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

BIJOU-REVIEW: Doritos Mix – Taco Explosion

Rating: ©©©-1/4 chips  (notable)

Doritos Mix - Taco Explosion4 FLAVORS & 4 SHAPES!!  We weren’t actually aware that Doritos had 4 different flavors…

A few days ago we reviewed Doritos other new flavor from this Mix line of chips – Cheese Explosion.  Apparently, this new line is only available in flavors of Explosion….  For a much more in depth review of this ridiculous new product line, please see that review.

As for this Taco Explosion version, well, it has the exact same shapes as the Cheese Explosion, just different flavor profiles.  Let’s take a quick look at them:

  1. Traditional Doritos triangular corn tortilla chips – Spicy Nacho flavor.  Really, what do we have to say about these?  If you aren’t familiar with these, you aren’t living.  These completely dominate the bag in regards to both flavor and volume.  The other mix pieces just really don’t have a chance.
  2. Doritos Dinamita or Rollitos rolled corn tortilla chips – Taco flavor.  Although the back of the bag simply refers to these as rolled corn tortillas, Doritos has had a couple of different lines with this popular rolled corn shape.  Doritos has also had many, many different Taco flavored chips over the years, and one of those was Doritos Rollitos Zesty Taco!  We’re guessing that they simply made some more of those for this bag.  Same, usual, delicious Doritos Taco seasoning, only we couldn’t really taste much of it, on account of the Spicy Nacho tortilla chips.
  3. 3D triangle – Triforce like corn chip – Salsa flavor.  This shape is not totally unlike Doritos relatively recent JACKED 3D chips.   Full of fried corn flavor, with a nice crunch and mouth texture.  These are probably our favorite shape and flavor from the mix.  We love Salsa flavored Doritos, and these triangles just have a great texture, with loads of corn flavor.
  4. Lastly are Doritos twisted corn chips – Sour Cream flavor.  We thought that this shape looked familiar and it does appear that Frito Lays has put this corn shape out two times before, with two different names – Sabritas Turbos, and Fritos Twists.  We aren’t the biggest fan of this shape.  A little too hard and crunchy, almost dangerous to our teeth and gums.  The sour cream seasoning was subtle, and creamy.  Sort of like Cool Ranch, just not as good.

We always love seeing any new Doritos on the market, and we do appreciate the variant textures of the unique shapes included in the Doritos Mix; but in the end it simply does not work for us.  There is no cohesiveness to this odd group of shapes.  As for the Taco Explosion flavor combination, it does work a bit better than the Cheese Explosion combo, especially when all of the pieces are munched together!

Well, there you have it.  Anyone else out there tried them yet?  Thoughts?  As always we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree.  Let us know.

Chips discovered at Walmart; Countryside, Illinois

Doritos Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Doritos Mix – Cheese Explosion

Rating: ©©© chips  (notable)

Doritos Mix - Cheese Explosion4 FLAVORS & 4 SHAPES!!  Yes, but in the end, no lip-smacking 4©©©©’s rating from us!

You know what this bag sort of looks like?  It reminds us of a block buster movie poster, or maybe even more like a rock star concert poster.  – One Night Only! Doritos Mix presents Cheese Explosion.  Starring the one and only Nacho Cheese tortilla chips, Jumpin’ Jack Cheese rolled tortillas, Spicy Nacho triangle holes and everyone’s favorite Four Cheese twists!!  Sorry, but if we would have known any better, we would have just waited for the DVD, or the CD to be released rather than waste our dough on the big cheesy show…

If this combination looks familiar to any of you, well, that would be because Frito Lay has done something similar to this mix at least three times that we can recall.  You have to admit that they sort of seem like Frito Lay’s Munchies Mix, and they actually even more closely resemble Sabrita’s Party Mix Favoritas.  But, in our opinion, probably the best way to think of this new mix would be do describe it as the Doritos variation of Cheetos Mix-Ups.  In other words, a snack mix that is supposedly a Doritos mix, but really Doritos only one of the four shapes resembles what we all know and think of as Doritos tortilla chips.  So, let’s break down our 4 shapes and flavors:

