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Our Review Of The New McDonald’s, Popeyes, And Wendy’s Sandwiches

What is a hungry food writer to do when not one, not two, but three newsworthy fast-food sandwiches drop in the same month? Eat them all in the same day and turn them into a single big review rather than three separate reviews in an attempt to avoid having to write about sandwiches three different times in a single week because, at the end of the day, these are all just sandwiches, for better or worse? Yep, exactly that.

Which is why I’m writing from bed. Sprawled out and stuffed like a Thanksgiving turducken.

As you might imagine, writing about food is often cool. But there’s nothing too exciting about having 10 sandwich buns in an afternoon. That’s right, 10 buns, fam — not six. Because today’s menu features the Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich, Wendy’s Jalapeño Popper Chicken Sandwich, and the new McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich (which is actually three different sandwiches, hence the four extra buns).

Here’s the verdict on how they taste.

McDonald’s New Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Dane Rivera

On February 24th, McDonald’s dropped their brand new Crispy Chicken Sandwich and if that’s news to you, we get it. The Golden Arches making a play in the wild world of fast food chicken sandwiches feels like it should be a more notable moment but, as you can see, there’s a lot going on in the world of fast-food sandwiches this month. The McDonald’s entry, while an improvement over McDonald’s old chicken sandwich, kind of deserves to be ignored in comparison to the heavy hitters from Popeyes and Wendy’s.

But what this sandwich lacks in noteworthiness, it makes up for in variety. Because McDonald’s is offering it in three formulations: the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, a fried chicken patty with thick crinkle-cut pickle chips on a potato roll, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich, which is the same thing plus the inclusion of a spicy pepper sauce, and the Deluxe Chicken Sandwich, which features the fried patty, iceberg lettuce, and tomatoes.

A quick ranking of these sandwiches would have us put them in the following order from worst to best: Crispy, Deluxe, Spicy.

The Crispy’s major flaw is just how boring it is. My sandwich arrived with two pickle chips, it’s dry, surprisingly thick, but too boring to win any real fans. This sandwich is begging for a sauce, McDonald’s is clearly going for a Chick-fil-A vibe here but with the lack of peanut oil and this mid-grade chicken patty, it doesn’t come close.

On to the Deluxe, which is a considerable improvement over the Crispy thanks to the inclusion of lettuce and tomatoes. It’s fine, not really worth getting into.

The star of the show is the Spicy. It fixes the problem that weighs down the Crispy with the inclusion of a spicy pepper sauce that actually packs a pretty good kick. The heat hits you immediately, with a black pepper aftertaste that tames the spice nicely. We’d love to dip fries in it! I like this sauce way better than Popeyes’ spicy sauce used on their famed chicken sandwich, but unfortunately, McDonald’s still hasn’t quite nailed the chicken patty aspect. It’s definitely the highest quality chicken breast McDonald’s has ever had — thick, juicy, and the batter has a nice crisp to it — but it still can’t really compete with Chick-fil-A or Wendy’s and comes nowhere near what Popeyes (its obvious progenitor) offers.

The Bottom Line

The Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich is McDonald’s best chicken sandwich yet. But it’s still got a ways to go.

Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich

Dane Rivera

I get that fast food sandwiches rarely match the delicious eye candy that is their promotional material, but the difference between what Popeyes advertises as their Cajun Flounder Sandwich versus what it actually looks like is, frankly, ridiculous. The fried fish filet is about half as thick, the tartar sauce does not spill over the edge, and the thing isn’t bursting with pickle chips. All that stuff is in there, but looking at it from the side you see mostly bread. It has a very unappetizing and bland appearance to it — which is a shame because it smells great.

Admittedly I’m not the biggest fried fish sandwich fan, so take all of this with a grain of salt. Popeyes choice of flounder is a solid one — most brands go with Alaskan pollock. Flounder is a very agreeable fish, it has a very mild almost neutral flavor to it, it has a flaky and light texture that is easy to chew through and a mildly sweet aftertaste that pairs nicely with Popeye’s spicy cajun breading. I wish this had a spicier bite to it, though.

