Taco Bell Taste Off: Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco Review.

Cool ranch taco, taken by Shinai (do not use without permission).

Cool ranch taco.

On March 6, 2013,  Taco Bell added a cooler addition to the sharply cheesy, nacho-flavored crunchy indulgence–the cool ranch Doritos™ locos taco. For those of you who don’t know, this is the second Doritos™-inspired taco flavor, which seems to be selling very well.  I think it’s important to bear in mind that the flavor of these tacos can be hit or miss depending on whether or not your local Taco Bell is heavy handed with powdering their taco shells. This taco shell is a standard corn yellow chip color with fun ranch-like shavings on the edges. To put this in perspective, (when eating with pieces of chicken) imagine eating a chicken ranch salad with crumbled Doritos™ chips as a salad topping. Pretty simple. Add sour cream and you’ve got something worthy of worship. Let’s continue.

  Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco (regular, with beef)

I ordered this taco with beef and wasn’t really impressed, because I felt that ranch flavor was muted when paired up with the beef. The little bit of ranch flavor was easy to detect on the upper edges only; the beef flavor overpowered the ranch and I could barely taste the ranch flavor. I should have taken the minimal visible ‘ranchness’ on the edge as a hint that the ranch flavor probably wasn’t evenly dispersed.  And boy was I right. Perhaps the taco didn’t have enough cool ranch powder on it. Maybe this taco needed the powerful help of sour cream to make it fun.

  Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco (regular, with chicken)

This is where chicken becomes relevant. I ordered this taco with chicken, because I like the pairing of ranch and chicken together  I figured it would be a more natural flavor blend than beef. This flavor compared to the beef was lighter, more refreshing–almost like a salad with those crisps on them. It made me think of summer for some reason. I enjoyed this more than the beef, because the chicken flavor played off the ranch on the taco. You can taste the cool ranch flavor better and the chicken almost rounds it out.

  Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco (chicken supreme)

And this is by far, my favorite combination–the sour cream was like the cherry on a sundae. Cool ranch, paired with chicken  veggies, cheese and sour cream.  It’s amazing how muted sour cream is on its own,but in this case, it was the glue that held all of the flavors together. In the supreme taco, I didn’t feel as if the beef overpowered the ranch flavor. This time, I actually had a taco that wasn’t shy of ranch. This again, reminded me of a light and refreshing bite of summer. I was sad I didn’t get another one.

Here are my ratings:

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco (regular, with beef) Yumfactor: 2 tongues and a taste bud (2.5 out of 5 stars). The beef tasted good, but I didn’t like the combination paired up with the ranch. It could have been the lack of presence the ranch had when I ate this; the ranch seasoning on the taco shell didn’t come through very well. My taste buds prefer chicken with the cool ranch taco. It just tastes healthier–more wholesome and complimentary.

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco (regular, with chicken) Yumfactor: 3 tongues (3 out of 5 stars). I enjoy a lighter-flavored meat with this shell. I felt as if I was eating a crisp salad with a powered ranch overtone. Overall, everything blended well together. No overpowering flavors or meats with this one. The cool ranch came out of its shell a little more to say hello to the world around it.

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco (chicken supreme) Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a taste bud (4.5 out of 5 stars) I really enjoyed this. Every flavor completes the other, creating an indulgently harmonious blend of bites. The cool ranch flavor seemed to latch on to the cool sour cream and held hands; the sharp shredded cheese, lettuce and tomatoes also meshed well with the tangy ranch shell. The chicken–buried under all of the flavors–also made a humble appearance in this taco. It’s just natural this way. The chicken varieties are perfect for those who don’t eat beef, want a break from beef/horse meat/sand/whatever else, or crave a light, yet filling snack that will leave your conscious devoid of calorie guilt.

What Doritos™ flavors would you like to see as a taco shell flavor? What are your thoughts on this taco? Do you prefer chicken or beef? Rate, Comment and Subscribe!

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Taco Bell Taste Off: Nacho Cheese Doritos™ Locos Taco Review.

