Nov 30, 2012

Frozen Friday: Hormel - Beef Roast Au Jus

Hormel's Beef Roast Au Jus is a simple, microwaveable dinner solution of a seasoned beef roast with juices. You just add a side or two and you're good to go.

A 15-ounce package costs about $6.99.

News: McDonald's Testing Steak and Egg McMuffins and Biscuits

McDonald's is still working on their breakfast steak options and currently conducting a limited-time test of a Steak and Egg McMuffin and Steak and Egg Biscuit out in Ohio.

The steak is described as "thick and juicy," "savory," and "seasoned just right."

Beyond your choice of English muffin or biscuit, each sandwich comes with steak, grilled onions, folded eggs, and melted American cheese.

News: Jack in the Box - New Brownie Bites

Jack in the Box is offering new, limited-time Brownie Bites this holiday season as a cheap, snackable addition to their menu. It joins their Mini Churros and Mini Cookies and comes in at the same price point: $1.

Brownie Bites come five to an order and are served warm. They are not available in Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Laredo, or McAllen/Brownsville (On a side note, I've never heard of McAllen/Brownsville until now).

News: Papa John's - Five Sausage Pizza Returns

The Five Sausage Pizza is back at Papa John's. First introduced in February earlier this year, a large pizza of the variety is now offered for a buck more ($11) than the previous $10 (specialty pizzas are normally $14 at Papa John's).

Nov 29, 2012

Review: Wendy's - Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit

Wendy's Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit is part of their ongoing breakfast test and consists of a crispy fried whole breast chicken fillet topped with real honey butter sandwiched inside a Southern-style buttermilk biscuit.

One sandwich set me back $2.69.

News: White Castle Offers to Ship Sliders for the Holidays

This holiday season, White Castle offers to ship their signature Sliders from their door to yours. Through Saturday, January 5, 2013, "Craver Cargo" can be ordered via White Castle's online store in cases of 36, 60, or 84(!) sliders.

Around the World: McDonald's Taiwan - Jalapeno Spicy Chicken Sandwich

The second leg of McDonald's Taiwan's World Food Tour lands it in Mexico with the Jalapeno Spicy Chicken with fresh jalapenos featuring prominently in the promo shot.

Unfortunately, fresh jalapeno slices are nowhere to be found in the actual sandwich. Instead, there is a spicy Mexican chili sauce that curiously looks creamy and not-very-spicy. In addition to the sauce, there's a thigh meat battered and fried chicken patty, onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. The bun seems interesting with a smattering of various grains atop (sesame, oats, flax seeds, and a few others it looks like).

News: McDonald's Offers Cafe con Leche to New York Tri-state Area

In a nod to Hispanic/Latino guests in the New York tri-state area, McDonald's now offers "new" Cafe con Leche for a limited-time this holiday season in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Cafe con Leche literally translates to "coffee with milk." At McDonald's, it means espresso with steamed milk i.e. a latte. According to this NBC report, the "new" drink is essentially the same as a Latte, which basically means this is a re-brand to better appeal to the Hispanic/Latino market.

Nov 28, 2012

Review: Wendy's - Bacon Fire Roasted Burrito

Wendy's Bacon Fire Roasted Burrito is part of their "fresh made" breakfast test and features applewood-smoked bacon, roasted poblano chilies, red peppers, and onions with natural shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheese and scrambled eggs wrapped in a multi-grain tortilla and pressed. It's served with hot sauce on the side.

I picked up a burrito for $2.69.

News: KFC Teases an Original Recipe Cookie

KFC wants you to know that they've tested and come up with a recipe for Original Recipe cookies.

Basically, the gist is since they already paired chocolate chip cookies with Original Recipe chicken in their new Festive Meal, why not just take it a step further and combine the two into a cookie?

Around the World: KFC Now Offered on Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) is offering an exclusive KFC meal on a select number of outbound flights from Tokyo Narita Airport starting December 1, 2012 through February, 28, 2013. They're calling it "Air Kentucky Fried Chicken." It comes during the holiday season where Christmas in Japan pretty much means a meal from KFC.

The meal includes two pieces of the Colonel's Original Recipe fried chicken (a boneless filet and drumstick), a piece of flat bread made especially for the promotion, a cup of coleslaw, lettuce leaves, and "special" mayo (I would guess the sweeter Japanese mayo).

Around the World: Subway Japan - Food of the World: America

The latest in Subway Japan's "Food of the World" promotion lands them squarely in the Big Apple.

For the taste of America, and more specifically New York, Subway Japan offers two sandwich based on the Reuben and on bagels and lox.

The first is Subway's Japan's take on the classic Reuben. Of course the term "Reuben" might not mean much in Japan, so they're calling it the Beef Pastrami & Pickled Cabbage. It might not roll off the tongue as easily, but it's very descriptive!

Nov 27, 2012

Review: Wendy's - Sunny Side Burger

Wendy's Sunny Side Burger is part of their current breakfast test and features a fresh-cracked egg, natural Asiago cheese, your choice of Applewood Smoked Bacon or all-natural sausage, Hollandaise sauce,  and a Jr. burger patty served on a toasted honey-wheat artisan ciabatta.

I went with bacon and the sandwich cost $2.79.

News: KFC - New Festive Feast with Cookies

KFC is offering chocolate chip cookies as their nod to the holidays with the new Festive Feast.

Suggesting "peace this holiday" in the TV spot, the meal is your standard 8-piece (mixed) meal which comes with two large sides, and 4 biscuits, plus 12 chocolate chip cookies. The cookies are fresh-baked at each location.

News: Sonic - New Chocolate Mint Holiday Shake

While there was no Pumpkin Pie Shake this year, through December only, Sonic offers a holiday treat in the new Chocolate Mint Holiday Shake.

The shake features chocolate ice cream blended with crushed holiday mints, garnished with whipped topping, more crushed mints, and a requisite maraschino cherry on top.

Nov 26, 2012

Review: Wendy's - Seasoned Home-Style Potatoes

Wendy's Seasoned Home-Style Potatoes are the offered in the same slot occupied by hash browns and tater tots at other fast food chains. They feature skin-on, half-wheels of battered and fried potatoes, seasoned with sea salt, cracked pepper, and garlic powder.

It's part of the breakfast value menu and an order cost me 99 cents. The container is about the size of a small fry box.

Feature: Wendy's Breakfast Test 2012 Update

Wendy's Breakfast Test has gone through several iterations now, and apparently, it's still not getting the results they want to go nationally yet.

It's been over a year since I tried the previous version of the test, so I thought it was time to once again check out how the breakfast test is going. Be sure to check in throughout the week as I will be posting reviews of the test items daily.

Here's a full list of the items I've tried:

News: Panda Express - Firecracker Chicken Breast Returns

November 28, 2012 marks the limited-time return of Firecracker Chicken Breast to the Panda Express menu.

The 240-calorie-per-serving dish features chicken breast pieces, sweet yellow and red bell peppers, and onions tossed in wok with whole and crushed chili peppers in a black bean sauce.

Neat! Starbucks Mug Makes You Think Your Vision is Going

Imagine this: you wake in the morning and walk into the kitchen still groggy-eyed and on the hunt for your morning cuppa Joe. As you reach for your mug, you have to blink several times because you see this:

News: Carl's Jr. / Green Burrito - New Chicken Taquitos

Dual-branded Carl's Jr. / Green Burrito restaurants now offer new Chicken Taquitos. The dish features charbroiled chicken rolled in a tortilla and fried till crisp, and then topped with a creamy avocado-cilantro sauce and shredded cheddar-jack cheese. Guacamole can also be added for an additional charge.

Nov 25, 2012

Review: Burger King - BK Bacon Burger

Burger King's BK Bacon Burger is their latest iteration for a $1 burger (a spot that used to be inhabited by the Whopper Jr. and Double Cheeseburger not too long ago) and can be found on the BK Value menu.

It features a flame-broiled beef patty, thick-cut bacon, mayo, ketchup, and sliced white onions on a sesame seed bun.

News: It's No Longer a Joke... Torani Chicken 'n Waffles Syrup

Torani's Chicken 'n Waffles Syrup was first introduced as an April Fool's joke, but apparently, enough people were stoked by the idea, that what started out as a joke will become weird reality this upcoming Monday.

That's right... starting tomorrow, November 26, Torani Chicken 'n Waffles Syrup will be available for purchase exclusively from the Torani website.

Nov 24, 2012

Review: Krispy Kreme - Banana Creme Eclair

Krispy Kreme's Banana Creme Eclair is basically a chocolate-glazed bar donut filled with banana-flavored creme.

I picked one up at a Krispy Kreme for $1.59.

News: Carl's Jr. / Hardee's - New Hand-Scooped Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants now offer Hand-Scooped Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich. The new desserts feature a scoop of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chip cookies and join the Hand-Scooped Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich on the menu.

Nov 23, 2012

Review: Fresh & Easy - Ginger Spice Cookies

Fresh & Easy's Ginger Spice Cookies recently arrived at my local store as a seasonal holiday cookie.

A box of 10 cookies was $2.99 and I bought them because my local Fresh & Easy ran out of Pumpkin Spice Cookies (cue Edvard Munch's The Scream)

News: Del Taco - Cyber Monday - Buy $100 Gift Card, get $50 in Gift Cards Free

Del Taco has some nice gift card bonuses and are doubling them through Cyber Monday (i.e. Monday, November 26).

The deals are only available online at the Del Taco Gift Card Store here and include free shipping. Check them out:

Nov 22, 2012

Review: Nestle - Nescafe Memento Caramel Latte

Nestle's Nescafe Memento Caramel Latte is a portable instant coffee packet promising "buttery caramel flavor, smooth coffee, and pillowy froth."

A box of 8 packets/servings retails for about $6.99, but they're giving away free samples on the Nescafe website here and that's how I came to try it out.

News: Papa John's - Half-Off Pizza Code for Thanksgiving Weekend

Papa John's is offering a good money-saving deal this Thanksgiving Day weekend: 50% off the regular menu price of any Large or Extra Large Pizza when you order online through 11/26/2012 and use the promotion code "50THANKS".

The code has to be entered for each individual pizza you order. It's a pretty good deal if you're tired of cooking (or leftovers) after Thanksgiving.

News: 7-Eleven - Buy Red Bull, Get Free Coffee on Black Friday

7-Eleven is offering a deal to keep you energized and awake (or give you the shakes) while doing your marathon Black Friday shopping tomorrow. They're offering a free cup of coffee (or any hot beverage of your choice), of any size when you buy any size Red Bull Energy Drink (including the three new flavors).

7-Eleven is calling the deal "Grab a Can, Get a Cup" and it runs Friday, November 23, 2012 from 12 am to 11:59 pm at participating U.S. 7-Eleven stores (i.e. all day tomorrow).
Nov 21, 2012

Review: Fresh & Easy - Smashing Pumpkin Pie

Fresh & Easy's Smashing Pumpkin Pie is described on the box as "A creamy pumpkin filling, loaded with cinnamon and spices, then surrounded by our signature flakey, buttery crust."

It was only $2.99 for a 19-ounce pie, so I snagged one before Thanksgiving.

News: Wendy's - Mozzarella Chicken Supreme Returns

Last seen in 2005, Mozzarella Chicken Supreme returns to Wendy's for this holiday season.

The sandwich features a home-style crispy chicken filet with two slices of natural mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and a creamy parmesan sauce on a premium toasted bun.

Nov 20, 2012

Local Review: Humble Potato - Curry Fries

Humble Potato is a local eatery out in Westchester near LAX featuring burgers and stuff, but with a Japanese twist. Their Curry Fries are medium-cut (around BK-sized) and covered in Japanese curry.

It was $3.50 for an order.

News: Starbucks - 12 Days of Christmas Deals

Starbucks reveals 2012's Twelve Days of Gifting with a different deal on select Starbucks merchandise each day starting December 1 and running through December 12 (a caveat: Hawaii will get mostly the same, but a few slightly different deals).

Here's the list (I've added the regular prices of the items for reference):

News: Red Mango - 2012 Holiday Flavors

Frozen yogurt chain Red Mango has some limited-time flavors for the holiday season focusing on apple, but with peppermint thrown in for good measure.

Here they are:

Cinnamon Apple Pie - nonfat frozen yogurt with the flavors of apple and cinnamon.

News: Sonic - Half-Price Breakfast Burritos on Black Friday

Sonic is offering their entire line up of Breakfast Burritos for half-off this upcoming Black Friday (i.e. the day after Thanksgiving and the biggest shopping day of the year) at participating locations.

The company points out that the burritos are portable and perfect for sleepy-eyed early sale shoppers to wait in line with.

News: Arby's - New Peppermint Stick Swirl Shake

New at Arby's this holiday season, the limited-time Peppermint Stick Swirl Shake features Arby's vanilla shake blended with peppermint stick shake syrup with a peppermint-stick-flavored swirl mixed in, topped with whipped cream and crushed peppermint sticks.

Arby's is also offering a turkey version of the Angus Three Cheese and Bacon at participating locations for a limited time. The Turkey Three Cheese and Bacon features the same pepper bacon, parmesan peppercorn ranch sauce, swiss cheese (processed slice), and shredded cheddar cheese on a toasted sub roll, but with roast turkey instead of Angus beef.

Nov 19, 2012

Review: Pizza Hut - Italian Meat Trio Overstuffed Pizza

Pizza Hut's new Italian Meat Trio Overstuffed Pizza features pepperoni, Italian sausage, and pork sausage layered with marinara sauce and cheese, sealed between two pizza crusts and finished with bits of  parmesan and a blend of 7-Italian seasonings.

I paid $12.99 for one and the Overstuffed Pizza is the same size as a 14" large Pizza Hut pizza.

News: Starbucks - Holiday Beverage Tasting Tour

For a limited time, Starbucks offers a Holiday Beverage Tasting Tour promotion where you can buy any 5 holiday drinks during the promotional period and earn a free Grande-sized drink of your choice.

Here are the details:

News: Dunkin' Donuts - Smokehouse Breakfast Sausage Sandwich is Back

The Smokehouse Breakfast Sausage Sandwich is back at Dunkin' Donuts for a limited time this winter.

First introduced last year, the breakfast sandwich features a split smoked sausage link, an egg, and a slice of American cheese on an English muffin.

I managed to try one at the beginning of this year, on a rare occasion where I found myself on the East Coast. You can check out the review here.

News: McDonald's Testing Three New Quarter Pounders

McDonald's is testing three new versions of the Quarter Pounder with Cheese as a possible replacement to the Angus Third Pounders. The three flavors are Habanero Ranch, Deluxe, and Bacon and Cheese.

One of my readers, Chipster22, reported that they are being offered in Ohio and that Angus Third Pounders are off the menu at his McDonald's, at least for the time being. His is the same market where McDonald's was trying out 1/4 lb Angus burgers earlier this year.

Nov 18, 2012

Review: Nabisco - Candy Cane Creme Oreos

Nabisco's Limited Edition Candy Cane Oreos are a winter-time version of the famed cookie and apparently can only be found at Target.

I picked up a 10.5-ounce package for $2.99.

Around the World: MOS Burger Japan Introduces Seasonal Rice Burgers

Out in Japan, MOS Burger introduces two new seasonal winter rice burgers, a dish you'd be hard pressed to find here in the U.S.

Instead of a bun, the burgers feature a formed rice patty brushed with soy sauce and grilled to help it maintain its cohesiveness. The buns are pretty much the same as the "yaki onigiri" or "grilled rice balls" you might find at some Japanese restaurants.

Beyond the bun, the filling for the new burgers are pretty interesting:

News: Tim Hortons - 2012 Holiday Menu

Tim Hortons reveals their holiday-themed drinks and donuts for this year and it includes the new Peppermint Mocha Latte.

Here's what Tim has to get you in the holiday spirit:

New Peppermint Mocha Latte - espresso, cocoa, and frothy steamed milk, infused with mint flavor, and finished with chocolate whipped topping and a sprinkle of chocolate powder.

Nov 17, 2012

Review: Nestle - Peppermint Crisp

Nestle's Peppermint Crisp is a candy bar available in Australia and South Africa featuring a filling of numerous green, peppermint-flavored, thin candy cylinders coated in a layer of milk chocolate.

The Sister brought me back a bar from Australia. I think they cost like $2 AU a bar (which is about the same amount in USD these days).

News: Pringles Unleashes Holiday Flavors This Season

Pringles potato chips aren't what I think of as a potential brand for holiday flavors, but I guess they showed me: they're out with three new, holiday-inspired flavors this winter.

The new, limited-edition flavors are Cinnamon & Sugar, Pumpkin Pie Spice, and White Chocolate Peppermint.

Cinnamon & Sugar features a dusting of cinnamon and sugar on every chip.

Pumpkin Pie Spice is a blend of cinnamon and pumpkin flavor combined with salty chips.

Nov 16, 2012

Frozen Friday: Healthy Choice - Portabella Marsala Pasta

Healthy Choice's Portabella Marsala Pasta is a vegetarian frozen food meal featuring 9-grain pasta with baby portabella mushrooms and marsala wine sauce, topped with melted fontina cheese.

A 9-ounce box retails for about $2.99 around here and commonly goes on sale for $2 to $2.50.

News: Popeyes - Cajun Turkeys Return

Cajun Turkeys are once again available at Popeyes this year. The 9 to 11 pound birds feature a blend of Lousiana-style seasonings and are flash-fried to create a crispy coating. The turkeys are then roasted to finish the cooking process. You just re-heat the turkey to serve (complete instructions are included).

My local Popeye's is offering them for $39.99.

Popeyes' Cajun Turkeys are available through December or while supplies last.

Around the World: Burger King Japan - All-You-Can-Eat Whoppers

In celebration of their 5th year in Japan, Burger King Japan is once offering an all-you-can-eat Whopper buffet for a limited time at participating location. The promotion will run in two segments.

The first starts this Saturday, November 17 and runs through November 21, from 2pm to 11pm. According to RocketNews24, the deal is any customer who orders and finishes a Kuro ("black") Burger combo meal for 880 yen (~$10.83 US) will have 30 minutes to down as many Whoppers, fries, onion rings, and/or Cokes as he/she likes for no additional charge.

Nov 15, 2012

Review: Taco Bell - Churro

Taco Bell's Churro is a warm twisty, ridged stick of fried dough, dusted in cinnamon and sugar.

Part of Taco Bell's new Dessert Menu, they go for 99 cents a pop.

News: Starbucks Testing New Cranberry White Chocolate Mocha

Starbucks is testing the Cranberry White Chocolate Mocha as a potential future holiday flavor for the U.S. by offering it at select locations in Portland, San Jose, and Houston.

The drink features espresso, steamed milk, and white chocolate-flavored sauce, topped with whipped cream, tart cranberry drizzle, and crystallized cranberry sugar.

News: Red Bull Finally Gets More Flavors

While it's been a long time coming, Red Bull energy drinks are set to come in three new flavors starting next year: cranberry, lime, and blueberry.

The new flavors come in three different colored cans with red for cranberry, silver for lime, and, of course, blue for blueberry. Curiously, the cans are prominently marked "Red Edition," "Silver Edition," and "Blue Edition," rather than by their flavors.