The tartar sauce is boring and the batter-to-fish ratio is skewed, with the amount of batter matching the thickness of the filet. Popeyes, your batter is good, but not that good.

Dane Rivera

The fish filet is pretty good quality, but this sandwich would do well with some sort of slaw that it could sit atop — that would help to marry the flavors together.

The Bottom Line

A far cry from the fast-food culinary masterpiece that is the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich. One of the best filets in the game, but weak construction that doesn’t hold up well with other Popeyes offerings.

Wendy’s Jalapeño Popper Chicken Sandwich

Wendy

I didn’t take a picture of this sandwich for a couple of reasons, 1) I got it really late at night, and 2) By the time I unwrapped it at home it looked like a brutal car crash,

I’d be doing this sandwich no favors by showing you what it actually looks like. So instead, enjoy this beautiful press photo. That photo is definitely false advertisement, but that goes for all of these sandwiches. Of all the sandwiches I ate today, this one was easily the best, and that’s surprising because I had it last, when I was all sandwiched out.

The Jalapeño Popper Chicken Sandwich features Wendy’s delicious spicy chicken patty smothered in jalapeńo cream cheese, some kind of radioactive cheddar cheese sauce, pickled jalapeños, shredded pepper jack cheese and served on Wendy’s buttery-as-hell buns. It’s an absolute cheese bomb and if you’re looking at that ingredient list wondering how anyone can possibly taste all of those individual ingredients I’m here to tell you: You can’t!

What you do taste is a sort of amalgam of those things, mashed up. Which works. It’s just a beast of a flavor bomb.

The final product is slightly smokey, decadently cheesy, pleasingly crunchy, and incredibly savory, with flavors that marry well, providing a juicy mouthfeel and a spicy aftertaste that lingers between bites. Wendy’s didn’t pull a Jack in the Box and throw actual jalapeño poppers in a chicken sandwich and call it a day, they got high concept with it, delivering all of the elements of a jalapeño popper — the creamy cheese, the crispy crunch by way of the inclusion of bacon, and of course, the jalapeños — resulting in a better end product that doesn’t feel like a shameless food-for-the-sake-of-social-media-chatter stunt.

The Bottom Line

It sounds and looks insane, but the Jalapeño Popper Chicken Sandwich comes together brilliantly. A hit by Wendy’s.

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Miles Bridges Says An ‘Agent 0’ Nickname Is Off Limits Out Of Respect For Gilbert Arenas

The NBA has a long and colorful history when it comes to nicknames. There are a few ground rules, though. First and foremost, you can’t give yourself a nickname (See Kevin Durant’s ill-fated attempt to dub himself “The Servant,” of all things). Secondly, you can’t very well take someone else’s nickname.

Both LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges have both found themselves subject to the latter rule recently. “Melo” will, of course, always belong to Carmelo Anthony, and, at the very least until he’s out of the league any reference to a “Melo” will bring the future Hall of Famer to mind. As a solution, a combined nickname has been floated around that would take care of both of them, “AirBnB,” although Ball had something of a lukewarm reaction to that idea recently.

On Wednesday, the Hornets broadcast crew casually referred to Bridges as “Agent Zero,” a nod to his jersey number, but even Bridges himself quickly rebuffed on Twitter after the game with the understanding that it’s the sole property of Gilbert Arenas.

It’s not that Arenas couldn’t stand to relinquish this one. “Hibachi” is a pretty incredible consolation prize, but good luck convincing Arenas, and more importantly, NBA fans to part ways with it. In any case, it was a strange night for nicknames, in general, as Thaddeus Young found out about a “Thagic Johnson” moniker that’s apparently been floated.

