The other day, I wrote about the new food offerings at Thorntons, a regional gas station chain, based out of Louisville. I reviewed their pizza here.
At many locations in the chain, they offer hot snacks in addition to the usual roller grill selections; snacks include breakfast biscuits and burritos, hamburgers, tenders, tater crowns and the like.
Almost immediately after the post was up, I heard from the company’s PR firm (contact), a small concern in Louisville, KY. They took a slight exception to my calling the food “heat and eat,” as the company markets the offerings as “Made Fresh.” Some of the marketing states “Made Fresh In House,” and the website states: “Made Fresh Daily In the Store.” There’s no mistaking what that last phrase says, but the first two could be open to some interpretation. Further dissecting the website phrase, “Made Fresh,” to be sure, is pretty ambiguous, and I take a wee bit of exception to what exactly that phrase means.
I’m not picking on Thorntons, particularly, the marketing arms of the entire food industry tend to play fast and loose with English these days, and consumers can suffer. A lot of words, and terms, are used loosely and freely, without have a specific, defined direct meaning. I hate it when that happens!
Free range, cage free, organic, all natural, additive free, farm fresh, and so on. For specific foods, phrases like “Angus Beef,” “Kobe Beef,” and “Champagne.” For me, I guess, its the senior moment equivalent of yelling “hey you kids, get off of my lawn.” (Yes, I know that makes absolutely no sense).
Because I suppose most of America doesn’t care. It’s not like you’re going to whiz past a 7-Eleven and race to Thorntons because 7-Eleven does not have a banner in its store window saying that their sandwiches and pizzas are “Made Fresh in House.” Are you? (In fact, many of 7-Elevens cooler sandwiches are made by a division of Lufthansa, the German airline).
No, we who partially exist on gas station food purchase primarily based on geographical convenience (“it’s here, I’m here, let’s eat), price, or selection variety). ‘Cause it comes down to personal taste, doesn’t it? Hell, some people love Domino’s pizza.
Apparently for some companies (and I’m not naming names), “Made Fresh in House” is acceptable usage for pre-assembled food products, thawed or heated up in the store.
Whereas to me “Made Fresh in House,” means raw ingredients are cooked, and assembled, in the store. You know like, a) take pizza dough, b) slather on sauce and cheese, add toppings c) bake.
Today I tried the Thornton’s breakfast biscuit with bacon, egg and cheese. It’s really no better or worse than any of the fast food biscuits. It’s cheaper, it was $2.59 at my store – the area competitor’s products ring up at:
- McDonalds – 3.64
- Burger King – 3.41
- Chic-Fil-A – 2.95
- Sonic – 3.29 (with Texas toast, they don’t have biscuits)
You can also get a side of taters at Thorntons, (tots, crowns, discs, whatever you call them) for 99 cents with a sandwich purchase. Not sure if that is for a limited time or not. They didn’t really seem done, to me. They weren’t crispy, anyway. (Although this will happen to any hot, crisp product placed in an enclosure – the steam that can’t escape kills the crispness). I do love my tots, tho.
The flavor of the biscuit was OK. The biscuit itself was gummy. As if you bought a biscuit sandwich out of a cooler and did it in the microwave. Food is time/date stamped for “best by.”
Admittedly, the texture of food figures highly in making a list of favorites.
And that is why, of all the breakfast biscuits available in the United States, my favorite is from a Southern chicken chain called “Bojangles,” and for one simple reason. They use REAL HAM. Hard to find in almost any restaurant these days, impossible to find (except at Bojangles) in fast food joints, who across the board, opt for that chopped, pressed, formed deli “meat” crap. Ick.
If biscuits are your thing, I have previously reviewed:
Advance Pierre (c-store cooler microwave product)
Larry the Cable Guys (frozen biscuits and gravy, dollar store)
Thorntons Food Review