Jun
23

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It’s hard not to root for the underdog.  These guys just recently opened-up right down the road from where I grew up.  Somebody has finally put something in the spot where plenty of upstart gas stations have come and gone during the course of my life.  Really, it’s just a good old fashioned snack shop.  They seem to be drawing big crowds on the weekend, and quite frequently in the evening during the week.  Any business starting up in this economic climate, well we wish them luck.  In spite of that though, we still need to honestly break-down the grub…

All the normal ingredients to your local Mom and Pop burger joint are here.  I’ve been here twice, and you usually encounter “Mama and Papa” behind the counter, doing their thing.  They offer up burgers, hot dogs, chicken, fries, and fried clams.  In the way of deserts, there’s ice cream galore here.  Soft serve, hard, flurries, shakes, and sundaes with some decent options on toppings.  Both of my visits had me chowing down on some decent grub.  It was solid.  Thing is though, nothing really stood out to me.  While pounding some chili cheese fries (made with curly’s), my roommate mentioned that it must be pretty hard to come up with a way to make your burger joint stand out over another.  I had to agree, but I know it can be done.  Mama’s is definitely a decent place to stop and get some eats.  But I just can’t rave about it, simply because there wasn’t anything to rave about.  It’s your standard, run-of-the-mill stuff.  They do it well, but I doubt you’ll be flipping out about anything in particular.

Service, cleanliness, and presentation are all solid.  It’s just a walk-up window set up so there is no dining area.  From what I could see behind the counter everything looked squeaky clean.  Service at the window doesn’t go above and beyond but it gets the job done, and normally with a smile.  They have some picnic benches off to the side of the building and that whole area has been clean during both of my visits.  The menu is laid out well, and it’s easy to grasp everything they offer and how to get it.  

Overall, the Fast Food Addict is going with 2 ½  stars  for Mama’s.  We are rooting for them to do well, but nothing about the food really excites us.  On any given day it would be hard for us to pick them over anyone else.  They really just blend in with the rest.  But maybe since it’s right down the street from my own Mama’s house, I might be more inclined to stop by in the future and see if they’ve spiced things up a little.                                                                                                                                                                                                                DT

 

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Jun
16


  When it comes to chicken, these guys are tops.  When you stack them up against all the other chicken-only chains I think they rise above the others.  I don’t usually find myself jonesing for a Chick-fil-A fix, but whenever I come across one during feeding time I want to go.  You can get chicken at just about every fast food chain out there so it’s not often that I want to go somewhere with solely clucking animals on the menu.  Honestly, most strictly-chicken joints don’t excite me to much.  But I’ll argue with anyone who says that Chick-fil-A isn’t a class act, from top to bottom.

I’ll admit that the menu here doesn’t excite me to much.  It’s solid though, and what they do offer is very good.  It may not be the most snazzy or creative dish you’ve ever had, with some wild sauce or interesting presentation, but you’re getting quality grub.  I haven’t had anything on the breakfast menu so somebody give us some feedback on that.  As far as the rest of the menu, I usually go back and forth between the Deluxe, Club, and either strips or nuggets.  All four are good eatin’.  When it comes to the nuggets they actually seem like real chicken, unlike nuggets from other unnamed chains…  Soak them in some Polynesian sauce and it’s great.  The other 3, albeit not highly exciting, are great tasting and always seem fresh.  Seriously.  Sometimes you go to a chain and get a sandwich and you can tell it’s been sitting around for awhile.  You bite into a Deluxe or Club, and I swear every single ingredient was just taken from the original source and immediately put on the sandwich a minute before you took a bite.  The chicken seems real, the veggies and bread are fresh, and if you’ve got cheese it definitely doesn’t taste processed.  Based on that alone, Chick-fil-A is the class of the fast food industry.  Definitely tops.  

