25 Chips to Christmas – 2016….

On the twentieth day of Chips to Christmas our true love gave to us……

#6

Late July – Buffalo Queso Tortilla Chips


Late July - Buffalo Queso

Original Review Here

Late July strikes again.  Last year Late July cracked the Chips to Christmas list with their taco truck inspired Bacon Habanero Clasico Chips.  This year their fantastic Buffalo Queso Chips have even cracked our Top 10.  Plain and simply, Late July Snacks makes a variety of tasty tortilla chips, and we have decided that these ones are the best, so that’s that.

25 Chips to Christmas – 2016….

On the thirteenth day of Chips to Christmas our true love gave to us……

#13

Spicy Chex Mix and Bugles Snack Mix – Cheddar Hot Buffalo


Chex Mix and Bugles - Cheddar Hot Buffalo

Original Review Here

The only way that this powerhouse combination of two of General Mills greatest savory snacks of all-time could possibly get any better, is if GM decided to make this duo a trio, and also include Gardetto’s classic snack mix.  But hey, we are not complaining this spicy cheddar and hot buffalo mix will do the trick until that day comes!

BIJOU-REVIEW: T.G.I. Friday’s – Buffalo Ranch Party Bites

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

tgi-fridays-buffalo-ranch-party-bitesPARTY!!!

TGI Friday’s is back again with another restaurant themed line (if two flavors can constitute a line) of crunchy RTE snacks, that should be available in a snack aisle near you this month.

These Party Bites, if you haven’t already read for yourself, are “Premium Puffed Corn Snacks”; or, as we like to call them – PUFFS.

The Party Bites are roughly a third of the size of a standard cheese puff, and maybe 3/4’s of an inch long.

In other words, perfect for popping handfuls of bites all party long.

TGIF’s Buffalo Ranch seasoning is a tasty combination.  Nice, sharp, tangy and slightly spicy buffalo flavor, supported by a sour, herbal, garlic-onion background flavor.  Seasoning wise, these are very solid.

That being said, the puffs – wait, sorry, the Party Bites – are lacking the typical, rich, mouth-melting texture of the best puffs.

We’re guessing that there are two reasons for these Party Bites not bringing the delicious  thunder.  1) they are baked (are the usually fatty puffs baked?), and 2) they are lacking the usual presence of rich and smooth cheese powder.

Despite their texture lacking a bit, TGIF’s new Party Bites are a solid new snack item.

Bites provided to Chip Review by T.G.I. Friday’s for review

TGI Friday’s Snacks Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Late July – Buffalo Queso Tortilla Chips

Rating: ©©©©-3/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

Late July - Buffalo QuesoOkay Late July Snacks, we’re not exactly sure where it is that you are trying all of these odd flavored taco truck inspirations (Bacon Habanero – really?! or Sriracha Fresca – whoa!), but if those tacos taste anything like these tortilla chips (which are inspired by them) – well, then we need to get moving right away, and go give these taco trucks a try!  Ahhhh, who are we kidding?  We’re just going to stay put, and keep enjoying these chips instead!

That’s right Chip Review readers, Late July Snacks strikes again!  This time with their lip-smackingly delicious all new Buffalo Queso Clasico Tortilla Chips!!  And dare we say that these are our most favorite flavor to date.

First things first, we’re thinking that these chips should have probably been called QUESO Buffalo, instead of Buffalo Queso, as the cheese half of the equation is without a doubt the most pronounced and delicious aspect of this flavor combination.  In fact, these buffalo queso flavored chips are probably the first of their flavor kind that we have tasted sooo much cheese up front.  Typically the cheese plays second fiddle to the powerful buffalo ingredients, but not this time.  This time, queso takes the lead, and dominates the flavor show!  And that queso is all at once tangy, salty, creamy, a little funky, and of course delicious to the very last crunch.

As for the buffalo notes, they are certainly there, but they just aren’t quite as bold and overbearing as they typically are with buffalo sauce.  We taste a good amount of vinegar and garlic, mingling with just enough cayenne chili pepper, to trigger thoughts of buffalo sauce.  Honestly, these chips sort of remind us of the late great Doritos Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch (only minus the ranch).  If we had one gripe with Late July’s buffalo though (which would probably be our only gripe with the chips at all), it would be that we wished they delivered a touch more heat.  A bit more burn – zip – pow!

But overall, WOW – these are just top notch tortilla chips!  Really flavorful, and really fantastic!  The flavors are bright, and not muddled.  We can actually taste and identify the multiple layers of flavor, including the superb corn tortilla chip.  You know what, these chips taste like light, fresh, crispy corn tortilla chips that have been slathered with a great melting cheese, and a deliciously, mild buffalo sauce.

If you see Late July Organic Chips in your neck of the woods, do yourself a favor and give them a try – all of them!

Chips discovered at Whole Foods; River Forest, Illinois

Late July Organic Snacks Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: The Popcorn Factory – Buffalo Ranch Popcorn

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

The Popcorn Factory - Buffalo RanchWe’re guessing that a lot of the popcorn we eat is made at a factory, but apparently this stuff is from The Popcorn Factory.

Large, fluffy, white, almost round popcorn.

Very, very, very salty seasoning.

