Friday, October 31, 2014

Totino's BOLD: BBQ Chicken and Spicy Taco Style Rolls

Now that I'm sitting down to write this review, these may not be quite as new as I thought they were, but I'd never seen Spicy Taco Style or BBQ Seasoned Chicken Rolls before (and have actually only seen them in 1 Stop n Shop), so I figured it was worth letting the unwashed masses know if Totino's had added some badass, BOLD new additions to their lineup, or if they just put out utter garbage nobody should eat like they enjoy doing.

What I didn't realize (before paying 4 dollars, eating and not enjoying, then throwing out the bag) was that I'd already reviewed Jalapeno Popper rolls. Not only that, but I gave them a D-, which now, after having them again, I realize was being nice. They're easily an F. They taste like fake pepper flavor (closer to green pepper than jalapeno) with weird cheese ooze and a flavorless, hot aftertaste that didn't make me want to eat another one. I'm chalking up my forgetfulness not to an old, tired brain riddled with hits to the head and full of useless knowledge and empty spaces where things like the ability to socialize or remember bad food should be- no- I'm chalking it up to the Jalapeno Popper rolls being so bad that I chose to black out their memory. I buried their memory deep in my past, and they found a way back into my life. How BOLD of them. 

Really, I'm just real dumb. 

Anyway, my trip post is now a dub post. I should note that when I didn't remember I had already reviewed these, the Jalapeno Popper rolls were the ones I figured would be the one good roll out of the three. Yikes.

I made up a beautiful presentation of food and cooked it the way only a top tier chef would- throwing 3 in the microwave for 2 rounds of 35 seconds.


I mean-mugged the hell out of these rolls. If they were so BOLD as to enter my life and make me buy their forgotten brother- if they were so BOLD as to not exist in the nicely priced small boxes and cost 4 bucks each for a giant bag of probable crap, I would be BOLD right back in their face. 

because nothing says bold like a red bandanna headband

I cooked up some "Spicy Taco Style" rolls and opened the microwave to an overwhelmingly accurate taco smell. They certainly got that right. 

I then busted one of these apart. Boldly.

What's interesting about these is that the bag describes them as "Mexican style rolls with taco seasoned chicken and beef pizza topping in a golden crust." No mention of green peppers or jalapenos or whatever the huge chunks of green are in this. And what the hell is beef pizza topping? Isn't that just beef? Or did they coin the term "beef pizza topping" to use because it's not actually meat? 
Anyway, these tasted pretty much like spicy taco. I couldn't differentiate between chicken and beef pizza topping or taste cheese. So it was pretty much just taco-flavored goo. Which, if you're buying these, is really all you should want and expect. So these succeeded in at least tasting like what they should taste like, and then the heat kicked in. They were not kidding about these being spicy. In fact, they were so BOLD in their spice that these became hard to eat after a few. So I looked in the fridge for sour cream but came up empty. I did have some guac left over from the night before, so I gave it a shot.

And it was... ok. The guac disguised a lot of the taco flavor and sort of killed the heat, but it really ended up just being guac flavor followed by taco flavor followed by heat. And after 3, I was done. 
Gotta give these a C-, (C+ if you really like hot stuff). They taste quite a lot like taco, but the heat made them lose most of their good pretty fast. These were just too bold for their own good. 


Next up was the BBQ Seasoned Chicken Rolls, which again, I don't understand. Is it chicken seasoned with BBQ? Or is it just chicken and BBQ sauce like the bag says? Totino- you need to get someone to edit your shit.

Anyway, I was assuming these would be bad, but at the same time, I was a little excited. What if these were like tiny little BBQ chicken calzone bites? Could I have a cheaper, microwaveable version of one of my favorite things in the world?


The smell from the microwave told me that yes, I could. 

The inside told me that yes, I could. Sauce, chicken, cheese. Yes!


When you have a snack where you can't really ever taste cheese or meat, you live and die by the sauce. Seriously, I'd estimate the flavor percentages of a Totino's pizza roll is probably something like this: 

2% cheese
4% meat 
15% crust goo
79% sauce

When a snack's worth is determined almost exclusively by their sauce, that sauce had sure has heckfire be on point. And this wasn't. This sauce is initially very sweet and almost convincing as a good sauce, then the sweetness hits a really odd level of fake, candy-like, what-the-hell-kind-of-BBQ-sauce is this bad, then, after I swallowed the roll, turned into the only taste I should expect from these BOLD rolls by now- heat. 

tastes like burning

After only a few, I was disappointed and done. 

