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Trudy Schaefer

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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Trudy Schaefer » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:28 am

We recently discovered the alternative to "icky" fast food restaurants... of Tokyo Joe's. We order and share their spring rolls and their California sushi rolls. And find it to be a refreshing alternative to the heavier burger fare.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by MikeH » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:05 pm

Hoke wrote:Well, as long as we're confessing.... 8)

I will admit, back in my route sales days, to frequenting the Costco locations scattered through my territory.

Best $1.50 I ever spent to get a Polish and a Coke, especially when I could heap that dog up with yellow mustard and chopped onions from the dispenser.


Cincinnati is a black hole when it comes to Italian, very few good places. There is a local chain, LaRosa's, that is awful but the natives keep it in business. The BEST chain pizza in town may be found at Costco.....huge pizza for $10.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by MikeH » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:10 pm

Hoke wrote:
Mike Filigenzi wrote:
Hoke wrote:Well, as long as we're confessing.... 8)

I will admit, back in my route sales days, to frequenting the Costco locations scattered through my territory.

Best $1.50 I ever spent to get a Polish and a Coke, especially when I could heap that dog up with yellow mustard and chopped onions from the dispenser.


And don't forget the appetizers and desserts offered by the "free sample" folks!

:wink:


And did you notice that most of the people crowded around those free samples are people that look like they don't need any more samples of anything? 8)

I have been known to purchase one of those dipped ice cream bars after my hot dog on a nice sunny day. :D


At our local Costco, the people swoop like vultures when the free samples open up....never knew folks around Hoke's age could move that fast..... :wink: Your Costco vultures may look like they haven't been able to fly in decades; ours look like they might not remember the way home.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by MikeH » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:32 pm

Generally avoid fast food places....my experience has been that the employees typically have the IQ of the meat they sell and move just as quickly. Since I don't enjoy waiting while watching incompetence, I just don't go there except when on the road and need food.

McD, will eat the Egg McMuffin or the ham, cheese and egg bagel for breakfast. After that, its a QP w'cheese or the fish sandwich. Unlike others here, I think their coffee is horrendous.....and am revolted at the thought of drinking the hot liquid out of that paper cup with the chemical coating.

Wendy's burgers are pretty tasty to me...cheese, ketchup and pickles only (altho i prefer relish). Frosty is a welcome diversion on the road. Anyone ever dip their fries in a Frosty? My kids got me started....surprisingly tasty.

BK Whopper w/cheese.....but its been a long time since I had one of those.

I have liked Chipotle every time I have gone there....but rarely visit even though we have one within a couple miles in an area we visit regularly.

Subway is blah....the ratio of bread to meat in their sandwiches is waaaaaay too high for my tastes...won't pay for that.

Had Taco Bell once, about 15 years ago....'nuff said.

Panera has some tasty items on their menu....the chicken and wild rice soup on Tuesdays is a favorite...but I haven't had that in months.

Haven't been to an Arby's in several decades....don't anticipate I'll make it to one before I pass.

I am amazed no one mentioned either Five Guys or Smashburger. If I want a fast food burger, Five Guys is my destination....and the fries are pretty damn good as well.
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Carl Eppig

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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Carl Eppig » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:36 pm

MikeH wrote:Generally avoid fast food places....my experience has been that the employees typically have the IQ of the meat they sell and move just as quickly. Since I don't enjoy waiting while watching incompetence, I just don't go there except when on the road and need food.

McD, will eat the Egg McMuffin or the ham, cheese and egg bagel for breakfast. After that, its a QP w'cheese or the fish sandwich. Unlike others here, I think their coffee is horrendous.....and am revolted at the thought of drinking the hot liquid out of that paper cup with the chemical coating.

Wendy's burgers are pretty tasty to me...cheese, ketchup and pickles only (altho i prefer relish). Frosty is a welcome diversion on the road. Anyone ever dip their fries in a Frosty? My kids got me started....surprisingly tasty.

BK Whopper w/cheese.....but its been a long time since I had one of those.

I have liked Chipotle every time I have gone there....but rarely visit even though we have one within a couple miles in an area we visit regularly.

Subway is blah....the ratio of bread to meat in their sandwiches is waaaaaay too high for my tastes...won't pay for that.

