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Fast Food: Do You Want Fries With That?

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I looved Ponderosa as a kid/teen. My dad was always bitching about how low quality their steaks were, but somehow we kept eating there! What about Sizzler, weren't they in some way related to Ponderosa?

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I looved Ponderosa as a kid/teen. My dad was always bitching about how low quality their steaks were, but somehow we kept eating there! What about Sizzler, weren't they in some way related to Ponderosa?

 

Sizzler? No, I think they were a competing chain. But like some other products or places that have different names with east versus west, I have read that the Ponderosa chain in the western states is called, appropriately enough, Bonanza Steakhouse. (If not a different name, Ponderosa/Bonanza are in the same company grouping.)

 

 

Ponderosa?  Blast from the past!

 

I had a college bf and we went there probably once a week!

 

I went to Ponderosa with my college roommates in the early to mid '90s to escape the crap called food in our dining hall. It closed maybe about a year after our trip there.  :-(

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I've noticed that every time I leave California for somewhere In n Out isn't available, I crave it superbad as soon as I return.  I went up to Oregon for the week, and on the drive home stopped for a delicious, large Thai dinner/late lunch.  Yet around 10 oclock as I got closer to home I realllly wanted In n Out.  And my boyfriend felt the same.  So of course we had to go get some!  It's always been my go to place when I get back from a vacation.

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What you guys are missing is Braum's. It's not always fast (although it should be), and the burgers aren't necessarily the best in the world, but the breakfast biscuits are wonderful, and the ice cream is the best. You will probably never get one, though, because Braum's won't put in restaurant/stores (they also have very good milk) outside of about a 300-mile radius of its processing plant and distribution center because it delivers products every other day in its own fleet of refrigerated trucks and the company doesn't want to lose freshness by going outside that radius.

 

Okay, so where do I have to move to?

In the steakhouse vein, does anyone recall Beefsteak Charlie's?  Or was that a regional chain?

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Okay, so where do I have to move to?

In the steakhouse vein, does anyone recall Beefsteak Charlie's?  Or was that a regional chain?

 

Beefsteak Charlie's is another place we had way back when and is now long gone, but in this case, I think the whole company went under. (Wow, put all together, my area has lost a lot of places over the years! Sad.)

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Okay, so where do I have to move to?

 

North Texas/ the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma and Kansas... you're choice!

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Okay, so where do I have to move to?In the steakhouse vein, does anyone recall Beefsteak Charlie's?  Or was that a regional chain?

Time warp night here...My brother and his buddies would go there once in awhile when they had the steak and all-you-can-eat shrimp promotion. My best friend and I went with them one night - oh the carnage! This was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth (or early 1980s).

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Okay, so where do I have to move to?

 

Find Tuttle, Okla., on a map and measure 300 miles in every direction. Or visit the website, which says they have Braum's in Oklahoma and parts of Texas, Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri. If you ever drive I-40 or I-35 through Oklahoma, you'll pass one somewhere along the way.

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I love Braum's too. Their ice cream is yummy & as a treat goes for the kids it's a bargain compared to Maggie Moo's or Cold Stone. They also have a pretty good little gluten free section in their small grocery area.

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Well, I'm kinda cheesed at Burger King. They brought back Chicken Fries, which I remember liking from the last time they had them. So I'm good with that, I guess.

But... They appear to have gotten rid of the Cinnabon Minibon Rolls (which I *totally* loved, & can't get locally as we have no Cinnabons at our airport [we're lucky we finally got a Seattle's Best Coffee & a Samuel Adams Brewhouse restaurant in our airport... our 1st "national brand" concessions in our very teeny airport], or in our local shopping centers [closest we ever had was a Cinnamonster store years ago], or anywhere else in town). According to the menu on their website, which I looked at earlier today, BK's now serving Otis Spunkmeyer cinnamon rolls instead.

At least, for now, I can sort of get my "fix" at Taco Bell. They still appear to have the Cinnabon Delights snack/dessert available (kind of "inside out" Cinnabon balls, with the cream cheese frosting/icing on the inside, rolled in the Makara cinnamon they use in the Cinnabons & Minibons on the outside).

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Does anyone like Bojangles?

