Sep 30, 2010

Review: Sonic - Chicken Strip Dinner

Sonic Chicken Strip Dinner
Listed as a local favorite on the Sonic website, Sonic's Chicken Strip Dinner contains a bit of something for everyone and includes 4 chicken strips, fries, Texas Toast, a country gravy, and an onion ring for $4.99.

Sep 29, 2010

News: KFC Introducing Reusable Side Container

KFC Reusable Side Container
In what they believe to be a fast food industry first, KFC is set to introduce it's new consumer-reusable food containers nationwide by early 2011 which will replace the current foam and plastic containers.

The new containers feature a clear polypropylene (the same material used to make leading retail food storage containers) bowl with a red lid embossed with “REUSABLE”, as well as a reminder that the container is both microwaveable and top rack dishwasher safe.

More interesting, the container features a patented “ventless vent” technology that allows moisture to escape without the need for a hole in the lid. The result is a leak-resistant lid that provides a secure fit and keeps food fresh. High tech, no?

Update: Here's KFC's video of the new containers:

News: Hardee's - New Texas Toast Bacon Cheese Thickburger

Hardee's new Texas Toast Bacon Cheese Thickburger
Hardee's latest menu addition comes complete with a new spokesperson. The Texas-inspired Texas Toast Bacon Cheese Thickburger features a charbroiled 100% Black Angus beef patty, bacon, American cheese, red onions, tomato, lettuce and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce served between two slices of thick, grilled Texas Toast. Pricing starts at a suggested retail of $2.79 for the 1/4 lb. size (It is also available in 1/3 lb. and 1/2 lb. sizes).

As usual, Hardee's has an online coupon for $1 off a Texas Toast Bacon Cheese Thickburger small combo. (Expires 11/20/2010)

As for the new spokesperson, Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and native Texan, Julie Henderson has been tapped for the role and appears in a commercial with the Texas Toast Bacon Cheese Thickburger:

Nutritional info after the jump.

Review: Burger King - French Toast Sticks

Burger King French Toast Sticks
Part of Burger King's BK Breakfast Value Menu, French Toast Sticks feature three sticks of bread covered in a sweet fried batter for $1. They're served with a side of maple-flavored syrup to cater to your sweet tooth.

Sep 28, 2010

News: Starbucks, Peets to Raise Prices

You can enjoy the coffee in the front for
the same price, but the ones in the back will
cost you a bit more than they used to.
Citing 13-year highs in prices of green (unroasted) Arabica beans, coffee chains Starbucks and Peet's are posed to raise drink and bean prices. Prices for the beans have risen approximately 35% since the beginning of the year.

Starbucks announced that prices will increase on "larger, labor-intensive" drinks (i.e. Frappuccinos) while maintaining or cutting prices of its most popular products, including certain espresso-based drinks and its $1.50 Tall brewed coffee.

Starting September 29, 2010, most Peet's drinks will increase by 10 to 15 cents in price, while beans sold in store will increase by an average of 8% in price.

On the plus side, if McDonald's coffee is your caffeine of choice, the fast food powerhouse with a bigger portfolio of food items, is better poised to absorb the costs increases and will continue business as usual.

Relief might come at the tail end of the year, when Columbian harvests are expected to "reduce supply bottlenecks." Whether or not, this will spell any relief at the check stand remains to be seen.

Review: Chipotle - Crispy Chicken Tacos

Chipotle Crispy Chicken Tacos
A favorite of the Sister, Chipotle's Chicken Tacos are of the hard shell or soft flour tortilla variety most commonly associated with Taco Bell. They're available in a set of three, starting from $5.70 (up to $5.90), with your choice of meat (braised carnitas or barbacoa, adobo-marinated and grilled chicken or steak), salsa, cheese, sour cream and romaine lettuce.

Sep 27, 2010

Review: Jack in the Box - Onion Rings

Jack in the Box Onion Rings
Jack in the Box Onion Rings are of the breaded and fried variety. An order of Onion Rings will cost you $1.79.

Sep 26, 2010

Around the World: McDonald's Australia - "Bacon"

Here's an ad by McDonald's Australia that I can really get behind. Mmmmmm... bacon... they call McDonald's "Maccas" and serve, among other items, a "Bakehouse Brekkie Roll" with slices of back bacon (which is more like ham than what we typically call "bacon"), egg, cheese, a hash brown (they call it a "Potato Rosti"), and onion relish on a sourdough roll. It's one of their fancier "M Selections" items. It's one of the sandwiches being made in the ad.

