In theory, you really can't go wrong with the new Jack in the Box "Munchie Meal." It's a box full of junk food, available between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., that is designed to crush even the most heinous case of the munchies. The ad campaign is pretty clearly targeting giant potheads -- the commercials always feature a bleary-eyed dude who looks like he just stashed his roach. Dude's hungry, Jack in the Box has the answer. AND! It's in a box!
Or is it?
Well, our JITB Munchie Meals did not come in special purple boxes with games printed inside. They came in regular old paper bags, and that was just the beginning of the disappointments. So, here's the deal about Munchie Meals: You choose from four main "entrées," and you get three standard sides along with each. The "sides" are two tacos, a 20 oz. fountain drink and "halfsies," which is a half order each of french fries and curly fries. Now, get a load of the "main entrée" options:
• The Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger is grilled cheese on sourdough stacked on top of a cheeseburger. That meal comes in at just over 1,600 calories (not including a drink). • The Exploding Cheesy Chicken sandwich is "exploding with mozzarella cheese sticks and gooey white cheese sauce." This is aside from the fried chicken, of course. 1,594 calories for the whole meal. • The Loaded Nuggets is a basket full of chicken nuggets, smothered in ranch, two kinds of cheese and bacon -- all for just 1,592 calories. • The Brunch Burger Munchie Meal features a burger with a "fried egg" on top (looks like one of those breakfast eggs), plus a hash brown thrown on there for good measure. The Brunch menu breaks the calorie bank at 1,708.
So, you're super-hungry and you sit down to a Jack in the Box Munchie Meal, designed just for you, for this exact moment of your life -- what do you feel as you take the first bite?
So bummed, dude. So bummed.
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As any good old stoner will tell you, the older you get, the better your weed gets; quality matters, and you can't settle for those old, dusty bags of grass the upperclassmen used to sell you when you were starting out. Clearly the same can be said for stoner food; Jack in the Box just does not bring it. Yes, there were highlights -- the halfsies is brilliant; who wants to choose between French and curly fries? Plus, the tacos were tasty, and even still crispy by the time we got them home -- but the "main" portion? No.
We tried the Grilled Cheese Burger and the Loaded Nuggets, and they were by far the worst things about the Munchie Meals. The Stacked Grilled Cheese was so greasy it was slippery, and thus immediately unpleasant, even before the first bite. All the cheese and bread served to do was overwhelm whatever was happening on the cheeseburger; not just messy to eat, but to taste. Have you ever had anything taste messy? It's an unusual experience.
The Loaded Nuggets were...well, I simply just cannot recommend them. The chicken tasted frozen, even under a combination of two cheese sauces and ranch dressing. I think I had it in my head that these would be smothered tater tots -- which would be tons better, by the way -- and I was kicking myself for not going with the Brunch Burger.
"Fast food for stoners" would be great, if it tasted good. My advice: If you're looking to go "all out," just order double of something you know you already like and don't give the Munchie Meal a second thought. Turns out the wake-and-bake crowd isn't missing much after all.