Jul 31, 2012

Review: McDonald's Sausage McMuffin with Egg

McDonald's Sausage McMuffin with Egg is the other McMuffin to McDonald's Egg McMuffin (which has ham instead of sausage; why isn't it the Ham McMuffin then...?). Inside the the English muffin, you'll find a sausage patty, a slice of American cheese, and a fried egg.

Southern California McDonald's is currently doing a promotion where you can score two of Sausage McMuffins with Egg for $3.79. I would point out that the Sausage McMuffin without egg is only $1.

News: First New Hot Dog on a Stick Drive-Thru

Hot Dog on a Stick, famed purveyor of freshly battered and fried corn dogs (and cheese sticks!), is stepping outside of its mall locations and trying out drive-thru service out in West Jordan, Utah.

If you've never been to a Hot Dog on a Stick, they're known for a simple menu of fresh-dipped-and-fried corn dogs and fresh-squeezed lemonade (they also do cheese on a stick, funnel sticks, and fries). Basically, it's like county fair food, but all-year-round.

News: Peet's Coffee - Free Medium Iced or Blended Drink Tomorrow!

Peet's Coffee is running a neat promotion tomorrow, Wednesday, August 1, to celebrate the beginning of August with free medium iced or blended beverages (with coupon).

The offer is good Wednesday, August 1, from 12pm to close only and no purchase is necessary. You will, however, need a coupon which you can print out or show from your mobile phone. You can print the coupon here.
Jul 30, 2012

Review: Wendy's Frosty - Chocolate vs. Vanilla

Ah, Chocolate or Vanilla... the age-old battle between number 1 and 2 in the world of ice cream popularity. And yet, Wendy's Frosty has originally always been chocolate. It wasn't until recently that Wendy's added a tap for the Vanilla frosty to expand their frozen dessert offerings (you can't really use chocolate as a base to build other flavors... well, unless those flavors also include chocolate...).

With that in mind, I thought I'd compare Wendy's Chocolate (Original) Frosty versus Wendy's Vanilla Frosty.

News: Starbucks - New Vegetarian Bistro Box

Starbucks has a new vegetarian-friendly Bistro Box out: the Goat Cheese & Garden Veggies Bistro Box which features a vegetable medley, goat cheese, tzatziki dip, and cranberry almond crackers.

The vegetable medley includes cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, and bell peppers.

Depending on how strict a vegetarian you are, you may want to avoid the tzatziki dip as it contains gelatin. The goat cheese, on the other hand, is made with vegetal rennet.

Jul 29, 2012

Top Five McDonald's Menu Failures... in Videos!

McDonald's has come out with a lot of menu items over the years; some good, some not so good. Today, we'll look at the top five menu items from McDonald's that, for whatever reasons, just didn't catch on... with video footage! Thank you YouTube!

In no particular order (queue the '80s music!):

My Starbucks is Not This Swanky: Vigo Street Starbucks in London

In terms of look and feel Starbucks stores are generally pretty nice and cozy, which makes sense since more than coffee (which is often fairly average), Starbucks sells service and the idea of affordable luxury. I've read that in a survey of customers in China, a majority preferred the taste of competitors, but still went to Starbucks for the service.

There are some Starbucks locations that are more than just "pretty nice and cozy" though. That make you step back and think "This is Starbucks?!" Take this Starbucks location on Vigo Street in the West End of London:

Review: Hamakua Plantations - Spam Flavored Macadamia Nuts

For one reason or another Spam is all the rage in Hawaii. It should come as little surprise then that Spam Flavored Macadamia Nuts are available and produced by the folks at Hamakua Plantations.

You can actually buy these online for $3.85 for a 4.5-ounce can. My friend brought this back for me from Hawaii.

Jul 28, 2012

Review: Magnum Mint Ice Cream Bars

Magnum Mint Ice Cream Bars are a new flavor of the premium ice cream brand and features mint ice cream dipped in Belgian milk chocolate and specks of caramelized sugar crunch.

Similar to rival Häagen-Dazs bars, they come three bars to a box for $4.99. These were on sale for $2.99 though. The bars are 3.38 fl oz each which is just slightly more than a Häagen-Dazs.

Neat! Starbucks Asia - Red Bean & Green Tea and Hojicha Frappuccinos

Starbucks stores in quite a few countries across Asia are running an interesting, limited-time promotion this summer. They've got two new Frappuccinos on tap: the Hojicha + Tea Jelly Frappuccino and the Red Bean + Green Tea Frappuccino.

