Category Archives: Fast Food

McDonalds All-Day Breakfast

As your resident fast foodologist, I should point out to you that McDonalds now serves breakfast all-day, starting today. Though as far as I can tell from their website, it’s not the full breakfast menu. So you can enjoy an Egg McMuffin and hash browns any time you like, but not cinnamon melts. Which is a shame, because I think the cinnamon melts are the best item on their menu, and in terms of fast food sweets are second only to Taco Bell’s Cinnabon Delights.

No review, because it’s still the same breakfast items you’ve already had. If there’s one thing McDonalds excels at, it’s giving you exactly the food you expect. A Sausage McMuffin With Egg is a Sausage McMuffin With Egg, and hash browns are hash browns.

Taco Bell Cap’n Crunch Delights

As I mentioned in my last post, last night I tried getting Taco Bell delivery.  This included a new item: Cap’n Crunch Delights.

Cap’n Crunch Delights are nearly the same thing as Taco Bell’s Cinnabon Delights.  The difference is that the dough has a slight Crunchberry flavor.  (If you aren’t familiar with Crunchberry cereal, it’s kind of but not quite like strawberry flavor.)  And instead of being dusted with cinnamon-sugar, it’s dusted with Cap’n Crunch and Crunchberries.  The icing/interior goo is the same.

I’ve previously said that Taco Bell Cinnabon Delights are the best dessert item you can get at any major fast-food chain.  So what do I think of this variant of them?  They’re amazingly good, but not quite as good as Cinnabon Delights.  The crunchberry tinge to the dough is interesting, but the Cap’n Crunch dust on the exterior adds less than the cinnamon-sugar.

These are only available for a limited time, so I will keep ordering them while I can get one.  But if Taco Bell is going to choose one goo-filled sweet ball to keep, I’m glad it’s the Cinnabon Delights.

Each Cap’n Crunch Delight is 85 calories, compared to 80 calories for a Cinnabon Delight.

I didn’t think to take a picture of them, so I have to pull one off their website.  I’d say this is a fairly accurate representation of what the real life items look like, except that in reality there isn’t quite as much delicious goo in the center.

Cap'n Crunch Delights

Taco Bell Delivery

When I heard that now you can get Taco Bell delivered, I had to try it right away.  Here are my thoughts on the service, coming from a real life FastFoodophile rather than a reporter or press release.

First off, you should note that Taco Bell is not delivering directly.  They’ve partnered with a service called Door Dash.  As near as I can tell, Door Dash is kind of like Uber for food delivery.  You place an order through the app or website, and the order gets referred to some dude who will go through the drive-thru and bring your food to you.

Door Dash and the delivery person make their money through charging a $4 delivery fee, asking for a tip, and marking up the food.  Because I’m the kind of guy who knows Taco Bell’s menu/prices off the top of my head, I could recognize that each item Door Dash offered was about $0.50 to $1.00 more than it would be at the store.  All together, the order for my wife and I cost $21.56 for $11-$12 worth of food.  That’s slightly less than what we would pay for Dominos to deliver, so I’d say it’s worth the price.

The Door Dash interface needs some work.  The menu is broken down into several sub-menus, with no search function, and the categories are not particularly logical or intuitive.  This can be kind of annoying when dealing with a complicated menu like Taco Bell.  Is that item you want under “Our Favorites,” “Burritos,” “Cantina Power Menu,” “Specialites,” or “Cravings/Dessert Menu?”  You’ll have to look through each category individually to find out.

Also, they do not include Taco Bell’s complete menu.  My wife really wanted a Grilled Stuft Nacho, but for some reason you can’t get that through Door Dash.  We wasted a bunch of time digging through their arbitrary sub-menus, both in the app and on the website, before giving up.

Door Dash texts you when the order is picked up.  Because of this, I could tell that too much time passed between the driver going through the drive thru and when he arrived at our apartment.  I assume he was picking up orders for many people at once, and then delivering them in turn.  This means that your food may not arrive piping hot.  I doubt the drivers have any technology like Dominos Heatwave bags, and instead the food is just sitting in a bag in their car.  On the other hand, if they did their pick-ups and deliveries one at a time, they would probably have to charge more.  I think Taco Bell is still pretty good when it’s been sitting for half an hour.  But if you feel like you need it straight from the grill/oven, this is something to be wary about.

Another drawback is the delivery hours.  You can only get delivery between 9:30 AM and 10:00 PM.  That’s good for normal meal hours.  But if you’re a stoner or drunk looking to satisfy some late-night cravings without leaving the house, Door Dash and Taco Bell won’t help you.

