Nov 21, 2008

Review: KFC - Original Recipe Chicken Sandwich

Straight off of the KFC value menu (only available in the Los Angeles area so far) is the Original Recipe Chicken Sandwich.
The sandwich features a decent-sized chicken patty breaded in the Colonel's Original Recipe seasoning and served on a warm bun with lettuce and mayo.

It would have been okay if the lettuce wasn't soggy without any hint of crispness. In fact, the lettuce was so soggy it was a bit chewy.

I have to say the poor state of the lettuce ruined the sandwich for me. If you live in the LA area and order it, be sure to cross your fingers for fresh lettuce.

KFC Store Locator
Nov 17, 2008

Review: Taco Bell - Triple Layer Nachos

Taco Bell's Triple Layer Nachos are pretty decent deal for all of 79 cents. I think it's best if you have some change in your pocket and just want a simple nacho snack. The three layers are nacho cheese, refried beans, and a red sauce.  They work pretty well together. One of the better items off of the value menu.
Nov 14, 2008

Review: Wendy's - Sausage Gravy & Biscuit

For a bit more than a dollar, a fluffy biscuit smothered in sausage gravy.

I liked this item the most out of all the breakfast items I've tried off of Wendy's recent (only at participating locations, I think they're still testing it out or only making it optional for franchises) breakfast menu.

It's not much to look at but the gravy had a creamy, peppery flavor and little bits of sausage that complemented the biscuit well.
Nov 10, 2008

Review: Starbucks - Free Election Day Brewed Coffee

It was on my way home, so I stopped by my local Starbucks to get a free Tall-sized cup of brewed Pike's Roast Coffee on Election Day.
It tasted a bit burnt but I drank it all, so it wasn't all bad. I think the only coffee drinks I like at Starbucks are the bottled Frappuccinos or a Caffe Latte. It's only early November, but it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.
Nov 8, 2008

Review: KFC - Popcorn Chicken Snack Box

KFC Popcorn Chicken Snack BoxKFC's Popcorn Chicken Snack Box features Popcorn Chicken and Potato Wedges in a tidy little box for $1.99.  It is part of their Value Menu.
KFC Popcorn Chicken Snack Box
I've always been a fan of KFC's potato wedges and these didn't disappoint. The Popcorn Chicken on the other hand, is more batter and breading than chicken.

Honestly, it seems like one of the marketing wonks at KFC thought, "Hey, we have all these little bits and trimmings from our chicken that we just throw away... Why not just dip them in batter, fry it, and sell it!"  They're selling us their leftovers!

So, yeah, I'm not a fan of KFC Popcorn Chicken. I've had pieces that were entirely just fried batter and no chicken.  Now that I think about it, some people might prefer it!  As for me, gimme chicken please!

KFC Store Locator
Nov 4, 2008

News: Election Day: Free Food and Drink

Today, November 4th, 2008, Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, and Ben & Jerry's are offering free food or drink as an incentive to vote.

Starbucks is giving away a free tall-sized (12 oz.) brewed coffee to anyone who says they voted. (At participating locations only. Limit one drink per customer.)

Krispy Kreme is offering one free star-shaped doughnut with red, white and blue sprinkles to each customer wearing an "I Voted" sticker. (At participating locations only. Limit ne doughnut per customer. Select stores may be offering yeast-raised doughnuts in the standard circle shape, but decorated with red, white and blue sprinkles.)

Ben & Jerry's is giving away a free scoop of ice cream per visitor today from 5-8pm. (At participating locations only. Limit one scoop per customer.)
Nov 3, 2008

Review: Yardhouse - Southern Fried Chicken Breast

Interesting presentation: a very sizable boneless, skinless chicken breast served atop a mound of spinach, corn mashed potatoes in a lake of creamy gravy. About 16 dollars.

I would suggest getting the gravy on the side as the chicken loses some of its crispness otherwise.  Still, it wasn't soggy from all the gravy on top and was quite enjoyable.  The mashed potatoes were particularly interesting and I mean that in a good way; you could taste the corn and spinach in a bit of a vegetable medley.
Aug 11, 2008

News: Jack in the Box Introduces Breakfast Bowls

Starting today, Jack in the Box is offering new Breakfast Bowls in two varieties:

The Denver Breakfast Bowl which features scrambled eggs, hash brown sticks, sliced ham, and red and green bell peppers topped with a white cheddar cheese sauce and shredded cheddar cheese...
... and the Hearty Breakfast Bowl which features scrambled eggs, hash brown sticks, bacon, and sausage topped with a white cheddar cheese sauce and shredded cheddar cheese.

