The Unvegan

Recent Posts

10 Years of Unvegan
A Quick Bite at Burrito Express
Serendipity at Northern Waters Smokehaus
Twerks and Burritos at Casa Amigos

‘Franchises’

Attack of the Baconator

The burger that eats you...
The burger that eats you…

The Baconator.

It sounds like something from a movie. A robot powered by bacon? A statue of Arnold Schwartzenegger composed entirely of bacon? Or, perhaps, it is just the name of Wendy’s greatest hamburger creation.

Despite the beauty of Wendy’s Value Menu, the Baconator is always the unvegan choice. This heart attack between buns is made of two 1/4 pound burger patties, two slices of cheese and six strips of bacon. The best part? Not a vegetable in sight.

Getting in on the Free Food Battle with Domino’s

Why can't everything be in a bread bowl?
Why can’t everything be in a bread bowl?

It may not be grilled chicken, but Domino’s┬áhad their own little free food giveaway yesterday. This was done in order to promote their new Bread Bowl Pastas. It was also probably to make people feel better about going to Domino’s again after a couple disgruntled workers attempted to sabotage the company.

I was already intrigued by the Bread Bowl Pastas because they look so good on TV, but I found out they were free, they become more of a necessity than an intrigue. I went to Domino’s in El Segundo, expecting to wait in a long line like I had at El Pollo Loco, only to find one other patron at the place. Of the five pasta choices, only the Chicken Alfredo and Italian Sausage Marinara weren’t tainted by vegetables. After having free chicken for my two prior lunches, I opted for the sausage instead.

Free Grilled Chicken War at El Pollo Loco

It doesn't look like much, but free goes a long way.
It doesn’t look like much, but free goes a long way.

Not to be outdone by the free grilled chicken giveaway at KFC, El Pollo Loco decided they were going to give away some free chicken of their own on April 28th. Rather than simply giving away a free drumstick, El Pollo Loco jumped to the next level by giving away a drummie, a thigh, two tortillas and, of course, salsa from the salsa bar was included. There was a catch, however, that you had to say “I wanna taste the fire” when you ordered. Being my shameless self, I had no trouble proclaiming my desire for fire when I reached the front of the long line.

Within a few minutes, I had received my food. They were working like an assembly line in the back of that restaurant, giving them the edge on KFC for timeliness.

Free Grilled Chicken at KFC

Notice the diminutive drumstick in the back.
Notice the diminutive drumstick in the back.

For weeks I have been hearing about the free grilled chicken at KFC on April 27th. I even wrote it down on my calendar to make sure I didn’t forget. I’ve never really been a fan of regular KFC, but the prospect of a place called Kentucky Fried Chicken making grilled chicken intrigued the hell out of me.

Online, it said the free chicken would only be one piece, but I figured it would be a good opportunity to re-acquaint myself with some of the older KFC options. I pulled up to the drive-thru window and asked the speakerbox if they were still giving away grilled chicken. The voice replied back that they were, but it was only one piece and apparently it would take another seven minutes to cook. This was already a bad sign…there’s a reason it’s called fast food.

A Late-Night Snack at Del Taco

Looks clean to me.
Looks clean to me.

While never my first choice in late-night food, Del Taco is sometimes just too damn convenient to go anywhere else.

Despite the obvious Mexican origins of it’s name, Del Taco eschews the Mexican fast food norm by tossing in a few American favorites, like fries and burgers.

These additions definitely help cater to the late-night crowd like me, but they also take away a bit of Del Taco’s identity. When I go to a Taco Bell, I know I’m getting Mexican food, but when I go to Del Taco, I can’t be sure of what sort of food I’ll be ordering until I get there.

I found that a good combo involves a selection from their value menu.

A Panormous Meal from Pizza Hut

It's PANdemic!
It’s PANdemic!

Pardon the pun above, but it had to be done. Anyway, when I saw the Pizza Hut commercial for the Panormous on TV the other night, my friend and I just looked at each other and realized we had to have it. It also helped that it was being advertised for only $10! The next day, we set off in search of this mega-pizza.

Our search took us down to Manhattan beach, where we ordered our Panormous with pepperoni. Strangely, or conveniently, it turned out that the Panormous is really two pizzas, both the same size. This was fine by us, as it made it quite easy to make sure we both had the same amount of food. The only trouble is that I think Pizza Hut did this so they wouldn’t have to use as much cheese and sauce on those middle, crustless pieces that are usually borne from a rectangular pizza. Luckily, the Pizza Hut crust is so loaded with oil, it goes down just as smooth as the rest of the pie.

Following Padma Lakshmi to Carl’s Jr.

Not nearly as sexy as it could be...
Not nearly as sexy as it could be…

When I first learned of Padma Lakshmi doing a commercial for Hardee’s, I knew I would have to eat whatever she did. Luckily, her burger of choice was the Western Bacon Thickburger.

Now here is where things get a little confusing. In California, there is no Hardee’s. Instead, there is Carl’s Jr., which is almost exactly the same as Hardee’s. A quick look at their websites reveals only a change in the name. The logo and layouts remain the exact same. There is, however, another twist. At Carl’s Jr., there is no such thing as a Thickburger, rather, it is called the Six-Dollar Burger.

Breakfasting at McDonald’s

The mysterious breakfast of McDonald's
The mysterious breakfast of McDonald’s

As I developed through my adolescence, McDonald’s made a descent to the bottom of my fast food choices. I can offer no clear reasoning for this except that their food just rubs my tastebuds the wrong way. In fact, I am sometimes proud to say that the only time I eat McDonald’s is outside the country. This statement, however, has a minor disclaimer. And that disclaimer is the McDonald’s breakfast.

McDonald’s breakfast has always been something of a mystery. Few people, if any, know when they stop serving it. Sometimes I wonder if even the employees of McDonald’s have a set time that they know when to cut breakfast off. The breakfast is so rare that when you do see one, you almost feel forced to partake in it, whether you’re hungry or not.

A Giant Slice of S’barro

A healthy slice of meats...
A healthy slice of meats…

Few places offer slices as gigantic as S’barro. Their Super Slice is filling like no other (non-stuffed) pizza. Last time I went, I scanned the slices of pre-cooked pizza. Aside from pepperoni and sausage, most of the slices had some sorts of veggies. I ordered a slice of the pepperoni and sausage together. From the few slices of that combo they had, I decided to be a jerk and point out the larger piece in the hopes that the friendly lady behind the counter would take it aside for me. She did, and my heart leapt for joy.

She took the slice from the counter and slid it into the oven as I happily awaited my slice of meaty goodness. It came out of the oven sizzling and full of the scent of meat.

Free Eats at Jack in the Box

Hard to go wrong with free fries...
Hard to go wrong with free fries…

While not one of my preferred restaurants (if you can call it that), Jack in the Box recently had a promotion for free medium curly fries, so I took a ride down Sepulveda to take advantage.

Knowing the fries wouldn’t be enough, I got myself a few extra items from the menu. The first choice was two tacos for 99 cents. The value in this is unbelievable, even though I had to get them without lettuce. The meat is certainly not of the highest quality and they use melted American cheese, but still, 99 cents.

On top of that, I got the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. Another great value. Trying to mix up the meats, I added a chicken sandwich to the load, completing my multi-ethnic, multi-meat meal. The chicken sandwich usually comes with lettuce, so I had to make a special arrangement to get it without.