Monday, November 26, 2012

White Chocolate Peppermint & Orange M&M's, a Christmas Miracle!

As we approach the holidays many snack companies decide to break out some new flavors to dazzle all those holiday shoppers into dropping their hard earned cash on treats. It's definitely a smart move because it works on the Fatguyfoodblog crew every damn time. Which makes sense, because reviewing new snacks is our business...and business is good.

First up is the Milk Chocolate Orange M&M's!
Stuff that stocking with oranges! The kids love em!

 Nothing says the holidays I can see why they decided to release these this time of year. So how do they taste? Well remember those Terry's Chocolate Oranges? The ones that you had to bang on the table to break them into slices? Yeah, well these taste pretty much like those, except in little bite sized pieces with a candy shell. Weird right?

 They are pretty good, if you like that flavor. If you're not a fan of chocolate and orange mixed together, stay far away from these. I found that they weren't an M&M I could eat a ton of. I would tend to eat a few here and there spread out over a long period of time. Not bad though.

Next up...
That Red M&M, he's got attitude.
 White Chocolate Peppermint M&M's! You rip the bag open and right as your eyes are focusing on the red and white candy pieces, you smell the peppermint. It's not a slight smell either. It's strong, so you know you're in for something intense. At first I didn't like these. I thought they tasted like eating a handful of crunchy toothpaste. However...

After this bag sat on my desk for a bit and I ended up going back to it a few times, I have to say, these grew on me. Big time. Much like the Candy Corn M&M's we reviewed a while back, I found myself liking these in the end. Sometimes all it takes is spending some time mindlessly eating M&M's for a new flavor to really sink it's claws into you. After a while the white chocolate takes a stronger hold and the thoughts of toothpaste fade away in your mind and you're left with a white chocolate peppermint treat that's perfect for your holiday candy dish.

In the end I'm a bigger fan of the White Chocolate Peppermint M&M's than I am the Orange, but hey, that's personal preference, snackers. You do what you like. But if you ask me, I say get them both and put your taste buds to the test!
Also, hey M&M's while you're creating 1034 new flavors...why not coffee???

RATING: Orange M&M's-B
                 White Chocolate Peppermint M&M's-B+
Review by Rich

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mcdonalds' CBO and Holiday Mint Mcflurry!!

After being fairly stagnant for awhile, McDonalds finally introduced something new a few weeks ago, the much advertised CBO- Cheddar Bacon Onion. As someone who has only realized the power of onions in the last few years, I was willing to try this, but honestly wasn't too excited- after all, this is kind of an odd combination to herald as a great new sandwich- a THREEMENDOUS combination if you will. It's basically just a bacon cheeseburger with onions... Did it come with any sauce? What? Creamy Mustard? That's probably the last thing I would put on it. Well, here goes nothing.

good looking burger, but where's my second piece of cheese?

Everyone loves McDonalds. Sure, it's pure garbage, they're evil, it's not meat, blah blah blah. We've all heard the hippies and health nazis try to stomp all over them. And it's not exactly quality food (I think I found a rubber band in a McChicken once), but it's generally pretty cheap and usually pretty delicious. And everyone loves them- you know those hippies are sneaking a quick dub cheese on the way home from Whole Foods. But let's be honest- they try to market their food as fancy and fresh, but we all know it isn't. It's just cheap, fat, deliciousness.

So I was thrilled to see how solid these onions looked when I straight autopsied this bad boy.

It was clearly quickly assembled, but the bacon looked like I fried it at home myself, the cheese was thick, the creamy mustard was applied liberally, and the onions appeared to be cooked and caramelized to perfection. I was now pretty excited for this. 

And it was quite good. 

The combination of bacon (that you can really taste), cheese, and super sweet and soft (but still with a little bit of crunch) onions was very good. And the creamy mustard sauce I was worried about actually worked pretty well. It wouldn't be my first choice, but it worked with the other flavors and either blended in perfectly or stood out when I'd get a lot of it and made me actually wish there as more. It's not a honey mustard, it's a creamy dijon, which I can't say I've ever had before. 

The CBO burger was good, but I feel like the amount of solid meat (angus third pounder) hurt it a little bit- a little too much slightly-too-cooked meat with too little of the other good stuff. I give the burger a B.

Would the chicken be any better?


Yes, by a mile. Look at how good that looks! Fancy roll, double cheese, crisp and juicy chicken, and a shit ton of onions. 


True- unless I'm at Five Guys or grabbing a few DCBs on the way home from Five Guys, I generally consider myself to be more a chicken sandwich guy at fast food places. But I think this is honestly more of a case of the flavors just working better with chicken. McDonalds hamburger meat isn't the best, and this chicken sandwich was perfect. The flavors all work in such a weird perfect way, it was, to me at least, a revelation. I never thought I'd be so all about a chicken, cheddar, bacon, onion and creamy dijon mustard sandwich, but I am. It's just a perfect combination of sweet-tangy-cheesy-meaty goodness, and I really hope McDonalds keeps this on the menu for a lot longer than their "Limited Time" tag would have us believe. Go try this thing- you'll be happily surprised. McDonalds has created a beast. I can't give this anything but an A+.  

