Mar 31, 2012

Five McDonald's Pies to Try Around the World

McDonald's Blueberry Custard Pie

Here in the US, we're most familiar with McDonald's Apple Pie (now baked but once deep-fried) and the occasional regional or limited-time pies riffing on the more traditional pies (such as Mickey D's version of good old pumpkin).

But, it's a big world out there and there are McDonald's restaurants in over 100 countries (many where they still serve fried apple pies) so I searched far and wide to uncover these five interesting  McDonald's pies to try from all over the world.

Mar 30, 2012

Frozen Friday: Lean Cuisine - Roasted Turkey Breast

Lean Cuisine's Roasted Turkey Breast comes with stuffing, an herb gravy, and a side of warm cinnamon apples.

A 9.75-ounce box cost me $2.50 on sale.

News: Burger King Testing Breakfast Burritos

One of my readers, Jack, unearthed this little nugget: Burger King is testing Breakfast Burritos out in Syracuse. There's a value-priced Sausage Burrito for $1 and a bigger Southwest Burrito for $2.49.

In addition to tipping me off to the new burritos, Jack also compared them to a McDonald's breakfast burrito complete with photos and comments which you can check out after the jump.

Mar 29, 2012

Review: Snickers Peanut Butter Egg

Snickers Peanut Butter Eggs are an seasonal Easter item and come in a chocolate egg shaped filled with peanut butter, nougat, caramel, and peanuts.

You can pick up a pack of six individually-packaged chocolate eggs for about $2.79 or wait until after Easter to try and score them for half that when stores try to clear out their Easter stock.

Neat! Burger King Singapore's New Look

Out in Singapore (and Malaysia and Japan), Burger King is trying a new, warmer restaurant design that is meant to attract more families.

I like it; it's a little bit more steak house, a little less... generic fast food restaurant. It seems like a lot of competitors like McDonald's and Wendy's are pushing forward with more upscale (well, relatively...) and updated restaurants and this look from Burger King is distinctive and neat!

News: Domino's - New Chicken & Bacon Carbonara Artisan Pizza

Domino's has a new addition to their line of Artisan Pizzas: the Chicken & Bacon Carbonara Artisan Pizza.

As with the rest of the line, the Chicken & Bacon Carbonara measures 13" x 9" with an artisan-style crust and costs $7.99.

Mar 28, 2012

Review: McDonald's - Strawberry and Creme Pie

McDonald's Strawberry and Creme Pie is a new, limited-time variation of their baked pies and looks a bit different from the standard Apple Pie, instead of having several width-wise opening, it has a long, lengthwise one displaying the border between the strawberry and creme filling that's the pie's most distinguishing feature.

McDonald's is promoting it with the Strawberry Shake (not new), to welcome the Spring I think.

I picked a warm one up at my local McDonald's for 89 cents.

News: Quaker Oats Finally Makes Cookies

Finally, after over 130 years of selling whole grain oats and making available the occasional recipe for oatmeal cookies, Quaker Oats is finally making some oatmeal cookies of their own with their new line of Quaker Oatmeal Cookies, available in two varieties and seven flavors.

Whether you like them crunchy or soft, Quaker is making both Soft Baked and Crunchy Oat Granola versions.

Mar 27, 2012

Review: Kraft - Strawberry Milk Bite Milk & Granola Bar

Kraft's Strawberry Milk Bite is Kraft's answer to the (probably) unasked question, "Hey, wouldn't it be great if I could get a glass of milk in my granola bar?" So here you go: milk and granola all-in-one.

I tried the Strawberry Milk Bites which came in a box of five 1.23-ounce bars for $3.49. *These have since been discontinued*

News: Torani - New Chicken 'n Waffles Syrup

Following on the heels of their cult favorite, Bacon syrup (seen in Jack in the Box's Bacon Shake), Torani (the company that makes the syrups you see at most coffeehouses, ice cream shops, bars, etc.), is coming out with Chicken N' Waffles Syrup in April. (What?!)

The flavor is described as "combining the crispy vanilla deliciousness of a waffle with the salty and greasy notes of fried chicken and that lovely end note of sweet maple syrup."

Suggested uses for the syrup include: "Sazeracs, Ice Cream Sundaes, Old-Fashions, Cupcakes."

