Tag Archives: chicken

MCDONALD’S ARTISAN GRILLED CHICKEN SANDWICH

14 Apr

UntitledSo Mickey D’s took the only sammich I liked on their menu (the Chick-fil-a knock-off-Southwest Chicken Sandwich) and introduced a new chicken sammich– The Artisan Grilled Chicken Sammich.   So I tried it.

The bun is very good.  I am guessing that is the “artisan” part.   The lettuce and tomato are …lettuce and tomato.

The chicken – which you can see doesn’t even cover half the bun…is pretty decent.   It tastes like a chicken breast with some Italian salad dressing on it.   It’s not bad actually.

But for around four bucks it’s not a good deal to me.   The chicken portion I got (and this could be an anomaly) was way too small.   In the photo it might seem like the lettuce is covering the chicken, and it is, but as you can see from the bottom right — it doesn’t even stretch across the entire bun.   This felt like half a sandwich.   Ordered as a combo I think it’s around seven dollars and change and that is just too much.  For that I could get something more substantial somewhere else.

REVIEW: CHICKENow

6 Jul

Truth be told, I don’t much enjoy the Grapevine Mills Mall.  It’s essentially a giant donut, and I feel like I am always lost or walking by the same stores over and over.

BUT— Gravevine Mills has LEGOLAND (which is awesome for kids…and me) and they have a pretty large and variety packed food court.     Ahh….the foud court.  The heart and soul of every good mall in America.

As it happens, I  was leaving LEGOLAND and noticed ChickeNow and was like …what is that?   I figured it was your basic independent chicken house.  But as I got closer I could make out the subtitle on the sign—  “NO BONES.  NO BULL.  THE WORLD’S BEST TENDERS”.

Well- who am I to walk away from that???     So I walked over to order ya basic combo and waited.   And waited.  There wasn’t a line, and I wasn’t even sure if anyone worked there because I never saw anyone.  I could hear rumblings from the back and finally this nice lady walks out and takes my order.

She disappears for a few minutes and my expectations are rising.   I am looking at the menu and they have all these sandwiches, wraps, salads, and it all looks good.

Like Chik-fil-a good.

I look at the time and realize that the mall is closing in about 30 mins, so now I understand.  They are getting ready to close and and I am that last pesky-ask-for-extra-this-and-more-napkins- jerk.

She returns with a to go box and is preparing my drink and I pick a sauce (their hottest – I like to live on the edge) and she gives a friendly thank you and smile.   I am on my way.

I get to the car and unwrap this and I am not shocked or surprised.   The food looked just like the picture.  Hot and Fresh.   Thick and juicy tenders.   A flavorful hot sauce.  Thick cut fries.

Why have I not been coming here every day?  Oh that’s right I never go to GMM.

So I have LEGO to thank for this because these were seasoned just right and were awesome.  The only bad thing about the meal was the toast.   It tasted a bit stale so I threw it out, but otherwise – this is probably the best Food Court meal I have had in years!

TASTE TEST: BK new Chicken Strips

18 May

  As part of Burger King’s new menu items, they have new chicken strips.   When done right, chicken strips are the perfect finger food.   Crispy and sometimes crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.  I have always been a fan of BK’s burgers, but the chicken has always left me cold.  

Tenders, nuggets, sandwiches…I would always pass them up in favor of a burger.   

BUT…with a new menu…comes new opportunity.   So I have tried them several times as of this writing.  

I want to like them.  I REALLY do.  But there is some inconsistency that I can’t deny. 

If you read this blog on the reg….and why don’t you?… then you already know that I absolutely LOVE one of the sauces you can get with these strips.

THE ROASTED JALAPENO BBQ SAUCE is prolly the best side sauce I have ever had from a fast food joint.  No doubt. 

ok ok.  Back to the strips.   When they are hot and fresh they are actually pretty good.   They are tender and crispy.   

BUT – three out of the four times I have had these, they tasted rubbery and barely warm.   Like they were cooked then set aside and briefly reheated as I sat waiting in the drive-thru.    That batter/coating covering the chicken goes from being crunchy to crumbly and dry.       

 This is where that bad ass sauce comes into play because it has saved the day each time.   It’s so rich and tasty that I can almost forgive the dried and cold strips.   Almost.  Just ask for fresh ones and you are good to  go!

 

 

 

TASTE TEST: Whatachick’n Nuggets

5 May

Ahhhhh Whataburger.    How you have slayed me with your yum-yum offerings over the years.   You are the only joint I know that can make everyone in my car fight over the last “tub” of ketchup. 

SIDENOTE– if you don’t know from Whataburger Ketchup….click here and see why it changed Heinz mind on things.