Sep 25, 2010

Local Review: Porto's Bakery - Potato Ball

Porto Bakery Potato Balls
Porto's Bakery's Potato Ball is one of their most popular items. It features a slightly-bigger-than-golf-ball-sized mashed potato ball with a meat filling and a fried crust of fine breading. One Potato Ball will run you about 85 cents.

Sep 24, 2010

Frozen Friday: Totino's Pizza Rolls

Totino's Pizza Roll box
Totino's Pizza Rolls are mini bite-sized pizza crust rolls with pizza filling inside. They come in a variety of flavors but the ones I usually see are: Cheese, Pepperoni, and Combination (sausage and pepperoni). A 7.5-ounce box goes for $2.99 at my local Alberton's but go on sale from anywhere between $1 and $2. For a buck more at $3.99, they also sell a 19.8-ounce bag which is a much better value.

Sep 23, 2010

Review: Starbucks - Pumpkin Spice Latte

Starbucks Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
A perennial fall drink at Starbucks, the Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte is billed as "espresso, pumpkin, fall spices and milk over ice with sweetened whipped cream." The price for a 12-ounce "tall" is $3.75 (about a $1.10 premium over a regular latte!). It is also available hot for cold fall nights and as a Frappuccino... for hot fall days?

Update 10/4/10: I tried the regular hot Pumpkin Spice Latte this morning since it actually bore some resemblance to fall with a light drizzle and cloudy skies. Interestingly, it was colder inside the Starbucks than it was outside (it was around mid 60s outside). I have to say, I much prefer the hot version, it fits the season better and I could taste the pumpkin flavor better. It feels more like autumn... it's also very orange, which helps.

Sep 22, 2010

Review: Jack in the Box - Pastrami Grilled Sandwich

Jack in the Box Pastrami Grilled Sandwich
Jack in the Box's latest artisan grilled sandwich is the limited time Pastrami Grilled Sandwich for $3.99. The Pastrami Grilled Sandwich keeps it fairly simple with pastrami, melted Swiss-style cheese, pickle strips, and a deli style mustard.

Sep 21, 2010

News: Panda Express - Free Kobari Beef Day on September 29

Panda Express new Kobari Beef
Panda Express is introducing its newest menu item, Kobari Beef tomorrow, September 22th.

The new dish with a made up name features sliced marinated beef tossed in a wok with mushrooms, leeks, onions, red bell peppers, and Panda Express' Kobari sauce which is purportedly inspired by Korean BBQ. I would guess that to mean some blend of soy sauce, sugar, maybe apple or pear, and sesame oil as a base.

To promote the new dish, Panda Express is hosting a Free Kobari Beef Day on Wednesday, September 29, 2010. Starting tomorrow, you can visit the Panda Express Facebook page to print out a coupon for a free single serving of Kobari Beef on the 29th.

Nutritional info after the jump.

Review: Jack In The Box - Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Jack in the Box Grilled Cheese top view
Jack in the Box's Grilled Cheese sandwich features two slices of melted American cheese between two rounded pieces of grilled sourdough bread. It's for late night munchies and when you're feeling too lazy to take the minute or so to make your own. Fortunately, it's a very affordable $1.29.

Sep 20, 2010

Review: Sonic - Hazelnut Java Chiller

Sonic Hazelnut Java Chiller
Sonic's Hazelnut Java Chiller features a shot of espresso and hazelnut syrup blended into vanilla ice cream. A regular costs $2.49.

Sep 19, 2010

Around the World: KFC Phillipines - California Maki Twister

KFC Philippines offers something called a California Maki Twister. I guess the "maki" is as in sushi? I've never heard of sushi with mayo, but I guess that explains the cucumbers. Like a California roll I suppose.

The California Maki Twister features a crispy-fried chicken filet with bits of mango, cucumber spears, and Japanese mayo dressing, wrapped in a flour tortilla.

Here's a video of it in action:

Sep 18, 2010

Review: Subway - Subway Club

Subway Club close up
The Subway Club sandwich features slices of turkey breast, roast beef, and Black Forest ham as a base with your choice of vegetables, condiments, and bread. It's falls into Subways Select Sub and goes for about $6.75 in my neighborhood.

