Feb 28, 2010

Review: KFC - Crispy Twister

KFC's Crispy Twister features two of their Extra Crispy Chicken Strips along with shredded iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and pepper mayo sauce - all wrapped together in a flour tortilla. I consider it to be the original brand name fast food wrap before it became all the rage.

Feb 26, 2010

Review: Starbucks - Hot Chocolate

Starbucks' Hot Chocolate features steamed milk with mocha syrup, vanilla syrup, and whipped cream.  I guess Starbucks did away with their Signature Hot Chocolate, though now that I think about it, I probably should have asked.  So instead of getting the Signature Hot Chocolate, I got a Tall Hot Chocolate.

Feb 25, 2010

Review: KFC - Potato Wedges

KFC Potato Wedges are lightly battered and seasoned with savory herbs and spices.  If you are a vegetarian, I'd steer clear as they are cooked in the same shortening as the fried chicken and probably have a bit of chicken fat from it.

Feb 24, 2010

The Asia Trip: Lotteria - Zeppin Ultimate Cheeseburger

The menu at Lotteria in Japan.

Lotteria is a fast food burger chain that originated in Japan but also has branches in South Korea, China, and Vietnam. It is owned by Lotte, which is a company/brand that I mostly associate with Japanese candy and snacks.  If you look at the picture above, you'll notice a gooey, cheese-covered burger featured quite prominently (with two placements) on the menu. It's called the "Zeppin Ultimate Cheeseburger." Gather round and I will tell you the story of how I was hoodwinked by that picture.

Feb 23, 2010

Review: Wendy's - Junior Bacon Cheeseburger

Wendy's Junior Bacon Cheeseburger takes a small square hamburger patty, adds two small, thin slices of hickory-smoked bacon, a slice of American cheese, a fistful of hand-leafed iceberg lettuce, a slice of tomato, a spread of mayonnaise and sticks it between a toasted egg bun.

Feb 22, 2010

Review: El Pollo Loco - Steak Taco

The cheapest item among El Pollo Loco's new sirloin steak options, the Steak Taco consists of citrus-marinated, flame-grilled steak with cilantro and onions folded in a 4.5-inch corn tortilla.  As always, you can add condiments from their salsa bar at your leisure which includes sliced lemons, cilantro, and onions.

Feb 20, 2010

News: Cinnabon Baking Cupcakes

In the world of mall food, Cinnabon is now also in the cupcake baking business.  Cupcakes will be baked fresh daily and come in four er... interestingly-named flavors: Cinnacake Classic, Chocolate Passion, Vanilla Bliss, and 24-Carrot Cake.  AKA Cinnabon, Chocolate, Vanilla, and Carrot Cake.  Curiously, no Red Velvet, a very popular cupcake flavor.

I don't know about this one.  The cupcake business seems to be mostly boutique and I don't know of any chain with much success in this market outside of Crumbs and Sprinkles, and they aren't that big.  Then again, there's never been this big of a market participant in the cupcake market.  It'll be interesting to see how this takes with consumers.

Feb 19, 2010

News: Lent Means Fish Sandwiches

For many people, Lent means giving up meat on Fridays.  For many major fast food restaurants, Lent means it time to break out the fish sandwiches at promotional prices.  Here are the current offerings and promos:

Many McDonald's franchises are doing Filet-O-Fish Fridays though prices and participation seem to vary with location.  Here in southern California, it's $1.29 for a Filet-O-Fish on Fridays during Lent  (I read it's 2 for $3 in New York).  The Filet-O-Fish (McFish!) shows up with a battered patty of Alaskan pollock and hoki, a half slice of cheese, and tartar sauce on a steamed bun.

Wendy's is again trotting out their Premium Fish Fillet in time for Lent which features hand-cut fillets of Pacific-caught cod breaded with Panko, tartar sauce, and lettuce.  The Premium Fish Fillet goes for ~$3.49 and is a limited time item.

Jack in the Box is offering their Fish Sandwich, which contains two crispy fish fillets, lettuce, and (you guessed it) tartar sauce, at the promo price of $1.49

Review: Burger King - Onion Rings

Breaded, deep-fried and smallish, Burger King's Onion Rings are a BK Value Menu item for $1.  It is a value-sized item so you're not getting much in the way of onion rings (read: child's size), so consider them a snack.

Feb 18, 2010

News: Jack in the Box - Free Grilled Sandwich - 2/23/10

On Tuesday, February 23, 2010, Jack in the Box is tempting you to try their new Grilled Sandwiches by offering them for free with the purchase of a large drink.

The sandwiches retail for $3.99 normally.  So with large drinks usually close to the $2 range, it's a pretty good value if you've been hankering to try one.

