Bud Light Straw-Ber-Rita vs. Bud Light Lime-A-Rita: The Gut Check Taste Test

Earlier this week Gut Check sallied forth to Randall's Wines and Spirits (1910 S. Jefferson Avenue; 314-865-0199) and got our hands on a case of A-B's new Straw-Ber-Rita and a case of Bud Light Lime-A-Rita.

It was time for a taste test.

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Don't say we never did anything for you. | Kaitlin Steinberg

Here at Gut Check International Headquarters, we're accustomed to tasting booze. You know, American vodka or local moonshine, wine. Pretty much whatever we can rationalize putting on the ol' expense account or cadge from some unsuspecting distiller or distributor. Which is to say, this was by no means our first rodeo.

See also:
- A-B Unleashes the Straw-Ber-Rita on Unwitting Drinkers
- Anheuser-Busch Due to Roll Out Margarita-Flavored Beer

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Taste Test: Hardee's Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich Challenges Wendy's Premium Cod Fillet

Last week's edition of Fight Club Sandwich pitted two fast-food chains' "premium" fish sandwiches against one another, as Wendy's Premium Cod Fillet Sandwich took on Burger King's Premium Alaskan Fish Sandwich.

Having declared Wendy's the victor, Gut Check figured we'd performed our fishly obligations and quickly toweled off the murky waters that surround fast-food fish sammies.

And then we got wet again.

Not long after we published the results of our taste test, the following e-mail popped up in our queue, from a Hardee's PR rep:

While we enjoyed reading your recent Gut Check showcasing a few fast-food restaurants' fish sandwiches, we couldn't help but notice you left out the most delicious option available. If you haven't yet heard, Hardee's recently released its prefect-for-Lent Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich -- the first sandwich of its kind. We'd like to officially challenge the fish sandwich title holder with an option you won't find at any other fast food restaurant.

Dude. We'd heard. We just figured that like everything else Hardee's does, the ad for the product is more, um, substantial than the food item itself.

Hardee's/Carl's Jr.
Ahem. Nina Agdal, Hardee's latest catch.
Following a brief debate at Gut Check International HQ, we decided to accept Hardee's request for a throwdown. First things first, though: Before going up against Wendy's cod piece, Nina Agdal's pride and joy would have to surpass the Burger King Premium Fish Sandwich that Wendy's beat.

See also:
- Hardee's Fish Slutburger to Arrive Just in Time for Lent
- Fish Sandwich Taste Test: Burger King vs. Wendy's

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Taste Test: Burger King Premium Alaskan Fish Sandwich vs. Wendy's Premium Cod Fillet Sandwich

Evan C. Jones
Winner winner, Wendy's cod fillet dinner?

Be honest: The last thing you're thinking about when you go to a fast-food restaurant is "fish sandwich." However, when Lent rolls around, it's a valid thing to consider, especially if you're giving up red meat until Easter. Some fast-food chains pounce on this opportunity and feature fish on their meat-heavy menus.

Still, you're cautious -- and rightly so. That's where your good buddy Gut Check comes in.

See also:
- Fast Food Lent Options Are Bountiful

For this edition of Fight Club Sandwich, we focus on two companies promoting a "premium fish" sandwich during Lent: Burger King and Wendy's. Who will prevail?

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Fight Club Burrito Bowl: Chipotle Mexican Grill's Burrito Bowl vs. Taco Bell's Cantina Bowl

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"Can Taco Bell Do Gourmet?" and "Think Taco Bell Can't Do Gourmet?" are questions scrawled across promotional materials for Taco Bell's new Cantina Bell menu. As Gut Check reported in July, Taco Bell introduced its new menu in stores nationwide on Thursday, July 5. It was no surprise when, days after its release, Karl Welzein, a.k.a. @DadBoner, summarily rejected the Cantina Bowl -- though he's a fan of bold flavors for sure, he never much takes to anything aimed at "evolving palettes."

Despite @DadBoner's disdain, Gut Check was still compelled to try the Cantina Bowl and discover how it compares to Chipotle Mexican Grill's burrito bowl. For research purposes, this comparison seemed the most natural, as the marketing of Taco Bell's Cantina Menu smacks of the same buzz-word language and trendy ingredients pioneered to the fast-casual-dining masses by Chipotle.

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Fight Club Sandwich: Jack in the Box's Waffle Breakfast Sandwich vs. McDonald's McGriddle

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In a recent morning hangover-induced jaunt to Jack in the Box, Gut Check glimpsed a new menu item: the waffle breakfast sandwich. According to Jack, the sandwich is made with the chain's new country grilled sausage, a fried egg, cheese and toasted maple waffles. Our first thought: Can we get hash browns with that? But then we had a second thought: How does Jack in the Box's new breakfast sandwich stack up against McDonald's original sausage, egg and cheese McGriddle sandwich?