Also, they made a mistake on our order in our favor.  We ordered a 4-piece Cap’n Crunch Delights, but they brought us a 12-piece.  So that was nice.  (I’ll have a review for the Cap’n Crunch Delights up shortly.)

In summary, Taco Bell delivery has some flaws. It’s not everything you wish it would be.  But it’s still Taco Bell brought to your door, which is pretty awesome in itself.

Edit: One other thing I should note: The Door Dash app will also deliver from In N Out.  The main reason I don’t eat at In N Out much is because I can’t tolerate the long lines, so this opportunity to skip the lines should be great.  But I feel like In N Out would really suffer from getting cold, so I’m hesitant to try using Door Dash for it.

Year-End Review of New Fast Food

This Buzzfeed article is a good opportunity to review new fast foods that I’ve tried during the year.  Running through the list:

1. 7-Eleven Doritos Loaded – I intended to write a review for this, but then got too busy doing work at work, never got around to it, and then after a while mistakenly assumed I had already written up the review and moved on.  Anyway, these are wonderful.  Probably the best food that 7-Eleven makes, although I suppose that isn’t particularly high praise.  If you’ve ever had fried mac and cheese bites, these are similar, but greatly improved by the Doritos crust.  Highly recommended, and at $2 for a 4-pack, probably the cheapest weird fast food around.

7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded (U.S.)

2. Taco Bell’s Waffle Breakfast Taco – I reviewed it here.  This is bland and skippable.

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3. Subways Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt – I reviewed this on Facebook before I started the blog, so I’ll copy-paste the facebook post here.  (I’m glad Facebook now has a search function.)

“Meh.” By trying to split the difference between Subway and Taco Bell, they end up with something that is less than either of them. Also either they didn’t toast mine long enough, or they added enough cold stuff that the entire sandwich ended up cold.  So I won’t be ordering this again. Either I’ll get a better sandwich from Subway, or I’ll get a better enchilada-like-food from Taco Bell.

4-8, 10, 12, 15-16, 20. 23-26, 28, 32-33 Domino’s Starburst Chocolate Lava Cake, Pizza Hut Doritos Crust Pizza, McDonalds Black & White Pie, KFC Crispy Cheese Chicken, Burger King Burger Topped Poutine, Pizza Hut Surf & Turf Pizza with Dessert-Stuffed Crust, KFC Popcorn Chicken Nachos, Pizza Hut Chili Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza, Burger King Premium Berry Burger, KFC Dipping Fries, KFC Creamed Corn Chicken Sandwich, Domino’s Subwich, McDonalds McSbrinz Burger, KFC Double Down King, Pizza Hut Sausage Roll Crust Pizza, Pizza Hut Quesadilla Burrito & Nacho Pizzas, Tim Horton’s Buffalo Crunch Doughnut – These are all foreign offerings that I haven’t had an opportunity to try.

9 – Carl’s Jr Bisnut – Somehow I missed this one, even though I regularly eat at Carls.  I have tried Jack in the Box’s cronut, which is decent but not amazing.  It takes like a cross between a fast food donut and a fast food croissant.

11 Jack in the Box’s Hella-Peno Burger – I haven’t tried these, though the other offerings on JitB’s late-night stoner menu are pretty good.

13-14, 17-18, 31 – Papa John Frito Chili Cheese Pizza, Taco Bell Starburst Strawberry Freeze, Church’s Chicken & Waffle Bites, Del Taco Bun Taco, White Castle Waffle Breakfast Sandwich – I haven’t had the chance to try these.  The Frito Chili pizza and Chicken & Waffle Bites sound good.  The others not so much.

19 – Dominos Specialty Chicken – Review here.  This is one of the best fast-food offerings I have ever had.

That's the BBQ Bacon on the left, Jalapeno-Pineapple on the right.

21 Carl’s Jr Double Loaded Omelet Biscuit – This is just the regular loaded omelet biscuit with twice as much stuff.  It’s a pretty good fast-food breakfast sandwich, though this is too much food for me and I would prefer the regular biscuit.  (Although I rarely order breakfast sandwiches from Carl’s, as I prefer their burritos or biscuits and gravy.  But that’s just a personal preference.  The regular omelet biscuit is my wife’s favorite fast food breakfast of any chain.)

22 Jack in the Box Chick-N-Tater Melt – Another offering from their late night stoner menu.  This is pretty good.  The chicken, tater tots, bacon, and sauce mix well.  I wish they offered this all day instead of just late nights.