KFC got their hooks in me when I was little and it has spoiled me for every other fast food fried chicken.  I have had fried chicken that was really tasty in a couple of diners and restaurants but that would fall outside of fast food.

 

So I've tried them, along with a few other places - Church's, Popeyes and Bojangles (are there other chains?) but found them ok.  And KFC has the mashed pototoes and gravy I love - I would go there just for the potatoes at least once a week if they were closer.

 

ETA: all the words to complete a sentence and all the letters necessary to properly spell a word I am trying to use.

Edited by DeLurker
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I go to Popeyes every now & then, & I also prefer KFC chicken, but Popeyes has fried shrimp which is great, & I love the rice & beans. Their biscuits also taste very buttery, they must load them up in the cooking. They used to have a combo dinner of chicken & shrimp which I got all the time, but they discontinued it, so now I have to make a choice between the two when I go :-(

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Does anyone like Bojangles?

Me! I live in the state where Bojangles is based, I believe. I was reluctant to try them at first. I've had southern cooking most of my life and am kinda over it. But Bojangles has the best fries, chicken and biscuits. Oh man, the fries.

 

Does anyone here know of a restaurant (other than Panera Bread) where you can get a good soup and a sandwich? Sometimes that's all I really want.

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I really like a place called The Corner Bakery - not sure how spread out they are now but if you have one near you I would give it a shot. Good coffee, good bakery plus a very nice soup, salad, sandwich & pasta selection. Not a large menu, but one I think is well executed.

I've tried several of the soups and have quite liked them (although the baked potato soup has become a tad addictive).

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Me! I live in the state where Bojangles is based, I believe. I was reluctant to try them at first. I've had southern cooking most of my life and am kinda over it. But Bojangles has the best fries, chicken and biscuits. Oh man, the fries.

 

Does anyone here know of a restaurant (other than Panera Bread) where you can get a good soup and a sandwich? Sometimes that's all I really want.

I like Macalister's. What I like best is the sweet tea, though. And they used to have something called Kentucky pie -- a chocolate pecan pie served with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream and chocolate syrup. They discontinued it, though. I don't know why. It was the best, although it was a meal in itself.

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Does anyone like Bojangles?

 

We don't have any around here. We do have some Popeye's, but I haven't been.

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In the steakhouse vein, does anyone recall Beefsteak Charlie's?

 

When I was a kid, Beefsteak Charlie's had a commercial for their free peel-and-eat shrimp of a couple stuffing shrimp in their, and each other's, faces, and the whole time moaning "Shrimp, shrimp, shrimp, mmmm, shrimp" over and over as they ate. It was really annoying. I remember my parents hated it so much they'd change the channel whenever it came on. And this was back in the pre-remote days where you actually had to leave your seat to do so, so they really hated it!

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Does anyone like Bojangles?

Yes! Of course, my first fast food chicken choice is Chick-fil-a but usually it's a Sunday when I eat fast food (weekend travel or no time to cook, I rarely eat out). If I'm in the mood for a bucket of chicken I'll usually opt for Bojagles as well.

Slightly spicy chicken and that dirty rice!! Yum!!!

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When I was a kid, Beefsteak Charlie's had a commercial for their free peel-and-eat shrimp of a couple stuffing shrimp in their, and each other's, faces, and the whole time moaning "Shrimp, shrimp, shrimp, mmmm, shrimp" over and over as they ate. It was really annoying. I remember my parents hated it so much they'd change the channel whenever it came on. And this was back in the pre-remote days where you actually had to leave your seat to do so, so they really hated it!

 

I remember those commercials, they were very obnoxious.  Originally we had a Steak 'n Brew which I loved because you got a doggy box instead of a bag; and I took that thing to school for lunch until it was falling apart.  SnB  went down and was either acquired by Beefsteak Charlie's or part of the same family and folded in, and my family never went back after the conversion. Now that site is a Shake Shack, which has a great reputation; but despite its having been there a couple of years, it's still slammed, so I haven't been there.  My hometown is full of wealthy, entitled people, and it's no fun mingling with them, being less entitled and not at all wealthy myself. 

