November 29, 2015


Taco Bell Mobile App

tbmobileapp.jpgTaco Bell may just be my favorite fast food restaurant these days. Not because of anything having to do with the food, the menu, or the service. No, it's all because of the Taco Bell mobile app. The app makes food customization, ordering, and payment as easy as tapping on my phone's screen. I love that I can peruse the menu without annoying the people in line behind me, or the Taco Bell employee who is standing there, tapping their foot as they wait for me to choose between the Cheesy Gordita Crunch or the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch. I can take as long as I want. I can also customize the menu items – add black beans, bacon, and chipotle sauce to a Beefy Fritos Burrito, and have the burrito grilled, for example. I could probably do the same thing without the mobile app, but with the app it's fun to do and the app shows the prices of the extras (some are actually free). Once I have assembled the perfect order, I just tap a couple of buttons and that's it. Because Taco Bell has my credit card number, I don't even have to get out my wallet. At the drive-thru window, they just hand me my food and I drive off like I'm some kind of fast food royalty. The app is well designed, easy to use, and the entire process works smoothly (other than a couple of hiccups the first few times I used the app). The future of fast food is here, and Taco Bell is leading the way.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

September 8, 2015


Taco Bell Fiery Ghost Pepper Loaded Griller

tbfieryghostpepper.jpgTaco Bell’s Loaded Grillers are some of my favorite items on the menu. I probably buy at least one on every visit. Not only are they a good value, but I love the flavor of the tortilla that results from the grilling process. Taco Bell recently began offering three new “Dare Devil” Loaded Grillers, each more spicy than the next. I recently bought the Fiery Ghost Pepper Griller, the hottest of the three, to see just how hot Taco Bell is willing to go. In addition to seasoned beef, nacho cheese, and crispy tortilla strips, it includes a “fiery ghost pepper sauce.” Ghost peppers are some of the hottest chili peppers in the world, and the Fiery Ghost Pepper Griller is undoubtedly the hottest fast food I have ever eaten. Unless you really like extreme heat, you should stay away from it. On the other hand, if you are like me and enjoy eating food so hot that it feels like your tongue is being squeezed in a vise, give it a try. Just don’t be surprised if the heat isn’t as great as you think it could (or should) be, or if the heat fades much faster than you expect. I applaud Taco Bell for pushing the envelope and offering an item with real heat. I just wish they would have taken it a bit further on the Scoville scale.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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February 12, 2015


Taco Bell Triple Steak Stack

tbtriplestack.jpgI should have known better. I should have known that what I saw in the television commercial wouldn’t look anything like what I actually received when I bought it. It’s happened so many times before. But, the Taco Bell Triple Steak Stack looked so full of steak and so delicious in the commercial that I let myself believe it was possible. Reality hit me hard as I opened up the wrapper to eat the Triple Steak Stack. It wasn’t filled with an inch-deep layer of juicy steak. There weren’t pieces of steak nearly falling out of it because it was stuffed so full. No, not even close. I had to lift up the top of the flatbread to make sure there was even any steak in there. There was, but much fewer and smaller pieces than I had expected. Many of the initial bites I took when eating the Triple Steak Stack resulted in only a mouthful of flatbread and cheese. At least the flatbread tasted pretty good. By the time I started getting to the steak, it was too late. My dream of plentiful steak had been shattered. Taking into consideration the price of the Triple Steak Stack and the modest amount of steak in it, I can’t recommend it to Phoood’s readers.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (4)

January 11, 2015


Carl’s Jr. All-Natural Burger

cjallnaturalburger.jpgI’ve been eating at Carl’s Jr. for many years, and I never considered that the burger I was eating wasn’t natural. Turns out, evidently, I have been eating unnatural burgers. I say this because Carl’s Jr. has introduced the All-Natural Burger, which is made from grass-fed, free-range beef with no added hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. Makes you really wonder what is in the “other” beef, huh? So, the All-Natural Burger uses (supposedly) better beef from happy cows that frolic freely in grassy meadows. That’s all fine, but I want my burger to taste good too. The All-Natural Burger does taste good, but not significantly different from their “non-natural” burgers. It wasn’t immediately apparent to me that I was eating a burger made with higher-quality beef. The patty seemed to have a slightly different texture than other Carl's Jr. burgers, but it was pretty subtle. All things considered, there’s no reason not to eat an All-Natural Burger. Just don’t expect it to be all that much different from the other burgers on the Carl’s Jr. menu.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (4)

October 14, 2014


Jack in the Box Bacon & Swiss Buttery Jack

JIB%20Logo.jpgI haven’t been impressed with Jack in the Box’s burgers lately. But, they might be getting back on track with the Buttery Jack burgers. I recently ate a Bacon & Swiss Buttery Jack, a burger that was unlike any other fast food burger I have ever had. It looked and tastes more “upscale” than you typically get at Jack in the Box, or other fast food restaurants for that matter. It had a new type of bun that is similar to the fresh-baked buns served at Carl’s Jr., although not quite as tasty. It also had a square patty, a la Wendy’s. The patty was large and thick, and tasted good. But what made the burger so delicious was the melted garlic herb butter that topped the patty. Oh yeah, there’s nothin’ better than butter on a burger! It was a wet, slippery mess, but it sure tasted good. The only thing keeping the Bacon & Swiss Buttery Burger from earning Phoood’s highest rating is the bacon, which was thin, soggy, and seemed like it was merely an afterthought. Why is it that Wendy’s is the only fast food restaurant that does bacon right?

Note: It appears that Jack in the Box is only test marketing the Buttery Jack burgers in my area (Sacramento), because they are not shown on their website.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

May 31, 2014


McDonald’s Shakin’ Flavor Fries

mcdfries.jpgMcDonald’s is test marketing new seasoned fries in some of their Northern California restaurants. They’re called Shakin’ Flavor Fries, a apt name because it will be you doing the shaking. That’s right - you get an order of fries in the usual fry container, a paper bag, and a packet of seasoning. Dump your fries in the bag, sprinkle in the seasoning, seal the top of the bag, and shake it. Yeah, I was pretty surprised that I had to prepare my own fast food. First issue: Who at the corporate office thought that customers want to do the seasonin’ and shakin’ themselves? I sure don’t. Second issue: You may not want to use the entire seasoning packet, as I did. If I ever bought Garlic and Parmesan Shakin’ Flavor Fries again (which I won’t), I would start by using half the seasoning packet and add more if needed. Third issue: These are not the “fresh garlic and imported Parmesan cheese” fries you might find at a good restaurant. But, you probably already assumed this. Fourth issue: Worst product in McDonald’s history? Maybe.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

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April 16, 2014


Taco Bell A.M. Crunchwrap – Bacon

amcrunchwrap.jpgTaco Bell recently introduced a new breakfast menu to their U.S. restaurants. Eager to see how the menu stacks up against the fast food competition, I visited my neighborhood Taco Bell last Saturday morning and bought a few of the new items. The Hash Brown (very similar to what McDonald’s has been serving forever) was delicious – golden and crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. I could have eaten a stack of them. The Waffle Taco with sausage was a disappointment, mainly because the “waffle” taco shell was dense, chewy, and didn’t taste much like an actual waffle. The third item I bought was an A.M. Crunchwrap with bacon. It’s something that I can see myself ordering again and again. The Crunchwrap is made with scrambled eggs, a hash brown patty, cheddar cheese, bacon, and creamy jalapeño sauce, all wrapped in a flour tortilla, then grilled. The final product is a yummy tortilla pouch of goodness. Sure, I would have liked to have more bacon in it, but that’s really my only quibble. The rest of the ingredients tasted good, the hash brown patty added a nice crunchiness, and the jalapeño sauce spiced the whole thing up a just a little bit. I also really liked that I could eat it with one hand without it falling apart or dripping stuff down my arm. There are several other items on Taco Bell’s breakfast menu, and I’m looking forward to eating some of them … along with an A.M. Crunchwrap.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

February 16, 2014


Jack in the Box Bacon Insider

baconinsider.jpgThe burgers at Jack in the Box seem to being going downhill. First, they started overseasoning them. I no longer crave the Ultimate Cheeseburger because it doesn’t taste nearly as good as it used to. Then, they introduced the worst-tasting burger I’ve eaten in recent memory: the Bacon Insider. The hamburger patty has pieces of bacon mixed in, hence the clever name. In addition to the bacon-infused patty, the burger also includes bacon strips, bacon mayonnaise, American cheese, lettuce, and tomato. It all sounds great in theory, but the Bacon Insider that I ate had a couple things wrong with it. The hamburger patty (which was much smaller that it appears to be in the photo) was seriously overcooked. Maybe it had to be cooked more than usual because of the bacon inside. I don’t know, but the patty was very dry and didn’t have a good flavor. I’ll take their work for it that there were bacon pieces inside the patty. Honestly, it was hard for me to see or taste any bacon in there. To add insult to injury, the burger had what had to be the smallest, thinnest pieces of bacon I’ve ever seen. I could almost see through the bacon strips, they were so thin. That’s the best you can do, Jack? Really? The rest of the burger was … well, it doesn’t matter because my advice is to spend your money on something else. The Bacon Insider is only available for a limited time, thank God. The faster it goes away, the better.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

January 6, 2014


The Habit Double Charburger with Cheese

doublechar.jpgThe Habit Burger Grill has been around since 1969, but I hadn’t heard of the company until they began opening locations in Northern California a few years ago. The burger I’ve ordered each time I have eaten at the Habit is the Double Charburger with cheese. It’s hard not to compare the Double Charburger to the legendary Double-Double at In-N-Out Burger, as it looks and tastes very similar. Ever since I ate my first Double-Double, it has been my favorite fast-food burger. But, amazingly, I think the Double Charburger with cheese is even better than the Double-Double. The primary reason is because the Double Charburger has larger patties, so you get more delicious meat. The Double Charburger also has a great char-grilled flavor that the Double-Double lacks. I didn’t think the Double-Double would ever be topped, but it has been. The Habit currently has locations in California, Arizona and Utah. If you are lucky enough to live close to one of their locations, I strongly recommend a visit.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (4)

January 1, 2014


Taco Bell Grilled Stuft Nacho

tbstuftnacho.jpgTaco Bell’s new Grilled Stuft Nacho is a great concept – the taste of nachos wrapped up in a grilled, flour tortilla. What better way to eat nachos while driving and not get your shirt messy, right? In reality, the Grilled Stuft Nacho isn’t really made for eating with one hand. Although the triangle-shaped folded tortilla pocket is a novel and tasty idea, it is floppy and I had to use two hands to eat it or I had to fold it in half to minimize the floppiness. When folded, the contents are more prone to escape. Inside of the tortilla pocket you’ll find too much going on: some seasoned beef (not nearly enough, in my opinion), nacho cheese sauce, zesty nacho sauce, reduced-fat sour cream, and tortilla strips. The flavors of these meld together and none of them stand out. There’s too much nacho sauce and sour cream, which may explain the floppiness. The tortilla strips are small and don’t stand up well to the moistness of the other ingredients. They quickly become soggy. Eating the Grilled Stuft Nacho wasn’t anything like eating nachos because there was virtually no crunchiness to it. And isn’t that one of the best things about nachos? On the positive side, the Grilled Stuft Nacho is a decent size (about 7 inches on each side) and only cost $1.29. If you don’t want to spend much and you love nacho cheese sauce and sour cream, it might be just the item for you.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)

December 6, 2013


Carl’s Jr. Fresh Baked Buns

carlsjrbun.jpgRecently, Carl’s Jr. began offering fresh baked buns on their Six Dollar Thickburgers. Yes, buns that are baked fresh every day at the restaurant. I recently bought a Super Bacon Six Dollar Thickburger, which features the new bun. The bun looked like it should be on a twenty dollar burger at some highfalutin restaurant that requires reservations. It tasted great and had a sweetness that let you know it wasn’t your typical hamburger bun. It was also substantial enough to hold the rather large burger together to the very last bite. Honestly, the bun was the best part of the burger, and I’m fairly certain I’ve never thought that about any burger I’ve ever eaten. If you want to order something other than a Six Dollar Thickburger, you can get it with a fresh baked bun for an additional charge. You may not think that a bun is that big of a deal, but I think Carl’s Jr.’s fresh baked buns have potential to revolutionize the fast food hamburger. They are that good. I don’t plan on ever eating a regular bun at Carl’s Jr. again.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (3)

August 8, 2013


Carl’s Jr. Strawberry Pop-Tarts Ice Cream Sandwich

cjpoptart.jpgI was very skeptical when I heard that Carl’s Jr. was going to have the Strawberry Pop-Tarts Ice Cream Sandwich on their menu. Even I, who love all things sugar-filled, fattening, and unhealthy, thought that it went a bit too far. Carl’s Jr. is trying too hard with this one, I said. It will be too sweet, I said. The Pop Tarts will fall apart when you try to eat it, I said. But, it was too intriguing just to ignore so I bought one. Honestly, I think it’s one of the most delicious ice cream treats I have ever eaten. The flaky Pop-Tart crust, its semi-fluid strawberry filling, and the hard vanilla ice cream make a delicious and interesting combination of flavors and textures. Surprisingly, it isn’t overly sweet. It’s not big; I could easily eat two of them. But, for most people it will be just the right size and at $1.49 it’s a great value. It gets my highest recommendation and I suggest that you get a couple of them while you can.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

July 3, 2013


Taco Bell Cantina Double Steak Quesadilla

tbcantinaquesadilla.jpgUntil today, I hadn’t tried anything from Taco Bell’s “Cantina” menu, as the healthy focus of the items didn't appeal to me. Today, I stopped in to the Taco Bell near my house and saw a large sign promoting the Cantina Double Steak Quesadilla. It didn’t look too healthy, so I decided to make it my lunch. For $4.99, I got the quesadilla, a small bag of tortilla chips, and small containers of salsa and low fat sour cream. The quesadilla comes cut in quarters to make it easier to eat. The first quarter that I pulled out of the wrapper had – no joke – not a single piece of steak in it. Not a good first impression. Luckily, the rest of the quesadilla had steak in it. But, I never did find the “double” portion that it was supposed to have. Seemed like a single portion to me. Anyway, the quesadilla tasted okay, but wasn't anything special. I like the flavor of Taco Bell’s regular steak quesadilla better. The steak in it has much more flavor than the steak in the Cantina quesadilla. The salsa, while nowhere as good as the salsa you could find in any taqueria, had a bright, fresh flavor. The chips, unfortunately, were forgettable. And the low fat sour cream? I recommend not even opening the container.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

May 18, 2013


Sonic Peanut Butter & Bacon Shake

peanutbutterbaconshake.jpgDon’t get me wrong – I love Sonic. Anywhere I can order delicious tater tots from the comfort of my car has a special place in my heart. But, I am very disappointed with their new Peanut Butter & Bacon Shake. What could have been a delicious flavor combination (assuming you like both peanut butter and bacon, as I do) is instead so lackluster that I didn’t even finish the medium shake I ordered. I don’t think I have ever left a milkshake unfinished. Even when I bought a massive (44-ounce??) shake at Humdinger Drive-In in Portland, Oregon, and I knew that I would surely regret drinking that much milkshake, I still drank it all. But, I threw out the last quarter or so of the Sonic Peanut Butter & Bacon Shake because it just wasn't worth the calories. The main problem with the shake is that it has almost no bacon flavor. There are some tiny pieces of bacon mixed in, but they don’t really have any flavor themselves and apparently didn’t release any flavor into the shake either. It really just tastes like a peanut butter shake, and not even a very good one at that. Even if it was just a peanut butter milkshake, I’m not sure I could recommend it. Maybe it was just too ambitious of Sonic to try and combine peanut butter with bacon. I give them credit for trying, but still must recommend that you don’t waste your money on this shake.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

