Apr
15

 

 

   Up until the other day I hadn’t been to a Dairy Queen for anything other than ice cream in years.    I think I was in college the last time I had non-frozen food there.  My recent visit was ok I guess.  I had a DQ near me as a kid but it went out of business before I got my first set of wheels.  The manager there was notorious for weighing everything before he served it, and shrinking portion size in front of customers if he thought it was to large.  So you can imagine how that didn’t go over to well.  Not that I’ve had the opportunity for an update, I’d say that DQ needs to focus on standing-out.  

   The ice cream is pretty good, because I am quite a fan of soft serve and they do that well; and man, the hot fudge and marshmallow sauces are great.  During my visit the other day I really wanted to just go for another ice creamy-treat, but I had to branch-out.  Thing is, not to much jumped out to me on the menu.  Nothing really seemed to exciting.  I finally decided on the Flame Thrower burger.  From the picture I detected a special sauce, which I guessed made it spicy or hot.  It wasn’t to bad.  Beef, cheese, bacon, and the sauce made for some decent eats.  One glance at the fries though and I predicted that they wouldn’t really be anything special.  I was right in that they turned-out to be average run-of-the-mill fries with a standard taste.  Nothing big here.  I washed it all down with a Mr. Pibb, which to me is always a plus.  

  dairyqueen1

   This particular Dairy Queen looked like it was brand new.  It was attached to a BP but had it’s own wing.  No mess anywhere, and everything was laid out nice and neat.  I only noticed two employees but they were right at my service.  My order was taken and the food was out to me pretty fast.  I suspected that it might be an old burger that was sitting around but it wasn’t, same with the fries.  That’s good work.  The menu was laid out well, with a quick glance you could plainly see everything they had to offer, from burgers to ice cream.

   After contemplating over the meal, Fast Food Addict is going to go with 2 1/2 stars for Dairy Queen.  It’s not that they’re bad, just not very exciting.  There are plenty of other places out there that offer the same stuff, so what does DQ offer us to stand-out?  As of right now, not to much.  They’re good for a visit every now and then (mainly for that marshmallow sauce), but we can’t see them rising to the top of the list for many people.  If we’re wrong though, tell us.

Advertisements
Apr
14

 


   These guys remind me of the Dairy Queen of the midwest.  Full-on fast food fare with a wide variety of ice cream to choose from.  My one and only visit to these guys was in Milwaukee.  I saw what seemed to be a new (to me) fast food chain from the opposite side of the food court.  I was all over it.  

   I believe I had a Bacon Deluxe with a hearty portion of Crinkle Cut fries.  The burger itself was solid.  It didn’t blow me away but it was good.  The fries were decent but didn’t really stand-out.  Overall though Culver’s has a lot to offer, with good variety.  As far as burgers go, they have 8 to choose from.  On top of that they also have chicken, fish, rueben, ham, and Philly steak to choose from in the sandwich category.  They’ve also got hot dogs, chicken selections, salads, and dinners like North Atlantic Cod and Pot Roast.  Mix all that up with 8 different sides and a vast desert menu, and you’ve got a lot of yummy options at Culver’s.  I did get some ice cream although I can’t remember exactly what it was.  I do remember it being good though.

g1f40001f48d627fb46368fba6a652ffb81a4edb8a050611

   Being that I’ve only been to one location, I can give Culvers a hearty thumbs-up in the clean and presentable department.  Their particular area of the food court was very clean, as if they took it upon themselves to have their own little area stand-out above the rest.  Behind the counter everything ran nice and smooth, with employees that seemed to care about their job.  They had a side area that looked to be just for ice cream, but no one really seemed to pay much attention to it, so you had to hail an employee to come over.  Not a big deal though. 

