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Quick Trip Monster Beef Taquito

When I walked into QT, I had planned on getting an energy bar and a bottle of water (pre-soccer practice snack). I passed by the hot dog roller machine and on it was something new. Something cool. Something Mexican, of which I am a monster fan. I love Mexican food. I also love QT. So I put aside my better judgment and decided to attempt the 99 cent Monster Beef Taquito before my soccer practice.

Usually eating foods like this is a bad idea before sport-like exertion. You end up in the toiletten quick. Once I ate an Arby's Roast Beef and Cheddar combo meal (with Curly Fries) before a game and I scored this amazing goal within ten minutes of being on the field. As expected though, I had to immediately pull myself out of the game and book it to the bathroom. Close call, but it did seem to improve my game. All this aside I got the taquito and a water.

The Monster Beef Taquito is a fried flour tortilla with seasoned beef and green chilies. The toasting of the tortilla is accomplished right there in the store on the hot dog roller machine. Who would have thought? Inside it is like a thick beef stew that you are eating. The tort is super tasting. The beef stewy inside is not bad. I wish it also had some cheese and refried beans in the mixture. That would be really good, but it would definitely make a mess. The taquito, as is, was mess-free. Perfect for being on-the-go.

Being in a hurry, I was not able to take advantage of QT's extensive collection of condiments. The taq would have been doubly good if I had the chance to add some picante or relish or mayo or whatever. They really have all these great condiments at their condiment station--honey, ranch dressing, all of the aforementioned, and more. And it's all free if you buy a hot dog or sandwich or Monster Beef Taquito. I highly recommend hoarding some condies before camping trips. They are perfect for backpackers.

The MBTaq is a totally sweeg (sweeg=kick-A) snack or meal. I only had one (soccer practice pending), but could have easily eaten two. Click here to see the front and back of the packaging. (Back includes some personal observations of the ingredients.) QT provides these wax-based paper packages for the taqs. You use tongs to get them off the roller then put them in the package so the world can see what you are eating (marketing). The world will be jealous when they see you munching on a Monster Taq. The world will want one. Get one today. EAT! EAT Mexican often. Always.    (DD >> Senior Mexican Food Loving Reporter)

Rating: 4 condiment stations out of 5

CLICK HERE for a super-sweet breakdown of the MBTaq's ingredients!!!
Seriously, CLICK!!!!!!!!!!!!
HEY! WE ARE NOT FUCKING AROUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Krystal Breakfast Scrambler

Here's what it is -- a bowl of grits, scrambled eggies, cheese, and a sausage patty. A sticker on the top of the bowl instructed me to "Scramble Up!". Oh, H-yeah! I am not a huge grit fan, but they are good when you add stuff to them and mix them all the F up. It is the only food item I eat where I have to add salt (REPEAT -- have to add salt). The meal was nice and hot and everything tasted great together. No cold grits. No slimy fast food scrambled breakfast eggs. The sausage was good. The cheese was melted. I couldn't have asked for more, but they gave me more, indeed. All this for a $1.99. Very good deal. Very filling. It was real buttery tasting too. They probably added butter, I am sure of it.    (DD)

Rating: 3.4 styrofoam bowls with plastic lids out of 5


Subway Chicken Pizziola

Brotherly Loves or Brotherly Does Not Love???

Maybe I eat more fast food meat than my vegetarian brother and know what I am getting myself into. Maybe I am consciously aware of their trick photography. Maybe I just got a lousy sandwich artist and he was blessed with one of Michelangeloian artistry. Whatever the case, the Pizziola didn't have the profound effect on me that it had on my brother. We even have the same genes.

I ordered a footlong (as did Brad). Being smart-tasters, we decided to each get a different type of bread and cheese and share. Just to mix things up a bit. To maximize our tasting experience. OK, what's a Chicken Pizziola? It is chicken grilled chunks, pepperoni, and meatball sub pizza sauce*, with your choice of toppings (red onions and toms are a must on this sandwich), bread, and cheese. (* NOTE: they actually do spoon in the meatball sub pizza sauce onto the sandwich.)