For Bridges, it might be time to settle on “Sky Miles” once and for all, as it has all the makings of a solid memorable nickname, including the pun on his name and the reference to his aerial feats. He could certainly do a lot worse.

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Watch Chloe X Halle Dance Side By Side In The Intergalactic, Extravagant ‘Ungodly Hour’ Video

Last year Chloe x Halle broke out in a big way due to their sophomore album Ungodly Hour, a follow-up to 2018’s Kids Are Alright. These sisters have been on the mainstream radar for a while though because of an early co-sign from none other than Beyonce herself, who took them under her wing and has been helping them prepare for the greatness they were clearly destined for. Even during a pandemic and a year of economic chaos, Ungodly Hour became one of the most talked-about R&B records of the year, spawning hits like “Do It” which spawned a star-laden remix featuring Doja Cat, Mulatto and City Girls.

As their profiles have grown — Halle for her role playing Ariel in a new live action version of The Little Mermaid and Chloe for simply just posting photos and videos of herself on social media (haters gonna hate) — they’ve continued to focus on this breakout record. A few days ago they announced that a video for the record’s title track would be dropping this week, and tonight the intergalactic clip is here. Whether they’re cavorting in the ocean wearing studded bodysuits, or shapeshifting in space age glittery dresses, it’s impossible to take your eyes off these two performers, especially when they’re dancing side by side. At one point, Halle even poses with a lit chandelier on her head as a crown. It’s an extravagant, exuberant video to match the tone of the song. Watch the new clip above.

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St. Vincent Is Teasing A New Album Titled ‘Daddy’s Home’ For Release In May

Fans of St. Vincent won’t have to wait too long for her next album. Street posters promoting the upcoming release, entitled Daddy’s Home, have popped up on Reddit. The advertisement used a 1970s-esque aesthetic that featured Annie Clark herself beside a lengthy statement that provides details for the upcoming effort. “St. Vincent is back with a record of all-new songs. Warm Wurlitzers and wit, glistening guitars and grit, with sleaze and style for days,” it says. “Taking you from uptown to downtown with the artist who makes you expect the unexpected. So sit back, light up, and by all means have that bourbon waiting, because … DADDY’S HOME.”

The lower right corner of the advertisement reveals that the album will arrive on May 14 via Loma Vista. Seeing that some of her fans had caught wind of the poster, the singer acted oblivious to it all and posted a tweet that said, “Nothing to see here.” The upcoming project will be St. Vincent’s first full-length release since 2017’s Masseduction. The news of the upcoming project comes after she confirmed that a new album would arrive in 2021 during an interview with UK magazine Mojo (via r/indieheads on Reddit).

“[The album marks] a tectonic shift. I felt I had gone as far as I could possibly go with angularity, she said. “I was interested in going back to the music I’ve listened to more than any other — Stevie Wonder records from the early ’70s, Sly And The Family Stone. I studied at the feet of those masters.”

You can check out the Daddy’s Home street posters above.

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The Coolest Thing About ‘WandaVision’ Is That It Is Very Weird

There is, I think, something missing from the WandaVision discourse right now. It wasn’t always missing. In fact, it kind of dominated coverage early on, back when this was all new and fresh. But in the weeks since, people have moved on. They want to talk about the way the show parcels out its plot (“too slow!”) (“actually, it is fine!”), and which appearances by other characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe they would like to see (“Magneto!”) (“Korg!”), and Kathryn Hahn (“Kathryn Hahn!”). This is fine, as all of these are worth discussing at some point in the process, but I do think it is causing us to veer slightly away from the most important thing about the show: WandaVision is still, almost two months into its run, weird as hell.