Local Review: The Hat - Chili Cheeseburger

Take a sesame bun, a grilled quarter-pound patty, a glop of all-meat chili, a spread of your standard yellow mustard, a flat, melted square of American cheese, a thick slice of tomato, some pickle chips, and you have a delicious Chili Cheeseburger from local Southern California chain The Hat.

Feb 17, 2010

The Asia Trip: McDonald's Japan - McPork Sandwich

McDonald's McPork Sandwich in its wrapper
McDonald's McPork is a 100 yen value menu ($1.11 at the going rate) item over in Japan. It consists of a regular McDonald's hamburger bun, hand-leafed lettuce (a change from the typical McDonald's shredded), a pork patty, and a teriyaki-type sauce.

Feb 16, 2010

News: Burger King Serving Starbucks Coffee

Burger King today announced a signed agreement with Starbucks Coffee to carry Seattle's Best Coffee, part of Starbucks' brand portfolio. By September 2010, you should be seeing Seattle's Best Coffee in Burger King restaurants across the nation.

The agreement is part of a larger effort to improve Burger King's breakfast menu, and boost flagging sales. It also happens to allow the chain to better compete with McDonald's McCafe efforts.

Seattle's Best Coffee will be available at Burger King, hot or iced, with optional vanilla or mocha flavor, and whipped topping (I always find it dubious when they say "whipped topping" and not "whipped cream"). The suggested retail price will range from $1 to $2.79.

Review: Wendy's - Frosty-cino

Wendy's Frosty-cino blends their trademark Vanilla Frosty frozen beverage with coffee syrup (made from brewed coffee) topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Feb 15, 2010

Review: El Pollo Loco - Steak and 3-Cheese Quesadilla

El Pollo Loco's Steak and 3-Cheese Quesadilla features a melted blend of Jack, Cheddar, and Cotija Cheese and their new citrus-marinated flame-grilled sirloin steak sandwiched and grilled between the halves of a large flour tortilla.  A scoop of guacamole and sour cream are also included on the side.

Feb 12, 2010

Review: Burger King - Funnel Cake Sticks

Burger King's Funnel Cake Sticks draws you in with that carnival/circus/fair nostalgia and at least partially delivers on that promise.  Judging by their uniform shape,  I would guess these Funnel Cake Sticks are shipped frozen to BK restaurants and then deep-fried.  They feature deep-fried pancake-type batter shaped into skinny sticks, dusted with powdered sugar, and served with a sugary icing dipping sauce.

Feb 11, 2010

News: McDonald's Debuting Real Fruit Smoothies at Olympics Games

While McDonald's Real Fruit Smoothies have been available at certain test markets for some time, McDonald's is taking advantage of its sponsorship of the upcoming Olympic Games to debut its Real Fruit Smoothies in two flavors: Strawberry Banana and Wild Berry.

Not simply content to take aim at Starbucks with its coffee offerings, it appears McDonald's is trying to nick away some business from smoothies chains such as Jamba Juice and Robeks.

News: Dunkin' Donuts - "Create Dunkin's Next Donut" Contest

If you have ever eaten a donut or looked at a donut display and thought, "I can make a better one!" then here's your chance!

In celebration of their 60th anniversary, Dunkin' Donuts is holding their second annual "Create Dunkin's Next Donut Contest" with a grand prize of $12,000 going to the winner as well as having their donut sold as a limited time item.  A dozen finalists will each receive $1,200, a year's worth of Dunkin' donuts, a Flip HD camcorder, and a trip for two to the Donut Bake-Off at the Dunkin' Donuts University in Braintree, MA.

Review: Ono Hawaiian BBQ - Hamburger Steak Plate

A Hawaiian BBQ staple (and also quite popular in Japan) is the Hamburger Steak which at Ono Hawaiian BBQ means two hamburger patties smothered in homemade gravy.

Feb 10, 2010

News: Pizza Hut - 50 Cents Wings on Wednesdays

For a limited time, Pizza Hut is featuring their Wingstreet Chicken Wings for 50 cents every Wednesday starting today at participating locations.  The tagline is "Every Wing. Every Flavor. Every Wednesday."

Available flavors are: All American (no sauce), Buffalo (with varying degrees of spiciness ranging from mild to "Burnin' Hot"),  Honey BBQ, Garlic Parmesan, Spicy BBQ, Cajun, and Spicy Asian.

You can get the wings traditional bone-in, bone-out, or crispy bone-in at no extra charge.

Do keep in mind that not all Pizza Hut's carry Wingstreet Wings but you can easily check online for availability.

Details available here.

Pizza Hut Locator

The Asia Trip: Japanese Kit Kat Bar - Ginger Ale Flavor

I don't think I had ever seen Ginger Ale flavor chocolate of any kind until I saw this Ginger Ale Kit Kat for sale at Tokyo Narita Airport.  I have to say, it was one of the most interesting candies I have ever put in my mouth.

