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Thursday, 4 November 2010
Review: McDonald's at 6306 Saratoga, Corpus Christi, TX
Topic: The Restaurant Review

Ok, first things first.  Make no mistake about it, I love the McRib sandwich from McDonald's and can't wait for its return each time.  I then stuff myself with them until the promotion is over, then try to recover from the barbecue pork sandwich overdose. Yes, when done right, McRib is a glorious thing and I am a McRib junkie from way back.  I'd probably way a thousand pounds if they kept it on the menu all the time.  I'm willing to risk it though, if they would like to make it a permanent addition. 

Anyway, so my little one loves McDonald's, as do most small children.  The Happy Meals, the toys, the playground area, interacting with the other children, for her it is nothing but a good time, and since the location at 6306 Saratoga is just down the road from my house, we usual frequent that location.  Generally speaking, I don't have too many complaints about the location, they do a passable job of keeping it clean, and the food is usually as good as it gets at a McDonald's, whatever your opinion of that may be.  My guess is that you don't need a reviewer to tell you whether you like the food or not at this point.   The staff has always been friendly and helpful, and while not perfect, they have always made right any mistakes quickly and helpfully.  

This time, however, things were a bit different for our weekly visit.  McRib returned last week, so I have been on my McRib trip since then, getting them from various locations around the city, but mainly the location on the west side of Corpus Christi, near downtown, and the Saratoga location near my house.  The west side location has provided me with perfect McRibs each time.  The Saratoga location, and the subject material for this review, however, has been a sad failure.  In case you are unfamiliar with the way a McRib should look according to the McDonald's site (and I think this picture is hilarious):

 


 

 As you can see, it is a pork patty, dipped in barbecue sauce, with onions and pickles, served on an oblong roll.  Just a fantastic thing.  So baby and I were at the Saratoga McDonald's getting the usual, a four piece chicken nugget Happy Meal with milk and fries, and I, the McRib value meal with the extra McRib for a buck. All was well and good.  Our order was prepared quickly and fairly accurately, with the only omission being a barbecue dipping sauce for baby's nuggets.  While that may seem trivial, I assure you it is not for baby. No matter though, it was easily remedied and the staff quickly provided the necessary dipping sauce.  

The problems didn't start until we got back to our table.  First off, the drink area looked like the ice maker and soda fountains had exploded all over the place.  Not a big deal, but it would have been nice had someone wiped the place down a bit.  The second issue is that none of the tables that were open in the play area had been cleaned.  There were quite a few open ones, so it wasn't an issue that a few people had just left, it was an issue of no one having done a proper cleaning job in a while.   Again, not a super big deal, kids are messy and sometimes tables don't get wiped down, so I did it myself and we sat down to dinner.  Imagine my surprise when I opened my sandwich box to fine this:


I mean, seriously McDonald's, hamburger buns?  The McRib hasn't been back long enough for you to run out of the proper buns, and it wasn't like I was there late or anything, it was only six in the afternoon.  Maybe I've just been lucky, but I haven't received a McRib on a hamburger bun at any other location I've eaten at so far, so why have I gotten this kind of treatment at the Saratoga McDonald's two out of the three times I've been there?  Really guys, it's time to get your business together and get it right.  Worst part of all is that they don't mention they don't have the right rolls to you when you order, so you don't have a choice in the matter.  It really pisses me off.  At least tell me you don't have the right makings for the sandwich when I order, so I can decide if I want half my McRib patty hanging out the end of the bun.   And just in case the folks that run that location don't know, this is how it's done on the west side and every other McDonald's I've been to:

 


 

 

 

 


Posted by the Captain at 12:06 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 4 November 2010 3:18 PM CDT
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Monday, 16 June 2008
Father's Day
Topic: Tailgating at Home

     So, summer is fast upon us and all that entails.  Heat, the beach, sun, fun and barbecues as far as the eye can see, so we were inspired to do just that for father's day:  a barbecue.  Now originally, this was to entail burgers and pork ribs, but an unfortunate marrige of pork ribs to freezer left them a chunk of ice with no time to thaw for the grill.  Too bad too, because they are fantastic after being grilled.

