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Burger Mash-Ups Getting Fast-Food Treatment

Burger Mash-Ups Getting Fast-Food Treatment


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In the form of an unimpressive 'French Fry Burger'

This "French Fry Burger" is really just four fries on a burger.

Ugh, guys seriously just stop it with mash-ups. We get it, it's super cool to put two food items together into one dish. But now, it's just going to be another thing in the food world we have to deal with, like subpar macarons, or copycat In-N-Outs, all of which are always less satisfying than the real thing.

Case in point: Burger King's new "French Fry Burger," which the AP even reports is "basically a standard beef patty topped with four of the chain's french fries." That's right. For $1 starting Sept. 1, you can get a standard burger with four french fries piled on top. Novel.

AP reports that the Miami-based chain is looking to up its offerings in light of McDonald's refocus on the dollar menu (and as Mickey D's launches their chicken wings nationwide). And interestingly enough, some nutritionists are hoping this will curb kids' fries orders. "A smart parent could tell her child that they can have this item instead of choosing to buy a whole order of fries as well as a burger, so that calories and fat will actually be less. If you added a side salad with their fat-free ranch dressing this would add another 75 calories but it would make a reasonably OK meal for a fast-food place," Karen Congro, director of the Wellness for Life Program, said in an email. Except knowing us, we'll probably just want a side of fries anyway.


Burgers

Enjoy a favorite from the McDonald's burger menu and pick from a large selection of classic burgers like the Big Mac®, or pick a fresh beef burger like the Quarter Pounder®* with Cheese! Get your McDonald's burgers delivered using McDelivery® or pick it up with curbside pickup using Mobile Order & Pay!

*Weight before cooking 4 oz.


One Good Thing 2020 Gave Us: All These New Vegan Fast-Food Options

The future present is vegan, and the tons of animal-friendly menu options that fast-food chains have added throughout 2020 prove it. From dairy-free cheddar cheese to Beyond Meat Italian Sausage Crumbles to vegan chicken sandwiches that’ll make you go, “Popeyes who?” the 2020 vegan fast-food scene has been lit.

Get nostalgic—peruse some of the most exciting vegan fast-food additions of 2020:

Pizza Hut Goes Above and Beyond

We asked, we urged, we insisted—and it paid off: In November, unable to deny the rising demand for vegan options any longer, Pizza Hut began offering two new pies with Beyond Meat Italian Sausage Crumbles in the U.S. Click to find out how to order the new Pizza Hut x Beyond Meat pizzas vegan.

Jack in the Box Gives Popeyes and Chick-fil-A Runs for Their Money

If you’re lucky enough to live in or near Reno, Nevada, or Monterey or Salinas, California, you can try Jack in the Box’s new Unchicken Sandwich, which can be ordered vegan simply by asking for no mayo. It’s available through December 12—so run, don’t walk, to get yours.

Atlanta Isn’t the Only One Getting Kentucky Fried Vegan

We’ve been urging KFC to sell vegan chicken for years—in 2019, the chain listened, testing tempting vegan fried chicken from Beyond Meat at an Atlanta location (which saw customers and cars wrapped around the building and sold out within hours). Unable to deny its popularity, Kentucky fried vegan chicken returned in 2020, this time with tests in Nashville, Tennessee, and Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as at more than 50 locations in Southern California—each of them equally successful. Surely, this is a sign that KFC will make vegan fried chicken available nationwide in the near future.

El Pollo Loco Becomes the Biggest Chain to Offer Vegan Chicken Burritos

El Polloless Loco? In July 2020, El Pollo Loco became the largest chain to offer vegan chicken burritos and tacos with its vegan Chickenless Pollo. Kind diners can now order tacos, burritos, and bowls—all vegan and all with plant-based “chicken” protein. Check out our complete guide to eating vegan at El Pollo Loco.

Dairy Queen Listens to PETA, Launches Vegan Ice Cream Bar

After years of offering treats made with cruelly obtained cow’s milk, Dairy Queen finally (at PETA’s urging) embraced a delicious dairy-free dessert: a vegan ice cream bar. Its Non-Dairy Dilly Bars—made with coconut cream and covered with vegan chocolate—are available nationwide.