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Taco Bell has recently launched an inventive and tasty batch of tacos utilizing two popular Doritos™ brand flavors–nacho cheese and more recently, cool ranch. Last year, Taco Bell released their Doritos™ Locos Taco in a nacho cheese flavor, available in both chicken and beef varieties.  Here’s my experience with the nacho cheese-flavored taco in both chicken and beef.

Nacho Cheese Doritos™ Locos Taco (with chicken)

A year ago I tried the popular and well-marketed nacho cheese flavored Doritos™  locos taco (at about $1.29/regular taco; $1.56/supreme; add $0.70 for chicken). As many of you probably know, it’s noted for it’s vivid orange color, which is heaps of nacho cheese powder flavoring on the taco shell. I ordered it with chicken and thought pretty highly of it. The cheese flavor resonated with the chicken, complimenting the sharp and intense cheese-flavored taco shell. Then, I decided to be a big girl and try it in it’s original form–with beef.For those of you who don’t know, I don’t eat very much beef and I’m almost sure some people may have questioned eating beef at Taco Bell ever since the sand scare. But I digress.

Nacho Cheese Doritos™ Locos Taco (with beef and beef supreme)

I ordered the supreme nacho flavored taco with beef and thought even more highly of this pairing. Why? Well first, the meat had more depth on its own and meshed well with the nacho cheese flavor; the sour cream pulled all the flavors together.  To put it simply, imaging dipping a nacho cheese flavored Doritos™ chip in chili with sour cream then sprinkling fresh shredded cheese. Top it all off with a 1/4 teaspoon of sour cream, lettuce and tomatoes and there you go. Sorry chicken, I actually prefer the nacho cheese taco with beef and instead. Don’t worry, though. You redeemed yourself in the cool ranch taco.

Here’s the verdict, folks–plain and simple.

Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos™ Locos Taco (regular, with chicken) Yumfactor: I’m giving this taco three tongues (3 out of 5 stars). This isn’t to say it’s bad. It was above average, but not exciting to me especially in comparison to the beef flavor. The chicken creates a lighter taste. The chicken seasoning is detectable and the taco shell tastes saltier compared to the beef. Of course this is because of the mean. Great for those who want to mix it up from beef. Or sand. Or horse meat (allegedly). Hey, I ate the beef/horse meat or whatever it is and lived. *shrugs apathetically*

Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos™ Locos Taco (regular, with beef) Yumfactor: 3 tongues and a taste bud (3.5 out of 5 stars).The overall flavor here is slightly amped up compared to the chicken. The seasonings of the beef paired well with the sharp nacho cheese top note; the vegetables and the sour cream all created a delicate dance of flavor.

Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos™ Locos Taco (beef supreme) Yumfactor: 4 tongues (4 out of 5). This was fun to eat. The seasoned beef again played well with the nacho  cheese and the cool sour cream added a nice component. I shrieked in delight (no seriously, I did. I’m dramatic when I eat). This combination tasted like it was kismet, the savory beef complimenting the sharp and intense cheese-flavored taco shell. It’ll be interesting if Taco Bell plays with this inventive tacos. I’d be interested in seeing the sweet chili spice as a taco flavor. The next post is going to cover the cool ranch flavor.

What do you think about this flavor? Is it better with chicken or beef? Love it? Hate it? Don’t forget to RATE, COMMENT and SUBSCRIBE!

Wendy’s Chili Cheese fries and baked sweet potato review: Chili cheese fries and a side of moldy sweet potato.

Empty chili cheese fries.

I love Wendy’s. I am constantly doing posts on things I have tried, and decided to try the chili cheese fries and the new baked sweet potato. I thought the chili cheese fries were nothing spectacular. I’d say It could have had more of a cheese coverage, but the chili aspect was pretty proportioned, although it was thinly applied, it sufficed. There are also peppers and onions chopped up in the chili which offer decent flavor. All 3 new sides: The macaroni and cheese, the sweet potato and the chili cheese fries are $2.39. Now, for the fun stuff: The baked sweet potato. This item comes with a cinnamon brown sugar butter than smelled heavenly, and I was very much looking forward to trying this item. I open the package, took the foil off to discover mold in my potato. Now, this is not to say that all Wendy’s are to blame, but this should not have happened.

Moldy potato. It even smelled funny. It may not look as moldy in the pic, but it was moldy.

