Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Iron Chef Burger – Bobby’s Burger Palace

June 7, 2013
Bobby’s Burger Palace, Philadelphia PA
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Sweet Potato Fries
Dallas Burger
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ImageI met up with a hall-mate from freshman year at Bobby’s Burger Palace. Somehow, I had never eaten there before. Since I started watching Bobby Flay on “Iron Chef America” a lot, I had meant to give his burgers a try sooner or later.

To start, I tried the Sweet Potato Fries. They were such a deal – a small bucket with chipotle aioli for only $3. You never see this at a more formal restaurant. They were crispy on the outside and sweet and mushy on the inside. The aioli had a hint of spice and was very creamy. This was a perfect way to start a burger meal.Image

I had my Dallas Burger ‘crunchified,’ which is adding a small stack of crispy potato chips inside the burger. It was so difficult to eat, having to press everything together. I had juice and the barbeque sauce all over my hands afterwards. The medium (pink throughout) beef patty was very juicy and not too greasy. The Monterey jack cheese was all melted and the coleslaw and pickles added some acidity. The bun was nicely toasted and overall, it was not a bad burger. Sure, it is not as creative as some I would get on the food trucks, but with such a nice atmosphere and not any more expensive, I’ll take it!

Bobby's Burger Palace on Urbanspoon

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One Day Attack in UCity – Guerilla Ultima

May 29, 2013
Guerilla Ultima, Philadelphia PA
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Sesame Broccoli Salad
The Ultimate Patriot
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ImageGuerilla Ultima was a relatively new food truck specializing in BBQ that I had never seen around Drexel’s campus or anywhere else. The menu looked interesting with a lot of choices of protein. However, I do think it’s important to specify a burger and not call it a sandwich. 

The Sesame Broccoli Salad was a little too sour for my liking. I had a lot of broccoli as well as napa cabbage, carrots, and spicy jalapenos. It just had too much acidity to the salad and it was a little overdressed. However, I did like the crispness of the fresh vegetables. Still, for $4, the portion was quite small.Image

The Outsourced Patriot was in actuality a smoked curry chicken burger topped with coconut crema and guerilla slaw. The chicken was a little dry but still decent. It also had a smoky flavour but I had a hard time tasting much of the coconut crema. The burger was just a tad too dry and slightly bland, especially once you have the two pieces of the bun with the chicken breast. 

I think this food truck has potential but really needs to carve out its niche, figure out the tastes of its customers, and set a price that will generate a lot of business. Striking up conversations while customers are waiting is also not a bad idea. 

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Burger Month! – SpOt

May 28, 2013
SpOt, Philadelphia PA
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Yosemite Sam Burger
Umami Burger
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ImageNational Hamburger Month continues with a visit to SpOt, the best burgers off a cart you can ever find. The Yosemite Sam was the weekly special: a regular, juicy beef burger with bacon, grilled onions, provolone cheese, jalapenos, BBQ-sriracha, and a teriyaki-horseradish mayonnaise. I love sweet grilled onions on everything, especially balancing out the kick from the jalapenos. The sauces mixed together nicely as well – two types of sweet and spicy.

ImageThe Umami Burger had lettuce, pickled daikon, gilled onions, mushrooms, gochujang, and teriyaki. The lettuce and daikon gave it a nice crunch and I love the sweet and spicy from the onions and the two sauces. The mushrooms did not add flavour or texture but were great nonetheless. Overall, a very satisfying, juicy burger. 

Spot Burgers on Urbanspoon

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The Sweeet Burger – Chewy’s

May 22, 2013
Chewy’s, Philadelphia PA
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Brie Burger
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ImageAs part of National Hamburger Month, I paid a visit to Chewy’s, a food truck that had not been around recently and just came back to serve University City full time again. This colourful truck is known for its burgers and chicken and waffles. 

Preferring something a little sweet and unique, I decided on the Brie Burger with caramelized onions, honey grilled apples, arugula, brie cheese, and black pepper mayo. The beef burger patty was so juicy and the sesame bun was nice and toasted. I loved the sweet onions and apples, one soft and the other a little tart. The brie was creamy and provided flavouring contrast while the arugula added a touch of bitterness. The mayo did not quite stand out but I just loved those apples!

