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View Full Version : EAT HERE, GET GAS: The bad restaurant thread


ArugulaZ
11-11-2009, 11:08 PM
We got into a little discussion about Waffle House over in the gaming section of Talking Time, so I thought it would be best to move that conversation to a subforum better suited to it. Tell me about the restaurants you hate the most, and the dining experiences that scarred you for life.

The most memorable moment for me was the time my family waited for a seat at an IHOP... for nearly an hour! Back then, they went by the classier name of International House of Pancakes, but believe me, the service wasn't improved a bit. Many years later, I went to the revamped IHOP, and was treated to mediocre food and a waitress whose hateful stare could burn a hole through concrete. Seems like I would have learned my lesson back in the 1980s, but no matter... I know better than to give them a third chance to disappoint me.

As for Waffle House, I was never brave enough to step foot through its doors. The place is even greasy on the outside, from a distance of thirty feet! If it looks that shitty on the outside, one could scarcely imagine how much worse it gets when you walk inside. Also, the place has a nasty history of racism, along with Denny's and the Cracker Barrel, which makes it all the easier to avoid.

I'd also avoid the little old ladies selling tamales in southern Arizona. I'll probably be going back there soon, but this time, I'll be armed with the knowledge that said tamales are filled with olives (bleech!) with the pits still inside (ack!). Talk about your choking hazards.

Stiv
11-11-2009, 11:28 PM
Fuck you, Waffle House is the best cheap breakfast on the planet. The trick is finding a good one.

My personal Worst Restaurant: Every Village Inn, ever. I have never eaten at a good Village Inn and I've been to different ones in like three or four states.

belikejohn101
11-11-2009, 11:43 PM
While I agree IHOP is terrible I would rather eat there then go back to Lyons. Native Northern Californians will most likely remember seeing them in the early 90s but now I would be surprised if they were still in business, good riddance.

Dizzy
11-11-2009, 11:43 PM
Hate... hate!

The Golden Corral

Nothing tops the Golden Corral (http://www.goldencorral.com/) for me, which should be shortened to just the Corral. That's what that place is: a stale, overstuffed, insidiously designed corral for people treated like livestock. The food is as awful as the menu's selection is wide, and their selection is very wide. I haven't been there in years, but when I did go there I felt like I was being treated like a pig, instead of a king.

Long John Silver's

If Red Lobster is the McDonalds of Seafood, what does that make Long John Silvers? A very terrible place, is what. The greasiest fast food place imaginable. I think now the restaurant has been sewn to the ass end of Taco Bell since it can't survive on its own. All of the food is fried, and they toss it all into a bucket or a cardboard container with no care. The fact that they have a bell at the exit for you to ring if you had a nice meal reveals how cynical the whole enterprise is.

Mightyblue
11-11-2009, 11:52 PM
Grease is the damned point at LJS. It's basically Southern cooking exemplified. If you don't like fried shit or hush puppies in the South, you're basically screwed.

mopinks
11-12-2009, 12:01 AM
I used to get painfully ill every time I ate at Applebee's. it was as good a reason as any not to eat at Applebee's!

Kishi
11-12-2009, 12:02 AM
I seriously don't think I could set foot in a Waffle House and not pass out before long. The stench makes me nauseous just being near one.

ArugulaZ
11-12-2009, 12:06 AM
Oh, I'm all right with Lohn John Silver's if you get a good restaurant. However, there was a place in Sierra Vista that was a real sty. My aunt swore that the sandwich she bought there had moldy bread. Arizona is funny like that. On one hand, you've got all kinds of wacky restaurants you'll never experience in the midwest, like Sonic (very rare in MI from my personal experience) and Jack in the Box (almost completely nonexistent). On the other, not all those restaurants are welcome surprises. Yokohama Rice Bowl and Weinerschnitzel in particular score pretty high on the Barf-o-Meter... Yokohama proves that Japanese food and fast food are mutually exclusive terms*, while Weinerschnitzel will put chili on everything. It's like a fetish to them. You can pull up to the drive-in, ask to have chili poured on your genitals, and they'll pay you to do it.

* Yes, yes, I know sushi is served fast in Japan, but trust me, it doesn't work so well when you live in a state with barely any water. What you get is shitty soba, tainted tempura, and raunchy ramen.

Dizzy
11-12-2009, 12:08 AM
Grease is the damned point at LJS. It's basically Southern cooking exemplified. If you don't like fried shit or hush puppies in the South, you're basically screwed.

Really? I thought Southern cooking kicked ass.

I don't know if Famous Dave's (http://www.famousdaves.com/) exemplifies Southern cooking, but I thought that restaurant kicked all kinds of ass. Mainly pig and cow ass, because when I walked in there I felt like I was entering the basement from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was wonderful, and the food was orgasmic.

nunix
11-12-2009, 12:09 AM
I used to get painfully ill every time I ate at Applebee's. it was as good a reason as any not to eat at Applebee's!

I've been in an Applebee's a couple of times.

The clientele was some of the most depressing I've ever seen.

Applebee's is a bad place. =/

ArugulaZ
11-12-2009, 12:17 AM
I've been in an Applebee's a couple of times.

The clientele was some of the most depressing I've ever seen.

Applebee's is a bad place. =/

And they're owned by... here it comes!... IHOP. The connection makes so much sense in retrospect.

Dizzy
11-12-2009, 12:19 AM
I'd also avoid the little old ladies selling tamales in southern Arizona. I'll probably be going back there soon, but this time, I'll be armed with the knowledge that said tamales are filled with olives (bleech!) with the pits still inside (ack!). Talk about your choking hazards.

I avoid tamales unless it is made by one of my family members. Buying them from a small vendor or little corner store can only increase the chances of the tamale digesting like razor blades and leaving my anus sore for days. I don't think people make tamales with love.

Sheana
11-12-2009, 12:20 AM
Fuck you, Waffle House is the best cheap breakfast on the planet.

QFFT. I dream about those delicious WH waffles constantly, and am all kinds of sad they're nowhere to be found in the northwest.

All the other places mentioned are spot on, though. I would also like to add Panda Express. Shitty, mall foodcourt-quality Chinese food, with broccoli so disturbingly green it has to have been dyed. One of the few places that ever gave me food poisoning.

mopinks
11-12-2009, 12:20 AM
I can't be completely down on Applebee's, because they will give you a pretty decent GIGANTIC MARGARITA for the same price as a regular margarita anywhere else. just don't eat the food! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT EAT THE FOOD

Lucas
11-12-2009, 12:24 AM
I would also like to add Panda Express. Shitty, mall foodcourt-quality Chinese food,

Panda Express is mall food court Chinese food, though, so that makes sense.

nunix
11-12-2009, 12:28 AM
Oh, also, I used to love Denny's, because you could go and get an awesome (terrible for you) breakfast for $8 at 2am.

Most of them in my part of Portland metro have closed down, though, and when I was in one the other day ~9am, with a whole 10 other people in the restaurant, I waited 20 minutes for a hot chocolate refill before giving up and just cashing out.

Denny's is totally crap now. Also they give you too much goddamn food.

Dizzy
11-12-2009, 12:32 AM
Panda Express is mall food court Chinese food, though, so that makes sense.

It's also a Chinese restaurant that understands what we dastardly humans want in our Chinese food without any messy complications or icky ickiness. I'd rank it higher than the chains of En Lai around my parts, and they're run by real Asians. The chains may even be a cover up for a money laundering operation for all I know. A single bite from one of their meals makes you grow 15 pounds instantly! And leaves you with horrific gastrointestinal problems.

Traumadore
11-12-2009, 12:38 AM
Really? I thought Southern cooking kicked ass.

I don't know if Famous Dave's (http://www.famousdaves.com/) exemplifies Southern cooking, but I thought that restaurant kicked all kinds of ass. Mainly pig and cow ass, because when I walked in there I felt like I was entering the basement from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was wonderful, and the food was orgasmic.

Naw, Famous Daves is from St. Paul, Minnesota. One of the first is like exactly a mile from where I live. And yeah it's super great.

I've never gotten food poisoning, but I've had some bad service I guess. That's about all (at restaurants in general, never had a bad time at famous dave's).

Sheana
11-12-2009, 12:43 AM
Panda Express is mall food court Chinese food, though, so that makes sense.

I've seen it as seperate little restaurants out in the real, non-mall world, which is why I differentiated.

Guy
11-12-2009, 12:59 AM
I've never eaten waffles at any restaurant that beat homemade waffles, no matter what recipe. I can't quite put my finger on why. I think it's that they use so much sugar in the waffle batter that it tastes kind of sweet even without syrup, which gets a little sickening.

Zodar
11-12-2009, 01:02 AM
there's a restaraunt somewhere in california with a tiger/large feline-themed name. Tiger Bar, Tiger Grill, Lion Cafe, something like that. if you eat the food there you will probably die. my 2002 vacation across the country was completely ruined. we only got to go to Wyoming. that's my story

Figure Four
11-12-2009, 02:43 AM
I hate Olive Garden. Let's take crappy, over-cooked pasta and drown it in a gallon of bland sauce. Serve with crustless bread sticks and watery soup. Hospitaliano!

Also, I've never been to Red Lobster and not had to wait over an hour for my food.

Brer
11-12-2009, 02:54 AM
However, there was a place in Sierra Vista that was a real sty.

Ahhh, Sierra Vista, home of scenic Fort Huachuca. The little local steakhouse just outside the main gate is the first restaurant I ever saw cockroaches in. Didn't get sick, and the steak was...not horrible...but I can't say that I ever ate there again.

That said, I actually like places like Applebee's at least from time to time.

belikejohn101
11-12-2009, 02:54 AM
Oh man how did I forget Olive Garden. I feel like the only people who enjoy it are people who have no idea how to find local Italian food spots and are content with that flavorless crap.

Oh and I am really not impressed with In n Out. The burgers are decent but the frys and milk shakes make me feel sick every time I eat them.

McDohl
11-12-2009, 03:18 AM
I have never been happy eating at a Johhny Rockets. I don't get how such a gimmicky food joint could make such crappy food.

I don't like any of TGIFridays bizarre food combinations either.

Kishi
11-12-2009, 03:27 AM
I hate Olive Garden. Let's take crappy, over-cooked pasta and drown it in a gallon of bland sauce. Serve with crustless bread sticks and watery soup. Hospitaliano!

I hate rough bread, so their soft bread sticks are wonderful. I even like their soup and entrees, and they make the best, most savory Tiramisu I've ever eaten (in particular, avoiding the common pitfall of dumping chocolate sauce on it). So I've never really understand the bad reputation.

mopinks
11-12-2009, 03:50 AM
I don't really care for their entrees, but Olive Garden's soup and artichoke dip are okay by me.

ArugulaZ
11-12-2009, 03:54 AM
I have never been happy eating at a Johhny Rockets. I don't get how such a gimmicky food joint could make such crappy food.

I don't like any of TGIFridays bizarre food combinations either.

Weren't they frying string beans and serving them as appetizers? Man, that's just grasping.

The angriest I've ever been at a McDonald's was when I discovered they dropped the Arch Deluxe from the menu. They offered me a Big Extra (is it called Big 'n Tasty now?) as a replacement, and it was nasty. Wilted lettuce, slimy tomato, and the whole sordid affair gave me the kind of fire and brimstone farts that could have come straight from the bowels of hell itself. The Big 'n Tasty is still on the menu, while the Arch Deluxe is banished to Australia like some British orphan who stole a loaf of bread. If any of you Australian members go to McDonald's, have a McFeast Deluxe for me, would you?