The weirdness might be wearing off for you at this point if you’ve started to accept what the show is and does, but please, if you have any doubt, try something for me: Explain the show to a person who does not watch it. It’s better if they are, at most, casually familiar with the Marvel movies. And it’s better than that if you, like me, are really only familiar with the characters from the movies. I attempted to do this recently. It went something like this…

“So two of the Avengers, the witch and the robot, who were kind of bad but then good, fell in love, but then the robot died, twice, so now the witch — who is played by the younger sister of the Olsen twins — sort of created a whole fake fictional universe inside a town in New Jersey where the robot is alive again, and each episode of the show is like styled based on a genre of sitcom — Bewitched, Brady Bunch, Modern Family, etc. — and the FBI and various secretive government agencies are outside this forcefield trying to investigate it all and also one of them figured out how to watch the episodes of the show within a show on an old television in the science lab. And that’s when things start getting strange..”

It’s a blast. You’ll sound like you’ve lost all of your mind. And that’s before you even get to the part about Kathryn Hahn playing a secret magical villain who traps Wanda in her demonic basement dungeon after babysitting the rapidly aging twins Wanda and Vision had. The nice thing is that even the characters in the show acknowledge how wild it all is.

Disney+

This is all very cool to me. I like when things are ambitious and weird, and I especially like it when things are that way when they don’t have to be. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a multibillion-dollar enterprise on its own as well as a lucrative property in the multi-multibillion-dollar Disney portfolio. The instinct when dealing with intellectual property with stratospheric dollar values like this is often to play it safe, to not rock the boat, or, one imagines, to not take your golden goose and twist it into a tribute to sitcoms from before most of the audience was born. The fact that they’re doing it — that they’re even trying it — is pretty neat. I don’t often find myself in the position of congratulating massive conglomerates for artistic choices, but I also don’t often find myself watching a television show targeted at the “comic book fans who are also students of the sitcom format throughout history” genre. It’s an odd position to be in. Not as odd as say, being a civilian inside the MCU and discovering that a famous witch resurrected her robot lover and is keeping him alive inside a manufactured mini-universe that occasionally pays tribute to Malcolm in the Middle, but still, odd.

Does it help that Wanda and Vision are two of the, let’s just say it, lesser Avengers, at least from a lunchbox-and-action-figure standpoint? I don’t know. Maybe. Probably. There’s a little less to lose with these two characters and therefore less of a reason to not swing for the fences. But let’s also remember that Marvel turned the Thor franchise over to Taika Waititi and he proceeded to a) make Thor hilarious, and b) make Hulk a big pouty child who gets huffy when he doesn’t get his way. There is history here. Marvel has not been afraid to zig and/or zag for the sake of a good time. Look at my sweet cranky prince.

MARVEL

And getting this weird has paid off for WandaVision in other ways, too, and yes, this is where we discuss the performances on the show. Paul Bettany has nailed every sitcom dad/husband trope they’ve thrown at him. Elizabeth Olsen is carrying the emotional core of the show while also doing spot-on versions of everyone from Mary Tyler Moore to Julie Bowen. Kathryn Hahn — Kathryn Hahn! — has been a delight from the start, playing note-perfect iterations of various nosy neighbors from decades gone by, everything from “1950s housewife who stops by to borrow an ingredient for a recipe as a ruse to snoop around your business” to “Jazzercise-obsessed neighbor who stops by after a workout to say hi as a ruse to snoop around your business.” Even if every other part of the show fell flat, it would be worth it for giving her this kind of playground to run amok inside for 30 minutes a week. I am so excited to see what she does now that she gets to be openly evil for huge chunks of television. I hope she cackles directly into the camera for 25 seconds straight to start the next episode.

