The Hungry Man Eats

Monthly Archives: October 2013

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Dinner: Glory Days Grill

The Glory Burger

As the Hungry Man approaches his late 30’s it’s not every day that he has a chance to stumble across something he has not consumed before. Fugu? No. Haggis, don’t think so… Durian? I doubt you have enough money on you to even pay me to try that.

Now let’s digress briefly, I bet you that 99% of the time, the next food or meal that you are about to eat, you have had before, possibly hundreds of times before. That bowl of cereal you just poured yourself, how old were you when you first poured yourself a bowl of it, or were so young that you had it poured for you? Only once in your life can you learn that Grape Nuts contain neither grapes nor nuts, and that filling the bowl to the top with Grape Nuts will leave you with a full stomach and a half eaten bowl of Grape Nuts.

Perhaps it’s Tuesday, so it must be pork chops, as it has been for the past 30 years of your life since you married the lady whose mom always cooked pork chops on Tuesday, whose mom always cooked pork chops on Tuesday…

Sooooooo how does that relate to the Glory Days Grill and that delicious picture at the top? Well per their website, that is what they call The Glory Burger: “Our fresh seasoned and grilled burger, zesty BBQ sauce, fried onion straws, bacon and cheddar cheese. Topped with a fried egg.” So here’s something new…I’ve had lots of burgers, but this one was the first one with a fried egg as one of the ingredients.

Besides the novelty of the burger, the restaurant was a new one for me as well, it is a 20 restaurant chain with locations in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. They are a casual dining sports bar restaurant. Think of a cross between Applebees and Buffalo Wild Wings, with a focus on the sports aspects of both. It struck me as a surprisingly affordable place to eat with entrees priced from $6.99-$17.99 with lots of good looking dishes on the lower end of that range.

My friends and I decided to order a batch of 12 wings for an appetizer, half with the hot buffalo wing sauce and half with the medium wing sauce. Both were good, the medium wing sauce was very traditional and rather buttery tasting, the hot wing sauce had some real bite, with pickled jalapeno slices draped menacingly over the wings just daring you to eat them.

My friends split a Caesar side salad and a half rack or ribs, which is usually 6 ribs, but their rack had just 5. Must have been short ribs… (oh I kid, they were baby back ribs) The salad and cornbread on the side were reported as delicious, but the sauce on the ribs was not that flavorful.

My burger? Even without the fried egg it would have been delicious, but somehow the egg added a whole extra level of unexpected deliciousness. It was a well behaved egg, it was cooked well enough that the yolk was firm with no undesired runniness. The cheddar cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce, onion and egg all came together really well with their flavors cooperating in a way I would not have expected. This burger made it into my top 5 restaurant burgers on its first attempt.

Would the Hungry Man come here again? Very much so, the prices were right and the food was good, and for a sports bar kind of restaurant it was not too noisy.

Hungry Man Eats Score: 80/100

http://www.glorydaysgrill.com/

The Glory Burger Assembled

 

An Upselling Experience at Subway

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Not too far from the Hungry Man’s workplace is a Subway. It opened almost three years ago and I get over to it once or twice a month. This was a big step forward in my sandwich procurement routine, it was a new addition to the assortment of mom and pop style sandwich places with hot and cold buffets of erratic quality and ethics.

Ethics you say? Well, when you charge for your food on a per pound basis and you choose to slice your cucumber into ½ inch thick slices, you are not coming across as the most ethical of food vendors now are you?

 Normally a trip to Subway is an uneventful affair with blandly polite sandwich assemblers and consistent quality, with surprisingly good bread.

Today was different though, but based on the research I did on the web regarding the issue, I should be surprised it didn’t happen sooner with them. Subway tried to give me a hard and clumsy set of upsells.

Not sure what an upsell is? Well let me give you a quote that is the most infamous upsell: “Would you like to supersize that?”

Upselling, at least in the food service industry, is the dark art of attempting to get you the consumer to spend more by getting more food and drink that you do not necessarily want or need, but often sounds good.

Here are the ways which Subway tried to upsell me today:

  • Extra meat. Somehow, the lady who asked what I wanted somehow misconstrued me saying no while shaking my head in what I thought was a properly negative enough fashion as I assumed she was asking me about whether I wanted my sandwich toasted or not, was actually a hell yes to extra meat. I had to stop her as she was attempting to load it on.
  • Extra cheese. For an extra $1.50 this could be worth it if you love your cheese, but the most you will get is an extra two slices, I said no to this also.
  • A combo, a bigger drink, a cookie, rustproofing my car, a puppy, etc… They sure do pull out all the stops at checkout, now I normally get the combo with the Sunchips and the medium size cup for getting the fresh brewed Fuze ice tea(which is really good tea for fast food) so when they ask if I want a combo, I usually say yes, This one occurs all the time, so I never really considered it an upsell(it is one). Normally this is the only attempt I would receive at an upsell, but there was more to come. I believe the line was, after grabbing my medium size cup: “Would you like a larger cup with your meal, or some cookies or some fruit or anything else?” No, no, no to all…

So, what didn’t they try to upsell me? A foot long, avocado as an add on to the sandwich or asking if I wanted to buy extra sandwiches to take back to my friends/co-workers/loved ones.

Given that I have been going to this Subway for nearly 2 years now and this is the first time I have seen such upselling going on leads me to believe that:

  • They always should have been upselling but weren’t and corporate/the franchise owner gave them a recent tongue lashing, recent because it seemed really awkward for them to do the upsell.
  • The government shutdown is having more of an effect on the chains than I would have expected (I do work really close by to Washington D.C., but had not noticed a drop off in business at other places I grab lunch)
  • Rising costs, their sandwiches are quite a deal for what you get

Anyhow, given that I hate being on the receiving end of an upsell, especially one as cumbersome as they tried to pull off, I may have to steer clear of them for a while as I am not a fan of their approach.

 

I’ve Been Looking so Long at These Pictures of Food That I Almost Believe That They’re Real…

Camera in a Bowl

Whilst the Hungry Man was at work eating a sad desk lunch, he was browsing the web to feed his mind as he fed his stomach.

An article from Slate caught his eye: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/10/09/instagram_and_pinterest_can_make_your_food_taste_worse_study_says.html

The point the article was making was that seeing pictures of food on Instagram or Pinterest before a meal could make eating less pleasurable. For the uninitiated, those sites are like virtual photo albums, or for Pinterest, like a virtual scrapbook where you can post images that are from elsewhere.

The article cited in the Slate article is: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/56955245-78/pictures-eating-experience-less.html.csp

After the test subjects looked at lots of pictures of sweet or salty foods, they had them eat salted peanuts and asked the subjects how much the enjoyed the peanuts. The ones who viewed the salty pictures (though none showing salted peanuts) did not enjoy the peanuts as much.

Makes sense at first glance, but I have a few questions:

  • Salted peanuts were the food used, but were people enjoying them less because they were salty, or because they were a food not seen and people would have enjoyed a salty food they had seen a picture of?
  • Is this also true for the sweet foods? (Probably)
  • I remember looking at all kinds of foods and having it increase my hunger for those foods, so my experience runs counter to that above.
  • Back to the first point, does pulling a bait and switch like this make you less hungry and enjoy the salty food less? If I was looking at pictures of pepperoni pizza and hamburgers and then was fed salted peanuts, I would be kind of disappointed.

I may have to try this one out myself to see if it works…

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