Lakupo
11-12-2009, 04:14 AM
While I enjoy good food all the time, I also have an odd appreciation for mediocre food from chains. Is it a blessing? Is it a curse? I've had bad meals, I don't usually hold it against a chain. I dunno, unless it's Applebee's. Applebee's sucks.

Many years later, I went to the revamped IHOP, and was treated to mediocre food and a waitress whose hateful stare could burn a hole through concrete. Seems like I would have learned my lesson back in the 1980s, but no matter... I know better than to give them a third chance to disappoint me.

Waitresses and chefs don't come off of assembly lines. While the chain experience is designed so that you can go into any of a 1000 restaurants and receive the same thing, the human element is still a significant variable, especially when it comes to front of house service. I don't think most restaurants go out of their way to hire surly servers. Of course, when you have that many jobs to fill, and people view it as a meaningless gig (I was reading about the revamp of Ruby Tuesday's in the NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/business/08ruby.html), and they mention having a 100 percent annual staff turnover... which was better than their previous turnover of 130 percent), crappy people are going to be taking your order, but I always figure that reflects as much on the hiring pool and social issues of the area as much as the restaurant's standards.

* Yes, yes, I know sushi is served fast in Japan, but trust me, it doesn't work so well when you live in a state with barely any water. What you get is shitty soba, tainted tempura, and raunchy ramen.
The funny thing is, all of those items are mainly made from pantry ingredients -- proximity to bodies of water has nothing to do with it. And with airplanes and freezers, you can get sushi-quality seafood in isolated places in Kansas City.

My roommate rags on my boyfriend for taking me to IHOP when I'm in Philadelphia, a city full of excellent food, but I can enjoy myself there. He gets his pancakes, and I get a basket of shrimp or a chicken sandwich. Maybe the local IHOP is a nice one, hard to tell.

And hey, when it's late at night, and the only place you can take a break from the road and sit down is Waffle House, it's a nice place. Good hashbrowns. I haven't noticed a smell in the ones I've been to, either. But speaking of smells, I used to despise Subway's odor. Just walking past one with an open door would send me running. "It's the smell of their baked bread." I know, and there's something WRONG. But hey, after getting a flatbread there at Otakon with the beau, I've realized I can get something to eat there, and my nose shuts off and the smell doesn't bother me after a while.

I've gotten Big N Tastys at the McDonald's near where I lived in NC, and I actually took photos of the thing because it looked better than the pictures in the menu. Overflowing with lettuce. Some other Big N Tastys? Enh. Guess the supply truck hadn't shown up recently.

Tomm Guycot
11-12-2009, 05:04 AM
I hate rough bread, so their soft bread sticks are wonderful. I even like their soup and entrees, and they make the best, most savory Tiramisu I've ever eaten (in particular, avoiding the common pitfall of dumping chocolate sauce on it). So I've never really understand the bad reputation.

This. Olive Garden is wonderful cause I can gorge on soup, salad, and breadsticks for like $7. That's a deal (and if you want, you can try each soup they have, so that's THREE SOUPS, a salad, and breadsticks. For less than $10!!!)

ArugulaZ
11-12-2009, 05:33 AM
Seriously, Lakupo, take a look at the menu of the newly crowned Yokohama Asian Express. There's not a scrap of fish on it, and only a smidgen of seafood (in the form of crab puffs that are full of hot air rather than crab).

http://yokohamaasianexpress.com/menu.html

There was a withering review of the place online... let me see if I can find it. Ah, there it is! This dude rips the place a new blowhole, it's great!

http://www.yelp.com/biz/yokohama-rice-bowl-tucson-4

I was excited beyond belief when I first heard about this place, because I was young and stupid and had a great big boner for all things Japanese. Eating there injected a healthy dose of cynicism in me, and made me a lot more discriminating about where I buy my Japanese food. I'll still settle for just about any Chinese restaurant, however (as Parish can attest).

mopinks
11-12-2009, 06:09 AM
it doesn't really matter where in the world you are - if you go into a rice bowl place looking for seafood, you are going to be very disappointed.

estragon
11-12-2009, 06:38 AM
it doesn't really matter where in the world you are - if you go into a rice bowl place looking for seafood, you are going to be very disappointed.

Unless it's a tendon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tendon.jpg) restaurant. Mmmmm...

But, yeah, even in Japan those are generally much more rare than gyuudon (beef bowl) places as far as the "rice bowl" genre of eateries is concerned. Faulting that kind of place for not having seafood is like faulting a BBQ ribs place for not having enough seafood. Any disappointment you feel is your own fault for expecting it to be there in the first place.

In any case, if it's a beef bowl place that's kind of crappy, I'm inclined to suggest that it just might be an accurate example of actual Japanese beef bowl places, which are basically the cultural and quality equivalent of McDonald's.

The problem only really arises if you're being charged "fancy foreign food" prices instead of plus or minus $5. Don't get tricked into high prices for this kind of food.

ArugulaZ
11-12-2009, 06:48 AM
Like I said, young and stupid. I probably should have known better, but didn't.

Dadgum Roi
11-12-2009, 07:20 AM
Grease is the damned point at LJS. It's basically Southern cooking exemplified. If you don't like fried shit or hush puppies in the South, you're basically screwed.

Long John Silver's doesn't exemplify anything about Southern food.

Pooch
11-12-2009, 07:35 AM
The only place I actively stayed away from was Rally's before the went under around here; at one point they had great burgers and fries, then changed the menu. The new menu caused both my friend and I to get sick (more than once), so I swore them off forever.

Beyond that, there was a greasy spoon I drove by once called "Jus' Bad Food." I was tempted to stop in and see if the food was, indeed, jus' bad. However, I wasn't really hungry, so there was no point.

Balrog
11-12-2009, 07:35 AM
Mine, I want to like Panda Express but it's been nasty every time I get it. It's always really dry like it's been sitting under a heat lamp forever (usually it has). I dunno, there's too many good Chinese places around here to subject myself to something that crappy.

Also, on the subject of LJS:

Ah, hell naw. The LJS/A&W sucks because they don't carry the fried cheesesticks. Let me explain this shit to you guys. Men go out and risk their lives out on the open sea so that they can catch fish, batter dip those motherfuckers and fry them in grease that isn't changed for weeks on end; combine that grease with god knows what kind of cheese and you have the world's greatest cheesestick.

TheSL
11-12-2009, 07:42 AM
I don't know if Famous Dave's (http://www.famousdaves.com/) exemplifies Southern cooking, but I thought that restaurant kicked all kinds of ass. Mainly pig and cow ass, because when I walked in there I felt like I was entering the basement from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was wonderful, and the food was orgasmic.

Famous Dave's is decent, but it can't hold a candle to legitimate Kansas City BBQ.

ThornGhost
11-12-2009, 08:34 AM
Waffle House has a special place in my clogged heart for the many late nights spent there, playing Magic the Gathering with friends and slurping down double orders of hash browns all the way.

Trained on our experiences at the House of Waffles, the same friends and I started a project on our old website to review terrible, non-chain restaurants around our area. I'm honestly surprised we didn't get food poisoning. They're still up, and pretty readable if you're interested. I'll go ahead and link two below:

The Front Porch Restaurant (http://www.hompco.com/articles/the-front-porch-restaurant-review/)

Ponderosa Restaurant (http://www.hompco.com/articles/ponderosa-review/)

Tanto
11-12-2009, 09:02 AM
I haven't had a good experience with Pizza Hut since elementary school, but my mother and sister keep dragging me back there. You'd think they'd learn after about sixty thousand instances of slow service and botched orders for mediocre food.

estragon
11-12-2009, 09:08 AM
Objectively I know it's kind of shitty, but my fond memories of Book-It! personal pan pizzas give me a nostalgic connection to Pizza Hut that I can never shake, drawing me back into its bland, greasy grip.

(Although you can make a pretty good pizza there if you're creative with ingredients instead of relying on their generic specialities. A friend and I ordered a bannana pepper, jalepeno pepper, pineapple, and sausage pizza once that was somehow amazing.)

Also: In Japanese Pizza Hut is "Piza Hatto," and 99.99% of people think it means "Pizza Hat," becuase no one knows the word "hut." I explained this to my coworkers a few months ago and no one would believe me that it wasn't "Pizza Hat." It was kind of hilarious.

I wish it really was Pizza Hat.

Kirin
11-12-2009, 09:23 AM
I have to chime in with the "Waffle House ain't that bad" camp. Something it's 4 in the morning and a nice greasy-spoon type breakfast is just what you need, man.

Now, Huddle House, on the other hand, is kind of scary. (It is, in fact, as far as I can tell, a cheap Waffle House knock-off. With all that entails.)

Tanto
11-12-2009, 09:28 AM
I have to chime in with the "Waffle House ain't that bad" camp. Something it's 4 in the morning and a nice greasy-spoon type breakfast is just what you need, man.

"It's two in the morning -- still time for one more bad decision." (http://comedians.comedycentral.com/jim-gaffigan/videos/jim-gaffigan---waffle-house)

Zef
11-12-2009, 09:29 AM
I avoid tamales unless it is made by one of my family members. Buying them from a small vendor or little corner store can only increase the chances of the tamale digesting like razor blades and leaving my anus sore for days. I don't think people make tamales with love.

I dunno what they do with tamales up there, but if I could bring you the local ones, I would. Or better yet, from Veracruz or Tabasco. They're heaven in corn and beef (or corn and chicken, or just plain corn, which is very sweet.)

Also: In Japanese Pizza Hut is "Piza Hatto," and 99.99% of people think it means "Pizza Hat," becuase no one knows the word "hut."

This brings up mental images of Jabba the Hutt in a fedora.

Anyway, as is often the case (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?p=547895#post547895), many of the franchises mentioned here (IHOP, Applebees, Johnny Rocket) are actually quality establishments in local shopping malls. With one notable --notorious-- exception:

Popeye's.

They tried their damnedest to make it a good restaurant, to compete with BK, Carl Jr.'s, and McDonalds. They opened in upscale neighborhoods and financial districts. They built nice-looking sites and hired well-trained staff. But the food is AWFUL. Everything is disgustingly greasy, even the bread. They'd deep-fry the sodas if they could. I ate there once, once, and the stomachache was enough for several lifetimes.

Now, keep in mind my nationality, and what kind of food I'm used to and enjoy. Then reread the previous sentences, and perhaps you'll get an idea of the True Horror churned out at Popeye's across the country.

Edit: And the cherry on top: the first Popeye's I ever walked into was a downtown New Orleans one when I was 10. It was close to noon, my family and I were on vacation, and we went in because we hadn't had breakfast. As soon as we walked in the door... every single patron slowly tuuuuuuuurned to see us, they followed us with their eyes as we reached the counter, and just as we were about to order a cockroach the size of a mouse scurried across the menu board. We couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Animate Nihilist
11-12-2009, 09:46 AM
There's a local mexican chain open 24 hours down here called Taco Bravo. Their food is mostly cat-foodish quality ground beef meat and shredded cheddar cheese. A friend of mine went there late at night once and ordered a burrito with extra cheese. What he got back was literally a tortilla wrapped around nothing but shredded cheddar cheese. Bravo, Taco Bravo, bravo.

