Tag Archives: food

Burger King “onion” rings

So in case you haven’t heard me rant about this already… BK onion rings don’t have real onion inside.  It’s some kind of onion flavored dough that’s shaped to resemble an onion.  Cheap bastards.

Bottom Line

They pretty much suck.

Go to A&W instead… they make good onion rings.

Wait I’m not done complaining

Why are McDonald’s chicken McNuggets so much cheaper in the US than in Canada?!?!

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The Magic of McDonald’s

There must be crack cocaine in them thar burgers.  Or something.  Because despite all the people that hate on McDonald’s, it is almost always the busiest restaurant/fast food joint in any food court that I have been too.  They always have the longest lineups and it probably isn’t because they serve their customers slowly like Subway or Harvey’s (restaurants which make your sub or burger with the toppings you pick… a slow tedious process).

The smell

I don’t know how McDonald’s does it, but the burgers have this magical delicious smell.  And other burgers just don’t have that magical smell.  I am guessing that it is somebody’s full-time job to figure out how to make the food smell like awesomeness.  And smell is really important because most foods will taste like what they smell like.  If you eat anything while standing over those sewage covers on the street… your food just isn’t going to taste very good.

The price

At least here in Canada, McDonald’s is pricier than in the United States.  You can get real food and much larger portions at Chinese restaurants for pretty much the same price.  But McDonald’s is still crazy busy all the time even though they are probably using cheaper ingredients.

Bottom line

Even chefs (e.g. Anthony Bourdain) eat at McDonald’s.  It’s crazy like that.


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Pizza… in a cone?!?!

Bread, sauce, cheese and toppings.  Its classic form is in a pizza, in a calzone, in a pizza pop, etc. etc.  Now you can get it in cone form in some cities.  It’s made by filling a cone with (uncooked) ingredients and sticking that into a special oven which cooks the cone in a few minutes.

Judgement time

I think that the novelty will wear off fast.

Pizza... in a cone?!

On the pro side, the pizza in a cone concept is slightly easier to eat and a little less messy than the traditional form.  And the crust is pretty good (though not as good as pan pizza such as Pizza Hut).

However, it has some downsides.  I dislike having to wait so long for the cone to be made.  Most pizza joints will half-cook their pizza so the wait time is greatly reduced.

Also, the cone form makes all the food seem smaller than it really is.  Pizza looks bigger and looks more filling when it is flat and rolled out.  It can be even more extreme when the bread and toppings are spread very thin.  That’s how it’s served at “The Big Slice” here in Toronto.  It’s really thin and so big that it rolls over the edges of the paper plate they serve it on.  The cone form is the complete opposite.  It’s the most deceptively small form of pizza I’ve ever encountered.  (The former record holder would be Dante’s pizza, where the pizza is like an inch thick and a personal-size shaped pizza serves 2-3 people.)

From a business perspective, the deceptively small nature of the cone makes customers feel like they aren’t getting good value.  From a health perspective, people are being tricked into eating more food than they otherwise would eat (read Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink).

The last gripe I have with the cone is that any pepperoni won’t be cooked crispy like they would be in an oven.  I guess I like my pizza the old school way.

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Fast food review: Chili Cheese Nachos at Wendy’s

In a word: delicious.  While you can only get it in Canada, us Canadians miss out on certain US-specific menu items like spicy chicken nuggets.  And I think I would enjoy this over spicy chicken.

chili cheese nachos

Why this is tasty

These aren’t even the world’s greatest ingredients.  It’s your regular nachos, Wendy’s chili, and some weird liquid processed cheese.  But I gotta say… it is a food combination that works very well.  You have the meaty flavour of the chili with the added kick of the umami/MSG-ness of yeast extract.  And the “cheese” (if you can call it that) provides the rich taste of fat.  And there is the salty taste of salt.  Meat, MSG, saltiness… these are all classic flavours that human beings enjoy.

How it’s put together

This creation has some weird ingredients that your grandmother would never use.

Xanthan gum: This is a thickener that prevents the chili from being runny.  It’s the same idea as adding flour or cornstarch.

Yeast extract: It’s like MSG.

Silicon dioxide: It’s an anti-thickening agent apparently.  Note that silicon dioxide is the main ingredient in sand.  This is sand… the difference being that it is very fine sand.

Natural flavourings: I have no idea what these are.  However, I like how the list of ingredients includes the names of many natural flavourings (e.g. sugar, onion powder, garlic powder) yet suddenly the flavourings stop being named.  These are probably similar to their “artificial flavour” counterparts, except that said chemicals are derived in a “natural” way (see this article for more information).

Sodium phosphate: According to a site I found on Google… “An emulsifier [e.g. sodium phosphate] is added to allow for the uniform dispersion of two or more ingredients that would otherwise be immiscible. The most common specific purpose of an emulsifier is to prevent oil from separating from the rest of the mixture. Sodium phosphate is commonly added as an emulsifying agent to processed cheeses, processed meats and canned soups.”

Knowing all this, I would still eat this.  Nom nom nom.

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Eating but not eating food

Ever just watch a restaurant scene in a film and see how much food the characters actually eat? They play with the food, they take a drink, maybe a fry, they might eat a fry but they usually just point with it. Sometimes the characters take big mouth fulls but that’s normally when the dialogue is about the food.

Only in Twin Peaks do characters stuff a whole donut into their mouths and nobody says a word. Twin Peaks makes me hungry.

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The other day I was in the mood for Sausage Roles. I cannot explain why this was, it just was.

The idea of sinking one’s teeth through the initial crusty layer of breading, the texture progressively getting moist, until finally the meaty center is reached.

All this surrounded in the pineapple, plum or cherry sauce it would initially be dipped in, man, I just had to make this craving a reality.

So, I bought some sausage roles.

And they got burnt in the oven…


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