Tag Archives: junkfoodcritic

Updates on your favorite stories

23 Jan

Since starting this blog, way back in 2009, there have been alot of changes, so I thought I would give you a rundown of what has changed since you last read about it here at the JFC.

In no particular order:

-FAT HO BURGER- is gone.   We hardly knew ye.

-My beloved GODFATHER’s pizza in Arlington/Mansfield closed it’s doors.  Now DFW is without a Godfather’s Pizza and that is SAD.

-Domino’s gamble from 2010 paid off because they have seen a huge spike in sales since revamping their pizza.  So much so that Chuck E. Cheese (who also ranked high in the worst pizza poll that started this whole thing) even revamped their pizza as well.

-To our delight, Wendy’s debuted Boneless Buffalo Wings.  We LOVED’em.  They discontinued’em.

-MAZZIO’s has not only regained the title of BEST PIZZA, but it has taken on all challengers with a swagger worthy of a champion!

-To this day, I still can not find out where those delicious PARKING SPOT cookies came from.

-SODA GALLERY is still so very cool, but I notice their selection shrinking.

-Burger King brought out some tasty Ribs.  We liked’em.  They discontinued’em (see a pattern?)

-BK also finally gave up on their horrible fries, and stepped up the game with some new tastier versions…whereas Jack in the Box went from their original fries….to a thicker/fresher style…which we liked…only to return to their original fries recently.

– Why is it everything we love gets discontinued?

-And in the “breastaraunt” category, there have been some ups and downs:

–  The head honcho at Hooters left to join the Twin Peaks organization.   This is curious as he was on UNDERCOVER BOSS not that long ago.   Curious.

– Burger Girl off 75 in Dallas came and went.  No surprise there.

– Arlington- “Wings and Bunnies” had several opening delays, and then closed before I could even review the place but a new place “Bikinis” opened just down the block from the Hooters on Collins.  Review of it , and a new 2012 Breastaraunt Run are coming soon!

– and I am not shocked, but pleased to report that not only has RED NECK HEAVEN remained a success, but they are opening other locations around the DFW.   Must be all those “minnow shots”.

Hello 2012!


16 Jan

Admit it, you have seen this in your store a dozen times, haven’t you?  Me too. I never bought one, because frankly it’s really too much food to cook for just me at one time. If I was having a game watching party or something, this would be IDEAL. Actually I would probably just order delivery.

  BUT…..as I was walking the aisles of my local grocer, looking for new items,  it struck me… if there is a pizza AND wings- (sorry… WYNGZ…ugh what a     name…) maybe they were each in their own package and I can review them separately.  So I bought it.

I chose to cook the pizza for lunch, and save the leftovers  to go with these wings (whatever) for dinner while I watch the basketball game.

Something about good wings and a good game of hoops ….I don’t know….

Boston was playing…and Rondo was on the way to a triple double…….and I digress.

Anyway I get it open and SURPRISE!!!  My gamble pays off and they are separated.   So the wing(huh?)s go in the freezer.

Now I have had a DiGiorno Pizza tons of times before, so there is not much to review here.   It’s a pretty decent pie, but for some reason I never quite get it perfected.  It’s usually either under done or burnt.   I can’t find that sweet spot.

I blame this on my new oven, which has a “convection” baking setting that absolutely TURBO cooks everything and screws up my cooking times almost always.

So after “doctoring” this pizza (adding a little more cheese, some fresh herbs, and just the right amount of imported italian olive oil drizzle) I polished off a few slices,  but was already looking forward to the win…..ugh..WYNGZ.

Truth be told, even a few hours later, I was still kinda full from the few slices I had earlier.  That and I really don’t like to reheat frozen pizza after I cook it.  It just never tastes the same.

NOW FOR SOME WYNGZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some assembly required here as you have two bags. A “sauce” bag and a “chicken bag”.

The sauce bag goes into a bowl of warm water to soften up and defrost.  The chicken goes into the oven for a few minutes.   I was pretty surprised at how big these pieces were.   They are sold by weight, so you might get six to eight pieces per order.   Mine had seven pretty good-sized chicken chunks.