Reinforcements
11-12-2009, 09:46 AM
I love Pizza Hut and Outback food, but that stuff will kill you. My only memory of Olive Garden when I was last there I don't know how many months ago was that the coffee was really good.

There was a local diner near my highschool that was a popular late-night hangout for the students that was affectionately referred to as The Dump. The quality of its food deserved that name. Closer to me now is a long-established place called the Limerick Diner, which was a famously terrible restaruant for as long as I can remember. Nothing but shitty to mediocre diner food, without the friendly diner atmosphere. Fortunately, it recently came under new management who revamped the menu and the building, and it's actually a good diner now... still a diner, but you know. I think the new owners are greek, because the menu is now full of spanikopita and baklava and what have you.

Patrick
11-12-2009, 09:58 AM
I avoid tamales unless it is made by one of my family members. Buying them from a small vendor or little corner store can only increase the chances of the tamale digesting like razor blades and leaving my anus sore for days. I don't think people make tamales with love.

In Chicago we have a guy (actually a bunch of similar looking guys) who goes around selling tamales at bars. Tamale guy sells delicious bags of 5 tamales for $5, and he always shows up exactly when you need him. He is magical.

Back to bad restaurants though, there is an Arby's across the street from my work. Every now and then, I go there, because I like Arby's. Then, I get sick. Why do I keep doing this? It's because I am stupid. In fact, right now I'm thinking about going back to Arby's. I think I need an intervention.

ajr82
11-12-2009, 10:01 AM
I really like the horseradish dip that Applebee's used to serve with its onion peels, though I didn't like the onion peels themselves. Getting the dip with a quesadila was a nice little meal, though. I also think their nachos are okay, but that's mainly because I don't like onions, and at most nacho places I've been you lose like half the dish if you get nachos without onions.

The worst meal I've ever been served was at a Taco Time in a mall downtown. I ordered nachos, and got bare chips with only a hunk of half-frozen refried beans dropped on top.

edit: As far as Arby's goes, the roast beef sandwiches are awful, but they make some of the best fast food chicken sandwiches I've ever had.

TheSL
11-12-2009, 10:06 AM
edit: As far as Arby's goes, the roast beef sandwiches are awful, but they make some of the best fast food chicken sandwiches I've ever had.

...and then charge a terrible premium for them compared to other fast food joints.

Zef
11-12-2009, 10:10 AM
I liked Arby's because you ordered through nifty touchscreen menus! :)

The food was offensively mediocre, though :( They were also extremely guilty of the bait-and-switch "gorgeous menu pictures vs roadkill-like real product" scam.

The entire franchise went belly-up down here about ten years ago (I think) after only five years in business. I guess the touchscreens weren't enough to attract customers.

Dadgum Roi
11-12-2009, 10:16 AM
I would never touch a screen at an Arby's.

Tamales seem like an odd thing to get an upset stomach over. They're just cornmeal and a little bit of meat. I know one place that puts a little bit of chile into the masa with their chicken tamales. Good stuff.

Dizzy
11-12-2009, 10:20 AM
That's usually what they're made of, but I have no idea how the people I buy them from are making them. They may be adding some extra ingredient or making tamales in an unclean environment or something, because when I used to chow down on them, an hour later I'd be on the can hurting.

Mexican food seems to have too much corn in general. I'm not complaining about that though, just noting it since I love the dish so much. But I've read that the excessive consumption of corn can psychologically warp you like ergot. Some sort of corn fungus? And that was the reason why the ancient Aztecs and Mayans were crazy and sacrificed everyone.

Dadgum Roi
11-12-2009, 10:22 AM
Some sort of corn fungus?

Mexicans even eat the fungus, dude. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_smut)

Dizzy
11-12-2009, 10:23 AM
Mexicans are so crazy.

Zef
11-12-2009, 10:33 AM
Huitlacoche is the food of the gods.

Considering that tortillas* make up half of the average Mexican's diet, yes, you can say that we eat plenty of corn.

* I mean real tortillas, not the stiff, orange, U-shaped crimes against nature that Taco Bell et al produce.

Ruik
11-12-2009, 10:41 AM
I find Azteca to be bland, overpriced Mexican food. I ate there once, never again!

Tomm Guycot
11-12-2009, 11:17 AM
I'm sad to hear about all the bad Panda Express experiences.

Two years ago I would have agreed with you (deadly fervently) but I actually thought they'd gotten a lot better lately. Are you guys by chance basing these opinions on experiences older than one year ago?

The-Bavis
11-12-2009, 11:38 AM
Hate... hate!

The Golden Corral

Nothing tops the Golden Corral (http://www.goldencorral.com/) for me, which should be shortened to just the Corral. That's what that place is: a stale, overstuffed, insidiously designed corral for people treated like livestock. The food is as awful as the menu's selection is wide, and their selection is very wide. I haven't been there in years, but when I did go there I felt like I was being treated like a pig, instead of a king.



You want the worst pizza in the world? Eat pizza at Golden Corral. It is a saltine paste baked to a crust with ketchup packets and grated parmesan melted on top. Then warmed under a heat lamp.

All of these sort of restaurants should be closed. It is a way for people to get very fat at a high cost and without any of the fun.


I used to get painfully ill every time I ate at Applebee's. it was as good a reason as any not to eat at Applebee's!

I've been in an Applebee's a couple of times.

The clientele was some of the most depressing I've ever seen.

Applebee's is a bad place. =/

I can't be completely down on Applebee's, because they will give you a pretty decent GIGANTIC MARGARITA for the same price as a regular margarita anywhere else. just don't eat the food! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT EAT THE FOOD

Applebee's is the worst. Again, overpriced mediocirity - if you are lucky. I have experienced and heard so many other peoples' tales of nastiness I refuse to enter.

MetManMas
11-12-2009, 11:43 AM
There aren't too many restaurants I dislike, but honestly, I've never cared for Chik-Fil-A's bland chicken and mouth-cutting waffle fries much.

Dadgum Roi
11-12-2009, 11:46 AM
Chik Fil A's nuggets are good, but they're really expensive.

TheSL
11-12-2009, 11:48 AM
Why would anyone ever eat at an Applebees is there's almost always the vastly superior Chilis within spitting distance of it?

teg
11-12-2009, 12:06 PM
There aren't a lot of chain restaurants here, and all of the local places are generally really good, so I don't have many good stories.
I did once go through an A&W drivethrough where I had to repeat my order three times and still got the wrong thing.

Also, when I went on vacation in Maine (first time out of the country) I ate at a few fast food places and at least one or two local restaurants. All of it was awful. The best things I ate during the whole trip were instant waffles at the hotel (and they were delicious) and I'm still reeling over American drink sizes.
I hear that Maine seafood is really good, but I don't eat seafood, so...

Disposable Ninja
11-12-2009, 12:17 PM
Popeye's.

They've got good chicken strips, though.

Anyway, you guys remember that scene in Persona 4 in which the female characters are getting the little girl to try out their home-made food? And how Yukiko's food was completely tasteless despite all the ingredients she used, and how Chie's was just completely terrible(!)?

There's a little buffet near my place, called Amigos Chinese Buffet, in which that is exactly the situation. Just the most awful food you can imagine, but in a way that isn't disgusting or unappetizing. It's literally just bad food. No redeeming qualities whatsoever. It's really quite an accomplishment.

As for terrible franchises, hey, El Rey. It's Cuban/Mexican fast food, only they sell beer too. They make pretty great chicken tortilla soup, too. Oh, and one time I found a jagged hunk of plastic in my rice. And that was at one of their more upscale establishments.

Marfy
11-12-2009, 01:05 PM
There aren't too many restaurants I dislike, but honestly, I've never cared for Chik-Fil-A's bland chicken and mouth-cutting waffle fries much.

Hell no. Their waffle fries are the best thing ever. Ever. And I always want them on Sunday.

Waffle House is great. Cheap, 24 hours, and plenty of vegetarian options. Kind of. In that there is no actual meat in the dish. Just might kind of...taste like meat if there was any on the grill recently.

Dhroo
11-12-2009, 09:44 PM
Maybe I've just got a good IHOP, but I rarely have bad experiences there. The food's good enough for what I expect, and the service is almost always pretty good(unless we get that one chick who's a total bitch).

As for bad experiences, the boyfriend and I recently went to a Ruby Tuesday, and stood around for a while until the employees at the entrance(several of them, who were all making small talk) decided they should get around to seating us. After they did, we waited for at least 15 minutes for someone to even come around and take our drink orders. The group of guys over by the entrance were still shooting the shit, as were two guys by the bar, one of whom was texting, too. At that point we just decided to leave. Is it so much to ask that I receive, you know, service at a restaurant? We went to Red Robin instead, where we like the food and the people who work there are awesome.

Had a recent really bad experience at Cheeseburger in Paradise, too. Fuck Cheeseburger in Paradise. FUCK 'EM

Pajaro Pete
11-12-2009, 10:12 PM
First of all, I am dying to know about the Naruto Cafe or whatever.

Ponderosa Restaurant (http://www.hompco.com/articles/ponderosa-review/)

Pretty sure Ponderosa is a chain.

Waffle House is great, because even though it smells repulsive and looks repulsive and you can pretty much be guaranteed the food you're eating has a lot of nasty germs on it, it is so good you can't stop eating.

I've come to loathe Red Lobster (their biscuits are a-ok, though).

Dizzy
11-12-2009, 10:16 PM
While I think Red Lobster is mediocre, only after I've tried the Admiral's Feast will I decide if it is truly bad.

Disposable Ninja
11-12-2009, 10:35 PM
I ate at a Waffle House a couple of times, I thought it was just okay.

Raise your hand if you've eaten a Roast Beef sandwich from Arby's. Now raise your hand if you had painful diarrhea afterward.

That's what I thought.

Ample Vigour
11-12-2009, 10:51 PM
Waffle House has a secret all-you-can-eat menu, and only those who have eaten it can know WH's truest heart.

ArugulaZ
11-12-2009, 11:57 PM
I ate at a Waffle House a couple of times, I thought it was just okay.

Raise your hand if you've eaten a Roast Beef sandwich from Arby's. Now raise your hand if you had painful diarrhea afterward.

That's what I thought.

"I'm so hungry I could eat at ARBY'S!"

Yeah, that place is total crapola. Bland food at a premium price? Whoo, sign me up! -_-

I went to a Brannigan's several years ago, and although the service was fantastic, the Monte Cristo I ate was an exercise in wicked excess... almost comically huge, yet largely devoid of flavor. It was a chore to eat the whole thing. I had a similar experience over a Cold Stone Creamery, an ice cream parlor that just doesn't know when to say when. Their idea of a "large" ice cream cone is the kind of thing you have to strap to the top of your car, like a giant dinosaur rib from the opening of The Flintstones. Plus they drop your dessert on a large stone slab that's seen a hundred blobs of ice cream before yours... I can't imagine that being particularly sanitary.

Marfy
11-13-2009, 12:40 AM
"I'm so hungry I could eat at ARBY'S!"

