Jan 31, 2011

News: Hardee's - New Hardee Breakfast Platter

Hardee's new Hardee Breakfast Platter involves a little play on words if you didn't catch that ("Hardee" instead of "hearty"). It features your standard American-style breakfast with scrambled eggs, two strips of bacon, Hash Rounds and a freshly baked biscuit covered with sausage gravy.

Pricing is a very affordable $2.49. Makes me wish sister chain Carl's Jr would offer the same but they don't do biscuits so I think that falls under "not going to happen."

News: Popeyes - New Red Hot Popcorn Chicken

Popeyes' latest limited-time menu item, Red Hot Popcorn Chicken features bits of white meat chicken marinated in a spicy 4-pepper blend of Cayenne, White, Black, and Habernero peppers and fried with a crunchy breading.

$2.99 gets you an order of Popcorn Chicken, Cajun Fries, dipping sauce, and a Buttermilk Biscuit.

Review: Taco Bell - Quad Steak Burrito

Taco Bell's new, limited-time Quad Steak Burritos marks the debut of their new, thicker, better steak. To showcase the new steak, Taco Bell complements it with seasoned rice, salsa, reduced-fat sour cream and Cheddar cheese. A premium menu item, the Quad Steak Burrito clocks in at $4.99 and is served in a foil wrapper rather than the typical wax paper of other Taco Bell items. The addition of a fountain drink to make it a combo brings the price to $5.99.

Jan 30, 2011

Review: Doritos - Pizza Supreme

A new, limited-time flavor, Doritos Pizza Supreme arrives at the tail end of football season and is purported to taste like a supreme pizza which I take to mean a pizza with pepperoni, sausage, onions, olives, mushrooms, and bell peppers.

They're not available in every market but I scored this 99 cent bag at my local 7-Eleven.

Jan 29, 2011

Review: Disneyland - Steak Gumbo

Steak Gumbo isn't the typical fare you think of eating while visiting Disneyland, but it's available in a bread bowl at the Royal Street Veranda in New Orleans Square where you can catch a view of the Rivers of American and Fantasmic as you eat. They also serve a vegetarian version.

Pricing isn't bad at all at $8.99 per bowl considering that a cup of gumbo at one of the Cajun restaurants in my neck of the woods charges $5.99.

Jan 28, 2011

News: Yoplait - New Chocolate Eclair and Cherry Cheesecake Delights

Not to be left out of the dessert game, Yoplait is aiming to satisfy your dessert cravings with yogurt(?) and adding two new flavors to their Yoplait Delights yogurt parfait line: Chocolate Eclair and Cherry Cheesecake.

The new flavors are meant to provide a meaningful alternative to their real deal (i.e. an actual Chocolate Eclair and Cherry Cheesecake) but with only 100 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.

News: Jell-O - New Jell-O Temptations

Jell-O has something interesting coming out this and next month: new Jell-O Temptations. Fancified versions of their normal fare, Jell-O Temptations are available both in ready-to-eat cups and as a dry mix to make at home.

The cups are available now and come in six layered flavors: Apple Custard Pie, Double Chocolate Pie, French Silk Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Raspberry Cheesecake, and Strawberry Cheesecake. Suggested retail is $2.89 for a three pack.

News: Quiznos - New Prime Rib on Garlic Bread

Quiznos has a new sub: the limited-time Prime Rib on Garlic Bread. It features their thin-sliced prime rib, Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and a garlic aioli on garlic bread. Mmm... garlic...

The Prime Rib on Garlic Bread sandwich last made it appearance (with some variations) on the Quizno's menu back in 2007 when it was made with mozzarella, spices, and mayo instead.

Frozen Friday: Hungry-Man - Mexican Style Fiesta

For when you're in the mood for Mexican food, Hungry-Man has the over-a-pound Mexican Style Fiesta frozen dinner which features beef enchiladas topped with chili sauce and shredded cheese with seasoned rice and refried beans for sides and a cocada pudding for dessert. Retail for a single box is $3.99 while sales price tends to be around $2.50 or less.

