Food Recalls
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Posts Tagged ‘Hamburger’

Penny Lane Review, Barrington, IL


A pub/grill, not the song. Tho the song is one of my favorites. Let’s pause, shall we?


The Penny Lane Pub is a modestly sized bar and grill with daily specials, live music on weekends, and open til 3 AM.  They have a good bar menu with pizza, sandwiches, wings, tacos, and of course burgers.

I went with the “Olive Burger” which is kind of a thing in the Chicago area, a burger patty topped with sliced green or black olives.  On some menus, it’s called a “Queen Burger,”  and I’ve never been able to find out how it came into being.  It was right up there in the mighty fine category, as were the fresh cut fries.  Great beef taste, ample sized, bun substantial enough to hold all manner of toppings. Delish.

Penny Lane obviously buys quality ingredients, and fresh, attractive produce.  The kitchen again, obviously, takes pride in their presentation.

Despite its location in Barrington, one of the poshest Chicago suburbs, I found the prices to be very modest. Sandwiches and drinks for two, $14.00.

Not far down the road, you can easily pay double that (or more)  at other Barrington watering holes.

I’ll do it again, to check out the pizza and some of the nightly specials, you betcha.  The location is on a not very well traveled road, but easy to find, head north of I-90 on highway 59 and hang a left on Penny Road, the joint is just ahead on your left.

Penny Lane Pub Review

Olive Burger



Penny Road Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Penny Lane Review


Burger King Yumbo Review


Burger King Yumbo ReviewI don’t get into Burger King very often – maybe once every five years or if there’s something new I think I should try.  (I owe that to you guys, of course, I try things so you don’t have to).  I don’t know when they lost favor/flavor with me, I used to be a semi-regular.

Eschewing my favorite local burger place tonight, I zipped through BK for the 2 / $5, and opted for the “Yumbo” ham and cheese, and the “Big Fish.”

Burger King started in Jacksonville, FL, in 1953, after the founder checked out the original McDonalds in San Bernardino, CA.  The distinction became the “Insta-Broiler” which gave the burgers a charcoal like appearance and taste.  The company grew, added  franchises, and stumbled a bit in 1959, and the Miami franchisee bought the rights to the company and continued to grow it.  Since then it has been through a dozen or so owners, and is currently held by a private equity group based in Brazil.  It’s had Mexican, British, and other owners, including Pillsbury for awhile.  The most recent move of the Brazilians (in partnership with Warren Buffet) was to acquire Tim Horton’s, the mega chain in Canada. The goal of private equity owners is always to boost ‘value’ and the easiest way to do that is to buy increased revenue/cash flow by acquiring another company (regardless of the reasons stated publicly).  Then they flip to another private equity group or dump the company on the public markets, take their gains, and move on.

I digress.

Confession:  I like fast food “ham” and “fish.”  Much preferred to the mass market fast food burgers, in any case, even tho the “ham” is never “real” (except in the case of Bojangles).  Among “fake” hams, I like Arbys Jr, for a buck.

I like the fish because they are cooked after you order, so it’s hot and “fresh.”

Burger King Yumbo

BK’s  “Yumbo” marks the return of a sandwich first offered decades ago; the company describes it asslices of savory black forest ham, topped with American cheese, crisp lettuce, and creamy mayo, all served  heated on a toasted hoagie bun.”  Mostly accurate with the exception (in my sandwich) is the lettuce wasn’t crisp, and the final stage of preparation is microwaving, which kind of takes the body out of any sandwich.

Burger King Big Fish

Their “Big Fish” carries the following description:  “Our premium Big Fish Sandwich is 100% White Alaskan Pollock, breaded with crispy panko breading and topped with sweet tartar sauce, tangy pickles, all  on top of a toasted Artisan Style bun.”  Again, mostly accurate.  It’s difficult to tell the breading is panko, as panko crumbs are usually larger in size;  Wendy’s had a good panko fish LTO a few years ago.  In any case, I judge it to be slightly better than McDonalds, for more personal tastes, McDonalds fish has always seemed to me like a tartar sauce sandwich on a bun with a fish taste. Seriously overdoing the tartar.

In the case of both (and any sandwiches ever, anywhere), I think shredded lettuce is a distraction.  Bring on the whole leaves, if  it must be a component.

I added fries, and my 2 /$5 deal ended up in the $8 range.  BK says their fries are “More delicious than ever, our signature piping hot, thick cut Salted French Fries are golden on the outside and fluffy on the inside.”

I never got to try BK’s “Satisfries” which they dumped after only a year.  The current product is an extruded fry (not cut from real potatoes, but a mashed potato slurry put through a mold, frozen, then fried), which I have never really cared for.  I like fries with a little “bite.”

But I realize BK is not in business just for me and this type of fry is very popular with the masses, and most people don’t know the difference.

BK’s 2 / $5 deal currently includes a mix and match choice of the fish, ham and cheese, original chicken, and the 530 calorie Big King.  Not sure if the offering is permanent or limited time.

Their “dollar menu” has fine print that says “starting at one dollar.”  Most items are more.

Recommendations?   BK’s fish and the ham and cheese are a nice respite from burgers at the big chains.  I like that BK toasts buns.  I’d do them again, but with the shredded lettuce, avoid eating while driving!  BK App/Locator.

Hungry for some really great ham?  Check this out.

Burger King FIsh Fish Review

Big Fish


Burger King Yumbo Reivew

BK Yumbo Ham & Cheese











Burger King Yumbo Review

Burger King Yumbo Review


Has the Pretzel Bun Jumped the Shark?