The banana shakes and pies.   The FAJITA TACO…. you have been batting a 1000.   

Enter now – the Whatachickn Nuggets.     Think the delicious Whatachickn sammie….but only in nugget form because that is exactly what it is.   Fat plumps of juicy all white chicken in that old fashioned breading.  Throw in those killer fries and some Texas Toast and you have a great new combo on the menu. 

Not sure how long these will last, maybe just for the summer, so grab’em soon!

Oh…and the sauce?   They have a couple to choose from, and you are gonna want to snag the HONEY BBQ.  It’s bold and tangy and slightly sweet. 

Whata-is-awesome (sorry, had to) about the sauce is the GIANORMOUS tub they give you.   It’s more than enough to dunk those babies.  Nothing worse than running out of sauce.  No worries here.  They gotcha covered.

 

Now if only Whataburger would bring back the PINEAPPLE PIE, I would love them forever.  Or at least for the rest of the summer.

CHICKEN OUT!

5 Mar
cane's by Junk Food Critic
cane’s, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

I hate it when I am right. Near The Parks in Arlington, there has been a Church’s Chicken for as long as I can remember.

Several months ago, I saw new construction being done in the lot next to Church’s; where once stood a Don Pablo’s.

A few weeks later and I see the billboard….coming soon…. RAISING CANE’S!!

WOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I love’s me some Cane’s. The SUCKY thing is that there all of their locations are nowhere near me, so I was more than a little excited by this announcement.

I also predicted that within six months of Cane’s opening….that chicken joint next door would close.

As you can see…. it’s toast. And NOT the absolutely YUMMY toast from Raising Cane’s that I am eating while sitting in the empty parking lot writing this story, but “toast” as in game over…done…finished…. out of business.

Cane’s is one of those great places because it’s up and coming and most people have no idea what they are about.

I have had the pleasure if introducing several people to this place and they are all immediate converts. The food is just consistently delicious and the staff is beyond friendly!

…now back to this toast….

Making a McStake

23 Feb
chicken bites by Junk Food Critic
chicken bites, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

So everyone is giving up things for LENT. Most people I know are giving up fast food or booze.

McDonald’s (all restaurants in general) have been pretty shrewd about the whole idea of LENT.

Back in the day, alot of people would give up MEAT. So you would see a HUGE rise in fish sales and consumption.

This is why Wendy’s and McDonald’s are pushing their FISH items pretty hard.

I have little to no interest in Mickey D’s new FISH McBites. Fast Fish Food is rarely good in my humble opinion.

So I was kinda shocked today when I went to McD’s to get a snack….

If you have read this blog at all, you might have seen my other post about how I gave up McDonald’s for a year. No problem. After that year was over I found I could pretty much get along without the golden arches…..But I discovered two things that keep me coming back…..the smoothies and the Chicken McBites.

…so….as LENT arrives, I am having chicken. Which shouldn’t be a problem….

EXCEPT… I am told at the drive thru that NOW McDonald’s only carries FISH McBites. I ask if this is due to LENT and I am told by the manager that Mickey D’s have discontinued the Chicken McBites.

This is a HUGE McStake and has cost them my business three times so far.

I hope this location was just misinformed, and that those Chicken McBites find their way back soon.
McDonald's on Urbanspoon

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TASTE TEST: WINGSTOP

20 Feb
wingstop by Junk Food Critic

The good LORD knows I loves me some chicken wings. LOVES. ME. SOME. CHICKEN. WINGS.

It dawned on me this weekend, that as much as I have had them, I have never actually reviewed them. Officially. So here goes.

The very first time I tried Wingstop, I wasn’t really a fan. The chicken wings themselves were kind of small, and having sugar as part of the seasoning on the fries threw me off. I was also not a fan of their “Original Hot” flavor.

Back then I was also living a few miles from WINGS TO GO. It’s a smaller company, and their wings are HUGE. The chicken tenders are SUPER HUGE. Their sauces were a little on the thin side…but GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY were they HOTTTTTTTTTTTTT !!!!

So, it was just a matter of convienence and Wings To Go was super easy.

Well, like most things I love dearly….just about every damn location in the DFW folded. I have no idea why. I can only assume it was because they were going broke giving such huge portions at cheap prices.

So there I was. Adrift. Without a port of chicken to call my own. Then I noticed an expansion of Wingstop in my area. They were popping up everywhere.

I was lamenting to a friend and fellow wing lover, when they suggested we go to a Wingstop and get reacquainted because I had been to harsh on this great place. I reluctantly agreed.

I even let my friend order for the both of us. And what they set in motion that day, has turned into a TORRID and TASTY love affair.

