I'm pretty terrible at taking care of myself, something you might have been able to guess by the fact that I'm obviously sitting in front of a computer most of the day. But even I would not normally subject myself to four of these things.
The Munchie Meal is basically Jack in the Box's attempt to make something even more crazily grease and carb heavy than its usual menu items, and considering one of their usual items is deep-fried, cheese-filled jalapenos dipped in buttermilk sauce, that's not just heavy - it's Chris Christie heavy. It's a good thing the hard liquor I drink probably thins the blood, because I think my arteries just quadruply constricted in the past couple of weeks.
Was it worth it? Read on and learn...
It has been noted that Jack appears to be marketing directly to stoners - as I've mentioned before, any time a fast food chain uses the term "late night" as a marketing buzzword, it tends to mean "for people who are drunk or stoned." I actually asked a JitB representative point-blank what the company's official stance is with regards to the stoner observations made by others, and got this reply:
Jack in the Box has always been a leader at late night, but we really wanted to up the ante and give our late night guests something special. Whether you're studying late, or heading home after a night on the town, our new Jack's Munchie Meals are the perfect cure for your late night cravings.
Yes, these are for people who are "studying." Look, carbs can be useful for all-nighters - I used to eat dried pasta chips for energy when I had a long night of writing. But you will not feel like doing a damn thing when you're done with these suckers, except maybe throw in the towel and admit you have found the food that can best you in battle.
I think this box art is a test. If you believe it, you're too stoned.
It should also be noted that the meals are officially available only after 9 p.m., but unlike Ronald McDonald at the end of breakfast time, Jack is not a hard-ass clown when it comes to the rules. Except that if his ass is anything like his head, it's hard plastic, so y'know, maybe I'm wrong about that.
Let us first look at the items that are common elements to every meal - and by the way, at $6, this is one of the best deals for sheer quantity to be found at any drive-thru right now.
Medium soda - Jack's version of Diet Coke tastes better than most others for some reason. I am not the only one who has noticed this.
Two tacos - if you're not familiar with the unique oddity that is the Jack in the Box taco, I should explain: it's tacos, Jim, but not as we know it, not as we know it, not as we know it. Theses taco-like objects are filled with a smooth, meat-like paste (seriously, zero crumbliness at all), a slice of processed cheese, lettuce and taco sauce - and deep fried from frozen, just enough not to cook the lettuce too much. "Late night" eaters will not be discerning, and I think the company counts on it. One makes for a delicious appetizer, if not the taco you may have been looking for. By number two, you're usually done with the concept.
Halfsies - half seasoned curly fries, half normal fries. This only emphasizes that normal fries are lame when placed side by side with the superior model.
Now we get into the main event - you have to choose the entree. And since Jack in the Box sent me the gift cards to do so, I ate every one. Make use of my knowledge, for it undoubtedly came at a price. A (mostly) delicious price.
#1: Exploding Cheesy Chicken
Official description: A chicken sandwich exploding with mozzarella cheese sticks and
gooey white cheese sauce. Oh my cheesy goodness.
Real description: Okay, so you start with a chicken cheeseburger. Add lettuce, and then stack three mozzarella sticks on top of the patty.
Then, add thick white cheese liquid until you have a layer about AN INCH THICK. Seriously: there is more of this stuff on the bun than there is chicken. There's almost more of it than there is bun. "Exploding" isn't the word - "monsooning" might work. I made it through about half on the first try.
And right before going to bed that night, I got the craving and finished it. Cold, out of the fridge, it hit the spot. They know what they're talking about with this late night stuff.
You can't taste the cheese sticks, though. They could be breaded zucchini or even tofu for all you get from them flavorwise, which is to say breading.
"Kiss your taco"?
#2: Stacked Grilled Cheeseburger
Official description: "Sourdough grilled cheese on top, cheeseburger on bottom.
Tuck into this tasty bunk bed."
Real description: A pretty good burger. Unlike with the cheesy chicken, it has enough bread to hold things together, and Jack no longer seems to be over-salting their ground beef to the point of insanity. The pickles and tomatoes registered on the taste buds nicely, and the grilled cheese contains more liquidy cheese than you might expect, but the bun is stretchy enough to handle it.
Also, this thing is so tall that the box won't close. A burger with grilled cheese sandwiches as the buns is a menu item many sit-down places have introduced; Jack finally grabbed the idea, and only going halfway on it was actually pretty smart. You don't need more ingredients on this sucker.
#3: Brunch Burger
Official description: A burger with a fried egg and a crispy hash brown for when it's so
late you don't know whether it's dinner or breakfast.
Real description: This is one they've written up so inadequately it's ridiculous. Like not mentioning the bacon. Or the fact that it's served on a croissant.
This is some solid hangover food, hearty and yet bland enough to go down easily. But contrary to the picture on the menu, mine came without any sauce of any kind, and it needs some - beef and an egg and hash browns on a croissant can be a dry combo that needs a bit of lubrication to go down. Just like a manicorn.
I was afraid to try the last item, so I saved it for last:
#4: Loaded Nuggets
Official description: "Chicken Nuggets drowning in two kinds of cheese
with ranch and bacon. Rescue them!"
Real description: Well, see picture, above.
Jack's chicken nuggets are bland to begin with, and I don't much care for bacon or ranch. But this was in the name of science, so...onward.
Hugely to my surprise, I did not gag, nor did my body reject them. In fact, I found myself genuinely enjoying these liquid-laden lumps. The bacon didn't taste of much, lending only a slightly smoky aftertaste, and the ranch barely registered, leaving cheese once again to claim the day. There were ten nuggets in all, and I finished them quickly.
Never once, however, on any of my meals, did I manage to finish the fries.
if you'd like to duplicate my experience, there's still time to win Jack Cash in our giveaway. If you'd like to live longer, I'd suggest not spending it all on these; trade out for the chicken fajita pita or teriyaki bowl once in a while.