Jan 27, 2011

News: Taco Bell - New Berry Pomegranate Frutista Freeze

The latest in a moving line of limited-time Taco Bell Frutista Flavors, the new Berry Pomegranate Frutista Freeze features a sweet frozen slushy beverage that contains a mix of apple juice (9%) and pomegranate juice (1%) topped with strawberries in syrup.

Price is $1.99 for a 16-ounce cup and $2.49 for a 20-ounce cup.

It really should be called the Strawberry Pomegranate or Apple Pomegranate Frutista Freeze. With only 1% pomegranate juice, I wonder if you can even taste the pomegranate flavor.

News: Taco Bell - New Quad Steak Burrito

Taco Bell's latest limited-time item is the new Quad Steak Burrito which features a quadruple portion (compared to a Steak Burrito Supreme) of their new thick and tender steak, wrapped in a flour tortilla along with seasoned rice, salsa, reduced-fat sour cream and Cheddar cheese.

It's $4.99 per burrito. There's also a Quad Quesadilla available for the same price if that's more your style. If a quadruple serving too much, a double serving is also available in the Double Steak Burrito (or Quesadilla) for a buck less at $3.99. Price and participation may vary.

Review: Wendy's - Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe

Wendy's Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe is the deluxe version of the humble Jr. Cheeseburger and comes with a square Jr. hamburger patty, American cheese, pickles, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, and mayo. It's part of Wendy's 99 cent Everyday Value Menu at my local Wendy's.

News: Carl's Jr. - New Hand-Breaded Chicken Tender Wrappers

Following the lead of sister chain Hardee's, albeit a month later, Carl's Jr. now also serves Hand-Breaded Chicken Tender Wrappers. Each Wrapper features the familiar recipe of a Hand-Breaded Chicken Tender rolled up in a flour tortilla with shredded lettuce and cheese and your choice of Buttermilk Ranch, Honey Mustard, or Sweet & Bold BBQ sauce.

Pricing compares favorably to offerings from other chains such as McDonald's (Snack Wrap) and Wendy's (Go Wrap) at $1.49 for a single wrap or $4.99 for a two-wrap combo with fries and a drink.

Jan 26, 2011

News: Frito Lay - New Limited-Time Pizza, Wings, and Chili Cheese Fries Flavors

Seeking to encompass the gamut of your Super Bowl spread but in chip form? Frito Lay has you covered with three new limited-time flavors across two of their brands: Doritos Pizza Supreme, Ruffles Loaded Chili & Cheese, and Ruffles Molten Hot Wings.

Supposedly, due to Frito Lay's "Flavor Plus" technology, you can actually taste all the different ingredients of a supreme pizza. I'm a bit dubious about the claim myself but we'll just have to see...

News: Seattle's Best Coffee - Iced Latte Cans Available Nationwide

They've been available here on the West Coast since last year, but Seattle's Best Coffee Iced Latte Cans are now available nationwide. The cans are of the tall, skinny 9.5-ounce variety and come in three flavors: Iced Latte, Iced Vanilla Latte, and Iced Mocha Latte (I tried each of them thanks my cousin buying a crapload of them. You can click on the links for the reviews and nutritional information).

Review: Jamba Juice - Blueberry & Blackberry Steel Cut Oatmeal

Jamba Juice's Blueberry & Blackberry Steel Cut Oatmeal features organic steel-cut oatmeal slow cooked with soymilk and then topped with a blueberry and blackberry compote and an optional brown sugar crumble when you order. It's a bit costlier than McDonald's or Starbucks at $2.95 but offers something different for the price and the cup is filled almost to the brim.

Jan 25, 2011

News: Papa John's - Free Pizza if Super Bowl XLV goes into Overtime

Papa John's is really angling for your pizza money for Super Bowl XLV with two promotions for free pizza on the day of (Sunday, February 6, 2011).

The first promotion is a free large (up to three toppings) pizza for everyone in the U.S. who registers for their Papa Points reward program if Super Bowl XLV goes into overtime.

