Thursday, July 30, 2009

Whitle Castle's New Value Meals

White Castle has 3 new limited-time value meals priced at $2.99.

The new "Craver Savers" include a saver size fry and a saver size drink.  Sandwich choices for the meals are 3 Original Sliders, 2 Chicken Ring Sliders with cheese, or 2 BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders.

To sweeten the deal, White Castle has a coupon for a free upgrade (to regular fry and small drink).


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fast & Fancy Custom Cokes

Coca-Cola has developed a new 'soda fountain' called the "Freestyle Beverage Dispenser."

It can serve over 100 different beverages... sodas, teas, flavored waters, etc.

Plus, it doesn't take a huge backroom to store all the syrups needed to make this different drinks. Coke uses 'micro doses' of flavorings so that all that is needed in bulk is carbonated water and sweetner.

Some flavors have never been available before in the US and include Raspberry Coke, Fanta Peach, and Grape Volt.

Will we start seeing this in fast food restaurants soon? Only time will tell, but I'm betting yes!

Here's a video demonstration of this machine:

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KFC's 11 Herbs and Spices Revealed?

Ron Douglas has been hunting down and duplicating restaurant recipes since 2003, but the latest achievement he claims is noteworthy... Colonel Sander's 11 herbs and spices for KFC's original recipe fried chicken.

He reveals KFC's secret along with many others in his new book (out this week) "America's Most Wanted Recipes: Delicious Recipes from Your Family's Favorite Restaurants."

In case you were wondering, according to Ron, you can duplicate the fast food giant's Original Recipe chicken with this mixture of 11 herbs and spices:

  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Accent (an MSG-based seasoning)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fast Food Art: 'Fast Food Mafia'

Andrew Shirey (aka SilentSketcher) has done a sketch and full-color piece called "Fast Food Mafia."

It is a great interpretation of some of the iconic fast food mascots as underworld crime figures.

Here's his "Ron 'the Don' McDonald (with hitman, Grimace)"

and "Wendy Gwendolen"

Be sure and check out the complete Fast Food Mafia, which includes "The Colonel Sanders," "'Little' Caesar," and "B.K. 'The King'."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sonic Chillers & Bundt Cake Sundae

Sonic has 2 new limited time menu items this month.

The first is the Sonic Chiller. They taken their famous (and beloved by me) Cherry Limeade and blended it with vanilla soft serve. It is topped with whipped topping, a fresh lime wedge and a cherry.

But you don't have to limit yourself to my favorite... all the limeade flavors can be made as a Sonic Chiller, like Strawberry Limeade or Classic Limeade.

Speaking of Cherry Limeade, when you order a Sonic combo meal you get a free Route 44 drink upgrade (also limited time only).

The second new menu item are Sonic's n Bundt Cake Sundaes.

Sonic's mini-sized chocolate Bundt cakes are filled with warm hot fudge and covered with vanilla soft serve, whipped topping and a cherry.

The Bundt Cake Sundaes come in 3 varieties:  the Molten Chocolate, The Strawberry with hot fudge or the Turtle with caramel and lightly salted pecans.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Chipotle to Promote Film "Food, Inc."!

"Food, Inc." is one film that I certainly would never, ever have believed would be promoted in and by a fast food restaurant chain.

But I guess Chipotle isn't your typical fast food chain.  And I'm impressed.

Chipotle has entered into a partnership with the folks behind "Food, Inc." to promote it by sponsoring free screenings and putting promotional materials in all their restaurants. There are also plans for Chipotle to produced their own feature about their commitment to supporting sustainable agriculture, that will be put on the DVD when it is released later this year.

"Food, Inc." is now in theaters and you can watch the trailer below.

The film exposes America's industrialized food system and its effect on the environment, the economy and our overall health, and encourages Americans to become more conscious consumers. It is directed by Robert Kenner and features authors Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food).

“I hope that all our customers see this film,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “The more they know about where their food comes from, the more they will appreciate what we do.”

Chipotle has reason to be proud and less reason to be afraid of "Food, Inc." than any other food chain because Chipotle serves more naturally raised meat (from animals that are raised in a humane way, never given antibiotics or added hormones, and fed a pure vegetarian diet) than any restaurant in the world. In addition, an increasing percentage (currently 35 percent) of Chipotle’s beans are organically grown, it is purchasing locally grown produce when seasonally available, and all of the dairy the chain uses is made with milk from cows that are never given the synthetic hormone rBGH.