I assume the weirdness will dial itself down a bit as the show zooms toward the end of its season. It almost has to, just because the business of explaining how and why all this has happened will decrease the anarchy of it just, like, happening. But let’s not overlook the path the show walked to get there, the one it asked the audience to follow it down, the one that was twisty and bumpy and sometimes featured rascal storks out of nowhere and eventually brought in Randall Park and Kat Dennings to investigate. The whole thing could have been a convoluted mess. I suppose it still could be in its last few episodes. But even if that happens, even if it all falls to pieces in the home stretch, I’ll still appreciate that it made the effort, if only because an ambitious failure is more interesting than a boring success. WandaVision is nothing if not ambitiously, fantastically weird. One day, if they’re taking requests over there, if they’re fully committed to getting goofy, I would still like a show set in the headquarters of a fictional newspaper inside the MCU, one that spans the length of the franchise from the first Iron Man to wherever it ends up, complete with a frazzled reporter attempting to write a front-page story about a big purple alien killing half of the planet’s humans. But for now, as far as big swings go, this will do just fine.

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Ric Wilson And Japanese Band Chai Give An Ode To Beauty Marks In Their Video For ‘Maybe Chocolate Chips’

Chicago rapper Ric Wilson has seen his popularity slowly increase for quite some time now. In just the last year, he’s landed collaborations with Terrace Martin, BJ The Chicago Kid, and more, but his latest partnership finds him taking his talents to the other side of the world. Wilson teamed up with Japanese electronic band Chai in their new video for “Maybe Chocolate Chips.”

The video is laced with a collage-like aesthetic that features animated cutouts of Wilson and Chai. The song is an ode to beauty marks and the video uses chocolate chip cookies as a motif, there to represent moles people may find on their face. It’s their attempt to put a positive spin on these beauty marks.

and the constant appearance of chocolate chip cookies throughout the video is proof of the artists’ attempt to put a positive spin on the blemishes some may be insecure about.

Chai’s bassist and vocalist Yuuki spoke about the song’s meaning in a press release. “Things that we want to hold on to, things that we wished went away,” she said. “A lot of things happen as we age and with that for me, is new moles! But I love them! My moles are like the chocolate chips on a cookie, the more you have, the happier you become! and before you know it, you’re an original.”

The track will also appear on the band’s upcoming album, Wink, which arrives on May 21. It’s their first release since 2019’s Punk. As for Ric Wilson, he’s dropped his “Pull A James Baldwin” single last month, which served as the follow up to his 2020 EP, They Call Me Disco, with Terrace Martin.

You can watch the video for “Maybe Chocolate Chip” above.

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Marjorie Taylor Green Posted An Anti-Trans Statement Outside Her Office To Troll A Representative With A Trans Child, And People Are Horrified

Before Wednesday, it had been a few weeks since we’d heard from Marjorie Taylor Greene, the new, QAnon-obsessed congresswoman who kicked off her tenure by alienating everyone who wasn’t a die-hard Trumpist. But back into the spotlight she roared. First she forcibly adjourned a vote on the AOC-co-shepherded Equal Rights Act, partly by going on an anti-trans tirade. Then she got owned by AOC herself. A couple hours later it was made public that one of Greene’s close associates admitted to being part of the failed MAGA coup of January 6.

But that wasn’t all: She stepped up a fight with a fellow representative — and office neighbor — in the most bigoted way possible. That colleague is Illinois representative Marie Newman. She has a trans daughter. And when Greene called the pro-LGBTQ+ bill “an attack on God’s creation,” Newman decided to put up a pro-trans flag in her office, which is across the way from hers.

Greene then decided to return in kind — or with the addition of some prejudice. She posted a video of her putting up a sign outsider her office, bearing the words, “There are two genders: Male & Female,” followed by “Trust the science!” in scare quotes.

That Greene would proudly troll a colleague who has a trans child is probably not surprising: Before she was elected she’d written violent things about certain congresspeople. That didn’t mean people weren’t still disgusted with her behavior:

Some questioned her understanding of science.

Some pointed out that she may have too much time on her hands — probably because she was kicked off various committees for her past behavior.

It also seemed like a real HR issue.

One person fixed the sign for her.

Maybe she was trying to cover up her close connection to the storming of the building in which she works.

Although some pointed that she’d probably be in a very different spot in her life had she not been elected to Congress.

And some had enjoyed that respite from hearing from or about her.

