Monday, November 29, 2010

Taco Bell Chicken Enchilada Review

I love me some Taco Bell. Sadly, Taco Bell doesn't love me. In other words, it makes me poop. A bunch. But, its worth it, because Taco Bell has some of the best tasting stuff around. So every now and then, I gotta just bite the bullet for a quick cheap good meal.

Taco Bell is always coming out with new items on their menu, constantly keeping it fresh without getting rid of some of its classics. They now have the Grilled Chicken Enchilada and this is an instant classic.

This is probably one of the best items on the Taco Bell menu. The chicken and sauce with the rice and cheese is perfect. If you're a Bell fan, I highly suggest this. It is not the best item there, (nothing takes out the chipotle steak salad) but I will for sure be getting another one of these bad boys on my next Taco Bell visit.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Recipe and Review- Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Happy Thanksgiving Jerks!

As we celebrate whatever we are thankful for (may it be family, health, wealth, or food!), I would like to share with you a few things in particular that I am thankful for:
  1. Pumpkin pie
  2. Cupcakes
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Cream cheese
  5. The above things combined into a heavenly cup of cake
  6. And finally, the recipe to achieve such a feat
Last month, there was a recipe on that caught my eye. It combined pumpkin pie......with cupcakes. I had to know how this tasted, so I followed the recipe.....and all I can say god, what hath we created?! Utter brilliance.

Now, I can say this recipe can be a little tricky since it is practically made from scratch and so uses a lot of ingredients. You will need a trusty mixer or blender (I used a Kitchenaid stand mixer), lots of bowls to hold all of the ingredients in, mini cupcake pans and regular sized cupcake pans.

Above: There are actually mini pumpkin pies being plopped into regular sized cupcake tins!

Follow the recipe exact and you can't go wrong. All of the time and effort will be worth it once you take one bite from the finished product.

The finished product. The cinnamon ganache cream cheese frosting really sets the flavors off!

Try it out for this Thanksgiving, you will not regret it!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

AMC Movie Theaters Now Serving Food

Well it looks like AMC Theaters now offer a different movie going experience with their new "dine-in theaters," where you can be served dinner while watching a movie.  Now this concept isn't that foreign to me, as we have a chain here in the Texas area called Movie Tavern that has served dinner while watching a movie for quite some time now.  Some people are of course up in arms over the fact that servers going back and forth and lights going on and off for orders will all be a distraction from the movie.  To me the answer is pretty simple, just go to a different theater.  There are plenty of traditional theaters around, and AMC itself isn't changing every one of their theaters to this style, so I just see it as an alternate option for people who like a real dinner to go along with the movie. 

On to the menu options, AMC will offer a "Fork and Screen" deal for $10 that will serve you at regular seats, or a $15 "Cinema Suite" which is a better setup and more menu choices.  The prices seems pretty good actually considering popcorn costs about $7.50 these days, and nothing on hte menu is much less.  Plenty of options on this menu, so I think one of these theaters would be worth a shot.  Probably not the best option if you enjoy pure silence and no distractions during a movie, but for the casual movie goer this could prove to be a good setup.  We will post a review once one of our writers gets a chance to check one of these out, as they are only open in a few select locations but more will be opening soon.

Taco Bell XXL Chalupa Promotion Discontinued, Replaced by XXL Burrito

One of our writers recently posted a Taco Bell XXL Chalupa Review. After reading his review, I decided to go try one. I ended up getting the combo at Taco Bell. The XXL Chalupa combo was $5 and included a drink and taco. I believe the XXL Chalupa was $2.99 by itself. I thought the XXL Chalupa combo was pretty perfect for me, when it comes to Taco Bell meals. I probably could have done without the drink and taco though. Normally I get 3-4 smaller/cheaper items at Taco bell so I can fillup for cheap. The XXL Chalupa was probably the perfect size for eating just one item at Taco Bell and feeling content.

Well, I went back the other day and the XXL Chalupa was gone. I didn't see it on the menu. So I asked about it and was told "Sorry, Sir. We no longer have that promotion." I did notice there was a XXL Burrito now on the menu. It didn't look quite as appetizing to me for some reason. For less money I decided to get 3 items- a taco, nachos, and cheesy fiesta potatoes. That filled me up fine, and I just wasn't that interested in trying the XXL Burrito.

Maybe I will go back and try the XXL Burrito before that is discontinued. Or one of the other writers might do a XXL Burrito review.

Local Restaurant Reviews and Cheap Food Recipes- More to Come

We are getting ready for quite a busy stretch here at Hungry Jerks. You should expect to read a lot more on simple food recipes for every day cooking at home. We will also be doing many more reviews on local restaurants, as well as your favorite chains.