With game time coming up, I was happy that my turbo-charged confection oven setting would rocket-fire (not to be confused with rock-a-fire) these little suckers in a matter of minutes.

Now you might not tell from the picture, but they came out nice and golden brown.  I tossed them into the sauce, and you know what????

This is some good stuff!!  It was the perfect size for my appetite at the time.  The buffalo sauce was tangy and had a kick to it.

The wings were so good, that I wish DiGiorno would just sell them by themselves!!!!

(okay DiGiorno…feel free to steal my idea!!!!)


23 Dec
poptartsushi by Junk Food Critic
poptartsushi, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

With the opening of POP TARTS WORLD NYC, I thought I would do something fun.    Pop Tarts World is a brick and mortar store where you can get all sorts of cool things to eat and other items.

You can have custom T-shirts made, sample over 30 different pop tart flavors….but what the PRESS completely freaked out about was…


Now I am not certain if they just read the headline or what, but it IS NOT A POP TART CONTAINING FISH—–OKAY!?!?!?!

It IS (and we know because we made them, and that is what you see above)…….actually a very CLEVER recipe. To make them yourself you will need:


2 or 3 different kinds of POP TARTS – we chose Strawberry and Chocolate.


FRUIT ROLL-UPS – this will simulate the NORI, or seaweed wrapping found around some types of sushi. This gives the “pop-tart sushi” a chewy kick.


Chop up one of each of your pop tarts. Minced or chunky, or whatever you like. As you can see by above, we chose chunky.

Un-roll the “roll-up” and then lay a generous portion of your pop-tarts on the end and roll until you get a nice, fat roll-up.


Chill in the fridge so the roll-up can “set” and make it easier to cut.


Slice these into sushi portions.

(sushi means “sour”, NOT “fish”, as most people believe)

SIX: Bust out the chopsticks and have fun!!!

These things are WEIRD, but really good, and I got a sugar rush like you wouldn’t believe after eating a few, so keep it lite!

They were a TON OF FUN to make though,and all the JFC crew scarfed them down pretty quick. If you have kids, they would LOVE these!!!!



You can check out PopTartsWorld.com for your self by clicking HERE.

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 Oct
bcakes by Junk Food Critic
bcakes, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

The Junk Food Critic Crew travels alot. Not for work, or for the purpose of this website. We just like to. We get bored.

So I am visiting a friend at his work, and he is excited. Not to see me, as he allows me in the secured front door. He is waving me in with a dollar bill and says “You picked a good day to show up….HURRY UP BEFORE THEY ARE GONE!!!!”

I then follow a grown man, almost SKIP down the hall. He banks hard to the left, and I have to walk faster so as not to lose him. I turn the corner and see him dart into what I am guessing is the breakroom.

Once inside, he is GLEEFULLY sliding a that dollar into the machine an punching in a number, as if from memory. He stoops over, retrieves his purchase and throws it to me. He then repeats his earlier step.

Now we both have these yellow packages in our hands. He is all smiles and keeps saying “try it!!! try it!!!!”

I don’t recognize this package as I flip it over. BROAD STREET BAKERY is the company and these are BANANA PUDDING CUPCAKES.

EXCUSE ME!??!!??!? BANANA PUDDING CUPCAKES? Whoever heard of such a thing.

Now this friend and I have had lunch or dinner several times, and one thing that I have mentioned to him, and anyone else that would listen, is that restaurants are MISSING out on money because they do NOT carry BANANA PUDDING as a dessert.

Now, I know there are a couple of “home cookin’” places that offer it, but for the most part, restaurants have ice cream and cake as a dessert, or some pie.

I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but in Texas, and other southern states, banana pudding is a MUCH LOVED treat.

I am reminded of this by my friend as he TEARS into his cupcakes.

They are like nothing I have had before. It’s a HOSTESS cream filled cupcake but it is unmistakably BANANA; with a frosting topped with Vanilla Wafer crumbs.