Had Taco Bell once, about 15 years ago....'nuff said.

Panera has some tasty items on their menu....the chicken and wild rice soup on Tuesdays is a favorite...but I haven't had that in months.

Haven't been to an Arby's in several decades....don't anticipate I'll make it to one before I pass.

I am amazed no one mentioned either Five Guys or Smashburger. If I want a fast food burger, Five Guys is my destination....and the fries are pretty damn good as well.


What! No five alarm chile?
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Hoke » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:26 pm

Are you talking about that typical Cincinnati thing they call "chili? The five way?

Took a while to get used to that, but we could get it in Louisville: soggy way-overcooked spaghetti, sweet tomato sauce with ground beef, myzithra cheese (as I remember)...and a couple of other things I think I've blotted out of my memory.

Not my thing. Lived too long in Texas learning to appreciate good chile to give that much attention.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Robin Garr » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:35 pm

Hoke wrote:... myzithra cheese (as I remember)...

Shirley you jest! Yellow shredded American, much like Taco Bell. Although that being said, I would rate Skyline Chili, in particular, among the better fast-food chains. You just need to understand that it's really just Greek spaghetti sauce, somewhat (d)evolved, re-positioned by Greek and Bulgarian immigrants after WWII because the good burghers of Porkopolis were in no way ready for something as furrin as Greek food.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Hoke » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:44 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Hoke wrote:... myzithra cheese (as I remember)...

Shirley you jest! Yellow shredded American, much like Taco Bell. Although that being said, I would rate Skyline Chili, in particular, among the better fast-food chains. You just need to understand that it's really just Greek spaghetti sauce, somewhat (d)evolved, re-positioned by Greek and Bulgarian immigrants after WWII because the good burghers of Porkopolis were in no way ready for something as furrin as Greek food.


Maybe I said myzithra because it would taste better with myzithra? 8)

No, wait, now I remember: Old Spaghetti Warehouse...or was it Old Spaghetti Factory...whatever...used to offer a spaghetti topped with myzithra cheese. Except for the soggy spaghett it was pretty good...myzithra and burnt butter, I think it was.

Actually, Skyline was decent. But the "chili" needed some added zest. Like sriracha, maybe.

My version of that growing up was the macaroni, beef, tomato sauce, baked. And of course, back then, the almost inevitable Boy-ar-dee---which I understand at least started out in life as an authentically Italian dish that became American-pablumized.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by MikeH » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:49 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Hoke wrote:... myzithra cheese (as I remember)...

Shirley you jest! Yellow shredded American, much like Taco Bell. Although that being said, I would rate Skyline Chili, in particular, among the better fast-food chains. You just need to understand that it's really just Greek spaghetti sauce, somewhat (d)evolved, re-positioned by Greek and Bulgarian immigrants after WWII because the good burghers of Porkopolis were in no way ready for something as furrin as Greek food.


Robin, you nailed it.....I don't think of Skyline as a 'chili' parlor but rather a place to get spaghetti served with a different sauce and morphed accompaniments. I avoid the the onions, preferring a four way bean....with oyster crackers, of course. And the coneys are kinda tasty...little hot dogs, buns, 'chili,' and shredded cheese.

Hoke, I think the way the natives spice up the chili is by adding hot sauce but I usually pass on that. There is just a slight kick in the 'chili' as it is and I usually need Tums about an hour after dining at Skyline. In fact, lately I have made preemptive strikes in that regard, ingesting a Tum before entering the place.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Jenise » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:12 pm

Hoke wrote:No, wait, now I remember: Old Spaghetti Warehouse...or was it Old Spaghetti Factory...whatever...used to offer a spaghetti topped with myzithra cheese. Except for the soggy spaghett it was pretty good...myzithra and burnt butter, I think it was.


I remember that! Long time back I ate at the Newport Beach branch semi-often with friends who were enamored of the place, and I tried that dish.

Occasionally I run across a branch and am surprised that the chain still exists. I even knew a guy in Southern California about 15 years ago who had undertaken the mission of eating at every branch of it around the world--couldn't fathom that.

