Saturday, 19 April 2008

BIG AZ Burger Beef Charbroil with Cheese on a Bun

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that in some dark corner of my mind I actually thought I might like this sandwich. After all, it quite resembled the lone sandwich I gave a truly good review to, The Big A Angus Charbroil. The patty of beef was absolutely massive, dwarfing the bun that rode below and above it. My keen eye observed a nice looking slice of cheese, nearly hidden below the hood of the bun. Nice looking, for a slice of highly processed cheese that is.

If my spirits were high at first, reality was about offer me the first of several severe bitch slaps to bring me back down to earth. I placed the sandwich in the microwave and left for a moment to refill my cup with some water. When I returned I was struck by an awful smell. It conjured images of beef being boiled in water.

No ... wait.

It conjured images of the brown sludge that sticks to the side of a pot full of water with beef boiling inside. Strangely, when I opened the microwave to remove the sandwich (yes I was still willing to try it, but my resolve was nowhere near as strong) a wave succulent smelling juicy beef aroma washed over me. No, I'm not kidding. It smelled pretty damn good. I lowered my face toward the opening of the sandwich's wrapper. It didn't smell as good, but it still seemed that it had pretty good potential to at the very least come close the Angus.

Skip to a minute or two later and my unwrapping of the sandwich. I could smell the sugary bun. The cheese had exploded in all directions like so much projectile vomit. I stuck a hand in to pry it from the wrapper and was treated to a bun that was thoroughly soaked with grease and cheese. It was like touching a sponge that had been left in a vat of lard. I pulled my hand away.

It felt pretty disgusting.

Knowing I must press on, I eventually worked it free from the wrapper. Cheese dripped from one corner, hardened, and formed a stalactite/mite-like column from the patty to the napkin it sat upon. The familiar feeling of not wanting to eat the sandwich nudged me. Of course I knew I would, but I had to take a moment to collect myself and work up the courage.

Finally, I took a bite, grimacing as the lower half of the bun coated my palm with grease and cheese. Ugh! Once again, totally unseasoned meatloaf was the first thing I thought of, contrasted by sesame seeds that were a near a state of petrifaction. "Hey, YOU try spending the last days of YOUR existence being this close to the BIG AZ Burger," those seeds would surely respond.

Before I could even force myself to swallow, I began an inner debate. How many bites were fair to limit myself to taking? I knew I didn't want any more, but I did want to give the sandwich a fair shot. Against my better judgment I settled on 3. I took another bite, and on the first chew I was treated to a delicious and juicy bite of burger. But that's "bite" as in singular, not plural. That's because after chewing just once my jaw was jarred by a large chunk of bone or tendon or something. My hand instantly shot out for the nearest napkin, edge of my shirt or even jacket, anything capable of holding a mouthful of half chewed Big Az Burger with Cheese on a Bun.

Once rid of the meddlesome burger did I continue on and go for that third bite I promised myself? Fuck no. If there's anything that really grosses me out its bones or gristle in food where it doesn't belong: Ribs? That's Fine. Chicken thighs or drumsticks? Ok. Chicken strips? Nope. Burger ... obviously not.

Unable to take another bite, I put the Big Az where it should have gone in the first place, the Big Az Trashcan in the kitchen by the studio. I had a momentary flash of guilt for wasting the food. I mean, shit, a cow had DIED to become a Big Az Burger. That's when I realized that becoming a Big Az Burger was far more of an insult to the memory of said cow than my throwing the burger away could ever possibly be.


Saturday, 5 April 2008

The Time Has Arrived

Normally on the weekends I bring a nice lunch along with me. Today was no different. Roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans were on the menu. Sure, it wasn't a gigantic portion of any of the above, and even combined it was smallish. I usually eat midway through the morning show, about 2 hours into my shift. Before I had a chance to do so, I was informed that cupcakes awaited any who wished to sup upon them. Honestly, I eat such items even less frequently than I eat and review items from the vending machine.

I gave in and ate a cupcake today, being ravenously hungry from not yet having my lunch. With all that sugar in me, I made it a handful of hours without eating my lunch. By the time my stomach started to growl, my shift was nearly over ... (un?)fortunately I had something other than roast beef waiting to quell the rumblings in my yearning tummy.