This thing is UH-MAY-ZING!!!!!!

I think the both of us destroyed these cakes in about TWO minutes.

I then notice he is digging around in his pocket, whipping out more bills.

“These are the first thing to go in this machine, and I am not gonna get screwed this week! I need my Banana Cakes!!!!!”

He is totally serious too. It seems everyone on his floor has heard about them, and it’s a mad dash each week to get them. People are known to buy out the whole slot of them in the vending machine.


Because nobody knows where to get them. They say BROAD STREET BAKERY, but that website doesn’t mention them. The company that vends the products is the only one that seems to hold the key to the warehouse full of these SUPER-GOOD cakes.

I will keep checking into this, but I want everyone to pay attention to this brand and look for this product. If you like Banana Pudding, these cakes are gonna knock your socks off!


23 Sep
spicychick by Junk Food Critic
spicychick, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

Don’t think I have ever mentioned this on the TASTY BLOG before, but I LOVE the SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH at WENDY’s.

Ever since I had one about 5 years ago, I was hooked. I love hot wings, and that was the closest thing I have ever had to what I would call a “Hot Wing Sandwich”. I also turned every person I could onto them. 99% of the people I had try them, loved them and were instantly converted.

Ok, now FORGET all that.

Chick-Fil-A has a SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH that IS exactly what I have been waiting for ….FOREVER….. a HOTWING SANDWICH!!!!

Sunday (which is the day Chick-Fil-A is closed) a friend passed by and saw a sign in the window that said, “coming soon…Spicy Chicken Sandwich”. They immediately called me and asked what I thought about it, or if I had already had one (like I had special access to them or something).

I had NO idea what they were talking about. But a quick trip to the internet revealed that INDEED they were debuting a SPICY version of their classic sandwich.

I even got up early this morning, just so I could make sure I got one before I did anything else today.

I pull into the parking lot, and I see one of the local fire engines outside. Inside are firemen mingling around. I didn’t have time to go in, but from the drive-thru I could see what was going on.

This location had decorated EVERY table in the restaurant with firemen hats and red flashing lights….signaling that this place …and the new SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH…was indeed…ON FIRE…so much so they had to have the fire brigade there.


Now I am EXCITED about getting one! The line moves quickly, and I order (wheat bun…as pictured above) and I immediately pull over, take a pic and a bite.


(that’s me talking with a mouthful….translation? THIS IS DELECTABLE!!!!!!!!!)

They have managed to have the flavor of a dry rub taste to a chicken sandwich, with the liquid taste and heat of a hot wing. That is the only way I can describe it.

I have shouted from the roof tops all day about it, and I have had 8 txts from people that are already converts.

One taster went to one location, and the line was so long in the drive-thru (it’s usually not like this…and it wasn’t lunch time) that the cars were spilling into the neighboring fast-food parking lot, cutting off the access to the place. The manager was outside screaming at the Chick-fil-A customers to move or he threatened to call the police!

Another taster said, “I thought I was crying because I was sad because I was never going back to the Wendy’s sandwich…but no…it wasn’t tears of sadness…it was my eyes watering because this thing is SO tasty and SPICY!!!!!”

You have GOT to try this bad boy. As far as chicken sandwiches you can get from a fast food place, this is the BOSS!!!!

Perfect and UNIQUE blend of heat and flavor. Tasty tasty tasty tasty tasty tasty.

man I want another one now, just typing this….

P.S.- now I have to figure out how to break the news to


Mickey D’s….one year later.

5 Sep

It was a test of willpower.  Where I live and just about every place I go, I am surrounded by McDonald’s restaurants.

That availability makes it very easy to just swing in for a quick meal as I run errands.

But about a year ago I got just burnt out (yes..the junk food critic got burnt out on junk food?!?!) on McDonald’s.  Bad service, bad food, I was just  tired of dealing with it.  So a friend bet me that I couldn’t go a YEAR without eating McDonald’s food. 