Depending on how you build it and if you eat a 6-inch or a Footlong in one sitting, it is one of Subway's Fresh Fit subs with under 6 grams of fat.

Sep 17, 2010

Frozen Friday: Claim Jumper - Chicken Marsala

Claim Jumper Chicken Marsala box
Claim Jumper's Chicken Marsala frozen dinner features roasted white meat chicken in a marsala sauce over rigatoni pasta with baby bell mushrooms. It's normally around $4 but I usually get them on sale for somewhere between $1.50 and $2.

Sep 16, 2010

Review: Burger King - Seattle's Best Iced Mocha Coffee

Burger King Seattle's Best Iced Mocha Coffee
Burger King's Seattle's Best Iced Mocha Coffee is part of their new breakfast menu. It's brewed Seattle's Best coffee with a flavor shot of chocolate syrup over ice. The suggested retail is $1.89, but my local Burger King was charging $2.49 for a regular (They also charge 30 cents extra for an extra flavor shot and for whip cream) which comes in a narrow but tall cup.

Sep 15, 2010

Review: Burger King - BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter

BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter
The new BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter from Burger King is analogous to McDonald's Deluxe Breakfast but with a little more hyperbole. The BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter comes complete with scrambled eggs, hash browns, a sausage patty, a biscuit, and three pancakes with syrup for $4.29.

Sep 14, 2010

Review: Burger King - BK Breakfast Ciabatta Club Sandwich

BK Breakfast Ciabatta top view
The parade of new items on the Burger King breakfast menu into my mouth continues with the BK Breakfast Ciabatta Club Sandwich. The BK Breakfast Ciabatta Club features a whole grain Ciabatta bun filled with thin-sliced ham, bacon, tomatoes, melted cheese, an plain egg omelet, and a smoky tomato sauce" It costs $2.89.

Sep 13, 2010

Review: Burger King - Mini Blueberry Biscuits

BK Mini Blueberry Biscuits - set of four
New to Burger King's breakfast value menu and part of Burger King's new breakfast expansion/push, Mini Blueberry Biscuits are slightly bigger than bite-sized biscuits with blueberries baked in. They're served in a set of four with a side of icing and retail for $1.

Sep 12, 2010
Sep 11, 2010

Review: Sonic - Butterfinger Sonic Blast

Butterfinger Sonic Blast
Sonic's Butterfinger Sonic Blast is simply their vanilla ice cream blended with crushed pieces of Butterfinger candy. A 14-ounce "regular" cost me $2.99. Besides blending in crushed pieces, they also provide a sprinkle of pieces on top; a nice aesthetic touch.

Sep 10, 2010

News: The Coffee Bean - Free Ice Blended or Latte on September 14th

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is kicking off their fall seasonal drinks by hosting an open house on Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 offering a free 12-ounce Cinnamon Toast or Classic Pumpkin Latte or Ice Blended to visitors.

When: Tuesday, September 14th, 2010, from 4pm to 7pm.
Where: Participating Coffee Bean locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas.
Why: Free 12-ounce Cinnamon Toast or Classic Pumpkin Latte or Ice Blended (One per person).

Details: "Only valid at participating The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® store locations in AZ, CA, NV, TX. Excludes all Ralphs stores, military base, casinos, campus or airport locations. Valid only on September 14, 2010, from 4pm to 7pm. Offer applies to 12oz. Cinnamon French Toast or Classic Pumpkin latte or Ice Blended® drinks. No substitutions. Limit one complimentary drink per customer. Cannot be combined with other offers."

News: Jack in the Box Testing Focaccia Sandwiches

Jack testing Focaccia Sandwiches
Looks like Jack in the Box is testing more premium sandwiches. This time though, instead of being grilled on artisan bread, Jack is testing Focaccia sandwiches (they're already used Ciabatta bread so why not?) in two varieties: Bruschetta Chicken and the Deli Deluxe.

Both sandwiches are being tested in out in Austin. The Bruschetta Chicken features bruschetta (duh), a chicken breast, Swiss cheese, lettuce, and mayo on toasted Focaccia bread. The Deli Deluxe appears to contain a trio of deli meats (ham, turkey, salami), cheese, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, red onions, and creamy Italian sauce on toasted Focaccia bread.

Nutritional info not available for test items at Jack in the Box.