Mar 26, 2012

Review: Carl's Jr. - Southwest Patty Melt

The Carl's Jr. Southwest Patty Melt features a charbroiled beef patty (single, double, "Six Dollar Burger" style) with sliced jalapeƱos, grilled onions, Pepper Jack cheese, and a spicy Santa Fe sauce sandwiched by grilled sourdough bread.

I've actually never tried a "Six Dollar Burger" of any variety at Carl's Jr so I decided to pick one up on this occasion for $4.99 (the single version was selling for $2.99 and the double for a dollar more than that).

News: McDonald's - New Strawberry and Creme Pie

McDonald's is out with a new, limited-time Strawberry & Creme Pie. The pie features two side-by-side fillings of strawberries and vanilla-flavored creme.

The crust has a light dusting of sugar baked in as well as a sugar glaze finish. It's only available for a limited-time at participating locations.

I'd call ahead to check if you have a hankering for one of these.

Mar 25, 2012

News: Kashi - New Soft n' Chewy Bars

Kashi, best known for their natural food selections, is out with new Soft n' Chewy Bars which offer one half serving of fruits and one half serving of vegetables.

The new soft-baked bars come in one flavor: Banana Chocolate Chip, featuring the taste of banana bread paired with dark chocolate chips.

Of course, each bar features Kashi's signature blend of 7 whole grains and provides a half serving of fruit from apples and banana and a half serving of vegetables from pumpkin.

Neat! McDonald's Finland Puts Chips in Your Burger

Apparently McDonald's offered this in Finland before and now it's back: the Nacho Jr.

Something like throwing a small bag of tortilla chips in your McDonald's hamburger after a late night, the Nacho Jr. comes in three versions with varying patties(vegetarian, hamburger, or fried chicken) and is topped with tortilla (or "nacho") chips, lettuce, salsa, and sour cream.

No cheese! But still neat!
Mar 24, 2012

Review: Tostitos - Artisan Recipes - Fire-Roasted Chipotle Tortilla Chips

Tostitos Artisan Recipes Fire-Roasted Chipotle Tortilla Chips are a mouthful to say and feature a multi-grain (9 different grains) tortilla chip flavored with spicy chipotle peppers.

I picked up a 9.75-ounce bag on sale  for $3.00 but they typically retail for a little more at $3.99.

News: Starbucks - New Starbucks Refreshers in a Can

Starbucks is now offering a canned energy drink that's basically coffee/caffeine for the non-coffee drinking set with new Starbucks Refreshers.

The new drink gets its caffeine from green (unroasted coffee beans are green) coffee beans which means you get the caffeine but not the taste of coffee.

Instead, Starbucks Refreshers taste more like fruit juice blends and come in three fizzy flavors: Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Lemonade, and Orange Melon.

Mar 23, 2012

Frozen Friday: Marie Callender's - Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Marie Callender's frozen Spaghetti with Meat Sauce sets itself apart from similar frozen entrees with a slice of seasoned garlic bread.

I got this 15-ounce box for $2.50 but they typically go for around $4.49 at my local supermarket.

Neat! McDonald's Peru Crispy Chicken Family Meal

There's something about fried chicken in a bucket that speaks to me. It might be the fact that it's the perfect shape for cradling in one arm as you help yourself with the other.

But how about McDonald's fried chicken? While McDonald's several countries offers fried chicken, in Peru, they offer it in a family-sized bucket! Neat!
Mar 22, 2012

Review: Dunkin' Donuts - Mint Hot Chocolate

Dunkin' Donuts Mint Hot Chocolate offers the warm taste of hot chocolate flavored with mint.

I bought this drink in an airport as part of the combo. The menu was a bit kooky and prices are a bit inflated at U.S. airports but I paid $6.58 for a drink/sandwich combo. If you were to buy it in a normal Dunkin' it would probably cost you about $1.99 for a 14-ounce medium like the one I got.

News: Wendy's - New Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club

Starting tomorrow, Wendy's is debuting their new Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club at their locations nationwide (I'm keep wanting to spell "guacamole" as "guacomole" for some reason).

The sandwich takes a Spicy Chicken Fillet and tops it with a slice of spicy pepper jack cheese and balances out the heat with some creaminess in the form of ranch sauce and guac. Caught in-between the spicy and cream battle is the good old trio of bacon, lettuce, and tomato. As with the rest of Wendy's premium sandwiches (think $4.00 and up), it's served on a buttered and toasted bun.