Wendy’s I do not have a death wish, but maybe if I did, I would be obliged to eating a sweet potato that has mold in more than one place. I don’t know who saw that and continued to package it, but that was off-putting. This left a bad taste in my mouth so to speak (corny, yet unintentional pun). I’d like to give it a try at another Wendy’s that actually follows Wendy’s motto of using fresh ingredients in their products, I was annoyed to say the least.


The Talking Spoon Chili Cheese Fries Yumfactor: 2 tongues and a tastebud. (2.5 out of 5 stars) Maybe 3 tongues on a good day. Perhaps this particular location just sucks, and everything they make, or the majority of things they make are not that great. I’ll give these another try, but I’d be happier if there was more cheese on it. Tasted somewhat watered down. But then again this location may not be on the ideal Wendy’s. Maybe Sonic’s has better chili cheese fries.

Sonic’s Pumpkin Pie Milkshake Review. (And Edy’s Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Overview)

Too artificial and "spicy" to be well rounded. Just so you know.

I went to Sonic’s to try the pumpkin pie milkshake which of course is available for a limited time, along with their new Kickin’ Coney and Bacon and Bleu hotdog. I had a previous run in with a pumpkin flavored dessert that left me dazed, hurt and disappointed. Actually, I’ll name names 🙂 Edy’s pumpkin pie ice cream is overly artificial in flavor, with too much focus on the sweet with poor traces of spice.  And the spice that IS there tastes off balanced. Too cinnamoney to me. I was not a fan at all…Now, I know some of you are going to say “Duh, it’s ice cream. What did you expect?” Certainly not that frozen weirdness I tasted.  Apparently, Sonic understands what I mean. Why? because their pumpkin pie flavored milkshake is amazing; it has lovely layers of rich pumpkin flavor that delicately infuses traces of cinnamon nutmeg that do not over power the pumpkin flavoring.

I took a pic, but it got deleted, so I borrowed this one.

It’s not an overly spicy shake it’s just a nicely balanced cup of bliss.  And I think Sonic’s whipped cream is indulgent and creamy and the fact that it’s topped with pie crumbles makes it even more so epic. So take that all of you who think I should expect pumpkin pie flavored ice creams/shakes to be disgusting. 😛

The texture is rich, creamy, and thick, like regular Sonic shakes are.  There is an earthy depth to the shake, as the first sip is laden with ripe, sweet pumpkin that doesn’t scare the taste buds.  Then, there is a warm undertone of cinnamon and nutmeg that add a well rounded feature to it. I felt this milkshake aptly used fall flavors of pumpkin and spice to make for a fun and sweet shake- and I feel it’s very easy to mess up frozen pumpkin type desserts by over using spiciness. I got a medium for $2.29. I wouldn’t recommend it for diabetics. Again this is fast food, so it’s not for the health conscious who are concerned with calories, fat or sugar. According to their site,the calorie content is 710. Wow. 78 g sugar, 9 g protein, and 1 g of fiber. But hey, there’s 0 g trans fat! 😀 And that’s the best of it with nutrition, folks, bt what do you expect? it’s a milkshake from Sonics!

Pumpkin Pie Shake Yumfactor: 5  tongues!! (5 out of 5 stars) I think this is flawless, and I have a friend who is scared of pumpkin flavored drinks and she agreed that is was rich, true to pumpkin pie goodness and yummy.

Edy’s Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Yumfactor: 2 tongues and a tastebud. (2.5 out of 5 stars) I wanted to like it, but it was not well balanced in flavor. I like the color though, so I added an extra “.5” 😀 It is “light” so perhaps the lack of extra fat manifests itself in the way it tastes.

What are your thoughts? Rate. Comment. Subscribe.

Arby’s Smokin’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich Review

There it is...

