Tag Archives: drive thru

Wrap it up, B.

13 May

Prices are going up all over the place.  Gas will get insane in the next month or so.  All that being said, how to give customers great prices is always the question.

Welcome again to the JFC SOLUTION CENTER:

How about companies stop spending MILLIONS of dollars on TRASH?

This chicken sammich from Wendy’s is wrapped in a paper and then slid into a paper-box.   Sort of like you would get sliders in from White Castle or what you get your fries in.

Why do I need this?  It’s slick, full-color, and obviously cost Wendy’s money to make.   It’s great branding.   It’s also in my hand for 10 seconds as I withdraw the sammich and toss it back into the bag as trash.

Why not cut back on worthless junk and lower your prices?   A six-dollar chicken sammich from a drive-thru place is getting silly.

5 bucks – The Magic Number

15 Nov

 The last couple of weeks I have seen a change in several fast food joints – advertising price more so than the food items themselves.

I originally intended one day last week to write about just how PRICEY everyone is getting (my Wendy’s combo was almost 8 bucks) and is it REALLY worth your money if that drive-thru combo cost as much as a dinner at a modest sit-down restaurant.

Obviously I am not the only one thinking this way.   Several places are putting together 5 and under menus.

My theory is this:  If it’s around 5 bucks people are cool with it. Get closer to a 10 spot and people get a bit itchy.

What is your price-point for fast food?



27 Aug

Okay, I guess I have to say this.  Out loud.  To the millions…… AND MILLIONS of Junk Food Critic fans out there.

THE GOLDEN RULE is this:    If your damn car window does NOT roll down, then you take your little self INSIDE.

Opening the door not only makes everyone in the drive-thru NERVOUS (are you getting ready to rob the joint or are you just an idiot?)  and it also is just inconvenient for EVERYONE involved.  You have to lean out and back.  They have to lean out and over.

And it annoys the bloody-blue-hell out of me.

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this, and just about ALWAYS they scrape their door against the bricks or just bang it outright and do more damage to that poor car.   JUST. GO. INSIDE.  JERK.

Taco Something Part THREE

3 Aug

Okay, if you are STILL with me, you have made it through Taco Something Part ONE and then Part TWO -leading you to here.

At this point I am just disgusted, and ready to go.  My friend gets up to throw her trash away and walks back over and orders SOMETHING ELSE.  I was prepared to scream blue murder at this point.

She turns and just smiles at me like she knows something I don’t.

I look around and there is still a few of those hot sauce packets left.  One of them is called FIRE ROASTED.   Since I am at my absolute end here I might as well fill up on taco sauce since it looks like my friend is ordering more junk.

HOLY SMOKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    I have had their taco sauces before and they weren’t very memorable – but this stuff was VERY VERY GOOD.   I thought I was hallucinating at first.

It has a smokey, chipotle flavor to it, and it was good enough for me to stuff them in my pocket for later use.  I make street tacos all the time, so these will be AWESOME on them!!!

I can’t believe my favorite thing at Taco Bell is their tiny packets of Fire Roasted sauce.

And then my friend returns to shut my mouth proper.

It seems I TOTALLY forgot something about Taco Bell.  Something my friend KNEW I forgot about and was her ace in the hole.

THE CARAMEL APPLE EMPANADA.  It is a forgotten treat since I don’t frequent here.  But in the past it has earned BEST DRIVE THRU DESSERT praise from me in the past.   It’s exactly what you would expect it to be, a flaky crust filled with apple chunks and a caramel sauce.   It’s rich.  It’s delicious.  It’s damn near decadent.

And it’s the best thing Taco Bell has – hands down.  All that drama was worth it to get to this fantastic sweet treat.

You have GOT to try it if you haven’t.  They don’t much advertise it, so you may have to ask, but DO.  It’s very good.

TACO something Part ONE

27 Jul

I am often given suggestions about things to review.   I love hearing about new places and new things to try that fall into my wheelhouse.

But I am also asked quite frequently why I don’t review the Taco places (Bell, Bueno, Del, and Cabana) that often.  They are mostly correct.   I don’t normally eat there or review them.  I did review the Doritos Tacos here and I have a Del Taco thing coming up that I totally forgot about until now.  But aside from that, I just don’t frequent them much.

Except Taco Cabana.  I absolutely LOVE Taco Cabana.

But Tacos Bell and Bueno have burned me so often with bad service and food that I just can’t fall in love with.

Case in point – LAST WEEKEND – I was with a friend who likes Taco Bell.  I don’t fault or try to talk anyone out of going to some place I don’t like.  To each his own.

So I am in the car with them and we are pulling into Taco Bell so she can get some food.   I had no plans to order anything.  I am just along for the ride.  But I notice a couple of new items on their menu.   One is called the FRESCO CHICKEN SOFT TACO.   The picture on the menu is of a flour tortilla, thick grilled chicken, pico, and cilantro.