February 23, 2013


Taco Bell Loaded Potato Griller

tbpotatogriller.jpgI like Taco Bell for many reasons, but perhaps the primary reason is because they are always introducing new products to their menu (if only for a limited time). I picked up one of these products recently, a Loaded Potato Griller, because I had seen the commercial on TV and it seemed to be a bargain at $1.29. The Griller was actually larger than I expected it to be, making it an even better value. The grilled tortilla was filled with crispy potato bites, nacho cheese sauce, bacon, and sour cream. Although the Griller’s flavor wasn’t terribly exciting, the combination of ingredients worked and I really enjoyed eating it. The best part of the Griller wasn’t what was on the inside, however. It was the grilled tortilla. The simple step of grilling the tortilla made all the difference. It doesn’t come as a surprise to me because I know that when heating a tortilla at home, doing it over an open flame or on a griddle gives it a far superior flavor. Taco Bell would be wise to offer grilled tortillas on more of their menu items, or let customers request grilled tortillas on any item. If this were an option, I wouldn’t eat an un-grilled tortilla at Taco Bell ever again. And, I’d probably eat there more often.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

November 16, 2012


Taco Bell XXL Steak Nachos

TBXXLnachos.jpgTaco Bell is bringing out the “XXL” label again, this time with the XXL Steak Nachos. Taco Bell’s nacho offerings have always been on the small side, more of a snack than a meal. With the XXL Steak Nachos, you probably won’t have to order anything else to get a full belly. The container that the nachos are served in is impressive. It’s about a foot long and around seven inches wide. Inside, you’ll find tortilla chips covered with refried beans, cheese, nacho cheese sauce, steak, reduced-fat sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo. The flavors were what I’ve come to expect from Taco Bell; there’s nothing new here. The nachos contained a fairly generous amount of steak, which was juicy and had a good flavor. The weak link here is the reduced-fat sour cream. It tastes like, well, reduced-fat sour cream. I don’t think anyone who is eating the XXL Steak Nachos is really watching their caloric intake very closely, so Taco Bell should just use regular (high fat) sour cream and make the XXL Nachos taste better. At $5.99, I think the XXL Steak Nachos are at least a dollar overpriced, even considering the portion size. You’ll have to decide if a big pile of nachos is worth this price.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

November 10, 2012


Wendy's Mozzarella Chicken Supreme

rsz_wendys-new-logo.jpgFirst of all, you may have noticed the lack of a picture containing the food item I'm about to review. I tried searching everywhere for a picture of the Mozzarella Chicken Supreme, but to no avail. So I figured now was as good a time as any to display Wendy's upcoming logo change—something that hasn't been altered in over 29 years. Now on to the review... I walked into Wendy's the other day expecting to order an Asiago Ranch Chicken Club until I noticed signage for the "new" Mozzarella Chicken Supreme. I believe this was actually on the menu in the past, as this website seems to indicate. I placed my order for one and received it shortly in a neat little package. At first glance I was disappointed by how small it was for its $7 price tag. My first bite revealed a nice and chewy bun, fresh veggies, and a ranch sauce that had pepper sprinkled into it. A little strange, but it helped to liven things up. The Homestyle chicken fillet was as impressive as ever, with a crispy, perfectly seasoned exterior and high quality white meat inside. The mozzarella cheese came across as the real deal, with its elastic consistency and milky flavor. It had melted and draped over the chicken very nicely. Although I wish the portion could've been a bit larger, Wendy's proves once again that they have the best chicken sandwiches to be found anywhere in terms of quality and taste.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (3)

October 31, 2012


McDonald's Angus Cheddar Bacon Onion

rsz_cbo.jpgMcDonald’s has just released a new addition to its lineup of Angus burgers—the Cheddar Bacon Onion, or CBO for short. Just imagining these three ingredients coming together was enough to whet my appetite, although it can probably be attributed to the fact that it simply has the word “cheddar” in it. For this review I opted for the Angus beef variation of the CBO, though it’s available with either grilled or crispy chicken as well. Leading up to the taste test I remained cautiously optimistic as McDonald’s has proven to have a pretty decent track record in the past. Unfortunately the CBO could be best described as either run-of-the-mill or conventional. The cheddar was fused together with the patty pretty nicely, but lacked sharpness and depth of flavor. If they had used American cheese instead, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. I had no problems with the bacon, which managed to be crispy yet flimsy at the same time. The onions could’ve easily gone unnoticed, were it not for the fact that some pieces were able to retain that distinct onion texture. Flavor-wise, the onions were simply dominated by the rest of the ingredients. The best part of the sandwich to me was the Dijon mustard, which had a bold zest and acidity to it. Ultimately I felt as though the CBO was something I've already had many times before. Some originality and better quality ingredients would go a long way in ensuring McDonald’s is able to keep up with its competitors.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jin | Comments (4)

October 4, 2012


Arby's Grand Turkey Club

rsz_turk.jpgI think it's safe to say that turkey is one of the least popular meats to the general public. It has a tendency to be not only dry but also lacking in much flavor. I guess that's why you don't see people clamoring for it like they do with beef or pork. However, Arby's continues to be one of few fast food restaurants to prominently feature this peculiar poultry on their menu. As a part of their new line of Turkey Roasters, it's clear that the Grand Turkey Club won't get very many points for originality. It wasn't exactly the most visually arresting sandwich I've ever seen, but I do commend Arby's for making my Grand Turkey Club out to look somewhat similar to the ones seen in the ads. Now moving on to how it tasted: the bacon was crisp and almost crunchy, the vegetables were fresh by fast food standards, and the bun was durable enough to hold everything together. The thinly-sliced meat proved to be fairly moist, giving way to a noticeably sweet and savory turkey flavor. There was a massive glob of cheese which stuck to the turkey like glue and although there was a lot of mayo, I didn't particularly mind as it didn't detract from the sandwich in any way. One thing I have to note is that I was surprised by how small it was, which is a downer given the amount you have to pay for one. The bottom line is that the Grand Turkey Club does a lot more right than it does wrong. Now I'm even more interested in trying out some of the other turkey-centric items at Arby's.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (0)

September 21, 2012


Popeyes Handcrafted Tenders

popeyestenders.jpgBefore I recently visited a local Popeyes and had their Handcrafted Tenders for lunch, I had never eaten at Popeyes. Chicken fast food has never been my favorite, and there have never been a lot of Popeyes in the areas of Northern California that I’ve lived. They’re not on every other corner like many other fast food restaurants are. Too bad, because I’ve really been missing out. The Handcrafted Tenders I ate were one of the best fast food items I’d ever eaten. They were better than chicken tenders I’ve had at casual dining restaurants. Let’s start with the most important part – the chicken. It was, cooked perfectly, juicy, and delicious. I’m not a chicken expert, but to me the meat appeared to be high quality. I got the “spicy” version of the tenders. Apparently, the chicken was marinated in spices before being battered and fried. It wasn’t nearly as spicy as I was hoping it would be, but it tasted great nonetheless. I’m not sure what the tenders are breaded with, but they have a very crispy, flaky exterior that I really like. Popeyes obviously knows something about chicken and about making tasty fast food. It’s a shame that there aren’t more Popeyes around because I would sure like to eat there more often. Tip to Popeyes: put “extra spicy” Handcrafted Tenders, with some real heat, on your menu to further differentiate your product from the competition.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

September 8, 2012


Carl’s Jr. Memphis BBQ Burger

cjmemphisbbq.jpgPork on a hamburger isn’t uncommon; you can get bacon on your hamburger just about anywhere. But pulled pork on a hamburger? That’s something I had not seen before I bought a Memphis BBQ Burger at Carl’s Jr. recently. Yes, they have combined BBQ pulled pork with a hamburger to create something pretty unique. Within the buns are (from bottom to top) BBQ pulled pork, your typical Carl’s Jr. charbroiled patty (available in a single, double, or Six Dollar Burger), American cheese, crispy onion strings, and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. Despite being made with two very different types of meat, the burger works. The tender pulled pork is a nice contrast to the firm hamburger patty. The crispy onion strings give the burger some interesting crispness and a hint of onion flavor. All of the flavors and textures combine to make a tasty burger. Only two things keep the burger from earning Phoood’s highest rating. First, there is not enough pulled pork. The photo accompanying this post suggests the burger has almost as much pulled pork as hamburger patty. This was definitely not the case with the burger I purchased. Secondly, there was not enough BBQ sauce in the pulled pork or on top of the onion strings/cheese. The BBQ flavor was there, but it was not pronounced enough to make me think that I was eating a burger inspired by Memphis-style BBQ. Despite these issues, I recommend that you give the Memphis BBQ burger a try.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

August 20, 2012


Burger King BK Bacon Burger

rsz_1burger_king_bk_bacon_burger.jpgHaving dealt with a severe burger craving all day, I decided to stop by Burger King and try out their new BK Bacon Burger. Now I'll be honest here... Burger King isn't exactly at the top of my list when it comes to fast food. I can hardly remember the last time I even went there. Needless to say, my expectations weren't very high. But as it turns out, the BK Bacon Burger actually tastes pretty good. The patty was thin but still meaty, there was an adequate amount of chewy bacon, and there was a strong bite to the onions. The ketchup and mayo prevented things from getting too dry. However, what really matters is whether or not I'm willing to purchase this again. The only draw here is the cheap price, as this item doesn't bring anything new to the table. Also it would take several of these to fill me up, so I'd be spending some more money anyway. I can't really imagine myself ordering multiple BK Bacon Burgers when I could easily buy one larger, higher quality burger for around the same price. Although this is by no means a bad-tasting sandwich, there's not much to keep me coming back for more.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jin | Comments (0)

July 15, 2012


Taco Bell Cantina Chicken Burrito

cantina-burrito.jpgMany people (including myself) consider Taco Bell to be the go-to place when it comes to finding food that is both cheap and filling. With the introduction of the Cantina Bell menu, you can't help but feel like this is a radical change for the fast food company. Could it be possible to find more "gourmet" options coming from a place criticized for recycling the same 5 ingredients over and over again? I decided to find out by ordering the new Cantina Burrito, which is said to contain cilantro rice, black beans, roasted corn and pepper salsa, and much more. On the outside it was a bit unimpressive, as it looked like a standard Grilled Stuft Burrito. But everything changed once I took my first bite. Immediately I was introduced to the taste of plump and sweet corn kernels. Generous cuts of lettuce added a nice bit of crunch and freshened everything up. The guacamole was rich and seasoned well, and the rice was nice and fluffy- although the taste of cilantro was all but absent. I could go on continuing to describe each individual aspect of the burrito, but suffice it to say, I was quite shocked. I could've never imagined enjoying a burrito of this quality at a Taco Bell. Although this wasn't the best burrito I've ever had, I will definitely be trying it again. Congrats to Taco Bell for successfully breathing new life into an age-old formula.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jin | Comments (2)

June 28, 2012


McDonald's S'mores Pie

rsz_1mcdonalds-smores-pie.jpgThe word "s'more" may evoke various images in a person's mind. Roasting marshmallows over a roaring campfire. Breaking apart honey-scented graham crackers into perfect squares. Watching chocolate melt as you admire your carefully-constructed creation before sinking your teeth into bliss. Fast food giant McDonald's seeks to sell their own variation of the renowned dessert in the form of a baked pie. A couple of months ago, I reviewed the Strawberry & Crème pie and appreciated it as a delightful alternative to the traditional baked apple pie McDonald's is known for. However, I came away from the S'mores Pie feeling unimpressed. The crust was still great- flaky and not too sweet- but it didn't exude much of a graham cracker vibe to me. The almost jelly-like consistency of the chocolate and marshmallow fillings was a bit of a turnoff and the flavors weren't very strong at all. I was expecting both fillings to be much richer and not so bland. I doubt I'd ever be willing to try this again, especially considering how simple it is to make authentic s'mores. The pies may be dirt cheap, but I'd say it's worth spending the few extra bucks to experience the real thing.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jin | Comments (0)

June 27, 2012


Popeyes Zatarain's Butterfly Shrimp

Popeyes-Launches-New-Zatarains-Butterfly-Shrimp-This-July.jpgTo be honest, I don't think I go to Popeyes as often as I should. Having been there a couple times, I'm a firm believer that their fried chicken blows the competition out of the water. The sides there are fantastic as well. An item that has recently popped up on their menu is actually a collaboration with Zatarain's, a food and spice company based in New Orleans. As you could probably imagine, the seasoning on the shrimp was quite spectacular. As I looked inside the breading after my first bite, I saw succulent and fleshy little bits of meat. Unfortunately, because the spices were so bold on the exterior and the coating was so thick and dense, the flavor and texture of shrimp got lost on me. The lemon garlic sauce didn't do a thing to help bring out the shrimpiness, but still packed a punch with its acidic tang. One last thing about the breading is that it was so good that I made a spontaneous decision to eat the shrimp tails as well. Although I longed for a bit more coming from the actual shrimp themselves, I would definitely be willing to try these again. Take it from the guy who was willing to go so far as to eat the tails.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (0)

June 25, 2012


Burger King Bacon Sundae

baconsundae.jpgBacon has become all the rage in recent years and is showing up in places you would never expect to find it, like bacon olive oil, bacon soda, bacon vodka, bacon jam, bacon floss, and bacon toothpaste. Burger King is the latest fast food company to come to the bacon party with their new, limited-time only Bacon Sundae. It’s made with vanilla soft serve, chocolate fudge sauce, caramel sauce, bacon pieces, and a slice of bacon. I was surprised by the quality of the vanilla soft serve. I guess I was expecting it to be like the soft serve you get at McDonald’s (in their sundaes and McFlurries). But, it was much smoother and creamier, like what you find at Dairy Queen. The bacon had a nice flavor and was very crispy – a nice contrast to the soft ice cream. As strange as it may seem to some, bacon really is a great accompaniment to ice cream, chocolate, and caramel. Trust me. Unless you just don’t like bacon, it would be hard not to enjoy the sweet and salty flavor combination of the Bacon Sundae. Too bad it’s only a limited time item. It really deserves to be on the menu permanently, or at least until the bacon fad fades away.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

May 30, 2012


Taco Bell Beefy Nacho Burrito

rsz_1po4ckvxaww.jpgEver since Taco Bell decided to snatch away the Beefy Crunch Burrito from their menu, a huge void has been left deep within my soul. Apparently the fast food company sought to ease the pain a little by recently introducing the Beefy Nacho Burrito. Was it going to be as good as its predecessor? To be honest my expectations were quite low. However, I was pleasantly surprised as soon as I sunk my teeth in for the first bite. The tortilla strips actually had some crunch to them and there was a substantial amount of nacho cheese. The ground beef was rich and seasoned just right, while the sour cream added a nice hint of tanginess. It was almost as if I was eating a plate of nachos, both taste and texture-wise. If you've had the Beefy Crunch Burrito before, you ought to know exactly what to expect. Although Taco Bell is obviously retreading old ground here, this will be just enough to tide me over until they pry it from my hands at the end of this limited time promotion. Now if only this or its older brother could stay on the menu for good...