Review: Burger King - Butterfinger Creme Pie

The latest limited-time cream pie on Burger King's rotation, the Butterfinger Creme Pie features a slightly Butterfinger flavored cream filling topped with bits of Butterfinger candy and a lattice of milk chocolate. It's a fairly cheap dessert at $1.49 for a slice.

Jan 24, 2011

News: Panda Express - Free Firecracker Chicken for Chinese New Year 2011

Panda Express has brought back their Firecracker Chicken for a limited-time to celebrate this upcoming Chinese New Year.

The Chinese New Year entrĂ©e features strips of marinated chicken breast, red, green and yellow bell peppers, sliced onions and red chili peppers tossed in a wok with Panda Express’s original firecracker sauce. Needless to say, it's labelled as a "spicy" dish.

Panda Express will be offering a coupon for a free single-sized portion of Firecracker Chicken to Facebook fans, valid to redeem for one day only on February 3rd, 2011, the first day of the 15 day-long Chinese New Year celebration.

You can get the coupon on Panda Express Facebook page here.

Review: McDonald's - McSkillet Burrito with Sausage

McDonald's McSkillet Burrito with Sausage is the big brother to the Dollar Menu Sausage Burrito and features scrambled eggs, potatoes, onions, roasted green peppers and red peppers, a sausage patty, shredded Cheddar and Jack cheese, a slice of American cheese, and a spicy salsa roja (red salsa) wrapped in a flour tortilla.

At a little more than 8 ounces, it's the largest single breakfast item on McDonald's morning menu and costs $2.79.

Jan 23, 2011

Review: Kyochon - Garlic Soy Chicken Wings

Kyochon is a one of the largest Korean fried chicken chains in South Korea. In recent years, it has made some inroads into the U.S. with a couple locations in the southern California market (as well as New York). Their Korean-style fried chicken differs from American-style (or Southern-style) fried chicken in that instead of crispy battered or breaded fried layer, the skin itself is fried to crispness which results in a smoother rather than craggy, textured surface we usually expect here. The chicken is also smaller without all that batter to plump it up.

Jan 22, 2011

Review: Disneyland - Smoked Turkey Leg

I didn't even know Disneyland sold Smoked Turkey Legs until my most recent visit. Normally found at county fairs and barbecue joints, There are several carts throughout the park (and is also at California Adventure).

They're a signature food item at Disneyland and over 1.5 million are sold per year. They come from turkeys that range from 40 to 50 pounds.

Jan 21, 2011

News: Pei Wei - Free Korean BBQ Dish

P.F. Chang offshoot, Pei Wei Asian Diner, is offering a free order of their new Korean BBQ to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

News: Starbucks - New Veggie, Egg and Monterey Jack Artisan Breakfast Sandwich

There aren't any new or seasonal drinks at Starbucks in the new year so far but there is a new breakfast sandwich: the Veggie, Egg, and Monterey Jack Artisan Breakfast Sandwich.

The sandwich features a Parmesan cheese, fire roasted green and red peppers, and diced onion egg omelet topped with a slice of melted Monterey Jack cheese served on a hand-scored, oven-toasted Artisan roll.

News: El Pollo Loco Nixing Steak

Going, going, soon to be gone.
According to the OC Register, El Pollo Loco is getting rid of steak (carne asada) from their menu by spring of this year. So if you want steak from El Pollo Loco, you'll want to get it while you can.

The move to add steak to the menu always puzzled me; when you call yourself "The Crazy Chicken," people kinda expect chicken and not steak. It would be as if KFC started serving country-fried beef steak. Or, if Burger King served pizza. It just doesn't vibe with the message the name sends out.

Frozen Friday: Jose Ole - Chicken Monterey Burrito

Jose Ole's Chicken Monterey Burrito is find in the frozen food aisle and consists of a flour tortilla burrito filled with a mix of chicken breast and thigh meat, green chile peppers, Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, rice, and various seasoning and spices.

It regularly goes for $1.49 but it's not unusual to find it for less than $1.