I haven't been very active here, but that's going to change. I have a background in the restaurant industry, and when I was working I always experimented with my own meals. While I think I am pretty creative, my focus will be on simple preparation of home cooked foods.

I also know that a lot of people are struggling financially and a lot of people can't afford to eat out. Some people have no money and no cooking skills. It's pretty difficult to eat affordably if you have neither. Fortunately, if you have access to groceries and a kitchen, you can make your own cheap meals. Yeah, I said it: cheap. As we've said before, we love good food and eating out at restaurants, but we aren't food snobs. Sometimes you just need to eat to survive. In that case, let's help each other eat affordably without sacrifcing much in the way of quality.

I am going to do a series of posts on cheap meals for under $1. So far today, I've had an 84 cent breakfast and 83 cent lunch. I'm not talking cereal and bologna, either. I'm talking hot meals. Today I had a hot breakfast sandwich that will cost you around $3 bucks at fast food places. Mine's cheaper and better. And I will show you how to take advantage of cooking shortcuts. I had a soup and hot sandwich for lunch. We aren't talking gourmet here, but it's fast, filling, and affordable. Sometimes "time is money" and it's a lot more convenient to eat out or get something on the run, but a lot of people complain about the cost of food and don't realize how much money you can save making your own food. Sometimes it pays to be frugal. I like making money and spending it on good food, but I hate wasting money on garbage.

That's not going to stop us from doing restaurant reviews, either. We are going to keep bringing you local restaurant reviews in places like Phoenix Arizona, and we are lining up writers in new locations. We are going to unleash some of our writers with gift cards and certificates for local and national chain franchise restaurants and have them give you the true scoop.

I am also looking into to lining up some promotions and food give-aways. We are going to have at least one contest in the near future, and we are going to give away free restaurant food. Hopefully I can line-up some more sponsors and get more goodies for our readers.

I just wanted to let you know that Hungry Jerks is going to keep growing and giving you reviews and recipes you can use in your everyday life.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Logans Roadhouse 2 Full Meals For $13.99 Review

So we wanted to go some place to eat today that wasn't going to break the bank, but we also didn't want any part of fast food. So we cruised over to Logans Roadhouse, which has always been good, and decided to try the big deal they had painted on the windows. Two full meals, for #13.99. Monday - Wednesday only. And since it was Tuesday, we were ready.

Now on the menu, they give you quite a few options. I was thinking for that price their options would be a couple burgers, some grilled chicken and a salad of some sort. But they don't mess around. When they mean two full meals, you get two full meals.

I went for the Mesquite Wood Grilled Pork Chop. And my wife had her Mesquite Wood Grilled Chicken. Now every time we go there, she always gets that. And she claims it's the best grilled chicken around. I've had a bite, tastes like some grilled chicken to me, nothing too amazing, but it's good if you like some chicken.

The Mesquite Wood Grilled Pork Chop was fantastic. I am a huge fan of pork, and this did not let me down. Along with your main meal you get the two sides. The mashed potatoes and gravy is some of the best around. Gravy goes a long way in my book and can either make or break a meal and the gravy at Logans Roadhouse is one of the best.

All in all, with the drinks, the total came out to about $15.00. Which is great. $15.00 buys you and a guest a meal each, that fills you up and is at a quality restaurant. That is of course if you like country music, it is a roadhouse after all. (Those places with the peanut shells on the floor).

I would highly recommend this place, as the service was great, and the food was top notch and its a heck of a deal if you wanna go out to eat but you're on a tight budget. You can also up it to the $19.99 three course dinner for two meal. Which throws in an appetizer,
and a dessert. (Two desserts if you get the little buckets). Logans rules. End of story.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jack In The Box Pumpkin Pie Shake Thoughts

I have a love/hate relationship with Jack In The Box. I love that in a jam, their food is ok to get for a quick bite. I hate how it sometimes makes me sick, like the most recent case of food poisoning I received thanks to their spicy chicken sandwich.

But even with the food poisoning, I still hold a soft spot in my heart for Jack In The Box, a very small soft spot, but a soft spot none the less. And that is because of their Pumpkin Pie Shake. It rings in the best time of year, Oct/Nov/Dec. It means all that hot weather is over, and it is time for holiday/birthday madness.

