This week, Little Caesars stunned the nation with Loaded Crazy Bread Bites, a bacon-topped, extra-cheesy iteration of the HOT-N-READY chain's mega-popular Crazy Bread. And while the original is delicious, we always thought the company had misdiagnosed its craziness. It's just oily, Parm-covered bread, after all.
So how crazy is this new version of the classic? Our Food & Drink staff scored some to find out.
Loaded Crazy Bread Bites are exactly what they seem -- little pillows of soft-baked pizza dough piled on top of each other, smothered in four different kinds of cheese (Muenster, mozzarella, a nacho cheese-like cheddar sauce, and a sprinkling of Parmesan), and topped with surprisingly hearty bits of applewood-smoked bacon.
They're baked to maximize that cheesiness, the texture reminiscent of gooey mac & cheese with a chewy, crispy top layer. They're the kind of side dish you'd split four ways with your best drinking companions after a long night on the town -- and the type of salty, belly-busting, carb-heavy snack that might just save your ass from paying for that long night the next morning. They're only available for a limited time, but based on this redeeming factor alone, something tells me they'll be sticking around.
The first (and second and third) bite
Upon popping open the adorably compact rectangular box, the first thing that hit me was the smell, a steamy cross between cheesy tater tots, oil-slicked breadsticks, and those nachos that baseball stadiums serve in batting helmets. And bacon -- lots and lots of bacon. I'm not sure if they injected that whole mess with bacon smell or if it was the actual bits, but damn it smelled like breakfast -- a welcome surprise seeing as we were taste-testing these suckers at 10am on a Monday.
My colleagues and I dug in fingers-first and watched as the hot cheese pulled apart in long, photogenic strings. The first bite was dominated by the bacon, which was crisp and well-distributed, with just enough softness to blend in with the rest of the dish. And then came the Parmesan, the distinct crumbles adding a nutty edge to the whole ordeal.
Beneath the pleasantly congealed cheese -- I know "congealed" is a gross word, but, again, think baked mac & cheese here -- the pizza dough bite came across like budget gnocchi, not light and delicate but heavy, salty, and a little gummy. That's not to say this was a bad thing -- considering the bites' potential as an alcohol sponge, this aspect was not only to be expected, but appreciated in a gluttonous, masochistic way. Despite the fact that I repeatedly voiced my desire for some sort of cooling marinara or zesty ranch to dip these suckers into, I'm pretty certain I ate twice as many as everyone else, which may or may not speak to my previous night's activities.
My HOT-N-READY® take
Overall, these things seem (hot-n-)ready to assume their role within the munchies hierarchy. Just one question remains: are they crazy? Nah, they're not so crazy. In fact, they're a fairly standard mix of flavors and textures. The only thing separating them from Irish nachos or cheese-covered tots being the base starch. But they're considerably crazier than plain Crazy Bread. Bacon and cheese make everything better, even cheese-dusted breadsticks that are good enough on their own. Way to stick with what you know, Caesar.
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