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Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

Mickey D’s- I’ll Have a Double Shot of Espresso Please?

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2009 at 2:34 pm

I can’t figure out what’s been going on lately with chain restaurants/ fast food chains specifically. Today in USA Today there was an article explaining the recession and its impact on these chains. They blame the vast changes taking place in companies such as Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and KFC to the declining sales due to the poor economy.

I realize that major changes need to have taken place in order for these companies to stay a float, but for a lot of the companies, they sacrificed their loyalty to their original product. KFC, for example, now sells K*GC = Kentucky Grilled Chicken. That’s a great idea, don’t get me wrong. They specialize in clogging arteries so to offer something other than starchy biscuits, and deep fried chicken wings is a smart tactic to help expand their company. But I truthfully think it’s taking away their “niche”. 90% of the people who have chosen KFC in the past do NOT watch their waist for the most part, and are not health conscious. It’s pretty matter-of-fact. If they were health conscious, they wouldn’t have chosen KFC. With that in mind, they are now incorporating a new “type of clientele”. One that orders grilled chicken in a bucket — who may that be exactly? The wealthy socialite watching her diet? Highly doubtful she’d  want to be seen pulling through the drive through of this joint. Would it be the already “oh so frequent” KFC customer? Well, no. I don’t think they would opt for the lower cal version of their favorite comfort food. So when you think about it, who really are they aiming this towrds? I read that their sales are up, yet, I am a bit surprised at the fact.

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With places like McDonald’s for instance, their inclusion of “Deluxe Coffee Drinks” seems to perplex me yet again. I don’t think that this would have been my PR idea for the company that’s flopping in declining sales. “Hey guys, let’s try to compete with the already ridiculous zoo that IS the coffee industry.” There’s no way McDonald’s can compete with the big boys, i.e. Dunkin and Starbucks– it’s just not possible. So with that in mind, the pick of a deluxe coffee line? Seems somewhat dumb. I would have chosen perhaps to expand their breakfast options — include more variations of bagels, muffins, omelets. Breakfast is a cheap and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed throughout the day, as opposed to just the mornings. I would have perhaps even mentioned including FROZEN YOGURT into their dessert menu. Why not? That’s a trend that is RED HOT at the moment–allow for blend ins like they already have with their McFlurry’s. Granola, strawberries, the possibilities are endless.

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The only chain I think hit home run was Pizza Hut. The new “family style pasta dinner” option was brilliant. Why you may ask? Well, the people who eat at Pizza Hut MOST of the time are families, or parents with children – however you wish to word it. I remember I used to beg my baby sitter to order us Pizza Hut and Little Caesar’s when my parent’s went out for the night. This is just another great option on their menu. Kids and parents alike enjoy pasta dinners cheap. On weeknights this would be a great option for a mom who has no time to cook and wishes to bring in some food a “bit” less unhealthy than pizza.

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While I understand these major chains are in desperate need of boosts in sales, I think only a few have really come up with innovative and spot on expansions in their menus. Personally, I think the changes in menus will lead to an ultimately different type of clientele for the restaurants. If they don’t mind that their loyal fan bases will gradually be changing, then so be it. I think, however, it’s important to keep in mind the recession will turn around soon enough and the people who have always been devoted fans of the “Kentucky Fried Chicken” let’s say, may not be so loyal anymore.

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American Idol- My Love/Hate Relationship

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2009 at 3:48 pm

For me to sit here saying I didn’t sit indian style on my bedroom carpet grasping the remote tightly in anticipation of who would win the ORIGINAL American Idol? I’d be lying. I was and still am a huge American Idol fan. To a certain degree- and yes I emphasize CERTAIN degree.

Here’s my beef … who expected anything less from me?

The people who end up in the Top 3 all become successful, regardless of whether or not they are the actual winners. I actually prefer some of the past losers if you will. Here are a few of my favorites:

JUSTIN GUARINI … Watch this video and tell me he doesn’t have the look and the talent. Justin, wherever you are right now flipping burgers, please know your 15 seconds of fame lasted much longer than that in my book.

