This was not easy to do. I lost a lot of sleep over it. Okay, I didn't actually loose any sleep (I take fast food seriously, but not that seriously...) but I did put a lot of thought into it. Here's my rankings of fast food restaurants:
There's a lot of fast food restaurants not included in the rankings only because they are not in my area and I can't eat there frequently enough to form an opinion.
UPDATE 12/4/12 - These are places which typically have a drive-through. This is what I consider "fast food." If I have to get out of my car to order, I don't think of it as fast food. This is why I didn't include places like Chipotle, Five Guys, Subway, etc. in the list.
Phoood doesn't review condiments very often, but sometimes the product is so good that our readers just need to know about it. I read about Heinz Dip & Squeeze ketchup packages a while ago and thought it was a great idea. But, I hadn't actually seen one until a recent visit to Chik-fil-A. The ketchup itself isn't whatís important here, itís the ingenious package that lets you either squeeze the ketchup out like you do with a ketchup squeeze packet or peel back the plastic film to turn it into a tub for dipping. So, no matter how you like to get ketchup on your food, you should be covered. I used the Dip & Squeeze package both ways while eating the chicken strips and waffle fries I had bought. Both the dip and squeeze functions worked like I expected. The package holds more ketchup than a typical squeeze package, but not as much as the tubs that fast food dipping sauces typically come in. If you are dipping, you may need a few packages to get the job done. I think Heinz has a real winner here and I hope to see Dip & Squeeze packages in all fast food restaurants soon.
Many great things can come to mind when you think of Hawaii. One of the last things you're likely to envision is potato chips. As it turns out though, Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips are among the best you'll find anywhere. One of the first things I noticed about this particular brand is that just about every chip is consistently crispy. As I chomped down into each piece, I could audibly hear every crunch and crackle. With the Sweet Maui Onion flavor, a healthy dose of onion powder can be found sprinkled on every serving. A hint of sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness to balance out the saltiness. As soon as I had my fill, I couldn't help but lick the oniony, garlicky residue off of my fingers. You may not have the funds necessary to travel to Hawaii, but you owe it to yourself to go out and buy a bag of these immediately so as to imagine yourself on a relaxing vacation while happily munching on these chips.
I love preparing food that is quick and easy. Who wants to spend more time making something than it takes to eat it? And while itís not hard to make pancake or waffle batter, you have to clean the bowl, clean the measuring cup, clean the mixing spoon, etc. Batter Blaster is the epitome of simple. Just hold the bottle over the griddle (or waffle iron), press the nozzle, and start cooking. It took a couple of tries for me to figure out how to make a nicely round pancake. In my case, the secret was to dispense the batter with a swirling motion. The pancakes only took a couple minutes to cook. They turned out to be on the thin side, whereas I usually prefer a thicker, fluffier pancake. But the flavor was very good. I could tell that Batter Blaster is made with quality ingredients, because the pancakes had a great flavor and a subtle sweetness. I was really hard to believe that I was eating pancakes that came from a pressurized can! If youíre the health-conscious type (but then again, why would you be reading this blog?), youíll be glad to know that Batter Blaster is certified organic. Batter Blaster pancakes are so quick, easy, and tasty that I donít know if Iíll ever bother using Bisquick again.
One of the quickest meals you can eat is to dump a can of Chef Boyardee in a bowl, microwave for a minute, and eat. If youíre in a hurry or are just lazy, you can eat it cold out of the can. Too sophisticated to eat straight out of the can? Not me. Anyway, I spotted Chef Boyardee Cheesy Burger Macaroni on the grocery store shelf recently and picked up a can on sale for a buck. I figured that it would make a good, quick, and inexpensive lunch. I think they were going for the flavor of a cheeseburger here, but it really falls short. Thereís hardly any meat in it, and not much cheese flavor. The sauce tasted really familiar Ė similar to SpaghettiOs (oh yeah, another of my favorites). And the macaroni was, um Ö well, how good can canned, inexpensive, mass-produced macaroni be? For a buck, I wasnít too disappointed but Iím not sure if Iíll buy it again. Overall, Cheesy Burger Macaroni tastes okay, but just donít think that itís going to be like eating a cheeseburger.
Youíve never heard of Bays English Muffins? Iím not surprised, as they are found in the refrigerated dairy section of the grocery store rather than the bread aisle with all the other English muffins. They are very easy to overlook. Iíve always figured that they are sold in the refrigerated section because they are special in some way and different than their competition. I read all about Bays and their English muffins on their web site, but Iím still not exactly sure why they are sold in the refrigerated section. However, I did learn that Bays English Muffins have a long history and were used by McDonalds for the original Egg McMuffin in the early 1970s. Bays should be commended for making English muffins since 1933, and I really wish I could recommend their muffins over their competitors. But, I canít. The truth is that the Bays muffins that I ate recently tasted pretty much like other English muffins Iíve had. They had the ďnooks and crannies,Ē crispy texture, and flavor that you expect from an English muffin. They were very tasty, like English muffins are, but they didnít stand out in any way. I was kind of disappointed, not because they didnít taste good, but because they tasted so ordinary. I didnít have any other English muffins to compare the Bays to, and maybe I should have. Iíll consider having a Phoood Fight between Bays and Thomasí English muffins in the future. But for now, Bays English Muffins are deserving of a Good rating.
You may have already seen this. If not, enjoy!
I saw a post on Slashfood (via Cho-Tabetai) about the Philly Taco. Just take a look at the picture Ė a Philly cheesesteak sandwich wrapped in a slice of pizza. An odd combination, perhaps, but I think it sounds delicious and if Iím ever in Philadelphia, Iím going to try one. I could probably put one together here in Sacramento, but then it would be a Sacramento Taco and that just doesnít have the same appeal. The only thing I disagree with is the assertion that one would have to be intoxicated to make a Philly Taco. Not me, that's for sure.
Beginning today, postings will resume here at Phoood. Thanks to all the readers who have remained loyal during the hiatus.
As you may have noticed, Phoood has been on hiatus since November 2005. I'm still not sure if the posts will continue. It's a lot of work to eat that much food, and I'm already trying to watch my weight. Also, my attempts at finding contributors to write reviews was unsuccessful. Drop me an e-mail if you have an opinion.
I want to thank Carl's Jr. for acknowledging Phoood.com on the side of their drink cups. I had not known about this until recently, when Phoood fan Steven e-mailed me. They have used a quote from my June 2004 review of their Double Six Dollar Burger: "Carl's Jr.'s new burger ... ranks up there among the best." Of course, I immediately went to my local Carl's Jr. to get the two cups (medium paper cup and extra-large plastic cup) to save for posterity. I'm honored that they think my opinion is relevant.
UPDATE - 9/15/06
I just found out that they have also put the quote on their bags.
Phoood has never reviewed a condiment, and may not ever again. But I like Grey Poupon Mild & Creamy Dijon Mustard so much that I just had to let the Phoood readers know about it. I bought it for the first time recently, and am very impressed by it. It is just how the name says: mild and creamy. The dijon flavor is pleasantly mild, especially when compared to a deli-style dijon mustard. And, it has a very nice, creamy consistency that makes me think that it is mixed with mayonnaise Ė but itís not. I made a pastrami sandwich, put a bunch of this mustard on it, and I was in heaven. Those of you who donít like dijon mustard should really try Grey Poupon Mild & Creamy. You may just like it.