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News with a Twist
08/06/14

BK’s Premium Big King Sandwiches…

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Hey y’all, Burger King has recently created a line of premium sandwiches. They are part of the Big King collection.  The collection are a group of sandwiches that can be purchased two for $5. There are currently six sandwiches in this collection. They consist of the Big King ( BK’s take on the Big Mac), the Chicken Big King (same as Big King except it uses breaded chicken patties in place of burgers), the Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger, the Original Chicken Sandwich (yes, the long one), the Mushroom and Swiss Big King, and the Big Fish Sandwich. I had the chance to grab a couple of items from this menu the other day and thought I would share my thoughts with you.

There are about four of the six sandwiches on this list that I have interest in. So I picked two sandwiches and a large order of onion rings. I must give Burger King kudos for having onion rings on their menu. I love onion rings! If I have a choice between sides for my sandwich I will go with onion rings most of the time. Sometimes I wish that Wendy’s would do onion rings, because I know they would be great. However, the onion rings I got from BK hit the spot. They weren’t cold, which is a common problem at fast food places. Is there anything worse than cold or stale fries? My onion rings were a good sized portion. They came with a zesty dipping sauce. When they said “zesty” they meant it this sauce had a bite. The onion in BK’s onion rings is more of a onion mash up than an actual onion ring. The taste is pretty good though, and hey it didn’t shock me you kinda know what to expect at most of these fast food joints.

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BK’s onion rings

The two sandwiches I selected were both burgers. I picked the Big King because I wanted to see how it holds up against the Big Mac. I also picked the Mushroom and Swiss Big King. I am a big fan of mushrooms. I don’t order a pizza without them. I also will find it very hard to not order a Mushroom Burger if there is one on a restaurant’s menu. So I was excited to try this one. I remember back in the day when Burger King had a line of signature double cheeseburgers and the Mushroom and Swiss was one of them. I used to LOVE that burger! The Mushroom and Swiss Big King is a little different than the old Mushroom and Swiss Double Cheeseburger. The Big King version has added mayo to the sandwich. My first thought was “this is different” but I didn’t mind the mayo. I wish that there had  been more mushrooms on the sandwich. It is a double-decker burger and they only put the mushrooms on the top portion. If there had been mushrooms on  both burgers that would have been great.

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BK’s Mushroom and Swiss Big King

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Mushroom and Swiss

The regular Big King was pretty tasty. It had the same toppings as the Big Mac. I thought the “Mac” sauce was fine enough. It reminded me of the Big Mac. I will say this about Burger King, sometimes that “flame-broiled” tasting burger is pretty satisfying. Their burgers do have a different flavor from the other burger joints. I wish the bun on this burger had been a little fresher. It was kind of stale and it took a little away from the sandwich. The sad thing is that McDonald’s product is SO inconsistent that it opens the door for Burger King to push in with it’s version of such an iconic burger.

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BK’s Big King

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Big King

 

I’m sure I will get the chance to try the rest of these sandwiches in due time. Maybe on my next BK trip I will try the Big Fish Sandwich and the Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger. I have had the Original Chicken and it’s okay. I guess if I do a chicken sandwich, I may just try two Chicken Big Kings. Either way, when I try them out you’ll find my thoughts about them here…

News with a Twist
08/01/14

Leftovers…

Hey y’all. My last post was about what $20 gets ya at Rally’s. It generated some interesting responses. So, I decided to take this opportunity to expand a little more about my daily diet. To answer a few questions from my last post, I do have health insurance and as far as I know I do not have diabetes. I also want to establish that I don’t eat $20 of fast food every day. In fact, most nights my dinner consists of either leftovers or really simple sandwiches and chips. Sometimes I even eat a salad, yes I said salad.

Tonight for instance, I am having leftover Lasagna that my wife and her family ate the other night. I get leftovers to bring to work quite often. Sometimes it’s Italian (like my lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs), sometimes it’s seafood, and sometimes it’s basic home style grub like meatloaf and vegetables, or Shepherd’s pie, or fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. Thanks to my awesome mother in law Rhonda Jackson, and my equally awesome sister in law Michelle Higgins.

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When it’s up to me to do the cooking, I either fire up the grill or I do Crock pot dishes. I love to grill sausages and dogs. I also grill stuff like pork chops and chicken pretty regularly. So, there is almost always some stuff in my refrigerator from my grill that I can pack up and bring to work. Williams Sonoma sells a great Rootbeer BBQ sauce that I use exclusively on pork. I like to thin it out with more root beer and make it into a marinade. I generally use about 3 tablespoons and about 20 to 30 ounces of root beer for my marinade. That sweet root beer flavor on a good pork chop is excellent! I have a few ways I like to do chicken. I will either do it with a little spice rub, or I will marinade it overnight in Italian salad dressing, or I will use Sweet Baby Ray’s Brown Sugar BBQ sauce. The marinade works great on breasts and keeps them juicy.