CLAY AIKEN… OK so his sexuality may be questionable but who really cares? During his stretch on Idol, each and every performance gave me chills. To this day I replay “Unchained Melody” on You Tube. Gets me every time.

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While I truthfully believe they should have won, there are some winners, however, that I do believe rightfully earned their positions as winners on A.I. Here are my favorites:

DAVID COOK.. Another person who I wrote off originally who had turned around and surprised me completely. His song “Leave the Light On” blows me away. His grunge-yet not really look totally wins me over. I don’t know whether I’d like to bathe him or get whisked away in his probably smelly tour bus.david-cook-0414

TAYLOR HICKS… Before you badger me and say he’s done nothing since he won I will say NOW that I totally agree with you. No, he’s not risen to the challenge/demand of the industry but his look/voice/appeal is totally distinct. I hope that after having published this blog post, he will turn his career around and really use his god given talent.

NOW ON TO THE FINAL TWO: Adam Lambert and Kris Allen. While finals took over mostly ALL of my free time, I have caught up while being bored at home. God do I love DVR. Anyway, I have assessed the two singers extensively, as though I’m the fifth judge.

After having been such an avid viewer for so many years I SHOULD be at this point! Here’s my prediction: I think Lambert will win solely because he is TOTALLY unique. We don’t have true rock stars anymore, if you want to fight me and tell me Nickelback is a rocker, I will fight you. Lambert has the most ridiculous vocal range and presence on stage. He reminds me of Queen and Steven Tyler.

Although I think Lambert will win, DEAR GOD am I smitten with Kris Allen. The child is “quiet and reserved” while able to carry a tune better than most people that have graced the A.I. stage. His rendition of “Heartless” is far BETTER than Kayne’s, as Randy said himself. I will include a picture of the child only to prove my point.

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So as you can tell, I am somewhat stuck in a ongoing never ending relationship with American Idol. Sometimes we have big disagreements about things, but over all I think our bond is rather strong. I will say this much, as much as I love AI, if Cowell goes — I go with him.

Twilight Rant … So I USED to want to be bit by a vampire

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Here’s the thing. I loved the Twilight books. If any of you care to look back at my FIRST blog post here on WordPress it was about these weirdly easy-to-read yet addictive books about vampires written by Stephanie Meyer. After having finished all of the books in the series, and hooking all of my friends into the whirlwind that was the “Twilight Phenomenon“, I heard about the movie that was in production. As any other book devotee would be, I was very skeptical of the outcome. I don’t like when they make books into movies for the most part. There is ONE exception of course: Walk to Remember with Mandy Moore and Shane West — gets me every time. Either way, I knew that MOST LIKELY this would be a flop.

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After going to the midnight showing with one of my best friends Christine, I was utterly confused/ shocked/ laughing all at once. The movie made Gigli look like a masterpiece. Honestly, it was SO atrocious (in regards to acting) that everyone in the theater was consistently laughing throughout as though it was a comedy. There are only two reasons the movie became the phenomenon that it is:

1) Perez Hilton took a liking to it

2) Robert Pattinson

Very simple reasoning. Every film critique BUTCHERED the film, but listed its only saving grace as being the pre-pubescent tweens in braces and Edward Cullen shirts who repeatedly went back to the movies to watch Pattinson over and over again. Perez’s aproval of the hot import and the cast of attractive ghostly pale wannabe actors caught his attention and gave Twilight the OK in the “celeb crazed” internet realm – which as most people know, is QUITE a large realm.

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Here’s my beef. I don’t think the movie deserves the credit to even be placed in the back dusty aisle of Blockbuster but I will say this much. I do give credit to those men/women who CAST the roles. While I’m sure if they even went for a week to undergraduate film school they’d know the actors were FAR from talented, they saw the dynamic and the appeal of the main characters. So for that? I will say, the casting was brilliant. But with the phoniest lines I’ve heard in a film such as, “You better hold on tight Spidermonkey“? I can’t do anything but laugh, hard.

