Consumer Reports issues first fast food survey results

Following up on its October 2010 burger survey, Consumer Reports today issued the results of its first-ever survey on fast food.

The survey is based on the responses of 36,733 subscribers who made over 98,000 visits to 53 different chains. Respondents rated the restaurants’ food, value, staff and speed.

The winners?

Tops in their classes were In-N-Out Burger, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chick-fil-A, Firehouse Subs and Dine 909 favorite Jason’s Deli, and Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza.

Of those, only Firehouse Subs and Papa Murphy’s do not have an Inland Empire presence.

Other winners with a local presence include Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Rubio’s, Qdoba, Baja Fresh, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Schlotzsky’s.

The losers?

It seems as if the bigger they are, the harder they fall. McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Taco Bell, Arby’s, Quiznos, Domino’s and Pizza Hut all received low ranks.

Click here to read highlights of the survey. Full results are available to subscribers only. Full results will also be available in the print edition, which hits newsstands July 5.

Head to the Mardi Gras for 66ers giveaways

Where’s Bernie?

As they’ve done in the past with Inland Empire 66ers Account Executive Jordan Smith, 66ers mascot Bernie will be meeting fans at a local restaurant.

Bernie and some of the 66ers staff will be at the Mardi Gras restaurant in San Bernardino at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow (July 1), giving away 66ers goodies.

Start your long weekend with some Cajun/Creole cuisine and free stuff!

Mardi Gras is at 201 N. E St. in downtown San Bernardino.

Construction time means coupons from Farmer Boys

If you’re planning to head on over to the University Avenue Farmer Boys in Riverside, you might want to plan ahead.

There’s construction going on along Lime Street, which is where you’d normally enter their parking lot.

With the handful of one-way streets in downtown Riverside, just getting to the restaurant can be tricky.

You need a map.

Luckily, Farmer Boys has provided one for you, along with coupons as an incentive.

The “crane specials” are good until November (at that location only), but I’m hoping the construction will be done before then.

Click here to access the map and coupons.

Farmer Boys can be found throughout the Inland Empire. The University Avenue Farmer Boys is at 3400 University Ave., Riverside.

Baker’s Drive-Thru offering free beans with chili for Facebook fans today

Baker’s Drive-Thru is at it again!

Today (June 29), they’re giving away a free order of beans with chili with a coupon.

If that’s your thing, you can get your coupon at the Facebook event page here.

The usual restrictions apply, of course, but they’re not shy about suggesting that you combine the free beans with chili with their Deal of the Week, which happens to be a 99 green burrito. You can get your Deal of the Week coupon here.

The free order of beans with chili is good today only. The Deal of the Week is good ’til the end of the week. Duh.

Baker’s Drive-Thru restaurants can be found throughout the Inland Empire.

Attention night owls: Free Panda Express orange chicken Friday night

Ubiquitous Chinese fast food restaurant Panda Express is touting its new extended summer hours by giving away an order of orange chicken.

You can get a single serving of the entre after 9 p.m. tomorrow (June 24) night. The usual restrictions apply.

Panda Express locations can be found throughout the Inland Empire.

Click here to get the coupon.

150 best bars in America named; I.E. gets dissed

So, this being a food blog, we’ve gotten added to some email lists for food-related story ideas.

This being a regional food blog, most of the story ideas don’t necessarily apply.

However, sometimes a national story comes across that piques my interest.

Recently, we got an email from The Daily Meal blog regarding their list of 150 best bars in America.

The bars are filed into many categories: Best dive bars, best free bar snacks, best sports bars, best pick-up bars, best bars for Belgian beer, etc.

You can find the entire list here.

None of the 150 bars are in the Inland Empire.

Excuse me a moment while I feign surprise.

* Gasp! *
Continue reading “150 best bars in America named; I.E. gets dissed” »

Four I.E. Farmer Boys to celebrate grand re-openings Saturday

It’s a quadruple celebration as four Inland Empire Farmer Boys restaurants will be celebrating grand re-openings on Saturday (June 25).

The events will take place at locations in Rancho Cucamonga and Loma Linda (both of which will also have festivities through Monday (June 27)), Highland and San Jacinto.

Hmm…I swear the Highland restaurant just opened a couple of years ago. Oh, well.

Follow the jump to see what’s in store at each location.
Continue reading “Four I.E. Farmer Boys to celebrate grand re-openings Saturday” »

Caf Calato closes

On his blog, David Allen tells of the closing of Rancho Cucamonga’s Caf Calato.

A reader had emailed me Friday asking if I had known anything of the closure.

I hadn’t, so after searching Yelp and seeing that the restaurant closed sometime at the beginning of the month, I referred it to our Rancho Cucamonga reporter, Wendy Leung, who informed my of David’s post.

Click here to read his post.

Baker’s Drive-Thru offering free taco burgers for Facebook fans today

Baker’s Drive-Thru is pretty generous to its Facebook fans, offering coupons for free items on a fairly regular basis.

Today (June 22), they’ve got another giveaway going on.

Baker’s, America’s first twin kitchen, is giving away something that combines both kitchens — the taco burger!

If you’ve never had a taco burger, or it’s been forever since you had one (like me), now’s your time to get one. ‘Cause it’s free.

The usual restrictions apply: One coupon per person or car per visit, one offer per coupon and not valid with any other offer or discount. The offer is good today only.

Baker’s Drive-Thru restaurants can be found throughout the Inland Empire.

Head to the Facebook “Free Taco Burger Day” event page to collect your coupon.

Red, White and Brew Fest July 2 in Riverside

What’s more American than baseball, hot dogs and apple pie? Beer, of course!

A slew of Southern California craft breweries are bringing their wares to Riverside Saturday, July 2, in a 21-and-over event called the “Red, White and Brew Fest.”

The festival takes place from noon to 4 p.m. at Riverside’s White Park, Market Avenue and Ninth Street.

Besides helping yourself by be being able to sample all that delicious beer, you’ll also be helping out the Riverside Arts Council, as all proceeds will benefit the many projects and partners of the organization.

Among the breweries you’ll be able to sample at the festival are:

The cost for all this unlimited fun is $35 for general admission and $45 for VIP admission, which includes 11 a.m. entry and VIP tent access. The VIP tent will feature several brew masters, who will be available to
answer questions and offer tastes of new or future releases.

In addition to the beer, the event will also have food and local entertainment.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here.

For more information, contact the Riverside Arts Council at 951-680-1345 or visit the event’s website by clicking here.