Eating at El Loro is great, even if you can’t eat AT El Loro

We miss sitting down at a real restaurant. We don’t mind takeout, we love it, but sometimes we really do want a regular, sit-down experience. Don’t worry, we’re not one of those people who will start bullying restaurants to open back up – we know this lockdown is for a good reason – but it does make us sad. If we’re struggling with this, imagine how the restaurants themselves are handling it! The answer is, for the most part, “poorly.” Restaurants that simply do not work as take-out joints have been forced to transition, and it’s not going smoothly for most places. This can be a problem with multiple factors: the food isn’t suited for take-out, they don’t have any ecosystem in place for take-out or delivery, or the owners don’t want to work out the business plan for transition.

One restaurant we’ve been wanting to go to, El Loro in Bloomington, is a sit-down Mexican place that has made the transition to take out. Have they managed to crack the code? Hit the jump to find out.

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Scott Ja-Mama’s packs big barbecue into a tiny package

We discovered Scott Ja-Mama’s by complete chance. Driving down the road, as we are wont to do, we simply came to the intersection of Diamond Lake and Nicollet and were forced to stop at its red light. While waiting, Paula turned their head and said, “Now that looks like a hole in the wall!” There was the neon sign of Scott Ja-Mama’s, promising hot barbecue with a one-of-a-kind name. We had never before gotten so immediately excited over a restaurant we had seen on the street. It is our fervent belief that the smaller a restaurant is, the better its food is. And we’re talking about floor space, not just the amount of business it does. Scott Ja-Mama’s looked like it could hold barely five people, maybe seven if they were slim.

So, of course, we were instantly enamored and had to order from there soon. And two days later, we had put the order in. We were going to find out what Scott Ja-Mama’s was all about.

But what is Scott Ja-Mama’s all about? What even is it? Hit the jump to find out.

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Why did Burger King bring back its spicy nuggets, here and now?

Burger King brought its spicy nuggets back. You didn’t know they had left? You didn’t even know that Burger King even had spicy nuggets? We can’t blame you. Burger King introduced spicy nuggets back in 2017, shortly after Wendy’s discontinued their nuggets, in a naked cash-grab. 

We’re not really in a position where going outside to grab a handful of chicken nuggets is something you can do in a lark anymore. Going out for Burger King is a thing now, like literally any reason you go outside. You gotta bring your mask, and your hand sanitizer, and carefully plan to make sure you don’t get too close to anybody else… it gets exhausting. You need a good reason if you’re going outside. Like, perhaps, Burger King offering those spicy nuggets at an unbelievably cheap price: eight for a dollar? We’ve had these nuggets before, but it had been years since we last tasted one… Well, grab your mask and hit the jump, what is there to lose?

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Wendy’s gave us a GroupNug for free. Why?

Hey, Wendy’s is giving away free nuggets! Did you know about this? I mean, it happened on April 24th, so if it’s not April 24th where you are right now, it’s too late. But we managed to get some nuggets, and they were totally free! We didn’t have to buy anything, we just drove right through the drive through and they gave it to us! Isn’t that crazy?

And you know what’s really crazy? If you live in an area where there are several Wendy’s within quick driving distance of each other – like we do – you can just drive to each one and get free nugs from all of them! We went to four Wendy’s and got a four pack from each! 

If the multiplication chart I’ve hung onto from first grade can be trusted, that was sixteen nuggets for zero dollars! That’s enough nuggets for two people, for absolutely free. If this wasn’t free it probably would have cost over four dollars! Who has four dollars to spare in this economy? Do you have four dollars on you right now? Hit the jump to find out if you have four dollars on you right now.

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FOOD: Chipotle – The Chipotle Unexperience

There is an amazing Mexican restaurant in our area that we only rarely go to. The Andale Taquiera is a hidden gem of the suburbs, a Guy Fieri-approved diner that serves some of the most amazing burritos and tacos you can get on this side of the Twin Cities, and certainly the best ones outside of the cities proper. And yet, we choose time and time to go to Chipotle down the street instead. 

Why is this? Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Everybody knows that Chipotle’s burritos are only just passable, and any independent Mexican restaurant worth their salt would blow them out of the water. We certainly are aware of this, but we kept choosing Chipotle time and time again. What kind of madness is this? What possible reason could someone choose to do this to themselves? Well, if you’re as perplexed at our behavior as we are, just click through and we’ll tell you all about the Chipotle experience.

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FOOD: Taco Bell – The Breakfast Crunchwrap Experience

Disclaimer: Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, we weren’t really able to go outside and buy a Breakfast Crunchwrap to take photos of for our article. We’re making do with stock images from Taco Bell itself. Sorry.