As for the new film being created currently, “New Moon“, I’m hoping that it is at least bearable and worth the $10 I will spend to go see it. Sure, I could allocate that money towards better uses — such as buying life sized posters of Pattinson. That would be the best of all worlds, I wouldn’t have to watch him act but I’d be able to stare at his beauty.

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A Feeling of Luxury in a Bustling Neighborhood- Sorellina

In Uncategorized on May 12, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Just visit the website and you will be entranced automatically, I promise you this. Sorellina, located on Huntington Avenue in the heart of Boston, has astounded me time and time again with consistently great meals. Now by this point you all know I’m quite opinionated. I don’t tend to plug many restaurants, people, or TV shows. I will, however, break out of my comfort zone this one time to really rave about my experiences at Sorellina.

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While I don’t like writing out paragraph long meal descriptions I think now that I’ve been there a few times I’d highlight some of the best dishes.

CRUDO– Sliced Nova Scotia scallops, hot and sweet peppers, celery, Meyer lemons- this appetizer stands out. It’s small portioned but satisfying and well worth trying at least once. The odd pairing of celery, sweet peppers, and scallops somehow works.

TARTARE- Chopped Sirloin, onion marmellata, black truffle vinaigrette. While I’m not one for meat tartare, my dad made me try this dish. It was unreal; sure the look of the dish resembles a dog platter, but the taste is out of this world.

FETTUCCINI – Wild mushrooms, black truffle butter- Although their main dishes aren’t nearly as strong as their first courses, this dish is a winner. The black truffler butter ensures that pretty much everyone who tastes the dish will not be sharing with anyone else at the table. I’m a huge fan of mushrooms and truffle oil in the first place so this dish hit a home run in my book.

*** MACCHERONCELLI – American Kobe beef meatballs, barolo sauce and parmigiano  truffled fries with parmigiano- Hands down this is their signature dish, and it deservedly should be. You can opt for the small portioned version of the meatballs for your appetizers or order it for your entree. Regardless, it is absolutely worth trying if you do dine at Sorellina.

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PS- If you don’t on your own know to order the side of Truffle Oil French Fries, I’m telling you now to do so.

Subway.. What’s All The Fuss About?

In Uncategorized on May 7, 2009 at 8:41 pm

While cramming for finals last December, my best friend Lena opted to go to Subway for a quick meal on the go. I clearly am one to sit down and dine. I would give up showering, running, and most other luxurious in life to sit down and enjoy each and every one of my meals. But hey, that’s just me. Anywhoo, while waiting in the unbelievably long line to order, it hit me. What’s the big fuss about Subway in the first place?

Yes, the days when Jared lost 300+ pounds from munching solely on their subs did change Subway from a lower end sandwich chain to a “fabulous and health conscious restaurant-on-the-go“. I don’t feel, however, that deserves the hype it receives.

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I asked Lena, a vegetarian, what her pick was from the oh-so-glam Subway. She told me one of the “Fit” and “Vegeterian” options was called the Veggie Delite. I watched as the people behind the counter added layers of sliced pickles, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes to her “sub”. Now, in my mind HUGE RED FLAGS went off in my head. Does no one else but me think this is RIDICULOUS? Where is the actual sub!??? If you’re response is, “Oh well, how authentic can you make subs without meat?” I can and WILL argue you with this one. There are amazing vegetarian dishes out there, THIS CLEARLY is not one of them.

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Of COURSE it’s “fit” — how could there possibly be anything fattening in a sub consisting of onion slices, pickles, and tomatoes? Let’s be serious here.

This is what freaks me out most about Subway, they can have food that makes Jenny Craig looks like a GREAT OPTION, yet, they can also order The Feast. This sub, after having researched more about it, made my mouth salivate just by reading its description. This sub consists of:

  • Roast Beef
  • Salami
  • Pepperoni
  • Turkey
  • Black Forest Ham
  • American Cheese

feastSo, you mean to tell me when Jared originally walked into Subway and saw items such as The Feast he said, “No thank you, I’d prefer to eat shredded dry lettuce and onion slices?” Highly, highly doubtful. I’m currently in the process of researching Jared’s “confounding variables” that resulted in his weight loss — I will let you know what I find.