The suggested price for a Breakfast Bowl, excluding tax, is $2.99 at all participating Jack in the Box restaurants. Prices may vary.

Photos courtesy of Jack in the Box. I don't have a photo studio, a fancy camera, or spotlight to take pictures like these...
Jul 28, 2008

Review: McDonald's - Premium Crispy Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich

McDonald's Premium Crispy Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich is a fairly simple burger with leaf lettuce, tomato, bacon, ranch, and a crispy chicken filet on a premium bun.

I liked this sandwich a lot better than McDonald's Premium Crispy Chicken Club, the blend of reasonably crunchy bacon, ranch, and the lack of cheese really makes for a tasty combination.

Jul 25, 2008

Review: Wendy's - Egg and Cheese Biscuit

You really can't screw up an Egg and Cheese Biscuit... well, unless the Wendy's you went to for some odd reason ran out of biscuits but not half-baked frescuits.
I would rather they just toasted me some bread...

Jul 23, 2008

Review: Wendy's - Custom Bean Coffee

Wendy's Custom Bean Coffee is part of their ongoing breakfast test and features a Folger's roast that was actually pretty decent. I like it better than the McDonald's Premium Blend Coffee that I tried.

Jul 21, 2008

Photos: McDonald's - McChicken vs. Southern Style Chicken Sandwich

You get a more chicken and a lot less mayo.  Before you ask, no I did not eat them both.  Sharing is caring!
Jul 18, 2008

Review: KFC - Biscuits

My favorite fast food biscuit and currently only two for a buck in the Los Angeles area. KFC's Biscuits have a nice crust on the outside...
Jul 16, 2008

Review: Wendy's - Hash Browns

You really can't screw up Hash Browns unless you somehow make them soggy. Wendy's Hash Browns come in coin shapes and are deep fried to a crisp. They are pretty much your average run of the mill hash browns. No surprises.

Find a Wendy's
Jul 14, 2008

Local Review: Porta Via Italian Food - Italian Sub and Jones Coffee Roasters - Cappuccino

Porto Via is a modern take on the Italian deli offering a quick meal to have at one of the small tables or counter inside the deli or in the patio out back. Before I arrived at Porta Via, I made a stop at nearby (just around the block) Jones Coffee Roasters which offers an excellent cappuccino at a reasonable price ($2.05 for an 8 oz. cup, $2.65 for a 12 oz. cup). Besides the Italian sub, I also got an Orange Volcano Cake for $3.50 and is filled with a cream cheese "eruption."
Porta Via Italian Sub for $7.50 is a good size typical Italian sub made with fresh ingredients and served on a nice crusty Italian roll. I tried a couple of their other sandwiches and they have all been pretty good. They also offer full on dinner and lunch meals that you can take home and heat up. It's definitely worth a try if you're in the neighborhood.

Porta Via Italian Foods
1 W California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105
Phone 626-793-9000
Summer Hours:
Monday through Friday 10am-7pm

Jones Coffee Roasters
537 South Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105
Phone 626-564-9291
Monday - Friday 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Jul 11, 2008

Review: Wendy's - Coffee Cake

Not much to say about this one... It tastes like a store-bought coffee cake (like Hostess) that you heat up in a toaster oven which is very likely how it was prepared. I doubt Wendy's bakes these from scratch or from a mix.

Jul 9, 2008

Review: Wendy's - Chicken Biscuit

So I went to Wendy's because they started serving breakfast not too long ago at certain franchises. Let's just say that they still need work.

Jul 7, 2008

Review: Baja Fresh - Pronto Nachos

A 3oz. side of Smoky Queso Fundido and Chips for 99 cents. Yeah, I didn't really like the cheese... I ate all the chips though... I think I would have preferred Taco Bell nacho cheese. The Smoky Queso Fundido (cheese dip) seems to be a blend of spicy salsa and cheese. It didn't really taste spicy and I don't like salsa and cheese mixed together.