I've now tried 4 Totino's BOLD flavors (others here), and none got better than a C-.
So I had to ceremoniously take off my tough guy bandanna, turn my mean mug into a wimpy scared face, and surrender to Totino. They just proved to be too bold for me.


And when I say they were too bold, I want you to go ahead and take the O and L and turn them into an A. Yea, that spells BAD.

I reviewed Totino's venture into other flavors way back, and they didn't fare too well either. Really, the only one that stood out (that they should keep making) were the Cheesy Garlic rolls. I feel like Totino's is that band you used to love who put out an incredible debut album, a really good but not quite as good follow up, and has been searching for that magic ever since, putting out garbage upon garbage, trying new things one day, then blatantly trying and failing to recapture their sound from 10 years ago the next. And in the end, all you remember them for or care about is that first album and the one or 2 after it. And yet they keep on going, always disappointing you. 
Thanks for trying, Totino's, but I'm gonna go listen to your first album (cheese). 

-review by Mike

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Wendy's Pulled Pork Extravaganza!

Well lookeeeee here! The world's favorite red head just came out with 2 new sandwiches and a twist on their classic fries. Admittedly, when thinking of the boardroom meeting that the 83 scientists and 26 execs, all lead by a freckly-faced, pig-tailed, red-headed tween, I would never have imagined Wendy's stepping up to Arby's, and taking a venture into the vast world of BBQ Pulled Pork. So with Wendy's coming out swinging with a BBQ covered baseball bat, let's see if this titan of enterprise struck out, or hit a home run into Big Papi's windshield because he parked across the street from the Green Monster.

This time, I decided to switch things up and make an absolute glutton of myself. So here, starting clockwise from the top, is the Wendy's Pulled Pork Burger, with Spicy BBQ sauce, Pulled Pork Sandwich featuring Smokey BBQ sauce, and finally, what may in fact be the star of our show, the Pulled Pork Cheese Fries, with Sweet BBQ sauce. You'll notice, that there are now 3 different options to the BBQ sauce on your items, I decided to go with what I thought would match everything, but hey, it's 2014, do what feels good.



The heft of these sandwiches causes a fat man to giggle all the way back to the table, cause he knows, HE KNOWS, that portions are everything. (take note Friday's with your abysmal fry portions) The warm Brioche was a perfect choice to put these on, and after they sit for a few, the bun turns into this chewy encasement, that does well to contain the mess that is these burgers. The Spicy BBQ sauce wasn't that hot at all, and just tasted like their classic BBQ but with a hint of jalepeno or some other generic heat spice source. The pulled pork did it's job and provided a soft, meaty vehicle to hold sauce. Overall, pretty tasty, average, and only because of one issue that keeps it back from being stellar, which I'll get into in a moment.


So I switched it up and got smokey, and I'll tell you what,  mistake. The smokeyness of the BBQ sauce tasted so odd that I put the sandwich down a few times, not thinking I'd continue, but, I do work for a food blog know...

Unfortunately, since BBQ is the whole concept behind this, the BBQ being just plain weird kills the whole thing. Rich may be able to weigh in on this because I think he got sweet BBQ, check the comments to see if that low life has anything to add!

The larger problem here is something that I have no clue why they decided to include on these sandwiches. The coleslaw. It wouldn't be bad if it were maybe actual coleslaw, but what we get are THICK pieces of celery and carrots, that end up feeling like they don't belong anywhere near a sandwich, and makes for an odd experience. You start questioning what kind of canned "slaw" am I eating, and "are these bugs? no no, it's the slaw, wait...that's weird, is it worms? no, no, just the weird slaw ok....I think...."

So my suggestion, stay away from Smokey BBQ, and get that burger, any pulled pork burger,  Lucy Slaw-less.


During that board meeting, those scientists and execs spent many a late night just hammering away at the drawing board, knowing they got these two sandwiches ready to go but what, by god, could they release that could compliment this offering to the masses? What kind of item would make grown men fall to their knees and weep with joy? What kind of an item could make the most faithful of men sneak off in the middle of the night to see their red headed mistress and indulge in carnal mouth pleasure? Then there was a great boom, a crack of lightning cascaded through the clouds and down the ink black sky into the boardroom window, shooting glass and shards of exploded office furniture on top of the already weary scientists. As the smoke clears, a lone figure steps from out of the thick grey haze and into the light. Dave Thomas has descended from the heavens, and in his hand, an order of Pulled Pork Cheesefries.
If you can't tell I loved these. I'm not even bothered by the nacho cheese that's on it which I typically despise. This is what fast food has been waiting for. The fries topped with mounds of pulled pork, and a sweet BBQ sauce that far exceeds any of the others they currently offer. Expect these fries to get soggy about half way through, but thats ok, grab a fork and go to town.

