HoundDogz's Profile

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What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

I disagree with Sbarro. The thing is I do agree with the sweetness of the dough. They need to lighten up on the sweetness but otherwise I like Sbarro for a chain. They make thin crust, NY style pizza that is very good. The meatballs are also good. Lasagna is good as well. I love the marinara sauce too. It is a lot for a piece of pizza but to stay live some of the locations are offering 2 whole pizzas for $20 so if you have friends or family with you then go for that and save money. No other chain I know of does NY style pizza. It's not as good NY pizza as the independents but for a chain it's really good. Look at Shakey's. That's California, Cracker Crust style. Look at Pizza Hut they have some "Brooklyn" pizza or something that is far from being NY style pizza. The other chains don't have it. I really love Sbarro for what it is. I don't get it much but come on, the author should have complained about Cesars or Pizza Hut being the worse.

Sep 15, 2014
HoundDogz in Features

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Taco Bell was tricky about it. They gradually changed things and snuck it past the people. It was not sudden like Coke back about 1985 or whenever it was they switched formulas/recipes. With Coke it was so sudden people made and outcry for the original. With Taco Bell had changed quickly like that because there would have been an uproar. The meat for original Taco Bell is so good that it's a crime they don't use it anymore. But all that grease and the health food thing going on, they will be afraid people wont' buy because they will have a non-healthy image. Not saying it's healthy now but image is everything, you know. You are right, no one is profiting here with this, we just want to make some good old Taco Bell at home rather than eat at today's Toxic Bell as you put it! LOL. Can't wait until next weekend to try again but without the spicy version of the mix. The standard with the 73/27.

Sep 15, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Walmart has 73/27 so if you have Walmart in your area you can get it there. Sometimes I see it at grocery stores but most time you see 80/20 or 85/15.

Sep 15, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Okay, I did well this time. The secret ingredient to being like old Taco Bell is the .......

.... should I tell you all? I just figured it out. Okay it's 73/27 Chuck, not 80/20. This time it tasted close to original Taco Bell and I did use 73/27. Admittedly, the spice mix I used was too spicy, as Taco Bell was never spicy unless you add taco sauce. But with that said, this mix from Fresh & Easy was too spicy but take the spiciness away from it and use the 73/27 you got the taste and the perfect amount of grease. If you are afraid of grease in your food don't make this and don't long for original Taco Bell. Next weekend I will get the Fresh & Easy taco mix, the non-spicy packet and do the 73/27 again and see how it is. Just mix it all together, don't brown as Hungryman and others have mentioned, let it simmer for about an hour. Man you got it. I'm not saying the taste will be perfect, I don't know until I do it but the taste this time was pretty close but too spicy. Oh mash up the meat now and then throughout the simmering process too.

Man I wish I had some wrappers. I might eat at Taco Bell this week and save the wrappers. Then I make my own on the weekend and wrap them up and see if I get the excessive greasy wrapper symdrome (EGW Syndrome or EGWS) as we used to in the old days of Taco Bell. I have to make a sacrifice in the name of food science by eating there just to get the wrappers.

By the way, I miss the old wrappers. They had gold and white with the Taco Bell mission style buildings image on the wrapper. I forgot, either white was for special order (i.e, no lettuce or no cheese) and golden color was for regular no special instructions or the other way around but either way, they had the two color wrappers. If it ain't greasy and suffering from ESW Syndrome, then it ain't real Taco Bell.

Sep 13, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Why isn't White Castle in L.A.?

Very true. My dad used to live there and I would visit him about 4 times a year. I loved seeing my dad but I really dislike Vegas. Now that he's not there anymore I don't have to go there anymore. With that said, Las Vegas is a city like any other once you get past the gambler's and tourist traps of the Strip. Get away from that you have dining like any other place. I do want to go to Grimaldi's but they opened one up in El Segundo I believe, which is about 25 minutes from me without traffic on the freeway. I gotta go there.

Sep 13, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Last Saturday I made some Taco Bell tacos. Well I tried. I used 80/20 chuck beef ground. I also added a few tablespoons of coconut oil and let it simmer for a long time (maybe an hour). It did taste good but not really Taco Bell original. I did use the Taco Bell taco mix.

Today I am making tacos but different. I am using 73/27 just for the heck of it. I am using a taco mix from Fresh and Easy. It's a spicy version. I know Taco Bell is not nor was spicy but I am tired of using the same old taco mixes so I am trying something different. I will let it simmer for an hour again and I am also not browning as the instructions suggest. I am just mixing the mix/water and the meat together at the get go as you have suggested and breaking up the meat throughout the cooking process. Let's see how it turns out. I can give my report to you all later on. Regardless of whether or not it taste like old school Taco Bell, I am sure it's a lot better than neo-Taco Bell.