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jin | Comments (4)

May 23, 2012


Dairy Queen Confetti Cake Blizzard Treat

confetti.jpgEver wonder what confetti cake would taste like if it were mixed with vanilla ice cream? Those looking for an answer can turn to Dairy Queen's "Blizzard of the Month" for May. Seeing as how we're coming up on June, I was fortunately able to try this out before it expired. So, how was it? Well, the vanilla soft serve ice cream was your typical DQ fare- cool and creamy. But of course the main attractions here were the confetti cake pieces and confetti frosting. I'm not sure how much frosting went into my Blizzard, but I only got hints of sugary goodness strewn throughout the dessert. There were plenty of crunchy candy sprinkles to enjoy, but as for the actual cake pieces, well... I noticed something was off. I couldn't quite put my finger on it at first, but I eventually realized that they were simply dry and devoid of any moistness. It basically felt like eating a cake that's been sitting out at room temperature for a few days. Due to the withered texture, I found the rest of the Blizzard difficult to enjoy. It wasn't horrible, but I feel as though this could've been a lot better. It's hard to recommend this to anybody who's looking for a top notch dessert.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jin | Comments (0)

May 10, 2012


Quiznos Prime Rib Philly

rsz_untitled.jpgTo my amazement, Quiznos has recently put out over 25 (!) new menu items. In addition to wraps and flatbread sandwiches, one new item that caught my eye was the Prime Rib Philly, which I assumed was their take on the classic Philly Cheesesteak. Indeed it was, as this sub was filled with mushrooms, onions, green bell peppers, and of course thinly-sliced prime rib. I've had some pretty good cheesesteaks in the past, so my expectations were somewhat high- especially with the price I had to pay for a large size. The onions and green peppers were crisp and fresh, especially compared to that of the other fast food sub chain. The meat was extremely soft and of high quality. The "Philly Cheese Sauce" had a mayo-like texture and tasted like very sharp provolone. After a while, however, I realized that the sauce was a bit too overwhelming and nearly drowned out every other aspect of the sandwich. Aside from that though, Quiznos shows once again that you can find good quality food in a fast food environment. Just be prepared to dish out a few extra dollars in return.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (0)

May 3, 2012


Arby's Orange Cream Shake

rsz_1550177_10150798346946812_51500251811_10065425_58588277_n.jpgArby's latest limited time offering is the Orange Cream Shake, which honestly made my mouth water just by looking at it. I was expecting this to essentially taste like an orange Creamsicle in shake form, and that's exactly what I got. The viscosity of the shake was perfect- not too runny and not too thick. There was nearly a perfect balance between vanilla and orange flavors. Whilst consuming the shake, it was hard to find any negative points to it. And to top it all off, it was reasonably priced. There's not much more to say other than the fact that I was surprised to find a shake of such high quality coming from a place known for its roast beef sandwiches. If you ever find yourself at an Arby's, do yourself a favor and give this a try. I can almost guarantee that your taste buds will be dancing with delight.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jin | Comments (3)

April 9, 2012


McDonald's Strawberry & Crème Pie

Optimized-mcdonalds_strawberry_and_creme_pie.jpgMcDonald's has been selling their Baked Apple Pie for as long as I can remember. A quick Google search will reveal that the fast food company sells quite a few variations of baked pie all around the world (corn pie from Thailand, anyone?). But today I got the chance to try the new Strawberry & Crème pie that has recently sprung up around where I live. As soon as I took my first bite, I realized that there are two sides to it- crème on the left and strawberry filling on the right. The strawberry filling was sweet and fruity while the crème portion can be best described as a hybrid between cheesecake and whipped cream. Also, the crust was deliciously flaky and warm. Lastly, I appreciated the fact that the pie didn't taste like it was excessively crammed with sugar. I think McDonald's has got themselves a winner here, and hopefully they decide to keep it as a permanent addition to their menu.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jin | Comments (3)

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club

Optimized-Wendys-Spicy-Guacamole-Chicken-Club.jpgGuacamole is one of those foods that has to be eaten fresh to get the best taste out of it. Anyone who's made their own guacamole at home can probably agree with me on that. So when you combine it with fast food, you can be sure that you won't be getting the best you've ever had. With that said, I wasn't too quick to judge this sandwich. To start off, Wendy's chicken always manages to amaze me. Most other fast food restaurants just can't compare with how thick and juicy their fillets are. The spiciness in the seasoning was there, but just not as fiery as I thought it'd be. Perhaps this was done to appeal to a wider range of taste buds. The rest of the ingredients were just fine, but I saw that there wasn't as much guacamole as I expected. The quality certainly made up for it though, as I could definitely distinguish the taste of avocado throughout most of the sandwich. If you're looking for a chicken sandwich made with quality ingredients, then look no further.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (0)

March 19, 2012


Carl's Jr. Southwest Patty Melt

Optimized-carls-jr-southwest-patty-melt.jpgHaving lived in Alaska pretty much my whole life, I can't say I've had a whole lot of exposure to the Southwest. That being said, I do know that I was looking forward to trying this today. After all, how could you go wrong with meat, cheese, jalapeños, and onions sandwiched between two pieces of sourdough bread? Luckily, the Southwest Patty Melt was just as good as advertised. The jalapeños added a warm and spicy kick to the overall package, while the cheese sealed it all together with its creamy texture. The grilled onions were also a nice addition, but unfortunately the Santa Fe sauce didn't quite come through. I probably wouldn't have even noticed if the sauce had been omitted. When you look at it as a whole, the Southwest Patty Melt successfully manages to bring some heat to Carl's Jr.'s already impressive lineup of fast food.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (1)

March 12, 2012


Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos

tbdoritostaco.jpgThe new Doritos Locos Tacos at Taco Bell aren’t revolutionary, but they certainly are a bold attempt to breathe new life into the humble taco. The idea of using a taco shell made of Nacho Cheese Doritos is ingenious. And, it works pretty well. With each bite of taco, you get that great Nacho Cheese Doritos flavor. It’s an improvement over the flavor of a regular taco shell. You also get some of that familiar Doritos “cheese dust” on your fingers. It would be nice if the cheese dust was only on the inside of shell so your fingers stayed clean while eating the taco, but the folks at Taco Bell probably considered this and felt it was best to have the dust on the outside too. So, you may have to lick your fingers or wipe them on your pants more than you would otherwise. It’s a small price to pay for the flavor improvement. If you don’t like the flavor of Nacho Cheese Doritos (I can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t, but they’re probably out there…), you can still get yourself a taco made with one of those old-fashioned, passé, regular taco shells. Go ahead and stay stuck in the past, you fast food dinosaurs. I’m embracing the future and will be ordering Doritos Locos Tacos exclusively from now on.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (3)

February 10, 2012


Taco Bell's New Breakfast Menu

tbfirstmeal.jpgI am not a morning person. Because of that, I hardly ever get a chance to eat breakfast. Still, I couldn't help but get excited when I first found out that Taco Bell would be selling breakfast items in my area. So I got up early one morning and drove on over to Taco Bell to see if this would be any good. I ordered the Johnsonville Sausage and Egg Wrap, Steak and Egg Burrito, Hash Browns, and Cinnabon Delights to round out this review.

The sausage and egg wrap looked just like a Crunchwrap, except for the fact that it was almost half the size. The combination of egg, sausage, and cheese is a familiar one, so this item didn't stand out too much. The only difference between this and a standard breakfast sandwich is the use of a grilled tortilla. The hash browns were good, although a bit too greasy and not that filling. It was considerably larger than the hash browns at McDonald's, and tasted just as good if not better.

The highlight of the meal was definitely the Steak and Egg Burrito. The steak was tender and meaty, the eggs tasted better here than in most fast food joints, and it included a spicy sauce that complimented everything nicely. To top it all off, I had the Cinnabon Delights which were basically doughnut holes sprinkled with the same cinnamon and sugar mixture found on the Cinnamon Twists. A healthy dose of cream filling found in the center was arguably the best part. All in all, First Meal doesn't set the bar for breakfast foods any higher, but does an admirable job in introducing some much-needed variety to the Taco Bell formula.

Johnsonville Sausage and Egg Wrap rating: Good.gif

Hash Browns rating: So-so

Steak and Egg Burrito rating: Outstanding!

Cinnabon Delights rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (0)

February 7, 2012


Jack in the Box Bacon Shake

jibbaconshake.jpgSo, just how disgusting is Jack in the Box’s new Bacon Shake? Not nearly as disgusting as you may think. I got my shake in the drive-thru and was prepared to throw it out the window of my car if necessary. But, after the initial shock of drinking a bacon-flavored milkshake, I really started to enjoy it. For those of you who are apprehensive, rest assured. There are no pieces of bacon floating in it, and no burnt, grainy bacon residue like what you get in the bottom of the pan when you cook bacon at home. It’s made with vanilla ice cream and bacon-flavored syrup. So, it’s as smooth as a typical milkshake, with plenty of pleasant vanilla flavor and a nice sweetness. The bacon flavor is pretty good, and it’s a mild flavor that doesn’t overpower. Amazingly, you really do get that familiar, just-fried bacon flavor. The Bacon Shake is not for everyone, to be sure. But for anyone who likes the flavor of bacon, or just likes something a little (or a lot) different, the Bacon Shake might just be your thing. Hats off to Jack for pushing the milkshake envelope.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

McDonald's Chicken McBites

mcbites.jpgAs if McDonald's didn't have enough chicken products on their menu, they went ahead and recently introduced the Chicken McBites- which are said to be juicy bites made with chicken breast meat, in three deliciously poppable sizes. I just so happen to be a big fan of the chicken items at McDonald's, so I decided to give this one a go. First thing worth mentioning is that the McBites come in a convenient little container that allows you to house dipping sauces in the container itself. However, I did not use any dipping sauces for the purpose of this review. The McBites had a very soft and chewy texture, but the breading didn't have much seasoning or flavor to go along with it. Perhaps that was done intentionally so that the sauces would be more useful. The breast meat wasn't spongy like the McNuggets, but rather more akin to the Chicken Selects. It's also worth noting that there was probably twice as much breading than chicken meat for most of the bites. I might have enjoyed this a bit more had I used some of the dipping sauces, but as it stands, the McBites themselves earned a "So-so" from me.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jin | Comments (3)

February 4, 2012


Arby's Fish Sandwich

arby%27sfish.jpgThe other day, my wife and I received an Arby's flyer in the mail announcing that their Fish Sandwich was back. We hadn't been to Arby's in a while, so that was our lunch choice for today. I like fish sandwiches, although the ones offered at fast-food places have always left something to be desired. Until now. I really liked this sandwich! It's made very simply: a nice-sized fish patty, sesame-seed bun, a tasty tartar sauce, and shredded lettuce. The fish was nicely cooked and light tasting, my guess would be cod. The ratio of sauce to fish was perfect, and the bun was just the right size to contain, but not overwhelm, the other ingredients. It is a good-sized sandwich, and with curly fries and a drink would be a satisfying meal for a moderate appetite. The regular price is $2.99 for the sandwich alone, or $4.00 for a combo. I consider it well worth the money, and will be eating one again soon!

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Ed | Comments (1)

January 18, 2012


Wendy's Cheesy Cheddarburger

wendyscheesy.jpgI'm just gonna put it out there: I REALLY love cheese.

As a matter of fact, most of the items I've reviewed on this site have cheese listed as one of their ingredients. When I heard about Wendy's new Cheesy Cheddarburger, I knew that this would be the closest I could get to experiencing a "Juicy Lucy," unless I were to make it myself, of course. The difference here is that the melted cheese is on the outside. So, how did it taste? Well, pretty much just how I imagined it. The cheese sauce was spectacular and reminded me of macaroni and cheese... for some strange reason. It was nice and thick as well. The meat patty itself was juicy and delicious. Some people might have a problem with how plain it is, but it didn't really bother me too much. I'm sure it would be really easy to request additional toppings for it anyway. And yes, it may be sort of small but a few of these would prove to be a satisfying snack. Kudos to Wendy's for creating a unique item that tastes great as well as saves everybody some money.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (2)

January 3, 2012


Burger King French Fries (New Thicker Cut)

bkfries.jpgBurger King recently introduced new french fries to their menu. I recall that the last time Burger King did this - over a decade ago, if my memory is correct - they went with a skinny, crispy fry similar to those offered by McDonald’s. Nowadays, Burger King thinks that thicker fries are the way to go. They couldn’t be more wrong. They must not be familiar with the First Law of French Fries, which states “Skinnier fries are always better than thicker fries because skinnier fries have a better ratio of crispy exterior to fluffy interior.” See, a great fry isn’t the one that has a lot of fluffy potato on the inside, even if the fluff tastes great. It’s the one with the delicious, crispy exterior and just the right amount of fluffy potato within. Get the exterior/interior ratio wrong, and the fry will never be great. The Second Law of French Fries states “If you are going to make a thicker fry, leave the skin on because the overall flavor will be better.” Burger King violated this law also. All this being said, Burger King’s new fries aren’t bad. My order came with a generous amount of salt on them and were cooked to a nice, light brown. I prefer fries that are cooked a bit more (to a “golden brown”), but light brown is okay. And, I must admit that the fries had a nice potato flavor. Overall, they’re not bad fries, but they aren’t great either. If Burger King was aiming for the best fries in the fast food marketplace (and I assume they were), they came up short.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (4)

December 23, 2011


Taco Bell Beefy Crunch Burrito

tbbeefycrunch.jpgNow this is what I'm talking about.

Just recently, Taco Bell has decided to bring back the Beefy Crunch Burrito for a limited time. The first time the Beefy Crunch Burrito was introduced to the Taco Bell menu, I almost immediately fell in love with the combination of textures and flavors. And when I finally ordered two of them today during my lunch break, it was as if I had been reunited with an old friend. Everything I enjoyed about it the first time has come back immaculate and untouched. The crunchiness provided by the Flamin' Hot Fritos balances well with the beefy, gooey mess found in the rest of the burrito. There's not much more to say other than the fact that you get a perfectly adequate serving size for such a very cheap price. Maybe I'm just crazy, but I have to say... this is probably my favorite thing from Taco Bell. Here's to hoping that they make this a permanent addition to their menu in the future!

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jin | Comments (0)

December 7, 2011


Carl's Jr. Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

cjoreo.jpgI can't ever remember having a bad experience with an ice cream sandwich. After trying the Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich from Carl's Jr. today, I can still proudly say that ice cream sandwiches are one of my favorite desserts. The simplicity of the sandwich is arguably what makes it so great. The combination of the giant Oreo cookies with vanilla ice cream in between makes for a very satisfying experience. The Oreo cookies contained the unmistakable chocolate flavor associated with other Oreo products. The sandwich held together quite well, and the ice cream didn't end up melting at all. The only downside I can think of is that the ice cream didn't have much vanilla flavor, which ended up being downplayed by the flavor of the cookies. It would've been nice for there to have been a perfect balance between vanilla and chocolate. Regardless, this was a fine dessert that had me longing for another one immediately after I had finished it.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (1)

December 5, 2011


Wendy’s “W” Burger

wendyswburger.jpgWendy’s has recently introduced a few new burgers to their menu, and I like the direction that the company is going in this regard. I tried the new “W” burger, which has two patties, two slices of American Cheese, and other fixins. It’s a tasty burger, and this is coming from someone who has never been a fan of Wendy’s burgers. The meat had a nice flavor and was cooked just right (i.e., not over cooked as can sometimes be the case at fast food restaurants), and the cheese was, well … I just love American cheese on a burger! I can’t comment on the burger’s “signature sauce” (Thousand Island dressing??) as I ordered my burger with mustard and ketchup instead. The patties are on the small side, not nearly as big as those on Wendy’s new Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy burger. So, I recommend the “W” only to those with modest appetites. With the “W” and the Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy burger - which I think is a fine burger, notwithstanding Jin’s recent review on this blog - now on the menu, I'm much more inclined to eat at Wendy’s than I used to be.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

November 20, 2011


Jack in the Box Outlaw Burger

jiboutlaw.jpgI'll keep this short and to the point. If you want a burger with cheese, bacon, barbecue sauce, and onion rings, just go to Carl's Jr. and get a Western Bacon Cheeseburger. It's much better than the wannabe Outlaw Burger.



Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

November 18, 2011


Taco Bell Triple Steak Stack

tbsteakstack.jpgAs much as I love Taco Bell, I have to admit that they are one of the worst offenders when it comes to not being able to replicate the way their food looks in their advertising. This would appear to be especially true for the new Triple Steak Stack, which is said to be mounds of steak and cheese sandwiched inside of an extra long piece of flatbread. It's worth mentioning, first of all, that I didn't get any steak inside of the flatbread until at least a third of the way into it. Any notions of enjoying as much steak as the pictures suggest were immediately thrown out the window. Unfortunately, this means I had to chew through a thick layer of nothing but bread and cheese for a while. Once I finally reached the abundant cache of meat about halfway through, I was able to thoroughly enjoy every juicy bite. The combination of pillowy flatbread, tender steak, and oozing cheese was not groundbreaking, but still proved to be a delight. The biggest problem with the Steak Stack would definitely have to be the price. I'd be willing to go along with it had there been more substance to the product, but I ended up feeling a little cheated out for what I got. With a lack of content for the price you pay, it's very hard to recommend this to anyone (but at least it tastes good?).

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jin | Comments (4)

November 1, 2011


McDonald's McRib Sandwich

mcrib.jpgThe elusive McRib has come to achieve immense popularity since its introduction to the McDonald's menu in 1981. I never completely understood why it has developed such a cult-like following, but I've always been willing to try them out whenever I happen to stop by McDonald's at the right time of year. It's worth mentioning first of all, that the McRib is definitely a unique item. If you've never heard of it before, it's essentially a pork patty slathered with BBQ sauce and topped with pickles and onions. Oh yeah, and it's also served on a sandwich roll. While trying to pick up the McRib, my hands were immediately covered in sauce. Speaking of the sauce, it was of fairly decent quality. I found it to be a good balance between sweet and tangy. The pork patty was spongy and gelatinous, all whilst carrying a distinct fattiness to it that pork is known for. 'Juicy' is the key word here. The pickles contributed an appropriate amount of sour flavor, but the flavor of the onions was a bit muted. Overall, I can't say that this is exactly worth all of the hype surrounding it, but this is definitely a great tasting sandwich that's worth trying out at least once as it's only available for a limited time.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (1)

October 27, 2011


Carl's Jr. Steakhouse Six Dollar Burger

cjsteakhouseburger.jpgI was excited to try the new Steakhouse Burger at Carl's Jr., seeing as how it's apparently made by 'the god of hamburgers.' These new Steakhouse Burgers are topped with blue cheese, Swiss cheese, onion strings, and A.1. steak sauce. Blue cheese isn't exactly favored by everyone, but personally I love it and in this instance it balanced well with the sweetness from the steak sauce. This is actually the first time I've ever seen blue cheese on a fast food burger, and I was thoroughly impressed. The onion strings were definitely the least noticeable thing; and towards the end of the burger I found a little pile of onions which probably should've been spread out more evenly. Also the onion strings were not very crispy and I was disappointed at what could've been another standout attribute. Lastly, the patty itself was flavorful and very meaty- albeit a little dry. Thankfully, the creaminess of the two cheeses came into play here. Although it may not quite live up to divine standards, Carl's Jr. proves once again that it can make some of the best, if not the best fast food burgers. The addition of blue cheese alone makes this a resounding success in my book.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (2)

October 25, 2011


KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl

kfcbowl.jpgI have very fond memories of my dad bringing home some Kentucky Fried Chicken for my family to feast on back when I was a kid. Of course my standards for good food have gotten higher since then, and I rarely get an opportunity to eat at KFC anymore. Luckily, the folks over at KFC were gracious enough to send me a Cheesy Bacon Bowl Taste Test Kit, which included among many things, $25 in KFC gift cards for me to try out their new item. It had been a while since I've tried one of their Famous Bowls, so I wasn't too sure of what to expect out of this new one. To put it shortly, let's just say that I found a reason to go to KFC way more often. The potatoes were buttery and velvety, which provided for a very tasty glue that held the rest of the bowl together. The corn was surprisingly fresh. The chicken was soft, and the coating wasn't exactly crispy but it still added a unique texture. The cheese was initially somewhat cold, and it was interesting to taste the contrast between that and the thick, hot gravy. As for the bacon, it was definitely more substantial than your standard bacon bits- irresistibly salty and chewy. The best part is when these ingredients blend together to become a hot and delicious mess of flavor and texture. If you've never tried a Famous Bowl at KFC before, now's a better time than ever to go out and try one of the best examples of comfort food I can think of.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jin | Comments (4)

October 24, 2011


Wendy's Dave's Hot 'N Juicy 1/2 lb. Double Cheeseburger

wendysdouble.jpg“Well, it certainly looks juicy,” was my initial thought after pulling the dripping burger out of the bag. “And, it definitely looks hot,” I thought, as billows of steam evaporated from the burger. That's what you're promised to get with Wendy's reinvention of its classic hamburger. Still, the question remains: Does it taste any better than before? First of all, I think it's worth mentioning that I've never been too fond of Wendy's hamburgers, due to the fact that I found the meat to have little to no flavor. Unfortunately, the same holds true for the Dave's Hot 'N Juicy 1/2 lb. Cheeseburger that I had. I believe that all hamburger patties should be seasoned to at least some degree but once again I found myself eating a burger that was big on meat, but small on flavor. The pickles were pretty good compared to fast food standards, but the rest of the vegetables were unimpressive. Although they tasted good, the buns were a bit soggy and didn't do a very good job in holding the sandwich together. Overall, I'd have to say that this isn't much of an improvement over the previous incarnation of the Wendy's hamburger, though I'm sure it could rank higher on my list if someone at Wendy's decided to kick the flavor on their patties up a notch.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jin | Comments (3)

September 15, 2011


Taco Bell Bacon Ranch Chicken Flatbread Sandwich

tbflatbread.jpgRecently, Taco Bell decided to bring back their Chicken Flatbread Sandwich along with a new Bacon Ranch variety. I had the opportunity to try the original Chicken Flatbread when it was first introduced, but I can't remember whether I liked it or not. That being the case, I decided to try out the Bacon Ranch sandwich the other day. At 99 cents, the obvious selling point is how cheap the sandwich is. However, upon first seeing it I have to admit I wasn't impressed at all. First of all, it looked comparable to something you microwave at home (just do a Google image search to see what I mean). The flatbread was sweaty and moist, and in no way did it resemble the advertisements for it. The pieces of chicken were not evenly spread out and overall the whole thing just looked like a mess. When it came to taste, I guess it wasn't horrible but at the same time I wasn't feeling any less hungry than I did before and I couldn't make out any sort of bacon flavor in the sauce. There's plenty of other cheap items at Taco Bell, so I suggest you invest your money towards something a bit more filling and memorable.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jin | Comments (3)

September 3, 2011


Burger King California Whopper

bkcaliwhopper.jpgI've had burgers in many different variations for as long as I can remember. Burger King's new California Whopper which comes with guacamole, Swiss cheese, and bacon, did not come across to me as anything fresh or original. Since I'm accustomed to seeing these ingredients put into a burger, I knew that this Whopper had a lot to live up to. Let's start with the bacon: it was crisp, peppery, and very satisfying overall. When it came to the Swiss cheese... well to be honest, I actually forgot that it was even there. I guess that shows how much it contributed to the burger.

Now let's talk guac. I'm a huge fan of it in general, and I have to say that the guacamole in this Whopper was pretty decent. It didn't carry too much of an avocado flavor, but it had somewhat of a spicy kick to it and it was nice and cool temperature-wise. It was smooth and had a good contrast with the hamburger meat and bacon. The final verdict? Well, the flavors were good and it had some variety in texture (something not too common in fast food), so I wouldn't mind ordering another one in the future. However, I can get something similar to this at any other burger joint, so let's just stick with calling it "Good."

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (0)

July 15, 2011


McDonald's Rolo McFlurry

rolo_mcflurry.jpgIt's been many years since I've tried a Rolo. To be honest I never found them to be that great, mostly due to the fact that I always thought they were too chewy. So naturally I was somewhat hesitant to try the new Rolo McFlurry at McDonald's the other day. To my surprise, it exceeded my expectations by quite a bit. Pieces of chocolate ranging from small to large were swirled around vanillla ice cream and topped with caramel sauce. I really enjoyed how many pieces of Rolo there were- the best part being that there were several very large pieces of chocolate in there. The chewiness of the candy worked well with the soft and creamy ice cream to provide not only immense flavor but also a pleasurable texture. It definitely didn't hurt that there were laces of caramel to be found all throughout the McFlurry, which contributed to the already awesome pairing of chocolate and vanilla. While I've enjoyed slightly better tasting desserts in places such as Dairy Queen, I can say that this is one of the best desserts I've had from McDonald's. Be sure to try one soon, because they're only available for a limited time.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (1)

May 18, 2011


Taco Bell Beefy Melt Burrito

beefy_melt_burrito.jpgBeef. Rice. Cheese. Sour cream. This is just about all that is contained within Taco Bell's new Beefy Melt Burrito, sold for only 99 cents. While the low price is one of its more obvious selling points, most of you are probably wondering whether it tastes good or not. So I ordered two today and although they tasted good, there was nothing particularly memorable or surprising about them. And although they included the word "melt" in the title, there wasn't much of the three cheese blend. Had there been more cheese in it, I probably would've liked it a lot more. This is just one of those instances where you pretty much get what you pay for. I am all for cheap food, but I had hoped for something a little more exciting... like say, the Beefy Crunch Burrito that was recently taken off of the menu at Taco Bell. If you are looking for a cheap, quick and filling snack without much regard for flavor, this would be right up your alley. But for those of you who are looking for something a little more bold, you should probably look elsewhere.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jin | Comments (1)

March 16, 2011


Quiznos Prime Rib on Garlic Bread

primeribongarlic.jpgFull disclosure: The nice folks at Quiznos sent me a gift card so I could try one of their new prime rib sandwiches that they recently introduced to their menu. I decided to get the Prime Rib on Garlic Bread. The prime rib was surprisingly tender, but didn’t have the amount of flavor that you get from prime rib at a nice restaurant. The meat was moist, but not juicy. Juicy is what I was hoping for. You know, juice running down your chin kind of juicy. And although the sandwich is advertised as having extra meat, it didn’t seem to me that there was any more than a typical sandwich. To be fair, I didn’t actually compare the amount of meat to another sandwich (I had left my scale at home…), so my observation is purely subjective. The sandwich also had cheddar cheese on it. My favorite part of the sandwich, surprisingly, was the garlic aioli. It was delicious! I’d lather the creamy aioli on just about everything I eat if I could. The aioli made a good sandwich a little bit better. There’s a lot of sandwiches on the menu at Quiznos, but the Prime Rib on Garlic Bread is a good choice if you are like me and prefer a straight-forward, meat and cheese sandwich.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (4)

March 13, 2011


McDonald's Shamrock Shake

shamrockshake.jpgFew fast food items from my childhood stand out to me as much as the Shamrock Shake from McDonald's. I've only had one or two in the past, but the minty flavor was so distinct back then that it was an unforgettable treat. Internet research has led me to find out that the shake has somewhat of a cult following, much like the McRib. I also found out that McDonald's altered their recipe for the Shamrock Shake about a year ago by adding whipped cream and a cherry- to the disappointment of many fans. People have also commented that this new version of the shake isn't as minty as it used to be, so I decided to go try one out for myself. Sure enough, there was a mound of whipped cream and a cherry on top of my Shamrock Shake, but I didn't mind at all. I'm pretty sure you could ask for it to be excluded from your order anyway. As for the shake itself, I was relieved to discover that this was the same dessert I had enjoyed years ago as a kid. Perhaps McDonald's experimented around with a different recipe in the past, but apparently they decided to go back to the way things were. If you want to enjoy a thick and minty drink, go ahead and try one of these out. Any purists out there may want to order theirs without the new additions though.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (5)

February 18, 2011


Wendy's Asiago Ranch Chicken Club

wendysasiago.jpgIf any of you were watching the Super Bowl this year, you might've seen a commercial from Wendy's that advertised their new Asiago Ranch Chicken Club sandwich. In it, a man describes the taste of the sandwich to his friend by slapping him across his face. While I did not feel the sensation of being hit in the face myself, I did quite enjoy what this sandwich had to offer. When you order the Asiago Ranch Chicken Club, you get to choose between three different fillets: Spicy, Homestyle, and Grilled. I opted for the Homestyle fillet as that appeared to be the standard variety. When I unwrapped my sandwich, I saw that it surprisingly looked a lot like how it's presented in the commercials. Simply looking at it was not good enough to come to any sort of conclusion, so I immediately dug right in. The chicken was impressive, with just the right amount of seasoning on the outside along with being juicy and tender on the inside. The bacon was a step above what I've had in other fast food restaurants, and there was just enough ranch so that it didn't overpower the rest of the sandwich. The cheese was firm and had a mild nutty flavor to it, which complemented the rest of the sandwich perfectly. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I'd be willing to add Asiago cheese to any chicken sandwich I ever eat in the future. It is important to note that the sandwich itself will set you back around 5 dollars (for those of you who regularly order off of the value menu), and while the price might scare some people off, I believe that you get what you pay for. The ingredients blended together harmoniously to result in one of the best chicken club sandwiches I've ever had.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jin | Comments (2)

January 28, 2011


Taco Bell Quad Steak Burrito

quadsteak.jpgUnbeknownst to me, Taco Bell had rolled out a new version of their steak not too long ago. This change was meant to eliminate certain issues such as the rubbery texture and overall low quality of their previous steak. I thought to myself, "What better way to try out this new steak than in their new Quad Steak Burrito?" It is purported to have four times the amount of steak as compared to the Steak Burrito Supreme, after all. To add onto that, just one burrito cost me almost as much as an entire Beefy Crunch Box. Needless to say, my expectations were somewhat high. As soon as I received my order, I realized that the burrito truly was big in size. This was undoubtedly one of the largest burritos I had ever seen from Taco Bell. Once I took my first bite, the first thing that struck me was how strong the fire-roasted salsa was. I've tried the fire-roasted salsa before; the best way I can describe it is that it tastes a lot like BBQ sauce. The only problem I had with the salsa is that it masked the flavor of just about everything else in the burrito. As for the steak, I could definitely tell that a few changes were made to it. For one, it actually tasted and felt like I was eating a real steak. I even managed to make out some gristly bits. As for the amount of steak in the burrito, I wouldn't necessarily say that it consisted of four portions, but it was still more than enough to satisfy. Overall, I thought this was a great way to sample Taco Bell's new steak recipe. If I were to order this next time though, I'd probably ask for them to hold the salsa so that I can appreciate the other flavors a bit more. Although it may be a bit on the expensive side, I'd say it's worth trying at least once.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jin | Comments (1)

January 25, 2011


Burger King BK Stuffed Steakhouse Burger

bkstuffedsteakhouse.jpgAdding in different ingredients to form a burger patty is not a new concept to me. However, I was surprised to hear that Burger King had introduced a burger "stuffed" with jalapenos and cheese. I thought it sounded like a pretty good combination, so naturally I decided to try one for myself. After unwrapping it and taking the first bite, I was a little disappointed. By the time I had finished the burger, I realized a couple things:

1. The burger was not as spicy as the advertising suggests. The poblano sauce didn't carry much heat, and I felt as though it didn't contribute much to the burger at all. The jalapenos fared a bit better when it came to spiciness, but the pieces were so small and scattered that they hardly made an impact.

