Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chow List: 8 Fast Food Chains We Still Don’t Have (But Need)

Ever feel like North Idaho is growth-spurting like so much warm ketchup through the crusty spout of a red EZ-squeeze bottle that we simply must have at least one of every national fast food outlet out there? Not quite, my sweet Baconator lover. We’re still wee toddlers on the franchise-o-meter as proved by the below list of 8 popular chains that have yet to break ground in our sunny corner of the forest. It can’t be too long before some of these pop up around town, and there are a few I must admit I’d love to validate…

*Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy is a devout Southern Baptist who has taught Sunday School for over 44 years and whose religious beliefs permeate the company to this day.
* Closed for business on Sundays.
* Second-biggest chicken-based fast-food chain in the United States.
* 1,300 locations in 37 U.S. states
* The first Chick-fil-A opened in Atlanta's Greenbriar Mall in 1967.
* Chick-fil-A offers chicken sandwiches, in both pressure-cooked and grilled versions.
* Side dishes include waffle potato fries, cole slaw, carrot & raisin salad, chicken salad, and fruit salads.
* "EAT MOR CHIKIN" is the chain's most prominent advertising slogan.

2. White Castle
*White Castle is the oldest American hamburger fast food restaurant chain.
* It is known for square burgers, sometimes referred to as "sliders".
* White Castle was founded in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas.
* A customer ordering a "sack of six with both", will receive six burgers with both ketchup and mustard (this is also a reference to White Castle's habit of keeping three bottles of condiments at hand for the burgers: ketchup, mustard, and a combination of the two—or "both").
* You can choose from 3 types of Sliders: Hamburger, Cheeseburger and Double Cheeseburger and sides include crinkle fries and “chicken rings”.
* White Castles are everywhere east of the Mississippi and in the South but have yet to open a single location in the West.

3. In-n-Out Burger
* Founded in Southern California in 1948 by Harry Snyder and his wife Esther, and headquartered in Irvine, CA.
* The Snyders had a simple plan which is still in use today: “Give customers the freshest, highest quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment.”
* In 1999, third company president Guy Snyder died from an overdose of the pain-killer Vicodin.
* In-N-Out has a limited menu consisting of only three different sandwiches: the hamburger, cheeseburger, and "Double-Double" (double meat/double cheese). French fries and fountain drinks are available, as well as three flavors of milkshakes.
* In-N-Out has a dedicated fanbase, and benefits highly from the positive word of mouth spread by its enthusiastic following.
* In-N-Out prints discreet references to Bible verses on their paper utensils.

4. Weinerschnitzel
* Wienerschnitzel is an American fast-food chain founded in 1961 as "Der Wienerschnitzel" that specializes in "hot dogs", but is currently expanding to other items.
* Wienerschnitzel locations are almost entirely limited to California, Texas, and the Southwestern United States.
* The first Wienerschnitzel was opened by John Galardi in 1961. This location, which is still in operation as of today, was a hot dog stand on Pacific Coast Highway.
* Wiener Schnitzel actually means "breaded veal cutlet, Vienna style", a dish that the restaurant chain does not sell.
* Former slogans: “Everybody loves a wiener”, “The world's largest wieners!”, “Just thinkin' about those hot dogs makes me hungry!”

5. Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits
* Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken first opened in Arabi, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans, in 1972 as "Popeye Family Fried Chicken", owned by Al Copeland.
* Copeland claimed he named the stores after the fictional detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle in the movie “The French Connection” and not the comic character Popeye the Sailor.
* The restaurants have a distinctive red-and-yellow color scheme.
*TV and radio ads often use New Orleans-style music, along with the trademark Love That Chicken jingle sung by New Orleans funk and R&B musician Dr. John.
* As of 2007, there were 1,507 global locations.