 

 

Yes! Of course, my first fast food chicken choice is Chick-fil-a but usually it's a Sunday when I eat fast food (weekend travel or no time to cook, I rarely eat out). If I'm in the mood for a bucket of chicken I'll usually opt for Bojagles as well.

Slightly spicy chicken and that dirty rice!! Yum!!!

 

Spicy chicken sounds good-- maybe I should see if Popeye's does that.  We have a KFC, but I don't do them after the Pilgrim's Pride thing about 10 years ago.  Not that Popeye's suppliers may be any nicer to their chickens, but I haven't heard about it yet.

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Spicy chicken sounds good-- maybe I should see if Popeye's does that.

 

Having eaten Popeye's enough, I can tell you...they do. But then, the whole ad campaign likes to highlight a Louisiana theme, anyway, and I've heard they like their spice down that way!

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Does anyone like Bojangles?

 

They don't have any in my area either, but have any tried Raising Cane's?  They are quite good!

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I go to Popeyes every now & then, & I also prefer KFC chicken

 

I liked KFC for years until I moved to where I live now.  The local KFC nearest to me is always dirty with greasy floors and uncleared tables inside while employees stand around chatting.  I stopped going there quite awhile ago.  Popeye's OTOH is always clean and I like both the employees and the food, especially the spicy chicken.  I also enjoy the woman who's the spokesperson in their commercials.  I like her personality and her voice.

 

 

Does anyone here know of a restaurant (other than Panera Bread) where you can get a good soup and a sandwich?

 

I'd highly recommend Jason's Deli if you have one anywhere around.  I'd never heard of it until one opened here a year or so ago.  It's so popular that it's still hard to find a parking place.  We also have a place called Zoup! that has good soups but I think they're expensive for the small portion sizes.

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They don't have any in my area either, but have any tried Raising Cane's? They are quite good!

I'm over in TX, so I should try Raising Cane and see if I can make the switch.

I love Jason's Deli, Corner Bakery, and most of all Baker Brothers. BB should take over the world. But, CB does have more sweets.

Side note...Ok. So, I love the food in Dallas/FW. I just don't like anything else about Fort Worth :( I went to Dallas today. Oh, the atmosphere is pretty and happy and lively. The restaurant I went to was actually busy!

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So thrilled that I found this forum dedicated to my favorite subject...food.

 

BYaM, please make getting to Raising Cane's a priority...you won't be disappointed. And be sure to sign up for a Caniac Card. As soon as you get home and activate it, they load on the card a free 3-piece combo for your next visit...3 big juicy fresh chicken tenderloins, fries or slaw, Texas toast and special dipping sauce, oh, and a drink. Cooked fresh, piping hot. The chicken is not overly battered. I usually save one of the tenderloins and slice on top of a salad for dinner. I volunteer at my local elementary school and every once in a while I treat the librarian and the ladies in the office to Cane's for lunch. No wonder I am often volunteer of the month! I signed up for a Caniac Card last fall and hope they offer a free combo box for my birthday (which is in May).

 

Speaking of which, I urge everyone to get on your favorite eating establishments' e-club mailings and/or frequent diner card memberships. Here are the freebies I get for my birthday (I, too, am in the DFW area so some of these places won't be familiar to others outside the area).

 

El Fenix (free entrée valued up to $12.99 for the 2 weeks prior to your birthday. Drool.)

Red Robin (free burger during your birthday month. Their burgers are great and come with bottomless fries.)

La Madeleine (free pastry during your birthday month. A slice of coconut cream cake feeds two.)

Picasso's Pizza (free entrée valued up to $10.99 for the week or 2 prior to your birthday. Their thin crust pizza is yummy.)

Jersey Mike's (I could be wrong on this one but think you get a free mini-sub)

 

I think there are other places that offer smaller incentives but heck, I eat for free for almost 2 weeks leading up to my birthday. Of course you have to endure their marketing emails but after a year's cycle and if they haven't made it worth my while, I just unsubscribe.

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So thrilled that I found this forum dedicated to my favorite subject...food.

