Chain Fast Food Restaurant Reviews Sandwich

Which Wich – Albuquerque, NM

I have never come across a more aptly named place than Which Wich.  I highly suggest, the day before you go, check out their menu, figure out what you want to have because the selection process takes a while.  With over 50 Sandwiches to choose from, it’s tough to decide.


My friend Marcus invited me to dinner one night, and of course begins the debate, where to go?  Hey, have you ever been to Which Wich he asks?  No, what do they have?…Oh, right.  And thus begins my journey downtown to try a new chain restaurant.  Not really feeling like driving halfway across town just for a sandwich, of course I grab my camera and decide, we’ll give it a go.


The conversation was a tad more extensive and involved some rather long winded convincing of my girlfriend, but eventually we get there and the ordering process begins.  This is not your standard menu, you don’t walk up to a counter and say, “I want a number 6 with Dr Pepper.”

BagThere are 10 categories to chose from.  With everyting from Turkey to beef, Vegetarian to Seafood, Classics which include BLT, Club and Gyro, Italian includes Meatball and Muffuletta, the options are quite daunting.  Within each of the 10 categories are 5 sandwiches, and then a special of the week.

For me, the choice was easy, I’ll have the Chicken Parma, no wait, the Club, or maybe the Bac-Hammon (Bacon and Ham), the Beef Cheesesteak!!!  Oh no, I see what I’m having, the French Dip.  How could pass up the Ultimate Beefy goodness?  The sandwich I got at every restaurant when I was in high school, the sandwich my friends would order for me before I even showed up?  That is what I will have.

So to place an order, you grab a bag. Menu2

Not just any bag, they are numbered. Choose your bag carefully, then it’s time to choose your options.  You pick your sandwich type from the category, the type of break, cheese and then toppings.  If your sandwich sucks, you have no one to blame but yourself!  My girlfriend made the mistake of ordering the BLT, but didn’t check the boxes for Lettuce or Tomato, so what did she get?  A loaf of bread full of bacon and a bit of melty cheese.  An order which they quickly remedied by explaining we assumed the L and T would be included, given the name.

French DipThey give you what you want, so make sure to order it, even if you would assume it should be included.  I notice, out of the corner of my eye, Milkshakes.  What goes better with a sandwich than a milkshake?  So we sit and wait impatiently for our order.  My name is called, and out comes, in the bag you wrote your order on:

French Dip on Wheat, crispy onions with pepper jack, salt pepper and garlic oil. A cup of the Au Jus and a bag of their house made salt and pepper chips, it looks promising.  And I was not disappointed.  The bread was fresh, soft in the middle, but crisp all the way around.  The Au Jus wasn’t even enough to completely soggy up this bread.  Such flavor I have not had, almost too much flavor actually.  A little heavy on the salt, but I was ok with that.  There is something to be said about a well made sandwich, you just can’t beat it.


My girlfriend got the Gyro and she was pleasantly surprised.  A place like this which specializes in all different kinds of sandwiches, you’d expect that have a few that fall short.  I have not tried them all, not even close.  As a matter of fact, I have only tried a few sandwiches and they have all been excellent.

As good as the sandwiches are though, they also have milkshakes.  I am a huge fan of chocolate, but when it comes to ice cream, give me vanilla.  I don’t know where they get their ice cream, but give me a bucket of it!  That’s some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had.  So good in fact that every time I go, I take my camera with me.  Every time I get my camera out to take a picture, all that is left is an empty cup.

The last time I went, I had a vanilla malt and it was stupendous!  I took my family to this place for Father’s day and am happy to report that everyone thoroughly enjoyed their sandwiches and shakes.  The best part, they have a buy 10 get one free deal, so I filled that card up quite rapidly and had a free sandwich waiting on my next trip.

With it’s variety of options, nearly endless combination of selections, this place has hit very high on my top places to go for a sandwich.  The prices are reasonable and all the sandwiches cost the same, the portions are perfect, not overly huge, but certainly not skimpy.  With the option to get pretty much any sandwich you want, made any way you want it, this place is definitely worth the obscene half hour of driving around trying to find a parking place down by UNM.

