Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fast Food Desserts

One of my fondest childhood memories was a late dinner at Burger King with my Mom and Aunt Nessa. I couldn't have been older than five or six; but I remember the manager coming over to us, and dumping a couple dozen hot apple pies (boxed, thank Heaven) on our table. It was 30 minutes to close; and I suppose they were going to toss them away, if we wouldn't take 'em. I'm sure Mom & Nessa didn't let me eat them all; but I like to pretend I did. Here's to reliving great moments from our past...

Arby's: $1 buys you a nice-sized turnover with minimal icing and a tasty cherry filling. Unfortunately, it's also overcooked with a bad pastry to fruit ratio. Not quite burnt, but too done for me.

Grade: D+

Arby's Cherry Turnover

Burger King
: BK's Dutch Apple Pie is priced to sell (just $1) but man does not live on value alone. It's advertised as "warm right out of the kitchen" but mine was still 1/2 cold. The crumb topping turned to mush... probably because it's undercooked. It also didn't seem to rise: Check out the stage photo on the BK website. BIG difference.

Grade: D- (Should have been an F, but $1 price tag is hard to beat.)

California Tortilla: Nothing beats the simplicity of a chocolate brownie, and California Tortilla makes a surprisingly good one. Wrapped in clear wrap, they look and taste homemade. The bottom half is nice and moist... a great contrast from its crispier top. $1.64 including tax.

Grade: B-

California Tortilla Brownie
Checkers: Crown me! Checkers crushes the competition with its old-school deep-fried pies. Even cheaper than McDs (2/$1) Checkers dusts both sides of the pie with cinnamon & sugar, leaving no doubt as to who's best. I could have devoured a dozen or more.

Grade: A+

Checkers' Cinnamon Apple Pie

Cosi: Once again, Cosi "tops the pyramid" in terms of price ($2.59 for a 4 oz. brownie is a bit steep) but it's a generous portion with a nice texture (not too soft, slight crunch) and plenty of chocolate chips. As for Blondie vs. Brownie... No difference, save for color.

Grade: B-

Cosi Blondie

Hardee's: Hats off to Hardee's for their tasty and affordable (2 for $1) deep fried Apple Turnover. Not quite on par with Checkers, it's bound to be a little healthier, but still one of our favorites.

Grade: B

Hardee's Apple Turnover

McDonald's: The King of fast food has a variety of dessert options (cones, cookies, McFlurries, sundaes) but for me, there's only one... the Baked Apple Pie. Weighing in at a fit & trim 250 calories, their mix of apples, cinnamon and tender crust for $.69 is a steal at twice the price. You used to get two for a buck, but they've recently jumped to 2/$1.19. Inflation sucks, doesn't it?

Grade: B

Noodles & Company: How often do you find a dessert made from scratch, in-house at a fast food restaurant? Try never. Noodles & Company ups the ante with their Rice Crispy, made fresh every day with crispy rice cereal, marshmallows and melted butter. Gooey and delicious, they pack a mean 540 calories per punch; so tread lightly.

Grade: B

Rice Crispy from Noodles & Company

Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen: Yes it's deep-fried & sure, it tastes pretty good; but $1.79 for one pie? Whatever happened to fair profit margins? No wonder most people don't have room for dessert.

Grade: D- (Highway robbery)

Cinnamon Apple Pie at Popeye's