California Pizza Kitchen Debuts Its First Vegan Meat Option

We’ve known and loved the veganizable pizzas at California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), including the cheese-less Cali veggie pizza, for some time …

… but in 2020, the chain stepped things up a notch. Following KFC, Jack in the Box, and El Pollo Loco’s leads, CPK got on the vegan chicken train, too. You can now order the BBQ “Don’t Call Me Chicken” Pizza vegan—just ask for no cheese and opt for either the Pizza Marinara or Spicy Marinara sauce instead of the BBQ base. You can also add CPK’s new vegan chicken to any of its veggie pizzas—check out our vegan CPK guide to find out how.

The Vegan Options at White Castle Just Keep Coming

First came the debut of White Castle’s vegan Dr. Praeger’s patty …

… then the chain reworked its bun recipes to make them entirely vegan. Then March brought New Yorkers and New Jerseyites even more exciting news: Vegan. Cheddar. Cheese. “The country’s first fast-food hamburger chain will soon become the first fast-food hamburger chain in the U.S. to offer a dairy-free alternative to cheddar cheese,” White Castle excitedly announced in a news release earlier this year. The chain partnered with GOOD PLANeT Foods, the maker of the nondairy cheddar, to release the exciting new menu option.

Beyond Meat Gets a Mediterranean Makeover at Luna Grill

With options like falafel, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and roasted serrano peppers, Luna Grill was already relatively vegan-friendly, but in 2020, the Mediterranean chain stepped things up a notch by adding Beyond Meat. Order a Beyond Burger (hold the bun and spicy feta), or mix it up with the Beyond Meat Coastal Med Bowl, featuring Beyond Beef, basmati rice, torshi, Greek cabbage, tomato and cucumber medley, pickled onions, and Mediterranean pesto. (Just swap the tzatziki for tahini for a vegan feast.) Yum!

Two Boots Gives Diners Options: Vegan Chicken, Pepperoni …

…or sausage! When you visit TwoBoots.com, you’ll find a whole “Vegan Pizzas” menu section! And it is stacked. Thanks to Two Boots’ 2020 additions of vegan chicken and vegan pepperoni (vegan sausage had already been a menu staple for some time), there are now nine vegan signature pizzas to choose from (or you can build your own). The Vegan Mr. Pink (vegan chicken, plum tomatoes, fresh garlic, and Daiya cheese), The VCBGB (vegan chicken, broccoli, garlic and basil pesto, and Daiya cheese), and the new Be-Hive vegan pepperoni pizza are only a few of Two Boots’ animal-friendly selections.

BONUS: Beyond Meat and McDonald’s Announce New McPlant Line

Bring on 2021! McDonald’s is apparently done denying how massively popular vegan foods are. According to reports, the fast-food chain will begin testing a new McPlant line of products—developed with help from Beyond Meat—next year. (This exciting news follows a decades-long PETA campaign.)

Turns out the big winner in the plant-based burger wars is McDonald’s https://t.co/JbqLwGFpvd

&mdash Bloomberg (@business) November 16, 2020

This year gave us a lot to be thankful for. It also made one thing abundantly clear: The vegan revolution is undeniable. Just consider that also in 2020, Denny’s added vegan burgers, Beyond Meat is now on the menu at Starbucks locations in Canada, and IKEA launched a second “meatier” vegan meatball. We’re changing fast-food menus, and that means things are changing for the better for animals. Chain restaurants are extremely popular, which is why PETA works so hard—talking with companies behind the scenes, hosting action alerts on PETA.org, and getting loud on social media—so that opting for vegan food (aka saving lives) can be easy for everyone.

