Tag Archives: fast food

In-N-Out Burgers


In-N-Out Burgers

I was first introduced to In-and-Out when I was living in Los Angeles as a paid audience member and extra for Hollywood, needing fast food, “in” and “out”. I was introduced to their un-advertised attraction, the leaf wraps. Those were back in the days when I had no problems with fast food or the health consequences of having that kind of diet. I have since made motions to thin out (and someday totally eliminate) fast food from my diet. Me and my wife are on the gluten-free path, so the idea of a leaf wrap sandwich when there was no other open food options sounded perhaps ‘healthier’ than some of the alternatives. While ditching the gluten by skipping the bun, it still was a mild option to the the extremes that is fast food. Traveling through the American Southwest we were curious to give it a gander. Personally in terms of fast food, its not much different than the others, though the quality outside of the lettuce was good tasting but same as most fast food. We were surprised they didn’t advertise the lettuce wrap option on their menu and that its more a “word-of-mouth” item, especially since its an element that makes them stick out from the others. The In-N-Out Burger chain is regional, with locations throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Texas. It was founded by Harry and Esther Snyder in Baldwin Park, California in 1948. Their grandchild Lynsi Torres currently runs the operation. It is not franchised nor public, and has distribution centers in California; Phoenix, Arizona; Draper, Utah; and Dallas, Texas. They have not changed this practice in order to maintain quality and customer consistency. They are one of the few fast food chains in the U.S. to pay their employees higher than the state and federal mandated minimum wage guidelines. They offer three burger varieties – hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and the “Double-Double” (their trademarked double meat, double cheese). They also sell french fries, milkshakes (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry), and typical fountain drinks. Burgers come with lettuce, tomato, optional onions, and their special sauce (like McDonald’s, a variant of thousand islands dressing). They do however have a secret menu available at most In-N-Outs. These can be found on their web site. These include a 3×3 (three patties, three slices of cheese), a 4×4 (four patties and four slices of cheese), 20×20, Neapolitan shakes, grilled cheese sandwich (no meat, two slices of melted cheese), Protein style (wrapped in lettuce – all ingredients of a burger just no buns), and Animal style (animal style: burger cooked in thin layer of mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles, grilled onions, and extra spread – hot peppers option. Animal fries come with two slices of melted cheese, spread, and grilled onions on top). Their decor is red, white, and yellow branding – white building exterior and uniforms, red for the roof and aprons/hats, yellow for the roof’s decorative band and iconic zig-zag in the logo. They also plant palm trees often to form an “X” in front of the restaurants. One problem with In-N-Out is its secret proselytizing of Christianity. They print discreet references to Bible verses on their paper containers such as the Double-Double burger wrapper and the drink cup. These consist of the book, chapter, and number of the verse not the actual text of the passage. This came into play during the 1980’s when Rich Snyder was president, as a reflection of the Christian beliefs he held. Because of their fundamentalist Christian practices and the fact that the food is not healthy (not company specific – fast food overall), I will no longer frequent this company. For those of you desiring junk food and not minding the Christian fundamentalism, enjoy your GMO beef. Rating: 2 stars out of 5.


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Wok in a box

Wok in a Box
* www.wokcanberra.com.au/ * 3/88-96 Bunda Street * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * 2601 * (02) 6162 0965 *

Wok in a Box gave us a quick evening snack at affordable prices. It is located in the heart of the city center. They offer a great menu selections with a range of Authentic Asian specialties such as Gyoza Dumplings, Teriyaki Chicken Bento, Udon Noodle Soup with Katsu Chicken and much more. I had the Pad Thai which was quite tasty. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

