Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Double Deluxe – McDonald’s

March 17, 2013
McDonald’s, Philadelphia PA
Steak & Egg Burrito
Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles
Angus Deluxe Snack Wrap
Daily Double
McFlurry with Reese’s

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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Munchin’ at Midnight – McDonald’s

March 9, 2013
McDonald’s, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
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)

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
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)

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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Crazy Cravings – Crazy Crepes

March 7, 2013
Crazy Crepes, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
イチゴチョコクランチバニラ (Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Vanilla Ice)

ImageOkay, so crepes are not traditionally Japanese, nor are strawberries, chocolate, almonds, or vanilla ice cream. However, crepe shops are all over Tokyo’s most busiest shopping centers. Everywhere I look, I see these lovely desserts, so when a friend got one, I just had to try a bite.

She got a イチゴチョコクランチバニラ (Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Vanilla Ice), which had fresh strawberries, chocolate bits, chocolate sauce, almond slices, vanilla ice cream, and of course whipped cream. It was sweet but not overwhelmingly so. The ice cream made it cold and the strawberries refreshing. The crepe was thin and the whole thing was just a mouthful of delight. 

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Traditional Japanese Soft Serve – 仲見世小町

March 5, 2013
仲見世小町, Taitō, Tokyo, Japan
抹茶ソフトアイス {Green Tea Soft Ice Cream}

ImageA friend wanted some ice cream and so as we were shopping in Asakusa, she got a 抹茶ソフトアイス {Green Tea Soft Ice Cream} for 300 yen. Asakasa’s market itself was pretty enough, with its cherry blossom decorations and little, interesting shops. Add to that delicious ice cream and it is even better. This is Japan after all so green tea flavour was just perfect. The soft serve was creamy, light, not very sweet, and just very tasty!

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Shamrocks and Fish – McDonald’s

February 12, 2013
McDonald’s, Philadelphia PA
Shamrock Shake
Fish McBites
Tartar Sauce
Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger

ImageIt seems I am always repeating this, but McDonald’s needs more than three special menu items every four months. Honestly, that would keep the menu so much more interesting, but we digress.

It was only the beginning of February but since Valentine’s Day was over, it was apparently prime time to roll out the Shamrock Shake again. I was not going to miss it this year, and I am glad I did not. It was lovely and sweet, smooth as all McDonald’s shakes go. The mint added a different layer of flavour and made it light and refreshing, despite it still being a caloric bomb. The green was actually pretty and appetizing looking, and I just liked the balance of sweet vanilla and mint.Image

The new Fish McBites were on promotion for three days; a snack size was only $1. This was such a deal, as they were really good. Well, as good as fast food fish can get anyways. Each mini fish nugget had tender Alaskan Pollock inside, flaky with the layers visible. The batter on the outside was slightly crispy and quite thin, as well as nicely seasoned. The Tartar Sauce that came with it was the same as the one on the Filet-O-Fish, tangy, sour from the relish, and creamy.Image

The Grilled Cheddar Onion Burger was also only $1, now part of their regular Dollar Menu. The bun was slightly sweet and toasted. However, the ingredients were subpar. The onions were a little too greasy; the white cheddar was a little bland; the hamburger patty was dry and overdone, not juicy in any way. The idea of the burger is nice but the execution needed some serious improvement.

Now, I am wondering what they will churn out for Easter and late spring. That should be interesting, but something with chocolate would be nice. Those Easter bunnies would like that, too.

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Prickly Pineapples! – Plantation Grille

ImageJanuary 5, 2013
Plantation Grille, Wahiawa HI
Dole Whip Cup with Topping
Pineapple Strudel

On our second to last day in the happiest state, we explored the western half of Oahu, driving to the north shore and the west shore. It was a beautiful day and we spotted rainbows. Every time we got back in the car to drive a couple of miles to the next destination, it would start pouring. The thundershowers passed quickly though. On our journey north, we stopped first at the Dole Plantation. Thinking we did not have much time, we did not go on the train or garden tours, opting to just explore the small garden open to everyone and sample some pineapple treats at the Plantation Grille.