If 2020’s vegan fast-food insurgency excites you, good—channel that excitement into saving even more lives. Click below to keep the momentum going: Help persuade Applebee’s, Sonic, Domino’s, and other chains to add vegan options, too:


McDonald's burgers are made with specific cuts of beef

You may have heard that McDonald's burgers are made from entire cows that are put through a meat grinder — including the nastier bits like the eyeballs, lips, snouts, and brains. However, many media outlets, including Tastemade and Snopes, have gone on to prove that this is not, in fact, the case. According to the McDonald's website as well as a Business Insider report that gives a behind-the-scenes look into their US processing plant, Cargill, the process could not be more different from what the public might perceive.

McDonald's makes their patties out of a few specific cuts of beef, which is crucial to ensuring that their products are of a high enough quality to compete in today's market. While you won't find any of the fanciest butcher's cuts in your McDonald's takeout burgers, they do use the trimmings from cuts like chuck, round, and even sirloin to create the familiar flavor profile of their signature beef blend. And while they don't boast their meat as being grass-fed, the cows they use are for the most part fed on grass for the first half of their lives, before being finished on a diet of grass, minerals, and grain.


On the other hand, as I offer advice to avoid takeout, I also feel a strong moral and sentimental obligation to support our hard working and incredibly talented hospitality industry.

Restaurant workers can’t work from home. They can’t teleconference in.

So the pandemic threatens to wipe out restaurants, cafes and bars across our country.

I believe the hygiene management practices of reputable establishments are far better than any I can do in my own home. These people are professionals!

One girl and her dog can’t save an entire industry, but she CAN offer suggestions to help support local businesses:

Ask your favourite restaurants (no matter how fancy!) for takeaway food that can be reheated at home

Skip fast food. Now is not the time for Maccers or Dominos. Use your takeout budget to support the family run businesses and reputable restaurants

Talk to the restaurant owners and read their website – hear what they’re doing to make things safe for diners. It will bring you comfort (this is what I did at my local bistros and favourite city restaurants)

Gift vouchers.

Organise a fancy fine dining dinner party IN with your favourite people! Take out from your favourite restaurants and save a ton of money by drinking your own booze and no cab fare home! Many high end dining establishments in Sydney are now looking to offer home meals as a creative means to address their empty restaurants (here’s the Gourmet Traveller live list) – and I’m hoping this is happening around the world.

Let’s support the hard working locals who put their heart and soul into making incredible food for us to enjoy during the good times. Now it’s OUR TURN to support them during the hard times. I’m taking friends to my favourite local Afghani restaurant tomorrow night!


Fast Food Facts

Quick-service restaurants provide us with a quick, easy, inexpensive bite when we’re pressed for time. Americans love fast food and there are so many items to choose from! A lot of chains are now offering lower-fat options and if chosen wisely, fast foods can be healthy AND fit into your renal diet.

If you are a regular through the drive-up window or frequently dine in at fast food restaurants, keep these tips in mind:

  • Burgers and sandwiches are high in sodium because they are pre-salted. This may be difficult for the quick-service restaurant to omit the salt. Be sure to ask before you order.
  • Remember that fries and baked potatoes are rich in potassium. But if you can’t imagine a burger without the fries, order a small serving and ask for unsalted, if possible.
  • Keep in mind that catsup, mustard and pickles are all high in sodium. Keep condiments, special sauces and dressings to a minimum. Request these toppings to be served “on the side” so you can control the amount.
  • Beverage sizes typically are large or “super-size” and can contribute to fluid overload if the entire beverage is consumed. Order a small beverage and be sure to count it as part of your fluid allowance.
  • Balance fast food items with other food choices. As you order, consider the other foods you have eaten or will eat during the day.
  • Choose broiled, steamed or grilled items over deep fat fried foods. To trim the fat from fried items, order the regular variety instead of the “extra crispy” and remove the skin before eating. Removing the skin also lowers the sodium content since most batters and coatings usually include seasonings rich in sodium.


Sensible Salad Bar Choices

The huge variety of vegetables and fruits can provide you with vitamins A and C, folic acid and fiber. Be careful though, a trip to the salad bar can provide you with more fat and calories than a burger and fries! There are many salad bar items that can easily fit into your renal diet. Below is a list of items to assist you in choosing sensibly from any salad bar.

