Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Burger King $1 Bacon Burger, Bacon Cheddar Stuffed burger & Loaded Tater Tots!

While cruising around one afternoon I decided to swing into Burger King (BK For short, if you are cool) for a late afternoon snack. My plan was maybe a double stacker and an order of their fries (best in fast food if you ask me...) But instead when I pulled up I was greeted with lots of signs declaring they had new items on the menu. I let out a sigh and ordered them all, because when you write a food blog, ladies & gents, that's just how things work. 
So here's one of the ads I saw...
Both of these sound & look great...right?
Yeah those both look fantastic! So...were they? Readers, prepare yourselves for a NEGATIVE REVIEW!!!!!! But we'll start on the positive side first...
Word to the wise? Let these cool off before you dive in. 
The Loaded Tater Tots weren't terrible. But when I first popped one in my mouth moments after driving away from BK, I nearly drove my car off the road into a ravine on purpose to end my suffering. Molten, liquid potato/cheese/bacon flooded my mouth, scorching my tongue like a blowtorch. When I regained my wits and let them cool down, I went back for more. They were...okay.
Lava-esque filling complete with bacon chunks!
They have a crispy outside, with potato, cheese and bacon inside. Heavy on the potato but not really on the bacon and cheese. I think if they fixed this ratio a bit they would definitely be better. Also a warning to all of the idiots like myself that these might be too hot to eat at first could help their cause, and my tongue.
I give these loaded tots a C+.

Next up was the BACON CHEDDAR STUFFED BURGER! Sounds like the thing of dreams right? Sounds like something you would get at a specialty restaurant or from an awesome place like The Meat House, that you could take home and cook on your own grill! (P.S. The Meat House has their own burgers like this and they are out of the this world. Go get some.) But...no, it really wasn't good at all.

Oh good...lettuce.
Refer back to the picture of the ad for this burger. I know it's cliche to do the comparison, but I just HAVE to here. The bun looks like a smashed up, mutated version of the one in the picture. However, it was actually pretty good. That's the most positive thing I have to say about this burger. Mull that one over.

Seriously? That thick?
Next, I pull off the top of the bun and find tomatoes thicker than the damn "STUFFED" burger patty! I like tomatoes as much as the next guy, but honestly, that top one was an inch thick! I would like to find the piece of work who thought it was alright to drop tomato slabs onto a burger like this and throw them at him like Kung Lao's hat in Mortal Kombat. Don't get the reference? 

The sauce was just a weird ketchup tasting barbecue sauce that didn't do much for it at all. The onion rings were a smashed mess. The patty itself was almost hard on the outside the the shell of some insect. That's literally what I thought as I took the first bites. The bacon & cheese that the burger was "stuffed" with was just little chunks here and there, and the cheese wasn't even melted so it ended up just being weird blobs in the patty that when thinking the outside was a bugs carapace, this would be the guts. Made it worse when some of the bacon chunks were fatty too. 

All around terrible. I give The Stuffed Bacon & Cheddar Burger an F! 
Now comes the $1 Bacon Burger. In the world of $1 burgers, Wendys & Mcdonalds both have solid offerings. BK? Not so much. So I had high hopes for this one. Which...were almost instantly squashed when I unwrapped it and thought that perhaps they had forgotten to not only put a burger patty in it, but also anything else besides the bun!

Uh...is this just a bun with nothing inside it?
False alarm! There was something in side. It was a tiny burger, a squirt of ketchup and mayo, 17 onion circles and two chunks of gristle that they probably consider to be their bacon. Awful. Two bites and then it hit the trash. I would been more satisfied if I had tossed that dollar bill out my car window, in the hopes that someone would find it and it would make their day. Nope, instead I wasted it on this garbage sandwich. I also give this one an F!

All in all, I think BK has been pretty good for a while, taking chances on things like The Bacon Sundae, but it seems like whoever is in charge of things might be making some bad decisions. It all started when they got rid of the greatest character who has ever promoted a fast food chain in history...THE KING. 
BK if you want my 2 cents, you better step up your game. That means better quality burgers, and the return of the King. Until those two things happen, expect me to make my trips to BK few and far between...

-Review by Rich

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Peppermint Crunch!

How do you know that summer is on it's way? There are many ways, my friends, but one of them you can always count on, is when you start to see new Ben & Jerry's flavors pop up in your grocers freezer department. Well I broke out my shorts last week and two days later while scooping up a few groceries at my local Walmart I found this...

I slam dunked this pint right into my cart and headed for the checkout counter, because folks, when you run a fun food blog like this one, you can't waste any time! Readers need to know about this and it's up to us to break the story! We're kind of like the Anderson Coopers of the snack food world...but not nearly as sexy.

