REVIEW: Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels

Rating: ©©©©© chips  (“A” list)

Dot's PretzelsIt was a year ago or so that we first crossed paths with Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels.  To say the least, we were very, very impressed!

Fast forward to this year’s annual summer jaunt to northern Minnesota, and what do we find on a quick stop into L&M Fleet?  Yep, you guessed it, Dot’s delicious pretzels!  But….wait a minute here….something is a little different this time.  Oh, now we see it, looks like someone got themselves a makeover.  – Last year’s bag on the left, and the new and improved design on the right. –  Dot’s Pretzels Company must be doing well for themselves these days.

A little backstory on this small, family owned operation:

Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels have been around for many many, years made in Dot’s own home outside of Minot, ND. They were a special family snack for football-watching, family gatherings, and every day yumminess, of course. In 2012, two families began a business centered around the snack they’ve been enjoying for years.

Probably the best way we can describe Dot’s Homestyle Pretzel flavor would be something akin to a cross between the seasoning from traditional Chex Mix, and Old Dutch’s classic Butter Spindles.  In case that description doesn’t work for you, then try to imagine braided pretzels, about two inches in length, coated in a deliciously rich butter flavor, and dusted with an addictive seasoning blend of tangy buttermilk, garlic, onion and some secret spices.

Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels are absolutely amazing, and addicting.  Easily among the best pretzel snacks we have ever tried.  In fact, Dot’s Pretzels got us thinking that we should probably put together our Top 5 Pretzel list – so that’s what we did.  We’re talking pretzels only, no filler, no mixes.  Make sure to check it out.

P.S. – if you ever happen to cross paths with Dot’s, do your self a favor and grab a bag – a BIG BAG!!  And grab one for us while you are at it too!!!

Pretzels discovered at Simonson’s and L&M Fleet; Bemidji, Minnesota

Dot’s Pretzels Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Buck Wild – Honey BBQ Snack Mix

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

Buck Wild - Honey BBQ MixAs one little reviewer responded, after being asked what she thought of this latest snack from Buck Wild:

Yummy.  Just yummy. 

In case you are looking for a touch more description from the reviews you read….

Buck Wild’s latest snack mix is very much similar to their Chocolate Banana Snack Mix, in that it includes an odd combination of snack pieces.

In this case there are pretzel pendants, corn sticks and pita bites (not exactly sure which was which), crunchy corn pieces, and peanuts.

The snack mix was more than thoroughly coated with a fairly sweet and smoky BBQ seasoning.  Nothing amazing, but nothing pleasantly out of place either.

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

Mix provided to Chip Review by Buck Wild for review

Buck Wild Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: T.G.I. Friday’s – Sweet & Spicy Happy Hour Snack Mix

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

TGI Friday's - Sweet & Spicy Happy Hour Snack MixIt is about that time, right?

We can only imagine how this over-the-top, disjointed “happy hour snack mix” came to exist.

Dude 1: Hey man, do you have anything we could crunch on with these ice cold brewskies?

Dude 2: Not sure…let me check the cupboards.  Oh yeah, let’s see here…..looks like I’ve got butter toffee peanuts, wasabi peas, roasted almonds, pecans, cashews, some rice crackers, and cajun corn sticks…..oh yeah, and apparently honey mustard pretzels.  What would you like?

Dude 1: Well, it is happy hour, so everything! Mixed together!

And as they say….the rest is history.

Not too much to say about these.  TGI Friday’s has taken a lot, and we do mean A LOT, of high quality products we know and love, and combined them into one sweet & spicy mess of a snack mix.  Despite the weird combination of disconnected crunchy pieces, it somehow all works!!  The wasabi peas are certainly the most dominantly flavor profile, but most of the other mix ingredients play off of the unmistakable nasal heat just fine.  The variety of nuts provide a good level of mouth fat and textural difference, and the pretzels are there to bring everything home, and probably to soak up the beer!

Mix discovered at 7-eleven; Burr Ridge, Illinois

TGI Friday’s Snacks Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Old Dutch Arriba – Cheddar Bacon Cheese Stix

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

Old Dutch Arriba - Cheddar Bacon Cheese StixOh no!! Not another bacon cheese flavored snack from Old Dutch….

Luckily our fear was unwarranted, and these Arriba Cheddar Bacon Cheese Stix aren’t half bad!

Question: why exactly did Old Dutch feel it necessary to call these cheese stix instead of the more commonly used cheese puff, or curl, classification?  Do cheese stix sound tastier?  We’re sure that they wanted to differentiate their product from the rest of the bunch, but come’on, when you are clearly making a product that is already so widely recognized as another established product, why not just call them by that name?!  Next thing we know they will be giving us ‘sliced fry potatoes’.