But on top of all that, it is also a very delicious shake. Too many times to I go to grab a shake from some place that has its listed flavor only to try it out and it not be that flavor at all, or anything close to it, like the time I tried some new shake at Burger King and it tasted like, I dunno it's hard to explain but it tasted like burning? The smell of something burnt, is what it tasted like, but Burger King sucks all around anyways so it doesn't matter. They have no yearly good times. Nothing that makes my stomach smile big like the Pumpkin Pie Shake at Jack In The Box. It tasted like a pumpkin pie. It is delicious, and gets me in the mood for Thanksgiving. So if you've been reluctant on trying out a shake that is supposed to taste like a pie, I can assure you, this is the real deal. The Pumpkin Pie Shake, is legendary.

Pig-N-Whistle in Anthem Arizona

I recently moved to Anthem Arizona and have been hoppin over to the mall here for general shopping and a bite to eat in their food court. I was in the mood for a good burger and decided I would try the Pig-N-Whistle which had a BBQ Cheeseburger, my favorite type of burger.

Now besides the BBQ, two other things caught my eye, one being, they charbroil their burgers, which is exactly how I like em, and the other, is they use Aunt Hatties Potato Buns for their buns there, which to me is the best hamburger/hot dog bun brand out there.

When I got there I saw they had samples of their BBQ Pork up, which I grabbed and found their BBQ sauce to be very good, so I knew this burger had to be great. And it was. In fact, I am declaring the burgers at the Pig-N-Whistle the BEST burgers around. Yep. It's a done deal. Hands down best burger I have ever had. And it was in the food court of a mall!

As for the service there, it was very nice, after the meal I went back to the counter to get a wet nap and the lady that helped me asked how I liked the burger, told her it was the best I've had, and she gave me a high five. I've never been given a high five at a food place before.

So with hat, Pig-N-Whistle receives two big BBQ covered thumbs up, and I will for sure make a return visit in the near future to try out their BBQ Pork Sandwich.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Nacho Cheese Dorito Sandwich

You read that title right. The Nacho Cheese Dorito Sandwich. I've been making these bad boys since I was just a kid in the single digits. And still to this day it's just as good. Takes me back to my childhood. So here is how you make one of these.... pretty simple.

Choose your bread. I go with the traditional white bread. Nothing too crazy.

Miracle Whip. This is the key. Put a nice thick layer of Miracle Whip on there. This is very crucial. You gotta make sure you don't have too little of it, but also gotta make sure there isn't too much. You have to find a perfect balance. Add to both pieces of bread.

Add your Doritos. A nice single layer of Doritos on your bread. Nacho Cheese Doritos taste the best this way. Never been able to make a good Dorito sandwich with other flavors of them.

And that's it. Dorito Sandwich. Boom.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Recipes: Devon's Ultimate Nachos

I threw this one together for dinner tonight. It's quick, simple, delicious and abundant!

Prep time: 5 min.
Cook time: 15 min.

Here's what you'll need: 
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 - 8oz. jar of Kraft Cheese Whiz
  • 1 - 10oz. can of Rotelo Tomatoes & Diced Green Chilies 
  • 1 - 11oz. jar of Tobasco Brand Chipotle Pepper Salsa 
  • 1 packet of Old El Paso brand Taco seasoning.
  • Sour cream
  • Pinto beans
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Tortilla Chips (I go with the white corn.)

Here's what you do:
  • Brown your 1lb. of ground beef, and then add the taco seasoning. Follow the instructions on the packet of seasoning, most of them call for 2/3 cup of water or so.
  • While your meat is browning, you can get your Cheese Whiz melting down in a nonstick pot on a different burner. If you're familiar with Cheese Whiz, you know it comes thick in the jar and has to be melt down. Do it on a low heat so you don't burn it, and once it's all melted and delicious, drop the heat down to low or warm. 
  • Open your can of Rotelo and I like to use the lid to the can to just sorta press the tomatoes and chilies down, draining some of the liquid out. Once that's done, toss them in with the Cheese Whiz, stir it all together, and let it sit on the warmer until your ground beef mix is finished.
  • Once your taco-seasoned meat is finished, drain out any additional grease or liquid there may be in the pan, and then slowly stir in the Cheese Whiz/Rotelo mix. Mix everything together until it's completely blended, and then let it simmer on low for about 5 minutes. 
  • While this is going on, you can warm up your tortilla chips in the oven for about 6 or 7 minutes on 400 degrees. Also, toss your pintos in to a bowl and zap 'em for about a minute in the microwave. Chop up your lettuce, jalapenos, and tomato, and get your plate ready!
  • I layer chips all over the plate, then toss on some beans, and then it's QUESO TIME. Use as much as you want, there's an ample amount here for 3 people. Once your queso is drizzled all over your chips, toss on the lettuce and tomato. Slap down a dollop of Daisy (sour cream) on top, and then drizzle that salsa all over. 
  • Last but not least, bring a napken, and dig in!

Winn Dixie brings the savings!

