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Posts tagged fast food

McDonald’s Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger is not a French Fry Burger

Every time I see the commercial for McDonald’s Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger, I think the guy is eating a burger with fries on it.

01 McDonalds Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger McDonalds Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger is not a French Fry Burger

We went to try it. It’s on the Dollar Menu, but $1.69 in Manhattan. There’s no fries on it. Just a tiny glob of soft onions.

It taste like a regular McDonald’s cheeseburger, but not really as good. I wish it had ketchup and a pickle. I also wish it had fries on it.

I’m still a big fan of the Hot & Spicy McChicken though. It was my backup.

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McDonald’s Southern Style Chicken Sandwich

So you know I like the $1 (or so) Hot & Spicy McChicken Sandwich. I decided to finally try the Southern Style Chicken Sandwich. I remember I kind of like Chick-fil-a. And this McDonald’s sandwich is supposed to be a rip-off of it. If you guys don’t know, there’s no real Chick-fil-a in NYC …except for the tiny express store in an NYU food court, but I think you need a student ID to get in. Lame.

Anyway, SeriousEats said the McDonald’s Southern Chicken Sandwich is pretty tasty compared to Chick-fil-a. The last time I had one was last year. But I kind of don’t remember really. So this McDonald’s was alright. I don’t think it was amazing. Decent. But I think I like the Hot & Spicy McChicken more! I know the McChicken is some kind of re-pressed meat, but I think it tastes better. And it’s a better deal. $4.29 vs $1.69 plus tax. Dang, I might get a Hot McChicken tomorrow.

Tio Wally Eats America: Cheap Tacos

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Casa Grande, Arizona.

Tio%20Wally%20Eats%20America%20truck Tio Wally Eats America: Cheap Tacos

If you sail the Interstates for a living, eating fast food is an inevitability. Eventually you will be tired enough or hungry enough or it will be the only thing available or whatever. It’s going to happen. While I avoid fast food as much as possible, sometimes there are actually good things to be had, occasionally at a reasonable price.

Here are two more examples (though one of them is not necessarily very good):

The crew of the SS Me So Hungry was wanting tacos. But not just any tacos: Cheap Tacos. And we found them here in Big House, Arizona.

First we went to Jack in the Box® and bought four of its weird ass versions of Cheap Tacos (Two for $1). And these things are weird. Frankly, I’m of the opinion that, with the exception of Seasoned Curly Fries, the only things remotely edible from Chez Jacque dans la Boîte are the Tacos.

The meat is the consistency of pablum, and any part of the taco shell that isn’t touching the filling is harder than quartz; fossils are softer. I always end up tearing off this part of the shell, usually tossing it out the window to consternate any Seagulls, Crows or Great-tailed Grackles that may happen by with a desire to break their beaks. I was once tempted to whack one of the throwaway portions of the shell with my hammer but I didn’t want to shatter a perfectly good metal tool. Still, I like these curious little things occasionally, yet I have no idea why.

For years I’d been repeating an urban legend, swearing up and down that there was no meat in a Jack in the Box taco. Judging by the taste, look and texture I was convinced that the mystery paste in the tacos was merely another miracle soy product.

The official description says the tacos contain: beef, American cheese (they neglected to put in the generous half-slice of this time), lettuce and taco sauce. However the meat does contain soy and/or wheat filler. But there you have it, straight from the overly large globe-head of Jack himself: It is beef … kinda.

So now you can forget about this little gem that I thought might explain the unique
taste of the Jack in the Box Taco (from Wikipedia): “In 1981, horse meat labeled as beef was discovered at a Foodmaker plant that supplied hamburger and taco meat to Jack in the Box. The meat was originally from Profreeze of Australia, and during their checks on location, the food inspectors discovered other shipments destined for the United States which included kangaroo meat.”

Because the whole world has (no doubt) been waiting with bated breath since the company’s founding in 1951, Jack in the Box has now introduced its first ever Munchie Mobile™ food truck in Southern California. The boxy, brightly painted run-of-the-mill catering truck with “My other truck is a restaurant” emblazoned on its side will never give the ultra-cool Oscar Mayer Weinermobile™ any competition in a design contest. But now Jack can bring its inimitable versions of incredibly crappy food right to your door. Hallelujah!

