Open Forum Friday, February 17th 2012

So how did the inaugural Open Forum Friday go? 56 comments… not too bad.  I was thinking perhaps throwing out topics or questions might get some extra participation for installment #2.  Here we go:

  • What do you think will be the next trend in the quick serve industry?  I’m thinking the narrowing of the gap between fast food vs fast casual unfortunately. 
  • Are you all about value menu items or big combo meals?  My vote goes to value menus and I wish places like Chick-fil-A would implement one.  My average CFA purchase is around $12 and I’m a little ashamed.
  • What fictitious food establishment do you wish really existed? Hmm, Stan Mikita’s Donuts from Wayne’s World (but that’s just a spoof of Tim Horton’s right?).  Or maybe Krusty Burger from The Simpsons… I know I’m missing a bunch.
  • I’ll be in South Florida next week… any grub recommendations for me? I’ve got a list of 15 already, but I’m always open to new suggestions.

These are just some random topics that can get the ball rolling.  Feel free to talk about whatever (grub related of course).  Let’s get some good discussions going to start the weekend.  Once again, play nice please.  Thanks!

Oh one last thing… I know GrubGrade is painfully slow to load.  Our platform is extremely outdated and there are upgrades in the works to improve things.  No plans to aesthetically overhaul the site (if you’re worried about that), just plans to improve the reader experience and a few extras here and there… so thanks for putting up with us while we work behind the scenes.

40 comments on “Open Forum Friday, February 17th 2012

  1. SkippyMom says:

    2. Arnold’s from Happy Days – I love drive in and we don’t have one here. 🙁

    The site doesn’t take any time to load for me. Or maybe I am really patient. Never bothered me, but improvements are good.

    And I am a value meal kind of gal because I can never finish the big fries and the big drink that come with a meal. Always makes me feel wasteful.

  2. Chefprotoss says:

    King’s Dominion has that Wayne’s World diner in front of the hurler. Awful burgers with too much mustard but they do serve beer. Mmmm… beer…

    Banh mi is my guess for next fast food trend. Yay, banh mi from Subway… whoopdeedoo…

  3. Santiago C says:

    What city in South Florida are you going to be at? I can definitely give you some recommendations if it’s for Miami.

    • Ryan says:

      Miami will be involved so fire away with suggestions.

      • Mike N says:

        There are Steak n Shake’s in Miami!

      • Santiago C says:

        OK get ready.

        -Burger and Beer Joint for good (yet pricey) burgers. It has one location in Downtown and one on the beach. Try the onion rings. I’m a big fan.
        -If you’re near South Beach and haven’t tried it yet, I recommend Shake Shack.
        -Pincho Factory on Bird Rd for awesome hangout chill food with a good beer selection.
        -Shiver’s BBQ down in homestead. Try the cornbread souffle.
        -THIS IS A MUST. Knausberry farm for cinnamon rolls. Go on a weekday to avoid lines. If you go anywhere in Miami, make it this place.
        -Sweetness Bakeshop for fun desserts. I’m not a big cupcake fan so I always go for the shakes. Incredible.
        -Michael’s Genuine for an upscale farm-to-table dinner. He’s a winner of a James Beard award.
        -Pollo Tropical for some Miami fast food chicken. There’s better places out there, but it’s an experience.
        -Los Verdes if you want to experience a monstrous Colombian hotdog. It’s weird, yet strangely addictive.
        -Sakaya Kitchen. Fusion awesomeness.
        -Any sports grill location (the original is on 72 st) for their special grilled wings. The best in Miami. And everyone agrees on it surprisingly.
        -Scotty’s Landing in the grove. Not the best food, but a cool hangout place to enjoy the view and drink.

        That’s all I can think of for now. E-mail me if you have any questions. Haha

  4. Mike N says:

    Professor P.J. Cornucopia’s Fantastic Foodmagorium and Great American Steakery!

    P.S.: has moderation been turned off the past few days?

  5. Mitchery says:

    I find myself always getting a meal and then always throwing away the side items. I’m not a big fan of french fries, other than Mcdonalds when they are really hot. Even thinking about french fries after writing that sentence is making me sick for some reason. I’m a weird dude.

  6. Lindsay says:

    What fictitious food establishment do you wish really existed?
    1. Shannigans (Movies – Waiting, Super Troopers).
    2. Mooby’s (Kevin Smith Movies)

    Are you all about value menu items or big combo meals?
    Depends on my hunger level. Sometimes I can make do with a McDouble and valu fries at McDonald’s. Other times I want the Big Mac value meal. When I’m at Wendy’s I order off the value menu alot because I want a burger, fries AND baked potato!