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In the future, you will see a lot  more blogs about fast food. I love McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Hardees, Wendy’s, Sonic, and Popeye’s. That is not all that I eat though. I have done all types of food in my Devour Power segments. In this blog you will hear about those places but you will also hear about what I eat from day to day (and that includes fast food). It is also easier to do fast food in this blog because actually doing TV stories in franchised food establishments is very tricky. So, keep those comments coming (good or bad) and who knows your input may lead me to my next food adventure…

So, the other day I was in the mood for Rally’s. They had a couple of specials I wanted to try. Right now they are doing Pub Burgers (a cheeseburger with fries and a special sauce) or Smokin Sausages (a smoked sausage link with mustard) for $1. The other special right now at Rally’s is a Philly Cheesesteak or a Chicken Philly Cheesesteak for $1.99. I tried the Smokin Sausage and the Philly Steak along with an interesting concoction called the Garlic Parmesan Stix and fries box. This is some of those delicious seasoned Rally’s fries and three cheesesticks covered in a golden garlic parmesan sauce. It was an interesting combination, to say the least.

As I was ordering, I started to get the feeling that I should do a little experiment for today’s blog. And that’s when it hit me. BAM! What could $20 get ya at Rally’s? So, I feverishly ordered away and after two trips to Rally’s in two days, not to mention $37 dollars of food later here are some thoughts.

$20 at Rally’s could get you…

Either twenty All American Cheeseburgers or twentyBLT’s or twenty Smokin Sausage sandwiches.

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You could also get ten of the Philly Subs or Ten Chicken Philly Subs.

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You could have five of Rally’s Whole-Lotta ice cream treats (they are around $3.50 each).

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You could have six orders of the Garlic Parmasen Stix and Fries (that would total about $18).

You could have five Baconzilla Burgers (however, at $4.29 each you will go over the $20 threshold).

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If you prefer something a little more on the sweeter side, $20 could get you eight medium shakes (I tried the new orange flavor, but they also come in vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry) or you could score twenty ice cream cones (which come in vanilla, chocolate, or swirl).

I don’t normally drop $20 on a Rally’s run. I generally rack up a total somewhere between $8 to $12. I really like how Rally’s does that whole two for $3 or two for $4 thing.  I mean how can you not like two Bacon Cheese Double Cheeseburgers or two American Double Melts for $4. Good stuff…

News with a Twist
07/25/14

Taco Bell’s Breakfast Menu…

Hey y’all. Recently, Taco Bell jumped into the fast-food breakfast game. Before I write anything else, I have to confess that I LOVE Taco Bell. I have been into the Bell since my high school days. At the risk of dating myself, I fondly remember the days of 39 cent tacos.

Okay, on to this breakfast grub. Taco bell launched their breakfast menu a few months back with a handful of items ranging from basic breakfast burritos filled with either sausage, egg and cheese or bacon, egg and cheese they also offered the AM Crunchwrap (a tortilla filled with either bacon or sausage, eggs, cheese and a hash brown) and the Waffle Taco. There was a sweet offering on the breakfast menu tiny Cinnabon-style bites filled with a warm cream cheese filling. At the time the Bell launched these items I had to run out and try them. I grabbed a few of the basic breakfast burritos and a Waffle Taco. There was a lot of hype about the Waffle Taco, so I had to have one (although I had a pretty good idea what it was going to taste like). I dug into my Waffle Taco and it wasn’t too bad. Now, I must state right now I had very realistic expectations. This was not going to be a gourmet waffle. It was also “fast food”. I mean come on, it is processed pre-made stuff that is meant to be quickly cooked and quickly presented to the customer. My first thought when I tasted the Waffle Taco was, “Wow, this Waffle is sweet.” It has a taste like it’s been treated with a maple syrup type flavor. For some folks this sweet taste might be too much. I was surprised by it but actually don’t mind it. I loved the breakfast burritos! Really, I trust Taco Bell to make me a breakfast burrito much more than McDonald’s and Burger King. Taco Bell’s Breakfast burrito’s are a decent size and the fillings taste good. They sell for $1.70 each, so they are a really great value.

I heard that the Bell had expanded its breakfast menu recently, so I went back this morning to try them out. One of those items is a Grand Scrambler Burrito. This is a larger or deluxe version of the Bell’s breakfast burrito. The Scrambler has sausage or bacon, eggs, cheese, tomato, onion, potato chunks and sour cream. It is very tasty, it is also quite filling. For a price of @2.49 it is also a pretty good deal. The AM Crunchwrap is also $2.49, but if I had to choose between the two I would  take the Scrambler Burrito every time.

The other new item I tried was the Breakfast Griller. This is the breakfast version of the Loaded Grillers that are offered on Taco Bell’s regular menu. The Breakfast Griller costs $1.29, and is basically the basic breakfast burrito with some added salsa and run under the press griller. It has a good flavor and the portion is very good for $1.29.