Half of mine was the Pizziola on Hearty Italian and Herb bread with cheddar cheese, and the other was Parmesean Asiago bread with cheddar. Here's the deal. Damn Subway's bread is good. Their new bread series is wack (good). Soft, warm, tastey. I thought that either of these two breads worked well with this sandwich. However, the white american cheese was a much better match than the cheddar. They did have pepper jack, but that scared me. Scared the pants off me (not in store).

I will say that the chicken is guite good by fast food standards. Much better than T-bell's. Honestly, though I was hoping for a breast of chicken, even a breaded breast maybe. The chunks just leave too much margin for error. I feel I was jipped on the amount of chicken chunks that I got. This is the nature of the beast though with something like this. You are trusting a 16 year old to be consistant sandwich to sandwich. Most 16 year olds don't have this ability in any area of their life for that matter.

Overall, there were chickenless pockets of air. The sauce needed more boldness. Something was missing. Not that it was nasty bad, but it just didn't fulfill my expectations, ya know? I mean the very idea of this sandwich made my brother go non-vegetarian for a day. I was expecting it to change my life!    (DD)

Rating: 1.6 poser sandwich artists out of 5


Taco Bell Chicken Caesar Grilled Stuft Burrito

Taco Bell's new Chicken Caesar Grilled Stuft Burrito (CCGSB) is this >> Caesar salad in burrito form. No doubt, T-Bell decided to go with this concoction because of some recent research they did. The results stated this >> "Almost half of Americans – 46 percent or more than 128 million people – say they prefer food 'wrapped in a tortilla' when feeling adventurous". That about sums me up. I love throwing things together and turning them into a meal in a burrito or mixing things up and calling it a sandwich or whatever.

If you are the adventurous eater-type, give the CCGSB a try. There are a few kinks that need to be worked out, but there are also some really super-tasting treats in this new burrito form. My first bite had me a little scared, cause all I got was a little bit of the burrito wrap and a tiny snag of lettuce. It wasn't until about three-quarters of the way down that I really got into the burrito and was able to do some intastetigating. This type of understuffing happens often. T-Bell just doesn't stuff the suckers all the way like Moe's does. To keep my interest though I dipped it into the cheese and red sauce of my Enchirito.

Ok, here are the positive points. T-Bell's toasted burritos taste so Dang good! I just love it. Crunchy goodness. The coolest part of the CCGSB is the tortilla strips. Now remember this is a Caesar salad turned burrito in the truest sense -- they even included the tortilla strip garnishes. H-Yeah, T-Bell. The strips were red (how do they do that?) and had Caesar sauce all over them. Excellent strippulation, man. Star taste. The Caesar dressing is great too.

On the negative side the chicken tasted a little processed. Things weren't mixed so well. Down one side of the burrito were the chips, the chicken down the middle, and all the lettuce on the other side. All of the sauce was mostly with the strips and the chicken, so the lettuce-side was pretty bland. It was just dry bits of lettuce. They need to figure out a way to really mix the H out of it and get the dressing everywhere. Evenly distribute that S.

Now, check out these two things. First, I was having dinner with my Mom and Dad (7-layer nachos and Mexican Pizza, respectively) and they were telling me about my Grandpa. They said every Wednesday he goes to Taco Bell and gets two Mexican Pizzas. One is for him and one is for his friend. Then he takes them over to her house and they eat them. That is great! The other thing is that the restaurant I was in had three talking trash cans. If you see a newly built T-Bell, I'm sure they have them too. They are robotic talking trash compactors. Genius. As quoted by my Dad, here is what they say, "Thanks for dumping your shit."    (DD)

Rating: 3 Mexican chihuahuas out of 5


Pancake on a Stick from Sonic (America's Drive-Thru)