   Basically, Fast Food Addict is only giving Culvers 3 stars because they didn’t really do much to excite us.  There was more to the menu than McDonalds, and it did taste good.  However, it didn’t jump off the plate, throw a party in our mouth, and make us crave a second trip.  Maybe it’s just that we need a second trip to be convinced, because their is a lot more to sample here.  We definitely support the smaller chains, so make sure you go check these guys out.                                                                                               DT

Apr
10

   I ditched my trash, and slid my now empty tray where it belonged.  As I sauntered out to my car it hit me, and I couldn’t believe I was thinking it.  “Wow, that could quite possibly have been better than Taco Bell!”  Blasphemy, I know!  But Taco Time is that good, for reals.  Whenever I’m west of the Mississippi I’m on the look-out for these guys.  I know for sure that they’re in Washington, Oregon, and Nevada.  So if you’re out there, keep your eyes peeled.  The food is top-notch, and when you’re pounding it down, it often doesn’t seem like fast food.  Frankly, I don’t see why these guys aren’t harrasing Taco Bell for the #1 spot in the Mexican fast food scene.

tacotimelogo1

   How come it’s so hard to find a fish taco on the east coast?  Although I don’t think it’s a main part of the menu, I had one here during one of my recent visits.  Excellent!  But if you can’t find one of those, I’d go with a Crispy Chicken Ranchero Burrito, with stuffed Mexi-Fries and an ice cold beverage of your choice.  De-lish.  I’ve been here quite a few times and everything I’ve had has been great, nothing has even come close to disappointing.  From the Crisp Burritos to the Super Soft Tacos you will not be disappointed.  Like I said, when you’re downing this stuff it dons on you sooner or later that it doesn’t quite feel like fast food.  It seems like a step above.  In light of that you do pay a little more than TB.  It’s worth it though.  As I write this I still struggle with who really is better, Taco Bell or Taco Time.  I think I might know, but do I dare say?

   I’ve only been to TT’s in few different spots in the country.  However, in the Seattle area I’ve hit them up plenty of times.  I’ve yet to receive poor service.  One time I walked into one and it was all teenagers behind the counter.  No one I’d guess to be over 19 was in sight.  It didn’t matter though, they were spot-on with my order, and in a good mood the whole time.  Except for one experience, they’ve all been very clean and presentable.  But even on that one occasion it wasn’t to bad.  It was in a truck stop and not a stand-alone building.  I was just used to the normal Taco Time excellence, and this one was only a little off.  This may sound picky but for some reason I’m not a big fan of how the menu is laid-out behind the counter.

   You’ll notice this recurring theme, but Fast Food Addict just doesn’t understand why some chains are not challenging the big guys for supremacy.  In the Mexican fast food biz, there’s just one big guy and it’s Taco Bell.  As much as we love them, Taco Time should be right up there, neck and neck.  Fast Food Addict is giving Taco Time 4 stars.  It could be higher, but we’re really struggling with our loyalties here…                         DT

Apr
09

 


   I never saw a Checkers until college.  Another one of my discoveries during the many adventures I had in Ohio.  Let me tell you, the Canton area of OH is a veritable paradise for fast food lovers.  I was left with a good impression when it came to the food, but I wondered how a place where you could only order outside or thru a drive-thru, survived during the winter.  You’d think that there would be a major drop-off in business during that time.  In spite of that I’ve seen Checkers as far north as NJ and it seemed to be doing fine.  Down south you’ll find their sister chain, Rally’s, and they’re basically the same restaurant.  In these areas I totally understand the concept.  I’d still consider eating a burger outside if it only gets down to the 50’s in January.  Whatever the temperature though, these guys deserve a visit.  

   I’d put these guys in the same vein as A&W when it comes to the menu.  I’m speaking for Checkers mainly, but both offer a great line-up of burgers, chicken, fish, hot dogs, fries, and deserts.  Once again, a smaller chain that seems to have more to offer than the Big 3.  They’ve just introduced some new Prime Rib Burgers, which I haven’t gotten around to trying yet.  But I do have a Rally’s near me at the moment so it’s gonna happen…  I believe my last trip had me gobbling a Big Buford, and it was good.  I also have an affinity for the fries, which are seasoned and never seem to come out soggy.  At least every time I’ve gone they’ve always nice and crisp, and overall have a great taste.  They had a Chili Burger for a while and it was great.  Basically everything on the menu is solid.  I’m gunning for the Loaded Fries next time, you know, along with a Prime Rib Burger.  Geez, I better save room…

