Thursday, 17 August 2017

Today's Review: Hungry Horse Waffl-Icious Burger

Another burger review, I'll turn into a burger at this rate. But anyway, here's another unique burger from the Hungry Horse summer menu, after the interesting (and disappointing) experience of the pizza burger from the other day. This one also forgoes buns, instead opting for waffles, for that all American experience I suppose? I've had chicken and waffles before, and it can be a pretty great combination. This burger features a southern fried chicken breast, lettuce, bacon, burger sauce and maple syrup, sandwiched between two savoury waffles.

I was expecting great things from this, and while it was definitely something different, it's probably not something I'd try again. The chicken was pretty good, as was the bacon, but the burger sauce and maple syrup combination was a little odd. I got used to it after a while, and must admit it wasn't too bad, but it's not a pairing I'd have on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the waffles pose the biggest problem here, they're just really dry, they were literally crumbling as I made my way through the burger, and apparently "savoury" in this case means "devoid of flavour". A sweet waffled would have been better, but I guess anything would have been better really. This burger had promise, but failed to deliver again. By all means try it out for a unique experience, but don't expect it to be a good one.

My rating: 2/5

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Today's Review: KFC Texas Ranch Burger

It looks like KFC are going down the same road McDonald's have with the Great Tastes range. KFC's version is the Southern Legends tour, four burgers to be released over the next eight weeks, starting with this Texas Ranch. It consists of an original chicken fillet, Monterey Jack cheese, a hash brown, lettuce, deluxe BBQ sauce and ranch sauce.

I was pretty excited for the ranch sauce, because ranch is a pretty great dressing. Unfortunately it's not as good as I'd hoped. It's nice and creamy, sure, but it's not particularly packed with ranch flavour, especially with the BBQ sauce overwhelming it. The BBQ is good though, smoky and sticky, which works really well with the chicken and hash brown. I wonder what it would be like with just the ranch sauce present, but I fear that might be a little too bland. As for the rest of the burger, it's pretty much a Fillet Tower in a brioche bun. The main difference here is the sauces, and they're not pulled off particularly well. A perfectly edible burger, but I was expecting something a bit more unique to start off this promotion. Hopefully the others will step it up a notch.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Today's Review: Hungry Horse Leaning Tower Burger

Pizzas for burger buns. It used to be the stuff of dreams, and then only the stuff of over the top internet food shows. But now you can experience the pizza bun at your local Hungry Horse. I would try to employ some fancy words to describe it, but just a look at the picture gives you all you need to know. It's a burger, but instead of buns, there are pizzas. Also it's topped with pepperoni, and it has bacon in it, just because.

I was looking forward to this as soon as I saw the menu, it's a dream come true, two fast food wonders combined in holy matrimony. But the reality wasn't particularly great. I know Hungry Horse isn't best known for its fine cuisine, but I figured they could put together a better quality burger than this. The beef patty tastes like one of those frozen Birdseye ones, while the "buns" are basically like the mini Chicago Town pizzas. It seems like I could probably pick up the same ingredients from the frozen aisle at Tesco and make my own burger for a fraction of the price. The pizzas weren't particularly well done (I like a somewhat crispy crust), and overall the marriage of pizza toppings and burger just isn't particularly fantastic, it's just like having a pizza with a big hunk of meat on top, except you're eating the whole thing with your hands. I appreciate the experimentation, and to be fair it's not a truly awful burger, it just seems cheaply put together, and just isn't all that tasty. 

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 14 August 2017

Today's Review: Sweetzone Pencil Jelly

It's time for another curiosity I picked up from the world food aisle in Asda. Here we have Pencil Jelly, which is jelly in pencil form. It's basically a cross between a jelly pot and a Frube, and these comes in an interesting variety of flavours, including blueberry, pineapple and lychee, alongside your regular strawberry and apple.

