Burger King's New Onion Rings: Blech!

Cooking them a little more probably wouldn't help.

I love onion rings, and invariably order them whenever they appear on a menu. The trouble is -- 95 percent of the rings found in restaurants suck, which means I'm often disappointed. By comparison, 50 percent of restaurant french fries could be classified as decent or better, and of those, 15 percent go all the way to exemplary. The main defects of restaurant onion rings include breadiness, greasiness, and the use of onions with no flavor whatsoever.

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In Spite of Letterman's Love Letter to Steak 'N Shake, Actual Food Disappoints

Figuratively speaking, David Letterman blew the chain in Macy's (or maybe we should say Marshall Field's) window.

The city has seen a recent influx of fast-food chains from other places, the most recent being Steak 'n Shake, specializing in the elemental combination of hamburgers ("steak," in hype parlance), french fries, and milkshakes. The city of origin is Chicago, as with the recently arrived Potbelly. The place is located at the north end of Times Square, next door to the Ed Sullivan Theater, where Letterman is taped. Almost two weeks ago, just as it opened, David Letterman -- ever the Midwesterner -- shamelessly touted the place in a lengthy comic segment.

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KFC Hot Wings: A Review

Try dipping them in the mashed potatoes and gravy.

On paper, it sounds like a good idea: Do a culinary mash-up of Buffalo wings and fried chicken, two poultry-bearing American classics. And that's what the Colonel did, just in time for the Super Bowl.

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Burger King's New French Fries: A Review

The brand-new fries at Burger King have been rolled out.

Burger King has made a big fuss over its new fries, the first reformulation of that product since 1998, when the extra crispy and starchy fries were introduced. This time around, the fries are thicker, for the purpose of extra heat retention, and supposedly covered with a heat-retaining coating, too. (What could it be? asbestos?)

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Triple Steak Stack at Taco Bell: A Review

Sparkle and ooze, the Triple Steak Stack

With Taco Bell's new Triple Steak Stack, we enter the world of "meta-eats." What do I mean by that? Well, Taco Bell is nominally a Mexican fast-food chain, with fare that generally falls within the burrito and taco canon, plus a few we've-seen-them-before flourishes, like taco salad served in crimped taco bowl.

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The 'Serious Burger' at Cheeburger Cheeburger: Taste Test and an SNL Video

The abridged version of the chain, at Newark's Terminal A

National burger chains are flying into town and running up their numbers so fast we can't keep up with them. One of the latest to arrive -- along with Smashburger, Fatburger (which tried twice in the last two decades, failed, and is trying again), and Five Guys (which had a big head start) -- is Cheeburger Cheeburger.

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The New Dave's Hot 'N Juicy Hamburger at Wendy's: A Very Moist Review

The new Dave's Hot 'N Juicy is compact, and looks unremarkable from the outside.

When Wendy's, in response to falling market share, set out to revamp their burger program, they went about it scientifically, according to a recent USA Today story. If the press accounts can be believed, the Dublin, Ohio-based company spent 2½ years examining and testing every phase of the burger, from sourcing raw materials, to burger architecture, to cooking methods at individual locations.

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McDonalds' Angus Chipotle BBQ Burger Ain't Too Great, Either: A Review

This is the third in a series of reviews of newly introduced fast-food items that will run this week, graded on a bell curve.

The Age of Foodism has changed all the rules of the game for fast-food franchises. No longer is it enough for them to flog their fatty meals with cartoon characters (note the recent timely disappearance of Ronald McDonald and the Burger King), trinkets for children, and the unswerving consistency of a narrow range of predictable products. Instead, this era demands constant culinary reinvention.

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The Steak Done Triple Whatever, a Review of a Taco Bell Roll-out

Here are your choices between the two new products -- one a burrito not called a burrito, and the other branded by MTV, who apparently aren't worried whether they look cool or not anymore.

This is the second in a series of reviews of newly introduced fast-food items that will run this week, graded on a bell curve.

Taco Bell is the culinary equivalent of minimalist art. Their fast-food inventions are so simple that they often omit key ingredients that might make the food good.

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Burger King Blows It: A Review of the New California Whopper

The California Whopper features small schmears of guacamole, bright white mayo on the liquid side, and Swiss cheese. Oh, and there's some bacon tossed in there somewhere, too.

This is the first in a series (see the further installments here) of reviews of newly introduced fast-food items that will run this week, graded on a bell curve.

Ahhh, Burger King. You may be gone but your works live on. In particular, there's the newly introduced California Whopper. Which is sort of a redundant idea.

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