In the west, we have Rally's. In the east, Checkers. I confess I eat here extremely rarely, as there isn't one convenient during my daily living. But on a recent trip to Atlanta, I had a hankerin' for a burger at the airport, so I sidled up to the Checkers counter and visited my old friend, Big Buford.
This was a dang good burger. Look at that presentation, at an airport location no less. Casually but not sloppily assembled, my Big Buford double meat, double cheeseburger was juicy, tasty, with the right meat to cheese ratio, cool toppings and no grease. A clean-messy burger experience is always welcome, especially in work clothes. And as for the fries...
Frequent readers know I am NOT a fan of seasoned fries. They often taste bland and processed, as if the coating is covering up their frozen origins. But these seasoned fries made me think twice. Salty, almost savory, dark and crispy, the Checkers fries were a great companion to Mr. Buford. Kudos Checkers, for keeping an eye on the prize.
I am very lucky. I live in the only place outside of Buffalo, NY, where I can have Ted's hot dogs and those dang mouthwatering onion rings. But how is Ted's treated in its home town? Well, this greets you upon landing at Buffalo International Airport:
What a glorious sight. It is funny, they should say "7 Western New York locations and one in Tempe, AZ"
I am worried. Listening to stories and reading news articles about the current drought in the U.S., it seems the experts are in agreement: food prices will be going up over the next couple years. When it comes to our favorite fast food staple, the hamburger, declining corn yields will lead to less feed for livestock. This, in turn, leads to lower livestock available for the beef market.
Experts believe U.S. consumers will begin to feel the pinch in their pocketbooks in 2013 and the higher costs will likely extend into 2014, depending upon the severity and duration of the drought.
I've got to think that there is a ceiling on fast food prices, above which people will turn to other food options (sit down, eat at home.) So it will be interesting to watch the industry react - will we see smaller menu items for the same price as current larger offerings? Simple across the board price jumps? Or something else? Keep in mind, soft drinks, desserts, etc. also often contain corn as a sweetener (corn syrup) so expect your beverage to take a hit as well. Perhaps discontinued discounts on larger beverages, like McDonald's any-size-drink-for-$1 promo. Free refills go away? I doubt it. But pretty scary stuff to think about.
I am a big fan of Tommy's expansion - more locations for easier access to my favorite burger. On a recent stop at a new store in Pasadena, CA, something outside the restaurant caught my eye: the cool 3-D sign with a little model of the original "shack" jumping off the sign:
We continue our world tour of McDonald's with one that is technically not outside the United States: Puerto Rico. The U.S. commonwealth prices in US dollars but posts signs in Spanish and, in a lot of ways, feels like a foreign destination. They use the metric system, so I fully expected to see the Quarter Pounder to be called something else. But nope, it's there:
The combos come with fries (McPapas - cute name) or a side salad and include mostly familiar items, but some slight variations:
In addition to the core menu, there were some other highlighted items included the dreadful Chicken McBites:
Three different Premium Chicken sandwiches:
And, because Puerto Ricans really seem to love their chicken, a Chicken Mac!
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Jack in the Box menu (8/22/16)
Original Tommy's menu (8/12/16)
Portillo's menu (6/29/16)
Zaxby's menu (3/8/16)
Arby's menu (2/16/16)
Burger King menu (2/16/16)
El Pollo Loco menu (2/16/16)
McDonald's menu (2/16/16)
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Wendy's menu (2/16/16)
Schlotzsky's menu (8/4/15)
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Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers menu (11/21/14)
Sonic menu (10/2/14)
KFC menu (8/19/14)
Steak-n-Shake menu (8/19/14)
Chipotle menu (4/4/14)
Burgerfi menu (4/4/14)
Subway menu (2/18/14)
Ted's Hot Dogs menu (2/18/14)
Which Wich menu (2/1/14)
The Habit menu (2/1/14)
Krystal menu (1/9/14)
Carl's Jr. menu (1/1/14)