  1. Traditional Doritos triangular corn tortilla chips – Nacho Cheese flavor.  Really, what do we have to say about these?  If you aren’t familiar with these, you aren’t living.  Probably worth noting that the chips are standard size, not shrunken at all to better fit into the mix.
  2. Doritos Dinamita or Rollitos rolled corn tortilla chips – Jumpin’ Jack Cheese flavor.  Although the back of the bag simply refers to these as rolled corn tortillas, Doritos has had a couple of different lines with this popular rolled corn shape.  As for the Jumpin’ Jack Cheese seasoning, well Doritos has done this flavor before as well.   This cheese seasoning is quite tasty.  Salty, peppery bit, tangy – yummy.
  3. 3D triangle – Triforce like corn chip – Spicy Nacho flavor.  This shape is not totally unlike Doritos relatively recent JACKED 3D chips.   Full of fried corn flavor, with a nice crunch and mouth texture.  Spicy Nacho seasoning is Doritos long standing spicy variation of their classic Nacho Cheese.  Again, if you haven’t tried those chips either, you aren’t living.
  4. Lastly are Doritos twisted corn chips – Four Cheese flavor.  We thought that this shape looked familiar and it does appear that Frito Lays haWQ3WEDGVC VCGXs put this corn shape out two times before, with two different names – Sabritas Turbos, and Fritos Twists.  We aren’t the biggest fan of this shape.  A little too hard and crunchy, almost dangerous to our teeth and gums.  We recall the Four Cheese seasoning from back in the 90’s, but pretty sure that it has not been offered any time recently in the U.S.  Cheesy.

We always love seeing any new Doritos on the market, and we do appreciate the variant textures of the unique shapes included in the Doritos Mix; but in the end it simply it simply does not work for us.  There is no cohesiveness to this odd group of shapes.  The snacks work rather individually, but try throwing all four pieces into your mouth at once, and tell us your tongue tongue and chompers aren’t confused!!  We will be sticking with the original versions for all that are available!

Well, there you have it.  Anyone else out there tried them yet?  Thoughts?  As always we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree.  Let us know.

Chips discovered at Walmart; Countryside, Illinois

Doritos Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list

REVIEW: Chester’s Poppers – BBQ Spirals

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

Chester's Poppers - BBQ SpiralsDear Chester,

You are famous and loved for your cheesy connection to that most popular of all crunchy puff brands.  You are the cheetah that famously coined the classic saying “it ain’t easy being cheesy.”  You will forever be the poster boy for Cheetos!  So…what has happened?  Have the two of you split ways?  Were you feeling creatively stifled, and needed to branch out on your own?  All we can say is that there is a reason your relationship is an iconic one, and there is a reason why Cheetos are loved by millions world wide!

Sincerely,

Chip Review

Now that we have that off of our chest, let’s get down to real brass tacks.  Chester recently released a new trio of snacks appropriately labeled Poppers.  Poppers because all three of the snacks are of the puffed, or popped, style; or possibly named Poppers for their ability to easily be popped into the mouths of the snackers.

In this case, the Popped BBQ Spirals were surprisingly made of potato rather than corn.  We assumed that with Chester’s connection to Cheetos that the spirals would most likely be made of puffed corn, and encompass that same lovely, melt-able, soft crunch texture that we all love.  But, apparently Chester is really trying to separate himself from Cheetos, and tread his own snack path.  Similar to other puffed potato snacks on the market, such as Cofresh’s Potato Grills, and Market Pantry’s Pumpkin Shaped Cheesy Potato Puffs, we are not that big of fans of these snacks.  The potato just does not deliver the same delicious texture.  These are definitely much more like fries than puffs.  Curly fries, that’s what they are.

The bbq seasoning that liberally coated each spiral was decent enough.  Not too sweet, not too tangy, not too spicy, not too smoky, not too anything really.  Pretty basic bbq flavor, and it worked well with the spirals.  We just were not wowed in any way, shape or form.

In the end, we really think it is best that Chester sticks to what he knows best – Cheetos, or at the very least things that begin with the letters C & H!

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

Spirals discovered at Target; Hillside, Illinois

Chester’s Snacks Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

©©©©©“A” list