A few days earlier I had procured none other than the legendary Double Beef Stacker. A chance encounter with the gentleman who fills the vending machine saw me entering a plea for him to repopulate the vending machine with the king of all sandwiches, and the namesake of this blog. My nights were restless with anticipation. Would my beseeching do any good? Was there any chance my prayers would be heard?

A few days later I eagerly checked the vending machine and the sight that greeted me made my heart swell with joy! A near entire row devoted to the Double Beef Stacker! Without hesitation I plunked the money into the machine and greedily hustled back to the fridge to stash away my meal for a time when I could fully lose myself into it.

Let's jump forward now. I stood in front of the microwave as the sandwich cooked. Glorious cooking beef wafted through the air. My stomach rumbled insistently, totally unaware of what my brain knew was an atrocity topped with cheese and a bun. It's kind of like being drunk at a party and an ugly girl comes onto you and rubs your crotch. Even if you have no interest, your soldier probably still salutes. For you women, it's probably akin to walking past a clothing store you don't like and seeing a sign proclaiming a sale on shoes ... ok that was bad. No, I'm not a chauvinist ... some of my best friends are women!

Once I sat down and prepared to tackle the DBS, I'll admit to a moment of hesitation. As has happened to me several times, the thought that I was nuts to do this to myself with such gusto did fleet through my brain. I pushed that aside and forced myself to get to it. I have a duty to uphold after all!

As the pictures will attest, the cheese poured out from beneath the bun and patties like some kind of geyser. It had this only semi-melty look. Pockets of translucence that many extremely processed cheeses get when heated dotted the surface. I had the idea that it wasn't quite sure if it was supposed to be in a liquid state or solid.

Finally I took the first bite. Was it as bad as I had hoped or feared it would be back on the day I first saw it in the vending machine? Definitely not. Was it even near as good as the sole burger I reviewed earlier that I liked? That's definitely not twice.

My first thought was that this meat tasted exactly like the horrible burgers my awful school cafeteria served. The texture was wretched, and the beef tasted as if it had been highly diluted with water so that little flavor remained. Amazingly it seemed to alternate between being mushy and springy/chewy. The fact that the sesame seeds were unusually hard didn't help matters.

Just as the meat vastly varied, so did the taste. One moment the flavor would startle me by being juicy and flavorful, and the next it would bring to mind un-spiced meatloaf, with the same consistency. In general I almost wondered if I were eating a warmed up version of the wax models fast food companies use in their commercials.

Far worse than the meat was, yet again, the bread ... I could smell the sickly sweet aroma as soon as it came out of the microwave. It wasn't quite paste-like, as the buns on other vending machine sandwiches have been, it was still the low point of this particular sandwich. Do people really want to combine two vending machine staples, the burger, and the Honey Bun? I guess if the answer is yes, those folks will be dying to get their hands on The Double Beef Stacker.

I'd swear there must have been some kind of competition with this sandwiches attributes with which one could underachieve the most: the taste, the aroma, or the appearance? If so, the appearance wins hands down. The bun looked defeated, like a drunken out of work husband back from the bar to face the wife after another day of pretending to be out job hunting. The cheese once melted took on the look of the wrinkled skin of a pensioner only moments after it cooled. If you've ever had soup that developed a skin on top of it you know the look I mean. I find that to be about as appetizing as dining on road kill served out of Britney Spears week old panties.

In all, The Double Beef Stacker isn't quite as bad as I initially feared. Could I eat it in a pinch? Sure. Would I enjoy it? Probably as much as I enjoy my alarm clock going off at three AM. At the very least, the Double Beef Stacker has given me the gift of entertaining me with this blog as the result. Oh, and I've gotten to spend time with you too. Isn't life grand? Until our next journey!