Which Wich on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

Bar BBQ Chain Restaurant Reviews

The County Line – Albuquerque, NM

When I was a kid, I remember going to the County Line with my family.  It was always a wonderful time, all the food I could eat, and as a growing young man who didn’t care for vegetables, this was the perfect solution.  An all you can eat buffet of Chicken, Beef and Pork Ribs, Brisket, Sausage and Turkey.  We didn’t have any Turkey because my Mom has never quite been the fan. 

It was a great deal for my parents too, with three boys who could eat mountains of roast beast, we frequented ‘All you can eat’ places.  It wasn’t often, but this was one of our favorites. 

So tonight a friend of mine sends a text, County Line it’s decided, we’ll just eat at the bar.  It’s amazing the number of bars I frequent for someone who doesn’t drink.  To start with, the location is amazing.  Maybe not the most amazing place to get to, but the view is spectacular.  Make sure you sit on one side of the building or the other, mountains, or city. 


So I grow up, eventually it’s time for me to buy my own dinner.  It’s not just all you can eat, any combination in any amount of meat is available.  And YES, there are vegetarian options, though I imagine they are grilled on the same grill as the rest of the meat, so how vegetarian is it REALLY?  You’ll have to ask the Chefs.

The first thing I noticed when I sat down, which having never sat in the bar before, the tables.  They are made for drinking, not eating, just a little more than the size of dinner plate.  Two glasses of water the size of small buckets, 2 pairs of glasses, a phone and a napkin, the table is completely full.  It will be interesting to fit 5 people on 2 itty bitty tables. 

CheeseballsThe menu hasn’t change in 20 years, except for the things that have changed, like the garlic mashed potatoes and Fried Pepper Jack Cheese Bites.  I’m a big fan of Pepper Jack, so of COURSE I’m going to try those.  They are pretty good, bite size, slightly spicy, but not overly so.  Golden brown and crispy on the outside, melty gooey on the inside, the texture of the cheese was a little strange, but not so much that I wouldn’t order them again and again.  

Plate one comes, my girlfriends Salmon and there you go, more than half the table is now full.  We somehow manage to pack on the cheese bits, a salad and my wonderful plate of deliciousness, the combo platter.  Two meats and two sides.  Peppered turkey, sausage, garlic mashed potatoes and today’s veggie of the day, corn on the cob.  As with almost all turkey, it’s a little on the dry side, but packed with an amount of flavor that would never be possible in a home kitchen.  How?  How do they do that?  That is not for me to know, just for me to enjoy.  Sausage was alright, the casing a little tougher than I’d like, but tender on the inside and a good touch of spice. 

Food2 Now the reason I go in the first place, garlic mashed potatoes.  They’ve changed over the years, but I’m happy to say the flavor is back to what I remember.  Chunkier than once before, but that’s a good thing.  It’s like the grew up with me.  As a kid lumpy mashed potatoes would have been completely offensive. 

Overall the service was a bit lacking.  If you want dinner, don’t sit at the bar.  The food may not be the best out there, but it’s good and if you get the right seat, you can’t beat the view. 


Ok, best for last, dessert.  Me and my sweet tooth have to tell you about the ice cream.  I love ice cream, I also love vanilla and I think this is the place that started it.  As with everything else the ice cream has changed, but the vanilla bean ice cream is still the best.  It’s woody like a vanilla bean, with a deep earthy flavor.  If you thought vanilla only came in a bottle and measured by the ounce, then you’ve never tried true vanilla.  This has the flavor you are used to as well though, a LOT of it.  It’s almost like they instead of a teaspoon, they used a quarter cup.  This is the best ice cream ever, I’ve yet to find another with as much flavor.  And yes, when it comes to vanilla, I really do what to be slapped in the face with it’s potency.  You can almost never have too much. 

So where is the picture?  Well, I ate it before I had a chance.  After I took a bite, I just couldn’t stop.  I highly suggest you go get a bowl of your own.  Maybe you can take a picture for me and send it to me to post. 

View Larger Map

Bar Chain Pizza Restaurant Reviews

Boston’s Gourmet Pizza – I-25 and Jefferson Albuquerque, NM


A short while back a good friend of mine was talking about a dessert she had recently discovered, and made the claim it was the best dessert she’s ever had.  Having been invited by her to a different place for lunch, I sat there appalled and disappointed that there was no dessert waiting for me at the end that day.  Fortunately, today had a different outcome, we decided to go to Boston’s. 