I was introduced to LEMON PEPPER wings. These things are savory and tender and kick ass. I could eat these any time of the day, everyday of my life. They are that damn good.

Next to the Lemon Pepper (I was given a split order – two sauces) there were these dark orange-almost-red-wings.

Ladies and Gentlemen I have met the ATOMIC wing and I bow to it’s wisdom, bravado, and all around sassiness. These damn things are HOT. Actually they are more like HAWT.

So now my ritual (complete with those sugar fries that I now love as well) is to delve into delicious, yummy Lemon Pepper, and then spend the rest of the trip dripping from my eyes and nose because the Atomics are wrecking my sinuses. Trust me kids, it’s a burn that is gonna linger.

Every time I order Atomic, they always ask “Have you had these before” because ATOMIC is NO JOKE. So I nod and inform them that I am well versed in things Atomic.

AND I LOVE IT. I can’t stop eating either flavor.

So there you have it. I love me some Wingstop. If you haven’t tried them, shame on you.

Join all the food talk with me on URBANSPOON!!
Wingstop on Urbanspoon

TASTE TEST: BIKINI’s Sports Bar

15 Feb
photo by Junk Food Critic
photo, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

Arlington has no shortage of wing joints on Collins.

Wing Stop, Hooters, Buffalo Wild Wings, Wings and Bunnies (though now defunct), T.G.I.Friday’s, Boomerjacks….and now BIKINI’S.

If you have been keeping up with us, we have made a habit of having a “Breastaurant Showdown” and 2012 will be no different. So sticking to our THE PLACE, THE FOOD, and THE GIRLS format – let’s jump in.

THE PLACE

This used to be a RED HOT and BLUE. They totally gutted the joint and it’s not a very big place. Feels like a neighborhood bar.

They also crammed a TON of giant LCD’s everywhere, so you will no shortage of things to watch. I am serious. The place looks like a TV store. It’s that packed. That is FANTASTIC. I can imagine watching the NBA finals or some other kick ass game here with a dozen friends.

Other than that…the place doesn’t really have alot of deco to it. There is some sports banners and stuff here and there, but all that fades into the background due to the bad ass amount of TV’s. LOVE THIS.

THE FOOD

We ordered wings with a side of fries, The Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, and the Blackened Chicken Sandwich.

The sandwiches come with your choice of fries or their homemade chips.  Since the wings were with fries, we opted for their homestyle chips.

When the food slid onto the table, I did a quick double-take.   I had to make sure I was in a bar, not a home cookin’ restaurant.  The food had this quality about it.  The sandwich buns looked tasty and made from scratch.  Nothing looked pre-made, frozen,  or store bought.  Another good sign for this place.

The Blackened Chicken was very good, but a little too much chipotle mayo.  Truth be told, it would be awesome without it.

The Buffalo Chicken sandwich was great, and I gotta mention the buns again, because their buns are damn good.  I had a good sized chunk of chicken on that tasty bun…and I finally get to the chink in Bikini’s armor……their wing sauce.

On the menu, it states that all sauces are homemade.  Most of us here at JFC love hot stuff and can handle some heat.  So with the chicken sandwich, I chose FIRE WING sauce (their 2nd hottest) and THERMONUCLEAR (their hottest sauce) for the order of chicken wings.

My buffalo chicken sandwich was good, but there wasn’t much of a bite to the FIRE WING sauce.   More often than not, restaurants use Hot Sauce (Like Frank’s Red Hot) with some butter and vinegar or other flavors for their sauce.  The sauce on my sammich tasted more buttery than hot.   Like maybe I got the last of the sauce before they had to make a fresh batch??

On the opposite end, the chicken wings were drowning in THERMONUCLEAR sauce that was off-the-charts- hot.  Alot of heat, but not alot of flavor.   My sinus drainage is always  the sign of sincere heat, and they do not disappoint on heat.  I just got the feeling that the consistency of the sauce making is something that needs attention.  I honestly can’t tell if the sauce is good or not because it’s all over the place in terms of flavor and quality.

Also on the subject of wings and quality, the wings seemed overly cooked.  The usually crispy skin outside was hard and I had to peel it off to find more tender meat inside.  The quality of the chickens used for their winds didn’t seem as high as I would like.  Or maybe I am used to.

The fries have a coating on them that remind me, flavor-wise, of Jack-in-the-box’s curly fries….except kinda bland and forgettable.

Their kettle-style chips are light and crunchy and are for sure what I would order instead of fries going forward.   Perfectly seasoned and plentiful.

On a side note, we sat near the kitchen, and every dish that passed by looked yummy and were huge portions.