       This left the burgers, or in all actuality, chopped sirloin patties from our loal butcher shop.  Good stuff, let me tell you.  I take the patties, apply black pepper, garlic powder and some paprika to each side, and then it's  off to the grill for them.

     Now I know that some folks like a nice gas grill, but I'm not  one of them.  For my money, using a gas grill is the same as using a stove in the house, and that's not what grilling is about.  I would rather use a cheap charcoal grill anyday.  It's what it's all about to me.  Not to mention, three to four minutes on each side and you have yourself a fine burger, ready to eat.  I like to top mine with a slice of colby jack cheese, and sometimes some onion, pickle and lettuce, a little mustard doesn't hurt either. Laughing 

     Now get out there and enjoy the summer, it won't last long enough. 


Posted by the Captain at 10:58 AM CDT
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Wednesday, 19 September 2007


Posted by the Captain at 12:38 PM CDT
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Monday, 18 June 2007
I'm Back!
Topic: The Midday Meal

It's been a while, and I fell off the weight loss wagon for a while, but I'm back now and we are going to go forth and fight the good fight once again, taking where I left off and driving forward into glory, or at least trying to eat right and work out a bit, but that doesn't sound nearly as exciting now, does it? Anyway, happy belated father's day to all you fathers out there. It is my second. Ah, the joys of fatherhood, but that isn't what we are here to discuss, though.

One nice thing about father's day, to some extent, is that it gives us dads a chance to eat well, and most of us do enjoy that. I ended up having barbeque, which was certainly good, but not really good for me. Such is life some days. Try to do better tomorrow. At least these holidays don't come around too often, oh, wait, July 4th is coming up, well, I guess they do. We still have to try harder. Brisket was good though. And the potato salad. Love that potato salad.

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Posted by the Captain at 12:00 AM CDT
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Sunday, 17 June 2007
Torched Threads

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Posted by the Captain at 10:54 PM CDT
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Friday, 20 October 2006
Pasta with Feta, Tomato and Spring Greens
Topic: Fun with Recipes

This recipe is based on a recipe I originally got from the SparkPeople site (great site for those trying to lose weight or just change to a more healthy lifestyle) but has evolved into something more, as do most recipes I get my hands on. Not to say it is better (I think it is, though) or worse, just different from the original. As a matter of fact, I have made this recipe twice now, different each time, of course, and it has come out really well both times. I don't think the differences in the versions are enough to warrant two different versions of the recipe so I'll just relate what I consider to be the definitive version of the recipe here (but you can just throw out my suggestions and do whatever the hell you want, it is your meal after all). The ingredients:

  • 1 bag baby arugula salad mix (the first time I made this recipe, I just used a spring mix and it worked just fine)
  • 4 cups cooked whole wheat spaghetti (I'm guessing on how much pasta I use. I generally just use a box of the brand I get. Probably should pay more attention. The original recipe called for 4 cups cooked though, so that's what I'm relating to you. You can probably get away with using more or less, as long as you don't go too wild.)
  • 2 diced tomatoes (size is not important, although if the tomatoes are small you might want to go with a larger number of them)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 oz. feta cheese (the original recipe called for only a half a cup, but I prefer a little more)
  • black pepper to taste
  • sea salt to taste
  • garlic powder to taste

Ok, so here's how it all comes together:

Prepare pasta as directed on package. Next, in a large skillet over high heat, add olive oil and argali salad. Cook until slightly wilted. Add tomato, and cook for a minute longer. Then, add cooked pasta and in with mixture in skillet. Next, add feta cheese, one half, stir it in, then the other half, stir it in. Finally, season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook until the cheese is a bit melted, then remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes (like five maybe) and serve warm.

captainzoli

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Posted by the Captain at 4:24 PM CDT
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Wednesday, 4 October 2006
Spicy Vegetable-Rice Soup
Topic: Fun with Recipes