But speaking of fast food chains, people mentioning Port of Subs here caused Bob and I to stop in at one while we were out yesterday on a shopping run that required us to stop at a series of mostly big box joints up and down the I-5 corridor between here and Everett. Never again! It's just Subway with a meat slicer, and the resulting sandwich tasted of just bread and vinegar.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:26 am

http://www.osf.com/locations/locations.html

Looks like they still have 40-something locations and, yes, some of the menus have "Garlic Mizithra" on them.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Mike Filigenzi » Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:07 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:http://www.osf.com/locations/locations.html

Looks like they still have 40-something locations and, yes, some of the menus have "Garlic Mizithra" on them.


There's one in midtown Sacramento that's still wildly popular. On any given Saturday evening, there will be crowds of families sitting outside, waiting to get in for their $10 plates of overcooked pasta. Last time I was there was about 10 years ago, and I vowed I'd never go back. Can't blame the folks who go there, though. Where else can you get a sit-down meal out for a family of four for under $60 in a place where the kids will be welcome and they'll eat the food? It's a step up from Chuck E. Cheese.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Karen/NoCA » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:15 pm

I never understood the appeal of the Spaghetti Factory. Our dil worked there while getting her degree. She really likes the place and we have been there a couple of times. I am not of fan and especially not a fan of the Mizithra cheese dish. Mike nailed it though, lots of families are there with kids, running amok, another reason why I dislike it there. There are so many other places in Sacramento th get better pasta, and reasonable.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Jenise » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:28 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote: There are so many other places in Sacramento th get better pasta, and reasonable.


And there are better places everywhere to get Seafood, but still they flock to Red Lobster. Same mentality at work, I'm sure: familiarity, a liking for the Disneyfied interiors, and a certain belief that if there are that many branches then they must be really successful, and that they're that successful proves the food is really good. The little independent restaurants you and I know have more to offer are the wild, scary unknown.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Hoke » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:39 pm

Jenise wrote:
Karen/NoCA wrote: There are so many other places in Sacramento th get better pasta, and reasonable.


And there are better places everywhere to get Seafood, but still they flock to Red Lobster. Same mentality at work, I'm sure: familiarity, a liking for the Disneyfied interiors, and a certain belief that if there are that many branches then they must be really successful, and that they're that successful proves the food is really good. The little independent restaurants you and I know have more to offer are the wild, scary unknown.


You're absolutely correct there, Jenise. Many fortunes have been made on these very same marketing principles.

Add to that in the "safe factor" that American's like to think they're daring and exotic in foods, but they want the safety factor totally intact. In other words, they want to be safe with their daring. So the suggestion of myzithra (and remember, even with the incredible food revolution this country has experienced over the last fifty years and from which the denizens of this board have both embraced and benefited from greatly, for the vast masses of America, myzithra is a highly exotic and rarely sampled exotic type of Greek cheese, and those self-same Americans think its terribly edgy to put "Greek" cheese on an "Italian" pasta!) seems daring to to many, but really isn't.

And hey, as was already said, if you can go in, feed your kids something they will eat, and keep it within a reasonable sum so you don't break your monthly budget, that's the place you'll go. My one daughter, with four kids and two low-paying jobs when those kids were young, took their total of six out to that kind of place all the time. It was a necessity, and for them an "affordable luxury". Dining out, but with familiar food, a little entertainment, and Mom didn''t have to cook.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by David M. Bueker » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:20 pm

Due to terrible traffic on the NJT, I ended up with a Nathan's hot dog for lunch...never, ever again.
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:56 pm

In this month's "Art of Eating", in an article on Greek shepherd cheese-making, there is the following: "Once the curds have drained, [she] mixes them with coarse gray sea salt and puts them in molds to drain further. (From the whey she makes mezithra, which is a creamy, ricottalike cheese, slightly sweet when fresh and becoming hard, granular, and tangy as it ages.)"
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Frank Deis » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:20 am

I saw a list of "10 best hamburgers" on Huff Post recently but can't retrieve it. Number 1 was the Shake Shack in midtown Manhattan.

When we were in CA we drove past Gott's Roadside (formerly Taylor's Refresher) and did not stop -- we were on our way to Thomas Keller's Bouchon. But I wonder if we should have tried a cheeseburger.

http://www.zootpatrol.com/index.php/201 ... n-america/

In Burlingame, our last night (near SFO airport) we took a cab to an Afghan restaurant. But I am pretty sure we saw a sign for an In and Out.