Located just North of I-25 and Jefferson, it’s convenient for anyone passing through town, and familiar spot as this chain is located all over the country. 

The place is filled with jars like the ones they often make in magazines, for a cheap gift to give a friend around Christmas.   I wonder if the jars were at any point edible because I am sure they are long past that point.  I do enjoy the food related decor, rather than the random unrelated junk most places have.  jars

Dessert time.  I order this thing called the Boston’s Hot Brandy Cream Pie.  Ok, so this just isn’t fair to begin with, Boston Cream Pie is one of my favorite desserts, OF COURSE I have to give this a try.  The picture is eloquent, perfectly drizzled with a stream of chocolate, the slice of cake sitting on it’s side and perfectly clean.  That’s not what I got, but I am glad for what I got.   

DessertFirst off, it looks like twice the normal portion I was supposed to be given.  I’m Ok with that.  Not being on it’s side, the chocolate on top is what got slightly carmelized and oozy goozy.  I’m Ok with that too.  You can’t see it in the picture, but on the back side of the cake, the chocolate that had melted and oozed behind turned into this thick fudgy syrup.  The butter brandy sauce in the front, is, in a word, amazing.  I could get a glass full of this stuff and it still wouldn’t be enough.  The cake around the edge is slightly dry and crispy from being put through the oven, so it soaks up the sauce like a thirsty fish.  I’m sad to say that sauce disappeared WAY too quickly.  I was about halfway through by the time it was gone, and I had realized it was going fast so I was going easy on it.  So I guess maybe with a normal sized piece it might have lasted.

This cake didn’t last.  I was down to the last few bites when the thought ran through my head, maybe I should order another one?  Yes, it’s THAT good.  I don’t want to know how many calories it contains and I highly suggest you don’t look it up either.  Go to the gym and just stay there for a few hours, it will all work itself out in the end. 

As I was going through the pictures I had taken, I saw one that I completely forgot about. Oh, that’s right,  I ordered lunch before I had dessert.   That dessert pushed all thoughts of this underwhelming Fooddish out of my mind.  It was off of their Healthy menu, except for the sweet potato fries, I was supposed to get rice, but seriously, which would YOU choose?  If you are trying to lose weight, like I am supposed to be, don’t bother with Boston’s.  Their Pizza (which I didn’t have today) is good, especially their Ultimate Pepperoni.  But the healthy side, the veggies were undercooked (I like them crunchy, just not THAT crunchy), the sweet potato fries are good, but like most places, their sweet potatoes grow in a frozen brown paper bag.  The chicken was dry and though it did have a grilled flavor, that was about all it had. 

If you are going to go to Boston’s, get the pizza or pasta.  With a TON of excellent choices on their menu, the Healthy choices offered on the last page.  All in all, you don’t pick this place for the heart healthy tastes.  They also have a bar, so if you just want to go have a drink, hang out with friends and maybe snack on some great bar food, they’ll have something for everyone, well, almost everyone. 

View Larger Map

BBQ Chain Restaurant Reviews

Rudy’s – 2321 Carlisle Blvd NE Albuquerque, NM


Barbeque places are a dime a dozen, meat, smoke, eat, repeat.  So what makes a good smokehouse?  Juicy meats, nice and smoky without overdoing it, a good sauce and an atmosphere that says, hey, it’s just food, come on in, sit down with your neighbor and make sure to grab some napkins. 

Rudy’s, located just off the freeway, across the street from the Hotel/Indoor Water park can’t be missed with it’s Bright Red Exterior.  

At first glance (or first couple dozen glances, because I’ve been here a LOT), you notice the sign on the side wall.  Now go back and actually READ the sign…I’ll wait…   Now what in the world would cause a restaurant of any kind to advertise themselves as the worst of anything?  Surely this place can’t be the worst, I mean if you advertised as such and it was true, wouldn’t that mean you’d do no business?  Well there is a reason they are still open, so pay not attention to the wall before you, seriously, it’s just weird.  


