Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mcdonalds' Mighty Wings & Burger King's Buffalo Chicken Strips

I'm not sure why football season= buffalo wings, but according to McDonalds and Burger King, it does, so they each recently put out their own offerings. Do I smell a BUFFALO WING FAST FOOD- OFF?

Of course I do. We love doing faceoffs almost as much as Castor Troy.

First up was Mcdonalds' offering: Mighty Wings.

Either I don't pay attention to anything, or Mcdonalds really didn't bother advertising that these were bone-in wings. Now sure, on the surface, I'm an idiot. They're WINGS. OF COURSE THERE ARE BONES. 
But seriously, why on earth would I think Mcdonalds would have bones in anything? I think I found a rubber band in a McChicken once, but other than that, the world knows Mcdonalds as a fast food place that has questionable meat from who knows what animal, but it's generally all meat. You can bite into anything without worrying about breaking your teeth. I didn't see anything indicating that these had bones. It certainly didn't say so on the menu.
The concept of wings will never make sense to me. Why eat something where you have to fight through skin, cartilage and eventually bone when there's something that exists (usually on the same menu) that has NONE of that annoyance and nasty stuff, and is all delicious meat? I'll never understand why people eat bone-in wings. 

So even though I just discredited the hell out of myself for this review, I threw caution to the wind and decided to try and enjoy these anyway. Maybe they wouldn't be too gross. After all, how much of Mcdonalds meat actually comes from animals anyway?

It started of good:

This thing was juicy, cooked perfectly, and VERY crunchy. In fact, the crunch was quite good. I wasn't sure if I liked the spice, but the sheer amount of fried goodness and crunch was pretty awesome. 

Then it started to get too real. 

oh good, a giant black tendon thing

Oh good, a giant glob of fat cartilage goo attached to another tendon!

This is what it looked like when I finally gave up:

If you're one of those weirdos who would rather struggle with your food and leave half of what you ordered on your plate for stray dogs to eventually rip out of a dumpster, then these could be your new favorite item at McDonalds.

Ok, here's my best attempt at a non-biased review: For people who love bone-in wings, these surprised me a lot, solely because I wasn't expecting something like this from Mcdonalds. They're bigger than I thought, they're not horribly overpriced (this 3 piece was $3.69), they're COVERED in great crunch, and they certainly appeared to be real meat from a real animal (or at least a giant version of one). 
But even being as fair as I can be, these failed on 2 levels:

1. The flavor isn't buffalo. Yes, people who like wings like all types of flavor on wings, but what says football- wings with a random spice on them, or wings covered in buffalo sauce? These were just spicy, and I couldn't even really figure out what flavor they were supposed to be other than, well, "spicy."
2. The biggest reason of all: 
"Do you have blue cheese?"
"No, would you like to try ranch?"

Seriously, can you name anyone who eats wings with ranch? I think I've met 2 people in my entire life who use anything other than blue cheese. 2 people. 

My personal rating: D-
Rating for people who like bone-in wings: C+. Points deducted for confusing spice, level of junk that isn't meat, and lack of blue cheese. 


Would BK do any better?


These were extremely standard buffalo fingers. There's nothing special about them- they're just standard fingers dipped until soggy into delicious buffalo sauce. 

PROS: Where else can you get buffalo fingers as fast as BK can give them to you? It's incredibly weird that fast food places are offering something so messy that nobody would expect to be able to get at a drive thru, but I fully support it if it's done right. These aren't anything crazy, but they're solid. 

CONS: This picture says it all:

You're probably thinking "sure Mike, those are small. But it's fast food, they couldn't have been that expensive, right? What did that cost you, 2 bucks? You cheapskate!"
You're wrong. Those 3 miniscule and very thin fingers cost $3.99. That, good sir, is a rip off. 
But hey, they're a bit soggy and soft, they're smaller than I wanted, they're way too expensive, but I am getting buffalo fingers the easiest I ever have, and I'll enjoy them!

"Hey, I didn't get any sauce, can I get some blue cheese?"
"No, we don't have blue cheese. Would you like some ranch?"

Blue cheese, Burger King. ALWAYS BLUE CHEESE. 

I liked these better, but lack of blue cheese and feeling like the dude above after seeing what I got for 4 bucks makes these fair not much better than a B-. And that's if you keep blue cheese at home (which we do, of course). 

I appreciate the effort guys, but I guess this stuff should be left out of fast food's hands.