I guess you can say it's pretty much a non-starter for me.

Baja Fresh
Store Locations
Jul 3, 2008

Review: Winchell's Donuts - French Cruller

My absolute favorite donut is the French cruller known for its unique shape and its airy texture. The French cruller is made from choux pastry which, according to Wikipedia, is "a light pastry dough used to make profiteroles, croquembouches, eclairs, French crullers, beignets, Indonesian kue sus, and gougères. It contains only butter, water, flour, and eggs. Its raising agent is the high moisture content, which creates steam during cooking, puffing out the pastry." I know right? We're smarter already!

I have no idea what profiteroles, croquembouches, gougères, and, kue sus are, but I love French crullers. Unfortunately, most donut shops don't make a French cruller, at least not the mom and pops around here (They are quite difficult to make I'm told compared to the standard donut.). Fortunately, chain donuts shops usually carry French crullers (Note that the French cruller should not be confused with the "cruller" which is just a twisted cake donut.)

And Witchell's being a chain donut shop makes French Crullers, although only on Tuesdays around Halloween so they can make Halloween donuts... Sad, I know! Mostly, because I went to two different locations before asking where the crullers were. In short, French crullers from Winchell's with maple or chocolate frosting equals yummy!
Jul 2, 2008

Review: McDonald's - Big Mac

Ah, the flagship sandwich of McDonald's, the Big Mac, the burger almost as tall as it is wide and that much more difficult to eat because of it (the middle bun has a habit of slipping out as you bite into the burger).
Jul 1, 2008

Review: Carl's Jr. - CrissCut French Fries

Carl's Jr.'s CrissCut French Fries are seasoned much like curly fries usually are at other fast food establishments. They'll cost you a little more than Carl's default Natural-Cut Fries, but deliver more than the standard potato flavor.

Jun 30, 2008

Review: Banh Mi Che Cali - Teriyaki Beef Sandwich

For $2.25, you get sauteed slices of beef, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, and lettuce in a buttery, crispy fat banh mi baguette. The beef is sauteed with the onions and seem to be flavored with maybe sugar or honey, garlic, and soy sauce if I were to guess. It doesn't taste like teriyaki really, but it's still tasty if a little misleading.
The jalapenos give the sandwich a nice kick and the lettuce was crisp.
All-in-all, a nice change from my usual Banh Mi Dac Biet.
Banh Mi Che Cali
647 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803
(626) 293-8396
Jun 27, 2008

Review: Baja Fresh - Grilled Chicken Cabo Cobb Burrito

I prefer Baja Fresh over the other fast casual Mexican chain dining establishments (i.e. Qdoba, Chipotle, etc.). At the particular location that I went to, they were kind enough to give me free tortilla chips while I waited for my order -- plus the burritos all come with some chips.

For $5.95, I tried one of Baja Fresh's featured Grilled Salad Burritos: the Grilled Chicken Cabo Cobb Burrito (the other is the Grilled Chicken Caesar Burrito). The Grill Chicken Cabo Cobb Burrito features grilled marinated chicken, Jack & cheddar cheese, romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, ranch dressing, Cotija cheese, black beans and avocado.
I thought it was very tasty. I liked the way the burrito was grilled; it gives the tortilla a bit of a flakiness and crispness. Since it's essentially a salad in a burrito, it's lighter than most of Baja Fresh's other burritos like the Ultimo. I could taste the separate distinct ingredients and they went well together. I would definitely eat this one again.

Baja Fresh
Store Locations
Jun 26, 2008

News: Chick-fil-A Celebrates Cow Appreciation Day (Free Food!) - July 11, 2008

On Friday, July 11, 2008, Chick-fil-A will celebrate Cow Appreciation Day by giving free meals (your choice of entree, side, and drink) to visitors who are fully dressed as cows. For those less willing to dress like a cow, Chick-fil-A is offering a free entree (sandwich, or salad) to visitors wearing some sort of cow attire.

The promotion is related to Chick-fil-A's "Eat Mor Chikin" marketing campaign which has gone on for the past 13 years and features self-interested cows encouraging people to eat chicken rather than beef.

