BIJOU-REVIEW: 7 Select – Smoked Gouda Kettle Style Potato Chips

Rating: ©-3/4 chips  (return to sender)

7-select-smoked-gouda-kettle-styleWe picked up 7 Select’s Smoked Gouda Cheese Kettle Style Potato Chips on a recent stop at….. That’s right, you guessed it 7-Eleven.

What we wish we could say was that at a recent stop to 7-Eleven we happily did not pick up a bag of 7 Select’s Smoked Gouda Cheese Kettle Style Potato Chips….

Because these chips are B – A – D…..  Bad!

Similar to 7 Select’s Maple Bacon Potato Chips the chips suffer, actually fail, from an extremely heavy hand of salt.

Any thoughts of smoked Gouda cheese upon tossing a chip into the chompar are quickly obliterated by the true flavor of these chips – ocean water.

Maybe, just maybe, there is a hint of smoke flavor somewhere off in the distance.

The kettle chips themselves are decent enough, and certainly do their job – that is if there job is technically salt delivery.

Medium-thick cut, Solid crunch, but no potato flavor.

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree, let us know.

Discovered at 7-Eleven, Burr Ridge, Illinois

7-Eleven Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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REVIEW: Dimo’s – Truffle Butter Popcorn

Rating: ©-1/2 – ©©©©-1/2 chips  (return to sender to lip-smacking – depending)

dimos-truffle-butter-popcornJust the other day we stumbled upon this popcorn while actually trying to grab a few slices of pizza.  That’s right, Dimo’s is much better known for their huge selection of pizza by the slice.  But, because we also do what we do, we had to grab a bag of this New! Truffle Butter Popcorn.

It was one of those busy days so we grabbed a handful of slices for the road and just planned on warming them up at the HQ.  We’ve pretty much perfected the re-heat of pizza at Chip Review.  Pizza stone under the broiler for 20 minutes, turn off broiler, place room temp pizza directly on stone, heat for 5 minutes – crispy crust, warmed toppings, melty cheese – perfection.

While we waited for pizza stone to get piping hot we thought we would give Dimo’s New! Truffle Butter Popcorn a taste.  We tore open the cute brown paper bag to see that the popcorn also was coated with some herbs and what appeared to be parmesan cheese.  We popped a few kernels int our mouths to discover that the popcorn was completely stale and soggy.  Practically inedible.  We all looked around at each other to confirm the disappointment.  Yep, unanimous.  But then, almost also as simultaneously we all looked towards the over.  Could this popcorn be save?!  We spread it out onto a baking sheet and threw it into the piping hot oven on the rack below the pizza stone….

A couple of minutes passed, we grabbed the sheet pan from the oven and set it on top of the stove.  We could hear the butter on the popcorn crackling and sizzling.  The popcorn looked alive again.  We let it cool for as long as we could wait and then we dug in.  A transformation miracle!  The popcorn was once again fresh, and crispy, and delicious!!

You may or may not have noticed above that we had given Dimo’s popcorn two different ratings, and now you know the reason why.  One was based on the popcorn directly out of the cute, but useless (as far as freshness goes), brown paper bag; and another rating for after we had baked the popcorn for a few minutes.  We’re pretty sure that we have never done this before, but we thought, what the heck – we had also never bought truffle butter flavored popcorn from a pizza slice joint in Wicker Park before……

As for the flavoring of the popcorn, it was really delicious.  Dimo’s popcorn definitely exuded more aromatic truffle essence than any other truffle flavored popcorns we have tried.  Coupled with the rich butter, and salty cheese, the popcorn really is fantastic (after it is warmed up).

Popcorn discovered at Dimo’s Pizza; Wicker Park-Chicago, Illinois

Dimo’s Pizza Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Mr. Krisps Rings – Jalapeño Flavor Potato Crunches

Rating: ©-1/2 chips  (return to sender)

mr-krisps-rings-jalapeno-flavor-potato-crunchesWe were pretty excited for these jalapeño flavored rings; well, that is at least until we actually tasted them and realized that the rings were potato based, and not the usual corn based puffed products that we are used to here in the U.S.

Mr. Krisps Rings are another unusual snack brought back from our good friends S&A’s trip to the United Emirates.  In other words, you’re not going to find these on your local grocery store shelves.

We don’t really have much to say about these.

They are obviously puffed rings.  They are light as air.  No body or chew to them at all.  They give you one crispy crunch and then POOF, they are gone.

Where we didn’t really care for them at all was in their seasoning, or should we say, lack there of??  Seriously, these were completely devoid of said jalapeño flavor.  To top it off, they needed a visit from the salt fairy as well.

Not impressed with these at all.

Anyone out there ever tried these?  If so, please let us know.

Chips provided to Chip Review by S&A, acquired in Dubai, United Emirates

Mr. Krisps / NFI Dubai Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© – tolerable

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©©©© – lip-smacking

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REVIEW: Tim’s Cascade Style Special Batch #2 – Coney Island Potato Chips

Rating: ©-3/4 chips  (return to sender)

Tim's - Coney StyleSpecial Batch #2??  Where the heck is Special Batch #1?  Oh…..now we remember.  We actually reviewed Special Batch #1 – Hawaiian’s Island Lemon Kettle Style Potato Chips (that’s right Hawaiian Kettle Chips is a part of the Tim’s family) – a month or so ago.  Well, to say that we were a lot more impressed with Batch #1 than #2, would be a ginormous understatement!  We had high expectations for both, but while one wowed us with their tart & tangy citrus notes, the other just gave us more corny than Coney!

Many of your out there may not be familiar with Tim’s Cascade Style Potato Chips, but others of you probably know that Tim’s makes some of the most fantastic “kettle style” potato chips in the entire industry.  Large, thick cut, extra crunchy, filled with loads of delicious potato forward flavor.  Unfortunately, with these latest Coney Island flavored chips, we found it nearly impossible to recognize any of the chips’ fantastic Cascade Style characteristics due to the absurd distraction that was their flavor accuracy.

First things first, we’re assuming that everyone out there understands that by “Coney Island” flavor, Tim’s of course means the infamous Coney Island Dog.  This is made apparent by the caricature of the mustard covered hot dog in the top left corner of the bag.  Which brings us to second things second – what exactly is a Coney Island Dog?

According to most everything we read online, a Coney Island Hot Dog consists of a boiled hot dog topped with a savory meat sauce (or as we like to call it around these parts chili).  It would also include a variety of other topping variations (most dog pics we saw showed chopped raw, white onions along with mustard).  On a side note, for one reason or another these infamous dogs have become associated with Detroit, despite bearing the name of Coney Island.

Which brings us to the real question at hand, or third things third, what the heck does Tim’s honestly think they are are doing with this flavor?  Did they do any research on what a Coney dog consists of?  In our opinion, they most certainly did not!  Honestly, the only thing we tasted was mustard, on maybe half of the chips (seasoning inconsistency issues for sure).  There was no dog, no meat sauce, no onion flavors at all.  The chips should have been named yellow mustard flavor.  Disappointing to say the least.

Tim’s could learn a thing or two from the likes of International Popcorn regarding how to make a great hot dog flavored crunchy snack like their – Jersey Dog Popcorn!

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree, let us know.

Chips discovered at World Market; Oakbrook, Illinois

Tim’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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REVIEW: Pringles Exclusive Flavor! – Cheesy Quesadilla

Rating: ©-3/4 chips  (return to sender)

Pringles - Cheesy QuesadillaSorry Walgreens!!  But, you can go ahead and chock up one more abysmal addition to Walgreens/Pringles Exclusive Flavor line-up!  Further solidifying Walgreen’s last place position among all Pringles Exclusive Flavor holders.

Personally, we here at Chip Review enjoy our quesadillas the good old fashioned way, solo de queso.  Maybe, if we are feeling spunky, we’ll add some sliced jalapeños, or crunchy chicharrón in there, along with some cilantro of course; but for the most part, we love them al naturale – cheese with more CHEESE.

Soooo, that being said, you can only imagine our surprise, and ultimately our disappointment, to find that the single most significant ingredient in a quesadilla (see paragraph above) was completely missing from the list of ingredients on this new Pringles flavor called Cheesy Quesadilla.

Yep, that’s right, NO CHEESE!  In other words Pringles is 100% lying to us by calling this flavor “Cheesy Quesadilla”.  To make matters worse it appears that Pringles has just taken a mish-mash of different seasonings, ie. tomato powder, garlic powder, sugar, MSG, buttermilk, onion powder, and sour cream; plus then a handful of other tough to pronounce ingredients that probably really drive home how completely un-cheesy these Cheesy Quesadilla Pringles really are!

We’re just going to leave you with that.  We’re not going to tell you a single thing about what these new exclusive Pringles actually taste like (*hint: they do not taste anything like any cheesy quesadillas that we have ever eaten).

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree, let us know.

Discovered at Walgreens; Hillside, Illinois

Pringles Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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BIJOU-REVIEW: T.G.I. Friday’s – Sweet Potato Skins Original

Rating: ©-3/4 chips  (return to sender)

TGIFridays - Sweet Potato SkinsWe wonder if any restaurant out there has actually put a potato skin, using a sweet potato, on their appetizer menu? That sounds pretty tasty, and like it could actually work.

However, we are here to tell you that sweet potato does not work in this potato skin “chip” form.  Otherwise known as the sweet potato powder pressed potato crisp!

Yes, that is correct, the very first ingredient in these potato skins is sweet potato powder…..eww.

We appreciate TGI Friday’s stretching the potato skin family boundaries….but these simply DO NOT WORK.

Their taste is too odd, with a semi-off-putting finish and aftertaste.

The chips are sweet, there is no doubt about that.  So in that sense, they are a new type of potato skin unlike any we have tried before.  And quite frankly, based on these alone, unlike any we would like to try again.

We can, and do, taste some sweet potato, but in the end, all our mouths really did was recognize just how unnatural tasting these are.  And we agree with our mouths’ assessments!

Skins discovered at 7-eleven; Burr Ridge, Illinois

TGI Friday’s Snacks Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Snyder’s of Hanover – Zesty Ranch 50% Less Fat Pretzel Pieces

Rating: ©-3/4 chips  (return to sender)

Snyder's of Hanover - Zesty RanchWe’ve told you before, but we’ll tell you again…. Chip Review can still remember the very first time we tasted Snyder’s of Hanover’s Buttermilk Ranch Pretzel Pieces.  Rainbows! Fireworks!! Pure Pretzel Perfection!!!  Easily one our all-time favorite ranch flavored snacks.

Which is why it is SO very difficult for us to say that these latest ‘Zesty Ranch’ Pretzel Pieces are not worth the chew it takes to eat them, or maybe the bag they are packaged in (you get the point)!

Sorry Snyder’s but we really, really want the other 50% back.  We get it, the world needs healthy options, but when they come at the expense of taste, we have a tough time enjoying, or supporting them!

Practically all of the deliciously rich and savory notes we have come to expect and love from Snyder’s Of Hanover pretzel piece bites, have completely vanquished from these 50% less fat pieces.  Feels like we are eating crunchy, extra dry, mouth moisture absorbing, old bready pretzel pieces!

Also worth noting is that the zesty ranch seasoning is not nearly as delightfully flavorful as the original buttermilk ranch recipe. This ‘Zesty Ranch’ has plenty of onion, garlic, tomato and maybe a light kiss of zesty heat, but it is entirely devoid of any rich and creamy ranch essence, as well as, aromatic dill weed herb.

Maybe we are being a little bit harsh here with our overall assessment, but when we compare these new 50% less fat Snyder’s to their absolutely delicious buttermilk ranch pretzel pieces they do not hold a candle, and all we want to do is return to sender!

Snyder’s of Hanover may be the masters of pretzel snacks, but if they really replaced the original fat buttermilk ranch pieces with these new 50% less fat zesty ranch ones, we are not happy crunchers!.  #BringBackButtermilk

Discovered at Target; Willowbrook, Illinois

Snyder’s of Hanover Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

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