Sep 30, 2012

Review: Kozy Shack - Rice Pudding

Kozy Shack Rice Pudding is a milk-based rice pudding dessert made with all natural ingredients.

A six-pack of 4-ounce cups retails for $4.79 at my local supermarket. Interestingly, the supermarket also sells a 22-ounce tub for the same price. You actually get more for your money with the six pack.

What's on the Menu: Starbucks Japan

While Starbucks is fairly uniform with what they offer drink-wise in countries across the world, the Japanese with their love of limited-time promotions get some drinks that may never see the light of day in other countries and have certainly never been offered here in the U.S.

Here's a list of some of the drinks that have passed through the Starbucks Japan menu and that you might wished Starbucks would bring home to the U.S. (maybe someday...):

Sep 29, 2012

Review: Burger King - Minibon

Burger King's Minibons are the same baked rolls offered at malls everywhere by Cinnabon, but are now available at Burger King restaurants nationally. Each mini-cinnamon roll features Makara cinnamon and cream cheese frosting.

My local Burger King is offering them for $1.99 each or two for $3.69, or four for $5.99.

Around the World: KFC Arabia - Buffalo Ranch Big Filler

If you've ever thought to yourself, "Gee, it'd be great if KFC made a sub/grinder sandwich..." Guess what... They do! ...Just not in the U.S. Looking to be almost a foot long, the Big Filler sandwich is available at KFC Arabia as well as in Pakistan. The tagline for the sandwiches is "everlasting size and taste!"

Around the World: KFC Hong Kong - Foilicious Chicken

KFC Hong Kong has a recurring limited time menu item they serve called Foilicious Chicken. It's basically seasoned chicken that's baked in foil. For this fall, they're offering a new variety of Folicious Chicken baked with soy sauce and served with radishes (pickled it looks like).

A "meal set" i.e. combo meal is offered for $39.50 HK (~$5.09 US) and comes with a leg and thigh, radish, imitation shark fin soup, rice (can be substituted for mashed potatoes), and a soft drink. A red bean egg tart(!) can be added for an additional $5 HK (~$.65 US).

Sep 28, 2012

Frozen Friday: Lean Cuisine - Chicken Fettuccini

Lean Cuisine's Chicken Fettuccini is simple enough and features cubed roasted white meat chicken and fettuccini pasta in an alfredo sauce.

A 9.25-ounce box regularly sells for $3.29 at one of my local supermarkets (with sales bringing it down to the $2 to $3 range).

News: Dunkin' Donuts - New Pumpkin Mocha and Pumpkin White Chocolate Coffees

Dunkin' Donuts celebrates National Coffee Day tomorrow, Saturday, September 29, with two new coffee flavors and a special offer this weekend.

New on tap at Dunkin' are Pumpkin Mocha and Pumpkin White Chocolate coffees and lattes. Available hot or on ice, the new flavors will only be around for a limited-time and help make the Dunkin' fall menu more pumpkin-y.

News: Wienerschnitzel - New 99 Cent Mini Sundaes

For a limited-time, Wienerschnitzel is offering mini versions of their sundaes for 99 cents.

The Mini Sundaes look pretty basic: just vanilla soft serve with your choice of four syrups (caramel, strawberry, chocolate, and hot fudge. It's pretty much what McDonald's offers, except McDonald's supplies a tiny bag of crushed peanuts to go with.

Sep 27, 2012

Review: Wienerschnitzel - Der Chicken Dippers

Wienerschnitzel's new, limited-time Der Chicken Dippers are boneless white-meat chicken pieces that are lightly breaded and deep-fried to order.

They're sold by weight and somewhat pricey: $3.59 for 1/3 lb, $5.99 for 1/2 lb, and $9.99 for 1lb. I went for the 1/2 lb box for $5.99. Compare that to McDonald's Chicken McBites which were $4.99 for 10-ounces (8-ounces is 1/2 lb). That being said, you get more chicken out of Der Chicken Dippers.

News: Jack in the Box - New Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt

Jack's latest and greatest, the new Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt, lands on the Jack in the Box menu today.

Back by a promotional campaign with mullets (is that a Philly thing?! I don't think Philly when I think mullet...), the sandwich features sliced steak, grilled onions, fire-roasted red and green peppers, melted cheese, and mayo-onion sauce on sourdough bread.

News: Del Taco - Crispy Shrimp is Back

Del Taco brings back Crispy Shrimp for a limited-run this fall and adds a new spicy option. The crispy fried little shrimp are available in burrito or taco form.

The Crispy Shrimp Taco features a flour tortilla folded around crispy shrimp, cabbage, secret sauce, and pico de gallo salsa. The spicy version swaps out the secret sauce for a spicy sauce.

Sep 26, 2012

Review: Arby's - Grand Turkey Club

Arby's Grand Turkey Club is the flagship sandwich of Arby's new line of Turkey Roaster sandwiches. It features a toasted Harvest Wheat bun stacked with sliced roast turkey, Swiss cheese, pepper bacon, leaf lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

It falls at the premium end of fast food pricing at $4.49 for a sandwich at my local Arby's. I did have a coupon for free fries and a drink with the purchase though.

Neat! Starbucks Japan Pop-Up Store Has You Ordering By Book

Starbucks Japan currently has a pop-up store (taking over an art gallery in Tokyo) where you order by grabbing a color-coded book from an expansive book shelf and take it to your barista for your drink.

Brand Eating Giveaway: Sonic Gift Card and Keyboard Cleaning Kit

I have a $20 Sonic gift card and keyboard cleaning kit to give away to one lucky reader, courtesy of Sonic Drive-In.

Why a keyboard cleaning kit? Their latest limited-time menu items are wrap sandwiches (breakfast burritos and Flatmelt Sandwiches to be specific) and for those of you who like to eat while reading Brand Eating (right?!), Sonic claims they are ideal for that purpose without making a mess, but just in case...

News: Church's Chicken - Big Tex Tender Sandwich

For a limited time, Church's Chicken offers the new Big Tex Tender Sandwich, featuring two hand-battered and breaded chicken tenders, lettuce, pickles, and mayo served between two thick slices of buttery Texas toast.

News: Panda Express - Thai Cashew Chicken Breast Returns

For a limited-time, Panda Express has brought back Thai Cashew Chicken Breast to their menu. Last seen in 2010, the dish is designated, "Wok Smart," with 220 calories per serving and features chicken breast pieces,  red bell peppers, onions, cilantro and green onions, all tossed in a wok with a signature savory sauce, finally, roasted cashews are thrown in for crunch.

Like a lot of Panda Express' limited-time offers, they will be offering free single servings of Thai Cashew Chicken Breast on Wednesday, 10/3/12. You'll need a coupon though; it's available on the Panda Express' website and Facebook (or you can just print it out here).

Sep 25, 2012

Review: Domino's - Handmade Pan Pizza

A top-down view of Domino's Handmade Pan Pizza.
Domino's new Handmade Pan Pizza is a bold move into Pizza Hut territory and features fresh dough hand-pressed into a pizza pan before baking. There's not much crust to hold on to as the toppings are sprinkled right to the edge of the pizza.

I picked up a 12" medium pan pizza with bacon and sausage from my local Domino's for $7.99 with a online coupon (without any coupons/discounts, it's $10.99 for a 1-topping pan pizza). There are currently no large or small options for the pan pizza, only medium.

News: Wendy's - New Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt

I caught this passing my local Wendy's restaurant and managed to verify it: Wendy's is out with the new, limited-time Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt. Some of you might recognize it as the previous limited-time offer Bacon Mushroom Melt, but with an extra slice of cheese.

The burger features a quarter pound beef patty, two slices of American cheese, and thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, smothered with portabella mushrooms in a cheddar cheese sauce made with Old English Cheddar.

News: Popeyes Returns Dip'n Chick'n

Popeyes returns Dip'n Chick'n ("dipping chicken") for a limited time. The dish features scoop-cut chicken medallions marinated in Louisiana herbs and spices and hand-battered and breaded before a dunk in hot oil. Think of them as dipping corn chips (think Fritos), but wider and made of chicken.

Popeyes is offering Dip'n Chick'n in a combo with Cajun fries, a biscuit, and an extra-large serving Blackened Ranch Dipping Sauce for $3.99 through October 21, 2012.

News: Panera Bread - 2012 Seasonal Fall Menu

Panera Bread has quite a lot going on this fall with the number of new and returning items on their seasonal fall menu including a Pumpkin Pie Bagel and a Roasted Turkey and Cranberry Panini.

Let's start with what's new:

New Steel Cut Oatmeal topped with Dried Cherries, Apple Chips & Almonds - Cooked organic steel cut oats, topped with Panera's signature cinnamon crunch topping, dried cherries, apple chips, and almonds.

Sep 24, 2012

Review: Burger King - Popcorn Chicken

Burger King's Popcorn Chicken is part of their autumn chicken-centered menu and features bite-size, battered and fried pieces of chicken breast. They look a lot like McDonald's Chicken McBites which were available earlier this year and I'm sure that's the intent with Burger King's recent McDonald's-like menu expansion.

A small order cost me $1.99.

News: Papa John's - New Meatball and Pepperoni Pizza

Papa John's is baking up the new Meatball and Pepperoni Pizza, their latest limited-time pizza. The new pizza, unsurprisingly, is topped with meatballs, pepperoni, a blend of cheeses, and sprinkled with Italian herb seasoning and a large is offered for $11.

The price is a buck more than the typical $10 they try to offer their limited-time pizzas. Of course, if you order under their "Early Week Mania," which runs Monday through Wednesday, it's only $9.99.

Sep 23, 2012

Review: Carl's Jr. - Bacon Bacon Biscuit

Carl's Jr.'s Bacon Bacon Biscuit is your standard bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, but with the addition of a slice of Canadian bacon

It's $2.29 per sandwich which is a pretty average price as far as these things go. It is a little bigger than other breakfast sandwiches since Carl's Jr.'s biscuit is hamburger-bun-sized.

News: Domino's - New Handmade Pan Pizza

Starting tomorrow, Domino's goes straight at rival Pizza Hut with a new Handmade Pan Pizza crust option. Why the "Handmade" prefix? The new pizza crust will be made from fresh dough in-stores. Apparently, according to USA Today, some Pizza Hut locations use frozen dough for their pan pizzas, so Domino's will be playing up that angle.

Around the World: KFC Japan - New Bacon Potato Fritters

For a limited-time, KFC Japan is offering an homage to the chain's southern roots and the brand's founder with the Colonel's Bacon Potato Fritters.

The mashed potatoes are mixed with bits of bacon, herbs, and sour cream before being battered and fried.

I have to say, I know it's just a promo shot, but it looks and sounds really tasty! It's not too different from the potato croquettes that are popular in Japan which are similar, but tend to be breaded with panko bread crumbs instead of just battered.

The price on these is 170 yen each (~$2.17 U.S.).

Neat! You Can Get Personal Drip Coffee in U.S.

So it looks like you can get single-use personal drip coffee here in the U.S. though you can't get Starbucks brand Origami coffee (as far as I know). I spotted these boxes at a Mitsuwa Japanese supermarket. They're imported from Japan and available from Key Coffee and UCC respectively, which are two of the major players in the home coffee market in Japan.

Sep 22, 2012

Review: Starbucks - Morning Bun

Starbucks' Morning Bun features a croissant-like bun rolled up like a cinnamon roll and dusted with cinnamon and sugar.

The price is pretty standard as far as morning buns go at $1.95.

Around the World: Pizza Hut Middle East - Cone Crust Pizza

They must really like their novelty crusts out in the Middle East. Following up the Crown Crust Pizza (where they had mini burgers baked into the crust), Pizza Hut Middle East's latest menu addition is the new Cone Crust Pizza.

The Cone Crust is a crust option on any pizza where the crust is folded into little cones filled with either cream cheese or honey mustard chicken or an alternating combination of both before baking.

What's on the Menu: Wendy's Malaysia

I ran across the Wendy's Malaysia menu recently and thought you guys might want to have a look. Highlights include sour cream with fries and pasta!

Sep 21, 2012

Frozen Friday: Fresh & Easy - Beef Tamale

Fresh & Easy's Beef Tamale with Tomatillo Chili Sauce caught my eye as a lesser chosen frozen meal with an easy price. It features a corn tamale filled with seasoned beef, covered in a green tomatillo sauce and cheddar cheese and served with a side of Mexican-style seasoned rice.

