Lenny’s Sub Shop is a relatively new sub sandwich chain.  It’s kind of a cross between Subway and Jimmy John’s, in that it offers both hot and cold subs, as well as salads, chips, and cookies.  They’re also well-known for their “hot pepper relish,” which you can get on sandwiches and in jars.  I had a coupon for a free sub, so I decided to check it out.

This isn't the meal I got. Mine was a Chicken Philly. But there aren't any good pictures of that online, and frankly this meal looks delicious.

I decided to go with a hot sub, to get my money’s worth as it were.  I selected the Grilled Chicken Philly.  It consisted of diced chicken, onion, swiss, and some hot pepper relish (my own addition).  It was pretty good!  The chicken and onions were cooked to perfection, and the hot pepper relish was nice and flavorful.  I might ask for a little bit less of it next time since it’s a bit strong, but I wanted to try their signature relish, and I wasn’t disappointed.

As I mentioned, I got my sub for free, so I’d definitely recommend doing that.  Their sandwiches are about the same price as Subway, and about the same, if not a bit better quality.  The staff was also friendly and engaging, at least at the location I visited, which I haven’t always seen at Subway.  I’d recommend giving Lenny’s a try for your next casual lunch out.

Burger King’s latest addition to their Steakhouse XT line has been met with a lot of criticism.  It’s a hamburger patty with pieces of cheddar cheese and jalapeno peppers mixed in.  A lot of people have decried this concept as being disgusting, but I’m hesitant to go that far.  I’ve heard of a number of burgers with things like chopped onions or pickles mixed in, and while this is a bit more extreme, it’s the same idea.  I didn’t want to be like the rest of the internet and review the Stuffed Steakhouse without trying it first, so I hit my local Burger King drive-thru and picked one up.

Now if it was full of cocktail shrimp or mini marshmallows or something, THAT would be gross.

And it’s not actually half bad!  First off, it doesn’t look nearly as unappetizing as the promotional pictures.  It actually just looks like a blackened patty with some seasoning bits in it.  It also is surprisingly subtle for a gimmick burger.  When you think about it, it makes sense.  It doesn’t have a whole slice of cheese or a ton of jalapeno spread slathered on it, so what’s in the burger is pretty much what you get.  There’s enough jalapeno to taste the flavor of the pepper, but it doesn’t have the intense heat of some “spicy” sandwiches, specifically the ones Burger King puts out.  The burger also comes with tomato, lettuce, and a poblano sauce which I didn’t even really notice.  All in all, it’s a perfectly decent burger that doesn’t overindulge in heat.

As a limited time premium offer, the Stuffed Steakhouse burger is pretty expensive.  Still, I’d recommend giving it a try.  It’s an interesting sandwich concept that doesn’t take it too far.  Buy this one so you can skip the inevitable “Bacon Crispy Onion BBQ Stuffed Steakhouse.”

Ok, I’m gonna be totally upfront about this, this post is kind of stretching the definition of a sandwich, even beyond the idea of wraps or flatbreads.  If you’re a sandwich purist who will be offended by the term “sandwich” used so liberally, you should probably stop reading and maybe seek help.  For everyone else, read on!!

Auntie Anne’s is a pretzel bakery chain based in Pennsylvania.  They have numerous locations across the country, and have generally moved towards the food court model.  You’ve probably seen them in malls, airports, and anywhere else with multiple counters and common seating.  They offer a number of different pretzels in both sweet and savory flavors, but what we’re here to talk about today is their pretzel dog.

Apparently, they pretzel dog dare you. (???)

The pretzel dog is exactly that, a hot dog (a “Nathan’s Famous” hot dog, according to their website) wrapped in pretzel dough.  It’s similar in concept to a corn dog or pigs in a blanket.  It is delicious.  The dough has enough flavor to bring something new to the hot dog, and the fact that it’s warm is a definite plus.  The hot dog is comparatively high quality, and doesn’t have the mystery meat flavor of some lower class dogs.  It’s delicious on its own, but adding a bit of mustard makes it even better.  It’s probably the best sandwich which is debatably not a sandwich I’ve ever had.

