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).
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.Â 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.
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.Â Think about it.Â A burger from a fast food joint compares much better to a restaurant burger than a fast food dessert does to a restaurant dessert.Â 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.