THE GIRLS

The Girls.  The part most of are probably most interested in anyway.   I have to say first off, that I love the outfits.  Bikini top, jean shorts, and cowboy boots.   It takes a girl that is pretty confident with herself and her body to wear that as a uniform to work in.

Most breastaurants have a pretty decent mix of cute and REAL cute girls.  Bikini’s, at first blush, seem to have nothing but REAL cute girls working.   There were probably 2 or 3 women customers in the place.  The rest of the tables were full of guys with their eyeballs rolling out of their heads.

There was one part of the evening where I was talking with our waitress and another waitress came over and pulled her away.  As they walked off, I could here them talking.  The conversation went something like:
OUR Waitress:  Everything okay?

OTHER Waitress:  Oh, yeah…I am just tired of talking to this table and they wanna talk to some girls so I am getting some help.

OUR Waitress:   Oh….ok….

So other than that “help me hustle this table” moment, most of the other girls were very friendly and offered unsolicited smiles and hellos as they passed.

CONCLUSION

DO NOT think, because of all my bitchin’ up there, that I dislike this place.  I don’t.  Quite the opposite.   I love the lay out, and most of the dishes looked incredible.  There are several things I wanna try, so I will be back.   If they had a sauce that I loved, I would eat chicken wings here all the time!

The only thing I didn’t like about the place is something nobody can really do anything about.   The clientelle.  It was late when we were there (they close at midnight on a Friday?  huh???) and some of the guys looked a little creepy.  Just sayin’.

As always, you can read my reviews here, or get into the conversation at http://www.urbanspoon.com

Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

What-a-Fajita!

9 Feb

First hearing about this, I was immediately intrigued. I love fajitas. I love Whataburger. Could this be two great tastes that taste great together!?!?!!

In the ever changing world of fast food, you gotta keep coming up with stuff. Whataburger has essentially taken their grilled Whatachicken, sliced it up with peppers and onions, and roll it up in a tortilla.

I love it. It’s a nice sized burrito…not sure why Whataburger calls it a “taco” but oh well. I threw some of their picante sauce on there and I had a party.

Now, I didn’t have the combo. Just the fajita. Of course the combo is a no-brainer for most folks, but I don’t really want fries to go along with my fajitas. Maybe that’s just me.

The whole idea of this is pretty smart considering they had the chicken, tortillas, and sauce already.

(Truth be told, going forward….I might skip their sauce and use some of my own…but I am super picky when it comes to salsa)

Before today, I couldn’t imagine going to Whataburger and NOT ordering a burger. I mean it’s their signature thing.

But this….might just change my mind.

Chick-fil-Ain’t Much Lunch

24 Jan
chickmeal by Junk Food Critic
chickmeal, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

Chick-fil-a (wow is it annoying to have to type that way each time) has always tried to take an even handed approach to it’s food.

It provides great meals and also some healthier choices if you are leaning that way.

In the past, I have tried their grilled chicken sandwiches and loved them. True they aren’t as indulgent as their normal fare, but still pretty good.

So when I heard they were slightly revamping the kid’s meal, I was interested.

Mainly because I love the happy meal idea.

More often than not, the portion sizes of food in a kid’s meal is enough for me. The price is usually cheaper.

oh–and I get a TOY. I never understood why places didn’t offer toys or something with their adult meals.

Think about it. If you got the burger combo– you got an iphone holder that looks like a money. Okay….moving on…

So I wheeled into the “chick” and ordered the new kids meal.

What was once: Four nuggets, fries, drink, and a toy…. can now be GRILLED nuggets, fruit (either fruit cup or puree pouch) and a drink (milk, water, apple juice, or lemonade)

No longer are they serving soda. Which is odd since their lemonade and apple juice contain a ton of sugar I would imagine.

Now this was a tidy little SNACK. The nuggets were hot and fresh. Tasty as boneless-skinless-plain-if-you-dont-count-salt-and-pepper can be.

It’s essentially an unbreaded chicken strip cut into four pieces. Good for some protein, but I am guessing I will be hungry again in a couple hours.

The pouch of puree was rather neat. It’s cinnamon apple sauce basically. So sucking that down might be fun for the kids. Great way to get them more fruits. This was actually the best thing of the meal. I should see if they have these in the stores. Quick and easy on the go food.

I take that back. The best part of lunch was the lemonade. Sure the size is way to small for me, but GOOD LORD does Chick-fil-a make some mighty fine LEMONADE.

So sweet and tangy. It’s like me, but drinkable!

I would totally order this again if I was just a little bit hungry and didn’t want to cook.

Who am I kidding??? If I go to chick-fil-a, I gots ta have my SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH!!!!!! woOOOOOO!!!!