6. Checkers/Rally’s
* Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. is the largest chain of double drive-thru restaurants in the United States and parent company of both Checkers and Rally's concepts.
* Currently, the company operates more than 815 Checkers and Rally's restaurants in 28 states and the District of Columbia. They both specialize in hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, and milkshakes.
* Checkers was founded in 1986 in Mobile, Alabama, and Rally's was founded in Louisville, Kentucky in 1985, with its first location in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
* Checkers restaurants follow a retro theme with abundant use of chrome flashing, neon tube lighting, and black and white checkered tiling.
* The slogan of the restaurant from in 1999-2000 was "High performance Human Fuel" and was then changed and used from 2000-2007 to "You gotta eat!"
* The menus of the two restaurants are nearly identical, differing in that Checkers' menu includes additional hamburgers (including the original Champ hamburger). Over time, the Checkers menu grew in size to include chicken and fish sandwiches, chicken strips, and a wider selection of hamburgers

7. Long John Silver’s
* Long John Silver's, Inc. is a United States-based fast-food restaurant that specializes in seafood and fish and chips. It is named after the fictional pirate Long John Silver from the Robert Louis Stevenson book Treasure Island.
* The restaurant, which has over 1200 units worldwide, is a division of Yum! Brands, Inc.
* The first restaurant was opened in 1969 in Lexington, Kentucky.
* The restaurant chain was the subject of some controversy in the late 1990s for a commercial in which a police officer decided not to write a ticket to a motorist who gave him a Long John Silver's fish sandwich. Many police organizations objected to the commercial on the grounds that it depicted a police officer taking a bribe.
* In March 2006, LJS began offering buttered lobster bites, and in the stores signs state "made with real langostino lobster." Many people felt that this was misleading because langostino is not a conventional type of lobster; however the Food and Drug Administration has stated that langostino can be named and marketed as lobster.

8. Quickly
* Quickly is one of the largest tapioca milk tea franchises in the world, with over 2000 locations in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
* Quickly Corporation was founded in California in 1996 and began marketing themselves as a New Generation Asian Fusion-style cafe in the USA, as opposed to just a tapioca drink shop.
* Sample Menu Items, beverages: Sesame Slush, Champagne Grape Slush, Kumquat Slush, Wax Gourd Slush, Bubble Milk Tea, Red Bean Milk Tea, Grass Jelly Milk Tea.
*Sample Menu Items, food: Fried Mini Octopus, Fried Pork Intestine, Tea Flavored Egg, Roast Quail, Crispy Popcorn Chicken Rice Bento.


Phil said...

Weinerschnitzel is still around?

I remember going to those as a kid, thinking how special it was to have a hot dog at a restaurant.

Now I'd just think, "I can make this at home for about 39 cents."

I doubt we'll ever get an In-N-Out Burger here. They're just not big on expanding.

I'd like to see Coeur d'Alene get Taco Del Mar, Rubio's Fresh Mex, and L&L Hawaiian BBQ.

MarkR said...

There's a Long John Silver's now in Spokane on Division just north of the "Y" (split LJS/Kentucky Fried Chicken...Yum! does that a lot).

"Whataburger" is another place I remember growing up in Texas (looks like they're ONLY in the south).

But if I can only have 1 chain place come to town, I vote for a Chipotle. MMMM. Chiptole.

Sheldon said...

I think we need a Chix With Dix. I really miss it and the metropolitan flavor it brings.

OrangeTV said...

Commentary from the obese and malnourished folks at Huckleberries Online:

I was going to say none of the above until I saw Popeye's on the list. I'd prefer more fine dining and more non-chain grills, but a KFC alternative would be nice.
Posted by Transplanted Texan | 18 Sep 3:29 PM

The fast food capital of the world doesn't need anymore.
Posted by Cabbage Boy | 18 Sep 3:37 PM

hands down:

say it with me...c'mon:
Posted by granati | 18 Sep 3:37 PM

Hey, Granati; your photography has been getting better and better.
Posted by DFO | 18 Sep 3:48 PM

thanks dave...

i've been trying some new techniques and different lenses and bodies in my little arsenal...
Posted by granati | 18 Sep 3:52 PM

I heartily echo GRANATI: There is NO BETTER take-out than
IN-N-OUT...This is the ONLY drive-thru I'll wait for to place an order!!
Posted by Milt Nelson | 18 Sep 4:00 PM

double double
mustard and tomato only
strawberry shake and a coke....