The Dole Whip Cup with Topping was the best and freshest pineapple ice cream any of us ever had. It was aromatic, lightly sweetened, tart, creamy, and very smooth. It was just so refreshing and good. The topping was chopped up pineapple chunks that were also very fresh and delicious. Literally everyone in the plantation was eating ice cream in some form.Image

I also tried the Pineapple Strudel and loved it. It was fresh but with pineapple in a sticky jam-like base, it was quite sweet. The flaky strudel was freshly baked and not too creasy. It was a delicious and flaky bite of pineapple pastry.Image

Lunch here looks decent enough but it is also quite pricey. I would definitely suggest getting some pineapple treat, though!

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Wickedly Ordinary – Wendy’s

ImageDecember 17, 2012
Wendy’s, Philadelphia PA
Mornin’ Melt Panini
Sausage & Egg Burrito
Fresh-Baked Oatmeal Bar
Mozzarella Chicken Supreme
Spicy Chicken Nuggets
Sweet & Sour Sauce
Caramel Apple Frosty Parfait

With a lack of fast food restaurant chains on campus, I jogged over to the train station in the morning for breakfast at Wendy’s. My first time ever. Yes, you should be proud. Slightly more expensive than a regular Wendy’s restaurant, since it was one of those special stores in the station, I was glad they offered breakfast selections that are apparently still in their test stages.Image

The Mornin’ Melt Panini was as wonderful a panini as I would ever expect from a fast food place. The sourdough bread was nicely pressed. The fried egg was sprinkled with salt and pepper and was just lovely, especially the egg whites. It was clearly a whole egg, rather than a processed egg omelet. The Asiago and cheddar cheeses were savoury and tasted unlike regular processed cheese but slightly more gourmet. The applewood smoked bacon was also thick and crispy, adding a nice texture. It was as good a breakfast sandwich you can ever get for the price.Image

The Sausage & Egg Burrito was small but still tasty. The sausage bits were savoury and the scrambled eggs fluffy and rather delicious. The savoury burrito owed most of its flavour to the American cheese that was more than gooey and stringy. All of it was wrapped in a warm tortilla, making for a light but satisfying bite in the morning.Image

The Fresh-Baked Oatmeal Bar was even tastier. It was full of oats and all the good stuff, including tart, juicy cranberries and very sweet blueberries. The bar itself was soft and warm, and also very sweet, which was perfect for my sweet tooth. One bar was more than enough, but I could eat one every day with no problem.Image

I returned to Wendy’s for dinner as well. The Mozzarella Chicken Supreme sandwich was not so supreme and a little bland. Most of the flavour came from the seasoned batter on the fried homestyle chicken fillet and the Parmesan cheese sauce. The mozzarella was not the fresh kind, obviously, and quite mild. The lettuce and bun were generic. It was a good sandwich to be sure, but not an amazing one.Image

The Spicy Chicken Nuggets were decent, though. Looking spicier than they tasted, they still had a little kick, especially the after taste. They were $1.19 I believe so relatively inexpensive. The chicken was tender and the batter not too thin or too thick. I wish they came out piping hot, though.Image

I asked for a side of Sweet & Sour Sauce. The red coloring was a little revolting for a sauce and it was rather thick. It could have been tangier as well. I definitely prefer McDonald’s version, although this was more like what you would normally find at the supermarket.Image

For dessert, I gave the Caramel Apple Frosty Parfait a try. It was sweet and tasty. I loved the frosty base, or rather vanilla soft serve. Sweet but not overwhelming, it was light and still decently creamy. The caramel sauce was sticky and added to the creaminess while the apple slices were crunchy, juicy, and tart. There could have been more of the crunchy granola to add more texture but for $1.99, it was a lovely way to end a fast food meal.Image

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New Twists and Curls – Burger King

ImageNovember 30, 2012
Burger King, Philadelphia PA
Wisconsin White Cheddar Whopper Jr. 
Angry Whopper Jr. 
Seasoned Sweet Potato Curly Fries
Gingerbread Cookie Shake
Gingerbread Cookie Sundae