BYaM, please make getting to Raising Cane's a priority...you won't be disappointed. And be sure to sign up for a Caniac Card. As soon as you get home and activate it, they load on the card a free 3-piece combo for your next visit...3 big juicy fresh chicken tenderloins, fries or slaw, Texas toast and special dipping sauce, oh, and a drink. Cooked fresh, piping hot. The chicken is not overly battered. I usually save one of the tenderloins and slice on top of a salad for dinner. I volunteer at my local elementary school and every once in a while I treat the librarian and the ladies in the office to Cane's for lunch. No wonder I am often volunteer of the month! I signed up for a Caniac Card last fall and hope they offer a free combo box for my birthday (which is in May).

There's one right next to the Culver's I go to and I've thought about trying them, but the collective love my family has for Culver's always wins out (my kids have a serious addiction to the concrete mixers). Next time I will force myself to give them a try! Edited by DeLurker

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And be sure to sign up for a Caniac Card. As soon as you get home and activate it, they load on the card a free 3-piece combo for your next visit

 

Good to know!  I'll have to do that next time I go.

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Aww, Betweenyouandme, I'm sorry to read that. I love Ft. Worth, mostly for the Arts District. I'm a designer, so museums? Yes, please. I don't know if you're into art, but I cannot recommend the Kimbell enough. Admission to the permanent collection is free, the building is beautiful (as is The Modern, which sits just across the street), and the cafe is one of my favorite places to sit and enjoy lunch. I like Dallas, too, and I heard once that it has more restaurants per capita than any city in the U.S., though I think that one's an exaggeration.

Thank you. :) I live right down the street from that area. It was nice (Renzo Piano-huge deal), but I've been about 15 times, not including watching the RPP being built. (I keep re-reading this and it sounds sarcastic. I don't mean it to be! I really do thank you for suggestions and agree it's a great place).

OT: There's just no nice shopping here....or much else to do in the city. (Zoo excluded). Yes, there's Neimans but there's no nice mall. University Park is about as nice of a shopping experience as there is (McKinleys/Pacific Table Lululemon/Anthropologie, which is okay...but I can't really spend the day there like I can at North park. It just gets old here. I live downtown and sure weekend nights can be busy but go to Capital Grille at one pm? It's deserted! (That's my time I go out- afternoons). Go to the one in Dallas? Find a seat at the bar or go home without a reservation. I'm a loner so sometimes it's nice...but it makes me feel even lonlier than I am. A real exciting day for me is to go to the zoo, eat by myself, and visit the Amon Carter. Great. But what to do the next day? It just seems dark here.

Anyway. I've been to most every nook and cranny in DFW. I so want to move, but right now won't really work. Sorry I'm a spoil sport.

Back on topic, I love Jack in the Box. I don't like the hamburgers, but they have great grilled cheese. They take forever...but they have great grilled cheese. I also love the jalapeño poppers. Trying to gain weight? There's anyones answer! Years ago, I went once a day to get them. In a week, I gained 3 solid lbs. I stopped then and now it is a rare, rare treat. But the grilled cheese? Anytime :)

Edited by Betweenyouandme

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@Spunkygal, I see you're a newbie to the board as well as this thread, so welcome to PTV!  :-)

Thanks, Wendy! Long-time lurker since TWoP ended and just now found this Food Forum...knew that I had found my people!

 

There's one right next to the Culver's I go to and I've thought about trying them, but the collective love my family has for Culver's always wins out (my kids have a serious addiction to the concrete mixers). Next time I will force myself to give them a try!

DeLurker, Cane's doesn't have the variety of menu items that Culver's has, so be sure that you/your kids are in a chicken fingers mood when you go.

 

(First time to include quotes in a reply. Hope I did it right!

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I agree that it's frustrating to see ads for fast food chains that aren't in your area. I live in Central Massachusetts and I see ads for Chick-fila Golden Corral and CICI's pizza although those places aren't near me. My sister lives in North Carolina and she misses the 99 Restaurant chain which is popular here.

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I agree that it's frustrating to see ads for fast food chains that aren't in your area. I live in Central Massachusetts and I see ads for Chick-fila Golden Corral and CICI's pizza although those places aren't near me. My sister lives in North Carolina and she misses the 99 Restaurant chain which is popular here.

 

 

We have all three in this area and trust me, you aren't missing anything!