Yeah, that place is total crapola. Bland food at a premium price? Whoo, sign me up! -_-

I went to a Brannigan's several years ago, and although the service was fantastic, the Monte Cristo I ate was an exercise in wicked excess... almost comically huge, yet largely devoid of flavor. It was a chore to eat the whole thing. I had a similar experience over a Cold Stone Creamery, an ice cream parlor that just doesn't know when to say when. Their idea of a "large" ice cream cone is the kind of thing you have to strap to the top of your car, like a giant dinosaur rib from the opening of The Flintstones. Plus they drop your dessert on a large stone slab that's seen a hundred blobs of ice cream before yours... I can't imagine that being particularly sanitary.

It wasn't, but it wasn't exactly covered in gunk either. When I worked at one we washed it off pretty regularly. Mostly it was the spades that got really gross - we only had so many, and as long as they hadn't been used on an common allergy ingredient like peanut butter (which was also possible to wash off quickly) we were just supposed to rise them off a little and get back to work.

Sheana
11-13-2009, 01:24 AM
From all the Coldstones I've been to they scraped the stone slab after every order, and constantly dipped, rinsed and wiped everything. I've yet to see a gross one!

The serving sizes are still absolutely ridiculous Amurrica portions, but it's so delicious I don't care.

Tomm Guycot
11-13-2009, 03:32 AM
Am I the only person who doesn't have bad Arby's experiences?

ColdStone tip: order the small size if you're getting one of their pre-made mixes. You automatically get the medium cause they're impossible to make small.

Kishi
11-13-2009, 06:16 AM
Arby's has never done wrong by me. Their Market Fresh sandwiches are among the finest items fast food has ever offered me, and they're unique in understanding the appeal and universal utility of horseradish sauce.

Pheeel
11-13-2009, 06:59 AM
A few years ago now I was on holiday with my family. We were visiting a museum in Derbyshire(I think) and dropped into the attached restaurant for lunch. I ordered a hot turkey roll, reasoning that it was a simple, quick order that was impossible to get wrong. Oh, you'd think! When it arrived, it became apparent that whoever was in the kitchen and taken still-frozen turkey pieces from the freezer and just slapped them in a roll. So they either hadn't been aware or hadn't cared that they were serving uncooked meat to customers. You might understand if they'd been busy and it was a simple mistake, but we were the only people in there. In retrospect, that's probably not much of a surprise.

ThornGhost
11-13-2009, 08:06 AM
Pretty sure Ponderosa is a chain.

I believe you are right about that, but I'm pretty sure that place wasn't part of the chain. I think that was just the name on the gas station it was attached to and we decided to call it that because it didn't really have a name of its own.

Balrog
11-13-2009, 09:46 AM
I like Arby's but they aren't shy about giving you some old ass curly fries. My experiences with them are hit and miss.

Nerdy
11-13-2009, 09:50 AM
Every time I go to KFC there's always an issue. The one here serves uncooked chicken, the mac and cheese is always runny, and the biscuits are stale. It's disgusting. The first time this happened I never wanted to go there again, but it's my mom that wants to keep going.

Disposable Ninja
11-13-2009, 12:30 PM
Arby's has never done wrong by me. Their Market Fresh sandwiches are among the finest items fast food has ever offered me, and they're unique in understanding the appeal and universal utility of horseradish sauce.

The Market Fresh stuff IS pretty alright. But as I said: the roast beef sandwiches will give you painful stomach cramps and foamy, watery pooh.

Odin
11-13-2009, 12:50 PM
Maybe I've just got a good IHOP, but I rarely have bad experiences there. The food's good enough for what I expect, and the service is almost always pretty good(unless we get that one chick who's a total bitch).


QTF. I don't understand the IHOP hate, my experiences have been generally good.

Every time I go to KFC there's always an issue. The one here serves uncooked chicken, the mac and cheese is always runny, and the biscuits are stale. It's disgusting. The first time this happened I never wanted to go there again, but it's my mom that wants to keep going.

The local ones have landed in the paper for multiple critical health code violations more than once. I see no reason to eat at the chain unless I am in Japan, where the food just tastes better and you can worship the statue of the Colonel out front.

Daikaiju
11-13-2009, 03:00 PM
lately my experiences with IHOp have been good but my first was so bad I wouldn't go near the chain for several years.

They used to have Center City location in Philadelphia. One evening my parents decided to take me there after a movie. So this was at around 9:30pm or so. We walk in and get seated. The waiter after a considerable wait, takes our order. After awhile, we notice it's been a rather long time since we ordered. Now the place is nearly empty except for us, and a group in the back who are having an animated discussion with the waiter. My dad finally gets up and has a talk woth the man and our food arrives sometime later (roughly over an hour after ordering). Now the food is decent but we're not very inclined to leave a tip. Then I notice a item on the podium at the entrance that states the tip is automatically added to the bill after 10pm.

McDohl
11-13-2009, 03:04 PM
Oh. I forgot to mention Boston Market.

Boston Market has some really awful food. It's probably one of the fast food franchises I actively hate.

JDS
11-13-2009, 04:05 PM
QFFT. I dream about those delicious WH waffles constantly, and am all kinds of sad they're nowhere to be found in the northwest.

During college I went to Waffle House regularly with roommates, study buddies, etc.; I mostly stuck with hash browns (smothered, covered, capped, and chunked, natch. If I wanted chili I'd order it.) and various breakfast-y items of negative nutritional value. It only occurred to me recently to actually try the waffles. Damn.

I would recommend all Johnny Sasaki cosplayers make use of KFC's crispy bucket for added authenticity. They've gone off the deep end with the grease nastiness.

Dizzy
11-13-2009, 04:13 PM
QTF. I don't understand the IHOP hate, my experiences have been generally good.

Location is the one of the biggest indicators of a restaurant's quality. If your location is poorly staffed, has bad cooking and general incompetence you're not going to have a good opinion about it. We're all speaking from experiences here, and while I think the Golden Corral is a big bowl of piss, it may be a truly golden place in Scotland, for example.

Daikaiju
11-14-2009, 08:59 AM
If there exists a truly "golden" Golden Corral, we must keep it secret to keep it pure.

Queen Possum
11-14-2009, 09:37 AM
I doubt any of you have ever been to Time Out in Chapel Hill, NC, but it will always hold a special place of horror in my heart. The only time I ever went there, my suitemate got a biscuit, took a bite out of it, then opened it up to put some jelly on it, only to discover a well-done roach right in the middle of the biscuit. The guys working behind the counter did not think this was a big deal.

Here in ATL, the Stone Mountain Pizza Cafe is a literal crapshoot. You've got about a 50/50 chance of having to run to the bathroom with firebutt before you've finished your meal. This is probably what comes of letting a bunch of college kids run a restaurant unattended.

Ghost from Spelunker
11-14-2009, 10:42 AM
In Chicago we have a guy (actually a bunch of similar looking guys) who goes around selling tamales at bars. Tamale guy sells delicious bags of 5 tamales for $5, and he always shows up exactly when you need him. He is magical.


http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh314/naivetotodile/residentevil4_conceptart_WVepg.jpg
Got a selection of good tamales for sale, stranger!

Ample Vigour
11-14-2009, 11:15 AM
If there exists a truly "golden" Golden Corral, we must keep it secret to keep it pure.

I have eaten there. I keep it secret.

I keep it safe.

Alixsar
11-14-2009, 11:40 AM
Got a selection of good tamales for sale, stranger!

Ah! I'll buy it at a high price!

Arby's has never done wrong by me. Their Market Fresh sandwiches are among the finest items fast food has ever offered me, and they're unique in understanding the appeal and universal utility of horseradish sauce.

I like Arby's but they aren't shy about giving you some old ass curly fries. My experiences with them are hit and miss.

Man Arby's sounds great right now. It's definitely the hangover talking but I could totally go for some. And Adam, EVERYONE isn't shy about giving you old fries. It comes with the fast food territory.

Kishi
11-14-2009, 11:42 AM
A couple weeks ago, a fast food person told me that you're totally allowed to request fresh fries. I never get fries anyway, but you might try that.

Alixsar
11-14-2009, 11:56 AM
A couple weeks ago, a fast food person told me that you're totally allowed to request fresh fries. I never get fries anyway, but you might try that.

Back in high school when I worked at KFC, people would request fresh potato wedges and we'd make it for them. Hell, we'd make chicken for them too if they wanted to wait. More often than not, people who would request stuff like that were dicks about it though.

BEAT
11-14-2009, 12:00 PM
I hate KFC so much.

I can't even put it into words! Current human language does not do my hate justice!

figcube
11-14-2009, 01:16 PM
So there's this local Chinese restaurant that my mom and sister love. I don't really like Chinese food aside from the orange chicken. So my mom tries to get me an order of chicken but they charge 12 bucks for just the chicken. Nothing else. So then she get gets plain noodles for me and the usual for herself and my sister. Those idiots mess up the order and give us all plain noodles. And this isn't the first time that has happened. Though I don't really care because it means more noodles for me. But boy were the really pissed off.

Sheana
11-14-2009, 02:11 PM
My mom works in the industry, and usually suggests ordering fries with no salt to ensure getting a fresh hot batch.

Tomm Guycot
11-14-2009, 03:41 PM
If you like crunchy fries, request your In N Out fries "well done" - even if they come from the already cooked batch, they'll be hot and fresh for you!

I knew a girl in college who would go to the on-campus Carl's Jr. and order chicken strips, but ask that they be fresh.

It was a good plan excepting they were too hot to eat for ten minutes.

Dadgum Roi
11-14-2009, 05:56 PM
Golden Corral: a guy I know at work swears that the one down the road from their corporate hq in Raleigh is awesome. Whatever.

Boston Market is terrible. Thankfully, the Carolina organism seems to have rejected this monstrosity like a badly matched organ.

Alex Scott
11-14-2009, 07:59 PM
Every time I've ever eaten at Cici's Pizza, I've gotten an upset stomach. I don't know why, as it's the most generic-looking pizza I've ever seen. I can handle a Totino's Party Pizza, but definitely not that.

Taco Bell is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, but I have to admit, the last few times I've eaten there, it's left me feeling like I'm still hungry.

And the only thing--the only thing--I'm willing to eat at KFC are the regular Hot Wings. Everything else is so greasy that I swear I'm tasting more of that than the chicken. The other problem: sometimes they don't have the regular hot wings.

Balrog
11-14-2009, 08:04 PM
More like Feces Pizza, amirite?

Lakupo
11-15-2009, 12:50 AM
I dunno, KFC always seems less greasy than its cajun counterparts... Popeye's and Bojangles require so many napkins to soak up the grease, it's insane.

Ultimate restaurant injustice: the price of food at chain restaurants in transportation hubs (airports, train stations). The boyfriend and I walked around NYC today, and after seeing a friend off at the train station, and waiting for our own train, we were too tired to venture back out into the city and find food, so we stopped at TGI Friday's, and ordered a couple of slushes (fancy, but free refills!), then started looking at the rest of the menu. Appetizers for 15+, entrees averaging 23 tp 25 and up. No thank you! We politely said we'd just pay for our drinks and be on our way, and the waitress understood. (and hey, we tipped, as opposed to a woman who looked at the menu and left before ordering) Of course, we went from the frying pan into the fire, stopping at Olive Garden, but at least the mediocre food was only 10 dollars a dish. With soup and breadsticks!

NevznachaY
11-15-2009, 05:01 AM
So many restaurant franchises in America.

Daikaiju
11-15-2009, 06:40 AM
Interestingly, I've found Popeye's chicken to be less greasy than KFC. As for Church's, where do they buy their chicken from? Lilliput?