Choose Limit
Alfalfa sprouts Avocado
Beets Bacon Bits
Cauliflower Chickpeas
Celery sticks Chow Mein noodles
Chinese noodles Fried bread croutons
Cole slaw Kidney Beans
Cucumbers Nuts
Eggs, chopped Olives
Gelatin salads Pickles
Green beans Potato Salad
Green peas Raisins
Green peppers Relishes
Lettuce, escarole, endive Sunflower Seeds
Parmesan cheese Shredded cheddar cheese
Radishes Thick Salad Dressings
Tuna in spring water Three-Bean Salads
Zucchini Tomatoes
Italian, low calorie dressing
Vinaigrette
Low fat dressing

Do you know what you are eating?

Get a breakdown of fat, calories and other nutrition information (potassium, phosphorus or sodium) from the store manager. You can also check out the restaurant’s web site for a complete nutritional analysis of all their menu items. Please note that obtaining information on potassium and phosphorus can be difficult. Since these values are not required by the US Department of Agriculture on food labels. The following table provides you with the nutritional analysis of some fast food menu items to help you make educated choices.

Note the serving size and work with your renal dietitian to safely add these menu items into your eating plan.

Generally speaking, choose meals under 500 calories with less than 30% of the calories from fat. Many items are loaded with sodium so limit your sodium intake for the rest of the day. Watch your fluid intake because these foods will make you more thirsty than usual. Some items may require that you increase your dose of phosphate binders.


29 Healthy Mash-Ups That Feature Different Cuisines So You Don’t Have to Choose

Mexican or Italian? Japanese or Thai? Cheeseburger or a meatball sub? Sometimes choosing what to eat can feel like an arduous task. It becomes even more difficult when ordering for two. You want healthy, they want ultra creamy. You want spicy, they want tangy. While there are certainly bigger conundrums to solve, it doesn&rsquot make quenching your appetite any easier.

That&rsquos where these dishes come in. A beautiful fusion of various cuisines, these 29 mash-up recipes are a single-dish solution to multiple cravings. From tandoori tacos to fajita pitas to Korean clam chowder, there are healthy options for every palate. All they require is a little (culinary) adventure.

1. Enchilada Meatball Bake

Who needs tortillas? This recipe is everything you love about enchiladas&mdashthe sauce, the spice, the cheese&mdashbut cooked like the classic Italian dish, minus the marinara. We love substituting the ground beef for chicken and going heavy on the veggie toppings. The best part: This recipe makes around 30 meatballs, so it&rsquos the perfect dish for leftovers (or seconds).

2. Falafel Scotch Eggs

Talk about an unexpected duo. While falafel may not seem like the best replacement for sausage patties, trust us&mdashit&rsquos incredible. It&rsquos also healthier. The recipe looks daunting, but you can shave some time by opting for store-bought tzatziki or hummus and boiling the eggs the day before.

It&rsquos a marinade. It&rsquos a sauce. It&rsquos both. Mix Soy Vay with your hamburger meat, bake it on your salmon, or sauce up your tacos. The possibilities are endlessly delicious. Get recipes and pick up a few bottles of your own at soyvay.com.

3. Greek Quesadillas

Why didn&rsquot we think of this? For a lighter version of a pita sandwich, try a Greek quesadilla. The mozzarella and feta cheese create a tangy, gooey center, and the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and dill give fresh life to classic quesadillas. For extra protein, add chicken breast.

4. Fiery Tandoori Chicken Tacos With Cilantro Corn Slaw

It&rsquos true: You can put almost anything in a taco, and it will be delicious. That said, we never would&rsquove guessed tandoori chicken was the secret to spicing up our taco game. And we do mean spicing: Ginger, cinnamon, garam masala, turmeric, paprika, and chili flakes create the perfect tandoori flavor. Top with avocado, cilantro, lime, and some hot sauce (or chutney).