   Of the few Checkers that I’ve been to, they’ve all seemed clean and presentable for the most part.  Actually, there isn’t a whole lot of restaurant to keep clean.  Service has been solid, not outstanding, but good enough.  Each location I went to had a drive-thru, and each varied on whether you just walked-up to an outside window or could go inside to a small drive-thru area.  Most had decent outdoor eating areas, although not always in the greatest locations.  Unlike Sonic though, it seems like once you order your food here you’re on your own.  checkersnew

   Fast Food Addict is going with 3 stars for Checkers/Rally’s.  We like the whole idea of presenting a drive-in/thru type of atmosphere.  If they had a place to pull-up your car and maybe order in that fashion, we think it would be a lot better.  Why do the whole drive-in thing half way?  The food is good and there’s a lot to choose from.  Overall though it doesn’t do enough for our taste buds to push the rating a little higher.  Plus, you never want to go there if it’s below 50 outside.                                                                                                     DT

Apr
08

 


   Have you had a Thickburger yet (or for those of you out west, a Charbroiled Burger)?  If you haven’t, get your butt to one of these two joints the next time you want to eat some naughty grub.  In my humble opinion, these particular burgers are two of the best you can get in the fast food world.  These are two different chains but they’re under the same ownership.  I believe the Carl’s end of things pulls the most weight, and that they’re basically on track to be the same restaurant.  So either one is going to give you the same great stuff.  Each brand often has a Green or Red Burrito with it, although not at all locations.  This side-brand offers Mexican grub, but we’ll handle them separately.  During college the only Hardee’s near me was not great, and eventually it went under.  A few years later, and after moving south, I started seeing a bunch of them.  Then out of no where came this advertising blitz over these new burgers.  I had to go check it out…  

   I’m glad I did!  At first they were called “$6 Burgers.”  But they didn’t exactly cost that much (unless you got a combo).  Basically they claimed that it was worth that much, like something you’d get at a non-fast food joint.  They were right.  Upon first bite I was immediately impressed.  This thing was great, and huge.  It knocked me out (and I um, could eat a lot more back then as opposed to now).  With growing popularity they added a few more variations: Guacamole Bacon, Chili Cheese, Western Bacon, Jalapeno.  They are all worth your hard-earned dough.  I know there are other items on the menu, and I’ve heard they’re good.  But everytime I go here I’m zoning-in on one thing.  Maybe I should force myself to eat something else.  Seriously though, go scarf one of these up and tell me they’re not one of the best in the biz.  Oh yeah, they do give you fries and a drink.  Be warned though, save room!

   Back in college the one Hardee’s I had nearby was not a class act.  Just walking in the door you could tell it wasn’t well run.  It wasn’t exactly clean, and the employees just seemed like they were killing time before they went to their real job.  Since then however, almost every Hardee’s (and the few Carl’s) I’ve been to have been on the level.  Good service (sometimes they bring your order out to you), and decent cleanliness at almost every location.  For some reason that good ol’ southern charm has really come thru in many locations south of the Mason-Dixon line.  I love a good accent…

   hardeesWhy do most people hit a fast food chain?  That’s right, for a burger.  That’s why Fast Food Addict is giving Carl’s Jr./ Hardee’s 4 stars.  Just for the Thickburgers alone they deserve this rating.  We need say no more.  Go have one and we’re pretty sure you’ll agree.                             DT

Apr
07

 

 

   Most of you probably won’t know this place at all.  However, anyone who has experienced the magic that is Beaver County, PA will.  As I type this I am actually sitting within the boundary of the BC, and it just so happens that I went to Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe just the other day.  Being that it’s fresh in my head I figured it was a good time to gab about it.  I have to admit though that I have a bias.  Having gone to college in this area this joint was a regular stop for me for 4 years.  Mixing that in with everything else kind of influences my rating.  Great memories and great food go hand in hand for me.  It’s hard to separate that.  I’m sure some of you are the same.bighello_coup1