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Hungry Jacks

Hungry Jack’s
* Australia * www.hungryjacks.com.au *

One who first looks at the “Hungry Jacks” logo might get confused because it awfully looks identical to the “Burger King” logo in the States. That’s because “Hungry Jacks” is part of the “Burger King” Franchise. It has been operating in Australia as “Hungry Jacks” since its first Perth store opened in April 1971. It rapidly took over since that date. Within 10 years, there was 26 stores in 3 states. They even took over the near-dead “Wendy’s” Hamburger chain stores in Victoria when they purchased them in 1986. So why not just call it “Burger King”? When Burger King expanded into Australia it found that “Burger King” as a name was already trademarked by a takeaway food shop in Adelaide. Therefore, the Burger King franchisee Jack Cowin, had to operate Burger King under a different name. Cowin selected “Hungry Jack” after one of Pillsbury’s US pancake mixture products. By 1990, “Competitive Foods” was permitted to franchise Hungry Jack’s as independent businesses. It was around this time that Burger King was trying to expand in Australia and wanted all stores under their “Burger King” logo. But because the “Hungry Jack” trademark had 30 years of heritage, it made more sense to keep it as a separate brand. It is also known as “HJ’s”, “Hungry’s”, or “Hungie’s” and stands as an exclusive Australian master fast food franchisee of Burger King wholly owned subsidiary of Competitive Foods Australia, privately held under Jack Cowin. In 1991 Burger King took Hungry Jack’s Pty Limited to court as it wasn’t meeting up to terms with its franchise agreement in opening a certain number of stores each year as promised. After the Australian trademark on the Burger King name lapsed in 1996, Burger King made a claim that Hungry Jacks violated its conditions for renewal and wanted to terminate the agreement and thereby in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell’s Australian division began opening its own stores in 1997. Jack fought back in 2001 claiming Burger King violated the conditions of the master francising agreement and the Supreme Court of New South Wales agreed with Cowin, awarding him with 46.9 million Australian dollars. This led to Burger King terminating its operations in the country and in July 2002 transferred its assets to its New Zealand franchise group – Trans Pacific Foods. They agreed in 2003 to re-name these locations to “Hungry Jack’s”. Today there are over 300 Hungry Jack stores throughout all states of Australia and is known as a well-established Australian brand. Most of the new stores have a 1950’s theme, with music played from this era occasionally through a 1950’s style jukebox with associated contemporary pictures and memorabilia as part of the decor. Many of the larger sit-down style restaurants have their seats and tables laid out in a 1950’s diner style. The only Burger King trademarks sold at Hungry Jack’s are the “Whopper” and the “TenderCrisp” sandwiches, all others go by generic names such as “hamburger”, “veggie burger”, or “grilled chicken burger”.

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Pie Face

Pie Face *
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia * www.pieface.com.au *

A great little hole-in-the-wall chain counter/restaurant with fast service dishing out pies for Australians since 2003. First founded in Sydney, “Pie face” greets its hungry customers with a happy face on the pie crust face filled like a pot pie with yummy delicious veggies and/or meats. It was founded by Betty Fong and Wayne Homschek. Originally fashion designers, they first served pies to their audience to get everyone in the mood for their fashion show, and got such great applause for their pies, decided to open a business. The pies are custom made for their customers, and all hand made and baked. Delicious! I’ve enjoyed these fabulous little fast tasty pies in Melbourne, Brisbane, and obviously is also available in Sydney. Rating : 4.5 stars out of 5. Review by Leaf McGowan.

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Nordsee, Old Town, Dusseldorf, Germany

Fisch Nords

Nordsee (old town Dusseldorf)
* Fisch Nordsee Flinger Straße 38 40213 Düsseldorf Tel.: 0211-131806 * www.nordsee.com
One of my favorite healthy German fast food chains. “FFF / Fast Food Fish”. It’s a well-established chain found in all the German-speaking countries (over 355 outlets in Germany) that is a healthier equivalent of a seafood section of a delicattesen on the coast merged with a Long John silver’s minus the unhealthy heavy frying. Fresh and healthy prepared seafood in a fast food format but not as bad as the usual fish n’ chips (though they offer that too). It was founded in 1896 serving salmon, white fish, shrimps, mussels, lobster tails, and various sauces … all in the ability to grab a bite on the go already prepared in a window opening to the street displaying the healthy wraps, pitas, and sandwiches. Prices are cheap and affordable (ca. 1-8 Euro a sandwich or meal) or if you are sitting in, entrees for 7-25 Euro, including lobster, shrimps, and mussels not fried but delicously prepared with veggies or potatoes. Rating: 5 stars out of 5 (fast food rating). On my 3/31/09 visit, tried the special Louisiana cajun crawfish sandwich …. excellent!

