Feb 28, 2011

News: Arby's - New Outside-In Cinnamon Bites

Arby's has a new, limited-time dessert on the menu: Outside-In Cinnamon Bites where instead of the norm where a cinnamon roll is glazed with cream cheese, the cream cheese is instead nestled inside a flaky, beignet-like pastry along with cinnamon.

The price on a set of three is $1.

I have to say from the pictures that it looks savory (like a pizza roll actually) rather than like the dessert that it is.

Review: McDonald's - Cheeseburger

McDonald's Cheeseburger is, for better or worse, really (with McDonald's Hamburger) the original modern fast food burger made quickly in an assembly line process for a uniform, profitable product. The formula remains simple: a beef patty, American cheese, pickles, onions, ketchup, and mustard on a soft hamburger bun.

The price seems to vary quite a bit and fluctuates around $1 (I was quoted a price of 98 cents at my local McDonald's but they also offer two for $1.79 under normal menu pricing). In some markets, it actually costs more than a McDouble (which only differs in that it contains an extra beef patty).

News: Chick-fil-A - New Banana Pudding Milkshake

Starting to today there's a new, limited-time Banana Pudding Milkshake at Chick-fil-A. Featuring the taste of fresh bananas, real Nilla wafers, vanilla, and Icedream topped with whipped cream and a cherry, the Banana Pudding Milkshake is offered in 14- and 20-ounce cups at $2.49 and $2.89 respectively (may vary).

The new shake will be available until June 4, 2011.

With banana and Nilla wafers blended in, a Banana Pudding Milkshake is sounding mighty nice to me.

Nutritional Info - Chick-fil-A Banana Pudding Milkshake - small (14.26oz)
Calories - 780 (from Fat - 216)
Fat - 24g (Saturated Fat - 12g)
Sodium - 440mg
Carbs - 104g (Sugar - 104g)
Protein - 22g

News: Hostess- New Chocolate and Strawberry Limited-Edition Twinkies

Hostess recently introduced two new limited-edition Twinkie flavors: Chocolate Creme and Strawberry & Creme. Each features your standard Twinkie cake but with a flavored creme filling rather than the standard vanilla.

Feb 27, 2011

News: Taco Bell - 88 Cent Crunchwrap Supreme

Doing more PR damage control from allegations that their beef isn't beef (it is, according to Taco Bell), Taco Bell is highlighting the fact that their beef is 88 percent beef (and 12% signature recipe) by selling their Crunchwrap Supreme for the ridiculously low price of 88 cents (They're normally $2.39 at my local Taco Bell and probably set to go up in price since food prices are expected  to go up a fair bit).

The offer is only good until this Saturday, March 5th, 2011 and there is a limit of 2 per person.

Review: Chobani Strawberry Nonfat Greek Yogurt

In addition to Chobani Blueberry Nonfat Greek Yogurt, I also picked up a cup of Chobani Strawberry Nonfat Greek Yogurt to try for $1.00 on sale.

Feb 26, 2011

News: Panda Express - New Golden Treasure Shrimp

Panda Express unveils its newest entrée, Golden Treasure Shrimp. The dish features fried tempura shrimp (the same stuff they use for their Honey Walnut Shrimp), red and green bell peppers wok-tossed in Panda’s new, zesty citrus sauce.

To celebrate the new entrée, on March 9th, 2011, Panda Express is hosting free Golden Treasure Shrimp Day where you can redeem a coupon for a free single serving entrée.

The dish itself will be available in restaurants nationwide a week earlier on March 2nd.

Review: Chobani - Blueberry Nonfat Greek Yogurt

I had never even heard of Chobani until recently when they started airing TV commercials but have been curious about Greek yogurt for a while now. $1.00 bought me a 6-ounce cup of Chobani Blueberry Nonfat Greek Yogurt on sale.