Chewy's on Urbanspoon

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King of Fast Food Specials – Burger King

March 23, 2013
Burger King, Philadelphia PA
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Sausage Burrito
Bacon Gouda Muffin
French Toast Sticks

Chipotle Chicken Wrap
Loaded Tater Tots
Veggie Burger
Peach Iced Tea
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ImageA day of competition in center city entails getting something quick yet unavailable in University City. With so many more specials than McDonald’s, Burger King was, I decided, the place to go. Image

The Sausage Burrito, at only $1, was certainly decent. The sausage was seasoned nicely and adequately juicy. I liked the onions and peppers with the melted American cheese. The tortilla was holding everything together, toasty warm.Image

The Bacon Gouda Muffin was their new, limited-time breakfast offering. On a toasted English muffin were strips of crispy bacon, a slice of gouda cheese, folded eggs, and a herb spread. The taste was quite light from the cheese but there was a nice garlic and herb undertone to the spread that made it different from your regular breakfast sandwich.Image

The French Toast Sticks, served with syrup, was a little too chewy. The outside was not exactly crispy and it was hard to bite and very greasy. Image

For lunch, the new Chipotle Chicken Wrap, which I got with grilled chicken, had a nice chipotle mayo that had some kick. The chicken was dry and tough, though. The lettuce, tomato, and pepper jack cheese did not add much in way of flavour. What I did like was the crispy bacon with the caramelized onions. The onions could be cooked a bit more, though, but it was still nice.Image

The Loaded Tater Tots were disappointing. There were barely any bacon bits and I could not taste any onions. It was just mushy potato with a semi-crispy fried exterior. These were certainly not satisfying. Image

The Veggie Burger, on the other hand, was great. I loved the veggie patty with the usual lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. What I really liked was the ratio of the ketchup to the mayonnaise that reminded me of sandwiches I used to eat when I was little. I finally found that flavour combination!Image

Finally, the Peach Iced Tea was rather refreshing. It had strong tea and peach flavours but I found this to be a bit pricey at around $2 for a small.Image

Burger King’s menu is now so much more interesting than McDonald’s. It’s a shame they do not have one on campus. I am now curious as to what flavours they will have over the summer.

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Double Deluxe – McDonald’s

March 17, 2013
McDonald’s, Philadelphia PA
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Steak & Egg Burrito
Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles
Angus Deluxe Snack Wrap
Daily Double
McFlurry with Reese’s
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ImageI made it in the morning just in time for breakfast. Thus, I got to see the boards being changed by using a handle to rotate the boards, which was pretty cool.Image

The new Steak & Egg Burrito was decent but not that great. It was quite skinny and the steak was a little tough and dry. The cheese and eggs were okay but I would prefer the flavours of the traditional sausage burrito which has more flavour. I did like the salsa inside though.Image

The Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles had a nice blend of sweet from the syrup in the griddle cakes and savoury from the seasoning in the sausage patty and the melted cheese slice. The folded eggs were fluffy and this is one of the better breakfast options in my opinion. Image

The Angus Deluxe Snack Wrap was quite good, with a nice strip of beef patty amongst onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and pickles. It was simple yet not lacking ingredients. The tortilla mostly kept it together but you have to be careful so as to not get it everywhere.Image

The Daily Double was not double the taste. The thin beef patties were dry and the bun was not that great either. The lettuce and tomatoes were both there but with the ketchup was just so ordinary.Image

The McFlurry with Reese’s is no longer available so I am glad I had it when I did. It was great as I love Reese’s peanut butter cups. Chocolate, peanut butter, and vanilla soft serve – what is not to love?13-03-17 - McFlurry with Reese's - McDonald's

Honestly, I’m running out of choices at McDonald’s. Let’s just hope they will offer new options soon. I am still waiting for the egg white breakfast sandwiches!