Sep 13, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Pineapple Talk - How To Pick A Ripe Pineapple

Are you sure that the pineapple pictured is not a South African Victoria pineapple, not a North African pineapple? I have a Victoria pineapple plant growing in the backyard now but it's not fruiting yet. I have had some fruiting before and they were so good.

I agree with you on the Costa Rica thing. I think they pick them too early because they are afraid if they pick them ripe that they will go bad before anyone even buys one since pineapples go bad so fast. I have had one from Mexico that I bought at Smart & Final and it was picked ripe and sold at the store ripe and it was great. You need to eat right away if it is picked and sold ripe since they go bad so quick. Green goes bad fast too but not as fast as golden ripe, that's why they pick them green, they get some extra time in the store before going bad.

The pineapple industry tells us ripe can be from green to golden but to me green is not ripe and doesn't taste very good. That they say that to make you think green is good so they can sell them.

I love the Maui pineapples. They used to pick and sell them golden ripe but seems they are doing the green picking trick like most pineapples in the store now. I have many Dole Hawaii and Maui Pineapples growing in my backyard.

Aug 21, 2014
HoundDogz in General Topics

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

I don't know, I never had a pizza at TB but I am a pizza maker and a member of the Pizza Making Forum. I make pizza at home but professional quality. I actually make pizza so well that the local donut guy let's me trade pizza for donuts.

Go to the http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/inde... and register and ask about this. These guys at this forum are good and can figure out almost anything.

Aug 09, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Agreed, I hate anything but whole milk cheeses and sour cream as well. It was funny and strange that the thin graded cheese was back at TB but sadly not whole milk version. But that was Kentucky wonder if here in CA the thin is back or it's still thick.

Aug 06, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Maybe, but I think the ingredients and recipe formula was just better even on the Lite menu back then than the regular now.

Aug 06, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Actually last night I tried to make some "Taco Bell". I already had a bottle of Ortega taco seasoning. On the ingredients listed I don't see any malic acid like in the Taco Bell seasoning pack but I used it anyway even though I had just bought a package of the TB seasoning as well that day. I didn't brown the meat but just put in the meat along with the seasoning mixed with water and let it cook and simmer for about 25 minutes. Breaking it up as it cooked to get a smother texture. I did at two tablespoons of peanut oil as I didn't have coconut oil as some of you may have suggested. Also, I added a teaspoon of cayenne pepper just for the heck of it to see how it is with it.

Oddly enough even though there is no malic acid listed in the ingredients the taco meat did have a tangy flavor to it. I am not sure if that's because the bottle of seasoning I was using was pretty old, maybe three years old and maybe the properties of the seasoning changed over time because seasoning does change over time or if there is malic acid and they didn't list it but it falls under the umbrella of "spices" that is listed in additon to the other spices. I know it's not a spice but who knows what they do?

Used 80/20 chuck ground beef.

Overall it taste good, way better than anything Taco Bell puts out now but wasn't really old school original Taco Bell tasting. I enjoyed it though.

Next time I am going to use the Taco Bell seasoning pack and maybe try 73/27 chuck. I saw 73/27 at Walmart. That level of fat might seem extreme but it's worth a try. Also, I see a popular recipe for In and Out Burger and it claims that the fat content of I&O is 60/40 which is even more exptreme but supposedly that amount nails the I&O burger when made at home. So I wonder if the Walmart 73/27 will nail old school TB or at least lend itself to taste more like it when combined with the right cooking process and spice mixture if we can get that down right.

Aug 06, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

One thing I noticed was the cheese was back to the thin shredded strands rather than the annoying thick strands. Not sure if they went back to thin all over the nation or just locally because I have not been back to TB or Toxic Bell (LOL!) as you call it, here in CA, in months so I am not sure how it is now. But the bad thing is the cheese was obviously low fat or part-skim milk cheese and not the real whole milk cheese.

So do we have a definitive recipe now for old school OG Taco Bell before it became Toxic Bell?

Aug 05, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Funny, I am replying to my post. Actually the Taco Bell Lite items taste better than the "regular" TB now. Back then I tried it but went back to the regular menu but if I had the choice between old TB Lite and the current Tacos I'd go back to the TB Lite.