If these weren't good enough, I have one small suggestion which might just make these too good for the average human being to imbibe.


Overall I'd have to say, Wendy's didn't really hit a home run with the sandwiches, if I knew more about sports I could have come up with something clever about in-field double or something, but I just don't have it. The Pulled Pork Cheesefries however, the ball is still circling the globe and won't drop back to earth for another 3000 years. Good job Wendy's, thank you for going up and poking Arby's with a stick and slapping them across the face. I'm excited to see what their answer is. 

BBQ Pulled Pork CheeseBurger with Spicy BBQ: B
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with Smokey BBQ: D
BBQ Pulled Pork Cheesefries: A+
-Reviewed by Josh

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Double Fall Oreo review! Caramel Apple & Pumpkin Spice!

I think we can all agree, that at the rate Nabisco is putting out new flavors of Oreo cookies, we should see another eight to ten flavors before the end of 2014, and that might be aiming low.  So it didn't faze us in the least when we heard that they were releasing TWO kinds of Oreo's this fall.  It took some looking but we finally tracked them both down. So let's get down to it!

First up we have Caramel Apple Oreo cookies!

Notice the Ferris wheel in the background...

I haven't had a caramel apple in years. You know why? They aren't that good. The caramel is usually an impenetrable shield surrounding the apple. It's like trying to bite through a solid ball of slightly sugar tasting plastic. And to what end? Fruit? Come on. If I'm going to work that hard the middle should be a salted caramel peanut butter ball with a liquid chocolate center. Whoa. Did I just make up something incredible or does this already exist? If it does, please write in.
But, in essence, the flavor of a Caramel Apple is good. So I set out to the Deerfield Fair on our annual trip and brought some of these cookies with me so that I could try them directly after sampling a fresh caramel apple directly from a vendor at the fair.

Right out of the package you can smell the sweet fake apple smell of these cookies. The white cookie with half neon green, half boot leather brown creme inside.  I have to say, I was intrigued. But first I had to track down a Caramel Apple. I did. IT COST ME FIVE BUCKS! The things I do for this blog. So? How did it measure up? Well as expected the caramel apple itself proved nearly impossible to get into. The caramel was so hard that I contemplated taking a lighter to it for a few seconds to try to melt my way through. After I finally got through it and had a bite that had both caramel and apple in it, I decided it wasn't nearly worth the trouble. But? The cookie does a pretty good job of mimicking the flavor. Although it lacks the tang of the granny smith apple. It's a bit more of a dull apple flavor in the cookie. 

Rocking the FGFB tee, but incognito. 
In the end I would say that these are worthy of a C+. If you are yourself, the biggest fan in the world of caramel apples and you're scoffing at everything I wrote in this review, by all means get yourself a bag of these. You will love them. If you are a normal person who doesn't really care to eat a caramel apple in real life? Probably skip these cookies. They aren't bad, but they aren't that good. If your curiosity gets the better of you, you won't be angry you bought them, but they will hang around for a while and you won't be excited about them at all. Perhaps save your money for these next Oreos...

Next up? Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cookies!

How could they do fall flavors without Pumpkin Spice?! Well I'm going to tell you right up front, they knocked this one out of the park. I'm a fan of pumpkin flavored items and these did not disappoint in the least. They went with the Golden Oreo cookie, which was a smart move, I'm pretty sure the chocolate ones would have been disgusting.

The second I ripped that bag open I realized they smell excellent. Like a slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving day. Another thing I noticed right off the bat with these is that there is more creme in them, than in a regular Oreo. Look at that, it's nearing double stuf territory! Let's face it, anything below Double Stuf levels is too little cream anyway, so these are automatically doing things right, out of the gate. Not only that, but aside from tasting like great pumpkin spice, the creme also seems to have the texture of pumpkin pie filling, but that could just be my crazy autumn loving brain trying to make these even better than they are.