Next we purchased four tacos (49¢ each) from Del Taco, another chain located mostly in the west.

Del Taco is very similar Taco Bell with two major differences: Del Taco is not grossly overpriced — at many Del Tacos regular tacos are only 39¢ — and the food is actually pretty good.

Whenever I go to a Del Taco I have a routine: I order the tacos with onion (which they add for free) and then — and this is important — I have them put the cheese on first. This accomplishes a couple of things.

First, you get a lot more cheese on the taco and, with the meat laid on top of it, the cheese melts a little bit. But you really have to make a point of it to get this done. You see, the taco-building station is set up exactly the opposite of this order and the poor Taco Assemblers run largely on autopilot. Sometimes they’ll be so confused by my request that I have to dictate how to build the taco: cheese, meat, onion and lettuce, in that order.

You’ve really got to make it clear to them what you want — I’ve even had to explain it to them in Spanish — but they’ll do it. The end result is that you end up with a pretty good taco for four bits (or less).

Del Taco also has some other pretty good, reasonably priced stuff. Its Breakfast Burritos and the Spicy Grilled Chicken Burritos are both pretty good. But to be honest, I usually get the tacos because, well, they’re cheap tacos.

And so we roll.

Jack in the Box, 2,200 locations in 21 (mostly western) states
Del Taco, 526+ locations in 17 (mostly western) states

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.

McDonald’s Hot ‘n Spicy McChicken Sandwich

Man, long lines everywhere today. Not just to get Powerball tickets, but for lunch. Maybe everyone is out for lunch today, so they could get Powerball tickets. Dang. I walked everywhere and was so annoyed by the lines.

Somehow I said fuck it and ended up at McDonald’s to try that 99cent Hot ‘n Spicy McChicken sandwich I keep seeing on TV. It looks very similar to the Checker’s 99cent Spicy Chicken Sandwich that I love so dear –that Spicy Chicken Sandwich that I used to ride home from college on my bike and pick up on the way –that sandwich that has a few shreds of lettuce and a decent amount of mayonnaise to cool off that heat –that chicken sandwich that is reminiscent of something you get in the high school cafeteria –that Checker’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich that I missed a flight home from Atlanta for.

Well in Manhattan, McDonald’s Hot & Spicy Chicky isn’t 99cents, but $1.69. Whatever. It was very close to my memory that Checkers’ 99cent Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Dang. I like it. It’s such a cheap little sandwich. Pretty spicy.

Man, that’s the only thing I’ve eaten all day. 380 calories. It’s 10:41pm now and I had that Micky D’s Chicky at lunch. Now I had maybe five whiskeys. I’m too scared to go upstairs.

White Castle Crispy Jalapeño Cheese Sliders

I’ve been on the record a few times to say that the White Castle Jalapeño Cheese Burgers is the best thing at White Castle. I love them. Those jalapeno cheese slices give them so much flavor.

Now they are offering Crispy Jalapeños to top it off. I’ve never seen anything like these little crunchies. They look like the run-off of fried pickles. But they are a pretty good topping. Gives the slider some crunchy texture and really packs more heat. Probably 2-3x more spicy than a regular Jalapeño Cheese Slider.

You can also get these Crispy Jalapeños topped on Chicken Ring Sliders, Breakfast Sandwiches and Cheese Fries.

http://www.whitecastle.com/

Tio Wally Eats America: Make Your Own Wendy’s Chili Dog

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Decatur, Alabama.

Tio%20Wally%20Eats%20America%20truck Tio Wally Eats America: Make Your Own Wendys Chili Dog

Greetings from Decatur, Alabama
N 34° 32.342’  W 086° 54.687’  Elev. 637 ft.

If you sail the Interstates for a living, eating fast food is an inevitability. Eventually you will be tired enough or hungry enough or it will be the only thing available or whatever. It’s going to happen. While I avoid fast food as much as possible, sometimes there are actually good things to be had, occasionally at a reasonable price.