The back of the bag says Intense Flavor + Amazing Crunch.  Well, we can get behind the amazing crunch portion of that statement, but we would actually say the exact opposite as for their flavor.

Arriba’s cheese puffs (excuse us – STIX), are a touch crunchier than the usual cheese puff.  Despite their solid initial bite, the stix do still melt in your mouth (a necessity for any good cheese puff) if you let them hang out and absorb your tongue’s moisture.

If subtlety is a synonym for intense, then yes these bacon cheddar stix are indeed intense.  They delivered just a kiss of smoke to represent the bacon, which we enjoyed. A good level of tangy and salty cheddar cheese rounds out the combination.  And, that’s it. Simple, precise and notably delicious.  Much, much better than Old Dutch’s popcorn of the same flavor!

As always we would love to hear what you think.  Let us know.

Discovered at Kwik Stop Gas Station; Plymouth, Minnesota

Old Dutch Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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REVIEW: Goldbaum’s – Snap Stix Let’s Get Saucy Tangy Ketchup!

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Goldbaum's - Tangy Ketchup Snap StixGoldbaum’s Snap Stix just might be the perfect crunchy snack for kids. First of all, kids love to snack, these are a snack – check.  The Snap Stix are on the healthier end of the snack spectrum, parent approved – check, check.  Kids love fun and interactive things to snack on, such as long, skinny, crunchy, potato Stix – check, check, check.  And from what we know, most kids really, really love ketchup – CHECK!

Oh, we must say that these are quite ingenious!!  What’s more classic than fries and ketchup?  It is a time tested and proven combination.  Personally some of us at Chip Review actually despise ketchup.  Just can’t stand it!.  However, being the professionals that we are, we are able to put our grievances aside, and certainly recognize a great idea, and product, when we see (TASTE) one!!

Back to that classic combination of fries and ketchup.  The sweet and tangy tomato ketchup mingles with the snappy potato (fry shaped) Stix very well – as it should.  The seasoning is on the lighter side, and could probably benefit from a little more salt, but it definitely, without a doubt, provokes thoughts of a slightly sweet, and tangy ketchup.  The potato Snap Stix are light, crispy, and addictive.  Before we knew it, half the bag had disappeared, and our stomachs didn’t even feel a dent.  The Snap Stix had a hole running through them lengthwise, like a tube, probably adding to the light, crispiness.

Plain and simple, these are fun and easy to eat.  Who wouldn’t enjoy eating these?!  Heck, even those of us who don’t like ketchup, enjoyed crunching on these!

As always, these are our thoughts. Agree or disagree, make sure to let us know.

Stix provided to Chip Review by Goldbaum’s for review

Goldbaum’s Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Snyder’s of Hanover – Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel Pieces

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Snyder's of Hanover Gluten Free - Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel Sticks“America’s Pretzel Bakery”  Believe it or not, but we’ve never noticed those words printed at the top of every Snyder’s of Hanover bag.  The declaration is quite bold, but it does have a very nice ring to it, and a certain level of truth to it!

We’ve said it many times before, and we’ll say it again, Snyder’s of Hanover are the masters of pretzel snacks.  Their vast breadth of varieties and flavors of pretzel snacks certainly trumps any other brand out there.  A true conversation, or debate, regarding hard pretzel snacks would not be complete without including Snyder’s of Hanover.

With that being said, may we present to you Snyder’s New Gluten Free Pretzel Sticks!! What?!?  Gluten free pretzels.  Are we reading this correctly?  Are these pretzels completely devoid of gluten, or is Snyder’s simply telling us that the gluten that is in these pretzels is free?! We’re guessing that it is the latter, and that somehow, someway, Snyder’s has been able to create pretzels without traditional flour.  So, how did they do?

Low and behold, they have definitely done a superb job creating an extra crunchy alternative to the typical gluten-ful pretzel genre.  The pretzel sticks do the trick. Light and airy, yet still very crunchy and a bit dry and bread-y.  As peculiar sounding as it is, the recipe of corn starch, potato starch and tapioca starch, unite to form a winning pretzel combination.

Flavor wise, we are fairly confident that Snyder’s is simply re-using their Hot Buffalo Wing seasoning from their pretzel pieces.  The recipe is very vinegary with a healthy kick of cayenne.  Plain and simple, they remind us of buffalo wings, minus the rich, fatty, delicious butter that also accompanies real hot wings.

Gluten intolerant snackers, behold a new and tasty addition to the ever growing gluten free market!  Bravo Snyder’s!

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

Discovered at Jewel Osco; Naperville, Illinois

Snyder’s of Hanover Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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