(Via The Hill)

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They. And Kiana Lede Remix ‘Count Me In’ With A Sultry Video

R&B duo They. was one of the many artists that appeared on Uproxx‘s Most Anticipated Albums Of Fall 2020 thanks to their second album The Amanda Tape. The project eventually arrived at the end of October and was heralded all over the R&B world, coming in at No. 17 on Uproxx’s Best R&B Albums of 2020 list. Now, the duo looks to extend the life of the project with a brand new remix of “Count Me In” with Kiana Lede.

The new version arrives with a sultry video, as well as an equally impassioned verse from the R&B songstress. They.’s Drew Love leads the way with a verse centered on committing to love, so long as one’s potential partner is all for it. Then Kiana steps forth to lay down the law and reveal her requirements for a relationship. “Only thing that I can trust is a ‘f*ck me’ kinda love,” she sings. “You gon’ f*ck up me standin’ up / So you can’t let me down.”

Along with They., Kiana Lede offered another 2020 highlight in the R&B world. Her moment came much earlier in the year with the April release of her debut album, Kiki. This project also appeared on Uproxx‘s Best R&B Albums of 2020 list at No. 12.

You can watch the “Count Me In” remix video above.

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The Thunder Beat The Spurs On A Luguentz Dort Buzzer-Beater Three

The Oklahoma City Thunder were expected to be the NBA’s worst team this season after they traded away, well, just about everyone this offseason. However, the young Thunder will not go quietly, thanks in large part to the efforts of third-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has been sensational this season.

On Wednesday night, Gilgeous-Alexander set a new career-high against the San Antonio Spurs, scoring 42 points (along with eight rebounds and four assists) in what ended up being a 112-109 win in OKC. He had 38 of those points through the first three quarters, exploding in the third in particular to push the Thunder to the lead.

Late in the fourth quarter, though, it was Luguentz Dort who played the hero, as he finished the night with 16 points, including some key late three-pointers, none moreso than the game-winner from the corner on a beautiful ATO play drawn up by Mark Daigneault.

Al Horford does a great job to push his man up the floor on the denial and then seal him on the lob to the elbow, turning the corner to force help from the weakside and then kicks it to Dort who, while best known for his defensive prowess, was able to drill the three. The win moves OKC into 12th in the West at 13-19, just ahead of the Kings, and while that may not seem wildly impressive, for a team that seemingly moved every veteran from last year’s playoff team and was clearly shifting to a rebuild, the performance on the floor this season, led by SGA but buoyed by some excellent effort each night on both ends from a young team, has been terrific.

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21 Savage And Metro Boomin Defeat A Chainsaw Killer In Their Haunting Video for ‘Glock In My Lap’

After teasing the album for more than two years, 21 Savage and Metro Boomin finally delivered Savage Mode II last October. The project was met with rave reviews and later became the second No. 1 album of their careers. Months later, the two return with a new video for the track “Glock In My Lap.”

The pair begin the video in the midst of thick smoke and beaming red lights. The song’s co-producer, Honorable C.N.O.T.E., eventually joins them and moments later they are approached by a chainsaw-wielding killer, who ends up being no match for the trio. C.N.O.T.E. and Metro pull out their guns to unleash a storm of bullets on their opponent, taking them down with little resistance.

The video is of a piece with previous Savage Mode II videos, which also have a cinematic flourish. “My Dawg” finds the pair taking the roles of menacing businessmen while “Runnin” depicts a rags-to-riches story as they returned to their hometown to show off the Grammy that 21 earned for his 2019 single “A Lot.” The duo also paid homage to the late King Von during a performance of “Runnin’” and “Mr. Right Now” on The Tonight Show, where 21 said, “The world lost a legend.”

Elsewhwere, 21 recently joined YBN Nahmir to throw an outdoor party in their video for “Opp Stoppa.”

Watch the “Glock In My Lap” video above.