 

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When it comes to cleanliness, presentation, and service Chick-Fil-A knocks it out of the park.  Every location I’ve ever been to has been spotless.  Nothing lying around on the floor, no gross bathrooms, A+ work indeed.  Not only that but they’ve all looked brand new.  No shabby tables and chairs, and behind the counter everything looks organized as well as pristine.  No ghetto locations here.  From all my various and sundry visits to plenty of fast food chains there are only a few instances where great customer service stands-out in my head.  One of these memories involves a visit to a Chick-fil-A in Wilmington, NC.  When walking up to the counter I mentioned that I was from NY, and hardly ever got to go to this place.  Then I noticed Mello-Yellow on the menu and flipped-out.  They loved it behind the counter and proceeded to treat me like a VIP.  Good stuff.  That’s how you win, and keep customers.

3 ½ stars for Chick-fil-A.  It was almost 4 but here at the Fast Food Addict, we’re just not overly excited about the food.  It is definitely good, and top quality.  But when we’re thinking about the grub we wanna pound the next time out they just don’t pop into our heads.  On the flip-side though we highly recommend them over most other chains.  You more than get a good bang for your buck, and we’re pretty sure you’ll get great service in the process.  If these guys add just one thing to the menu that truly fires us up, that rating will go up with it.        DT

 

Jun
10

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Just south of Saratoga Springs in upstate NY you can find one of the best burger joints out there.  Well, in our humble opinion…  We can’t think of any other joint that Juicy can’t keep up with.  Just recently we hit these guys for the first time, and less than two weeks later we were back for another visit.  Yes, it’s just that good.  Throw in local ownership, and you feel even better about going here over a big chain.  

I was initially introduced to these guys through an article in the local newspaper that my Mom showed me.  They gave a great review, and subsequently my Sister and her fiance’ went and said they loved the place.  So when it came time for me to pay a visit with GWBF I was definitely pumped for it.  The burger turned out to be fantastic.  I didn’t know that May was burger month, and they had a deal on building your own burger so I went for it.  I chose beef (ground sirloin & chuck beef) over chicken and proceeded to pick my toppings.  There were a bunch to choose from but I went with lettuce, red onions, pickles, cajun spice, spicy peppers, bacon, American cheese, and cajun mayo.  It was incredible.  That cajun mayo is a force to be reckoned with.  Combined, all those ingredients made for a a great burger, and the beef itself just seemed to melt right on your tongue.  It was also a monster, and quite a struggle to finish-off.  I was immediately impressed with how will this stacked-up against Fatburger, or even Red Robin.  Besides building your own, they had 7 other options of burger combos they had created.  The fries were great, and they also had sweet potato and onion ring options.  GWBF got the sweet potato fries and I had to steal a few.  I’m pretty picky about these type of fries but they were very good.  If you actually want to go to JB and not get a burger, they do have other options as well.  They have 6 different salad options and 3 different soup choices if you want to try to eat a little healthier.  Personally though, I don’t know how you could go here and not get a burger of the juicy variety.  Oh and did I mention, they have Mt. Dew (and that infamous Saratoga Sparkling Water)!

   When it comes to cleanliness, presentation, and service, JB knocks it out of the park.  The place is new and its appearance definitely reflected that.  I personally liked the décor, it had an industrial type vibe going.  Overall though the place was spotless, from the dining area to the bathroom.  Not only that, but behind the counter everything was well organized and squeaky clean.  The menu was laid-out nice, and clearly presented all options available.  Speaking of options, they had an “order yourself” station off to the side of the counter.  This was great.  Most people stood in line, but for the brave souls that wanted to venture over to the waiting computer screen, ordering was a lot quicker.  The service was great.  We walked in and were immediately greeted, asked if we had been there before, and offered help/advice every step of the way.  After ordering we took our seats and the food was brought out to us.  We were even checked on at one point to see how things were.  A+’s all around.

   The Fast Food Addict is giving Juicy Burgers 4 ½ stars without one bit of hesitation.  The experience was so good, that I would dare say they could crush almost all competition out there..  If you live in the Saratoga Springs area of upstate NY this should be tops on your list to check out if you’re in the mood for a great burger.  But don’t take our word for it, go tonight and see for yourself (um, did we just totally rip-off Reading Rainbow??)!                                                                                                                                                                               DT

 

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Jun
02


I first encountered this joint at Washington-Dulles airport.  Even though it was a little late in the day and I wasn’t particularly hungry I just had to try them out.  Upon first glance of the menu I wasn’t to impressed.  Kind of like In ‘n’ Out burger, there wasn’t a whole lot of variety up there.  That’s usually a let down for me since I’m a huge fan of menus that are a veritable cornucopia of choices.  But, if they do these few things very very well then I could maybe understand.  So I got in line to find out.  

A bacon cheeseburger and fries graced my tray and I settled in to pound this down.  In the end it was ok.  It was a quality burger but it didn’t really stand-out to me in any way.  When presented with other possible options for some grub there just isn’t much that would sway me to go here over somewhere else.  Don’t get me started on the fries though.  They were pretty limp and soggy.  Which doesn’t do a whole lot for me.  Again, they weren’t bad tasting but just not great.  You can go to Five Guys and basically get a burger, hot dog, or grilled cheese with two different types of fries.  There’s a little variation on those options but not a lot.  Upon my second visit in a totally different stated I pretty much had the same experience.  Decent burger with soggy fries.  

Both locations I’ve been to were in in great shape.  They both seemed pretty new and whether they were or not, it sure seemed like it.  Behind the counter everything seemed to be in great shape, and running smoothly.  Service wasn’t exceptional in the way of being very personable, but they were very efficient.  Between getting in line to taking my first bite, it all went down very fast.  As far as the menu was laid-out, well there wasn’t a lot up there so it was pretty easy to digest.  

 

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The Fast Food Addict is giving Five Guys 2 stars just basically because they don’t do a whole lot for us.  Now if I’m out driving somewhere, it’s “naughty” day, I’m suddenly in the mood for a burger, and Five Guys comes up right away on my left I’ll probably hit it.  But if I know there are other options right around the corner I’ll definitely go see what those are.  Thus the two stars, we’re not craving these guys.  That’s big.                                                    DT                                          

 

May
27


I absolutely love eating down south.  They just know how to do it down there.  So when I recently went back to my old hood in North Carolina it was just a given that I was going to be doin’ some good eatin’.  One of my definite stops was going to be Smithfield’s.  Under one roof you can get a decent summation of southern grub.  I wanted some real BBQ with some hush puppies and cole slaw (no fatback this time…).  When I lived down here I loved this place so it was only a logical choice.  

Now when I say BBQ, do all the Yankees in the building know what I’m talking about?  I didn’t want to go to a BBQ, I wanted to eat some BBQ.  Quick answer: pulled pork, yummy sauce, eat.  Hush puppies?  Anyone above Virginia know that one?  Either way, GWBF and I wanted some good southern grub and this was the place to go.  From BBQ to potato salad Smithfield’s does it right.  Between the two of us we had a lot of food on our plates, and some good sweet tea to top it off.  I’m usually not a big fan of iced tea but this stuff was pretty good.  Everything was great, except for the fries.  But that didn’t bother me so much being that anything else that touched my tongue was thoroughly enjoyable.  I really wanted to top it all off with some bananna pudding or pecan pie, but just didn’t have the room.  If for some reason you don’t like pork (I can’t imagine why) they have some chicken choices as well, which I hear are great.  It was just one of those places where I wanted a little bit of everything.  But I’m taking it as a good thing that I don’t have that much room in my belly.  Oh yeah, they have Sundrop too!  

This particular location was squeaky clean.  There seemed to be a gleam coming off the floor and overall, everything just looked new.  I’ve seen a more impressive menu layout before but it got the basic points across.  Once again, that southern charm came across in the service and we were both duly impressed.  At one point it just kinda felt like we were chowing down at a big family cookout or something like that.  That’s a great eating environment, I was waiting for a frisbee to buzz by my head.  

