Friday, February 17, 2017

Kotas Reviews the Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa

Ah February, the month where we are supposed to focus all of our romantical feelings into a single day that happened on Tuesday. So I guess we're done with that, eh? Well, not quite. You see, occasionally a person will get a hankerin' for something a bit scandalous. A little risque. Perhaps showing off the goods a little more than usual. Or just baring what hasn't been bared before. Then a large corporation tries to resurrect a stunt food product that someone else came up with years ago. Ladies, Gentlemen, Voyeurs of all Appropriate Ages, let's take a long, hungry gaze at...the Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa.

Now, now...no need to be coy. Let's get a bit more comfortable.
Way back in the ancient days of 2010, KFC introduced the tragicomic sandwich known as the Double Down, which is a Double Decker Chicken Bacon Cheese Sandwich, hold the Bun. Seriously, it's two chicken fillets with cheese, bacon, and "secret sauce" (OOOOH MYYYYY) on it. It is a greasy, caloric bomb of a food product, and you bet yer ass I tried it. TL;DR - It was okay, I guess. Nothing special. Still, it was incredibly popular, got a LOT of media attention, and is now a permanent menu item. So clearly it was a success.

I'm sure none of this was on Taco Bell's mind when they came up with this product, right? To be fair, Taco Bell is basically the Stunt Food King right now, with its myriad of taco reshells (ha), Whatevercharitos, and the Doritos Loco Everything, so I guess this makes sense....still, it is a shameless ripoff, er "homage" to what came before it and is a spin on the idea of "what if the bread product was instead a meat product?". Let's take a look at it. And yes, I'm using my Hungry Gaze.

Try not to drool too much folks, you know you love it.
Alright, I have to admit it actually looks pretty much like the advertising pictures. Just a chicken patty, folded up, with taco-ish stuff inside. Said Taco Stuff is basically tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and some sort of spicy sauce. It comes in a little cardboard holder to keep it together, and also serves as way to hold this thing while eating it and, in theory, not get your hands greasy. Let's sink our teeth in!

Actually, the flavor isn't bad. It's certainly "fast food fried chicken" but the sauce is decent and the toppings add some nice variety to each bite. That said, it's still nothing particularly special. I've had this sauce before, this chicken before, and these toppings before. It's perfectly fine, but it's not "Oh Em Gee Look at this Cray Cray sammie ya'll" kind of stuff. The presentation is solid, though they could have just as easily called this the "naked chicken taco" instead of "chalupa". In fact, I'm pretty sure this resembles a chalupa only in "vague outline" sort of ways. 

On the FACE Rating System, this gets Zero Completely Nude Faces. It's fine, I suppose, but I could take it or leave it. If you enjoy stunt food and you enjoy Taco Bell, it's not a bad thing to eat. However, it won't exactly blow you away or anything. It's perfectly fine. And thus perfectly average. Still, I did feel a little naughty eating it, which shows you the power of advertising.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kotas Reviews Chocolate Strawberry Oreos

Well, it's that time of year again, when young children exchange mass marketed cards with television and toy icons on them and eat cupcakes, while adults explode in a mass marketed made up obligation of excess affection. Also, it's Valentine's Day, so let's eat some freakin' Oreos. Of course it was Oreos. Let's take a look at Chocolate Strawberry Oreos.

The Return of the Easy Open Package. Smooth like jazz and twice as saucy. 
I'm not sure why chocolate covered strawberries are the Ur Confection for Valentine's Day, though I suspect it is the combination of a red, juicy berry with the nigh ubiquitous chocolate that seems to set the proper tone of "decadent, yet comforting, and maybe a little naughty" we as a society seem to desire. Or maybe, if you squint, it looks like the severed head of a saint. Tough call, really! Still, it's nice to see Nabisco bringing this out for the holiday. The packaging is damn near perfect, with a big ol' picture of a chocolate covered strawberry, along side a picture of the ACTUAL treat that awaits us inside. It's even in the Easy Open package. Kudos! Let's open it up! Slowly.

Just screams romance, doesn't it?
 Well, they look like Oreos alright, and the scent of fake strawberry is strong. They do not pass the Twist Off Test with flying colors, but it's not like it was an abject failure or anything. Still, about what I expected. This is another of the "multi-color" fillings, like the dreaded "Filled Cupcake", with a splort of different flavor in the middle. Heh heh. "Filled".

The inner cream is a thick chocolate-esque flavor, but the strawberry shines through just fine. It is super artificial tasting though, so if you don't like fake strawberry you certainly won't like this. As a whole, it tastes a lot like you'd expect. A Lotta Chocolate with a Little Fake Strawberry, with a side of Chemical. Not bad, really.

On the FACE Rating System, these get 1 Smiley Face. They are exactly what they say they are, and that's a good thing, but I'm not beating a path to Nabisco's door to get more of them. Certainly worth trying if you are a flavor aficionado, but steer clear if you don't like artificial strawberry tastes.