Here’s yet another example:

Ah, Dave Thomas, the adopted kid who grew up to build a hamburger empire named after his daughter, and then go on to do so much for so many through his generous philanthropy. Along the way he also inadvertently created a damn good chili dog without purveying a single sausage during his long, industrious career. Neat trick.

I always liked Dave. But how did Dave create a great on-the-road chili dog without handling a single wiener? He made Wendy’s Chili, then located his restaurants in a bunch of truck stops across America.

I’m not waving a limp frank here, Furter. I’ve mentioned the quality of Wendy’s chili in the comment section of this blog previously. But now I’m going full frontal — with pictures and everything!

Though mildly spiced, Wendy’s chili is a nice mix of ground beef, white and kidney beans, bell pepper and tomato, in a really flavorful, slightly sweet sauce. Even better, many of the Wendy’s has chopped red onion which they will generously add on request. If you want, you can add cheese for an additional cost (30-50¢?). It’s also served with Wendy’s Chili Sauce, which I don’t like, and saltine crackers.

But you won’t need crackers, Polly, because you’re doing chili dogs. So here’s the drill:

1) Find a truck stop with a Wendy’s and buy a small chili with onion ($1.49). Have them drain the chili so it’s not so “soupy”; they’ll do this with alacrity if you ask. Then have them heap on the onions.

2) Go into the truck stop section of the building and find the weenie roller. Being careful not to let the glistening, rolling wieners hypnotize you, get a couple of the quarter-pound hot dogs. (For years the dogs were “2 for $2.22” virtually everywhere but now they’ve upped the price at most places to Two for $3.)

3) Put your dogs in one of those paper nacho trays and nuke — all truck stops have Nuke-Ro-Waves™ — your weenies for a minute to make sure they’re fully cooked. Always — Always! — avoid the ones that look like they’ve been there for awhile … because they have. Pull a couple of buns out of the invariably cold “bun warmer” located beneath the weenie roller and nuke them for about 10 seconds before sliding your wieners in.

4) Fix your dogs; I do mustard and ketchup. And don’t forget to double the little paper trays. You’ll thank me later for this prescient tip.

5) Take your booty back to your table/yacht/car and dump Wendy’s chili on your wieners and enjoy some of the best chili dogs a hungry traveler can reliably find. Seriously.

For those of you who don’t want a weenie ‘neath your chili Wendy’s also has baked potatoes ($1.29). I don’t know how many people have put chili on a baked potato but it’s actually a great combination, one that rates right up there with chili on spaghetti.

And here’s another Tip for the Traveler: While at Wendy’s stock up on disposable cutlery. They have the best, most durable, seemingly indestructible plastic knives, forks and spoons on the planet. They will prove to be invaluable. And Wendy’s gives ‘em away!

Dave. Always giving back, bless him.

And so we roll.

Wendy’s, nationwide

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.

Tio Wally Eats America: Fazoli’s

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Tio%20Wally%20Eats%20America%20truck Tio Wally Eats America: Fazolis

Fazoli’s is a chain of fast-food Italian restaurants scattered nationwide. I’ve eaten at a few of them over the years and the food has been good but it’s not going to win any Michelin stars.

Because it’s yet another chain designed to appeal to the widest possible audience the food is fairly bland. So much so that even a generous treatment of hot pepper flakes will do little of change it. But the food at Fazoli’s isn’t bad per se, it just lacks discernible character.

This is no surprise, of course. As my brother, a bona fide chef, has told me many times: “The more regions a place serves the blander the food is going to be because it’s trying to appeal to the most people possible.” He has also pointed out, accurately, that “the more menu items any (fast food) place offers the worse the food will be.” He would know this little cooking-for-the-masses fact as he started his culinary career aboard an aircraft carrier feeding 5,000 hungry sailors three meals-a-day. This also may explain why he’s a big fan of In-N-Out® Burger, whose menu I once took a full two seconds to memorize.

Fazoli’s most recent promotion has been baked spaghetti for $3.99, which can be topped with chicken, meatballs or sausage and peppers for an additional $1.49. As always I got the sausage and peppers.