This looked SO GOOD.  Like a cross between a fajita taco and a taqueria style taco.  Have I been missing out on something awesome all this time?  Has Taco Bell finally found the key to unlock my loyalty?


I didn’t even bother to take a picture of it.  It was a large flour tortilla with tiny chunks of chicken and about two fistfuls of lettuce.   NOT AT ALL looking like or containing the same ingredients listed on the menu not four feet away from me.   This was literally a tortilla filled with lettuce and chicken sprinkles.   It was a soggy mess.

I was confused.  I was pissed.   This was like BAIT-and-SWITCH to me.   I even asked the employee if they gave me the right thing.  They said YEP.

Okay – then I would like my money back.  I am not eating this.

It was SO quiet that I could hear the cashier BLINKING at me.   You want your money back?  Yes.   Can’t we just get you another one?   No.  Okay so I will have to get the manager because I don’t know how to do that.   You don’t know how to give me my money back?  Okay- go get the manager.  Everyone involved in this was so rude.

It seems this store has a policy that they don’t give refunds.  They just give you some other food in trade or replace the item.   I am DONE paying for stuff I don’t like and I don’t want anything.  So I finally get my money back (they couldn’t figure out how much the tax would be so I told them to keep it) and I went to throw the food away and I noticed the bag my ONE taco was in.

I asked for some hot sauce and received exactly 23 – that’s TWENTY THREE packages of sauce for ONE TACO.     This is beyond wasteful.

Oh…and this isn’t the END of this story…..to be continued….

TASTE TEST: McD’s Cherry Berry Chiller

7 May

McDonald’s has totally frustrated me with the Chicken McBites. I loved’em. They discontinued them.

One of the other things I love – that they DO still have (amazing yes) is their Pineapple-Mango smoothie. It’s tangy and fresh and yummy.

So today I am craving something salty. A small order of those McDonald’s fries sounds like it would hit the spot. In the drive thru I notice another new limited item.

The Cherry Berry Chiller !!!!

Truth be told, I didn’t taste much berry in this. It felt more like cherry juice that was whipped up into a smoothie on it’s own.

I would have it again if they got rid of the Mango one I normally order.

Don’tcha just love how all these places are rolling out limited stuff, like…every six weeks now?

I bet the meetings behind the scenes are crazy trying to come up with these new items!!!

Enjoy it while it lasts.

TASTE TEST: Carl’s Jr. Buffalo Strips

22 Mar

LORD knows I loves me some chicken wings. I say LOVES me some chicken wings. The marriage of tender yet crispy chicken mixed with a super spicy sauce makes my mouth water.

So when I passed Carl’s Jr. and saw they offered Buffalo Strips I flipped a “U” all Bo Duke style and cruised right on in.

Now, if you have paid any attention to this blog, you might have read my article about Wendy’s awhile back.

Wendy’s came out with Boneless Buffalo Wings and I was super excited. I liked them. And they didn’t last. That is my luck.

Anyway, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of being able to swing into a place like Carl’s Jr. and get restaurant style chicken strips covered in a sauce that has some nice “kick”- just about anytime I want.

Wings, Boneless or otherwise, are really more of a restaurant item. They take awhile to make RIGHT, so fast food places usually steer clear of them.

So I am very impressed with Carl’s Jr. for taking the chance and making something that is readily available, AND tastes like the kind of strips you would find in a great sports bar.

These were so good, I actually had them three days in a row over this last weekend, and that is something I almost NEVER do.


FRY, FRY, and FRY again

23 Nov
fryfry by Junk Food Critic
fryfry, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

I really like JACK IN THE BOX. Not just for the food, but for having the guts to do crazy-funny stuff with their advertising and having a clown-head for an owner (no offense jack).

I like the variety of offerings at Jack’s place. Everything from fajita pitas to sirloin sliders.

I especially love their creative commercials. Here is one of my all time FAVORITES

However, one department that I can’t really give Jack full marks on is the fries.

I can remember back in the day, even as a kid, I didn’t much care for Jack’s french fries. They were kinda bland and I loved the ones at Mickey D’s more.

A few years ago, I applauded Jack in The Box, when they finally switched their old fries to “new full cut fries” which where bigger and cut from real potatoes. So they tasted fresher and more like real potato fries. Not just some processed fry.

Well, sitting in the drive-thru the other night, I noticed a full on sign (above) that said they have NEW fries. So I got them.

I am six years old again. They taste EXACTLY the same as I remember them, so I guess they went back to the old formula.

It’s a shame too, because Jack is usually so creative and different in the items they offer.

Why can’t Jack make fries that I love as much as I do most of his other offerings??

And while I am on the subject, can someone please tell Jack to bring back FRINGS?


(cheese, meat, cheese-cheese, meat……sorry…that commercial is SO catchy!)