Feb 25, 2011

Frozen Friday - Hungry-Man - Home-Style Meatloaf

Meatloaf is another one of those frozen dinners that have been around since back in the day and Hungry-Man's Home-Style Meatloaf is what I typically picture when I think of a TV dinner meatloaf. I wouldn't call it "home-style" myself but what do I know. Anyway, the Hungry-Man version comes with the classic corn, mashed potatoes, and brownie set up that Hungry-Man and Swanson are known for.

Retail price usually comes in at around $3.79 with a sale price ranging around the $2.00 mark.

Feb 24, 2011

News: Chick-fil-A - Free Fry Day on March 4, 2011

Chick-fil-A is celebrating Heinz new Squeeze & Dip ketchup by giving away free fries in an event they're calling Free FryDay.

Free FryDay takes place on Friday, March 4, 2011 from the hours of 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

To receive a free medium order of Chick-fil-A's Waffle Potato Fries, you simply have to go to a participating Chick-fil-A restaurant within the requisite time period and mention the promotion.

News: Arbys - New Chopped Side Salad

Arby's new Market Fresh Chopped Side Salad was unveiled today as as an alternative to French fries in its combo meals, at no additional cost. Otherwise, it carries a suggested price of $1.99.

It is currently available at company-owned locations and will roll-out nationwide in July, concurrent with the addition of a Lite Italian Dressing.

The Chopped Side Salad features a shredded blend of green leaf and iceberg lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onion and ripe tomatoes, with dressing served on the side. Almost all the calories in the salad comes from the cheese.

News: The Coffee Bean - Free Peach Latte or Tea on March 1st, 2011

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has decided that spring is for peaches and is celebrating by offering customers a free 12-ounce cup of their limited-time Spring Peach Tea Latte, Spring Peach Iced Tea Latte or Peach FruTea on March 1st.

The promotion is for one day only (next Tuesday) and only from the hours of 4pm to 7pm (i.e. just in time for you to stop by on your drive home).

When: Tuesday, March 1, 2011, from 4pm to 7pm.
Where: Participating Coffee Bean locations in CA and AZ.
Why: Free 12-ounce Spring Peach Tea Latte, Spring Peach Iced Tea Latte or
Peach FruTea (One per person).

News: Corner Bakery Cafe - New Smoked Turkey Cobb Sandwich

Corner Bakery Cafe is debuting their new flatbread brioche bread with a new sandwich: the Smoked Turkey Cobb Sandwich.

The new bread was made to be "soft, sturdy, and slightly sweet." It's a flatbread so that it doesn't overpower the other ingredients in the sandwich.

In addition to the new brioche, the Smoked Turkey Cobb Sandwich contains a homemade avocado mayonnaise, smoked turkey breast, thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, bleu cheese crumbles, hardboiled egg slices, green leaf lettuce and roma tomatoes.

Review: Jack in the Box - Mint Oreo Shake

Jack in the Box's new limited-time Mint Oreo Shake adds cool mint and a green color to their regular Oreo Shake. The green colored shake is enough to get you in the St. Paddy's Day spirit, no?

A 16-ounce regular cup costs $2.69 while a 24-ounce large cup costs just a tad more at $3.19.

Feb 23, 2011

Review: Wendy's - Chili

Wendy's Chili is a uniquely Wendy's menu item among the major fast food chains. It's a hearty soup of beans, spices, ground beef, and veggies for a reasonable price.

A fair-sized small cup cost me $1.29 with an additional $0.25 charge for shredded cheddar cheese.

Feb 22, 2011

Review: Sonic - Hot Fudge Shake

Sonic's Hot Fudge Shake is basically like a hot fudge sundae stuck into a blender and whipped into liquid form so that you can drink it. Like all shakes, the calories remain the same but you can eat it a lot faster and somewhat more absently. It might not be available at all Sonic's as it's not listed on the online menu.

A 14-ounce "regular" cup costs $2.79 while a 20-ounce "large" cup goes for $3.29.

Feb 21, 2011

News: Frito Lay - New Rold Gold Bakery-Inspired Flavors

Frito Lay set loose new Rold Gold bakery-inspired flavors this month. The new pretzel flavors are purported to "offer the classic taste of fresh bakery bread in pretzel form."

