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Mr. Lee’s Noodles

Thank you, Mr. Lee’s Noodles, for sending us these products to review!

As everyone in my family knows, I am a huge fan of ramen noodles of all types, especially the instant cups. So naturally, I was really excited to review the 8-pack of Mr. Lee’s Noodles sent to us. Four flavors of gluten-free instant rice noodle soups, some of which are vegan.

The flavors available include Tai Chi Chicken Rice Noodle Soup, Zen Garden Vegetable Rice Noodle Miso Soup, Coconut Chicken Curry Rice Noodle Soup, and Hong Kong Street-Style Beef Rice Noodle Soup. My favorite of these would probably have to be either the first one or the last one, but I enjoyed them all.

Mr. Lee's Noodles

Even though these flavors are notably different from one another, they all seem to revolve around 200-260 calories. In addition, they are all and gluten free; and the Zen Garden Vegetable Rice Noodle Miso Soup flavor is apparently vegan. I noticed that there were chunks of what looked to be chicken, but the taste and the inside of the cup said it was vegetable meat.

The inside of the cup has lots of messages, actually. You will notice as you eat the soup that the walls of the cup will not only have a recommended fill line, but it has notes written on them as well. These messages mostly talk about how they make the soups as good as they are (freeze-drying everything), and about their original flavors and recipes. There is also a description of each flavor to help the consumer decide what flavor they might like the most.

These soups are sold at Whole Foods as well as on the Mr. Lee’s Noodles website (the dietary requirements filter is very confusing, as the Hong Kong Street-Style Beef Rice Noodle Soup flavor is marked as vegetarian), and an 8-pack of any flavor or combination of flavors is $31.99, so about four bucks a cup, which is about what they sell for at Whole Foods.

Mr. Lee’s Noodles

Whether these are worth that much money is a different question. While I understand that a person with specific dietary needs does not have many other options, I am not sure if it is worth it for everyone, because while they may taste decent and have original flavors, but it is not quite in everyone’s budget.

Ignoring the price, though, these soups are not bad. A couple of the flavors left my mouth tingling a bit with their spice, as most of these selections are far from bland. They are hard to stir really well, so the bottom of the cup often ends up being uncomfortably salty, as much of the flavoring powders and spices sit in the bottom crevice throughout the meal, and I found that quite annoying.

The hotter the water is, the softer the rice noodles become. That is one thing I noticed when I tried each flavor. When they are soft, I found that they were quite delicious, and I liked them a lot. I also noticed that they are super slippery, therefore making them difficult to collect on the spoon. Another thing is that the meat chunks in the soups are actually quite sizeable, as well as the vegetable pieces. The rice noodles truly complimented every flavor I tried, and I certainly wasn’t gypped on the delicious meats the soups had to offer. In general, I found that Mr. Lee’s Noodles Instant ramen soups were very yummy, and I enjoyed all of the flavors available.

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Taco Bell's Naked Chicken Chalupa

Nutritional Info:
Calories: 440
Fat: 30g
Cholesterol: 70mg
Sodium: 1090mg
Carbohydrates: 22g
Protein: 20g

When I first saw the Naked Chicken Chalupa, I was equally intrigued as I was excited. As a prolific connoisseur of fast food oddities, I was immediately reminded of KFC's Double Down.  The Double Down replaced the buns with chicken patties and left the cheese, bacon, and sauce in the middle. The Naked Chicken Chalupa replaces the tortilla with a curved chicken pattie and leaves the cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce in the middle. I thought the Double Down was delicious so I was stoked for this new beyond-the-bun creation. 

When I took the chalupa out of my bag and unwrapped it, my first impression is that it seemed really thick for a chalupa. As advertised there's a cardboard holder covering about 2/3 of the chalupa. I took it out of its holder but it felt awkward to hold, I guess I don't regularly touch fried chicken patties. I put it back in its holder and took a bite. I was hit with a surprising amount of flavor. The chicken was moist and well seasoned and the avocado ranch sauce really compliments it. The breading on the chicken was nice, and didn't fall off chicken or stick to my fingers while I was eating it. I usually douse everything from Taco Bell with a packet or two of their fire sauce, but that was not necessary for this.  

 

The filling in the Naked Chicken Chalupa is its main downside. The stock Taco Bell lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese come off as incredibly bland when paired with the chicken shell and the sauce. Those items are just filler to round out the fact that it's a chalupa. Also while I really enjoyed eating the Naked Chicken Chalupa it wasn't as filling as a normal chalupa due to the lack of traditional chalupa shell. Its $2.99 price tag is only $0.10 more than a Chalupa Supreme which is great for a new/novelty item but you may not feel as satisfied after eating it compared to a regular chalupa. Fortunately there's a $5 box with the Naked Chicken Chalupa, crunchy taco, Doritos Locos taco, and a medium drink for a nice, "well rounded" meal. 

I really enjoyed the new Naked Chicken Chalupa from Taco Bell and hope it sticks around. The chicken shell is well made and flavorful and pairs exceptionally well with the avocado ranch sauce they use. I did end up putting some fire sauce on the my chalupa after the first few bites but it really does not need it. It's perfectly enjoyable on its own. The lackluster fillings are par-for-the-course from Taco Bell and don't detract enough to prevent me from ordering this again.

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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