So, just to get it out of the way, we live in Illinois now!
Yep, we moved out of the Minneapolis area and are now living in Chicagoland. It’s been a long time coming for us, but we couldn’t be happier in our new home. And the best thing about having a new home – at least to us – is all the cool new stuff in the area!
We wanted our first article after the move to be something local, not even just a fast food joint that we didn’t have in Minneapolis, but something altogether local. And it doesn’t get more local than Beef-A-Roo, the chain that has only seven locations only in Rockford, Illinois. We were enticed by Beef-A-Roo as we were looking up local restaurants because it has one of the silliest names we had ever heard. A Beef-A-Roo? What the hell is a Beef-A-Roo? Like a kiss-a-roo? From me to you? We don’t get it.
But our Illinois friends loved this place. They said it was the best. And who are we to ignore our friends about this? So we decided that the very first place we’d eat a meal at in Illinois was out at Beef-A-Roo. It truly would be a Beef-A-Roo from me to you.
We can’t stop saying “a Beef-A-Roo from me to you,” by the way. Every time we pass it, we say it. It’s getting annoying.
Have you ever eaten at a Checkers? Or have you ever eaten at a Rally’s? What if I told you that these are the same restaurant??? Madness, you’d tell me, those are two different names they must be two different places! But no. They are the same restaurant. With different names depending on where you are.
Wait, you’re telling me now. Isn’t that the same thing that Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr has too? Yes… that’s right. It’s the same gimmick. It’s also the same gimmick as restaurants Green Burrito and Red Burrito, a pair of places that we didn’t really know about until we started investigating this. And you want to know the real kicker? All of these restaurants are owned by the SAME PARENT COMPANY!!! What kind of gimmick is that? You get six properties for the price of three, I guess.
Where we live, we’ve got Checkers, Hardee’s, and neither Green or Red Burrito. We’ve been interested in eating at Checkers for a long time because the people who eat there seem to really like eating there. The fries are pointed out repeatedly as a high point of the menu, and there’s nothing we like more than hot starch. A trip was inevitable.
The thing was, the nearest Checkers to us was over half an hour of driving away. That’s fine, we like to drive, we love driving long distances, but this is something that you still don’t just do for fast food. We kept putting it off, and off, and off, but one day we were just so hungry and so bored we decided driving so long for some burgers would be worth it.
Then we kept going back. We couldn’t seem to stop. It was a waste of gas and time but it was… well, was it worth it? Let’s find out.
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.
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.
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.
Little Caesars is a chain that can only be described as “a guilty pleasure”. Their pizza is typically perceived as lower-quality compared to its peers, but they’re sold at a price point that no one could hope to beat. It’s the ultimate payoff of quality for affordability when it comes to takeout pizza, one that some people say just isn’t worth it.
Little Caesars is also our favorite pizza chain. Being people whose only pleasures are guilty, we personally find that Little Caesars’ value is about the same as Domino’s or Pizza Hut’s when scaled up. We’d very much rather eat two Little Caesars pizzas than a single Domino’s pizza any day.
But how does it really stack up? How can we demonstrate just why we like this cheap pizza so much? And it’s not just pizza on their menu – what about their equally cheap Crazy Bread?
To put this to the test, we ordered our usual: the $10 Meal Deal, which comes with one large pepperoni or cheese pizza, an 8-piece order of Crazy Bread, Crazy Sauce, and a 2-liter soda.
After the jump, we’ll go into detail about Little Caesars’ star players.