27 – Pizza Hut Pretzel Piggy Pizza – I haven’t had this particular pizza, but I have had the Pizza Hut pretzel crust.  I prefer pretzels to regular pizza crust, so this is an improvement.  But it doesn’t make a huge difference.  It only matters when you get down to the ends, which at lot of people don’t eat anyway.

29 Taco Bell Quesarito – Review here.  This is pretty good, and I like it better than Taco Bell’s similarly priced burritos.

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30 Subway Flatizza – I reviewed this on Facebook before I had this blog:

Mediocre. You can’t really mess up a flat-bread pizza, since it’s just flatbreat, cheese, pizza sauce, and toppings. But there wasn’t anything particularly good about this. It’s probably a step below TV dinner flatbread pizza. I won’t get this again.

McDonalds: The Greatest Food in Human History

The greatest food in human history

This article makes a point that I frequently make.  If you pay attention to what you eat, it’s very easy to eat healthily at fast food restaurants.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say that fast food chains offer the easiest way to be healthy.

This is why I think that food snobs/health snobs/class snobs that look down on fast food are way off-base.

There are healthier options that exist.  But they’ll all take a lot more effort and expense.  And of course fast food chains also make it easy to be extremely unhealthy if you don’t pay attention to what you eat.

Note: The second half of this article gets a lot more political than something I’d usually link to in this blog.  Feel free to ignore that if politics aren’t your thing.  Also, please don’t comment on the political stuff here.  If you’re interested in getting into a flamewar about WalMart, there are countless other places on the Internet where you can do that.

Fast Food Review – Taco Bell Quesarito

(I continue to be too busy for more Movies We Still Care About.  I promise I’ll return to that series soon.  In the mean time, here’s a fast food review.)

In one of my screenplays, an alien visiting Earth sums up my own opinion on Taco Bell when he says, “They have 43 menu items that are all the same thing but shaped differently.  It’s amazing.”

The Taco Bell Quesarito is a new configuration of the same ingredients, and it succeeds in improving on their old combinations.  It won’t blow you away like the Doritos Locos Taco or the Cinnabon Delight (two of Taco Bell’s best innovations from the last few years), but in my opinion it is significantly better than Taco Bell’s similarly sized and priced burritos.

At my local Taco Bell, the Quesarito ranged from $1.99 to $2.99, depending on whether you got beef, chicken, or steak.  (I chose the steak.)  It was a lot smaller I expected, only marginally bigger than their Grillers.  But it packs 650 calories into that small size, compared to 350-450 calories for the Grillers.

What really makes it work is the cheese.  They somehow managed to split the difference between semi-solid melted real cheese and liquid processed fake cheese, to come up with something that is deliciously gooey, but is held in place between the layers of tortilla.  It’s a lot more cheese than is typically in one of their burritos, which is kind of the point.

In terms of how it actually looked inside, there wasn’t a huge difference between the photo on their website and reality.  (Other than the site photos is ground beef but I ordered the steak.)  If anything, I’d say reality had the ingredients better mixed.

Quesarito

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Side note: Taco Bell stole the idea from Chipotle’s “secret” menu.  I’ve never tried a Chipotle Quesarito.  Regular Chipotle burritos are already too much food for me, and I typically only go there during the lunch rush when they wouldn’t be willing to make it.  But I would be interested in a comparison, and to see how Chipotle’s unprocessed ingredients compare to Taco Bell’s more processed food.  Then again, a Taco Bell Quesarito is 1/4 the price of Chipotle’s, so that’s something to consider.

To sum up, I recommend the Taco Bell Quesarito, and will definitely get it again.

Candy Review – M&M Birthday Cake Flavor

This is technically a second-hand review.  I was all set to write up my own review, but then I found someone else had already said exactly what I was planning to say.

So you can just read this review from the site GrubGrade instead.

The key points:

These M&M’s do a so-so job of replicating the frosted chocolate birthday cake flavor and not enough to really impress me.  Birthday Cake M&M’s taste way too much like regular milk chocolate M&M’s to be memorable.

I wish the Mars company went with a yellow cake, white frosting birthday cake flavor instead of milk chocolate.  Even though I have a personal bias against chocolate birthday cake, I still think these M&M’s tasted too much like the traditional M&M’s for me.  Regular M&M’s are still great, a classic, so these are by no means bad… just no wow factor.

That perfectly echoes my sentiments, right down for me not being a big fan of chocolate birthday cake.