Friday, November 23, 2007

Better, Worse, the Same: Thoughts on American Fast Food Chains and how the stack up

So, I grabbed some KFC today after shopping with the beans and thoughts that I'd like to investigate this interesting dichotomy where some fast food places are better and others worse than their original counterpart. So, here goes...
  1. Pizza Hut: Better. By far. I'm not a huge fan of Pizza hut in the US, but PH in Jordan is fabulous. Their Margherita (cheese pizza for those in the US) uses better cheeses and is just plain better. To me, there's no comparison, Jordan has got this one right!

  2. KFC: A wash (Equal). I don't really understand this one. Their fried chicken just isn't fried right. It comes out either not done enough or overdone and completely lacks the crispiness that fried chicken needs. And their fries, well... Oh, and no self-respecting fried chicken place in the US would serve hamburger buns as rolls/biscuits and not have mashed potatoes. On the positives side, their chicken is always ready (in the US I've had to wait up to 10 minutes more than once) and their service is friendly and competent.

  3. Subway: A wash. I think that the service at Subway here is slow (often both physically and mentally). The food seems to turn out basically the same, but some of the ingredients are local and less than fabulous (pickles, anyone?). All in all, I do like that they have the same sandwiches that taste the same.

  4. Popeye's: Better. Or maybe it's just that the competition is worse? In the US, I won't eat Popeye's. That's true for several reasons. First is that the gravy on their mashed potatoes has some sort of hot Louisiana thing in it (I'm SO not a hot and spicy girl). The second is that their chicken is typically mediocre at best. But, in Jordan, they fry the chicken properly (crispy, warm, dripping, just the way chicken should be) and they serve mashed potatoes. Add to that the lovely biscuits they have and this one of my favorite fast food places in Jordan.

  5. McDonald's: A wash. The hamburgers are not great, but the fries are awesome. IMHO they have the best french fries in town. The shakes are not so great, but all in all, it's a wash to me. It's about the same level of okay food you'd get in the US.

  6. Hardee's: I grew up with Hardee's and this is not Hardee's. I can't think of a single American chain that would put nacho cheese on a hamburger, what is THAT about?! And, their roast beef, rather then being sliced so thin it's almost see through, seems like they sliced it with a dull knife. On the plus side, the chicken stars for kids are cute and the beans enjoy them. They also have indoor Playlands, so I can't really rail against them. All in all, worse, but with some nice features.
After my visit to the US, there's one chain I'm missing terribly... Arby's. Arby's with it's roast beef sandwiches, mozzarella sticks, Jamocha shakes.
Now I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. And, best of all, they have these things called market fresh sandwiches

Signing off with visions of Arby's in my mind and lackluster KFC in my belly.

Happy fast fooding!


At 10:33 AM , Blogger Qwaider قويدر said...

You know there used to be an Arbys in Jordan, in Suwaifyyeh. It was a tad better than the Arbys in the US and thier roast beef was fantastic.

I also got so dissapointed with Hardee's in Jordan. It sucked. Big time. And I'm a hardees fanatic

But I disagree with you on KFC, I find it amazing in Jordan compared to .. Barely OK in the US. The taste, the smaller chicken makes it feel better in your mouth. And the level and type of spiceness makes it parfect for my taste... I like it more in Jordan

At 1:37 PM , Blogger Moey said...

I miss Arby's, Johnny Rockets, A&W... and wendy's

we have those in kuwait :(

At 12:01 AM , Blogger Sam said...

pizza hot is disgusting here....i always hated it in canada...but it is plain yucky here.

dominos pizza is great is just like in canada...

i dont even want to talk about mcdonald's mcchicken sandwich which is the only thing i eat at is so horrible here:(

hardees i've never had it in canada...but that new portabello burger is yummy!

yeh kfc is not that great here..but i love that garlic with mayo is so yummy!

At 2:11 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Ah, it takes all sorts of taste buds doesn't it? Thanks for your comments.

Q, my big issue with KFC isn't the spicing, it's the crispiness of the chicken. It's like they run the heat too high and end up with some weird fried skin mess.

Moey, Yeah, those do sound good. How did I forget Wendy's? Can you Chili and a Frosty?

Sam, Seriously? YOu don't like Pizza Hut here? How is that possible and how do I only rmember tlo call you back at midnight??? Oh, and the garlic mayo, well I can see that.

At 3:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never ate at Pizza Hut much in the States either. We generally turned to Little Caesar's for our home delivery.

KFC here is definitely worse. The only thing I like about it is the chicken wraps.

Subway here is not as good as in the States. Like you said, I think it's the quality of the ingredients.

Popeye's is the best fast food chicken in Jordan. They know how to do it right. But like you, I never had it in the States.

Never been a huge fan of McDonald's in either place. The only thing that is worth it is the McFlurries, in my opinion.

Hardees has been going downhill since they were bought out by Carl's Jr. (and even before that). It's not bad, but it's not great, either.

Like you, I really miss Arby's. Let me know if you ever visit Richmond, Virginia. There is an Arby's there that is the fanciest I have ever seen. It's almost not fast food.

I also really miss Chik-fil-A. I think if they ever came to Jordan, they would be a real hit.

At 1:34 AM , Blogger Rambling Hal said...

Me, I like Burger King. It's my favourite fast food place - Chicken Royal sandwich!

At 11:01 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

I've just never been a fan of BK. Maybe I should give it another try...


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