5. Sushi Burrito

We don&rsquot know how sushi burritos became a thing, but we&rsquore sure happy they did. We&rsquore even happier that this simple recipe exists so we can make them at home. Wrapped in roasted seaweed and stuffed with classic sushi rice, guacamole, cajun chicken, and a few veggies, this recipe combines two of our favorite take-out cuisines in one delicious meal. Use salmon, shrimp, or tofu in place of the chicken to keep things interesting.

6. Caesar Salad Wonton Cups

Caesar salad, meet the humble wonton. Ditch the fork for these tasty snacks the wonton serves as an edible, crunchy spoon. And don&rsquot let the homemade wontons scare you off&mdashusing a muffin tin makes them easy as can be.

7. Kimchi, Mango, and Soba Summer Rolls With Almond Miso Dipping Sauce

Hello, summer. Soba noodles add a hearty flavor to these light rolls, a nice variation on traditional vermicelli. But the almond miso sauce is what really steals the show&mdashyou may even need to double the recipe. The suggested veggies are awesome but feel free to experiment. And yes, store-bought kimchi is a-OK.

8. Thai Peanut Hummus

Hummus is amazing. But it can also get boring. Here chickpeas blend with peanut butter, Sriracha, ginger, green onions, cilantro, and lime to create a sweet-yet-spicy, protein-packed dip that pairs perfectly with veggies, pita, tortilla chips, or a plain ol&rsquo spoon.

9. Curried Tahini Pasta Salad

Curried tahini sounds great. But curried tahini pasta salad? We admit: We were skeptical too. Then we tasted it. Incredibly easy to prepare (total cook time is only 20 minutes!), full of healthy veggies, and mixed with a sauce so good you&rsquoll lick the bowl. This recipe proves every dish is worth trying.

10. Kung Pao Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are awesome. But kung pao chicken wings are mind-blowing. The recipe calls for a few exotic ingredients&mdashSichuan peppercorns and Shaoxing wine&mdashbut a quick trip to a Chinese market should do the trick and won&rsquot break the bank. The wings are so delicious they don&rsquot really need sauce, but a little plain yogurt, cucumber, salt, and pepper will also work.

11. Terimayo Japanese Hot Dogs

Teri-what? Seaweed on hot dogs may not sound like a match made in heaven, but stick with us. This adventurous recipe takes only five minutes to make and will surprise and delight you. The nori, mayo, and teriyaki sauce go curiously well together and make both cooking and eating a hot dog feel like a totally grown-up thing to do.

12. Spanakopita Lasagna

Fussing with phyllo dough can be just that: a fuss. Lasagna strips, however, are a breeze to cook with and the perfect base for layers of béchamel, spinach, cheese, and herbs. Greek cheeses such as feta and kefalotyri are a nice change from ricotta and mozzarella, but Parmesan also tastes just as good. Pre-cook the bechamel if you&rsquore crunched for time.

13. Miso-Stewed Short Rib French Dip Sandwich

You had us at short rib. And French dip. But miso? Oddly enough, stewing the short rib in miso is pretty magical. As with most short rib recipes, it takes upward of three hours to cook, but your home will smell like heaven, and the end result tastes like it too.

14. Banh Mi Pizza

Topped with pork or chicken meatballs, fried eggs, spicy &ldquomayo,&rdquo and a smattering of rainbow veggies, this recipe is not your average pizza. But it is incredible. It also tastes great with tofu, and for those who don&rsquot like mayo, fear not: The sauce is actually made with tahini.

15. Vegan Lentil Meatballs in Creamy Curry Sauce

This recipe tastes even better than it looks&mdashwhich says a lot. Curry punches up traditional tomato sauce, and the lentil and walnut meatballs are a nice departure from their beefy counterparts. Garnish with fresh parsley and a touch of coconut cream. For extra spice, add crushed red pepper flakes.

16. Kielbasa and Shrimp Fried Rice

Qué pasa, kielbasa? Fried rice is another dish where it&rsquos hard to go wrong. The only somewhat difficult part is remembering to cook the rice at least a day in advance, as the key here is making sure the rice has little-to-no moisture. The Polish sausage is a great stand-in for pork or ham, and since it looks like hot dog pieces, you may even persuade your kids to dig in.