Louisiana Cajun crawdad sandwich


Ollie’s Trolley (Washington, DC)

Ollie’s Trolley

Ollie’s Trolley
* www.olliestrolleydc.com * 425 12th St NW
Washington, DC 20004 * (202) 347-6119

A little historic Burger and sandwich joint right off 12th near the National Mall is a burger shack/diner called “Ollie’s Trolley” which is a DC Landmark institution for the last 30 years. Family owned and operated, voted best for its burgers and seasoned fries as well as its shakes. Brightly lit and vivrant, not hard to miss. I had the Crab Cake burger which was fabulous, but wasn’t that impressed by the infamous seasoned fries. Cheap and affordable. Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5. Visited 2/21/09.

Crab Cake sandwich, fries, and coke


Tokyo Joe’s (Grant street, Denver, Colorado)

Peanut Skewers and Unagi Bowl at Tokyo Joe’s

Tokyo Joe’s * 1360 Grant Street * Denver, CO * 80203 * 303.830.7277 * http://www.tokyojoes.com/findus/6grant.html
As I’ve quit typical Amerikan fast-food, I’ve switched to some of the more healthy fast-food alternatives when in a rush and a need for a cost-effective meal that’s good for me. Colorado’s small (yet fastly growing) fast food Japanese chain, Tokyo Joes is upbeat and expanding. The food is good, fast, healthy, and affordable. How can you go wrong? In like-style of Noodles and Company in presentation and design, Tokyo Joes takes a different artistic approach. I adore their Unagi Rice Bowls, the California Rolls are delicious, and the chicken satay yummy. As usual, my experience is what I expect. Though seems each time I get the Unagi bowl of the last two years, I’m seeing less and less Unagi, and more rice. That sucks. But still the great dish I’ve come to be addicted to on each of my Denver weekend trips. It’s a great healthy fix. Rating 5 stars out of 5 (for fast food: Japanese quality 3 out of 5). Visited 2/14/09.


Kokoro Sushi (Arvada, Colorado)

Kokoro Sushi Restaurant
303) 432-0600 * 5535 Wadsworth, Arvada * (55th and Wadsworth)

A small healthy fast food joint off Wadsworth, part of a chain of a similar diner that’s in the style of Tokyo Joes somewhat, but more sushi and Japanese fare than Tokyo Joes. Specializing in lunch and dinner, they do have a healthier menu than most fast food restaurants and its nutritious and speedy. When I can’t do Tokyo Joes, Kokoro is my next choice, especially since I quit fastfood restaurants (unless I can’t help it). I like the Broadway location better than the Wadsworth, but both do me well. They even have a drive-thru and offer deliver by JEEVES by calling JEEVES at 303-534.TOGO or log onto the JEEVES website at www.deliverybyjeeves.com. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.


Tokyo Joe’s, Centennial, Colorado

02.17.08 Tokyo Joe’s, Centennia, Colorado

Tokyo Joe’s (Centennial)
http://www.tokyojoes.com/ * Dry Creek and Yosemite (centennial) * 8727 E. Dry Creek Rd, Englewood, CO 80112 * 303.721.8886

As I’ve quit typical Amerikan fast-food, I’ve switched to some of the more healthy fast-food alternatives when in a rush and a need for a cost-effective meal that’s good for me. Colorado’s small (yet fastly growing) fast food Japanese chain, Tokyo Joe’s is upbeat and expanding. The food is good, fast, healthy, and affordable. How can you go wrong? In like-style of Noodles and Company in presentation and design, Tokyo Joe’s takes a different artistic approach. I adore their Unagi Rice Bowls, the California Rolls are delicious, and the chicken satay yummy. It’s a great healthy fix. Rating 5 stars out of 5 (for fast food: Japanese quality 3 out of 5). Visited 2/17/08. 02/13/11 Visit: “Enroute back to Colorado Springs, I stopped for some takeout from Tokyo Joe’s for the road. A large Unagi bowl with brown rice and some peanut skewers. Delicious, fresh, and quick service. Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5.

Chicken Satay

Unagi Rice Bowl