Thursday, March 27, 2014

Taco Bell Breakfast Review
So it is finally here! Taco Bell breakfasts have arrived and I was there on day 1.
My Order:
1 AM Crunchwrap- Bacon1 Waffle Taco- Sausage
The Crunchwrap
The Crunchwrap was really good. For those who aren't sure, it's bacon (or sausage or steak), eggs, cheese and a hash brown all wrapped up tidily in a tortilla for your convenience. My first bite was a bit underwhelming, but as usual... that's just because the folded edges are mostly tortilla. By the time I got to the real bites I was very pleasantly surprised! First of all, it's a good amount of food in that small package. More importantly it was pretty great on the tastebuds. Let's look at the individual components:
  • The eggs were surprising to me. They had little chili flakes to add a bit of spice. I am NOT a fan of spicy foods, being of the mind that food shouldn't hurt, but I actually liked it here. It wasn't overwhelmingly spicy and did add a unique twist.
  • Cheese. It was cheese.
  • The Hash Brown added some crunch to the whole thing. Further testing is needed as I did not separate the components but I believe it was similar and equal to the (really yummy) McDonald's Hash.
  • The bacon was the only part that was just "okay". It was clumped up in the crunchwrap so that I had some bites with strong bacony flavor and some bites that were missing it completely. The bacon itself tasted fine, but admittedly looked a little raw. Ultimately, I think that once the employees have more experience spreading it around it will be much better. Still, Sausage might be the way to go.
The Waffle Taco
So this is the one you are really interested in reading, right? The waffle taco was just as good as the crunchwrap, but it was also just unequivovally cool and fun to be eating. If you don't think that you would get joy from grabbing a waffle wrapped around sausage, eggs and cheese in your hand and biting into it... you are wrong. It's joyful and on top of that, it's delicious!
The waffle was a teeny tiny bit on the soggy side, which is what everyone (read: me) has been afraid of since it was announced. That being said, it wasn't soggy enough to ruin the experience overall. It might be better to eat it right away like the DLT... I had about a 10-15 minute delay. The eggs (which did not have the chili flakes) were what you would expect. The sausage was SO good. There was a lot more cheese than I expected which was a nice bonus.
At first- it was good, but more exciting than delicious. Then came the syrup. Yes, Taco Bell is offering syrup with their breakfasts and on the Waffle Taco it makes all the difference. With the little bit of sweetness added, it pushed it over the edge into great territory. I honestly don't know why they don't add it as part of the item (unless it would significantly increase the sogginess).
Quick side note- because of the chili flakes, I didn't think the syrup worked very well with the crunchwrap, but I also didn't think it was needed.
Final Verdict
The overall meal was solid. I would give it a good 7.5/10 rating. In the good category. For excitement purposed and the fun of the waffle taco, I want to bump it up to a 9/10 but I take my blogging job seriously (as evidenced by my 2 posts in 2012 and none since). Also note that if you like a little kick to your food, you might like the crunchwrap even more than I did. I would easily bump it up to an 8 if the bacon were spread more consistently in the crunchwrap.
Next Order
I feel like such an amateur, but in hindsight it is clear that I got my meats backward. Next time I will do Bacon for the Waffle Taco (to go better with the sweetness of the syrup) and Sausage in my crunchwrap (to go better with the chili flakes). It was a silly thing to mess up, but in my defense, I didn't know they would have the syrup.

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Orders: TB, Arby's & McD's

While this blog is still young, I figured I should let everyone know where I stand on the different Fast Food dining locations that I frequent. So this post is going to start a series I will hopefully continue with my thoughts on each of the different fast food chains and to order at each one. These posts will eventually be the definitive list of what is best at each chain. I will not be comparing items between chains in these posts, but will get to that eventually!

My Thoughts: Why not start with the best?! Taco Bell is my favorite overall fast food chain. I think it is amazing that they have their HUGE menu when really they only have 3 different ingredients: Chicken, Steak and Beef. The fact that they can package, wrap and smoosh those few ingredients into such a diverse menu is remarkable. I think it's more a feat in marketing than it is in cooking.

My Order: Well, if you've read my previous post, you know how infatuated I am with the Dorito Loco taco. Without a doubt, that's what I am going to order at the Bell. They have a combo now that is 3 DL tacos and a large soda for about 6 bucks. That is an incredibly delicious meal at a great price! 3 DL supreme tacos (with nacho cheese added) and a large mountain dew is what makes life worth living. Other foods to consider include the Grilled Stuffed Burrito, the Beefy 5-Layer burrito and you can never go wrong with a steak Chalupa.

My Thoughts: Arby's is my second favorite dining destination. Their regularArby's sammitches are great, but their specialty sandwiches are where they really shine. Arby's also has the most incredible fries. Those Curly-Qs are a Fast Food Force to be reckoned with and really ups the overall value of the restaurant. Add the fact that they serve Mountain Dew onto that and you have an incredibly special place. One that sometimes gets chosen over the Bell, but usually only due to scarcity.

My Order: Arby's' Chicken Cordon Bleu sammitch is the surprising winner here! Don't be fooled by the fact that it's chicken... it's fried, greasy and covered in Mayo and Cheese. It is DAMN GOOD! I usually get their Beef 'n Cheddar sammitch on the side. The chicken cordon bleu is really enough on its own, but I need something to serve as a vehicle for Arby's sauce. It is a case of ordering the sammitch just for the little packet of goodness, but it is also a case I have never regretted. Of course you have to get the largest sized fries they will serve you and a Dew to wash it down.