"Food, Inc." trailer:

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Hardee's French Dip and French Maids Tour

Hardee's is promoting their French Dip Thickburger with a national tour of French Maids that will cruise around local events on Segways. If you show up and have your photo taken with the hot, busty French Maids you can pull up the photo on their French Me website to show it to your wife and/or GF.

The French Dip Thinkburger (introduced today at participating Hardee's) features thinly sliced roast beef and melted Swiss cheese and is served with a cup 'au jus' for dipping.

"What do maids, toast, kisses and burgers all have in common? They're all better when they're French," said Brad Haley, Hardee's Executive Vice President of Marketing. "Our loyal fans not only love Hardee's food, they enjoy the beautiful women who have starred in our commercials over the years. So, we decided to take it one step farther and send some French Maids across the country to help celebrate summer and the delicious French Dip Thickburger."

Here's the city schedule for the French Maids, you can follow (stalk) them more closely on twitter:
  • July 13-14 - St Louis, Mo.
  • July 17-19 - Greenville, S.C.
  • July 21-22 - Knoxville, Tenn.
  • July 24-26 - Indianapolis, Ind.
  • July 30 - August 1 - Charlotte, N.C.
  • August 3-6 - Myrtle Beach, S.C.
  • August 7-10 - Jacksonville, Fla.
  • August 13-16 - Nashville, Tenn.
  • August 18-19 - Columbus, Ga.
  • August 21-24 - Atlanta, Ga.
  • August 26-27 - Birmingham, Ala.
  • August 29 - St Louis, Mo.
And here's a little video peek at the French Dip Maids:

The French Dip Thickburger is $3.99 by itself or $5.99 in a small combo, but here's a coupon for $1 off the French Dip Thickburger combo.

Feeling a little short on salt today, the French Dip Thickburger is the sandwich for you, with 2280 mg of sodium, it has 95% of your daily suggested intake of sodium. And 650 calories, 300 of which are from fat. Here's the complete nutritional info:


BK Scooter Drive-Thru! [Pics]

I saw these photos of a woman going through a Buger King drive-thru on her scooter posted on NeoGraf, a video game discussion board, and just had to share them here.

When I saw them I immediatly thought of the movie, Wall-e... all those 'weight-challenged' folks on the space ship getting around on their hover scooters. (If you haven't seen Wall-e, I've included a clip down below, past the photos.)

Yes, she is flipping off the photographer in that last photo (or giving him the fist, which might even be funnier!).

I imagine we'll be seeing more and more of people on their scooters going through the drive-through as we get fatter and lazier.

I suppose fast food outlets will have to start developing their policy for scooter drive-ups. As you may know, most fast food restaurants do not allow walk-ups to their drive thru windows for safety reasons (even if the drive-thru is open and the restaurant seating area is closed). And many don't allow bicycle traffic either. If you know of a 'scooter policy' at your local fast food restaurant, let us know!

Here's the clip from Wall-e with the chubby space ship folks falling off their hover scooters when the spaceship tilts:

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Panda Express Wok Smart & Nutritional Info

Panda Express has introduced their "Wok Smart" concept which identifies their lower calorie menu options. Additionally, they are now publishing their complete nutritional information in brochures available in all their restaurants in accordance with California law and other regional requirements.

Panda Express' Wok Smart symbol (at right) centers around the Chinese character for 'smart,' and identifies menu items that are part of the Wok Smart concept.

The "Wok Smart" menu items include 18 sides, entrees and appetizers that have 250 calories, or less, per serving. Some Wok Smart menu items are Black Pepper Chicken, String Bean Chicken Breast, 2 Veggie Spring Rolls and Broccoli Beef.

"Wok Smart items have always been a part of the Panda Express menu choices," says Glenn Lunde, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Panda Express. "Our entrees feature nutritious and vitamin-packed vegetables such as broccoli, string beans, and button mushrooms. We want to help our calorie-conscious guests take the guess-work out of planning their meals at Panda Express."

It is also worth noting that all Panda Express entrees and sides contain zero grams Trans Fat per serving, they do no use MSG, and do use 100% pure soybean oil.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Free Mocha Mondays at McDonald's McCafe

As McDonald's continues to try and take away customers from Starbucks with their McCafe concept, they've now introduced Free Mocha Mondays.