America's drive-thru--Geeesh! As opposed to what, Canada's drive-thru, come on! No, for real. Sonic is awesome. They have so many good items. And they are always having specials and stuff. Like 1/2 price burgers after 5pm on Tuesdays. Cool. So, it's National Hot Dog Day Eve-Morning and I need to celebrate. The truth is I woke up on July 22nd thinking it was National Hot Dog Day (friend with a bad lead). Well, after verifying my source (National Hot Dog and Sausage Council website), I realized that actually tomorrow is NHDD. It was too late. For breakfast I had planned on getting a Pancake on a Stick, and I did. Did I ever? Yes. (Rhetorical, idot!) P on a S is a sausage wrapped in pancakey batter. It's like a corndog. It's like a pig in a blanket. I am planning on going for dogs for lunch and dinner, etc. two days in a row. So, it looks like I've got to go to Sonic again tomorry morny. Yeahey.    (DD)

Rating: 4.8 dachshund sausages out of 5


The Great American Burger (Burger King)

I had a $1 off coupon and Blam! I used it. The cost of the value meal (standard size and all) was $3.17. The number of my ticket was 317. I ordered this meal at 3:17pm. Three hundred and seventeen balls where in the playland ball thing. The trip milelage on my truck at the time was 317. I waited for 3 minutes and 17 seconds for my meal to be prepared.

The sandwich was great. Loved all the extra ketchup, mayo, seasoned mustard that dripped out of the sandwich and onto my plate. The excess was perfect for fry-dipping. Great tasting burger. The new bun was good. Nothing special. Total sandwich was good.    (DD)

Rating: 3.17 gas grills out of 5


McDonald's McGriddle

GRIDDLE CAKE HEAVEN ISN'T TOO FAR AWAY

Oh, my God! Heaven. Heaven that is in the context of a breakfast sandwich (no offense to your most splendid "Heaven", God). The new McDonald's McGriddle breakfast sandwich series is Heaven. My heaven. Your heaven. Our heavenly little breakfast sandwich.

To begin, I don't know what marketing campaign swept through when I was out of the country, but everyone is frightened as H of this sandwich. People, there is nothing to be afraid of. I guarantee that at the very least you'll like the plain SAUSAGE MCGRIDDLE, if nothing else. (I realize that not everyone is as adventuresome as me in the fast food arena.)

The point is that this creation is not all that wacky, especially if you are a "mixer" (someone who mixes their food together just before ingestion). Essentially, all the McGriddle is is McDonald's Breakfast Platter Deluxe in sandwich form. That's what I tell people. That's the idea of it. Plain and simple. Not that much of a stretch really to "poof" it into a sandwich not entirely too different from the Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich series. Griddle cakes people with little taste-explosion pockets of syrup baked right in. Brilliant! That's the sandwich.

There are three advertised sandwiches and one secret manager's special sandwich, which takes only a little bit of begging and some good timing. They are:

THE SAUSAGE MCGRIDDLE
THE SAUSAGE, EGG, AND CHEESE MCGRIDDLE
THE BACON, EGG, AND CHEESE MCGRIDDLE
AND THE CHICKEN MCGRIDDLE.

My favorite, and the one I've had two of so far, is the THE BACON, EGG, AND CHEESE MCGRIDDLE. It is great. I give it a 8.9. That's damn high for me. THE SAUSAGE, EGG, AND CHEESE MCGRIDDLE is a bit too much for me. The sausage overpowers the beauty of the sandwich as a whole (bacon is the subtlest meat around at breakfast time, or so I've heard). Now, the THE SAUSAGE MCGRIDDLE is a treat. Much more bearable than the other sausage lover's alternative. It is basically pigs-in-a-blanket (sandwich form).

Now if you are a thrill seaker and not intimidated by the hustle of the cue or foriegn speaking counter folk, I suggest asking for the THE CHICKEN MCGRIDDLE. Brad came across one of these in the breakroom at his work. He figured it might have happened by accident, as the sandwich is not advertised. If you really want it, and it's worth the work, ask for it at the counter. You'll get a wierd look. And if a manager is present he/she'll be asked something like, "yada yada yada la pollo McGriddle pour que?" With luck, you'll have a good manager and he'll look at you and smile for being such an adventuresome eater (they love people like this). He'll then instruct the counter folk to ring it up as a "THE SAUSAGE MCGRIDDLE WITH/". Next, enjoy!

