Thursday, August 20, 2015

Consuming More Garbage Food For Your Pleasure: Wacky Potato Chips and a Sandwich Stuffed with Uninspired Hatred



That's right. The Tucson Homeskillet crew is back in action and this time we ate a crap load of crap. Again. It's what we do. For your entertainment. And to feed our ridiculous cravings for even more ridiculous flavors that the corporate juggernaut keeps sending our way, we went full throttle this time. Four crazy potato chip flavors that only a drugged out Tourettes victim might imply as "tasty" and a sandwich that I know one did create.  I mean...who thinks up stuff like this? The question is, why do they keep doing stuff like this? 

Remember the 90s? Yeah. Well ,back then, due to the incline and demise of the fated "grunge" era, things were all about being extreme. Cartoons were more nutty and extreme, music, of course, was becoming splintered and extreme, but what I noticed most was the flavors, ideas and presentation of food was becoming the buzzword of the moment...extreme! Dips, tacos, hoagies, flan, coffee drinks and all things fast and junk food suddenly went 'extreme'. What did this mean? Not too sure. I was too busy trying to navigate random "dot com" jobs and discovering, well, extreme doom metal. But the label was everywhere. Thing is, when you purchased a bag of extreme Doritos, you were wont to find that it just had more of that infernal yet highly addictive nacho dust sprinkled on every triangle. Big deal? Does adding a tad more mulch on already crap munchables make it extreme? Screw you crazy corporate food wizard, locked in your tower of decadence filled with heavy pharmaceuticals and pots roiling with your infused power of giggling hate and crotch salt! You don't scare us. Not now....not ever. 

That it...until right now now. 

Lately the powers that be have thrust upon the shivering masses a line of potato chips so vile and bizarre that only we of the Tucson Homeskillet stomach pumpage can endure and appreciate...well, that and thousands of others out there that have Tweeted, Instagramed, Snapchatted and all around asked people "Dude, have you tried this?" about such edible nonsense. So we had a taste test recently and here are the results. 

Here's the thing. Because this one went a little long and beyond the stretch of our normal "just one item, like a foul burrito or horrifying pizza", I had to call upon the power of uncle James Hetfield (he's not really my uncle, he's just been around so long and that title has just stuck throughout the years....you understand) and the power of his infamous "YEAHs!" to aid in letting you know how we felt about the products. You get the picture, yeah? 

Okay. Here we go.


For those about to snack, we salute you.

We lined up the bags for all to try and discern with these four new and utterly fantastic/why God why? flavors: Biscuits and Gravy, Reuben Sandwich, Truffle Fries and Gyro. 

If you've kept up at all with what Lays potato chips have been up to, recently they have had 'contests' of who can come up with the craziest flavor profile and the winners will get their harrowing creations somehow made and produced.  Thing is how...HOW can the crazy corporate wizard recreate such flavors as a Reuben sandwich? Or Truffle fries? Truffle fries!? C'mon man. Sure, there are endless memes out there with folks making up their own un-doable flavors such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Tears of my Enemies (extra salty)Virginity and Everybody Forgot My Birthday, but these four bags are filled with straight up mystical science gone freaky pothead and we couldn't wait to actually see, and taste, what they were all about. 

First up, was this one:





Yeah. Let's do this. 

So on the first bite of this particular chip we got a strong sausage flavor and a weird creamy character right away. The follow up was a distinct buttery biscuit note that drove me back to long road trips traveling through the South and stopping in small diners to soak up the previous night's excesses. Strangely enough, I liked this chip. Because of the memory of early morning breakfasts in  small truck stops somewhere in Louisiana, the biscuits and gravy flavor made the top of the list. Some didn't like it...heck some even grimaced and spat when they put the crispy weirdness in their mouth. For me though, I kind of liked the combination of breakfast food meets late night snack while watching an endless parade of "Archer" episodes flavor combo. 

Still, how is this accomplished? How did the flavors of sausage and gravy get followed up by  a homemade biscuit? It freaked me out a little. No. A lot. Still. To this day.