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What you guys are missing is Braum's. It's not always fast (although it should be), and the burgers aren't necessarily the best in the world, but the breakfast biscuits are wonderful, and the ice cream is the best. You will probably never get one, though, because Braum's won't put in restaurant/stores (they also have very good milk) outside of about a 300-mile radius of its processing plant and distribution center because it delivers products every other day in its own fleet of refrigerated trucks and the company doesn't want to lose freshness by going outside that radius.

 

I went a few times in Arkansas, where my grandparents are. There are a few other ice cream places I like better, but it was still nice to have the option.

 

That was the problem with Sonic for years. They are ALL OVER Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Tennessee, places in the South like that, and have been for years, but for whatever reason, the expansion into other parts of the country has gone at a monumentally glacial pace. Sonic (along with Cracker Barrel, which also finally came here) was something I looked forward to in Arkansas for years, because we never had one in Maryland. We finally got one last year, but I was living out of state for awhile last year, and will not be going until it's a bit warmer here, because who wants to go there and sit in your car and eat when its the dead of winter? (I know, it's technically spring now, but it's still a bit too brisk for me to want to order food and eat in my car.)

 

One thing that is also pretty exclusive to the AR/OK area (maybe TN, too?) is El Chico. I LOVED it as a kid. Now that I'm older, I recognize that it's really just a run of the mill Mexican restaurant chain, but it meant something to me and I hope to go to AR again someday and have it again. 

Does anyone like Bojangles?

 

Yeah, I do! I lived in Virginia at one point and got to have it there. Same with Cook Out. 

Edited by UYI
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I love Baja Fresh!

 

In the DC area, there used to be a big chain sort of like Arby's only better, called Roy Rogers. McDonald's bought up most of the locations and converted them to McD's, which I loathe. But there are a few Roys left, and I never pass one by without stopping.

 

There's still one down in Southern Maryland, one county over from me. We had one in my county when I was growing up, but it closed years ago and I've never been there. 

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Our El Chico closed several years ago, and now we are overrun in other Mexican restaurants -- run by actual Mexicans (or some other Central American people whose first language is Spanish -- I'm not sure where they are from, but everyone seemed to follow the World Cup extensively). Inused to love El Chico's sizzling brownie dessert thing that was served on the fajita plate/thing.

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Sizzler? No, I think they were a competing chain. But like some other products or places that have different names with east versus west, I have read that the Ponderosa chain in the western states is called, appropriately enough, Bonanza Steakhouse. (If not a different name, Ponderosa/Bonanza are in the same company grouping.)

 

 

 

I went to Ponderosa with my college roommates in the early to mid '90s to escape the crap called food in our dining hall. It closed maybe about a year after our trip there.  :-(

There's a Ponderosa near me(Geneva, NY), but I won't go there because one of my coworkers got salmonella poisoning from the chicken several years back. :(

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but I won't go there because one of my coworkers got salmonella poisoning from the chicken several years back. :(

Was this confirmed by lab testing?  Because most of what people call "food poisoning" isn't.  When people get sick, they tend to blame the last thing they ate, when we actually put something in our cake holes every few hours.  It could be something you ate anytime in the last 24+ hours, or most likely it isn't food borne at all.   Unless a lot of people ate the same thing and all got sick, or unless it is confirmed by a lab, I never buy that it's "food poisoning".

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There's a Ponderosa near me(Geneva, NY), but I won't go there because one of my coworkers got salmonella poisoning from the chicken several years back. :(

 

Yikes! How the mighty have fallen, I guess!  :-(

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Was this confirmed by lab testing?  Because most of what people call "food poisoning" isn't.  When people get sick, they tend to blame the last thing they ate, when we actually put something in our cake holes every few hours.  It could be something you ate anytime in the last 24+ hours, or most likely it isn't food borne at all.   Unless a lot of people ate the same thing and all got sick, or unless it is confirmed by a lab, I never buy that it's "food poisoning".

I do remember her being out of work for several days, so I assume she was under a doctor's care. I no longer work there, so I can't ask her( she's in her mid-70s now and still going strong).