-review by Mike

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cap'n Crunch Snack Mix, Chocolatey Peanut Butter & Sweet & Salty Caramel!

When I was a kid, almost every kind of cereal had a mascot that was known and loved. Toucan Sam, the Trix Rabbit, Snap, Crackle, and Pop, Sugar Bear, Tony the Tiger, Lucky the Leprechaun...the list went on and on. As the years go by, more and more of them vanish from the public eye. We won't even get into the conspiracy theories surrounding the Cinnamon Toast Crunch chefs. But one cereal mascot who has never faltered for a moment and is still as well known as ever, is Cap'n Crunch.

Not only does he still rock all of his classic flavors, but he also comes out with seasonal favorites like Halloween Crunch & Christmas Crunch. Let's not even get into Oop's All Berries(apparently there was a mishap at the Cap'n Crunch factory, you see), one of the greatest cereals you could ever get your grubby mitts on. This wasn't enough though. Now in 2013 the Cap'n has decided to sail the seven seas of snacking, by debuting the first two flavors in his new line of Snack Mix!

First up is the Chocolatey Peanut Butter...

Being a peanut butter fanatic, I've long loved Peanut Butter Crunch. I remember many times talking my mother into getting that instead of some healthy cereal while standing in the supermarket. I'd like to think that my arguments were on par with Tom Cruise in a Few Good Men. But most likely she just wanted me to shut up and the quickest way for that to happen was to let me jam my head full of peanut buttery cereal. But the snack mix boasts not only pieces of Peanut Butter Crunch, but also chocolate coated pretzels, pieces of Cap'n Crunch's Chocolatey Crunch, and "Candy coated peanut flavored drops" which I guess are kinda just weird M&M's. So how was it?

Well. It was just okay. It really felt like it was missing something. That it was a bunch of similar flavors that melded together into a crunchy sweet mouthful of different textures. I think it would have been better if the pretzels had been a bit saltier, or if the fake M&M's had been Reeses Pieces knockoffs. The strong peanut butter flavor of those might have pushed these over the top but as it stands right now, pretty unexciting. A huge disappointment for the Fatguyfoodblogs resident Peanut Butter lover. 
I'd give these a C. Not bad, but nothing special, and could have been amazing. If a buddy tosses a bag your way, give it a try, but should you run to the store right now for a bag? I wouldn't. 
However...you might want to run out for a bag of...

Cap'n Crunch's Sweet & Salty Caramel Snack Mix! Now this...this one is a different story. I enjoyed this one a lot. It's packed with not only the regular Cap'n Crunch & Chocolatey Crunch pieces, but also Caramel Corn, Fake M&M's and Caramel glazed pretzel balls. Sweet & Salty is always a good combination. Always. That's why this one excels far above and beyond the other flavor.

Think about it. Caramel corn, Cap'n Crunch and a fake M&M...how could you go wrong? The only weird part to this mix is the caramel glazed pretzel balls. They are delicious, buttery toffee flavored. Absolutely awesome. If you let them slowly melt in your mouth. However, if you decide to just bite it in half, it' feels like you'll be spitting out a mouth full of tooth shards because they are so hard. Every time one bursts open it feels like you just shattered your jaw. But if you take your time with them, they become the best part of the mix! 
I give these a solid B+!

In the end, I'm glad the Cap'n did this little experiment. I enjoyed them both, although The Sweet & Salty Caramel was the winner by leaps and bounds. Can't wait to see what he comes up with next! 

Feel free to email us with any questions or comments, or if you have something you want us to review! Also be sure to follow us on Twitter for lots of snack/fast food news items, and mini reviews! For even more FGFB you can LIKE us on facebook! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Denny's Build Your Own Omelette!

It's no secret that the Fatguyfoodblog crew loves them some Denny's. Any restaurant that offers a "Bacon Pyramid" to educate their guests, along with a Maple Bacon Sundae special...that's great in our book. Yeah. They actually did that. Check out the review HERE
So when we see that Denny's is offering a "BUILD YOUR OWN OMELETTE" we got wondering what kind of awesome monstrosity we could create within our nearest Denny's location. So we hopped in the Fatguyfoodblog mobile and drove an hour to the Salem, NH location to tackle this beast. 