Has the phrase “jumped the shark”  jumped the shark?

The origin of the “Pretzel Roll” in American restaurants seems to be traced back to the German “lye roll” or  Laugengebäck.  Using a process similar (and the same dough)  to making pretzels, the rolls are dipped in lye before baking.  The lye (washing or baking solution if you don’t want to handle lye) produces the unique browning effect.  Out of the oven,  the rolls (like pretzels) are dotted with large grains of salt.

My first introduction to these buns going mainstream was the seasonal Oktoberfest burger at Red Robin.   Steak N Shake has offered one as well.

Now they are widespread, available full time at Wendy’s, Sonic, and Smashburger, to name a few.

Most grocery stores carry some variation of them, and there is even an upstart national brand out of Milwaukee, called Pretzilla.

The best ones, IMHO, are the ones found in authentic German bakeries.  I pick them up at the Original Bavarian Sausage Shop in Tigard, OR, just down the street from one of Mrs. Burgerdogboy’s boyfriend’s house.  She should be mindful to bring some home when she’s over there!

The German recipes are more appealing to me than the US fast food ones that seem to have added some sweetener to their recipes, honey? Brown sugar?  Anyway, I don’t like “sweet” buns for burgers.  Just a personal thing.

So how long do you think pretzel buns will be around in fast food outlets?  And what’s next?  How about onion rolls?

Original Bavarian Sausage

Original Bavarian Sausage’s Pretzel Bun




pretzel bun review


Burger King Whopper Review


I am (was)  a virgin when it comes to Whoppers and Big Macs.  Just have never been inclined to try one.  Closest I came to a Whopper previously was living in Paris, and my girlfriend went on a trot to find one for me as a treat.  She was unsuccessful, I think it was a time issue, and came home with the ingredients to make me one.  Outstanding effort on behalf of a beautiful vegetarian girlfriend.

The Whopper was invented by one of the Burger King founders in 1957 and originally sold for 37 cents.  It has become one of the most iconic fast food offerings in the U.S. and has gone through several different recipes and configurations in its history.  The current version is a single quarter pound flame-broiled hamburger patty, sesame seed bun, mayonnaise, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and sliced onion.  Keeping to its marketing slogan of “have it your way,” stores will add additional condiments upon request, and cheese, bacon and more meat patties at an additional price.  There is also a “Whopper Jr” available.

The occasion for me trying one as stopping in this Arkansas town late at night, few other dining options, and a having a coupon that reduced the price to “free.”  My second favorite “f word.”

It doesn’t suck.  The flame grilling method (or smoke flavor) in the meat gives the sandwich  a distinct beefy flavor other fast food burgers lack. At least among the big three – as I have never found McDonalds or Wendy beef patties to have much if any flavor, beyond those of the condiments.  The Whopper can be a messy affair however, probably not suitable for eating while driving.  Just ask my shirt.

But having bravely tackled my first Whopper and lived, perhaps a Big Mac is in my future?  BTW, Burger King has added a burger called the “Big King”, which is their two patty, three bun version of the Big Mac.

The fries don’t suck either, I had the original ones, not the new reduced fat version.  Fry wise, I continue to think Wendy’s natural cut sea salt fries are the best, as long as you get them right from the fryer and eat them immediately.  But my favorite side remains Arby’s steak-house onion rings, the best rings ever offered by a fast food giant.

Burger King Whopper Review


 Burger King Whopper Review

Burger King on Urbanspoon


Burger King Whopper Review


Ridgefield, WA – Jollie’s Restaurant/Bar


Odd I find myself here.  Even odder, I find myself here for the 2nd time in a couple months.

Out looking at land for a client project, we rolled into Jollie’s for a bit o lunch repast…being as it was the only thing around.

This kind of dive/diner/truck stop is fine with me.  My companions were leery, one being the goddess of gluten-free, and it’s hard to find a menu which suits her special diet.  Our other pal?  A sandwich would do, and he would surely find a selection at a place like Jollie’s.

The last time I was in here was with Mrs. Burgerdogboy, we were wasting 30 minutes or so on the way to an event.  We were in the bar, and treated like lepers, being as we were obviously “from away.”   The regulars gathered in their huddle, and the help was only interested in getting tips (or laid?) by one of the regulars that night.

Today was different, in the dining room, service was affable, if not courteous, and unrushed.

I ordered the Deluxe Cheeseburger, gluten-free girl was saddled with a plate of iceberg lettuce with strips of pressed chopped and formed protein, and other dude went for the club sandwich.

A cry came from the other side of the table at the first bite of the club.  It was “hot!”  In that, in all my experience, a club sandwich is served on white toast, but the innards are cool, if not cold and crisp.  This sandwich was apparently prepared like a grilled cheese, which resulted in hot mayo, something not many people like.

The iceberg with protein got pushed around a plate.

I dissected my cheeseburger, scraped off the shredded lettuce and special sauce (thousand island), looked underneath the patty to find a whole slice of raw onion, as I had requested;  I adorned it with dill chips and yellow mustard myself.

Dug into the fries.  Wow.  The fries are really good.  Shoestrings with skin, fried crisp, seasoned to my liking.  Could have eaten a couple pounds of those.

The burger was fine.  Slightly seasoned, beefy flavor, probably began its life in the kitchen as a frozen patty, but good, nonetheless.  The bun was fresh, as well, and the cheese nicely salamandered.

Would I go back? Well, I never thought I would be back a second time, but seems like my life is going to have a big to do in that area, so yeah, maybe.  From reading other reviews, I know the service won’t be consistent, but I can hope the cheeseburgers are!


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