There's a total of three new flavors available now nationwide:
  • Rold Gold Cheesy Garlic features pretzel nuggets flavored with cheddar and garlic.
  • Rold Gold Cinnamon Raisin channels cinnamon raisin bread in the form of  pretzel twists whispering the sweet taste of raisins and cinnamon sugar.
  • Rold Gold Everything Bagel seeks to take you to your local bagel shop with pretzel rings tinged with savory sesame and poppy seeds, garlic and onions.
$2.99 (may vary) will buy you a 10-ounce bag.

News: Domino's - New Boneless Chicken and Chicken Wings

Not content to rework just their pizza, Domino's has now tinkered with their chicken in introducing revamped Boneless Chicken and Chicken Wings. The new Boneless Chicken responds to customers' desire for more customization and choice while the new Wings are aimed at providing better texture and flavor.

Prices on the new items start at $5.99 for eight pieces, $9.99 for 14 pieces, and $24.99 for a party-sized 40-piece order.

Review: Subway - Raspberry Cheesecake Cookie

Subway's limited-time Raspberry Cheesecake Cookie are baked in-store with pieces of cheesecake and pockets of what appears to be raspberry jam embedded.

My local Subway charges 60 cents per cookie or three for $1.25 which is a little more than the 3 for $1.00 they charge at McDonald's. I ended up getting three: two Raspberry Cheesecake cookies and one Peanut Butter.

Feb 20, 2011

Review: Nabisco - Ritz Munchables Pretzel Thins Spicy Chipotle Cheddar

Nabisco's new Ritz Munchable Pretzel Thins Spicy Chipotle Cheddar flavor are an interesting take on the common pretzel. They're a cross between a pretzel and a Ritz cracker.

$3.49 buys you a 12.25-ounce box. Sale price will typically range from $2.00 to $2.50.

Feb 19, 2011

Review: Nabisco - Heads or Tails Oreo

Do you like Oreos and are indecisive or have a Two-Face complex? Then the fine folks at Nabisco has got you covered with Heads or Tail Oreos. Each cookie has two easily discernible sides consisting of one regular chocolate-flavored Oreo half and one Golden vanilla-flavor Oreo half sandwiching a double helping of white frosted filling.

They retail for around $2.99 for a 15.25-ounce package with sale prices running around the $2.00 mark.

Feb 18, 2011

Frozen Friday: Banquet - Cherry Berry Pie

While Banquet has been making various meat pot pies for as long as I can remember, last year, they began a foray into sweet pies which included this Cherry Berry Pie (they also come in Apple and Peach) that I recently tried. At $1 a pop, they're certainly easy on the wallet.

Feb 17, 2011

News: Papa John's - New Hearty Italian Meats Pizza for $11

Papa John's newest limited-time deal offers either a new large Hearty Italian Meats pizza or regular menu Spinach Alfredo pizza for $11.

The new Hearty Italian Meats pizza is topped with a blend of mozzarella, provolone, Fontina and Asiago cheeses, Italian salami, spicy Italian sausage, Italian ham, and pepperoni.

It is not to be confused with the fairly similar Papa John's Spicy Italian pizza which boasts pepperoni and a double portion of spicy Italian sausage instead of Italian salami and ham.

Review: Yoshinoya - Chicken Bowl

Yoshinoya is famous for their Original Beef Bowl but a fair amount of people also order the Chicken Bowl which is a fairly typical rendition of your common Chicken Teriyaki Bowl: grilled chicken thigh (skin-on unless you specify otherwise), broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, and teriyaki sauce over a bed of steamed short grain rice.

A regular-sized bowl costs $3.59.

Feb 16, 2011

Review: Pollo Campero - Yuca Fries

Pollo Campero is a Guatemalan fried chicken fast food chain and the largest fast food chain in Latin America. They made landfall in the U.S. in 2002 and have since expanded to 50 U.S. locations including one at Downtown Disney in Orlando. Guatemalan fried chicken offers a different flavor and seasoning than the southern style we're more used to but today I write about one of their more unusual sides--Yuca Fries!