As you enter the place the first thing you notice is the line wrapped around a trough of sodas chilling in icy water.  Red and white are the colors of choice, as a lot of places have.  Didn’t they do a study to say that color combination makes you hungry?  If it’s not the colors it’s definitely the smell.  Even driving by you can smell the sweet smoke of slow roasted meats.  Quite the selection, but I always get the same thing.  Turkey, Ham, potato, pudding.  Menu

The potatoes are smoked and a nice dark brown color.  They are typically HUGE too.  It would be very easy to go there and just get a potato.  You can also get the potato loaded with your choice of meat, but I suggest you buy them separately and mix the two yourself.  Sour cream, butter, cheese, no bacon, no extra salt or black pepper.  The butter and cheese provides enough salt for the soft and fluffy interior of this smoky delight.  Just warm enough to melt all the cheese, just a hint of the smoke flavor helps bring out the potatoness of the potato.  It just tastes really natural.  I always plan on saving the skins, but by the time I’m done with the rest of the food, I feel the need for a nap and it never happens. 

Once upon a time I think I got the brisket, I remember not being a fan.  I’ll try it again sometime, but then there’s turkey.  Oh yay, turkey, that dry gravy soaking meat that you have at Thanksgiving.  It’s a good thing my mom makes a good gravy because the turkey is always dry.  That’s turkey, right?  WRONG.  This turkey is something else.  It’s moist and succulent, amazingly flavorful (yeah, flavorful turkey) and probably the best thing I’ve ever had smoked.  Dinner

Once upon a time my parents had a smoker.  My favorite thing was the smoked turkey, which they very rarely did because outside of the 2 months at the end of the year, how often do you see turkey in the grocery store?  It was good, very very good, but sadly a distant memory, but I’m happy to say this turkey is as good as it comes. 

The ham is also smoked and it’s amazing.  Salty and sweet, smoky like bacon, but meaty and juice.  Though today’s batch had a fair vain of fat, it was easy enough to cut out.  The downside, you pay by the pound, so that was some expensive fat! 

There are sides, most of which are served in line in their chill chest.  Several of the options are desserts, which I’ll get to Sidesmomentarily. With all the sides served family style, this is not a place you go on your own, unless you are just going for the potato.  It really deserves to be enjoyed with a large group of people at one of their large picnic type tables.  They serve a very good slightly spicy BBQ sauce on every table with salt and pepper in the old (cleaned out) beer bottles.  BTW, the turkey and the ham, do not need sauce.  I honestly think the sauce overpowers the turkey and serious, it’s juicy turkey with a ton of flavor.  Dessert

  My sweet tooth is a-calling.  A simple dessert, pudding.  Whipped topping from a can and sprinkled with chocolate cookie crumbs.    The crumbs are also used inside the pudding to give a slight texture to the pudding, though when the chunks are large, they get soggy, it’s somehow still good.  Well, how can you really go wrong with chocolate?  Only thing missing is an IV, but then again that would bypass your tongue, and that would be a shame. 

Every time I go to Rudy’s, I eat too much.  Everything is full of flavor and tender, juicy bits of Barbeque heaven.  It’s a chain in NM and TX, but they seem to do things right.  They are typically very consistent and have a wide selection of food for every taste, except maybe a vegetarian, unless you eat butter sour cream and cheese, then go get a potato. 

View Larger Map

Burgers Chain Fast Food Restaurant Reviews

5 Guys – Albuquerque, NM

I’ve driven by the place before and thought, huh, I wonder what that is?  Every time I had that thought, I completely forgot the place existed until my Girlfriend reminded me and actually looked it up.  Then a friend of Signmine at work said, “Hey, it’s Open and it’s really good!”  Ok, so there go my dinner plans, time to try a new place!  

We walk up and the place is packed, doesn’t appear to be an empty seat in the house.  I’ve seen pictures online and they all appear to be the same layout.   White and red are the colors of the day!  And the sign says it all, burger and fries. 


The line is separated out with a giant stack of potatoes and strategically places boxes of peanuts.   It seems oddly placed, I mean a burger and fries joint with peanuts?  Cause when I think burgers, I think peanuts.  I did not see a single person in the entire building eating a peanut.  Everyone is chowing down on what appears to be a pretty damn good burger and some amazing looking fries.


All toppings are free, you get your choice of a regular burger, cheeseburger, bacon burger, bacon cheeseburger or little versions of each.  The difference?  The little ones have one fresh, never frozen patty, the regular burgers, have 2 all fresh, never frozen patties.