2. The cheese was definitely a letdown. Essentially, what they did was take 1/4 of a slice of cheese and cut it up into tiny pieces to be scattered all over the patty. Supposedly the burger contained cheddar cheese, but it tasted more along the lines of American. I would have preferred better tasting cheese and a lot more of it.

On a more positive note, I did like the bun as well as the meat from the patty. It had that signature charbroiled taste and it was seasoned well. However, for a burger that was meant to prominently feature the jalapenos and cheese stuffed inside of it, I ended up feeling underwhelmed.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jin | Comments (4)

January 11, 2011


Sonic Drive-In Footlong Quarter Pound Coney and Tots

sonicconeytots.jpgThere are a lot of reasons to like Sonic Drive-In. First, it’s a drive-in. It can be a lot of work to get out of the car and walk into a restaurant. I prefer to just eat in the comfort of my own car while I listen to the radio. Second, they have a large menu full of tasty food. Third, they sell tater tots. Tater tots!! Why can’t I buy tater tots at more restaurants? They are so much better than French fries. The Tots at Sonic are great – deep-fried to a golden brown outside with a moist, creamy interior. And, they have a generous amount of salt on them. Saltaphobes beware! The Tots are the perfect accompaniment to the Footlong Quarter Pound Coney. It’s a mighty big hot dog covered with chili and cheese. You’ll need two hands to eat this behemoth. I’m not sure what kind of meat the hot dog is made from, but it tasted pretty good. A Footlong Quarter Pound Coney and a large order of Tots just about enough to fill me up, which gives you some idea of how much food it is. I recommend this as a meal for someone with a big appetite.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

December 2, 2010


Wendy's Natural-Cut French Fries

wendysfries.jpgWendy’s recently introduced new French fries to their menu. A few weeks ago, the company sent me two gift cards so that I could eat some of the old fries, then the new ones, and compare the two. I love these types of comparisons, and I love them even more when someone else is paying. So, a couple weeks ago, I got an order of the fries they have been selling for who knows how long. They were typical fast food fries that tasted okay, but were nothing special. Yesterday, I sampled the new fries. Their selling points are that they are “natural cut,” in that the skins are left on, and are seasoned with sea salt. The new fries are definitely better than the old fries, with a nice potato flavor and sufficient crispiness. They are similar to the natural-cut fries sold at Carl’s Jr., but Wendy’s fries taste better. As for the salt, it’s hard for me to say if the sea salt really tastes any different than whatever type of salt was on the old fries. Overall, Wendy’s new fries taste better than the old ones and are worth giving a try.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (8)

November 1, 2010


Taco Bell XXL Chalupa

xxlchalupa.jpgI’ll get right to the point: The Taco Bell XXL Chalupa is probably my favorite Taco Bell item ever. Loads of ground beef in a delicious, double-wide Chalupa shell. There’s some other stuff on it too but you won’t even notice because the meat and Chalupa shell are so tasty. Buy one now!





Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (10)

October 23, 2010


Phoood Hall of Fame: McDonald's Chicken McNuggets

mcnuggets.jpgI can hear it now: “McNuggets? You’ve got to be kidding. Only kids eat them.” Well, maybe we can learn something from kids. The much-maligned McNugget is viewed as a joke by many people, not “real” food and certainly not something that a sophisticated adult would eat. Perhaps a sophisticated adult wouldn’t eat them, but then, I’m not very sophisticated. I just like my fast food to be tasty, deep fried, and easy to dip into a little tub of sauce. The McNugget meets all these criteria. Another great thing about McNuggets is that you can order them in various quantities, depending on your appetite. The 10-piece McNugget pack, fries, and a soft drink make a nice meal for me. McDonalds sometimes offers a 20-pack, which is probably more McNuggets than any one person should eat but is sure hard resist for this McNugget fan. It’s time the McNugget received the recognition it deserves, which is why it is being inducted into the prestigious Phoood Hall of Fame.

Posted by Jim | Comments (7)

October 12, 2010


Taco Bell Chicken Flatbread Sandwich

tbfbsandwich.jpgWhen I first saw commercials for the new Chicken Flatbread Sandwich, I was interested as to what it would taste like. I guess the flatbread emphasis tricked me into thinking it was something unusual, but when it comes down to the actual ingredients and preparation, it is basically a chicken quesadilla. The item consists of the typical Taco Bell three-cheese-blend, pieces of grilled chicken, a chipotle-cheese-like sauce, all contained within a piece of square-cut flatbread. The chicken tastes lean, the cheese full of flavor, and the flatbread warm and soft, while the chipotle sauce brings a little something extra while pulling it all together. At the end of the day, I would describe this as a flatbread chicken quesadilla with a little Spanish flavor added through the chipotle sauce. It isn’t the most filling item on the menu - after all, it is essentially a mini quesadilla - but this is one item you should definitely think about ordering, especially considering it is on the value menu.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Matt | Comments (4)

October 8, 2010


Jack in the Box Pastrami Grilled Sandwich

jbpastrami.jpgI went to Jack in the Box recently for lunch and wanted to try the Pretzel Burger, which I had seen TV commercials for. But, I couldn’t find it on the menu.

“Do you still have the Pretzel Burger?” I asked the lady behind the counter.

“Yes, we serve breakfast all day” she said, pointing to the breakfast menu on the wall.

I had a feeling that trying to order a Pretzel Burger was going to be more difficult than I anticipated, so I ordered a Pastrami Grilled Sandwich instead. I think this is a new (probably temporary) item on the menu, as I don’t remember seeing it before. The sandwich is pretty straight forward – hot pastrami, cheese, mustard, and pickle slices between grilled bread. The pastrami tasted pretty good, but it definitely isn’t Carnegie Deli quality. It reminded me of the pastrami that Carl’s Jr. has used on their hamburgers in that past. The sandwich would have been better if it had more pastrami in it, but in all fairness, it had just as much as in the menu photo. The bread was my least favorite part of the sandwich. Jack in the Box refers to it as “Artisan” bread, but I’m not sure what’s artisan about it. It was pretty typical fast-food type bread to me. All in all, the sandwich wasn’t bad but I can’t get excited about it like most other Jack in the Box offerings.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

September 14, 2010


McDonald's McCafé Real Fruit Smoothies

mdsmoothie.jpgI am not much of a morning person but I do like breakfast food. Recently there have been some attempts by national fast food chains to supply more breakfast offerings. One of these new options is McDonald’s Real Fruit Smoothies. There are two flavors, Strawberry Banana and Wild Berry. At first I was skeptical. I assumed that the “real fruit” part of the smoothie would come with a disclaimer of “5% real fruit”. After some investigation it turns out that the smoothie is actually made with real ingredients for the most part, including real fruit and low fat yogurt. Real ingredients means real taste and both varieties taste fresh and bursting with real fruit flavor. I know a lot of people like coffee in the morning but for me picking up one of these Rea Fruit Smoothies is a good way to start your day.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Shawn | Comments (11)

August 28, 2010


Taco Bell Cantina Tacos

cantinataco.jpgThe fast food company known more for taking the same five ingredients and creating some loosely-based Mexican concoction has created something totally different and seemingly actually authentic. The first thing you notice about the tacos is that they are wrapped in plain foil and the two tortillas per taco are made of corn, not the usual flour. The tacos are simple, like they should be, with only meat, onions, cilantro and an optional lime wedge, no cheese or sour cream or special sauce. The lime wedge is a nice touch and makes the taco taste fresh. There are three options for filling: pork, chicken or steak. The pork is a nice change of pace but the chicken and steak are the same used in all of the other items and really tastes out of place against the better quality of the other ingredients. As an added bonus, the tacos are about as low in calories and fat as anything else on the menu. The chicken and steak varieties have just 2.5 grams of fat.

Phoood ratings:

Carnitas taco: Good.gif
Chicken taco: So-so
Steak taco: So-so

Posted by Shawn | Comments (9)

August 23, 2010


Ched R Pepper SuperSONIC Cheeseburger

sonicburger.jpgDo you ever get annoyed when a fast food chain takes ingredients they already have and mash them together to make something “new” you are supposed to be excited about? Usually it isn’t so tantalizing. That is exactly what Sonic has done with its new Ched R Pepper SuperSONIC Cheeseburger. Basically, it is just a regular SuperSONIC Burger but with the addition of 2 Jalapeno Cheddar Poppers and some chipotle mayo. The plain burgers are average at Sonic but the addition of the tasty mayo and poppers really takes the burger up a notch. The burger is quite large with two patties and messy as well. The Poppers have a tendency to make the burger uneven as they are round and the other items are flat but when you get a bite of burger and popper together and the cheddar bursts into your mouth you know it was all worth it.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Shawn | Comments (0)

July 17, 2010


Jack in the Box Really Big Chicken Sandwich

reallybigchicken.jpgWhat’s better than a crispy chicken sandwich? A double crispy chicken sandwich, of course! I’ve eaten hamburgers with two, three, and four patties, but I don’t recall ever seeing a double chicken sandwich before (not counting the bastard KFC Double Down Sandwich). Someone at Jack in the Box must have been thinking the same thing because new on their menu is the Really Big Chicken Sandwich. And by “really big,” they mean that it’s made with two crispy chicken patties. Yes, the sandwich is pretty big, but it’s not so big that most people wouldn’t be able to eat it. The sandwich wouldn’t work if the crispy chicken patties weren’t really good, but that’s not a problem here. The patties on my sandwich were crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, and had a good flavor. Add to that some bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and “mayo onion sauce,” and you’ve got a very tasty sandwich that will satisfy a big appetite. Even if you don’t love chicken sandwiches, I encourage you to give this one a try. Jack in the Box has a winner on their hands with the Really Big Chicken Sandwich and it easily deserves the highest Phoood rating.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (9)

May 29, 2010


Wienerschnitzel Big 100% Angus Beef Chili Dog

bigangusdog.jpgWhen it comes to hot dogs, I don’t want any turkey, chicken, or pork in them. For some reason, I just think that hot dogs should be made of beef. That’s why I like the Wienerschnitzel Big 100% Angus Beef Dog so much. I don’t have to wonder what kind of mystery meat it’s made with. The hot dog tastes great and is big - much larger than the standard Wienerschnitzel hot dog. Fortunately, the bun is big enough to handle the large hot dog. My only quibble is the small amount of chili that comes on it. A big dog needs a big scoop of chili! Sure, the dog is easy to eat because the chili doesn’t drip and fall all over the place. But I’d rather have more chili on the dog and take the risk of some of it getting on my shirt. Still, the Big 100% Angus Beef Dog is pretty darn good and I recommend trying one.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (3)

May 25, 2010


McDonald's Hot 'n Spicy McChicken Sandwich

mcchicken.jpgThe other night I was coming home from a night out on the town and started craving some late-night dining. Like many people with this sudden inclination, I typically end up at Taco Bell. However, tonight my cravings were homing in on something more classic: McDonald’s fries. Approaching the drive-thru (again, I’m sure like many in this situation), everything suddenly sounded delicious. I ended up sticking to the dollar menu and ordered a small fry and, in a first for me, a Hot ’n Spicy McChicken Sandwich. Being a big fan of their regular McChicken sandwich, a go-to of mine when I’m dining on a budget, I was hopeful that I would have another regular item on my spend-as-little-as-I-can-on-food-and-still-be-satisfied menu. The Hot ‘n Spicy McChicken consists of the exact same ingredients--mayo, lettuce, and fried chicken patty--as a typical McChicken, except this time around the Chicken Patty has additional herbs and spices that turn the fried patty a tint of red. After my first bite I was pleasantly surprised that this sandwich actually had a bit of a kick, atypical of spicy foods at most fast food restaurants. Unfortunately, after consuming more, I just wasn’t that impressed. The McChicken is beautiful because it is simple: fried chicken, lettuce, and mayo. The addition of the herbs and spices tries to turn it into a premium offering, when the one dollar price point and therefore cheaper ingredients suggests otherwise.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Matt | Comments (1)

May 3, 2010


KFC Double Down Sandwich

doubledown.jpgThe new Double Down sandwich from KFC must be the oddest fast food item ever introduced to the public. What mental case came up with the idea to make a sandwich using two chicken fillets as the bun? Maybe it was just a way to get some publicity and bring a few curious eaters like me into KFC to try it. In the middle of the aforementioned chicken fillets are two pieces of bacon, two slices of cheese, and some kind of sauce they call “Colonel’s sauce.” The chicken fillets were juicy and tasty, as you would expect from KFC. And they weren’t thin fillets, either. Each one must have been three-quarters of an inch thick, which means each bite was about an inch and a half of chicken. That’s just too much chicken for my tastes, no matter how good the chicken is. The bacon, cheese, and sauce added some good flavor but also caused my sandwich to be a slippery, gooey mess that was difficult to eat. It’s not something I would recommend that you try to eat while driving, that’s for sure. I’m glad I ate the Double Down but next time I go to KFC, I’ll be getting something else.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (8)

April 14, 2010


Taco Bell Salsa Roja Tortada

tortada.jpgTaco Bell is a master of making up names for their products that don't exist in the real world. Big Enchilada? Enchirito! Tortilla wrapped around a tostada? Crunchwrap Supreme! Big nacho plate? Nachos Bellgrande! So it's no surprise that Taco Bell went this route when they introduced their new food item, the Tortada. This time Taco Bell decided to combine the words Torta (a traditional Mexican sandwich) and tostada (basically a flat crunchy taco). What's odd about this fusion is that there is no cruchy shell a la tostadas, and the final product is about as close to a Torta as a quesadilla. Nevertheless Taco Bell wants to promote this item as a pseudo-sandwich. The Tortada comes in two variations, the Salsa Roja, and the Bacon Ranch, both with "fire grilled marinated all white meat chicken" (though to be honest, this chicken didn't seem any different than the kind they put in their quesadillas). The basic setup for the Salsa Roja tortada is chicken, cheese, fiesta salsa, and it's namesake, salsa roja, all wrapped up in a tortilla that has been folded into a square and then grilled. So basically, Taco Bell has once again taken ingredients it already has and combined them to make a semi-new item, though in all honesty, this one really seems like the Taco Bell execs were running out of ideas, as this is basically a revamped crunchwrap supreme. I was really looking forward to the salsa roja, which is the only new ingredient in the Tortada, unfortunately, there was very little in the mix and the fiesta salsa definitely dominated the taste. Overall, this isn't a bad product by any means. It definitely lacks in originality, and I would appreciate another pass with the salsa roja bottle, but it was still tasty and worth a second chance.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Ben | Comments (3)

