Tag Archives: KFC

A&W Root Beer Served The Way Root Beer Should Be Served

On my way out of Palm Springs along Interstate 10, I found an A&W Restaurant just outside the Morongo Hotel And Casino. This was not a combination A&W store with another one of Yum! brands like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Taco Bell, Long John Silvers, etc. This was an A&W restaurant that was just an A&W restaurant. This was exciting since all the San Diego A&W’s were combination stores and all of them withdrew the A&W portion of the stores, it means the only chance to sample A&W is on the road outside of San Diego.

When I got there, it was about a half hour before they opened. I was surprised they weren’t opened earlier as it was 10:30 am when I stopped by. I didn’t want to just find the next A&W because I might not see another one on the road ahead, so I went for a quick fill up on gasoline at Morongo’s gas station and then just waited for the A&W to open. At about 10 minutes left to go before the placed opened there was a line forming outside the door. Apparently I wasn’t alone in my want for A&W Food. Sure it’s not what I really should be eating but it’s an out of town treat.

Once it opened, I opted to get a burger combo and removed the bun, like I usually do at burger joints. But I was interested in the upgrade of the fries to Wisconsin Cheese Curds. Thanks to my friend Caroline Bender for introducing me to what Cheese Curds really are, I was anxious to try these. I had never tried Cheese Curds until Caroline introduced me to them because I didn’t know what a curd was and it sounded disgusting. So now that I’ve been corrected and know that cheese curds are delicious plain, let alone deep fried like they were here at A&W.

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Where Have All The A&W’s Gone?

Every once in a while I get a craving and generally nothing really satisfies it until I get what I’m craving. And today I was just getting the bug to have some food from an A&W restaurant. I grew up in Canada and A&W’s are one of the first and larger fast food chains in Canada. I’d even go so far as to say they are far more popular in Canada than I’ve seen here in the United States (using in Southern California anyway). Usually when I get a craving for A&W its due to nostalgia for the Canadian A&Ws. I know the last time I got a craving for A&W and went to one of the ones here in San Diego I was disappointed because American A&Ws are nothing like the Canadian ones. The menus don’t offer the same items and the food doesn’t even taste the same. So I knew I was probably setting myself up for another disappointment but it’s been a couple of years since I last went to A&W but I was willing to chance it.

These days A&W is one of the “brands” of restaurants part of the YUM! Corporation which consists of all the restaurant brands bought up by the Pepsi Corporation. (In Canada, A&W’s were started by the American A&W’s but were sold off in 1972 and have no ties to the American A&W operations) I’m not sure if YUM! is just a new name for the division, a spun off & separate company, or even sold off, but anyway, they are home to familiar restaurant names, like Kentucky Fried Chicken (or KFC), Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W, and Long John Silvers. Pepsi originally bought up these restaurants so they could ensure these restaurants served only Pepsi products as beverages. One of the concepts YUM has been doing in recent years is putting in single locations that offer more than one brand in one restaurant. Usually it ends up being a KFC or Taco Bell co-branded with one of the other not quite as popular brands.

In any case, all of the ones in San Diego county were KFC/A&W’s and oddly enough all of them are in the South part of the county, none of them were in North County. So none of the locations are conveniently located for me. So I headed off to the closest location that Google maps pointed me to. I even checked it on the street view to see the location before going there and sure enough, there was a KFC & A&W combination store. However, when I got there, the signage for the A&W was gone, just the KFC remained. From the dirt on the walls where the signs used to be, it looked like it must have been a recent removal. Continue reading Where Have All The A&W’s Gone?

KFC Rain Check Arrives To Replace The Oprah Coupon

KFC Rain CheckAs you may recall, I wrote about on May 5th, that Oprah Winfrey was partnering up with Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC to offer coupons for a free Grilled Chicken meal to celebrate the nationwide launch of KFC’s new Grilled Chicken. (Click here to read that blog entry.) The coupons caused a frenzy and basically became a nightmare for KFC and Oprah Winfrey. KFC shut down the redeeming of the coupons and began collecting them along with mailing information for each customer presenting them so that they could mail them a “Rain check” voucher which would now include a Pepsi where the original offer didn’t include a beverage. And on May 8th I reported about the very rude KFC employee I encountered when I presented my coupon. (Click here to read the blog entry for that.)

