Gratzfood Review: Chick’n Shack Sandwich

I get really defensive when it comes to chicken sandwiches. As you probably know, I am a vocal and devout supporter of a certain Atlanta based fast food chicken chain and am undoubtedly biased towards their food. I must be honest I was a little hurt when I initially saw Shake Shack was adding a chicken sandwich to their menu. I viewed it almost as a direct attack at my beloved favorite. But as a chicken sandwich enthusiast I had to at least try it, had to see what the competition was bringing to the table. After hitting the NFL Draft in Philly my friends and I were looking for a place to eat and when someone mentioned Shake Shack there was more fanfare than the actual draft itself. Here was a golden opportunity to finally try the chick’n shack sandwich and once and for all satisfy my curiosity.

Simply put it was really good. Very crispy breast of chicken. I really enjoyed all the toppings (lettuce, pickles, buttermilk herb mayo). The herb mayo was zesty and a welcome addition as it provided just the right amount of flavor without detracting from the chicken itself. One minor complaint was the chicken breast wasn’t evenly proportioned, one bite might have been all breading while the next was all meat. Inconsistent. I think this sandwich can coexist with others because it’s just different than the competition. Different vibe. At $6.49, it’s more expensive than a normal fast food chicken sandwich. Add $2.50 for a fountain soda and another $2.99 for fries and you’re looking at a $12 meal compared to something maybe a little smaller at $7.50. This is the perfect chicken sandwich option if you have a hankering on a Sunday. Look, there’s no denying Shake Shack has pretty damn good food. This sandwich, while maybe a little expensive, doesn’t really feel like a ripoff although I can probably eat two if I forgo fries. If you’re at Shake Shack, this is certainly a viable option and I would recommend it if you’re a fan of chicken sandwiches. Not the biggest, not too small, but just about fair and the taste surpassed my expectations. This is a welcome addition to the chicken sandwich game and a legitimate option for the fast casual realm. unnamed.jpg

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Should The Eagles Pursue Richard Sherman?

For the past few years Richard Sherman has been one of the most recognizable names in professional football. Whether it’s him being a part of one of the best Superbowl winning defenses in recent memory or his fiery, charged up controversial interviews, Sherman has been as prevalent a face as there’s been in the NFL. For perhaps a few reasons, the Seahawks seem relatively open to trading the cornerback who this past season was named to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl. I’m not here to discuss those reasons. There’s one thing and one thing only that matters in my eyes. How does this affect the Eagles. I feel that despite the Seahawks open willingness to discuss a deal for him, nobody seems to be taking it too seriously. At least as of now. But I bring this to light for a few reasons, the most fundamental being that Eagles could actually really benefit from a player like Sherman. For the heck of it, let’s break this down the simple way…

 

Pros

The Eagles desperately need a cornerback. Last year their secondary woes were too dire to ignore. As bad as their cornerback situation was, where we stand now, it’s worse. The Eagles have cut Leodis Mckelvin. Nolan Carroll is gone too and while those will ultimately probably be good moves for the birds, they still have to find someone to fill the void. The Eagles play in a division where they have to face Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall twice. It’s imperative to find at least one player that has either elite production or potential. The Eagles are probably considering a corner in the first (as well as other positions) so it might make sense to get one that’s established.

He never gets hurt. Seriously, by some freakish chance, one of the most aggressive players in the league has not missed a game yet. He’s started in every one since he became the starter his rookie year. Having a player that doesn’t get hurt often is such a valuable asset to a team, especially one that is trying to win and figures to be in the mix for a playoff berth down the stretch. Not only would the Eagles be able to fill a void, they would be able to do it with someone they can rely on week in and week out.

His intensity is a match for Philly. Richard Sherman is one of those guys you love to hate…unless he’s on your team. Say what you want about his personality but there is absolutely no denying the mans passion for the game. Philly fans would eat that up like cheesesteaks and crab fries. A few big plays on D combined with some wins and Sherman could have the city in the palm of his hands.

His price is going down. The reason I started to ponder this was because I read that the Seahawks could be dropping his asking price. First they wanted a player and a high pick. Now they apparently want a first round pick and a conditional mid round pick later (which could be OK if that means he’s on the team for at least a couple of years). Profootballtalk suggested it could eventually drop to just a first. Instead of using a pick to draft someone who might be good the Eagles could get one who’s already proven he’s elite.