2 bites/5

Saturday, 8 March 2008

New York Deli Style Hot Sandwiches Philly Cheese Steak Hot Sandwich

It was with great surprise on Thursday that I passed the vending machine and discovered TWO new sandwiches for me to review! Unfortunately at the time I only recognized ONE of those sandwiches as being new. The reason? Well, the second sandwich greatly resembled another that I'd already tried. I saw the big orange letters that screamed AZ and assumed it was just another BIG AZ CHICKEN SANDWICH. My mistake would cost me the chance to sample the BIG AZ CHAR-BROIL BURGER as I did not buy it at that moment and instead bought the sandwich I knew I hadn't had: The New York Deli Style Hot Sandwiches Philly Cheese Steak Hot Sandwich Deli Style Heat and Eat. You'd best believe that I'll be keeping an eye out for the return of the Big Az Char-Broil.

The New York Deli Style Hot Sandwiches Philly Cheese Steak is like a woman in a Burqa. Wrapped tightly in opaque white paper that's probably supposed to conjure images of a deli sandwich's wax paper, this sandwich stokes the fires of the imagination. What lies underneath? Will it be a sight to quicken my pulse with longing or something that toes the line of mediocrity?

The only way to describe the feeling of unwrapping this thing is to say it's kinda like a kid on Christmas hoping to open his present and find a Transformer (yeah I grew up in the 80's so what?) and instead discovering a couple pairs of Fruit of the Looms.

The sandwich sat there indifferently, like a giant genital wart*. The bread felt mildly sticky, and smelled somewhat sweet. I sniffed for a few moments to see what other aromas I could detect but could only smell the faintest traces of cheese and pepper. Pulling off the top part of the bun revealed the "steak". I couldn't help but imagine that it had been assembled by enthusiastic inmates of some penetentiary who were being paid the princely sum of seven or eight cents an hour. After all, only an individual with a certain amount of personal pride in his work would take the time and care to slop down the meat so that it bulged into one corner of the sandwich and left the rest of the bun empty (though I think bulge may be the wrong word ... "bulge" would mean there was a lot of it).

Yeah, I've eaten enough of these sandwiches to know pretty much what to expect when we get down to the eating. Yes, as usual the bread turned into a sticky glue like gruel once chewed a couple times and was so foam-like I'd consider taking it with me on my next flight over open waters. If we crash I won't need the seat cover flotation device .... the bread would keep me above water for at least 2 days.

Just as the aroma implied, the bread was very sweet. A number of years back someone a great deal older than I complained that donuts these days are terrible because the dough isn't made with much sugar. Well, the dough for this bread is. Slap some frosting on these buns and they'd give even the overly sweet Krispie Kreme Donuts a run for their money. As for the steak, it's obviously just the same meat in their Pastrami sandwich (made by the same company ... see my review) but without the same spices. It's pretty flavorless save for the chunks of black pepper strewn artlessly throughout. It's definitely not awful but if it reaches for the stars for greatness the only thing it will accomplish is perhaps bumping it's head on the underside of a trash can lid ...

In short, yeah I'd eat it if I were hungry and desperate. Also, this "steak" is far better than those ground patties some of the other sandwiches use. One thing I'm left wondering is why would a company claiming to be New York Deli Style call this a PHILLY Cheese Steak? Out east where I grew up, everyone just calls them Cheese Steaks. Anyway, 3 bites out of 5.

*Shamelessly stolen from Jay Landsman.

Sunday, 3 February 2008 is really pissing me off

When I wrote the last blog for some reason it would not only not allow me to spell check but it would also not allow me to post pictures. So here are the pics I took of the previous blog's sandwich. Oh yeah, fuck you blogspot!

Saturday, 2 February 2008


I've gotten a lot of questions about why I haven't written a blog in a while. No, I'm serious, people actually give a shit about this blog and I think that's awesome. The reason for the low activity is not due to cowardice but because of a lack of new sandwiches to try. I'm proud to say that drought has passed and today I bring forth a new review! Let's get down!

Today I noticed a story that loudly proclaimed how researchers had genetically engineered onions that didn't cause tears when they were cut. After eating the cleverly titled Big Az Country Fried Chicken Breast Patty with Cheese my guess is those same scientists genetically engineered the chicken patty to pack as much sodium and fat into it as possible whilst maintaining the flavor profile of slightly wet burlap.