The Contenders
Admittedly it's been awhile since Gut Check wolfed down a sausage, egg and cheese McGriddle, but not so long ago that we don't remember the basics. Obviously the McGriddle's trademark is the refashioning of McDonald's maple-syrup infused "griddle cakes" as sandwich bread -- complete with the McDonald's arch insignia burned into the cakes! From there the sandwich comes in several varieties, including the fully loaded sausage, egg and cheese McGriddle. For comparative research purposes that's the sandwich Gut Check ordered, which Jack in the Box's waffle breakfast sandwich innards match dime for grease-covered dime. At first glance the only difference between the two sandwiches are griddle pancakes verses waffles, harkening back to that age old debate that doesn't exactly have a correct answer.

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Battle Brain Beverage: Nawgan vs. Brain Toniq

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Gut Check will do anything to get smarter. From eating the recommended amount of fish to keeping our gray matter's precious fatty tissue lubricated to challenging our brainsicles with crossword puzzles and chess, we'll jump at the chance to gain (or, more likely in our case, attempt to preserve) even the smallest fraction of an IQ point. But will slogging down can after pricey can of so-called brain tonics really make us geniuses? We doubt it, but we were willing to plunk down the cash money and put in the hours to find the answer.

It got us imagining a smarter world. Taking a cue from that app where you have to solve math problems to avoid texting while drunk, what if we had to solve for the square root every time we opened the fridge? What if our cars made us spell four-syllable words before we could turn the key in the ignition? What if, instead of working on boring projects, preparing PowerPoint presentations for our coworkers to sleep through, we were expanding our minds in a measurable way every day? What if we lived in a world where the satisfying crack of an aluminum can was the international symbol for impending mental heavy lifting? All right, y'all, we're gonna down this dendrite crack and then do some serious thinking!

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William K. Busch's Kräftig Lager: "Better Than Bud Select!"

As the comments on our first Kräftig post prove, there's no consensus on the new lager from William K. Busch. Opinions range from:

I just sat down and had the two beers, both equally horrible. They taste bland and smell like a watery pilsner. They should just stay at home and realize that disposable income cannot buy a good beer. Get original.
Tried Kraftig Lager today and found it to be robust, flavorful, and very smooth and drinkable for an American Lager. I'm spoiled after living in Germany for 21 years....This Lager puts Budweiser to shame. Best American Lager I've had here.

Sly old Gut Check knows from long experience that when presented with conflicting opinions regarding alcoholic beverages, the proper course of action is as plain as "that thing" on Assistant Principal Hogarth's face: Raid the Gut Check International HQ petty cash stash, round up a colleague or three and get our drink on.

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Battle of the Breadsticks: Fazoli's vs. Olive Garden

Kholood Eid
The Fazoli's breadsticks
You always have Gut Check at all-you-can-eat. Add "breadsticks" to the end of that, and we're trembling with excitement to binge on as many carbs as possible.

Today, we pit against each other two chains known for their all-you-can-eat breadsticks: Fazoli's and Olive Garden

Day One (yes, we split this over two days so as to avoid cardiac arrest) brought us to Fazoli's. After ordering a triple-cheese double slice of pizza, we found an empty booth and mentally prepared ourselves for the only benefit of dining inside a Fazoli's: endless breadsticks.

Even if you pace yourself, no amount of preparation can help with the nausea that will ensue.

The pizza comes with two barely warm, soggy, spongy sticks of shameful caloric proportions. Sometimes, such excessive calorie intake can be justified.

In this case, it couldn't. Definitely not a good sign of what was to come.

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Battle KFC: Traditional Famous Bowl vs. New Cheesy Bacon Bowl

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Gut Check was craving a big sloppy gob of calories the other day when it hit us: Time to go to Kentucky Fried Chicken. After all, KFC is the brains behind the Double Down, the breadless chicken sandwich with the bacon, cheese and the devil himself (we call him "The Colonel") hiding inside.

With ridiculous ideas like the Double Down, we knew that KFC would not disappoint. But rather than opting for a sandwich or bucket of legs, we decided to try the restaurant's "famous" bowls. But which one? Never fear, Fight Club Sandwich Bowls is here.

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Battle "Artisan" Pizzas: Papa John's Vs. Domino's

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Domino's can't be credited for much in the realm of pizza-making, but its marketing campaign works. Sort of. After having tried Domino's many times, we'd written the crust off as cardboard and the sauce as flavorless. While the self-deprecating "we-used-to-suck-real-bad-but-we're-better-now!" ad campaign didn't convince us, it did make us curious. That curiosity deepened when Domino's introduced its new artisan pies.

Meanwhile, Papa John's exists as the chain-pizza-joint favorite, at least at Gut Check HQ. It's definitely not gourmet, definitely not healthy, but it's good enough -- and it gives us an excuse to dip things in garlic butter, an action which, if not condoned by a restaurant, would seem gluttonous and egregious. Thank you, Papa John's, for making this embarrassing-but-delicious condiment socially acceptable (and giving us the option to request extra for $.50). While the Papa doesn't call his pies "artisan," he does offer a selection of comparable specialty pizzas.

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