Mar 21, 2012

Photo Gallery: Taco Bell's 50th Anniversary Celebration

Taco Bell celebrated their 50th Anniversary today at their Irvine headquarters and living as I do in the next county over, I was invited to partake of the festivities. Click on to see what was going on at the event.

News: Hardee's New Hand-Scooped Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich Arrives

It looks like the Hand-Scooped Oreo Sandwich that has been on Carl's Jr. menu has finally made its way east to sister chain Hardee's.

A fresher take on the Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches you might find at your local grocers, it features two giant-sized (well, compared to normal Oreos) wafers with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in between.

Mar 20, 2012

Review: Biscoff Crunchy Spread

Biscoff Crunchy Spread is something that I had never heard of until my cousin mentioned it to me. It's a spread with a peanut-butter-like consistency that is made of finely ground Biscoff cookies (the spread is 65% cookie) with crumbled cookies bits of Biscoff mixed it to provide some crunch; a smooth version is also available but the crunchy version is new.

I got my jar to try for free courtesy of Biscoff but I'm told that it goes for about $5 for a 13.4-ounce jar at Fresh & Easy and is also available online from the company directly as well as Amazon. I've never personally seen it in stores before though.

News: Burger King - New "Classic" Chick'N Crisp

After years of sporting a spicy version, Burger King finally plies a regular value-priced chicken sandwich, dubbing it the "Classic Chick'N Crisp" sandwich.

News: Dunkin' Donuts - Spring 2012 Featured Drinks

It's Spring and Dunkin' Donuts is thinking caramel-flavored iced coffees are the cure for what ails ya. Dunkin' is offering new Caramel Turtle, new Caramel Almond, and Caramel Mocha for a limited time at participating locations.

Like all Dunkin' Donut coffees, the drinks are also available hot if you so choose.

News: Popeyes Celebrates 40 Years with 8 Pieces for $5.99 Promo

Popeyes is celebrating their 40 Years anniversary tomorrow by offering 8 mixed pieces of spicy or mild fried chicken (mixed) for $5.99 at participating locations.

The deal is similar to the brand's popular "Pay Day" promotions in prior years which have sold out in the past.

Popeyes first opened in 1972 and today has 2,035 restaurants in 25 countries. In terms of fast food fried chicken, they're second in size only to the Colonel but offer more of a Cajun twist to their cuisine.
Mar 19, 2012

Review: El Pollo Loco - Roja Wet Burrito

The El Pollo Loco Roja Wet Burrito is only available for a limited time and features El Pollo Loco’s trademark flame-grilled chicken stuffed inside a burrito along with pinto beans, pico de gallo salsa, fresh cilantro, diced onions, and melted Jack cheese. It is then grilled and covered in Colorado sauce (a red chili pepper sauce) before being topped with more fresh cilantro and Cotija cheese.

The price of admission? An even $5.99 for the burrito.

News: Panera Bread Featured 2012 Spring Menu

Panera Bread is returning a seasonal menu dish and showcasing two new ones this Spring.

Returning is the soup and salad combo of Low-Fat Chicken Tortilla Soup and Cuban Chicken Panini. The soup is made corn and roasted Poblano peppers, black beans and tomatoes, seasoned with dried chili peppers, cumin, and lime. It's finished with a topping of tri-colored tortilla strips.

New is the Roasted Turkey Fuji Apple Salad which is made with all-natural roasted turkey, mixed field greens, romaine lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, pecans, Gorgonzola, and apple chips, dressed with a white balsamic apple vinaigrette.

News: Burger King Value Menu Tweaks

Not one to be left behind, it looks like Burger King is also making some changes to their value menu (of course BK's value menu starts at $1 and goes up from there).

According the Burger King website, the current national value menu items are: the Whopper Jr., Spicy Chick'N Crisp Sandwich, new Classic Chick'N Crisp SandwichChicken Tenders, French Fries, Onion Rings, Garden Salad, and Dutch Apple Pie. There are additional items that vary per region.

News: McDonald's Dollar Menu Tweaks

McDonald's tweaks their value-priced Dollar Menu this month with the most notable changes being the removal small drinks and small French fries. The two popular menu items are being replaced with dessert: cookies and soft serve cones.