The downside of the pretzel dog goes back to the food court business model Auntie Anne’s employs.  Since food courts generally have a captive audience (people shopping or waiting, who can’t easily leave to eat somewhere else), they can jack up their prices pretty high.  The pretzel dog usually goes for three or four dollars alone, and combos (which include only a drink) go for more.  It’s a bit pricey, but next time you’re struggling to make up your mind at the mall, go with a pretzel dog.

P.S.  According to the website, they have a jalapeno cheese pretzel dog.  This is the best news I’ve gotten all day.

Wendy’s latest sandwich, the Asiago Ranch Chicken Club, has been released with little to no fanfare.  They seem to be putting most of their effort into marketing their new fries with sea salt.  However, after a tip from a friend, I decided to check out the Club, and I’m glad I did.

Sorry, clicking on it won't let you "learn more." That's what the rest of my review is for.

On its surface, the sandwich seems pretty standard.  Chicken (which is available breaded, spicy, or grilled), bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and some ranch dressing.  The decision to include Asiago, however, is inspired.  I’ve always felt that Asiago is an under-utilized cheese in fast food, quickly passed over for cheddar or swiss.  It has a strong flavor reminiscent of Parmesan, but it’s not overpowering.  It goes well with chicken and especially with ranch.  It turns what could have been a dime a dozen chicken club sandwich into something new and interesting.

The Asiago Ranch Chicken Club is a bit more expensive, being a featured item at Wendy’s, which is generally a bit pricier.  However, I’d suggest trying it at least once while it’s available.  It’s nice to see a big chain mix things up every once in a while.

McDonald’s introduced their Angus burger line some time ago, it’s kind of a premium burger series with bigger patties and fresh toppings like lettuce and tomatoes.  It’s akin to the Whopper at Burger King or other more expensive fast food hamburgers.  They recently debuted a new entry, the Chipotle BBQ Bacon burger.  Though I feel that “chipotle’s” moment has passed, I still decided to give it a shot.

It's coming, it's going, it's taking over our city.

The main point of this sandwich, as well as its biggest problem, is the chipotle BBQ sauce.  McDonald’s boasts of all of the sweet, smoky, and savory elements in the sauce, but I wasn’t really tasting a blend like they described.  It tasted strongly of garlic, and didn’t have the sweetness I associate with a barbeque sauce.  It wasn’t hugely spicy, but the flavor coated the inside of my mouth and stayed for a while.  The addition of onion didn’t help matters any, the combination of the sauce and onion overpowered the sandwich.  I missed out on what looked like pretty good bacon, as well as cheese and pickles.  Even the patty took a backseat.

As an Angus Third Pounder, the combo is a bit more expensive that the usual McDonald’s fare, and not at all worth it.  I’ve had Angus burgers I liked at McDonald’s, but this isn’t one of them.  Skip it.

Last week was my birthday, so I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner out. We went to burger restaurant/bar Red Robin, where I got my meal for free. If you know anything about Red Robin, you know that’s a really good deal, but more on that later. I selected the Bleu Ribbon Burger, one of their Gourmet Burgers.

Happy Birthday to ME!!

The Bleu Ribbon Burger consists of a patty marinated in steak sauce topped with crumbled Bleu cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, crispy onions, and Chipotle mayo. It is, in a word, exquisite. The steak sauce isn’t quite as strong as I expected, and works more nicely with the bleu cheese than a strong sauce would’ve. Crispy onion straws have become a bit played out in the past couple of years, but they really worked well here, and it’s nice having them without their usual partner in crime, barbeque sauce. All of the ingredients were fresh and flavorful, and the burger was enormous, as Red Robin burgers are wont to be. Like all their burgers, the Bleu Ribbon comes with bottomless steak fries, which is a nice side, although I can’t imagine eating more than about an order and a half.

The other nice thing about this burger is that it was free. Red Robin is somewhat sticklerish about their birthday club, and you’re supposed to be a member of the email club, print off a coupon, and bring it in, in addition to presenting photo ID with your birthdate. However, when you’re giving away ten-dollar burgers for free, I guess you have to protect your investment. I’d definitely recommend this burger on your birthday, and furthermore I’d even recommend it at full price. It was that good.

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