It’s a decent-size dish of baked spaghetti covered with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese. It wasn’t bad although the Italian sausage can always be spicier for me. It’s served with a couple of fresh-baked, buttery garlic breadsticks that are pretty good. If you dine in they’ll give you as many breadsticks as you want.

The beauty of Fazoli’s is that it’s fast, reasonably priced and consistant. It’s actually a great value for the price, and you don’t have to spend an hour or more in an Italian eatery to get a pasta fix. Plus, you can often park a land yacht nearby. Accessibility can be quite important, you know, especially if you’re hungry.

And so we roll.

Fazoli’s, nationwide

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.

Tio Wally Eats America: McDonald’s Sausage Breakfast Burrito

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Springville, Utah.

Tio%20Wally%20Eats%20America%20truck Tio Wally Eats America: McDonalds Sausage Breakfast Burrito

Greetings from Springville, Utah
N 40° 11.173’  W 111° 36.661’  Elev. 4561 ft.

If you sail the Interstates for a living, eating fast food is an inevitability. Eventually you will be tired enough or hungry enough or it will be the only thing available or whatever. It’s going to happen. While I avoid fast food as much as possible, sometimes there are actually good things to be had, occasionally at a reasonable price.

Here’s another example:

I often make fun of McDonald’s, usually by calling it McDouche’s or making references to its “evil clown” or some such. Why? Two reasons: Its McRestaurants are frighteningly ubiquitous — Q: How do you locate a McDonald’s? A: Throw a rock. — and it’s just so McDamn McEasy.

But even Ronald’s McMafia does some things right, like … slowly KILL YOU! Don’t believe me? Watch Morgan Spurlock’s disturbing and nauseating documentary “Super Size Me” to remove all doubt.

It also does a few other, less Dangerous-To-Your-Health things right. One of them is Big Mac Sauce. I’m lovin it!™ While I’m not really a fan of the egregiously overpriced Big Mac sandwich, the sauce is another story. I have been know to buy the $1 McDouble and have them add Big Mac Sauce even though they charge (20¢-35¢) extra for it. Freakin’ clowns!

Another is its McCafe McRegular McCoffee. I find McDouche’s, er, McDonald’s coffee to be quite consistently good. In fact, I think it’s much better than Starbucks, and the most expensive ones cost less-than half the price. And while it isn’t Dunkin’ Donuts good, it’s a hell of a lot less risky than most any other place you might visit.

(Remember: Landing the yacht can be a huge hassle and very time-consuming, and that’s when you can find space. Getting crappy coffee out of the deal can make for a very, very, very long, sad voyage to the next port of call.)

The McClown’s McCoffee pricing can be kind of strange though. At some places McCoffee is $1 regardless of size. Other McRestaurants will charge as much as $1.79 for a large. What’s up with that, Ron? It’s the McSame McFreakin’ McCoffee.

However I have a way around McDonald’s seemingly arbitrary McPricing: If it’s more than a buck for a large I order two senior (small) coffees. But this method, too, can be fascinating, but only if it doesn’t backfire completely. For example, the McDonald’s in Ottawa, Kansas charges only a quarter — 25¢! — for a senior McCoffee; some other McRestaurant somewhere once charged me 89¢ each for senior McCoffees which turned out to be more than the cost of a large. Freakin’ clowns!

But by far the best value from Ray Kroc’s McClown McWorld is its Sausage Breakfast Burrito. They’re made with scrambled egg, cheese, sausage, and red and green bell pepper, all wrapped in a flour tortilla. Throw a little of their Hot Picante Sauce on it — which is surprisingly good — and you’ve got a pretty decent little low-cost food tube.

While the burritos are uniformly priced at $1 they can be inconsistent filling-wise; they are all made in-house which explains the discrepancies. Still, they are all good.

But surely the best thing about McDonald’s Sausage Breakfast Burrito is that it’s easy to hold as you hurtle a 40-ton land yacht through a sea of heavy traffic. (“Ahoy, A-holes, move along! Can’t you see I’m trying to eat here?! You freakin’ clowns!!!!”)

And so we roll.

McDonald’s, nationwide

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.