A bit of advice, don't put ketchup on McGriddles. My friend Miles puts ketchup on his breakfast biscuits, because the biscuits are too dry. Not on these though. Ketchup on griddle cakes (with syrup baked right) in is a no no. And really, you don't need it, cause the griddle cakes are delicious as is. As is. No mods necessary.

Go tomorrowy. Have a McGriddle, because griddle cake heaven isn't too far away.    (DD)

Rating: 4.99 syrup p ackets out of 5


Burger King Veggie Burger

A The321.com REAL TIME Review!

I have returned with my BK Veggie Burger Combo with fries and a strawberry shake. You are about to receive a realtime review of this meal.

I will start by saying the strawberry shake is soft and delicious, better than McDonald's, especially now that McDonald's has those damned triple thick shakes that are too thick to suck through a straw... what is the point if you can't drink it, you McIdiots!?!

BK Fries: every time I eat BK fries, I like them more and more... still not better than McDonald's fries, but they are up there... they do tend to be more crispy on average than McDonald's, but their best is still not as good as McDonald's best... best part of the fries is their guaranteed crispiness without too much grease.

First mistake on Veggie Burger... mayonnaise, and this is with all BK sandwiches... I do not know who decided in our past that mayonnaise should automatically be put on burgers, but they are all assholes and should be shot today! Mayonnaise, being the miserable product that it is (except in tuna or chicken salad or on cucumber sandwich), should only be put on by request... my enjoyment of the sandwich has already been crippled and I have not even taken a bite yet... also included are lettuce and tomato... no onion, ketchup, or mustard... Next flaw: include mayonnaise but not ketchup mustard and onion... what the hell is wrong with these people?!

I have taken the first bite of the Veggie Burger.

First of all, the taste is very bland, mainly because it is missing the three main ingredients mentioned before which generally provide the extra flavoring a good burger needs.

The veggie patty itself is plain and boring... nothing to die for. And, now that I have looked at the section I have bitten off, I can see the parts of veggie matter no wholly ground and am displeased with the sight. I give this burger a rating of:

2 Charcoal Briquets out of 4

Does not disgust me, but does nothing for me either... I will nickname this burger E. Matter. (edible matter: average product that can be consumed without causing revolt) But the shake sure is good.

The mayonnaise just made a squirting splooging sound... oh... so disgusting...

Oh god, this burger is getting worse by the bite... I may have to change my rating to a 1 out of 4... Long live the cow.

Update: could not finish the veggie burger... too disgusted.

Do not feel sick, but since I could not finish the meal due to loss of appetite, I have to reduce my rating to:

1 Charcoal Briquet out of 4

Simply put: Avoid BK Veggie Burger (if you are a veghead, forego your beliefs at BK).    (KL)

Rating: 1 Charcoal Briquet out of 4


Michelina's Lasagna Michelina's Authentico Layered Lasagna with Meat Sauce

Mama Mia, Now That's A-Good Lasagna!!

Since college, I have been in the habit of purchasing a couple of Michelina's every time that I go grocery shopping. The lasagna was a new one for me and it was Bona Mia! (translation: awesome) The meat sauce was Magnifico (translation: very tasty) with real onions. The four cheeses--ricotta, Romano, mozzarella, and Parmesan--were Superbeeo. (translation: chorck-u-latory)

The meal is highly portable. I had to eat it on the way to a friend's house and had no troubles. If you leave the half-peeled-back lid on, it makes for a nice transport-sauce-splash guard. Nothing fell out into the car. Again, I was in a great hurry to leave and only cooked the dish for the first four minutes that the instructions called for. It turned out perfect. I skipped the "stir sauce around lasagna step and reheat" and it turned out perfect. Many times the cheese in these microwave dishes burns the ***BEEP*** out of your mouth. My suggestion is to skip the additional heating steps and just put it in for four minutes on high (don't forget to lift the corner of package up as instructed).    (DD)

Rating: 8 out of 10 Mario Brothers

Now to digress a little - Mich's were a staple in college. Back in the mid-nineties they were only $0.99 compared to today's $1.49. My favorite back then was the Shell's 'N Cheese with Jalapenos, which I haven't seen around these days. The Linguini with Clam Sauce I also loved, though it stunk the chunk out of the dorm room. A side note - today's packaging is more colorful and has a picture of an old Italian woman.


