From the humorous and light-hearted to the somewhat serious and frustrated, Adventures in the Food Service offers stories from both the sales-side and customer-side of the food service, particularly the fast food industry.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

SSS: Value Fast Food Burger Champion

The nominations I received, including the ones from my original post are: McDouble, Jr. Whopper, Double Stack, Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, and the Buck Double. 

And no more suspense in this first Summer Showdown Series...the winner is...

Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger

Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger is fairly hard to beat.  The way that the bacon, mayo, tomato, bun, and burger comes together creates some real flavor in a world of flavorless fast food.  Although the McDouble comes in at a close--and cheaper--second, the taste of Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger is simply unbeatable.  When deciding which fast food venue to visit next, I'd check out Wendy's and pick some up.

Chipotle Geographic Woes

One of my favorite places to eat is Chipotle.  Yes, I'm one of those people.  I would like to think that when I travel say, over two hundred miles, the burrito I get will be the same.  However, recent experiences prove differently.

Last Thursday I got my same ole Chipotle chicken burrito with rice, pinto beans, corn salsa, medium green salsa, cheese, and lettuce about two hundred miles from my home.  Oddly, it tasted, well different.  Not necessarily spicier, but different flavors were more prominent.  I tasted the corn and salsa a lot more than I do locally.  Around these here parts, I typically have the rice and beans overpower the burrito.  I suppose the easy answer would be that they added more corn and salsa, but that wasn't the case.  Being overprotective about my food, I carefully follow every move of my burrito barista, and nothing appeared out of the normal.

Sunday I ate at a Chipotle about eighty miles from home.  This was perhaps one of the best burritos I've had.  Everything seemed to be in a perfect taste balance.

Today, I ate at Chipotle here at home.  Same normal home tasting Chipotle overpowered by rice and beans.

It's a tad peculiar how Chipotle changes by geographic region.  When you bite into a McDouble halfway across the country, it tastes the same.  Not with my 6 dollar burrito though.

Friday, June 10, 2011

FFR: McDonald's McCafé Frozen Strawberry Lemonade

"It's sweet. It's tangy. And it's cool."
Well, McDonald's has one part of their new slogan for the Frozen Strawberry Lemonade correct. It is indeed tangy. Another word that comes to mind is "bitter" or "sour". While journeying north one day, I stopped to enjoy a Frozen Strawberry Lemonade at a McDonald's off of the highway. I thought that it would be cool, sweet, and refreshing, as they had advertised.
I took a sip, and to my surprise, my taste buds were assaulted with sour lemon taste. While the drink was indeed "artistically" mixed up, as pictured to the right, there was quite an abundance of lemon in the drink. The proportion of strawberry to lemon was probably 1:3.
Upon moving my straw around, I did catch a sip of the strawberry, which was far more pleasing and sweet compared to the lemon component. This was a relief from the bitterness of the lemon.
As for the texture, the drink offered a slightly slushy property, while still being watery. Whether this was good or bad, I can't say. It made the drink easy to drink with a straw, but on the other side, almost reminded me of a melted milkshake.
So McDonald's, I suggest a new name for your Frozen Strawberry Lemonade: Sour Patch Kid Slushy.

I hope you enjoyed this FFR.  Check back soon for the next one, or email me with suggestions!

SSS: Value Fast Food Burgers

We are now accepting nominations for the best value fast food burger as part of our Summer Showdown Series!  I am already going to throw into the ring the McDouble, Jr. Whopper, and the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy's.  To be eligible, burgers must be less than $2!

Judging will be based on:
  1. Readers' Vote (2 pts/vote)
  2. Value (Food/$) (5 pts)
  3. Taste (15 pts)
  4. Composition (5 pts)
  5. Appearances (5 pts)
Send in your nominations!  Nominations close 6/15/11.

Summer Showdown Series

This is an exciting new column to the blog that's going to answer the BIGGEST most IMPORTANT questions in fast food.  For example, what is fast food's best value burger?  Who's pizza is truly supreme?  Who has the best fries? 

The most exciting part about this is that...the readers' opinions weigh in!  When we are featuring a showdown, that will be the weekly poll, and I will take in the readers' vote into consideration!  Even more, I will take nominations about what showdowns to have and what products to put in the showdowns!  Post your comments below or email them to me!

Look for posts labeled "SSS:" for the Summer Showdown Series!
Let the games begin!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

An Epic Hunt

Where I work, our napkins are on the walls around the register.  Numerous people ask me where the napkins are?  I find it hard to believe that people really can't see the two napkin dispensers on either side of our stand.  Seriously, it isn't that hard to take two seconds to look around.  The best times is when the idiots who complain about ice cream then demand napkins to save their "terribly made" cones. 

What gets me the most though is the condiments.  Our stand we have condiments essentially right in the window where people order their food.  Is it even possible to overlook the condiments when you look one foot away from them when picking up the food?  What do you guys think?  When you're at a restaurant, do you look before asking, or go right ahead and ask?  I sincerely hope that these people who ask for napkins and condiments don't bother looking before asking because, after all, they had to get here somehow.  And I would not want to pass them on the road if so.

Heated Customers

It's Memorial Day weekend in the Midwest.  One thing is for certain: it's going to be hot and humid.  Obviously, to the employee, that means it's going to be an incredibly hot day (hard work + no A.C. + hot machines=hotter than the outside, but customers don't think so...).  However, the worst part about it is that customers lose their patience, and unfortunately, their minds, like the people who order a swirl ice cream and after I bring it to them, inform me that they wanted a "swirl without chocolate".  We call that a vanilla in these citified parts.

Just so, this last weekend, I made over a thousand ice cream cones and sold over 500 when I was on register (for the first time!).  That's a lot of ice cream.  I'm not saying I'm perfect at making ice cream, but after making literally thousands you get pretty good, but there's inevitably some mistakes.  One lady decided that the curl on her cone wasn't good enough.  Mam, this isn't a Dairy Queen.  It's an amusement park.  Regardless, I put a smile on and made her another one. 

I wish this is my worst story about ice cream, but some lovely lady last year takes the prize.  On a similarly hot day (heat index>100), one lady ordered an ice cream around 5.  About thirty minutes later, she comes up, simply stating, "My ice cream cone melted too quickly".  Remembering the lady and how long it has been since she ordered her ice cream, I was loaded with sardonic replies, but we can't use them in the food service.  Thus, I did my best to help her.  I offered to replace it, but she replied "that one would just melt too".  Well, why don't you eat your ice cream then?  I'm still not really sure what she wanted, besides to complain.  I feel like people take a lot of their problems out on the food service industry.