March 18, 2010


Sonic Ched 'R' Peppers

sonic-logo.jpgSonic Drive In is a recent discovery for me. Being a Michigan native, I would drool over the commercials every time they would air. Now that I have one just up the street, I am making it my goal to try everything on the menu. Today's experiment is the Ched 'R' Peppers, Sonic's take on jalapeno poppers. I can hear you now "jalapenos? No, no, no ... too spicy." Not true! You get a fantastic pepper and cheddar cheese flavor without the blistering heat you would normally expect. They come 4 to an order, a perfect amount for either a snack, or to add a little extra to your order. Plus they were piping hot, right from the fryer.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Bryan M | Comments (4)

February 18, 2010


McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce

mcdsweetchili.jpgI've always been susceptible to advertising, which probably helps explain my love of fast food and candy. During this year's Winter Olympics, I have probably seen the McDonald's promotion for their new Sweet Chili Sauce a couple dozen times. The commercial mentions how this sauce is what all the athletes in the Olympic Village are eating with their McNuggets. I guess McDonald's wants to introduce a flavor with a bold and international appeal. So today I obeyed the ads and went out to try this sauce for myself. Now, McDonald's isn't really known for spicy flavors, and I was worried that this sauce was gonna be all sweet and no heat. Thankfully, all my fears were allayed after my first dip. McDonald's has made a sauce that tastes exactly like the sweet chili sauce semi-fancy Chinese restaurants serve with spring rolls; sweet, but with a very nice pepper/vinegar burn to it. It's a shame this is a limited time only item, because it blows every other dipping sauce out of the water. The only downside is the relatively small amount of sauce you're given, so make sure to ask for two. McNuggets have never tasted better. Congratulations McDonalds, this is a gold medal winner.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Ben | Comments (5)

February 2, 2010


Taco Bell Beefy 5 Layer Burrito

5layer.jpgI had such high hopes for this burrito. Taco Bell had been so successful in the past with incorporating a "hidden" layer of cheese in their products (the Cheesy Gordita Crunch is an all-time fave), but this was a real let down. I should have known from the ingredients listed that the burrito would be a disappointment: beans, beef, cheese, sour cream, and nacho cheese. There was nothing to give this burrito any kick or distinct flavor, instead the nacho cheese and sour cream combined to form an overpowering yet somehow bland mush that would be better suited at a senior center. At the excellent 89 cent price point, it's a shame this couldn't be a winner, as the burrito is quite substantial and would have been a valuable component in my under five dollar Taco Bell meals.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Ben | Comments (10)

October 31, 2009


Taco Bell Black Jack Taco

blackjacktaco.jpgOK, I saw a commercial for a new taco at Taco Bell. It had a black shell. Yuck. Made me think it might be rotten. After the debacle that was the Lava Taco (gross sauce that created an overall yuck factor), I wasn't too excited to try it. So, I went out and got a couple of those puppies earlier today and I'm glad I did! Here's a run down of what it's made of:

A crunchy black taco shell filled with seasoned beef, zesty pepper jack sauce, shredded lettuce and a blend of three cheeses – cheddar, pepper jack and mozzarella.

This taco is awesome. The cheeses are delish and the sauce is very tasty. It also didn't need any of the Taco Bell mild or hot sauce. Just take it out of the wrapper and demolish it. I kept savoring each bite, enjoying the zestiness of the sauce. The black shell tastes the same as a regular taco and ya know what? We got a great black President, why not a great taco with a black shell. GET WITH THE TIMES PEOPLE! And for 89 cents? Pick up 3 of these today and ask for a water cup (to fill up with soda when the employees aren't looking). Recession beaten.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Joe | Comments (10)

October 29, 2009


Taco Bell Fully Loaded Nachos

fullyloadednachos.jpgI saw an ad for the fully loaded nachos and I was stoked. I love nachos. Who doesn't? No need for a fork or a plate. Just take the lid off and dominate.

These nachos looked amazing! Here's a quick run down of what's in it:

Double the beef, guac, fiesta salsa, sour cream, tortilla strips, nacho cheese, shredded cheese, beans, jalapenos and the whole thing is seated in a big taco shell.

Awesome, I'm in.

So, I went there and ordered it. Found out you have to pay extra for jalapeños. Bummer! Got home to enjoy my prize. The box it came in was ENORMOUS. Opened it up and what a mess. I don't expect the people at taco bell to be artists, but all the toppings were just slopped in so haphazardly. It would be have been fine if they were piled in layers, but these were sectioned off. Getting a decent bite required a lot of effort on my part. I had to take a chip and keep dipping it into the different subsections of the pile. The sour cream section on the upper right, the beef section in the lower left, the bean section in the upper right... you get my point. The whole thing was a total mess. On top of it, the guac tasted very strange. Sort of like what I would imagine that ninja turtle mutagen tastes like. And the shell, YUCK. I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be edible, but it tasted like cardboard. You would be better off eating the brown napkins they have there.

Avoid this item and stick with the classic nachos bell grande!

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Joe | Comments (7)

October 13, 2009


Carl's Jr. Jalapeño Burger

cjjalapeno.jpgAfter glancing back through Phoood's archives, I've noticed that the site's contributors have been truly nice to Carl's Jr., with 5 out of 6 burgers reviewed having a designation of "good" or better. This is no coincidence, as Carl's Jr. is one of the best fast food franchises out there. The company has taken pride in being proliferators of delicious (albeit high-calorie) comfort food, while not seeming to care about their competitors trying to integrate so-called "healthy" options into their menus. Plus, you have to love a restaurant that has so many different burgers. The point is, heart health aside, CJ's hamburgers are good, and the Jalapeño Burger is no exception. This particular sandwich is a standard charbroiled burger on a bun with lettuce, tomato and onion. To give it that extra kick, they throw on jalapeño peppers (hence the name), pepper jack cheese and Santa Fe sauce (which is a spicy mayonnaise). Needless to say, this combination is a winner. It has just the right mix of flavor and spice. The jalapeños have a good amount of heat, but they aren't extreme in any sense. Overall, if you like spicy food and charbroiled burgers (which I do), it would be almost impossible to be disappointed. My only gripe is that sometimes my local Carl's Jr. is a little light on the sauce or the peppers, which detracts from the intended flavor (but when it's well-made, it's truly excellent). I wouldn't say that this is Carl's best sandwich (I'd give that title to the classic Western Bacon Cheeseburger), but it's definitely a great one. If you're in the mood for a top-notch fast food burger with a kick, head over and pick one up.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Edgar | Comments (6)

October 12, 2009


Subway Low-Fat Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

subwaybuffalo.jpgI like Subway subs, and I love Buffalo Wings, so when I heard about Subway's new Low-Fat Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, I was intrigued. I'm sorry to say that this sub is nothing but a tragic disappointment. My first impression upon biting into it was "where is the buffalo sauce flavor?" You'd think that because the sliced pieces of chicken are sitting in the so-called buffalo sauce for a while, the taste would be pretty strong. You'd think that, but you'd be wrong. I thought my senses were deceiving me, so I popped a piece of chicken by itself into my mouth, and still could barely taste anything different from plain chicken. As for the new light ranch sauce, it too had no flavor. I might as well have gotten the Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast sandwich. The only difference I would have noted is that the "Buffalo" Chicken Sandwich has the chicken cut into little strips. I'm immensely disappointed by this sub, especially since Subway has made some great and original low-fat subs before (like the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki). Though this sub in itself doesn't taste terrible (it tastes like a regular chicken sandwich), its lack of flavor kills it. To call Subway's newest creation a Buffalo Chicken sandwich would be culinary blasphemy.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Edgar | Comments (6)

August 22, 2009


Wendy’s Bold Buffalo Boneless Wings

bonelesswings.jpgIf Clara Peller ordered these, I'm sure she would ask, “Where’s the chicken?” For $3.99, I expected to get more chicken than I got with my order of Wendy’s Bold Buffalo Boneless Wings. It was a pretty small portion that looked even smaller because it didn’t come close to filling up the serving container. A few of the pieces were embarrassingly small and looked like afterthoughts from the bottom of the bag. On the positive side, the Buffalo sauce was really good, with a level of heat that you don’t usually find in fast food. I loved it, but it is probably too hot for many people. The chicken itself (all white meat) was okay but nothing special. For those who like really spicy food, the Bold Buffalo Boneless Wings may be worth trying if you can get past the price and portion size. Boneless Buffalo Wings are also available in Honey BBQ and Sweet & Spicy Asian flavors.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (10)

July 31, 2009


Arby’s BBQ Bacon Cheddar Roastburger

roastburger.jpgArby’s claims that their new line of Roastburger sandwiches are “the burger done better.” I wouldn’t go that far, Arby’s. Essentially a roast beef sandwich with bacon and cheese, comparing the Roastburger to a burger is kind of pointless. Making the sandwich round and putting bacon and cheese on it does not make it a burger; it’s still a sandwich. This issue aside, the BBQ Bacon Cheddar Roastburger I ate recently was pretty tasty. It had a decent amount of meat in it and the bacon and cheese complimented the meat well. Also, I really liked the bun. I put some Arby’s sauce on it and it got even better. The Roastburger will never take the place of a quality hamburger, but as a sandwich it is worth considering.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (3)

July 28, 2009


Quiznos Beef, Bacon & Cheddar Toasty Bullet

toastybullet.jpgSandwiches are one of my favorite fast foods to eat, but I’ve been discouraged by how expensive they have become and how little meat and cheese they often have. So, I’ve essentially given up on them. There is currently a $5 sandwich trend among several of the sandwich shops. I think $5 is a much more reasonable price but it will still buy me three or four items at Taco Bell, so I’m not all that impressed. In an effort to give customers and even better value, Quiznos has recently introduced a $3 sandwich called the Toasty Bullet. I tried the Beef, Bacon & Cheddar Toasty Bullet and thought it was good, with a fair amount of meat and cheese. It had a good flavor and the bread was tasty. Toasty Pencil may be a better name for it, however. It’s pretty thin and small for a sandwich. But then again, it’s only three bucks. The Toasty Bullet is probably best suited for those with smaller appetites (definitely not me) or kids, as well those who are pinching pennies.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

July 21, 2009


Carl's Jr. Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich

bbqchicken.jpgI have decided to lose my belly and muscle up. So I have become concerned with calories and fat grams and such. I know, I know...What am I doing at a fast-food place when I want to eat healthy? Well, I live in the real world, and sometimes you go out to eat. So I am going to learn to deal with that. According to the "Don't Eat This, Eat That" website, Carl's Jr's Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich is the healthiest sandwich on their menu, from a calories and fat point of view. I decided to try one instead of my usual Super Star or specialty burger. It looked pretty good upon unwrapping, but that was an illusion. The bun was one of those "faux" whole wheat buns, and was very dry and chewy. The chicken breast had no flavor at all, not even a bit of "charbroil" taste. The BBQ sauce was disappointing, all I could taste was a bit of sourness. All in all, it was another failed attempt by a fast-food place to create a "healthy choice" that is also a tasty choice. I don't understand how these companies can have "food designers" receiving six-figure salaries to come up with new ideas, and yet they can't come up with a sandwich that is healthy and tastes good. I'll stick to my regular burgers from now on, and make up for it on other meals. On a positive note, Carl's Jr. has brought back the Teriyaki Burger, at least for a while, so I'll forgive them for their BBQ chicken sandwich.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Ed | Comments (13)

July 4, 2009


McDonald’s Angus Third Pounder Deluxe

angusburger2.jpgMcDonald’s has entered the big burger wars with its new Angus Third Pounders, available in Deluxe, Bacon & Cheese, and Mushroom & Swiss versions. The burgers have been available in a few test markets for some time but were just recently launched nationwide. The main attraction of the Third Pounders is the third pound Angus beef patty, which is an upgrade from the meat used in other McDonald’s hamburgers. I recently ate a Third Pounder Deluxe, which comes with two slices of American cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and red onion. As always, I removed the rabbit food to better taste the essence of the burger. I found that the Angus patty didn’t taste much different than the meat found in other McDonald’s burgers and was lacking seasoning. I really expected something better, especially from a burger that was test marketed for over two years. And, I love mayonnaise as much as anyone but there was way too much of it on the burger. The highlight of the burger was the bakery-style sesame seed roll. It’s a hearty and tasty bun that does a good job of holding the burger together. There is a lot of competition in the big burger category and it is questionable if McDonald’s is going to be able to compete with their line of Angus Third Pounders. When the bun is the best thing about a burger, well, it’s not really that good of a burger.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (13)

June 1, 2009


Phoood Hall of Fame: In-N-Out Burger Double-Double

double-double.jpgResidents of four western states are extremely fortunate that they can eat at In-N-Out Burger, my favorite fast food restaurant. The highlight of In-N-Out’s sparse menu is the Double-Double, which has two patties, two slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato, spread (similar to Thousand Island dressing with a mayonnaise base), and fresh or grilled onions (or no onions at all). It’s by far the best fast food burger I’ve eaten, and has had a very special place in my heart since the first time I ate one. The flavor and freshness of In-N-Out's burgers are what makes them so much better than the competition. When I need even more meat and cheese, I order a 4x4 (you guessed it - four patties and four slices of cheese!). In-N-Out will make your burger with as many patties and slices of cheese you want. I’ve been tempted to order a 6x6 or an 8x8, but haven’t … yet. One of my many goals in life is to order a 100x100 someday (see example here). In-N-Out is legendary for their excellent food, clean facilities, and friendly service. If you are one of the unfortunate souls who don’t live in California, Nevada, Arizona, or Utah, what are you waiting for? Get on a plane, train, automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, Segway, skateboard, or pogo stick and get yourself to an In-N-Out. I promise that you will not be disappointed.

Update July 6, 2009: The rumors are true! I confirmed with In-N-Out corporate headquarters that you can no longer order a burger larger than a 4x4. A company representative told me that this policy was implemented so that they could maintain their high quality standards. I wonder if the fear of lawsuits from sleazy lawyers (à la McDonald's) is the real reason for this change in policy.