See that? It's a Mint Chocolate Cookie Ball!
So how was it? Pretty damn awesome. Signature Ben & Jerry's chocolate ice cream with thick white peppermint swirls, gooey fudge swirls and chocolate covered mint cookie balls. They do a great job of having a bunch of different chocolates here and each one stands out on it's own.  If you're a big fan of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, you might just want to track this ice cream down this instant and buy every pint you can, because I'm pretty sure that every ice cream that has every declared itself some sort of Thin Mint inspired ice cream would bow before this one and beg for mercy.

The cookie balls are especially great and are scattered throughout the ice cream in just the right amount. They are like delicious cannonballs that bombard your mouth with a blast of chocolate & peppermint just when you think that you can't take anymore. I'm not going to lie, I almost took down this entire pint in one sitting, but in the end cooler heads prevailed and I left about a third of it in the freezer for later. 

So in the end I give Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Peppermint Crunch a solid A. It doesn't reinvent the Mint/Cookie ice cream, but it does it better than most even dream of. 
Now if we can only get Ben & Jerry to release their Coconut Seven Layer Bar ice cream in stores. I have to drive 3 hours to the factory in Vermont every summer to get one! 

This might be the greatest ice cream of all time... Coconut 7 Layer Bar!
But until they do, I'll keep making that trek. It's a beautiful drive, the factory tour is always fun (plus you get free ice cream at the end!) oh yeah...and you get to take your picture like this...

-Review by Rich!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

FGFB On The Road: Cheeburger Cheeburger

Imagine my surprise when my GF told me about a burger place in NJ named Cheeburger Cheeburger that was "amazing". With a name like this, and a tiny art girl claiming the burgers are amazing, the picture painted in my mind was of small portions, bright colors, and a minimalist swedish style set up like what's been going around the frozen yogurt bar scene for the past few years. On the way to a comic con where we both had tables set up, she took me there and boy, was I wrong.

I snapped a blurry pic so you could see the set up as if you were born in the 50s and are you are of that age now, but need glasses but refuse to go because health care costs too damn much.
A classic diner setup, I was yet to be amazed because, who hasn't been to a flashy diner in their own home town only to be met with slow service and a waitress who isn't the quirky fun diner waitress, but the depressing strung-out-come-to-your-table-once ones. Cheeburger Cheeburger had a good vibe, and the colors, brought me back to my pastel swedish frozen yogurt theory. And then, a bomb was dropped on my table.

invent huh?

wait, look at those sauces! 75 cents though, pass!


Now that I was met with what probably is the greatest burger joint menu of all time, I was lost. I didn't know what to do and the thought of FREE TOPPINGS blew my mind. Sensing my loss for words, the waiter asked if we wanted to start things off with some cheese fries. My overloaded brain spoke yes, and then I was asked what toppings I would like, and was met with UNLIMITED FREE TOPPINGS.

in an attempt to not overdo it (still had a monster burger to do here), we got cheese, sour cream, bacon, onions, and banana peppers

The fries were great, crispy where you needed them to be, but we mistakenly ordered cheese without thinking what kind it was. A call to all restaurants around the globe who serve cheese fries: STOP RUINING THEM WITH NACHO CHEESE. About 20% in, the fries became inedible, and just a mass of gross nacho cheese goo. I still picked at them throughout the meal, but I can't help but always feel cheated whenever nacho cheese is poured over outstanding french fries.

Washed the gross nacho cheese goo down with a mason jar of Kiwi Lemonade.
And now, on to what we've all been waiting for, the Cheeburger Cheeburger Burger. With this new unlimited topping development, I went and got what I thought would be the best combination of flavors. I got a Delirious Burger, not feeling I was man enough for the 20oz monster that lay as a possibility. This was 14oz of meat, topped with Bacon, Feta, Swiss, Onions, Roasted Red Peppers, Chopped Garlic, Banana Peppers, Mayo, and A1. I REALLY wanted to add peanut butter to my burger, just like the old college days, but again, wanted to keep my cool and deliver a review somewhere in the realm of normal people.

 This burger was absolutely fantastic. The garlic may have been a little too much, but other than that every ounce of this Cheeburger Cheeburger burger was delicious. While devouring this thing, I was thinking about how the burger had a familiar taste, but didn't feel like I was chugging back a gallon of burger grease, but still had enough to make the burger juicy and decadent. After speaking with the owner of the place, who was your classic jacked diner owner who could be an extra on the set of Expendables 3, he told me that every cow was grass fed, lived out their lives and humanely slaughtered. Which, in a world where you still eat meat, it settles the soul slightly to know that you're eating a cow that had a pretty decent life comparatively.

The picture I had of the Peanut Butter Cup Shake that the lady had acquired came out too blurry, but a few pulls from hers made me regret that I didn't get one, even though I was filled to the brim with burger meat. The Peanut Butter was a large factor in the shake, where most of the time you get a vanilla base and a hint of PB, this time, we got a deep reese style flavored peanut butter taste in shake form.

