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Posts tagged fast food

Tio Wally Eats America: KFC’s Chunky Chicken Pot Pie

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 Clarksville, Arkansas.

Tio%20Wally%20Eats%20America%20truck Tio Wally Eats America: KFCs Chunky Chicken Pot Pie

Greetings from Clarksville, Arkansas
N 35° 27.197’  W 093° 27.954’  Elev. 328 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 have a very dear friend who hates — HATES! — Kentucky Fried Chicken chicken with a frighteningly deep-seated passion. I don’t understand why, exactly. But I suspect he’s hated it since before Yum! Brands bought Harlan Sanders’ singular claim to fame and changed the name from Kentucky Fried Chicken to KFC, effectively removing any charm the chain ever had. Yet he likes either Swanson or Banquet (frozen) Fried Chicken; I can’t remember which brand.

But what does this too-wordy, purely aberrational introductory unconclusion mean to you? Absolutely nothing. I’m merely highlighting another one of life’s mysteries that the entire crew of the SS Me So Hungry has failed to figure out. Heck, even crack lead navigator Skippy scratches his head; of course, he’s always scratching his head. (Does scurvy make your head itch too?)

Personally, I kind of like KFC’s Original Recipe fried chicken. Sure, it’s greasy and grossly overpriced but I like it. However, I rarely eat it. The only time I do is when I run across an all-you-can-eat Colonel’s Buffet, it costs less than $6, I can park nearby, and there’s not much else around.

There is something KFC makes, however, that I think even my friend would like, especially if he didn’t know it was from KFC: Chunky Chicken Pot Pie.

Lord knows it’s hard to find a good chicken pot pie anywhere, much less on the road. And as we’ve learned, sometimes a pot pie isn’t even a pot pie at all. Lately, however, KFC has reintroduced its Chunky Chicken Pot Pie, and they are excellent. In fact, I was trying to think of when I’d had better and couldn’t.

It’s rather bizarre: KFC introduced them years ago, had them for a while and then suddenly didn’t. Then the pies reappeared and just as quickly disappeared again. Hell, they became the chicken pot pie equivalent of sea serpents — you never knew when they were going to pop up.

Currently KFC is offering its Now-you-see-’em-Now-you-don’t Chunky Chicken Pot Pies for $3.99. And unlike a certain Pennsylvania Dutch concoction, it actually resembles a pie, with a light, flaky crust (top only) that’s chock full of chunks of chicken, carrots, potatoes and peas, all bathed in a tasty gravy.

But are the decent-sized (6”?) pies really worth $4? YES!

Why the geniuses at Yum! Brands don’t keep the Chunky Chicken Pot Pie as a regular menu item is beyond me. With any luck they will. They’re delicious and, according to at least one Colonel-ette, extremely popular. More importantly, I love ‘em.

I wonder: Did a signature white-suited Harlan contact Yum! Brands from the afterlife to persuade and/or haunt them into reintroducing Chunky Chicken Pot Pies without consulting me, without giving me a courtesy heads-up?

Freakin’ clown! Oh, wait. Wrong McRestaurant.

—> Note: The museum-quality photo of the Yum! Brands KFC Chunky Chicken Pot Pie box, while unquestionably “a Classic”, was taken on the step of the yacht. To the best of my knowledge there are no fuel vapors and/or risk of explosion associated with KFC’s Chunky Chicken Pot Pie. Indeed, it’s merely another example of freakin’ trucks screwing up my inimitable, world-class photography. Nevertheless, I wish to extend my sincerest apologies for any alarm and/or confusion this unfortunate photographic merger may have caused. Please be aware, however, that while (to the best of my knowledge) a KFC Chunky Chicken Pot Pie will not release harmful vapors and/or explode, its contents are, in fact, HOT, and should only be eaten with appropriate caution. Enjoy! <—

And so we roll.

KFC, 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.

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Wahoo’s Fish Tacos in NYC

They recently opened up a Wahoo’s (the west coast fish taco chain) in Manhattan. The first couple of weeks, it was packed full of people in business suits. It’s calmed down a bit since, but still a good crowd. Sam and I were able to get a table pretty easily.

You order at the counter. But if you dine in, they bring it to you on real plates and silverware. The tacos look pretty good on real plates.

Tacos are $2.99. I got the combo (2 tacos with rice and beans) for $7.99 …a fish and a pork. I also ordered a Wahoo’s Green Sauce ($0.69).