Posted by granati | 18 Sep 4:05 PM

Popeye's red beans and rice with a biscuit!!!
Posted by MikeS | 18 Sep 4:10 PM

TGI Fridays (I know, not fast food, but I don't like driving out to the valley to eat there)
Posted by nic | 18 Sep 4:12 PM

The CDA area has to be the capital of fast food joints.I think we have enough variety already.I expect more
heart attacks to happen here in the future, because of it.
Posted by Kage Mann | 18 Sep 4:18 PM

as long as in-n-out ventures up here, i'm happy...
Posted by granati | 18 Sep 4:20 PM

Steak N' Shake!
Posted by ThomG | 18 Sep 4:27 PM

I used to eat an In-N-Out 3-4 times a week in college, sometimes twice a day. When I return to California, it's usually the first place I go. Yeah, I'm a fanatic. Some might be happy to know they have (subtle) Christian connection, as they list bible verses on their cups and wrappers, but just the citation, like John 3:16, not the actual words.

3X3, Animal style, fries with ketchup, chocolate shake, and a cola. Nothing better in fast food for the taste, and hardening of the arteries.

Oh, and Church's Chicken is far better than PopEye's.

Posted by green libertarian | 18 Sep 4:44 PM

Popeye's Fried Chicken is the best and I would love it if they showed up in North Idaho. Even Spokane, I would make a point to go.

Granati - what type lens were you using that created the effect in the corners of your photo?
Posted by MamaJD | 18 Sep 4:48 PM

White Castle, White Castle, White Castle, White Castle.
Posted by Gary Ingram | 18 Sep 4:55 PM

If we're going to have more fast food, I'd rather we had more local joints, not chains.
Posted by moscow minidoka | 18 Sep 4:59 PM

mama jd...that's called a vignette...i'm trying faux holgas
Posted by granati | 18 Sep 5:02 PM

Granati - by "trying faux holgas," are you creating with photoshop or are you using a lensbaby or some other add on to the lens?

Ohhhhh, I just love HBO! I want to try some faux holgas now, too! ;)
Posted by MamaJD | 18 Sep 8:03 PM

Yeah. Me too. But what kind of wine do you serve with them?
Posted by Cindy H. | 18 Sep 8:05 PM

Some of these choices are good, but let's face it. We have way more established fast food outlets than we need. Every time one pops up another goes broke. We don't need any of these new ones.
Posted by Sweet & Sour Herb | 18 Sep 8:13 PM

Herb, what we don't need is your McCranky burgers in a greasy bag full of french fried whining.

Zip it and stop hating on OTV. He's rapidly approaching being a writer, you on the other hand will always be a talentless hack.
Posted by Bob | 18 Sep 8:20 PM

mamajd -

i really want a freakin'ly bad...

i created a faux holga layer for the effect. that's the only photoshop i use for that.
Posted by granati | 18 Sep 8:33 PM

I'm being such a good girl in hopes that Santa brings me a lensbaby, too. They just look awesome!
Posted by MamaJD | 18 Sep 8:41 PM

In-N-Out for sure! It is one of the first places we visit when in California as well! Double Double, Animal Style, and those fries cut on site from a fresh potato, with fry sauce, please. Crazy good!
Posted by mia | 18 Sep 8:46 PM

so much you can do with them as well...i may have to break down and buy one...
Posted by granati | 18 Sep 8:48 PM

El Pollo Loco, the healthiest fast food EVAH!
Posted by Crazy John | 18 Sep 9:36 PM

I love El Pollo Loco, too. It's wonderful. Simple fire grilled chicken, beans, rice and tortillas.
Posted by Jesse Tinsley | 18 Sep 10:12 PM

Definately need a "double double, large fries and chocolate shake"

In-n-Out Burger!
Posted by Sam Crawford | 18 Sep 10:26 PM

Love in and out but i have to give the nod to chik fil a
Posted by JIMMYMAC | 18 Sep 11:35 PM

OrangeTV said...

Sheldon, I'm pretty sure there's a few "Chix with Dix" in Spokane and I've heard their gravy is hot but their biscuits are are all shriveled up. Instead, I'd recommend the tuna and the trout at "Long Dong Silver's" down the street.

Clint Shaff said...

But, of course. White Castles. Those rock. We don't have those here either; very few states outside the Midwest do. Maybe some enterprising fellow should just pick it up, and run it all over the country already. That's something to start with.