As a resident of Jacksonville, FL, I naturally do a lot of my grocery shopping at the local Winn Dixie. The grocery chain is based here, and there's dozens of locations in my area. It's a quick trip up the street, and for me that was the main reason I started shopping there... after today, I realized I have a couple of reasons that I continue to give my business to Winn Dixie, instead of Walmart or the higher-priced Publix.

The Winn Dixie customer reward program is insane. I mean it, it's crazy. I did my big grocery trip today, and as the cashier started ringing things up I was getting a bit nervous as I got closer to my $200.00 food limit, but then BAM in the blink of an eye (and her hitting subtotal) the numbers just started dropping and dropping, until finally I had a much lower total... about 80 bucks lower! That's right... I walked out of there with 80 bucks worth of free groceries basically. How did I manage to do this? I take advantage of their weekly ad. Even before I start making my list, I check the weekly ad to see what is on sale, and how I can use that to my benefit. A good thing to do is to go to the store on Tuesday, because it's the last day of the weekly ad. Before I go, I can look at my paper ad I got in the mail to see TODAY's savings, but then I check the website to see next week's ad that starts tomorrow. I don't mind making two trips in two days if it means I can get two packs of pork chops tomorrow, and two packs of steaks today. Combine the sales with the constant stream of Buy One Get One Free options they have, and I can easily stock up and save money at the same time.

The second reason I continue to go to Winn Dixie, is not only do I save on gas because the store is close, but also because I earn money off of my gas purchases at Shell, just be shopping there! Winn Dixie has this great promotion going on, where for every 50 bucks you spend on groceries, you earn 5 cents off the price of gas at Shell stations. I like to let mine build up a little bit, and then when I go to fill up my tank, sometimes I can get as much as 25 cents off! That goes a long way nowadays.

Don't get me wrong, I do have a few gripes... like, the stores have a pretty limited selection. There's not nearly as much of a selection at Winn Dixie as there is at Walmart, and that can be a little frustrated, especially with the way every store has an aisle dedicated to cookware. Seriously nobody in their right mind is going to by cookware or appliances from a grocery store. Not to mention those items are WAY overpriced. Also, the whole aisle full of cheap toys and household junk... that can go too. You should have more than 4 kinds of doritos and at least two racks of cereal!

Long story short, even with the smaller selection I can't help but to save money and save big, so I will continue to shop at Winn Dixie.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Charley's Grilled Subs Ultimate Club Review

Went to the mall today to check out the "Nations Largest Christmas Tree". Yeah thats right, us folks here in grand ol Anthem Arizona have the biggest Christmas Tree in the country, so HA!
Anyways, after that we headed into the food court for a bite to eat and I see a place called Charley's Grilled Subs. Now I am a huge fan of the "sandwich". And I have had many toasted subs, but never a grilled one.

Charley's is a bit like Subway, or any other sandwich place, where you tell them what you want on the sub and they make it. Except at Charley's they put the meats and sometimes veggies on the grill along with the bread. So instead of it just being a bit toasted and warm, the entire sandwich itself is hot and grilled. Along with that, I also snagged their cheddar bacon fries. So how did it turn out?

Not bad. Not great. Nothing I will rush back for. It's a pretty basic sandwich, just hot. They don't have any special seasoning that they sprinkle on, or do anything extra to make the sandwich taste amazing. Now don't get me wrong, its good for what it is. But, it's just a warmed up sandwich.

The cheddar bacon fries? Well.... I will say this about Charley's. They don't skimp out on the toppings, they pile everything you want on there. Usually with cheddar bacon fries you get a squirt of the cheese and a pinch of bacon. These fries had tons of both, I was pleased.

All in all Charley's is a decent place to get a sub. But I wouldn't go back. Unless you got deep pockets. For just my 12 inch sub that really was just some ham, bacon turkey and lettuce, and a side thing of fries, the total came out to 15 bucks. That is a little more than I would spend for a sandwich like the ones they make.

Toby Keiths I Love This Bar & Grill Triple Decker Club Sandwich

Every other Tuesday I do video production work for a live show at Toby Keiths, so before theshow starts, I decide to grab a bite to eat and to get something simple, easy, and quick. So a club sandwich would be just right.... right?

Dead wrong.

The sandwich I was given, was about the size of a football. A regulation NFL football. I couldn't believe my eyes. This was the biggest sandwich I had ever seen in my life. on top of that, it had about a half pound of fries next to it.

Now, I had to eat this thing layer by layer pretty much. I always hear of triple decker clubs and its really just a normal sandwich, but this was no joke. As I have learned with all the food there at Toby Keiths. Their food is epic. Huge portions of everything. When you go to eat there, you might as well order a to go bad with your food, because you won't finish it. From the nachos, to the burgers, the food there is huge. Everything I have seen on their menu looks like something you would see on Man V. Food.

How was the sandwich? It was a club sandwich. They taste the same all over the place. It's hard to screw up a sandwich. Those are usually a safe bet when you go eat somewhere new. Unless you want a quick bite, then avoid Toby Keiths. But if you're hungry and need giant food, then Tobys is the place for you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In-N-Out Burger is Coming to Texas

Ever since our review on Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a great debate has gone on as to which is better between Five Guys and In-N-Out Burger.  I tried Five Guys awhile back myself and it was great, but there were no In and Out Burgers in the area to compare to.  That will all change in mid 2011 when In-N-Out will open a rumored six locations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  Five locations are confirmed, those being in Allen, Garland, Ft. Worth, Dallas, and Frisco, with the six location being a mystery, but speculation seems to be that the home of the Rangers and Cowboys (Arlington) makes the most sense.  So for anyone in Texas that has been longing to take part in the burger battle between 2 of the most highly rated chains in the country, it will be on in 2011.


Taco Bell XXL Chalupa Review

When I go to Taco Bell. It's always up in the air. Everything on the menu is good, and everything on the menu will end up giving me the soft serve poops later. But one thing I usually always end up getting is either a chalupa, or a gordita. And I usually always have to get two of them because one just isn't enough.

Enter, the XXL CHALUPA!

Holy crap, literally. All this is really is a somewhat larger wrap with maybe a tablespoon more of every ingredient. Little extra meat, lettuce, sour cream, cheese and tomato. No big deal. And yeah, it even feels like it makes me take a tablespoon more of poop after I'm done eating it.

But what I will say is this. It fills you up. No need to buy two single chalupas anymore. The XXL Chalupa does the job. If you like food that is awful for you but tastes good and you're a chalupa fan, well grab one of these big bastards.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Totino's Party Pizza

Party Pizza! This stuff is great. Look, we never said we were some high brow gourmet food elitists. The fact is, I would rather have a Totino's Party Pizza than some lame take and bake pie.

In the previous review of Papa Murphy's Take and Bake Pizza, our author said that when you want to cook your own pizza, a good frozen pizza is better. Ain't that the truth?

You know what else is better than a "Take and Bake" pizza? Not even a good frozen pizza. Even a very very bad frozen pizza is more enjoyable for me than a lame premade uncooked pizza. Which brings us to Totino's. This truly is a party in your mouth. The frozen Totino's Party Pizza is perfect for one person. And it's Cheap. My local Wal-Mart sells these frozen pizzas for $1.22, everyday low price. Kroger just had a sale- They were only $ 1 each. A buck for a perfect single serving pizza? Now that's good eating.

Look, I know these things don't even use real cheese. I don't know if they are technically even "pizza"- there might be some ongoing lawsuits over that. But you pop one of these bad boys in the oven at 450 degrees for 11 minutes ( here is your recipe/cooking instructions for this post), and you can plop the whole thing down on one standard sized dinner plate. It fits perfectly. Also, make sure you cook it directly on the rack. Some of the fake cheese will drip down to the bottom of the oven, but that's OK. it adds some quality smokey flavor to everything you cook. Sometimes the crust warps a little and gets stuck in spaces in the rack, but that is also good. It gives the crust a nice crunch.

Pair with a fine domestic beer and you have yourself a great Fourthmeal.

McDonalds McRib Is Back!

I am not a fan of McDonalds. At all. In fact it is the last fast food place I ever even think about going to. And I never do. Ever. In fact I actually do whatever I can to steer clear of fast food. I have found as I get older, the more fast food I ate, the worse I felt afterwards. So I usually try to either make food at home, or get something fresh like a sub or a salad.

But I have a weakness.

And it is the McRib.

Now the McRib is pretty much the greatest fast food item of all time. But is it REALLY?

Honestly, I think the reason why the McRib is so beloved by people, may actually be because of how elusive and rare it is to get one. When the McRib comes to McDonalds, it is always a huge event. So it seems to be the best thing in the world at the time. But if the McRib was always available, and always there to eat at every McDonalds, would it still be as good? It's really hard to say, but I would have to say no. I don't think the McRib would be as good or as awesome if it was a regular menu item. It would just be one more thing people complain about, like the McGriddle. Blagh.

But, the McRib is not a regular menu item. Instead, it is a wonderful thing that comes along every now and then, to brighten our day, and widen our guts. Now if you will excuse me, I have a McDonalds to go to. 1 McRib and 1 large Hi-C, here I come.