The first bite was pretty good. Then I don’t know what happened. Everything was kinda dry and bland. At least it was saved by that tasty Green Sauce (think Sophie’s style green sauce). I don’t know what I would’ve done without it. I’ll probably just come back to buy the Green Sauce (12 oz for $2.69).

Wahoo’s - 333 Park Ave S (btwn 24th & 25th St) New York, NY 10010

Tio Wally Eats America: Arby’s Fish Sandwich

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 Greencastle, Pennsylvania.

Tio%20Wally%20Eats%20America%20truck Tio Wally Eats America: Arbys Fish Sandwich

Greetings from Greencastle, Pennsylvania
N 39° 04.743’ W 076° 342.668’ Elev. 627 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 an example:

Arby’s, the nationwide chain that built its business based on possibly the weirdest excuse for roast beef in the known Universe, actually does a couple of things right.

The first is its Three Pepper Sauce. They have it in most of its restaurants but it’s only available in the pump dispensers; it doesn’t come in packages. The stuff is fairly spicy and really tasty.

Depending on the price of a Jr. Roast Beef — they used to be a dollar everywhere but I’ve seen the price as high as $1.49; I won’t pay over $1.20 — I’ve been known to buy a couple of them just as an excuse to mix a little of the Arby’s Horsey Sauce (a faux creamed horseradish affair) with the Three Pepper Sauce.

By and large, though, the Jr. Roast Beefs are pretty paltry meat-wise. Curiously, some Arby’s serve Jr. Roast Beefs that are markedly more generous with the meat than others even though they all supposedly weigh the portion.

But the thing Arby’s is really doing right these days are Fish Sandwiches. I kept passing by and seeing either “Try Our Fish Sandwiches, 2 for $5” or “Get Hooked On Our Fish Sandwiches …” on the marquees. So I finally bit like a fish and, lo and behold, they are great. And here in Pennsyl-freakin’-vania they only cost $4 for two. Because it’s closer to the ocean?

The sandwich is a gigantic piece of cod, served on a sesame-seed bun with lettuce and tartar sauce. I would recommend getting them with extra tarter as the piece of fish is so big they’re a little dry otherwise. Of course, it’s all a matter of taste. The fish itself is actually really moist, and it isn’t greasy at all.

Overall I still find Arby’s to be kind of suspicious. In fact, I’m convinced — with no proof, of course — that Arby’s Roast Beef is actually constructed by Buddig, the company responsible for what can only be described as the weirdest luncheon meats ever devised by man or machine.

And evidently I’m not the only one that feels this way. There is an episode of The Simpsons — based on William Golding’s literary classic Lord of the Flies — where the Springfield Elementary kids become stranded on a tropical island. Starving, one of the twins (Sherri or Terri?) utters the classic line: “I’m so hungry I could eat at Arby’s.” Ouch.

And so we roll.

Arby’s Roast Beef, 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.

Fresh & Fast’s New Burger

I was invited to try Fresh & Fast’s new burger. Used to be a Pat LaFrieda blend of meat. They now get their beef sourced from Master Purveyors. Gutsy move. All I ever hear about is Pat LaFrieda. I’d like to try this new burger.

In true fashion, the first thing I did there was accidentally knock over a drink on an older lady’s coat. I can’t believe they now serve beer at this place. That’s rad. The lady was pissed though. I was apologetic, but she wasn’t having it. It was hard for me to understand why she was so pissed. But I think that’s because I’m used to having beer and bowls of chili spilled all over me all the time. I just thank Tebow every morning that I live to see another day. No reason to cry over spilled milk.

Now onto the “new and improved” burger. The owner and general manager were very proud of it. They gave me a double cheese with bacon. Holy Moly. Grease oozing out everywhere. I’m thinking that’s how a burger should be. It was good and my hands were a mess. I went to the hand sanitize despenser and accidentally squirted it all over some guys’ fries. They didn’t care. They just laughed. That’s the spirit.

I like the new changes here. New burger, new hand-cut fries, now serving beer and they changed the “N” in Fresh N Fast to “&” …maybe to be steer away from the In-N-Out comparisons?

I remember liking the old Fresh & Fast burger before. The new one is good too. I just always wondered why people would want to wait in line for an hour at Shake Shack, when they could be in and out in a few minutes.

Fresh & Fast - 111 E 23rd St (btwn Park Ave & Lexington) New York, NY 10010

White Castle’s Angus Steak Chili

White Castle now has chili! Their sign is both scary and tempting. I think it’s because the chili photo looks good and “Angus Steak” sounds fancy, but I know it’s at White Castle.