ArugulaZ
11-15-2009, 06:59 AM
They're selling crawfish at Popeye's now, which makes it really tempting for me to visit one. I'm surprised they used the more clinical "crawfish" rather than the Louisiana-accepted term "crawdad."

Kirin
11-15-2009, 02:02 PM
I doubt any of you have ever been to Time Out in Chapel Hill, NC, but it will always hold a special place of horror in my heart. The only time I ever went there, my suitemate got a biscuit, took a bite out of it, then opened it up to put some jelly on it, only to discover a well-done roach right in the middle of the biscuit. The guys working behind the counter did not think this was a big deal.

Bwa-hah, you forget at least one other TT member lives right next to Chapel Hill. Oh god, Time Out. A friend made me stop there once when it was like 2 in the morning and nothing else was open (curse Hectors for closing).

DemoWeasel
11-15-2009, 02:08 PM
I don't eat fried chicken anymore, but KFC's grilled chicken tastes way better than El Pollo Loco's or Juan Pollo's.

Queen Possum
11-15-2009, 02:32 PM
Bwa-hah, you forget at least one other TT member lives right next to Chapel Hill. Oh god, Time Out. A friend made me stop there once when it was like 2 in the morning and nothing else was open (curse Hectors for closing).

HECTOR'S CLOSED WHUT.

Kirin
11-15-2009, 02:34 PM
At least I think it did for a while; I haven't looked lately. Yeah, I was all like "where the hell am I supposed to get late-night cheese fries now, bitches?!"

Queen Possum
11-15-2009, 02:44 PM
Are you sure it didn't just move? I think I remember it moving from the top of East End a few years ago.

Red Hedgehog
11-15-2009, 04:59 PM
Ultimate restaurant injustice: the price of food at chain restaurants in transportation hubs (airports, train stations). The boyfriend and I walked around NYC today, and after seeing a friend off at the train station, and waiting for our own train, we were too tired to venture back out into the city and find food, so we stopped at TGI Friday's, and ordered a couple of slushes (fancy, but free refills!), then started looking at the rest of the menu. Appetizers for 15+, entrees averaging 23 tp 25 and up. No thank you! We politely said we'd just pay for our drinks and be on our way, and the waitress understood. (and hey, we tipped, as opposed to a woman who looked at the menu and left before ordering) Of course, we went from the frying pan into the fire, stopping at Olive Garden, but at least the mediocre food was only 10 dollars a dish. With soup and breadsticks!

It breaks my heart a little bit to hear people eating at TGI Friday's and Olive Garden while in NYC.

Also, Little Casesar's pizza makes me sick.

Balrog
11-15-2009, 07:37 PM
I'll mess up some Popeye's spicy chicken fingers. I'll mess up a mess of chicken, I'm not even playing.

Lady
11-15-2009, 08:50 PM
I'll never forget that first time at Denny's in New Mexico.

I bit both ends off of a french fry and used it as a periscope.

Wow, that was nine years ago now. I've had too many good food experiences recently, so it's the only one in my mind at the moment.

Popeye's chicken is greasy, but in a good way. 'there is something underneath this breading'.

Lakupo
11-15-2009, 09:47 PM
It breaks my heart a little bit to hear people eating at TGI Friday's and Olive Garden while in NYC.

I know, it's ridiculous. :( Although the Olive Garden was in Jersey after we got off the train. But you have to admit, a lot of midtown Manhattan is overflowing with chain restaurants.

On the bright side, our tour guide friends took us to the food stalls by Bryant Park (I thiiink) for arepas (a kind of cornbread) and cupcakes at Crumbs, so we got some more NYCish food experience. :)

Dizzy
11-15-2009, 10:03 PM
I like to eat people.

Red Hedgehog
11-15-2009, 10:06 PM
I know, it's ridiculous. :( Although the Olive Garden was in Jersey after we got off the train. But you have to admit, a lot of midtown Manhattan is overflowing with chain restaurants.

Near Penn Station is certainly mostly crap, but most of the rest of midtown has good stuff. Here's a tip: If you're in Times Square, walk to 9th avenue - they are lots of good restaurants there.

On the bright side, our tour guide friends took us to the food stalls by Bryant Park (I thiiink) for arepas (a kind of cornbread) and cupcakes at Crumbs, so we got some more NYCish food experience. :)

Well at least you got arepas and crumbs cupcakes. Those are good New York experiences.

ArugulaZ
11-15-2009, 10:33 PM
It breaks my heart a little bit to hear people eating at TGI Friday's and Olive Garden while in NYC.

Also, Little Casesar's pizza makes me sick.

I've never had much luck with Domino's or Papa John's myself. Domino's is especially gross, with thin cheese, a thin crust, thin sauce, thin flavor... thin everything, really. I prefer a Chicago-style pizza, although those can be hard to find outside the Windy City.

Dizzy
11-15-2009, 10:40 PM
Once this computer repair guy I worked with on an IT job told me that the employees at Papa John's didn't cover up their sweaty, hairy bodies while making pizza, I became more reluctant to order food from that place.

Red Hedgehog
11-15-2009, 11:21 PM
I find Papa John's to be the best of the major pizza chains, but that's damning with faint praise. I have yet to be in a city that doesn't have a local pizza place better than any of the chains.

ArugulaZ
11-15-2009, 11:24 PM
Once this computer repair guy I worked with on an IT job told me that the employees at Papa John's didn't cover up their sweaty, hairy bodies while making pizza, I became more reluctant to order food from that place.

"Now quit picking your nose and knead that dough!"

R.R. Bigman
11-15-2009, 11:33 PM
My brother went to the gym with a guy he works with, and the guy is a real health nut. He told my brother that the meat at Taco Bell is the same grade as the kind in wet dog food.

Disposable Ninja
11-16-2009, 12:37 AM
My brother went to the gym with a guy he works with, and the guy is a real health nut. He told my brother that the meat at Taco Bell is the same grade as the kind in wet dog food.

... and? It's meat. Ground meat, no less. Who cares what grade it is so long as it isn't poisonous?

Lucas
11-16-2009, 12:49 AM
My brother went to the gym with a guy he works with, and the guy is a real health nut. He told my brother that the meat at Taco Bell is the same grade as the kind in wet dog food.

My brother's eaten that stuff and it's never hurt him permanently. Both the Taco Bell and the dog food. Like you've never been curious.

Sometimes when I'm depressed I get one of those pre-made Little Caesar's pizzas. When I'm pouring enough garlic powder onto it to obliterate the taste of the actual pizza, I know things can only get better.

I actually like Domino's, but then I also have a particularly low opinion of the only local pizzeria within fifteen miles. Thin crust and cooked too long - it feels like eating pizza made on thin sheet of mica. Then there was the time they gave our pizza to the wrong table, but considering those assholes just took it under the assumption they were getting a free pizza and the pizzeria gave us about $50 of free food in exchange, it's difficult to fault the pizzeria for that. And it's almost worth going just to see the rack on the girl at the front counter.

Kirin
11-16-2009, 09:04 AM
Bleah, Domino's pizza is pretty bad. Which makes it extra easy to boycott them for political reasons. When I need to order pizza, it's pretty much Papa John's or nothing these days.

Are you sure it didn't just move? I think I remember it moving from the top of East End a few years ago.

Man, if you find it let me know. I looked on Google since you made me curious, and they seem to think they're closed still. They may have moved once and then closed again or something...

ajr82
11-16-2009, 09:17 AM
I've never found Domino's to have a thin crust; they have a puffy crust. It's thick but it's 95% air.

Dizzy
11-16-2009, 09:19 AM
I wonder if Jack in the Box (http://www.jackinthebox.com/) should get crapped on in this thread as well. They did have an E. coli outbreak (http://www.about-ecoli.com/ecoli_outbreaks/view/jack-in-the-box-e-coli-outbreak).

Open up... you're in for a surprise!

Reinforcements
11-16-2009, 10:23 AM
I find Papa John's to be only marginally better than Domino's. I'd take any random local pizza place over either any day.

alexb
11-16-2009, 10:25 AM
When I need to order pizza, it's pretty much Papa John's or nothing these days.

You've got good taste.

ArugulaZ
11-16-2009, 11:04 AM
I wonder if Jack in the Box (http://www.jackinthebox.com/) should get crapped on in this thread as well. They did have an E. coli outbreak (http://www.about-ecoli.com/ecoli_outbreaks/view/jack-in-the-box-e-coli-outbreak).

Open up... you're in for a surprise!

Oh, that e. coli thing happened twenty years ago, and got hyped to death to strengthen McDonald's stranglehold on the industry. They buried another competitor by focusing an intense spotlight on its health code violations. Funny how McDonald's is bulletproof to this criticism. Somehow, I don't think it's because they keep a spotless kitchen.

Anyway, I've been to the Jack, and will probably return there when I finally (finally...) return to Arizona. It's an okay place; nothing to flip out about but it'll get you by in a pinch. I like the diversity in the menu (Asian rice bowls and tacos at the same place?) and I especially like how they stuck with their tacos even after Burger King dropped theirs. Burger King made some damn fine tacos, and they were cheap, too. Such a shame they jettisoned them from the menu faster than you can say "Arch Deluxe."

Also, Jack has the best commercials in the fast food industry, hands down. After Jack was blown to bits by one of the maids from Diff'rent Strokes in the 1980s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRqJjzLWA6Y), he came back years later with a vengeance (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-rgqDhnLoU), and has been kicking ass ever since. He even had the guts to say what we were all thinking about those ridiculous "Angus" burgers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W34RdLUDiZc&feature=related) available at the other restaurants. It very nearly got JitB sued, but it was worth it.

Lucas
11-16-2009, 11:22 AM
I've never found Domino's to have a thin crust; they have a puffy crust. It's thick but it's 95% air.

Which is one of the things I like about them. It's the local place's thin crust I was complaining about.

We had a Papa John's for about three months. I only ate there once or twice, but I'm not surprised it didn't stick around for long.

nunix
11-16-2009, 11:27 AM
Oh, that e. coli thing happened twenty years ago, and got hyped to death to strengthen McDonald's stranglehold on the industry. They buried another competitor by focusing an intense spotlight on its health code violations. Funny how McDonald's is bulletproof to this criticism. Somehow, I don't think it's because they keep a spotless kitchen.

Anyway, I've been to the Jack, and will probably return there when I finally (finally...) return to Arizona. It's an okay place; nothing to flip out about but it'll get you by in a pinch. I like the diversity in the menu (Asian rice bowls and tacos at the same place?) and I especially like how they stuck with their tacos even after Burger King dropped theirs. Burger King made some damn fine tacos, and they were cheap, too. Such a shame they jettisoned them from the menu faster than you can say "Arch Deluxe."

Also, Jack has the best commercials in the fast food industry, hands down. After Jack was blown to bits by one of the maids from Diff'rent Strokes in the 1980s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRqJjzLWA6Y), he came back years later with a vengeance (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-rgqDhnLoU), and has been kicking ass ever since. He even had the guts to say what we were all thinking about those ridiculous "Angus" burgers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W34RdLUDiZc&feature=related) available at the other restaurants. It very nearly got JitB sued, but it was worth it.

I remember as a young kid (20+ years ago) there being scares about JITB, something about somebody dying from a razorblade or some poison or something .. I can't even remember the details, but I've still never eaten there because of it.