Additionally, McDonald's is reshuffling their menu board with some items being showcased in a new "Extra Value Menu" but is not actually changing the prices.

Mar 18, 2012

Happy Belated Saint Patty's!

It's a day late but Happy St. Patty's Day! Corned beef and cabbage!

Why's it called "corned beef?" For the "corns" of salt used to treat the beef. It's also known as "salt beef" or "bully beef."
Mar 17, 2012

Review: Wheat Thins Wisconsin Colby Artisan Cheese Crackers

I think Wheat Thins Wisconsin Colby Artisan Cheese Crackers are supposed to be a fancier version of the original and are made with real Colby cheese.

A 8-ounce box cost me 1.99 on sale (a retail of $3.59).

Neat: Taco Bell USB Flash Drive

Neat huh?! It's a USB Flash Drive made to look like a Taco Bell sauce packet. They gave it to me (and the other bloggers/attendees) during the Doritos Locos Taco Launch Reveal / HQ tour.

Mar 16, 2012

Frozen Friday: Marie Callender's - Apple Pie

A relatively new frozen dessert from Marie Callender's, the two-serving Apple Pie is roughly the size of Marie's frozen pot pies but with a different crust and, more importantly, a different filling.

I picked a 10-ounce pie on sale for $1.99 (the regular price was $2.69).

News: Panda Express Testing Paw Plate

Panda Express is testing a "Paw Plate" out in several markets according to QSR Magazine. The Paw Plate is shaped to somewhat resemble a bear paw replaces Panda Express' traditional two-entree plate in these test markets.

Basically instead of getting two large-sized entrees, you get three smaller ones which gives you a little more variety if you so choose but overall the same amount of food for the same price. The plates also have the extra benefits of being recyclable, microwavable, and dishwasher safe.

News: Starbucks Offers Smoother, Creamier Steamed Milk

Starbucks has introduced a new milk steaming pitcher to their stores with a distinct, tapered dome-shaped bottom. The new pitcher is purported to allow Starbucks baristas to consistently steam milk with a more velvety texture than before.

What does this mean to the average Starbucks drinker? Well, if your typical Starbucks drink is a Frappuccino or an iced coffee, nothing really. But if you take a Starbucks cappuccino or latte every day (or any other steamed milk drink), it should mean a great deal. The new pitchers are meant to enhance the production of "microfoam" during steaming so that the result looks more like paint and less like thick but soapy water (bigger is not better for steamed milk).

News: Jamba Juice - New Fresh Juice Blends

Jamba Juice expands their fresh-squeezed juice options with new squeezed-to-order Fresh Juice Blends. The three new juice blend beverages join Jamba's existing line of fresh-squeezed carrot, orange, and wheatgrass juice drinks.

The three new Juice Blends are:

- The Triple Revitalize features fresh-squeezed orange and carrot juices blended with whole banana.

Mar 15, 2012

Review: Krispy Kreme - Honey Bun

Krispy Kreme's Honey Bun is another one of the packaged goodies I picked up from the Krispy Kreme Blogger Summit. It's somewhat like a cinnamon roll but more bread-like because it doesn't have as many swirls.

Like the rest of the packaged goods I picked up at the summit, they don't sell them in my neck of the woods, at least not that I've seen. I got it for free from the summit so I don't know how much they cost.

News: McDonald's Testing 1/4 lb Angus Burgers

Looks like McDonald's is testing out 1/4 lb versions of their Angus Burgers out in select locations out in Ohio (Napoleon, OH and Swanton, OH confirmed). Thanks for Brand Eating reader Chipster22 for the picture and the tip.

The quarter pound version seem to be a slightly more health conscious option offering the same toppings and condiments but with the whole grain bakery-style bun that is now used on McDonald's Premium Chicken Sandwiches.

News: Subway Offers Sun Chips 6-Grain Medley in Parmesan & Herb

New Sun Chips Parmesan & Herb 6-Grain Medley chips are now being offered in snack-sized bags as a side to go with your sub at Subway.

Selling points of the new chips are a blend of six grains (in order of most abundant to least): corn, wheat, oats, brown rice, buckwheat, and quinoa, and 18 grams of whole grains per serving. They're flavored with parmesan and Italian herbs.