Frozen Friday: Stouffer's - Baked Chicken Dinner

Stouffer's Baked Chicken Dinner box
For those preferring something slightly healthier than the normal frozen dinner, there's Stouffer's Baked Chicken Dinner which features a boneless baked chicken breast with gravy and mashed potatoes topped with paprika. I usually find it on sale for between $1.50 and $2.00.

Sep 9, 2010

News: Jamba Juice - New Organic Coffee and Hot Blends

Jamba new Organic Coffe and Hot Blends
Jamba Juice is boosting its breakfast offerings with new coffee drinks in the form of Organic Coffee and Coffee Hot Blends.

The Organic House Blend Coffee is brewed fresh by the cup and features a blend of Central and South American arabica coffee beans. It is also available in decaf. Prices are $1.80 for 12 ounces and $1.95 for 16 ounces.

The Coffee Hot Blends come in two flavors: Mocha Marvel and Vanilla Coffee Whirl. Mocha Marvel features organic cocoa, organic vanilla, organic cane sugar and organic milk powder (soy, nonfat, or 2%) blended with organic coffee. Vanilla Coffee Whirl is the same sans the cocoa. Pricing stands at $2.80 for 12 ounces and $3.40 for 16 ounces.

Nutritional info after the jump.

Review: McDonald's - Mushroom & Swiss Angus Snack Wrap

McDonald's Mushroom & Swiss Angus Snack Wrap in foil
McDonald's Mushroom & Swiss Angus Snack Wrap features half a third pound Angus beef patty, sauteed mushrooms, Swiss cheese and mayonnaise wrapped in a flour tortilla for $1.99.

Sep 8, 2010

News: El Pollo Loco - A Coupon a Day All September

El Pollo Loco's 30th Anniversary Coupon Calendar
El Pollo Loco is celebrating their 30th Anniversary by giving customers a different coupon for 30 days i.e. everyday for the month of September. Each coupon is only good for one day exactly.

Highlights include:
-A free leg or thigh plus tortillas and salsa on 9/15;
-a 30 cent churro on 9/17 and 9/22 and;
-a 30 cent chicken taquito on 9/19 and 9/28

You can see the whole calendar here: You can view and print the coupons by clicking on the days of the calendar.

News: Burger King - Nine New Breakfast Items

BK Breakfast Ciabatta Sandwich
As promised, Burger King expands their BK Breakfast Menu this fall with nine new breakfast items. The "nine" is a bit misleading as four of the items are Seattle's Best coffee. Breakfast at BK is served until 10:30am.

Count with me as I list the items:

1. BK Breakfast Ciabatta - featuring scrambled eggs, tomatoes, ham, bacon, American cheese, and a smoky tomato sauce for $2.89.
2. Mini Blueberry Biscuits - the item I'm most excited about: biscuits with blueberries baked in! Yum! Four mini biscuits served with a side of icing for a retail price of $1.
BK Blueberry Biscuit
3. K Ultimate Breakfast Platter - mirrors McDonald's Deluxe Breakfast except with a biscuit instead of an English muffin. It contains scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, a biscuit and pancakes for a suggested retail price of $4.29. The Deluxe Breakfast sells for $3.59 in Los Angeles.
4. Pancake and Sausage Platter - pancakes and sausage for $2.89.
5. Pancake Platter - just pancakes for a suggested price of $2.29.
6. Seattle's Best Coffee (hot) - in small, medium, and large at suggested prices of $1, $1.19, and $1.39, respectively.
7. Iced Seattle's Best Coffee - available for a suggested retail of $1.89.
8. Iced Mocha Seattle's Best Coffee - ditto!
9. Iced Vanilla Seattle's Best Coffee - same!
BK Seattle's Best Coffee
Nutritional info not yet available.

News: Starbucks - New Reusable Cup Sleeve

Starbucks Reusuable Cup Sleeve
If a reusuable tumbler is too much for you to lug around, but you still want to help the environment a little, Starbucks now has a Reusable Cup Sleeve you can buy! Or if you're a manly man like me, you just endure the searing heat through the paper cut because, you know, it's the manly thing to do. What about explaining the burns on your hand you say? Like refusing to ask for directions, manly men don't explain things!

If you don't mind looking like you knit a leg warmer or head band for your paper cup, the Starbucks Reusuable Cup Sleeve is made of soft, washable felt, fits all Starbucks cup sizes, and even has a pocket for money, a credit card, and perhaps a little bit of your pride. Pricing is $3.95 (Also available in Canada for $4.45).