Now, if there was some new Mickey D’s menu item that I was DYING to try, I could have a BITE of it for review purposes.  But the rest of the time,  I was to swear off the golden arches at all costs.

AND I DID IT.   And it wasn’t easy.  At least at first.  I found the convenience of McDonald’s is what was the most difficult starting out.  I am always late, and the quickness of the drive thru is so tempting. 

The more I thought about it the more I realized that I would eat on auto-pilot.  Drive-thru, and eat mindlessly as I am hauling ass to my next appointment.  I wasn’t really enjoying the food or the experience.  It was just a blur.

I started looking around my area and made a switch here and there to other fast food places that were close to McDonald’s. 

But there are alot of fast food places that I am just not a fan of. 

Now my food choices were limited.   I had to start taking some chances.

7-11, local mom & pop places, and all these sandwich shops were popping up everywhere (which-wich, potbelly’s, etc…) so if I just took a minute and a chance- I found alot of new options. Most of these places offered something I liked better than Mickey D’s.

About a month into this, I was totally fine with NOT going to McDonald’s.  The thing I missed the most was the FRIES.  Man…those fries are good.

So good in fact, that at first  I started just skipping the fries whenever I would go somewhere else.  I mean if you can’t have the best, why bother right?

A trip to Jake’s put an end to my FRY-drought because those sweet potato fries are da BOMB!!!

Six months in, and I could still go to a McDonald’s (they were now offering kick ass drinks like Strawberry Lemonade or that new Pineapple-Mang0 smoothie…which I LOVE!!!!!) and not even be tempted to order food. 

….but that french fry smell would always linger in my nose, tempting me.

It’s a year later and I write this after just having a  Chicken Select Combo for lunch.

Funny how life repeats itself.  To be honest, I was STUCK.  I had NO option.  If I didn’t get something to eat, I wasn’t going to eat for 8 hours later.  So I broke down and gave in to the Mick.

 So????  Now that you have some distance…review it!!!  How was it? 

THE GOOD – Consistency.  That clown knows how to make some french fries.  The two things that stand out in my mind is the fries, the coke, and the basic hamburger.  All three of those taste EXACTLY the same for as long as I can remember. 

I LOVE that.  All too often, restaurants try to tweak their menu constantly and the sacrifice of taste is passed along to YOU.  I like that a happy meal tastes exactly the same as it did when I was a kid.  In fact, to this day it’s still my favorite choice at McDonald’s. 

Come on— burger, fries, a drink (too small tho) and a cool (usually) toy?!?!?  No brainer! 


I never really noticed how quickly fast food gets COLD.  I mean my order wasn’t fresh and hot to begin with, but it seemed that the four minutes it took me to leave the drive thru and pull over to eat, my food was almost already cold. 

I also found I had to drown my chicken fingers in sauce to give them any real flavor.  Over all I found myself regretting my visit.  

Why didn’t I just order  the Happy Meal???

Tomorrow, I start anew….


Up until about a year ago (coincidence??? maybe) the first McDonald’s I ever went to in my life was still there.  Looking like I always remembered it, complete with playground. 

…and they tore it down.  Replaced it with the NEW MODERN McDONALD’S design.  Gone are the murals of Ronald and Friends.  Now it’s carefully designed and custom colored to make you hungry-

(did you know certain colors make people hungry and that is why most  restaurants choose reds and browns in their decor??)  

– and all the fun is gone.  And I think that is part of the problem.   Sure the food isn’t the healthiest, but they are making changes to the menu to offer better options.  But McDonald’s…as long as I have known it…wasn’t JUST about food.  The were the kid-friendly restaurant that was affordable. 

What I don’t like is the amount of pressure they have put on the company to get rid of Ronald McDonald.  What is the difference between him and Chuck E. Cheese?  

Sure, they entice kids to want to go there…but let’s be honest….what kid growing up wanted to go to either for the food? 

It’s like Hooters.  Do guys go there for the games?  NO, they go to eat and talk to the chicks.  

If Ronald is SUCH a wrong message to send, shall we get rid of all businesses that use an enticement to get business?  You can see where I am going here.