They're all wrapped up in a convenient tube, although accessing the stuff isn't particularly convenient. I tried ripping a small hole with my hands, but was met with a splash of un-set jelly stuff, and squeezing the stuff out was a bit of a pain, I feared the tube would burst at any moment. So I went for the scissors, and snipping the top off still yielded that liquid squirt, but it did facilitate getting the jelly out in one long, wobbly pencil. As for the flavours, they're alright. They taste fairly fruity, and some quite like the fruits they're emulating, but I wouldn't say they're much to write home about. The more exotic flavours are pulled off quite well, and I'd say that's a selling point for this pack, but don't break your neck fervently seeking these out.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Today's Review: Frijj Chocolate Zero Added Sugar

I've been avoiding this one for a while, I was pretty sure there'd be very little in the way of redeeming qualities for a no added sugar milkshake. But I finally took the plunge since they're 50p at the moment in Tesco. Yes, a no added sugar shake, which is pretty impressive, seeing as sugar is the second main ingredient in Frijj. Now in its place there are sweeteners, and for that sacrifice you get an astounding 19 less calories per 100ml. Doesn't sound like a great trade to me, but I guess I had to see how it tasted before I passed judgement.

Sugar does make a difference you know. I know it's bad for you, but it's also bloody delicious. That's what this shake is lacking, that certain sugary niceness, and although it's noticeable, I have to say it's not awful. Of course there's still the cocoa and buttermilk powder to help it along, but that lack of extra sugar makes it taste quite thinned out and watery. It's a pretty decent attempt at a no added sugar shake, and the chocolate flavour still holds up, but the change in flavour isn't quite worth the meagre saving in calories. A very average milkshake.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Today's Review: San Pellegrino Grapefruit

I do like a good old can of San Pellegrino, their lemon and orange flavours are fantastic, and I was pretty pleased when I saw this grapefruit offering the other day which I'd never encountered before. I wouldn't count grapefruit among my favourite fruits at all, it's too big and tart for my liking. But I was willing to see what the San Pellegrino treatment did to it, so I grabbed this and gulped it down. It's actually pretty refreshing, there's definitely a sharpness to it, but I'd put it on par with their lemonade, it doesn't overwhelm too much. The fruitiness is good, the high amount of grapefruit juice does wonders for the flavour. I still wouldn't say the taste of grapefruit is fantastic, but this can made for a nice refreshing, sparkling drink. I wouldn't choose this over the lemon and orange, but I'm glad I experienced it.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 11 August 2017

Today's Review: Polo Sugar Free Pots

I was recently sent these new handy little pots of Polos, they're like Polos, but they're in a pot. It's a simple innovation, but a pretty good one. I mean, I can't say I've ever had a regular pack of Polos hang around long enough to see if they become stale, but these resealable pots have got to be an improvement on wrapping the foil around the roll and forgetting it in a pocket. These pots both contain sugar free Polos, and they come in either regular or extra strong form.

These are the same size as the classic roll Polos, and there are approximately 44 of them in each pot, so that's a pretty decent offering. The pot is pretty sturdy, and easy to open and close, even with one hand, so they'd be pretty good for popping a mint in your mouth in the car. As for the taste, these are pretty good. Obviously they're sugar free, so they're not as good as the original ones, but there's enough mintiness in there to freshen up the breath. The extra strong ones are probably the best, they have more of that freshness, while the regular has something of a chemical taste to it. Still, it's nice to see Polos are now available in a handy pot form, I'll probably be keeping these in the car for easy access. You can grab a pot for around £1.49.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Today's Review: Ben & Jerry's Berry Neighbourly

It's been a while since I've seen a new Ben & Jerry's flavour, so I almost missed this nestled among the others. But thankfully my keen eye spied it, a new exclusive variety for Tesco. Sofa So Good and Wholly Couch were some great additions, so could they make it a hat trick? Here we have Berry Neighbourly, which is an odd pun, but contains blueberry and cookie swirls in vanilla ice cream, with "white chunks". By this they mean white chocolate flavour chunks, and not white chocolate. But I wasn't going to dismiss them based on semantics, I had a tub of Ben & Jerry's to get through.