The staff was very helpful in giving you directions if you’ve never been there before.  You pick all your toppings, which are free to add and I was sad that after I placed my order, I look over and some them piling grilled onions on a burger and that was not one of the options I picked.  Most places have “grilled onions” that are slightly warmed, not really cooked.  These were carmelized so they were nice and dark on the outside without being soft slimy piles of mush.  Next time..

Your choice of fries, cajun or regular and a very limited selection of drinks.  As we go around the corner to get our sodas, I was pleasantly surprised, 2 soda fountains with 8 selections each and hardly a duplicate amongst them.  Time for pictures!  Looking behind the counter was a mess of people running around, overcrowded, but somehow managing the dance in expert fashion.  People at the grill in the back, people wrapping burgers on the center table, off to the side making and seasoning fries, and gathering orders to give them to customer impatiently anticipating their one of a kind burger. 

Given time to look around the place, you notice all the signs on the wall.  Comments like, “The Best $5 Burger a Man Can Eat,” “Tastiest Burgers In Town,” “5 Guys Serves Heaven On A Bun.”  It would appear they are very proud of their reviews.  Let’s see if they’ll quote me. 


Ok, wait, something’s not right here?  That picture looks a little…flat?  Ok, so I took a few pictures and walked up to the menu to get one last photo.  Very shortly after a nice lady with blonde hair walks up and asks if we were enjoying ourselves and waiting for our food?
“What’s your number?” she asks.  “I’m sorry but we don’t allow people to take pictures, it’s against policy.”  Um..what?  …  Ok, so I guess now I’ll have to draw the experience to you.  PS, the above Menu picture is not mine, but I found several online that people have taken perhaps covertly.  Not wanting to get them in trouble, I only used a picture of the menu.  Maybe they want no proof they actually exist I guess.  Maybe they think we are stealing their souls?  I promise I’ll give it back! 

So finally food time.  Begin covert operation of taking a damn picture of my damn food so FriesI can post it on my damn blog and give a  damn visual aid!   So here I am checking my text messages when magically my camera went off!  Oh, I’m sorry, but since it’s here, I figure people might like to see the fries, which are amazing by the way.  These are not your typical fast food fries that are coated in a batter to make them crispy.  They are freshly cut, lightly salted, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and hot.  DAMN They’re hot!  Cajun style are also amazing, and not your typical cajun seasoning.  It’s got an herbal flavor, not sure what it was, but I like it!  Spicier than most cajun fries and just as crisp as the 5 guys fries.  You can’t tell from the cups, but they are huge, there is a ton of fries here.  On top of that, you should have seen the bag!  I would have taken a picture, but it’s against policy and I had already checked the weather on my phone and sadly no random snapshot happened this time.  Let me just say, these cups were probably at least halfway overfull. 

With the second half of their namesake down, it’s time for the main course.  So here it is, the 5 Guys Burger.


Looks promising, certainly cheesy.  First thing I notice when taking a bit, Mmmmm…crispy bacon.  I can’t tell you how much I love bacon on a burger.  Unfortunately I can’t say much more about the bacon because, though it imparted a great crunch, there wasn’t as much flavor.  I’m not a cheese snob by any means.  Give me a good chunk of cheddar on my burger and I am happy.  I am not a fan, however, of American Cheese.  For some, it may remind you of your childhood, the grilled cheese your mom used to make.  Well my mom used Velveeta.  The cheese seemed to overwhelm the burger, with as much all fresh, never frozen meat there, I didn’t really taste it much.  The bun was your standard store bought generic buns, which soak up the juice coming from the burger, making them nice and soggy. 

Don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad burger, there just doesn’t seem much special about it.  Definitely go there for the fries, seriously, the fries are awesome.  Get a hot dog while you are there, or a burger, or if you REALLY like American cheese, get a cheeseburger.  It is fresh, and though the picture above may not look as appetizing as your photo they put in menus at Applebees, it’s real.  

View Larger Map

Chain Comfort Food Restaurant Reviews

Cracker Barrel – I-25 and San Antonio Albuquerque, NM

So pull up a chair and let me tell you about a place where family values still mean something.  Where the food is just like mom used to make and the service feels like family. 