Hojicha is a gently roasted (the drink is a light brown) Japanese green tea so The Hojicha + Tea Jelly Frappuccino is a bit like the Green Tea latte they have here in the States, but it's paired with Earl Grey Tea Jelly. The flavor is described as a mix of the "toasty and creaminess of Hojicha" with the "refreshing, floral, and aromatic" of Earl Grey.

Jul 27, 2012

Frozen Friday: Red Baron - Classic Crust Special Deluxe Pizza

Red Baron's Classic Crust Special Deluxe Pizza is their tried-and-true frozen pizza crust topped with two cheese, sausage, mushrooms, pepperoni, black olives, green and red peppers, and onions.

I scored a 22.95-ounce pizza on sale for $2.99; they're normally $6.99.

Review: Wendy's - Vanilla Iced Coffee

My local Wendy's has started serving new Iced Coffee. The iced coffee is actually separate from their brewed coffee and comes out of a dispenser. Both are made with 100% Arabica beans which is pretty much the norm these days. They add milk after and a shot of syrup (Vanilla, Sugar-Free Vanilla, Mocha, or Caramel) can be had for an extra 25 cents.

I paid $1.29 for a value-sized cup (12 ounces) plus 25 cents extra for Vanilla flavor.

Jul 26, 2012

Review: Jack in the Box - Mini Corn Dogs

Jack in the Box Mini Corn Dogs in a bag.

Jack in the Box's new, limited-time Mini Corn Dogs are pretty self explanatory but just in case, they're bite-sized hot dogs with a deep-fried corn meal batter coating.

This review comes courtesy of The Sister who says she picked up an order of these at five for $1.49.

News: McDonald's Testing Mighty Wings in Atlanta

Mighty Wings: the Return? Maybe. According to Burger Business, McDonald's is currently testing a fried chicken wings product similar to KFC's Hot Wings in the Atlanta area.

Don't get your hopes up though. The Huffington Post reports that there are "no plans to roll [Mighty Wings] out nationally."

What's on the Menu: Burger King Argentina

Argentina is known for its love of beef and grilled barbecue in particular are very popular. But how does that translate to the Burger King menu? This edition of What's on the Menu looks at Burger King Argentina to see how they do it way down south.

The most Argentine Burger King interpretation has to be the Traditional Churrasquito or "grilled beef sandwich." In Argentina, a churrasco is any long thin cut of beef (usually steak) grilled over hot coals or on a very hot skillet or other similar method.

Jul 25, 2012

Review: Quiznos - Chicken Milano Sub

Quiznos new Chicken Milano Sub is the centerpiece to their recent menu revamp and offers all-natural chicken, all-natural mozzarella, an Italian 3-cheese blend, a seasonal lettuce blend, tomatoes, and smoky sundried tomato and basil pestos on a toasted artisan bread of your choice (I went with the Rosemary Parmesan bread).

It's under 500 calories if you go with a small size, but I got a regular size; it's comparable to a Subway Footlong in size and is enough for two people. The price on a regular was $6.39, but I received mine for free courtesy of Quiznos.

News: Jamba Juice - California Only - BOGO Smoothies!

Jamba Juice locations in the Los Angeles and Bay Areas of California are running a "buy one, get one free" promotion on smoothies starting tomorrow, Thursday, July 26 and running through Tuesday, July 31.

Calling it the "California Summer BOGO," you'll need a coupon to take advantage of the offer. You can print out the coupon from here and see the list of participating locations as well.

News: Carl's Jr. / Hardee's - New Bacon Bacon Biscuit

Whether you like strip bacon or Canadian bacon, Carl's Jr. and sister chain Hardee's has you covered with the new Bacon Bacon Biscuit which features bacon strips and a slice of grilled Canadian bacon along with egg and cheese on a Made from Scratch buttermilk biscuit.

Pricing starts at $2.29 for an individual Bacon Bacon Biscuit or $3.99 for a breakfast combo with Hash Rounds and your choice of a soft drink, coffee, or orange juice. Prices may vary.

News: Del Taco - New $4 Meals

For a limited time, Del Taco is offering four new $4 value meals. The four available meals are Del's Deal, the Classic Deal, the Grilled Chicken Deal, and the Variety Deal.

Here's what's comes with each deal:

News: Jamba Juice - New Light Classic Smoothies

Jamba Juice now offers new "Make It Light" versions of their line of "Classic" Smoothies" in all Jamba stores. Through the use of a "lower calorie daily base (contains milk and Splenda), the light version smoothies feature one-third fewer calories, carbohydrates, and sugar than their regular counterparts.

