Thursday, March 29, 2012

Papa John's Newest Speciality: The Buffalo Chicken Pizza [Report]

America has been fascinated by Buffalo style chicken for decades.  From hot wings to great hot sauce lines like Frank's Red Hot and Texas Pete, there's nothing like adding a dash of spice to your chicken.  This infatuation has shifted to pizzas with every chain seemingly at least making an attempt at creating a great Buffalo chicken pizza.  Believe it or not, my all time favorite buff-chix pizza comes from a small regional chain located only in Ohio and northern PA called Pizza Joe's.  For whatever reason, it's really hard for pizza places to combine the elements of a smooth ranch sauce, combined with hot sauce infused chicken, but national power player Papa John's is giving it a go with their new Buffalo Chicken Pizza.

Domino's Adds the Chicken & Bacon Carbonara to their Artisan Pizza Line [Report]
It's that time of the month again.  Time for fast food gimmicks to be unveiled.  It feels like Christmas in a way, but instead of candy canes and rooty toot toots, we're all dreaming of carbohydrates and trans fats.  But before I get too far off topic, the first edition of the next round of gimmicks comes from Domino's.  You all remember whenever we took a look at Domino's Artisan Pizza's a few months back right? The varieties ranged from marginal at best to borderline decent. But now Domino's has gotten creative and added a fourth pizza to the Artisan line. You can only wonder if they had to rehire all of the artisans that they had since laid off to formulate another creation?

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's Official Wendy's Overtakes Burger King as #2 Burger Chain in America [Report]
While we're a little late on the scene with this, last week Wendy's officially dethroned Burger King as the #2 Burger chain in America according to this The Atlantic report.  While McDonald's remains a distant 1st, this type of shift in hierarchy is quite startling for the fast food world, although the WSJ predicted back in December this type of throw down would go down.

Pepsi Next [Review]

Thanks to my mother's keen shopping eye, I got a hold of an early release of a can sized bottle of Pepsi Next.  Though I got the beverage on Saturday, I felt like it would be better to release this review today to coincide with the official, nationwide release.  Like we told you in the past news report on Friday, Pepsi Next is attempting to conquer the currently empty mid-calorie cola market.  While it's hard to figure out what market segment this cola is really for, it'll never go anywhere if it doesn't taste good.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pepsi Next: Pepsi Tries to Solve the Mid Calorie Soda Market [Report]
In a couple of days, March 26th to be exact, Pepsi will release their newest beverage.  Pepsi Next will bombard America and enter the mid calorie soda battleground.  Sporting 60% less sugar, 16 carbs, and 60 calories, this new pop is quite the tweener.  Way too much caloric contents to be considered anywhere near diet yet still way below the traditional triple digit calories a regular soda will cost you, it's hard for me to make certain which market Pepsi is aiming at here.  For everyone out there on a mail it in diet where you half heartedly eat healthy for two meals then splurge all night on mistakes, this just might be the soda for you.

Geek Go-To's: Get Big Mac Flavor from McDonald's for a Fraction of the Price
With the way fast food prices seem to keep rising just as fast as gas prices, we'll soon need to start selling bodily fluids just to eat out.  So I know I can speak for most Americans when I say that if I can find a deal or a backdoor into something, I'll most likely be taking it.  While we aren't all syphoning gas from our neighbors car or slinging drugs yet, things are getting tighter than George Costanza's wallet.  So our newest Geek Go-To is aimed at getting a Big Mac from McDonald's without actually ordering the sandwich by name or paying the near $4 tariff that rolls alongside of it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Burger King: Bacon Cheddar BBQ Chef's Choice Burger [Review]
"Flame-broiled premium ground chuck patty." "Naturally smoked hardwood bacon." "Fresh cut romaine lettuce." Yes, the lofty terms being used by Burger King to describe their BK Chef's Choice Burgers drip with adjectives, all meant to convey a single bullet-point: Quality. Yes, for some, the minimalist beauty offered by the great Rodeo Cheeseburger just isn't enough to justify a trip (nay, a quest) to this fast food stalwart. Nor are they satisfied by the classic offering of the Whopper, be it of the 1, 2, or 3 patty variety; nor even are they swayed by the promise of a colorful cardboard crown. They must have The Best. Ergo: the Bacon Chedder BBQ BK Chef's Choice Burger (I didn't miss anything there, did I?).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Long John Silver's Thick Cut Cod Basket [Review]
For as long as I can remember, Long John Silver's has been my favorite fast food restaurant.  Despite common sense, public opinion, and the FDA, I have thrown caution to the wind and have continued to eat fast food fried fish on a semi monthly basis.  Throughout the years Long John's has transformed to a dump with cheap prices to a dump with over the top, borderline ludicrous prices.  Long John's newest offering comes in the form of their Thick Cut Cod Basket.  I decided this product would be Fast Food Geek's inaugural review for the good ol' pirate.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Geek Go-To's: Make Your Cheesy Gordita Crunch a Doritos Gordita Crunch