    What do you think will be the next trend in the quick serve industry?
    Companies going the way of Pizza Hut. Turning the family sit down eatery into a fast food type of model with location changes (in cafeterias, hospitals etc) and no servers, but ordering over a counter. PH of the past was supremely better and I miss that old PH.

  7. Kat says:

    I’m a big fan of fast food show downs and battles- such as BK vs McD’s double cheeseburgers or say Chipoltle vs. Qdoba burritos etc. Also, what about dabbling in some sit down chain reviews?

  8. Charlotte says:

    The pizza the Ninja Turtles ordered always looked delicious to me.

    • Ryan says:

      Haha, yes. Agreed. For some reason I feel the same way about Krabby Patties on Spongebob although I know they are underwater.

      • Charlotte says:

        My mom used to make “Krabbie Patties” for my little brother (ok also me) out of tuna, Ritz cracker crumbs and shredded cheddar smooshed into a patty and fried up. She served them with Miracle Whip for dipping which I guess sounds gross but is actually amazing.

  9. Raiders757 says:

    – What do you think will be the next trend in the quick serve industry? If only I knew the answer to that, I could have a cushy job in the fast casual industry. I’m thinking this might be the year many of these places take a step back and question the quality of their offerings as compared to the price they’re asking. With combos in the $7 to $8 range, and the food still lagging in the $4.99 a combo range, it would be a good idea for the industry as a whole to ask themselves just why so many pass up their combos in favor of the cheaper/lower quality value menu items. I can only imagine that the value menu is the bane of franchise owners everywhere. Of course, this could also be the year of the corporate junk food tie-in a la the Doritos Locos Taco.

    – Are you all about value menu items or big combo meals? I’m cheap, so I always scan the value menu items everywhere I go. I guess it depends on my mood and where I’m at. Sometimes it depends on my wife, as she always gets value menu items. If she decides she wants a drink, I tend to order myself a combo and give her the drink.

    – CFA with a value menu? It’s all about the chicken sandwich for me, so as long as it doesn’t distract from what they do best, I’m all for it.

    – What fictitious food establishment do you wish really existed? Paddy’s Pub from ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’. Tubby’s Drive-In from the movie ‘Hollywood Knights’.

    – “I know GrubGrade is painfully slow to load.” Site loads really fast for me and looks fine.

  10. Scott says:

    I am not really thinking of places that NEED a value menu (although if Chick-fil-a breakfast had one I would tear it up) because I am more worried about places loosing the value menu option.

  11. Manavee says:

    If you’re looking for stuff to review, I would suggest reviewing Denny’s new Sizzlin’ Skillets menu. I stopped by a Denny’s the other day for the first time in forever, and got one of them. I know I’m opening myself up to mockery here, but believe it or not, it was actually really darn good. They seemed to use quality ingredients with nice chunks of meat, potatoes, bacon, and broccoli along with cheddar cheese. It was served sizzling hot (so hot, that you risk turning your hard palate into a giant blister if you eat it too quickly). All in all, I was happily surprised of the quality of the food….not something I had expected from Denny’s.

  12. Dustin says:

    I would love to see Keenan and Kel’s ‘Goodburger’ pop up someday, but only if the staff had the same qualities/mannerisms as the folks in the movie. And orange soda, of course.

    “Welcome to Goodburger, home of the Goodburger. Can I take your oooorrrrrrder?”

  13. CC says:

    Chick-fil-A? I won’t eat at places that create and fund anti-gay groups. Sorry. 🙁

    II think that places are going to keep trying to improve appearance of quality.

    I think value is important. I really don’t like combo meals that much…I’d rather pick and choose what I want.

  14. mary a. says:

    Ok, this is REALLY specific, and not really a “food establishment”, but there was an episode of Frasier when he was boycotting Cafe Nervosa and was trying out other coffee bars. One he went to had bean bag chairs and I always thought that would be cool.

  15. Rachel says:

    Fictitious restaurant? Cafe Diem from Eureka, no doubt. Vincent can make ANYTHING you crave… for free!!!

  16. wenkie says:

    🙂 fictitious restaurant I can’t think of any. But Fictitious bar – Cheers! My nickname in High School was “Norm” because I had a head of hair just like him. Sometimes I just want to go to were everybody knows my name 🙂

  17. mjb says:

    I’d go to Jack Rabbit Slims and The Big Kahuna Burger if they really existed.

