December 30, 2009
Time for another store-bought review!! Lean Cuisine is a prepared meal brand which specializes in low calorie meals. They have a number of different kinds of meals, including personal pizzas and pasta dishes. Most importantly, however, they have a line of paninis and flatbread sandwiches.
There are a number of different choices in the Lean Cuisine sandwich line. Most of them involve chicken, a few involve steak, a I didn’t see any vegetarian options. After taking some opinions, I decided to go with the Pesto Chicken flatbread. It was on sale for about $2.50 (at Target, by the by), so it seemed like a good enough choice. Cooking the sandwich was simple enough, it was packaged in the box ready-to-go, and I simply needed to microwave it for a couple minutes, let it dit for a bit, and then fold it over.
The sandwich itself was actually a little disappointing. The chicken was fine, but the vegetable choices (sun-dried tomatoes and red peppers) felt uninspired and redundant. The mozzarella cheese didn’t detract from the sandwich any, but neither did it really help, and the pesto sauce was bland. Granted, I prefer pesto closer to how my father prepares it (read: with a ton of garlic), but there wasn’t anything to this sandwich to make it memorable. I wouldn’t throw this sandwich away, but I wouldn’t buy it again either.
Overall, I’d give the Pesto Chicken flatbread a B- or so. I didn’t care for it, but the concept of microwavable flatbreads (and paninis) is sound, and some of the other options like Steak, Cheddar, and Mushroom or Southwest Chicken sound like they’re more suited to my tastes anyway. As for price, the sandwiches aren’t too expensive, but they’re not very filling either. They’re more of a snack, or to be eaten with a nice bag of chips or a pickle.
December 24, 2009
Biggby Coffee is a Michigan-based coffee shop franchise with locations throughout the Midwest. They have a number of different coffee and non-coffee beverages, as well as a pleasant, upscale atmosphere. They also have a couple of bagel sandwiches. I sampled the Turkey Havarti bagel sandwich. Just as the name suggests, the sandwich consists of deli-style sliced turkey and a slice of Havarti cheese on a plain bagel. It was decent, better because I heated it up but not too remarkable. The Havarti was an interesting choice, but I feel it could’ve used a slice of tomato or a spread, something to make it a little more memorable. Still, Biggby is, first and foremost, a coffee shop, and if you enjoy their coffee and ambiance (which I do), the bagel sandwiches are a cheap snack.
In other news, I have a couple more entries lined up, but I’ll probably wait a week or two to post them. The end of the year is generally a low-traffic period for blogs. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!
December 17, 2009
The Great Steak and Potato Company is a small franchise generally found in food courts and malls. As their name suggests, they specialize in cheesesteaks and various types of potatoes (usually french fried), although they do serve a couple other options. As a cheesesteak aficionado, I’m surprised I hadn’t thought to give them a try earlier.
I decided to try the Kansas City Cheesesteak, a variation on the usual theme presumably developed in Kansas City. It consisted of sliced steak, barbeque sauce, fried onions, and some kind of white cheese, possibly Monterey Jack (Great Steak & Potato Co. prides themselves on using Cheez Whiz, the way they do in Philadelphia, but I think they wanted to mix it up a bit for his sandwich). It was absolutely delicious. A lot of the quality was due to the fact that they fried it up in front of you, so it was unquestionably fresh. The steak and onions were of the highest quality, and the barbeque sauce was somewhat sweet, reminiscent of a Sloppy Joe. Overall, it was a high quality cheesesteak, both delicious and filling.
The meal came with French Fries (which had also been freshly prepared) and a fountain drink, all for about $6. It was a great meal at a great deal, and I hope to head back there soon to try another of their sandwiches.
December 15, 2009
Quiznos is a sub franchise known for their oven-toasted subs. They are Subway’s major competitor worldwide. They are also awesome.
Let me explain why I love Quiznos so much. As I said before, I have issues with Subway’s method of marketing sandwiches. I feel they lack direction. Quiznos is the opposite end of the spectrum. Quiznos sandwiches mix meats and cheeses with interesting sauces, spreads and vegetables. When eating them, one understands that a chef somewhere created this recipe for others to enjoy, as opposed to leaving ingredients out and making customers fend for themselves. The other beautiful aspect of Quiznos is the variety of sandwich sizes. In addition to the standard small/medium/large paradigm, Quiznos features a long, thin Torpedo sandwich, a stouter Bullet sandwich, as well as a wide Flatbread option. This allows patrons to order exactly how much sandwich they want. No longer will they have to worry about not finishing the meal or going hungry.
The first sandwich I tried was the Pesto Turkey Torpedo. The Pesto Turkey consists of turkey, mozzarella cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, as well as a Basil Pesto spread and a Red Wine vinaigrette dressing. The dressing and spread complemented one another well, and the mozzarella cheese added to the flavor without being overwhelming. The lettuce could have been a bit fresher, but overall it was delicious. The combo I ordered also came with a cup of Broccoli Cheese soup. While soup is generally outside of this blog’s purview, I have a special affinity for Broccoli Cheese, and let me just say that this soup had a refreshingly sour hint to it, and is a great complement to any sandwich.
The other sub I had was the Turkey Bacon Guacamole. Being a sucker for both bacon and guacamole on pretty much anything, this sub was right up my alley. In addition to the aforementioned items, it included mozzarella, lettuce, tomatoes (starting to see a pattern here?), red onions, and Ranch dressing. The Ranch and guacamole were a great combination, another example of Quiznos’ expertise in combining sauces and spreads. Overall, Quiznos is a top-notch sandwich eatery where all sorts of meals are available for under $10 a pop.