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Cons

He makes too much money. One of the reasons Seattle is likely open to trading him is because of his expensive price. The Eagles as they stand now wouldn’t have enough to take on his salary without cutting or trading additional players. Still, for a team that was supposed to be cash strapped the Eagles seemed to manage pretty well in free agency. Howie Roseman and his guys have a remarkable ability to work around the parameters of the league’s salary cap. So while as of now it would seem pretty unlikely they could afford him, if there’s anyone who could make it work it’s Howie Roseman.

He’s 29. As I mentioned before Sherman has made the Pro Bowl the past four years. But everyone knows the day comes eventually where a player loses that elite step. You don’t want to mortgage a part of your future if you think that day is sooner rather than later. Does Sherman probably have at least a few good years left in him? That’s very reasonable to believe. But let’s be honest this team is built around Carson Wentz and his future. It may be foolish to acquire too many veterans for stopgap roles instead of grooming young players who could be a core part of this team for years to come.

The Eagles could lose valuable players. If the Seahawks end up being firm and demand additional players with a first round pick then would it be worth it? What if that meant not having Jason Peters protecting Wentz’s blindside? There are certainly expendable players on the Eagles roster but there are also a lot of players I wouldn’t be excited about parting with either, especially if it means adding the 14th overall pick too.

His personality could pose some problems. Sherman is known to be a fierce competitor and quite outspoken on a number of issues. He’s played in Seattle his whole career where he’s quite familiar with his teammates and coaches. It’s fair to question how he would handle a situation he didn’t approve of in Philadelphia. What if he doesn’t agree with a scheme or assignment or decision? Could that potentially cause distractions? Issues in the locker room? That could be a risky proposition to gamble on for a 29 year old corner.

Verdict: Surprisingly, I think the Eagles should at least be interested in trading for Sherman. They need a corner, badly. Sherman plays the position at an elite level and while his production might drop they could probably still get a few good years out of him. His veteran leadership would be of great value too, considering this is a young squad still learning how to compete and play in the NFL. He’s a SuperBowl champion and he brings that championship mentality week in and week out. While his demeanor could spark some drama I ultimately think that at the end of the day Sherman just wants to win. I would want that attitude on my team. It would be risky sending away a high pick but at least you’re getting someone reliable in return. I wouldn’t want to send additional players in the deal unless the team strongly feels they would be able to win without them on the team. He’s expensive but if Howie Roseman can figure out a way to afford him then why not? The Eagles could be targeting offense at 14 but let us not forget gems at the running back position can often be found in the second and third rounds and even beyond. I would like to get another young corner to pair with Jalen Mills but drafting one later to learn from Sherman sounds like it could be a wise move too. Overall if the Eagles couldn’t swing a deal to land Sherman it wouldn’t be the end of the world. It would be exciting to keep our first round pick and draft a promising prospect that could be on the Eagles for years to come. But if the price comes down to maybe just a first round pick or even less and the Eagles could figure out a way to afford him, then I’d do it.   It would unquestionably immediately make the defense better. It would help them as they try to make the playoffs in Doug Pederson’s second year as head coach. He’s 29 but won’t turn 30 until after next season ends. Combine that with his healthy past and veteran presence and I think the Eagles would be foolish to at least not try to make a deal work.

 

Gratzfood Review: Moriarty’s Pub

Love me some chicken wings. I mean who doesn’t? You would be hard pressed to find a more satisfying feeling than the one you get after staring down at a plate full of empty bones knowing you just did some serious damage. When it comes to Philly, I know where to get a good cheesesteak. Chicken wings? Not as much. A simple Google search (as well as word of mouth from those in the know) will point you in the direction of a pub called Moriarty’s on 11th and Walnut. So when my friend told me he wanted to hit Moriarty’s for dinner one night, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see if these wings live up to their strong reputation.

When we got there (it was a weeknight) the place was jumping. That’s usually a good sign. Mostly every table and barstool was occupied but we still managed to get a table right away. The wings are $10 for an order and there didn’t seem to be any variation of sauce options on the menu. It just says cooked in a “tangy sauce” which to no surprise was a buffalo sauce. I trusted the process and put in an order no questions asked. Then I tried the wings and it all clicked.

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The bar (no pun intended) for chicken wings in Philadelphia has been set pretty damn high. Moriarty’s wings were not just some of the best I have tasted in the area, but some of the best I have eaten anywhere. These wings just fire on all cylinders. They’re big and meaty. The sauce is phenomenal. Not overly hot. Not boring. They describe them as tangy and that is the right word for them. It’s a straight up great tasting flavor of buffalo sauce. They don’t need the gimmick of having a whole bunch of ridiculous sauces. They do it one way and nail it. You can’t not respect that. The overall texture of these wings were delightful as well. Some wings get soggy from too much sauce but these maintained just the right amount of crisp the whole way through. If you can’t tell, I really enjoyed these wings. I don’t normally give quantifiable scores but these are an “A”.