Since the holidays are almost here, McDonalds has also brought back the classic eggnog shake and introduced a Holiday Mint McFlurry. As a McFlurry connoisseur, I was psyched about a candy cane/ ice cream combo.  

and it looked goooood

But, this kind of sucked. It tasted about like I thought it would- ice cream (did you know that on their website, McDonalds lists it as "reduced fat" ice cream? WTF?) mixed with peppermint flavored candy pieces, but they weren't minty enough, there were too many of them for not a lot of mint flavor (it had a weird milky flavor at times), and the biggest problem for me was that I had no idea what I was eating the entire time. What exactly is a "peppermint candy piece"? You'd think it would be candy canes right? Or maybe mint chocolate chips? They certainly feel like mint chocolate chips- but they aren't. And randomly they're super crunchy in the middle. They're almost like mint chocolate chips and candy canes mixed together, but they aren't- there were even parts that had the consistency of peanuts. Like that creeping thought of "what am I eating" most people (yes, even fat guys) had when they heard what could be in hot dogs, I found myself incredibly bothered by not knowing just what the hell I was eating. And when oddly chewy/sometimes crunchy/sometimes nutty red or green chunks don't taste nearly enough like peppermint, this just isn't really worth it. I have to give this a D. It may be great to some of you, but I just couldn't get past the lack of mint flavor from these weird concoctions of chemicals. 

If you live anywhere near a Chik-fil-a, go get their peppermint chocolate chip milkshake- it's the best of any holiday dessert I think I've ever had. Sadly, I have an hour and a half between me and that happiness, so until then, this is probably my only option.

-review by Mike

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pringles is Out of Control: Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles

Most smart people know how good sweets work with salts- not just the caramel with sea salt snacks that are suddenly everywhere, but the classic pretzel snacks and even standard potato chips with chocolate too. Look at Irwin eye this chocolate drizzled potato chip I got from Gertrude Hawk Chocolates:

I guess his opinion isn't that valid since he wants to eat everything in our house, but still- you get the idea. The idea of a mainstream potato chip company putting out chips covered in sweets is unprecedented (as far as I know), but it's not that crazy. This, however, is:

Only a few days after we reviewed their Cinnamon & Sugar flavor, I was able to find their newest experiment, Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles. And they're about as weird as you'd think they'd be. 

Opening the tennis ball container, I got a very strong scent of pumpkin pie, and a very sugary sweet pumpkin pie at that. I honestly don't know what to say about these. They taste exactly like pumpkin pie. The salty potato chip flavor isn't as strong with these as they were with the too-potato-chipy Cinnamon & Sugar ones. And not only that, it actually kind of works. Who would have thought pumpkin pie should have salt drizzled atop it? 

The reason I don't have much to say is because I can't decide if I like these or not. I keep eating one here and there as I type (as any good reviewer should do), and I have the same reaction every time. I quietly cringe as I put one in my mouth, saying "I don't want to eat this," and then I say "oh wow, this isn't bad- it totally tastes like pumpkin pie, and this is neat!" But then I finish and I don't want to eat another one. Or maybe I do. Maybe it's just that I'm not a huge pumpkin pie fan, or maybe I'm pumpkined out from all the pumpkin snacks fall brings. I think it's really that my brain is just so confused by what I'm eating that I don't know if I should be happy about eating these or not. 

So I guess the bottom line is this: you're going to try these if you can find them. And you're going to be confused too. They taste exactly like a pumpkin pie potato chip, or a pumpkin pie with a very salty, very crispy crust. So Pringles has done a fantastic job with these (they're much better than the Cinnamon & Sugar Pringles) but do I want to keep eating them? Do I cook a pumpkin pie then drizzle smashed up chips on top? Or create the crust out of these? Do I put some in the middle of a pumpkin whoopie pie? (I just realized these are all excellent ideas) Or are these just going to go on our free food shelf to be ignored? I have no idea. But Pringles did a hell of a job confusing me. 

I give these a B+ (I think?)

Now Pringles- you better not be giving us both these flavors, then releasing what we're truly excited for in such a limited release that we can't even find them. I demand White Chocolate Peppermint Pringles!

-review by Mike

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Arby's Turkey Roasters

I was lucky enough to grow up near an Arby's. Trips into town with Mom often involved lunch there. I'd get their chicken breast sandwich, with curly fries and a Jamocha shake (chocolate and coffee mixed together). The sandwich was always just ok though. In the years that passed since that Arby's closed down and I was nowhere near one, I never knew what to get when I'd find one. I finally tried their roast beef, but since I've lived in Massachusetts, I only like roast beef if it's half raw and smothered in BBQ sauce and mayonnaise. Their chicken sandwiches were always ok, but with other fast food places beating them, what could stand out as "the thing to get at Arby's?"