A few weeks back, Taco Bell released the Doritos Locos Taco to the masses.  Wars ended and pigs began to fly in honor of the celebration.  Well, those two things didn't really happen, but it certainly felt like it.  By this time, one can imagine that you tried at least one of these delectable, enhanced taco treats.  They're legit tasty and can create some addictive tendencies.  But with Taco Bell, everyone knows that customization is key to enjoy the joys of Ameri-Mexican food is by customizing the crap out of your order. This is where we step in.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club [Review]

Every once in awhile, a sandwich comes along that changes everything.  Well at least most things.  As our friends at Burger Business told us yesterday, Wendy's is bringing the Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club to the masses this spring, and Pittsburgh is lucky enough to get a sneak peek because our franchisers jumped the gun.  But some words of advice to this great nation: get excited.  The Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club is a special sandwich and it's going straight to the Hall of Fame.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cracked the Code? Homemade Shamrock Shake Recipe

By now I suspect that you’ve all had your fair share of Shamrock Shakes—maybe more than your fair share. If you’re skin is beginning to glow with a slightly green tint, perhaps it’s time to lay off the stuff for a while. But what happens when you get to the dog days of summer and nothing will cool you off except for a nice tall glass of Shamrock Shake. One site claims to have cracked the code and found the perfect way to make homemade Shamrock Shakes so you can keep em coming long after McDonald’s puts them back in the vault.

Wendy's Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club Arrives in Pittsburgh [Report]

In what appears to be a test market gold mine, Wendy's has unleashed the brand new Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club in the Pittsburgh area.  I was tipped off by avid FFG reader and my great personal friend Cisco (@cisco729).  He's already consumed multiples of these sandwiches and he told us that they're a must have.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Panera Bread Rings in Spring: Peach Nectar Smoothie and Turkey Fiji Apple Salad Set to Debut [Report]
It's March 14th but in sunny Pittsburgh, it feels much more like May.  With Global Warming in full force and one of the weakest winters in memory past us, it's time for Spring.  Panera has the right idea, by debuting two new items and returning one favorite to their menu tomorrow.  The Roasted Turkey Fiji Apple Salad and the Low Fat Peach Nectar Smoothie w/ ginseng will be first time promo items, bringing forth the bright, bursting colors of Springtime with them.  One popular promo soup from last year also finds its way back onto the menu with the Low-Fat Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

McDonald's Revamps Their Menu Will Debut Extra Value Meal This Month [Report]
America's largest fast food factory will soon bring menu changes, according to a Reuters article.  We've highlighted some menu details and hidden deals in our Geek Go-To section recently and it is quite ironic that some of these forthcoming changes highlight some of the knowledge we dropped. Either McDonald's reads the site religiously or we're just ahead of the game.

Arby's Joins in the Saint Patty's Day Fever: Bogo Reuben Sandwiches March 16-18 [Report]
Although, I've never really looked into it all that much, I never knew that St. Patrick's Day was such a deal zone at fast food eating huts.  Yesterday we sent out a report on Burger King's free fry giveaway including ketchup greener than than those grass stains on your pants suit and now today we bring you Arby's over the top St. Paddy's day buy one get one midnight madness.

KFC Chicken Little Sandwich Returns After 20 Years [Report]

Remember back in the 80’s and 90’s when yo-yos were fun toys? Empty hairspray cans and cassette tapes littered the floor of your Firebird and one could get a value sized chicken sandwich for some spare change. Well, KFC is attempting to revive some of the glory days with the re-introduction of their beloved slider style fried chicken sandwich.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Burger King Offers Lucky St. Patrick's Day Customers Free Fries on March 17th and 18th [Report]
One of the most dastardly things about there not being a convenient Burger King location for me is that I can't eat their fries on a daily basis.  I've always loved their crispy consistency and salty taste and things only got super sized whenever the King amped up to thick cut fries a couple of months ago.  It seems like every other minute Burger King is having giveaway days and this week is no exception with Burger King giving away a value sized fries away to all customers on March 17th and 18th.