Posted by Jim | Comments (47)

May 20, 2009


Carl's Jr. Crisp Burritos

cjburritos.jpgWe stopped at Carl’s Jr. to pick up some eats for the baby, but I wasn’t feeling incredibly hungry. As a result, instead of ordering my regular double western bacon, I figured I’d try out the Crisp Burrito meal, courtesy of Green Burrito’s alliance with Carl’s. One thing I should have obviously noticed is that these things could not be as remotely large as they are displayed, and they’re not. About two inches long and an inch in diameter, these little morsels should not be the main event in a meal, though they’d be an incredible side order. These south-of-the-border eggrolls are very simple and delicious, filled with a thinly ground, seasoned beef, cheese, and jalapeno mixture. Worry not, fellow jalapeno haters, they’re completely unnoticeable, and they give the burrito a little zest. I thought the guacamole came standard with them, so I didn’t ask directly for it and as a result, received none. I checked online, and apparently guacamole is only available for additional charge. I have no doubt though, that had I been granted a wee tublet of avocado dip, these mini-burritos would have been even more enjoyable than they already are.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Elric | Comments (12)

May 19, 2009


KFC Grilled Chicken

kfcgrilled.jpgKentucky Fried Chicken. Let me repeat that: Kentucky FRIED Chicken. Needless to say, I was a little perturbed when I heard KFC (nee Kentucky Fried Chicken, the fried chicken king) was going to start offering grilled chicken. It seemed like the move was simply a marketing ploy to broaden their potential customer base. Fried foods have never been too friendly on waist lines, and adding a grilled entree appeals to diet-conscious consumers. But is this addition of grilled chicken something more than just a way to reach new customers? Is it something that will have people coming back again and again, not because it is a healthier alternative but because it flat-out tastes good? I headed to my local Colonel's headquarters looking for an answer. I ordered a two-piece meal, one of the pieces being their original recipe classic and the other being the new grilled chicken. I ate the delicious original recipe first, all the while thinking: why would anyone come to KFC and get anything else? And then I bit into a piece of the new grilled chicken. I was immediately taken aback. It was so juicy and full of flavor that I needed another bite to confirm what I had just tasted. The second and third and so on until I was finished had confirmed my first taste. The grilled chicken really was that good. That juicy, full flavor piece left me wanting more. The new grilled chicken at KFC is not just a ho-hum offering of a backyard classic--they are Kentucky Fried Chicken, after all, and fried chicken is what put them on the map--but their grilled chicken will make me come back.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Matt | Comments (18)

March 23, 2009


Carl’s Jr. Kentucky Bourbon Burger

cjbourbonburger.jpgI like bourbon and I love burgers so I had to give this one a try. This sandwich is made up of a single, double, or "Six Dollar" patty, pepper jack cheese, two strips of bacon, (my favorite vegetable) garlic-pepper onion straws, lettuce, tomato, and, obviously, Bourbon sauce. I had mine without cheese or tomato. The bacon and bourbon sauce combine for a wonderful smoky-sweet taste reminiscent of Memphis-style barbecue. The onion straws were a really tasty and unusual addition. They’re like a flavored version of the french-fried onions used to top green bean casserole. The Kentucky Bourbon Burger definitely lives up to "If it doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your face." I had to excuse myself after finishing to wash my hands and my face. I definitely enjoyed this burger. Try one soon!

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Ed | Comments (28)

December 30, 2008


Carl's Jr. Charbroiled Steak Sandwich

cjsteak.jpgMuch like reality television, it seems this fast-food steak phenomenon isn't going away any time soon. You've got Angus, you've got Sirloin, and I'm sure somewhere in someone's R&D department, will be the Porterhouse Burger. But in the meantime we have Carl's latest incarnation, the Charbroiled Steak *Sandwich*. They wisely made sure to include that last word to let us know this is not in the burger vein, as it features a long, hoagie style roll. This would indicate we're probably going to be looking at an elongated steak patty as our main attraction, and I must say, it came off tasty enough...for having tomatoes and mayonnaise underneath it! That was a first for me, in all the steak'wiches I've had. Usually it's A-1 with some onions or something. Though they did wisely include some onion rings (natch) which gave it a good balance. And the steak had that perfect toughness that you really have to gnash through. But, alas, (even sans the mayo and tomato additions), the biggest thing that will keep me from requesting another one of these at the speakerbox: the price. $4.69 for something as filling as a Famous Star?? Steak, sure, but it better be the size of a Six Dollar monster for that amount of dead presidents. And flavor-wise for that price...well, let's just say the $5.69 for a Guacamole Six Dollar Burger is justified.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Ryan | Comments (10)

December 6, 2008


Carl’s Jr. Big Country Breakfast Burrito

bigcountry.jpgCarl’s Jr. has done a pretty good job of making hearty breakfast food, and their latest attempt is the Big Country Breakfast Burrito. It sounds delicious, even heavenly, on paper: eggs, sausage, ham, bacon, hash brown nuggets, shredded jack and cheddar cheeses, and sausage gravy in a flour tortilla. It reality, the burrito is much too small to contain all of these ingredients effectively. What I tasted was mostly eggs and gravy with some added saltiness from the sausage/ham/bacon. The hash brown nuggets were hard to detect (and they had become very soggy), and if there was any cheese in my burrito, I sure couldn’t see or taste it. If you want a good breakfast at Carl’s Jr., I recommend the much superior Monster Breakfast Sandwich.

As an aside, the Big Country Breakfast Burrito is perhaps the most blatant example that I have seen of the actual product having almost no resemblance to the company’s advertising image. This is nothing new and I’ve always been turned off by it, but the Big Country Burrito takes it to a new level. If a company can’t show a reasonably realistic image of their product, this should be a concern to them. Alas, it doesn’t seem to be.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

November 8, 2008


Taco Bell Triple Steak Burrito

triplesteak.jpgIf you haven't already had a Triple Steak Burrito, get yourself to the nearest Taco Bell and get one as soon as you can! It is, without a doubt, the best tasting item I've ever had at Taco Bell. When they said triple steak, they really meant it. This burrito is very big and full of delicious steak. It also has cheese, rice, and sour cream, but there's not a lot of these to get in the way of the generous amount of steak you get in every bite. The fire roasted salsa – slightly smoky with a little heat - is delicious and is what makes the burrito stand out from the other items on the menu. I paid $3.99 for the burrito here is Sacramento, California, which is a lot higher than other items on the menu. However, it is worth every penny and I'll gladly buy it again. The Triple Steak Burrito is only available for a limited time (let's hope they make it a regular menu item...), so get one before they are gone.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (14)

October 3, 2008


Burger King Cheesy Tots

cheesytots.jpgI recently tried the Burger King’s Cheesy Tots. Officially, they are on the breakfast menu but I think they serve them any time as I bought them after they stopped serving breakfast. These cheese-filled tater tots are a great idea but fall short in a few ways. They are kind of small, and they aren’t shaped like most tater tots. They resemble a traditional tater tot that has been pressed from both ends. Not that this makes much difference in how they taste, but they just look odd to me. Also, there isn’t really much cheese in them, and the cheese tastes low quality. The texture isn’t as good as a regular tater tot, either. Cheesy Tots aren’t as crunchy and tend to fall apart easily. I’m a big fan of both tater tots and cheese, but Burger King’s combination of the two doesn’t work as well as I would hope. I’ll stick with fries to go along with my burger.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (15)

September 24, 2008


Del Taco Big Fat Taco

bigfattaco.jpgIt’s too bad that Del Taco isn’t 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 I’ve eaten at Del Taco, and may be better than just about anything on Taco Bell’s 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 “taco bread,” which I guess is similar to the flatbread used in a Taco Bell Gordita. The taco bread is delicious – 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.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (7)

August 19, 2008


Carl’s Jr. Monster Breakfast Sandwich

monsterbreakfast.jpgCarl’s Jr. gets reviewed here on Phoood a lot, not only because I tend to like their food but also because they are always coming out with something new. The folks in R&D must never sleep! They recently introduced the new Monster Breakfast Sandwich and I ate one for breakfast a few days ago. Like the name implies, the sandwich is on the large side and is perfect for people with big appetites. It has two eggs, two pieces of bacon, a sausage patty, two kinds of cheese, and toasted sourdough bread. The sandwich was tasty and big enough to fill me up, at least for a couple of hours. Actually, it may have been a little too big for it’s own good. There was a lot of eggs and cheese, which is mostly what I tasted when eating it. The poor little bacon strips were buried at the very bottom of the sandwich and were barely noticeable. Even so, this is a good breakfast sandwich that I recommend giving a try.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (9)

August 14, 2008


Taco Bell Cheesy Double Beef Burrito

tbburrito.jpgTaco Bell has a new “value” menu with a couple of new items, one of which being the Cheesy Double Beef Burrito. It’s made with ground beef, rice, nacho cheese sauce, and red sauce. Nothing fancy here, just four fillings that really go well together. The workers at TB must still be learning how to make them because all three times I’ve bought one it has been a little different. The first one had a whole lot of nacho cheese sauce and the last one was extra big, with a huge portion of ground beef. Who cares if it isn’t very consistent - at only 89 cents, it’s a real bargain. I think Taco Bell has a winner here. Hopefully, it will stay on the menu for a long time because it has quickly become one of my favorite items.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (19)

July 11, 2008


Carl's Jr. Natural Cut Fries

naturalcutfries.jpgFirst off, I have to say "BOOOO Carl's Jr" for taking away my beloved Teriyaki burger. Lose that nasty Prime Rib burger and bring back a proven favorite!! That said, on to the new fries. They are "Natural Cut," about three eighths by three eighths of an inch thick, with the skin left on. They are "dry fries," not very greasy at all, but still hold salt well. (No having to salt the ketchup) They look and smell very, very good, and you get a lot for your money. One medium order with a combo meal will be more than enough for all but the biggest appetites. They are mixed up in size and levels of "doneness." I liked the ones that were a little smaller and crispier, and the ones with a lot of skin on them. The larger, less done fries lacked a little in flavor to me, but my granddaughter enjoyed them immensely.. I think these puppies would be fantastic with a spicy seasoning, As they are, I still enjoy them a lot more than the old ones.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Ed | Comments (63)

May 23, 2008


McDonald’s Southern Style Chicken Biscuit

chickenbiscuit.jpgMcDonald’s has always been one of my favorite places to go for breakfast, because they have so many delicious items on their breakfast menu. The McMuffin and McGriddle are American classics and are hard to beat when you want something that is quick, cheap, and tastes great. New to the breakfast menu is the Southern Style Chicken Biscuit. It’s about as simple as it gets: a piece of chicken between two biscuit halves. The chicken was cooked perfectly and was very moist, but was seasoned very lightly. I expected more flavor, considering it is supposed to be “Southern” style. The biscuit was tasty, but was too dry and fell apart as I ate the sandwich. I think that some other item to compliment both the biscuit and the chicken would have made the sandwich much better (butter? gravy? cheese?). Unfortunately, the Southern Style Chicken Biscuit is just too plain and uninspired for me to recommend it over other items on the McDonald’s menu.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (18)

April 7, 2008


Jack In The Box Spicy Chicken Bites

jblogo.jpgMost of the time, I want an Ultimate Cheeseburger or Sirloin Cheese Burger when I visit Jack In The Box. On a recent visit, I didn’t have as large of an appetite as I normally do, so I decided to go with something a little lighter (if deep fried pieces of chicken dipped in ranch sauce can be considered “light”). I ordered the large size of Spicy Chicken Bites, and was impressed by how much chicken I got in the order. I thought it would be just a snack, but it turned out to be closer to a meal. The chicken bites tasted great and had a thick, crunchy exterior. This crunchy goodness is what sets them apart from chicken bites/strips I’ve had at other places. As far as being spicy, don’t let this scare you away if you don’t like spicy food. I didn’t think that they were very spicy, and was a bit disappointed by this. They have a little bit of heat to them, but most of the spiciness I tasted seemed to be from an abundance of black pepper. It wouldn’t hurt to kick these bites up a couple of notches, Jack.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

March 16, 2008


Carl’s Jr. Chili Cheese Fries

chilifries.jpgCarl’s Jr.’s new chili cheese burgers are pretty good, but the same can’t be said for their new chili cheese fries. It’s no secret that Carl’s Jr. has perhaps the worst fries of any major fast-food chain (when are you going to do something about this, Carl’s Jr.?). Chili and cheese on top makes everything taste better, right? Adding some chili and cheese to the fries would definitely improve them, I thought to myself. Well, maybe it would if there was more than a tablespoon of chili on the fries. I’m exaggerating a bit, but honestly, there was hardly any chili on them. “Where’s the chili?”, I wanted to cry out, à la Clara Peller. The fries are advertised as being “smothered” in chili. This was definitely not what I got. I hate to do it, but I have to give the chili cheese fries Phoood's lowest rating for failing to deliver what they advertise.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (8)

January 10, 2008


Carl’s Jr. Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Burrito

huevosrancheros.jpgAt first glance, the new Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Burrito available at Carl’s Jr. seems like it has a lot going for it. It is made with refried beans, scrambled eggs, shredded jack and cheddar cheeses, ranchero sauce, and crisp corn tortilla strips, all wrapped in a flour tortilla. The problem is that the two main components of the burrito – refried beans and scrambled eggs – are both bland and boring. The tortilla strips, which are a great idea, were nothing but soggy pieces of corn tortillas by the time I got to them. Honestly, I thought that the best part of the burrito was the ranchero sauce. It’s not a good thing when the condiment is the best part of the meal. If anyone from Carl’s Jr. asked, I’d tell them to replace the refried beans with hash browns and sausage and get rid of the tortilla strips. Then it would be a breakfast burrito worth buying. Fortunately, Carl’s Jr. has lots of other good stuff on their breakfsast menu, including the tasty Breakfast Burger.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

November 13, 2007


McDonald's McPork (Japan Only)

mcpork.jpgLast weekend I happened by a McDonald's in Tokyo's hip (read "bizzare and tacky") Shibuya city and saw a large sign for a new pork-based sandwich offering. Immediately overcome by nostalgia for the delightful McRib, I rushed in to give it a try. BIG. MISTAKE. The sandwich is made from 100% US Pork (yum) and is part of the chain's 100 yen menu (about 88 cents at the time of writing) - which sounds good and cheap - but that's where the positives end. The sandwich is composed of a totally plain (unspiced) pork patty, a sort of pepper-ginger-soy-vinaigrette, disturbingly hot lettuce, and McD-standard onion bits, all ensconced within the standard hamburger bun. The taste is like a cheap pork chop covered in bad Asian-themed salad dressing. The lettuce is the only thing keeping the sandwich from being completely mushy, though its bitter edge did nothing to improve the sandwich taste. The worst part of the whole ordeal is a endlessly-lingering metallic aftertaste that stayed with me through several subsequent meals. Even at the low price, I'd say you need to avoid this one like the plague and pray that McDonald's US knows better than to bring it here.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Roc | Comments (12)

November 2, 2007


Carl's Jr. Patty Melt

cjpattymelt.jpgAahh, those enticing ads… charbroiled all beef patty, grilled onions, two slices of that all American cheese, and all surrounded by grilled rye bread. The description and pictures make you want to run to Carl Jr. and let that Patty Melt just melt in your mouth. Don’t put on your running shoes just yet! The onions that came with my Patty Melt fell short of those shown in the pictures. To better describe it, they looked more like onion powder than the real thing. And for an onion enthusiast such as me, that is a great disappointment. The sauce the onions were engulfed in made it difficult to even continue to live up to my mother’s lessons of “eat all your food, there’s starving kids in other countries that wish they could eat that.” Needless to say, the mere sight of another Patty Melt brings back the awful taste.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Violeta | Comments (10)

September 26, 2007


Arby's French Dip & Swiss Toasted Sub

arbyssub.jpgA popular trend in fast food these days is to offer "toasted" sandwiches. I like this, as the toasting brings out a lot more flavor in the bread. Arby's line of toasted subs includes one that has everything I like and none of what I don't like. The French Dip & Swiss Toasted sub has roast beef, Swiss cheese, and nothing else (such as lettuce, tomato, etc., which I like to call "rabbit food"). It also comes with a cup of au jus for dipping. The sandwich I ate recently was pretty tasty, but the bread wasn't toasted. It was just warmed through. I asked the manager about this, and she assured me that it, indeed, had been toasted. She explained that some people had complained that the toaster that they use was toasting the bread too much, so they reduced the toasting level. She said that I could ask for the sandwich to be toasted twice if I wanted. What a hassle. I have a feeling that this is not what Arby's, Inc. wants their restaurants doing.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (3)

September 8, 2007


Arby's Southwestern Mini Egg Rolls

arbyseggrolls.jpgSouthwestern Egg Rolls are an ubiquitous menu item at most of the "American" style chains, such as Chili's. Personally, I've always loved them, so I was very excited to see these on the menu at Arby's. Their version is about a quarter of the size of a traditional egg roll, to make them more bite-sized. They are packed full of black beans, corn and cheese, with just a hint of spice from some jalapenos, and served with Buttermilk Ranch dipping sauce. The taste was delicious, but they're a bit of a "gut bomb" for lunch, even just getting the 4-pack (they also come in 8-packs).