Considering how rude the employee at the Poway KFC that I went to with my original coupon was, I was beginning to have my doubts that I was going to receive my rain check as I was supposed to. I just didn’t trust that the store was going to send in the coupons to the main office they said they would and just when I was beginning to feel that my wait had been a bit excessive and I was starting to think about writing a complaint letter to the company, my rain check voucher showed up in the mail.

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Oprah / KFC Coupons Not Honored By Rude KFC Employees

Oprah KFC BucketAfter what a complete pain in the rear it was to even get a copy of the coupon in the first place, now KFC had decided to not honor the coupons at all. Instead what they are doing is having you exchange the coupon for a rain check form where you can attach the original coupon and mail it in, or give it to the store manager and they will send it in for you, and KFC will mail you a new coupon, that not only has the original deal, but this time includes a free Pepsi beverage.

As I mentioned in my blog post the other day about the process of getting a coupon in the first place, this cluster fuck has basically turned into a public relations nightmare, because not only were some locations (mostly franchisee locations) refusing to honor the coupons (fair enough, coupon does say participating locations), but the company pulls the plug on them despite the May 19th expiration date. And that doesn’t even include how angry the PETA folks that are all about animal abuse are at Oprah Winfrey for even being involved in such a giveaway. Just goes to show you can’t please everyone all of the time.

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KFC’s Kentucky Grilled Chicken Goes National

KFC Grilled ChickenFinally everyone in the United States has a chance to try the amazing grilled chicken that Kentucky Fried Chicken has been test marketing in San Diego and a few other select cities for the last year. As I wrote in my original blog post on February 19th, 2009 (click here to read it) the Kentucky Grilled Chicken is incredibly good. So good, that I just haven’t gone back to the fried chicken, and in the couple of months since that original blog post, I’ve gone back for a bucket of the grilled chicken at least once every couple of weeks.

In fact, I’ve been frustrated a couple times when I’ve gone for a bucket and they didn’t have enough pieces for a full bucket and despite their offers to add additional pieces of the fried varieties, I just want the grilled chicken. I went home with half buckets instead. The grilled chicken is wonderful. It’s completely guilt free too. There is no breading on the chicken, it’s marinated and prepared with the same 11 herb and spice secret recipe just without the batter, and its just delicious.

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KFC Grilled? – Kentucky Fried Chicken Goes Grilled

KFC Grilled ChickenI recently took an opportunity to try Kentucky Fried Chicken’s new Grilled Chicken, and was absolutely amazed at how incredibly good it was. Part of the reason for giving it a try is because of the running program I have been doing since the start of December and I was tired of fixing my own meals. I needed a little break from the routine.

I occasionally like to have a meal at KFC about once every two to three months and so this time instead of having the Original Recipe Chicken as a guilty pleasure. I decided to get the Grilled Chicken meal and replace the standard sides with corn on the cob and baked beans for as reasonably healthy a meal as possible.

The meal was really, really good. I was expecting the chicken to be dry, but it was quite the opposite, it was very juicy and flavorful. It tastes nothing like the Original Recipe Chicken, as the chicken isn’t breaded. According to a press release regarding the Grilled Chicken, the chicken (in marketing speak) “is marinated and seasoned with a savory blend
of secret herbs and spices and then grilled to juicy perfection.” I’m sure probably the same herbs and spices they have in their secret recipe are used on the chicken, but they’re put right on the chicken itself. It was amazing. The corn on the cob was also delicious, I haven’t had corn on the cob in years, it tasted incredibly fresh and was so hot in the foil wrap. I’m not usually a fan of beans, but the baked beans were a great addition to the meal that tasted good too. It tasted too good to be a healthy meal.

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