I interrupt the scheduled Taco Bell post because of the huge anticipation for Burger King’s newest creation: Cheetos Chicken Fries. These seemed to take inspiration from the Doritos Locos Tacos: a junk food mashup that would add an extra layer of flavor to an already existing product. They’ve currently featured in an ad campaign and mentions of this creation are all over social media, and not just because people now send me fast food news (thanks!). Once I learned these were soon to be sold, they immediately jumped the line and had to be the next item I ate. The eating experience also prompted me to jump this post to the top of the pile because… well, you’ll see below.

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I’m a huge fan of fried chicken in pretty much any form. My default order at most fast food locations is nuggets/tenders/fried chicken sandwich. That being said, I’ve never been a huge fan of Burger King’s Chicken Fries. Birthed from a type of food that is generally processed and doesn’t feel natural, Chicken Fries stand out even more. They don’t particularly taste like chicken, they aren’t well seasoned, and eating them gets kinda boring. Chicken Fries exist to serve as a vehicle for whatever dipping sauce you want to consume and to provide a satisfying crunch. My hope was that the Cheetos dust would actually make the Chicken Fries good. More care should be put into making the chicken taste like chicken, and cheese dust is good! Taco Bell proved that, right?

Burger King says that “Cheetos Chicken Fries are made with white meat chicken like original Chicken Fries, and are covered in a crispy Cheetos-flavored breading.” I opted for a medium sized meal, which was $5.39 and came with nine Cheetos Chicken Fries. You can order the fries alone for $2.99. I was a little disappointed that nine is the minimum amount. I’d prefer an option for six, but maybe since this is a limited time item, BK is going for volume. I also chose to get BBQ sauce, just to see how they would pair with a sauce.

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I got to my table, sat down, opened my special Cheetos Chicken Fries box and my initial reaction was… CONFUSION! Based on the commercials and having eaten Cheetos more than once in my life, I expected these to be a bright orange. I also expected Cheetos dust like the Doritos Locos Taco. These were dark brown. There was no dust. I actually thought they had given me the wrong order. I double checked my receipt, then Googled Cheetos Chicken Fries to see a photo to make sure I actually received the correct food.

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I bit into my first Cheetos Chicken Fry and my initial reaction was … CONFUSION! It did not taste like Cheetos. I really thought there was a chance I had the wrong order. Still. I decided to keep eating, and I started to at least get a salty-ish taste, which I’m guessing was the special breading. Still didn’t taste like Cheetos, cheese, or really anything other than salt. I bit into the breading alone. Salt. It did have a slight orange hue though, so I guess that proves that Cheetos at some point were used in the product. They also kinda smelled like Cheetos (Yes, I sat in a food court smelling Chicken Fries. Don’t judge me.).

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The Cheetos Chicken Fries also suffered from the same issues as original Chicken Fries: they were incredibly dry and at no point did I feel like I was eating chicken. When I used the BBQ sauce, these were okay, but that’s only because the BBQ sauce was okay, it was all I tasted.

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I ate all the fries, chicken and potato, and was still a little hungry afterwards. Eating was a monotonous experience. All the bites taste the same and all the bites are mediocre at best. The problem with both concept and execution: Original Chicken Fries are terrible! We’re starting with a flawed concept, then Burger King and Cheetos half assed this concoction. No Cheetos dust. No real Cheetos taste. No real cheese taste. No fake cheese taste. If executives at Cheetos actually tasted and signed off on the product I ate, they should be embarrassed by this blatant cash grab. How can this food item be so dispiriting when they had a positive example in front of them from Taco Bell, which has been on the market for years! There’s no need to rush this out to capitalize on their buzz! Make a good product, or at least try to make a good product.

I sat in a food court with Taco Bell, Panda Express, D’Angelo’s, and Sarku Japan and ate these things. I’m still angry they ruined what could have been a perfectly good lunch. These were terrible and are a waste of menu space as long as they last.

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