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Thorntons Food Review, Part 2


Thorntons Biscuit ReviewThe 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!

Some examples:

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).Thorntons Biscuit Review

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)

Hardee’s Monster Biscuit

Pillsbury Heat and Eat

Burger King

Thorntons Biscuit Review

        Thorntons bacon egg cheese biscuit and tots








Thorntons Food Review




Home Cookin’ – Hy-Top Breakfast Biscuit


Hy-Top Frozen Breakfast Biscuit

Hy-Top Frozen Breakfast Biscuit

You know I love all ilks  of sausage, (even llama!)  but somehow, fast food breakfast sausage doesn’t fit into that category for me.  If McDonalds sausage is the gold standard, all others fall below that – to me the flavor tastes just too ‘forced’ and I can’t think of another way to describe it.

So I haven’t been a customer for frozen breakfast sandwiches – as they are almost exclusively sausage and cheese biscuits.  I had often wondered why there wasn’t a bacon option, but recently, that choice has appeared via Jimmy Dean (Sara Lee) and Hy Top.

Hy-Top is a  producer and distributor of foods for independent grocery stores.  They are based in suburban Chicago, just a stone’s throw from their parent, The Federated Group.   Hy-Top’s website says they now make over 2,000 grocery items, from frozen pizza, to jarred salsas.

I spotted their “Bacon Cheese Breakfast Biscuits” at a nearby Winco.  Winco is a regional chain of independent, value-priced, grocery stores.  Packed four to a box, individually wrapped, they are designed to be a quick, microwavable, breakfast item for our ‘on the go’ society.

5.5 days out of 7, we don’t have breakfast at the BurgerDogBoy household, usually reserving that for weekends.    But it’s Monday, and I’m feeling the need for a burst of caloric input and the resulting energy, so into the microwave one of the biscuits went.   Instructions said “2 1/2 minutes on half power, turn, 40 seconds more, let rest before eating.”  Yeah, like I would know how to put the microwave on “half power.”

So 2 1/2 minutes later, out comes the biscuit off the micro carousel, and I did let it rest for at least a nano-second (to take a pic) before consuming.

It lived up to my expectations, which were slight.  The biscuit is a little gummy, and the bacon, egg, and cheese were OK. Note the ‘griddle marks” on the egg? Way cool.

The post-cooked weight of this sandwich came out to 3 1/4 ounces. I don’t know how that compares to a McDonald’s $1 sausage biscuit, which doesn’t include egg or cheese, but these would certainly be less expensive.

They don’t retain their heat (and subsequently, their chewiness) very long, the biscuit grows hard quickly. After only a couple of seconds to take the photo, and chomping into the biscuit, by the time I was ready to finish it, the uneaten portion of the biscuit was rock hard.

Nonetheless, it is certainly better than any frozen sausage biscuits I have tried (at least to my taste), and I would buy them again.

Find your nearest supermarket that carries Hy-Top branded products here.

Hy-Top Frozen Breakfast Biscuit

Hy-Top Frozen Breakfast Biscuit

Hy-Top Frozen Breakfast Biscuit

Hy-Top Frozen Breakfast Biscuit

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