Dunkin' Donuts at it Again with St. Patrick's Day Themed Lucky Mint and Green Shamrock Donuts [Report]

While Dunkin Donuts continues to update their website at a snail's pace, the best way to determine the restaurant's current promotions is unfortunately the old fashioned "pull up and look for ad posters" routine.  It's March, which seems to be considered the unofficial month of the Irish, given St. Patrick's day unearths itself smack dab in the middle of the month every year.  Dunkin' has once again provided some holiday themed donut creations this month with the Lucky Mint and Green Shamrock styled donuts.

Taco Bell Test Marketing Loaded Grillers [Report]
While this news was broken last week, by both Grub Grade and Food Beast, we figured we would pay our respects to the Doritos Locos Tacos launch and hold off until the dust settled a little for this news.  Taco Bell's unprecedented assault on the gimmick game continues this year with the new test marketing of Loaded Grillers.

Sheetz Fish Sandwich [Review]

Sheetz is a gas station, first and foremost. Located in six states, all along the east coast, Sheetz is known for their gas as well as their MTO (Made To Order) Food.  Most people still have the strong belief that gas stations can only produce nuclear hot dogs and pasty nacho cheese as far as food goes.  But at Sheetz, this simply isn't the case.  They produce comparable, if not superior food products in major fast food categories such as wraps, burgers, subs, burritos, fries, soft pretzels, salads, wings, appetizers, and now they've ventured out into the forbidden fish territory. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chick-FIl-A Lashes Out on Fake Over the Top Conservative Flyer [Report]

As many of you know by now, Chick-Fil-A is run by a group of Christians.  They're closed on Sunday's and it's even been confirmed that they donate money to anti-homosexual organizations.  But you better believe that they don't want you to know it.  Recently a flyer on the NYU campus, aimed at finding employees for the campus Chick-Fil-A, went viral due to the fine print at the bottom.  As you can see on the above photo, the devil is in the details. As you can imagine, this flyer recently went viral all over the webosphere, creating quite a tizzy.  But according to the Huffington Post, Chick-Fil-A has responded by saying that the flyer is a fraud.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Geek Go-To's: Subway's Hidden Healthy Condiment: Spicy Brown Mustard
I don't know about you readers, but I've always been a sauce man.  Whether it's for dipping or smothered onto my sandwich like someone's trying to put out a fire, this often forgotten ingredient can truly make or break a meal for me.  In my adolescence, I was as picky as they came, pretty much only eating ketchup and despising mayo, ranch, mustard, and other sauce basics like Italian dressing.  Now that I'm older and my palate is more refined than a bistro, I have grown to love a great deal of the world's sauce offerings, with the nary exception of mayonnaise. I'm actually quite sure I've trained my brain not to like it, just so I don't kill the nutritional value of my meals.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Taco Bell Releases the Much Hyped Doritos Locos Tacos [Report]

Last night at midnight Taco Bell unleashed the Doritos Locos Tacos to the public.  Hoping it will be their biggest product ever, the company initiated a midnight release at participating locations.  Having been flown across the country a few weeks back, it seemed like it was my civic duty to cover the event.  I was pretty excited for my fiance to try one, plus I honestly wanted to get my hand on another as well.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quizno's Lobster & Seafood Salad Sub [Review]
Quiznos has seen better days.

The chain, born in the early 80s in Denver, CO, revolutionized the submarine sandwich sector of franchised fast food through the novel notion that sandwiches taste better when toasted in a pizza oven. Unfortunately, this idea is nothing new (as any Italian cook worth his salt could tell you), and is also easily replicated. Take, for instance, the compact ovens used by Subway ever since the Quizno's emerged as its rival. While nowhere near as impressive as the rolling, assembly-line esque contraption used by Quizno's, the microwave-esque device nonetheless delivers all the same benefits. And when said fancy toaster oven is your primary justification for selling your product at premium rates, you tend to run into problems.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wendy's Takes Aim at New Prices, Menu Items, and Branding [Report]
Wendy's CEO, Emil Brolick, recently told our buddies over at Burger Business that the company is currently enduring intense deliberations on what the shifting restaurants new brand image will entail.  As you all know, Wendy's has made a vast amount of changes in the last couple of years and plenty of others are peaking their noses' over the horizon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