I'll start with the "white chunks", because although they're not technically chocolate, they're not bad. They're pretty plentiful, and are thick and relatively creamy. They're not the best quality, but they do remind me of the good old Baked Alaska polar bears. The blueberry and cookie swirls complement each other very nicely, a nice bold fruity swirl alongside some nice crunchy, crumbly cookie, similar in texture to a cheesecake base. Some of the swirls were quite clumped together, leaving other areas of the tub as more vanilla ice cream, but the white chunks still made it a good time. This isn't the perfect tub of ice cream, but the blueberry is authentic and makes for a great new addition to the Ben & Jerry's range. Well worth heading to Tesco for.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Crunchy Melts Double Indulgence

Just a quick review to round off the trifecta of these new Cadbury filled cookies. I've already tackled the chocolate and cookie centres, but here is the Double Indulgence, which is a chocolate cookie with a chocolate centre. The more chocolate the merrier, I thought, and it turns out I was right. These ones are pretty great, they feature the same great chocolate filling of the chocolate centre cookies, which is a significant improvement on the cookie centre. The cookie itself has that generous helping of chocolate chips, as well as a satisfying, crumbly chocolate biscuit. As with a lot of double (or triple) chocolate goods, it is a little on the sickly side after a while, but it's a pretty good chocolatey effort, and once these have been warmed up they make for a great gooey chocolate snack. Well worth picking up.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Today's Review: Mini Cheddars Smoked Applewood

I finally got round to trying the third "Choose Your Cheese" flavour of Mini Cheddars, and it seems I saved the worst for last. Here we have Smoked Applewood, in crisp form. So basically, it's like a smoked version of regular Mini Cheddars. The smokiness is there, and it's alright while it lasts, but it doesn't last long. Soon it just gives way to the regular old Mini Cheddar taste, which isn't bad, but it's disappointing for a flavour that's meant to be different. I'd try out one of the other new ones if you want something with a bit of variety.

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 7 August 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Crunchy Melts Soft Cookie Centre

I rated the regular chocolate version of these Crunchy Melts yesterday, so I figured today I'd give the cookie centre ones a go. These are basically the same deal, a chocolate chip cookie with a gooey centre, but this time the centre consists of more cookie. Cookie in cookie, an odd combination, but I figured after heating them up there'd be enough goo to separate the two.

The cookies are good, much like the offering I reviewed yesterday. They're crumbly, and very generous with the chocolate chips embedded throughout. As for the centre, I can't say it's overly noticeable. It does get a little softer in the middle, but where I was hoping for more of a cookie dough flavour, it just seems to be a softer version of the same cookie. It does get better after heating them up, that soft centre gets nicely warm, and has more of that cookie dough feel in comparison to the still crumbly cookie. But the actual gooey part wasn't as large as I'd hoped, so this variety was pretty average compared to the chocolate filled ones. I'd stick with those ones if I were you.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Today's Review: Cadbury Crunchy Melts Chocolate Centre

Cadbury are back with another product, and this time they're getting in on the filled cookie market. Here we have Crunchy Melts, cookies with a melty centre. "Even better warm!" the packaging screams. Yeah, I'll take that action. See, you can enjoy these as is, or you can blitz them for ten seconds at a time, and enjoy that hot gooey goodness. Not more than ten seconds though, because then you'll burn the roof of your mouth and ruin your day.

Being the in depth critic that I am, I had to try these both warm and not, and let me tell you, these are pretty good. The cookie is nice and crumbly, and actually has a decent amount of chocolate chips spread throughout, they could have easily skimped on them seeing as there's the chocolate centre. The stuff inside is somewhat gooey straight out of the packet, and while there could have been a bit more, I'd say there's a decent cookie:filling ratio. When microwaved, the chocolate centre does get pretty warm, and it's definitely better in its gooiest state. The cookie itself doesn't change all that much, just gets slightly warmer, though not particularly so around the outside. Still, it's a pretty decent cookie, with a nice creamy chocolate centre. I'll have to try out the other varieties to see if they're as decent as these.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Today's Review: Tesco Brownie Filled Cookies

Tesco have been shoving stuff in the middle of cookies for some time now, from chocolate to cheese frosting, and now it's time to give them the brownie treatment. Yes, these unassuming chocolate chip cookies have a hidden chocolate brownie centre, which sounded pretty good to me.