 

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Overall, the Fast Food Addict really enjoys paying Smithfield’s a visit.  We’re going with 4 stars here.  I’m sure for people that have lived down south all of their lives they might have a local joint with the same type of food that they like better.  But in general these guys deliver a great product, and the actual BBQ itself rivals a lot of what I’ve had from other places.  If you’re a Yank (or from anywhere else), and down in Dixie for some reason definitely hit these guys up.  You’ll wish you could bring some of that pork back home with you…

 

May
20


   “Say a prayer before going to Church’s…you’ll need it!  And leave your appetite at home.”  Those are the words of wisdom from GWBF.  This man doesn’t say much, but when he does it often includes gems like this.  GWBF and I sauntered into Church’s recently on my first night back in Wilmington, NC.  We were hungry, it was great to be back in town, and I was in the mood to hit-up someplace new.  We tried one other unmentioned joint which seemed to have gone out of business so these guys just happened to be next-up.  Well, it didn’t exactly rock our world.  

   I expected Church’s to be just like KFC, only with its own twist.  Well I was right on both counts.   It had that whole southern-vibe going on, which I usually enjoy.  There were 5 different ways to get your bird (like Spicy Chicken, which I couldn’t get), 8 side options (Fried Okra and Jalapeno Cheese Bombers were two), 6 different sauces (try the Purple Pepper), along with various drinks and an apple pie option.  The chicken I eventually got wasn’t what I originally ordered, and turned-out to be pretty average at best.  Not trying to be mean, but it reminded me of something I got back in the ol’ college cafeteria.  Nothing stood-out about it at all.  It was eatable and all but nothing to write home about.  The Cheese Bombers I got were ok, but not great.  The biscuits weren’t to bad but Bojangles and KFC do ’em better.  Honestly, it was the kind of meal where you’re like, “well this is ok but I kinda wish I spent my dough somewhere else.”  Again, it wasn’t horrible but about half-a-dozen other places to eat crossed my mind when I was half-way thru my meal.  That’s never a good sign.  

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When we first walked-in I didn’t get a good feeling about the place.  The dining area was a little messy and gave-off a disorganized type of vibe.  When glancing behind the counter I got the very same impression.  It’s not very often that you get a great eating experience when you notice this stuff right away.  One big plus was the friendly service.  Seconds after surveying the environment around me, a booming voice welcomed us from behind the counter, “Hey guys, welcome to Church’s!!”  It was the guy manning the cash register and he seemed genuine with his greeting.  I wanted the new Spicy Chicken but they didn’t have any ready to go so I had to change-up.  No problem.  They brought the food out to us and this sweet lady greeted us with a smile and even called me ‘sugar’ (ah, I love the south).  Thing is, it wasn’t what I ordered.  That’s ok…  

We really do hate knocking people here at the Fast Food Addict.  But on the other hand we have to be honest.  We’re only giving Church’s 1 ½ stars, and the half is solely due to that friendly customer service (and they had Mello Yellow!).  The food was just average and did nothing at all to excite us, from menu to plate.  We’re not sure how they’re going to keep up with the competition in light of this, but maybe next time we’ll have a better experience.  Just not sure when that’s going to be…                                                                                                            DT                                                              

 

May
16

411190120_m Without a doubt this place crushes just about all similar competition out there. If you need a gigantic burrito, and you’re in the Wilmington, NC area then there’s really only one choice. Flaming Amy’s is hot, fast, cheap, and easy (that’s their motto). They definitely live-up to that, and it’s all delicious to boot.  Not that this is a big thing, but it also seems like one of the “hip” places in town to grab a bite.  Geez, I think I sounded kind like my Mom there.  No lie, it seems like 60% of the clientel and staff there have very visable, and multiple tatoos.  Rock is always kicking in the background, sometimes there’s a skating video on one of the tvs, and in general it seems to have the vibe of a club.  It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see a band set-up in the corner and start throwing-down.  But if I were them I’d eat the burritos after the set…