Aug 05, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Sad, I never made it to Papaya King and I wanted to so badly. Oh well I have my favorites as I mention so it's okay. Guess NY is where I have to go. I didn't get a chance to go to Skooby's when they had natural casing dogs but even with the non-casing dogs I liked it. Have to go again one day. I love natural casing dogs. Dietz and Watson's are great. I buy them at Bristol Farms and make them at home. I can't duplicate the chili I love so much at Top's Jr or Chronis.

Aug 03, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

For chili dogs I love Top's Jr in Alhambra and Chronis Famous Sandwich Shop in East LA. Chronis has the dog that snaps. I went to Chronis and took orders from co-workers and none of them been there before. One guy took one bite and he said really loud "d@mn, this dogs got that snap!" Most places don't have the dog that snaps but this does. Tops Jr does not but the chili is incredible at both places, Chronis having the edge. They are both Greek owned. Both not in Los Angeles proper but close enough to say LA.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/tops-jr-alhambra

http://www.yelp.com/biz/chronis-famou...

The one on Hollywood Blvd you might be talking about is Skooby's Hot Dog. I like it a lot but the dog does not bark ... uh I mean snap nor do they have chili if I recall.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/skoobys-hot-d...

Wait just checked they have Chili and nit really near the Chinese so this is not what you are talking about. Also, I hear Papaya King opened in Hollywood.

Aug 03, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Why isn't White Castle in L.A.?

Not sure but I do not think so.

Aug 03, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Why isn't White Castle in L.A.?

I understand. True would not make sense to eat WC when traveling if you get it locally. I like In And Out Burger and have it locally and like you only eat it four or five times a year too so why eat it if I am traveling if I have it locally.

Aug 03, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Why isn't White Castle in L.A.?

Well if I liked WC but had none near me I would eat at one when I travel. I do see your point though. I don't really like WC either so next time I travel and there is a WC I will pass on it.

Aug 02, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Why isn't White Castle in L.A.?

Of course, why would you? Goes without saying. It is obviously for tourist who are in LV already and want WC. No one is gonna travel here just for WC.

Aug 02, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Why isn't White Castle in L.A.?

We might not have White Castle but we have Great White Hut -

http://www.yelp.com/biz/great-white-h...

Aug 02, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Well, I went to TB here in Louisville, and I can say that as you all suspected as well as I did, TB taste exactly the same here as in California, bad. I was hoping maybe they have territorial commissaries or kitchens that make, package and distribute the food to regions and possibly California would be the worse to do lack of oil used due to food laws and maybe Kentucky would be in a region where they don't care, therefore taste better. But no it was bad. Funny enough McDonald's taste better here tho. Back to the drawing bard! Let's come up with a definitive recipe soon.

Went to Skyline. Good quality. French fries excellent. Had a chili dog. Funny they are mini dogs. Never had a hot dog so small. It is the hot dog version of White Castle burgers. The price is low so the value is there, so its fine the dogs are small. I didn't care for the chili as I don't like cinnamon in food unless its breakfast food like, well, cinnamon toast. This is Greek style chili or hot dog sauce and Greeks like cinnamon in their foods quite often. In LA there are many hot dog stands and they are owned by Greeks but they don't have cinnamon in the recipe. There are two exceptional hot dog places that standout with exceptional chili or hot dog sauce as it is often known as. I prefer those over Skyline.

Aug 02, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Why isn't White Castle in L.A.?

WC should do well in LV. With all the tourist and residents and all the legend behind the WC people will flock to it.

Aug 02, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Yeah but not me.

Aug 01, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

I think you are right but I will report my findings.

Aug 01, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Rode my bike out there a couple of weeks ago.

Jul 31, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Thanks for the tip. I was not aware of Goldstar.

Jul 31, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

In and Out is good but it isn't my fave. I went to White Castle today. Loved the crispy chicken sandwich but the burger sliders don't do it for me. next time I visit here I will skip WC. I am tomorrow gonna try to go to Skyline Chili for the first time. Learned about it from Anthony Bourdaine when he was in Cincinnati. Will go to TB and see if it is different than in CA. Will report my findings tomorrow.

Jul 31, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Where are you located?

Jul 31, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Big Mista is great. He goes on TV on the BBQ competitions. He sets up shop at Farmer's Markets. Had his quite a few times at the Atwater Village Farmer's market.

Jul 31, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

No but I heard of Bludsos. I will give it a try. I have been to Woody's in Inglewood. Thought it was really good. Also Big Mama's Rib Shack up in Pasadena or Altadena whichever it is. I wanna try Jay Bee's which I saw on Trippe D.

I went to Jack's BBQ in Nashville. Really good.

Jul 30, 2014
HoundDogz in Chains