News: McDonald's Canada Featuring Three New Menu Items for Olympics

I found out from Fast Food Maven that McDonald's Canada is offering three special menu items in honor of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

I'm not sure what the items have to do with the Olympics, but they are: S'mores Pie, Creme Brulee Crunch McFlurry, and Spicy Szechwan and Zesty Mango dipping sauces for Chicken McNuggets.

Feb 9, 2010

Review: McDonald's - Hash Browns

McDonald's Hash Brown inside its wrapper pouch.

McDonald's Hash Browns is described by the chain as "shredded potato hash brown patties that are prepared so they’re fluffy on the inside and crispy and toasty on the outside."

Feb 8, 2010

Review: Wendy's - Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Wendy's Spicy Chicken Nuggets are mechanically separated white meat chunks battered, breaded, and seasoned with spices and peppers.

Feb 5, 2010

News: Super Bowl Pizza and Wings Promotion Round Up

It's Super Bowl time!  A time when most Americans gather around ye olde boob tube to watch American football and/or commercials.  A time for the traditional accompaniments to every football gathering: pizza and wings!  For your convenience, I've rounded up the pizza and wings deals available at the major pizza and wings chains.  I was hoping to find more wings deals but places like Wingspot (who expects to sell over 5 million wings this weekend) aren't offering any, at least not nationally.

Review: Burger King - Spicy Chick'N Crisp Sandwich

Burger King's Spicy Chick'N Crisp Sandwich follows the standard fast food chicken sandwich formula and features a thin chicken patty. iceburg lettuce, mayo, and a sesame bun.  It is a BK value menu item priced at $1.

Feb 4, 2010

News: Auntie Anne's - Free Pretzel Day Set for Saturday, February 20, 2010

From 10 am to 3 pm, on Saturday, February 20, 2010, Auntie Anne's is celebrating Free Pretzel Day where you can get your choice of a free cinnamon sugar or original Auntie Anne's pretzel (Limit one per person, no multiple waiting in line like the Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day!).

Auntie Anne's is also running a promotion where if you take a picture of your Free Pretzel Day outing and email it to them, you could win a free Auntie Anne's T-Shirt (100 winners randomly selected).

They are also offering to text you a free wakeup call on the day of in case you're prone to forget (though I suppose it not free if you don't have free texting).

Details at:

Local Review: St. Honore's - Boloniya Bread - Costa Mesa

I had never heard of Boloniya Bread before I tried it from St. Honore's Bakery inside the Mitsuwa Supermarket in Costa Mesa.  Apparently, it's a Danish-inspired Japanese bread that sells out often.

Feb 3, 2010

The Asia Trip: Japanese Kit Kat Bar - Kinako Ohagi Flavor

Nestle's Kit Kat Bar (licensed by Hershey's here in the U.S.) is very popular in Japan and comes in many varieties.  My cousin asked me to get her some while I was there and so I ended up buying quite a few different ones such as the Kinako Ohagi flavored Kit Kat shown here.

Feb 2, 2010

Review: Arby's - Turkey Bacon Club Toasted Sub Sandwich

Arby's Turkey Bacon Club Toasted Sub features thinly-sliced turkey, melted cheese, a couple strips of pepper bacon, fresh, crisp, shredded lettuce, two small slices of tomatoes, a couple rings of red onions, and mayo on a toasted ciabatta roll.

Feb 1, 2010

Review: Qdoba - Craft 2 - Tortilla Soup and Naked Burrito

Using a 50% off coupon from playing Qdoba's M.A.S.H. game, I tried Craft 2 picking the Naked Burrito and tortilla soup for about $3.00 (regularly $5.99).

News: Ben & Jerry's - Free Cone Day Set for March 23, 2010

Mark your calendars, it's that time of the year again... Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's!

When: March 23, 2010, 12 to 8pm

Where: At participating locations.  You can check at their store locator which locations are participating:

Why: Because it's free!  And you stand in line as many times as you like so you can theoretically try all their flavors... then again you could try all their flavors by asking for a free sample spoon of each.

You wait may vary depending on your location.  Most Ben & Jerry's seem to keep the line moving pretty fast.  Then again, back in undergrad, the sheer number of students waiting in line cause the line to wrap around the block but that's an extreme case... I think.  Me? I abhor waiting in line and will enjoy my Chunky Monkey from a store-bought pint with all the comforts of home (Plus the nearest Ben & Jerry's isn't so near).

Still want more free ice cream? Check out the "Birthday Freebies" section on the navigation bar above.

Review: Ben & Jerry's - Chunky Monkey
Review: Ben & Jerry's - Americone Dream
Review: Ben & Jerry's - Mint Chocolate Cookie
Review: Ben & Jerry's - Half Baked