On Mondays from July 13 through August 3, 2009 (that's 7/13, 7/20, 7/27, and 8/3) between 7am and 7pm you can get a free sample (7 oz. cold or 8 oz hot) Mocha.

The McCafe Mocha is "the sweetheart of the coffe drinks:  freshly ground espresso beans coupled with steamed milk (whole or nonfat), indulgent chocolate syrup, and capped with whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle."

Since we're on the topic and haven't done so yet, here's a look at the complete nutritional data for a few McCafe drinks:

As you can see the Medium Caramel Latte packs 280 calories and 8 grams of fat:

The Medium Iced Mocha has 310 calories and 13 grams of fat:

And the McCafe calorie champ (and granted, it is a large) is the large Mocha, coming in at 400 calories, 14 grams of fat (and even a half gram of Trans Fat) and 49 grams of sugar:

By way of comparison, here are some of Starbuck's highest calorie drinks.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Free Fish Taco at Long John Silver's 7/14

On Tuesday, July 14, every Long John Silver’s location will be promoting their new Baja Fish Tacos by giving away free Baja Fish Tacos from restaurant open until 2:30 PM. Limit one per customer; available to dine-in, carry out and drive-thru customers.

Long John Silver's new Baja Fish Taco is LJS's core batter-dipped Alaskan Whitefish with crumblies, lettuce and Baja sauce. (Love the crumblies! Excellent idea to include those!)

I love the tag line their using on the Long John Silver's web site for their new fish taco: "Sounds weird, tastes delicious!"

If you can't wait to try the fish taco for free on July 14, Long John Silver's new Baja Fish Tacos are available now for 99¢.

The Baja Fish Taco has 350 calories, 22 grams of fat, and 5 grams saturated fat. Here's the complete nutritional information:

"Fish tacos, a long-time favorite recipe in coastal areas, are rapidly becoming a passion for the rest of the country," said Ben Butler, president of Long John Silver's. "We're proud to be the first quick service restaurant to spread this latest food craze across the nation and meet the needs of contemporary taste buds. We've seen some of the most skeptical customers turn into fanatics after taking just one bite of our Baja Fish Tacos."

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Ideas for Hot Dog Month and the 4th

July is National Hot Dog Month and the 4th of July is traditionally a big day for hot dog consumption.

Here's a few fast food ideas for your holiday hot dog cravings...

Krystal's has the Chili Cheese Pup and the Corn Pup:

Carl's Jr. has a Jumbo Chili Dog:

Sonic, of course, has their famous Extra-Long Chili Cheese Coney and their Corn Dog:

And if you happen to have a Wienerschnitzel nearby you have a whole variety of hot dogs to choose from including the Pastrami Dog (far right in this photo):

Wienerschnitzel's newest dog is the "Angus Chipotle Chili Dog"!!  Sure to give McDonald's Angus Third Pounder a run for its money!

btw, National Hot Dog Day is a little later in the month, July 18th.

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McD's Angus Third Pounder Taste Tested

Act Fast! The first 8 people to follow and send a private message (with your snail mail address) to FastFoodNews via Twitter will get a pair of McDonald's "Be Our Guest Cards." Each card can be redeemed for a free Angus Third Pounder. (These cards were supplied to Fast Food News by McDonald's Inc.) We've given away the free Angus Third Pounder cards, but you can still follow FastFoodNews on Twitter.

Yesterday was the first day for McDonald's first nationwide roll-out of a new burger in 8 years, the Angus Third Pounder.

We tried 2 of the 3 new versions of the Third Pounder, the Deluxe and the Bacon & Cheese. (We'll save the Mushroom Swiss for another day.)

Here's what we came home with... the Bacon & Cheese is on the left, the Deluxe is on the right:

I'm not much of a photographer, but let's go ahead and compare that to McDonald's official, professional press release photo of these 2 new burgers:

These burgers are more substantial than the Quarter Pounder. The beef patty is clearly bigger, although it still has that iconic, pre-formed appearance of all McDonald's meat patties.

The real rings of purple onion and the thick slice of a large diameter tomato are nice touches. It helps to push this burgers taste in the direction of a home made hamburger... not that it actually makes it to that realm, but it helps. The lettuce was abundant, fresh and of good quality, too.