Taco Bell is something that is almost, but not entirely, unlike real Mexican food. We don’t like to parrot talking points about “authentic” food here on Eggware.XYZ, but we really do have to admit that Taco Bell is as far detached from Mexican cuisine as Magritte’s pipe was to a real one. But there’s a certain beauty in it: in a sense, it is pure and authentic ‘American’ cuisine, representing everything that makes the modern United States of America the way it is: its cheesy-potatoey strengths, and its blatant disregard for the cultures it has built itself upon.

Most of the most interesting offerings on Taco Bell’s menu are those that don’t try to ape Mexican cuisine, but do their own ‘unique’ things. This is a tradition of theirs stemming all the way back to the Enchirito, a mashup of an enchilada and a burrito in one saucy mess. One of our favorite concoctions is the Crunchwrap Supreme, a kind of rethinking of a burrito that is folded into a hexagon around a tostada. 

The Crunchwrap is what Taco Bell is all about. It’s designed in a way that makes it more convenient to eat than a regular burrito of similar size, and adding a tostada for crispiness is a clever textural component. There’s nothing like it anywhere else. We don’t want to imply that this is good food, or even particularly tasty. It’s just one of the little ‘innovations’ that you get in fast food, the kind that Taco Bell specializes in. Since Taco Bell works with a different palette of ingredients than most other fast food restaurants – tortillas instead of buns, loose ground meat instead of patties – they have more liberty to experiment and create strange concoctions. 

First released as a limited time offer in 2005, the Crunchwrap Supreme was popular enough to be added to their full time menu in 2006 and has been there ever since. And since the Crunchwrap Supreme was so popular, when Taco Bell introduced a new breakfast 2014 they added a Breakfast Crunchwrap to it. This was the most brilliant thing that Taco Bell has ever done.

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FOOD: Wendy’s – Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant

Oh for the love of god not more chicken sandwiches

Okay, okay, we can do this. Yes, chicken is everywhere, and we’ve drilled that concept into your heads for long enough. Wendy’s, not one to be left out of a trend, has added a number of chicken sandwiches to its new breakfast menu – the most interesting one, to us, being the Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant.

On its surface, this sounds like a serious slam dunk. Fried chicken, bacon, AND a croissant bun? The only other place that does croissant buns in its breakfast is Burger King, and they’re definitely the least classy of the Big Three burger joints. Could Wendy’s deliver to us a real croissant, rich, buttery and flaky?

I mean, we doubt it. But there’s always hope, so hit the jump and find out.

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FOOD: Wendy’s – Breakfast Baconator

I’ve had enough chicken! It’s breakfast time, boys! Wendy’s recently debuted an all-new breakfast menu, hoping to keep up with the rising trend of fast food breakfasts. Wendy’s for a long time has been the only member of the Big Three burger chains to not serve breakfast. While McDonald’s and Burger King have been slinging sausage for years, Wendy’s has only had Breakfast on and off through the decades. They tried in 2005, but pulled it in 2006 after bad reception. They tried in 2012, but stopped in 2013 after concerns that the breakfast menu was distracting from their main menu. They couldn’t seem to find the right balance that the other chains could.

Now they’re giving it another crack, with an all-new menu. This time it seems like Wendy’s knows what the people like, because the headliner attraction is a little concoction known as the Breakfast Baconator. Oh yes, that legendary mountain of meat gets a breakfast counterpart.  

Hit the jump to find out if Wendy can finally get this breakfast thing right.

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FOOD: KFC – Chicken & Donuts Sandwich

Are you tired of chicken yet? Chicken sandwiches have truly taken over fast food. I mean, how many of the most recent reviews we’ve done have been chicken sandwiches? 2019 was the Year of the Chicken Sandwich and 2020 is the first year truly affected by this paradigm shift. Naturally, those benefiting from this change in America’s tastes are the classic chicken joints. But where has that most classic of chicken chains gone off to? If you know anything about eating fast food, you’ll know KFC has undergone some serious rebranding in the past few years in an attempt to shed its filthy, greasy image. A greater focus on the Colonel as their mascot, a revamp of the recipe, a complete overhaul of their visual image – the works.

But KFC is still Kentucky Fried Chicken, and this is the restaurant that invented the Double Down. KFC wants to clad itself in a new image of cleaner, better food, but still market the occasional high-caloric nightmare to clog up America’s valves. The Chicken & Donuts sandwich is yet another attempt to keep heart disease as the number one killer of people across the country.

Is it even good, or is it just another tacky gimmick? Hit the jump to find out.

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