Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Kentucky Fried Christmas

Today as usual I went for my annual pre-Christmas KFC banquet. Made particularly special this year by the TLO Hot Rods Boneless box. The two of us eagerly trecked through the frost and the fog to the Stafford Hough Retail Park branch to be confronted by the most soulless space devoid of any allusion to the festive period.

No decorations festooned this branch, no Christmas muzak flowed along my aural canal and the staff, though friendly and helpful as always didn't deign to wish us a happy Christmas nor don festive attire.

Shocked, I cast my mind back to those halcyon days when Stafford Greyfriars was open (read of its sad demise here) and the scene I once saw there. Had I captured it on celluloid to share with the world, I mused as I queued today.

Not celluloid, but perhaps in binary, on an early Pre blog camera phone that just may have been languishing in the bottom of a drawer. It believed its useful life was over, and was little aware of how much Christmas cheer it could spread, if only I could persuade it to give up the KFC Christmas secret it holds, and the proof that the Grefriars KFC should have never have been closed!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, I give you the most perfect, beautifully decorated Christmas tree the world has ever known as seen at Greyfriars branch Christmas 07:

Sunday, 6 December 2009

KFB visits Europe's biggest KFC Part 2

Missed part 1? Read it here.

We drew ever closer to the holy land, still in awe at the sheer size of
the building. Some research prior to our trip informed us that the behemoth we were witnessing was in fact 2650 square metres in total. And they certainly put the space to good use: a covered drive-thru, 2 levels of covered parking, 2 levels of dining, an outdoor seating terrace and a children's play area (more on that later). Couple all that with between 150 & 200 seats and you can begin to appreciate that this, my friends, was epic.

We stumbled through the doors, leaving a trail of saliva behind us. Immediately our senses were bombarded - the usual delicious smell, muzak emanating from the speakers and...wait...surely not? KFC TV??? If only this music video playing channel was available on Freeview or Sky here in the UK - our TV certainly wouldn't be tuned into anything else. But enough about the building itself, 'what of the chicken?!' I hear you scream.

Being our first visit to a German KFC we knew we had to try something new (though all the usual culprits were present as well as the Griddled Chicken currently being tested up North in the UK). But as usual, with so much choice on the menu it was a lengthy decision-making process. Eventually, we settled on the Double Crunch burger along with quite possibly the greatest side dish we've ever had the pleasure of tasting (sorry, Hot Rods): chilli and cheese-topped fries! We headed out onto the outdoor terrace to begin the tasting.

Essentially, a Double Crunch consists of two Crispy Strips, cheese, mayo and lettuce in a non-Kaiser bun. Whilst it was succulent enough and certainly filled a hungover void in our stomachs, the Double Crunch lacked that certain special something only found in Zinger marinaded meat or anything Original Recipe coated. What we can attest to however was that it certainly does live up to its name - each bite resulting in a thunderous roar, the likes of which hasn't been seen since the morning after Hot Rod consumption.

So we're lead onto the fries:

Now this, my chicken-loving friends, is what we're talking about. Warm liquid cheese and spicy chilli is lovingly poured over piping hot fries and assembled into a small KFC branded ceramic tray. For our American readers out there, this is very similar to sister Yum Foods brand's Taco Bell offerings. The fries were delicious. If we had to pick holes though, it could be argued that if you don't consume them quickly enough, the fries themselves can become slightly soggy. You therefore have our OK to stuff them down with great vigour.

We were by this time absolutely stuffed but our journey didn't stop there. Oh no. Now it was time to explore the children's play area. Ok, we say play area but the only part we weren't too embarrassed to explore was a 3 storey high tubular slide. The perfect way to end a foray into a foreign chicken world, we're sure you'll agree.

And now we've hit the biggest in Europe, there is of course only one way to go: bigger. Our Dallas insiders have informed us that the world's biggest KFC is located in Quianmen, Beijing, China and stacks up at an incredible 1,285 square metres with 3 levels and 455 seats! If anybody out there would care to sponsor us, please get in touch.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

TLO Hot Rods are back

Let us welcome back an old friend for his third incarnation. We first welcomed the Hot Rods box meal roughly 18 months ago and it quickly became a modern classic and firm favourite amongst the KFB team. We were therefore delighted when this reappeared as a TLO just 6 months ago and are ecstatic to see it appear yet again at this very special time of year.

KFB has made many entreaties to have the hot rod box meal added as a regular menu item much the way the Big Daddy meal and the boneless banquet have crept in. The genius here is the boneless element as opposed to the bony piece of chicken that usually adorns my box meal. Their satisfying size, texture and latent heat that unleashes itself after a few chews is incredible.

Although we've seen a 40p price rise in 18 months and the Hot Rods Box meal now costs 4.89 this is still a great product which saves me (who doesn't eat bony chicken) wasting a piece from my individual box meal.

The advertising has altered slightly with the current batch featuring a thermometer that's overheated due to being used to attempt to ascertain the heat of a hot rod. and we also now have the addition of a 13.49 family size boneless banquet featuring the Hot Rod.

And the special time of year, aside from Christmas being an important religious festival, December holds its own special significance for KFC lovers. December was the month when our lord Harland ascended to Chicken heaven from the top of mount Poultry to oversee his empire for all eternity. To be able to enjoy the Hot rod at this special time is truly a gratifying experience.

Not Much remains to be said about the Hot Rod box meal. this is a TLO at its best. You can read past reviews here.