All in All Cheeburger Cheeburger was a pleasure to dine in. With only the one hiccup of the cheese fry incident which could easily have been avoided if I requested the right kind of cheese, everything here tasted phenomenal. The Burger, which should be the crown jewel of any burger place stood head and shoulders above any other traditional diner setting I've ever been to. With that, and the almost 9 MILLION ways you can customize just about anything, I give Cheeburger Cheeburger and 

With a map that boasts locations in 15 states, you should be able to find one semi close to your mouth! http://cheeburger.com/locations.asp check their site to see if there's one near you, while you're in snap a pic of your burger, and tag #FGFB online. Spread the word! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cheetos Mix-Ups: Xtra Cheezy Mix and Cheezy Salsa Mix

I don't pay a lot of attention to Cheetos, but I recently had a revelation where I realized just how good the original crunchy Cheetos actually are- they're just a solid snack that is like nothing else, and with zero changes since their inception, they're still fantastic like they were the first time you got your greedy little mits on a bag. I am not a fan of the puffy ones though, or the random imitations that show up on the shelves- they're just puffed air that turn to weird corn goo the second they hit your mouth. 

SO, I was torn when I saw these new Cheetos snacks. They're trying a bunch of different flavors, but putting them on puffy Cheetos instead of the good ones... seems stupid to me. But hey, I have a job to do, so let's get it done. 

I started with the less exciting Xtra Cheezy Mix, and instantly wondered where the contents of my bag went. Did someone open it up in the store, eat half, then glue it back together? Come on Cheetos, this is ridiculous. 

I made a fancy sampler plate and went to town. 

Clockwise, starting at the top: 

Cheddar: The OG of Cheetos. Perfection.

Parmesan: Parmesan is a pretty subtle flavor, and it doesn't stand a chance in this bag. I barely tasted any parmesan flavor- it's extremely subtle and honestly, the corny flavor of a naked Cheeto was pretty much all I tasted. Too bad, but I guess that's what you get when you go for subtlety in Cheetoland. 

Double Cheddar: While they initially taste like the cheddar on regular Cheetos amped up, they lose out because they're a puffy Cheeto. The corn flavor takes over, and I'm left wondering what the point of these is. A space filler perhaps? 

Nacho Cheese: Ok, they're on to something here. These have an almost ranchy tang to them that I can't explain, but otherwise, this is just solid nacho cheese flavor on a shape that allows for maximum coverage. Put these out in their own bag!

Altogether in one bite: A lot of cheese, and a lot of Cheetos corn. When 1 type is very good and different (nacho cheese), and the others are either tasteless or things they already sell, I wonder what the point of this collection is.

Nacho Cheese: A. Dear Chester Cheetah, please put this flavor on original Cheetos and put them in their own bag. 
The rest of the bag: Just buy original Cheetos. 


Next up was the Cheezy Salsa Mix!

I realize this is a bad picture, but opening the bag to reveal all these colors was an odd snacking experience: 


Lookit all that color!

Again, starting at 12, going clockwise,

Salsa Picante: These taste like somewhat meaty and very hearty salsa. Not too hot, but just enough. Pretty good- they definitely got the salsa flavor right. Tasty, but nothing life-changing.

Jalapeno Cheddar: I can't really taste much cheddar- they taste like jalapeno mixed with the goo these too-big Cheetos are made of, and their green color makes me feel like I'm putting dog treats in my mouth. But they're good- not too hot and a solid jalapeno flavor.

Cheddar: These are just regular puffy Cheetos, BUT, they've been rolling around in other Cheetos' business, so they have a little spice to them. NICE. They basically taste like Cheetos with a little bit of salsa/jalapeno kick added in.

Chipotle Cheddar: I'm a big fan of chipotle mixed with things, and these rule. I'm happy they chose to make these closer to real Cheetos rather than the puffy ones. These taste like a very smoky cheddar- VERY smoky, with a little spice kicking in at the end, pretty much like they should taste. Well done Chester. Also, does anyone else think these look exactly like mini english muffins?

All together in one bite: I tasted smoky cheddar first, then jalapeno, then lots of cheese, followed up by a nice smoky spice aftertaste. Pretty good stuff.

I feel like other than the Chipotle Cheddar, these should be eaten together, even though it's quite a mouthful. Jalapeno or salsa flavored snacks are almost always better with cheese, so they should, again, stop messing with puffy shapes and just put out some newly flavored original Cheetos. Imagine if important people at Cheetos read this post and put out Chipotle Cheddar, Nacho Cheese and Jalapeno Salsa Cheddar Cheetos?! I would be a very happy man.

I give this mix a B+: the flavors are awesome, but the fact that they're on puffy Cheetos kind of sucks. If you're curious though- between the 2 types, this is 100% the one you should get, and the Chipotle Cheddar get an A+. Keep the innovation coming Chester!

-review by Mike