Not only were Pumpkin Spice the best of the two, but these ones jump right up into my top Oreo cookies of all time. I loved them. I hope they keep doing them every Fall because I will be first in line to scoop them up. Try them with a mug of hot cider. DIP THEM IN THE HOT CIDER. Experience bliss.
In the end I'm giving Pumpkin Spice Oreo cookies an A+. If you don't like Pumpkin, you wouldn't be buying these anyway, but if you're a fan, you're going to love these cookies to death. Get them fast before they are gone. They won't be in stores long, because we all know in two weeks they will probably roll out twelve new holiday flavors.

Review by Rich!

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Little Caesars Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza

It's been awhile since ole Mike graced your presence with a fatguyfoodblog babblefest, but when I heard there was a whole new way to get sick at Little Caesars, I was all over it. 

I like Little Caesars. Their pizza rates about a C/C+ for chain pizza, but an A+ for value. The only value close to as good as this, in my opinion, is being able to buy a slice of roni from Cumberland Farms for a buck. But even a whole pizza there is 7 bucks, and good ole Caesar only charges 5. And it's lukewarm and ready... sometimes. I'm actually quite happy when nothing is ready so I can get a piping hot pie with a very short wait, which gives me time to look at the very short shorts of the babes who work there, I'm just saying- they should cut it out with the whole Hot-and-ready thing since it happens so rarely. Ok sorry, I'm getting off topic. 

Little Caesars is good, but 2 of the 3 of us FGFBers have sworn off eating there due to the havoc they wreak on our digestive systems and the other one never really ate there anyway. I'm not sure what they put in their pizza to keep it so cheap, but I think it's a potent mix of fiber and Ex-lax. Long ago, I decided their value and tastiness was not worth the time spent on the throne the next morning. I love my reading time just like anyone else, but I've never felt good the day after Little Caesars. Never.

Could a new pizza with Pretzel crust change my mind? 

Look at this thing. For real, that's a gorgeous pizza. It's like they made this for a commercial shoot. 

So what's the deal here? Clearly there's a pretzel crust covered in salt (just what pizza needs- Salt!). Next, they put a cheddar cheese sauce on instead of tomato sauce. Next is their standard cheese and either pepperoni or nothing, then a mix of Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan and White Cheddar cheese on top. Not bad for 6 bucks!

Time to bite into this cheese monster. 

someone wants a piece...

Aaaaand.... A+ right away. Review over. Seriously. Bravo, Little Caesars. Bravo. The cheese and roni are the same as a normal Little Caesars pizza, but that cheese sauce... god damn. It's EXCELLENT. I can confidently say I would rather have this than tomato sauce any day of the week (at least for Little Caesars). It's really creamy and really cheesy- not sharp at all, not too cheesy (as if there were a thing). It's just right. My only complaint is the one we all saw coming- there's not enough of this cheese sauce. 

In lower light, it's a mess of cheese and gloriously glistening cheese sauce:

In better light, it's scrambled eggs:

sort of

And then there's the point of this pizza- the crust. I'm gonna be honest and embarrass myself right now- I haven't had a lot of the pretzel stuff that's come out recently. I like crunchy pretzels from time to time, but I never cared about the big puffy ones you put mustard on. So, when everything started coming out pretzels, I didn't share the excitement of everyone else.

I was dumb. This flavor rules. This crust tastes exactly like pretzel. The salt is awesome, the crust is greasy and, if you're lucky, a bit crunchy. It really tastes like a giant pretzel as an added bonus after a gooey cheese-fest. 

As great as this pizza is though, this is where I turn from Reviewer Mike to This-is-where-you-can-improve-your-product Mike. I don't make a lot of the things you buy, I make a lot of the things you buy better

So, Little Caesars, here are my suggestions for you, since I'm smarter than you:

1. More cheese sauce. Pretty simple one there.

2. Give us the ability to customize. One friend said he got this with just bacon. Josh said he asked for something else and they shot him down right away. Cheese or Pepperoni were the only options. This drives the point home that these pizzas may not be as fresh as advertised (I always assumed they were just frozen pizzas). The pepperoni was good, but if I get this again, it will be just cheese, or hopefully bacon if they'll let me. Something sweeter and less salty and hot like bacon or ham would probably be phenomenal on this. The pepperoni's acidity just kind of offsets the creamy cheesiness a little too much. It's not a complaint- it's just more that the good of this pizza is lost a little bit because of the roni.

3. Make the crust more crunchy. Yes, soft pretzels are a thing people love, but the parts of mine that were a little more crispy and had a nice collection of congealed grease were the best part. 