For a 16-ounce smoothie, a Make It Light Smoothie delivers 160-200 calories, 31-41g sugar, and 36-48g carbohydrate compared to a similar Classic Smoothie which gives you 260-320 calories, 53-70g sugar, and 61-78g carbohydrates.

Jul 24, 2012

Review: Yoshinoya - New, Improved Combo Bowl

Yoshinoya fairly recently made changes to their bowls to include more chicken, vegetables, and rice plus a new, savory vegetable sauce, crispier vegetables, and sesame seeds and green onions as toppings.

Their bowls were a good size before, but now come in a bigger square box (rather than the old rectangle) that's enough for two (or two meals!). I picked up a Combo Bowl which comes with their trademark simmered beef, teriyaki chicken, and vegetables for $5.89.

Neat! McDonald's Thailand Offers Japanese-Style Bentos

Out in Thailand, McDonald's is offering a limited-time promotion with what looks to be a Japanese-style bento.

Calling it "Spicy Chicken Teriyaki Rice," the meal comes in a plastic compartmentalized tray (think frozen dinner) with slices of crispy fried spicy chicken topped with teriyaki sauce, steamed rice, and a fresh salad. The price comes out to about 69 Thai baht or about $2.17.

News: Pizza Hut Returns "Any Pizza for $10" Deal

For a limited time, Pizza Hut returns their "Any Pizza for $10" deal where customers can get any pizza, or any size, and with any number of toppings for $10.

They say "any pizza," but stuffed crust and extra cheese will cost you extra. Available crusts are Pan, Hand-Tossed, or Thin 'n Crispy.

Jul 23, 2012

Review: Quiznos - Meatball Sub Slider

Quiznos' new Sub Sliders are part of a recent menu overhaul that included the addition of new sliders, wraps, and flatbreads. The new Meatball Sub Sliders include Italian meatballs, all-natural mozzarella, an Italian 3-cheese blend (it seemed like Romano, Parmesan, and Asiago cheese by my guess), and marinara sauce served on a toasted dinner roll.

You get two sliders (mix and match if you like) per order for $4.49. I got these for free courtesy of Quiznos though.

News: McDonald's Pushes "Under 400 Calories" Menu

With the 2012 London Olympics Games set to start this Friday, McDonald's looks to promote the avaiability of their nutritional information by highlighting the new "Favorites Under 400 Calories" menu which organizes under 400 calorie items from their existing menu into four tiers based on calorie ranges to help customers makes informed choices to meet their caloric goals (or lack thereof). The four tiers range from "400 calories or under" to "100 calories or under."

Along with the new point-of-sale menu boards, McDonald's is also launching an instant win game starting tomorrow, Tuesday, July 23. Dubbed the "Win When the USA Wins Gold" promotion, select items from the "Favorites Under 400 Calories" menu will contain a games piece that you can peel and possibly win prizes instantly. All game pieces will also have a code you can enter at for a chance to win prizes whenever the USA nets a gold in this summer's Olympics.

News: Jack in the Box - New Mini Corn Dogs

Jack in the Box is adding to the variety of snackables on their menu with new Mini Corn Dogs, but only for a limited time.

The new Mini Corn Dogs are bite-sized and come 5 pieces to an order.

They join a lineup of finger foods that include Seasoned Curly Fries, Egg Rolls, Stuffed Jalapenos, and Mozzarella Cheese Sticks.

Jul 22, 2012

Review: Häagen-Dazs - Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bars

Häagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bars are a limited edition version of their standard chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bars. Each bar features two salted caramel ribbons blended into vanilla ice cream and coated in milk chocolate.

If you want vanilla ice cream and chocolate over "frozen dairy dessert" and "chocolaty coating," you'll pay a premium as a box of three 3-ounce bars retails for about $4.99.

Jul 21, 2012

Review: M&M's Peanut Salty & Sweet Snack Mix

M&M's Peanut Salty & Sweet Snack Mix features an assortment of Peanut M&M's, mini shortbread cookies, roasted almonds, and mini pretzels.

An 8-ounce resealable bag retails for $3.29.

Video: McDonald's London Olympics Restaurant Construction Timelapse

With the London Olympics just around the corner, McDonald's has a neat, time-lapsed video of the construction of the world's largest McDonald's restaurant at Olympic Park for the London 2012 Olympics Games.

The flagship Olympic restaurant seats up to 1,500 people and will be dismantled after the Games. But don't worry, 75 percent of the materials will be reused and almost everything will be recycled.

