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  #51  
Old 01-15-2020, 06:29 PM
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About the only chain store we can stand is the local Burger Thing, with Subway as a backup - but few chains infest our county. McD's just stinks. Crap-in-the-Box aka Scarf-n-Barf made us puke. KFC/TacoSmell is grease-a-rama. Mountain Mike's Pizza isn't revolting. We haven't tried the Togo's or Jimbo's. But we much prefer deli sandwiches, taco trucks, and mom-n-pop sit-downs.

I'll judge Burger Thing as better than it was. Subway varies with franchise. The rest - why bother?
  #52  
Old 01-15-2020, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
About the only chain store we can stand is the local Burger Thing, with Subway as a backup [...]We haven't tried the Togo's or Jimbo's.
Togos bread (and IMO all their sandwiches) are better than Subway.
  #53  
Old 01-15-2020, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
Applebee's has improved greatly in my opinion.
That's an awfully low bar IMO.
  #54  
Old 01-15-2020, 08:50 PM
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Togos bread (and IMO all their sandwiches) are better than Subway.
I can't speak to whether Subway has improved or not, but as a customer of Togo's in early 70s (a converted house a couple of blocks from San Jose State), their sandwiches have not gone up in quality.

Last edited by blondebear; 01-15-2020 at 08:54 PM.
  #55  
Old 01-15-2020, 08:57 PM
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Togos bread (and IMO all their sandwiches) are better than Subway.
I would say it's pretty much impossible not to have a better sandwich than Subway. But I'll still eat at it in a pinch, as it's one of the few non-burger places around me open 24 hrs.
  #56  
Old 01-15-2020, 09:17 PM
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I can't speak to whether Subway has improved or not, but as a customer of Togo's in early 70s (a converted house a couple of blocks from San Jose State), their sandwiches have not gone up in quality.
I first sampled them in 1987, and I agree they're about the same and better than Subway. I'd much prefer a real deli, but the choices were limited near San Jose. Perhaps this has changed -- I live near Santa Cruz now and wouldn't know.

Last edited by squeegee; 01-15-2020 at 09:18 PM.
  #57  
Old 01-15-2020, 09:57 PM
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I first sampled them in 1987, and I agree they're about the same and better than Subway. I'd much prefer a real deli, but the choices were limited near San Jose. Perhaps this has changed -- I live near Santa Cruz now and wouldn't know.
My first exposure to Togo's was in Santa Cruz - they were a ritzy sandwich shop in 1978. Now our local mountain grocery, and the upscale Raley's supermarkup down in the county seat, make great deli sandwiches, so we rarely bother with sub specialists.

I can't comment on most chains because either they're not around here, or I've not tried them in decades, if ever. When nearby, we stick with locals we know. When traveling, we look for something local THERE, not nationwide chains. Why eat at Taco Smell in El Paso?
  #58  
Old 01-15-2020, 10:03 PM
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Togo's is local to San Jose's area. Erik's Delicafe is also local, born in Scott's Valley. You eat there, you're eating local.

Last edited by squeegee; 01-15-2020 at 10:06 PM.
  #59  
Old 01-16-2020, 12:12 AM
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Togo's is local to San Jose's area. Erik's Delicafe is also local, born in Scott's Valley. You eat there, you're eating local.
We're a couple hundred kicks east of SJ now. The Togo's down in the country seat was disappointing when we tried it. They're a 200-store chain now so expectations diminish.

Meanwhile, we need judgments of eatery slogans. My nomination:

"I live with pain and terror every day;
Then I take her to Perko's Cafe."
  #60  
Old 01-16-2020, 12:34 AM
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We haven't tried the Togo's or Jimbo's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRico
The Togo's down in the country seat was disappointing when we tried it
  #61  
Old 01-16-2020, 01:22 AM
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McDonald's I'm sure is better - I was ecstatic when I heard they were doing all day breakfast, that alone makes it better. Still, I don't go there as often as I used to. I can get better food paying just a little more at a local mom and pop shop than their standard fare stuff. Their standard fare is NOT cheap anymore. I'll occasionally swing by there for a McDouble or something else off their value meal when I'm looking for something quick and cheap.
  #62  
Old 01-16-2020, 10:16 AM
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We're a couple hundred kicks east of SJ now. The Togo's down in the country seat was disappointing when we tried it. They're a 200-store chain now so expectations diminish.
The converted house by San Jose State was the original. It was so small they only had room for a couple picnic tables outside so almost every thing was to go, hence the name. I ate there many times but moved away and missed them. When I moved to Mesa there were two franchises, one by me and one in north Scottsdale and I rejoiced. Then the one by me closed and twenty miles is a long ways to go for a sandwich. Then that one closed as well and that was that.
  #63  
Old 01-16-2020, 06:46 PM
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Togo's? Memory slosh. Wife reminded me between those posts. But I don't recall the local Quizno's she likes, either. Maybe I do a "suppress memory" thing. Like I try to forget being poisoned at Crap-In-The-Box aka Scarf-n-Barf.