Regardless, it was pretty tasty. 

With that, uncle James gives the biscuits and gravy potato chip a regaling:  




Next, came the Reuben:





As a certified deli fanatic and a worshiper of all things pastrami, I was really curious/horrified about trying this one out. The first bite was subtle; I didn't really get any "meat" taste until a few chews later. But then, ba-jango!, there it was. Not a huge cured deli meat sensation but there was a distinct hook of one. Whoa.

Then the real head scratching moment hit when I began to get hints of thousand island dressing. Holy Diver! How is this done?  Because of the Reuben flavored chip idea, I really wanted to be in the flavor lab to see what torturous combination of dusts, chemicals and fairy dung it took to make this happen. 

The Reuben chips, for me anyway, weren't as good as the Biscuits and Gravy (although most seemed to like this one better but...this is my food website so what I say goes!) but I did like it. 

Good thing I didn't get any twinges of sauerkraut because if you know me, you know how much I hate sauerkraut. Blecch. Like crappy cabbage gone bad from sitting in the toilet too long then you want to throw that junk on my sandwich? Aww, heeeeeeellz no. 

Anyway, with the help of ol' J. Hetfield, the Tucson Homeskillet gives the Reuben chips a hearty:





Third on the list was this business:




Now, I can dig on the notion of just straight truffles, but the addition of fries kinda threw me for a curve. Well, now that I think about it, I suppose the flavor of "truffle" on a potato chip is close enough to fries so... Wait, now I'm confused. Why not just call it truffle? But didn't I already ask that just a second ago? Am I saying this out loud? Jeeze. This has gone nowhere fast.

And what makes this "west coast"? Is this some kind of gang thing or is this chip supposed to induce images of beachfront frolic while afterwards your stuck on the I-10 for an hour when your exit is right there! It's right there! I can see it! Is that it? 

Don't know.

These chips were thicker and had the "wavy" thing going on, meaning they were, well...wavy. Anyway, I popped one in my mouth and crunched down. Immediately I was subjected to a distinct dirt flavor. Not like earthy and "truffle-y" sort of essence, but straight up dirt. Like I had dropped this chip in some soil, sort of brushed it off and then ate it. Right after the dirt came the fries. Sure, I was eating a fried potato product already so the idea of fries might almost come from just the suggestion that it might have fry extract but....no. I got fry flavor full frontal. It was traumatic. First dirt, then fry. Those wily alchemical sorcerers locked in their sick laboratory have somehow created a mess of dried mud followed by America's favorite side dish gone snack chip. At this point, I was sort of getting over it all and I wasn't a big fan of this combo of flavors. 

Because of the dirt notes and soggy fry twinge, uncle James is giving the Truffle Fries chips a shrugging:




And, finally, the last in line was this shuttering number:




(Note: I just noticed I have quoted RJ Dio twice in this piece but am using James Hatfield as my rating avatar. Hmm. It's late and these chemicals are staring to get to me...)

Okay. Gyro huh? So who is this James Wagner that suggested a meat slabbed Mediterranean sandwich for a grand idea of a potato chip? Maybe he is one of the federated necromancers chained to a stove and lab table lined with bubbling beakers who create such malformed snack intentions, high on PCP and watching endless loops of Teletubbies reruns. 

Perhaps. Because after the first bite of this one all I could taste was sour meat. It was pretty gross. Then, just like the first three, there was a subtle second flavor. This one wasn't as bad as fetid spit beef because it had hints of dill and cucumber; a twisted take on tzatziki of sorts. By this stage my mouth was contorting from the artificial roller coaster ride of  flavor devilry and the gyro taste just made me grouchy. Just to be sure, I took a second chip to keep fact that the suckage on this particular idea was clear and present. 

Yup. Balls. It tasted like noxious dead caveman balls. 

So, to salute the craptastic aura of repulsive gyro potato chips, my man James only has this to say:




Are we done here? Are we done with the potato chip taste off? Okay...good.


Wavy does not always equal "good"...