   I don’t want to keep typing out the whole name so I’ll go with BHDS for now.  The menu here is pretty basic, but everything you get is going to be a solid meal.  Although they’re mainly known for their hot dogs, they also serve burgers, fish sandwiches, and soup.  Not much variety with those options and I’ll admit I’ve never had them.  If I’m at BHDS, odds are I’m getting a dog.  As far as these go, they just basically have one kind.  In and of itself it tastes like something you could get down the street at the grocery store.  That’s not necessarily bad though, just not outstanding.  From there you can get chili, onions, cheese, kraut, mustard, ketchup, and relish.  Again, nothing jumps out here but it’s all solid.  Throw all that together and you’ve got some decent eating.  Along with this you can get fries, either plain or with cheese and/or chili.  I’ve never been a big fan of the fries here.  They’re usually kind of limp and soggy.  Not a bad taste but not to great either.  From there they have a decent selection of shakes (never had ’em) and soda.  This includes Mt. Dew so of course I’m giving high marks here…  To me eating at BHDS is something to do now and then because you’re in the area and so are they.  Go grab some grub and hang with some friends, then go out.  It might be awhile until you go back but after a while you’ll just feel like you want to go back for a dog.  It’s weird.

   BHDS gets high marks from us on cleanliness, good marks on presentation, and ok marks on service.  From what I recall and including yesterdays visit, the locations are very clean.  Not a lot of messes lying around and behind the counter things seem to be in good shape.  Presentation isn’t bad, it’s just very basic.  Nothing flashy going on here but that’s ok.  Service has generally been good but iffy at times.  Sometimes it seems like the employees really don’t have that “service with a smile” approach.  But I’ve never had a messed-up order, and it usually comes-up fast so I guess I can’t complain to much.

   So after mixing actual eating and memories,  Fast Food Addict is going with 3 stars for the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe.  It’s a solid joint, and you’re belly will probably be pleased when all is said and done.  Although, it might all have more to do with where you’re at in life, and what’s going on around you.  Oh yeah, be sure and check-out the cups…                                                                                                                                               DT 

 


Apr
07

 

 

   Oh my goodness, I’ll try my best here not to gush.  My first visit to Burgerville came just last month.  I almost didn’t stop.  See, I had eaten a small breakfast a little earlier, and it was barely 11am.  But as I drove by I quickly talked myself into taking this opportunity.  Let me just say that I’m glad I did.  I was impressed with these guys from top to bottom.  In my humble opinion (and granted, after only one visit), the Big 3 should be taking cues from BV and not the other way around.  

   It took me a while, but I finally decided on a Pepper Bacon Cheeseburger with something apparently new on the menu, Rosemary Shoestring Fries, and an ice cold Mr. Pibb.  Absolutely delicious and satisfying, I knew I had gotten a great bang for my buck.  The fries were great, and I definitely recommended that they add them to the menu for good.  But, I don’t live anywhere near where I could get some…  The burger didn’t even really seem like fast food.  If I closed my eyes it could very well have been in my parents backyard, sometime over the summer.  I wanted to try something more but I was just to stuffed.  Well, I was stuffed before I even finished the food in front of me but just had to polish it off.  BV stresses that they use local ingredients, and it did actually stand-out to me.  The cheese (Tillamook

now_burgerville

cheddar, made near-by)  just jumped off the sandwich and took the full attention of my tongue.  Listen, if you live near these guys and you’re craving a burger and fries, go there!  Even if you want a little more it’s on the menu, and if it’s anything like what I had you’re in for a treat.    

   The service here was impeccable, and the whole place was a model of cleanliness and great presentation.  When I walked thru the door and towards the counter I was greeted almost immediately by a very friendly female employee.  She made me feel so welcome and comfortable that I felt inclined to share with her that it was my first visit.  A big smile came across her face and she heartily introduced me into the world of Burgerville, giving me advice on what’s new on the menu, asking me what I was in the mood for, and then suggesting what I might like.  After I decided and paid, she made a little small talk with me, and then invited me to take a seat and that she’d bring my order out.  Before I knew it she was at my table with the grub.  Not only that, but after about 10 minutes she came back out and asked me how everything was.  Then she asked if I could fill out a small comment card about the Rosemary fries I had just had (good idea).  Is that great service or what?  Behind the counter, in the dining area, and even in the bathroom, everything was squeaky clean, presentable, and even inviting.  The menu was laid-out well, as a first-timer I was able to clearly see what was offered and how many options I had.  As I mentioned earlier, they seemed to be big on using products from the local area and staying environmentally conscious (but not crazy…).   As I ate I was serenaded by Jerrry Lee Lewis, James Brown, and others.  I thought it was a nice touch to have an old-style juke box in the middle of the dining room.  They even had free Wi-Fi!  

