Chip Review’s Honorable Mentions – 2016

25 Chips to Christmas – 10 Honorable Mentions


These chips nearly made our Top 25 of the Year, and deserve some recognition too!! (alphabetical order)

Burt's - Guinness Rich Chili
“If there is one thing we want you to take away from this review it is that these chips are savory.  SUPER-DUPER SAVORY.”

“…leave it to a small town Minnesota gas station to surprise us with these ‘new’ (to us at least) Hot and Spicy Fries!  And to that, all we really have to say is ‘Chip lovers start your fry chompin’ engines!!’

Herr's - Chickie's & Pete's Famous Crabfries seasoned Potato Chips with White Creamy Cheese Sauce flavoring

Herr’s – Chickie’s & Pete’s Famous Crabfries seasoned Potato Chips with White Creamy Cheese Sauce flavoring

“While these chips may include (although we cannot confirm) many of the same spices found in Old Bay… they also include a touch of heat to spice things up, and a good dash of tangy cheese powder to smooth things out.  In other words, they improve upon the iconic East Coast seasoning!”

Ikea - Potato ChipsIkea - Sour Cream & Onion

Ikea – Potatischips Satade (Salted Potato Chips) & Potatischips GRÄDDFIL LÖK (Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips)

“It seems like so many people who shop at Ikea always make a stop at the cafeteria for a bit, but we will be making a decision to grab a bag of these prior to our future shopping excursions!”

Keogh's - Sweet Chilli

“The Sweet Chilli & Irish Red Pepper seasoning is fantastic!  Love, love, love the addition of ginger and coriander, and also what appears to be licorice root – all adding flavor notes that are uncommon in most seasoning combos.”
Lieber's - Barbecue Potato Chips

Lieber’s – Barbecue Potato Chips

“Having been in this game for quite some time now, we can tell you that it is a very rare occurrence when we grab a $1 dollar buyout special bag of chips on the way up to the cash register and it turns out that those chips are actually tasty.”

Meijer - Grilled Pineapple and Jalapeno

Meijer – Grilled Pineapple and Jalapeño Potato Chips

Who knew that grilled pineapple and jalapeño worked well together??  Well, apparently anyone who has enjoyed one of these pizzas.  Or, anyone who loves some good al pastor tacos with some spicy jalapeños in there, that’s who.”

Rachel's - Sriracha Sour Cream

Rachel’s – Sriracha Sour Cream Gourmet Kettle Chips

“Wow Rachel, been a long time.  And what’s this…you’ve changed your look, haven’t you?  Well, just wanted to let you know that we like what you’ve done with your style!”


Ten Acre – The Day Sweet and Sour Became Friends Hand Cooked Crisps

“Probably the best way that we can describe this seasoning to you would be picture a salt & vinegar chip crossed paths with a ranch flavored chip who had brushed up next to a BBQ flavored chip.”

Uncle Ray's - Roasted Garlic

Uncle Ray’s – Roasted Garlic Potato Chips

“We can really appreciate the simplicity of these potato chips. There is not one shred of doubt regarding what the intention of these chips really is. Plain and simple, garlic flavored potato chips.”

**Chip Review’s Top 25 list of the Year consists of chips that we tasted and reviewed during the 2016 calendar year for the first time.  The chips are not necessarily new to the industry, but they were new to Chip Review in 2016!

REVIEW: Dale Jr Foods – Hot and Spicy Fries

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

Dale Jr - Hot & Spicy FriesRecords indicate that it has been a few years since we tried anything new from Nascar racing superstar Mr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (and yes, that’s right, Dale does chips!); but leave it to a small town Minnesota gas station to surprise us with these ‘new’ (to us at least) Hot and Spicy Fries!  And to that, all we really have to say is ‘Chip lovers start your fry chompin’ engines!!’

We wouldn’t say that we have tried a lot of different crunchy fry snacks over the years, but for the most part we have never really been huge fans of any that we have tasted (until now!).  Honestly, crispy potato fry snacks just seem like they are trying to be, and inevitably wishing that they were, classic corn puffs.  But, what we have discovered is that “puffed” potato fries just don’t have the same crispy, yet delicate, and most importantly melt-able, mouth texture that everyone’s favorite cheese puffs do.  The fries are certainly crispy, crunchy in fact, but the potato just doesn’t evoke that same silky, smooth mouth feel, and certainly do not melt down into a rich pool of fat upon the tongue.

As we indicated above, these Hot and Spicy Fries from Dale Jr. Foods are surprisingly delicious!  Coated with a bright red dusting, and apparently a seasoning combination that includes cheese, of course the usual suspects of garlic and onion, plus a real dash of both jalapeño and habanero chili peppers.  Despite the chili peppers addition, we wouldn’t say that these are really hot and spicy.  The peppers do eventually make their presence felt after a few handfuls but won’t be sending anyone to the fridge for the milk.  More impressive than the heat was simply the overall flavor spectrum of this seasoning.  The flavor combination really came together as a whole and complimented the crispy fries to the best of its ability.

So, if you, like us, have never really considered yourself a fan of potato fry snacks, we suggest you give these a try and see if Dale can change your mind just like he changed ours!

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

Fries discovered at Holiday Gas Station; Bemidji, Minnesota

Dale Jr Foods Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Lay’s Wavy – Do Us a Flavor Finalist – West Coast Truffle Fries Potato Chips

Rating: ©©©© chips (lip-smacking)

Lay's Wavy - West Coast Truffle FriesSummer 2015 is officially here!  Do you know what we mean by that?  THEY’RE BAAACK!!!!!

