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We Try the New Cherry Berry Chiller at McDonald's

You know how when you're having a bad day, you're likely to hate whatever you come across? A wrong-way-over-the-bridge day, can't-believe-this-traffic day? When you're in that sort of mood, you're not exactly predisposed to love whatever's handed to you at the rest stop McDonald's. But the Cherry Berry Chiller I had this weekend was surprisingly good. More

Soda: Saranac's Shirley Temple Soda

What was your preferred method of Shirley Temple–making when you were a kid? My recipe: 9 parts grenadine to 1 part Sprite, with a cherry. Why? Because I wanted the sweetest, cherriest thing I could possibly guzzle down. Having consumed more than my fair share of them as a child—I was the kind of kid who'd want cherry Coke without the Coke—I was happy to see Saranac, a New York brewery I like, marketing a Shirley Temple soda. More

Chain Reaction: Blake's Lotaburger (and What To Order Besides the Burger)

If you watch Breaking Bad, you may have seen Walter, Hank, and Skylar sitting around a table of white fast food bags, munching on burgers. Those bags come from Blake's Lotaburger, a chain that doesn't exist outside of New Mexico's borders. They're my favorite fast food in this country. And I've written about the burgers before, but it's not only the burgers they do right. More

Fast Food: Breakfast at Whataburger (or, 'Whatabreakfast')

It's hard for me to call Whataburger's breakfast anything but "Whatabreakfast"; really, why don't they market it as that? The burger chain is wildly popular in Texas, and just about every friend I asked before my week-long trip there told me to stop in. But my buddy Dave Blend (an editor at Thrilllist) went one step further, sining the praises of their breakfast menu. In a smart recognition of when you actually want to be eating piles of bacon and cheesy eggs, you can get breakfast at Whataburger from 11pm to 11am. None of this McDonald's 10:30 bullshit. More

New at Wawa: Pepperoni Pizza Hoagie

Ever since I moved away from New Jersey, I've missed Wawa. Last weekend, while driving through Pennsylvania, I stopped at a Wawa gas station. That's right, a Wawa Gas station. The best place to buy gas, just about anywhere. I said aloud to myself, "God, I miss Wawa." Hearing my prayers, the Lord answered by killing my battery. More

Sweet Talk: Wendy's New Shakes

It's hard to go to a place you like and get served something awful. It's harder still when you walk into a place you like, fulling expecting that the thing you order is going to disappoint you. But at Serious Eats, when we hear that Wendy's is making new shakes, we've got to try them—even if their Frosty-based parfait desserts disappointed us. So we ventured back to our nearest Wendy's to give them a shot. More

Reality Check: Wendy's Bacon Mushroom Melt

Wendy's Bacon Mushroom Melt has garnered somewhat of a cult following. Dating back to the '90s, it has disappeared and reappeared from menus across the country. I found this one in Orange, New Jersey, not more than three weeks ago. As it turns out, there's no information on the Wendy's website. Hopefully, this post will flush out some more data on a burger as elusive, it would seem, as the McRib of yore. More

Chain Reaction: Papa John's Sausage Sensation

Papa John's has a way of being convenient and consistent but nothing remarkable. And so it didn't come as a surprise that their newest specialty pizza, the Sausage Sensation, wasn't anything remarkable, either. It's a regular pizza with three kinds of sausage (spicy Italian, sweet, and smoked sausage), red and green peppers, onions and Italian herb seasoning. And when they say herb seasoning, they mean garlic. More

Cheap Buzz: Dave and Buster's

Typically, the chain restaurants that I visit serve up watered down punches full of sugar and artificial coloring. They don't have bitters, they don't muddle much, and they count on America wanting a sweet, diluted elixir to make a little bit of hooch go down. But the drinks at Dave and Buster's stand out a bit from the pack: first of all, they're mighty strong. More

New at Roy Rogers: The Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Ever been to a Roy Rogers? Chances are, if you don't live in the Northeast, you haven't. Once a thriving Northeastern chain, most Roy Rogers locations are now found in highway rest areas. The Western-themed restaurant has always served fried chicken, charbroiled burgers, fries, and chicken fingers, and I don't think I've seen a new menu item from them since I started eating the Gold Rush Chicken Sandwich. But now, they've got a new Spicy Chicken option. More

Soda: Saranac's Shirley Temple Soda

@hardvice: I checked out the grenadine wikipedia page before writing this article, and learned some interesting stuff.

You're right, the name for grenadine does come from the French word for pomegranate. And the original grenadines were pomegranate-based, and later cherry based. However, the word took on more of a meaning of syrups made out of any fruit. Typically, though, grenadine is a cherry, pomegranate, or berry syrup.