Maybe it is nostaliga talking, but turning McDonald’s into Starbucks (no matter how successful they have been with the coffee) is a wrong move.  Kids have few places where they can just go and be kids.   Why can’t we have both? 

I’m not saying Mr. McDonald is a saint, but as another clown might say to him….


and this is coming from someone who is starting another one year sabbatical tomorrow. 

p.s. – I still like ya Ronald and I love that Pineapple/Mango smoothie – good show!


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!


23 May
stride by Junk Food Critic
stride, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

Flavor is the name of the game now. So in the coming weeks and months, you can expect to see SUPER flavored everything. Sodas, chips, anything and everything….like GUM. I have seen many articles that talk about how people’s tastes are changing. They are wanting more flavor in every facet of their food and drink.

When I first saw the commercials for this new STRIDE SHIFT GUM, I was like “whatever”.

If you haven’t seen the commercial, here it is .

The whole “bag” with the new gum is that it changes, or “shifts” flavor. I am not talking like strawberry into blueberry. That’s too close. This is like CITRUS to MINT. Two DRASTICALLY different flavors.

As you can see from the picture, I got both flavors. First one is BERRY to MINT. The second is CITRUS to MINT.

“Berry” is a lightly fruity taste…but at some point, it does, almost SHOCKINGLY go from Berry to MINT. In a good way. It’s kinda bizzare and FUN to feel and taste that transformation.

I actually liked the Citrus to Mint BETTER, just because it is just a subtle transition, and it kind of sneaks up on you.

The flavor of this gum is AWESOME in terms of length. This ain’t your daddy’s FRUIT STRIPE.

This gum kept full-on flavor for HOURS after “shifting”.

If you see this, pick it up, I bet you will be pleased.

WARNING: Your friends, if you decide to share this, will bug you FOREVER for more…until that last piece is GONE. Use this knowledge wisely. Or buy TWO packs.

MAMA…what happened???!?!?

23 Apr
mamas by Junk Food Critic
mamas, a photo by Junk Food Critic on Flickr.

I can distinctly remember a time when MAMA’s pizza was the best around. Somewhere in the mid 90’s when all the other places were getting more and more corporate, Mama’s stayed true to it’s roots.

Doing some shopping nearby the location in Arlington, and I was instantly craving the pizza once I saw the sign. It was in the same location it was all those years ago. My thoughts raced around my head as I remembered what made Mama’s great. They used great cheese, solid toppings, and a crust that tasted like NOBODY else.

I stroll in, and the place is PACKED. I see all these people and I am starting to ask myself WHY am I not visiting this place more often?

The super friendly girls at the counter take my order and I remember one thing about Mama’s I forgot. Their pizzas are a little on the pricey side, but I am the type of person that thinks “you get what you pay for”. I don’t mind paying a little more for a great pizza.

Twenty minutes later, this pie slides onto my table, courtesy of the super-friendly counter-girl.

I take a minute to soak it all in. Haven’t had this pizza in awhile. It looks fantastic.

But one slice later I am remembering another feature of Mama’s. It’s a heavier pizza. Which means I can’t eat too much or you have to get a wheelbarrow to get me out of the place.

Two slices in I am happy, but I notice something. The crust and topping all taste exactly the same. Actually it all tastes pretty much like I remember, but it was a little on the bland side.

Have I spoiled my taste buds? I have been eating pizzas from places that really step it up with cheese blends and rustic sauces. So to step back to this pie, which for example has a very simple and basic tomato sauce, left me wanting more ZING, ya know?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still GOOD pizza. But with each bite I was just reminded how generic it was compared to the other pizzas I have had lately.

As I drove away, I passed a Domino’s and thought, maybe that’s it!?!

In as many years as I have ever gone to Mama’s, they have remained the same. Perhaps they could offer a different pizza sauce or cheese blend to spice things up like Domino’s did?

It worked for them, as Domino’s saw and INSANE amount of turnout to try the “new” pizzas they offered.