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: 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 – 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: 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: Sonic – Boneless Wings (Buffalo & Asian Sweet Chili) [Discontinued]

One of the latest seasonal offerings that Sonic is providing are “Boneless Wings” in three flavors: Buffalo, Asian Sweet Chili, and Barbecue. The rationality of eating sticky wings in a car aside, we thought these wings sounded like they could either be amazing or awful, so we figured we’d put them to the test.

We ordered a 12-piece, which appears to be the smallest size offered for splitting it into two flavors (which is odd, since the 6-piece is divisible by 2). Ordering Buffalo and Asian Sweet Chili seemed like the reasonable choice, since Barbecue is also a default sauce packet flavor.

Sonic Boneless Wings 01
(Asian Sweet Chili on the left, Buffalo on the right)

The chicken flavors came in two separate containers (the long flat ones, which have occasionally been referred to by customers as ‘troughs’, amusingly enough). The sauce had gotten cold surprisingly fast, even in the several layers of bags and boxes they had packaged our food in. It was warm for an autumn day, so this was mildly disappointing.

The Buffalo is tangy and sour in a way that’s reminiscent of Domino’s hot chicken wings. We hesitated to describe it as buffalo sauce, as it lacked complexity and buttery flavor. There’s no real resemblance to restaurant-style hot wings, more like the prepackaged microwave kind.

The Asian Sweet Chili is very, very heavy on the sticky sugary flavor. The sauce is a thick glaze, and is vaguely smokey with a barely-detectable ginger burn. The smell and first taste suggested hoisin sauce, but the next few bites tasted more like barbecue sauce. There’s red pepper flakes floating in the sauce, completely unidentifiable and adding virtually no flavor.

Sonic Boneless Wings 02
Tender and juicy.

As for the chicken itself, it’s generic white meat nuggets with the same flavor and consistency as their pre-existing Jumbo Popcorn Chicken menu item (for some reason, the Asian Sweet Chili was a little more crunchy than the Buffalo). The tenders are large and satisfying, good to eat in two bites and make one big mouthful when popped in whole.

Sonic Boneless Wings 03
Delicious?

3 out of 5 – Worth Trying (Wouldn’t Get It Again)
Overall, it was better than the Mighty Wings McDonald’s had put out last year, but it’s still drive-thru hot wings, so that’s not saying too much. Fast food restaurants seem keen to come back to hot wings as a gimmick, but it never really works. Sonic made the right choice by making these wings boneless, but the price and the flavor still left a lot to be desired.