Admit it... There's Some Dishes at Chain Restaurants You Like
- Kathleen Mikulis
Yes, chain restaurants can hurt the character of neighborhoods and the ability of smaller restaurants to gain a foothold. But sometimes you have a craving... and that craving can only be satiated at a chain restaurant.
Admit your deepest darkest secret and tell what dishes at chain restaurants you like (and please don't forever ban me from the boards ;)
Here are mine:
--chips (not very greasy or salty) and salsa (slightly brown the way it should be)
--fresh tortillas of El Machino
--beans a la charra (pinto beans with pork)
--spaghetti and meatballs
--creamy pesto salad dressing
--hamburgers (you order it medium and it comes out really flavorful and not dried to a crisp) & fries
California Pizza Kitchen (and even cheaper - CPK ASAP)
--chicken sesame dumplings
--roasted garlic chicken pizza
--honey lime salad dressing
--firecracker pork fusilli
--chicken sausage penne
Boston Market (a.k.a. BoMart)
--chicken is quite good and moist (believe it or not my friends and I went here for Thanksgiving last year - it was a very White Trash Thanksgiving(tm) and fun)
In San Diego, I like Pick Up Stix, and in Texas I enjoy Rudy's BBQ & Chuy's.
re: Nancy Berry
Believe it or not I also have the Chevys recipe. When I finally sat down to make it I realized it was to make a gallon! I didn't actually make it though (don't remember why...) Where did you get your recipe?
The Spaghetti Frutti di Mare is my favorite dish at Pasta P. That and the now extinct chocolate mousse.
re: Wendy Lai
Whip out the food processor and fire up the grill because youll need these essential tools to clone one of the best restaurant salsas in the business. The key to recreating the flavor of the real deal is to fire roast the tomatoes and the jalapenos, and to add a little mesquite-flavored liquid smoke. The restaurant chain uses a mesquite grill, so these steps are crucial to getting the same smoky flavor as the addictive restaurant version. Chevys uses chipotle peppers, or smoked red jalapeno peppers. But unless you grow your own jalapenos, it may be difficult to find the riper red variety in your local supermarket. For this recipe, the green jalapeno peppers will work fine.
6 medium tomatoes
10 jalapenos (red is best)
1/4 of a medium Spanish onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons mesquite-flavored liquid smoke
1. Preheat your barbecue grill to high temperature.
2. Remove any stems from the tomatoes, then rub some oil over each tomato. You can leave the stems on the jalapenos.
3. Place the tomatoes on the grill when its hot. After about 10 minutes, place all of the jalapenos onto the grill. In about 10 minutes you can turn the tomatoes and the peppers. When almost the entire surface of the peppers has charred black you can remove them from the grill. The tomatoes will turn partially black, but when the skin begins to come off they are done. Put the peppers and tomatoes on a plate and let them cool.
4. When the tomatoes and peppers have cooled, remove most of the skin from the tomatoes and place them into a food processor. Pinch the stem end from each of the peppers and place them into the food processor as well. Toss out the liquid that remains on the plate.
5. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and puree on high speed for 5-10 seconds or until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
6. Place the salsa into a covered container and chill for several hours or overnight while the flavors develop. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com
)Makes approximately 2 cups.
The French have a term for this: "L'aime de la boue," or "Love of the mud." It means the greatest gormets often have a secret addiction to food even they must admit is crappy.
Here are some of mine (which drive Burke to distraction!):
At White Castle: Extra-steamed (you have to ask for it) cheeseburgers
At Chili's: their "queso" dip (though I can't find any cheese in it)
At Carrow's: Their chicken strips (lovely crisp breading)
At Dairy Queen: Vanilla Blizzard with Reese's Peanutbutter Cups and Oreos
At Friendly's: Peanutbutter topping (so salty!)
At Starbuck's: Mocha Frappacino
At Cinnabun: Cinnabun with extra frosting
At MacDonald's: Sausage biscuit with egg and cheese, hashbrowns
At Roy Rogers: Fried chicken
At Spoons: Chili with lots of scallions
At Applebee's: Applebee Club (grilled ham and cheese), spinach-artichoke dip, "chocolate sin" dessert
FOR BURKE: I know he loves the flabby, horrible all-you-can-eat breadsticks at Olive Garden. Me, I don't really like them much.
More if I think of them!
re: Burke and Wells
I second the sausage egg and cheese biscuit from McDonalds. Someone somewhere on these boards posted putting grape jelly on it, I'm going to try that one of these days.
I also get a craving for a Big Mac about twice a year. If it comes out fresh and the fries are very hot and salty, I love it!
Another thing I used to love, I don't know if they still serve it is the cheese and crackers at the "99" restaurants. Eaten alone, the crackers tasted something like dog biscuits, but with the salty orange cheese and a beer... yummy!