Although the temperatures in this area may not reflect it, Autumn is fast upon us and as the seasons change, I always feel the desire for soups and stews. Something about a warm soup on a brisk day that always makes me feel good. Granted yesterday was far from a brisk day, but I felt like soup anyway, so I went through my pantry and came up with the following recipe. This one is wife approved, so we will surely be enjoying it again as the Autumn and Winter drag on. One thing about this recipe is that it takes a while to cook due to the brown rice. Adding pasta or white rice would reduce the cooking time, but the brown rice is better for you. Do what you want. Here it is:

  • 2 package (10 oz) Organic Mixed Vegetables, frozen
  • 1 cup Brown Rice, long grain
  • 8 cups Organic Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Tomato Juice,
  • 1/2 cup Tomato Paste
  • 1 tbsp Curry powder
  • 1 tbsp Pepper, black
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Minced Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

The nice thing about this recipe is that there really isn't much in the way of preparation time. It is pretty much ready to go, but here is the way I did it anyway. First, take a large pot and add the vegetable broth (it doesn't have to be organic, that's just what I used because it's what I had) and begin to heat over high heat. While heating, add tomato juice and tomato paste. Stir until tomato paste has incorporated into the sauce and broth mixture.

After the tomato paste has dissolved into the broth, add the two packages of frozen mixed vegetables and stir until they have mixed into individual pieces, as opposed to the frozen blocks they usually start as. Add seasonings to taste. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally.

When the broth hits a boil stir in the brown rice, cover, and lower heat to a simmer for 45 to 55 minutes. After simmering, test rice to make sure it is cooked, taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary, then serve. As an aside on the seasonings: It is important to taste for seasonings on this recipe to make sure it comes out as you would like, and not as I like it. Feel free to experiment. That's what cooking is all about anyway. I estimate the nutritional data on this dish as the following:

8 Servings

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 138.4
  • Total Fat 0.9 g
  • Saturated Fat 0.2 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • Sodium 856 mg
  • Potassium 447mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 28 g
  • Dietary Fiber 6 g
  • Sugars 7 g
  • Protein 6 g
  • Vitamin A 104 %
  • Vitamin B-6 12 %
  • Vitamin C 33 %
  • Vitamin E 5 %
  • Calcium 6 %
  • Copper 9 %
  • Folate 7 %
  • Iron 13 %
  • Magnesium 10 %
  • Manganese 27 %
  • Niacin 10 %
  • Pantothenic Acid 2 %
  • Phosphorus 9 %
  • Riboflavin 6 %
  • Selenium 7 %
  • Thiamin 9 %
  • Zinc 5 %

Keep in mind that these nutritional numbers may or may not be accurate, depending on the accuracy of information provided on the labels of the foods involved. I have no way to judge label accuracy. There are just a best guess.

captainzoli

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Posted by the Captain at 9:17 AM CDT
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Tuesday, 3 October 2006
Classic Nachos Recipe #2
Topic: Fun with Recipes

I've actually been meaning to post this second nacho recipe since I posted the first one, especially since I made both only about twenty-four hours apart anyway, but I have been remiss in my duties to this blog. So, without further ado, the second nacho recipe:

  • 1 bag round corn chips ( I used Tostitos White Corn Chips)
  • 1 can refried beans of your choice.
  • 1 lb. deli thin sliced round Colby cheddar cheese ( I got it sliced on No. 2, which is second from the thinnest at my local grocer)
  • 1 jar sliced jalapenos or get fresh jalapenos and slice them yourself ( I prefer the second option, but the local grocer had nothing worth buying in their jalapeno bin)
  • 1 container of sour cream

While heating the oven, on bake, to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, heat the refried beans according to the instructions on the label. It is important to note that it is not overly important to heat the beans up to a blazing temperature. At this point, the only reason to heat the beans is that they are infinitely easier to work with when they are warm. They will get plenty of cooking in the oven. Next, acquire an oven safe casserole dish or cookie sheet large enough to hold the number of nachos you intend to make. After this is done, get all the ingredients near your work space, and begin assembly.