17. Cheesy Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Thai Chicken Enchiladas

Thai food may not make you think of cheese, but this recipe will change that. Sweet, spicy, and pleasantly cheesy, these enchiladas hit all the right spots&mdashthey&rsquore full of shredded chicken and chopped bell peppers, covered in a flavor-bomb sauce, and topped with avocado, cilantro, and pomegranate. You may never go back to the OG variety.

18. Sizzling Shrimp Fajita Stir-Fry

Ramen meets fajita meets stir-fry in this Asian-Mexican fusion dish. The simple sauce binds the worlds together, creating a filling dish that&rsquos perfect for a party or leftovers galore. Play with whatever protein you fancy and experiment with snow peas, water chestnuts, and even pineapple. You can even substitute zucchini noodles to keep things low carb and gluten-free.

19. Za&rsquoatar Roasted Tomato Crostini With Labneh

If you&rsquove never used za&rsquoatar, now&rsquos the time. The Middle Eastern spice mix changes simple flavors from meh to wow with a sheer pinch, and this crostini is no exception. The labneh and spiced tomatoes put a unique twist on classic bruschetta and pair perfectly with a side salad&mdashMiddle Eastern or Italian.

20. California Fusion Walnut Burger With Bok Choy Slaw

These are not your average veggie burgers. The patty is made with walnuts and edamame (a welcome change from black beans and corn) and gets sandwiched between Japanese pickles and teriyaki guacamole. Since this recipe is already on the time-consuming side, we suggest skipping the homemade buns and using store-bought instead. Serve with a side of bok choy&mdashgreen fries, if you will.

21. Chorizo-Spiced Chickpea Fajita Pitas

Pita tacos? Don&rsquot mind if we do. The pita helps hold the precious cargo&mdashchickpeas, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and sour cream&mdashand provides a heartier base than its cousin, the tortilla. The best part: The chorizo spice is so convincing, you won&rsquot miss meat in the slightest.

22. Butter Paneer Pizza

Just when you thought pizza couldn&rsquot get any better, along comes this butter pizza. The Indian-inspired dish uses homemade paneer (an Indian cheese), canned tomatoes, honey, mozzarella, and spices upon spices to create an unexpected, decadent dish that blows takeout out of the water. To go gluten-free, use a cauliflower crust.

23. Beef Teriyaki Tacos

If you love crunchy tacos, we urge you to try tacos made with wonton wrappers. The thin, crispy layers are the perfect base for the Japanese ingredients&mdashrice and beef teriyaki topped with a sprinkle of spring onions and a dash of sesame seeds. Meet the fusion taco of your dreams.

24. Indian-Style Arancini

It can be difficult to figure out what to do with leftover rice. And sometimes, even if you find creative ways to use it, it gets old after a few days and often ends up in the garbage bin. Next time, make these. Filled with paneer, Indian cottage cheese, and wrapped in rice cooked with numerous spices, these rice balls are a fun twist on the Italian staple&mdashand healthier too. Serve with tomato sauce, yogurt sauce, or both.

25. Spicy Picante Pepper Dosa Waffle

Whether eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these dosa waffles are a fun way to counter your chicken and waffles craving. Though the recipe is vegetarian, adding shredded chicken and topping with Indian hot sauce or extra peppers can do no harm. The dish also tastes great with chutney if you&rsquore hankering for some sweet.

26. Chicken Souvlaki Banh Mi

This is the perfect dish to make if you have leftover grilled chicken on hand. The only other ingredients you need are a baguette (Vietnamese, French, or a Mexican bolillo roll will do), romaine, cucumber, carrot, green onions, and tzatziki. Don&rsquot skip the mint, if possible&mdashit&rsquos by far the best part.