All of Fresh & Easy's individual-serving frozen entrees are $1.99 each.

News: Krispy Kreme - Free Coffee on National Coffee Day

To celebrate National Coffee Day, Krispy Kreme is offering free coffee in stores and a chance to win free coffee for a year online.

No purchase is necessary to claim your free 12-ounce cup of coffee on National Coffee Day, Saturday, September 29, 2012, but you will have to make sure the location you frequent is participating in the promotion. The promotion is valid in the U.S. and Canada only.

Sep 20, 2012

Review: Burger King - Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

Burger King's Chicken Parmesan Sandwich is a fancier iteration of their occasional menu item, the Italian Chicken Sandwich. The Chicken Parmesan Sandwich comes with crispy or grilled chicken breast, mozzarella and shaved Parmesan cheeses, and marinara sauce on an artisan-style bun.

The suggested retail price is $4.79, but my local Burger King has them for $4.99. Fortunately, Burger King has a buy one, get one free coupon online, so I tried both the grilled and crispy versions.

News: Cinnabon - Free Minibons on September 25th

Cinnabon is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the mini version of their trademark Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, the Minibon, by offering Facebook fans one free Minibon each on Tuesday, September 25, 2012.

The offer requires a coupon that is printable from Cinnabon's Facebook page and is good at participating mall locations only.

Around the World: Subway Japan - Spanish Subs

Subway Japan follows up last month's English-themed promotion (and French before that) with a Spanish-themed promotion featuring a Bacon & Potato with Anchovy Sauce sub and a Spanish Omelet with Tomato Meat Sauce sub.

The featured ingredients are not the first, second, nor third thing I think of when I think of Spanish cuisine (bacon and potatoes make me think Irish and tomato meat sauce makes me think Italian), but the subs seem interesting enough.

Sep 19, 2012

News: Ben & Jerry's - New Cannoli Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's latest U.S. limited batch ice cream flavor is Cannoli. This take on the classic Sicilian pastry features mascarpone ice cream with fudge-covered cannoli pastry chunks and a mascarpone swirl.

Ben & Jerry's Cannoli ice cream is set to arrive in stores by the end of the month and it's only available for a limited time.

Review: Sonic - Crispy Chicken Hickory Flatmelt Sandwich

Sonic's Crispy Chicken Hickory Flatmelt Sandwich is a limited-time offering that features crispy fried chicken breast strips, hickory BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese, and grilled onions folded instead a warm flatbread.

I got mine for free courtesy of Sonic, but they regularly go for $3.99.

Around the World: McDonald's Austria - New McNoodles

McDonald's is branching out into Asian stir-fry in Austria starting tomorrow, September 20, 2012, with new McNoodles. McDonald's features fresh vegetables (looks like red peppers, baby corn, red cabbage), chicken, salad greens, and one of two sauces: Sweet & Sour and Curry.

The noodles are wheat Hokkien noodles shipped directly from Thailand and heated in a water bath at each McDonald's restaurant.

Sep 18, 2012

News: Starbucks - New Cinnamon Rolls

Starbucks brings new Cinnamon Rolls to the bakery display of their stores this fall. The new rolls feature a soft and light pastry dough rolled up with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar and then covered with cream cheese icing (think Krispy Kreme glaze waterfall).

Starbucks previously served a Double Iced Cinnamon Roll that was discontinued. It featured a blend of Indonesian and Vietnamese cinnamons and was iced with both a sugar glaze and a cream cheese frosting.

News: Campbell's Soup Offers Extensive Lines of New Soups

Campbell's Soup is going all out to attract the next generation of soup eaters with new lines of soup amounting to a huge expansion of varieties featuring bolder, more worldly, and fanciful flavors.

There are three new lines of soups as well as additions to Campbell's original line of condensed soups and Chunky soups.

Here's what's new:

Review: Subway - Birthday Berry Cookies

Subway's Birthday Berry Cookies are a limited-time item they're serving up this month to celebrate their birthday (notwithstanding the fact that they were founded in August). Each cookie has dried cranberries, dried blueberries, and white chocolate chips baked in.

I picked up two recently so I could heat one in the toaster oven to compare. My local Subway had them for 60 cents each or three for $1.25.