Wendy's Mozzarella Chicken Supreme

Dave has done it once again! This month's Wendy's featured sandwich of the month--the Mozzerella Chicken Supreme--is once again excellent! I have to admit I was a bit skeptical going into this purchase--these sandwiches don't come cheap, and I wasn't real sure about the chicken/mozerella combination. (Normally I prefer my mozerella on pizza only, thank you very much!) But with the first bite all of my trepidation melted away--much like the mozz had perfectly melted on my chicken breast. The creamy Parmesan sauce also acted as both a nice alternative to mayonaise and the perfect complement to the mozerella cheese. I can't say the sauce "put excitement back into my day" as they promise on their website, but this was a darn good sandwich!    (BK)

Rating: 5 salad spinners out of 5


Taco Bell Steak Soft Taco

The story of this taco is a bit odd. I remember a few months ago Taco Bell originally came out with this new taco-remember the lame-ass commercial with the four guys eating them and saying things like "Steak, Lucky?" "Steak, Red?" "Steak, Fluffy?" "Steak, Jimmy?" (Well, I do.) I went out and bought on of those new Grilled Steak Soft Tacos, and it was absolutely HORRIBLE. The steak pieces were small and dried out--almost crunchy. It was a bad day.

After these tacos were out for about a month, though, they disappeared. No commercials, no signs in stores, nothing. It was as if they never existed.

Now, two months later, these tacos have resurfaced, and they are vastly improved. I am guessing that Taco Bell rushed these suckers into production early, got a lot of complaints, pulled them off the shelves, reworked the recipe, and re-released them. Once they were again available for purchase, Keith had one and recommended I give it another shot. I did, and what can I say--now the steak pieces are big, tender, and tasty. The creamy lime sauce they add to the steak, however, is quite disappointing. It tastes too much like buttery cream for my tastes, and that is why this taco only gets an average score. If you order it without the lime sauce and add your own hot (or mild or fire) sauce, then go ahead and add another point to the rating.    (BK)

Rating: 3 cows out of 5


Wendy's Cheddar Lover's Bacon Cheeseburger

Quite possibly the BEST fast food hamburger I have ever had. No one has a product that even comes close to Wendy's Cheddar Lover's Bacon Cheeseburger (not even Taco Bell). It was perfect. Even the last bite, which was just bread, tomato, and cheese, was a tour-de-taste. Man, all that cheddar - slices, melted. OH! Have I died? And just enough left over on the wrapper to dip a few fries into.

Gotta get back to the break room and finish the meal.    (DD)

Rating: 10 Dave Thomas stomachs out of 10.


Krystal Steak & Cheese

NO!!!

It is exactly what you would expect of Krystal attempting a Philly, so trust your instincts. If you are really set on it, take a look at the point of sale boards all over the store and you'll be convinced - they didn't even bother to trick us with an appetizing photo.

(Just for the record, remember, I only do this because it is my job.) The Krystal Steak and Cheese is not fast food, however, it belongs in a soup kitchen, served with a ladle. The stewed guts of the sandwich (chopped up beef? and a slimy mixture of well saturated onions and peppers) were scooped out of a giant metal warming-vat. Then, a sopping spoonful was splattered on to a Chili Pup bun with a slice of white-colored cheese on it.