McDonald's Overhauls The Happy Meal: Why Do They Look the Same?
The Happy Meal at McDonald's has been a staple for years as the go to "treat" meal for kids.  If you did all of your chores, didn't pour finger paint all over the dog, and went in the big boy potty, then you might be lucky enough to get a Happy Meal for dinner.  Or if you're like some parents and mail it in every night, this can become an every other day dinner for their budding obese children.  Chick-Fil-A redid their kid's meals a couple of weeks ago, engineering a new and healthy entree with the grilled chicken nuggets, along with healthy side options like apple sauce and fruit cups, and low fat milk.  McDonald's has now too dipped their toe in the pool of modified kids food with their new Happy Meals.

Arby's Brings Back the Reuben for March [Report]
Way back in November, some three plus months ago, Arby's featured their Reuben and Super Reuben sandwiches with little fanfare.  There was nary a commercial or ad campaign, but sure enough, if you went to Arby's site and checked out their features, the corned beef treasure was there.  We reviewed the premium priced turkey infused Super Reuben and thought it was pretty decent.  Fast forward to March and Arby's is once again featuring these two marble rye mad men with a full court blitz of marketing.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Burger King adds on to the Chef's Choice Line with Bacon & Bleu and Bacon Cheddar BBQ [Report]
BK's upscale burger trend is continuing.  Months ago they released, what appears to be a full time menu item in the Chef's Choice Burger.  Ground chuck beef was used, buns were plentiful, and everyone was seemingly happy.  We actually reviewed it twice after a reader tipped us off that our first experience might have been an anomaly.  It appears as though the Chef's Choice has reproduced, creating two more gimmicks off the original gimmick, although both seem to be pretty slight modifications.

Friday, March 2, 2012

KFC Chunky Chicken Pot Pie [Review]
This month KFC has chosen to feature a true, blue blooded, thoroughbred classic as its featured menu item.  The skies were lit on fire this week, when the Chunky Chicken Pot Pie was jettisoned from its holster at a blazing, bold price of $3.99.  Pot Pie's tickle my soul with a home cooked, comforting , soul soothing, mystical nature that seems to slow the rotation of the earth.  I've never had the pleasure of trying KFC's "Classic".  But whenever fast food eateries bust out this kind of terminology, I feel like it's part of my duty to the world to test out these sometimes wild claims.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish [Review]

Here at Fast Food Geek, we’ve been making our way through the major fish offerings.  This week we take on the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich, which has become a cult legend.  This sandwich knows no borders; a quick search on McDonald’s websites from around the world and you will find that the Filet-O-Fish has practically washed up on every menu.  Italy, UK, Australia, even France (who have not one but three varieties) all have the Filet-O-Fish.  There must be something about this sandwich; some mythical properties… read more to find out.

Geek Go-To's: How to Get 8 Chicken McNuggets for Cheaper than 6 at McDonalds [Report]
It's Thursday, which can only mean one thing: Geek Go-To time.  So if you and your Uncle Hank are big fans of the Go-To features, be sure to check back every Thursday for a new one.  Well you can keep checking out the site everyday, but you probably won't see a new one of these puppies until next Thursday.  Last week's McDonald's menu deciphering in regards to the differentials of the Double Cheeseburger and the McDouble was so wildly popular, that we're going to continue with Ronald and his furry friends this week as well.

Subway's March Lineup: $5 Jalapeno Tuna and the Italian Collection [Report]
FebruANY ended yesterday at Subway with footlong prices skyrocketing back up to their original prices.  At least everyone got a free cookie yesterday in honor of the price change.  March is here and Subway is hoping to fatten everyone for the kill with their five "new" featured subs.  None of them are really something you couldn't have ordered yesterday but Subway apparently believes that most of its customers aren't creative enough to concoct sandwiches on their own.  So in comes this month's $5 Featured Footlong; the Jalapeno Tuna and the Italian Collection featuring four recycled subs, including the Chicken Pizziola, Chicken Parmesan, Meatball Pepperoni, and the Italian BMT.