They have three sizes –Small, Medium and Family Size, ranging from $2.79 to $9.99. I went with the small.

I was expecting it to be like the chili you’d squirt onto a hot dog at a gas station, but this was actually good. The texture was nice. It was all bits of real steak.

I want to compare it to Wendy’s chili, but it’s difficult because they are so different. I like both of them. Wendy’s is the better deal, being on the 99cent menu. White Castle has more of interesting texture. Makes me feel like I’m eating fancy food.

Chipotle’s Chili

At the NY Food Film Festival, Chipotle (the restaurant chain) served up this mean spicy chili. It was very meaty …I’m thinking that shredded Barbacoa meat they have. I loved it. Super Spicy. Perhaps too spicy for most regular folk. I don’t think they have any intention of serving this in their restaurants, but I think they should.

01 Chipotle Chili Chipotles Chili

Maybe I’ll get to eat this again in Chicago at the Food Film Festival there in a couple weeks. They are screening the Turtle Burger! We have to rest up for all that partying.

Also note that we are throwing a Justice of the Unicorns Chili Cook-off at K&M Bar (225 N 8th & Roebling, Brooklyn) on Sunday Nov 13, 2011. Party time!

KFC’s Cheesy Bacon Bowl – A Study in Humanity

Just last week, I saw the KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl commercial and I was thinking “Damn, I kinda want one.” Then magically I got an email from KFC’s PR team the very next day, asking me to try the this dang thing. Be careful what you wish for. They sent me a bucket with KFC gift certificates, kitchen supplies, a bacon-scented car hanger and sneaked in a $25 Visa card. What the hell. Well, I’ll try the bowl anyway because I want to.

Today was Judgement Day. I went to the KFC at Herald Square (Broadway between 34th & 33rd St). It’s a combination KFC/Nathan’s/Tim Hortons. Everyone looked so unhappy. I don’t know if it was the stress of the Midtown lunch shift, but it wasn’t a pleasant feeling. There were five cashiers and I think I saw three of them have problems with customers. My cashier stole the Cheesy Bacon Bowl out of the hand of another cashier that was making it for her customer. “Hey that was mine.” “No. It’s mine.” and puts it in my bag. Dang.

KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl @ Herald Square NYC
01 KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl Herald Square NYC KFCs Cheesy Bacon Bowl   A Study in Humanity

Dang. It was good for the first bite, then got really salty. Got bad quick. I felt anxious. I shoveled it down to get the hell out of there. I don’t really blame the cashiers, because I know how fucked up people in the area can be. I just saw some lady yell and kick a cab on the street. Then the cab made a U-turn to come back to try to hit her (…I think). Shit, the girl eating next to me was too lazy or inconsiderate to throw away her trash when the bin was right behind her.

Well… I didn’t think this Herald Square experience was fair for me or the KFC bowl. So for dinner, I went to the KFC in the East Village (14th St & 2nd Ave). It was a totally different experience. The place was festive with Halloween decorations. There was an old man behind me (who I first thought was homeless), but the KFC staff was so nice to him. He was such a happy customer. The whole restaurant reeked of frying grease and pleasantness. The cashier greeted me with, “Hi, I’m Tiffany. Welcome to KFC. How may I help you?” Dang. This is Twilight Zone.

KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl @ East Village NYC
02 KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl 14th St 2nd Ave NYC KFCs Cheesy Bacon Bowl   A Study in Humanity

Okay, this bowl was fuckin good. Not too salty. Just right. Made with care. I’m not discounting that the general mood was a huge factor, but the food did taste different and for the better.

Shit. I just ate two KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowls in one day …and I don’t regret it.

Fried Bologna & Cheese Biscuit @ Bojangle’s

Day 10 of the Shonali Tour: We stopped off at a Bojangle’s in Virginia. Had to get me a Fried Bologna & Cheese Biscuit since we saw a sign for it at the beginning of the tour. If I knew it was actually my dinner, I’d probably choose more wisely. I don’t know what I was expecting, because it tasted just as I expected. But I knew I had to have one.

This particular Bojangles sat on top of a hill. The view from the window was beautiful.

I remember the first time I went to a Bojangle’s a few years back on a different tour with Shonali. We went in and it was filled with old ladies smoking cigarettes. That kinda blew my mind, because I hadn’t seen smoke in a restaurant in years, especially a fast food joint. This time around, no smoke in any of the restaurants we went to down South.

Dang, look at this video…