   Fast Food Addict heartily gives Burgerville 4 ½ stars.  It was tempting to maybe go higher than that, but nobody is perfect.  There must have been something wrong, it’s just that we didn’t see it.  Like  we mentioned before this is only based off of one visit.  So give us some more input here.  But as far as what we experienced involving the delicious food, great service, cleanliness, and presentation, these guys are tops.                                                                                                                                                                      DT

Apr
05

 


   I love that whole flame-broiled thing.  In fact, I just had an “Angry Whopper” and it was bangin’ (translation for those who are confused with that word: it was great)!  BK has been trying for years to take that crown of theirs and make it official, meaning that they would be the #1 fast food chain out there.  Its just never happened and I don’t know that it ever will.  For some reason they’ve just never made it over the top.  On any given day I’d probably say that their burgers taste better then McDonalds, but they just don’t have the same appeal to the American public.  I know the company as a whole was struggling a few years back but everything seems to be ok now.  Overall though I don’t hit these guys up to much anymore.  Back in the day my parents were down with them, but I was a McDonalds kid.  We’d always playfully banter about where we were stopping this time on the way to Grandma’s.  Back then, in upstate NY there weren’t a lot of other options for fast food.  So needless to say I went to both joints a lot.  

   Whoppers are great, expecially when they spice them up a little (like the aforementioned “Angry” one).  That flame-broiled taste really stands out and they definitely fill you up.  Lately BK has really been changing things up on the menu with new options.  I like that whole branching out and trying new ideas thing.  Recently they had these new burgers that came along with a promotional campaign with the new Indiana Jones flick.  While I thought the movie was average at best, these burgers were pretty good.  I believe they were called Steakhouse or something like that.  One of them actually had some smushed-up baked potato in there.  Me likey.  The fries here are good, and on the cheap the Stacker isn’t bad.  The breakfast line-up is solid, with the Crossanwich being my pick for the best bet.  I’ve never really been able to get into their chicken items though, and forget the salads…this is fast food!  I also love the fact that you can get Dr. Pepper here.

   I have to say that I have been in many Burger Kings that I would deem to be ghetto.  I know this probably boils down to just how the local store is handling things, but I do believe it reflects on the company as a whole.  I’ve found many to be dirty, and don’t get me started on the bathrooms.  I’ve also noticed a much higher percentage of getting a teenager behind the register that doesn’t give a lick about his or her job.  This usually leads to a screwed-up order and me picking tomatoes off my Whopper.

   Remember, this is just Fast Food Addict speaking here, but we’re going with 3 stars for Burger King.  They don’t stink but they’re old news.  Sure, every now and then we get a craving and we’ll hit ’em up.  And they do get kudos for adding new items to the menu from time to time.  But there’s just something about them that doesn’t capture us.  Maybe it has something to do with that intangible force that’s kept them from capturing the top spot from McDonalds.  America likes BK a lot, but for some reason it’s just not enough.               img_0504DT

Apr
03

 


   People love their chicken down south, and I have to admit that I would have to go with chicken as my main-meat of choice.  It’s great, and it works well with just about anything.  So Bojangles’ is one of a few chains who try and capitalize on this love.  All with a genuine southern flavor.  While living down south for a few years I fell in love with how they eat down there.  I embraced that southern style.  Now, not everything is great (fatback, collards) in my opinion.  Overall though they know how to serve-up a good meal.  Bojangles’ tries to capture all that but comes up a bit short.  

