Taco Bell's Crispy Chicken is a Fast Food Revolución

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Photo by Ryan Cady
Pictured: Trotsky

By now, dear fans, I'm sure you've read my glowing review of Taco Bell's
new Biscuit Taco breakfast items, and, trusting my dietary expertise, you've bought at least 4 of them. But what you probably don't know is the story behind the story, and the Grand Crispy Chicken Prophecy that emerged from my breakfast adventure.

When I heard that Taco Bell was bringing in Crispy Chicken for one of their breakfast tacos, I knew it was only a matter of time before the delicious, golden-fried goodness invaded other aspects of their menu. When I drove through Taco Bell at 7 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, March 26, I saw no promotional material for the new breakfast items, but my faith was rewarded. I chowed down on my Crispy Chicken Biscuit and wrote another culinary epic, I remarked to my editor - "You know, this changes everything. The Crispy Chicken Revolución has arrived."

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Taco Bell's Biscuit Taco Keeps the Dream Alive

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Photo by Ryan Cady
That's some nice chicken

Remember those Taco Bell Waffle Taco things? And that weird hash brown Crunchwrap majigger? Well, if you don't, surely you've noticed that Taco Bell is inexplicably open when most of its pot-addled clientele is asleep, the traditional American breakfast hours of 6 to 9 a.m., serving up shit that nobody asked for, like a Sausage 'n Gravy Crunchwrap.

Sidebar with me? Isn't it weird that Taco Bell hasn't tapped into "traditional" Mexican breakfast dishes like huevos rancheros, or anything involving chorizo? I mean, nobody expects authentic from the Bell - that's honestly part of its appeal - but if your entire marketing strategy is to make a breakfast that's somehow drastically different from everyone else's, maybe think about working within genre of food you serve? Instead of just making ANOTHER sausage/egg/cheese breakfast sandwich that happens to be shaped differently.)


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We Eat It So You Don't Have To: Little Caesar's Bacon-Crust Pizza

Categories: Taste Test

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Photo by Ryan Cady
Hello, Pizza

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and voice what is probably an unpopular opinion - I think Little Caesar's pizza is actually pretty great.

Now, before you all jump down my throat, and I have to hear "it's cardboard pizza!" for the forty billionth time in my life, just... just shut up and listen. That's hyperbole, and you know it.

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We Try It So You Don't Have To: Boysenberry Latte At Knott's Berry Farm

Categories: Taste Test

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Anne Marie Panoringan
Boysenberry with a side of adrenaline, please!

Starbucks has gotten on the theme park bandwagon as of late. First, they joined forces with the mouse and sold limited-edition Disney mugs and tumblers that you can only purchase within the theme parks (We're selling ours-- ka-ching!). Then, they collaborated with the Buena Park destination to serve a specialty drink only offered at one spot inside Knott's. Talk about exclusivity.

We were invited to join a friend on her boysenberry crawl, and took the opportunity to hunt down this mythical latte. It's not listed on their map, so we played tourist until a helpful boy serving boysenberry slushies found out for us. It's at one end of the Boardwalk, across from Johnny Rockets in a walk-up called Gourmet Coffee Hut. If not for a small sign with the familiar green goddess, you wouldn't realize they served Starbucks unless you actually read the menu.

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We Eat It So You Don't Have To: Red Velvet Oreos

Categories: Taste Test

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Photo by Ryan Cady
Hello there

It seems like once a month Nabisco rolls out a new flavor of Oreo usually to just quietly pull it from store shelves once the first round of sales reports trickles in. You can usual tell how good a new flavor is going to be by the amount of ridiculous Internet fan fare it receives, and for every over-hyped, three-separate-BuzzFeed-article flavor like Reese's Peanut Butter, there's two or three failures like Neapolitan or Limeade. Seriously, can anyone out there say that they tried Limeade Oreos and enjoyed them?

So right off the bat, I didn't have high hopes for Red Velvet Oreos, the foodie culture's flavor obsession circa 2010 - kinda missed the train there, Nabisco.


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We Try 6 More Trader Joe's Nut/Cookie Butters

Categories: Taste Test

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Photo by Cleo Tobbi
We're back..

Since our last taste test, Trader Joe's has still been at it with their spreadable edibles so, naturally, we're doing another taste test. Some of these spreads are veterans of the TJ shelf while others have recently taken to shining under the florescent light. Grab some milk, because things are about to get sticky.

This time, we try cashew butter, peanut butter with flax and chia seed, fig butter, cocoa-almond spread, cookies and creme butter, and cookie and cocoa swirl.

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I Ate Crispy M&M's; Or, The Day Nostalgia Died

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Photo by Charles Lam

When I was a kid, my favorite candy was Crispy M&M's, the classic chocolate candy with a grain of puffed rice embedded in the center. I remember eating chocolate before they were released -- cheap stuff like Kit-Kats and Crunch Bars --but it wasn't until the crisps that I truly had my own favorite candy. They were perfect: They didn't melt in your hand; they weren't disgustingly sweet in the way regular M&M's are; you always felt like you were eating a lot of them; and there were so many contrasting textures.

Even physically, they were attractive, in their own every-piece-is-slightly-lumpy-but-different-and-special kind of way.

And then one day, without warning (and, according to popular legend, because they were cannibalizing the sales of regular M&M's), the crispies disappeared from American shelves.

I was heart broken (and upset several years later when the Mars company gave the blue bags to the horrible Pretzel M&M's). But then this year, Crispy M&M's came back.

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We Eat French Toast Crunch; Or Why 90s Fetishism Is a Sad, Sad Exercise

Categories: Taste Test

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Photo by Ryan Cady
It is a pretty cereal

Boy, we do love our nostalgia. Seriously, in a lot of ways, as a generation, we're holding the '90s at gunpoint and demanding more majestic feats of reminiscence. The return of Surge, every television reboot ever, BuzzFeed's entire existence -- pretending the days of dial-up were better is all the rage. I'd say I worry about what happens when we run out of stuff to get nostalgic over, but honestly by then it'll be at least 2020, and we can safely daydream about how "dope" the early 2000s were and get all teary-eyed about Motorola RAZRs and Heelies or whatever.

So with a world-weary sigh, I bring you this latest review of the Ghost of Snack Foods past -- General Mills French Toast Crunch Cereal.

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We Drink It So You Don't Have To: Absinthe-Flavored Coffee

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Photo by Courtney Hamilton
So friendly looking

On a recent trip to Santa Ana's Cost Plus World Market, I made my way to the back coffee wall, as coffee addicts tend to do. Peeking out at me, beneath the sea of French vanilla and butterscotch-flavored coffee grounds, was a curious dark green package with friendly, if not slightly psychedelic hand-drawn script. The bag read "absinthe flavored ground coffee".

Produced by San Francisco-based Mavericks Coffee, the grounds advertised a litany of botanicals that flavored the beverage -- fennel, wormwood, Angelica, Hyssop and other herbs worthy of a new age, healing crystal shop. Cartooned French gimmicks -- red windmills, the Eiffel Tower, a mustachioed man in a beret -- surrounded by a green haze, covered the packaging. Signs on the shelf read "75% off," making the coffee $2. Bizarre and cheap, how could I not buy the bag.


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We Eat It So You Don't Have To: SURGE

Categories: Taste Test

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Photo by Ryan Cady
EXTREME

"I don't even remember what it's supposed to taste like."

Like almost everyone in the 18- to 25-year-old age group this month, I was a little giddy. Surge was coming back, and it was sort of like Christmas meets Back to the Future meets 90s X-Men. It was going to be extreme. It was going to be rad. It was going to be awesome.


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