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I have had very many potential clients call me (I'm a lawyer) and say "I want to sue Restaurant X for giving me food poisoning".  Unless they have a lab report, or something from the Department of Health, I turn them down.  I've consulted with a gastroenterologist who tells me you can't prove a causal link between a particular food and subsequent vomiting without lab results.  It's usually just a stomach bug.  Although I know beyond a doubt that a bad Caesar salad gave me food poisoning : )  

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But when you know several people who have gotten sick after eating at the same restaurant at different times (and when the restaurant does not look clean at all), it's worth skipping. That's why I won't eat at the KFC here. Too many people have gotten sick after eating there.

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I live in Central Massachusetts and I see ads for Chick-fila Golden Corral and CICI's pizza although those places aren't near me

 

kathyk24, next time you're on the Pike, there's a Golden Corral in Springfield not far from the Ludlow exit.  It's very popular although I prefer Old Country myself.

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What you guys are missing is Braum's. It's not always fast (although it should be), and the burgers aren't necessarily the best in the world, but the breakfast biscuits are wonderful, and the ice cream is the best.

I agree.  In fact, I speculate Braum's is what caused Dairy Queens to shut down in Oklahoma, except for a few.

 

I agree that it's frustrating to see ads for fast food chains that aren't in your area. I live in Central Massachusetts and I see ads for Chick-fila Golden Corral and CICI's pizza although those places aren't near me. My sister lives in North Carolina and she misses the 99 Restaurant chain which is popular here.

I ate at a Cici's once, and other than the cheesy garlic bread, I wasn't impressed with the food.

One thing that is also pretty exclusive to the AR/OK area (maybe TN, too?) is El Chico. I LOVED it as a kid. Now that I'm older, I recognize that it's really just a run of the mill Mexican restaurant chain, but it meant something to me and I hope to go to AR again someday and have it again. 

I remember El Chico being THE restaurant to go to among my classmates as a kid.  I didn't try it until eight years ago as an adult, and I didn't understand the hype about it.  It was just OK.  Maybe it's because I have better Mexican options around my area.

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McDonalds - love their coffee (may favorite hands down - better than DD or Starbucks), French fries

Wendy's - love their spicy chicken sandwiches

KFC - love their original recipe, corn on the cob, macaroni salad

 

Chick Fil A - I've never eaten there and don't plan to because of their politics.  I figure if I've never had it, I can't miss it.  I don't research a company's politics, so I'm only aware of them if it becomes mainstream.

Papa Johns - see Chick Fil A (although I used to love Papa Johns during college, I haven't had any in years).

 

Cinnabon - Oh, how I love thee.  Although I try to avoid them due to the damage they will do to my thighs.

Auntie Ann's pretzels - love these.  I either get the plain unsalted or the cinnamon sugar.

 

Dairy Queen - I get commercials for them all the time, but there aren't any in the area.  I want to try their "caramel salted" ice cream thingy they are currently advertising.  I love ice cream!  Haagen Daaz being my favorite.

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Had a Crunchwrap Slider from Taco Bell (BLT variety). It was only a dollar fifty, was a neat little octagon shape, and was very filling. I ate half of it yesterday and the other half today. It had a tangy avocado sauce and tasted pretty fresh. I'd order it again. 

 

I also tried their new "Chicken Griller" which (contrary to the snack-wrap-y advertising) looks like a sad mush wrapped in foil. I assumed the phrase "Griller" meant that the chicken in the wrap was grilled. Nope. Breaded in tortilla bits. And then wrapped in a flour tortilla. So disgusting.

Edited by AltLivia

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I love a good burger and when I have to get one fast, Wendy's is usually where I go. I prefer the taste of the meat at Burger King, but the buns and other combinations at Wendy's are far better. If I could get a Wendy's bleu burger with Burger King meat, i'd be in fast food heaven. Though the bleu cheese burger went away again. :( And you can't beat a Frosty in a waffle cone. When it comes to McDonalds, I still like their egg mcmuffin and hashbrowns. Their burgers and fries and nuggets are straight up foul imo. I also love a lot of things at Taco Bell, but because I worked there as a teen, I got to make everything myself. Once you do that, it's just not the same if you can't hook it up the way you want. I used to throw a bunch of three cheese on a Gordita shell and steam it for a few cycles, wrap it around a taco shell and stuff it with steak, lettuce, sour, tomato and more cheese. HEAVEN! (kind of like a gordita crunch)

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