Jan 20, 2011

Review: Wendy's - Yogi Bear Cheeseburger Kids' Meal

Wendy's Kids' Meal is unique among the major fast food chains in that in addition to the standard entree, side, and drink (it used to be burger, fries, and drink but now there are healthy options as well such as mandarin oranges and low fat chocolate milk), you also get a Kid's sized Chocolate Frosty.

On this occasion, I got the Cheeseburger Kids' Meal with fries, and fountain drink (plus the Frosty) for $1.99 with a coupon (it's normally $3.59).

Jan 19, 2011

News: Starbucks - Mobile Payments Now Available Nationally

Today marks the rollout of mobile payments at Starbucks nationally. If you own an iPhone, an iPod Touch or Blackberry, you can now use a Starbucks Card Mobile app to pay at Starbucks with your phone instead of a card.

If you have an Android, you'll have to wait a bit as they're still working on the Android app but it should be available soon.

The Starbucks Card Mobile app was previously limited to test markets in New York, Seattle, northern California, and Target. That's right. Target. All 1,000 plus Starbucks locations in U.S. Target stores were part of the test.

Review: Pizza Hut - Big Dipper Pizza

Pizza Hut's new limited-time Big Dipper Pizza is a big rectangular pan pizza or two medium rectangular pan pizzas placed inside a large rectangular box, depending on how you look at it. It's also a sauceless pizza or an order of 24 cheesesticks, again, depending on how you look at it.

Jan 18, 2011

News: Cold Stone Creamery - Adding New Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Bars

Cold Stone Creamery is adding a new hat to their repertoire with the addition of the Cold Stone Yogurt Bar to most locations by spring of 2011. Flavors will include vanilla, chocolate, and cake batter as well as the tart and tangy flavors commonly associated with the yogurt shops such as Pinkberry that are popping up all over the place.

Each Yogurt Bar will feature a number of self-serve machines and a fresh topping bar. Locations that don't opt-in to the program will still have hard-packed frozen yogurt for mixing-in on the namesake cold stone.

It seems to me like Cold Stone is jumping on a bandwagon on the verge of tipping over but I suppose customers already walking into a Cold Stone might bite on a healthier option.

News: Domino's - Smart Slices for School Lunches

Looks like Domino's Pizza is getting into the school lunch game with the introduction of their Smart Slice school lunch pizza program. A Smart Slice is a healthier version of Domino's Pizza made with 51% whole wheat white flour, reduced sodium, and reduced fat.

The Smart Slices are baked fresh at local Domino's locations and delivered to participating schools.

There are currently over 120 school districts participating in the program and Domino's plans to double that number within the next year.

News: Starbucks - No Joke, Trenta is Coming

On the plus side, the Trenta is "only" about 1/4 the size
of the fake 128-ounce Plenta shown above.
The Trenta is coming! Yes, the same Trenta (Italian for 30) is that 31-ounce monstrosity Starbucks was testing in a few select markets last year is set to roll out nationally.

For those dreaming of a 31-ounce hot latte, just stop. The Trenta will only be available for iced coffee and iced tea. It will cost about 50 cents more than a 20-ounce Venti in most markets.

The Trenta is making a staggered release mirroring warm weather patterns; it will be introduced in the South and Southwest today (January 18th), in California starting February 3rd and by May 3rd you can expect to see the Trenta nationwide.

In case you're wondering how much calories is in a Big Gulp-sized (roughly) cup of Iced Coffee at Starbucks, I've provided a rough guestimate via the magic of math:

Review: Jamba Juice - Probiotic Fruit and Yogurt Blends

Strawberry Alive
So I tried all three Jamba Juices's new Probiotic Fruit and Yogurt Blends which come in three flavors: Vibrant Blueberry, Strawberry Alive, and Thrivin' Mango. They normally cost $3.45 for 12-ounces but I got these for $1 each since Jamba has a coupon out that's good until the 19th.

Each features their respective fruit blended with nonfat yogurt, soymilk, and Jamba's specially formulated Probiotic Boost.

Jan 17, 2011

News: Panera Bread - New January Items 2011

New to the Panera Bread menu this month are three new items: Low-Fat All-Natural Chicken Soup, Thai Chopped Chicken Salad, and Wild Berry Smoothie.