27. Healthy Black Bean Jalapeño Popper Egg Rolls

Who knew &ldquohealthy&rdquo and &ldquopopper egg roll&rdquo fit in the same sentence, let alone a recipe name? These vegetarian rolls are baked, not fried, and paired with a Sriracha-Greek yogurt sauce that adds extra flavor and protein. To give them even more of a boost, cut the beans in half and add diced chicken.

28. Indian Stir-Fry

If you&rsquore sick of the same old stir-fry, try this Indian version. Cooked in a creamy yet healthy sauce and spiced with ginger, tomato, and garlic paste, this recipe is a breeze to cook and a joy to eat. Bonus: Leftovers taste even better because the chicken soaks up the amazing sauce. Eat with rice, pita, or lettuce cups.

29. Korean Clam Chowder

If you&rsquore looking for a lighter clam chowder, this isn&rsquot it. But it is insanely delicious, and since it&rsquos so filling, all you need is a small serving. This variation uses miso, Korean chili paste, sake wine, fish sauce, and ginger to give new life to the New England staple. While we love a good healthy substitute, we recommend making this recipe as is and enjoying all of its buttery, pancetta-y goodness.


Wendy’s Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger [Review]

Wendy’s newest Made-to-Crave burger creation gets the Fast Food Geek treatment.

Wendy’s describes the Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger like this:

A quarter-pound* of fresh, never-frozen beef topped with Applewood smoked bacon, American cheese, crispy onions, and a sweet, smoky bourbon bacon sauce that is, essentially, a sauce made with real bourbon and real bacon. Read that part about the sauce again, and we’ll see you soon.

As far as fast food promotions go, the Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger probably won’t knock anyone’s socks off with ingredients or whacky carnival flair, but that’s not always required for a quality product.

If I were to design my favorite burger design, it would be considered the Cowboy. Typically you have a bacon cheeseburger, add BBQ sauce, and some sort of fried onion product and I’m set. This burger from Wendy’s, features very similar elements, but subs out the traditional BBQ sauce, with a sweet and smoky bourbon glaze.

If you haven’t been around the block recently, you should know that Wendy’s typical combo prices are stretching dangerously close to sit down restaurant territory, especially for a promotional burger. Around Pittsburgh, PA, getting a small combo with the Bacon Bourbon Burger as your entree you are right around the $9 mark.

On Wendy’s website, they actually make a push for you to make this a double burger for an extra $1, which pushes the total price to near $10 and that is with a small beverage and small fries. I’m no financial expert, but if I’m driving through somewhere, and I’m spending closet to a Hamilton on one meal, it better pack a pow.

If you’ve taken high school English and know a thing or two about foreshadowing, you might be reading between the lines and can predict I was a little underwhelmed with the sandwich’s girth.

As you can see from just the foil wrapped burger, it may be hard to tell whether this was a value meal sandwich or one that is premium promotion. Even after unwrapping it, you may still have trouble answering that.

While the premium bun was large, and all of the essential ingredients were there, almost every one of them were disappointing in quantity. There were two measly sized bacon pieces, a somewhat small amount of fried onions, and an embarrassingly small squirt of bourbon glaze. While I haven’t had a Wendy’s 1/4 lb burger recently, the beef patty just doesn’t look or feel like much more than Jr. Bacon Chee. One promising note was the dual cheese slices in use surrounding the beef.

Taste wise the sandwich was quite good. The mix of ingredients were savory, smoky, and sweet. The beef and cheese had a nice umami flair, the bacon was juicy, and the onions were zesty. While there was barely any of the glaze on the sandwich, it had a nice and diverse flavor. Its sweet and tangy taste combined with the thinner glaze like consistency created just enough of a profile change that the burger differed from a standard Cowboy Burger.

Regardless of taste, when your $6 single burger almost feels like a slider, you can’t hide from the bitterness of Disappointment Town USA. If you get a double burger and there was more glaze present, I’d say this would be solid. But then you’d also be pushing deeper into your wallet and waistline. This burger tasted good but couldn’t overcome its value.


KFC’s Chicken Sandwich [Review]

KFC’s entrant into the Fried Chicken Sandwich wars gets the FFG treatment. Let’s take a look.