Feb 15, 2011

Review: Subway - Steak & Cheese Sub

Subway Steak & Cheese Sub has been an on again, off again menu item that is now a permanent fixture on the menu. Like all Subway subs, it features your choice of bread, cheese, condiments, and veggies and a specific meat, in this case, steak. Since cheese is free on all Subway subs, they really should have just called it the "Steak Sub" but I guess that's just not as catchy.

Since it's "FebruANY," it'll only cost you $5 for a Footlong this month but is normally $6.25.

Feb 14, 2011

Review: Wendy's - Asiago Ranch Chicken Club

Wendy's new Asiago Ranch Chicken Club replaces their previous chicken club with a more bolder version. The new club sandwich replaces Swiss with a more trendy Asiago and takes out the mayo for a more interesting Ranch sauce. The rest of the ingredients are the same familiar bacon (thicker and Applewood-smoked now), iceberg lettuce, tomato, and your choice of chicken (homestyle, spicy, or grilled) on a premium soft bun.

Suggested retail price is $4.79 but it goes for $4.99 at my local Wendy's.

Feb 13, 2011

Review: Keebler - Fudge Shoppe Jumbo Peanut Butter Sticks

Keebler's Fudge Shoppe Peanut Butter Sticks now come in a new Jumbo size. Each fudge-covered wafer stick with peanut butter filling is individually wrapped and can be bought in a box of six for a retail price of around $3.49 with a sales price ranging around the $2 mark.

Feb 12, 2011

Review: 7-Eleven - 7-Select Onion Rings

In more recent years, 7-Eleven has been expanding the number of items it produces under its own label, 7-Select, including such things as bread, juice, and snacks. 7-Eleven's Onion Rings appear similar to a favorite of mine, Frito Lay's Funyuns. They're onion-flavor fried rings made of corn meal sold at 79 cents for a 1.625-ounce bag.

News: Subway - "Free" Cookie Day - February 14, 2011

Subway is offering a free cookie with any purchase on this upcoming Monday, February 14th i.e. Valentine's Day. Besides having to buying something, you'll also have to print out this coupon. I don't know... do you really need a coupon for a cookie that normally costs 50 cents?

Beyond the inconvenience of printing out a coupon, it's not bad to pick up a free cookie with your morning coffee or if you're stopping by at Subway for lunch anyway especially since virtually all their footlong subs are $5 this month.

Feb 11, 2011

Frozen Friday: Healthy Choice - Roasted Chicken Marsala

Healthy Choice's Cafe Steamers Roasted Chicken Marsala promises a "fresh taste unlocked by steam" and features chicken tenderloins with whole grain penne pasta, asparagus, and red peppers in a marsala wine sauce.

Retail price for this one hovers around $3.99 for 10 ounces of food and going down to $2.00 to $3.00 on sale.

Feb 10, 2011

News: General Mills - Limited-Edition Retro Cereal Boxes at Target

Retro Boxes
Modern Boxes
If you're looking for a little bit of cereal nostalgia, General Mills is again bringing retro back with a select five limited-edition retro cereal boxes with designs and cartoons from the '50s, '60s, and '70s.

News: Papa John's - Heart-Shaped Pizza Back for Valentine's Day

Hoping to start a tradition, Papa John's is once again serving up heart-shaped pizzas for Valentine's Day. Apparently, they sold over 60,000 heart-shaped pizzas last year.

For those looking for a more affordable and casual Valentine's Day this year, heart-shaped pizzas will be available now until Monday, February 14, 2011.

News: Taco Bell - Facebook Taco Giveaway

In thanks for their support during a beef class action lawsuit against Taco Bell, Taco Bell is giving a free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco per fan via Facebook, limited to 10 million taco given away.

Unlike previous giveaways where you could just print out a coupon from the Taco Bell website, to take advantage of this offer, you actually have to be or become a fan of Taco Bell on Facebook by "Liking" them. Yes, this also means you have to actually have a Facebook account.