Review: McDonald's - Sausage McMuffin

McDonald's Sausage McMuffin in wrapper
McDonald's Sausage McMuffin is a staple underpinning their Breakfast Dollar menu. It is simply a toasted English muffin, with a sausage patty, and cheese for $1. There's also a bit of liquid margarine in there somewhere (I just learned that now).

Sep 7, 2010

Review: Sonic - Chicken Strip Sandwich

Sonic Chicken Strip Sandwich
Sonic's Chicken Strip Sandwich is basically your typical fastfood value chicken sandwich, but with two strips of battered and fried all-white meat chicken instead of a chicken patty. It's priced a little more than the normal dollar at $1.19.

Sep 6, 2010

Review: Taco Bell - Chicken Flatbread Sandwich

Taco Bell Chicken Flatbread Sandwich
Taco Bell's latest menu item, the Chicken Flatbread Sandwich is reminiscent of the Grande Quesadilla they had about a year or so ago, except cheaper and better tasting. The Chicken Flatbread Sandwich features white meat chicken, a blend of melted Cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack cheeses, and a creamy chipotle sauce folded inside a square of pillowy flatbread for an easy 99 cents.

Sep 5, 2010

News: Sonic - New Sonic Loaded Burgers

For this month and the next (September and October), Sonic Drive-In is featuring new Sonic Loaded Burgers which come in two configurations, each with at least a quarter pound of beef: Western Chili and Spicy Southwest. The Western Chili features bacon, an onion ring, and chili, while the Spicy Southwest features crispy jalapeno strips, pepper jack cheese, and a creamy chipotle sauce.

Also for September and October:
  • 1/2 price CreamSlushes all day.
  • The Snickers Sonic Blast is now a permanent fixture on the menu.
  • The new Spicy Southwest Breakfast Burrito features crispy jalapeno strips, creamy chipotle sauce, scrambled eggs, sausage, and shredded cheese wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.
Nutritional info after the jump.

Sunday Funny: Milk - "Shiny Hair"

Here's a funny "Mootopia" spot for milk. You know, the land where everything is great because of milk.

Sep 4, 2010

Review: Sonic - Fritos Chili Pie

Sonic Fritos Chili Pie
Sonic is the only fast food restaurant I know of that serves Fritos Chili Pie. Normally, I only hear of people making it on TV. I guess it's just not a California thing. It's a bit like nachos but with Fritos instead of tortilla chips. Basically, it's Fritos covered in chili and cheese. A medium portion will run you about $1.99.

Sep 3, 2010

News: New Taco Bell Chicken Flatbread Sandwich

New Taco Bell Chicken Flatbread Sandwich
The newest item on Taco Bell's turnstile of a menu is Taco Bell's Chicken Flatbread Sandwich which features white meat chicken, a blend of melted Cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack cheeses, and a creamy chipotle sauce folded inside a square of pillowy flatbread. The price of admission is a neat 99 cents.

It is also available in the latest iteration of the $5 Buck Box which comes with a Chicken Flatbread Sandwich, a Taco Supreme, a Burrito Supreme, an order of Cinnamon Twists, and a large drink.

Nutritional info after the jump.

Frozen Friday: Claim Jumper - Chicken Pot Pie

Claim Jumper Chicken Pot Pie box
Claim Jumper's Chicken Pot Pie frozen dinner weighs in at a hefty 18 ounces (more than enough for two people) and features a flaky pie crust filled with the typical filling of chicken, peas, carrots, celery, and potatoes. They're usually around $4, but I got this one on sale for $1.50 on a particularly cheap sale at Ralph's.

Sep 2, 2010

Review: Starbucks - Toffee Mocha

Starbucks Toffee Mocha
Starbucks' Toffee Mocha is a new seasonal fall/winter drink that recently debuted on the menu. It features espresso, steamed milk, milk chocolate toffee sauce, milk foam, and a dusting of cocoa powder. A 12-ounce Tall, hot or iced will run you $3.75 and a Frappuccino version is 20 cents more at $3.95.

Sep 1, 2010

Review: Arby's - Jr. Roast Beef

Arby's Jr. Roast Beef sandwich
The Arby's Jr. Roast Beef is exactly that: a smaller version of the quintessential Arby's sandwich. Like the regular Roast Beef, it features Arby's signature thin-sliced, roast beef served on a toasted sesame seed bun. Of course, the smaller version also comes at a smaller price at $1.