Here is how KFC describes their revamped sandwich:

The new KFC Chicken Sandwich is expected to delight the most discerning of chicken sandwich connoisseurs in every way – from the quarter-pound, all-white meat, double-breaded, Extra Crispy™ chicken breast filet, to its freshly-toasted buttery brioche bun, crispier, thicker pickles, and the perfect amount of the Colonel’s real mayo or spicy sauce. Each sandwich is made when ordered, so it is served piping hot every time. Fried chicken fans have never tasted a sandwich like this before.

When we’ve previously taken a look at Wendy’s and McDonald’s latest Crispy/Friend Chicken Sandwich offerings, they’ve simply been ok. Fast food eateries that don’t specialize in chicken can get by only having mid tier sandwiches, but if your bread and butter is the fried bird, you better have a top shelf, pants down to your ankles offering.

While Chick-fil-a has sat idly by on throne, KFC has taken aim by offering a bigger, crispier breast, pickles so thick that they should have spelled it with three c’s, and a sauce offering on both the original and spicy variety. The press release for this sandwich reads like the sandwich is God’s Gift to Mother Earth, mentioning that eight different pickle thicknesses and six different bakeries were used for bun prototypes to create the best sandwich out there.

You’ll notice that it seems like everyone is copying the Chick-fil-a approach of presenting the sandwich in a heat sealing bag. While the KFC fold job wasn’t done with much precision, the sandwich within looked unblemished.

Also of note, before we get to the taste, is that multiple KFC’s had to be visited to actually purchase this sandwich, due to the fact that the first one we tried didn’t have any breasts thawed. I was asked if two strips would suffice, and I promptly drove away. It’s amazing to think that fast food employees think people are merely in the drive thru to have a meal, but in actuality trying to review and experience a product.

The sandwich appeared beastly, after debuting out of the bag. The chicken had that golden, brown glow of being freshly fried. I must admit that truly great friend chicken as a robust aroma that tantalizes your taste buds, and this sandwich brought that dream scenario. Due to the ample size of the chicken and also that it didn’t have a prefab shape or appearance at all, the sandwich has a more premium, restaurant feel.

The pickles were round and thick, which they needed to be to handle the girth of the chicken. The three pickles were so diameter rich that when laid flat, they nearly covered the whole bottom bun.

There was a large smattering of sauce on both the top and bottom bun, way more abundant and noticeable than on the McDonalds sandwich. I got the spicy sauce variety and it was rather spunky. It seems that restaurants got the message that this spicy sauce, should actually be enough to notice. I’d love to have this sauce to dip in some fries.

I will also note that the bakery brioche bun that was used, was very soft, pillowy and actually toasted to a reasonable amount. When you held the sandwich, it got a little bit flat, but I think that’s just the general nature of brioche withstanding fried chicken.

Overall the KFC Chicken Sandwich was a standout. The extra crispy, juice nature of the chicken was the best chicken I’ve had on a sandwich to date. It was radiating in taste. The pickles and spicy sauce created a dynamic element, and both were very noticeable while not taking too much away from the chicken.

While I’ve seen the least amount of publicity for this sandwich out of them all, it definitely is in the top tier of chicken sandwiches, neck and neck and possibly dethroning Chick-fil-a’s standard sandy. We can’t wait to try Popeye’s sandwich so we can conclude our rankings.


How To Lose More Weight WITHOUT Counting Calories

While I think it&rsquos a great goal to help people make healthier food choices&hellip I personally don&rsquot think calorie counting is the best way to measure how &ldquohealthy&rdquo or &ldquounhealthy&rdquo a meal is.

The problem for me is that calorie counting ends up too focused on how many calories you can cut out of your daily intake&hellip so you start being very restrictive&hellip and treating every meal like it&rsquos a freaking high school math exam.

In truth, your diet should be focused on getting the right things into your body, rather than cutting out everything &ldquobad.&rdquo

In fact, he has even used these specific nutrients to help patients at his clinic lose hundreds of pounds of extra fat.