You may recall that I’ve referred to my block as the “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” due to its inconvenient proximity to places like Taco Bell, a pizza shop and (as today’s post indicates) an IHOP. Let the record show that I have only actually BEEN to these places a handful of times (thanks to my incredible laziness that leads me to order Seamless rather than walk a matter of steps to restaurants that are just meters away from my doorstep), but because I wanted to be sad with you and taste test IHOP’s new “Criss-Croissants”, I decided to make an exception.
The Criss-Croissants in question come in two different flavors: blackberry lemonade and strawberry rhubarb. While I find the idea of lemonade-flavored things utterly revolting, I ordered one of each and called it a day. (They are priced at $3.29 a pop where I purchased them.)
Now, if I had been REALLY sad, then I would have devoured these by myself in a booth, but seeing as how I DO sometimes retain shreds of dignity, I phoned in the order for pick-up to eat back home in my apartment. (Also, I kind of wanted to soundtrack the experience with Kris Kross’s “Jump“…) By the time I got them back to my house (which literally took five minutes from the time I ordered them) they were already cold, which (I suppose) could have been remedied by a quick couple of seconds in the microwave, but as Sweet Brown says, AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. And so I dug in, starting with what I predicted to be my least favorite first: the blackberry lemonade Criss-Croissant.
Before we get into specifics, I will very quickly say that both were the same shape (essentially a waffled omelet made of flaky croissant dough) and were smothered in berry-laden goo. (The cream fillings were invisible before I cut into the Criss-Croissants, though.)
While having had time to get a bit soggy (I mean, what WOULDN’T under a ladle-full of blackberry-studded sauce) the blackberry lemonade Criss-Croissant retained a nice flakiness. I was also surprised that I actually didn’t mind the lemon-flavored cream (which was in fact visibly yellow once it started to ooze out of the inside); it was well-balanced against the blackberries, and I thought it complemented the croissant dough, which was very buttery.
MEANWHILE, the strawberry rhubarb flavor (which I expected to really like) was pretty disappointing. For starters, there’s really no getting past the fact that they aren’t working with fresh fruit…do you know how old lady arm flab looks? That kind of loose, waterbed type skin? Well, imagine if there was an old lady made out of strawberries, and that is the look and (what I imagine) mouth-feel of what these slices were like. Even if you can get past the fact that you’re eating super low-budget strawberries, though, the taste is just sort of one-note at best; you CAN taste the rhubarb, but the not-good strawberries vibes are still overpowering, and the tartness makes the cream filling (which I’m sure was doused in sugar) taste really flat, but also kind of salty (in a bad way) due to the croissant dough.
Overall thoughts: if I were to order either one of these again, I’d ask them to serve them without the berry toppings. While the blackberry was much more tolerable, I think a plain old waffled croissant with cream filling would be nicer tasting. WOULD I order one of these again, though? At $3.29 they’re definitely not breaking the bank, but at about a thousand calories each, I’d say you’d be better off skipping out. (Not a bad concept all things considered, but maybe throw just some croissant dough in a waffle iron at home if you’re really that desperate for a Frankenfood.)