When they have the time, real foodies, like the Foodies in NYC, love to enjoy a relaxing, quality meal with a complementing atmosphere. They can’t possibly do this every meal, can they? I bet they secretly chomp down on a fat Big Mac from time to time. Which is why Foodie Christa allowed her younger, economically yet calorie conscious brother to write a review of the current fad around fast food chains going healthy.
BK Healthy Burgers (Veggie: 410cal, 21g protein; Turkey: 530cal, 26g protein)
BK teams up with the popular veggie burger brand, Morning Star, to deliver a paddy filled with carrots, mushrooms, and unidentifiable green things. It tastes like chicken and newspaper, though is significantly better than some of the cheaper, store brand veggie burgers out there.
BK’s turkey burger has a rubbery consistency that squeaks when eaten. However, the portion was much larger than the veggie burger and could curb even a large appetite. The potato bread was a good addition. It also doubles as entertainment – when throwing a cube of the turkey paddy at the ground, it bounced back about two-three inches.
BK Take home: Have it your way and accessorize your burger with enough lettuce, tomato, onion, and toppings to up the flavor profile. The turkey burger was much bigger, tastier, and included potato bread - and it bounces off asphalt pretty well.
Wendy’s Flatbread (Smoky honey mustard: 370cal, 22g protein; Asiago ranch w/ bacon: 530 cal, 30g protein)
Wendy is a cruel mistress when it comes to the flatbread – she cuts her normal chicken sandwich in half, tosses it in a sweet sauce, and charges the same price as the “regs” chicken sandwich. The wheat flatbread, however, did live up to my high expectations. I’m not sure why they threw bacon on a diet menu item, but I’m not complaining. The sea salt fries were delicious for seven minutes, then got worse by the minute.
McDonalds’ Premium Grilled Chicken McWrap (Sweet Chili: 360cal, 27g protein; Ranch: 430cal, 30g protein; Bacon: 440cal, 33g protein)
Mickey D’s big, burrito-like wrap comes in a cool cardboard holder for eating on the go. (You can stop reading now because the holder was the best part.) The chicken was tasty, even comparable to Wendys’ chicken but I don’t know who the hell invented the flavor “sweet chili,” but no one should change the fundamental properties of chili, ever. Stick with the bacon or ranch flavors. I’m not exactly sure what makes the chicken so “premium.” I asked for my wrap by stating, “Fill it up, premium, cash.” Maybe we should ask if it is unleaded, or if cash is cheaper than credit.
Taco Bell Fresco Menu (Fresco beef taco: 110cal, 8 g protein; Fresco steak taco: 160cal, 11g protein)
Taco Bell thinks they can pull the sombrero over our eyes by losing the cheese, and adding cilantro and tomatoes, to make any normal item on their menu, “Fresco style.” However, the Fresco menu does win overall for its nutritional value, taste, flavor, and complementary ingredients. Taco Bell is the only company that pays one extra penny per tomato for ripe tomatoes. All other fast food companies use green tomatoes that have been unnaturally ripened by an oxygen gassing process. This is important to a Jersey local. The beef may not be top quality, but they are aware of that. Last year they ran an $0.88 taco special when it was revealed that their beef is 88% beef and the rest "filler." At least they are honest and embrace their B-quality beef. Taco Bell continues to keep it real and wins the Fast Foodie trophy.
So remember, with all of these new healthy alternatives, embrace your right to have it your way.
Vinny is a Fast Foodie and music producer for the Electric Slide Crew. Listen to his tunes on Soundcloud www.soundcloud.com/howso, or follow him on the tweet street @Vinny_Conte.