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Lindsey | Comments (9)

August 5, 2007


KFC Teriyaki Boneless Wings

kfcteriyakichicken.jpgI don't eat at KFC very often, but I probably should because the food is pretty good and reasonably priced. On a recent visit, I tried their new Teriyaki Boneless Wings. The chicken was perfect - moist, flavorful, and cooked just right. The teriyaki sauce covering the chicken, on the other hand, was not very good. It had a slightly odd flavor and did not complement the chicken well at all. In fact, it only distracted from the great flavor of the chicken. I also thought that there was far too much sauce. The chicken pieces were almost floating in sauce. Fortunately, the rest of the meal (mac and cheese, potato wedges, a biscuit, and a drink) was great and only cost $6.00. I think I'll start going to KFC more often, but won't be in a hurry to buy the Teriyaki Boneless Wings again.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (6)

July 13, 2007


McDonald's Oreo McFlurry

mcflurry.jpgFor such a simple dessert - soft-serve vanilla ice cream with Oreo cookie pieces swirled in - the McDonald's Oreo McFlurry is surprisingly tasty. The ice cream is semi-hard when delivered to you, and softens nicely as you eat it. It's certainly not the highest quality ice cream you'll ever eat, but were not talking about Spago here. It has plenty, but not too many, Oreo cookie pieces in it. The McFlurry comes with a unique spoon with a big, sturdy handle that makes it even nicer to eat because you can really dig in to the ice cream and don't ever have to worry about the spoon breaking. Interestingly, the spoon doubles as the beater that is used to mix the McFlurry on a blending machine. I think that a McFlurry tastes good any time of the year, but I especially love one on a hot summer day.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (7)

June 6, 2007


Taco Bell Extreme Cheese & Beef Quesadilla

quesadilla.jpgI love cheese more then any other food known to man. On my most recent trip to Taco Bell I discovered the new Extreme Cheese and Beef Quesadilla. Normally I stay away from their quesadillas. It always seems like they add way too much “sauce.” So I was taking a bit of a chance by ordering their new variation of my favorite Mexican food. I was pleasantly surprised after the first bite. It had 3 types of cheese like any other quesadilla they offer, but to top it off it had nacho cheese! I'll eat just about anything if you add nacho cheese to it. I really love the simplicity of it. It's just 4 types of cheese, and beef folded into a tortilla. The best part is, it's only $1.29! So if you like soft tacos without the lettuce and with extra cheese, you'll love Taco Bell's new Extreme Cheese and Beef Quesadilla.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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June 3, 2007


Jack In The Box Blackberry Shake

blackberryshake.jpgI recently stopped by a nearby Jack In The Box because I was craving a milkshake. Although I had planned on getting a strawberry shake (my favorite flavor...), I noticed a new item on the menu: the blackberry shake. Of course, I just had to try it. Not surprisingly, it was delicious. It had a great blackberry flavor and just the right creamy consistancy - not so thick that you can't suck it through a straw, and not to thin either. The whipped cream and cherry on the top were a nich touch. Overall, it was superb. I don't ever remember seeing a blackberry-flavored shake at a fast food place, so Jack In Box gets extra points for doing something a bit different.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 20, 2005


Taco Bell Grilled Steak Taquito

tacobell.jpgI haven’t been this disappointed by a fast food item in a long time. I should have suspected that there was something amiss, as a taquito should be deep fried, not grilled. The Grilled Steak Taquito is really nothing more than a rolled-up Steak Quesadilla. The one I got seemed small, with not much meat. It looked nothing like the picture in the advertisement. You get your choice of sour cream, guacamole, or salsa to dip the taquito in. I got the sour cream, which didn’t taste very good but was perhaps the best part of the meal. It’s hard to go wrong at Taco Bell, but the Grilled Steak Taquito is one menu item that I recommend staying away from.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 27, 2005


Arby’s Big Montana Roast Beef Sandwich

bigmontana.jpgI think that Arby’s is the most under-appreciated fast food restaurant, and they don’t get the respect they deserve. Arby’s has a great menu of stuff you don’t find at other fast food restaurants. The highlight of their menu is the Big Montana Roast Beef Sandwich. If you have a big appetite, like I do, then this is the sandwich for you. It has a half-pound of delicious, thinly-sliced roast beef on a giant sesame seed bun. It tastes great with just the meat and bun, but if you add cheese sauce (extra thirty cents) and/or Arby’s Sauce, it is even tastier. The Big Montana may just be my favorite item at any fast food restaurant. If you have not tried one, you don’t know what you are missing.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (48) | TrackBack

September 19, 2005


Taco Bell Grande Soft Taco

grandesofttaco.jpgI’ve been eating lots of average phoood lately, but I finally found something great – the Taco Bell Grande Soft Taco. I don’t know how I could have missed this for so long! The Grande Soft Taco is made by wrapping a soft taco (with double the beef) in a second flour tortilla that has been covered with nacho cheese sauce. The two soft flour tortillas really give the taco some substance, and the nacho cheese sauce adds a great flavor and texture to the taco. Typically, I don’t get to excited about nacho cheese sauce. But in the Grande Soft Taco, it is delicious. This is easily one of the best items on the Taco Bell menu.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (96)

August 14, 2005


Burger King Chicken Fries

bkchickenfries.jpgBeware: It is likely that the Burger King Chicken Fries that you order will look nothing like the picture to the left. If they are anything like my recent order, you’ll have to look deep down inside the container to find them. Besides being much smaller than depicted, the Chicken Fries are utterly unexciting and merely typical. My order was kind of soggy and limp – not nearly as crispy as I had hoped. The best part about Chick Fries is the container they come in, with the built-in sauce holder. It really works! I was able to stick the container in my car’s cup holder and dip my Chicken Fries in sauce as I headed north on Interstate 5. Too bad that we review food here at Phoood, not fast food containers.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (16)

August 13, 2005


McDonalds Premium Chicken Sandwich - Club

mcdpremiumgrilled.jpgSomeone at work told me about these chicken sandwiches that are supposedly really healthy for you that McDonalds is pushing, so I went on in to find out what’s goin’ on with them. I immediately saw there were three types: classic, club and BLT (I had the club). The sandwich was really good, to my surprise, as I thought it was gonna be another rehash of the chicken McGrill (they offer the sandwich in crispy chicken or grilled, I had mine grilled.) The chicken wasn’t dry at all, the hickory-smoked bacon was thick, and the Swiss cheese, along with the lettuce and tomato (rabbit food), pulled the sandwich together by piling it on a whole-wheat bun. I highly suggest this line of sandwiches, as this might be the start of something good for the restaurant where Super Size Me was filmed....

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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June 25, 2005


Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme

crunchwrap.jpgTaco Bell’s new Crunchwrap Supreme is a great idea that seems like it would work well, but instead disappointed me. The Crunchwrap Supreme is a tostada shell with meat, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, and some rabbit food (tomatoes and lettuce…) all wrapped in a tortilla and grilled. It has all the components needed to taste great – so why didn’t I like it? First, it suffered from a limp tostada shell that had no crunch at all. Second, it was grilled too much, giving it a nasty, burnt flavor. I’ll probably try it again, just in case the person who made my Crunchwrap Supreme was having a bad day. I hope the next one is better.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (55)

May 23, 2005


Jack In The Box Blueberries ‘n’ Cream Milkshake

blueberryshake.jpgIn my last review of a Jack In The Box milkshake, I gave the Chocolate Malted Crunch shake an “Outstanding” rating. So, I had high hopes for the new Blueberries ‘n’ Cream milkshake. As usual, the shake was so thick that I could barley suck it through the straw. I like my milkshakes thick, but I also shouldn’t have to work that hard to drink the darned thing. The taste? Well, it tastes like you would expect a blueberry milkshake to taste – like blueberries. It has a nice flavor and is definitely better than most other fast food shakes. But, there is really nothing special about it, as I have come to expect from Jack In The Box. So, I have to give it only a “Good” rating.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 16, 2005


Wienerschnitzel Pastrami Dog

pastramidog.jpgI love pastrami. It’s my favorite cured meat, by far. When I get a sub sandwich (a.k.a. a bomber, grinder, hero, hoagie, or poor boy) it is always pastrami. I like pastrami as a topping on a hamburger. I thought that it would make a good topping on a hot dog too. As it turns out, it doesn’t work quite as well as I hoped. The Pastrami Dog from Wienerschnitzel is made with an all-beef hot dog on a pretzel bun, topped with pastrami, Swiss cheese, mustard, and a pickle spear. Individually, the components are all good. When combined, each gets lost in the flavors of the others. I’ve got to give Wienerschnitzel credit for coming out with a unique product for a fast food joint, but the Pastrami Dog falls short.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 4, 2005


Carl’s Jr. Breakfast Burger

breakfastburger.jpgThe Breakfast Burger from Carl’s Jr. has been out for a few months now, and I finally tried one last week. It has received a lot of press, mainly because it has 830 calories and 46 grams of fat. The Breakfast Burger is made with a fried egg, bacon, hash brown nuggets, cheese, ketchup, and a hamburger patty, all on a sesame-seed bun. The combination of all these items works well, with the exception of the hash brown nuggets. They don’t really add much to the flavor and kept falling out of the bun. The Breakfast Burger wasn’t quite as tasty as I hoped it would be, but was pretty good. Personally, I think it would taste better with a sausage patty instead of a hamburger patty. Nevertheless, it is a good choice if you have a big appetite and aren’t scared off by the calories and fat.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (24) | TrackBack

February 9, 2005


Jack In The Box Chocolate Malt Crunch Milkshake

No-Image.jpgBack in the day, our milkshake choices were almost always limited to chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla. Nowadays, we have more choices. Jack In The Box has introduced a new flavor that is fantastic. The new Chocolate Malt Crunch Milkshake is made with real vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and pieces of malt balls. How could it not be great? The shake I got was so think that it was hard to drink it with a straw (just the way I like it…). Thankfully, it came with a spoon. If you live near a Jack In The Box (sorry, rest of the country), I suggest you try the new Chocolate Malt Crunch Milkshake soon.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (8) | TrackBack

November 22, 2004


Jack In The Box Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

pumpkinshake.jpgI feel sorry for those who don’t live in one of the states that Jack In The Box operates. They miss out on some really good fast food, including my favorite fast food hamburger, the Ultimate Cheeseburger. Fortunately, I live in the land of 865 Jack In The Boxes – California – and have an opportunity to buy the new Pumpkin Pie Milkshake. It is really good, with a nice pumpkin pie flavor and just the right amount of spices (nutmeg and cinnamon). Made with real ice cream, it has the perfect thickness (thick, but not so thick that you can’t suck it through a straw). I suspect these will only be available for a limited time, so get yours while you can.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 29, 2004


McDonald’s Chicken Selects

selects.jpgBuying chicken strips at a fast-food restaurant is a risky move. Some restaurants have good ones (KFC), while others are barely edible (are you reading this, Mr. Jack in the Box?). McDonalds recently introduced their new chicken strips, which they call “Chicken Selects.” They are being marketed as a “premium breast strip,” which is a pretty accurate description of them. They are good, up there with those at KFC. The chicken is moist, the breading is crunchy, and the Low Fat Honey Mustard dipping sauce is delicious (they also offer Creamy Ranch and Spicy Buffalo dipping sauces). Give them a try – it’s really not that much of a risk.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (12) | TrackBack

July 27, 2004


Jack In The Box Natural Cut Fries

naturalcut.jpgI’ve been seeing the Jack In The Box commercials for their new Natural Cut Fries. I tried them for the first time today and am sorry to say that they look better on TV than they taste in real life. The fries are cut thicker than normal, and keep the potato skin intact. The skin does give them a nice flavor that is lacking in other fast-food fries. They were, however, a bit on the mushy side. I think they would be much better if they were cooked to be a bit crispier. And, like most fries, they did not have nearly enough salt on them. Overall, I was left disappointed. The Natural Cut Fries offer a welcome alternative to regular fries, but that's about all.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 20, 2004


Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch

gorditacrunch.jpgTaco Bell’s Cheesy Gordita Crunch is similar in concept to their Double Decker Taco, which is one of my favorite menu items. The Cheesy Gordita Crunch consists of a crunchy taco surrounded by flatbread that is held to the taco shell with a blend of three melted cheeses. It’s hard to go wrong with these ingredients, so I was not surprised to find that the Cheesy Gordita Crunch was very tasty. The taco has a great tasting Pepper Jack sauce, and the flatbread that surrounds the taco has a nice chewy texture. Using cheese to fasten the flatbread to the taco shell (rather than refried beans with the Double Decker Taco) is a great idea, and the cheese tasted great. I found nothing to fault about the Cheesy Gordita Crunch, but I am a bit worried about Taco Bell’s lazy R&D department. The Cheesy Gordita Crunch and the Double Decker Taco are merely combinations of existing Taco Bell menu items. I would like to see some new, original products. Or, at the very least, bring back the legendary BellBeefer.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (3)

May 22, 2004


Jack-In-The-Box Deli Trio Pannido

Deli Trio Pannido
I few nights ago, I needed a quick meal while on the other side of town and didn’t have a lot of choices, so I decided to try one of the new Pannido sandwiches from Jack-In-The-Box. After contemplating the three choices of sandwiches available, I chose the “Deli Trio” (also available are the Ham & Turkey and the Zesty Turkey). I was surprised to find that it was served warm, not cold as I expected. The bread was very good for a fast food restaurant, better than most bread you get at a sandwich shop such as Subway or Quiznos. The creamy Italian-Dijon sauce was very tasty and complemented the meat well. The meat was good, but I wish there would have been more of it. The meat is rolled up around dill pickle slices rather than placed flat on the bread, which makes it look like there is more meat than there really is. A clever cost-control measure, no doubt. Some cheese on the sandwich would have been nice. Overall, the sandwich was pretty good, but the small amount of meat makes it difficult for me to justify the price of the sandwich. I still prefer the Ultimate Cheeseburger when eating at Jack-In-The-Box, but I might have a Pannido when I’m in the mood for something different.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (4)

May 3, 2004


McDonald's Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle

mcgriddle.jpg
Whoever invented the syrup-infused pancake used in McDonald’s McGriddle breakfast sandwich should be added to Mt. Rushmore. OK, that’ll never happen, but it is deserved nonetheless. I didn’t think that the McMuffin could be improved upon, but I was sure wrong. The Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle is absolutely delicious. The pancakes, filled with little pockets of syrup, would be great by themselves. Add sausage, eggs, and cheese to them and you get an entire breakfast in each bite. I don’t know how many calories or grams of fat a McGriddle has, and I don’t want to know. I just want to eat another, and another, and another…

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (25)