You may notice that this recipe is very much like the last, and there are reasons for that. First of all, we are making nachos here. It isn't exactly brain surgery. Secondly, I make food the way I like it the majority of the time, and since that is the case, this is really more of a fine tuning of the original recipe, but I hate not to share the first one for those who may find it preferable to this one.

Now, there are a couple of ways to go about this: complete each nacho individually, or use one ingredient at a time to build an entire sheet of nachos. I employed the one ingredient at a time method, but you can do what's right for you. There really isn't one "right" way to cook, no matter what anyone says. Taking one of the tortilla chips at a time, place a small amount of refried beans on/in it, then set it on the dish that you will be placing in the oven. Repeat until the dish is full of chips with beans in/on them. You can add as much or as little bean as you wish to your nachos, but try to leave room for cheese as well. For these nachos, I used vegetarian style refried beans, but any will do.

Next, take the cheese and tear (or cut, your choice) it into nacho size pieces and put one piece on each nacho. Be careful not to overlap the cheese, or all your nachos will be stuck together when they come out of the oven. When done adding the cheese, add one or two slices of jalapeno to each nacho. Next, put the nachos in the oven for around five minutes, or until the cheese is melted to your liking. I prefer a little color on it, but that's just me.

After the cheese is nice and melted, remove the nachos from the oven and place on a serving plate. Top with a little sour cream and you are ready to enjoy your hot, fresh nachos. Beats the heck out of anything you'll find at a convenience store.

captainzoli

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Posted by the Captain at 1:04 PM CDT
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Wednesday, 20 September 2006


Posted by the Captain at 10:18 AM CDT
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Thursday, 14 September 2006
Classic Nachos Recipe #1
Topic: Fun with Recipes

A couple of weekends ago, I decided it was time for some nachos. Not the kind that you find at convenience stores and sporting events, mind you, but some good, old fashioned nachos. Of course, having decided this, it was time to scout around the kitchen to see if I actually had the proper ingredients for nachos (always an important detail). The following is what I came up with:

  • 1 bag Tostitos Scoops Corn Chips
  • 1 can refried beans of your choice.
  • 1 package shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1 jar salsa of your choice

This recipe is simple and to the point. It is actually all about construction. First, preheat the oven, on bake, to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then set to making the nachos. This is done by first acquiring an oven save casserole dish or cookie sheet large enough to hold the number of nachos you intend to make. Second, heat the refried beans enough that they are usable, by which I mean that you can stir them and spoon them and so forth, not just look at them in their can shaped form. After this is done, get all the ingredients near your work space, and begin assembly.

There are two ways to do this: make each nacho individually, or use one ingredient at a time. I employed the one ingredient at a time method, but you can do what's right for you. Since this is my recipe though, I will tell you how I did it. Taking one of the tortilla chips at a time, place a small amount of refried beans on/in it, then set it on the dish that you will be placing in the oven. Repeat until the dish is full of chips with beans in/on them. You can add as much or as little bean as you wish to your nachos, but try to leave room for cheese as well. It is important to note here that I used refried beans with jalapeno because I like spicy nachos, but you can use whatever you prefer.

Next, take the shredded cheese and add as much as possible to each nacho. Be careful not to go way too far with the cheese, or all your nachos will be stuck together and stuck to the pan via the cheese. For the cheese, I used shredded cheddar jack with jalapeno, again because I like spicy food, but you can use your favorite cheese. When done adding the cheese, pop the nachos in the oven for about five minutes. The purpose is to melt the cheese. Check after five minutes, and if the cheese is melted to your satisfaction, then the nachos are ready to come out of the oven.

Finally, take the salsa and put a small dollop on the top of each nacho. I used a habanero salsa that was surprisingly hot. Most hot salsas aren't, but this one was. Which is good for me, since I like spicy foods, but it wasn't as good for the wife. Poor wifey. Anyway, now the nachos are ready to eat. I enjoyed the way this recipe came out, and I hope you will too.

captainzoli

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Posted by the Captain at 1:08 PM CDT
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