 

Not to be mean; but Baja Fresh, Chipotle, Moe’s, or Qdoba can’t hold a candle to Flaming Amy’s.  Put the whole menu aside for a moment and just take burritos.  FA’s just has better variety, and every different choice is truly unique when it comes to taste.  At those other joints, they say they have different burrito selections but it’s all basically the same thing.  Choose your meat, beans, cheese, etc.  But at Flaming Amy’s they stand-out and above with ingredients as well as sauces.  The other day I hit these guys up and got ‘the Bayou’ (cajun spices, with a spicy Veggie Jambalaya sauce, along with the normal stuff like meat and beans) but it was a close call between that and a big favorite of mine when I lived here, ‘Thai Me Up’ (roasted red peppers, carrots, Thai peanut sauce, normal stuff).  They have 15 other unique burritos to choose from, with ‘the Big Jerk’ being a stand-out.  Do you get that at the chains?  Nope, not from what I’ve seen.  They’ve got a ton of grilled fillings to stuff in there, and they do have other options as well even though I normally skip right over those.  I’m sure the nachos, quesadillas, tacos, salads, etc are good so somebody let me know!  The Black Bean Cheese Dip is good though, I do know that. 

 

Service, cleanliness, and presentation have always been good.  I wouldn’t say they bowl-over the competition in these areas but it’s in line with all the chains.  It’s a very laid-back atmosphere so the service is generally reflective of that.  I’ve never had anyone go above and beyond the call-of-duty with customer service but I’ve never had a bad experience either.  The joint is fairly clean with no major plusses or minuses, just a good job.  As far as presentation goes the menu is laid-out pretty well.  I personally dig the vibe of the place, but I could see a decent section of the over 50 crowd being a little intimidated or turned-off to going in.  I don’t think FA’s is worried about that though, and to that crowd I say, “C’mon, be a little adventurous!!”

 

Like I stated up-front, Flaming Amy’s crushes the competition.  Now as burrito joints go I wouldn’t put them in the same vein as Taco Bell or Taco Time.  Places like this and Chipotle are in a different group.  So I wouldn’t necessarily measure the two up to each other.  But if you need a monster burrito without a fast food feel this is the place to go, hands-down.  the Fast Food Addict is giving 4 stars here.  An extra ½ could definitely be given with maybe a great customer-service experience thrown in one day.  Overall though, they rock.  We’re hundreds of miles from these guys and that sucks.                                                                                                                                                                         DT

 

Apr
18

 

  Simply put, these guys kick butt (I could drop another Beastie Boys reference here).  I’ve been twice in my life and both times I left beyond satisfied.  I had always heard of this place but never had a chance to hit one.  Just on a whim in my hotel room up in the Rockies, I looked them up online.  Sure enough they had a few locations in the Denver area and that’s where we were heading.  So after a beautiful drive we (the we being GWBF and I) arrived in town and promptly headed over to Fatburger.  Great priorities right?  I admit it, I was pumped and GWBF was kind of curious about all the hype.  

   Burgers…fried or grilled?  Fries…skinny or fat?  On my first visit I got me a grilled Kingburger with tons of stuff on it, including a fried egg.  With nice, fat steak fries.  Delicious.  The Denver location had a very impressive list of toppings to put on your burger.  I don’t know if that’s offered in every location because I didn’t see as many offered the next time I went (different location).  But trust me when I say this burger was great.  It was like they just took it off the grill in your friend’s back yard and served it up to you.  It went down so easy, practically melting in my mouth (can I burger do that? Yup).  The extra toppings didn’t take away anything, but only added to the overall experience.  With every bite one would stand out over the other and make things just that much more yummy.  All this and the fries were solid as well.  Crisp on the outside and soft inside.  If you don’t particularly want beef on your plate they offer turkeyburgers, veggieburgers, and three different chicken options.  I haven’t had any of those cuz the cow captivated my attention during both visits.  But if they’re anything like the hamburgers, you’re in for some great eats.  They’ve also got hot dogs, salad, and breakfast choices.  Ah, I love this place.