The commercials are pretty amusing, though.

EDIT: looking at wikipedia I guess it was e.coli? And a lot more recent than I thought. Still.. undercooked meat at a fast food joint? You're supposed to be able to depend on an unidentifiable mass of hamburger charred way past perfection!

mopinks
11-16-2009, 11:32 AM
I'll take Jack in the Box over any other burger chain slop any day of the week. it's practically food!

they just got rid of the chipotle chicken ciabatta, though, and I cried a little. :(

Torgo
11-16-2009, 11:48 AM
Jack's is definitely a step up in quality from the likes of McD's and Burger King. I'd eat there more often if I wasn't a complete cheap ass when it comes to fast food.

Of course, that's just the problem. The fact is, you can get relatively decent food at any chain, even McDonalds. Ever had the Big 'n Tasty? It's a world of difference from the dollar menu crap that we're all conditioned to order.

ArugulaZ
11-16-2009, 12:36 PM
Yes, I've had the Big 'n Tasty. See also my post about sulfuric farts from the bowels of hell.

I want to check out the Jack menu again when the opportunity presents itself. I'd also like to hit a Carl's Jr. even though they're basically Hardee's, which we do/did have in the midwest.

tdrumboar
11-16-2009, 01:22 PM
Does the rest of the nation have this monstrosity (http://www.sogoodblog.com/2009/08/25/kfc-double/) yet? They test-marketed it here in Omaha (a good choice on their part) and Providence (for some reason). I've never had one because my grease tolerance isn't what it used to be.

I've also noticed a decline in Arby's quality over the years. They replaced the chicken fingers with terrible "popcorn chicken" here so I've lost my incentive to pay extra for going there. And yeah, every third fry order is burnt/stale. So now in my eyes they're just as bad as BK/McDonald's/Taco Bell, just more expensive.

There's a horrible, horrible, local (I hope) chain called King Kong's Gyros. I know two people who've been poisoned there.

There's a local chain called Romeo's that serves standard greasy Mexican, and I've probably forgiven them some sins just based on childhood nostalgia. (They had a Centipede machine!) My family and I were there recently and some kid across the aisle had a birthday, so after the staff sang for them the manager got on the PA and said something to the effect of "stay in school and study hard so you don't have to work at a place like this." Really helps the mood.

Is Hollywood Diner national? I hope for the sake of children everywhere that it isn't.

ArugulaZ
11-16-2009, 01:46 PM
My word. It looks like something they would serve at the Itis. A sandwich made from fried chicken breasts, with cheese and bacon in the middle? They might as well go for the gold and throw a fried egg in there somewhere. And I thought the McGriddle was decadent.

Patrick
11-16-2009, 02:03 PM
So the Arby's across the street from my work has lost their lease. In the long run, this is probably for the best.

Pajaro Pete
11-16-2009, 02:07 PM
Jack's is definitely a step up in quality from the likes of McD's and Burger King. I'd eat there more often if I wasn't a complete cheap ass when it comes to fast food.

Jack's (http://www.eatatjacks.com/index.php) and Jack in the Box (http://www.jackinthebox.com/) are two separate franchises.

ajr82
11-16-2009, 02:26 PM
A&W is the best fast food burger chain, at least up here. Wendy's burgers are pretty gross (the square patties look more like meat foam), but again, the chicken is okay.

Dadgum Roi
11-16-2009, 02:29 PM
For some reason, smaller regional chains are usually a lot better. NC has Cook Out, which is awesome. Cheddar Style fo lyfe, y'all.

Red Hedgehog
11-16-2009, 02:38 PM
For some reason, smaller regional chains are usually a lot better. NC has Cook Out, which is awesome. Cheddar Style fo lyfe, y'all.

Agreed, when I lived in Utah I would have no problem eating at one of the local burger chains. They were greasy as hell, but at least it resembled real food.

Reinforcements
11-16-2009, 03:38 PM
If anyone is getting burgers from McDonalds or similar places I can only assume that there are no Five Guys near you, and I'm sorry for that.

Torgo
11-16-2009, 04:11 PM
Jack's (http://www.eatatjacks.com/index.php) and Jack in the Box (http://www.jackinthebox.com/) are two separate franchises.
Ah. "Jack in the Box" it is, then.

Kishi
11-16-2009, 04:21 PM
If anyone is getting burgers from McDonalds or similar places I can only assume that there are no Five Guys near you, and I'm sorry for that.

That, or you don't want to pay ten dollars for a burger and some fries and a Coke.

Not to advocate McDonald's specifically, though. I haven't eaten there in years and aim to keep it that way.

Sheana
11-16-2009, 04:27 PM
I'm pretty biased as my mom works for the company, but Wendy's is actually real good if you've got a decent staff working the joint. I think Wendy's, Sonic's and the occasional In & Out are the only burger joints I've set foot in in years.

Kishi
11-16-2009, 04:34 PM
I think Wendy's, Sonic's and the occasional In & Out are the only burger joints I've set foot in in years.

But Sonic is a drive-in. :confused:

Azar
11-16-2009, 04:43 PM
I ate at a Five Guys for the first time recently. It was a good burger, but it did not set my world afire.

And Wendy's is perfectly decent fast food. I'd put it over most of the other joints out there, for sure.

Marfy
11-16-2009, 04:52 PM
I ate at a Five Guys for the first time recently. It was a good burger, but it did not set my world afire.

And Wendy's is perfectly decent fast food. I'd put it over most of the other joints out there, for sure.

Five Guys has pretty decent sweet potato fries.

Wendy's is good because they have decent salads, baked potatoes - options are important!

Lady
11-16-2009, 04:58 PM
But Sonic is a drive-in. :confused:

I don't recommend it, but you can step foot inside a Sonic by going to their restroom.

Sheana
11-16-2009, 05:04 PM
But Sonic is a drive-in. :confused:

Set foot in, eat at, et cetera. This is just arguing about semantics! But then I suppose it is TT.

Grignr
11-16-2009, 05:34 PM
Oh, that e. coli thing happened twenty years ago, and got hyped to death to strengthen McDonald's stranglehold on the industry. They buried another competitor by focusing an intense spotlight on its health code violations. Funny how McDonald's is bulletproof to this criticism. Somehow, I don't think it's because they keep a spotless kitchen.

No, it's because McD's pioneered the pre-cooked burger. They kill all the e.coli at the factory where the burgers are made. The "cook" at the restaurant is just reheating a safe, pre-cooked patty.

This is why restaurants that use actual fresh meat (e.g. Five Guys) taste so much better.

Disposable Ninja
11-16-2009, 06:20 PM
Actually, there are a dine-in Sonics out there. They're attached to gas stations.

That, or you don't want to pay ten dollars for a burger and some fries and a Coke.

If you don't want to spend ten dollars at Five Guys, then just buy a little burger (which only has one patty instead of the regular burger's two/three, you can still pile it with as many toppings as you want) and a drink and gorge yourself on the free peanuts.

MetManMas
11-16-2009, 07:15 PM
In regards to Jack in the Box, being here in the southeast, I've never friggin' seen one so I can't judge. According to the website, the closest one's in South Carolina, and it looks to mainly take up the western and southwestern parts of the States (and Hawaii for some reason).

However, I can comment on my local Krystal a few blocks away and how its bacon double cheeseburger (one of their non-tiny Angus burgers) did a number on my stomach. Likewise, while I will eat their chili cheese fries (because they're chili cheese fries, they tear me up in a way unlike other CCFs as well. I probably wouldn't eat there if it wasn't just a couple of blocks away and I wasn't tired from a walk to GameStop.

I should probably do Subway more. That $5 footlong Spicy Italian on Italian herbs & cheeses bread, with Monterey Jack cheddar, toasted, and topped with lettuce/tomatoes/pickles/extra jalapenos/spicy chipotle sauce is great, and it doesn't make me want to get my stomach pumped.

Also, Subway's practically nextdoor to GameStop over here.

spineshark
11-16-2009, 07:17 PM
Fun fact: the closest Jack in the Box to me is pictured on the wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:JackInTheBox,_Arvada,_CO.jpg). That's five minutes from my house.

The best part about being raised vegetarian though is that I never feel like going to McDonalds for anything. It's nice.

Nobuyuki
11-16-2009, 07:32 PM
I've literally become a regular at my local Panera. I walk into the door and the clerks instantly know my name, which probably isn't a good thing. Anyway, for me Panera is probably the best choice in terms of fast food around here. The food is pretty good and at least feels healthier than McDonalds or Five Guys, which is good enough for me.

Patrick
11-16-2009, 11:10 PM
I wish there was a Panera near my work, it's one of the few things that I miss from working in the suburbs.

I had Wendy's for lunch today, and I do not regret it.

ArugulaZ
11-16-2009, 11:29 PM
There's like two hundred Jack in the Boxes in the Arid Zone, including 22 Tucson locations. There's no shortage of JitBs in the Southwest, I assure you. There are zip roaring zero in Michigan, although I could have sworn there was one or two back in the 1990s. We DO have an affiliated Mexican restaurant here, though. Qdoba, I think?

StriderDL
11-17-2009, 06:59 AM
Panera is really good, but don't be fooled. You can still go wrong (http://www.panerabread.com/pdf/nutr-guide.pdf).

Also, behold (http://www.dietfacts.com/), ye Tyrants of Speedy Foodstuffs! If you ever need to be dissuaded of something, you can find a lot of info here.

Reinforcements
11-17-2009, 07:12 AM
There's like two hundred Jack in the Boxes in the Arid Zone, including 22 Tucson locations. There's no shortage of JitBs in the Southwest, I assure you. There are zip roaring zero in Michigan, although I could have sworn there was one or two back in the 1990s. We DO have an affiliated Mexican restaurant here, though. Qdoba, I think?
I guess it's really no different than seeing a McDonalds in close proximity to a Burger King, but I get weirded out whenever I see a Qdoba right near a Chipotle, because they are EXACTLY THE SAME. As opposed to California Tortilla, which is ALMOST exactly the same but they have a wide selection of hot sauce and little plastic cups so you can take some to go, so it's better. Honestly, it blows my mind that Taco Bell can exist in the same world as these places.

Paul le Fou
11-17-2009, 07:45 AM
So, I think McDonald's tastes better in Japan. Like, order the same food and it's more edible than in America. And their unique menu items are better.

Is this:
a) Take-what-you-can-get Burger Nostalgia
b) An actual difference in ingredients, workforce, or something concrete

Who knows?!

Kirin
11-17-2009, 08:57 AM
I've literally become a regular at my local Panera. I walk into the door and the clerks instantly know my name, which probably isn't a good thing. Anyway, for me Panera is probably the best choice in terms of fast food around here. The food is pretty good and at least feels healthier than McDonalds or Five Guys, which is good enough for me.

When did this turn into a good fast food thread?

But yeah, Panera is good stuff. I actually have a weird nostalgia for it, because they started out as the St. Louis Bread Company, and one of their original stores was like a dozen blocks from the house I grew up in. It was even better when it was local, but it's still good as a chain.


Also, I will occasionally set foot in a Japanese McDonald's to see if they have the melon flavor milkshakes I got there once. Sadly, last time I tried, I was disappointed. If I actually want fast cheap edible food in Japan, it's either 7-Eleven, 100yen-a-plate roto-sushi, or hole-in-the-wall ramen anyway. But that's a different thread.