Oooo maybe this? 

I mean, sure- it's just a turkey sandwich, but the website promotes it this way: "Does any other turkey sandwich come close to beating the mouth-watering, juicy taste of Arby's Turkey Roasters? Freshly sliced daily and served hot on a warm toasted bun, the answer is simple. And it's 'no.'"

We'll see. I ordered the club (duh- it also comes as regular turkey on a roll, or with cheddar cheese and red ranch sauce, whatever that is). I realize a turkey sandwich isn't exactly the norm for fatguyfoodblog, but every now and then, we eat things with vegetables. And it's from a fast food place. And has bacon. And cheese. And mayonnaise. Of which I put extra on my sandwich. Because I'm fat. So there you go.

curly fries, ketchup, sandwich, soda, milkshake: 5 food groups

So how is this bad boy? Well, for starters, it's a lot smaller than the pictures would have you believe. 

I was skeptical.

But Arby's did a good job with this. The roll was warm and although fat-guy-who-only-eats-white-bread me thought it being wheat would hurt the sandwich, it actually worked much better than I thought it would. The lettuce and tomato were fresh, the bacon was crisp, and the turkey was great. It was very warm- almost to the point where it was weird because the outside had dried up and curled a little bit, but once I ate it with everything else in the sandwich, it worked wonderfully. It was thin and of good quality. This ain't slimy slabs with fat pockets everywhere- this is real.

that's a delicious mess

The bacon was a highlight- it was very crisp and super flavorful. Look at the specks of black flavor on the edge! The website lists this as "pepper bacon" oooooooooo

mmmm mayonnaise goo

The only negative about this sandwich is that I wish there was more turkey. It looks gigantic in the picture, and if I'm eating a turkey sandwich, I want a lot of turkey. Also, the cheese didn't really shine through the flavors of everything else. I'll order it with an extra slice next time. 

The real reason I go to Arby's is to get their curly fries (my favorite fast food fries) and a Jamocha shake. I wolved these down like the pathetic pig I am, alone in a dark food court, and I probably made grunting noises too- I don't care. 

I've never pretended there was any other reason I went to Arby's. The problem was always what I would eat on the side of my fries and milkshake. I think I've found it. 

This wasn't the best turkey sandwich for me- D'Angelo still has unequivocally the best turkey of any sandwich or fast food place. But it was damn good, and I felt like I was eating a sandwich from a pretentious sandwich/coffee shop deep in some shopping district in some fancy city- I guess I should have expected that from a place that created "Market Fresh sandwiches," but this was a nice surprise. If you want to class up your 2 orders of large fries a bit, then go with this bad boy the next time you're lucky enough to waddle into an Arby's. 

-review by Mike.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cinnamon & Sugar Pringles!

A little while back we heard word that Pringles was going to release some dessert flavored chips for the holidays. Saw a picture a few weeks back too, but still didn't believe it was true. In fact, I'm pretty sure I accused that first pic of being Photoshopped. Well, ladies & gents, I'm happy to say I was wrong. Pringles have once again proved that they are constantly looking to try something new, and step their game up to the next level.
Alas, of the three dessert flavors, we have so far only been able to get our grubby hands on these...
Limited edition Pringles: Cinnamon & Sugar!

Irwin liked the looks of these ones...

If you've had one Pringle, you've probably got an idea of what a new flavor of Pringles is going to taste like. We all know different flavors of Pringles just rely on a different flavor of colored dust shot onto the chip. Some are a great snack, others fall short. But we always give Pringles props for constantly tossing new flavors out there. These are the most tame of their proposed dessert flavors, the other two are Pumpkin Pie Spice & White Chocolate Peppermint. I figured we'd be getting the standard Pringle chip with a powerful blast of cinnamon sugar powder on them. Well...I was right about one part...

Down the rabbit hole...
 The plain Pringle chip flavor is VERY apparent when eating these. Also? Salt. So let's review...these have lots of pulpy potato flavor, salt...oh yeah and a whisper of cinnamon and sugar. This is where the problem lies with these. They should have been extremely dusted with cinnamon sugar, especially if they were using the usual amount of salt on a plain Pringle. But they didn't at all. It's a slight dusting on about half of one side of the chip. They taste best if you look for it and lay the sweet part directly onto your tongue before you chomp them up, otherwise the sweetness of them is lost between the salt and potato tastes.

Not enough sweet dust!
These should have been the chip version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, just spilling grains of cinnamon sugar all over you while eating them. I should have to take a vacuum to my shirt after eating some of these because I've dumped so much cinnamon sugar on me. But alas, this is not the case. My only hope is that the upcoming Pumpkin Pie Spice and White Chocolate Peppermint Pringles will pick up the slack where these fall short. The upside is that Pringles are cheap, so even if you aren't sold on our review and pick up a tube of them, you're not out that much cash.

I give Cinnamon Sugar Pringles a C-. They aren't terrible, but they aren't too much different from plain Pringles.
Review by Rich!