Here's the rub though. Yeah we were done with the four horsemen (Okay...I got a Metallica quote in here, now it sort of makes sense with Hetfield right? Yeah...didn't think so) of the potato chip apocalypse but we still had one more disastrous "food" idea to deal with. 

This time it didn't come in chip form, this one was served between bread and came courtesy of Eegees





We here in the 520 know all about Eegees. Its a local chain famous for their delicious icy treats that are a welcome breeze when it gets well into the 100s here. They also serve sandwiches, hot dogs, pretzels and, my personal favorite, loaded crinkle fries. Believe me, much much better than the truffle fries variety noted above. The loaded fries are greasy, drippy, stupid, bad for you but so so good late at night after a bender of 40 oz liquor swiggin' to fuel you up for further punishment and hopefully a nap. 

Not only does Eegees offer up a monthly flavor for their shaved ice refreshments but also a "limited time only" for some of their food items. This time around, they concocted something so ridiculous sounding that the Homeskillet taste testers just had to get a hold of it and see what all the commotion was about.

We give you...the flamin' hot Cheetos chicken sandwich:


Yup. You can just see the middle finger in that sub roll...

Umm...yeah. Why not? A chicken sandwich topped with flamin' hot Cheetos. There has to be something to this right? There has to be an angle. You can't just fill a sandwich full of spicy cheese droppings and call it a "special"? Can you?

What Eegees promises with their "Flamin' Hot Chicken Sub" is this: Chicken breast served between a sub roll, paired with bacon, jalapeno cream cheese, buffalo ranch, your choice of cheese and stuffed with the flamin' hot variety of Cheetos. It sounded so nauseating that we just had to do it. 

Here is what we got:


Note: actual size of terror


Eegees delivered on their promise of chicken, tangy ranch, jalapeno cream cheese, (we picked) provolone and the Cheetos but...the question is why? WHY are flamin' hot Cheetos on this sandwich? The spicy ranch and peppery cream cheese alone was fine, I guess, but to add red hot Cheetos as well? I didn't get it. 

The first bite was like all of the others that followed: it was a chicken sandwich topped with flamin' hot Cheetos. They added nothing, nothing!, to the sandwich other than the fact that the poor thing was rammed tight with frikkin' spicy Cheetos. What, did the Eegees CEO (probably one of those culinary drug slob prestidigitarians I keep mentioning) just approach Jeff, a stoned and zitty cashier, one day and go "Hey man, we need a new idea for a sandwich. Any ideas?" 

At this point, Jeff, who was daydreaming about being the third member of the Insane Clown Posse, just started word vomiting some of his favorite things to "cold munch on" when he is higher than Jesus on planet Helium.

"Uh. Um," he probably drooled. "Chicken. Ranch. Cheese. And, uh...those flamin' hot Cheetos. Yeah. Can I take my break now?"

This sandwich made no sense because it made perfect sense. Not too sure what we were expecting, but when Chester Cheetah takes a big dump on a chicken sandwich after a night of consuming habanero poppers stuffed with demon squirt this is exactly what it tastes like. Mournful, salty, strangely addictive and downright spite loaded, the flamin' hot Cheetos chicken sandwich is lucky to be just a limited time offer. Because if this thing were to be a permanent menu item, Tucson would suddenly explode into a grizzly sea of hate mongering sandwich zombies and begin to shove hot coals up our rectums just so we could "feel something" due to the emotional soul suck that this death hoagie bestowed upon the masses. Just say no here kids!

Thank you Eegees. I'll send you the bill for our therapy and bathroom tissue stock pile that we're gonna need after eating that glob tube of harassment. 

You're welcome.

Like gazing into the depths of Hades if it were sponsored by Frito-Lay...

And so, on that note, which ended on a rather bad one, all we at the Tucson Homeskillet, along with grandpappy Jimmy here, have to say about the Flamin' Hot Chicken sandwich is a simple and expected old school salute:





Cheers!


Camera and Typing
"Metal" Mark Whittaker
Mid August, 2015


Metal Influence
Metallica, "Jump In The Fire"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ll1-yV8YSw



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