Sep 17, 2012

News: Jamba Juice - $1 Smoothies in CA and NY for Two Weeks

Jamba Juice is bringing back their Dollar Days promotion and offering 16-ounce smoothies for $1 in New York and California for two weeks from 9/17/12 through 9/28/12, but only on Mondays through Friday and only between the hours of 5pm to 7pm.

News: McDonald's - New Daily Double

McDonald's latest value burger, the new Daily Double, was tested earlier this year and now finds itself on the Extra Value Menu at $1.99.

For about a dollar (the McDouble is $1.19 at my local McDonald's now so it's only 80 cents more for me) more than the Dollar Menu McDouble, pickles, ketchup, and mustard get replaced by lettuce, tomato, and mayo while onions, double beef patties, and cheese stick around.

Review: Taco Bell - Mountain Dew A.M.

Taco Bell's Mountain Dew A.M. is Mountain Dew soda mixed with Tropicana Orange Juice. You could mix it at home, but if you're at Taco Bell for First Meal anyway, they can provide and mix it for you.

I picked up a 20-ounce large for $1.99 which is the same price as a similar-size cup of plain orange juice at Taco Bell. I really should have gotten the smaller cup. Why do I keep falling for the "for x cents more, you get a lot more beverage?"

Sep 16, 2012

Review: Nabisco - Belvita Chocolate Breakfast Biscuits

Nabisco's Chocolate Belvita are one of the latest additions to their line of breakfast biscuits. They promise "nutritious sustained energy" and the taste of chocolate.

A 8.8-ounce box comes with five individually wrapped packs. I got this box on sale for $2.99 ($4.69 regular price).

News: Kellogg's - New Special K Popcorn Chips

Touting them for prime-time television watching and late night snacking, Kellogg's introduces new Special K Popcorn Chips. They're made with corn and are baked rather than fried (They look a bit like thin rice cakes) with 28 chips and 120 calories to a serving.

Special K Popcorn Chips are available in two flavors: Butter and Sweet & Salty.

The idea is popcorn flavor with a crunch while promoting sensible snacking, but couldn't they just as easily sell seasoned, air-popped popcorn for the same effect?
Sep 15, 2012

Review: Ben & Jerry's - Coffee Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch ice cream is fairly simple with pieces of Heath candy bars mixed into coffee ice cream.

I normally pick up a pint of Ben & Jerry's on sale between $2.50 to $3.50. It was really hot today, so I thought I'd enjoy some ice cream.

Sep 14, 2012

Frozen Friday: Stouffer's - Farmers' Harvest Vegetable Lasagna

Stouffer's Farmer's Harvest Vegetable Lasagna is a frozen meal made with whole grain lasagna, layered with carrots, spinach, broccoli, onions, and a parmesan and romano cheese sauce.

A 10.5-ounce box retails for $4.19 at one of my local supermarkets.

News: Culver's - 2012 Seasonal Fall Menu

Culver's serves up six limited-time items this fall. There are a few new dishes and a few returning favorites. On the new side of things, there's the new Colby Jack Pub Burger and Asian Crunch Salad. Returning are a spate of pumpkin frozen drinks and Sweet Potato Fries.

The new Colby Jack Pub Burger features a beef patty, seared on a grill and topped with Wisconsin Colby Jack cheese, crispy fried onions, 4-pepper mayo, and A.1. Steak Sauce served on a Supper Club bun. It comes with a side of Wisconsin Cheese Curds and is available through November 11, 2012.

Sep 13, 2012

Review: Starbucks - Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino

Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino features coffee blended with mocha sauce and toffee-nut-flavored syrup, milk, and ice. It's then topped with whipped cream, caramel sauce, and a mixture of turbinado sugar and sea salt.

A local Starbucks was giving free samples in little cups so I gave it a try.

News: Dunkin' Donuts - Fall 2012 Pumpkin Donuts and More

Dunkin' Donuts rolls out a full line up of pumpkin and apple flavors this fall as well as new Pumpkin K-Cup packs for convenient use at home.

The fall menu of limited-time items is as follows:

New Apple Orchard Donuts and Munchkins: Apple-cider-flavored cake donuts (or donut holes) with cinnamon sugar topping.