On a side note, I would also like to acknowledge the quality of the service there too. Like I said earlier it was jam packed but we didn’t wait long for our drinks, food, or anything. We were checked on multiple times to see if there was anything we needed and each time our requests were fulfilled instantly. The drink prices were reasonable too. If you’re looking for a fun bar atmosphere to have some brews and chow down on some delicious chicken wings, look no further than Moriarty’s pub. Their reputation for such activities is well deserved.

Gratzfood Review: Burger King Crispy Chicken Sandwich

When you first hear Burger King, chances are the first thing that pops in your head isn’t chicken. In all likelihood the first thing you think of rhymes with bopper. Or schnopper. Sure BK has chicken fries and an original chicken sandwich that has been around forever but the reality is they have been searching for a premium chicken sandwich fixture on their menu the same way the Cleveland Browns have been searching for a franchise quarterback. Due to the popularity of other chicken sandwiches in the fast food game companies have felt added pressure to offer a quality chicken sandwich that can compete with the industries top sellers.

Enter the new Crispy Chicken Sandwich. According to Burger King, “Our New Crispy Sandwich is made with 100% white meat chicken filet, seasoned and breaded and carefully layered with fresh lettuce, ripe tomato, and creamy mayonnaise on a potato bun.” Sounds quite appealing. Reviews and word of mouth that I have seen and heard so far have been pretty positive too. It was time to put it to the test.

What I ordered: Crispy Chicken Sandwich meal (medium). No tomatoes. No mayo.

Cost: $8.31 with tax.

Verdict: First off, I only wanted to order the sandwich, without the fries and drink. The sandwich alone came to $5.19. At that point I felt the only logical option was to spring the extra 2 something and get the meal. They got me. It was supposed to be 7 bucks and change but somehow, someway came to $8.31. Rather than dissect the charges like an old lady at Shop Rite I paid and kept it moving. Time to eat. I unwrapped the sandwich (which came in regular paper, nothing that would make it feel like a premium item) and at first glance wasn’t all too impressed. It looked like a pretty standard chicken sandwich. The first thing I thought when I took a bite was that this tasted familiar and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I realized that the bun they used tasted identical to the one McDonald’s uses for their Buttermilk Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich. Not to say that’s a bad thing as I actually like that bread but it just seemed odd for it to taste so similar to their competitor. As for the chicken? Good but not great. It was made with white meat but it wasn’t a plump, hearty breast of chicken. Here’s the thing, while this may be a decent chicken sandwich the price and overall lack of anything exciting won’t ever make me go out of my way for it. It tasted good, I liked the bread and it was pretty crispy but it doesn’t compete with say, Chick-fil-A or even come close. Chick-Fil-A tastes better and costs less. Go figure. I don’t want to spend $8 at Burger King for a meal. If I’m spending $8 I want to get a bunch of little things and fill myself up that way. For instance, you can grab 2 of their Original Chicken Sandwiches for $5. I’d much rather do that. Or if I were at Wendy’s you can have FIVE of their dollar menu ones. That may be excessive (it may not be) but I’m just making a point. Quality over quantity is one thing but when you’re at Burger King the goal is usually to get as much grub as you can for the lowest cost possible. Kind of disappointed. If you’re at Burger King and are craving a chicken sandwich then by all means go for it. But if you’re just in the mood for a chicken sandwich in general and have transportation or can walk then there are much, much better alternatives… and at a lower price.

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You Have To Love This South Jersey Dude Who Went To Jail For Drunkenly Crashing His Golf Cart Trying To Run Over A Rooster

There are some savages in South Jersey. Trust me. I would know. But Daniel Jones has just set the bar pretty darn high with his antics in Key West, Florida (another severely messed up state). I’m not even going to summarize, instead I’m just going to copy and paste pretty much the entire original article because it’s just too funny as is.

“The 34-year-old South Jersey man spent a night in a Key West, Fla., jail last week after he drunkenly crashed a golf cart trying to run over a rooster, according to The Florida Keys newspaper.

The Cinnaminson resident was reportedly seen around 6 p.m. last Friday driving the cart erratically through the white-house-lined streets of Bahama Village in pursuit of the red-headed cockerel.

“He was adamant about trying to hit the rooster,” Key West resident Vincent Vurro, who saw the whole thing unfold, told the newspaper.