I think I remember this county's McFoods. Three Subways. Two Mountain Mike's. One each McD's, BurgerThing, Domino's, KFC/TacoSmell, JimBoy's, Togo's, Perko's, Baskin-Robbins, and Carl's. No other chains at all. This county is just not worth the investment.
  #64  
Old 01-16-2020, 07:00 PM
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In the opposite direction, I'd say little ceasers. Their pizza was never spectacular, but in the 90s you could get 2 pizzas for $6. That was their whole gimmick, buy 2 pizzas for the price of 1 pizza at other stores. Now they've moved towards being the fast food of pizza with their hot and ready options (again, not terrible pizza but I miss the 2 for 1 gimmick).
Because of inflation, a pizza today for $5 is a better deal than 2 for $6 back in the 90's.
  #65  
Old 01-16-2020, 07:08 PM
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The converted house by San Jose State was the original. It was so small they only had room for a couple picnic tables outside so almost every thing was to go, hence the name. I ate there many times but moved away and missed them...
One thing that stands out in my memory of the place on William St. was the 1st King Crimson album cover they had on the wall with the caption "I said NO PEPPERS!"

The second San Jose Togo's location was in a converted house too, on Campbell Ave. They moved it across the street to the Pruneyard and the house is now a Thai place.

Last edited by blondebear; 01-16-2020 at 07:11 PM.
  #66  
Old 01-16-2020, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
In the opposite direction, I'd say little ceasers. Their pizza was never spectacular, but in the 90s you could get 2 pizzas for $6. That was their whole gimmick, buy 2 pizzas for the price of 1 pizza at other stores. Now they've moved towards being the fast food of pizza with their hot and ready options (again, not terrible pizza but I miss the 2 for 1 gimmick).
Because of inflation, a pizza today for $5 is a better deal than 2 for $6 back in the 90's.
A better deal, but is the quality better? I doubt it.

Similarly, I grew up around the area from which Subway restaurants originated and I remember the food tasting much better in the 1970s and 1980s. I just found someone on eBay selling a Subway menu that's about thirty years old, and the foot-long sandwiches were four or five dollars back then. Using an online inflation calculator, they should be nine or ten bucks today but they're about six or seven bucks.

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 01-16-2020 at 08:20 PM.
  #67  
Old 01-17-2020, 12:26 PM
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That's the difference between frying something in beef fat and vegetable oil. They made the change to make the fries "healthier". They then super-sized the ever living shit out of them to make up the difference.

Malcolm Gladwell has an interesting Revisionist History on this topic.
Wasn't McD sued by Sikh for using "meat" without telling him? (why would non-beef eater even go to noted beef place??)
  #68  
Old 01-17-2020, 12:58 PM
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Wasn't McD sued by Sikh for using "meat" without telling him? (why would non-beef eater even go to noted beef place??)
A vegan? Sikhism is not a vegetarian faith. All I can see is that they forbid halal meat.
  #69  
Old 01-17-2020, 01:08 PM
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A vegan? Sikhism is not a vegetarian faith. All I can see is that they forbid halal meat.
Hindu:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mcdonal...ef-over-fries/

Quote:
McDonald's Corp. has agreed to donate $10 million to Hindu and other groups to settle lawsuits filed against the chain for mislabeling french fries and hash browns as vegetarian.

McDonald's also posted an apology on its Web site, acknowledging that mistakes were made in communicating to customers and the public about the ingredients in the fries and hash browns. The vegetable oil used to prepare the fries and hash browns was not pure, but contained essence of beef for flavoring purposes. Many Hindus consider cows sacred and do not eat beef.
  #70  
Old 01-17-2020, 01:36 PM
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In the 'standard fast food chains', I think that since the 90s McDonald's has stayed about the same (with some better quality things on the menu at various points), Burger King's fries got worse but burgers got better, Wendy's quality dropped a lot, and Hardees/Carl Jr improved quality and consistency quite a bit. Arby's upped their quality and hugely expanded their menu. Taco Bell upped their quality and has jostled their menu a lot. Their relative prices seem to have gone up, I remember 'fast food' as being significantly cheaper than 'fast casual' or 'table service lunch, minus the tip', but now unless you milk the value menu it will be about the same. Taco Bell is especially noteworthy on the price increase, it used to be that they were by far the cheapest place to go with things like 10 tacos for $1 but now they're about the same price as everyone else.