   I’ve only eaten here a handful of times, spaced-out over the span of about 4 years.  Each time I said to myself, “Well, that was ok but I probably won’t come back for a while.”  Everything here is centered around chicken, biscuits, and sweet tea.  Most of the chicken is cooked-up in a Cajun style.  You can get sandwiches or wings, legs, thighs, etc. It’s not bad, but it won’t blow you away.  I imagine it might be a bit of a challenge to make your chicken stand-out over someone else’s.  Maybe it comes down to those secret “herbs and spices” used in the back room.  I don’t bite into a juicy wing here and then immediately turn around and rave about it.  A lot of the sides are pretty decent.  I remember the biscuits being very good.  In addition, they have sides such as cajun pintos, dirty rice, green beans, and potatoes (mashed and fried).  Again, they’re all solid but they won’t jump off the fork and throw a party in your mouth.  I really have to be in the mood for sweat tea, and it doesn’t strike me to often.  So I only recall having it here once.  From what I recall it wasn’t to bad, which is basically like everything else.

   Ah, cleanliness, presentation, and service.  Bojangles’ really hasn’t impressed me in any of these areas.  They were never really horrible in any of the three, but there was a lot left to be desired.  I would say that cleanliness stood-out to me as the biggest problem.  Every time I paid them a visit the dining area was in dire need of a good sweep.  Napkins and smushed-fries were like little mines on the floor to dodge as you took your food to a table.  Maybe that comes down to the management of the individual locations and doesn’t reflect the chain as a whole.  I’m not sure on that one, but it was pretty much the same story and each time I went.

   2299741423_188d3e8356Fast Food Addict is going with 2 stars when it comes to Bojangles’.  If you’re craving some southern-style chicken they are worth a stop.  But overall they just don’t impress us on several fronts.  This is big when it comes down to deciding where you’re going to spend your hard-earned dollar on grub.                                                                                                                                           DT

Apr
02

 

   Mmm, roast biff…  Am I right Dennis?  Sometimes you just can’t beat a Beef N Cheddar sandwich.  Smother some of that Arby’s sauce on there, throw in some curly fries with a chilly soda and that’s some good eatin’.  I remember when I couldn’t find these guys anywhere, and at least in upstate NY it looked like the one location we had was really struggling.  But nowadays that doesn’t really seem to be the case.  Thru my travels I’ve noticed these guys all over the country.  Which is good, because when I need an Arby’s fix it really comes on strong.

   Besides the sheer delicious-magnificence of anything Arby’s offers with roast beef on it, they have a very wide-variety of other yummy choices as well.  Sometimes a joint will offer a bunch of options but master none of them.  Here, Arby’s has clearly mastered the roast beef area, but the rest of the menu is up to the task as well.  They’ve got chicken, ham, turkey, and rueben sandwiches on the table.  They’re served up in traditional fast food fashion, as subs, or “Market Fresh” (bread or wraps).  That’s a lot to choose from right there.  Don’t get me started on the sides (5-7 to choose from, depending on location).  Ah, variety is definitely the spice of life.  You’re getting that here, and nothing I’ve ever had has been bad.  Many locations have added a TJ  Cinnamons in-house if you want something sweet, nice touch.  Honestly though, 90% of the time I go to Arby’s I’m getting that whole Beef N Cheddar, curly fries, drink combo.  When I hit the line I try to talk myself into getting something different this time but by the time I hear, “Can I help you?” I’m back to the old yummy stand-by. 

   Kudos to Arby’s because I’ve never encountered one that would fall into the ghetto category.  Most of them seem brand new to me.  All those options are presented well on the menu, so it’s easy to make your choice.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a messed-up order here.

   Fast Food Addict is going with 4 stars for Arby’s.  It seems like they get over-looked with all the fast food choices out there.  That shouldn’t be however, they are top-notch.  They offer a bit of a twist on the whole “burger joint” thing.  It’s in the same vein, but you won’t find any arbys1burgers here.  All you’ll find is great food, with good service, in a presentable environment.  It’s hard to beat that.  Arby’s is a great switch-up from the norm, and being normal all the time is well, boring.                                                     DT