We both noticed, though, that the purple onions were virtually tasteless. We assume that McDonald's went to great lengths to find onions that would never be considered to strong or offensive. We had fun imagining the process of McDonald's execs insisting on a genetically-modified scentless, tasteless onion that could be grown in huge quantities. Just a fantasy; couldn't be true.

We got our Angus Third Pounders at McDonald's #6753 in Benbrook, TX where the manager on duty said that they had been selling the Third Pounders for about a week (even though yesterday was their official release date). He said they'd had a good response to them and they were growing in popularity. He said they were selling about 50 a day. (Note: We used "Be Our Guest Cards" for 2 free Third Pounders and purchased the rest of our meal. We didn't speak to the manager until after our burgers where prepared and handed to us.)

In the press materials for the Third Pounders, the descriptions of all 3 burgers ends with, "served on a toasted bakery-style sesame seed roll." This description left me expecting the burger to be on a warm, slightly crunchy, toasted bun. This was not the case. The bun was cold and soft and had not been toasted in any way noticeable from the outside. When I took the burger apart for the photos below, I could see the the inside of the buns had been toasted slightly. No big deal really, but after reading the description I suppose I became hopeful that the entire sandwich would be run through a warmer/toaster just before being served.

Otherwise, besides being a little bigger, the buns do not differ in consitency or flavor from standard McDonald's buns.

Here's a look at the insides (again, Bacon & Cheese on the left, Deluxe on the right. Click for larger image.)

Nutritional Information:

The Angus Third Pounders have a calorie range of 750 to 770 calories. They have 39-40 grams of fat and 16-17 grams of saturated fat.

Interestingly, they also have 2 grams of Trans Fat. This is interesting because most fast food chains have eliminated or are attempting to eliminate all trans fats from their menus. A reader asked if this would prevent the sandwiches from being sold in New York City where Trans Fats are banned. I, in turn, asked a McDonald's rep and was informed that, "NYC Department of Health regulation pertains only to artificial trans fat. The 2 grams of trans fat in the Angus Burger is attributed to the beef patty that contains naturally-occurring trans fat,a type of trans fat that would not be subject to the artificial trans fat regulation."

Here's the calorie, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, fiber, sugar & protein stats for the Angus Third Pounders:

Here's a look at a cross section of the Bacon & Cheese Angus Third Pounder (click for larger):

And a close-up of the burger patty (on the Deluxe):

Had one yourself? Let us know what you think.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Consumer Reports Looks At Fries

The August 2009 issue of Consumer Reports magazine (now on news stands) takes a look at the fast food french fry.

Many of the major fast food chains have gone "Trans Fat Free" with their french fries and Consumer Reports has confirmed that the fries at Burger King, McDonald's and Wendy's are, in fact, free of trans-fats.

(Note: McDonald's has NOT eliminated trans fat from their new Angus Third Pounder burgers... more on that tomorrow.)

Further, they have found that the fries taste about the same as they used to.

Consumer Reports ranked Wendy's and McDonald's fries as "very good" and Burger King's fries as "good."

One of their observations about the Burger King fries is that they "Taste more of oil than potato."

In the August issue of Consumer Reports and archived online.

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McDonald's Angus Third Pounders Nationwide

McDonald's first new burgers since 2001 will be available at McDonald's restaurants starting tomorrow.

The new burgers are 3 "Angus Third Pounder" burgers.

Available nationwide, starting tomorrow July 2, 2009, their will be 3 versions of the Angus Third Pounder burgers: the Deluxe, Bacon & Cheese, and Mushroom & Swiss. Each Angus Third Pounder is made with 1/3 pound of Angus beef and served on a toasted sesame seed roll.

McDonald's has been testing these Angus burgers for 2 years in various markets.

As with the Quarter Pounder, the Third Pound description is the burger patty's weight before cooking.

McDonald's will be featuring items on these burgers that have never before been seen on a McDonald's burger: Rings of red onions, full slices of bacon, sauteed mushrooms, natural swiss cheese and 'bakery-style' sesame seed rolls.

As I mentioned, this is McDonald's first new burger launch since 2001. The Big ‘N Tasty debuted in 2001.

Although we referenced some early reviews of McDonald's Angus Burger, we'll be trying them tomorrow and have an update for you. McDonald's is also sending us some "Be Our Guest" cards so that you can try the new Angus Third Pounds, too. Check back and we'll let you know how you can get yours. Follow Fast Food News on Twitter to win, that's where we'll give them away.

Here's the Angus Third Pounders' official logo:

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