23 Jun
chickeny by Junk Food Critic
chickeny, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

I have heard the commercials on the radio, to the point I have them just about memorized. CHICKEN EXPRESS is known for being “Chicken-y” and having GREAT SWEET TEA. That’s all I know about them.

So I have this in mind, as I actually passed by one. I didn’t realize that “chicken-y” was so close to me. I could be keepin’ things “chicken-y” (as per their commercials) all this time and didn’t know!

I pull up to the drive, and I am overloaded with choices. Chicken, Chicken Tenders, Gizzards, all sorts of stuff.

I decide to dip my toe in the pool, and order a simple chicken tenders meal with that “infamous” sweet tea to drink.

Now, I don’t know where you live, but here in the Lone Star State (that’s Texas) as well as pretty much the whole SOUTH, people are in love with SWEET TEA. Everyone has a mama or someone that made the best. Restaurants FINALLY caught on to this idea, because everyone is trying to woo you with their sweet tea these days.

Even McDonald’s has Sweet Tea for a $1.00 right now. Any size. It’s not the best, but it’s a buck! It’s a bargain.

The line is backed up in the drive-thru, so I am sitting at the order menu, and I have lots of time to read what they have that I might be missing.

One thing that caught my eye was they have all sorts of sauces you can add to your order for .25 cents a piece. Honey Mustard, BBQ, Ranch…..they have like 8 or so flavors. Good Idea.

I also notice something that made me do a double take so fast I think I slammed my brain against the wall of my skull.

Right there, mixed in with the available drinks, is DUBLIN DR PEPPER!!!!!!

They sell sugar sweetened (as opposed to corn syrup..this is considered by purists as “real dr pepper”) Dr Pepper in a FOUNTAIN DRINK?!?!?!?!?!?! I think I am going to faint. Could it be possible? Does this mean the end of my trips to Waco just for a taste of that heaven?

I file this away as a reason to RE-visit CHICKEN EXPRESS in the event I either REALLY love the food….or really hate it. Don’t ask about my logic. Just go with it.

So the picture above is what I received when I opened my box in the parking lot. Four tenders, fries, gravy, and a biscuit. Oh…and a 32oz Sweet Tea.

Let’s get this over quick: I was disappointed. My tenders tasted like they were once juicy, but had been sitting for awhile, so were now kinda tough. The fries were greasy and crispy, but instantly forgettable.

The biscuit? Well, I saved it for last because alot of these places PRIDE themselves on their Roll/Biscuit. (KFC has the biscuit market….Grandy’s and Golden Chick have rolls…..mmmmm….Golden Chick’s rolls……that’s good eatin’!)

Okay, anyway….KFC ain’t got nothing to worry about. This biscuit was dry and chalky tasting.

I sat there in the parking lot, and I was confused and let down. I didn’t understand how a place so highly recommended could not deliver. I didn’t understand why everyone loved this place.

Maybe I just chose a bad location or time.

It was then, that I noticed I had popped the straw into, but had yet to even SIP that allegedly “INCREDIBLE” sweet tea they serve.

I didn’t even finish the meal, as I closed the lid on probably 3 quarters of what was left, I took a big drag on that straw.


That sweet tea kicked me in the butt! It was so sweat and old fashion tasting. Tasted like the kinds I would have at my “southern” friends houses during the summer when they would have cookouts.


This place should change their name to SWEET TEA EXPRESS because that is worth the drive!!!!!!

That and now I have to go back and get a fountain drink Dublin Dr Pepper, so I will be headed back very SOON!

BK RIBS?????

3 Mar
bkribs by Junk Food Critic
bkribs, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

When I heard these were coming (several months ago) I was not expecting much at all. In my mind, this is a risky move. Ribs at a fast food place? CAN’T be good. And this is coming from someone who LIKES BK burgers.

I passed by a local BK and FINALLY saw the sign. I did a double take and then quickly turned around and placed my order.

These suckers ROCK!!!!

If you love that charbroiled taste of the BK burgers, just imagine that same approach to these. They have a little char on them, like GOOD BBQ does, and are about the size of a hot wing.

These guys are flavorful, with a nice amount of meat. They REALLY do have a “restaurant” quality about them.

I was SO surprised by how good these were!!

Just like the sign says, they have a smokey flavor about them, and the meat just pulls right off the bone. Tender and cooked perfect.

I did NOT however, get the “sauce” that the sign says comes with the order. Even still, I loved them as is. With the sauce? I bet the would be even better.

As someone who finds it VERY difficult to find GOOD RIBS here in DFW, I have found maybe 3 places over the years that I consider GOOD RIBS. Those places aren’t that close to me, or open 24 hours like the BK is.

That convenience factor, along with INCREDIBLE taste, makes this a super easy recommendation. GO GET THESE NOW!!!! I think they are only around for a limited time.

Forget the McRib. Get REAL ribs at BK

(hey BK, feel free to use that last line in your ad campaigns too–free of charge)