Review: McDonald's - Bacon, Egg and Cheese McGriddles

A top-down view of a McDonald's Bacon, Egg and Cheese McGriddles sandwich.

McDonald's Bacon, Egg and Cheese McGriddles is for people who want hotcakes, bacon, egg, and cheese but in altogether in a quick-to-eat and portable form i.e. a sandwich.

Basically, the McGriddles is a breakfast sandwich featuring mini, thick fluffy pancakes embedded with little pockets of maple syrup sandwiching the standard breakfast combination of bacon or sausage, eggs, and cheese.

Feb 9, 2011

News: New Diet Pepsi Skinny Can

Introducing the waifish runway model of the soda can world: behold the new Diet Pepsi Skinny Can!

Aimed at the ladies, the new can will be appearing at New York's Fall 2011 Fashion Week running from February 10 to 17.

Sporting a taller, skinnier look in sleek redesigned silver can, I have to say the new can looks pretty good. In case you're wondering, just the can is new, the diet Pepsi formula remains the same as does the volume (12 ounces).

I've always wonder why this never happened sooner. It always made good visual marketing sense for diet drinks to come in slimmer containers. I do wonder if the slimmer cans will end up costing more at retail though a la mini Coke.

Review: Jersey Mike's - Turkey Breast and Provolone Sub

Jersey Mike's Turkey Breast and Provolone Sub has fresh, thin-sliced turkey breast and plenty of it with Provolone cheese with your choice of bread, vegetables, etc.

It's priced at $7.50 for a 7-inch regular-sized sub.

Feb 8, 2011

News: Jack in the Box - $2.99 Fish Sandwich Combo

Jack in the Box is gearing up for Lent season which means deep-fried fish with the limited-time $2.99 Fish Sandwich Combo.

The combo consists of Jack's Fish Sandwich, a small order of fries and a 20-ounce small drink.

Jack’s Fish Sandwich features two lightly battered fillets of Alaskan Pollock topped with lettuce and tartar sauce on a sesame seed bun.

In addition to the Fish Sandwich, Jack in the Box is also offering Fish & Chips, which includes three fish fillets and a small order of fries with a side of tartar sauce and malt vinegar for $3.99.

News: Pizza Hut - $10 Any Pan Pizza

Pizza Hut's latest limited-time promotion features their iconic pan pizza. Saving you up to $2 off regular prices (possibly more if you pick a large number of your own toppings), the promotion offers any Pizza Hut Pan Pizza for $10 including specialty pizzas.

A large specialty pizza, under Pizza Hut's simple pricing structure instituted last year, normally costs $12.

Review: Popeyes - Cajun Rice

Popeyes' Cajun Rice is their version of a traditional Cajun dish known as "dirty rice," so named because of its "dirty" coloring which is due to bits of chicken (a mix of ground beef and ground chicken gizzards at Popeyes) mixed into the rice. Other ingredients include the distinguished Cajun trio of celery, onions, and bell peppers.

It's available at Popeyes for $1.99 for a regular and $3.99 for a family-sized large.

Feb 7, 2011

News: Dunkin' Donuts - New Cupid's Choice Heart-Shaped Donuts

Taking a page from Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts also has a heart-shaped donut this Valentine's Day season. Dubbed the Cupid's Choice Donut and the Cupid's Cocoa Donut, each donut is available for a suggested price of 89 cents until the end of February.

The Cupid's Choice Donut is a heart-shaped yeast (AKA raised) donut filled with Bavarian cream and topped with strawberry icing and pink, white and red heart-shaped sprinkles.

The Cupid's Cocoa Donut is a heart-shaped chocolate yeast donut, filled with jelly and topped with chocolate icing and decorated with pink, white and red heart-shaped sprinkles.

Review: Jack in the Box - All-American Jack

Jack in the Box's new super-sized All-American Jack got its national introduction last night at the Super Bowl but I tried it a couple days earlier.