If shit were cheese then this sandwich just had an enema were my thoughts as I removed this from the wrapper. Cheese had squirted all over one side of the bun and pooled into the corner of the wrapper like pus from some gangrenous wound. I noticed how big the "breast" was and foolishly allowed my hopes to rise just a tad. Could it really be?

My first bite confirmed my immediate suspicion ... a suspicion that any reader that has read my chicken sandwich blogs on this site should be familiar with: faux chicken breast. Though the Big Az claims to be chicken breast, it is in fact simply ground chicken parts formed into a breast-like shape. I don't like to think of what those parts might be before I eat the sandwich and I definitely enjoy such thoughts even less when I bite into something rubbery or hard. The interior of the breast looked like a torn foam mattress and was very chewy, like eating the glue used for paper mache. On the areas of chicken that were covered with excessive cheese it almost tasted as if I were chewing on a soggy Cheeto. The only difference is that there are probably more nutrients in Cheetos.

Like other sandwiches from this machine the bun was very sweet and chewy. Giving the bun a run for it's money was the breading on the chicken, which was sweeter than a plate of yams with extra syrup. I can't say the experience was a dreadful one as much as it was pointless. If I were to plan to eat shit food teeming with fat it sure as hell better at least taste good. If flavorless food is a must, eat a sack of rice cakes instead. At least you won't be saddled with the ungodly amount of fat that this thing has.

2.5 pointless bites out of 5.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

The Pizza Parlor Sandwich Steak Sub WITH PIZZA SAUCE AND CHEESE

Today at work I noticed a commercial for a steak sandwich at Jack in the Box. I'm not the biggest fan of Steak but I do enjoy a good steak sandwich. As luck would have it the only sandwich available for me to review was just that ... well not exactly. This bad boy boasted pizza sauce and cheese? Anyone reading this is probably thinking "OK, I understand cheese on a steak sandwich ... but what's with the pizza sauce?"

Beats the ever loving Christ outta me. All I do know is that it's damn good.

Oops I lied. The Pizza Parlor Sandwich Steak Sub WITH PIZZA SAUCE AND CHEESE is not good. In fact the only thing good about it would've been if after removing it from the microwave it had fallen on the floor, forcing me to abandon it in the nearest trash can. I could have left it on the floor for some poor animal to sup upon, but even the mice that infest this building deserve better.

Doubt crept into my mind as I noticed the peculiar shape of this "steak". It isn't often that I've seen a steak attain a near perfect oval shape. My suspicions were confirmed upon my first bite. Yep, this was no steak. It was ground beef loosely formed into a patty ... and when I say loose I fucking mean loose. Biting into it is not pleasant. The beef (at least I hope to Christ that's what it really is ...) has a grainy consistency to it that utterly revolted me after just a second in my mouth. As for the pizza sauce, it was super sweet, almost as if it were fortified with sugar. Who the fuck is the chef that made it? The god damned Kool-Aid man? I suppose since the bread was spongy and sweet then Sara Lee was right next to him in the kitchen baking bun.

This was truly a dreadful experience. Yes, I took one bite and wanted to swear off vending machine food for the rest of my life. And that was before I even finished chewing. A span of 2 minutes must have gone by as I glared at the sandwich, trying to both convince myself to take another bite and simultaneously argue that no one should be subjected to such punishment. In the end my devotion to my blog won out. I took that second bite and have learned something very important that will benefit mankind.

There is no god.

1/5 Bites.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

A Sad, Sad Day.

Ever since I started this blog I dreaded this day. As hard as I tried to mentally prepare myself to deal with the difficulties I'd face when it arrived I still feel ill equiped to stand firm. Yes I knew this day would come ...

The vending machine was completely empty today. Sure, there was a crappy looking tuna sandwich in there, which was flanked by various Hot-Pockets. As I've said before though, the point of this blog is to eat sandwiches/meals that are difficult to imagine being edible coming from a vending machine.

Sadly there will be no review today. With no suitable sandwich for me to test my mettle against there's really no other choice. If you're desperate to read something (and truthfully these reviews are light years better than anything I write, plus the "food" is much more disgusting) then simply go here:
and read about all of the yummy things this guy is eating. I'll be back next Saturday to try again!