As Jones swerved toward the bird, the cart rolled over, throwing the driver and two passengers onto the street, the newspaper reported. A female passenger suffered chipped teeth and skinned knees.

The rooster, however, proceeded safely to the sidewalk.

Jones was taken into custody, and reportedly fell asleep in the police cruiser on the way to the local jail.

After repeatedly sticking his fingers and shirt in his mouth, the newspaper reported, Jones allegedly scored a blood-alcohol content of 0.25, which is more than three times the legal limit in Key West.

He was jailed on suspicion of driving under the influence, and was released on his own recognizance the next day.

Efforts to reach him Wednesday were unsuccessful.”

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Although this report is only a few paragraphs long, it feels like a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. So much to examine and break down. Where do I begin? “He was adamant about trying to hit the rooster”. First off, not sure if the driver would even know what adamant means. Second, you can’t not appreciate the drivers sheer tenacity and will. He was going to run over and splatter that rooster’s guts if it was the last thing he did. Except he didn’t. Also love the part about the two passengers flying out into the street too, with one of them chipping their teeth and messing up their knees. Wonder what they were thinking during that whole ordeal. Must have thought they were in a real life game of Crazy Taxi or Simpsons Road Rage (very underrated video game by the way). Were they in on this goose, er, rooster chase too? Then there’s the ultimate shot to the heart. The cold blooded sentence that really stings and shatters you. “The rooster, however, proceeded safely to the sidewalk.” Damn. I can just imagine that smug fucking rooster looking at these bozos from the sidewalk, sucking their souls with just his stare. Like Kevin McCallister grinning at The Wet Bandits immediately after ruining their lives. Was this the most cunning, elusive rooster ever or was this golf cart carrying the world’s saddest and most pathetic human beings on earth? I guess unless we get some video footage we may never know. I could go on and on with this one but I simply don’t have the mental capacity to dive even deeper. I guess not everyone from South Jersey was born a rocket scientist…

Starburst Is Releasing All Pink Packs This April And America Is Officially Great Again

The protests have worked. The suffering is over. Change is coming. Temporary change, but still change and a step in the right direction. Starburst has announced they will be releasing all pink packs this April. That’s not all, they will also be releasing all pink BAGS too. LIKE BAGS, LIKE THE KIND THAT ARE DESIGNED TO SUPPLY A SMALL CHILD’S ENTIRE BIRTHDAY PARTIES WORTH OF GOODIE BAGS.

What great news on a Monday. I’ve already made my official Starburst power rankings known but in case you’re unfamiliar here they are once again:

  1. Pink
  2. Orange

The only problem with this is I have to figure out the legalities of my business plan. I want to horde as many packs and bags as I can and resell them on the black market to fellow addicts. The problem is I’m pretty sure pink Starburst are still classified as scheduled one narcotics. On a side note what a great idea releasing these in April. Not only is that my birthday month but the real appeal is that these will finally take all the attention away from those disgusting sugar coated chicks and ducks that everyone buys around Easter. Those things are a real travesty. Hopefully Starburst will come to their senses and keep all pink packs around for an extended time (forever and ever) but in the meantime everybody responsibly.

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This is not fake news.

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Gratzfood Review: Shanks Original

If you read Gratzfeed then you’re already familiar with our comprehensive guide to Philly’s best cheesesteaks. While we searched far and wide in order be as thorough as possible there were admittedly a few places we didn’t get to hit, one of them being Shanks. Located on Columbus boulevard, Shanks is a little joint right by the river that fits the mold of a typical Philly cheesesteak spot. It’s dive-y. After a trip to home depot my buddy and I swung by and put it to the test as we looked to unlock another notch on our cheesesteak belt, quite literally too.

What I ordered: Cheesesteak. American cheese. Fried Onions.

Cost: $8.75

Verdict: The bread was pretty good and the meat was solid. So it was good right? Eh, kinda.  The cheesesteak was good but it didn’t really have anything special that separates it from the competition. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it but it’s not a sandwich I would go out of my way for, especially with all of the other options close by. For $8.75 I thought they could have added more meat and perhaps that’s something they can do in the future to better stand out. I mean my hunger was satisfied after eating it but in my opinion eating a cheesesteak isn’t supposed to just fill you, it should effectively knock you out. This kind of reminded me of a slightly better cheesesteak you can get from say your local pizza spot, which isn’t necessarily a knock it’s just not a Philly elite in my opinion. Good, not great, if it’s put in front of me I’m not going to say no but I’m not trekking out of my way for it. You get it. Cool.