Maybe I could have been a bit more precise with my wording!

5 Things To Do With Manhattan Special Espresso Coffee Soda

"Hi, my name is John, and I'm an addict."

"Hi John!"

"It started when I wrote this post for Serious Eats about Manhattan Espresso Coffee Soda. I thought it was harmless, you know, just another writing gig. I drank a bottle, and thought it was okay. But then, a few days later, I walked by the shop where I bought the first one, and I, well, I .... I..."

"It's okay, John"

"I... I needed another. And another. Pretty soon, I was taking trips by that store all the time, just to get a fix of Espresso Coffee Soda. I can't stop. I have a big bottle in my fridge, my girlfriend's fridge. It's just... so damned good."

Yea, I'm hooked. I don't know what it is: the thick foamy carbonation reminiscent of a thick, italian espresso; the light, sparkly bubbles that dance on my tongue; or how roaring twenties the logo looks. Since I wrote about it 2 months ago, I've become a loyal customer, a fanatic, a minion of Manhattan.

Soda: 'Soda Pop Shoppe' Jelly Belly Flavors

I've never been a fan of jelly beans in general, but that Dr. Pepper jelly bean is pretty darned good.

Drinking The Bottom Shelf, Valentine's Edition: Life As A Research Coordinator

hahahaha "duck testicles of various sizes"

Manhattan Special Espresso Coffee Soda

@CareyJones: I'm not sure about you, but I've been craving one of these since I saw the image 10 minutes ago. Are you feeling that?

Does anyone else feel the same cravings for this one day after?

@Tongo Rad: I could see using Espresso Coffee Soda to make some sort of Whtie Russian variation.

@Gisele Bundchen: Learn the rules before you make comments to the press.

Is Public Drinking Good For the Neighborhood?

No. I live in Brooklyn. There'd be empty PBR cans all over the place.

Soda: Polar Seltzer's Christmas Flavors

@worcesterguy: I know it's "wista", but I had to tailor for people who don't live in the most wicked awesome place in the world.

1. I'll be as late as I want to be.
2. I saw you sniffing Reddi-Wip at the Cooke Swap
3. I'm gonna give you to the count of 10, to get your ugly, yella, no-good keister out of my comments.

Soda: Polar Seltzer's Christmas Flavors

Buzz, don't be a moron.

Soda: We Try All 127 Flavors from the Coke Freestyle Machine

This was actually really enjoyable. Nothing like going to Five Guys four nights in a week!

What Happens When You Order Every Mix-In at Cold Stone Creamery?

Hey all, thanks for the comments! I'm glad everyone has been so positive thus far. This was a fun one to do!

@Erin_in_AR: I'd love to hear some of your suggestions.

New at Wawa: Pepperoni Pizza Hoagie

I can't even begin to tell you how ironic the whole ordeal was. As I'm pulling off the highway, I'm thinking "God, I miss Wawa. I'm so happy I'm about to buy gas from them." My spirits dropped when the car wouldn't turn over. That hoagie turned everything around, I tell you.

You know you're from South Jersey if you've ever slept behind a Wawa!

We Try Every Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory

Maggie is right. I could go for another slice of their cheesecake right now, actually.

Is Louisiana Seafood Safe?

Cool Chichi!

When I was there last year, the owner of Cochon said he had no trouble getting seafood from the Gulf that was safe and delicious, but that the rest of the country definitely had a lull in its confidence in Gulf Seafood.

Will be looking out for the other columns.

On another note, I was with friends from Louisiana two months ago, and we did a crawfish boil (corn, potatoes, etc.). It was delicious!

My Favorite Summer Drink: Pernod

o, putaing, le pastagas! faut pas le noyer!

Have You Ever Tried Hop-Flavored Whiskey?

Woah, that sounds pretty awesome.

Meet Our New Sites!

ARGH! First Gmail Motion and now this! Fooled twice and its not even 9AM. I need some coffee...

Angus Attack: Arby's Angus Three Cheese and Bacon

@mdeatherage: Woah, interesting. I have to say, tasting them both side to side, I would have completely imagined the reverse. I'm sure there's a lot omitted from the regular roast beef ingredients. The regular roast beef looked totally processed, whereas I could see the strands of beef in the Angus roast beef.

The Best Fast-Food Fried Chicken Sandwich?

Hey all,

Thanks for the comments!

@Doug/NY: Thanks for catching that!

@jfitz: I'm far from being a "lefty." I also do think that Chick-fil-a has made their political views known in a number of ways. I referenced their politics mainly because I once saw a Gawker post where the author said "Chick-fil-a's sandwiches are almost as bad as their politics". The commenters almost unanimously retorted "say what you want about their beliefs, the chicken is darned good."