This limited time sandwichis a hot deal! Usually, with ordering spicy flavors on food item, I find myself dissappointd, because it’s just ot hot enough. I have even ordered Arby’s japaneno poppers and though they were good, were not as hot as I hoped. 😦 Well, this is not the casr for the “Smoking Chipotle Chicken Sandwich” Firstly, the presentation is impressive. This sandwich looks exceedingly taste and delivers a hot current of savory chipotle and jalapeno spice into each bite. If you don’t like spicy flavors, please don’t try this. It is clearly not for you. Granted, I have tried spicier foods, and I’m not trying to say this is the world’s spiciest sandwich, but it offers rich chipotle spices, and smoking jalapeno peppers which offer a great change from the standard, boring “hot sauce” spice most places offer.  (‘m sure some will disagree,which is fine) The tender all white meat chicken is filling in itself, but the fun part is the where the bacon and jalapenos peppers intersect. Bacon and cheese round out the spiciness and adds another great dimension of flavor. I have a very high tolerance for spicy food and found this to be a great item to eat. It wan’t intolerable spicy, but perfect to satisfy the inner fire needing to be fueled. I enjoyed this with a tall glass of iced peach green tea and fries.

Arby’s Smokin’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a tastebud. (4.5 ouf of 5) This is just plan good.

Nutritional Content is as follows (PLEASE NOTE: If you are watching your calories, or are on certain diets, and you know you can’t eat this, please don’t. If you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and think the calories are too high, then please don’t eat this. As obvious as this is, there may be some people who state these things, (“this is not healthy!”) which is fine, as you are allowed to have an opinion, but I want to make it clear this is blog mainly reviews junk food, which we all know is clearly NOT healthy. This blog simply reviews food and states calories content,but it NOT directly created for those with certain health conditions. There are healthy food blogs out there, and that may be a better option for you.  I simply eat the food and review it, sometimes, discussing sugar content and giving health tips, but that’s it! It’s fast food for crying out loud.)  Directly copied and pasted from Arby’s website:

Smokin’ Chipotle Chicken Sandwich
Serving Weight (g) 319 Trans Fat (g) 0 Sugars (g) 7
Calories 590 Cholesterol (mg) 65 Proteins (g) 35
Calories from Fat 210 Sodium (mg) 1820 Vitamin A (% DV) 30
Fat – Total (g) 23 Total Carbohydrates (g) 60 Vitamin C (% DV) 30
Saturated Fat (g) 7 Dietary Fiber (g) 4 Calcium (% DV) 20
Iron (% DV)

 

Copy Cat Gourmet: McDonald’s McGriddle (with Recipe)

I just made a low budget, copy cat McGriddle (for recipe, see below).  If you have not heard about the Mc Griddle by now, it’s a breakfast sandwich offered at Mc Donald’s composed of eggs, cheese, sausage (or in my case, just egg and cheese) and last but not least, 2 sweet mushy maple kissed “pancuits” (a word I created combining the words pancake and biscuits). When the item first emerged, many people were skeptical to taste it because of the traditional belief that eggs and meat should not be sweet.  Well, to them I say who wrote the rules on how eggs, cheese and meat should be eaten?  The product is sweetned with maple crystals which compliment the high sodium  in the sausage that so nicely decorates the breakfast sandwich.

I just so happen to love the cute little buggers and often crave them,only coming to a slow halt when I learned that: 1.) I do not want to continuously pay close to or slightly over $3 each time I want this sweet yet greasy delight; 2) the item has a very high sodium content.  Fine for you if you want to walk head high into a habit that can later result in high blood pressure if not properly watched.  Either way, I won’t judge.

Maple Syrup Crystals

Today, I frequented food sites and  I had come across many useful recipes that encourage saving time, gas, energy and not to mention money by recreating these products in your own kitchen.  I finally came across the recipe. Basically, the copy cat McGriddle recipe called for: flour, eggs, sugar, butter, cheese and meat for optional choices, with a somewhat  complex ingredient “maple syrup crystals”. Nearly sounding like a magical incantation of some sort, the author noted that it was available in a particular store I never heard of, which further lead me to my impulsive improvisation of this recipe. Who wants to drive some place on an empty stomach to find something like this? Not that it isn’t worth it, but will I actually find them?

