We got to the Schnucks (6600 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights; 314-644-0510) in Richmond Heights just in time yesterday evening. Our mission was simple: beeline to the snacks aisle in search of Lay's three new, limited-release potato chip flavors in Sriracha, Chicken and Waffles and Cheesy Garlic Bread. Stalking down the aisle, eyeballing bags of chips with increasing panic, we finally located two bags of the Cheesy Garlic Bread chips, sitting lonesome on an otherwise deserted shelf. But what of the Sriracha and Chicken and Waffles flavors? Approaching the aisle's endcap we spotted one solitary bag of Lay's Chicken and Waffle chips set beside scads of bags of Sriracha chips. Success! The day was ours!
And really, perhaps we only have ourselves to blame for that narrow victory -- earlier in the day we reported that these three finalist flavors in Frito-Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" contest were available at this Schnucks location for a limited time.
Now down to brass tacks: Do these questionable, fan-submitted flavors resemble their namesakes in taste? And even if they do, is that a good or a bad thing?
Sriracha Gut Check likes Sriracha a lot. We might even deign to say it's the most versatile hot sauce, adding heat with signature garlicky, chile spice tang to any food. And while Sriracha-flavored snacks are nothing new, we were damn near gleeful to taste Lay's potato chip take on the Vietnamese and Thai rooster sauce.
Well, we wouldn't say we were disappointed with the chips, but we did find them lacking. The first crunch was a bit of a letdown: We were expecting spice and heat with at least a bit of a roof-of-the-mouth-burn, and judging based on that criteria, the Sriracha flavor was pretty dull.
At first the chip flavor reminded us of Lay's Barbecue potato chips, but a few more, um, test subjects, distinguished themselves with zings of cheese and sour cream. Every now and again we tasted a bite of chile, but not consistently.
But without a hint of garlic or distinguishing heat, the Sriracha chips just didn't do it for us.
Sure, we could eat of bag of 'em. We're not that picky. But we'll be dousing them with real Sriracha sauce beforehand.
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