The Low-Fat All-Natural Chicken Soup is a new recipe that replaces their previous version and features a seasoned chicken broth with all-natural white chicken, carrots, onions, celery and egg noodles.

The Thai Chopped Chicken Salad consists of all-natural chicken, romaine lettuce, wonton strips, fire-roasted edamame, red bell pepper and carrot tossed in a Thai Chili Vinaigrette. It is then topped with seasoned grilled chicken, Thai cashews, fresh cilantro, and a peanut drizzle.

Review: Burger King - BK Stuffed Steakhouse Burger

Burger King's new limited-time Jalapeno & Cheddar BK Stuffed Steakhouse burger features a thick beef patty with pieces of jalapenos and Cheddar cheese inside. The patty is joined by a creamy poblano (another pepper) sauce, tomatoes, and lettuce on BK's premium sandwich bakery bun. Like most of the Steakhouse line a BK Stuffed Steakhouse will run you $3.99.

Jan 16, 2011

News: Pizza Hut - New Big Dipper Pizza for $12

Pizza Hut's latest limited-time offer, the Big Dipper Pizza is a cross between the Big Italy (which it replaces) and the Dippin' Strips Pizza they offered back in '05.

The Big Dipper Pizza features a 1-topping, long rectangular pizza cut in 24 rectangular strips (3 pepperonis per slice if the picture is to be believed) and served with four cups of marinara sauce (so everyone can have their own) for $12.

Review: Pringles - Hoppin' Horseradish Potato Crisps

Pringles's limited-time Hoppin' Horseradish flavor is part of their "Extreme" line of chips and generally cost around $2.49 at regular price for a 6.38-ounce canister or between $1 and $2 on sale.

Jan 15, 2011

Review: Sonic - Strawberry Limeade Chiller

The Sonic Strawberry Limeade Chiller is, as far as I know, unique to Sonic among the fast food chains. It features a blend of the standard Sonic Strawberry Limeade and vanilla ice cream topped with whipped topping and a thick wedge of lime.

Besides Strawberry, Limeade Chillers are also available in Cherry and Lime. It's $2.49 for a 14-ounce "regular."

Jan 14, 2011

Frozen Friday: Healthy Choice - Country Herb Chicken

In a change from the one pound (or more) frozen dinners I normally review, I tackle Healthy Choice's Herb Chicken dinner which features chicken tenderloins with herb gravy, red potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli florets with carrot coins, and a cherry blueberry multi-grain crisp for dessert.

Regular price on one of these is about $3.99 while sales price would be around $2 to $3.

Jan 13, 2011

Review: McDonald's - Crispy Ranch Snack Wrap

A longtime favorite of The Sister, McDonald's Crispy Ranch Snack Wrap have done quite well for themselves offering a lighter menu item for those with smaller appetites, as well as an alternative to burgers. They're promoted as food on the go and are a simple mix of a Chicken Selects Breast Strip, shredded Jack and Cheddar cheeses, shredded lettuce, and a Ranch sauce wrapped up in an open-ended tortilla.

The resultant Snack Wrap costs $1.49.

Jan 12, 2011

Review: Subway - Turkey Pesto Sub

Subway is trying out a basil pesto sauce in the southern California market with two limited-time subs, the Turkey Pesto and the Pesto Chicken Melt. While my new year is without resolutions, I still went for the healthier Fresh Fit option (7 grams of fat in the 6-inch version) in the Turkey Pesto which carries the price of $6 for a foot long.

Jan 11, 2011

Review: Fatburger - Fatburger

The namesake burger of Fatburger, the Fatburger is the chain's "medium"-sized burger and features a 5.3-ounce beef patty with mustard, relish, diced onions, crinkle-cut pickles, a slice of tomato, shredded lettuce, and mayo for $4.59. Cheese, bacon, egg, and/or chili are available as add-ons for 69 cents each. I considered the bacon but opted for just cheese.

It is also available in a combo with fries and a fountain drink for $8.69.