We do get plenty of tasty, and tangy, and slightly spicy vinegar and cayenne notes from the buffalo flavor.

As for the ranch, well, we taste flavors of garlic and onion, and there is also a good layer of rich, creaminess….BUT, that apparently comes from the inclusion of cheddar cheese?!? Huh?  Apparently, we were not aware that buffalo ranch included cheddar as well.

Either way, the “buffalo ranch” seasoning is certainly not short on flavor by any means.  Maybe a bit perplexing, and definitely over-salted (and we are self proclaimed lovers of the sodium chloride), but in the end, still pretty easy to toss back and crunch.

Popcorn discovered at Jewel Osco; Westchester, Illinois

The Popcorn Factory Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

REVIEW: Spicy Chex Mix and Bugles Snack Mix – Cheddar Hot Buffalo

Rating: ©©©©-1/2 chips  (lip-smacking)

Chex Mix and Bugles - Cheddar Hot BuffaloWell, well, well……well, what do we have here?

Apparently, what we have here is the coming together of two  entirely different General Mills’ snack (how would Teddy “KGB” say it ….?) “MAUNSTERS!”.  That’s right, Chex Mix -AND- Bugles together in one big bag of snack mix!  Seriously, this is big news, and really, how did we not hear about this marriage, let alone not invited to it, prior to accidentally (and luckily) stumbling upon them at our local grocery store?

We’re assuming that none of you really require any actual description of either of these iconic snacks.  The classic Chex Mix recipe has been around forever…..F-O-R-E-V-E-R!  Crunch for crunch, it is probably our most favorite salty snack of all-time (and yes, we’re talking about the homemade stuff of course)!  And Bugles, well they are no slouch either.  They have actually been around in prepackaged snack form for decades longer than Chex Mix has.  Interesting fact we discovered while investigating these snacks: “Bugles were test-marketed in 1965 and introduced nationally in early 1966 as one of several new General Mills snacks, the others being the flower-shaped Daisies, tube-shaped Whistles, round Buttons, bowtie-shaped Bows, and wheel-shaped Pizza Spins, all of them long discontinued.” Wikipedia.com  Our best guess is that none of these other snacks survived because they can’t be worn on your finger tips.

From the back of the bag:

Chex Mix & Bugles – They are both awesome on their own but how do we make them even more awesome? Put’em together! So we did just that. Chex Mix and Bugles have been mixed together to create a unique snack experience….

And then at the very bottom of the bag it mentions:

MIX IT UP! May have settled some on its way to you.

Well, we would agree with both of those statements.  In our books, Bugles probably gain the biggest bump by joining Chex Mix in this “unique snack experience”.  But, we can admit that in this case the usual General Mills’ Chex Mix combination definitely benefits from the inclusion of Bugles’, cone shaped, uniquely textured snacks.  We weren’t exactly sure what GM meant by the “MIX IT UP” statement until we tore open the bag and found that the top layer of snack mix was entirely made up of Bugles, and all of the Chex Mix pieces had settled to the bottom.  So yes, we concur that this snack mix combination could certainly use a good shake prior to tearing it open!

As for the spicy cheddar hot buffalo seasoning, well it is quite delicious, and works extremely well with the snack mix.  The combination of salty cheddar cheese powder and hot & tangy buffalo sauce are strong enough flavors to season all of the crunchy snack pieces more than adequately.  The seasoning is not really “hot” by today’s standards, but does deliver just enough of a spicy bite to keep your tongue on its taste bud toes!  All in all, we really liked this seasoning, especially when sprinkled all over some of General Mills’ most time test, and long standing brands like Chex Mix and Bugles.  Great job!

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

Discovered at Jewel Osco; Clarendon Hills, Illinois

Chex Official Website and Bugles, for some reason, do not have an Official Website….. see General Mills.

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© – return to sender

©© – tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©© – “A” list

BIJOU-REVIEW: Dakota Style – Buffalo Ranch Industrial Strength Kettle Chips

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Dakota Style - Buffalo RanchA little while ago we mentioned to you how Dakota Style had recently shipped us a box of chips that included a few of their new “line” of what we were describing as “south of the border” inspired flavors.

Well, also included in the box were these Buffalo Ranch kettle chips, and whether or not they are actually new to Dakota Style, they were certainly new to us.

These are really good chips, and you know what they taste like?  Buffalo wing sauce combined with ranch dressing seasoning – who would have thunk it?!

A very respectable, vinegar forward buffalo seasoning; that is not stingy with the cayenne usage.  As for the ranch, although not extremely creamy by any means, did hit its mark on more than enough of the ranch prerequisites such as garlic, onion, tangy sour cream, and herbs like dill or chive.

The chips are medium-thickness, with a sturdy (not quite sure we would call them “Industrial Strength”) kettle cooked crunch.  We were quite surprised by how well the potato chips worked with the buffalo ranch flavoring.  Usually the flavor is reserved, or paired, with tortilla chips.

So, there you have it.  Good potato chips, mixed with great seasoning combination.  Now the only real question left is are you a hot wings with ranch, or bleu cheese, potato chips sort of person?  Honestly, we can’t imagine bleu cheese seasoning working half as well as the ranch seasoning did with these chips!

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

Chips provided to Chip Review from Dakota Style Chips for review

Dakota Style Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list