Ok, so that may be going a little overboard, but that’s the idea, an old timey place where you can get unique comfort food like no where else in town.  The first thing you notice when walking in, it’s a store.  Wait, where’s the restaurant?  Oh, it’s in the back of the store.  If you go on the weekend, you have to wait, which makes the store concept kinda nice.  If you have a sweet tooth like me…you are in trouble.


ValomilkThis is a retro candy counter with all kinds of candy and treats that I highly suggest you check out, but do not buy anything before eating dinner.  You may wander off with a case of Valomilk like often happens to me.  You’ve never heard of Valomilk?   Dude, you seriously need to get to Cracker Barrel, if not for anything else, for the Valomilk.  I never leave the place with at least a few.


Once you get to the table you are presented with 2 GIANT menus.  Breakfast, served all day, and Lunch and Dinner.  Once again, I was given plenty of time to look over the menu, but not too much before it was time for something to drink.  You don’t need to look at the menu for this.  You want the Lemonade.  My lemonade of choice, Raspberry, you only have 2 choices, that and regular.  Normally it comes in a nice frosty mug which looks like it was carved out of giant piece of clear ice.  Today though, just a mug.  Still cold, tangy and oh so good.  They have your standard sodas and Raspberry iced tea too, but I never seem to get past the lemonade. 


Wall The decor reminds of TGIFridays in the early part of last century. The tchotchkes are all antiques and remind of me of several museums I’ve seen.   In the cold months, a nice fire is sparking, but today is a warm today, so fortunately the fireplace is just full of ash.   You are distracted from the fact that it takes a long while to even order your food as they put a game Toyon each table and off to the side, checkers.  I beat this one though, twice, while taking pictures and still waiting for ordering food.  Granted, they are busy, I’m seeing a lot of that lately and I’m impatient.  

They are known for their Chicken and Dumplings.  So of course I got the pot roast.  I’ve had the Chicken and Dumplings before, and they serve flat noodle like dumplings, which are good, but just not peaking my interest.  And seriously, how can you go wrong with Pot Roast?  Fried Chicken, Country Fried Steak, Meatloaf, Lemon Pepper Grill Rainbow Trout, this is rustic hearty food.  You get 3 sides which has a huge list to choose from.  Carrots, Mac & Cheese and Mashed potatoes round out my meal.   

Well, no style points for a clean plate, but hey, when did your mom ever serve you a pristine clean plate?  First things first, mac and cheese.  The flavor is Plateperfect even if lacking in texture.  Chefs always talk about cooking noodles until just al dente, these are not those noodles.  I imagine trays of mac and cheese sitting in the back room for hours bubbling away and the mushy noodles are my proof.  Lightly steamed carrots with a little bit of crunch…no.  You could mash them with a fork, which wouldn’t be bad, mashed carrots because they are very sweet.

Ok, so mashed potatoes maybe?  Yes, soft, fluffy, slightly chunky, skins included.  These are very rustic and just like I imagine they should be.  Now for the namesake, you don’t order sides, you order Pot Roast.  It’s good, peppery, and completely soaked in gravy, just as it should be.  Occasional you pull up these odd slimy translucent things, turns out they are onions.  You’d expect all this food to be a giant salt lick, but surprisingly, they do not taste very salty.  You’d be tempted to pour a couple pounds of salt to enhance the flavors, all of which are good if you can get over some of the textures, but I implore you, don’t.  It’s really not necessary and I’m sure that if you really take a look, it’s probably plenty salty.  Biscuit

They serve with your mean, Rolls and corn bread.  I LOVE cornbread and this is no cornbread. I expect a nice little light and fluffy puff of corn sweetness.  The mealy texture present a flavorless and bland little hockey puck. I highly suggest you pass and go for the rolls.   The rolls are good, but I’m pretty sure they are made with vinegar instead of buttermilk.  They don’t quite have that creamy texture you get from buttermilk biscuits, but a faint hint of the vinegar twang.   It’s better than the rolls I make at home, but I still think I prefer the rolls from KFC, yeah, that’s right, KFC. 

I think it stays true to the hearty home cooked meals as long as your mom was like my mom and overcooked all the veggies (or used canned veggies).  The menu is not TOO highly priced for the amount of food you get and the tastes are good, if the textures are not.  All in all, you really need to go get Valomilk.  If it were not for Valomilk, I am not sure I’d crave Cracker Barrel too often.  But hey, sometimes you even crave McDonald’s right? 

View Larger Map