You can check out the video below:

Jul 20, 2012

Frozen Friday: Lean Cuisine - Five Cheese Rigatoni

Lean Cuisine's Five Cheese Rigatoni frozen meal is a simple dish of rigatoni pasta in tomato sauce topped with a 5 cheese blend.

It retails for $3.29 at my local Albertson's.

Jul 19, 2012

Review: Wendy's Son of Baconator

Wendy's Son of Baconator side-view
Wendy's Son of Baconator is the newest kid on the block on the Wendy's menu and features a slight less beefy version of the Baconator. Besides sporting two 2.25-ounce beef patties (compared to the Baconator's 1/4-pound patties) and 2 less strips of bacon (4 total), Junior is dressed with the same two slices of American cheese, ketchup, and mayo and comes on the same buttered and toasted premium bun.

The Son of Baconator sells for $3.99 at my local Wendy's, but I got mine for free courtesy of Wendy's.

News: Jack in the Box - New Malted Crunch Shakes

If you like milkshakes with a malted crunch, for a limited time, Jack in the Box is offering new Malted Crunch Shakes.

Malted Crunch Shakes feature candy-coated malted crunch bits (Whoppers!) and come in two flavors: Vanilla and Chocolate. As with all of Jack's shakes, they're made with vanilla ice cream and finished with whipped topping and a maraschino cherry.

My local Jack in the Box sells shakes at $2.69 for a regular (16 ounce) and $3.19 for a large (24 ounce). I expect the price will be the same with the Malted Crunch Shakes.

News: Arby's - 64 Cent Classic Roast Beef Sandwich on July 23!

Arby's is celebrating their 48th birthday this upcoming Monday, July 23 (Arby's was founded on July 23, 1964 in Boardman, Ohio) and to celebrate, they are offering a printable coupon for a 64 cent Classic Roast Beef Sandwich via their Facebook page.

To get to the coupon, you can travel back in time down Arby's Facebook timeline to 1964 and view classic Arby's photos, commercials, and what not...

News: Wendy's - New Mobile Nutrition App

For those watching your calorie or nutritional intake, Wendy's now has an app for your iPhone or Android that they're calling the "My Wendy's" App.

The app lets you look up nutritional information regarding Wendy's menu. It also allows you to set calorie goals and will suggest menu items/combos to meet those goals.

Around the World: McDonald's Hong Kong - Hello Kitty Fairy Tales Promo

McDonald's Hong Kong is currently running a Hello Kitty promotion that includes stuffies, food, and a nifty discount card. Dubbed the "Fairytale Flavors of Summer" the promotion features a staggered release schedule of Hello Kitty stuffed toys dressed like familiar fairy tale characters; there's the Ugly Duckling, the Frog Prince, the Cowardly Lion, and Little Red Riding Hood.

Jul 18, 2012

Review: Ben & Jerry's - Strawberry Shortcake Greek Frozen Yogurt

Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Shortcake Greek Frozen Yogurt is made with real Greek frozen yogurt mixed with strawberries and shortbread pieces.

A pint retails for around $4 to $5 in my area. I try and pick them up on sale for around $3.

Neat! 7-Eleven Singapore Mashed Potato Dispensing Machine

At 7-Eleven Singapore, it seems having instant mashed potatoes is popular (or cheap) enough to warrant having a mashed potato AND gravy dispenser in stores. It's like a Slurpee machine! But for mashed potatoes!

Beyond a little concern about old mashed potatoes getting stuck in the dispensing tube, it seems interesting enough. The machine has two separate dispensing spouts (one for mashed potatoes and one for gravy). You just place a bowl down and press a button and out comes piping hot mashed potatoes, shortly followed by gravy. You can see it in action below:

Jul 17, 2012

Review: Panda Express - Beijing Beef

Panda Express' Beijing Beef was one of their limited-time offers that sold well enough to make the regular menu. Beijing Beef features battered and deep-fried marinated beef stir-fried in a wok with red bell peppers, sliced onions, and a sweet and spicy sauce.

My local Panda Express has 2-entree plates for $6.29.

News: Starbucks - New Bountiful Blueberry Muffin

Starbucks has rejiggered their blueberry muffin formula and now offer new Bountiful Blueberry Muffins in their bakery display.

So why "bountiful?" The new muffins have 20% more blueberries than the old ones, which should make for more blueberry flavor and let you think to yourself, "well at least I'm getting 1/3 a serving of fruit per muffin... that's got to count for something right?"