Lay’s all new ‘Do Us A Flavor’ contest is back!  Can we just put it out there that we really appreciate and love that Lay’s has made this an annual tradition!  As humungous chip fanatics and consumers (just like you!), we cannot begin to tell you how giddy we get each time this contest comes around.  Who would have thought that just two short  years ago (when Lay’s brought us the likes of Cheesy Garlic Bread, Sriracha, and of course our personal favorite, CHICKEN & WAFFLE!!), that this contest would become a THING?  And in 2015, that THING, would be giving us the likes of Greektown Gyro, West Coast Truffle Fries, Southern Biscuits and Gravy, and New York Reuben?!?

In case there are any of you out there who are still unfamiliar with this contest.  Lay’s is once again offering up the chance for one lucky individual to win a million smackers (ONE MILLION DOLLAR$$) for creating an all new potato chip flavor.  We’re assuming that there were thousands of flavors submitted, and Lay’s has narrowed it down to four finalists.  Now it is time for us to vote on the best of those four!  This year Lay’s has once again allowed the flavor creators to pair each of their unique flavors with a specific style of chip, ensuring the best delivery medium for the flavor.  Let’s get down to business.

So far, we have reviewed Lay’s Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro chips, and Lay’s New York Reuben chips, and we must say that Lay’s has far, far exceeded our expectations thus far!  Let’s see how Lay’s does with replicating the somewhat classic fried potato, truffle and cheese combo!

Next up: West Coast Truffle Fries

Submitted by: Angie Fu of Irvine, California

Chip Review’s flavor creativity rating (scale: 1 – 10): 5

Chip Review’s excitement for this flavor level (scale: 1 – 10): 3

While maybe only 10 – 15 years ago truffle fries were a delicious delicacy found only every once in a while on some great gastropub’s menu, today they are just about as common, or mandatory, of a menu item as burgers and beer!!  Seriously, we feel confident that we could walk into any new gastropub that we have never tried before, take a seat at the bar, ask for a Two Hearted Ale, and some truffle fries, and both would be set down in front of us shortly thereafter.  They are the safe potato chip choice.  We think Celebuzz summed them up best when they said that they are the “Chip equivalent of: Taylor Swift…created for mass appeal.”  In other words, Lay’s West Coast Truffle Fries are what we would call, the least original flavor from this year’s line-up. Does that necessarily make them bad in any way?  No, it just means that they are missing that exotic chip flavor wow factor, and must rely more on execution and flavor accuracy.  So, how did Lay’s do?

First of all, just like with the New York Reuben flavor, we feel as though Lay’s, or Angie, or whoever’s decision it was, have once again chosen the wrong chip for the flavor.  Lay’s Wavy potato chips are probably our most favorite of their styles!  They are fun, and crunchy, and rugged and WAVY!  Truffles on the other hand, are classical, high end, delicate, and sophisticated ingredients that deserve a classic chip – aka Lay’s traditional potato chips.  We just feel like the two would have been a more natural pairing.

As for the seasoning, well, like many people on the interwebs have already been indicating, the chips’ truffle-ness is on the subtle side.  They do not encompass a very powerful truffle aroma, and you really have to crunch a handful of chips to actually distinguish that undeniably unique, funky-earthy flavor…  BUT!!  Let it be known that we actually appreciate their subtlety, as it is likely the result of Lay’s decision to use real black truffles (albeit, a very miniscule amount), as opposed to the easy out – otherwise known as truffle oil (For some reason, back in the ’90s, truffle oil became an acceptable—even desirable—ingredient for chefs to use. Coming in at a fraction of the cost of real truffles (which vary year to year, but generally run in the thousands-of-dollars-per-ounce range), it seemed like an easy way to add some truffle aroma to an otherwise boring dish.  Problem is, truffle oil isn’t even made from truffles. It’s made from an organic compound called 2,4-Dithiapentane—derived either naturally or from a petroleum base—mixed together with olive oil.”) Serious Eats

Getting back on track, we’ve tasted, and reviewed, a handful of truffle flavored snacks (predominantly popcorn) over the years, and we are happy to say that these Lay’s are among some of the best!  Not the most truffle-y, but just overall a tasty chip.  The chips succeed on hitting all of the necessary flavor notes: a little garlicky, a dash of salty cheese – parmesan or romano, parsley for color, and a touch of the earthy truffle.  The combination of course works, and delivers a very savory chip.  Probably our most favorite aspect of these chips were the inclusion of DUCK FAT!!!  That’s right, fat rendered from that annoyingly voiced Donald character! In fact, believe it or not, but our most favorite variation of truffle fries are fried in duck fat, and actually come from a place called Duck Fat Tavern!!

Overall, Lay’s Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries are a lip-smacking addition to the ‘Do Us A Flavor’ Alumni team.  If they would have been released with last years group we would have declared them our favorites, but it just so happens that they are competing against some really stellar flavors this year!  That’s just how the chip crunches.  There you have it, another ‘Do Us A Flavor’ flavor down, only one to go.  So, unless Lay’s Southern Biscuits and Gravy are an abomination (and from what we’ve heard, they are not), it is official 2015 is ‘Do Us A Flavor’s’ best line-up ever!

Chip Review’s All-time Lay’s ‘Do Us A Flavor’ rankings:

1. Chicken & Waffle

2. New York Reuben

3. Greektown Gyro

4. Cheesy Garlic Bread

5. West Coast Truffle Fries

6. Cappuccino

7. Sriracha

8. Wasabi Ginger

9. Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese

10. Mango Salsa

Still to taste: Southern Biscuits and Gravy!!  Stay tuned for our review very soon.

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

Chips ordered online from Walmart

Voting ends October 18th, so make sure you go to the link below, and let Lay’s know which flavor should stick around for longer than a minute!!

Lay’s Official vote for your favorite

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable



©©©©©“A” list