Given Bakersfield's love of fast food, it's no wonder we're often a test market for many of the chains.
We've had: the Paw Plate at Panda Express, loaded fries at Wingstop, the self-serve kiosks inside McDonald's, veggie dogs at Wienerschnitzel, Takis items at Del Taco and, my personal favorite, the "Party by Taco Bell" event concept.
Tasty tests continue this summer with the launch of the spicy cowboy menu items at Carl's Jr.
The burger chain and its sister chain, Hardee's, are testing this spicy cowboy menu at select locations in Bakersfield; Terre Haute, Ind.; and Little Rock, Ark.
On the menu are two burgers and a breakfast option all notable for their toasted jalapeno cornmeal bun and pepper jack cheese.
Spicy cowboy breakfast sandwich ($3.49, prices may vary by location): Fluffy folded eggs, savory sausage and pepper jack cheese served on a toasted jalapeno cornmeal bun.
Spicy cowboy cheeseburger ($5.79) and double spicy cowboy cheeseburger ($6.99): One or two 100 percent all beef patties with pepper jack cheese, jalapeno coins, lettuce, tomato, mayo and barbecue sauce on a toasted jalapeno cornmeal bun.
I was able to try both the breakfast sandwich and double cheeseburger as part of a promotion. The cornmeal bun really elevated the morning option, offering a substantial framework without the extra carbs of a biscuit, which is the main vehicle for most of the chain's other breakfast sandwiches.
The double cheeseburger also benefited from the bun and the jalapeno coins added a decent level of spice without making it all too hot. The mix of flavors from the peppers, mayo and barbecue sauce reminded me of the sauce used on the burgers at Henry's in Lake of the Woods, which I enjoyed in my younger years. A tasty blast from the past.
All the sandwiches are available now for a limited time.
Red Hot addition
Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is rolling out a new burger and concrete just in time for summer's end.
The cooked-to-order "Red Hot & Bleu" steakburger features the classic two patties topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion along with a creamy blend of mayonnaise and Frank's RedHot Buffalo sauce and crumbled blue cheese.
Cool down with Freddy's new pumpkin pie concrete, a seasonal classic made with fresh and creamy vanilla frozen custard blended with a slice of rich pumpkin pie, crust included, that is then topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon.
"The richness of the crumbled blue cheese combined with the mild heat from the creamy buffalo sauce made with Frank's RedHot creates a perfect balance for our newest steakburger packed with bold, complementary flavors," Rick Petralia, director of menu strategy and innovation, said in a news release. "We're also thrilled to be bringing back the pumpkin pie concrete this year, which has hints of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger that make it a fitting dessert treat for the fall season."
Both limited-time offers will be available starting Wednesday through Nov. 1 or while supplies last.
It’s snack time
School is back in session and families are definitely on the go. Those looking for a quick protein option can try Kellogg's new Special K Protein Snack Bars.
Available in two flavors — berry vanilla and brownie sundae — each 90-calorie bar offers 6 grams of protein, which is as much as a hard-boiled egg or a handful of almonds.
"Sometimes you just need a second to pause and do something for yourself that's going to energize you. At Special K, we love to offer that special combination of indulgent-tasting flavors plus functional ingredients like protein in a portable snack that's perfect for stashing in your bag, car or desk drawer," Heidi Ray, senior director of brand marketing for Kellogg's Portable Wholesome Snacks, said in a news release. "Our new Special K Protein Snack Bars are a delicious mini option you can feel good about enjoying, so you're able to take a moment and get a little boost of energy to help fuel you for whatever your day has in store."
Having a chance to sample both flavors, sent in a promotional package, I prefer the berry bar. It features strawberry-flavored cranberry pieces (and a cherry on the packaging) that somehow work as a berry flavor.
Also, as someone who has been desk-bound at lunchtime, I can say this would help keep hangry feelings at bay.
The bars are available now at grocery retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $4.29 for a five-count package.
Visit SpecialK.com for more information.