I wonder if we might have had a better meal? The Afghan food was pretty good, and we had some before the plane on the next day...
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Carrie L. » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:37 am

Jenise wrote:But speaking of fast food chains, people mentioning Port of Subs here caused Bob and I to stop in at one while we were out yesterday on a shopping run that required us to stop at a series of mostly big box joints up and down the I-5 corridor between here and Everett. Never again! It's just Subway with a meat slicer, and the resulting sandwich tasted of just bread and vinegar.


OMGoodness, the worst. Sooo slow. On our recent trip East, we stopped at a truck stop where they had one. Len asked me to get us a few subs while he was filling up the beast. There were three guys ahead of me in line. One guy slicing meat, the other guy adding the condiments to the sandwiches and handling the money transaction. It took like five minutes to slice the meat for each person! Some of the sandwiches have a three or four meat option so now they have to take out, unwrap, slice, rewrap, put back, get the next meat, etc. I'm saying, "Are you %$#@* kidding me?"
Hello. My name is Carrie, and I...I....still like oaked Chardonnay. (I feel so much better now.)
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Carrie L. » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:57 am

I actually think there is "Fast Food" (McDs, BKing, TacoHell, Arby's Wendy's, KFC...I'd classify it as anything with a Drive Thru where typically you don't have to pull aside and wait for your order.), and there is "Sit Down Fast Food" (Panera, Chipolte, Panda Express, Five Guys).

Of the former, I usually only go if I am forced to. Nothing else is around, I'm on the road and hungry. There isn't too much I crave about any of these places and don't overly enjoy any traditional Fast Food meal. I will say, probably my favorite fast food chain is Carl's Junior (West coast)/Hardy's (East Coast)--they actually have a pretty tasty burger. We look for them when we are traveling and need to stop for a bite. Also OCCASSIONALLY we will get take out from Bojangles or Popeyes (virtually the same fried chicken chain IMO.) We have sworn off KFC. It's so greasy and their original recipe is always soggy. Who wants soggy fried chicken??? And everything is so over-salted. Do like their coleslaw, but I'm not going there just for that.

Of the latter, I like a lot of chains. Really love Chipolte. So fresh and tasty. I've converted my parents, who are in their 80s, into Chipolte lovers. They have one near them and didn't know what it was. Loved it immediately. Five Guys is terrific. Like it even better than In N Out, which I also really like on occasion. Panda Express is a frequent stop for me, especially since I enjoy Asian food much more than Len so I frequent it for lunch on errand days. Quick and fresh. I think Panera is HIGHLY over-rated. Everything has an "off" taste to me there. Like it's full of preservatives, or tastes like a refrigerator or something. Can't put my finger on it, but not a fan.

One restaurant chain (not necessarily fast food) I really love is Sonny's BBQ. I wish they'd put one here in Pinehurst. I'd be a no-brainer with all of the guys who come here on golf trips.
Incidentally, in California (the Palm Springs area) we just got our first Red Lobster. (Which is also a no-brainer for that area.) My friend who is in the area through the summer tells me it is packed to the gills every night. I actually think it's pretty decent. It's not fine dining, but tasty enough, and I do like their biscuits. Olive Garden is another story.... :shock:
Hello. My name is Carrie, and I...I....still like oaked Chardonnay. (I feel so much better now.)
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Re: Reprise: Fast Food Chains you could eat at.

by Jenise » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:04 pm

Carrie L. wrote:OMGoodness, the worst. Sooo slow. On our recent trip East, we stopped at a truck stop where they had one. Len asked me to get us a few subs while he was filling up the beast. There were three guys ahead of me in line. One guy slicing meat, the other guy adding the condiments to the sandwiches and handling the money transaction. It took like five minutes to slice the meat for each person! Some of the sandwiches have a three or four meat option so now they have to take out, unwrap, slice, rewrap, put back, get the next meat, etc. I'm saying, "Are you %$#@* kidding me?"


Actually, the girl who made our sandwiches was incredibly fast--didn't waste a motion, and we ordered one of those three-meat combinations. Didn't take nearly as long as I thought it was going to, when I realized what their game was. It just didn't taste good. We ended up pulling out the filling and throwing away the bread.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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