   I’ve been to two different Fatburger locations and both were top-notch.  Both looked completely brand new (they could have been) and everything was neat and tidy.  You probably could have eaten off the seats, although I didn’t.  The Denver location was crazy-busy but the employees were on the ball.  Everyone had a smile and no one seemed to be frazzled.  Everything flowed along nice and smooth.  The menu was laid-out well and I was enamored with the different ways you could get a burger, let alone all the stuff you could get on it.  All that info was easily conveyed.  At a large portion of their locations you can order ahead of time online.  Great idea.  Each joint had a juke box which I thought was a nice touch.  But let me tell you those burgers were huge, and booty shaking in the dining area was not on my mind after eating… 

   Fatburger doesn’t quite seem like fast food, it has a different vibe.  But you get some great eats here, and you get it fast.  Maybe it’s just that they’re a step above the competition.  So in light of that the Fast Food Addict is giving them 4 stars.  Sure, you might pay a little more here then at the Big 3 but we think you’ll be happy with the product you get for that extra couple of bucks.  If you’ve never gone and you find yourself craving a great burger, hunt them down!                                                                  DT

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Apr
17

 

 

   I’ve hit these guys up twice during my several trips to the Seattle area.  The first time I was pretty curious about it and the second time, well…it was a free meal  with good company so I wasn’t going to complain.  

   Dick’s is pretty basic.  Here you’re going to basically get a burger, a “Dick’s Deluxe” (cheeseburger), soggy fries, and milkshake.  Whatever you do though, don’t try and modify your order.  What’s on the menu is what you get.  Don’t even try and hold that lettuce buddy.  The burgers aren’t bad overall but nothing to write home about.  The fries, well I’d just recommend that you get another burger instead of the fries.  The shakes are kinda like the burgers, not bad but nothing great.

   Both locations were in decent shape as far presentation goes.  It was only a walk-up and order set-up so there wasn’t a dining area of all.  So I guess you could say the parking lot was pretty clean.  Behind the counter things looked a little messy but everyone got their food in a decent amount of time, and the orders for our decent size group were correct.  Being that the food choices were limited, the menu was pretty easy to comprehend.  Service was average.  The second time the employees seemed a little huffy, and it was annoying.

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   If you couldn’t tell already, we’re not to thrilled with Dick’s here at the Fast Food Addict.  Like we’ve mentioned before, we thoroughly support the little guy.  But in this case there really isn’t anything about Dick’s that would make us excited to go back.  So in light of that we’re just going with 1 star for these guys.   I’m sure someone in the Seattle will have a “beef” with us over this.  Bring it on, we’re open to having our mind changed.  It’ll have to be a convincing argument though…


Apr
16

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   Those of us here at Fast Food Addict have definitely been to our share of fast food joints (although we do keep it under control, for the most part…).  However, we haven’t been everywhere.  There are a lot of places we just haven’t had a chance to hit yet.  Here’s just a few:  Arctic Circle, Crown Burgers, Pudgies, Panda Express.  Have you pounded some grub from any of these places?  Or others maybe?  If so we want to know what you think about them.  Not just big chains either, tell us about the little guys in and around your hood.  Not only that, but give us your own take on any of the joints we’ve blabbed about already.  We don’t want to just sit back and listen to ourselves talk all day, where’s the fun in that?  So if you want to join-in feel free to leave a comment.  Or better yet, e-us a review at  ffadave@gmail.com  and we’ll try to get your stuff up.  Keep in mind that although it’s just a blog right now, a full site is in the works.  So whatever you send will wind-up there too.  Just keep it good-natured, and nice and clean.  You know, like the inside of your arteries after eating Double Quarter Pounder with cheese…  Also, if you’ve got a site or something you might want plugged when we get our site up, e-us on that too. 

Thanks for the support!                                 burger-king-closed-sign