I thought I should get an early dinner and since I was already in Center City and having only had a light salad for lunch, a visit to Burger King was in order. They have so many new, limited-time items so it was quite a nice stop before heading back to campus.Image

The Wisconsin White Cheddar Whopper Jr. was not extraordinary. The beef patty was okay, decently juicy. The vegetables were quite generic – tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and onions – as was the sesame seed bun. The bacon was actually crispy and quite good. However, I found the white cheddar to be a little bland. It needed more of a kick. Image

The Angry Whopper Jr. was fabulous as far as fast food burgers go. Again, the bacon and beef patty were both great, one crispy and one juicy. The melted Habanero cheese was also decent enough. The vegetables and sesame seed bun were like any other burger. What made this burger so much better was the strong, fiery spicy kick from the jalapenos and the spicy angry sauce. The sauce was so bold, spicy, sweet, and savoury, like a BBQ sauce on fire. The fried spicy onion petals were also something I had never had and quite enjoyed their crunch.Image

The Seasoned Sweet Potato Curly Fries was just an upgrade from what they offered earlier this year (straight-cut sweet potato fries). They were well seasoned with maple seasoning, adding savoury to the sweet. Crispy on the outside and smooth on the inside, they were fun and tasty.Image

I asked for a sundae but they gave me the Gingerbread Cookie Shake instead. It was so sweet but nothing is ever too sweet for me. The gingerbread flavour was quite strong. Mixed with a rich, creamy ice cream base, it was too much, even for a small size. However, a few sips were great. Image

I did get my Gingerbread Cookie Sundae in the end. I loved the gingerbread syrup, which tasted quite like chocolate to me. The gingerbread flavour was there, though. THe vanilla soft serve was quite generic but the cookie crumble on top added a nice texture and ginger spice flavour to the dessert.Image

Burger King is now churning out new menu items faster than most fast food chains, certainly with some interesting options. Not all may be brilliant, but some are certainly unique enough. 

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Mmmm Caramel – McDonald’s

ImageNovember 11, 2012
McDonald’s, Philadelphia PA
Hot Caramel Sundae
Hot ‘n Spicy McChicken
Angus Bacon & Cheese Snack Wrap
Premium Grilled Chicken CBO Sandwich

To celebrate National Sundae Day – on a Sunday I might add – I decided something simple and so made my way to McDonald’s. It had been a long time since I had one of their sundaes. I remember these from my young childhood years. These desserts have certainly been around, unchanged, for a long time.

The Hot Caramel Sundae was sweet and delicious. The vanilla soft serve is always really good, as good as you can expect for the price anyways. The caramel sauce was even sweeter and very sticky, making the dessert a gooey, very sweet, and tasty one. It was definitely nice to have eaten it again.Image

The Hot ‘n Spicy McChicken was only $1, the newest addition to the Dollar Menu. Seriously, fast food can be so cheap sometimes. It was actually decent. Just like a regular McChicken, it had a soft, toasted, and slightly sweetened bun, along with mayonnaise and lettuce. The difference was the fried chicken breast fillet, which had a lot of spiciness in the crispy batter. Too bad it was not super crunchy when I got it, but it had a decent kick.Image

The Angus Bacon & Cheese Snack Wrap was decent in the warm tortilla. The beef was juicy enough for fast food. The bacon was actually crispy and the cheese was gooey. I am not a huge fan of the simple ketchup and mustard but along with the onions, it was a classic.Image

I had recently received a few promotional vouchers from McDonald’s via their Twitter so I redeemed one for a CBO Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich. I loved the white cheddar cheese that was extremely gooey and tasty. The artisan bun was decent and soft and the chicken was mediocre. I had no complaints, as it was somewhat tender. The bacon was okay but while the onions were sweet, they were very oily. It was literally dripping with oil, which is not quite acceptable for grilled onions. Overall, though, the chicken burger was decent enough.Image

New menu items always intrigue me. They make a classic McDonald’s meal so much more interesting. Oh, how I miss the great atmosphere at the McDonald’s restaurants back home. 

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