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A better deal, but is the quality better? I doubt it.
I agree, Little Caesar's in the 90s was 'pretty good compared to the other guys and cheaper' now they're going for 'cheap and fast'. I like what they do reasonably well - they're not great pizza, but they're not bad and have the best price to quality ratio of anyone. But they've definitely reduced quality from what they did in the past to reduce price.
  #71  
Old 01-17-2020, 01:45 PM
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I remember Little Caesar's packaging included two pizzas on one long paper-covered cardboard sheet. It made for an unwieldy ride home.
  #72  
Old 01-17-2020, 06:22 PM
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Togo's is local to San Jose's area. Erik's Delicafe is also local, born in Scott's Valley. You eat there, you're eating local.
One that's a California chain you might want to check out the next time you're in Santa Cruz is Ike's Love and Sandwiches on Ocean St. I first encountered them in Davis and was really pleased when the opened one here. Good selection of decent bread and great sandwiches.
  #73  
Old 01-17-2020, 06:26 PM
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I like Togo's. None local, so I go when I can.

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One that's a California chain you might want to check out the next time you're in Santa Cruz is Ike's Love and Sandwiches on Ocean St. I first encountered them in Davis and was really pleased when the opened one here. Good selection of decent bread and great sandwiches.
We got one of those, a little expensive but they're big. And the sandwich names get kind of painful to say. Each store has their own unique menu (with overlap).

Last edited by thelurkinghorror; 01-17-2020 at 06:27 PM.
  #74  
Old 01-17-2020, 06:30 PM
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Is that one of those sandwich restaurants where each sandwich has a stupid name that's slightly embarrassing to say? I hate that.
  #75  
Old 01-17-2020, 06:35 PM
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I usually skip over the silly names and just tell the attendant that Ill have the Pastrami and Swiss.
  #76  
Old 01-17-2020, 06:37 PM
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Not really stupid, more like named after celebrities and pro athletes that play for regional teams. You can order by number as well, but I don't mind ordering the Matt Cain or the Paul Reuben, as examples. It wouldn't stop me from eating there.
  #77  
Old 01-17-2020, 06:50 PM
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Yeah they're all numbered. I should point out that there are hundreds of numbered sandwiches, but each location has a slightly unique menu.

I think one I've had is "Chase Ottney is Hella Sexy" so I'd say the number in that case (whoever that is, I assumed Utley but remember wrong)
  #78  
Old 01-17-2020, 07:50 PM
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I don’t think Chipotle has been cutting any corners. Wendy’s is the only fast food burger served near me that doesn’t make me feel ill.
  #79  
Old Yesterday, 11:22 PM
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Maybe it was Domino's.
Domino's is/was well known in marketing circles, for actually listening to their customers, and making a significant change based on that, and successfully refreshing their business.

The change they made was to make their pizzas more typically crappy American-style fast-food style. That is, sweeter. Like their customers wanted. They didn't use those terms to describe their new recipe: they don't want to insult their customers. The just say that they'd listened to their customers and that the customers liked the new recipe.
  #80  
Old Yesterday, 11:34 PM
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Domino's is/was well known in marketing circles, for actually listening to their customers, and making a significant change based on that, and successfully refreshing their business.

The change they made was to make their pizzas more typically crappy American-style fast-food style. That is, sweeter. Like their customers wanted. They didn't use those terms to describe their new recipe: they don't want to insult their customers. The just say that they'd listened to their customers and that the customers liked the new recipe.
That does not sound right to me at all. The main difference between their old and new pizzas was their crust. They used to be awful. Now they're tolerable. Their sauce? I don't know. I remember it as being very sweet before, and I feel like it's less sweet now, but I wouldn't swear by that, as that's not the essential difference between the old pizza and the new one.
  #81  
Old Yesterday, 11:42 PM
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Ok, just doing a sanity check:

Quote:
The sauce was actually a pretty nice improvement. I was a little worried about the advertised sweetness of the new sauce, because I hate sweet pizza sauce. To my surprise, sauce tasted less sweet than before.
From here.

Quote:
The thing that gave me pause the most when I read the Domino's press release was the bit about the sauce: "Sweeter, bolder tomato sauce with a medley of herbs and a red pepper kick." To my taste, the old Domino's sauce was already too sweet. Making it any sweeter would push it into the realm of Papa John's, which I think has the sweetest sauce of the major chains. This was a big mistake on Domino's part, I thought.

[...]
If anything, the sauce seems less sweet than before—maybe it's just more balanced now.
From Serious Eats.


They apparently advertised their sauce as "sweeter," but I sure as hell don't notice it as being sweeter than their old version. Maybe the comments about it being more balanced with other flavors are right and there's just other flavors balancing it out now. But that's not the essential difference between their inedible pizza of the 90s and their current pizza.

Last edited by pulykamell; Yesterday at 11:42 PM.
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