ThornGhost
11-17-2009, 08:57 AM
If any of you are passing through Northeast Tennessee or Southwest Virginia (I'm guessing this would most likely mean Kirin or Queen Possum for your general South East-iness) please do yourself a favor and stop at a Pal's Sudden Service (http://www.palsweb.com/). You will recognize it by the fact it is a powder blue building with giant plaster footstuffs stuck to the top of it.
It is an AMAZING local chain with the best fast food I have ever eaten. You seriously cannot go wrong with a Big Pal, Frenchie Fries and tea. This was a staple of my diet while I lived there.

PS: There's also a SECRET MENU.

Kirin
11-17-2009, 08:59 AM
(Wow I posted simultaneously with a post directed at me.)

Anyway, I'll try to keep that in mind ThornGhost, but that area is pretty out of the way even for southeasterners. I... think I was in SW Va once for a wedding? And I drove through Tennessee on the way back from the west coast? It's all twisty mountains over there, man.

Patrick
11-17-2009, 09:14 AM
Wendy's Baconator:

http://www.dietfacts.com/imgproc.asp?itemid=49487

Look at all that fat!

Kirin
11-17-2009, 09:24 AM
That's why you order the Big Bacon Classic instead. Same taste in a much more reasonable portion.

(At least I assume it's significantly better. I can't find it on the website you got that info from, but it's usually still hidden on the menu somewhere.)

Patrick
11-17-2009, 09:29 AM
Eww, Big Bacon Classic comes with vegetables. What am I, a rabbit?

it is still on the menu.

benjibot
11-17-2009, 09:29 AM
Now that this has turned into the good fast food thread and we are telling Southerners where to eat I need to say one thing: Tudor's Biscuit World.

Spread throughout Kentucky, West Virginia, and parts of Virginia and serving only breakfast and lunch, Tudor's makes the best damned biscuit sandwich I've ever had. I like them so much, I served them (http://www.flickr.com/photos/benjibot/304525698/in/set-72157594387175833/) at my wedding.

Marfy
11-17-2009, 12:40 PM
If we're talking about the southeast, The Varsity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Varsity) is both the height and the low point of fast food in Atlanta. It's a landmark and a tradition, but ordering is like heading into the lion's den and the food is greasy beyond the point of being good. You know, sometimes you want something awful and greasy and it's so good. Uh-uh. Not here. It's even worse at the sketchy franchises in the 'burbs.

The Varsity Orange (Orange Julius, basically) is pretty delicious, though.

DemoWeasel
11-17-2009, 12:46 PM
Look at all that fat!

Back when I wasn't taking good care of myself I managed to eat one of Carl's Jr.'s Double Six-Dollar Burgers.

That thing had over 100 grams of fat in it.

I am glad I have changed my eating habits.

Daikaiju
11-22-2009, 06:03 AM
Incidentally look (http://www.ginosgiant.com) who's re-entering the game.

Chu
11-22-2009, 06:09 AM
So, I think McDonald's tastes better in Japan. Like, order the same food and it's more edible than in America. And their unique menu items are better.

Is this:
a) Take-what-you-can-get Burger Nostalgia
b) An actual difference in ingredients, workforce, or something concrete

Who knows?!

The teriyaki burger is surprisingly good. You know, for McDonald's.

NevznachaY
01-14-2010, 07:13 AM
This just needs bumping. Yeah.

Dizzy
01-14-2010, 02:18 PM
I was thinking about making a restaurant tips and pointers thread but I guess this'll work.

What are some essential items I should be ordering from a phucking Thai menu?

ArugulaZ
01-14-2010, 08:57 PM
This just needs bumping. Yeah.

Okay, I'll bite... what kind of crappy restaurant experiences have you had, Nevvy?

estragon
01-14-2010, 10:49 PM
So, I think McDonald's tastes better in Japan. Like, order the same food and it's more edible than in America. And their unique menu items are better.

Is this:
a) Take-what-you-can-get Burger Nostalgia
b) An actual difference in ingredients, workforce, or something concrete

Who knows?!

I am convinced that it's a real difference created largely by the social expectation for good service in Japan. People in the US just kind of accept that people working jobs like convience stores and fast food will be lazy, and that just doesn't fly in Japan.

In America, when you go to McDonald's there's a good chance that your food will look like it was slapped together by people who hate their job. It might fall apart, it might not be what you actually ordered, it might be cold. In Japan, every time I go to McDonald's the food has been beautifully prepared and tastes like it was just made instead of sitting around all day.

The trade off, of course, is that Japanese McDonald's is also slower than stores in the US, and it's much more common to be told you'll have to wait a few minutes for them to prepare your food. Personally, I think the speed for quality exchange is worth it.

NevznachaY
01-16-2010, 06:05 AM
Okay, I'll bite... what kind of crappy restaurant experiences have you had, Nevvy?

Sushi restaurants have become really mainstream in Moscow in the last ten years - so I'm properly sick of them by this point, since there are about six major franchises and they are incredibly similar. The idea of Japanese cuisine has been comically distorted: the most popular type of sushi is "roll sushi" (I forget the correct Japanese term) and every time they contain a copious amount of mayonnaise. Not Japanese mayonnaise - plain ol' dumb mayo. That's what the public wants - not delicious soba or takoyaki tonkatsu or even a steaming pot of ramen.

There, rant over.

MetManMas
01-16-2010, 08:43 AM
I guess it's really no different than seeing a McDonalds in close proximity to a Burger King, but I get weirded out whenever I see a Qdoba right near a Chipotle, because they are EXACTLY THE SAME. As opposed to California Tortilla, which is ALMOST exactly the same but they have a wide selection of hot sauce and little plastic cups so you can take some to go, so it's better. Honestly, it blows my mind that Taco Bell can exist in the same world as these places.

I'm guessing Taco Bell's success has a lot to do with it being a fast food chain spread across the country by Yum! Brands, instead of a more regional thing like those Mexican-themed places you mentioned that I never heard of before. Of course, I'd love to try those places if there were any near here.

One of my favorite things about central Florida is that I'm seeing all kinds of restaurant chains I never would've seen back in southern Georgia, largely due to the close proximity to various theme parks (Particularly the Disney stuff). Some places that come to mind are Romano's Macaroni Grill, Johnny Rocket (or however it's spelled), Boston Market (saw the frozen dinners before, but not the restaurant), Panda Express (not particularly good Chinese food, but fast), a friggin' A&W restaurant (old school styled drive-in type like Sonic), and many more. Hell, we even have a Bennigan's, which we haven't been to but I only heard of prior on South Park.

ArugulaZ
01-16-2010, 02:38 PM
Sushi restaurants have become really mainstream in Moscow in the last ten years - so I'm properly sick of them by this point, since there are about six major franchises and they are incredibly similar. The idea of Japanese cuisine has been comically distorted: the most popular type of sushi is "roll sushi" (I forget the correct Japanese term) and every time they contain a copious amount of mayonnaise. Not Japanese mayonnaise - plain ol' dumb mayo. That's what the public wants - not delicious soba or takoyaki tonkatsu or even a steaming pot of ramen.

There, rant over.

God, that sounds awful. You're probably hip to this already, but here in America we have the California Roll, a pseudo-sushi with a tiny sliver of raw tuna accompanied by rice, avocado, and cream cheese, stuffed into a seaweed wrap. Wait, avocado? Cream cheese? I ordered sushi, not guacamole!

Sushi used to be the hip and trendy thing to eat in the United States, but Americans seem to have gotten bored with it. What was once exotic is ordinary and humdrum. I think Vietnamese cooking has become the cutting edge cuisine of the last three years, although I'd have to ask Jeremy to confirm this.

NevznachaY
01-16-2010, 02:57 PM
God, that sounds awful. You're probably hip to this already, but here in America we have the California Roll, a pseudo-sushi with a tiny sliver of raw tuna accompanied by rice, avocado, and cream cheese, stuffed into a seaweed wrap. Wait, avocado? Cream cheese? I ordered sushi, not guacamole!

Sushi used to be the hip and trendy thing to eat in the United States, but Americans seem to have gotten bored with it. What was once exotic is ordinary and humdrum. I think Vietnamese cooking has become the cutting edge cuisine of the last three years, although I'd have to ask Jeremy to confirm this.

Well, mayo is not everywhere - but surely "cream cheese time" is every time. I have no problem with the concept of California roll - it's interesting when done right (and surely American Japanese cuisine is as far removed from the original as American Chinese cuisine). What bugs me is taking exactly one aspect of a it and then, as Bender would put it, cheesing it.

And you have to remember that Moscow is, like, 800 km from a nearest sea.

dangerhelvetica
01-16-2010, 03:20 PM
Boston Market (saw the frozen dinners before, but not the restaurant)

We've had them around here, in the northeast (unsurprisingly) for about 15 years. They were first Boston Chicken, but changed their name because they wanted to expand their products. What I can remember was that it wasn't too bad, a chain restaurant level of food in a fast-food style environment.

I'm not sure where they got the idea of Boston being known for chicken or markets, but whatever.

Lucas
01-16-2010, 04:10 PM
Boston Market quality varies pretty severely by franchise in my experience. I've both pretty good experiences with their food and really, really bad.

Red Hedgehog
01-17-2010, 01:54 AM
What is most hilarious to me is that Canada has a chain pizza place called "Boston Pizza". Like Boston is known for its pizza. Pfft, silly Canadians.

Daikaiju
01-17-2010, 06:30 AM
I think most Eastern Cities have a definitive pizza, don't they?

rkdn42
01-17-2010, 03:15 PM
God, that sounds awful. You're probably hip to this already, but here in America we have the California Roll, a pseudo-sushi with a tiny sliver of raw tuna accompanied by rice, avocado, and cream cheese, stuffed into a seaweed wrap. Wait, avocado? Cream cheese? I ordered sushi, not guacamole!

The places I've been, a California roll is only filled with crab & avocado, no cream cheese or tuna. The wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_roll) and other sites make no mention of cream cheese.

dangerhelvetica
01-17-2010, 03:17 PM
I think most Eastern Cities have a definitive pizza, don't they?

Not so much for Boston, though it does have sizable Italian and Greek populations.

gamin
01-17-2010, 03:51 PM
Having had and enjoyed California, Seattle and Las Vegas rolls, I have to give my support for Americanized sushi creations. It's good.

I mean, really, if you're looking for some kind of authenticity to a nationality's cuisine, what are you doing in a restaurant in America? Just accept that its not really the same and either enjoy it for what it is or don't eat it.

mopinks
01-17-2010, 04:03 PM
authenticity should always come second to tastiness.

avocado and cream cheese in sushi is tasty.

Red Hedgehog
01-17-2010, 10:51 PM
Not so much for Boston, though it does have sizable Italian and Greek populations.

Right. Boston, Providence, and Philly all have good Italian populations and I've certainly had good pizza in all those cities, but they're not known for their pizza and so it seems odd to advertise, "Hey this is Boston Pizza". New York, Chicago, and to a lesser extent Californian are the main styles of US pizzas.

And I've certainly never heard of anyone jonesing for pizza from an east coast city from DC on South.

Torgo
01-17-2010, 11:05 PM
Most everything used to be the hip and trendy thing to eat in the United States, but Americans seem to have gotten bored with it.
That's how things tend to go.

Not that I'm bored of sushi, mind you. Any time is a good time for sushi, be it a the real deal or a bastardized version.