The sign lights the way for weary travelers. 
We rode three deep and were greeted like kings when we walked through the door. Perhaps they saw the familiar logo on our shirts and knew we meant business, but I'd like to think that this location simply has their stuff together and knows how to treat customers right. Since there were three of us, we decided this was a call for a three pronged review! So like three would-be Doctor Frankensteins, we grabbed menus and began putting together our own personal monster omelettes!

RICH: I started out with the New Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake. I have to tell you, one thing Denny's always does right is supplying you with that extra bit of the milkshake that doesn't fit in the fancy glass. They could just throw it away or try to pawn it off on some other rube, but no, they give you so much, that it's almost like two milkshakes! Everyone knows the only thing better than one milkshake is two, so this starts off great. How was it? Loaded with peanut butter flavor. The chocolate was an afterthought, but I was okay with it, because I'm a peanut butter fanatic.

 Then my omelette arrived with it's side of hash browns and grilled English muffin. The omelette was pretty damn big. Loaded to the max with Prime Rib, American Cheese, Cheddar cheese,Bacon, Peppers and onions. I had to draw the line at those. I looked at the offered choices and while the fat guy part of my brain was screaming at me to get ALL THE CHEESES, I knew it would be a mistake I would pay dearly for, so I went with a combo I know works, American & Cheddar. Like the dynamic duo of cheeses.

I'll be honest, I had trouble finishing this thing. I mean look at the omelette there on the plate, just dumping out ingredients. It was so loaded that I feel like I would have been full if I had just eaten all of that without the egg at all! But, as any champion knows, you have to dig down deep if you want to achieve glory, so I did what had to be done and put this monster down.

JOSH: You know, I searched high and low for an appropriate tag team wrestling gif for the occasion, but couldn't find anything! So here we are, in an image-less segue. If anyone can find a cool one, post it in the comments and I swear I'll use it in my next post. Onto my review!

I decided to dive into the usual diner standby: coffee. The new Denny's menu boasts flavored coffees, hazelnut and vanilla.

I got myself the vanilla side of these new flavored coffees. I was pleasantly surprised it was exactly as I had hoped, a classic diner brew with a smooth vanilla flavor mixed in. Denny knocked it out of the park by not straying far from what makes a diner cup of joe appealing, and just amped it up a notch.

I then proceeded to Build My Own Sampler, featuring Cheese Quesadilla's and Jalepeno Bottle Caps. The Quesadilla's weren't all that appealing, but I mean what can you expect from a cheese quesadilla. Much like pizza, a bad cheese quesadilla is still a good cheese quesadilla. But these new jalepeno bottle caps, were where we hit the snag. I'm into decently hot stuff, but these, these were just hot for hot's sake. The pepper hotness was not of flavor, but of just whatever hot chemical equation restaurants figure out to make each one of their peppers a different hot level. I'd say dial back the kelvin's and we'd have a more solid appetizer.

That's paint on his thumbnail, folks, Josh is an artist!

sour cream doused the flame

Onto the star of the show, the omelette. I ordered a Ham, Onion, Avacado, American, and Smoky Cheese blend.

rye bread rules
The presentation looked clean, but a man of my tastes was skeptic because of how little I could see my fillings. Normally I want these things bursting with so much that I can look into the kitchen and see a Beautiful Katamari winking at me because he spent the past 30 minutes rolling things into it for me.

My fears were unfounded, as you can see this glorious testament to man's achievement birthed 9lbs 6oz of my favorite various fillings. A Spartan parent would keep this egg baby safe and train him to one day fight alongside it's legion of 300. I loved this omelet. Aside from the not so great quality ham bits you find when they happen to lose the rest of their omelet friends, everything about this was stellar.

Unlike Rich, I was unable to conquer this guy. Tried as I might, I was the Ivan Drago to it's Rocky Balboa. My every bite, taking it's toll, like I was eating iron. This Build Your Own Omelet business should be a permanent thing!

HEATH: Being the "Wild Card" that I am I went straight for the NEW! double chocolate pancake puppies with peanut butter sauce. Being an avid fan of their normal pancake puppies I knew I was in for a treat!

Like Rich, I also love peanut butter! It pumps through my veins, If I ever need a blood transfusion save the O- for someone who needs it more than I do. Fill my I.V. bag up with peanut butter and shoot it straight in. Don't forget the cookie after, I don't want to pass out. This peanut butter sauce was nothing to mess with. They even serve it warmed up a bit! BRAVO.