Neat! McDonald's Shows You How to Make Big Mac "Secret" Sauce at Home

McDonald's, or rather, McDonald's Canada has been extremely forthcoming with answering their customers' submitted questions as of late. In a recent video, they were asked, "What is in the sauce that is in the Big Mac?" and in answer, McDonald's Executive Chef Dan Coudreaut (the guy in charge of all the recipes at McDonald's) demonstrated how to make a Big Mac at home, including the mac sauce, with ingredients from your grocery store.

You can check it out below:

Jul 16, 2012

Review: Starbucks - Cool Lime Starbucks Refresher

The Cool Lime Starbucks Refresher is basically a mix of fruit juice, mint, and a lime slice with green coffee extract (i.e. caffeine) shaken with ice.

A 12-ounce Tall sits between an iced coffee and iced latte in price at $2.95. Starbucks has the Refreshers up to a 31-ounce Trenta for $4.45.

News: Chick-fil-A - Peach Milkshake Returns for a Limited-Time

Hand-spun Peach Milkshakes are back at Chick-fil-A this summer for a limited-time. Featuring peaches blended into Chick-fil-A's Icedream soft serve, Peach Milkshakes are made to order and topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

Of course, with the arrival of the Peach Milkshake, the Banana Pudding Milkshake makes its yearly good bye.

News: Arby's - New Turkey Asiago Sandwich

Arby's new Turkey Asiago is a limited-time sandwich offering oven-roasted turkey, tomatoes, Asiago cheese, green leaf lettuce, thinly sliced red onions, and savory au jus spread (a mix of mayo and au jus powder) on honey wheat bread or in a whole wheat wrap.

Asiago seems to be a fancier (or at least less common) substitute for Swiss at some fast food restaurants nowadays.

Jul 15, 2012

Review: Ruffles Ultimate - Kickin' Jalapeno Ranch Chips

Ruffles Ultimate Kickin' Jalapeno Ranch potato chips are part of the Ruffles Ultimate line with "hardercore ridges for hardcore dips."

An 8-ounce bag retails for $4.29, but it's not uncommon to find them on sale for $2 to $3.

Dessert Pizzas from Around the World

Besides the run-of-the-mill savory pizzas that you're used to, in Brazil, they also like dessert pizzas. Since Brazil has both Domino's and Pizza Hut, it's not surprising that each chain offers a dessert pie or two to complete your meal...

At Domino's Brazil, they offer a Banana Pizza and a Chocolate Pizza.

News: Kettle Brand - Limited Batch 30th Birthday Collection

Kettle Brand Chips returns four of their retired flavors for a limited time to celebrate 30 years of making kettle-cooked potato chips. Dubbed the "Limited Batch Birthday Collection," the flavors include: Red Chili, Jalapeno Jack, Salsa with Mesquite, and Cheddar Beer.

Red Chili first appeared in 1982 and offers the flavor of Sriracha sauce combined with a vinegar tang and Cayenne pepper for extra heat.

Jul 14, 2012

Review: M&M's - Mint Dark Chocolate

M&M's Mint Dark Chocolate features the same M&M's you know and love, but overgrown and filled with dark chocolate instead of the standard milk chocolate.

A normal 1.5-ounce bag is almost $1 these days (I remember when they used to be 50 cents a bag...).

Jul 13, 2012

Frozen Friday: Healthy Choice - Lemon Herb Chicken

Healthy Choice's Lemon Herb Chicken frozen entrée features chicken tenderloins with whole grain pasta, cherry tomatoes, and green beans in a herb lemon-Chardonnay sauce. It clocks in at 8.7 ounces and a very low 200 calories.

Like other Healthy Choice Steaming Entrées, it costs $2.99 in my area or around $2.00 on sale.

News: Subway Testing Santa Fe Steak Melts

Subway is testing new Santa Fe Steak Melts for a limited time out in Arizona and Virginia (and probably other markets as well).

The Santa Fe Steak Melts include the Santa Fe Steak & Bacon Melt and the Santa Fe Steak, Bacon, and Egg Melt (breakfast only).

News: Cheesecake Factory - 1/2 Price Cheesecake Slices on July 30

So July 30th is National Cheesecake Day (they have a national day for everything don't they?) and The Cheesecake Factory is celebrating by offering any slice of cheesecake for 1/2 off (dine-in only) on July 30.

Since the Oreo cookie celebrated its 100th birthday this year, the Cheesecake Factory will also be debuting the Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake on July 30.