4. Either make the whole thing pretzel or put in spots of pretzel. Let me explain. The pretzel rules, but it's honestly just the outer crust. Little Caesars might tell you otherwise, but the rest of this pizza is their regular dough. It's almost as if they brushed a pretzel-flavored glaze across the outer crust that colored the crust dark brown, then they sprinkled salt on and called it a day. And that's ok if they did that, but realistically, other than during the last few bites, I was just eating a pizza with cheese sauce, then, when the pizza was gone, I had a pretzel to eat. The bites towards the end where I got a little bit of everything were the best. So, either make the whole thing pretzel, or mix pretzel bites in like it's another topping. How cool would that be? You'd get pretzel in every bite. 

5. Stop being Little Caesars. Ok, this one isn't entirely fair, but the whole time I was eating this pizza, I just imagined how awesome it would be if a better pizza place that didn't make me sick had made this pizza. But that is bound to happen at some point... Imagine, a Dominos pan pizza with cheese sauce and a pretzel crust or bites... mmmmmmm...

Because, as great as this was, I did not feel good the next day. Perhaps the problem was with the order of Italian cheese bread I ordered on the side, but that's not my fault. That shit is IRRESISTIBLE. 

someone was very let down after this picture was taken, and it wasn't me

I have to give this pizza an A-. I'm taking back my A+ rating from before, because Little Caesars, as good as they can be, will never be worthy of a +. I don't know how soon I'll get one of these again and put myself through the pain, but I'm sure it will happen. This is just too good of a pie. 

Oh- one last and very important note: get one of these quick. I just looked into it, and this is a limited time pizza (WHHHYYY??!?!?!).

It's only available until October 26th, which gives you 17 and a half days to get this as much as possible so Little Caesars considers adding 1 thing to their already massive menu of what, 6 items? So lame. You couldn't even have waited until the Ides of March to cancel this? (sorry, had to get one Caesar joke in there).

-review by Mike

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ben & Jerry's Limited Batch: Pumpkin Cheesecake!

When you see a Ben & Jerry's Limited Batch, and you are a member of the elite Fatguyfoodblog Crew, you have to buy it. Plain and simple. There's no question in your mind. How can you tell that's true? Well we did review that Cotton Candy one a while back, remember?  So they aren't always flavors we are super excited about. I think this one ends up in that category. When I grabbed a pint at the store I think I even said, "Ehhhh okay fine." and tossed it in my basket. Do I like pumpkin cheesecake? Sure, I suppose I'd have a slice. It wouldn't be my first or second dessert choice, but I'd give it a go. So did this limited batch from our old friend Ben and Jerry surprise us or what?
Let's find out. Ladies & Gent's I give you...

That cow doesn't seem too sure about this...

Well the first thing you do when you're reviewing any food item is give it a good sniff.  So despite Mike having no interest whatsoever in trying this ice cream, I at least caught him to see what he thought of the aroma.

We're way too close here. 
We both agreed that it did indeed have a Pumpkin spice aroma. So far so good. But most pumpkin flavored items end up boasting a big pumpkin flavor, but once you get into it you're really just getting a bunch of fall spices together that make your brain think is pumpkin. Brown sugar, nutmeg,...etc.

Looks like the surface of a far off world. 

It didn't look like anything special right off the bat. But the pint let us know it was Pumpkin cheesecake flavored ice cream with graham cracker swirl, I guess I don't know what I would expect that to look like? Orange maybe? No, that would be terrible. But I'll tell you what? This ice cream? EXCELLENT.  It tastes exactly like what you would think pumpkin cheesecake should taste like. And that graham cracker swirl? Out of this world. Like many Ben & Jerry's flavors that have a swirl in them, I found myself mining the pint, following those swirls like a prospector following a vein of gold in the hills of Deadwood back in 1876.  It's that good.

I would say if you're a fan of pumpkin flavored things, and you enjoy cheesecake, that you'll flat out love this ice cream.  They nailed the flavor 100%, Ben, Jerry, if you're reading this, high five each other, because boys, you hit this one out of the park. It's a great flavor that I will definitely get again before it's gone. The only complain I would have with it is that I found myself wanting more graham cracker swirl, and I kind of wish the swirl had been slightly darker,  because it looks so similar to the color of the ice cream that it was hard to tell sometimes until you tasted it. But that's just nit-picking. This stuff is a great addition to your autumn snacking. Go grab a pint today!

I give Ben & Jerry's Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice cream a B+

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Review by Rich