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St. Patty on the Street – Street Food Philly

March 14, 2013
Street Food Philly, Philadelphia PA
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St. Pat Burger Special
Guiness Beef Stew
Guiness Budino
Salted Fudge Brownie
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It was National Potato Chip Day so what better way than to celebrate with a serving of freshly sliced and fried real potato chips. They are way better than the things that come in bags. Honestly. Street Food Philly was also serving up a variety of St. Patrick’s Day specials so let’s start with that.

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The St. Pat Burger Special included a juicy beef patty with Guiness glaze, beer onion rings, mustard cabbage, and cheese on a soft and toasted burger bun. It was so juicy and so flavourful with the glaze an the mustard seeds. The cabbage added a great crunch and the onion rings’ sweetness helped cut into the savoury and spicy kick. The chips that came along were crispy, not too oily, and very thing.Image

The Guinness Beef Stew had extremely tender cubes of beef. There was a bit too much potatoes and not enough carrots and onions. It was a little greasy on the top but the flavour was outstanding and incredibly rich and comforting. The Irish soda bread was very crispy and light, soaking up the stew nicely.

ImageThe Guinness Budino had the sweetest, smoothest, and tastiest Guinness custard. I could not taste much of the Guiness but the custard was great, as was the salted caramel, caramel whip cream, and the crushed animal crackers and the chocolate graham at the bottom. It was a light but sweet dessert.Image

Finally, being awesome, they gave me a Salted Fudge Brownie. It was dense, rich, and chewy. A little greasy on the fingers but the flavours were spot on.

Street Food Philly is not cheap – the three items costed me $20. However, the quality of the food really does justify the prices. Each portion is individually prepared and cooked to order. This is nothing like fast food out of a truck, that’s for sure!

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Munchin’ at Midnight – McDonald’s

March 9, 2013
McDonald’s, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
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プチパンケーキ (Petit Pancakes)
ベーコンレタスバーガー (Bacon Lettuce Burger)
チキンクリスプ (Chicken Crisp)
マックフルーリー マーブル オレオ (McFlurry Marble Oreo)
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ImageNot being overstuffed from dinner for once, Casey and I were craving some sort of midnight dessert. However, we could not find any small, quaint, Japanese cafes in Shinjuku around midnight. So, as we went back to the hotel, we settled on McDonald’s.Image

The プチパンケーキ (Petit Pancakes) hit the spot. These mini pancakes were soft, fluffy, and just adorable! They were not overly sweet so adding the apple syrup and cream made them delicious. I loved the idea of the apple syrup combination to make traditional pancakes more interesting.Image

The ベーコンレタスバーガー (Bacon Lettuce Burger) was decent. The bun was slightly sweet after being toasted, the lettuce and bacon were crisp, and the ketchup made it just simple. The beef patty was not bad and on average, this was okay for McDonald’s.Image

The チキンクリスプ (Chicken Crisp) was like the English muffin version they offer for breakfast except that it was served on a burger bun. The chicken had a nice, thin and crispy exterior and the mustard sauce added some zing.Image

Finally, I decided I needed ice cream. The マックフルーリー マーブル オレオ (McFlurry Marble Oreo) was just a regular Oreo McFlurry with added chocolate sauce. It was blended nicely and the soft serve was icy, sweet, and yet not overwhelmingly creamy – a perfect addition to a sweet bite at midnight.

I am just so impressed with the quality of McDonald’s in Japan. All the restaurants I visited were clean and had fantastic, friendly service, just like the rest of Japan, I guess. Too bad this is not the case back home, but I sure wish every McDonald’s I go to is just as sophisticated, or as nice as fast food can get, anyways.

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All Star Fast Food – McDonald’s

March 7, 2013
McDonald’s, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
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マックシェイクブルーベリー (Blueberry McShake)
ジューシーシャカシャカチキン レッドペッパー (Juicy Shaka Shaka Chicken Red Pepper)
ジューシーシャカシャカチキン チェダーチーズ (Juicy Shaka Shaka Chicken Cheddar Cheese)
シャカシャカポテト アメリカンバーベキュー味 (Shaka Shaka Fry American BBQ)
アイダホバーガー (Idaho Burger)
てりやきマックバーガー (Teriyaki McBurger)
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ImageThe good thing about eating with one or two other people is you can share and get to try a variety of things without it getting awkward. This is how I got to try most of the items on McDonald’s Big America ALL STARS promotional menu.