My run to the Bell this morning cost me just over $10. If you are having problems with a $10 bag of Taco Bell, I will spare you the story of my $26 bag of Arby’s. Now that was something…

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News with a Twist
07/18/14

Wendy’s Pretzel sandwiches…

Hey y’all! Wendy’s has brought back it’s Pretzel Cheeseburger and Pretzel Pub Chicken sandwiches that were originally introduced last year. These sandwiches are a shining example of what makes Wendy’s so different from McDonald’s and Burger King. Whether it is the square patty or the thicker more home style french fries or the more folksy advertising campaigns starring Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, Wendy’s has always been just a little different from its primary competitors. And that commitment to being different shines through in these two promotional sandwiches.

Wendy’s has always done it a little differently from other fast food chains. They might have been the first burger chain to offer an all you can eat salad bar. And to raise the bar, it included pizza and a taco bar. They weren’t shy about putting interesting seasonal and promotional items on their menu. Whether it was the Bacon Mushroom Melt, or the Tuscan Chicken Sandwich, the North Pacific Cod Filet Sandwich, or the Asiago Ranch Chicken Sandwich Wendy’s just seems to put a lot of thought and effort into those items. For the most part, these promotional menu items really deliver. Even promotional sandwiches that are on Wendy’s Value Menu, show that same approach to quality. Things like the Spicy Chipotle Jr. Cheeseburger and the current Steakhouse Jr. Cheeseburger are worthy of a try.

I recently had both the Pretzel Cheeseburger and the Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich. I thought that each sandwich was very good. I love cheeseburgers (some of you may remember that cheeseburgers are the whole reason our Devour Power segments began). The Pretzel Cheeseburger was quite tasty. I love the pretzel bun. It is chewy and dense like a soft pretzel and it holds up well against the sauce Wendy’s puts on the burger. Believe me, a lesser bun would not. The cheese and bacon make this a substantial burger (if you want you can get it as a single, double, or triple). I like the way the sauce tastes with the tomato. This sandwich uses loose leafy greens instead of the typical iceburg lettuce. It’s okay, but I would prefer the iceburg. The Pretzel Pub Chicken is amazing! The last time these sandwiches were out, I raved about the chicken version. After having one bite of it the other day, I was instantly reminded just why I felt that way about it. Bottom line is that Wendy’s chicken sandwiches ARE the gold standard of fast food chicken sandwiches. They are a generous portion of breaded, spicy breaded, or grilled chicken breasts. They aren’t highly processed or a mish-mash of chicken parts. The breading is just right, crispy and not too thick. I actually think the sauce tastes better with the chicken than it does with the burger. Wendy’s uses Muenster cheese on the Pub chicken as opposed to cheddar cheese on the burger variation. Everything on the chicken variation just works.

These sandwiches aren’t necessarily cheap. They both come in at about $5. If you opt for the double or triple Pretzel Cheeseburger, the sandwich will end up being  more like $10. However, the quality is there. I believe the old adage is true. You get what you pay for. Dave Thomas would truly be proud of these sandwiches. If you have anything that you would like me to try or a place you want me to visit. Drop me a message at ezurcher@wgno.com

News with a Twist
07/16/14

I’ve Got Your Food Fix!

Hey y’all! For the better part of the last two years, we have been showing you some great plates at some great places throughout the area with my Devour Power segment on News with a Twist. But I realized recently that in a city like ours there is so much going on I could talk eats almost daily. So I’ve decided to start blogging about everything me and my digestive system experience on a daily basis. Whether it is a great and unique item at a local eatery, special or seasonal items on our local fast food menus, thoughts on  traditional Louisiana dishes, or stuff I make at home it’s gonna end up here!

I grew up in the Midwest, so some of the cuisine here in the bayou took some getting used to. It certainly didn’t take me long to find some new favorites. I love seafood! In Ohio (my home state) great fresh seafood is hard to come by. So, when I got here and tasted the shrimp, redfish, crab and crawfish I was blown away. I must confess that I love the crawfish and the shrimp the most. I have even learned to boil my own seafood, and can attest that there is nothing better than having a boil with family and friends on a sunny Saturday in the spring.

So, if you see something here that grabs your attention feel free to e-mail with your thoughts. Also, if there’s a dish or place you think I should visit feel free to fire me a message at ezurcher@wgno.com

 

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Did you know that Juan’s Flying Burrito in the Lower Garden District isn’t just any Mexican restaurant?

It’s a creole taqueria restaurant.

Our big man Zurch shows you two of their signature dishes!

Featured in this video:

Juan’s Flying Burrito
2018 Magazine St., New Orleans
(504) 569-0000

and

4724 S Carrollton Ave., New Orleans
(504) 486-9950
Website: juansflyingburrito.com

 

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - You hear it all the time – you want good philly cheesesteak? Go to Philadelphia.

Well, that’s just not true! Our big man Zurch shows us where to go to get the best, right here, in New Orleans.

Featured in this video:

Liberty Cheesesteaks
5031 Freret St. New Orleans
(504) 875-4447
Website: libertycheesesteaks.com

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Monday marked the “unofficial” start of summer, and that means, its grilling season!

But what do you do when you want a great hot dog… And don’t have a grill? You head over to Dat Dog, of course.

Our big man Zurk takes us to the Freret Steet location to show you dogs you can devour!

Learn more about Dat Dog HERE

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