If Subway isn't your thing, they're also available at your local grocers (you can check which ones with Frito Lay's Snack Locator)

News: Papa John's - New Buffalo Chicken Pizza for $10

Papa John's has a new pizza out just in time for March Madness. The new, limited-time Buffalo Chicken pizza is topped with Ranch sauce, white-meat sliced chicken strips, bacon, fresh-sliced onions and mozzarella cheese, finished with a swirl of tangy, spicy buffalo sauce.

It's only available through the end of April (Editor's note 6/29 - apparently it's still available) and will cost you $10 for a large.

Mar 14, 2012

Review: KFC - Chunky Chicken Pot Pie

KFC's Chunky Chicken Pot Pie is one of those items I've always wanted to try but always got sidetracked by other menu items and promotion.

Thankfully, KFC currently has a promotion where the pie is $3.99 and that's as good an excuse as any to finally get me one.

News: Starbucks - Spring 2012 Line Up - New Petites Pies and Tarts

Starbucks is expanding their line of Petites mini-desserts with new Petites pies and tarts.

They're are two new pies and two new tarts and they're available for $1.50 each, two for $2.50, or six for $7.50.

News: Arby's - Buy One, Get One Free Reuben Sandwich

Arby's is offering a "buy one, get one free" coupon for their Reuben sandwich on their Facebook page here. The coupon is only good this upcoming St. Patrick's Day weekend from Friday, March 16 through Sunday, March 18.

Arby's Reuben comes with fresh, carved corned beef, melted Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing on toasted marble rye bread and carries a suggested retail price of $4.99.

News: Burger King - Free Fries on March 17 and 18

This St. Patrick's Day weekend (March 17 to 18), Burger King is giving you a little green (they're calling it "Heinz St. Paddy's sauce" but I think it's ketchup) as well as a free value-size order of their new fries.

There's no purchase necessary and you don't have to wear green or anything like that (although you can... it is St. Patrick's Day after all). As usual, it's limit one order per customer and while supplies last.
Mar 13, 2012

Review: Nabisco - Belvita Blueberry Breakfast Biscuits

Nabisco's Belvita Breakfast Biscuits come with the tagline "Nutritious Sustained Energy" and are supposed to help keep you energized through the morning. They really make it sound like health food.

Each 1.76-ounce (50g) pack comes with four crunchy biscuits which provide 18g of whole grain. I picked up a box of the Blueberry flavor which contains five packs and was on sale for $2.99 at my local supermarket.

News: Krispy Kreme - HOP-inspired Donuts

While rival donut chain, Dunkin' Donuts is going all St. Patrick's Day this Spring, Krispy Kreme is going Easter with new, limited-time, egg-shaped, HOP-inspired Donuts

Celebrating Easter and the DVD release of the Easter-themed family comedy, HOP, the two new donuts are the Sprinkled Chocolate Iced Egg with Kreme Filling and the Drizzled Iced Egg with Chocolate Kreme Filling.

News: Dunkin' Donuts - New St. Patty's Day Donuts

Dunkin' Donuts has your green this St. Patrick's Day time with two new St. Patrick's Day-themed donuts: the Lucky Mint Donut and the Green Shamrock Donut.

The Lucky Mint Donut is a glazed chocolate cake donut with chocolate icing and topped with mint chocolate bark.

The Green Shamrock Donut (pictured) features a yeast donut with green icing and shamrock-shaped sprinkles.

News: McDonald's Testing Fresh Bakery Goods in New England

According to the Boston Globe, McDonald's is testing freshly-baked... um... baked goods (yeah, I really strained my brain for that one) out in the New England area.

The new items are: Cheese Danish (McDonald's actually used to serve Cheese Danishes back in the '80s), Blueberry Muffin, Multi-grain Berry Muffin, Banana Bread, and (frosted) Mini Vanilla Scones  and are made with ingredients like butter, fruit, and whole grain oats.

News: Hostess- New, Limited-time Spring Twinkies and SnoBalls

Hostess is celebrating the Spring with two new, limited-edition Twinkies and SnoBalls.

New Lemon Creme Twinkies are the result of a contest a while back where fans voted on what would be the next Twinkie Flavor. Lemon Creme beat out other flavors like Raspberry Tart, Cookies 'n Creme, and Blueberry Pie.

As for Springtime SnoBalls, instead of pink, the creme-filled chocolate cakes coated in marshmallow and coconut will be lavender for the a limited time.