The All-American Jack consists of two jumbo beef patties, melting American and Swiss-style cheese, tomato, shredded lettuce, pickles, mayo-onion sauce, ketchup, and mustard on a sesame bun. It's being advertised as a combo with small fries and a 20-ounce drink for $4.99 but you can forgo the combo and just get the burger for around $3.59.

News: Jack in the Box - New Mint Oreo Shake

Joining Jack in the Box's popular Oreo Cookie Shake on the menu, Jack in the Box's new Mint Oreo Ice Cream Shake adds a little twist with the addition of mint-flavor syrup to the normal formula of real ice cream, Oreo pieces, whipped topping and a Maraschino cherry.

Like all of Jack's shakes, the Mint Oreo Shake is available in a 16-ounce regular size and a 24-ounce large. Prices are set around $2.69 for a regular and $3.19 for a large (may vary).

Feb 6, 2011

News: Dunkin' Donuts - New Cocoa Donuts and Chocolate Menu Items

Apparently February is "Chocolate Lovers Month" at Dunkin' Donuts and they're celebrating a new line of yeast raised chocolate donuts. While chocolate cake donuts have long been the norm at many a donut shop, a light and fluffy chocolate raised donut is a first, at least, here in the States. I'd like to try one but the nearest Dunkin' is one state over in Nevada.

Until the end of February, Dunkin' Donuts is serving several varieties of the new Cocoa Donuts at the suggested retail price of 89 cents each, including:

Review: Chips Ahoy! - with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Chips Ahoy! with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups came out sometime last year but are still labelled "new" on the package. They feature your typical Chips Ahoy! chocolate chip cookie (I feel like I should say "Arr Matey! or something) but with mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups baked in.

A 9.5-ounce bag (about 4 ounces less than a normal bag) will run you about $3.69 or somewhere around $2.50 on sale.

News: Baskin-Robbins - New $2 Mini Soft Serve Parfaits

Baskin-Robbins is offering a new snack-sized ice cream dessert in their new Mini Soft Serve Parfaits which come in three flavors: Oreo, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and Strawberry 'n Almonds. Each flavor features a different sauce and a sprinkling of their respective toppings.

They're similar to mini sundaes but with the sauce forming a bottom layer that's topped with vanilla soft serve rather than the other way around.

Each Mini Soft Serve Parfait is available in an 8-ounce cup for a limited-time price of $2.

Feb 5, 2011

Review: Ruffles - Loaded Chili & Cheese Potato Chips

Ruffles limited-time new Loaded Chili & Cheese ridged potato chips comes just in time to grace your Super Bowl spread with the flavor of chili, cheese, and fried potatoes. While it's not the same as actual chili cheese fries, it does keep much better and won't get soggy.

I found this 1-and-1/8-ounce bag at my local 7-Eleven for 99 cents.

Feb 4, 2011

News: Krispy Kreme - V-Day Donuts

Krispy Kreme has a pretty sweet deal (pun intended) going on until Valentine's Day (February 14): along with the return of their heart-shaped donuts, they're offering a promotion where you'll get 12 Valentine's Day Cards when you buy any dozen donuts (while supplies last at participating stores).

Here's the kicker: on the back of each card is a coupon good for one free donut or one free small hot chocolate or coffee.

News: Cold Stone Creamery - New Plated Desserts

I've touched upon it before but now it's official, Cold Stone Creamery is serving new Plated Desserts: four new menu items featuring a warm, baked dessert topped with ice cream and other toppings.

The four desserts are:
  • Brownie A La Cold Stone: Warm, chocolate brownies topped with French vanilla, whipped topping, caramel, hot fudge and pecans.
  • Churro Caramel Crave: Crispy churros rolled in cinnamon and sugar, topped with French vanilla ice cream, caramel and whipped topping.
  • Chocolate Lava Meltdown: Warm, hot-fudge-filled chocolate cake topped with French vanilla ice cream, more fudge, whipped topping and shaved chocolate.
  • No Fair Funnel Cake: Freshly baked, sweet funnel cake dusted with powdered sugar, served with strawberries and topped with French vanilla ice cream, strawberry puree and whipped topping.