*Warning! The following contains unorthodox ways of creating the classic dish, French Toast in unique manners.  If offended by the idea of eggs NOT being used in the French Toast mixture, I advise you to leave. Viewer discretion is advised.  🙂

I had a violently growling tummy,1 egg, wheat bread, maple crystals, an egg ring (an egg ring: a tuna can without a top or bottom, which when eggs are complete, results in a neat and circular fluffy, pretty little egg), sugar, milk and an idea. I was determined to make this McGriddle! I remember getting the idea after I remembered seeing Aunt Jemima’s French Toast in a store and thinking about eggs, cheese and the possibility of a turkey based meat being nestled in between two maple flavored, sticky pieces of wheat bread.

So, first things first, I complied my ingredients (Note: I do NOT actively measure out every ingredient, so please prepare some of the ingredients according to your taste. I have tried to be as approximate as I can).

This serves 1 person:

  • 1/4 c. Soy milk  (You can use whatever milk you have available)
  • 2 slices of  Honey wheat bread (Not Texas Toast)
  • 1/2 tsp or 3/4 tsp Cinnamon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp  Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Butter (To spread in the pan)
  • 1 Eggs
  • Shredded cheese Enough to cover the finished egg.
  • Pinch of  salt
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. Pancake syrup <–Take that maple crystals! Ha!

1. Preheat oven/ conventional over to 375. The first thing I did was create the meatless French Toast. (Yes, I know, you cannot officially have the F.T. without the eggs, but the purpose was to create bread that was similarly made with similar ingredients to yield a sweet, mapley taste. Plus, I only had 1 egg left. You can indeed make French Toast if you’d like.) I combined the milk, sugar, cinnamon sugar, and vanilla, mixing them together with a fork. I put aside so I would not get my ingredients mixed up.

2. I turned on my stove  to medium heat, adding a small enough amount of butter to coat the pan, and as it melted, I took a slice of bread, carefully dipping it in the mixture, coating both sides evenly. (I actually let one slice of bread sit in the mixture a little too long, and it got too soggy. Don’t make the same mistake I did!)

3. I allowed each slice to brown, flipping it so it would not get stuck to the pan.  Sadly, one of my slices were bogged down in mixture, so it became  little hard to do due to excessive moisture and sog.  (I will add that if you have never made French Toast, please consult a recipe now, because having that knowledge will help in the creation of this dish.)

4. When they were both somewhat firm, but  not fully cooked, I decided to bake/toast the slices of maple, cinnamon, vanilly bread in my toaster oven, so the sponginess would become crunchy.  (This is not necessary if your slices are firm, but chances are since there are no eggs in the mixture they will be slightly soggy.) *Also, if you do not have a conventional over, you can bake these slices at 375-400 until they get brown for at least 6 minutes.

5. I cooked the egg, first cracking it, and adding the pinch of salt. I mixed it with a fork, added more butter to the pan, and added the egg. I did not want to scramble it, so I just emptied the bowl and decided to let the egg cook.

6. When the egg cooked half way, I folded it in half, flipping in on the other side. (I figured if I flipped the egg while it was cooked, it may be harder to fold the egg.) Be sure to keep an eye on your toast so it will not burn!

7.  When the eggs finished cooking, I added some shredded cheese on the top, letting it melt. (We only had that available)

8. Add the egg/cheese (and meat if it applies) and place it inside the bread. Enjoy.

Optional:

  • Add turkey/ bacon or turkey/sausage to the sandwich.
  • Use Texas Toast bread for thicker slices.
  • Use an egg in the mixture to make French Toast slices.

Man! This was exceptionally good! My only drawback was that 1 slice was heavy, and still slightly soggy. I was too hungry to wait for it to firm so I took my chance and ate it.  The maple flavor really gave the sandwich the illusion of  the magic maple crystals, adding a nice amount of sweetness; the egg was aptly portioned and folded in between the bread and the cheese was the perfect accessory.  I added a piece of turkey sausage which made the mean taste more filling and added a nice complex taste compliment to the sweet bread.

I will say that this  is a deliciously healthy and comforting and low-budget method   not to mention, lower in sodium content because it’s prepared with less grease and fats.  While it does not taste 100% dead on to the McGriddle, it is very tasty in its own right and does mimic the original. Adding margarine versus butter also reduce the amount of fats in the sandwich.

You’ll get something like this.

Vegetarian French Toast McGriddle Yumfactor: 4 tongues out of 5 and a taste bud.