In general, I was really surprised by Popeye's and KFC. I fully expected Chick-fil-a to win the day hands-down, but Popeye's and KFC really surprised me. I almost felt like they should be in a third category (chicken tender subs) instead of chicken sandwiches, with Chick-fil-a being the winner of the sandwich category.

Blast from the Past: The McDLT

I love that Jason Alexander's wearing a white jacket with the 3/4 length sleeves. Very Don Johnson.

Blast from the Past: The McDLT

@MelMoitzen: Wow, good catch! I thought I saw the Big 'n Tasty on the menu, but that may have been a few months ago.

@kariface: Good call! Maybe I'll do the Arch Deluxe in a future post.

@osomatic: The Arch Deluxe was a "burger for adults" that had bacon, lettuce, tomato, fancy ketchup, special mustard, mayo, and a potato-flour bun. At the time, McDonald's spent around $100 million on the ad campaign, and it ended up not working out.

Wendy's Spicy Asiago Ranch Chicken Club: Long Name, Small Changes

@Aya and Will Gordon: A strange combo indeed.

@CrashBangBoom: Good call, definitely more of a B+ than anything in the A range.

'Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus' at McDonald's

Hey all, thanks for the comments! I'm glad you liked the post.

I'm sorry to have unleashed a discussion about the Atkins diet. I'm actually following the "Slow Carb" diet from Tim Ferriss's new book "The 4-Hour Body." As a former college athlete, coaches always said that the Atkins depletes your glycogen, and that you suffer from exhaustion after two weeks of it, so I never followed it. However, I'm much less active than I used to be, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The "Slow Carb" diet is strange in that it doesn't allow any "white carbs" and specifically disallows fruit. But, the "Slow Carb" diet allows for a cheat day, where you can eat all the fruit, yogurt, bread, etc. that you want. I don't really eat a lot of fruit to begin with, and way too many Donuts, Oreos, Pieces of Fried Chicken, Cheesesteaks, and Cupcakes. Frankly, I'm the fast food columnist. A month with no bread, and fast food tastings (not scarfing the whole darned burger) only on cheat days will probably be good for me.

Here's a quick snapshot of what I've been eating:
Lentils, Black Beans, Eggs, Turkey Bacon, Chicken Breasts, Kale Chips, Chickpea Stew, Eggplant Stew, Steak or Chicken Salads, Daily Multivitamin, Fresh Cut Red and Green Peppers

And a snapshot of things I normally eat that I haven't been eating:
Donuts, Rice, Nutella on Toast, Oreo's, Chick-fil-a, Cheesesteaks, Anything from Subway, Chocolate from the SEHQ, 2 Sugars in my coffee, Endless amounts of bread

I’ve you’re really interested, I’ll keep you updated of my progress.

What Are Your 'Dollar Menu' Favorites?

@Lili13: Good call on the Cinnamon Twists.

With regards to pricing, I saw Wendy's Chili in NYC, and it was over $1. Similarly, the only McDonald's that I saw actually under a dollar in NYC were the Apple Pies and the Yogurt Parfait (gross). There's a lot of fluctuation out there, and I really wanted to find stuff that was actually 100 cents or less. I also don't think that's just New York. I've seen higher prices than I remembered in Massachusetts, and back home in Pittsburgh. Have yinz experienced this?

Go Stillers!

Reality Check: Burger King's Jalapeño and Cheddar BK Stuffed Steakhouse

@toad3000: Good catch. And they definitely promote it as iceberg lettuce on the website.

@Tacos de Ojos: The Senator might have to disagree. One year ago, I would have agreed. But, in the last year, The Whiplash Whopper, the Stuffed Steakhouse, and the Chick-fil-a Spicy Chicken have all shown me that fast food can be spicy.

Thanks for the comments all!

New at Taco Bell: The Beefy Crunch Burrito

@ Will Gordon and J. Kenji Bieber-Alt: I think the sogginess of the Fritos depends upon where they are placed relative to other ingredients. Mine were on top of the sour cream and nacho cheese, which may have obscured the flamin' hot (trademark) taste. Yours may have been up against the rice or beef. Good to know they get it right sometimes though.

@square_pie: Definitely a 24-48 hour process. That new BK burger looks a lot like pimento loaf.

Chick-fil-A's Spicy Chicken Sandwich

From the moment I bit into it, I knew the sandwich was good. Really good. The breast has a lot of heat, more than the comparable Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich. The poultry portion itself is smaller in size than Wendy's, but tastes much more like chicken—you really have the impression of eating a fried-up chicken breast, as opposed to some manufactured McBreast. More