First was the マックシェイクブルーベリー (Blueberry McShake). It was not overly sweet and had a light blueberry aroma. The ice cream milk shake was surprisingly refreshing in that lovely sweet way, with pretty lilac swirls. This is Japan after all, so I guess it makes sense not to be too heavy on the pure sugar. Image

Although not part of the special menu, the ジューシーシャカシャカチキン レッドペッパー (Juicy Shaka Shaka Chicken Red Pepper) was on my to-try list. The chicken was extremely juicy and tender on the inside with a very crispy and lovely exterior. The red pepper powder was slightly spicy and very flavourful. Image

The ジューシーシャカシャカチキン チェダーチーズ (Juicy Shaka Shaka Chicken Cheddar Cheese) was also tasty. I sometimes prefer dark meat chicken over white meat, especially when it is so moist and juicy like this. The cheddar cheese powder was surprisingly strong in cheese flavour.Image 

Part of the Big America ALL STARS menu, the シャカシャカポテト アメリカンバーベキュー味 (Shaka Shaka Fry American BBQ) was just okay. The BBQ powder was very tasty, savoury and sweet, reflecting barbecue sauce very nicely. However, it was not exactly too creative and french fries had never been my favourite. Image

The アイダホバーガー (Idaho Burger) was interesting. This had a beef patty, a hash brown, onions, bacon, pepper relish, a cheese slice, and ketchup on a toasted sesame bun. I guess even the Japanese know that Idaho is famous for its potatoes now! It was an odd combination and did not taste incredible to me. The hash brown had a nice crispy outside and mushy inside but lacked flavour. The beef patty was juicy and the bacon crispy but I found the onions a little overwhelming. The pepper relish, cheese, and ketchup gave a nice combination of flavours. All it all, it seemed odd.Image

Finally, the regular menu てりやきマックバーガー (Teriyaki McBurger) is by far the best thing I have had in McDonald’s burger-wise. The pork patty was so tender and juicy. I especially LOVED the sweet teriyaki sauce with the crisp lettuce and the slightly sweet sesame bun. It was just a sandwich of great flavours and combinations – the best, must-try, burger according to not just me but all the Japanese students I have met!

Regional menu items are certainly awesome, especially when the flavours are so appealing to my palate. Oh, the Japanese just make everything so much better!

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Shrimp in a Fillet – McDonald’s

March 4, 2013
McDonald’s, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
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えびフィレオ (EBI Filet-O)
メープルカスタードパイ (Maple Custard Pie)
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ImageWho has ever heard of fried shrimp fillets? Well, all you have to do is ask the Japanese. McDonald’s tailors their menu items to the region so it is always exciting to go to somewhere completely new and see what the local palate is like. Image

In Japan, one of their special items was the えびフィレオ (EBI Filet-O), which is like the Filet-O-Fish but with shrimp because the Japanese are just so crazy about seafood. It was FANTASTIC. The shrimp were tender, slightly chewy, and also slightly sweet. The batter was nice and crispy. The bun was toasted nicely and the sweet, light red mayonnaise was really delicious with the crunchy lettuce. Image

One of their special, limited-time items part of the Big America All Stars promotion was the メープルカスタードパイ (Maple Custard Pie), which was more of a turnover. The pastry was flaky and light but I could have used a higher filling to pastry ratio. The filling was so good, though. Sweet and creamy custard was paired with even sweeter and sticky maple syrup. It was not the pure maple flavour but it was still a great combination. Two different sweet tastes blended nicely together.Image

A late midnight snack at McDonald’s was certainly quite nice. The restaurant in Shibuya was very clean and there were a lot of students studying inside in groups, something that you never see back home in North America. The Japanese are so awesome that even McDonald’s is becoming classy.

 

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