    • Ryan says:

      Great one

      Brett: Hamburgers.
      Jules: Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast. What kind of hamburgers?
      Brett: Ch-cheeseburgers.
      Jules: No, no no, where’d you get ’em? McDonalds? Wendy’s? Jack in the Box? Where?
      Brett: Big Kahuna Burger.
      Jules: Big Kahuna Burger. That’s that Hawaiian burger joint. I hear they got some tasty burgers. I ain’t never had one myself. How are they?
      Brett: They’re good.
      Jules: Mind if I try one of yours? This is yours here, right?
      [Picks up burger and takes a bite]
      Jules: Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger. Vincent, ever have a Big Kahuna Burger?
      [Vincent shakes his head]
      Jules: Wanna bite? They’re real tasty.
      Vincent: Ain’t hungry.
      Jules: Well, if you like burgers give ’em a try sometime. I can’t usually get ’em myself because my girlfriend’s a vegitarian which pretty much makes me a vegitarian. But I do love the taste of a good burger. Mm-mm-mm. You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in France?
      Brett: No.
      Jules: Tell ’em, Vincent.
      Vincent: A Royale with cheese.
      Jules: A Royale with cheese! You know why they call it that?
      Brett: Because of the metric system?
      Jules: Check out the big brain on Brett! You’re a smart m%^*+#¥*^%#*. That’s right. The metric system. What’s in this?
      Brett: Sprite.
      Jules: Sprite, good. You mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down?
      Brett: Go right ahead.

    • rob says:

      $5 for a milkshake? That better be a pretty damned good milkshake …

  18. James says:

    More SE Florida recommendations:

    V&S Italian Deli, Boca Raton
    Charm City Burgers, Deerfield Beach
    Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor, Dania Beach
    Flashback Diner, Davie

  19. mary a. says:

    Also, the chocolate factory from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – the “70’s version not the Johnny Depp version. The newer Oompa Loompas creep me out!

  20. Mike N says:

    Hey, since it’s open forum Sunday… 🙂

    Whatever happened to McDonald’s serving breakfast all day? I think it was 2006 when that story came out, but it never came to pass. I appreciate Jack in the Box serving breakfast all day (although their biscuit sandwiches aren’t very good compard to their other breakfast offerings.) I wish Hardee’s would serve all-day breakfast, because their ‘made from scratch’ biscuits really stand out.

  21. RC says:

    The ‘Dream sequence’ from “Dude, Where’s My Car” When
    Ashton Kutcher, His Pal Pull Up To A Chinese Restaurant Take Out Window.
    (Approximately)
    “Chinese Fouood What You LikeWant?”
    “I’ll Have A Burger Uh Fries And A Coke”
    “And Den.. ?”
    “N No Serious That’s It A Burger Fries A Coke Maybe A Milkeshake”
    “And Then.. ?”
    “Really. That’s It A Burger Fries With A Coke”
    “And Den.. ?”
    “Huo You Are Really Starting To Tick Me Off Lady.
    A Burger Fries And A Coke.(?!)”
    “And Then ?”.
    Kutcher Rips The Speaker From Its Mount,
    Drives Off Leaving The Dangling Speaker Yelling
    “And Then And Then And Then.. “.

    • Ryan says:

      Chinese food take-out window seems like an idea I can get behind.

      • Raiders757 says:

        We used to have a small, locally owned, “Chinese” food chain with a take out window/drive-thru. They were called “Egg Roll King”. They had a few places operating around the area, and suddenly disappeared. Obviously they weren’t the fastest drive through in town, but it was pretty impressive never-the-less. They made your order fresh, and the wait time was less than our current super slow Arby’s drive thru. The food was much better as well.

        This was quite some time ago though, and their drive-thru windows were only the result of them taking over buildings originally occupied by Jack-in-the-Box’s failed attempts at east coast expansion in the 70’s.

        They were a mainstay for over twenty years, so it was odd when every single one of them closed down at the same time in the early 2000’s. (Then again, they didn’t deliver, and other quick serve Chinese delivery joints flooded the area over the past couple of decades.) The location that was nearest me, is now a bank, and I kind of wish they were still around. Then again, I kind of wish we still had a Jack In the Box as well, despite my lack of remembering if I liked anything they served up back then. I know my parents took me there a few times, but I don’t remember diddly about their food.

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