My Thoughts: McDonald's often gets overlooked. It defies conventional logic, but I actually think it is because it is the most commonly known chain and is therefore considered the most basic. It's also easy to treat McD's as the "face" of fast food and blame it for all of the woes. I have heard people in Taco Bell scarfing down their burritos while denouncing how unhealthy McDonald's burgers are. But it's all a shame because, truth is, McDonald's makes some great meals and you'll never be disappointed there.

My Order: Depends on the Day of the Week! McDonald's usually has a special on Sundays where you can get their basic cheeseburgers for 59cents. If that's the case... DO IT! Get 10! But any other day of the week, you want to go with the Big Mac. We all know that the special sauce is really just ketchup, mayo and relish, but it is daggone good on that burger. McDonald's fries are probably the best of the basic fries out there, so you want those on the side and a 4-piece Chicken McNuggets make a perfect accompaniment to the Big Mac as well. All of the Nugget-sauce options are good, but the best choice to accompany a burger is the Sweet-and-Sour sauce (if the nuggets are your main course, go BBQ). Wash it all down with a Hi-C orange and you're set!

So those are my first 3 fast food orders. Next time around I'll go over Wendy's, Checkers and KFC (spoiler, as GREAT as the double-down is, it's not the winner!).

If you have a different order, let me know and I might share honorable mentions!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dorito Loco Experimento

Abstract: The purpose of this experiment was to try to improve on perfection... no small task.

Procedures: During lunch, 4 tacos were ordered. The Tacos were then compared via the incredibly scientific method of eating them to see if any improvements were made.

CONTROL:            1 plain Dorito Loco Taco Supreme
STEAK:                  1 Dorito Loco Taco Supreme with beef substituted for Steak
NACHO+SOUR:    1 Dorito Loco Taco Supreme with nacho cheese added
NACHO ALONE:   1 Dorito Loco Taco (non-supreme) with nacho cheese added

In the case of comparing the STEAK to the CONTROL, it was found that the steak is quite worse than the ground beef. The flavor of the steak was stronger than the Dorito Loco flavor, thus canceling out the most amazing aspect of the taco.
In the case of comparing both the NACHO+SOUR and the NACHO ALONE to the CONTROL, it was found that in both cases the addition of the nacho cheese was a stark improvement to the CONTROL taco without the nacho cheese.
In the case of comparing the NACHO+SOUR to the NACHO ALONE tacos, the results were less straightforward. The experiment showed that the flavor was better with the NACHO+SOUR, but that the extra goo (scientific term) compromised the integrity of the containment device (read: shell).

In all cases, the experimenter recommends adding Nacho Cheese to the Dorito Loco Taco. However depending on the eating situation, the experimenter would alter his advice on whether or not to go supreme. If dining in at the Taco Bell or if eating in the car but NOT driving, Supreme (NACHO+SOUR) is recommended. If taking home or if eating in the car while driving, the non-supreme (NACHO ALONE) is recommended.

This experiment is awaiting peer review.

Time to start a blog!

Well, here I go... I've been thinking about starting a blog for a while now, and finally decided to just get started. I'm still not sure what this is going to end up being, but I've decided (for now) to focus on what I know best... eating.

So let's start with what I am not:

1) I am not a chef. Sure, I make a mean chicken salad... and went through a pretty self-empowered Hamburger Helper phase in my life... but by no means am I a chef. I don't know how to make food and, frankly, I'm not that interested. Don't read this blog expecting to learn more about what foods are made of or what I would suggest as improvements. Do read this blog expecting to learn if I think a dish is delicious and would want to order it prepared my favorite way... 3-at-a-time.

2) I am not sophisticated. I tried to write the previous sentence a couple times to make it seem less self-deprecating, but I'm not ashamed of how it came out. I like simplicity in my food and usually feel like the fewer ingredients there are, the better. My dad taught me a trick at a restaurant. If you're not sure if you will like something, ask the waiting staff to describe it. If it takes more than 10 words order something else. Don't read this blog if you want to follow current food and health trends. Do read this blog if you agree that the high bar that food should be measured against is Taco Bell.

3) I am not healthy. If you are concerned with eating healthily, don't read a blog with the words 'fast' and 'food' right next to one another in the title. I don't complain that your vitamin supplements aren't yummy enough, don't expect me to complain that delicious food isn't healthy enough.

4) I am not a big spender when it comes to food.  I am not a cheap person by nature... I like to throw money at problems and I upgrade my electronics annually. What is strange though is that when it comes to food, which is something I am very passionate about, I am overcome with the need to save a penny here and there. If one TV costs hundreds more than another... who cares? I buy the better TV. But if one meal costs an extra 39 cents I am crippled with indecision. Needless to say, I look for lots of volume for a low price. Again, Taco Bell manages to set a pretty high bar.

5) I am not shy with my opinions. I have lots of emphatic feelings and passion for food and other things and I might end up sharing them. Wait until you hear what I have to say about Oatmeal Raisin "cookies".

If anyone ends up finding this and reading, let me just say something in advance.... You're Welcome.