Cow Appreciation Day (Free Meal for Dressing Like a Cow)
Friday, July 11, 2008
Restaurant Locator
Jun 25, 2008

Review: Subway's Spicy Italian Sub Sandwich

I'm not a huge fan of Subway, since I sometimes get it for free at school, but without liquid condiments. I am, however, a fan of Italian subs plus my interest was piqued by Subway's $5 everyday value menu which features eight of its regular subs including its Spicy Italian. The thing is, at some locations, before they had the value menu, some of the footlongs on it were priced less than $5, so I don't know how much of a value it is.
Anyway, this is pretty much as many veggies as I eat in a week. It's sad I know. There's cucumbers, bell peppers, olives, tomatoes, banana jalapenos, iceberg lettuce, and red onions in there. I really should eat more veggies. I was pleasantly surprised; I actually liked it... though I did have very low expectations. I don't think I'd ever crave it, but it's not bad eats in a pinch. And, I feel better eating some veggies.

Jun 24, 2008

Review: Chick-fil-A - Chicken Sandwich - Fresh Version

My Favorite Fried Chicken Sandwich

A little while ago, I wrote about the Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich my brother brought me back from Texas. While there still haven't been any Chick-fil-A's erected in my vicinity, there's one in Upland near my cousin's place in Pomona. As you can see the bag is in much better shape then one that's been through LAX. The sandwich is a bit pricier here at $2.99.
The Chicken Sandwich itself looks better as well.
You can see the buttered toasted top bun and patty. Looks like the Texas patty spent a little more time in the fryer though since this one is much lighter in color.
Chick-fil-A puts its pickles beneath the patty rather than above like McDonald's. It's an arbitrary difference I think.
You can see a good view of the chicken patty here. It was made to order and tasted like it: super juicy and chock full of flavor. I loved it. It was totally worth the trip (since I was visiting my cousin anyway).

Restaurant Locator
Jun 23, 2008

Review: Ikea - Swedish Meatball Platter

Ah... nothing like food from a Swedish furniture store... It's a little bit odd that Ikea offers food at all but I guess they're just spreading the culture. I don't think I've ever heard of or seen a Swedish restaurant around these parts.

Ikea offers a pretty broad selection of food in a cafeteria setting. For $4.99 (update 1/13/13: it's only $3.99 now!), I got 15 meatballs smothered in gravy, a scope of mashed potatoes, and a spoonful of lingonberry sauce. Lingonberry tastes a lot like cranberry to me. I've never really taken to eating cranberry with my turkey, so I didn't care much for lingonberry with my meatballs. I did enjoy the meatballs and the mashed potatoes however. The meatballs tended to be on the dry side but that's what the gravy is for. I like the gravy, it goes well with the meatballs and mashed potatoes.

Ikea also sells the gravy, meatballs (frozen in 3lb bags), and lingonberry jam for people who really like those items and want to take them home.

Store Locator
Jun 20, 2008

News: Jack in the Box's Two Free Tacos Day - June 26, 2008

In an effort to drive customers hurting under high gas prices to its restaurants, on Thursday, June 26, 2008, Jack in the Box is offering two free regular tacos (you know, the ones that go 2 for a buck) to anyone who brings in a gas receipt.

Duplicates or copies will not be accepted. At participating locations only. Limit one order per person. No purchase necessary.

Two Free Tacos when you bring in a gas receipt.
Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jun 19, 2008

News: Starbucks Offering Free Beverage Coupon For Joining Starbucks Card Rewards

In an effort to get consumers to join its Rewards Program, Starbucks Card holders who join the rewards program online at by July 14, 2008 will receive a free beverage coupon in the mail good for any Starbucks beverage.

To join the Rewards Program, customers can load a new Starbucks Card with $5 or more or take any existing Starbucks Card (even one with a zero balance) and join the program by visiting Participants must use their Starbucks Card for purchases to receive Reward Program benefits.

Benefits of the Rewards Program include (further details about the program can be viewed at
  • Select complimentary syrup and milk options;
  • Hot and iced brewed coffee refills on the house during your visit;
  • Complimentary tall beverage of your choice with the purchase of one pound of whole bean coffee.
I'm not a regular Starbucks drinker but it looks to be a great program for those that are. Of course if you're like me, you'll still join just for the free drink!

Free Beverage Coupon by mail with Rewards Program Registration
Offer expires July 14, 2008
Register at: