PEr FYI

December 31, 2015

Chipotle, Orlando…a blast of spice

I usually avoid places like Chipotle, but seeing how this fast-casual Mexican restaurant has torn like wildfire across the United States and beyond with over 1,800 locations and beyond, while McDonald’s – which sold off Chipotle – is battling declining sales and traffic, I decided to find out for myself, what the buzz is all about.

Perhaps Mexican food just isn’t one of the world’s great cuisines. I am not actually partial to burritos. The huge portion and the number of ingredients slapped together, too often irrationally, make most burritos hard slogging. This place is a mecca for those want to eat healthy because the food is cooked fresh and there are a whole bunch of vegetables! About the only thing wrong with the burrito was the firm, rubbery flour tortilla, which posed a sturdy shield. One thing I learned here is that if I ever needed to test myself to prove my masculinity, I’ll take up boxing. Definitely no obliterating hot sauces packed with naga and habaneros for me in the future.

Well, now I can say I’ve tried the fad for Mexican, but on this evidence I won’t be revising my opinion of it. Thankfully, I was spared the dreaded “Chipotle stomach.” This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

chipotle orlando

chipotle2 orlando

August 2, 2015

Smashburger, Los Angeles…By far one of the Best Burgers I’ve ever had. Soooo juicyyy!!!

Smashburger is a thoroughly modern fast-casual restaurant (where you order at a counter just as you would in a fast food joint but the food is delivered to your table by servers), offering healthy and fresh better-burger chain, using certified Angus beef. Instead of just one bun, it lets customers select from four artisan bun offerings: egg, multigrain, spicy chipotle and even brioche. As the name suggests, the Smashburger kitchen uses the much-talked-about “smashing, seared and seasoned” technique.

I happily gobbled a highly laudable Classic smash – American cheese, Smash sauce, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion on an “artisan”egg bun. The egg bun has a texture and robustness that compliment the seared patty. The crust on the patty is truly impressive, adding a significant amount of crunch and snap to each bite. Besides conventional fries, there’s smashfries – shoestring fries tossed in Italian olive oil, rosemary and garlic.

As a gourmet burger and at $10 to $12, a meal at Smashburger will typically set folks back $2 to $4 more than a meal at McDonald’s. Moreover, with the TV overhead, you can watch sport channel while eating.

The verdict? It is not only good; it’s in the same big-time league as Shake Shack’s. This is the true truth as I still say it as it is…

smashburger2 la

snashburger la

October 26, 2014

Potato Head Folk, Singapore….the bill’s a whopper

Pricey, overly complicated burgers aren’t usually my thing, and normally, I wouldn’t bother reviewing a hamburger with such a steep price tag. But this needs to be written so yáll can be warned. The humble hamburger has certainly come a long way from its fast food origins.

With all of that said, did the cheeseburger live up to the high expectations? I had the smoking B-Boy and yes, it did. It was as good as I had hoped but it didn’t surpass my expectations. The Naughty Fries – Spiced béarnaise, hot beef chilli, crisp shallots, parmesan & sesame seeds – were awful. Instead of being thinly sliced and crisp it was massively soggy. It was so bad that I couldn’t get past four measly fries, despite being hungry enough to finish the entire serving, and then some

The main problem with offering a hamburger for between $20 – $28 is living up to inflated expectations. Every time I eat a burger that’s more than $15, I can’t help but do the “burger math”, using a cheaper alternative. Potato Head’s burgers costs more than Fat Boys and 10 times as much as ‘McDonald’s, and sadly, wasn’t any better than either. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

smokin b boy @potato head

potato head

October 11, 2011

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Washington DC…just a notch better than McD or Burger King

Their made-fresh-to-order burgers are not too bad and you get to pick your own toppings – all of them – mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, green peppers, even grilled onions, grilled mushrooms. The buns are an eggy, brioche-like bread with that bakery whiff of sweetness,

The downside? The not-crunchy, not-crisp limpy cajun fries are a huge disappointment. You get a whole potato truckload of them with your order but they are overly greasy and always undercooked on the inside.  

In a world replete with fast-food burgers, Five Guys Burgers and Fries has attained iconic status in Washington, D.C. but to me, frankly, it’s just a notch better than McDonald’s or Burger King. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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