Being a man of carriage I felt the need to amp this up and asked for some chocolate sauce as well. The waitress happily obliged and smiled. I saw that in her head she was saying "That's a great idea". This was served chilled, opposite of the peanut butter sauce. Together it was as close to heaven as I'm ever going to get, but in my mouth!

double dipping allowed

In the end I couldn't have asked for more! The six puppies I received were more than enough, but I did finish them. I Don't know if they beat the red velvet pancake puppies with cream cheese icing that I had last year, but they were damn good!

So I think, all in all, there's not much bad we can say about this promotion. It was pretty damn fantastic and well worth the money. Get to your local Denny's as fast as you can! When you do, tweet us a pic of your omelette and we'll see if it's as impressive as ours. Will you chicken out like Josh, or rise to glory in the arena like Rich? Either way, GO BUILD YOUR OWN OMELETTE RIGHT NOW!

Visit http://dennys.com/ for more on this insane promotion! As always, you can email us recommendations, questions or comments to fatguyfoodblog@gmail.com, follow us on twitter at @Fatguyfoodblog, or give us a LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fatguyfoodblog

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Target Exclusive Double Post: Rockin' Blondies & Peanut Butter Jam Session!

Unlike some of the other boring ice cream companies out there, Ben & Jerry refuse to let things get stale. Just when you start to think, "hmm, I wonder when Ol' B & J will come out with something new," they slap you in your face with two new, limited edition, Target exclusive flavors! 
Since we were shopping together when we spotted these, we figured we would each get one and do another team up review. So this week, Mike & Rich strap on their guitars, turn down the lights, and spend some time with some Rockin' Blondies at a Peanut Butter Jam Session! 

First up, the Rockin' Blondies, which is "Buttery brown sugar ice cream with blonde brownies and butterscotch toffee flakes." This sounds interesting as hell, I like the name, and I like that the cow is on a stage, rockin' out. Although truthfully, to really illustrate the idea of "rockin' blondies," the cow should have a guitar and a blonde wig. This guy looks like he's bustin out mad rhymes over a phat beat, not "rockin'."

Rappin' Blondies?

I opened that sucker up, and it looked quite appealing. 

But sadly, it was pretty blah. 

The ice cream claims that it's buttery brown sugar flavored, and while it absolutely is buttery, I really didn't taste a whole lot of brown sugar. It was just kind of a slightly different, buttery version of vanilla. And the blonde brownies were very chewy and a nice texture in relation to the toffee flakes, but they lack a lot of flavor and kind of end up just being like a chewy version of the ice cream- there's some flavor there, but not a whole lot.

The saving grace of this ice cream was the toffee flakes. They're delicious, and when eaten in the same bite as everything else, they tie everything together nicely.

But sadly, they do their best, but they don't quite do enough. I guess I shouldn't be surprised- blonde brownies are good, but if you stop and think about it, don't they always end up being kind of blah? At least in relation to a chocolate brownie? 

If the ice cream was more brown sugary and there were more toffee flakes, this would get a higher rating, and it's honestly still pretty good ice cream, it's just more bland than I want it to be. And when Ben and Jerry keep making flavors at the rate that they do, I start to question if some of the new offerings really ever needed to be made at all...

Good, but pretty lacking. I'll give it a C.

Let's see if the Jam Session turns out any better.


Peanut Butter Jam Session: A peanut butter and jelly flavored ice cream? GENIUS, let's do it!

How did it take them this long to do PB & J ice cream?!

As soon as you crack open the pint of Peanut Butter Jam Session, you can not only smell the peanut butter ice cream, but also the fruity tang of the Raspberry Swirl. It made me even more excited to dig my spoon into it the first time. I'll tell you what, I wasn't let down. The peanut butter ice cream is smooth and flavorful, but not super intense. Every bite that has raspberry swirl is a blast of sugary fruit flavor that dominates the ice cream. It's probably the most prominent flavor in the entire pint.

That swirl is a darker red than on Ben & Jerry's tie-dyed shirts!

But then a wonderful thing happens. You find one of the swirls of crunchy peanut butter and suddenly the overpowering raspberry flavor is beaten into submission. It works back and forth like this with every bite and it ends up working very nicely. Their choice of using the crunchy peanut butter was very smart too because it gives a great little bit of texture to the ice cream.
If I was going to change anything, I might make the base ice cream slightly stronger in peanut butter flavor so the raspberry swirl isn't as intense. But that's a small nit pick!

I give Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Jam Session an A-. But remember folks, I am a die hard peanut butter fan!

-review by Mike and Rich