I was hoping I wouldn't be disappointed as I was with the red velvet cookies, and thankfully these are pretty good. The cookie is nice and soft, and the filling is pretty great, a soft, gooey chocolatey centre that definitely gives that brownie experience. It's perhaps not as plentiful as I'd have liked, but there's enough there to get a bit of brownie in every bite. These are well worth trying out, as filled cookies go these are some of the better ones I've tried. A good brownie centre in the middle of a pretty decent cookie. 

My rating: 4/5

Friday, 4 August 2017

Today's Review: The Emoji Movie Happy Meal Box

Now The Emoji Movie is on general release, everyone can experience the soulless cash grab for themselves. But it doesn't end there, because now you can head to McDonald's to pick up the latest Happy Meal toys based on the movie, accompanied by this Emoji Movie-themed box. I often have a look over the kids' Happy Meal boxes while they're eating, and there are normally a few fun activities to complete, or something nice to look at. Not this time though.

Did you know Happy Meal boxes come with a handy tab you can rip off to turn the base into a tray? It's pretty nifty, but has been around for long before this iteration of the box, so that's not a saving grace here. So there you can see the four sides of this box, half of which barely have anything to do with The Emoji Movie. Poor show. As for the other two sides, one just has a series of pictures of Emojis, and the other has a push out speech bubble. This is what constitutes the only activity on the box. You see, that handy tab contains two rows of Emojis that you can lot into that bubble, like so:

Now you can express yourself in a variety of ways, as long as you have one of five specific opinions about seven specific items. As you can see here, I have decided that frogs make me, uh, ready to dance? It's not particularly clear, and the selection of Emojis is meagre, so I can't see how this would keep anyone interested for more than a minute. It's the only thing to do on the box as well, so it's a pretty dire offering in terms of Happy Meals. It's totally devoid of any meaningful or fun content, but I guess at least that's in keeping with the movie itself. If only there were strips to say "The Emoji Movie makes me feel unmitigated despair". 

The toys are rubbish too.

My rating: 0/5

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Today's Review: Fixing An iPhone Screen At 10pm

I dropped my phone the other week, obviously in between protective glass covers, resulting in cracks all over my screen. Getting a replacement done was cheap enough, but instead I decided to order the parts and do it myself for half the price, because clearly I'm insane. But when I rolled in at 10pm this evening to find my new screen delivered, I took it upon myself to immediately perform surgery on an iPhone with slightly bleary, tired eyes.

All in all, it wasn't too bad. I had quite a problem with a couple of tough screws, so what could have been an hour's work turned into two, so here I am squeezing a review into the final moments of the day. While it was nerve wracking at times, it wasn't overly stressful, and I'll definitely consider self-performed phone surgery again. Probably not late at night though, I think it's better as more of a morning job. 

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Today's Review: Starbucks Caramel Popcorn Frappuccino

After trying out a few of Costa's summer frap offerings, I thought I'd give Starbucks a go, especially when I saw they were offering a caramel popcorn one. I mean, they could have just taken a regular caramel frap and popped some popcorn on top, but the sign assured me that the drink itself was buttery, and had bit of popcorn mixed up in it. So in I went.

Turns out this is just like a caramel frap with some popcorn on top. I'm sorry to say that I was very disappointed with this. There were a few popcorn pieces in the drink, but it wasn't particularly noticeable in the taste. I couldn't really taste the caramel sauce either, so this was sort of like an ice slushie with a slight hint of caramel and coffee. The topping was good, with a generous drizzle of sauce and some sizeable chunks of popcorn, I just wish it carried on throughout the rest. I'm hoping mine was made a bit wrong, because this wasn't a tasty drink, just a cup of disappointment.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Today's Review: Milkybar With Smarties

Here is a Milkybar. It has Smarties in it. Therefore, it is a Milkybar with Smarties. It's an amalgamation of two classic products, which is simple in design, and effective in execution. Here we have a classic, creamy bar of Milkybar white chocolate, with a very generous smattering of Smarties throughout. The combination of milk and white is pretty tasty, and there's a satisfying crunch from the shell of the Smarties. I guess this will be a short and sweet review, there's not much more I can say about it. Good chocolate, with good chocolate inside. This is a very tasty bar, a great little twist on a classic. 

My rating: 5/5