Sometimes fast food restaurants come out with new products that are so over-the-top and so ridiculous, that you just KNOW they are going to be so, so, so good. Er, or maybe so, so, so gross. In the case of these next two products, my guess is swinging closer to the gross option. In the past week, I have discovered two new offerings, one at Sonic, and the other at Arby’s, that sound like they are straight from the deep-fried twinkie stand at a mid-west state fair.

First up, Sonic’s new Mac ‘N’ Cheese bites (hat tip to AV Club Blog).


“Cool, Sonic gave us mints! Now after eating Mac ‘N’ Cheese Bites we can cleanse our breath of any foul or repugnant taste!”

Deep-fried cheese has been done in many variations before, from mozzarella sticks to jalapeno poppers. Frying cheese with limited ingredients is generally a safe bet. So the biggest drawback of the Mac ‘N’ Cheese Bites, would seem to be the little elbow macaroni. There is a fine line between pasta that tastes good, and pasta that tastes gooey, wet and gross. The odds that the pasta in these stays in a perfectly cooked range seems slim.

In regular Mac ‘N’ Cheese, the pasta essentially serves as a “base” so to speak, from which to enjoy the cheese.  The focus is not the macaroni. With fried breading present, a pasta base is no longer necessary. But the catch-22 is that without including the elbow macaroni, they couldn’t justify marketing them as Mac ‘N’ Cheese Bites. My guess? These are probably GREAT to try once and gross anytime afterwards.

Next up, Arby’s Cheesecake Poppers.

I stumbled across a couple of bloggers who posted about these poppers, which are bite-sized pieces of cheesecake, rolled in graham cracker and deep fried, served with a raspberry dipping sauce.

Now I love, and I mean LOVE cheesecake. It’s really the only dessert in the world I give a damn about. But to me, these look disgusting. Think about it, have you ever had a fast food creation for dessert that tastes as good as you think it should? Oreo pizza from Dominos? Brownie Bites? Cinnamon Twists at Taco Bell? Apple Pie and McDonalds? These things all sound great in THEORY, but in execution, quality and taste, dessert fast food is never as good as the regular menu choices.  Think about it.  A burger from a fast food joint compares much better to a restaurant burger than a fast food dessert does to a restaurant dessert.  I don’t doubt that some sort of fried cheesecake can be done well, it’s just that I’m pretty confident Arby’s isn’t the one that’s going to stumble across that secret recipe.

I would declare that I’m going to try both of these, but after seeing Sonic advertised on TV my whole life, I’m still not sure I’ve ever actually seen a Sonic with my own eyes. I’ve driven cross-country too, which makes me wonder, where do they hide those things?

As for Arby’s, for about 7 years of childhood I thought I didn’t like roast beef. Turns out I like roast beef just fine, but the repulsiveness of several early childhood Arby’s experiences had convinced me I didn’t. When it comes to fast food, you can’t get much grosser or lower on the totem pole than Arby’s. So I promise, IF I stumble across an Arby’s OR a Sonic in the next few months (unlikely) I’ll give these a try. But until then readers, you’ll just have to report back to me and let me know how they taste.

13 Responses

  1. tim

    i’m midwest bound a few times this next week, if i see either i’ll report.

    i too have seen sonic ads for forever, and have actually sampled them twice on recent business trips. good stuff, although i haven’t had any of their lunch stuff

    Reply
  2. dani

    We have no Sonic’s in NJ. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing but everytime a commercial comes on my husband screams at the TV. why advertise in our state if you don’t have one??

    Reply
  3. shatraw

    sonic is all about running national ads even though they aren’t a national chain. i don’t get it. i live in LA, the closest sonic is in anaheim and that’ like the only one in soCal. never the less, the ads are on TBS ever 15 seconds. i wonder if uncle ted owns sonic.

    Reply
  4. shatraw

    oh, and i did live in florida for a short time, they did have sonic there and i had it a couple of times. the tatertots fucking rule. i don’t know why more fast food joints don’t make them. although i’m not sure i could do a friend mac n’ cheese bite. much like i never even dared try the BK cheese tatertots or whatever the hell those things were.

    Reply
  5. tim

    So I stopped by Sonic while I was in Missouri the other day. The cheesecake bites are about what you would expect. The breading and outer shell is pretty thick and crunchy, and heavily fried. The interior, due to the aforementioned deep frying, is gooey and somewhat liquidy. I shudder to think how they constituted the cheesecake filling so that it didn’t totally liquify when submerged in hot oil. Overall, they were not that bad, a little bland. Not terrible, but not something I’d really make it a point to order again.

    This was my third time at Sonic. Their breakfast is really good, and they have excellent drinks. I had a burger this time, and it was good. Sort of like Wendy’s, but not totally up to that level. They have an oddly limited selection of burgers, but they are good.

    Reply
  6. Eick

    Thanks for the comment Tim you described them exactly how I imagined they would be. I’m hoping at some point I will actually cross paths with a Sonic, but until then I’ll have to rely on readers first hand reports.

    Reply
  7. Cary

    Eick, about two years ago I traveled to North Carolina, where I ate at an establishment calling themselves “Beef Burger.” Pretty great name, right?

    Anyways, friend Helena had raved about Mac n’ Cheese bites before our trip. They were incredible. I think I ate three orders of them, plus two beef burgers.

    A month later, I make a trip to Scotty’s, a great truck stop on I-87 in upstate NY. They suddenly feature Mac n’ Cheese bites, which are tasty, but lack the true balance and bliss of the Beef Burger bites.

    You claimed that the base of the bites is amporphous, as the breading and noodle fight for control. However, I contend that the balance is possible as long as the bite is not over-fried. It can be done!!!

    Reply
  8. Mel

    We have tons of Sonics in Texas. I personally haven’t been brave enough to try their Mac n’ Cheese Bites, but I’ve heard from at least 10 people that they’re great.

    Reply
  9. Sha

    I love cheesecake of any kind so I had to try these things from Sonic. (by the way, I live in Tennessee and we have one on every corner!) I’m sorry to disagree with others but they were awesome! Here they have a cinnamon caramel sauce to dip them in but the don’t need anything. They freeze the cheesecake squares so they are not liquidy. One of mine was still a little chilled in the center. The combination of the fried shell with the taste of the cheesecake itself is really good….but that’s just my opinion! Now the mac n cheese bites? Huh uh, the picture on the sign makes me lose my appetite so I’ve not and probably won’t try them!

    Reply

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