Itís too bad that Del Taco isnít as popular as their main competitor, Taco Bell. Del Taco has an interesting menu with a number of very tasty items. For those with diverse fast food cravings, you can get a burger, fries (crinkle cut!), and a shake to go along with your taco and burrito. Their Big Fat Tacos are the best tasting item Iíve eaten at Del Taco, and may be better than just about anything on Taco Bellís menu. You have a choice of chicken or steak, both of which are juicy and well seasoned. Instead of a regular tortilla, the tacos are made using ďtaco bread,Ē which I guess is similar to the flatbread used in a Taco Bell Gordita. The taco bread is delicious Ė much better than a boring old tortilla. So, have an open mind and think outside The Bell. There are a lot of reasons to like Del Taco, and my number one reason is the Big Fat Taco.
The concept here is to serve good ole' Budweiser products (Bud, Bud Lite, Bud Select) at a temperature below usual freezing temperature - so your beer is more than ice cold. The creators (Anheuser-Busch and Hussman Refrigeration) say chilling the beer to 22F (-5.5C) is possible through a new "sophisticated cooling system". I don't know enough about physics to figure out how this happens, but I do know that this is the first time I've been able to drink a 22 ouncer and not have it taste like warm yak spit by the time I'm finished. On first opening, the beer really is noticeably colder and crisper. Those of you with sensitive teeth will feel some pain. Also, slamming one of these does result in a mild ice-cream headache. Fortunately, the can isn't cold enough to freeze your lips to the mouth of the bottle when you drink (though, I have to admit, I tried to get that result.) The local bar with this setup charges $6 a bottle for this, so the economy is good (they charge $4 for a 12 oz bud). All in all I think this is a "good" thing.
Postscript: About 3 months after I originally wrote the above words, I ran into a rather drunk Anheuser-Busch sales rep hovering around the Chill Chamber. He told me rather frankly that "It's all a big marketing gimmick." - Basically a response to the Coors "cold bottle turns blue" thing. He elaborated by saying that "any major American Brewery is gonna admit that their beer tastes like crap at anything above 40F. This helps... but its still all just branding." Interesting. Still, I give this a "good" because I like Budweiser... and if I can save some coin by buying a larger bottle without ending up drinking 10 ounces of warm backwash at the end, I'm happy.
Jack in the Boxís Ultimate Cheeseburger is in the Phoood Hall of Fame for several reasons. First, itís an extremely tasty burger. Second, it has been on the menu for about as long as I can remember and has been consistently good the entire time. Third, I donít have to pick off the rabbit food (otherwise known as lettuce, pickles, onion, tomato etc.) like I have to with most other burgers. Sure, other fast food restaurants have their own version of the double cheeseburger, but none come close to the Ultimate Cheeseburger. Maybe itís because the others try too hard, while the Ultimate Cheeseburger keeps it simple with a perfect combination of meat, American and Swiss cheeses, and condiments. Jack must have been reading my mind when he thought up this burger, because it has exactly what I want and none of what I donít want. I couldnít ask for anything more.
It was only a matter of time until someone got the ingenious idea to combine beer and potato chips into one snack. Beer Chips start with a very tasty, thick, crispy, kettle-style chip that would, no doubt, taste great even without any flavoring. Then, sugar, salt, honey, and beer are sprinkled on them. Eating them, you donít really get the impression that they are covered with beer. Instead, you taste some sweetness and some maltiness that may remind you of a quality beer. Itís a unique flavor that I really enjoy. Those who like beer will probably like the taste of Beer Chips, and even those who arenít beer drinkers will probably enjoy them too because of the mild beer flavor they have. Donít worry about eating too many chips and getting tipsy Ė they contain no alcohol. Beer Chips have limited distribution so you may not be able to find them easily, but you can order them online at www.beerchips.com.
One of the most hotly debated issues in America has been which peanut butter is better - Jif or Skippy. Families have been torn apart, friendships have been ended, and states have got to battle against other states. OK, I'm exaggerating just a bit. The debate hasn't been quite that intense. In a blind taste test of Jif Extra Crunch versus Skippy SuperChunk, I found that the two are extremely similar in most ways. Both have a great peanut flavor and lots of peanut pieces. Skippy has a creamier texture, and Jif has more and larger peanut pieces. Both of them would make a mighty tasty PB&J sandwich, but my preference of the two is Jif. Compared to Skippy, it has a more pronounced peanut flavor and a texture that I prefer. Interestingly, my grandmother recently told me that she raised her seven children on Jif peanut butter. That may be one of the reasons I prefer it - it's in my genes.
Winner: Jif Extra Crunch