ArugulaZ
01-18-2010, 04:51 AM
The places I've been, a California roll is only filled with crab & avocado, no cream cheese or tuna. The wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_roll) and other sites make no mention of cream cheese.

You're right, you're right. They stuff cream cheese in the Boston and Philly rolls... my apologies for the mistake. I knew I had cream cheese in something, though.

The Americanization of sushi leaves me ambivalent. Then again, there was a place I used to visit that put hot dog chunks in their sushi rather than the standard tuna. Come on guys, this is Michigan, surrounded by fresh water lakes. Surely there was some kind of fish you could have put in here? You didn't have to resort to Oscar Meyer, did you?

Dadgum Roi
01-18-2010, 06:45 AM
And I've certainly never heard of anyone jonesing for pizza from an east coast city from DC on South.

Yes, although when someone says "East Coast" I usually take it to mean the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Seems to be the popular usage.

Dadgum Roi
01-18-2010, 06:46 AM
I mean, really, if you're looking for some kind of authenticity to a nationality's cuisine, what are you doing in a restaurant in America?

It's kind of inconvenient to hop a plane to Guadalajara for a bowl of birria.

Torgo
01-18-2010, 10:35 AM
The Americanization of sushi leaves me ambivalent. Then again, there was a place I used to visit that put hot dog chunks in their sushi rather than the standard tuna. Come on guys, this is Michigan, surrounded by fresh water lakes. Surely there was some kind of fish you could have put in here? You didn't have to resort to Oscar Meyer, did you?
We got one of those joints with the conveyor belts that does that. It's very popular. They also do one with Spam, which actually makes a lot more sense given Hawaii's love affair with the luncheon meat, but still... a sushi joint with Spam.

(I personally think it's a hoot and tastes good. I get one of the Spam ones every time I go there.)

gamin
01-18-2010, 12:54 PM
Spam sushi is an Hawaiian favorite. I've known several who make it at home.

ArugulaZ
01-18-2010, 12:57 PM
In Hawaii, there's even less excuse for that sort of thing! Come on, it's an island in the middle of the ocean. If you can't find a fish there, you're just not trying.

Lumber Baron
01-18-2010, 01:04 PM
This is where I post about the pastrami sushi I had in Japan. If the Japanese are willing to go that bat-shit with sushi ingredients, who are we to judge what folks slap on rice?

By the way, the pastrami sushi? So good.

Mazian
01-18-2010, 04:20 PM
http://i48.tinypic.com/2hcf3tl.jpg

Wolfgang
01-18-2010, 05:20 PM
Kazenzakis sushi

Blech. I can deal with (certain varieties) of raw fish, but beef? Nah. Can't do it.

As for pizza: my favorite Boston pizza is Pizzeria Uno's, if that says anything.

Epithet
01-18-2010, 05:57 PM
Roast beef sushi.

I love how they're not even trying to cut the beef down to where they can actually wrap it in the seaweed. By this point it's basically just a hunk of raw beef with a bit of seaweed wrapped around it and a little dot of rice on top.

EDIT: The hunks of beef remind me of sea slugs, too. Ugh.

mopinks
01-18-2010, 06:17 PM
that's the minced radish on top! the rice is hidden under the delectable shimmering beef.

also, it looks more seared than raw, which is just fine in my book.

Lucas
01-18-2010, 06:25 PM
How would you have raw roast beef. Isn't roast beef kind of... roasted?

Dadgum Roi
01-18-2010, 07:13 PM
Don't the Ethiopians have some kind of raw beef dish? Gored gored or something?

Sheana
01-18-2010, 07:24 PM
I'd probably try it, because I like my beef done medium at the absolute most, and I've had the urge to try it raw-ish for a while now. Why yes, yes I am a cavewoman.

mopinks
01-18-2010, 07:33 PM
raw beef ain't bad at all! yukhoe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yukhoe) is tasty stuff.

Kirin
01-19-2010, 09:15 AM
My grandpa used to occasionally feed us kids raw ground beef on crackers, to the absolute horror of my mom, who's a microbiologist.

Red Hedgehog
01-19-2010, 11:40 PM
I've had steak tartare. Raw beef isn't bad.

NevznachaY
01-21-2010, 05:44 AM
Tartare isn't raw, it's slightly marinated. Usually in lemon juice and dijon mustard. Kills the bacteria!

Red Hedgehog
01-21-2010, 10:10 AM
Tartare isn't raw, it's slightly marinated. Usually in lemon juice and dijon mustard. Kills the bacteria!

Say what?

It's mixed with mustard, but it's a big stretch to say it's marinated in it. And the mustard certainly doesn't kill any bacteria. That's why there are about a million precautions that restaurants have to have if they serve steak tartare.

It's raw, dog.

upupdowndown
01-21-2010, 10:20 AM
The acidity in lemon juice can kill bacteria - that's how ceviche works.

Bergasa
01-21-2010, 10:44 AM
When I do steaks on the BBQ, I prefer mine on the "less done" side, but when it comes to ground beef, I have always been under the impression that you have to cook that shit. With a steak, you can cook the exposed parts of the meat, and the inside, if left raw, will be fine because bacteria hasn't gotten to it. With ground beef, it's all been exposed. y/n?

Dadgum Roi
01-21-2010, 11:00 AM
The acidity in lemon juice can kill bacteria - that's how ceviche works.

Actually, with ceviche, the citrus chemically cooks the seafood. The texture is similar to raw, but technically it's not raw.

The-Bavis
01-21-2010, 11:09 AM
When I do steaks on the BBQ, I prefer mine on the "less done" side, but when it comes to ground beef, I have always been under the impression that you have to cook that shit. With a steak, you can cook the exposed parts of the meat, and the inside, if left raw, will be fine because bacteria hasn't gotten to it. With ground beef, it's all been exposed. y/n?

I think you're right for the most part. This is how they can "age" a steak (let it rot w/ bacteria basically) because then you cook the rotten part. I think the other main issue w/ ground beef you get from anywhere that doesn't grind their own cow to order is that it's a big slurry of different animals from different farms and who knows which ones were randomly tested for e-coli so you might as well cook the hell out of it to be safe.

Red Hedgehog
01-21-2010, 12:16 PM
The acidity in lemon juice can kill bacteria - that's how ceviche works.

That's very true - but steak tartare is not ceviche.

When I do steaks on the BBQ, I prefer mine on the "less done" side, but when it comes to ground beef, I have always been under the impression that you have to cook that shit. With a steak, you can cook the exposed parts of the meat, and the inside, if left raw, will be fine because bacteria hasn't gotten to it. With ground beef, it's all been exposed. y/n?

That is very true. It's the outside of beef that's more likely to have bacteria so when grinding it, you mix the inside with the outside and thus the bacteria can be anywhere and you need it to be more cooked. Thus with steak tartare, a restaurant can only get their beef from certain places/cuts, needs to grind it themselves, and only soon before serving, etc. etc. etc.

NevznachaY
01-21-2010, 02:11 PM
Good tartare is ground on the spot.

Dizzy
08-14-2010, 07:38 PM
Last month I visited the dreaded Golden Corral in another state, because I was pressed for time and money. It was every bit as a bad as the Corrals in my area, if not worse! All the yogurt and milk and juices were not properly stored on top of ice. Instead they were floating in water. The food was mediocre, barely passable. I'm pretty sure the waitress I had was high as a kite. She kept forgetting my instructions and was laughing at inappropriate moments. She probably lived there, ate there, never washed her uniform and spent all her dire wages on marijuana.

Stay away from that place! Hopefully this business will flop soon.

Vega
08-23-2011, 07:18 PM
Anybody here been to South of the Border on I-95 in SC? I went there once in 1994. The food was blah and half the place was a self-promotional gift shop but it somehow still managed to be kind of fun. The high point for me was playing GI Joe in their arcade. What's it like nowadays?

Mr. Sensible
08-23-2011, 07:33 PM
Stay away from that place! Hopefully this business will flop soon.

People love shitty buffets, so I wouldn't count on it!

Googleshng
08-23-2011, 07:41 PM
There's a diner sort of place around here which, as a schtick, looks like a real scuzzy dive, and has the wait staff hurl insults at the customers, and generally imply that all the food is made with expired ingredients and such, where it's actually all quite good.

Then there's The Shack, which is really easy to mix up with that one because hey, it looks like a scuzzy dive, the wait staff insults you, and the food seems a little off. Except with them it isn't some big joke. It's just a really horrible restaurant. Or was when I last checked. Apparently it's a whole franchise now.

Mr. Sensible
08-23-2011, 07:43 PM
Oh, so it's like Dick's Last Resort in SC. I didn't realize that was an actual thing that other restaurants do.

PatientBeast
08-23-2011, 08:21 PM
I ate at a truck stop once and had a breaded "Italian" chicken sandwich. It was "Italian" because it had red sauce poured onto the breaded chicken. It was the blandest thing I've ever eaten in my life. Water crackers had more pizazz than this. No flavor at all. Nada. I didn't know what to think after that because I had never eaten food that actually tasted like nothing before.

Aside from that I found both Cheeseburger in Paradise and Buffalo Wings to be utter rubbish.

Dhroo
08-23-2011, 08:47 PM
Anybody here been to South of the Border on I-95 in SC? I went there once in 1994. The food was blah and half the place was a self-promotional gift shop but it somehow still managed to be kind of fun. The high point for me was playing GI Joe in their arcade. What's it like nowadays?

I've never been, but when I passed it earlier this year on the way to and from Florida, there seemed to be hardly anyone there. I'm kind of surprised it's still around, but it seems like it's slowly dying.

My childhood had a lot of road trips up and down 95. My siblings and I would always beg our parents to stop there, but we never did. M-maybe they were doing us a favor?

Aside from that I found both Cheeseburger in Paradise and Buffalo Wings to be utter rubbish.

Well, it's a Jimmy Buffet-themed restaurant chain, so the bar is already set pretty low.

PatientBeast
08-24-2011, 09:04 AM
Well, it's a Jimmy Buffet-themed restaurant chain, so the bar is already set pretty low.

My family went there on a whim, and it was my Father's birthday, so I had no choice. I had a feeling it would be a kitschy restaurant, but I didn't expect it to be so under-boiled. The burgers weren't at all spiced correctly and they used too much iceberg lettuce so it was pretty much a lettuce burger with bland meat. I don't even remember the rest, I think my mind blocked that part out.

Buffalo Wings was the same experience, we went there on a whim, except it tasted more prepackaged than Cheeseburger in Paradise. I also went in there not at all expecting it to be a sports bar, which was my mistake.

BŁge
08-24-2011, 10:52 AM
Anybody here been to South of the Border on I-95 in SC? I went there once in 1994. The food was blah and half the place was a self-promotional gift shop but it somehow still managed to be kind of fun. The high point for me was playing GI Joe in their arcade. What's it like nowadays?

I went there back in 2006 on the way to Disney World. It seemed like a fun, kitschy tourist trap that you visit on the way to go somewhere else.

Daikaiju
08-27-2011, 08:23 AM
Aside from that I found both Cheeseburger in Paradise and Buffalo Wings to be utter rubbish.

Totally agreed on the former. Place seems like more like bar selling burgers than a full on restaurant. Plus with the vastly superior Cheeburger Cheeburger nearby the Oxford Valley, PA location, it seems even more lame.