Morality in Media Names Carl's Jr. As One of their "Dirty Dozen" Top Sexual Exploiters for 2015

Thumbnail image for CarlsJr.jpg
Food porn, yes--but porn porn?

That sound you hear is Carl's Jr. founder Carl Karcher rolling over in his grave, gritting his teeth, clenching his bowels and scratching at his coffin, trying to come back from the dead to take back his company.

The famously conservative Karcher spent the last years of his life ashamed of Carl's, which by then had turned over to the bro side with racy ads featuring Paris Hilton and other starlets. It's doubled down ever since, with ad campaigns featuring Kate Upton, that girlfriend of the Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback that Brent Musburger drooled over on national television, and even more starlets. It's reputation is such nowadays that it's the only food company named in Morality in Media's 2015 Dirty Dozen list of who they say are the top sexual exploiters in America.

More »

If You're Gluten Free, You Probably Shouldn't Be Eating at Pizza Hut

Categories: Chain Reactions

Pizza Hut
The pretender

Honestly, the gluten-free trend is one the ones I don't mind too much, because I once dated a girl whose mom had Celiac disease, so I know it can actually be an issue (this was four years ago, so pre-everyone-has-a-gluten-intolerance trend. If you think you might have an intolerance, ask a doctor). The girl also had some auto-immune issues, so we went without gluten for a few months to see if she improved. It was tough, but I left the trial period with a new-found love for protein structures and an awesome recipe for gluten-free chicken katsu.

Now, yesterday Pizza hut announced that they were introducing a gluten-free pizza option. I'm just going to go out an say it: We never missed Pizza Hut, and if you're gluten free, you shouldn't be eating at Pizza Hut anyways, just make the god damn crust yourself.

But seriously, just make it out of cauliflower.

More »

Wendy's Is Selling $1 Unlimited Frosty Keychains Again

Categories: Chain Reactions


Every so often, Wendy's will sell their Frosty chains, those little magical 2D key fobs that get you a free Jr. Frosty with each normal purchase you make. When I was in college, the only burger place we had access to on campus was Wendy's, and the big thing would to be to buy one of those and order fries everyday. The Frosty's would make the perfect dipping sauce.

Well, now the keychains are on sale again.

More »

Chipotle to Offer FREE Burritos and Tacos--Here's How to Get Them!

Chipotle's website
Start lining up!

Regular readers know I'm not the biggest fan of Chipotle, both for its corporate history and its flavor. So this post goes out to my good pal, the mysterious Ben Dayhoe of SanTana blogging fame: Chipotle is giving away burritos and tacos FOR FREE on January 26. And the only catch is as tasty a catch as you can ever imagine--if Chipotle is your thing, that is.

More »

A Lamentation on SmashBurger's SmashFries

Categories: Chain Reactions

Edwin Goei
Not a bad burger; but oy, those SmashFries!
My favorite fast-casual burger around these parts isn't from The Habit, Five Guys, or even In-N-Out; it's the one made by Fatburger, a once mighty chain that has now dwindled down to two locations in the entire county when there used to be two in Irvine alone.

Fatburger also makes what I consider the best fast-casual burger joint fries. It's even offered in two kinds: the Skinny Fries and the Fat Fries, both models of what fries should be. The Skinny Fries are thin (but not reedy), light (but not wispy) and always greaseless and crisp. And if you fancy a meatier fry, the Fat Fries are also perfectly done--crisp on the outside, fluffy like a baked potato on the inside. Yes, both the Skinny and the Fat are from frozen, but some of the best fries are.

More »

Two OC Starbucks to Sell Beer and Wine.. Permanently?

Categories: Chain Reactions

Does this entice you?

For a few years now, Starbucks has been testing selling wine and beer in a few stores and that program is finally to go official.. in the same stores that they were tested in.

Starting now, a Rancho Santa Margarita Starbucks and a Huntington Beach Starbucks will be offering wine, beer and a new evening small bites menu after 4 p.m. I mean hey, you could go to one of the new wine bars in Santa Ana, but if you realllly love Starbucks..

More »

Nekter Juice Bar: Fresh Food Items and Free Drinks!

Photo by Anne Watson
Spinach, berries and nuts = lunch

Nekter's gone through renovations, updates and promotions in the last month. If you're a fan of their liquid nourishment, we've got all the juicy updates ahead.

Why would a brand with "juice" in their name decide to add items that don't require a straw? Because eventually they all do. Starving people cannot should not live on liquids alone. Sometimes you just want to chew.

More »

South Coast Plaza Opens Sugarfina And Harry & David

A blue box we might be able to afford

If we've learned one thing in recent months, it's that sweets make the world go 'round. Chocolate factories and pastry schools take it to another level, but you can't beat a storefront peddling tasty morsels in fun packaging. Which is exactly why the halls of South Coast Plaza welcomed two heavy hitters for the holidays.

Those who miss Harry & David can rejoice in their temporary home over on Level 1 in Carousel Court. Gourmet edibles, Royal Riviera Pears and . . . .wait for it . . .

More »

Seafood City Now Open In Irvine

Anne Marie Panoringan
Hunger waiting game

We'd never seen such a sight. So many Filipinos descending upon one area in Irvine. We thought we were in Daly City Cerritos. It took three cycles to turn around the corner of Armstrong and Barranca on opening day. It made The District look like Cars Land.

Seafood City adds to the list of ethnic supermarket brands (Wholesome Choice, Farm Direct, Mitsuwa, H-Mart, Zion, Super Irvine and both 99 Ranch Markets) to call this seemingly vanilla landscape home. We shook our head in disbelief just writing that. The next time someone gripes about a lack of good eats that aren't a chain around there, just rattle this list off and see if they can comprehend.

More »

Yoshinoya Changes Its Chicken Back To The Way It Used To Be (And Other News)

Categories: Chain Reactions

Edwin Goei
Yoshinoya's new "Asian BBQ Wings"
If you read this blog with any regularity, you'll know that I have an unshakable affinity for Yoshinoya. It's one of the few fast-food joints other than Jack-in-the-Box that I eat regularly and actually like. Perhaps it's because I grew up on this stuff (in fact, I think it's exactly because I did) that I railed against it when the chain started to serve its chicken in chopped up little pieces to copy its closest competitor, The Flame Broiler.

This happened three years ago. And since then, I've adjusted, adding my own hacks when I order the chicken bowl.

But now, it seems that Yoshinoya has decided to quietly change it all back to the way it used to be. The dark meat, crispy-skinned chicken is now sliced into spears and served separately from the vegetables instead of being hacked into indiscriminate chunks and thrown on top of the veggies. But at the same time it righted a wrong, Yoshinoya went and changed something else I loved on the menu: the Sesame Wings.

More »