Jan 10, 2011

News: Burger King - New BK Stuffed Steakhouse

Burger King is really putting their new broilers to work: first, it was Fire Grilled Ribs and now, they're making Stuffed Steakhouse burgers. The new limited-time Jalapeno & Cheddar BK Stuffed Steakhouse burger features a beef patty with pieces of jalapenos and Cheddar cheese inside. The patty is joined by a creamy poblano (another pepper) sauce, tomatoes, and lettuce on BK's premium sandwich bakery bun.

Price of admission is a steady $3.99 which falls in line with previous Steakhouse burgers.

If the picture doesn't give you a good sense of the sandwich, you can catch the BK Stuffed Steakhouse via TV ad starting January 17, 2011.

Review: Subway - Turkey BLT

One of Subway's New Year's sandwiches, the Turkey BLT (i.e. the Turkey sub with bacon) features a base of turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomato on your choice of bread with your choice of veggies, cheese, seasoning, and sauces. A footlong carries a premium price tag of $7.20 or 5 cents less than their "premium" sandwiches.

With the right build, it's a Subway Fresh Fit sub despite the bacon at 7 grams of fat (for a 6-inch).

Jan 9, 2011

Classic Review: Nabisco - Better Cheddars

Better Cheddars are part of Nabisco's Flavor Originals line of crackers. Along with Nabisco's Cheese Nips, Pepperidge Farm's Goldfish, Sunshine's Cheez-Its, Nabisco's Better Cheddars are the only cheese-flavored crackers I know of. I don't pretend to know why Nabisco saw fit to make two separate cheese-flavored cracker brands but a 7-ounce box carries a normal price of $3.59 though I got this particular box at two for $1.

Jan 8, 2011

Review: Trader Joe's - Chocolate Ganache Torte

Trader Joe's Handmade Chocolate Ganache Torte is a decadent feast featuring chocolate mousse sandwiched between two layers of rich, moist chocolate cake and finished with a semi-sweet chocolate ganache. I remember that it used to be around $6 to $7 a while back but these days it costs $7.99 for a pound and a half of cake.

Jan 7, 2011

Review: Disneyland - Tiger Tails

Not to be confused with the similarly named Tigger Tail from Pooh's Corner, the Tiger Tails are squiggly breadsticks toasted over a grill at Disneyland's Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland. An order of two Tiger Tails will cost you $3.69.

News: Hostess - New SmartBakes Streusel Cakes

More healthier products for the new year. Hostess unveils new SmartBakes Streusel Cakes. SmartBakes is Hostess's "better-for-you" line of baked breakfast products. The new SmartBakes Streusel Cakes come in three different flavors (cinnamon, raspberry and cream cheese) featuring whole grains, 3 grams of fiber, and 150 calories per serving.

A box of Hostess SmartBakes Streusel Cakes comes with 8 individually-wrapped cakes and costs $3.99 (may vary).

Frozen Friday: California Pizza Kitchen - Garlic Chicken Pizza

California Pizza Kitchen's frozen Garlic Chicken Pizza features a crispy, thin-crust pizza topped with a bordelaise butter sauce, white chicken cubes, mozzarella cheese, onions, roasted garlic, and parsley for $6.49.

Jan 6, 2011

News: Jamba Juice - New Probiotic Fruit and Yogurt Blends

With a long but descriptive name, Jamba Juice's new Probiotic Fruit and Yogurt Blends come in three flavors (Vibrant Blueberry, Strawberry Alive, and Thrivin' Mango) and feature smoothies made with nonfat yogurt, soymilk, whole fruit, and Jamba's specially formulated Probiotic Boost.

The main selling point is over 500 million active cultures per serving which will potentially improve immune system functioning and digestive health. Also, it's New Year's so people are looking to be and eat healthier.

To push you to try the new products, from 1/10 through 1/23 with a coupon printed from, 12 size Probiotic Fruit and Yogurt Blends are just $1, 16 size Coldbuster Smoothies are just $2 and Steel Cut Oatmeal are also $1.