chocolate and lots of it.

At Trader Joe’s, we’ve partaken of Leftover Chocolate Sales Day by purchasing a limited-time chocolate offer: the Fireworks Chocolate Bar. A bar of dark chocolate is seasoned with hot chili powder, sea salt, and popping candy.

Does the Fireworks bar really pop? Find out after the jump.

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FOOD: Dutch Crunch – Bistro Blend

bistro blend 01

Old Dutch Foods is a snack manufacturer, primarily known for their brands of potato chips. They only tend to distribute in the northern United States and Canada. Dutch Crunch is Old Dutch’s brand of kettle chips, and our preferred brand of potato chips with an unparalleled Salt & Vinegar flavor.

If you’re eating locally in the Midwest, you’ve probably encountered a plate of Old Dutch branded chips. They’re unmistakeable: they have a fresh potato flavor, are always way too salty. and are soaked in oil that covers your fingertips as you eat.

It sounds kind of awful when you put it like that, but it’s a typical comfort food for the Midwesterner. Whether the chips are tucked into a roast beef and mayo sandwich, used to scoop out Old Dutch-branded french onion dip, or just eaten on their own: it’s a distinctive mark of the region, as you can’t find them anywhere else in the United States of America.

We’ll bring the distinctive flavor of a Midwestern Bistro to the rest of America after the jump.

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FOOD: Taco Bell – Steak and Potato Boss Wrap [Discontinued]

Taco Bell Boss Wrap 01

What does it take be boss? It’s an aspiration that most all of us can relate to. We all want to be the boss of something, whether it be our own lives or the responsibilities of other people. Being the boss means a new level of responsibility and the benefits that come with it. Almost everything wants to be the boss – yes, friends, that even means Crunchwraps.

The Boss Wrap is the latest limited time offer from Taco Bell, a ‘fully-loaded’ Crunchwrap variant packed with a double serving of steak. It comes in two varieties: the “Fully Loaded Steak” comes with a double portion of steak, avocado ranch sauce, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, a 3-cheese blend, and pico de gallo; the other version, “Steak and Potato”, comes with a double portion of steak, crispy potatoes, chipotle sauce, sour cream, bacon, and a 3-cheese blend.

After the jump, we’ll see if the Boss Wrap can pay the cost to be the boss.

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FOOD: The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich Showdown!

Chicken 01

There’s a lot of fast food out there, and a lot of that fast food is based around one thing primarily: sandwiches. Hamburgers, primarily, but the realm of the sandwich isn’t limited to just beef patties. Oh no, for every good hamburger there is a good chicken sandwich standing right behind it. Chicken is the unsung hero of the fast food world, propping up big beefy burgers with humble nuggets and sandwiches.

It’s these sandwiches that we’re concerned about today. Virtually every fast food restaurant has a value menu nowadays, and the centerpiece of those value menus tends to be chicken sandwiches. Being a cheaper meat than beef, chicken sandwiches are the workhorses of any poor fast food lover’s diet where you can get an easy 4-6 sandwiches for the price of a single main menu item.

But what is the best when it comes to these value menu chicken sandwiches? With each major fast food restaurant providing a variation on the subject, it’s down to a four-way free-for-all challenge to determine this. After the jump, you’ll get to claim your tickets for the Fast Food Faceoff of the century: Eggware.XYZ’s Ultimate Chicken Sandwich Showdown!

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FOOD: Popeyes – Wild Pepper Tenderloins [Discontinued]

Wild Pepper Tenderloins 01

There are a lot of different kinds of pepper out there! What most think of first when they say “pepper” is black pepper, a member of the Piper family. For others, it would be Capsicum, the family that provides us with the intense chile peppers. And even outside of those two, there are lots of thing called “pepper” that aren’t pepper in the least, like pink pepper or allspice.

This month, Popeyes has decided to take that same wide ranging idea of what constitutes a pepper in their Wild Pepper Tenderloins, chicken tenderloins spiced with habanero, aji amarillo, and Sichuan peppercorns (spelled as Szechuan in the advertisements). Are these peppery tenderloins really that wild, or are they mild? Find out after the jump.

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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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