Definitely not an authentic Steak and Cheese, not even a "nice-try"-worthy attempt. No participation or effort points to Krystal. Props to McDonald's for pulling one off and putting some well thought out elbow grease into it. The KS&C is all around a meal to steer clear of, unless you need to clean out the bowels, in which case you'll see excellent results in less than 30 minutes after ingestion.    (DD)

Rating: 7 toilets out of 7


McDonald's Hot Ham 'N Cheese

The first thing I thought as I unwrapped my McDonald's Hot Ham 'n Cheese sandwich was, "Man, there's a lot going on down there!" Unfortunately, this was a sandwich full of sound and fury signifying an overpriced meal. The ham itself, the main attraction of the whole thing, was not even on par with any given fast food sub shop. The pieces were small (by far smaller than the bun, but this was a blessing in disguise-read on!), square, and a bit dry around the edges. This sandwich does mark, however, McDonald's first foray into the realm of lunchmeat, so hopefully the quality will pick up in the future. Piled high on top of the ham was lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise, all of which were typical McDonald's quality.

In a neat twist, however, the cheese slice was actually placed under the ham! This allowed for a nice melting of cheese to bun-and the bun was not only the best part of this standard-tasting sandwich but outstanding in its own right. Soft, moist, and warm, it practically melts in your mouth. The bites of nothing but bun and melted cheese-which, as mentioned above, were fairly numerous-were excellent, leading me to conclude that McDonald's should look into making some sort of melted cheese sandwich in the near future (I did not get a chance to fill out a suggestion card-went through the drive-thru). But as far as this sandwich is concerned, you may want to wait: it's not bad, but it's not worth the price of a new "specialty" sandwich that McDonald's presently charges.

Rating: 3 pigs out of 5

Braces meter: 2 toothpicks out of 5 (food gets stuck in all of your braces, but it's just the bun-easy to suck out)


Burger King Mozzarella Sticks

Fried cheese seems like a fairly simple concept-get cheese, add breading, drop in fryer, right? Yet you'd be surprised just how often I have encountered poor cheese sticks at restaurants, and I'm talking about real, sit-down, waiter-takes your order restaurants, so the Burger King Cheese Sticks very pleasantly surprised me. They were definitely on par with good cheese sticks I have had elsewhere (cheese sticks, though they taste incredible, do not really lend themselves to much of a grade beyond good because of their inherent simplicity). These sticks were crunchy enough, and the cheese was definitely all melted on the inside-no rubbery cheese logs here! But the real key to these bad boys is the marinara sauce they serve with it. The sauce is excellent: lots of taste and even a bit spicy. According to my friend Kenny the Chef, the sauce had a good bit of oregano in it, which gave it a good, zesty, taste.    (BK)

Rating: 5 deep-fat fryers out of 5


McDonald's McSalad Shaker

While on a recent eight-day road trip I had the opportunity to savor much of our country's varying fast food offerings. Late on Day Eight, I had grown quite tired of anything fried and/or on a bun (I know--I'm just as surprised as you are!), but being hungry and on the road, I knew my options were limited. I decided to give the McDonald's McSalad Shaker a try, and I am very glad I did. When the very courteous drive-thru attendant first placed the McSalad Shaker in my hand, I knew I had made a good choice-this was easily the heaviest salad I had ever felt. (There's nothing like holding a nice, hefty salad in the palm of your hand!) Inside the Shaker was stuffed full with a ton of ham, cheese, turkey, and boiled eggs (plus lettuce). There were definitely enough non-lettuce ingredients to make this not a salad but a MEAL. Also, the "add dressing and shake" action they recommend to get salad dressing all over your salad works perfectly! I was a bit worried that I would wind up with a good bit of plain lettuce without salad dressing on it (which is possibly the most disgusting food ever invented), but once done with my shaking nary a single salad ingredient was dry! (The key is this: open shaker, pour on half of the dressing packet, close shaker, SHAKE! Then eat the top half of the salad--only the top half will have dressing on it at this point. After eating the top half, pour in the rest of the dressing and reshake.) Oh yeah, also, it was a tasty salad.    (BK)

Rating: 5 salad spinners out of 5


GERMAUS03.2


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